Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Book Spotlight & Giveaway~ The Mage Tales Prequels


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ilana Waters will be awarding a $75 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.

From USA Today bestselling author Ilana Waters:

Vampire. Witch. Hero. Monster.

Titus Aurelius is all of these things. Ever since he rose from the ashes of ancient Pompeii, this former Roman general has fought for survival.

A few millennia later, bloodseeker Titus isn’t looking for trouble—just a quick meal. But when his path crosses the witch Abigail’s, that plan gets shot to Hades. They find out the Paranormal Investigation Agency (PIA) is plotting something monstrous—something that involves exploding gas mains, lethal bird-shifters, and sadistic vampire minions.

Will they uncover the PIA’s murderous secret before every supernatural in its path is destroyed?

And what is Titus and Abigail’s connection to the mage who, almost twenty years later, is exiled to a paranormal boarding school? Can this mage solve a mystery concerning a stolen potion and ghostly figure before students—including him—wind up dead?

Together for the first time, the Mage Tales Prequels: Books 0-II are action-packed, edge-of-your-seat suspense stories shot through with a megadose of snark. If you love authors like Kevin Hearne, Lev Grossman, and Ilona Andrews, give these a try! This box set contains one novella and two full-length novels:

When Darkness Falls
Blood and Magic
Mage Lessons


Read an Excerpt

From When Darkness Falls

I am dying, I thought, in wonder. After all these years . . . this is what it feels like. Pompeii is dying, and she is bringing me with her.

It took all the strength I had just to keep breathing, to draw myself up to the podium, clawing at its sides. Even then, I was too weak to stand. I didn’t know if my feeble grip would hold the chalice. Still, I reached for it with outstretched fingers. One of them hit the cup, and the chalice shook violently. My eyes bulged.

No!

I saw the chalice go over the other side of the podium. I squeezed my eyes shut, and with the last burst of magic I could muster, pulled it back within my grasp. I barely managed to wrap my fingers around the stem. I didn’t so much lift the chalice to my lips as I let the liquid spill over them. I fell backward and onto the floor, the now-empty chalice clattering next to me.

I remember thinking it would taste like wine.

I’m sure you all know how vampirism works by now. A vampire drains your blood and replaces it with their own. Then, you’re essentially immortal—ageless, and frozen in time. Of course, it would have been helpful to have this information before I drank from the chalice.

About the Author:

Hi! I'm Ilana Waters, USA Today bestselling author of the Mage Tales.

I write urban fantasy for those who like it fast, funny, and fierce. If you're into cross-blended creatures (think witch-vampire hybrids and half-breed mages) and supernatural ass-kicking, I'm all over that. Ditto if your book turn-ons are equal parts creepy and action-packed (think ancient cities and crypts combined with beheadings and bombs).

Sign up for my newsletter here, and I'll give you a free book: http://tinyurl.com/zp7q9u8

Website: http://www.ilanawaters.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ilanawaters
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ilanawatersbooks

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MJT1RWB/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Guest Author Day with Kelli A Wilkins

A Tortured Hero Speaks…

Kelli A. Wilkins is an award-winning author who has published more than 100 short stories, 19 romance novels, 5 nonfiction books, and 2 online writing courses. Her romances span many genres and heat levels, and she’s also been known to scare readers with her horror stories.

Today Lord Sebestyen Adrik, the hero from Kelli’s Gothic historical romance, Redemption from a Dark Past, shares a few of his best and worst experiences.

Learn more about Kelli and her books on her website and blog. Website: www.KelliWilkins.com Bloghttp://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/

Greetings, readers!
My author, Kelli A. Wilkins, has encouraged me to talk about a few of my personal best and worst moments in Redemption from a Dark Past. There were plenty, but I’ve chosen the most memorable ones to share today.
The “worst” moment for me occurred before the book even started, and it set the stage for everything that was to come. Lady Alzabeta Adrik and I didn’t have a happy or a romantic marriage. (I discovered that she was being unfaithful with one of my close friends, and she never really loved me.) We quarreled often, and during one of those infamous arguments, she died. I was accused of her murder.
Needless to say, my reputation (and my life in general) was ruined by the accusation. To compensate—and to punish myself—I withdrew from the world and lived with the guilt of what I had done for years. It was a very lonely, miserable time in my life. I was at my lowest point and had thought about giving up entirely.
But then a “best” moment happened. Katarina came to my castle and agreed to be my companion. She was a ray of sunshine in my gloomy existence. I have to give her credit for being persistent. When we first met, I was grouchy, difficult to talk to, moody, and not very good company to such a lovely young lady. But over the course of the book, she captured my heart and I learned to love and trust again.
Of course, Kelli had to add a few other “worst” or “troubling” events in the book. One of the “worst” moments for me happened toward the end of the story, when Katarina was taken from the castle by my sworn enemy. She was nearly killed—but not for something she had done. No. This fiend wanted to kill her to punish me and make me suffer.
I’m ashamed to admit it, but Katarina suffered greatly just by being associated with me. My reputation as a madman, murderer, and worse was known throughout the kingdom. It was disheartening to know that people hated her and judged her for being my companion. At one point, I told her that she should leave because she would be better off without me.
But Katarina refused to leave and stayed loyal to me throughout the book. When I realized that she didn’t care what people thought about me or her, I was thrilled. Those scenes were some of the best for me. She took me out of my dark despair and helped me heal.
So when I’m asked what the “best” thing about our story is, I have to say: “That I found the true love of my life in Katarina.” Yes, we had to go through some trials and troubles, but in the end she’s the best thing that ever happened to me. We overcame the “worst” together.
Kelli did a great job of creating a moody, Gothic atmosphere and blending mystery and suspense with our romance. Here is the book summary and links.
Best Regards,
Lord Adrik

Redemption from a Dark Past

Lord Sebestyen Adrik has an unsavory reputation as a madman, murderer… and worse. Lonely and searching for love, he seeks the companionship of local young women, hoping one of them will ease his torment and bring him the happiness he longs for. Katarina is his last chance—but will she fear him like all the others? Or is she the one who can lift his curse?

Desperate to avoid a forced marriage, Katarina agrees to become Lord Adrik’s latest companion, despite the rumors she has heard about him. She discovers the “Dark Lord’s” secret past and realizes he’s not the monster everyone thinks he is.

As their love blossoms, she renews his passion for life—yet they cannot escape the ghosts of the past.
When a meeting of the nobility goes horribly wrong, Sebestyen’s world unravels, and his enemies plot to destroy him. As all seems lost, a mysterious stranger arrives at the castle. Sebestyen must decide if he is a friend or a foe…and if he can find redemption in his love for Katarina, or lose her and everything else that he holds dear.

Order Redemption from a Dark Past here:
Link to all other platforms: https://www.books2read.com/u/3R1aYD

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Guest Author Day with Pelaam


I am pleased to have at the Reading Nook author Pelaam today. Please come join us as we talk books and a host of other items as well.


Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I live in a small town in New Zealand with my hubby. I love animals, although don’t have any at present. I’m a big foodie. I took a cordon bleu course when I was younger, and still very much enjoy cooking. I love everything about food, including its history and evolution, and I read recipe books the way others read novels. I’m member of a couple of wine appreciation clubs. I’m also an Art Historian.

What are you currently working on?

I have, as a friend describes it, a leaning tower of WIPs. I tend to rotate what I write according to the muse as well as take on calls for submissions if I like the premise of the call. At present I’m working on finishing my Nano effort, which is a time travel/steampunk/au titled Past Perfect. I’m also working on a couple of paranormals, including a vampire take on the Cinderella tale, and a sci fi.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

Read, cook, read, watch cookery and sport, read some more. My reading choices are as eclectic as the genres in which I write.

Are any of your characters like you?

There are elements of me in my characters. But not every time, and not always an MC.

What genres do you write in?

Mainly I prefer paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi, and steampunk. However, I do occasional contemporary, and am expanding to include one with a horror element.

If you could sit down with any author dead or alive who would it be?

That’s a hard one. Living, I’d be torn between Dean Koontz, Alan Dean Foster, and Rick Riordan. Dead it would be between H G Wells, Tolkien, and Arthur Conan Doyle.

Do you keep a notebook near your for when new ideas pop into your head?

I am never without a notebook in my bag, along with a collection of pens. I love pens, I’m like a magpie when I spot one. I also have bigger notebooks at home.

Do you prefer to extensively plot your stories, or do you write them as they come to you?

I’m very much a pantser. I usually have the germ of an idea and for something as large as a Nano novel, will jot down a half dozen or so headers to provide a framework. The rest comes as the muse leads me. I don’t always write chronologically either. I may jump from start to end, then back to the middle.

What has been the defining moment in your career that made you think “Yes, I am now a writer!”?

When a publisher approached me and asked me to write for them, and I got my first contract. That was an amazing feeling.

How do you like to relax after a day writing?

When I come home from work, I like to get at least a couple of hours of writing done, more at the weekends or days off. Then I usually settle down with a glass of rose or bubbles, a book, and Food Network or a sports channel on in the background. I’m a fan of cricket, rugby, and soccer.



Strawberry Fields
Evernight Publishing
Sci-fi/steampunk AU MM
Buy at Amazon

When the shares on which Nicolas’s family become worthless, he seeks help from their estranged Uncle Secundus Broadberry—a selfish man with no familial loyalty.

Forced to live in a veritable hovel, Nicolas and his sister must find work to support themselves and their mother. Through his uncle, Nicolas meets Rufus Melbeck and accepts a post aboard his spaceship Strawberry Fields. Although the ship gives Nicolas a bad feeling, he quickly makes friends with Nathan Smith, a gentle, young man who seems very much out of place.

Nothing and no one aboard the vessel are what they seem. Nicolas soon finds himself plunged into a dangerous adventure the likes of which he could never have imagined.

Can Nicolas and Nathan survive the dangers of Strawberry Fields and solve the mystery that surrounds Nathan, or will Nathan's past reach out to destroy them both?


Excerpt: from Strawberry Fields
 The crewman led Nicolas to an ancient elevator. In dull grey metal and hexagon-shaped, the elevator reminded Nicolas of a cage, with its open appearance. A metallic spiral staircase, snaked around the elevator as it creaked and groaned its slow way upwards.
Nicolas would almost have preferred to have used the stairs, wondering if the mechanism could safely complete the journey. The seconds ticked by with interminable slowness, and Nicolas’s heart thundered as if he’d run up the numerous flights of stairs the elevator passed by.
Eventually, the elevator came to a juddering stop. The crewman strode out with Nicolas close behind him, glad to be back on solid ground once more.
“Right, now.” The crewman stopped and jerked his thumb at a door ahead of them. “Through there. If yer don’t like heights, don’t look down. I don’t want to be coming across after you if you stop halfway.”
“Very well.” Nicolas wondered what the man meant, but as the door was opened and the crewman stepped away, Nicolas saw the reason for his warning.
A narrow metal runway with rails ran from the doorway Nicolas stood at and across to the space ship. Even with the rails, Nicolas could imagine anyone with a fear of heights would find it impossible to traverse the aptly named gangplank.
Determined not to fail at the first hurdle, Nicolas made sure his duffle bag was secure on his left shoulder and stepped down onto the gangplank. He’d have felt better if beneath his feet the plank had been solid, but it was the same mesh-like arrangement as the sides.
As he walked out, Nicolas felt a cold breeze, and the gangplank rocked gently. Gripping the handrail, Nicolas let the metal slide through his fingers as he fixed his gaze resolutely on the ship ahead.
As he got closer, Nicolas spotted another member of Melbeck’s crew. The man grinned widely, as if well-aware of Nicolas’s discomfort. Taking a deep breath, Nicolas stood taller and strode resolutely forward, but didn’t relinquish his hold on the rail.
“Broadberry isn’t it? The tinker that Cap’n Melbeck hired?”
“Yes. I’m Nicolas Broadberry.” If Nicolas had thought the other crewman rough, this one was missing most of his teeth and looked as if he hadn’t bathed in a month.
“Good. I’m Morgan, one of his engineers. The cap’n is busy at present. He’ll see you later. Go straight ahead to the first set of stairs and go down. Another member of the crew will take you to your cabin and give you an overview of the ship.”
“Thank you.” Nicolas edged past the bulky man and into the ship. It was nothing as Nicolas had expected. The lights in the ship were dim, and oppression weighed heavily on Nicolas’s shoulders.
Shadows danced and flickered on the cold, metal walls as if vying for a better view of him. For a heart-stopping moment, Nicolas was certain the walls were closing in on him and that he’d be crushed.
Something loomed toward him, out of the shadows, with a wheeze of pained breath and an ominous metallic clunk. Nicolas froze, unable to galvanize his legs into movement.
“Hello? Are you Master Broadberry? Master Nicolas Broadberry?” A masculine voice, soft yet clear, reached Nicolas’s ears and he calmed slightly.
“Yes. Who … who are you?”
The figure came to a stop in a patch of pale light and Nicolas openly stared. The light from the lamp, or maybe it was the refection of the copper walls, turned the stranger’s hair blood-red, but his face—it was the face of a Botticelli angel. Pale, smooth, flawless skin, perfect pink Cupid’s bow lips, and framed by the shoulder-length red tresses.
The man was more beautiful than anyone Nicolas had ever seen. And he seemed totally out of place aboard Strawberry Fields. Gentle, polite, he was the antithesis of the men Nicolas had met so far.
It was only when the man took another step, that the origin of the mechanical sounds was revealed. The stranger had a mechanical brace on his left leg. Nicolas scowled. It looked ancient, rusted in places, and in desperate need of attention.
“My name’s Nathan. Nathan Smith. Captain Melbeck told me to show you to your quarters and acquaint you with the ship.”Excerpt: from Strawberry Fields
 The crewman led Nicolas to an ancient elevator. In dull grey metal and hexagon-shaped, the elevator reminded Nicolas of a cage, with its open appearance. A metallic spiral staircase, snaked around the elevator as it creaked and groaned its slow way upwards.
Nicolas would almost have preferred to have used the stairs, wondering if the mechanism could safely complete the journey. The seconds ticked by with interminable slowness, and Nicolas’s heart thundered as if he’d run up the numerous flights of stairs the elevator passed by.
Eventually, the elevator came to a juddering stop. The crewman strode out with Nicolas close behind him, glad to be back on solid ground once more.
“Right, now.” The crewman stopped and jerked his thumb at a door ahead of them. “Through there. If yer don’t like heights, don’t look down. I don’t want to be coming across after you if you stop halfway.”
“Very well.” Nicolas wondered what the man meant, but as the door was opened and the crewman stepped away, Nicolas saw the reason for his warning.
A narrow metal runway with rails ran from the doorway Nicolas stood at and across to the space ship. Even with the rails, Nicolas could imagine anyone with a fear of heights would find it impossible to traverse the aptly named gangplank.
Determined not to fail at the first hurdle, Nicolas made sure his duffle bag was secure on his left shoulder and stepped down onto the gangplank. He’d have felt better if beneath his feet the plank had been solid, but it was the same mesh-like arrangement as the sides.
As he walked out, Nicolas felt a cold breeze, and the gangplank rocked gently. Gripping the handrail, Nicolas let the metal slide through his fingers as he fixed his gaze resolutely on the ship ahead.
As he got closer, Nicolas spotted another member of Melbeck’s crew. The man grinned widely, as if well-aware of Nicolas’s discomfort. Taking a deep breath, Nicolas stood taller and strode resolutely forward, but didn’t relinquish his hold on the rail.
“Broadberry isn’t it? The tinker that Cap’n Melbeck hired?”
“Yes. I’m Nicolas Broadberry.” If Nicolas had thought the other crewman rough, this one was missing most of his teeth and looked as if he hadn’t bathed in a month.
“Good. I’m Morgan, one of his engineers. The cap’n is busy at present. He’ll see you later. Go straight ahead to the first set of stairs and go down. Another member of the crew will take you to your cabin and give you an overview of the ship.”
“Thank you.” Nicolas edged past the bulky man and into the ship. It was nothing as Nicolas had expected. The lights in the ship were dim, and oppression weighed heavily on Nicolas’s shoulders.
Shadows danced and flickered on the cold, metal walls as if vying for a better view of him. For a heart-stopping moment, Nicolas was certain the walls were closing in on him and that he’d be crushed.
Something loomed toward him, out of the shadows, with a wheeze of pained breath and an ominous metallic clunk. Nicolas froze, unable to galvanize his legs into movement.
“Hello? Are you Master Broadberry? Master Nicolas Broadberry?” A masculine voice, soft yet clear, reached Nicolas’s ears and he calmed slightly.
“Yes. Who … who are you?”
The figure came to a stop in a patch of pale light and Nicolas openly stared. The light from the lamp, or maybe it was the refection of the copper walls, turned the stranger’s hair blood-red, but his face—it was the face of a Botticelli angel. Pale, smooth, flawless skin, perfect pink Cupid’s bow lips, and framed by the shoulder-length red tresses.
The man was more beautiful than anyone Nicolas had ever seen. And he seemed totally out of place aboard Strawberry Fields. Gentle, polite, he was the antithesis of the men Nicolas had met so far.
It was only when the man took another step, that the origin of the mechanical sounds was revealed. The stranger had a mechanical brace on his left leg. Nicolas scowled. It looked ancient, rusted in places, and in desperate need of attention.
“My name’s Nathan. Nathan Smith. Captain Melbeck told me to show you to your quarters and acquaint you with the ship.”


On Dragon's Wings
Evernight Publishing
Fantasy MM
Available at Amazon

When his roommate brings home a lizard, Noah has no idea his life is about to change out of all recognition.

Uther is a shifter, a prince, and under a curse. Catapulted unexpectedly into the world of Fae and shifters, Noah must help Uther stay one step ahead of the witch who cursed him, as well as get him home in time to claim his crown.

Noah is also resisting a growing attraction for Uther. But Uther has other ideas, and when Noah's life is endangered he's prepared to do anything it takes to save his mate.




Bio 
Living in clean, green New Zealand, Pelaam is a multi-published author of gay romance and erotic books. When not busy writing she can be found indulging in her other passions of cookery and wine appreciation. 
Pelaam's books: “Smoking Mirror” was a finalist in 2017 Rainbow Awards in Gay futuristic/sci-fi. “Stranded” was the Evernight Publishing Readers’ Choice winner 2016 for Sci-fi. “The Avian Emperor” was runner up and received an Honourable Mention in the 2016 Rainbow Awards Gay futuristic/sci-fi. "Future Imperfect" was a finalist for the 2015 Rainbow Awards in Gay futuristic/sci-fi. "On Dragon's Wings" was LR CafĂ© 2014 winner for Fantasy. "Breath of the Feathered Serpent" was a finalist for the 2014 Rainbow Awards in Gay futuristic/sci-fi.  
She can be found on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/pamela.pelaamone-- 

Discover Andrew Grey's Newest Book, Rebound


I am so happy to have one of my favorite authors here today, Andrew Grey, to talk about his brand new book, Rebound. 

A note from Andrew about Rebound:

Believe it or not, I do like sports.  Though not for the reasons most guys like sports.  I don’t sit in a chair on weekends the way a lot of guys do, their attention glued to the television and unable to look away.  That isn’t my thing.  I have watched football and basketball games a number of times, but for a specific purpose.  An important Super Bowl or a basketball playoff and I’ll watch.  But on a regular basis... no.  What I really like are athletes.  These are people dedicated to their sport.  They sacrifice a great deal so they can meet the physical demands of their sport.  And lets face it, many of them are just plain hot.  And the world definitely needs a little more hotness.    I only hope that Bro Early can measure up. 


Title: Rebound
Author: Andrew Grey
Series: Standalone
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance/ Sports Romance
Publisher: DreamSpinner Press
Release Date: Feb 13 2019
Edition/Format: 1st Edition/Format ~ eBook & Print

Blurb/Synopsis:
Professional basketball player Bri Early needs a physical therapist after an injury, and he’s heard that Obie is the best. Bri takes an immediate liking to the out-and-proud man with the magic touch, and even though Bri isn’t openly gay himself, he’d never let anything stand in the way of something he wants.

Obie can’t deny that the sexy athlete presses all his buttons, but he’s a professional and has no intention of getting involved with a client. While they’re working together, it’s hands off, no matter how great the temptation.

But being a pro athlete isn’t easy. Bri has enemies, and one of them is making his life hell. When his house is set ablaze, Bri can no longer pretend the threatening messages he’s receiving are jokes. He needs a safe place to stay, and Obie can’t turn his back. But the two of them in the same house is a recipe for combustion that could burn them both….


Book Links

Excerpt:

“I’m Bri Early, from the Philadelphia Rockets. I was told that you can help me.” He kept his voice as calm as he could make it, even though his belly was doing flips. If he didn’t heal and regain his strength, he was going to be cut from the team. Contract or not, his career would be over. And that was something he didn’t want to contemplate.
“Yes. Monty said he was passing on my contact information.” He sounded a little out of breath.
“I don’t mean to be pushy, but….”
The guy laughed. “You’re talking pushy with a physical therapist? That’s a good one. I can out-pushy anyone.” He continued chuckling. “Let me guess, you want an appointment as soon as possible so we can meet and get started.” The guy talked a mile a minute. “You’re in luck, because I had a cancellation, so I can see you for an evaluation in two hours if you’re available. Then we can put together a plan to get you on your feet and back on the court. Does that work?” A beeping sounded in the background behind him. “Fiddlesticks.”
“Is something wrong?”
“No. I overcooked my lunch.” He giggled this time, and Bri wondered just what he was letting himself in for. “So, will I see you this afternoon?”
“Yes.” At least he could get in right away.
“Sounds good.” He rattled off the address, and Bri had to work quickly to get it into his phone. Then he read it back. “What sort of office do you have?”
“I don’t work in an office. I have a private practice and I work out of the back of my home. I don’t talk about other clients and I keep everything confidential. I have a number of high-profile clients who use my services because no one sees them coming and going. The house has an alley in back, with a parking space under the carport that you can use. Then come right through the gate and up to the office door.”
“All right.” At least there weren’t going to be other people around to stare at him, like at the first place he tried. It was supposed to have been exclusive too, but that’s sure not the way he remembered it. He shook his head, trying to forget the embarrassing episode.

About the Author:

Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.
Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing)  He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.



Author Links
Facebook Group All the Way with Andrew Grey
Twitter @andrewgreybooks

For Other Works by Andrew Grey
(Please Be Sure To Stop by His Website to See All of His Works)


Saturday, February 16, 2019

Welcome author Nicki Greenwood


Psychological Wordfare
Fiction writers are, first and foremost, writers. Our job is to tell you a story. 
But we're also part psychologist.
In order to write a good character, an author needs to get into that character's head, find out what makes him tick, and most importantly, discover his needs and fears. Testing a character's mettle against his darkest fears is one of the best ways to get a great story out of him. This works for any piece of storytelling. It's also a great way to bond your audience with the character. If your audience cares about the character, they're more likely to struggle and cheer right alongside him as he battles to win his quest. For the purposes of this article, let's look at a few films. If you don’t want the movies spoiled for you, it’s highly recommended that you have watched them.

Bonding with the Audience
Example #1) Avatar (2009)
James Cameron's epic science fiction film takes place on a planet so far into space that its visitors need to be put into a cryogenic sleep to reach it. Like any science fiction film, it's full of creatures and technologies far removed from our own. Even the main character is intended to “suit up” into an alien body. Cameron realized that in order to make his audience care about this character, it had to be about who he was, not what he looked like. We are told that Jake Sully is not only a war veteran, but a paraplegic whose twin brother was killed in a mugging. All of this is explained in the first six minutes of the film, long before he is given his avatar body. That’s some fast bonding, and it’s important to the character’s emotional journey throughout the film.

Example #2) How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
Everyone loves an underdog. When you give that underdog a sense of humor and curiosity that far exceeds anything his fellow Vikings have achieved, it’s hard not to root for him. Hiccup meets challenges and ridicule not with angst or backlash, but a refreshing wit that tells us the village’s mockery won’t best him. It’s a vicarious look into who we all want to be—the guy who meets opposition and has the moxie to rise above it. We know this smart, funny character is going to have an adventure his village never dreamed of having.

Getting into a Character's Head
Example #1) Die Hard (1988)
The first thing we learn about John McClane, a tough New York City cop, is that he’s afraid of flying. This is a guy who likes a sense of control, and he’s about to lose control in a big way. McClane is trapped in a building whose occupants are held hostage over millions in bearer bonds. He’s unarmed, unprepared, and without even his shoes. Over the course of the film, his options dwindle away, bit by bit. He has to fight for every little win he gets. He’s forced to walk over broken glass. He’s pushed to confront his fear of heights and lack of control. He is reduced to a more and more savage version of himself in order to face the escalating circumstances around him. It’s a character degradation in the most amazing sense, and one of the reasons this film is a perennial action favorite. By the end of the film, his iconic scream, “Haaaans!” is proof that this man has had enough, and he’ll do anything to finish this fight.

Example #2) Pretty Woman (1990)
What a character needs is just as powerful as what he (or she) fears, and it’s often the subject of romantic stories.  In this film, viewers generally mistake Edward as the only one who’s missing something (compassion). But Vivian is also in dire need of someone to value her. She is just as afraid of love as she is in need of it (remember that she makes it a point not to kiss on the lips, because that’s too serious). She has a history of being treated poorly, and indeed, is mistreated by one of Edward’s colleagues and by the snippy workers at a high-end fashion store. You can see her posture change during these scenes, where otherwise, in moment of confidence, she walks tall. One of my favorite scenes (and one for many, many other viewers) is her moment of vindication where she walks back into that boutique, tall, proud, and confident in how she puts those prejudiced workers in their places. This is a wonderful example of being in a character’s head through not what she says, but what she does.

Being Human
The psychology of your character and his (or her) bond with your audience are the keys to great storytelling. Fears and desires, loss and love are what make us all part of the human condition. (If you’re looking for a great shorthand list of what makes human beings tick, check out Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.)

If you’d like to see an example of character psychology in Nicki’s own work, check out FINDING HOME, available now for free at your favorite ebook retailer. Happy reading!


FINDING HOME
Bovard Publishing
Women’s Fiction Short Story, rated G
Sometimes life's most tragic events help you find your way. When Cecilia Marsh returns to Langley Mills, Wisconsin after the death of her father, she rediscovers a town that hasn't forgotten her. Through a tapestry of memories, she begins to understand that roots, while invisible, run very deep indeed. An original short story and 2008 winner of the Rebecca Eddy Memorial Award.

About Nicki

Nicki Greenwood graduated SUNY Morrisville with a degree in Natural Resources, which of course has nothing to do with writing novels. She has also worked in a bakery, an insurance agency, a flower shop, and a doctor's office, which have nothing to do with writing, either. She did spend an awesome two years as an assistant editor for a publisher, and now does freelance editing on the side. Nicki still holds down a day job, which manages to get her out of the house once in a while. Since 2010, she has written eight novels, including the award-winning Gifted Series.

Nicki lives in upstate New York with her husband, son, and assorted pets. If you can't find her at her computer, you can always try the local Renaissance Faire.
Contact Nicki using an of the links below. She’s on Facebook most often, but she really digs Pinterest.


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Book Spotlight & Giveaway~ Can't Let Go


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, also an ebook of the second installment of the series Come a Little Closer (tentatively to be released 2/9), to another randomly drawn winner, both via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A sweet, yet steamy new adult romance about a girl who's not ready to fall in love and a boy who isn't ready to let her go.

Beau
She is beautiful, probably the most beautiful girl I've ever seen, but she's damaged.
Her a-hole exboyfriend broke her.
I still want her.
I can show her that all men aren't the same
That I'm different.

Mallory
He's everything I need to stay away from, and I try.
I really do, but he's relentless.
So, I give in and let him have me.
All of me.
I should have known better.

Read an Excerpt:

I throw the valet at the Sheraton Hotel my keys and hurry up the steps. A sign in the lobby welcomes guests for the Cross and Doyle wedding.

Doyle.

What kind of last name is that? Tristan Doyle. It’s a stupid name. No hesitations. Placing both hands on the white wooden door, they fly open with a thud that echoes throughout the room.

“Don’t do it!”

At least a hundred eyes turn to me, bride and groom included. It’s then I notice the bride. She’s breathtaking in her big white dress, but she’s not Mallory. Mallory stands beside the bride in a long coral gown. Her jaw is dropped. Face pale. Eyes wide. My stomach sinks to my feet. She’s horrified to see me.

Maybe this was a bad idea.

“Shoot, everyone,” I say, hands up in surrender. “Sorry. I thought Mallory was the one getting married.”

“What the fuck are you doing here, Beau?” Mallory yells from the front of the room.

“Beau?” The groom says. It’s more of a statement than a question. Mallory’s head nods once. I’m not sure if even she knows she did it.

I start up the aisle. It’s a f’ing long aisle. Or at least it feels that way. The groom meets me a few feet from the first row. He has the same dark hair and blue eyes as Mallory. This must be her brother.

He draws back. I know what’s coming. There’s no point in stopping it. I deserve this. I crushed his sister’s heart. I barged into his wedding. My face jolts to the left when his fist connects with my cheek. A sticky liquid leaks from my nose. I wipe it with the back of my hand. Blood. Great.

About the Author:


Chrissy Brown is a Contemporary Romance and New Adult Romance author. She lives in Central Florida with her husband, twin girls, two dogs, and the neighborhood cat.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like cuddling on the couch watching movies with her family, reading, Netflix, and beach trips. She reads two to three books a week, but favors stories with strong women, true love, and steamy scenes.

When Chrissy is not sitting at her computer, fantasizing about gorgeous country boys, she is teaching third graders how amazing books are...and writing, and math. She has also been an amateur wedding photographer and a CNA (to which she gives kudos but says never again.)

https://chrissybrownauthor.com
https://twitter.com/Thechrissybrown
https://www.facebook.com/chrissybrownauthor
https://www.instagram.com/chrissybrownauthor

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Monday, February 11, 2019

Book Spotlight & Giveaway~ Hat Trick by RJ Scott and VL Locey





Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | KOBO | Apple Books

Length: 50,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Harrisburg Railers Series

Book #1 - Changing Lines - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 - First Season - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 - Deep Edge - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 - Poke Check - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #5 - Last Defense - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #6 - Goal Line - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #7 - Neutral Zone - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blurb

Stan Lyamin has seen many of his dreams come true. He’s found his soulmate, loves Noah like his own, hoisted the Cup, and has his Mama living with him in his new country. But his fantasies of a loud, loving, madcap home overflowing with childish laughter linger. When a distant family member passes, Stan and Erik immediately agree to take in the two orphaned children, but that means a trip back to Russia for Stan, an idea that both exhilarates and terrifies him.

Erik’s world tilts on its axis when a phone call wakes him and Stan in the middle of the night. Abruptly, Stan is returning to Russia, making deals, working with people who know people, and fully intending to bring two orphaned children home. The red tape is overwhelming, and Erik is alone in Harrisburg with the nearly impossible task of finding a nanny who can speak fluent Russian. Being on his own is one thing, but add in fears about Stan’s safety and team issues, and Erik is finding everything hard to balance; not least of which is spending quality time with Noah.

When their family expands from three to five, the journey won’t be easy, but love can always find a way.


USA Today bestselling author RJ Scott writes stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, a happily ever after.

RJ Scott is the author of over one hundred romance books, writing emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the links below:




USA Today Bestselling Author V.L. Locey – Penning LGBT hockey romance that skates into sinful pleasures.

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Dr. Who, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in one hand and a steamy romance novel in the other.




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Book Spotlight & Giveaway~ The Mage Tales Prequels

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions . Ilana Waters will be awarding a $75 Amazon or B/N GC to a...