Tomorrow Belongs to Us – Blog Tour #Romance

Tomorrow Belongs To Us

by Lily Zante

Genre: Age Gap, Second Chance Contemporary Romance

A young woman’s life is disrupted when a decade later she crosses paths with the caring high-school teacher she fell in love with as a student.

Lance Turner was there for Megan when she needed him, but his sudden departure left her devastated.

All she wants now is closure, but all he wants is a second chance.

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Lily Zante writes emotional contemporary romances that give you all the feels.

Readers say that her books keep you up all night and make you fall in love with characters who you will come to regard as friends.

She has one daughter, two sons and a parrot. Her better half prefers not to be mentioned at all.

Be among the first to receive new release notifications, cover reveals, chapter excerpts and more free romances.

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Servant of The Gods – Guest Post and Spotlight #HistoricalFantasy

Search For the Golden Serpent

Servant of the Gods Book 1

by Luciana Cavallaro

Genre: Historical Fantasy Fiction

A true page-turner, in a similar vein to Wilbur Smith and David Gemmell, is an action-packed adventure story catapulting a reluctant hero from one dangerous encounter to another.

Evan has been having some very strange dreams.

The Perth-based architect dismissed an unexpected phone call from an entrepreneur in Greece, asking him to restore his family home, as the ravings of a crank. Until, that is, the dreams begin, each more vivid than the last. A dream encounter with a mysterious character called Zeus sees him catapulted back in time to 500 years before the birth of Christ.

Evan finds himself quickly embroiled in a plot to prevent the birth of Christianity, an unwilling player in an epic struggle between the old gods and the new, fighting for his life.

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The Labyrinthine Journey

Servant of the Gods Book 2

A mysterious message. A mission from the gods. Can he turn back the clock to prevent his family’s extinction?

Evan’s new life is in ancient Greece, and he fears he’ll never see his home again. Ripped from his 21st century world, his only way to return to the present is to collect god-saving sacred relics for his father Zeus. But to locate them means braving perilous seas and staring down death in search of a legendary oracle.

During their voyage, Evan and his companions come face-to-face with mythical creatures, fabled warriors, and treacherous sorcery. But despite the dangers all around them, Evan’s deadliest threat may be bound to him by blood…

Can Evan complete his quest before he and the gods are lost to history?

The Labyrinthine Journey is the second book in the fast-paced Servant of the Gods historical fiction series. If you like well-researched landscapes, suspenseful twists and turns, and mythic battles, then you’ll love Luciana Cavallaro’s heroic odyssey.

Buy The Labyrinthine Journey to sail into a Greek legend today!

Categories
*Gods and goddesses
*Greek Mythology
*Time travel history
*Greek folktales
*Greek heroes
*Shield and sword
*Mythical creatures

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Minotaur’s Lair

Servant of the Gods Book 3

The Minotaur stirs. Evan is drugged to forget the gods’ quest.

Evan and his companions are entrapped by the Amazon Queen Antioche and her warriors. Memories and allegiances are tested. The Dark Master’s victorious revenge over the gods is almost complete. The plight of the High Priestess is precarious, her health ailing, and unable to rescue her brother and fellow Atlanteans.

The last sacred relic, secreted in the lair of the Minotaur, must be recovered or the Dark Master’s succession plans of a new god are complete. The mystical lands of Krete, the final stage of Evan’s journey, are within his grasp. He must succeed so his father, Zeus, fulfills his promise. Then there is Queen Antioche, and the precious gifts she presents him.
Will Evan return home, and what will become of his future?

Minotaur’s Lair is the third and final book in the action-packed Servant of the Gods historical fiction series. If you enjoy well-researched landscapes, historic characters, excitement, mythical creatures and unique settings, then you’ll love Luciana Cavallaro’s heroic odyssey.

**Releases on Dece 13th! PreOrder Now for Only $1.99!**

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Luciana Cavallaro

*Award-winning author of The Labyrinthine Journey
*Nominated for book awards in the Action/Adventure and Historical Fiction genres
*Drove her first car at the age of three

Luciana Cavallaro’s alter ego is a high school teacher where she plugs away educating teenagers the merits of reading and ancient history. She often looks for a brick wall to bang her head when faced with disinterested looks from her students. She’s also a historical fantasy and thriller/suspense author, who creates fast-paced, action-packed series for her readers.

Born and raised in Western Australia, residing in Perth, Luciana loves to travel and since getting her passport at the ripe old age of twenty-four has toured parts of Europe, a legacy of her Italian heritage. She enjoys being active, going out with friends, reading and tries to grow her own vegetables. She dreams of travelling again and visiting the ancient sites that inspired her stories, that is when she’s not spending time being an unofficial stunt person and knocking herself out in the process. Visit her website at https://luccav.me/

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Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

The author is currently offering a giveaway of a signed ARC and bookmark plus deleted scene in exchange for screenshot of a receipt for pre-ordering a copy of The Minotaur’s Lair!

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Interview with the author

What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?

My top 10 favourite authors in no particular order:

  1. Robert Harris
  2. Homer
  3. David Gemmell
  4. Valerio Massimo Manfredi
  5. Michael Connelly
  6. Donna Tartt
  7. Terry Goodkind
  8. Paul Doherty
  9. James Rollin and Rebecca Cantrell co-writers of The Blood Gospel series
  10. Joan Lindsay

I would have liked to included my favourite non-fiction authors but kept it to fiction authors only.

What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?

As my books are set in the ancient world, I do a lot of research on the civilisations featured in my novels, their culture, what the geography was like, transportation, weaponry, languages, etc. I use books, websites and documentaries to collate the information, which I then make notes to use in my stories. I aim to make the worlds of the past as accurate as I can. Of course, there is creative license and a little time bending, but mostly I try to make the setting and characters as authentic as possible to the era. In describing locations, buildings and all the sensory elements of what the character is experiencing, I hope to engage the reader and enable them to feel as if they are part of the story.

Throughout the writing process, I go back and forth to my research checking the details and how best to include into the story. The most helpful resources I have found are texts written by archaeologists and historians, primary sources such as Homer, Pausanias, Herodotos, and playrights of the time. Artist’s rendition of places, clothing, transport, food, is also very helpful in visualisation.

Do you see writing as a career?

I do see writing as a career, however I’m not there just yet. I am working on it! It takes me longer to complete a book as I teach full-time and can only write in the evenings, on the weekends and on the holidays. That is when I don’t have marking or planning to do, and fitting in time with family and friends. It would be nice to focus only on writing and publishing books.

What do you think about the current publishing market?

There are a lot of books been published every year and not just the ‘traditional’ authors giving readers lots of choices. It’s hard to get your book noticed amongst the volumes of books, however I am grateful that there is help out there for the indie author trying to get their work seen and read. Building networks is perhaps the way forward, something I am working towards, though it is difficult as most of my fellow writing friends live in different time zones! It is a great time to be an indie author, with so many options and paths to be published.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?

I have found when I write at night after a day at school, I prefer to write in silence. I need peace and calm after teaching teenagers! On the weekend I play a variety of music when writing. I listened to the soundtracks from Gladiator and Troy when I wrote the Servant of the Gods series. I found the albums helped to centre my thoughts for the period in which my books were set. For my Coin of Time series, I listen to albums by Tame Impala, Sash, Bond, Robert Miles, Enigma, Enya and the Temples. The series is set in the present and the location starts in my home city of Perth, Australia before jetting off to Europe. These artists, a mix of Indie Rock, Electronica/Dance, Classical and New Age I play when writing certain scenes. It’s rather interesting what genre of music works to be productive when I write and if I choose something different such as Jazz or Hip Hop for example, I can’t write, so I stick to the same artists. If it works, why change it?

Pen or type writer or computer?

I use a computer for all my writing. I purchased Scrivener some years back and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. I wrote Search for the golden serpent and The labyrinthine journey on Word, and while that application has merits, but when I needed to move chapters or scenes, it was not easy. I kept every version and had to go back and forth to see what I had deleted, inserted or moved. With Scrivener, I can drag and drop chapters where I need them, and when I delete a chapter, it goes into a folder and remains there. It’s handy too for if I decide to use some sections of the deleted chapter in another scene or in the next book, it’s easy to locate.

Working on the computer also allows me to jump from my manuscript to checking information I have researched. I have two monitors; one has the Scrivener application open and the other has the research open such as websites I’ve bookmarked. I also have a lot of text books that I refer to, much easier to scan an index or contents page for the information I’m after. I tend to go down the ‘rabbit hole’ if I search the internet and get distracted by what I’ve found.

I prefer to save my work on an external drive rather than on a cloud option. I’m a bit old school in that regard and a little protective of my work. I’d rather have lots of external drives than saving onto the cloud.

What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?

When I get ideas for a story, the first thing I do is brainstorm. This helps me decide whether the idea has any potential, and if I fill the page, then I proceed to the next stage otherwise I put the concept aside and may go back to it another time. I currently have a notepad with ideas that I’ve yet to brainstorm!

From my brainstorm, I create scenes, mainly dot points. I try not to be too prescriptive in the planning process as I prefer to let the writing flow, and this is when the characters insist on taking over. The scenes are a guide for the storyline and as long as I hit those markers, how many chapters it takes doesn’t matter. As to the chapters, they evolve from the scenes. For example, one scene in Minotaur’s Lair had seven dot points, which became nineteen chapters. I’ve used this method for all my stories, and it works for me. I have tried different strategies but didn’t find them as effective for my style of writing.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Definitely original. My work refers to Greek myths and legends, historical figures and events, and I try to remain true to the origins of the story and characters, however the narrative is original. Well, I hope it is, I haven’t read anything similar to my books, though I had one reviewer recommend my books to those who had grown up reading Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. For the record, I had the idea for my trilogy back in 2000 with Search for the golden serpent published in 2015. With teaching full-time and family commitments, it took a number of years to write and rewrite the books.

I’m not one for following trends or writing to the ‘market’, I prefer to write stories that I am invested in and passionate about. I know a number of authors who do write generified books that are in the top 100, and that’s their journey, I’d rather write books with characters that resonates and hopefully strikes a chord in readers who enjoy historical fantasy.

What are the unique challenges for a writer in blending history, mythology and fiction? How do you balance fact and fiction in your stories; and what type of research do you conduct to aid the development of your characters and the worlds they inhabit? Are there any particular works or references you would say have aided or inspired your own writings?

The hardest part is putting it all together and making it sound plausible. It’s like testing a new recipe you’re not sure how it’s going to turn out. I have files of information about places, people, what buildings looked like and people’s names which I refer to constantly. Depending on the scene I am writing, I always have a number of websites open and non-fiction books on hand. You can’t see the top of my desk some days. The places and culture are based on fact, with a little creative license and the story is purely fictional. My characters are taken from various myths but with my trilogy they are new characters with traits taken from legendary heroes like Akhilles, Hektor, Theseus, Herakles and others. I do refer to Homer’s Iliad, just to get the tone of the gods, and to Pausanias’ Guide to Greece books. I’m always reading and checking sources. I find morsels of information all the time and store it away. I find a use for it later on. If I can’t use in my current works in progress, then it will be considered for my next writing piece. I have a pad where I keep my ideas for stories. I think I need another life-time to write all the stories I have in my head.

Sisters of the Crimson Vine #Horror

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Sisters of the Crimson Vine

by P.L. McMillan

Genre: Folk Horror

John Ainsworth nearly died in that car crash.

Soon he’ll learn there are worse fates.

After a brutal accident, John awakens in the dilapidated Crimoria Convent under the care of thirteen unconventional nuns. Grievous injuries trap him within the borders of the ruined sanctuary and its strangely successful vineyard. When his body starts healing faster than nature allows, John’s questions quickly pile up.

A pair of Church auditors arrive to look into the convent’s finances. It’s obvious the pair are unwelcome guests, but John has bigger concerns. The order’s annual ritual draws near and John begins to discover things that make him wonder if any of them are truly safe in the hands of the Sisters of the Crimson Vine.

A taut braid of repressed desires, implied deviance, and eldritch horror. McMillan coyly lures us to a finale as repulsive as it is compelling.” – Stoker award-winning Jamie Flanagan, co-writer of The Haunting of Bly Manor and Midnight Mass

In her masterful debut novella, Sisters of the Crimson Vine, P.L. McMillan cultivates dread like a fine wine. The more we sip, the deeper we sink into this insidious tale grown from the seed of Jackson’s “The Lottery” planted in a Lovecraftian terroir and harvested in Ari Aster’s Midsommar. Like the title characters’ famed libation, you will not be able to stop reading once you imbibe. A drunken sense of imbalance and uncertainty remains with you until the very end. Lovers of the occult will be pleasantly satiated by P.L. McMillan’s gothic offering.” – Stoker award-winning EV Knight, Three Days in the Pink Tower

Sisters of the Crimson Vine by P.L McMillan is folk horror at its very best. The visuals, tension and mood created then intermixed with undeniable dread and mystery rides the very edges of illumination and darkness. P.L explores themes of religious hypocrisy and the power of women and sacrifices made to survive. She expertly subverts older tropes into something terrifying and new. This book is as vivid and twisted as any Aster movie.” – Brenda S. Tolian, Blood Mountain


Sisters of the Crimson Vine is a perfectly paced suspenseful story that will make you want to savor every word. Invoking the ominous folk horror atmosphere of the Wicker Man and Midsommer, P.L. serves an unsettling tale of the supernatural bond between women and nature and the power and price of living free from patriarchal dominance.” – Joy Yehle, author and host of The Burial Plot horror podcast

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** See the author read an excerpt from the book HERE! **

P.L. McMillan writes dark stories and loves cosmic and gothic horror in particular. Her works have been published in Sanitarium, Hinnom Magazine, Fundead Publications, among others.

To her, every shadow is an entry way to a deeper look into the black heart of the world and every night she rides with the mocking and friendly ghouls on the night-wind, bringing back dark stories to share with those brave enough to read them.

“Someone suggested to me that McMillan might be one of the next great cosmic horror writers and if [The Space Between] is a good indication of her talent and imagination, I’d say they could well be correct.” – The Miskatonic Review

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Stripes – Blog Tour #Romantic #Suspense

Stripes

Devil’s Boneyard MC 12

by Harley Wylde

Genre: MC Romantic Suspense

Melina — Men have never given me a reason to trust them. The Bratva taught me men are brutal. Selfish. And take what they want. Death would be better than tying myself to one ever again. Then a Russian biker swoops in to save me. As much as I want to believe everything he says, how can I? I’ve only known pain at the hands of men. I want him to be different… but any hope I had died long ago.

Stripes — She thinks she’s broken. I see a survivor. A strong woman who’s still standing despite what’s been done to her. It will take time, but I’ll help her heal. Prove not all men are evil. I’ll give her a reason to keep living. Never again will someone cause her pain. If they do, they’ll answer to me. My hands are already stained with blood. What’s a little more?

WARNING: Recommended for readers 18+ due to language, violence, and adult situations. Stripes is part of the Devil’s Boneyard MC series and contains darker content some readers may find objectionable. Stripes can be read as a stand-alone story, even though it’s part of a series.

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Harley Wylde is the International Bestselling Author of the Dixie Reapers MC, Devil’s Boneyard MC, and Hades Abyss MC series.

When Harley’s writing, her motto is the hotter the better — off the charts sex, commanding men, and the women who can’t deny them. If you want men who talk dirty, are sexy as hell, and take what they want, then you’ve come to the right place. She doesn’t shy away from the dangers and nastiness in the world, bringing those realities to the pages of her books, but always gives her characters a happily-ever-after and makes sure the bad guys get what they deserve.

The times Harley isn’t writing, she’s thinking up naughty things to do to her husband, drinking copious amounts of Starbucks, and reading. She loves to read and devours a book a day, sometimes more. She’s also fond of TV shows and movies from the 1980’s, as well as paranormal shows from the 1990’s to today, even though she’d much rather be reading or writing.

You can find out more about Harley or enter her monthly giveaway on her website. Be sure to join her newsletter while you’re there to learn more about discounts, signing events, and other goodies!

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Midpoint – Blog Tour #Memoir #Perseverence

Midpoint: A Memoir

by Patricia Angeles

Genre: Nonfiction Memoir

Midpoint: A Memoir is an immigrant woman’s story of perseverance and building a legacy future generations can be proud of.

Patricia Angeles is at the midpoint of the average human lifespan. Decades of experience, mistakes, love, and loss have led her to contemplate what anyone might when they’ve lived half their life. “What kind of legacy am I leaving behind? What do I want my friends and family to remember after I’m gone? What are the biggest life lessons I can impart while I’m still here?”

Through this collection of personal stories, Patricia attempts to assess her answers to these questions, and perhaps encourage others to do the same. Spanning from her childhood in Manila to her immigration and life in Los Angeles, these stories touch on her youth, her acclimation to American culture, her remarkable career in the world of banking, her thoughts on motherhood, the important people who made her who she is today, and major events that forever changed the trajectory of her life.

A raw, honest, poignant, and at times funny read, Patricia aims to inspire her readers to pursue happiness against all odds and to not settle for a life of mediocrity. Through the power of story, this book ultimately asks: What are we but the accumulation of our experiences?

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Patricia Angeles is a tenured and award-winning banking professional with an MBA degree in international studies from the University of La Verne. She grew up in Manila, Philippines and moved to sunny Southern California in 2005. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, and three daughters. When not writing or reading, she enjoys spending time with her family and traveling with them to new places.

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Song of the Chimney Sweep – Blog Tour #HistoricalFiction #Mystery #Giveaway

Song of the Chimney Sweep

by Tamatha Cain

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery

Love is a song played on repeat…

A cryptic blog post leads cold case podcasters Melody and Dorian on a twisty journey back in time to uncover the mysterious story of a forgotten missing woman.

In 1969 near the Florida/Georgia Line, idealistic young Betty Langdon and fast-rising R&B singer Dominicus Owens begin an irresistible but dangerous interracial romance that ends under mysterious, heartbreaking circumstances. Betty is forced to return to her rural home to care for her manipulative mother, while Dominicus goes on to mega-stardom with his band The Downtown Sound. She follows his skyrocketing career from behind the front desk of a dying highway motel–until one day decades later, she disappears.

Now, a popular true crime podcast produced by college friends Melody Hinterson and Dorian Santos takes on the cold case of a missing local woman. The duo’s carefully-balanced workplace dynamic is weirdly off-kilter lately, but they can’t take their eyes off the investigation as the intriguing new story suddenly boosts the show into the national spotlight. When the investigation uncovers the missing woman’s diaries full of family secrets and the century-old legend of a fortune hidden in an old chimney somewhere in town, the truth behind the podcast’s mystery suddenly becomes personal, and Melody must make life-changing choices before the final episode airs.

But who owns the rights to a secret?

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Tamatha Cain writes about ordinary people in extraordinary situations. She believes that before she gave up a thriving business to pursue writing full-time, her most compelling lines of prose were probably found in the pages-long love notes she wrote to bewildered boys back in middle school. Her writing has appeared in The Experience Art and Literary Magazine, The Florida Writer, American Cake Decorating, and others. She won the 2020 Royal Palm Literary Award for Unpublished Literary Mystery and The Experience Poetry Competition. She writes reviews for Southern Literary Review and serves as a judge in the RPLA Awards. She is a member of WFWA and FWA. (She did eventually hone the love notes enough to impress her high school sweetheart, and now they have three grown kids). Learn more about her on her website or follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

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Black Magic Blog Tour #Fantasy #MiddleGrade

Black Magic

Shadow of the Pack Book 1

by Nicole Austen

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

The once-powerful and proud Willow River pack is struggling. But when a special litter of pups is born, hope of a bright future returns. Mala, born different, will never be given a chance to prove that she can be anything other than the runt of the litter. Some say her differences may even put the pack at risk. Now, her parents worry how the rest of the pack will react. Will they mistreat her? Will they fear her? But Mala doesn’t think she’s a threat to anyone, least of all her own family. Before Mala can change the hearts and minds of her pack, she must find out once and for all exactly why she is so different. In her search for the truth, Mala discovers something surprising about her pack and herself. Could she be the one wolf who changes everything?

Nicole Austen is a 19-year-old writer from Los Angeles. A lifelong love of animals and fantasy inspired her to begin writing Black Magic when she was thirteen years old, a draft of which won a National Scholastic silver medal for novel writing in 2019. Black Magic was published by Month9Books on August 30, 2022. Besides writing, Nicole loves hiking, playing piano, and spending time with her family and dog. She currently attends college in Boston.

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Caravanserai – Blog tour #Historical #FantasyRomance

Caravanserai

The Chronicles of Alcinia Book 7

by Miriam Newman

Genre: Historical Fantasy Romance

Her grandmother’s dying words launch Serafina on a quest to find her unknown father. Unable to accept the love of a childhood friend, she nevertheless accepts his company on her journey, but what they discover may lead to a quick trip to an enemy prison.

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Get the rest of the series here!

**Book 1 is FREE, the rest are on sale for only $1.99!**

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Fantasy poetry driven by myths and legends has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I was published in poetry before catching the romance writing bug. I bring that background to my writing along with a lifelong addiction to horses, an 18 year career in various areas of psychiatric social services and many trips to Ireland, where I nurture my muse. My published works range from contemporary fantasy romance to fantasy historical, futuristic, science fiction and historical romance. Currently I live in rural Pennsylvania with a “motley crew” of rescue animals. You can see my books at http://www.miriamnewman.com.

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Lineage – Blog Tour and Giveaway #Paranormal #Mystery #Thriller

Lineage

J.J. Morris Book 1

by J.N. Sheats

Genre: Paranormal Mystery Thriller

“Cameron, why do you call me dove,” I asked, ready for disappointment.
“Because, you bring my soul peace.”
Joey Morris has spent her young life moving around the country with her constantly absent mother until finally ending up in the small college town of Portstown, Pennsylvania. Here history is thick in the air and Joey discovers that her family has long reaching roots in the town, dating back to the very first settlement. Because of her heritage she is welcomed into the group of the other founding families, and quickly becomes one of the popular girls in school.
After over a year of the good life and Homecoming just days away, Joey is thrown into a terrifying new reality. Happening across a violent black dog with glowing red eyes, and a handsome stranger that puts his life on the line to save her only to stick a gun in her chest moments later.
Now people are dying in Portstown, people close to Joey and she doesn’t understand why. Will Joey have anyone left after she discovers the truth about her past?
Cameron Davis is a man from another life, for years he has been focused on his mission. The drive that keeps his soul locked inside a physical body, staving off the reaper. That all changes when he is given the task of protecting Joey and stopping the attacks.
This girl makes him weak and brings up memories of a past he left behind nearly a century ago. What secrets lie beyond his contract with the elusive Warner family, and why does this girl need protecting?
Lineage is a young adult novel but is recommender for readers 16+ due to violence.
**On Sale for Only .99cents!!**

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A creative mind trapped in a world of reality Jackie Sheats expresses herself in anyway that she can. From illustrating and writing to dancing like a mental patient while preparing dinner. Living in Maryland with her logic driven husband, their six cats, the dog, and a tank full of fish, Jackie spends her free time doing the backlog of housework and studying for her Masters in Illustration. A movie junkie, video game addict, and secret ninja in training she lives life under the idea that “if you don’t know how to do something, go learn it!”

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Shadow of the Gypsy Blog Tour and Guest Post #Mystery #Thriller – Shelly Frome

Shadow of the Gypsy

by Shelly Frome

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Josh Bartlett had figured all the angles, changed his name, holed up as a small-town features writer in the seclusion of the Blue Ridge. Only a few weeks more and he’d begin anew, return to the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut and Molly (if she’d have him) and, at long last, live a normal life.

After all, it was a matter of record that Zharko had been deported well over a year ago. The shadowy form John had glimpsed yesterday at the lake was only that — a hazy shadow under the eaves of the activities building. It stood to reason his old nemesis was still ensconced overseas in Bucharest or thereabouts well out of the way.

And no matter where he was, he wouldn’t travel south over eight hundred miles to track Josh down. Surely that couldn’t be, not now, not after all this.

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Shelly Frome is a member of Mystery Writers of America, a professor of dramatic arts emeritus at UConn, a former professional actor, and a writer of crime novels and books on theater and film. He also is a features writer for Gannett Publications. His fiction includes Sun Dance for Andy Horn, Lilac Moon, Twilight of the Drifter, Tinseltown Riff, Murder Run, Moon Games, The Secluded Village Murders and Miranda and the D-Day Caper. Among his works of non-fiction are The Actors Studio: A History, a guide to playwriting and one on screenwriting, Shadow of the Gypsy is his latest foray into the world of crime and the amateur sleuth. He lives in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

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Why Write Fiction?

by Shelly Frome

Finding myself between projects, I often ask myself why I can’t simply go on with my life, do the chores, make the rounds, engage in social activities, etc.? Then I start to recall what other writers of fiction have disclosed. To cite a few, there’s the opportunity for revenge, a source of entertainment with the potential to entertain others, a chance to confront something or someone that will never play itself out in reality.

Personally speaking, I myself began to consider what Anne Lamott suggested on you-tube that led to the development of my latest tale Shadow of the Gypsy. She put it this way:  How alive are you willing to be? Diving deep within yourself, delving for your truth that potentially will become so meaningful it will double back on your readers’ lives? What’s truly at risk here during the course of this possible odyssey? What’s the driving force underpinning something you can’t afford to lose like a loved one; the chance of hitting the jackpot and a carefree life; a rung atop the ladder of success, etc. Now let it happen and work through the throes of the aftermath. Along these same lines, what are you so conflicted about you can’t afford to face the consequences? But if you do go through with it fictitiously, the pull of what happens promises to be much more compelling than continuing to remain stuck.   

As a case in point, during the early days of vaguely contemplating Shadow, I recalled feeling greatly deprived as a kid because I never had a father and my mother barely looked out for me. On the other hand, it left me free to experience all kinds of things and see for myself. But to write about my own life was too pat, just a matter of this happened and then that. Nothing that built toward some meaningful closure. Nothing that would sustain my imagination.  

But then, finally, came the trigger of the magical what-if? What if the mother in question was a complete mystery, a former foster child from Hungary who, rumor had it, had been taken in by some denomination which ran an exclusive private school in the pristine hills of Connecticut? What if she had some dicey connection with a rogue gypsy who was also from the “old country”? What would her estranged son have to gain by confronting her? What would he have to lose as his life potentially turned upside down?  It was a start. It was a beginning.

It had promise well beyond the same old routine.