The Druid Knight Tales, by Ruth A. Casie (@RuthACasie) – #Cover #Reveal #giveaway #bibliotica @hfvbt

Join author Ruth A. Casie on her Cover Reveal for The Druid Knight Tales: A Short Story, from February 23-March 13, and enter to win an eBook of the first book in the Druid Knight Series, Knight of Runes. The Druid Knight Tales

Publication Date: February 23, 2015
Publisher: Timeless Scribes Publishing, LLC
eBook: 57 pages
ISBN: 0986246425

Series: The Druid Knight Series
Genre: Historical Fantasy/Romance

She would give her last breath for him. He would give up everything to guard her well and love her more.

Maximilian, the druid Grand Master, was given a year to find his soul mate. On the final day, the sacred mistletoe has shriveled and died—proclaiming his failure. He must do what no other Grand Master has done before and journey to meet with the Ancestors formally relinquish his title.

Ellyn of Brodgar has the gift of healing. But each use of her magick, through a kiss, depletes her energy and brings her closer to death. Time is running out as she searches for a way to continue saving lives—especially her own.

Max and Ellyn are tossed into the Otherworld together—a place filled with magick and wonder, it’s also fraught with danger, traps, and death. They have only until the third sunset to find the Ancestors, or be lost to the world forever. The domineering druid must work with the stubborn healer, not only for survival, but for the promise of the future—a future together.

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Excerpt

Penetrating blue-gray eyes stared out from the cocoon of dark wool that enrobed the woman. The cheeks on her porcelain-white face appeared tinged with a splash of pink. Her natural berry-red lips were turned up in a welcoming smile. “Grand Master.” She dipped a well-executed curtsy.

Fendrel’s healer was much different than the old crone he had anticipated. This woman was regal and beautiful. The gleam in her eyes was calm and comforting. He had a strange sensation, which made no sense at all, that he had known her for a long time. At ease with her, he allowed himself to relax and returned her open smile with one of his own.

“This is Ellyn of Brodgar,” said Fendrel. “She has been our healer for the last year. Our situation was grave. It was her healing skills that kept us alive. I would like you to accept her into our clan.”

The knuckles on Ellyn’s hand turned white from grasping her staff firmly. Her head whipped around at Fendrel.

Max observed, fascinated the elder was oblivious to the daggers the woman’s eyes flung at him. So, Fendrel hadn’t told her of his plan and if Max wasn’t mistaken, she wasn’t pleased.

“Thank you, Fendrel,” said Ellyn. “Your request is a great honor. I will be your healer for as long as I am with you.” She turned to Max, her face serene. Her iron grip on the staff relaxed.

Fendrel sputtered.

“You are welcome into Fendrel’s clan for as long as you see fit to stay with us,” said Max. He was certain he saved Fendrel from getting his head bashed with the staff the woman carried. “Brodgar is in the Orkneys. You are far from home.”

“I go where I am needed.” Her voice was soft—her tone evasive.

Max gave her a benign smile. She was tall and graceful. Loose tendrils of curls softened her face. Dark lashes swept down against her cheekbone. She gazed at him with bright, intelligent eyes. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up. He sensed her trying to press in on his mind and blocked her attempt so fast she winced in pain. He’d made his point. She would not try that again.

“If you will excuse me.” She turned to leave. “I would like to look in on Dimia and the baby to make certain they’re settled in for the night,” she said to the new father.

“Of course, Ellyn. I will see you back to camp.” Fendrel approached the two men. “Thank you, Grand Master. Doward. We will see you tomorrow.” He and Ellyn went back down the small rise.

“Interesting girl,” remarked Doward after they were gone. “You didn’t have to be rough on her. She was only curious.” Doward chuckled.
Max stared after her.

She wasn’t at all what she seemed.

Titles in The Druid Knight Series

Knight of Runes – Available Now!
Knight of Rapture – Coming March 30, 2015
Knight of Redemption – Coming Fall, 2015

Druid-Knight-Series-3-Book-Spread

About the Author Ruth A. Casie

Ruth A Casie is a seasoned professional with over twenty-five years of writing experience but not necessarily writing romances. No, she’s been writing communication and marketing documents for a large corporation. Over the past years, encouraged by her friends and family, she gave way to her inner muse, let her creative juices flow, and began writing a series of historical time travel romance novels.

When not writing you can find her home in Teaneck, New Jersey, reading, cooking, doing Sudoku and counted cross stitch. Together with her husband Paul, they enjoy ballroom dancing and, with New York City close by, going to the theater. Ruth and Paul have three grown children and two grandchildren. They all thrive on spending time together. It’s certainly a lively dinner table and they wouldn’t change it for the world.

Ruth is a Trustee and on the Executive Board of Shelter Our Sister (SOS) in New Jersey. SOS is Bergen County’s only shelter for victims of domestic violence. She frequently speaks at various functions around Bergen County on behalf of the Shelter.

For more information visit Ruth A. Casie’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Sign up for Ruth A. Casie’s newsletter.

Giveaway!

To enter to win an eBook of Knight of Runes please complete the giveaway form below.

– Giveaway starts on February 23rd at 12:01am and ends on March 13th at 11:59pm EST.
– Must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner will be notified via email.

Knight of Runes

The Druid Knight Tales at HFVBT

Spotlight: Daughter of the Fallen by Madeleine Wynn – Enter to Win $50 Amazon Gift Card

About the book Daughter of the Fallen Daughter of the Fallen

Title: Daughter of the Fallen
Author: Madeline Wynn
Publisher: Book Baby
Pages: 250
Genre: YA paranormal
Format: Paperback

Most sixteen-year olds aren’t worried about the fate of their immortal souls. May Krieg should be.

Typically, honor student May’s biggest problems have revolved around her super-hot arch-rival, Jack. But when a school project takes them ghost-hunting in a local cemetery, she discovers that an ominous force roams in the darkness around her.

And it follows her home.

It claws its way into her life, burning messages into her wall and imprinting them onto her body. Even worse, she can’t tell if it’s trying to possess her… or protect her.

May’s thoughts soon become actions, causing the target of her anger severe physical pain and giving her a rush the likes of which she has never experienced. She quickly realizes that she needs to find a way to reign in this power before she kills someone. May hates the pleasure it gives her, hates herself for hurting others, but she can’t stop.

As her entire world shatters around her, she is forced to ask what her soul is worth– and who would she risk losing her soul to save?

Buy, read, and discuss Daughter of the Fallen

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Read an excerpt from Daughter of the Fallen

This is New England. And in New England, a town without a good witch hanging or ghost story just, well, isn’t considered to be a real town. So when I walk past the iron gate of the cemetery and feel the urge to bolt riding up my legs like a herd of football players bum-rushing the food counter on taco day, I set my shoulders and do my best to cowboy up.

Set between imposing stone walls and punctured by large granite fists, Hillside Cemetery definitely looks like it deserves its sinister reputation, making my attempt at bravery rather brief. “This place sucks. Maybe we should just go.”

“Here, watch your step,” Cay says and holds out his hand to help me over the uneven cobbles just on the other side of the entry. Once we make it over the stones, he drops my hand and pulls the recording equipment out of the duffle.

We’ve been friends ever since kindergarten, when some boy taunted me for living in a “little troll house.” Cay, the kickball king, told him that it was actually a gingerbread house, and everybody knows that only fairy princesses live in gingerbread houses.

He was wrong, of course; it was witches who lived in the gingerbread houses, a fact I pointed out to him later, but I gave him props for the effort. We’ve been “Cay and May” ever since, but the whole dating thing still feels… awkward.

“Is this all from school or is Jack bringing some of his dad’s?” I swipe an errant curl of hair out of my face and cringe at my surroundings as I reach for the big video camera. Why does it have to be so dark? Why can’t people ghost hunt in the daylight? You can still supposed get sound bites and whatever in the daytime, right? It’s not like ghosts go anywhere or sleep or, you know, whatever.

“Well, the big stuff is the professional gear with night vision from school. And then we have my stuff.” Cay stops in front of a wide tomb, laying his multiple cameras and his mini video recorder along the top like they are the most precious things in the world. “Weird that Mr. Dowd put both you and Jack on my team.”

“Yeah, weird.” And a nightmare. If it wasn’t for Jack, I’d be ranked first in our year, and, unlike Jack, if I don’t earn a ton of scholarship money for college, then I can’t go.

Cay fumbles with the equipment, his breath rising in great grey puffs of frost, lingering in his dark bob of curls. I shiver.

A BMW pulls up in front of the entry gate, looking sleek and new and out of place.

I run an unsteady hand through my untamable hair…right…Jack.

He gets out of the car and strides towards us, stepping out into the camera’s lights: short blond hair, high cheekbones, and a long neck leading to strong shoulders. Everyone at school, except for me, that is, adores him because he’s rich, intelligent and supposedly lost his virginity to a Victoria’s Secret model.

Watching the god-like way he strides across the cemetery, you can almost believe the hype. He lifts his eyes to meet mine as he nods a greeting. My heart flips.

Of course, it would be easier to dislike him if he wasn’t so damn… hot. I shake my head. I hate that about him, too.

“You’re late.” I grab the sound gear from Cay and hand it to him, eyeing the orange-clad harpy of a girl trailing after him.

“I had to pick up Alicia.” He indicates the thing as he straps on the professional sound gear. “And respond to your post on the AP History board about gun control.”

I huff. “You think we should arm everyone with a credit card?”

“What I think is irrelevant, Mason.” Jack’s the only one in the universe who calls me by my full name. “It’s what the Founding Fathers wanted that matters.” He holds out his hand to help me navigate my way over a broken tomb. I ignore it. He smirks, “Or do you not support the Bill Of Rights?”

God, please keep me from throttling him tonight. Cay clears his throat.

“WTF, losers? A graveyard?” Alicia Impestio. Wearing her designer hoodie unzipped so that she reveals way more skin than she has to, her straight brown hair is bleached at the tips and held off of her over-tanned face by some rhinestone-studded catastrophe. I grit my teeth.

“Hey Alicia, glad you could make it.” Cay holds the minicam out towards her and helps her onto the cobbled path of the graveyard.

“Whatever.” Alicia grabs the mini and swats at Cay’s hand as she struggles to gain a foothold. A challenging endeavor, I’m sure, for someone wearing flip-flops in November.

She gives me the once-over, lips curling.

“You really wore that?” She asks, mouth open with disdain.

“Alicia…” Jack’s voice is low, menacing.

“I mean” –she gives me the once-over and sneers- “Aren’t the Kardashians some of you people? They at least know how to dress. But, then again, they also know who their daddy is.”

That’s Alicia: hitting where it hurts. I blink through the stinging at my eyes as my mind races to find something snarky to say…something to…

“Alicia,” Jack snaps. “Stop.”

“Fine, but tell Clay Aiken over there to hurry it. I’m cold.”

Jack makes a motion with his head to indicate that Cay should ignore her as he adjusts the weight of the portable boom on his back.

“Okay, I’m filming.” I say and catch the low-hanging harvest moon before panning down to Cay. “In three, two, one…”

“This is Cayden Robison of Chase Hills High Broadcasting reporting on site at Hillside Cemetery. In 1734, three witches were reportedly hung just up the road, on the town green and buried, here, in this cemetery, in unmarked graves.”

“Then, in 1864, three men were arrested for grave digging, and ever since, people have reported strange things not only here, but especially out behind the burial grounds, in the woods.” Cay runs his hand along the top of a worn tombstone.

“Reports of paranormal activity really began to pick up in the past thirty years.” He pauses, and I pan the camera over to the creepy oak and the broken bench beneath it, hands a little unsteady. “Some people claim to hear voices, others see full-body apparitions, but most convincingly, in the 1980s, some kids back here partying say that they found satanists performing rituals in the woods. They watched as the group made a make-shift temple of one of the half-buried barite mines in the woods, and claim that the men actually raised a demon.”

He stops, looking intently into the lens of my camera. I flex my fingers, my breath rushed, like I’ve been running.

“Tonight, we’re going to dig for the truth and see if Hillside Cemetery is actually haunted.” Cays smiles.

Deep breath, May. It’s just a story. Fairytales. There’s no such thing as demons, or ghosts.


About the author, Madeleine Wynn Madeline Wynn

Madeline Wynn holds a master’s degree in procrastination. When she’s not writing, she can be found ghost hunting, gardening and parading around her home state of Connecticut with her husband, dog and two kids.

Her latest book is the YA paranormal, Daughter of the Fallen.

Connect with Madeline

WebsiteFacebook | Twitter.


GIVEAWAY

Madeline Wynn is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:

• By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
• One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
• This giveaway begins November 3 and ends January 31.
• Winner will be contacted via email on Monday, February 2.
• Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!
ENTER TO WIN!

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Blog Tour

This spotlight is part of a blog tour sponsored by Pump Up Your Book. For more information, click HERE.

Spotlight on The Witch’s Salvation, by Francesca Pelaccia

About the book The Witch’s Salvation The Witch's Salvation

Title: The Witch’s Salvation
Author: Francesca Pelaccia
Publisher: Francesca Pelaccia
Pages: 388
Genre: Historical Fiction/Paranormal
Format: Paperback, Kindle

A witch who demands humanity.

 

The immortal families who denied her of it.

 

Two mortals commanded to right the wrong.

 

That is the fate of the urban princess Anasztasia and the renegade prince Matthias, born shockingly mortal to two immortal families. If they go back in time and restore the witch’s humanity, she will grant them immortality. She will also break a 550 year-old curse that imprisons Matthias’s family in their ancestral homeland and exiles Anasztasia’s family from it.

But to make their lives their own, the heirs must return to the most dangerous day in their families’ past, Easter Sunday, 1457. This is the day Vlad III, aka Dracula, massacred nobles.

 

How can Anasztasia and Matthias reverse the past when their families won’t speak of their sins? How can they refuse when the witch owns their lives?

Buy, read, and discuss:

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Read an excerpt from The Witch’s Salvation The Witch's Salvation

Prologue

In a cave shaped by five centuries of the earth’s temper, the wind’s hand, and the sky’s will, a witch stirs from beneath the dry leaves and twigs that make up her resting place. She pushes herself through, then brushes the blanket of brittle leaves from her furrowed face and shriveled limbs. But after five centuries of sleeping and waking in a bed of earth, she does not recognize foliage from skin.

She plants her emaciated feet on rough stones and drags herself across the cave to the aged branches of her door, her steps shaky like those of an infant learning to walk. The door grinds as it opens with one silent command. The world outside her hovel is as it is inside—dark, dank, musty, the bottom layers of centuries of overgrowth and the absence of human vanity. Yet she hears everything, worms burrowing, insects feeding, foliage breathing. They have been her companions and teachers through the ages as much as they have been her nourishment.

Her bones slipping against the shell of her body, she stumbles toward the ragged stump of an ancient beech. Over five centuries ago, she snapped the sapling from its roots, nurturing its swell to remind herself of the passage of the years, the turn of the centuries, and the approach of salvation. It is as old and as dead in life as she is, but it has kept her will strong and focus sharp.

Instead of resting her frail body on it, or sipping from the water trickling over one of its gnarled roots and collecting in a hollow at its base, she climbs onto it. She crawls to the middle, appearing no bigger than a rodent on a master’s grand table. Her pupils are dull and worn away, but she finds the first ring with her fingertips and begins to count. One, two, three, four, five…It is slow and meticulous work for one taught only the basics of language and numbers by those she once served. But her voice is strong, her need to count a hunger, her focus unrelenting.

Once she had magnificent eyes. Dark, almost black, alert and alive, eager to see the world, to touch it and to know it. Her hair matched the black of her eyes. Long and thick, it shone brighter than those nobles with marigold hair. Once, she was a young woman, until the nobles of the two warring families tore her from her family, wrenched her life from her body and her soul from her flesh, turning her into what she is now. Once, she had a name, a lovely, rhythmic name. But that was robbed from her, too, and she inherited another name. Strigoaic. Witch. A witch who was once a girl. A girl who once had a life. A life now trapped in death.

The Strigoaic counts the rings without stopping, her voice moaning through the clearing and the dense trees around it. She stops when her fingers grasp a ring larger and more pronounced than the others. Her heart begins to thump as it did when she first discovered it, as it did in her human life. Slipping over the edge of the stump, her fingers never leaving that ring of hope, she begins to count again, but from one, to two, to three, all the way to eighteen.

She lowers her head, a drop of blood falling from her eyes.

Crawling back onto the stump, she lies on it, the pulse of the ancient tree pounding against her palms and heating her chilled skin.

The time has come. After centuries of waiting, the time has come to summon those two nobles who robbed her of her humanity. But it is not them she wants. She has already punished them. She imprisoned one noble and his family in the boundaries of the earth once known as their homeland of Wallachia, while the other noble and his family she exiled from it. Unwise about her sorcery, however, she imprisoned and exiled them for eternity to an immortal life.

That will right itself in time, too. Now she wants—no, needs—the last born of each family. She decreed them, and she will have them. Clawing her fingers through the flesh of the stump, she lets a shrill break from her lips that shakes birds and trees and mountains.

The time has come to get her name back.


About the author, Francesca Pelaccia Francesca Pelaccia

The Witch’s Salvation is Francesca Pelaccia’s debut novel and the first book of The Witch’s Trilogy.

A teacher and now at long last an author, Francesca has written in other genres but enjoys creating and writing time-travel fantasies. Francesca blogs on the craft of writing, especially as it relates to genre, and reviews books.

Currently she is working on the second book of The Witch’s Trilogy entitled The Witch’s Monastery.

Connect with Francesca:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


More Info The Witch's Salvation

This post is part of a virtual book tour. For more information, and the complete list of tour stops, visit the tour page at PUMP UP YOUR BOOK.

Spotlight on: Calculated, by R. S. Novelle


Calculated – PROMO Blitz
By Renee Novelle
Psycological Thriller
Date Published: August 30, 2013

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An investigative journalist gets an unlikely tip from a mysterious informant. Dismissing it as impossible, she disregards the information and drops the story. Until the informant turns up dead, as predicted.
Plunged into the murky waters of a seedy underground prostitution ring, this psychological thriller provides twist upon dark twist in a story that would ultimately pin the church and several government officials in the largest murder cover-up the city has ever witnessed.
But is it true, or has the journalist merely been used as a pawn in a greater scheme? And how many people is she willing to sacrifice trying to figure it out?
EXCERPT

When she arrived at the little facility her building provided, a quick look around confirmed she was the only one there. Just as she’d hoped, and exactly how she liked it to be. Smiling in satisfaction, she flipped on the television that was perched on the wall, and turned up the music on her iPod as loud as she could handle it. The multiple distractions would help her get through the extra mile she was planning to conquer. With chilled water bottle in place, she cranked up the treadmill to a nice brisk pace.
As her breathing picked up speed and her muscles began to warm, Ana’s eye caught a red flash along the bottom of the screen. Breaking News filled the bar, and the too-chipper-for-their-own-good reporters were suddenly getting serious. Since the volume was still muted, Ana couldn’t understand exactly what was going on, only that they were showing the wide stretch of river that ran along the outskirts of the city. She wiped the first beads of sweat from her brow, and used the remote to turn the volume of the television higher while simultaneously adjusting her music.
As the reporters spoke, home-video footage of something floating in the water rolled before her eyes. The camera zoomed in, the frame ever so shaky, and it became clearly apparent that the “something” was a person – face down with long brown hair spread out like a Catholic halo. It appeared another victim had been pulled out of the water; the count was quickly tallying up. A young woman this time, and possibly one who had gone missing the night before.
Ana’s pulse skipped a few beats as they replayed the video over and over. There was something familiar about the long, lean body. Slowing the treadmill to a stop, she ripped the ear buds from her head to give the segment her entire attention.
…it appears at first glance that the victim suffered from a deep cut to the throat, and received multiple stab wounds to the chest…
The beads of accumulated sweat turned cold on Ana’s brow. She immediately reached for her phone and dialed Kylie’s number.
“What the hell, Ana?” Came her friend’s groggy voice.
“Turn your TV on. Channel four. Hurry.” Ana said, eyes transfixed to the screen in front of her. “Recognize that face?”
…It’s thought the victim may be one of the young girls recently reported missing. The screen flashed candids of three possible women. All brunettes. All tall and thin. All roughly the same age. Among them was a photo of Mara, just as Ana had expected there would be.
But the body was too bloated and disfigured to be absolutely certain, and an autopsy would be needed.
… The body will be taken in for processing where officials hope to shed more light on the case in the near future. In the mean time, they’re cautioning residents to avoid….
“Did you see that?” Ana’s voice escaped in more of a demand than a question. “Please tell me I’m seeing things.”
“Oh my god…” Kylie whispered into the receiver, confirming the dread that was building in Ana’s stomach. “Do you really think it’s her?”
“I know for a fact it is.” Ana declared, the pull in her gut getting stronger by the minute. “The autopsy will confirm it.”
“So, what does this mean exactly now?”
“That maybe I should have been listening a little closer when I was talking to Mara.” She said with regret as she swiped her forehead with the back of her hand. “And maybe I should have asked more questions. There’s a story here, I’m sure of it now.”
“What are you going to do?” Kylie’s voice was decidedly more alert now.
Ana shook her head. “I have no idea.”
Though if she were to be truthful with herself in that moment, she’d already made up her mind. Ana flipped off the television, and left the little gym to get started.
About the Author: Renee Novelle

Author Renee Novelle photo 13_zps447ee6c5.jpeg

Formerly a freelance journalist, Novelle has found placement of her pieces in both online and print publications since 2008. Additionally, she has written multiple screenplays, and contributed her writing to many non-profit and for profit organizations. She has launched several blogs over the years, which garnered international attention.
In 2013, Novelle returned to her first love – fiction. Writing under the names Renee Novelle and R.S. Novelle, she has a publication schedule that includes Psychological Thrillers, Suspense, Paranormal Fiction, Contemporary Women’s fiction, Chick Lit, and New Adult.
Though she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Communication, summa cum laude, she considers herself a constant student of the written word. She’s an avid reader, an enthusiastic quote poster, and rarely takes “no” as a final answer. She has an unhealthy obsession for theater, dance, music and art, and strongly believes that wine is simultaneously the beginning of, and resolution to, all of life’s problems. She believes in following dreams, and that in the end, you always end up where you’re meant to be.

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Guest Post: Austin Washington, author of The Education of George Washington

The Education of George Washington

Guest post by author Austin Washington

Dance Your Way to Being President (by Reading a Book)
The Education of George Washington gives unique, original, and new insight into how George Washington turned himself into the George Washington we all know. That is, it shows how George Washington, the awkward, too tall kid who wrote dorky love poems, whose father died when he was only eleven, whose family no longer had enough money to send him to the private school in England his older half brothers had gone to –  how this mostly uneducated guy bought a guide to greatness from his cousin when he was fifteen, and thus became the George Washington we’ve all heard of.

Actually, even before the parts of his life most people have at least heard of, George Washington became known as the best dancer in Virginia. Becoming great was a life long process. It’s interesting, by the way, once you learn a bit about Virginia at that time, why being a good dancer was important there.  Also, George was known as a great athlete, he was admired by women – basically, he was a star, long before he became a legend.

George Washington’s guide to greatness has been called a “groundbreaking new discovery”, that had been unknown by all previous biographers. George Washington got, when he was fifteen, a kind of proto Tony Robbins book, with a huge difference. The modern self help movement, the apotheosis of which, I’d say, is the almost unreadable book The Secret – unreadable simply because it is so poorly written – has a philosophy underlying it that has some truth to it. But that doesn’t make it good or right.

In essence, stripped bare, that philosophy says something like, “I saw a red Ferrari on TV, and wow, do I want one. If I wish and hope and pray, by God, I’ll get one. Maybe I’ll have to work a little, too.”

George Washington’s guide to greatness flips this on its head.  The idea is, if I listen to the voice of Providence, while simultaneously learning how the knowledge of what is good and great has been refined and distilled by our greatest civilisations, and if I internalise this, I might be onto something.

It’s not about greed, or materialism, but self sacrifice. The ultimate result, if you really “get it”, is you become not just good, but great. Greatness has its own rewards, which, coincidentally, often have a material component.

But you don’t end up like Donald Trump. You end up like, well, like George Washington. I mean, even only at the surface, at material things, look at Mount Vernon itself. It’s dignified, not gaudy. This is a reflection of something underlying, and deeper.

I spent three years, and three drafts, distilling this wisdom, then soaking the adventure  of George Washington’s life in it, so that you almost subliminally gain and understand what George Washington gained and understood, while being taken on the journey of his life.

Ultimately, The Education of George Washington is probably not for you. But it might be. It all depends. Would you prefer a red Ferrari, or, on the other hand, the material rewards you’ll get if you become great. (Material rewards are beside the point. It’s what you become that matters. The rest is just icing on the cake.)

Although, perhaps this is an unrealistic goal for a book.  One of the first reviewers called it “The best book ever written about the Father of Our Country,” then wrote me a personal note saying his review “did not do the book justice”. Well, even if my illusions about The Education of George Washington actually changing lives are wishful thinking , being “the best” in at least one reviewer’s opinion isn’t bad, I suppose.

Still, without a father, with very little formal education, starting out relatively poor, George Washington turned himself into “George Washington” with little but a book as a guide (which is included, in full, at the end of my book, by the way.) I do know that I  have actually changed because of what I learned, through writing it. Although, come to think of it,  I’m not President yet. But I am a good dancer.

Well, there’s time. What about you?


About the Author, Austin Washington

Austin Washington

Austin Washington is the great-nephew of George Washington. He earned his masters and did post-graduate research focusing on colonial American history, and is a writer, musician, entrepreneur and global traveler. He returns to an old Virginia family home whenever he can. Austin’s first book takes a common criticism of his academic writing – “You’re not writing a newspaper editorial, you know!” – and turns it into a virtue, taking a subject dry and dusty in other’s hands and giving it life. He has lived abroad much of his life, most recently in Russia, and visits friends from Sicily to Turkey to Bangladesh and beyond. His earliest influences as a writer were Saki, Salinger, and St. Exupery, although in more recent years he has got beyond the S’s. As for historians, he is partial to the iconoclast Gibbon, who wrote history to change the future.

Learn more about Austin

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About the book, The Education of George Washington

The Education of George Washington

In Austin Washington’s new book, The Education of George Washington, readers will learn all about President Washington’s true model of conduct, honor, and leadership, including the actual historic document that President Washington used to transform his life from a poorly educated child of a widowed mother, to the historic, curious, highly influential and awe inspiring figure he became and remains today.

Read and Discuss The Education of George Washington

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Read an Excerpt from The Education of George Washington

 

“I Cannot Tell a Lie”— the Cherry Tree Story Is True (but Different from How You Heard It)

“What shall I say of the Nobleness of his Mind; and of that Character of Honor, Truth and Justice, which was so Natural to him . . . incapable of the Dissimulation, and other sordid Arts of Court. He could not promise what he did not intend to perform.” —H. de Luzancy, A Panegyrick to the Memory of His Grace Frederick, Late Duke of Schonberg

Parson Weems was married to the wife of a cousin of George Wash- ington’s close friend, Dr. James Craik. Parson Weems knew George Washington. Parson Weems preached at George Washington’s church. So why all the hating? The tale of George Washington and the cherry tree has been mistold for two hundred years—and thus mistakenly criticized, as people have been criticizing a story that Parson Weems never told. Still, despite all the debunking, the story of George Washington and the cherry tree is almost as iconic in America as Santa Claus and his elves. It therefore seems worthwhile to spend a little time explaining how we can say with certainty that yes, Virginia, the story of George and the cherry tree is true (but no, it’s not the story you’ve heard).

For those non-Americans out there, the story, in essence, is this: George Washington, when he was a small child, chopped down a cherry tree with a hatchet. When confronted by his father, he confessed, “I can- not tell a lie. I did it with my little hatchet.”

That’s the story. (Not much of a story, is it? But the story of the story could change your life.)

No one in America believes it any more. We’ve all been told ad nauseam that the whole story is a pious fable—a confabulation invented by Parson Weems.

What’s wrong with the story? Why can’t we trust Parson Weems?

We obviously can’t trust him because he admired George Washing- ton. No, honestly, that’s a big part of the argument. Parson Weems is a fanboy and therefore can’t be trusted. The generally accepted idea, expressed by Wikipedia, is this: “Weems also called Washington the ‘greatest man that ever lived.’ This degree of adulation, combined with the circumstance that his anecdotes cannot be independently verified, demonstrates clearly that they are confabulations and parables.”

But wait just a minute.

1. I’d always thought ad hominem attacks were a logical fallacy.

2. If something that cannot be independently verified is, ipso facto, not true, then all trees falling in all forests are always silent. That’s just silly.

3. Actually, the story can be independently verified. Beyond that, it passes the sniff test. Pretty clearly.

The Education of George Washington

Review: The Time Traveler’s Boyfriend, by Annabelle Costa

About the book, The Time Traveler’s Boyfriend

The Time Traveler's Boyfriend

Print Length: 250 pages

Publisher: Dev Love Press (February 2, 2014)

Claudia’s geeky boyfriend Adam has just invented a time machine.

No, really—he has. She doesn’t believe it either until Adam provides her with definitive proof that he does, in fact, have a functioning time travel device sitting in the living room of his Manhattan brownstone.

But instead of getting ready to accept the Nobel Prize, Adam has very different plans for his groundbreaking invention. He wants Claudia to use the machine to travel back in time and stop the accident that landed him in a wheelchair over a decade ago, and prevent the trajectory of events that he believes ruined his life.

When Claudia reluctantly agrees to become the first human time traveler, she knows she’s making a big gamble. If she succeeds, she could have the happy ending with commitment-phobic Adam that she’s always dreamed of. But if she fails, it could mean the end of the universe as she knows it.

Read the first chapter, then buy a copy of your own

First Chapter | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Add to Goodreads


About the Author, Annabelle Costa

Annabelle Costa

Annabelle Costa is a teacher who writes in her free time. She enjoys the wounded hero genre, involving male love interests with physical disabilities, who don’t follow the typical Hollywood perception of sexy.


My Thoughts

I don’t read a lot of “formula” romances (though I’ll cop to having had a serious Silhouette Desire addiction when I was a teenager – seriously, those things were like crack), but I’ve read enough of them to recognize that The Time Traveler’s Boyfriend is a slightly more contemporary version of a classic format. Despite that, however, or maybe even because of it, it’s an excellent read, full of fun and flirtatiousness, and the fact that it is from a publishing house that focuses on love stories featuring characters with disabilities gives it a lot more depth than it would otherwise have had.

While I found Claudia’s story to be a bit predictable, I still enjoyed taking her journey with her – a journey from slightly confused girlfriend who really wants a permanent commitment, to what is, eventually, a healthier, more mature version of herself. She’s likeable and relate-able, which is exactly what romance heroines should be.

Then there’s Adam. Geeky. Smart. Affectionate. Dead-sexy. And he happens to be in a wheelchair. What made this book more than ‘just’ a romance novel was how deftly the author, Annabelle Costa, handled Adam’s disability. She made it one facet of his character, but not necessarily a defining facet, and even used it to give him a super-sexy advantage that he would not have otherwise had. For a minute or two, I wanted to date Adam.

I liked the use of time-travel, something that is definitely not a typical romance trope. As I said, I found the plot twist a bit predictable, but it didn’t hurt my enjoyment of the story.

If you want a fun, fast, read with great characters and a couple of really hot love scenes, you should definitely check out The Time Traveler’s Boyfriend.

Goes well with Pad Thai and iced Thai tea.


TLC Book Tours

This review is part of a virtual tour hosted by TLC Book Tours. For more information, or the complete list of tour stops, click here.

Spotlight on Secrets and Lies by Christine Amsden

About the book, Secrets and Lies

Secrets and Lies

Cassie Scot,still stinging from her parents’ betrayal, wants out of the magical world. But it isn’t letting her go. Her family is falling apart and despite everything, it looks like she may be the only one who can save them.

To complicate matters, Cassie owes Evan her life, making it difficult for her to deny him anything he really wants. And he wants her. Sparks fly when they team up to find two girls missing from summer camp, but long-buried secrets may ruin their hopes for happiness. Book 2 in the Cassie Scot Mystery series.

Buy a copy here:

Amazon


About the author, Christine Amsden

Christine Amsden has been writing science fiction and fantasy for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams.

In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.

Connect with Christine

Website: Into the Dreaming
Facebook: Christine Amsden, Author
Twitter: @ChristineAmsden


Read an Excerpt from Secrets and Lies

I faced my former father for the first time since he had announced his intention to disown me. He looked just as he always had, with straight dark hair, brown eyes, a long, angular face, and a wide, curving mouth – curving downward into a frown, that is.

If Victor was the last person I had expected to see in the diner that morning, then my former father was the last person I wanted to see. Even now, with Victor explaining my part in his unusual scheme for revenge, I didn’t want my former father nearby. I didn’t want his help. I only hoped Nicolas and Juliana hadn’t broken their promise and told him about the life debt, or I would never hear the end of it.

The air crackled with visible tension. Sparks of shimmering red fire danced around my father’s head. Behind the counter, Mrs. Meyers twisted her hands together anxiously, as if afraid her diner might burn down. Her fears were not unjustified.

I stepped boldly between them, facing my father. “What are you doing here?“

“We need to talk,“ he said.

“I have nothing to say to you. You disowned me, remember?“

The color seemed to drain from his face as he stared past me, at his oldest enemy.

Victor raised his water glass in a mock toast. “I’ve known for some time. If it makes you feel any worse, so does everyone else in town who hasn’t been asleep for a week. Or at least, they guess.“

“I don’t care what you think you know. Stay away from my daughter.“With that, he grabbed my arm with a hand hot enough to leave a reddened imprint on my skin, and dragged me through the kitchen to the employee room at the back. Only then did he release my injured forearm.”


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Secrets and Lies

First Chapter Review: My Year as a Clown by Robert Steven Williams

About the book, My Year as a Clown by Robert Steven Williams

My Year as a Clown

Silver Medal Winner for Popular Fiction from the Independent Publisher Book Awards.

With My Year as a Clown, Williams introduces us to Chuck Morgan, a new kind of male hero—imperfect and uncertain—fumbling his way forward in the aftermath of the abrupt collapse his 20-year marriage.

Initially, Chuck worries he’ll never have a relationship again, that he could stand in the lobby of a brothel with a hundred dollar bill plastered to his forehead and still not get lucky. But as his emotionally raw, 365-day odyssey unfolds, Chuck gradually relearns to live on his own, navigating the minefield of issues faced by the suddenly single—new routines, awkward dates, and even more awkward sex.

Edited by Joy Johannessen (Alice Sebold, Michael Cunningham, Amy Bloom), My Year As a Clown will attract fans of the new breed of novelists that includes Nick Hornby, Jonathan Tropper and Tom Perrotta. Like others in that distinguished group, Robert Steven Williams delivers a painfully honest glimpses into the modern male psyche while writing about both sexes with equal ease and grace in a way that’s both hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time.

Buy a copy from Amazon.

Click through to read an excerpt via the Issuu Reader

http://issuu.com/robertstevenwilliams/docs/my_year_as_a_clown_excerpt_long?e=7017472/1188935


My Thoughts on the First Chapter:

Robert Steven Williams is a fantastic writer. That was my first thought as I zipped through, not just the first chapter of My Year as a Clown, but the first FOUR. He’s a fantastic writer and this is a fast read. I said to myself. Hey, I’m a writer, too, and an improvisational actor. When I talk to myself, it’s not crazy, really.

But back to chapter one. This book opens with Chuck racing in his un-air conditioned car to meet his wife, an archaeologist, at the airport. He’s running late, and doesn’t want her to wait, but when he gets there, she rebuffs him. Within 24 hours, nee, within, ten, their marriage is essentially over.

That should make Chuck seem pathetic, and it is, in a way, but he’s written to be very real, if a tad more self-aware than most of the men I know, and what follows is the day-by-day chronicle of his life over the next year.

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I started reading. I knew the ‘clown’ part in the title wasn’t literal, and I vaguely remember an explicit language warning when I signed up to help promote this title, but unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last ever, there’s really nothing offensive in this book. Is there cursing, well, yes, but not for the shock value. Just because…don’t faint or anything…people curse from time to time. (I’m told in the South and parts of the Midwest that word should be written as ‘cuss’ but as ‘cuss’ is obviously an elision of ‘curse’ I’m using the word my Jersey-Girl-turned-California-Girl-turned-Texas-resident is most comfortable with.)

But back to my review. I was instantly engaged with Chuck’s story because author Williams writes in a very accessible, almost breezy (except that’s a bit girly for this material) style. We see everything from Chuck’s eyes, from his interaction with the cats and the neighbors, to his reaction when a rabbi refers to a singer as being “hot” and then reminds him that “we’re not Catholic.”

This isn’t really a ha-ha comedy, but the voice Williams uses in this book is decidedly wry, and I found myself clicking on the ‘purchase’ button to buy the whole copy. (Hey, they Kindle version is only $0.99 at Amazon, at least today.)

Goes well with: Cold beer and pepperoni pizza.


Connect with author Robert Steven Williams

Goodreads: Robert Steven Williams
Twitter: @RSWwriter
Facebook: Robert Steven Williams


This spotlight is part of a blog tour. You can see the entire tour page at the Pump Up Your Book tour page.

Spotlight on Knight of Flame by Scott Eder

About the book, Knight of Flame

Knight of Flame

Fire. The most chaotic of the primal elements. When wielded properly by the Knight of Flame, it burns like the sun. Otherwise, it slowly consumes the Knight, burning away his control, driving him towards dark deeds.

Stationed in Tampa, FL, Develore Quinteele, sixth Knight of Flame, waits impatiently for the predicted emergence of the last Gray Lord, his Order’s ancient enemy. Hampered by a centuries-old tragedy, Dev knows of only one way to control his elemental power—rage. It broils just below his surface, waiting for the slightest provocation to set it alight.
Anticipating Dev’s transition from asset to liability, his commander assigns a young guardian, Wren, to report on Dev’s actions. Torn between duty and love, Wren struggles to save her Knight; but, after a brutal attack by the Gray Lord’s minions for which Dev is wrongly blamed, he’s stripped of his freedom until he regains control.

With the help of his fellow Knights, can Dev regain his balance and unlock his full elemental potential in time to prevent the destruction of all life in Tampa?

Buy a copy at Amazon.com


About the Author, Scott Eder

Scott Eder

Since he was a kid, Scott wanted to be an author and explored many genres through high school and college. Fantasy, though, captivated his soul. Tales of Knights and magic, dragons and elves filled his dreams. After greasing the gears of the corporate machine for many years, he escaped the Information Technology vortex to focus full-time on writing. The stories he’d envisioned years ago—of nobility and strife, honor and chaos—demanded they be brought to life.

Scott lives with his wife, two children, and a giant Chihuahua on the west coast of Florida.

Connect with Scott

Website: ScottEder.net
Facebook: Scott Eder
Twitter: @ScottEder


Read an excerpt from Knight of Flame

Chapter One

Knights don’t dance, thought Develor Quinteele.  Knuckles white, he wrung the leather-wrapped steering wheel and swallowed hard.  The muted roar of the rented Jag’s high-performance engine and smooth-as-silk ride did nothing to dispel his apprehension.  Wren could have picked anything, but she chose dancing.  He jammed a finger under the rigid collar of his first modern suit and yanked it away from his skin.

Great. Just great.

Dev stretched to adjust the rear-view mirror and ripped the seam of his jacket.  Armani stretch wool, my ass.  A growl rumbled in his chest and he glared at Wren, but she seemed oblivious to his distress.

“How much farther?”  Wren’s excitement tumbled out with each word.  The sun’s last rays reflected off the silver sequins of her micro-dress, sparkling across the car’s dark chocolate interior.  She shifted position, adjusted her dress, and crossed her legs.  Despite her fidgeting, her head remained still, focused on the distant horizon, straining to get her first look at Club Mastodon.

Dev smiled through his growing unease.  Though somewhere in her early twenties, Wren reminded him of a small child driving up to the gates of Disney World for the first time.  Her usually tense and critical Asian features, soft, eager and innocent.  Seeing her excitement helped steady his nerves…a little.

“Just a few more minutes.  You know I’m missing a ‘Three Stooges’ marathon for this, don’t you?”  Dev checked his mirrors, vision in constant motion, and raked the hair out of his eyes.  The thin, wavy strands felt foreign to his calloused fingers.  He couldn’t remember the last time he had more than a dark prickly shadow on top of his head, let alone mussed brown locks.

With a careless wave of his hand, he grazed the new bruise over his left eye.  Damn, forgot about that.  He prodded the tender skin, trying to gauge the size of the purpling evidence.  So far, he’d managed to keep his fights at work from Wren.  If she found out, he’d never hear the end of it.  The last time she went on and on about him being reckless and not following Stillman’s order to keep a low profile.  Whatever.  He brushed his hair forward, trying to cover the injured area, and hoped for the best.

“This place won’t be crowded, will it?”  Dev asked.  “You know crowds and I don’t mix.”

“Mmhm.”  Wren’s arm shot out, pointed ahead and to the right.  “There it is.”  The rest of her words blurred together, “I can’t believe you got us on the list.  I mean, like, I’ve never been to a place like this.”  She turned her sparkling green eyes on Dev.  “Do you think a lot of movie stars will be here?”

“Breathe, Wren.”  Dev took the exit off I-275 south, just in sight of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, and stopped at the traffic light across from the club.  When Club Mastodon first opened he’d read about the local business leaders raising an uproar over how quickly the permits, zoning   and associated building minutia were pushed through.  But, when the club was bank-rolled by Alexander Gray, one of the head honchos at Daegon Gray, the normal red-tape covered bullshit disappeared.

Spotlight on Buried Threads by Kaylin McFarren – Read the First Chapter & Enter a Giveaway Raffle

About the book, Buried Threads

Buried Threads 2

Rachel’s mouth sagged. “You mean you’re really a monk? But how’s that possible? You’re not even wearing a robe, and your hair…”

He simply smiled.

A disturbing prophecy sends a treasure hunting duo on an urgent race to rescue a country in Kaylin McFarren’s heart pounding new novel, Buried Threads. Full of erotic suspense and wild adventures, this is one trip that readers will never forget!

Rachel Lyons and Chase Cohen work together as the successful owners of a treasure hunting company. But a seemingly simply assignment – to track down a priceless gem that is believed to buried in a shipwreck deep within the Sea of Japan – takes a starling, and dangerous, turn.

Faced with a monk’s dark prophecy that a natural disaster will soon strike Japan, killing millions, Rachel and Chase must embark on the mission of a lifetime in order to uncover the three cursed samurai swords that can avert the catastrophe.

Chaos ensues as their adventure takes them from shark infested waters and creepy caves to haunted hidden tombs and a confrontation with Yakuza gang members.

Time is running out as the prophecy’s day of reckoning draws near. Will Rachel and Chase succeed before disaster strikes?

Buy a copy from Amazon.


About the author, Kayin McFarren

Kaylin McFarren

Kaylin McFarren is a California native who has enjoyed traveling around the world. She previously worked as director for a fine art gallery, where she helped foster the careers of various artists before feeling the urge to satisfy her won creative impulses.

Since launching her writing career, McFarren has earned more than a dozen literary awards in addition to a finalist spot in the 2008 RWA Golden Heart Contest. A member of RWA, Rose City Romance Writers, and Willamette Writers, she also lends her participation and support to various charitable and educational organizations in the Pacific Northwest.

McFarren currently lives with her husband in Oregon. They have three children and two grandchildren.

Connect with Kaylin:

Website: KaylinMcFarren.com
Facebook: Kaylin.McFarren
Twitter: @4Kaylin
Goodreads: Kaylin_McFarren


Read the First Chapter of Buried Threads

The mystery begins…

Kenji Otadidn’t fit the description of a bloodthirsty killer. Upon meeting him, it would be difficult to believe he’d gotten away with murdering at least twenty-five men. He was intelligent, intuitive and physically attractive. His black hair was kept short and neat, and from the professional manner in which he dressed and carried himself, he could have been mistaken fora television announcer or successful business executive. He socialized in mixed circles – with stockbrokers, politicians and street-smart hoodlums alike – and his charming, larger-than-life personality drew the attention of women everywhere. However, after meeting Mariko Abe, his taste in the fairer sex had been spoiled forever. No one in his mind would ever compare to Kyoto’s most beautiful geishaorbe foolish enough to keep her away from him.

Click to read the rest of Chapter One & Enter a Giveaway!