Thursday, August 31, 2017

Blog Tour + #Giveaway: Dating the It Guy by Krysten Lindsay Hager @KrystenLindsay @XpressoTours

Book Tour + #Giveaway: The Chronicles of Midway by Kevin Fleming @SDSXXTours

Book Tour + #Giveaway: The Cloven Pack Series by D. Fischer @DFischerAuthor @SDSXXTours

Virtual Book Tour: A Million Thoughts by Om Swami @RABTBookTours

Non Fiction - Alternative Medicine -> Meditation
Date Published: November 16, 2016
 Publisher: Black Lotus

Each one of us is a master of infinite possibilities at a universal scale. Through meditation we experience our own magnificence, our true potential

Drawing on his experience of thousands of hours of earnest and strenuous meditation, renowned sage Om Swami pens a guide to help channelize unruly, futile thoughts and turn them into productive energy. 

A Million Thoughts shows how to meditate correctly, how to practice various styles of meditation and how to become proficient in the many yogic practices that will lead to the final stage of samadhi -- the ultimate spiritual self-fulfilment. 

Brimming with firsthand experiences and references from ancient and classical texts, this brilliant book is most suited for the modern reader who wishes to master the art of meditation.

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Like a moth rushes into the fire without caring about the outcome, each one of us is attracted towards light. This attraction is innate. It propels us to constantly act towards a greater sense of fulfillment. Regardless of how you want it and whether you like it or not, the truth is you can’t run away from the two most fundamental elements of human life. The pursuit of happiness and the quest for freedom. From a sinner to a saint, a beggar to a billionaire – each one of us is working towards acquisition of happiness and freedom. And why not, for to be happy and free is immensely empowering.
Everything we do and most things we think are ultimately geared towards feeling happier and freer.
Every act of ours is aimed at avoidance of suffering. And yet, the harder we work towards our fulfillment, the more shackled we feel. The Vedic view and my personal observation is that our suffering results from a lack of harmony in our being. When what we want from life or others is not aligned with our actions, speech and thoughts – we feel exceedingly restless and dissatisfied. To this effect, I’m reminded of a beautiful tantric legend I heard from an adept during one of my travels. It was a good story that has remained with me and I am paraphrasing it here in my own words.
Legend has it that there was a time when Shiva – the first meditator – roamed the earth with his consort, Devi. Just as a beautiful moon softly dispels the darkness of the night, the fair- coloured Shiva walked through the streets leaving footprints of his divinity behind. The great yogi took in the decadence and the poverty that gripped the village.
They stopped by the home of a poor farmer. His body was aching from the day’s hard work. The crophad practically no yield in the last two seasons and he was mad at his wife for not serving him any meal. She was arguing that there was nothing to cook in the kitchen and they were fighting like they hated each other. The man went ahead and hit his wife.
The Devi shook in pain and disbelief. She was about to manifest and slay the man, but Shiva stopped her.
“Things are not what they seem, Uma,” he said. “Nature must run its own course.”
Just then the woman in a fit of rage took the sickle that she used everyday to cut the grass and hacked her husband’s hand. Unable to bear the pain, he howled and fell down unconscious.
“This man had usurped his brother ’s land,” Shiva explained, “his own karma is coming back to him.
And the lady, she had also earned today by selling hay. But, out of attachment, she gave it to her good-for- nothing son who’s currently sleeping with a prostitute.”
Devi knew that nothing was hidden from Shiva. She said nothing and simply followed him.
A few blocks down, they saw a bookkeeper tossing and turning in his bed. Suffering from severe insomnia, he was unable to fall asleep. Angered and helpless, he got up and downed half a bottle of alcohol so he could sleep. There was a depressing energy in his home. There was his wife, there were kids, they had resources, and yet the basic fabric of happiness – a sense of belonging – was missing altogether.
“Surely, this man doesn’t deserve sleepless nights,” Devi said, “he donates to the temple every month and he calls out to you every morning.”
“Things are not what they seem,” Shiva said benevolently.” He falsifies the financial records for his clients so they evade taxes. In turn, they pay him more.”
At Devi’s insistence, they visited numerous homes, even the palace of the king. Some were lonely, others were sad, some were quarrelling and some others plotting. Very few slept in peace, even fewer were awake in peace. Everyone was suffering in some way. Distraught at the sad human condition, Devi asked, “Why is man so unhappy, Lord? Is it because they always want more than they have?”
“Evolution is the dharma of Nature,” Shiva said, getting into his meditative posture. “The desire to grow is ingrained in all living entities – from an ant to elephant, from a tiny seed to the giant banyan.”
“What good is this desire if they spend majority of their lives unhappily?”
“The desire in itself is not the problem. Man suffers because he’s too scattered.”
Devi sat quietly as she didn’t quite understand what Shiva meant by the word ‘scattered’.
“His consciousness is directed elsewhere and prana, life force, is directed elsewhere. His thoughts are going in a direction opposite to his actions. His mind wants one thing while his heart is striving for something completely different. His energy is invested in endeavors conflicting with his emotions.
The reason man is unhappy is because his thoughts, speech and actions are not in harmony,” Shiva continued, “Anything that is not in harmony in the play of nature is either eliminated completely or forced to align. Suffering is alignment.”
“Forgive me for pressing on, Nath,” Devi said, “but I feel it’s pivotal for human welfare. Are you saying that the one, whose thoughts, speech and actions are in harmony, does not suffer?”
“To such a person, suffering will have no more impact than a cloth of silk rubbing against an elephant.” “Then how to harmonize?”
“Meditation, compassion and dispassion lead to liberation, O Devi!” Shiva looked at her lovingly out of his soft, still and compassionate eyes. “Nothing is impossible for the one who treads the path of meditation.”
Meditation as passed down from the first meditator, Shiva, to an unbroken lineage of siddhas over countless years is what I share with you here. In the yogic tradition, Shiva is not a myth but the first guru.
The path of meditation I talk about is not just a feel-good five-minute exercise. It is a systematic approach to wipe off the tendencies that you’ve been carrying along with you over countless lifetimes. We get angry when we don’t want to, we go astray even with all the right intentions. We cheat, we lie, we deceive, we put on a mask of falsity. We step out wearing a smile trying to impress others, aware but ignorant that they too are sailing in the same boat as us. Nevertheless, we say things we would rather not, we do things we’d better not. Why? Our tendencies fuel, if not create, our habits, desires and temperament. Someone with the tendency to dominate has the urge to gain more power. A person leaning towards the tendency of seeking attention feels the desire to have more fame. Someone with the natural tendency of possessiveness feels more jealous. A man born with the tendency to lack feels more envious than others.
Our proclivities, impressions of consciousness, or call them tendencies, are at the root of our desires. They propel us to take action. The results of our actions determine the fulfillment or non-fulfillment of our desires which further drive our emotions. And our emotional state makes us feel the way we do about ourselves, others and the world around us.
One day we feel powerful and the next we feel crippled. One moment we feel over the moon and the next moment we are grief-stricken. It happens even if there’s absolutely no change in our circumstances. With the same life, same partner, same job and what have you, on some days you feel happy and fulfilled while on another day, under the same set of circumstances, you feel utterly useless, maybe even suicidal. The see-saw of emotions sucks life out of the best of us, leaving us at the mercy of our thoughts and reactions. Confined to the four walls of the mind, the immense potential that each one of us has withers away with time. Very few are able to harness the power of the mind, unleash its secrets and lead a life of fulfillment and achievement. We the creatures of vast oceans resign to our fate in the well.
Meditation is about hopping out of the puddle of our negativity and jumping into the lake of bliss. True meditation is not just about stilling the mind. Even a good edge-of-the-seat thriller can still your mind for a couple of hours. Instead, meditation is straightening out the knots in the consciousness, it is about calming the tides of emotions and afflictions in the ocean of life. When you mend the fluctuations of your consciousness, you become a river that’s merging in the sea. Individual consciousness then flows seamlessly into the supreme consciousness, a tiny drop is on its way to become the vast ocean. I look upon meditation as the medium to rise above our limited existence and reach out to the infinity of our potential,to shape an ordinary existence into an extraordinary one.
By consciousness, I don’t mean some mystical or mythical concept. In very tangible words, consciousness is the flow of life. You experience its existence daily in the change in your thoughts, in your moods when on the outside nothing seem to have changed at all. This culmination of consciousness, or your tendencies, are not just from this lifetime alone.
If you don’t believe in rebirth then this book will be of little use to you. As I said earlier, meditation to me is the most powerful tool to harness and channelize the restive and other tendencies of the mind we’ve been carrying with us over lifetimes.
Sometimes we act like wolves, at times like a lion, meek as a cow sometimes, soft as a deer, restless as a monkey or lazy as a lizard. We’ve been all that at some stage.
Yogic scriptures state that we simultaneously live in three types of space. They call it bhuta-akasha, physical space, citta- akasha, mental space, cidda-akasha, the space of consciousness.
The state of our mind, our mental space, determines how we perceive the physical space around us. If you are happy even average food tastes sumptuous and if you are grumpy even the best food feels tasteless. We are willing to make a lot of compromises when we are happy. But what causes our happiness? What makes us feel light and full of life, and what makes us feel nothing is right even when there’s no change in our circumstances? The answer is our state of consciousness.
Fluctuations in consciousness bring about an immediate change in our emotions and thoughts. Unless we experience freedom at all three levels, our happiness will always be temporary and incomplete. Such transient state of happiness will repeatedly throw us back into the throes of suffering.
Meditation is your way to silence the fluctuations in consciousness. To really feel, and put to use, your immense potential, you have to go beyond the incessant chattering of the mind. You have to clean the slate before you can inscribe your sacred existence on it. Meditation is the path – a systematic, methodical, scientific and artful path – to reach that bliss and potential. You have milestones to guide you along the way and a set of practices to help you produce the right conditions for effective and definitive results.
Each one of us is a master of infinite possibilities at a universal scale. Meditation is to experience your own magnificence, it is to live your potential. It is a state where joy and peace flows from every action you perform, every word you utter, every thought you contemplate. There are no shortcuts. The only way to taste the fruits of meditation is to do it right, to do it properly.
The ultimate bliss and beauty you experience upon reaching the final stage of meditation has been given various names including the awakening of the kundalini, samadhi, nirvikalapa- samadhi, even nirvana, and so on. I’m not interested in these labels, I never was. My sole focus is to shed light on the path of meditation as I walked it; complete with its trials and tribulations, rewards and outcomes. Must you go to the Himalayas to realize your potential? I would hold off answering this in a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for now. Walk with me and you’ll know the answer by the time you finish absorbing my words written herein.
There is the ordinary path and the extraordinary path. I will lay out both for you. Based on your own preferences, goal and ambition, you pick the one you like. Regardless of the nature, regime and system of your meditation, I can tell you one thing – meditation is the most scientific endeavor you can undertake to take yourself to a level unimaginable for the ordinary mind, to elevate your consciousness to the universal level, to experience how you are not the body but way beyond. The keyword here is ‘experience’.
Without further ado, let’s begin our journey of meditation by understanding the nature of mind. For, we ought to know the proverbial nature of the beast before we can devise the ways of taming it.

About the Author

Om Swami is a monk who lives in a remote place in the Himalayan foothills. He has a bachelor degree in business and an MBA from Sydney, Australia. Swami served in executive roles in large corporations around the world. He founded and led a profitable software company with offices in San Francisco, New York, Toronto, London, Sydney and India.

Om Swami completely renounced his business interests to pursue a more spiritual life. He is the bestselling author of Kundalini: An Untold Story, A Fistful of Love and If Truth Be Told: A Monk’s Memoir.

His blog is read by millions all over the world.

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Deadly Gambit, book 2
by K.H. Bixby

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PROMO Blitz: Flower Predictions by Lilliana Rose @LillianaRose2 @RABTBookTours

Date Published: August 2017

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Thinking Triena would be safer without him, Braklen leaves her. Now a wanted criminal, Braklen puts as much distance between him, Triena and the Queens by taking up a job on a smuggling ship. He throws himself into his work to forget about the guilt building inside of him for leaving Triena as well as the love he has for her.

Triena is alone, her rabbit stolen from her, and the Energy is behaving in unexpected ways making it difficult for her to predict the future. Her love for Braklen is strong and she sets out to find him, while trying to keep away from the Queens. With no other option she takes passage with Captain Ri who forces her to use the Energy for his own benefits.

Will she be able to find her beloved rabbit, and Braklen, before the Queens find and destroy her?

Other Books in the Flower Readings Series:

Flower Readings, Book One
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Published May 2017

Triena lives on an outback moon earning a living by offering flower readings for customers. Cast out from the Queens, the Energy Readers, Triena wants to return, but the only way to do that is to kill Braklen and use his energy to look into the future.

Braklen, a Peacekeeper with the Queens, arrives at the Triena’s Tea House. He doesn’t realize the danger he is in when he sits down for a flower reading.

Triena sees her chance to kill Braklen by using the potency in flower buds. The Energy guides her hand, and instead, the suppressed feelings toward Braklen surface.

Can she kill the man she loves?


Braklen looked down into the bowl full of gray something that was meant to be food.
“I wouldn’t eat that, man,” said a fellow evening-shift worker sitting opposite Braklen.
Despite the warning, Braklen dunked a spoon into the thick broth. “Can’t be too bad.” He spooned the greasy liquid with gray floating bits into his mouth. He choked.
The other man laughed, slapping his hand down on the metal table. “You’ll get used to it.”
Braklen coughed as the last of the liquid went down. “Tastes like jet fuel.”
“Wouldn’t put it past the cook to put some in. He probably thinks that it’d give us a boost to work harder.”
“How can you eat it?” Braklen’s spoon was poised above the liquid, but he couldn’t bring himself to take another mouthful. This was a long-haul flight and the bowl of slop was the only thing to eat. He’d just finished a twelve-hour shift in the engine room trying to repair the electronics in the backup system that were so worn out and old, it should’ve been thrown out instead. It was the first ship that accepted his qualifications as a mechanical engineer. He’d boarded, wanting to get as far away as possible from Triena.
His heart lurched, skipping beats, then contracting, causing pain to spread out across his chest. He knew he shouldn’t have boarded, or left her unconscious on the ground. But, since the chip had been deactivated, there was no point hanging around. She didn’t really want me there, not really.
The guy shrugged his shoulders, scrapping the last of the broth onto the spoon and delivered it into his mouth. “I’m already pretty thin. I’ll fade away if I don’t eat.”
Braklen laughed. “Hasn’t anyone complained?”
His men put up with a lot when he was in charge but he would’ve had an uprising if they’d ever had this food from the galley. Emptiness clawed at his gut at the reminder he didn’t command a unit of Peacekeepers anymore. Worse, he was now a wanted man.
He’d contemplated taking Triena with him, turning her in to the authorities and begging to be reinstated. But, much as he wanted his life back, that wasn’t an option. It was clear he’d been set up, a pawn for them to use to get to her. She’ll be better off without me. Safer without me.

About the Author

Lilliana Rose enjoys creating worlds for her characters to play in and fall in love. Check out more of her work,

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Blog Tour: A Sibling's Dilemma by Molly Lovell @MollyVLovell @FullMoonBites

Book Tour + #Giveaway: Helena Hawthorn Series by May Freighter @MayFreighter @SDSXXTours

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by Kay Maree

PROMO Blitz: Battle Born: Defiant by Cyndi Friberg @Cyndi_Friberg @RABTBookTours

Date Published: August 2017

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Rivals, enemies, lovers, Jenna and Drex are soon all three. She wants him, nearly as much as she resents him, so how can they ever hope to build a future together? Jenna has good reason to despise all Rodytes, but that doesn't keep her from longing for Drex, thinking of him night and day, and finding incredible pleasure every time they touch. Still, happily ever after is built on trust, and Jenna will never trust a Rodyte.
Drex is determined to prove to Jenna that he is different. He never expected to find a mate, so he refuses to let her slip away. He will court her with ruthless patience, wear down her emotional defenses until she understands that she is the most important person in the universe to him. But hostilities between humans and the battle born are rapidly escalating and the couple keeps getting caught in the middle. Can they overcome their pasts and focus on the future or will the conflict consume their love?


Her easy dismissal of something so vital, unleashed his predatory instincts. She only shrugged away his interest because the pull hadn’t yet engaged in her. Once his taste spread through her mouth, her body would ache with need and her blood would sizzle through her veins, “pulling” her toward him. In ages past, any Rodyte male would have tossed her over his shoulder and escaped to some private location where they could fight this out in bed.
“This is about so much more than children.” Stalking toward her with obvious intent, he spoke in a low, almost menacing tone. “Once a Rodyte male has found his mate, she becomes the most important person in the universe. Protecting her, providing for her, and pleasuring her are all he can think about. Why should I ignore what every cell in my body is demanding?”
She backed up, fear flickering through her gaze. “If you touch me, I’ll scream.”
“You have nothing to fear from me.” But he kept right on coming, only stopping when her back pressed against the wall. He placed his hands on either side of her head, caging her with his big body. “Breathe in my scent, let it wash over and sink into you.”
“This is pointless.” She sounded a bit more assertive now, but her lips trembled. “I don’t feel what you’re feeling.”
“Not yet,” he whispered as he lowered his head. She jerked her face aside, so he kissed her cheek and jawline. “Kiss me, Jenna. See if my taste excites you.”
“No,” she said firmly. “I don’t want to be excited by anyone right now. I—”
He turned her head and cut off her words with his mouth. Her lips pressed together, unmoving and unresponsive. His instincts demanded that he open her mouth and stake his claim with the thrust of his tongue, but she’d likely bite him if he forced this on her. Besides, he wanted her wild and willing, not resentful and resigned.
“What are you so afraid of?” he whispered the words against her stubbornly closed mouth. “Nothing is more natural, more fulfilling, than touching and being touched by your mate.”
Her hands came up and shoved against his chest. “Back off. Now!”
“Kiss me once, and I’ll let you go.” He brushed his lips over hers, coaxing, teasing.
“No means no, asshole.” She brought her knee up hard, barely missing his crotch as he quickly turned away.
With an exasperated sigh, he pushed off the wall and motioned toward the door through which they’d escaped. “Enjoy the party.”

About the Author

Anything-but-Ordinary is Cyndi's creed and her writing reflects her dedication to the concept. She writes in a variety of genres, but she seems happiest in outer space. Her books frequently appear on Best-Seller lists, and TAKEN BY STORM was named Best Fantasy/Science Fiction Romance of the year by Romance Reviews Today.

She lives in Colorado with her high school sweetheart turned husband of many years. With a pampered cat curled on the corner of her desk, she dreams of fascinating worlds and larger than life adventures -- and wouldn't have it any other way!

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Pre-Order Week Blitz + #Giveaway: Just Off The Path by Weston Sullivan @sullivan_weston @RABTBookTours

Date Published: September 5, 2017

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Hansel never asked to be a hero. He never wanted to fall in love with Rapunzel, Queen of the East. He didn’t ask to be raised by Gothel the Wretch, and he certainly never wanted to be credited for her arrest. But more than any of that, Hansel never wanted to lie: but he did. He lied about everything. He thought that he was done with it all when he and his sister Gretel retreated into the woods to reclaim their land, but he should have known better.

Years later, Rapunzel’s guards knock at his door, and they say the words he hoped that he would never hear: Gothel has escaped. As he and Gretel take refuge inside Rapunzel’s castle in the eastern capitol of Hildebrand, Hansel is thrust back into everything he never wanted in the first place: his lies, his legend, and his lust. In the wake of it all, he knows that Gothel has escaped to finish what she started. She is out to make sure that the Sleeping Beauty never wakes, and that Grimm suffocates under her blanket of thorn and vine. In order to find Gothel and save the kingdom, Hansel and Gretel must look for fact in a land of fairy-tale by following a trail of grisly murders, a girl in a red cape, and a powerful little man who can’t stand the sound of his own name.

As they search for answers, Hansel finds that he isn’t the only liar in Grimm, and that there may be a traitor among them of royal proportion.

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The winter storm began with a scream that split the trees. It echoed throughout the woods and birds fled into the sky, disappearing like smoke behind gray clouds. Hansel looked off in the direction of the disturbance—but it was silent again. There was something menacing about the renewed absence of life that hung over him. He strung his bow, keeping it close to his side, and surveyed the area around him. He was met only with the familiar stillness of the trees and dead foliage beneath.
“We should go,” he said, trying to disguise the urgency in his voice.
His sister, Gretel, hesitated. “Someone screamed.”
“I know,” he said. “That’s why we need to go.”
Gretel scanned the tree line and ran her fingers through her hair. Grabbing her hand, Hansel pulled her in the direction they’d come from. The woods were dangerous, especially on the cusp of winter. They were close to the Southern Thickets—the part of the forest overrun with briar and weed, where all of Grimm’s most dangerous creatures lived—and Hansel knew that if someone was screaming, they had a good reason.
They made their way back to The Path in silence. Hansel was wary of crunching leaves under his boot, afraid to wake the forest. Seconds after they turned around, he felt something whiz past him on both sides of his head. He hoped they were fireflies, bustling about the tops of trees, cutting through the coldness that crept over them. He followed the sparkling speckles with his eyes. They moved with purpose, cracking branches and creasing clouds, spinning wildly. Hansel was probably the only person in Grimm who was ever disappointed to see a flock of fairies, but fireflies meant it was summer, and he longed to see summer again.
Before they blinked out of sight, they spoke to him. Tens of wistful, unison whispers in his ears said: Help…the girl needs help. Hansel looked at Gretel, wondering if she heard them, too. He didn’t have to ask. She bounded back in the opposite direction and drew the skinning knife she kept sheathed at her waist. Hansel cursed, taking off after her. No sooner than he’d kicked off the ground, another mortifying scream shook the woods. He followed close behind Gretel, dodging trees and leaping over the underbrush. There was a third scream, and then a fourth; louder and closer than any before.
He didn’t know what to do. As they ran, the woods shrank around them until the sun no longer broke through the gaps between the trees. Hansel knew they were going to die. No one made it deep into the thickets and lived. It was home to godless monsters; giants, goblins—the creatures of the dark who scarcely bothered with humans, until they were crossed. Hansel struggled to keep up with his sister. Where he was cautious, she was fearless, and where she was cautious, he was safest. He looked up and was surprised to see hundreds of fairies lighting their path. Each second, more poured in from the sky until there was an army over them.
Gretel stopped abruptly, causing Hansel to trip and roll a few steps downhill. He didn’t think long enough to register pain. As he found his footing, Gretel climbed down the incline and stood beside him. His first instinct was to go back the way they’d come, but he was awestruck. They stood on the threshold of life and death, where the woods became the Southern Thickets. It was like a scar across the ground, stretching from one end of the world to the next, a final warning to those brave enough to pass into the curse. Even the fairies were still, their glow dimmed by the wicked magic ahead.
Hansel was relieved to see that there were no longer trees; they’d been replaced by a wall of bramble, too large and thick to allow passage. They were surrounded by the purplish-blue tint of twilight, thorns as sharp as daggers to their throats in front of them and crooked, mossy trees behind them. Once, when Hansel lived in the city, he’d visited his parents’ corpses in the graveyard. They were buried in a public sepulcher maintained by the city to ensure that if a family was unwilling or unable to buy a plot for their deceased, their corpses wouldn’t be left to rot and attract the attention of wildlife. Standing just before the thickets reminded Hansel of that day—the day when he stood at the maw of death and was so close he could feel himself slipping away.
Gretel looked behind them. Hansel hoped she’d given up, and maybe she had. He almost smiled. But one final, thankless cry echoed past the briar, stirring the fairies. Gretel squinted, determined. That scream, Hansel knew, was the epitaph on their gravestones. The fairies swarmed them, and he was swallowed in a rainbow of color, cascading like a waterfall upon him. He couldn’t see anything but the swirling light of the fairy flock, spinning faster and faster around him, tugging at his shirt and creating a whirlwind. He felt weightless. His stomach churned and he felt dizzy. When the fairies cleared, he could see why—he was high in the air, flying over the Southern Thickets.
For a moment, he forgot about the screams and that he was headed into danger. He was soaring. Gretel was flying just below him, her arms spread wide, her hair flailing. Seeing Grimm from the air was both breathtaking and appalling. He expected to see the land as it once was, alive and vibrant. Instead, it was a sickly beige with winter and the end of the curse. The world around them was devoid of life. Most of the animals had fled years earlier, knowing the world was about to change, and those that remained were tucked safely away somewhere beneath them.
The thickets looked exactly as he’d always imagined. From above, he saw nothing but briar and bramble etched across the uneven terrain. They gained speed, and the cold air blasted his cheeks. He was grateful to have the cold in that moment to waken his senses and remind him that he was still alive, that he and Gretel were in danger. He sucked in a breath as they flew farther away from home, and against the still-setting sun that formed the silhouette of a castle, jagged and broken. The Sleeping Castle—he knew it from legend—the home where the rightful royalty of Grimm still rested, dead to the world but not in definition, suffering eternally at the hands of a vengeful witch. All he could make out was one tower, freed from the clutches of the thorn like the arm of an old beggar, trying to hoist himself out of the darkness. The top of the tower stuck at a point against the sunlight like a bony finger fighting for liberation.
It felt like they were flying only moments before he felt himself descending. Hansel looked below. There was a tiny clearing in the briar—a hole in the patchwork—and inside that hole he saw a spot of red. His eyes widened when he realized what was happening; it was a little girl, and she was running for her life. Sooner than he anticipated, the fairies dropped him and he fell into the clearing. They placed Gretel gracefully on the ground next to him and charged back up into the sky in one harmonious motion, disappearing into the briar. The girl stared at them in wonder, Hansel standing close to Gretel. It was suddenly dark, and Hansel knew it was because they were in a place so sinister that even the sunlight refused to pass through. The girl Hansel had seen from the sky was covered in bloody scratches, as if she’d been running through the thorns. Her face was dirty and streaked in muddy tears. She tried to speak to them, but she was silenced by the rustling of the vines behind her.
She yelped, running to them for help. Gretel took her in her arms and cupped her hand over her mouth, quieting her. Hansel trembled, pulling the bowstring back so far he worried it would snap. The figure of a large man appeared on the other side of the curtain of briar, causing the girl to cry harder. He made his best attempt to look imposing, but he was frightened. The man stepped into the clearing, dressed all in black, his hood casting a shadow over his face so that all Hansel could see was a pair of dull, white eyes. At first, Hansel thought the red-orange coating on the figure’s machete was rust, but as the man moved closer, he recognized it as the color of dried blood.
“Who are you?” Hansel asked.
It was like standing in front of death itself—silent, ominous, and terrifying.
Hansel stood rigid, his arrow pointed at the man’s chest. He hated the idea of killing someone, but he knew that his bow would take action before his head did if it was given the opportunity. The man’s chest rose, fell, but didn’t rise again. That was when Hansel knew it was time to let go of the string. It was too late. The hooded figure leaped out of the way just before the arrow left the bow, and as Hansel went to re-string it, he disappeared back into the thickets. Hansel stretched his bow into a V and focused his aim, in case the man returned.
Gretel helped the girl to her feet. “Are you all right?”
She wore a bright cloak that canvassed her body like a suit of armor, bright yet all-concealing. Hansel didn’t know what to make of her. She embodied adolescence, but exuded effortless maturity as if at war with herself. Wine and wildflowers protruded from her basket, peeking surreptitiously back at him. She was a walking contradiction, and that made him anxious.
“I think so,” the girl replied, using her cloak, which was made of some sort of fabric that Hansel couldn’t name but knew was expensive, to wipe her face. “Thank you for saving me.”
“Who was that man?” Hansel asked.
The girl hesitated. She stepped beside Hansel and followed his gaze out into the thickets.
“He was no man,” she said. “He was a wolf.”
“A wolf?” Hansel asked.
She nodded. “He walks like a man, but he’s a wolf, I swear to it. He tackled me back there and started sniffing me and snarling like a beast. His breath smells like dung and whiskey. It frightened me, so I ran off.”
Hansel and Gretel exchanged looks. Gretel furrowed her brows, dumbstruck.
“But why did he come after you?” Gretel asked.
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t know?” Hansel asked. “How do you not know? Do you find you’re often being chased by hooded man-wolves, or is today a special day?”
The girl seemed put off by the question. “Do you normally fly with the fairies?”
“Of course not,” Hansel said.
“So today must be special for all of us,” she said, slyly.
Gretel broke the tension. “What’s your name?”
“My name’s Ceara,” the girl replied with a smile that soured Hansel’s mood. She spoke to no one in particular. “But some people call me Little Red Cap because of my cape. It’s made of the finest silk in the East.” She offered the tail of her cape to them.
Gretel reached her hand out and felt the fabric, rubbing it between her fingers. “It’s lovely,” she mumbled.
“My gran made it for me when I was younger. I was always running about in the woods and she worried I would get lost. That’s why the cape is red…I’m easier to spot that way.”
Hansel dropped the bow to his side. It just so happened that he and Gretel knew quite a bit about being lost in the woods.
“Do you know how to get back to The Path from here?” he asked Ceara.
The Path was the clearest, safest route through the woods. It was a trail worn in the grass by the boots of travelers and kings alike; a clear, oppressive force that divided Grimm into four regions. The Path was the safest, most direct route to any place in the entire kingdom.
Ceara’s smile faded. She wiped the tears from her face, using her cloak to remove the dirt from her cheeks. “Of course I do,” she said, gesturing toward the vines. “It’s just a few steps this way.”
“You mean through the thorns?” Hansel asked.
She rolled her eyes. “Unless you plan on asking the fairies for another lift, there’s really no other way.”
“I thought it was impossible to pass through the thickets.” As he spoke, he stared at the thorns. He imagined slicing his leg open, or accidentally impaling himself. He squirmed.
Ceara giggled at him. “Just because the whole kingdom says it’s impossible, doesn’t mean it is.”
Gretel laughed at him as well, shrugging as she passed him. Ceara parted the vines carefully and let Gretel pass through. After Gretel disappeared into the thickets, Ceara held the vines apart for him. “Go on.”
Right then, Hansel knew he wasn’t going to like Ceara.

About the Author

Weston Sullivan lives and writes in Tampa, Florida. He spends his days splitting time between writing, a full time job, and studying for his degree in Creative Writing from the University of South Florida. He enjoys everything related to storytelling, including film and theater. He likes to read all genres, from contemporary fiction to classic favorites such as Faulkner and Woolf. After he finishes his undergraduate coursework and continues to build his career as an author, he plans to attend graduate school in New York City.

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Pre-order Tour: TEMPTED BY MR. WRONG by Jacquie Biggar @JacqBiggar @MoBPromos

by Jacquie Biggar

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Blurb Blitz + #Giveaway: Grinders Corner by Ferris H. Craig & Charlene Keel @GoddessFish

Grinders Corner
by Ferris H. Craig & Charlene Keel
GENRE:   Romantic Comedy


Grinders Corner explores the world of taxi dance halls in the 1960s in all its raw hilarity.  Saucy, sassy and sexy, but not the least bit erotic, it follows the adventures of three young women trying to survive in the glitter palaces of Los Angeles.

Like lambs led to the slaughter, Uptown, a newly divorced English major with panic anxiety disorder and no job skills, Voluptua, an out of work actress, and Mouse, a former child star trying to make a comeback all struggle to make enough tickets to pay the bills. Things get complicated when Uptown falls in love with a customer who happens to be a priest.

In Grinders Corner it was a simpler time, long before gentlemen’s clubs and pole dancers, and it happened in a place where shy, lonely men could talk to women, even dance with them, with no fear of rejection—for about fifteen cents a minute.


The next night, Voluptua made her appearance at Romanceland.  I didn’t expect to see my lover for a night or two—I had a feeling he would need time to recover—so I was able to give this girl my complete attention.  Well, almost.

Though Voluptua was not her real name, it suited her perfectly.  She was bursting out all over with robust voluptuousness in a polka-dotted micro mini dress that was about two sizes too small.  Her tinted black hair was piled high in a gigantic pouf of tangles, and she had coaxed the sides into loosely formed braids.  Into one of these braids she had stuck an artificial blue flower.  She was wearing opera hose—the kind with the seam down the back.  And some kind of silky blue dancing slippers that had no backs—only toes—so they made a clacking noise, slapping against her feet, as she walked.  But she didn’t walk.  She floated.  Honest!  She’d float by, her shoes clacking softly, her arms out, in a pose like a tired ballet dancer.

I thought she was out of her mind.

On Voluptua’s second night, she showed up looking like a wellendowed Cleopatra.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  She had draped an exotic looking necklace from one side of her head to the other, so that it hung down with the largest of its many colored stones placed between her eyebrows.  And she had extended her black eyeliner about one inch beyond what seemed reasonable.

Her earrings dangled to her shoulders and they, too, were comprised of multicolored beads.  Coiled around the upper section of her arm was a golden snake with ruby red beads for eyes.  Her clinging jersey mini dress was printed with large brown leopard spots.  Underneath all this dubious splendor she was wearing a black leotard—you know, the kind professional dancers wear.  Apropos of the Egyptian motif, she had used bronze makeup on her face and her lipstick was redder than red.  And it wasn’t even Halloween!

The braids and the artificial blue flower of the night before were gone.  Protruding from the mass of tangles, which were still there, was what appeared to be a long hairpiece.  It was all combed to one side so that it hung over her shoulder and down over one of her more than ample breasts.  Wow, I thought, will she get tickets!  Even our boss, Dirty Dick, was staring down at her from his dais-like desk.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Ferris Craig is a professional dancer, choreographer, actor and writer. Her credits include The Dean Martin Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Honeymooners, The Golden Girls and many TV commercials. In the 1970s she performed with The Hollywood Hoofers in Las Vegas, later establishing The Burbank Academy of Performing Arts where she taught dance and acting. More recently, she choreographed and performed for The Broadway Seniorettes, and with Recycled Teenagers (dancers over 50). Currently she lives in Southern California with her three delightful dogs. Connect with Ferris on Facebook

Charlene Keel has written over a dozen novels and how-to books. Shadow Train, the final installment of her YA supernatural trilogy, won a Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Award, and The Congressman’s Wife (for Red Sky Presents) is getting rave reviews. Her new blended-genre novel, Lost Treasures of the Heart, was released in November, 2016.

Keel has also worked as editor for international magazines, including Playgirl, For the Brideand Black Elegance.  She says the most fun she’s had as an editor (so far) was at Spice, a fanzine featuring rap, R&B, soul and gospel music. During her time there, she enjoyed going to parties for such notables as Puff Daddy, having lunch with Gloria Gaynor and attending a pasta dinner where Mariah Carey did the cooking.

Keel’s editorial assignments include The Health of Nations, a book on political philosophy, and That Nation Might Live, a moving tribute to Sarah Bush Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s stepmother. Her TV credits include Fantasy Island and Days of Our Lives, and her book, Rituals, was the basis for the first made-for-syndication soap opera. She also produced (for Romantic Times) the first annual Mr. Romance Cover Model Pageant.

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Release Tour: SUNSETS AT SEASIDE by Addison Cole @Addison_Cole_ @MoBPromos

Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers Book 4
by Addison Cole

Blog Tour + #Giveaway: Wild Ride Cowboy by Maisey Yates @maiseyyates @Barclay_PR

In Wild Ride Cowboy, Alex Donnelly returns to Copper Ridge, Oregon to keep a promise, but the last thing he expects is to fall for his best friend's sister, Clara Campbell. Fans of Maisey Yates' Copper Ridge series will love this sweet, sexy romance releasing August 29th!

Cover Reveal: Bahama Mama by Tricia Leedom @tricialeedom @XpressoTours

Release Blast + #Giveaway: LAIRD OF DARKNESS by Eliza Knight @ElizaKnight @Barclay_PR

USA Today bestselling author Eliza Knight delivers the next book in her tantalizing MacDougall Legacy series. LAIRD OF DARKNESS features a woman abandoned, a Highlander starting a revolution, and the love that brews in a tumultuous time…

Cover Reveal: The Perils of Growing Up Werewolf (Hair in all the Wrong Places #2) by Andrew Buckley @abuckley23 @chapterxchapter @tantrumbooks @Month9Books

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PROMO Blitz: Melvin the Sad...(ish) Robot by Joshua Margolis @RABTBookTours

Children’s book
Date Published: 11/1/16
Publisher: Mascot Books

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Melvin is known for being a sad…(ish) robot. But, as he finds new friends and experiences, he may just figure out how to be happy…(ish).

About the Author

Joshua Margolis is a sculptor, photographer, and author from Oakland, Ca. His work has been featured in many galleries and studios. He was the de Young Fine Arts Museum artist in residence for the month of July 2014, where he brought his monsters and robots project to sculpted life. Melvin the Sad…(ish) Robot is the first story of its kind to incorporate Joshua ceramic sculptures into a real world setting, creating a unique visual narrative.

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