Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Blog Tour: The Divinity Bureau by Tessa Clare #giveaway #dystopian

Dystopian Romance
Date Published: September 21st, 2017

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Publisher: Asset Creative House

The Hunger Games meets Romeo and Juliet in a stunning debut about a forbidden romance between a young activist and a government employee for a corrupt bureau that controls the population by deciding who lives and who dies.

Roman Irvine is a disgruntled IT Technician for the Divinity Bureau, a government agency that uses random selection to decide who lives and who dies. In a world where overpopulation has lead to pollution, a crippled economy, and a world in crisis, he’s accepted the bureau’s activities as a necessity… until he meets April McIntyre.
April has every reason to be suspicious of Roman. He works for the Divinity Bureau, which sent her father to an early grave. But he’s also sweet and loyal, and unbeknownst to her, he saved her life. As Roman and April fall deeper in love, the deeper they’re thrust into the politics of deciding who lives and who dies. Someone wants April dead. And the bureau’s process of random selection may not be so random after all…

About the Author

Tessa Clare is the author of The Divinity Bureau. When she’s not writing, she’s an entrepreneur, an activist, a speaker, and the Managing Director of Asset Creative House. Throughout her early career, she was a concession stand attendant, a busgirl, a barista, a player’s club representative for a casino, and an administrative assistant. She also spent years working as a manager for Vacasa, whose business model and revolutionary marketing strategies would later inspire the groundwork for Asset Creative House. The Divinity Bureau is Tessa’s debut novel about a forbidden love between a young activist and a government employee working for a corrupt bureau, set in a dystopian world.

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Blog Tour: The Seeds of Dissolution by @wctracy #kickstarter #interview

Science Fiction / Fantasy
Publisher: Space Wizard Science Fantasy
Date Published: November 2017

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On a bright August day, the sun disappears.

Sam van Oen barely escapes freezing to death in his house, as his watch stops and fire ceases to burn. He is pulled into the Nether—a nexus between ten alien cultures—where he meets Rilan and Origon, two maji who can control the musical foundation of the universe. While coping with anxiety attacks prompted by his new surroundings, Sam must learn to hear and change the Symphony, and thus reality, in order to discover what happened to his home.

But more freezing voids like the one that started his journey are appearing, and Sam’s chances of getting back are fading. The Assembly of Species is threatening to dissolve and the maji are being attacked by those they protect, while rumors grow of an ancient, shape-changing species of assassins, returning to wage war.

The Dissolution is coming.

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Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?
My main message when I write is for people to be good to each other. I find I write a lot about social and class-based injustice, and how characters deal with that from both sides of the divide.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The hardest part is letting go of a book and releasing it into the world. I want to make sure those last little pieces are just right to make sure the reader gets as much out of it as possible.

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?
The Seeds of Dissolution is my eighth book, and will be the third one published. It’s hard to pick a favorite. The Seeds of Dissolution is one of my favorite stories, simply because I’ve written and rewritten it so much, however I also have an (unpublished) time travel story with a boy and his mother visiting famous people in history. I think that one’s a really fun read.

If you had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?
Hard decision. It would have to be someone who can display the vulnerability in Sam, my main character, as he deals with anxiety on a daily basis. Tobey Maguire or Donald Glover would both be awesome, though they’re both old for the part. Nicholas Hoult has great facial expressions, and an actor about the right age with a great range of emotion is Zach Callison, who voices Steven Universe.

When did you begin writing?
Every time I’m asked this I keep finding earlier times when I wrote. I used to think it was when I was a teenager, writing up some tongue-in-cheek reports of family vacations, but I also remember writing a superhero story in fifth grade, and a story about Mario, Link, and Zelda fighting a wizard in third grade.

How long did it take to complete your first book?
That’s an interesting question. The Seeds of Dissolution was actually the first book I started on, when I was a teenager. However this version is completely unrecognizable from what I wrote then. So the first version was finished in a year or so, but if you take the whole time I’ve been writing on this idea, it would be about twenty years!

Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?
 Definitely Robert Jordan and Terry Pratchett. From the first, I can track how I write long, epic stories. From the second, I always try to sneak in a little humor here and there to break the tension or make a point.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Discovering what story I’m actually writing. I start with a fairly complete outline, but by the time I get to the end of the first draft, things have changed a bit. Reading over the first draft reveals what my subconscious was putting into the story while I was writing.

Describe your latest book in 4 words.
Music saves the universe

Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?
  My latest work is called The Seeds of Dissolution:

Sam van Oen barely escaped a void of energy. Now he must cope with anxiety while exploring an interstellar society of planets, connected by music-based magic. Not all is as it seems, with the ten alien cultures, ancient stories, or the nature of the Symphony, for the Dissolution is coming. 

It’s on Kickstarter right now! The book is finished, save for a last bit of editing, but I’m really hoping for the campaign to provide funds for extra art and details that will really take the book to the next level. The artist is just amazing, and I want to get as much of his visualization of the story as possible.

I have ideas for at least four other novellas and a couple more books in the same universe, so if this Kickstarter goes well, I’d like to try the same technique with the next books.

About the Author

William C. Tracy is a North Carolina native and a lifelong fan of science fiction and fantasy. He has two self-published novellas available: Tuning the Symphony, and Merchants and Maji, both set in his Dissolutionverse. The Kickstarter for the first novel, The Seeds of Dissolution, will run in August/September 2017.

He also has a masters in mechanical engineering, and has both designed and operated heavy construction machinery. He has trained in Wado-Ryu karate since 2003, and runs his own dojo in Raleigh. He is an avid video and board gamer, a reader, and of course, a writer. He and his wife also cosplay, and he has appeared as Tenzin, Jafar, and in several steampunk outfits.

In his spare time, he wrangles three cats and a bald guinea pig, and his wife wrangles him (not an easy task). They both enjoy putting their pets in cute little costumes and making them cosplay for the annual Christmas card.

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Friday, August 25, 2017

Blog Tour: Dead Cold by @jchasenovelist #interview

Crime Thriller
Date Published: July 2, 2017
Publisher: JEC Press

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Every Emily Stone Thriller is a stand-along novel.

From the multi-award winning series:

What happens when one California community has a disturbing spike in homicides? It catapults cops into a deadly game of murder. Frozen human body parts hideously displayed at the crime scenes offers a horrifying interpretation that only a sadistic serial killer could design—and execute.

On the hunt for a complex serial killer, vigilante detective Emily Stone must face her most daring case yet. Stone’s proven top-notch profiling skills and forensic expertise may not be enough this time.

Young and ambitious, Detective Danny Starr, catches the homicide cases and discovers that it will test everything he knows about police work and the criminal mind. Can he handle these escalating cases or will the police department have to call in reinforcements—the FBI.

Emily Stone’s covert team pushes with extreme urgency to unravel the grisly clues, while keeping their identities hidden from the police. With one last-ditch effort, Stone dangles someone she loves as bait to draw out the killer. She then forces the killer out of their comfort zone with her partner Rick Lopez, and with help from a longtime friend Jordan Smith. A revelation of the serial killer’s identity leaves the team with volatile emotions that could destroy them.

The killer continues to taunt and expertly manipulate the police, as well as Stone’s team, and as they run out of time—they leave behind everyone and everything—in Dead Cold.


Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?

In my action thriller Dead Cold, I wouldn’t say there is a message, but rather, I love to expose readers to forensics and behavioral evidence that they might not be familiar with in other stories. The main character, Emily Stone, is a tough, flawed heroine that takes readers on a rollercoaster ride in crime scene investigations. 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

There’s not enough time to write all the books I want to write!  

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

I’ve completed nine books and three short stories to date. It’s tough to pick a favorite book because I love writing and enjoy all the storylines. If my arm were twisted, I would say my favorite book is Dead Burn. It was the toughest book to write and I almost scrapped it at one point, but finished it and won a gold medal for action thriller from Readers’ Favorite. 

If you had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?

There are so many wonderful actors to pick from today. I could see my heroine, Emily Stone, played by Kate Beckinsale or Scarlett Johansson. They have proved that they can play tough and believable action stars. However, Kim Poirier played Emily Stone in my live action book series trailer and she was fantastic.

When did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing ever since I could write, hold a pen or pencil (even crayons), in order to get my thoughts or story down on paper. 

How long did it take to complete your first book?

There was a significant amount of time that I thought about my first book and how I wanted to approach the storyline. From outline through editing, it took approximately eight months to complete my first professional book, Compulsion. 

Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?

There isn’t one author who inspired me to become a writer—there are so many. Some of my favorite authors are Jeffrey Deaver, Dean Koontz, and David Baldacci just to name a few.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

I enjoy most of the writing process—but I love researching and finding interesting or little known tidbits to enhance the storyline.

Describe your latest book in 4 words.

Experience high-speed action immediately. 

Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?

Dead Cold is the sixth in the Emily Stone Thriller Series, which every book in the series is a stand-alone novel. In this installment, vigilante detective Emily Stone faces the fallout from the most surprising serial killer to date. She even dangles someone she loves as bait in order to draw the killer out of their comfort zone.

I will be releasing the next book in the Chip Palmer Forensic Mysteries, Scene of the Crime, this fall. Palmer is known for his astute academic interpretations of serial and predatory crimes, along with his unconventional tactics that goes against general police procedures.

There will be some Emily Stone Cold Case Novellas released in the fall and winter.


About the Author

Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning author and consulting criminologist. She has authored eight crime fiction novels, including the multiple award-winning Emily Stone thriller series along with a screenwriting workbook.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor degree in police forensics and a Master's degree in criminology. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling. She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Blog Tour: A Million Thoughts by Om Swami #excerpt

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

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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.


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 crop had 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 everydayto 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 lifeout 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, cittaakasha, 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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