Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Blog Tour: Megan's Munchkins by @pamelacfoland #5starreview #bookreview

Middle Grade Fiction
Date Published: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Sonny’s Legacy Publishing

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Not everything hidden in the closet is scary, even if it’s furry and has sharp claws! Every teenager’s dream come true and every parent’s worst nightmare, Megan’s Munchkins is a short and sweet tale about a middle-school girl finding, quite by accident, the pet she had always wanted. Plus three more! It’s almost Spring break and adventurous thirteen-year-old Megan Thompson finds four tiny day-old kittens in the park and makes a decision on the spot that will turn her life upside-down. What does a young girl do who has been told by her parents over and over again that she may not have a pet? In Megan’s mind, there is no question. She must save these motherless newborns, even if it means keeping them a secret from her mom and dad. The next five weeks are an exhausting blur of vet visits, endless cycles of feeding schedules, household chores, homework and sneaking around, but Megan has never been happier in her whole life. The kittens grow quickly and begin to venture out into the world beyond the closet. Megan knows it is only a matter of time before she must tell her parents about her secret. Fate steps in and her secret is discovered. What will happen to her precious babies now?

5 * Review

There are many factors that will contribute to you loving this story.

Do you have cats? If so, you will absolutely adore this novel. Do you need a little pick me up? A Feel good novel? This is definitely for you. 

This is a short and sweet novel that doesn't have a lot of drama away from her hiding something from her parents. But then again, it's an innocent kind of drama and lying. 

Gizmo, am I the only one who immediately thinks Gremlins? :P

About the Author

Pamela Foland grew up in Plano, Texas. Her love of animals started at a very young age. As a child, she was constantly bringing home stray dogs, and injured birds. She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Business in 2005. As an adult, her love of animals has only grown stronger. Pamela has worked in numerous pet hotels as a dog trainer and is certified to teach pet first aid and CPR. All her experience with pets culminated four years ago when Pamela found and raised an abandoned litter of day-old kittens. Not able to part with any of these now-grown babies, Pamela enjoys going home to her ‘little munchkins’ every night. This experience gave Pamela the inspiration for her series debut, Megan’s Munchkins. Pamela will always have a special affinity with Megan, because of their shared experiences. There are few experiences in life more compelling than saving the life of another being.

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Friday, February 23, 2018

Blog Tour: Megan's Pet Sitting Adventure by @pamelacfoland #review #middlegrade #juvenille #fiction

Middle Grade Fiction
Date Published: November 14, 2017
Publisher: Sonny’s Legacy Publishing

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Bringing up four kittens is expensive, and if Megan can't come up with an idea fast, her parents will give her precious babies away. She thought pet sitting would be a fun, easy job. Getting to be around more animals - what could go wrong? Megan gets her first job watching Mrs. Driscoll's pets for the weekend. She is responsible for the enthusiastic lab named Max, a talkative African parrot named Taffy, and a finicky Burmese cat named Holly. Each pet comes with its own quirky personality, but Megan plans to look after them like her own. She enlists the help of her best friend Jill, but Jill's mind isn't focused on the pets. Is Megan in over her head? Her neighbor's pets are certainly testing Megan's pet care knowledge. She is thrown one curveball after another as she works to keep the three pets safe and happy. How will Megan fare? Will she earn the Driscoll's praise or get scolded for giving poor pet care? Find out in this exciting story of Megan's Pet Sitting Adventure!


Another great installment in Pamela Foland's Pet friendly Middle Grade series. I was lucky enough to read and review the first novel and was excited to know there was more to these characters.

I liked the pacing of not only this book, but the series as a whole. 

Foland uses vivid imagery, wit, and humor to help the reader feel like they are a part of this novel. The reader will want to be friends with these characters.

I definitely recommend this series.

About the Author

Pamela Foland grew up in Plano, Texas. Her love of animals started at a very young age. As a child, she was constantly bringing home stray dogs, and injured birds. She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Business in 2005. As an adult, her love of animals has only grown stronger. Pamela has worked in numerous pet hotels as a dog trainer and is certified to teach pet first aid and CPR. All her experience with pets culminated four years ago when Pamela found and raised an abandoned litter of day-old kittens. Not able to part with any of these now-grown babies, Pamela enjoys going home to her ‘little munchkins’ every night. This experience gave Pamela the inspiration for her series debut, Megan’s Munchkins. Pamela will always have a special affinity with Megan, because of their shared experiences. There are few experiences in life more compelling than saving the life of another being.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Blog Tour: Rattlesnake Hill by @Leslie_Wheeler Author #interview and Enter the #giveaway

Date Published:  2/16/18
Publisher:  Encircle Publications

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It’s November in the Berkshires, a dreary time of dwindling light when the tourists have fled along with the last gasp of fall foliage. So when a stranger shows up in the sleepy hilltown of New Nottingham and starts asking questions, the locals don’t exactly roll out the welcome wagon.

            Bostonian Kathryn Stinson is on a deeply personal quest to solve a family mystery: the identity of a nameless beauty in an old photograph an ancestor brought with him to California over a century ago. But, as Kathryn quickly discovers, the hills possess a host of dark secrets – both ancient and new – that can only be revealed at the price of danger and even death.

Her suspicious neighbors on Rattlesnake Hill become openly hostile when Kathryn starts seeking answers to a more recent mystery: the murder of Diana Farley, who once occupied the house Kathryn is now renting. Was it Diana’s husband, who killed her to keep her from divorcing him, or her lover, Earl Barker, a backwoods charmer and leading member of a wild clan known for their violent tempers?

When Kathryn plunges into a passionate affair with Earl, she puts herself on a collision course with past and present. She must find out if Earl killed Diana, or risk becoming a victim herself.


Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp? The message I’d like readers to take away from Rattlesnake Hill is the power of stories in our lives. My main character, Kathryn Stinson, doesn’t simply want to find out the identity of a nameless beauty in an old photograph an ancestor carried with him to California over a century ago. She also wants to get this woman’s story. As her great-aunt, who sends Kathryn on this quest in the first place, has often told her: “There’s a story there. A story that’s waiting to be told.” When Kathryn goes to the town where her ancestor once lived, she learns parts of her family’s “Dark Lady’s” story, as well as parts of a much more recent story: that of the woman who once occupied the house she’s renting. The first stories Kathryn hears about each woman involve falling in love. These stories eventually cause her to fall in love with the man who tells them. But there are different versions of what finally happened to each woman. And which version you believe makes all the difference. If stories can cause people to fall in love, they also, as Kathryn learns, have the power to make people commit acts of violence.
Is There Anything You Find Particularly Challenging in Your Writing? One challenge for me is translating the ideas for a story in my head into words on the page. Sometimes a scene will play out so vividly in my mind that I think it’s on the page when it’s not. Other times my thoughts play hide and seek with me. I’ll get this wonderful idea, but then like a dream that fades from memory, it disappears, and I have to try and find it again. Another challenge occurs after I’ve successfully gotten words onto the page, but they aren’t the right words for the story I’m trying to tell. Then I’m faced with the difficult task of “killing my darlings”—deleting pieces of writing that I love and that I’ve spent a lot of time and energy crafting.
How many books have you written and which is your favorite? If I include non-fiction as well as fiction, I’ve written a total of five non-fiction books: two adult biographies, two young adult biographies, and one book for the school market on a specific topic. (This does not include books I’ve co-authored, or contributed to in some way.) As for fiction, I’ve written three books in my Living History Mystery series, and one in my new series of Berkshire Hilltown Mysteries. My favorite book is Rattlesnake Hill, the first book in my new series, and the one that’s very close to my heart, I call it my “dark valentine,” to the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts, where I’ve lived for many years. I also think it contains some of my best writing.
If you had to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick? Since I don’t go to movies as much as I used to, I had to turn to friends who do, and who have also read Rattlesnake Hill, so are familiar with my main character, Kathryn Stinson. Two readers suggested Jennifer Lawrence for Kathryn. I like that suggestion because Lawrence has the right mixture of vulnerability and strength, though in some of her films she appears a bit more glamorous than how I see Kathryn. As her boyfriend Alan describes Kathryn, she’s “pretty without trying to be: no makeup, hair pulled back from her face. Also, at 27, Lawrence a little young for Kathryn, who is in her early thirties. I also like another reader’s suggestion of Sarah Polley, a Canadian actress with whom I wasn’t familiar. But when I looked her up, I was struck by how much she resembled the Kathryn of my imagination. What’s more, she’s described on IMBd as being known for “her sensitive portraits of wounded and conflicted young women,” which is Kathryn to a tee. At 39, however, Polley’s a tad old for Kathryn. The same person who recommended Sarah Polley also recommended casting Bailey Chase as Earl Barker, the love interest in the book. I wasn’t familiar with Chase by name, but when I saw that he played Branch Connally in the TV series Longmire, I thought, yes, he’d be perfect. He’s the right age—in his early forties like Earl—and has the right combination of qualities—handsome, sexy, self-assured to the point of being cocky, but also with a serious side. So, if he plays Earl, maybe I should cast Cassidy Freeman, who plays Cady Longmire, his romantic partner, as Kathryn. Readers, what do you think?
When did you begin writing? I’ve been making up stories ever since I can remember. My parents told me I sang some of these stories, but I also put them down on paper. I continued to write stories in high school and college, though none were published. My professional career as a writer began with non-fiction when I was in my twenties, but my first novel wasn’t published until many years later.
How long did it take you to complete your first book? If we’re talking about fiction, it took me over two years to complete my first mystery novel, Murder at Plimoth Plantation, after several false starts, and a lot of re-writing. Regarding non-fiction, I dashed off a campaign biography of former President Jimmy Carter in about six weeks, because I was writing against a tight deadline.
Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer? I wasn’t a big reader when I was in grade school, but I did read a lot of Nancy Drew mysteries, and that may have inspired me to become a mystery writer. Later when I was in high school, college, and graduate school in English, I read more widely. Some of my favorite books and authors from that time are Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad, Middlemarch by George Eliot, Summer by Edith Wharton and Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Persuasion by Jane Austen. Two recent favorites are All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra.
What is your favorite part of the writing process? This may sound strange, but for me, it’s the first draft, because then, everything is fresh and new and I’m discovering the story as I write (I’m pantser or seat-of-the-pants writer), and that’s an exciting process.
Describe your latest book in 4 words. Rattlesnake Hill is . . . suspenseful, riveting, romantic, and satisfying.
Can you share a little bit about your current work, or what is in the future for your writing? I’m currently working on the sequel to Rattlesnake Hill, tentatively titled Shuntoll Road. It picks up the story where Rattlesnake leaves off, with my main character and her romantic partner trying to rebuild their relationship that was almost destroyed in the first book. It’s June, a beautiful month in the Berkshires, and Kathryn and Earl Barker look forward to spending some relaxed, quality time together. But the sale of the house on Rattlesnake Hill that Kathryn has been renting to an unsavory real estate developer from New York not only puts the kibosh on those plans but creates conflict between the couple. For excavator Earl, the proposed development means much-needed work, while for Kathryn it means the destruction of land she’s come to love and wants to protect.
            I also have a couple of unfinished projects: another contemporary mystery and a historical one that I may return to at some point, plus I have ideas for more short stories, which provide a “busman’s holiday” from the long haul of novel writing.

About the Author

An award-winning author of books about American history and biographies, Leslie Wheeler has written three Miranda Lewis “living history” mysteries: Murder at Plimoth Plantation, Murder at Gettysburg, and Murder at Spouters Point. Her mystery short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies including Day of the Dark, Stories of Eclipse, and the Best New England Crime Stories series, published by Level Best Books, where she was a co-editor/publisher for six years. A member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, she is Speakers Bureau Coordinator for the New England Chapter of SinC. Leslie divides her time between Cambridge, Massachusetts and the Berkshires, where she does much of her writing in a house overlooking a pond.

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Monday, February 19, 2018

PROMO: Overweight to Fighting Weight by AJWatson_ #excerpt #giveaway

Non-fiction. Weight loss and health
Date Published: 8 December 2017

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Looking to lose weight but everything has failed? Discover the physical and mental aspects of becoming a much healthier you, written by someone that dropped 80kg!

Get the weight loss system written by someone that went from zero exercise and over 175kg, to a multiple time Australian and Pan Pacific martial arts Champion.

AJ Watson has shed 80kg in his journey and for the first time shares how he did it, and what needed to change mentally and physically to achieve his goals.

This book will teach you how to:

·        understand weight loss issues

·        figure out nutrition labels

·        learn how to set goals

·        improve your motivation

·        boost your willpower

·        structure your exercise

·        become a better version of you.

AJ Watson’s approach tackles the issues from multiple angles giving a much greater level of success than diet alone. Treat yourself to a wealth of knowledge and kick those extra kilos goodbye.

AJ discusses his physical and mental states throughout his journey, and how he combated multiple challenges to attain results. Because he has been there, AJ understands the thought process of overeating, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle and low self-esteem. His successes as a martial artist, coach and author are traced back to the struggle out of his lowest point.

Now you can benefit from that struggle as well.

Grab your copy today.



My name is Tony and I started this journey at 175kgs.

Today I am 95kgs and hold multiple titles in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

This book details how I accomplished that, my mental outlook and changes, my failures and successes. It will show you a way to duplicate this yourself, breaking it into multiple small actions. Depending on where you are on your trek, you may have already accomplished some of the early steps; if so, fantastic. Congratulations on getting that far. This book will help you understand what you have already achieved, and show you how to take it further.

Chances are if you are reading this book then you have struggled with losing weight, or want to see a boost to your motivation in other areas of your life. As someone that has been where you are, and cut a path through the tangled mess that is the weight loss industry, I understand you. This is where my book is different than a lot of others out there. Many programs are great at using weight loss science, but are usually written by people already fit and healthy that have never been more than a few kilos overweight.

They don’t understand the mental state many people start with, especially when severely overweight as I was. They have never been fat, never been ridiculed for their obesity. Never avoided pools or the beach because they’d have to take off t-shirts and reveal the true extent of their girth. I am thankful that these health professionals spent time with their research so I could learn. But how could they help address my mental and social issues that contributed to my weight gain, when they couldn’t understand them?

A psychologist is needed in many cases. I don’t pretend to be one and I’ve never felt the need to utilise their services. I have known many people that have, and can see the positive impact it made on their lives. I have however researched psychology and as I’ve lived through it I know a lot about the thought process that goes with obesity. That insight drives many parts of this book.

I am also a certified life coach, a field of study that assists people moving their lives from point A to point B. Even if they are unaware of how to do so, or that point B is even within their reach. Many steps in this book work in unison with the tools and techniques utilised in coaching. They will work without it, though will be greatly enhanced with a life coach by your side.

What I aim to do here is not only show you my meal changes and exercise regime, but also show how my mental state altered. I'll share how I overcame my negative thoughts and barrelled through plateaus.

I gained all of this knowledge through a thirst for understanding. As my wife will attest, I absolutely must know everything even if it doesn't concern me. It's my nature. I can blame and thank my parents for this. As a child I hungered for understanding and often asked questions of how and why. Before long I was asking things they didn't know the answer to. Instead of dismissing it or making something up, my parents instilled in me a simple mantra: look it up.

This was long before the Internet became popular and ubiquitous so all I had was a dictionary, an odd assortment of encyclopaedias and the school library. The skills and knowledge gained were invaluable and formed my love of words and reading.

The Internet exploded my world and now the guys I train with often refer to me as Google, as I generally have the answer or insight required for the topic at hand.

So when I turned this skill to weight loss my bull-crap detector worked overtime. I tried several diets that I fully understood the science of, but ultimately they failed because they didn't take into account the psychological impact. They also failed to understand the starting point that a lot of overweight people find themselves in.

My meals consisted of mostly eating take-out, snacking on chocolate and washing it down with litres of soft drinks and tubs of ice-cream. You can't instantly go from that to fresh fruit and veggies, healthy snacks and controlled portions. That is why the majority of diets fail and are a waste of your time.

I want to mention right off the bat that this is not a diet book. To me, a diet is a short-term change to reach a desired goal in less than two months. This journey took me nearly a decade and I am still changing things to get better results. It took that long because of all the trial and error, the research required and figuring how to alter the mental conditioning I'd spent nearly three decades building.

I can guide you into doing this far quicker, though I expect it to take years, not months. Lasting change takes time but if you follow the ideas and plans in this book, then you will see some quick results.

I am not a medical professional so I implore you, if you have any conditions or food intolerances then seek their expert advice first. Everything in here works for me, but my body is not the same as yours. I am living proof that the process works, and should work for the majority, however your life is unique and nothing can take everything into account. Even so, everyone can gain some benefit from a lot of these pages.

I'm looking forward to helping you achieve your goals.

About the Author

AJ Watson (Tony to his friends) lives with his wife Barbara in the great state of Victoria, Australia.
AJ is a certified Life Coach and continues to expand his skills to assist others not only duplicate his successes but to clear any mental barriers people place upon themselves.

Tony has obtained a Bachelor of Computing and although he has a love of technology, he can’t help dreaming of worlds with vicious creatures and powerful metaphysics. He uses this imagination to write sci fi/fantasy novels.

Tony is an experienced martial artist competitor and instructor, having won multiple national gold medals and assisting others to do the same.

In his spare time, among other things, Tony dabbles in computer graphics and GMs many role play games with his family and friends.

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Friday, February 16, 2018

Blog Tour: Monstrous Ties by @shina_j1 #review

YA Romance
Date Published: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Writer’s Tree Publishing

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Amelia Waters has accepted her destiny and is determined to find Aaron no matter what it takes. As she treks forward on her quest, she embarks on a gloomy, foul-smelling creation that is very similar to a dream she once had. The moment she sets foot to ground, she runs for her life as horrific creatures pour out of every dark shadow. With her life in grave danger, Amelia finds it difficult to stay hopeful on finding Aaron, until an ever-changing ally opens her eyes and helps her see that there is more to the creation than she thinks. Amelia makes it her mission to destroy the creation along with its creator. But her ever ready task comes with a colossal cost she’s not ready for.


What a clever story with a wonderful balance of mystery, romance, and creepiness. The plot flowed nicely and the mystery kept me guessing and flipping pages. 

Shina James has created a novel in which the main character shows growth. For me that is always something I look for in my favorite main characters. I liked flawed characters and if they can overcome things, it really speaks to me. 

This was a quick read for me. I felt like the words and plot just flowed long effortlessly. I found myself flipping page after page, laughing, and guessing the whole time.

About the Author

SHINA JAMES is a freelance writer, and poet from the great state of Texas. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Writers’ League of Texas. When she’s not writing or reading life-changing novels, she loves traveling, listening to music, and spending time with her husband and two kids.

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Blog Tour: Supremacy's Shadow by T. Eric Bakutis #interview from @TEricBakutis

Science Fiction / Thriller
Date Published: February 9, 2018
Publisher: SF Productions

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For Hayden Cross, a military investigator in the far future, whether his wife faked her death is the question that is probably going to get him killed. Having lost the only job that kept him sane, he has few resources and fewer leads. Oh, and a sadistic crime lord really wants to kill him.

As he fights through an underworld of fanatical rebels, callous bounty hunters, and corrupt cops, each step takes him closer to the truth about his wife’s fate and the oppressive government he once loyally served. On the way he may even liberate a planet and stop a war ... but only if he betrays everyone he loves.


Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?
While I didn’t have a specific message in mind when writing Supremacy’s Shadow, I did want to make sure my characters never felt like caricatures. I wanted readers to feel as if they had dimensions, and to see them making choices they believe are right even if we, the reader, see them as wrong. I always want my books to be fun (we do read them to be entertained, after all) but I also wanted to make it clear that there are never any choices in conflict which don’t come without costs for those on both sides, winner and loser.

So if there’s one message I’d like people to take away from my book, it’s that old chestnut “Everyone is the hero in their own story”. That’s how I try to write my characters, even the most despicable ones, and I find stories with gray characters more compelling that stories with clearly drawn lines of good and evil.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Descriptions! Oh boy, do I gloss over descriptions. When I’m cruising along on a chapter I can write dialogue and action like nobody’s business, but slow me down to describe a building or a city and I’ll lose all momentum and stall out. I actually write first drafts with things like [Insert City Description Here] just so I can keep rolling and writing.

After I’ve got a solid first draft of a chapter, I can then go back and, at my leisure, fill in the cool details that make the world feel real. But it’s always more of an effort than drafting the action and dialogue, and I often take inspiration from real world references (like scifi artwork or photographs) when writing my world descriptions.

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?
As of now, I have completed three books in a complete fantasy trilogy (Tales of the Five Provinces), a free online cyberpunk police procedural (Loose Circuit), an anthology of my published short stories (Simulation Disorder), and Supremacy’s Shadow, my “grimsnark” sci-fi thriller. It’s tough to pick a favorite book among them (I love them all!) but I think Supremacy’s Shadow is my current favorite, if only because it’s the book I’ve completed most recently and I feel it’s some of my best work yet as a writer.

Of course, I’m sure this will change when I finish my next book! J

If You had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?
I’ve actually thought about that way more than seems healthy, and while he isn’t physically similar to Hayden, Justin Theroux (from The Leftovers) is the actor I’d love to see cast as Hayden Cross. Justin has just the right mix of charisma, force of personality, vulnerability, and genuine snark delivery to nail the exact type of person I think Hayden Cross would be on the big screen. So if my book got optioned as a movie and they decided to cast Justin, I’d be absolutely thrilled. I think he’d nail the character.

When did you begin writing?
When I was little, maybe four or more. We wrote stories in school and I just loved it. I kept writing for thirty-five more years after that, and well, now I’ve got some books out. I’ve always had stories in my head and an impossible to quench desire to share them, and now the world faces the consequences. Heh.

How long did it take to complete your first book?
My first book will never be published (it was portal fantasy) and took me about six months to write ... in all caps ... in middle school. I wrote the whole trilogy, actually. It was a great experience and I still have a soft spot for it, but it’ll never be published because it’s not up to the quality of a publishable novel. Still, I learned a lot from writing that first trilogy, and I will always have a soft spot for my first book.

Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?
So many! C. J. Cherryh (loved The Morgaine Cycle), Anne McCaffrey (huge fan of Dragonriders of Pern), Terry Brooks (Shannara, the Word and Void), Mike Stackpole (basically everything), and Piers Anthony (Apprentice Adept, Incarnations of Immortality) to name just a few. All of these writers and many more got me addicted to SFF when I was younger, and certainly still influence my writing to this day.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Making myself laugh. Every so often I’ll go back to edit a scene I’ve written and laugh out loud at something a character says or does. When that happens – when I amuse myself, despite writing what I’m reading – I know I’ve got a good book in the worlds. Because if I can’t entertain myself, how can I entertain anyone else?

Describe your latest book in 4 words.
Deadpool in Space.

(I did it in 3!)

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

Supremacy’s Shadow is a standalone book that tells a complete story, and my next book, Supremacy’s Bounty, will be set in the same universe (shared) but with different characters, Freyja and Jinx, a pair of badass bounty hunters who are namechecked in the first book. Bounty is about 30% done and I hope to have a completed first draft my midyear, at which point it’s off to my writer’s groups and, eventually my editor.

I don’t have an exact date, but I’m shooting for something in mid 2019. Stay tuned!

About the Author

T. Eric Bakutis is an author and game designer based in Maryland. He is happily married and shares his house with a vicious, predatory cat and a sad-faced, cowardly dog. He’s been working as a professional videogame developer for over eight years. His first fantasy trilogy, Tales of the Five Provinces, is now complete, and his first science fiction novel, Supremacy’s Shadow, is due in February 2018.

In his spare time, Eric hikes with his lovely wife, little girl, and crazy dog, spends time in VRChat exploring the metaverse, and participates in local events like the Baltimore Science Fiction Society Critique Circle. His first novel, Glyphbinder, was a finalist for the 2014 Compton Crook Award, and his short fiction has appeared in several magazines and anthologies.

You can read his free cyberpunk police procedural, Loose Circuit, at

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Week Blitz: Nadia's Heart Part Two #excerpt

YA Fantasy, Horror
Date Published: 11/11/2017

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In Nadia's Heart, Part One, amnesiac Nadia knew that something was wrong, so she went in search of her missing heart. What she encountered has only brought more questions: about her origins and her ties to the people of the Land of Silence. She learned that her heart was indeed removed, and that her memory was erased by an evil Voice. But why?

Now Nadia and her glowing-eyed companion, Georgeonus, must help recover the stolen hearts of the children of the Land of Silence. In Part Two, they will do battle against the evil Voice and travel to frightening places. They receive help from a powerful Witch and Wizard, and Nadia gets her heart back—but it's not at all what she expected. Can they rescue the stolen children's hearts in time?


From Chapter VII: The Nether Regions:

“Mabel,” said Nadia, “how did you get down here? Did Georgeonus and Holofernes make it? Are they okay?”

Mabel smiled patiently, helping Nadia to step away from the table.

“Oh, I suspect they’re fine now” was her reply.


“Come,” she said, turning. She pulled her wand from her pocket, pointed it at the cloth, and the wrap sewed itself into pants and a belted tunic.


“We cannot linger here,” Mabel warned, turning to walk briskly.

Nadia caught up to her. “Aren’t we in the canyon?”

“No, Nadia.”

“Then where are we?”

“We are in the Otherworld. We mustn’t linger!”

Nadia did not press the matter, but followed Mabel closely, striving to keep up. She had the feeling that they were neither in the underworld nor in a canyon. She remembered the ice castle constructed by the Voice. It seemed so long ago now. In that castle, when her thoughts perceived that perhaps it was not there at all, it would come into and out of view, disappearing before her. It was the same with this canyon. This time, she perceived her own illusion. When it faded, all she could see was light.

“Take my hand, Nadia!” said Mabel urgently, in a tone which alarmed her, and in a moment Nadia’s hand found Mabel’s, which clutched hers back. Mabel’s other hand came around Nadia’s waist and drew her close, and suddenly they were being sucked through some type of funnel. It was not comfortable; it felt dangerous, and there was great pressure all around penetrating Nadia’s cells.

From Chapter IV: The Silver Witch:

They remembered that her visit had been preceded by a magick dust.

The dust came from above, the air tingled, and miniscule, silver particles glistened as they fell. It was musical, and as they breathed, they smelled fresh air like new spring, and they felt an excitement of imminent magick. She appeared suddenly, and at first no one knew where she had come from or how; she was just there on the road. She came as naturally as if she had approached them from the road. But as the magick dust settled, they realized—remembered—that the Silver Witch had dropped out of the sky.

As she stood there smiling at them, they remembered that they had looked up at the sky at a circling dot which descended. As it approached, it formed the shape of a square, floating quilt. The Witch was soon revealed to be sitting on top in black garb and hat, her silvery skin thick and rubbery. With both hands placed on diagonal corners of the quilt, she jumped off and shook the fabric out like clean laundry and parachuted down to them, the tennis sneakers on her feet ready for the road. Softly she landed, snapping the quilt upward and folding it once, twice, three times, and again and again until it was a small square deposited into one of her pockets.

From Chapter III: Fighting Back:

They headed for the road, away from the castle tumbling toward them, hoping the mountain itself would hold until they could get to the bottom. But what awaited them at the bottom was a sheet of ice, and it too could crack and send them down into the frigid deep.

She had never driven a sleigh nor a team of dogs before. The pure instinct of survival now taught her. As they rounded the rough road, more slippery now as they gathered speed, their path looked grim. Giant chunks of the castle came descending down, hitting the mountain’s jagged sides and causing avalanches of huge falling debris. The children screamed, and Nadia wanted to do the same and take refuge closer in toward the mountain, but there was nothing that would shelter them. She kept focused on the dogs in front of her, thinking only of getting to the bottom. Cascading from above came another rock, and the children held onto the sleighs, terrified. Nadia tried to turn the sleigh toward the mountain to avoid it. They swerved dangerously around the edge of the road.

Something also descended from the sky. It was a black figure, but Nadia could not even think about another potential threat as the second sleigh bore down upon them, rushing behind her. They swerved back to a straight course, barely missing the rolling boulder which crashed onto the road.

About the Author

Wendy Altshuler is a writer-producer who explores myth in new media. She writes fantasy novels and creates works in stop motion animation.  Her credits include award-winning screenwriting and WGA-accredited representation. With a degree in psychology and a Master of Arts from Columbia University, Altshuler documented the work of international choreographers and wrote and produced regional programming. Her short plays have been performed at Boston Playwrights' Theatre, at regional schools and most recently, Puppet Showplace Theatre. Altshuler's young adult book series has been hailed as "emotionally moving, uplifting and wholesome," and "spirited and haunting. . .with much symbolism and beauty."

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