BLOG TOUR & GUEST POST: The Vaelinel Trilogy — Andi O’Connor | #paranormal #fantasy #paranormalfantasy #trilogy

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“A Prophecy Fulfilled” Behind the Scenes

Andi O’Connor

Coming up with a title is an extremely important part of the writing and publishing process. It needs to be engaging and intriguing to the potential reader, yet it also needs to relate to the story.

Usually, thinking of titles comes quite easily for me. I had no trouble with the Silevethiel or The Speaker, and I had all of the titles in my Dragonath series set in stone before I began writing.

But A Prophecy Fulfilled was different.

About a third of the way through writing the last book in the Vaelinel series, I still had no idea of a title. Even worse, I had no idea where to take the story. The characters weren’t speaking to me like usual. Events weren’t falling into place, and I had no way to resolve the plot or the handful of loose ends.

My normal Pantser process wasn’t working, and every day was becoming increasingly frustrating. I continued to write just to get words down on a page, but there was no clarity and no direction. I felt like I was rambling on, spewing words only to fill my daily quota.

Then, one day out of frustration, I took a break from writing and browsed the pre-made covers on They had done the covers for all of my books except for Silevethiel, and I had been pleased with their work.

This particular day, however, I didn’t have any intent other than wasting time. But about ¾ of the way down the page, I noticed a cover with the face of a man behind icicles and snow. I thought to myself, “That’s Brendell,” and everything fell into place.

The perfect resolution to the plot screamed at me, and the title popped into my head while I scribbled down some notes.

It certainly didn’t follow my normal process, but it worked. It allowed me to come up with some twists and turns that even the characters hadn’t thought of. The story took shape, the words came easily, and the characters began to talk to me once again.

Though the process was different for A Prophecy Fulfilled, I’m extremely pleased with the outcome. A number of people have told me that A Prophecy Fulfilled is the best in the series, and I’m certainly not going to argue!


The Vaelinel Trilogy

Andi O’Connor

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy


The Vaelinel Trilogy Book 1

1- Silevethiel_396x600Following her father’s murder, Irewen is betrayed and left for dead in the forests of Mistwood. Rescued by an elf, Irewen awakes an exile with no home, no country, and no people. But as the horrific memories of murder and betrayal return, she realizes the nightmare is only beginning.

The world of Vaelinel is failing–its fate bound to her in ways no one fully understands. A mysterious elven prophecy may provide her with some answers, but continuously hunted and fighting for her life, Irewen quickly learns that unearthing the truth will be more difficult than she ever imagined.

Can she accept the friendship of the Wood Elves, or will she stand alone against the terrifying evil now threatening to destroy the entire world?

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The Speaker

The Vaelinel Trilogy Book 2

The Vaelinel Trilogy continues with this absorbing sequel to Silevethiel!

2- The Speaker_375x600Alone and hunted by the Drulaack, Irewen takes advantage of her only option for survival. Pushing her concerns aside, she lets the dead keep her.

But her refuge doesn’t last long. Driven out of their hosts by Laegon, a handful Drulaack have returned to the Spirit World. No longer having the protection of the dead, Irewen is forced to return to Vaelinel.

​Finally reunited with her companions, the burdens placed on them are taking their toll. Thoughts of suicide and mistrust plague the company. Slowly unravelling, they must conquer their personal battles before standing against the evil threatening the land.

​For the Corrupter thirsts for revenge. And he’ll stop at nothing to satisfy his hunger.

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 A Prophecy Fulfilled

The Vaelinel Trilogy Book 3

3- A Prophecy Fulfilled_375x600Regrouping after their escape from the Light Elves, Irewen and her companions fear the worst after black smoke plumes on the horizon. Allowing compassion to rule over reason, they ignore Finnwyn’s warning and return to Lilendvelle, hoping to help some of the survivors stranded in the city’s wake. Instead, they run into a trap.

Completely surrounded by an endless army of Drulaack, they fight for their lives, but their efforts aren’t enough. Irewen is captured and dragged into the heart of the Corrupter’s lair.

Having his prize, the others in the company are granted their freedom, but at a great cost: the one named in the prophecy who is meant to unite the elf forces and stand against the Corrupter is lost to the world – trapped beneath the Corrupter’s talons.

With the aid of his mother’s spirit, Brendell must now find a way to gather an alliance strong enough to march against the Corrupter and his army, but his time is running out. Each day that passes brings Irewen closer to death.

And the world closer to destruction.

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Andi O'ConnorAbout the Author: Andi O’Connor is a multi-award winning author of epic fantasy novels and short stories with a healthy dose of paranormal mixed in. She sits in front of her typewriter (yes, typewriter!) every day and loses herself in her worlds and characters in hopes that her readers will fall in love with them as well. When she’s not clacking away, you can find Andi dancing her butt off in the ballet studio. Rest assured, she’s not the next Natalia Osipova, but she has a mean collection of leotards and always finds an excuse to buy more.

She loves bats and dreams of turning her yard into a certified bat habitat. She has three dogs who constantly work hard to drive her insane, but their fluffy cuteness outweighs any insanity they can bring. Her husband ‘Honeybee’ is wonderfully supportive of her author life, and her son ‘P’ may or may not have claimed her typewriter as his own on several occasions. Deadpool is her spirit animal, and her motto is Embrace Your Crazy. We’re all unique and crazy in our own ways, and Andi hopes others will join her by being proud of their quirks and embracing their crazy!

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BLOG TOUR & GUEST POST: Road to Nowhere — Evan Shapiro | #CliFi #Mystery #Thriller

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I’m No Expert But…

Ok, so there are a few things that I am actually an expert at, but there are many more fields of expertise where my skills and experience fall well short of expert classification. Fortunately my opinion and enthusiasm remarkably fill in the gaps. What you will discover here, over time, are things that I’m in no way an expert of. I don’t feel the need to point out my true areas of expertise, as they will be uncovered as an obvious by product of this exercise. For now I’d like to explore what an expert is. According to the dictionary, an expert is a person who is very knowledgeable about or skillful in a particular area. For our purposes an expert is someone that has an informed opinion. Why mess with the dictionary you say. Well why not I say. Was the dictionary always the same? No it has developed and evolved over time. Regardless I’m happy with the definition of expert for the time being. I’m no expert but… therefore refers to a common phrase where by the person speaking the said words in that order is declaring that they are not an expert however their opinion that will soon follow the words ‘I’m no expert but’ are deemed by them to be far greater and wiser than a true expert. Herein lies what could only be described as irony. Unless of course you’d like to describe it as something else.


Road to Nowhere

Evan Shapiro

Genre: Cli-Fi (climate fiction), SciFi, Mystery, Thriller, Satire

Road to NowhereIs humanity on a Road to Nowhere?

What forces are at play behind global warming and its threat to every species? Is humanity irrevocably heading down a Road to Nowhere?

This near future page-turner, weaves conspiracy, murder, genius and love into a fast-paced ride across the globe, through the absurd and beyond.

Patrick, Kirby, Ancient and Costas thrust us into the world of corporate juggernaut, PetroSynth, where science, politics and corruption jostle to determine our future. How can so much power over our planet be in the hands of so few?

“This book is the stuff of modern mythology, an exciting adventure with intricate personalities leaving the reader in a state of agitated ‘not knowing’ until the very end. Can we succeed (we are all in this one together) or will the corporates and their minions win out only to abandon the planet in crisis? A racy and worthwhile read capturing the zeitgeist of our times.” ~ Ian Cohen – first Green MLC, NSW Parliament and Author of ‘Green Fire’

What makes this debut novel from Evan Shapiro a thoroughly engrossing read is that it is hard to pigeon hole into any particular genre. Part science fiction, thriller, mystery and romp. A fun and at times gritty ride. It’s a page turner written with insight, irreverence and is an apt observation of humanity’s capacity for suffering and destruction, yet with potential to make a positive change. ~ G King

‘Road To Nowhere’ gives us a thought-provoking glimpse into an uncompromising future that brilliantly juxtaposes futuristic hedonism with the bare fundamentals of human frailty. ~ M Jury


Evan Shapiro_359x400About the Author: The second of four children born to would-be bohemians, Evan grew up on a diet of independent cinema, junk TV, Shakespeare and chocolate biscuits. As a toddler he drank Dettol and shampoo and stuck forks into power-points. Growing up he was often reminded by his family that he was lucky to have survived past the age of five. While his parents blamed him for being dangerously active and carelessly inquisitive, he lays the responsibility squarely at their feet for repeatedly leaving Dettol, shampoo and forks within his grasp.

He likes to define the resulting confusion from his upbringing as his ‘perspective’ which he now relentlessly channels into works of fiction.

These day’s he likes to prod people instead of power-points. He lives in Sydney and divides his time between co-parenting, fixing his father’s TV settings, changing his mother’s light bulbs, graphic design work, writing and meditation. He claims to have found the secret to perfect parenting, but as the answer is endless patience he’s not sure it’s any use to anyone.

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BLOG TOUR & GUEST POST: Sum of All Tears Series — Kim Cresswell & MK Chester | #PostApoc #Dystopian #Paranormal

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Kim’s Ten Top Favorite Dystopian Novels

 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World is a dark utopian future where humans are genetically bred and pharmaceutically anesthetized to serve a ruling order.”

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

“Fahrenheit 451 is a story where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction. Firemen start fires rather than put them out.”

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

“In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.”

Animal Farm by George Orwell

“A farm is taken over by its overworked, mistreated animals. With flaming idealism and stirring slogans, they set out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality. Thus the stage is set for one of the most telling satiric fables ever penned—a razor-edged fairy tale for grown-ups that records the evolution from revolution against tyranny to a totalitarianism just as terrible.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

“Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States and is now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men in its population.”

Year One by Nora Roberts

“Year One is an epic story of hope and horror, chaos and magick, and a journey that will unite a desperate group of people to fight the battle of their lives…”

Divergent by Veronica Roth

“One choice can transform you. Beatrice Prior’s society is divided into five factions—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Beatrice must choose between staying with her Abnegation family and transferring factions. Her choice will shock her community and herself. But the newly christened Tris also has a secret, one she’s determined to keep hidden, because in this world, what makes you different makes you dangerous.”

Legend by Marie Lu

“What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles.”

The Giver by Louis Lowry

“Twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind this fragile community.”

City of Embers by Jeanne DuPrau

“Many hundreds of years ago, the city of Ember was created by the Builders to contain everything needed for human survival. It worked…but now the storerooms are almost out of food, crops are blighted, corruption is spreading through the city and worst of all—the lights are failing. Soon Ember could be engulfed by darkness…”


Sum of All Tears Book 1

Kim Cresswell & M.K. Chester

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Dystopian, Paranormal


Sum of All Tears Book 1

NEW ICEHAVEN COVER_386x600They said it wouldn’t happen.

Everything would be better.

They were wrong.

After a climate change experiment goes terribly wrong, August Madison, finds herself resurrected in a frozen wasteland.

With most of the world’s population and food sources annihilated, depraved nomadic gangs patrol the lawless landscape as outlasters claw for survival.

Amid the chaos, Graysen Marx, iron-fisted leader of the domed settlement Liberty, emerges from the catastrophic event with his own agenda.

When August crosses his path, he sees an opportunity he must exploit.

She sees an evil she must destroy.

Fans of The Day after Tomorrow, The Handmaid’s Tale, Mad Max, and The Hunger Games are sure to enjoy this enthralling post‑apocalyptic dystopian adventure with a paranormal twist.

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Sum of All Tears Book 2

liberty-ebook_384x600A new enemy rises.

Surviving the cold is only the beginning.

In the second installment of the exciting Sum of all Tears series, a core group of survivors from Liberty travel to Boston, endangering themselves and those they left behind in a winner-takes-all showdown that will leave readers breathless.

Fans of The Day after Tomorrow, The Handmaid’s Tale, Mad Max, and The Hunger Games are sure to enjoy this enthralling post‑apocalyptic dystopian adventure with a paranormal twist.

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About the Authors

Kim CresswellKim Cresswell resides in Ontario, Canada and is the bestselling and award-winning author of the action-packed WHITNEY STEEL series.

Her romantic thriller, Reflection (A Whitney Steel Novel – Book One), has won numerous awards including RomCon®’s 2014 Readers’ Crown Finalist (Romantic Suspense), InD’tale Magazine 2014 Rone Award Finalist (Suspense/Thriller), UP Authors Fiction Challenge Winner, Silicon Valley’s Romance Writers of America (RWA) “Gotcha” contest. Kim also signed a 3-book German translation deal with LUZIFER Verlag for the first three books in the series: Reflection, Retribution and Resurrect. Lethal Journey won RomCon®’s 2014 Readers’ Crown (Thriller).

The Assassin Chronicles TV series was in development with Council Tree Productions. The TV series is based on Kim’s upcoming 4-book paranormal/supernatural thriller series: Deadly Shadow (May 2018), Invisible Truth, Assassin’s Prophecy, and Vision of Fire.

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MK ChesterM.K. Chester is an RWA award-winning author of historical and contemporary romance. Her first novel, Surrender to the Roman, is currently published with Carina Press. Her three-book historical series, Bryeton Books, focuses on love, loss and redemption in small town America at the turn of the 20th century, while her latest release, Crashed, is the first book in the contemporary New South Series.

M.K. is a native Buckeye who lives in Tennessee. She’s married to a veteran, recently became a MoM (Mother of Marine), and will soon become a grandmother. She adores her Scottish Terriers and is fighting MS.

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BLOG TOUR & GUEST POST: The Throne of Blood Series — Nancy Kilpatrick | #Vampires #Adult #DarkFantasy #ParanormalRomance

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Vampires. Now you see ‘em, now you don’t. They’ve been around at least since the first written records of humanity’s history, and likely since the first mortals ventured out of caves and decided they enjoyed being bipeds. As we’ve evolved, so have the Undead. After all, we imagined them, so we have creators’ rights to bring them up to our speed.

Being one of those insane types who becomes obsessed about certain things, I’ve ended up with a library of vampire novels totaling over 2,500 volumes, which will be hard to move if I ever need to. I also own a hundred or so movie posters, games, dolls, toys, pamphlets, PhD dissertations, small press non-fiction offerings, movies, vinyl and CD music, poetry, jewelry, clothing, toys and much other memorabilia related to Bloodsuckers (and their less physical cousins who don’t want to sip our blood but do want to imbibe our energy, our dreams, our souls, or whatever else they desire which we possess).

I’ve also written quite a bit on vampires. Currently, my 22nd novel has just been released in a vampire series for adults called “Thrones of Blood.” Vol 4: Savagery of the Rebel King follows the bite trail of Vol 1: Revenge of the Vampir King; Vol 2:  Sacrifice of the Hybrid Princess; Vol 3: Abduction of Two Rulers.

Being awash in this crimson milieu has resulted in a bit of knowledge about these supernatural creatures, especially in terms of what’s been written, and what hasn’t. Which is why the great hoopla about the Twilight books and movies and others of that ilk has astounded me. Both the pro and anti positions are strong still and within those are factions like: Camp Edward (vampire) or Camp Joseph (werewolf)—pick your own fantasy guy.

Twilight has been viewed as teen fodder, but it was not only young adults and not only females that adored the material. Rumor has it that moms also jumped on the coffin wagon. This sanitized vampire world spoke to budding hormones, since the human protagonist didn’t have sex until marriage, which came at the end of the series. Edward Cullen (approximate age 117 years), aka The Good Boyfriend, was always there for his still-in-high school human sweetheart Bella Swan. Attentive. Kind. Not pushy. Self-effacing to a fault; he would rather harm himself than harm her, abandon her instead of inflicting his questionable true self on his true love. Much tease, little payoff.

But vampires have always had problems being accepted. Derived from legends and mythology with a few “true” accounts, in the past this creature was portrayed as horrific, violent, a fearsome, murderous, blood-drinking resuscitated corpse.

The review in the Manchester Guardian on the 1897 release of Bram Stoker’s book is so scathing. Bela Lugosi played Dracula on stage and in 1931 on screen. While the movie was well received by the public, some of the female persuasion reputedly fainted en masse in the theater, The New Yorker’s negative review included, “there is no real illusion in the picture” and, “This whole vampire business falls pretty flat.” The Chicago Tribune did not think the film as scary as its stage version, calling it “too obvious” and “its attempts to frighten too evident.” Despite that, The Tribune deigned to conclude it was “quite a satisfactory thriller.”

All this to say that the vampire has floated side by side over millennia with us and that each incarnation has met with acceptance and rejection. Ultimately, the vampire, IMHO, is composed of many facets, which is why its popularity ebbs and then flows again at a re-envisioning, and why it likely will always remain the most popular supernatural. This monster is recognizable as us. Vampires were human and can still take human form.

We’ve cleaned up the vampire to meet our exacting germ-obsessed 21st century standards. And that’s fine because it’s what the public demands. Each generation finds a new facet to engage with. Generation X had the most recent crack at redefining the vampire as a being that sparkles. A backlash resulted to return to the more terrifying Undead. We will have to wait to see what Gens Y or Z concoct. But if history means anything, it tells us that the vampire will not be staked into oblivion. If that was going to happen it would have already occurred. This dark archetype resonates in its myriad forms. Twilight is already part of the comprehensive history of the most intriguing of supernaturals.


Thrones of Blood Series

Nancy Kilpatrick

Genre: Adult Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Revenge of the Vampir King

Thrones of Blood Book 1

FINAL COVER - 1 RVK_400x600Vampires and humans are at war!

Moarte, King of the Vampirii, is a prisoner of his Sapiens enemy. The beautiful Sapiens Princess Valada, believing that Moarte killed her mother, tortures him, even to the point of breaking the bones in his wings so he cannot escape. She intends to incinerate him to ash in sunlight, but Moarte escapes.

Moarte hungers for revenge. When, through an act of betrayal, Valada is captured by the vampirii, his first instinct is to drain her blood and annihilate her. But he realizes he can get revenge in other ways, using her as a tool to gain the upper hand in this conflict. But who is manipulating whom? Both want revenge, and control of the other, and Moarte wants to drink Valada’s blood. Dark desires lead down a path neither had envisioned, a threatening spiral that can destroy empires.

Hunter and hunted change places again and again in this novel of twisted, violent passions. Seeds of deception are sown amidst love and hate, loyalty and betrayal, obsession and indifference, in an erotic tale of warring races, foes since the beginning of time, and two unlikely adversaries aligning to battle a common enemy.

“Nancy Kilpatrick infuses her vampires with the hot blood of life and erotic passion. Vampires have never had it so good.”
F. Paul Wilson
Author of the Repairman Jack series, The Keep, Midnight Mass

“Kilpatrick knows that great secret of horror stories: that they are intensely personal!”
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Author of The Saint Germain series

“Nancy Kilpatrick’s writing is both eloquent and erotic her stories seduce the reader through the mutual attraction of dread and desire.”
Stephen Jones
Editor: Dark Terrors; Best New Horror series

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Sacrifice of the Hybrid Princess

Thrones of Blood Book 2

FINAL COVER - 2 SHP_400x600Part human, part vampir, the beautiful, stubborn, angry young Princess Serene is a tormented hybrid, her days and nights controlled by her overprotective parents. When they suddenly insist on an arranged marriage, visions of a grim future in a loveless pairing with the cold and dominating Wolfsbane drive Princess Serene into a desperate escape.

But instead of freedom, the young naive Princess rushes headlong into the clutches of a human demon whose cruelty and violence threaten to destroy her and her world. The entire vampirii nation is helpless to rescue her, and war becomes a certainty. Rebellion will lead to many deaths, including those she loves. But to endure brutality until she can escape might be beyond her abilities.

Ultimately, Wolfsbane, her detested bridegroom, is the one holding the key to save her, if he can. And more, can she be saved?

“Nancy Kilpatrick inhabits that shadow land of sensuality between terror and pleasure; she can be creepy, seductive, bleak, exquisite and terrifying—often all at once. She knows the intricacies of human minds and bodies at war with themselves, and her stories bring you into those battles in ways that make you think you’ve actually been there because maybe you have.”
Thomas Roche
Author of The Panama Laugh and editor of the Noirotica series

“Nancy Kilpatrick’s vampires have a distinctive bite all their own.”
Nancy A. Collins
Author of Sunglasses After Dark and In the Blood

“Kilpatrick is the pony express of horror. She’s fast and furious and she always delivers.”
Brian Lumley
Author of the Necroscope series

“I loved Book 1 but I will admit that I loved Book 2 even more. The characters were comfortably familiar but the threat level has been escalated to nail-biting proportions. I devoured the book quickly; it was difficult to put down, but I am used to this when in the hands of a skilled author like Kilpatrick. She truly is a “vampire queen”: a real specialist at telling vampire tales in new and engaging ways.”
Elaine Pascale
The Horror Review

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Abduction of Two Rulers

Thrones of Blood Book 3

FINAL COVER - 3 ATR_400x600A conference between two species ends in disaster when Sapiens Queen Blanka and the Vampir King Thanatos are treacherously seized and imprisoned in a dungeon. War erupts as their jailers—an ancient vampir and a traitorous Sapiens usurper—each plot to reign over all of their own species. Desperate to end the conflict, the two prisoners escape. En route to his stronghold, Thanatos disappears. His vampir allies want to find him, but attack is imminent, making defense the priority. Blanka knows the odds are against her surviving an all-powerful, ancient being whose goal is destruction yet she is determined to rescue Thanatos. The question that tortures her is: does he still exist?

“Nancy Kilpatrick is an audacious and insane writer of vampire fiction. I wish a vamp would bite me so I could read her work forever!”
Nancy Holder
NYT Bestselling Author, Mary Shelley Presents; Buffy the Vampire Slayer novels

“Sit back and let Nancy Kilpatrick guide you through this tortured world of sex and passion, hunger and blood, damned souls and velvet nights.”
Karen E. Taylor
Author The Vampire Legacy series

“Horror has never been so poetically exquisite before: move over Anne Rice for Nancy Kilpatrick.”
Robert W. Walker
Author of Instinct series books

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Savagery of the Rebel King

Thrones of Blood Book 4

FINAL COVER - 4 SRK_400x600Necros, the most rebellious of the vampir kings, has carried a burning hatred for the one who forced him into this undead existence centuries ago. Abused, betrayed, cheated, he trusts none of any species, especially Guin, a dethroned mortal queen who appears out of nowhere and feeds his paranoia, and his darkest fantasies. At best she attempts to control him, at worst she tries to kill him. For some reason he does not understand, Necros is compelled to let her live. But he believes she is manipulative, and a liar; Guin sees him as brutal, stubborn, impossible! Encounters turn ugly as violence, bitterness and haunting memories drive both of them. Guin has her own agendas, and the more she struggles to actualize them, the further away her goals recede. A few vampirii endeavor to build a bridge between the two combatants, but others with sinister plans are bent on hindering a truce. This downward-spiralling dynamic reels towards a dire conclusion that neither Necros nor Guin seem able to halt.

Savagery of the Rebel King—Vol 4 in the exciting Thrones of Blood series—is a fast-paced rollercoaster ride in a plot that twists and turns and threatens to spin out of control. Readers will be glued to their seats!

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nancybg_400x300About the Author: Nancy Kilpatrick is an award-winning author. Her publishing credits include 22 novels, over 220 short stories, 6 collections of her stories, 1 graphic novel, 1 non-fiction book and, as well, she has edited 15 anthologies.  She lives in Montreal and her work is published in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and has been translated into 8 languages.  These are the genres in which she has published: dark fantasy, horror, fantasy, mystery, science fiction, erotica. Details can be found on her website below.

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BLOG TOUR & GUEST POST: Western Song — Leigh Podgorski | #ContemporaryRomance #Western #WesternRomance

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My Top Ten Recommended Westerns by Leigh Podgorski

Okay, just by use of the pronoun “my” this list is subjective, as in mine, not anybody else’s, certainly not a world-wise critic or a western-wise critic. Following are the movies that made me fall in love with the genre, with that wild, wonderful, wide-open, yearning, romantic part of our history. Here, then, in no particular order, because I just couldn’t shave them down that fine, are my top ten Westerns:


Okay, so right out the gate, I’m cheating. I’m starting with a magnificent book and a fantastic mini series, but what a sumptious rendering of the West.

The story tells the tale of several retired Texas Rangers as they drive a cattle herd from Texas to Montana. It is the end of an era, the closing years of the Old West, and just as the era is dying, so are these Texas Rangers looking at old age, and its inevitable companion death. However, still present are love, sometimes unrequited, and friendship.

Mr. McMurtry won the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his best-selling novel, and in 1989 it was adapted into the extremely popular and successful TV miniseries starring Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall.


Whose list would this not be on? Only question? Who’s sexier: Newman or Redford? My answer—wait a minute…


The storyline of this film is simple: a mysterious stranger who turns out to be a gambler and a beautiful woman who is a prostitute become business partners in a North West mining town. Their enterprise, a high class brothel with silk sheets, hot baths and great food, thrives so well that it attracts the attention of a large corporation  Beyond the sheer artistry of an Altman film and the simple storyline is the attention paid to a female in a leading role and the moving portrait of the little man, who, no matter how confident he portrays himself,  is powerless at those with more money which equals more power. Based on Edmund Naughton’s 1959 novel McCabe.


An epic Western film produced, directed by and starring Kevin Costner. Much of the dialogue is spoken in Lakota with English subtitles. Dances with Wolves was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. What’s wonderful about this film is the inclusion of Native American life and history, a subject that we still need to pay much more attention to. Based on the book by Michael Blake.


Not your usual Western. A deep satire taken from the satirical book of the same name by Thomas Berger, the story is told by 121 year old Jack Crabb as the only white survivor of the Battle of the Little Big Horn as he looks back on his life. Jack, though a white man, was brought up as a Cheyenne. Directed by Arthur Penn and starring Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway and Chief Dan George, it see-saws from a black comedy to slapstick to drama. Highly entertaining and beautifully filmed, it is also the first Western to address Native American rights. Probably the best way to do that then was to present it this whacky yet deeply poignant way.

HOMBRE (1967)

One word: prejudice. Maybe two: prejudice and enlightenment. Hombre directed by Martin Ritt, screenplay by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank Jr. from the novel by Elmore Leonard and starring Paul Newman, Fredrick march and Richard Boone, Hombre tells the story of John Russell spurned by his fellow stagecoach passengers because he was raised by Indians, who becomes their only hope for survival when outlaws attack them. Based on the book by Elmore Leonard.


When Lee Marvin accepted the Oscar for his performance in the dual roles as Kid Shelleen and Strawn he said, “Half of this belongs to the horse.” If you don’t understand that quote, see this film! A raging comedy with a big heart, and an all-star cast, and the traveling minstrels led by the indomitable Stubby Kaye. I first saw this film as a kid in Dennis, Massachusetts on beautiful Cape Cod, and I have never forgotten it. Cat Ballou remains one of my all- time favorites. Based on a highly rated novel by Roy Chanslor.

HIGH NOON (1952)

Quintessential Oscar-winning Western about the brave man who faces down the outlaw against the wishes of everybody else, including his fiancé. Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, it just doesn’t get more classic than this. To put a little spin on this one, as a young actress in Los Angeles, I did a scene from High Noon, playing the Grace Kelly role with my best friend as Katy Jurado. That was fine!


Classic American Western, but this one with a film noir twist. Directed by William A. Wellman, starring Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, with Anthony Quinn, Harry Morgan and Jane Darwell, the story examines mob rule, human cruelty, and remorse that comes too late. This film saw Henry Fonda in a very different role—as a cold-blooded killer. In 1998, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. It was adapted from the novel of the same title by Walter Van Tilburg Clark.


Another Western that examines prejudice and looks into forgiveness and religion as well. I was knocked out by Cate Blanchett—this might be the first performance I’d seen of hers. Tommy Lee Jones gives a powerful performance as the dad who disappeared and wants back in. This film presents Native Americans and whites as equally human and complex., making the vivid point that it is what is inside that makes a person good or evil and not the color of their skin. Ron Howard directs.

So, there you have it: my top ten. As I composed this list, I became quite nostalgic, wanting to view these films again. Filled with drama and the vast beauty of the West, these films depict that unique spirit that speaks America—rugged individualism, that yearning to be free, and a constant striving to be better, to rise above.

I had the distinct pleasure to live in Aspen, Colorado, in the tiny community of Basalt in my early twenties. Those mountains filled my soul and heart. We are truly blessed in this country to live amongst such plenty.

Spread the good.


Western Song

Leigh Podgorski

Genre: Contemporary Western Romance

Readers’ Favorite Book Award Winner Bronze 2018.

Western Song - Copy - Copy_400x600Contemporary Western Love Story about a bull riding rancher and his deceased best buddy’s Thai immigrant mail order bride. As she discovers the power of freedom, he discovers he’s lost his heart.

When Weston Beaudurant’s buddy, rodeo clown Cody Goode is killed in a rodeo accident — gored by the maniacal bull Baby Face that Weston is riding, Weston is consumed with guilt. The day after the accident, while going through Cod’s papers, lawyer Wynona Vasquez discovers that he had been secretly engaged to a Thai immigrant who is arriving by train that evening.

Elected by unanimous decision to be the welcoming committee, Weston arrives at the train station prepared for anything but the lovely forlorn creature he finds waiting in the rain. Though appearing waif-like, Song Phan-Rang is anything but fragile. Her mettle quickly rises to the surface in her determination to remain in Y-oh-ming.

Forced together by their circumstances, Weston and Song are explosive. Used to solitude, Weston is driven crazy by the obliging Song. But as Song shows her prowess not only as a housekeeper and cook, but as a rider and rancher as well, Weston discovers that against his best efforts (and damned if he’ll ever admit it) — he’s falling in love.

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Leigh Podgorski_400x268About the Author: Leigh Podgorski’s stage plays have been produced in Los Angeles, New York City and regionally. She had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross for her one-act play Windstorm, which was presented as part of the annual festival CelebrateWomen that Leigh also co-produced. We Are Still Here, the story of Cahuilla Indian elder Katherine Siva Saubel, was premiered at the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum as part of CelebrateWomen 2000. The play has been presented throughout Southern California at college campuses, Universities, and Indian Reservations and Casinos.

In addition to her plays, Leigh has penned several original award-winning screenplays and several of her monologues have been published through Meriwether Publishing, Ltd..

Leigh produced her first documentary, We Are Still Here, based on the play in 2007, which she also wrote and directed. The film has screened at the. American Indian Film Festival, Sherman Indian Film Festival, Cal State San Marcos Native American Film Festival, and the Talking Stick Film Festival.

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BLOG TOUR & GUEST POST: Hunters of Infinity Series — Ryan Wieser | #SciFi #SpaceOpera

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5 books to read this summer according to Ryan Wieser

The Pact by Jodi Picoult

Fair warning: The Pact is a very controversial book. Originally published in 1998, it details the events that lead up to a suicide pact and ultimate death of seventeen-year-old Emily. If you look up The Pact on Goodreads, you will see the book has a 4-star average from over 240,000 ratings, but you’ll also find quite a few angry reviews. Anyone with a Netflix account or access to the news knows that suicide has been a spotlighted topic recently. Picoult tackles a heavy topic with the writing ability of a well-seasoned author, ensuring an intricately woven story for many to appreciate.

The World According to Garp by John Irving

I love this book but it’s simply quite bizarre. What is The World According to Garp about? We follow the life of the character TS Garp, writer son of a feminist icon. Filled with peculiar characters, odd plot developments, and an array of themes, this is a book that I find instantly absorbing, as the plot is equal parts odd and intriguing. I’ve read this book three times. I still cannot firmly say what it is or isn’t about, but it is one of the most masterfully written eccentric tales I’ve ever read.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I read Jane Eyre when I was quite young, and odd as it may seem, this is the first book that ever frightened me. Not in a red-balloon It kind of way, but still, I was spooked while reading certain pages. You’ll know the scene when you reach it. Creepiness can only be achieved through expert storytelling, and this book was expertly crafted. Jane Eyre explores themes of religion, independence, and love, and the role of women in society. This is not the easiest or quickest read on my list (we are in the 500 page region here) so some may wonder if it’s worth the time and commitment. Short answer? Absolutely.

 Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

I’ve always loved Siddhartha. I’ve read this a handful of times throughout the years and I appreciate that it’s very accessible to many different readers, despite covering some potentially complex notions on life, love, and spirituality. Thanks to the simplicity of the structure, this is a fairly quick read, but I bet that you may just find yourself returning back to the pages to revisit the central themes or to consider the story’s message.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

A fantastic book! Like Siddhartha, The Alchemist also possesses a simple, accessible structure while presenting some serious considerations on happiness, dreams and goals, and the purpose of life.  Depending on the kind of person you are, you’ll either love or hate the ending but it’s all part of the ultimate message.



Hunters of Infinity Series

Ryan Wieser

Genre: Space Opera, SciFi

Dawn of the Hunters

Hunters of Infinity #3

Pub Date: 5/7/19

03 DAWN OF THE HUNTERS_400x600Even the Hunters of Infinity are splintered when faced with the greatest battle in the Daharian galaxy’s history…

Jessop has proven herself to be an unstoppable force from Aranthol to Azgul, inarguably the fiercest warrior the Hunters have ever seen. And her abilities only seem to strengthen as her rage grows. With the two men she holds dear by her side—one good-souled, one with a treacherous past, and both deadly with a sword—she prepares to enter the most important fight of her life, with the most personal stakes yet…

Armies are divided and reforged, and battle lines are drawn. Blind loyalty drives some while others are sworn to protect the galaxy at all costs.

Bonds will be tested.

Lives will be lost.

Consequences will be devastating.

“This thrilling, action-packed debut ties together strong characters with a building story line that will have readers clamoring for the next volume in this new series.” —Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW, on The Glass Blade

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The Shadow City

Hunters of Infinity #2

02 THE SHADOW CITY_400x600The Hunters of Infinity have guarded the Daharian galaxy for ages, but when betrayed, they can become a vicious enemy…

Jessop, the first woman to join the Hunters, has finally been reunited with those who mean the most to her. In her quest for vengeance, she has left many embittered and betrayed, chief among them Kohl O’Hanlon, the Hunter who once loved her.

Now, as the feared Falco Bane leads his forces into the Hunters’ territory, Kohl attempts to retaliate, flooding their infamous Shadow City with his own followers. Jessop must fight a war on two fronts, testing her commitment to the ones she loves and challenging her abilities as the most elite warrior among the Hunters. With the future of Daharia’s leadership at stake, Jessop is determined to protect those closest to her at all costs . But when allies turn into adversaries, the real threat comes from a place least expected…

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The Glass Blade

Hunters of Infinity #1

01 THE GLASS BLADE_400x600The Hunters of Infinity have been protecting the Daharian galaxy for years, but there has never been a female Hunter—until now.

In a seedy bar in the shadowy corners of Daharia, Jessop comes to the rescue of young Hunter Kohl O’Hanlon. Impressed by her remarkable sword-wielding skills, the Hunters invite her to their training facility, the Glass Blade, though not all are pleased with the intrusion. But they soon discover that Jessop learned to fight from the rogue leader of the Shadow City of Aranthol—and escaped. Now they want to use her intimate knowledge of their enemy to destroy him.

As Jessop grows closer to this elite brotherhood, their leader succumbs to a mysterious ailment,  and Kohl learns that Jessop is hiding dark secrets, raising suspicions about the enigmatic woman who saved his life. Has the Hunters’ security been breached—or do they have a traitor in their ranks?

Allegiances will be questioned.
Loyalties will be betrayed.
Vengeance will be brutal.

“This thrilling, action-packed debut ties together a strong characters with a building story line that will have readers clamoring for the next volume in this new series.” —Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW, on The Glass Blade

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About the Author: Ryan Wieser completed her B.A. in Sociology and Socio-Legal Studies before going on to complete her MSc. in Experimental Psychology. Having been raised in Africa and educated across multiple countries, Ryan has a passion for travel and an interest in diverse cultures. She currently resides in Wyoming with her husband, where she is writing her next book.

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BLOG TOUR & GUEST POST: Garrett’s Ghost — Pamela Ackerson | #Western #TimeTravel

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Truth in Fiction

The Railroad Killer is a real person. It’s a good thing the FBI didn’t do a search on my computer. For several months I researched serial killers, how they did the murders, etc. As an author, I took the liberty of taking the true story of the Railroad Killer and implemented it into Garrett’s Ghost.

This is an excerpt from The Gingerbread House which gave me the idea to write Garrett’s story.

“Yes. When I spoke with Garrett at the convention, he mentioned a couple of things about a serial killer he was looking for in Oregon and Washington. The methods used by the killer there are the same here. He also seems to be having a problem with a ghost.”

 “Why would Garrett have information about a serial killer?” She blinked. “Ghost?”

“Yeah, she started haunting him at the convention.” Eric waved his hand. “He didn’t tell you?”

She shook her head.

“Well, that’s minor at this point. Right now he needs to find that killer.”

“Why? Is it his job or something?”

“Yes. He’s a Texas ranger.”


“The man he’s looking for is called the Railroad Killer.”

“The Railroad Killer?”

“Yes, his victims have been passengers or have been found near railroad tracks, like this killer.”

“What? What do you mean ‘like this killer’?”

Eric rubbed his eyes. “As my investigations have continued searching for Carson Carter, I’m finding bodies. Four to be exact, all along the railroad system on the east coast of Florida to the low country in South Carolina.”

“Mom! Are you coming?” Kimberly asked.

“Yes, we’re on the way.” She started down the stairs. “We’ll discuss this later.”

And to add another tidbit…the model on the cover of Garrett’s Ghost is a rancher from several generations of ranchers.


Garrett’s Ghost

Pamela Ackerson

Genre: Time Travel Western

GarrettsGhostPrintcover_395x600What’s a time traveling Texas Ranger supposed to do?

Garrett Houston is being harassed by a ghost. Trouble is brewing and her name is Margarite. She’s an unrelenting force determined to get his attention. It may be too late for her, but if she could get him to listen, she may be able to save some lives.

A story of unrequited love, the power of healing, and the embracing need to never give up. Unforgettable moments and unforgettable characters will tug at the heartstrings with a myriad of emotions.

Garrett’s Ghost is a touching story brimming with down-home Texas charm.

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Pamela AckersonAbout the Author: Wife, mother, author, and time traveling adventurer. Born and raised in Newport, RI where history is a way of life, Pamela Ackerson now lives on the Space Coast of Florida, a hop, skip, and jump from Orlando, where imagination and fantasy abounds. With the love of reading, she graduated to writing non-fiction, historical fiction, time travel, and children’s preschool/first reader books. 

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BLOG TOUR & GUEST POST: Finding Perdita — April Grey | #DarkUrbanFantasy

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Last year was the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The following might add some further appreciation to this accomplishment of the first Science Fiction novel.

14 Things To Know about Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.

  • Born in 1797, Mary Shelley was the daughter of two famous radicals, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, a feminist, and William Godwin, known for his proto-anarchist political beliefs.
  • Due to the lack of germ theory, doctors did not wash their hands before seeing patients. Mary Shelley’s mother died of childbirth fever, probably due to this lack of sanitation. Perhaps leaving Mary with the guilt that she caused her mother’s death by being born.
  • Her father remarried resulting in Mary having two step siblings and a half-brother.
  • Mary was sixteen when she began her affair with Percy Bysshe Shelley–who was married at the time and whose wife was pregnant.
  • Mary had her first child with Shelley out of wedlock when she was 17, and that child, born premature, died after only a few weeks of life.
  • Prior to writing Frankenstein, Mary wrote in her journal that she dreamt of her dead infant returning to life.
  • She was only able to marry Shelley after his wife committed suicide. Mary was 18 at the time.
  • She began her novel Frankenstein at the age of 18.
  • By the time Mary was 25, she was a widow and had witnessed the death of 3 children plus nearly died of a miscarriage. Her son, Percy Florence Shelley, was her only child to reach adulthood.
  • The first printing of Frankenstein (1818) was anonymous, and thought to be written by her husband.
  • The popularity of Frankenstein may be due to the numerous staged and film adaptions of the book, over one hundred plays, in the past two hundred years.
  • In the first adaption to stage (1823), Frankenstein’s creation was presented as a mute, hulking monster. In the book, his speech is quite elegant. Also the character of the bumbling assistant was a creation of the playwright.
  • Though the plays kept her novel in demand, she never saw any money from the productions due to early copyright laws.
  • Her writing of Frankenstein could be seen as an inditement of men not taking responsibility over their creations, such as children; or about the horror of creation itself due to the death of Mary’s children and the death of her mother due to Mary’s own birth.


Finding Perdita

April Grey

Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy

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Fairy Tales can come true, it can happen to you…Run!

Down on her luck and out-of-work, actress Cindy White’s life changes for the worse when her roommate kicks her out. Landing in new digs in an old Chelsea tenement Cindy discovers a tunnel to the land of Perdita, a place she’d thought her father had made up in the fairy tales he’d once told her.

A dangerous, ruined place of fairies, demons and captives, like her father who she thought was dead.

In this dark fantasy, a young woman discovers her true self and must align it with the old in leaving the world she knows behind in an effort to free her father.

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April Grey_400x299About the Author: April Grey’s short stories are collected in The Fairy Cake Bakeshop and in I’ll Love You Forever. She is also the author of two urban fantasy novels: Chasing the Trickster and it’s sequel, St. Nick’s Favor.

She edited the anthologies: Hell’s Bells: Wicked Tunes, Mad Musicians and Cursed Instruments; Hell’s Garden: Mad, Bad and Ghostly Gardeners, Hell’s Grannies: Kickass Tales of the Crone and last year’s, Hell’s Kitties and Other Beastly Beasts.

She and her family live in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC in a building next to a bedeviled garden. Gremlins, sprites or pixies, something mischievous, lurks therein. Someday she’ll find out. Please visit www.aprilgrey.blogspot for her latest news.

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BLOG TOUR & GUEST POST: Bloodline Series — Iuliana Foos | #sweet #paranormalromance #adventure

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The Path I Walked

Thank you so much for hosting me today.

Born and raised in Bucharest, Romania, I had a childhood and upbringing different from what most people outside the country are accustomed to. Since an early age, I loved to read. Growing up in a communist country, where all information was closely monitored, I soon ran out of books.

I had to start of course with the literature mandatory in school, all Romanian authors, but soon, I started to borrow books from my parents’ collection. When most people hear ‘Black Market’ they think of illegal merchandise. For us, was also books. Coming across translated international authors, wasn’t easy, but not impossible either.

I fell in love with ‘The Three Musketeers’ by Alexander Dumas, the first romance book I ever read. I was in my mid-teens, so extremely impressionable. Until today I still believe everyone should have at least one sword, even if only for decorative purposes.

When I attempted to read ‘War and Peace’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, I failed miserably, falling asleep before finishing a whole page. I still didn’t get the courage to go back and try to read what at that time, for me, was the most boring book, so I never made it past the first chapter. It served as a good paperweight, and many times I used it to hide underneath another book, usually something frowned upon (for political reasons), like ‘Gone with the Wind’ by Margaret Mitchell.

Around the same time, I managed to put my greedy hands on translated adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays, whose themes are still successfully rehashed today.

One of my best finds has to be Greek Mythology Adaptations. Those gods are still inspiring.

The time came, and I ran out of books to devour, so I started to make my own stories. In school and at home, I was busy creating worlds and characters in my head. The visit at Dracula’s Castle uncovered infinite possibilities. Our ordinary world had become that day less important than my fantasy one. You can only imagine the new level of commotion in my mind. It was the first time I knew what I wanted to do in my life: be an author.

With my first job, life started to interfere with my dreams of writing. Living though the revolution that ended the communism in Romania, brought hope. Unfortunately, the bitter taste of disappointment with the new life, convinced me to leave behind everything I knew. Only months before my twenty-ninth birthday I emigrated to Canada, in a search of a better life.

As an immigrant, I had an allowance of two large travel bags, each no heavier than forty kilograms (or eighty pounds), so I packed my life in those and started new. I still have my fifteen large notebooks, handwritten in Romanian with my first stories. They took half of one of my allowed bags, my most precious possessions.

Year after year, I drifted further and further away from my dreams. With bills to pay and life in general happening every minute of the day, I had to stay focused on my sales/marketing career.

When I thought life couldn’t surprise me anymore, it did. I divorced, and years later, remarried. Following my husband meant yet another big move, this time to the United States of America, my new home. He encouraged me to revisit my dream, give writing a second chance, and so I did.

New challenges rose, but I was determined not to let anything stand between me and my dream this time, not even writing in a language that’s not my native. It took me seventeen years to even dare consider it. English is not even my second language, but my fourth. I was fluent in Spanish at nineteen, and in French at thirty. With time I lost the ability to speak any of the two, but I still can understand some.

If you ever look for a challenge to test your courage and drive, try it. Pick the best language you speak, other than your first, and write a novel. Let me know how that works out. No, really, let me know. If you think having an accent is bad, wait until you have to figure out grammar. Thank God, the accent doesn’t come through in writing.

Many people start new chapters at some point in their lives. For some, the change is major, for others not so much. For me, it was monumental. Both times.

So here I stand today, humbled and grateful for everything I went through. I carry the scars of my battles, and the sweet memories of my victories. Every adventure and step I took brought me where I am today.

I’ve learned to never lose hope. It took me over thirty years to live the dream I had as a teenager. It’s never too late to reach that dream you have. Hold on to it. Foster it’s growth, and above all else, never give up. Second chances happen when you least expect it.


Bloodline Series

Iuliana Foos

Genre: Sweet Paranormal Romance Adventure

Bloodline Origins

Bloodline Book 1

Book 1 Bloodlines Origin 2820x4200_403x600Determined to turn her fantasy into reality, Ana starts her journey to become a vampire. Along the way, she learns the truth about their secret society, discovers her prestigious bloodline, and falls in love.

Not all vampires are accepting of humans and war looms in the shadows. An ancient tome reveals the vampires’ alien descent and sparks war.

An army bent on eradicating her coven’s existence threatens her new world. Survival or annihilation will be in Ana’s hands.

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Bloodline Destinies

Bloodline Book 2

Book 2 Bloodlines Destinies 2820x4200_403x600In the year 2516 humans share Earth with elusive vampires and GeMs—a new species of blood-drinkers who appeared after the Flood.

Months before his five-hundredth birthday, Theodor De Croix, Prince of The Old Coven, crosses paths with Vivienne. Torn between proving himself worthy of his bloodline and centuries-old beliefs about true love, he saves her life but rejects the idea that she might be sent to him by fate itself.

Vivienne is a human scientist turned GeM in an accident. Body and mind forever altered, she struggles every day to adapt to her new life. Attracted to the man who saved her, but fearing his kind, she finds herself in more danger than ever.

Caught up in a whirlwind of dreams and evil plots, both must confront their own demons in order to save each other, testing the powers of fate and love.

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Iuliana Foos_298x400About the Author: Born and raised in Bucharest, Romania, Iuliana Foos currently lives with her husband in San Antonio, Texas.

When she doesn’t daydream or write, she enjoys drinking copious amounts of coffee and playing online multi-player games, hoping one day to have a white sanded beach as her backyard.

Becoming a traditionally published author has been a life-long dream turned reality.

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BLOG TOUR & GUEST POST: The Matawapit Family — Maggie Blackbird | #contemporaryromance #inspirationalromance

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I remember searching through photos trying to find Bridget, because I already knew who Adam was.  Pictures are nice to have on hand.  Sometimes I get lucky and find a picture, sometimes I don’t.

For Blessed, book one in the Matawapit Family Series, I visualised a young Pat John in his prime (who played Jesse Jim in the CBC TV show the Beachcombers) as Darryl.  But for Emery, he only existed in my imagination, until eXasty Books cover artist Martine Jardin took my ideas and produced Emery for the book’s cover.  She shocked me, because I didn’t expect to see my Emery, the one I dreamed up in my head, on the cover of Blessed.  Goes to show how talented she is.

For Redeemed, when I saw a picture of actress Kimberly Guerrero posing on the cover of a movie poster with the late Steve Reevis for the film The Cherokee Word for Water, I knew I’d found my Bridget Matawapit.

As for hero Adam Guimond, the late actor Sonny Lanham, during his 48 Hours and Predator heyday, was perfect to fill the roll of Adam.  They shared the same muscular build, deep, booming voice, scary laugh, and intimidating presence.

So there’d be no movie, because two of the actors have since passed on.  But it’s nice to wish and wonder.


The Matawapit Family Series

Maggie Blackbird

Genre: Contemporary Inspirational Romance


The Matawapit Family Series Book 2

REDEEMED-Final_400x600A single woman battles to keep her foster child from his newly-paroled father—a dangerous man she used to love.

Bridget Matawapit is an Indigenous activist, daughter of a Catholic deacon, and foster mother to Kyle, the son of an Ojibway father—the ex-fiancé she kicked to the curb after he chose alcohol over her love. With Adam out on parole and back in Thunder Bay, she is determined to stop him from obtaining custody of Kyle.

Adam Guimond is a recovering alcoholic and ex-gangbanger newly-paroled. Through counselling, reconnecting with his Ojibway culture and twelve-step meetings while in prison, Adam now understands he’s worthy of the love that frightened him enough to pick up the bottle he’d previously corked. He can’t escape the damage he caused so many others, but he longs to rise like a true warrior in the pursuit of forgiveness and a second chance. There’s nothing he isn’t willing to do to win back his son–and Bridget.

When an old cell mate’s daughter dies under mysterious circumstances in foster care, Adam begs Bridget to help him uncover the truth. Bound to the plight of the Indigenous children in care, Bridget agrees. But putting herself in contact with Adam threatens to resurrect her long-buried feelings for him, and even worse, she risks losing care of Kyle, by falling for a man who might destroy her faith in love completely this time.

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The Matawapit Family Series Book 1

BLESSED_400x600It’s been ten years since Emery Matawapit sinned, having succumbed to temptation for the one thing in his life that felt right, another man. In six months he’ll make a life-changing decision that will bar him from sexual relationships for the rest of his life.

Darryl Keejik has a decade-long chip on his shoulder, and he holds Emery’s father, the church deacon, responsible for what he’s suffered: the loss of his family and a chance at true love with Emery. No longer a powerless kid, Darryl has influence within the community—maybe more than the deacon. Darryl intends on using his power to destroy Deacon Matawapit and his church.

Hoping to save the church, Emery races home. But stopping Darryl is harder than expected when their sizzling chemistry threatens to consume Emery. Now he is faced with the toughest decision of his life: please his devout parents and fulfill his call to the priesthood, or remain true to his heart and marry the man created for him.

This is very erotic book about a spiritual journey.

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Maggie Blackbird AvatarAbout the Author: An Ojibway from Northwestern Ontario, Maggie resides in the country with her husband and their fur babies, two beautiful Alaskan Malamutes. When she’s not writing, she can be found pulling weeds in the flower beds, mowing the huge lawn, walking the Mals deep in the bush, teeing up a ball at the golf course, fishing in the boat for walleye, or sitting on the deck at her sister’s house, making more wonderful memories with the people she loves most.

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