Beginning January 1, 2013

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Virtual Book Tour: Sacred Breath Series by Nadia Scrieva



This is a stop on a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Nadia will giving away an eBook copy of Drowning Mermaids to one randomly drawn commenter at every stop.

Deep under Arctic waters lies an ice kingdom carved into a glacier. Those who dwell within it possess magnificent biological secrets. Due to the dangers of impending war, the Princess of Adlivun is forced to flee her undersea utopia and regroup with her sisters in Alaska.

Captain Trevain Murphy is a successful king crab fisherman who has spent his life building his empire above the sea, and knows nothing of the empire beneath it. When he meets a mysterious dancer whose father has recently died, he extends kindness towards her, unaware of her unique genetics and royal lineage.

Trevain's attraction to the enigmatic Aazuria Vellamo will involve him in dangerous designs that will forever change his life, and his perspective on himself and his world. He embarks on perilous journeys in which he will need to release all of his insecurities and inhibitions in order to survive.

There is no divorce in the undersea kingdom of Adlivun. Marriage is a bond that lasts until death—even if death comes in several centuries, and in that time your spouse happens to become your sworn enemy. This is the conflict that General Visola Ramaris faces when she learns that the mighty Vachlan is behind the attacks on her kingdom. She has sworn to protect Adlivun with her life, but long ago, she also swore to love and honor her husband...

Visola must choose whether she will destroy Vachlan once and for all, or attempt the hardest thing conceivable: communication. After two hundred years of desertion, she has no faith in their feeble bond and knows she can never forgive him. When he threatens the person dearest to her, she must take action. Confronting Vachlan on enemy territory would be nothing short of suicide. She knows that if she falls into his custody, the deranged man would relish breaking her down and making her lose her sanity.

Princess Aazuria forbids Visola from taking matters into her own hands; she will do anything it takes to protect her friend from the man who wants to crush her. Alas, Visola is a crazy, uncontrollable warrior woman with the blood of Vikings in her veins. Why would she ever consider doing the safe and predictable thing?

About the Author:Nadia Scrieva was born in 1988 in Toronto, Canada. She studied English and Anthropology, graduating with an Honors B.A. from the University of Toronto in 2011. She likes knives. Writing has been the most meaningful part of her life since she was a child. Nadia loves receiving feedback from readers, so do not hesitate to contact her with any of your comments, questions, ideas, or just to say hello.

Find the author online at:


Wednesday, July 18, 2012



If you ask any author what their single favorite part of the publishing process is, they will undeniably tell you how much they love marketing. Well, alright, maybe not. Most writers gripe constantly about the tedium of marketing, and how they’d rather be practicing the art of writing. Marketing is a necessity of the profession and, luckily, I’m ok with that.

What makes me different from so many of my colleagues? For starters, maybe it’s because I had a few careers before author, including lawyer and political operative. This whole realm of being an “artist” is new to me. Occasionally I feel a bit like Forest Gump, just enjoying the surroundings like a happy simpleton. At the same time, I am very serious about my writing and I do everything I can to make it work. The whole marketing process gives me flashbacks to some advice that I got from my dad as a nervous, quiet five year old on the eve of my first day of kindergarten. I’d never been to any pre-school or daycare and I was more than a little scared of what to expect. He told me to find another student who seemed nice, go up to them and say “Hi, I’m Peter, would you like to be friends?” Amazingly, thirty-plus years later, I find myself doing that exact same thing via Facebook, Twitter, my blog, and any other medium that I can find.

I like this part of being an author because I don’t look at it as “marketing”. I look at it as if I have an opportunity to make new friends who have similar interests. I almost never ask anyone to buy my book outright. In fact, had I known that this was such a good way to meet people, I would have started writing years ago!

I think the biggest reason that I don’t share the same aversion that many authors have to putting myself “out there” is because I grew up in a political family where I was forced to approach people and ask them to do stuff; donate money, volunteer, vote, etc. When I was about nine years old, I was passing out leaflets in a downtown area, asking people to vote for my mom. One businessman stopped and asked me a simple question- “why?” I froze. After shaking the deer in the headlights look off my face, I pointed over to my mother and told him to talk to her if he had questions. He said “No, I’m asking you. You said I should vote for her, and I want you to tell me why.” To this day I don’t know why someone would put a little kid on the spot like that, but a lifetime of similar political encounters had an impact. They transformed me from that shy, introverted kid, into a shy, introverted adult who is accustomed to reaching out to strangers and building bridges and friendships. I can’t say that I’ve ever grown fond of asking people for acceptance with the potential to be denied or, worse yet, criticized. But I have gained thick-enough skin so that I don’t mind the rejection or criticism as much as most people probably do.

The thrill of someone telling me that they enjoyed my writing outweighs the occasional rejection or negativity that inevitably comes with this line of work. So, instead of asking people on Twitter to buy something or to “like” my page, I’m content with simply being friends, just like in Kindergarten. Plus, when people do ask me why they should read my books, I’m ready!

Leave a comment or ask Peter a question for a chance to win a copy of Perchance to Dream.

About the Author:
Peter Lukes grew up in Massachusetts, where he also went to college, law school and graduate school. Peter is an attorney who frequently teaches classes in history, political science and government as an adjunct faculty professor at local colleges. His true passion lies in writing the kinds of science fiction and fantasy stories that he loved reading throughout his life. Peter still lives in Massachusetts with his wife and son, who have both been indoctrinated into the worlds of spaceships, vampires, super heroes and dragons.

Manuel Corr is the best of the best in the Sub-Net unit of the Boston Police, where he invades the dreams of criminals to unearth potential crimes. He's fearless where his work is concerned, until one night when the dream world collapses around him. Now trapped in a dreamscape he can no longer direct, Manuel must try to fight his way back to reality.

But the road back is more dangerous than he realized. The tables have been turned; criminals are running the Sub-Net, and the world of dreams he'd once patrolled is a nightmare he cannot escape from.

Unless he can unlock the conspiracy behind who’s manipulating the Sub-Net, Manuel may be trapped forever. The criminal world is trying to recruit him for their side, and refusal means death. Can Manuel claw his way back to the reality he remembers? Or will the dream world become his new reality?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012



Farewell to India: A Study of Character
C.S. Fuqua

Two questions usually come up during author presentations: Where do you get ideas? How do you create characters? For me, ideas come from daily experiences, sprinkled with a good helping of what if. My characters are usually vague reflections of acquaintances, friends, and relatives, although rarely based on a specific person. Some characters, however, aren’t based on people at all.

Fifteen years ago, we purchased an Australian shepherd named India. To our then six-year-old daughter, she became a reliable, exuberant playmate and companion. To each of us, she provided comfort with unqualified affection. Although the breed had been developed strictly for herding, India found cats and kids unwilling participants, but she enjoyed the romping, scampering, and playing as fully and jubilantly as any child. When left behind, she’d lie with her head between her front paws, eyes on the door, waiting for our daughter to return and the fun to begin again.

We lived in the countryside at the time, where leash laws were considered an infringement upon an individual’s rights (go figure). The neighbor across the street owned a golden retriever with the IQ of a nail and fidelity of a politician. One afternoon, I was hoeing weeds near the street while India waited on the porch where she’d been instructed to “stay.” I was on my knees at the curb, back toward the street, pulling up a stubborn root when India bound past me. I spun in time to see her intercept the retriever in mid-air as the retriever sprang for me. The retriever was easily twice her size, but India did not hesitate to protect me.

I shouted for her to heel, and she immediately responded. The retriever lunged for her. I stepped between them, hoe drawn back to do whatever needed to protect India and me. The owner emerged from her house, screaming as she ran to the street where she grabbed for the dog, breaking its concentration on India and me only to have it snap at her. I jabbed the retriever with the hoe, forcing it to retreat into its yard. The owner and I then engaged in an intense discussion, resulting in the retriever's confinement inside the fenced backyard. The retriever’s conniving cowardice has since surfaced in several characters in my stories, but more important, India’s brave and selfless nature has served as the basis of some of my most honorable characters.

In recent years, India developed cataracts, muscle spasms, and aching joints. A few months after she turned 16 last year, we found a marble-size knot over her left upper canine tooth that had already fused with the bone. Cancer. Surgery would have removed a good portion of her snout and mouth with no cure or extension of life, while chemical treatment would have proved useless.

Her abilities declined rapidly. When she barked, it was usually only once, more of a grumble than protest. The stiffness in her joints intensified, and on some mornings she could barely move. She slept more. Even so, she always became excited when one of us would arrive home and would experience occasional moments when she felt good enough to chase her ball. By late November, the knot had tripled in size. She’d begun to experience dementia, staring at her food, walking in endless circles, staring and swaying in the hallway. Then the vet discovered a large mass in her belly.

Early on November 30, India stood at the window from where she had watched the neighborhood for years. Moments later, she turned away. She went to the cats, nudged them with her nose. She walked to each room in the house, finally to our sleeping daughter’s bedside. She slipped her head under our daughter’s hand.

Two hours later, India died.

I buried her body in the backyard in a place she favored in the final months of her life, a place visible from where I’m now writing. I spend a good deal of time looking out at that small mound of dirt, especially when I’m developing story characters. I recall how she loped after her ball, tried to herd cats and kids, played tug-of-war with my daughter, protected us from any danger with no concern for herself, and so much more. She embodied the best qualities in fiction’s most endearing and admired characters. Devoted, forgiving, accepting without reservation, reliable, responsible, India exhibited as basic instinct the primary traits we cherish in human beings, the most honorable qualities most of us only wish we possessed.

About the Author: Christopher S. Fuqua’s published books include Alabama Musicians: Musical Heritage from the Heart of Dixie, If I Were..., Big Daddy's Gadgets, Trust Walk short fiction collection, Notes to My Becca, and Divorced Dads, among others. His fourteenth book, a second collection of short stories entitled Rise Up, will be published by Mundania Press in November 2012. His short work has appeared widely in publications as diverse as Bull Spec, Slipstream, Pearl, The Year's Best Horror Stories, Christian Science Monitor, Honolulu Magazine, Naval History, The Writer, and many others. His short fiction and poetry collections have earned several “Year’s Best” honors. For more information, please visit his website at

Wednesday, July 11, 2012



This post is part of a Virtual Book Tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Ruthanne will be awarding a $5 Amazon GC to one random commenter at every stop and a $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter at the end of the tour.

Hello, and thanks for having me! You asked me if I've learned anything from my protagonist, which I'll admit isn't something I'd thought about before. Given that Harry isn't real, I can't exactly say yes – but given what he and I have had to work through, I can't say no, either.

My protagonist, Harry Iskinder, is in a pretty bad place. He's inherited a burden, a quest to find something that might not be real, while trying to lead a troop of sidekicks who view him as little more than a child. Harry believes that if he fails, all of mankind will die. He isn't wrong. He's also just nineteen years old. That's an unhappy combination.

As Harry flails his way through everything from life-threatening weather to city-wide terrorism, his core beliefs are challenged in strange ways. His inhuman slaves are not what he was taught they would be, and as he learns to empathize with them, the world as he knows it shatters. Everything Harry took for granted as "right" and "wrong" turns unfamiliar and frightening… especially when his new understanding becomes the lynchpin between the human and Sundered species, determining who lives and who dies.

While I can say I've never had the fate of the world in my hands, I have been in the position of realizing some of my presuppositions were wrong. A wise man I know uses the word "idol" for some of these things - principles on which we rest everything else, foundational pillars which, if toppled, bring everything else tumbling down.

In the last few years, plenty of my idols have been smashed to nasty, chalk-flavored dust. It's not a fun experience, but it is survivable. I know what happens to Harry even after this book, years and years down the road, and I can say that in time, he will learn to share a critical belief of mine: even though it hurts, we are always healthier when we exchange "idols" for true and strong foundations.

Life and growth are worth the struggle. Wherever you are in your life, my advice is to hang in there. It really does get better.

About the Author:Ruthanne Reid was raised in the woods, but fortunately, her isolation was offset by regular visits to New York City. She pursued music for years before realizing she wanted to tell stories rather than sing them.

Ruthanne writes in and around Seattle, owns dust-covered degrees in music and religion, and is generally considered dangerous around household electronics. Her favorite authors tend to be dramatic (J. R. R. Tolkien, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss), but she doesn’t see this as a bad thing. She belongs to a husband, a housemate, and a cat, respectively.

The Sundered is her first novel.

Find her online at:


Harry Iskinder knows the rules.

Don’t touch the water, or it will pull you under. Conserve food, because there’s no arable land. Use Sundered slaves gently, or they die too quickly to be worthwhile.

With extinction on the horizon and a world lost to deadly flood, Harry searches for a cure: the Hope of Humanity, the mysterious artifact that gave humans control over the Sundered centuries ago. According to legend, the Hope can fix the planet.

But the Hope holds more secrets than Harry knows. Powerful Sundered Ones willingly bow to him just to get near it. Ambitious enemies pursue him, sure that the Hope is a weapon. Friends turn their backs, afraid Harry will choose wrong.

And Harry has a choice to make. The time for sharing the Earth is done. Either the Sundered survive and humanity ends, or humanity lives for a while, but the Sundered are wiped out.

He never wanted this choice. He still has to make it. In his broken, flooded world, Hope comes with a price.

Friday, July 6, 2012



The Power of Dreams
Anne Brooke

I never intended to write a fantasy trilogy, of which The Gifting is the first book. But one night I had a dream of a man trying to fight certain death and being pursued by nameless enemies through trees and darkness. When I woke up, the man was just about to be hanged and I was absolutely desperate to know what happened next.

So I wrote that initial chapter which turned out to be Chapter Three, and the whole project snowballed from there. I was sucked in to the magical world of Gathandria with its city of light and glass, and to the contrasting rural poverty of the Lammas Lands, where Simon my main character in my dream begins his journey.

I’ve always had very vivid dreams, especially as a child. I would usually dream of adventures, often involving cowboys and Indians as those were the films my father and I most often watched. How I loved James Stewart and John Wayne – ah, they don’t make them like that any more … Often I would dream these adventures in nightly episodes, so where I’d left my dream one night would be picked up and carried on to the next adventure the next night, and so on. Sometimes these series would go on for about a week or so, and I can even remember some of them now, well over thirty years later.

Later on, I remember having a dream during a time when I was under a lot of pressure at work and needed to make several decisions about my working life that I wasn’t sure I was able to make. I kept dreaming about being chased by something terrifying I was frightened of facing. A friend of mine advised me to take control in the dream and turn and confront whatever it was. I had no idea we could do that with dreams, but when I next had this particular nightmare, I did exactly what she said: I turned round, feeling terrified but knowing I had to do it, and then the shadows pursuing me vanished into nothing at all and I was left simply standing in grass and sunlight. It was very life-enhancing and shortly afterward I changed my job and went into a career I was much happier with. It gave me a very deep sense of being in control and having a choice.

Dreams are indeed powerful things. Even now, mine tend to focus on danger and adventure, and I’m usually a man within them. My 1960s/70s childhood obviously taught me men have more exciting lives, and not even the 21st century equalities can wipe those influences away! Our subconscious is a strange and astonishing part of our lives, that’s for sure.

The interpretation of our dreams can be a fascinating pastime and there are countless books and articles giving advice to help us on our way. Happy dreaming!

About the Author: Anne is the author of six published novels, including her fantasy series, The Gathandrian Trilogy, published by Bluewood Publishing and featuring scribe and mind-reader Simon Hartstongue. More information on the trilogy is available at: and the first of these novels is The Gifting. In addition, her short stories are regularly published by Riptide Publishing, Amber Allure Press and Untreed Reads. Her website can be found at

The mind-dwellers of Gathandria are under deadly siege. For two year-cycles they have suffered: their people decimated, their beautiful city in ruins. Their once peaceful life has descended into chaos and misery. Legends tell of the Lost One who will return at such a time to save them from their mortal enemy – the mind-executioner. This enemy knows their ways well, for he was once an elder of the city. Time is running out.

 Johan and Isabella take up the quest, journeying to the Lammas Lands searching for their distant cousin and lowly scribe, Simon Hartstongue. The elders dare to hope that he is whom they seek. Not everyone shares this hope; there is one amongst them who is bound to the enemy, shielding their secret thoughts from mind links while seeking to betray Simon.

Powerful lessons are learned as they travel through the mystical kingdoms of the Mountains, the Air, the Desert and the Waters. Deadly attacks threaten total annihilation and devastating sorrow strikes. Story-telling weaves a tenuous net of protection around them, but the enemy has absolute power with the stolen mind-cane in his possession. To his surprise Simon hears its song. Desperately he tries to understand and embrace his gifting, as he struggles to comprehend his inheritance. A strong and pure mind is needed in the battle to defeat the enemy. If you are branded a coward, a murderer and an outcast, how can you be a saviour? Doubt creeps into the Gathandrians' minds. Is Simon truly the One?

You can read an excerpt and purchase The Gifting in eBook and in paperback.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012



It’s In The Genes For Vella Munn/Vonna Harper

“If you could talk to anyone from the past, who would it be?”

As a romance and otherwise writer, I’ve been asked that question numerous times, and my answer is always the same. I’d give a great deal to sit down for a chat with my grandfather

So why does a man who died in 1924 at the age of thirty-six have his own website? Glad you asked and even if you didn’t please hang with me. Grandpa was (I wish I had a drumroll here) a pioneering writer for the early pulp magazines. His short stories, novellas, and novel length speculative fiction was read by tens of thousands. A month before his mysterious and violent death (he may have been murdered), his last story The Money Miler sold for $400. This boggles my mind, $400 for a novella length in 1924!

Hopefully you now have a better idea of why some shop talk with Grandpa would mean so much to me. I’d love to tell him about the changes in the publishing world since he pounded on a manual typewriter and ask him to read and comment on the biography I wrote about this precious-to-me man called Grandfather Lost.

What would he think of Musa Publishing’s commitment to bring out the body of work that demonstrated his creativity and intellect? How would he react to the Five Stars that Long and Short Reviews recently gave his short story "The Planetary Pirate"?

What about your eldest grandchild, Grandpa? Did you ever wonder if one of your offspring would be bitten by the same compulsion to write? I did and I hope you’d be proud of me. Granted, the erotic romances I write as Vonna Harper leave my mother and your oldest daughter blushing and shaking her head, but that’s only part of who I am. Under my real name Vella Munn (yes, I was named after your youngest daughter), I’ve written category romances, mainstream historicals, a man-against-nature, and a young adult. I’m currently under contract with Tor Publishing for a paranormal thriller and will soon write a paranormal romantic suspense for Entangled Publishing.

Truth is I’ll never talk shop with you, but thank you, thank you for the gift of your fiction and more. Your manuscripts are in my possession. I entrusted the fragile pulp magazines they appeared in to the Spencer Research Library’s Science Fiction collection at the University of Kansas. My Nana, your wife, kept the precious letters you wrote her and those are in a special place close to my heart. I even have copies of the newspaper articles written following your untimely death.

Maybe most precious, I have your genes.