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Magical Whispers

14 Oct

Hi, everyone! I’d like you to help me welcome the lovely and talented poet, Balroop Singh . She has released a new poetry book, ‘Magical Whispers.’ I’m excited to read all about it, because I’m a fan of her work. The floor is yours, Balroop.

Thank you for hosting me, Vashti.

Book Blurb:

I wait for whispers; they regale my muse. Whispers that can be heard by our heart, whispers that ride on the breeze to dispel darkness and ignite hope. I’m sure you would hear them through these poems if you read slowly.

‘Magical Whispers’ would transport you to an island of serenity; beseech you to tread softly on the velvety carpet of nature to feel the ethereal beauty around you. The jigsaw of life would melt and merge as you dive into the warmth of words.

In this book, my poems focus on whispers of Mother Nature, whispers that are subtle but speak louder than words and breathe a quiet message.

Each day reminds us

It’s the symphony of surroundings

That whisper life into us.

Book Information:

Title: Magical Whispers

Author: Balroop Singh

Genre: Poetry

Available at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KJQ6K5D

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

Excerpt:

Sublime Sky

If you just look at the dark clouds

They may share your anguish

But they offer no solace

They drag you into deeper dumps.

If you look at the moon

It would speak to you calmly

Telling you timeless stories of change

And purge your heart of all regrets.

If you look at the sun and his hues

It would unravel stories of life

From dawn to dusk it spreads gold

And fills your heart with delight.

But I beseech you to look at the azure sky

When the sun’s amber song begins

Permeating through pink clouds

A melody that springs hope and light.

© Balroop Singh

Meet Poet and Author, Balroop Singh:

Balroop Singh, a former teacher and an educator always had a passion for writing.  She is a poet, a creative non-fiction writer, a relaxed blogger and a doting grandma. She writes about people, emotions and relationships. Her poetry highlights the fact that happiness is not a destination but a chasm to bury agony, anguish, grief, distress and move on! No sea of solitude is so deep that it can drown us. Sometimes aspirations are trampled upon, the boulders of exploitation and discrimination may block your path but those who tread on undeterred are always successful.

When turbulences hit, when shadows of life darken, when they come like unseen robbers, with muffled exterior, when they threaten to shatter your dreams, it is better to break free rather than get sucked by the vortex of emotions.

A self-published author, she is the poet of Sublime Shadows of Life and Emerging From Shadows, both widely acclaimed poetry books. She has also written When Success Eludes,Emotional Truths Of Relationships Read FREE with Kindle Unlimitedand Allow Yourself to be a Better Person.

Balroop Singh has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. The moonlight streaming through her garden, the flowers, the meadows, the butterflies cast a spell on her. She lives in San Ramon, California.

Visit her blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

Connecting linkshttps://twitter.com/BalroopShado

Thank you for visiting today. I hope you enjoyed the post. Please show my guest author some love in the comment section below.

The Ballad of Mrs. Molony

6 Oct

Hi, everyone! Today’s guest is no stranger to this blog. I’ve featured C. S. Boyack and his work several times. Craig is a prolific speculative fiction author, and I enjoy his writing style and quirky characters. I’ve read his book ‘The Hat’ and enjoyed it very much. You can read my review here. His personal assistant, robot girl and spokes model, Lisa will introduce us to his latest work. Without further ado here’s Lisa Burton.

Gosh, thanks, for the invitation Vashti. It’s been so hard getting out with all the troubles going on lately. I’m here to promote Craig’s new book, The Ballad of Mrs. Molony. This is the third one in The Hat series, but don’t let that scare you off. He worked pretty hard so readers wouldn’t absolutely have to read them in order. People can start right here and have a good time.

You asked for something about Craig’s characters, and I could tell you all kinds of stories. He has a definite style. He likes to use more stoic main characters, then add color with his supporting characters. The Hat Series is a little different, because it’s a buddy series. There’s still a bit of that framework.

Lizzie St. Laurent is a struggling twenty-something working multiple jobs to keep the wolf away. She’s the more stoic one in these adventures.

The hat is a being from another dimension. He was brought here years ago by witchcraft. He’s magically bound to Lizzie’s bloodline and must always take the form of a hat. The form varies, but there are limitations. He has a few magical skills, but no form he can use to accomplish anything. He’s a little more colorful than Lizzie is, to say the least.

Together, they team up to improve their lot in life, but also to fight against monsters.

Character is a big part of these stories. Because there is a huge generation gap, and maybe some differing values, they’re at each others’ throats all the time. Craig plays this for comedy, because that’s a big part of this series. Imagine a social justice warrior trying to deal with her own grandfather and you get the idea. This geezer doesn’t really understand cell phones, the Internet or anything very high tech. It’s enough to drive a robot girl crazy, so I kind of side with Lizzie.

Craig adds some colorful characters everywhere else, too. In this book you’ll meet Kevin, who’s probably the worst vampire of all time. Can you imagine a vampire with gnarly teeth and a speech impediment? Not quite the romantic image Dracula left us with.

Craig’s known for some pretty outlandish characters. Present company excluded. This series has some of the craziest ones he’s ever come up with. That’s saying something if you consider he came up with a talking yak and the root monsters in other tales. I hope your fans will give it a chance.

Oh, I’m also supposed to tell you they’re designed to be short reads. They come in at about half the length of a novel. Makes them easy to read on a Saturday afternoon.

Now let’s get to the fun part. Part of my job is to pose for promotional posters, and I have one for you and your fans. Remember, this series is supposed to be kind of corny, so the scene I’m representing has a little humorous nod to the Spaghetti Westerns of years gone by. It occurs toward the end of the book.

It was so nice visiting with you. Now I want to check out your area. Maybe get my nails touched up. Robot girls don’t actually breathe, but I have a cute mask with bunnies on it to make others feel comfortable. Do you think one of the salons might be open?

There are plenty of beauty salons around here, Lisa, but I haven’t been to one since the pandemic began. I have no idea if they’re open. Maybe we can do each other’s nails? When you wear your mask you’re giving others a good example. Thanks!

Blurb:

Lizzie and the hat are back, and this time they’re chasing vampires across a subculture of America. A pair of rodeo cowboys are holding a woman captive to use like a milk cow since they joined the undead.

The person who put them onto the trail is also a vampire, but he has to be the worst vampire in history. Is he really that pitiful, or is he setting a trap for our heroes? Does the woman even exists? Can Lizzie and the hat find her before she also takes up blood sucking?

Follow Lizzie and the hat as they use their cover band to stalk vamps across the country music scene.

Purchase your copy hereThe Ballad of Mrs. Molony

Other stories in the series:

THE HAT

VIRAL BLUES

You can contact Craig at the following locations:

BlogMy Novels|  TwitterGoodreads |FacebookPinterestBookBub

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to leave Lisa some love in the comment section below. Even robot girls need love. 😉

New Book Launch: Eternal Road – The Final Stop

29 Sep

Hi, everyone! I’m delighted to feature author John W. Howell on my blog today. He launched a new book titled Eternal Road – The Final Stop. John is a favorite author of mine, and I’m excited to read his new book. I’ll let him tell you all about it.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Vashti, and for helping me launch Eternal Road – The final stop. I know you are busy with your next manuscript so I’m happy you could take time to help with the launch. Let me describe the kind of book it is. Eternal Road is the story of two people finding their way through the selection process leading to the place where one will spend eternity. Yes, it is true. They both have passed away. James Wainwright just died in an auto accident. Samantha Tourneau died seventeen years before. Sam is James’s guide to help him decide where to spend eternity. This is not your usual thriller or paranormal romance. It is a piece of fiction that is a combination of inspiration, adventure, time travel, sci-fi, a touch of erotica, and a dash of spiritual. In short, it is a lot of things, but hopefully, a story that will make you happy to have read it.

BLURB:

James Wainwright picks up a hitchhiker and discovers two things 1. The woman he picks up is his childhood sweetheart, only Seventeen years older. 2. He is no longer of this world.

James began a road trip alone in his 1956 Oldsmobile. He stops for a hitchhiker only to discover she is his childhood sweetheart, Sam, who disappeared seventeen years before. James learns from Sam falling asleep miles back caused him to perish in a one-car accident. He also comes to understand that Sam was taken and murdered all those years ago, and now she has come back to help him find his eternal home.

The pair visit a number of times and places and are witness to a number of historical events. The rules dictate that they do no harm to the time continuum. Trying to be careful, they inadvertently come to the attention of Lucifer, who would love to have their souls as his subjects. They also find a threat to human survival and desperately need to put in place the fix necessary to save humankind.

The question becomes, will James find his eternal home in grace or lose the battle with Satan for his immortal soul and the future of human life with it? If you like time-travel, adventure, mystery, justice, and the supernatural, this story is for you.

It is now available on Amazon in paperback and eBookThe Kindle edition is introductory priced at 99¢ until October 15th.

Here are the universal links

Kindle Universal link:  mybook.to/EternalRoad

Paper universal link:  mybook.to/Eternalroadpaper

Excerpt:

James steers Sam to a café that has seating on the sidewalk. They order coffees, and James then leans closer to Sam so that nobody will overhear and whispers, “Have you ever been to the Bellagio?”

She whispers, “No.”

No one pays them any attention, so James raises his voice to a normal level, “Neither have I. It will be hard to visualize a place that we’ve never visited.”

“How about going to a travel agent and getting a brochure? Would that work?”

James smiles. “It’s worth a try. I mean, how bad could it be?”

Sam shakes her head. “Don’t say that. The desert seemed pretty bad.”

James looks down. “Some parts were nice.”

Sam half-smiles. “My butt, right?”

James winks. “You said it, not me. Here’s our coffee.”

The server places the drinks on the table. James gives her twenty dollars. “Keep the change.”

Surprised but gratified, she leaves them to it.

James pulls out his phone while Sam enjoys her brew.

He sips while he concentrates on searching for a travel agent. “Looks like a travel place operates across the street.”

Sam nods. “Oh, yes. I can see the office from here.”

“So, after we finish our coffee, we’ll go over there.”

Sam nods at James’s cup. “How does it taste?”

“The coffee? Every bit as nice as when I was alive.”

“Good.”

When they’ve finished their drinks, they cross 79th street. The travel agent offers several brochures, so he and Sam select two that contain photos of the front of the Bellagio. They thank the agent and promise to come back as soon as plans get finalized.

The pair leave the agent’s office and head down 79th and toward Central Park. James says, “The park will give us the space we need from other people so that we can vanish from there.” They laugh out loud, trying to imagine the faces of those who might see them one second and then not the next. Still chuckling, they locate a spot that seems remote enough.

James says, “Hold my hand.” Sam takes his in a soft grip. “I’ll look at this Bellagio photo until it burns into my subconscious.”

“Just make sure you don’t have any other thoughts when you start the process.”

James stares at the brochure. “Don’t worry. The only thing on my mind is the Bellagio.”

Sam squeezes his hand. “You sure?”

“Yes. Well, confession time.” James grins at her.

Sam looks into his eyes. “My breasts, right?”

“Just for a moment.” James closes his eyes. “Okay, you ready?”

John’s bio:

John W. Howell is an award-winning author who, after an extensive business career, began writing full time in 2012. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. He has written five other books that are on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. The paperback versions are also available in the Indie Lector store

John lives in Lakeway, Texas, with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Contact John:

Blog Fiction Favorites:  http://johnwhowell.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

Amazon Author’s page: https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

John’s other books:

My GRL,

His Revenge

Our Justice

Circumstances of Childhood

The Contract: between heaven and earth 

Thank you for stopping by and visiting today. Please show this brilliant writer some love.

Comes This Time To Float Blog Tour! Stephen Geez

17 Mar

Hi, everyone! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I’m happy to introduce Stephen Geez, a talented and prolific author. He has a new book out so I’ve invited him to share an excerpt and some information about it on my blog today. So please give a warm welcome to my fabulous guest author, Stephen Geez!

Salutations!

I am elated to find you here at Vashti’s blog on my extended blog tour. I am humbled by the kindness of my wondrous host for sharing some blog space today. I hope to interest you bookish types in trying my first book in way too many years, this my only collection of short fiction: Comes this Time to Float: 19 Short Stories by Stephen Geez.You could add another “by Stephen Geez” to that, as I put the moniker in the subtitle, too. I’d be forcing it to find a theme, except maybe that all my stories try to look at something I think is important, but told in a decorative sort of way. Written here and there among novels over two decades, they show a variety of genres and styles, as I get restless. Now they’re tucked between jacketed hard covers and softs, or in e-however-you-likes.

The Enticement

Each tour stop will offer the opening paragraphs of a story from the book, then link to the full story online.  A few will also link to audio-shorts narrated by me. An RRBC-specific promo video will be foisted on you every day. Using a narrator didn’t seem right for my own trailer, so yeah, it’s me. Be sure to post reviews in your favorite places, most helpfully if Amazon. RRBC members, be sure to report the Amazon link to your Reviews Coordinator for quarterly credit.

And you, I thank, too.

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A Geez Author Blurb

Stephen Geez grew up in the Detroit suburbs during the American-auto domination. He earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees at the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor. He retired from scripting/producing television and composing/producing television music, then expanded his small literary management firm into indie-publisher and multi-media company Fresh Ink Group. Now he works from a deck overlooking the lake in north Alabama, helping other writers share their compelling narratives with the world.

The Book Blurb

Prepare to think as you explore these wildly disparate literary short stories by author, composer, and producer Stephen Geez. Avoiding any single genre, this collection showcases Geez’s storytelling from southern gothic to contemporary drama to coming-of-age, humor, sci-fi, and fantasy—all finessed to say something about who we are and what we seek. Some of these have been passed around enough to need a shot of penicillin, others so virgin they have never known the seductive gaze of a reader’s eyes. So when life’s currents get to pulling too hard, don’t fight it, just open the book and discover nineteen new ways of going with the flow, because NOW more than ever Comes this Time to Float.

The Promo Video

Today’s Sample: “Holler Song”

Retta danced the willy-nilly, grabbed at slick branches, then lost both feet and whomped back-end down on the ice. Hit ’em mean like that and 70-year-old bones act scared, then angry, then out for revenge—and they’ll complain bitterly for weeks. It’s not how hard the ground is, makes ’em mad; it’s how brittle the bones has got.

Now a sheet of frozen slick, this low patch in the double-rut drive-back had been needing some ’dozer work a long time running, one of many get-to’s set for when next year’s lump-sum money could hire some younger help. Hardly anyone drove it but Randall, easing the pickup ’tween overgrown mirror-snaggers when he brung groceries and what-not to Lurlene and her girl. Deputy Wallace used to ramble back here regular-like to pretend friendly and keep an eye for signs local cookers mighta set up, but when he found Hollis’s makeshift lab a ways down Cutter Road, his brother Cletus shot him dead. State Police come in and tore ’ern up from there to right up Middleton Holler just beyond. Now a new deputy’s done took over, but ain’t yet been out here lying about smells to claim “probable cause” when he trespasses on Lurlene and Retta’s private property. This very minute would be a good time, him to show for a howdy-ma’am, seein’ as how there’s an old lady needs picking up off her arse.

Retta rolled over on her side and wound up mashing the holdin’ end of that pocketed fish-knife into her thigh, then managed despite bad arthritis to pull herself up and set about shuffling forward, keeping to the treeline for more grab-branching. She came to sight of cousin Lurlene’s place, built by their granddaddy when he carried his unimpressed young bride here for a lifetime of second thoughts in the hills of East Tennessee. Lately the place looked embarrassed at being let to run down, but now the dim gray fog and last night’s snow gave it a fairy-tale gingerbread-house look, all sugar-frosted and gleaming with drips of icing drooping its eaves. Wisps of smoke fed by a stingy stack of splits curled from the chimney and bent north to tickle more sleet from dark clouds of a mind to paint these hollers another coat of quick-freeze.

Lurlene stepped out and stood on the wide, covered porch. Ten years younger than cousin Retta, she looked real old of a sudden. Bundled in wool coat, crochet hat and scarf, jeans and hide boots, she’d already got a mind to head out. “Found her, didn’t they?” she asked as Retta stopped at the slicked-over bottom step. Eyes red and swole, Lurlene had been crying, imagining the worst and expecting nothing better.

The Whole Story

I’ve posted the whole story on my blog today. Be sure to come back here!

https://StephenGeez.WordPress.com

Find the Book Now

Should be just about everywhere, but here are the biggies:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/comes+this+time+to+float?_requestid=1776240

Other Places I Lurk

Instagram: StephenGeezWriter

https://StephenGeez.com

https://StephenGeez.Wordpress.com

GRINDERS ~ a new release by C. S. Boyack

9 Mar

Happy Monday, everyone! I am excited to welcome back an exceptional guest, Author, C. S. Boyack.

He’s got a brand new release and is here to talk about it. So, without further ado, let’s welcome him!

Thanks for having me over today, Vashti. You’re always welcome to stop at my place the next time you’re touring a project around.

My newest book is called Grinders, and it’s a bit of science fiction known as cyberpunk. I’ll let the blurb go into the details about the story. My topic on this leg of the tour is research.

I write speculative fiction, and that includes fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction. Many people think we have it easy, because we don’t have to do the deep research that other authors do. Nothing could be further from the truth. Oh, we don’t have it so bad, I think the murder procedural type authors might have it a bit worse, but there is research involved.

One my things is to tie as much as I can to something realistic whenever possible. That way when I ask for a leap of faith from readers they’ll be more likely to take one with me.

Grinders is set in San Francisco of the future. The California coastline is already eroding, and some cities currently have plans of relocating homeowners along crumbling cliffs and such. With global warming already upon us, and a melting ice pack in Antarctica, what might San Francisco look like 100 years from now? Turns out there are some projections available online.

I modified my version of San Francisco to destroy some coastal areas, and even moved the shoreline to some different streets. I even made a slight reference to Telegraph Island in the story which is known as Telegraph Hill on today’s map.

Then I made a small leap of faith, and included some underwater apartments. These are refurbished towers, that are now just offshore. We must have made some advances in a hundred years.

One cool bit of research I included involved scientists who’ve learned to grow electrical circuitry inside plants. These are more carbon based than copper wires you might be used to. I decided there was an electric forest just outside the city. Using the process of photosynthesis and some of these carbon connections, the city generated power from the forest.

In the world of Grinders, the electric forest is old technology. It’s currently being torn down and developed, because something better came along.

There is, or was, a group in my home state of Idaho who developed a different kind of solar power collection units. These involve pebbled glass hexagons that snap together like some kind of toys. The original thought was to use them as roofing material. Then they came up with the idea of replacing asphalt with them. There are thousands of miles of roads in this country, and if deployed, it could produce one hell of a lot of electricity without defacing anything that hasn’t already been defaced.

The electronic forest has been replaced by something called The Grid, based upon these solar panels. It’s science fiction, so I get to ramp things up. Power flows both ways from this grid, and it can light up for first responders, that kind of thing. It’s also hooked to a central database and all the cars are electric. It drives the cars with more efficiency than we are capable of. Just tell The Grid where you’re going and enjoy the ride.

This is just a small taste of what the grid is capable of, and it’s almost a character in its own right within the story.

One last one for this post. The main characters in the story are cops. They are assigned to the worst duty in the department, and I make references to more high profile duty as they go about their tasks. This brings me to opiate yeast.

A few years ago, a group in New Zealand decided they could take over the legal opium trade by replacing all the poppies with yeast. This involved some gene editing, and in their minds would be safer and more secure in a lab environment they could control. No more of those nasty gangs converting the crops for the illegal opium trade.

I thought it was a horrible idea at the time, and used that in Grinders. Yeast is microscopic. It’s in our homes, environment, and the air we breathe. I just don’t see it staying confined to a lab, and it’s going to run wild at some point. I keep a thirty year old sourdough starter at home, so I know a little about this.

Again, it’s a leap of faith, but in the world of Grinders, the opiate yeast has become the dominant organism. Home brewers and bakers are a real problem, and those cops get the better equipment and headlines. It also gave me a chance to bring up San Francisco sourdough and the difficulty of finding opiate free yeast. Basic bread and beer now come from laboratory controlled producers. It’s a fun way of turning things on their heads as part of the setting for my story.

These are just a few of the things that make up the environment of Grinders. The story is fun, the characters are great, but I wanted to focus on the setting for today’s post. I hope I intrigued you enough to check out the book.

Thanks again for lending me your space today, Vashti. It means a lot to me.

It’s a pleasure to have you here, my friend. Your world building skills are amazing. Research is a huge part of fiction writing, especially in Sc-Fi and Fantasy. Many readers are not aware of the extensive research that goes into these books. Thank you for demonstrating that today.

***

Blurb:

Jimi Cabot made one mistake as a starving college student. When she went to work for the San Francisco Police Department, it nearly cost her the job. The union stepped in and they had to reinstate her. They did so by assigning her to the duty nobody wants, Grinder Squad.

Grinders are people who use back room surgeries to enhance their bodies with computer chips, and various kinds of hardware. Jimi is sure that if she can just bust one grind shop, it will be her ticket back.

Paired with veteran cop, she soon learns that Grinder Squad is a cash-cow for the department. They are nothing more than glorified patrol cops, and generally get the worst assignments.

Matchless is the most wanted grinder of all time. He disappeared years ago, leaving only the evidence of those he enhanced during his career. With these pieces, Jimi picks up the cold trail to try working her way back to more respectable duty.

Grinders is a cyberpunk story set in a world where global warming has eroded coastlines, and society has solved many of our current problems by replacing them with new ones. There are cyber shut-ins, cyber-currency skimming schemes, and more in this futuristic tale.

This book also takes the opportunity to poke a stick at current issues that seem to have lasted into the future. Entitled people, helicopter moms, overzealous homeowner associations, and lack of decent jobs are all present. Never preachy, these issues make up the day to day work of a patrol officer.

I hope you enjoy Grinders as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you.

Purchase link: http://mybook.to/Grinders

You can contact Craig at the following locations:

Blog My Novels  Twitter Goodreads Facebook Pinterest BookBub

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Conversations With Colleen: Meet Author, Vashti Quiroz-Vega, @VashtiQV

16 Aug

Hello, everyone! My books and I are featured at Author, Colleen Chesebro’s blog. I’d like to invite you to visit her blog and check it out. If you enjoy the interview, please share it on social media. I appreciate the support. Happy Friday!

 

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via Conversations With Colleen: Meet Author, Vashti Quiroz-Vega, @VashtiQV

RRBC “Spotlight” Author Blog Tour ~ Charles W. Jones

7 May

Hi, everyone! Welcome to my blog.

 

I am a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club (#RRBC) and every month a “Spotlight” author is selected. I am thrilled to host this month’s “Spotlight” Author, so please welcome Charles W. Jones

Today Charles is sharing an excerpt from his horror book, Circus Tarot. I hope you enjoy it.

 

 

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BIO:

Charles W. Jones grew up in the small town Shoshoni, WY, and he managed to break free from its grasp with his soul intact. Growing up in a small town scared him to death most of the time. It’s very dark at night – really dark. To top it off, it is full of ghosts; well, that’s what Charles thought when he was a kid. Turns out it was just the constant wind blowing dirt and tumbleweeds. Two of Charles’ novels are set in Shoshoni, Dreamwalker: The Second Plain and HOME A Novel.

There isn’t a part of the horror genre Charles doesn’t like. He likes it creepy, filled with suspense, or even brutal with intense torture scenes. His favorite horror movies have always been the slasher movies; give him the gore. Clive Barker is Charles’ greatest influence but is also inspired by Lewis Carroll, Stephen King, and Frank Beddor. Real life is a large contributor to his writing, where he finds beauty in the most unexpected places.

Music has always been a great contributor to Charles’ life, by means of not only entertainment but the personal soundtrack. When he writes, he listens to different types of music to set the mood of the scene he is writing. Eurythmics will always be at the top of his playlist, but many other bands and genres occupy his mind.

 

 

About Circus Tarot

In the strange land of World Circus, Mary and Darrin discover they aren’t in their safe, dull life any longer, but have taken the identity of one of the cards from the Circus Tarot. After a terrorizing encounter, resulting in death, they learn the bizarre rules of the land and discover that the denizens of the sinister World Circus want more than to entertain them.

 

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I think there’s something special about Circus Tarot. Not only did I create a world, but I also created 78 cards to represent everything and everyone in it. Each has two personalities, depending on whether they are “flipped” or not. Some changes aren’t physically noticeable, like Moon when is present, you wouldn’t know from looking at him, but you’d feel insecure or unsure or even terrified. Flip him, and you find your way through the chaos without trouble. The following excerpt is about Nine of Buckets, the “wish card.”

 

Chapter 17

Mary pinned her hair into a tight bun. She was excited to have a full house tonight after only having the Midgets and Poles the previous night. Muffled applause wafted on the breeze to her trailer, alerting her Magician’s act was coming to a close. An elephant let off a trumpet, intensifying her titillation for Darrin to see her under the silvery light of Star. The elephants led the Wild Animal Extravaganza. After the animals came Empress and Emperor on the trapeze covered in Star’s inspiring illumination, then her magnificent performance. The Clowns closed the show.

Once again, after the Ladies and Gentlemen returned to their castle, the performers were allowed to do whatever they chose now that the curfew and treaty had been lifted, and she and Darrin had the chance to spend the night however they wished.

She heard whispering and lewd giggles outside her trailer. She leaned to the side to look through the window slats. A few Clowns passed the window. They acted stranger than usual this afternoon. She wrinkled her nose, looking back into the mirror; her hair looked fantastic.

Scraping at the end of the trailer distracted her from her reflection. She turned her head, wondering what it was. She stood and went to the door. Outside, the Clowns had become restless. They were flipped, and no longer forced to maintain control of their primal needs. Mary hoped they held back until after the show, but it seemed they wanted to play now.

Nine of Buckets walked around the trailer. His thick fingernails scraped the pink paint from the walls. He smelled High Priestess, and it hungered him. The Ace had said she and Knight of Foils were his. It wasn’t fair, why did he get first dibs? Besides, didn’t she belong to Devil? He stopped at the door, seeing her silhouette in the frosted glass slats of the jalousie window. His swollen lips formed into a pucker, and he whistled.

“Don’t be a pervo, Nine,” she said, rolling her eyes. “I’m not ready for you to take me to World Tent yet.”

The sound of her voice made his hunger grow. Licking his full lips, he thought of his teeth nibbling her supple flesh, then ripping and pulling it from the bone.

“I thought you’d wish to see your fantabulous man before you performed.” He laughed.

“What a marvelous idea,” she replied to the happy thought. “Let me grab my wrap, and we’ll go.”

Nine of Buckets mocked her, mouthing back what she had said, tilting his head side-to-side, then muttered, “Stupid bitch.”

She turned the knob. He licked his lips. Her eyebrow pencil rolled across the vanity, then fell to the floor. She turned her head, watching it roll toward her. She released the doorknob, squatting to take the pencil. With the pencil back in the cup with make-up brushes and combs, the door slowly swung open.

Nine of Buckets watched the door move toward him and stepped back. His heart accelerated with anticipation, expecting her to step outside. Any second now. He squinted. Why hadn’t she come out of her trailer? He waited another second. Confused, he eased himself to the door and peered in. Gone. Where was she? He looked around spastically.

“What is the meaning of this, Magician?” she demanded outside World Tent.

“The House of Buckets is completely flipped,” he warned. “And I’m afraid they meant you harm, High Priestess.”

“Oh, well, I see. Thank you.”

“No need to thank me,” he replied. “Devil sent me to check on you.”

She stared at him without further word, and he vanished in a puff of smoke. Pulling open the side of World Tent, she peered in. He had delivered her to the First Ring entrance while her horses were at the Center Ring entrance. She saw the side of the risers and turned heads watching the lions and tigers and…she smirked.

Following the corridor behind the grandstands toward the Center Ring entrance, she watched pieces of popcorn fall like snow. Shadows jumped and bounced around her from the Ladies and Gentlemen above.

“Fab-u-rific to see you, High Priestess,” the Clown said.

She froze in her tracks. In the lattice of the grandstands’ under-workings, an exuberant Clown smiled at her. She squeaked.

“Oh, how horrific of me to startle you,” Fool apologized. “I must be a sight, what with the House of Buckets being flipped and all.”

“It’s OK. I just didn’t expect anyone to be back here.” She paused, looking him over. The dancing shadows made his orange and purple striped pajamas pulsate. “What are you doing in there?”

“I’m rehearsing my tightrope routine,” he replied in a stern Clown tone.

She looked down at the pink-fuzzy slippers on his feet balancing on a rope: his white-with-pink, polka-dot parasol dangled from his left hand.

“Why don’t you do it in the rehearsal arena?”

He looked at her with disappointed disbelief.

“What?”

“You want me dead.”

“No, I—”

“If I were to fall from this height,” he interrupted. “It’d be certain death for me.” Her eyes returned to the tightrope. It stood no more than a foot from the ground. “In here, if I feel woe-belly, I can grab hold of the rails or crossbars.”

“Uh, all right,” she said, shaking her head. “Well, carry on then.”

“Thank you, High Priestess.” Fool grinned. “Have a funnerific night.”

She smiled back at him, continuing her journey. A partially eaten fluff of cotton candy floated down in front of her. She looked up to see a small girl glaring down. She winked, putting her finger to her mouth to keep the girl quiet.

She looked behind her at the curve of the grandstand’s backside, never realizing how far it was to the Center Ring entrance. I haven’t passed it, have I? She thought. Nine of Buckets stepped from the folds of World Tent a short distance away. She stopped, fear attacking her. His hands twitched at his sides.

“There you are,” he said, his puffy lips barely moving when he spoke. “I thought you wished for me to be your escort as always.”

“Well, I thought so, too,” she replied, looking for a way to get past him. “Then Magician whisked me away without my consent.” She choked out a laugh.

She saw his demeanor was not his usual joviality. He appeared tense. His eyes were dark. The puffiness of his full lips was taught, making the red grease paint crack. The Clown shook as though he were detoxing. She swallowed hard.

“It’s OK, High Priestess.” His voice cracked. “I can take you the rest of the way. Your wish is my command.”

She forced a smile. “Since I’m almost there already, you don’t need to.”

“I insist.” He quivered.

She stared at him without moving. His pink tongue slipped between his lips, quickly, sweeping across them. He shuffled toward her. Her pulse quickened. She willed her legs to move, but they did not respond. He came closer, his breath harsh and body shaking.

Finally, her legs realized the urgency of flight, and she turned, running. The layers of her sheer dress ruffled in her propulsion. She reached the First Ring entrance in no time, and without looking back to see where Nine of Buckets was, she shot into the Circus grounds at the back of World Tent.

She hoped for a chance to stop and catch her breath once she had made it outside, but to her dismay, other Buckets were lurking there. Deciding her trailer to be safest place wait out the Clown revolt, she kept up her pace. Possessed laughter followed as she ran to the trailers. Ahead, Knight of Tokens glared up at Knight of Buckets.

“Stop it now and get ready for your act,” the Token yelled with a gravelly voice.

She skidded to a stop in the gravel, her shoes erupting a dust cloud. The Knights looked in her direction. Her eyes bounced around as she decided what to do. She ran towards the main Circus entrance, then veered back towards the area where the high fence opened to the Poles area. Wicked laughter pushed her to move faster. Running past the House of Poles’ campfire, she shot into the woods. Moon’s reflection glittered in Meeting of Wood Lake, but she didn’t stop to take in the sights.

 

Don’t forget to get your copy of Circus Tarot at Amazon.

 

Connect with Charles W. Jones on social media:

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

WEBSITE

 

Thank you for stopping by and have a great day!

 

Book Cover Reveal: Whatever It Takes by S. Burke

9 Apr

S. Burke-Cover Reveal-new_book-thriller-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-vashti quiroz vega-author-blog

Hello, everyone! Please join me in giving a red carpet welcome to the very talented Author, S. Burke. Today S. “Suzanne” Burke will be revealing the book cover of her latest novel “Whatever It Takes” on my blog! I am thrilled and can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book. I was one of Suzanne’s beta readers and I can tell you that this is a good one. I can’t wait to read it again. So, without further ado, I will hand things over to her. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Whatever It Takes

by S.Burke

Available to Pre-Order NOW.

At the special Pre-order price of $0.99c
Release Date: May 8th, 2019
>Psychological > Thriller & Suspense >.

It is such an exciting time for an author when releasing a new book! I would be remiss in not sharing my heartfelt thanks to the marvelous people who gave of their time so readily to beta read my latest book. Their valuable insights helped me enormously when crafting “Whatever It Takes” A big thank you to my wonderful editor and friend Rich Bowden @Bowden_Writing

At long last, I’m able to share the cover and blurb for “Whatever It Takes” my latest Psychological Thriller. “Whatever It Takes ” is due for release on May 8th, 2019.

It is NOW available for Pre-Order at the special Pre-Order price of $0:99

I have many good friends sharing this cover across the blogosphere today and tomorrow, so you’re likely to see it pop up in various places. Thank you to the marvelously generous hosts participating in my cover reveal splash, and to everyone dropping by to share in my excitement. Here’s my new baby . . .

With much gratitude to Eeva Lancaster at The Book Khaleesi for the cover creation.

Cover Created by Eeva Lancaster at The Book Khalessi

And now the cover

cover reveal-S. Burke-whatever it takes-new_book-thriller-suspense

BOOK BLURB

James Kincaid had it all.

He’d made it the ‘A’ list in Hollywood, a town that prized and idolized its winners above all else.

Then life began exacting a price that no man could be expected to pay as the people he cared about began dying and dying badly.

He couldn’t move on with the dream without knowing why.

Andi O’Connor is the woman he’s hired to do ‘whatever it takes’ to find him the answers.

Could this disenchanted, street-hardened, ex-homicide cop uncover the truth without adding to the growing list of those already sacrificed on the altar of a serial killer’s insanity?

From New York to Los Angeles the body count continues to rise.

Time is not on their side.

***

Prologue.

James Kincaid had long held to the belief that the red carpet he’d walked so often was stained that color with the blood of all those that had bled on the journey to satisfy their heady and addictive dreams of fame.

He’d shed more than his own fair share to get there. He hated the dream destruction, as much as he understood it. This town drew dreamers from every place on the planet, all in need of completion, all hungry for fame and holding on for dear life to the belief that it was only a matter of time before their artistic genius was recognized. No other drug ever gave them that high pulsing adrenaline rush that you soon became reliant on and addicted to. Those first glimpses of recognition hit harder than heroin. Until even those with a strong moral compass became lost.

Lady Luck had become his constant companion only five years before. After twelve years struggling to make headway in the business he became the latest ‘overnight’ sensation, winning the coveted role in what was tipped strongly to be the next ‘big thing’. He knew he could do justice to the part and that knowledge became abundantly clear as the audition cameras rolled.

James Kincaid found himself launched into the stratosphere. This was the only game in town and he was now a lead player.

He was feted and celebrated, pimped out and postured until the day when everything in his world fell into an oxygen-deprived free fall as people he cared about started dying from anything but natural causes.

**

Pre-Order Whatever It Takes HERE on Amazon

Suzanne Burke Amazon Author Page

On TWITTER.

On Facebook.

My Blog

Thank you so much for joining in my excitement. Your support is very much appreciated.

I would be delighted to hear your thoughts and comments below.

cover reveal-S. Burke-whatever it takes-new_book-thriller-suspense

Author, D. L. Finn in the house!

10 Mar

Have you ever read a book that haunted you for weeks afterward? That’s what happened to me when I read “The Button”, a paranormal thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Today I am exited to feature the talented author of The Button,

D. L. Finn.

D.L. Finn-author-blog tour-the button-book-the writer next door-vashti quiroz vega-Vashti Q

D. L. Finn (Denise) is not only a talented writer, she’s a woman to be admired. One of the many things I love about her is that she isn’t afraid to embrace her inner child and enjoy life. She’s a quirky book “Dragon”, a massive supporter of other writers, book blogger, wife, mother . . . I could go on and on, but I’ll let her take it from here.

 

Bio:

D.L. Finn is an independent California local, who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA.  She immersed herself in reading all types of books,but especially loved romance, horror andfantasy. She always treasured creating her ownreality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks and cedars, her creativity was cradled until it bloomed. Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to her readers to join her.

 

The Button-novel-D.LFinn-guest blogger-The WriterNext Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-blog tour

Click book image to get book on Amazon.

The Blurb:

Lynn Hill left a difficult childhood behind when she turned eighteen. The 1980s were going to be the beginning of a great life. Then what started as an ordinary evening out with her best friend, Stacy, turns into a nightmare. Lynn hears warnings: “Go!” “Leave!” Believing she is hearing things after partying too much, she goes back for one more drink before going home. That decision sets off a chain of events that nothing could have prepared her for. While humans and not-so-human beings are attempting to either help or harm her, Lynn risks everything to find the only person she trusts, Stacy. Who can help her? The stepbrother who shows up right when she needs him or the attractive, helpful bartender who gives her his phone number? Lynn must learn to trust again. Her survival depends on it in this paranormal thriller.

“The Button” excerpt is from the beginning of Chapter 2. Lynn had gone out to a night club with her best friend, Stacy. When she wakes up the next morning, she doesn’t recognize her surroundings:

 

Beep! Beep! Beep!

 

The alarm sounded before Lynn had even started dreaming. It took a couple of attempts to stop the irritating sound.

 

“Who moved the button?” she mumbled, finally making the sound stop. Her stomach flopped, and she quickly threw back the unfamiliar silky black comforter and ran to a strange yellow bathroom, where she threw up.

 

She had no idea where she was, but at least the resident was still asleep. Funny, she thought she had gone home last night. Wow, that was some strong whiskey.She quietly sneaked back into the room, grabbed her scattered clothes, and got dressed.

 

She noticed black hair sticking out from under the black satin bedding. His wallet was tossed on the floor. She carefully picked it up and found his driver’s license. His name was Todd John Smith, and he had turned twenty-four last month. The name and the good-looking face didn’t trigger any recognition. No one she remembered dancing with. Did we have sex?Not that it mattered; she’d started taking the pill a couple of years ago, but there were other things. Well, she wouldn’t worry about that. He had a Kaiser medical card, twenty dollars, an ATM card, and a AAA card. A rather empty wallet, by her standards. It was time to get out of there, and quietly. She’d find a pay phone and call Stacy to come get her, unless she found her car outside.

 

She surveyed the room to make sure she wasn’t forgetting anything. She put on her shoes, and as she picked up her purse, she saw that his hairy foot was sticking out of the covers. She tried to cover it up and touched it briefly. It was ice cold. She wanted to get out of there, but she couldn’t. What if there’s something wrong with him? She set her purse down, lifted the comforter, and peeked at his face. Why is he so pale? He was either the quietest sleeper or very sick.

D.L. Finn-author-blog tour-rave reviews book club-Vashti Quiroz Vega-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-novel-readers

 

My review of The Button:

Lynn grew up in an abusive home. She tried to commit suicide when she was only fourteen years old. When she turned eighteen she left home and tried to make a better life for herself. She began to think that the worse was behind her, until one night out partying with her best friend Stacy turned her life into a whirlwind of nightmare proportions filled with murder, drugs, fear and so much more.

Lynn has two guardian angels looking over her but their actions are limited due to the fact that they cannot interfere with mankind’s free will. They leave clues for her and communicate one-word warnings to try to help her any way they can. Will this be enough to save her from the demon behind all the chaos?

The Button by D.L. Finn is a suspenseful, well-written story that at moments will have you sitting at the edge of your seat. The characters are well developed and interesting. Lynn and her best friend are very relatable and I found myself rooting for them. The evildwel is a great villain––one you’ll love to hate. Overall, this book is a fun and entertaining Paranormal Suspense story that I highly recommend.

 

 

**You can watch and listen to Denise reading The Button here.

 

Follow the lovely and talented Author, D.L. Finn on Social Media:

 

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

D.L. Finn blog

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

D.L. Finn-author-writer-books-Amazon-the writer next door-vashti q-vashti quiroz vega-blog tour

Be sure to check out all of author, D.L. Finn’s books on Amazon. Click on image to go to Amazon.

Have a great new week!

POETRY FRIDAY ~ Fly & Sing

21 Dec

Hello, everyone! Thank you for stopping by.

Poetry_Friday-etheree-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-Son of the Serpent-Christmas

Today’s poem is inspired by my latest novel, Son of the Serpent. We can’t choose who our parents are, and while some of us are blessed with fathers who are caring, supportive, loyal and willing to accept us for who we are, and mothers who are patient, nurturing, gentle, and willing to give us unconditional love, there are others who are not so lucky.

son of the serpent-novel-vashti quiroz vega-author-angels and demons-supernatural-Dracúl-lilith-fantasy angels series

 

BLURB:

In Son of the Serpent, award-winning author Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts another fascinating glimpse into the dark, compelling world of fallen angels and demons, revealing more about their untold stories.

The war in heaven might be over, but the ambitions of the fallen angel Lilith reach far across the roots of history. Will there be a being powerful enough to stop her evil influence before the destruction of mankind?

Dracúl knows he is the son of Satan, but the rest of his memory has been taken from him. Alone and frightened, he awakens in a forest, beginning a quest to piece together who he is. The world he encounters is cruel, but he yearns to belong and find companionship. With each step he takes, another missing piece of his memory falls into place, revealing a truth that is ever more troubling . . .

A truth that will turn his quest for meaning into one fueled by the hot-blooded thirst for revenge. A truth that leads him to Lilith, the most wicked and ruthless of fallen angels and one he soon will have every reason to hate. His quest will consume him, perhaps ruin his life, but somehow Dracúl is determined to find both belonging and vengeance—to be good, in spite of his evil nature and the dark secrets that haunt him every step of the way.

 

*Today I am sharing an Etheree poem. The poetry form, Etheree, consists of 10 lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 syllables. Etheree can also be reversed and doubled.

 

If You Would Only Love Me

 

I

intone

my laments

like a prayer

My heart wing its way

to a place with no hate

far from your indifference

where I can pretend to be loved

One kind word, a warm embrace from you

would have been rays of sunshine on my heart

What was it in me that you hated so?

An innocent of pure heart was I

A sad and lonely child longing

only for his mother’s love

But what does a serpent

Know of love? Mother.

I would have done

anything

for your

love

Son of the Serpent-art-book_cover-Vashti Quiroz Vega-author-fantasy-occult-supernatural-witch-demon-lilith-bible_stories

Illustration for Son of the Serpent by Scarlett Fawn

Son of the Serpent is the 2nd volume and 3rd book in the Fantasy Angels Series. This is a High Fantasy/Paranormal novel sprinkled with Romance and Horror aimed at an 18+ audience. Although there are scenes in the book loosely based on stories from the bible and Jewish scriptures this is not a religious book. This book is a combination of legends, folklore, and mythology intertwined into an original plot, with distinctive characters and extraordinary fantasy world-building.

Fly and Sing are this week’s prompt words chosen by Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer.

*The catch is that we can only use the synonyms to these words in our poems.

Colleen hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called, Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge every Tuesday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your Haiku, Tanka, Haibun, Etheree or Cinquain poem. She is an author and poet, and also does book reviews and so much more on her blog. Be sure to check it out.

 

Readers Favorite-Christmas-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-Poetry_Friday-author-son of the serpent-novel-poem

Have a lovely day, everyone!