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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Release Blitz: Dagger's Destiny by Linnea Tanner @linneatanner #newrelease #historical #fantasy #excerpt


Curse of Clansmen and Kings, Book 2
Historical Fantasy
Publisher: Apollo Raven Publisher
Release Date: September 26, 2018

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A Celtic warrior princess accused of treason for aiding her enemy lover must win back her father’s love and trust

In the rich and vibrant tale, Author Linnea Tanner continues the story of Catrin and Marcellus that began with the awarding-winning novel APOLLO’S RAVEN in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings Series. Book 2: DAGGER’S DESTINY sweeps you into an epic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia.

War looms over 24 AD Britannia where rival tribal rulers fight each other for power and the Romans threaten to invade to settle their political differences. King Amren accuses his daughter, Catrin, of treason for aiding the Roman enemy and her lover, Marcellus. The ultimate punishment is death unless she can redeem herself. She must prove loyalty to her father by forsaking Marcellus and defending their kingdom—even to the death. Forged into a warrior, she must overcome tribulations and make the right decisions on her quest to break the curse that foretells her banished half-brother and the Roman Empire will destroy their kingdom.

Yet, when Catrin again reunites with Marcellus, she is torn between her love for him and duty to King Amren. She must ultimately face her greatest challenger who could destroy her life, freedom, and humanity.

Will Catrin finally break the ancient prophecy that looms over her kingdom? Will she abandon her forbidden love for Marcellus to win back her father’s trust and love? Can King Amren balance his brutality to maintain power with the love he feels for Catrin?



Other Books in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series:




Apollo's Raven
Curse of Clansmen and Kings, Book 1
Publisher: Apollo Raven Publisher
Published: April 2017

A Celtic warrior princess is torn between her forbidden love for the enemy and duty to her people.

AWARD-WINNING APOLLO’S RAVEN sweeps you into an epic Celtic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. In 24 AD British kings hand-picked by Rome to rule are fighting each other for power. King Amren’s former queen, a powerful Druid, has cast a curse that Blood Wolf and the Raven will rise and destroy him. The king’s daughter, Catrin, learns to her dismay that she is the Raven and her banished half-brother is Blood Wolf. Trained as a warrior, Catrin must find a way to break the curse, but she is torn between her forbidden love for her father’s enemy, Marcellus, and loyalty to her people. She must summon the magic of the Ancient Druids to alter the dark prophecy that threatens the fates of everyone in her kingdom.

Will Catrin overcome and eradicate the ancient curse. Will she be able to embrace her forbidden love for Marcellus? Will she cease the war between Blood Wolf and King Amren and save her kingdom?









Excerpt



Treason

July, 24 AD, Southeast Britannia

The image of her father being wounded at the prisoner exchange haunted Princess Catrin as she entered the cave’s dank womb where warriors had secretly carried the casualties. Under the illumination of a flaming torch, she found several men hovering over the king’s motionless body. She feared the decision to use the dark forces of the Ancient Druids to alter the future could doom her father and people.

Catrin trembled as she knelt by her father and studied his bloodsmeared face. A chill of foreboding sliced down her spine. Just that morning, she had made love with Marcellus on what could be her father’s deathbed.

She placed the palm of her hand on his forehead. His skin was cold and clammy, but he was still alive.

Feeling the bloody streaks on his tunic, she pulled her fingers away and turned to Cynwrig, the king’s most-trusted guard. “Help me remove the tunic. I need to stop the bleeding!”

Cynwrig supported the king as Catrin cut the fabric from his chest. The ghastly crisscross cuts and deep abdominal gash made her cringe. A stench like rotten eggs assaulted her nostrils.

King Amren fidgeted. “Fetch my Druidess.”

“No!” Catrin snapped. “Agrona is a traitor. We can’t risk letting anyone

know we’ve rescued and are tending you. There are herbs near the wall that will help reduce the swelling.”

Catrin clasped her father’s icy hands and noticed his sunken, bloodshot eyes. She looked to Cynwrig. “Heat a knife so I can seal his wounds. I also need water from the river.”

“Do what my daughter says,” rasped Amren.

Cynwrig pointed to the cave’s opening. “I’ll start a fire over there and get someone to fetch the water.”

While Cynwrig prepared the fire, Catrin rummaged through several pouches, searching for the proper herbs. After a warrior returned with a bucket of water, she soaked several strips of willow bark in the container, then crushed dried blackberry, borage, and sage stems in a ceramic mortar.

She finally added vinegar to the powder and stirred the contents with her finger into a green paste.

She looked at Cynwrig. “Is the knife ready?”

Cynwrig pulled the glowing red blade from the flames. “It looks hot enough.”

“Then bring it to me.”

Catrin took the knife from Cynwrig, who then restrained the king’s arms. She pressed the searing blade on the wounds, methodically moving downward. The king writhed in agony, his eyes as wild as a wounded animal’s as he fought Cynwrig’s restraint. Concentrating on her task, Catrin swallowed the bile in her mouth and handed the dagger to Cynwrig to reheat the blade. Light-headed and in a cold sweat, she leaned into the hard wall to brace herself, then applied the paste dressing over her father’s reddened wounds. Even with her gentle touch, his muscles flinched. Observing the anguish on his face, she placed a blanket under his head and gave him chamomile and poppy in water to ease his pain.

She continued the treatment by placing bark strips on the dressing until the king’s grip around her wrist stopped her.

“We need to speak about Marcellus,” Amren said with a growl from deep within his throat.

Catrin winced, apprehensive her father knew about her relationship with the Roman hostage placed under her charge. She warily studied the king as he closed his eyes and breathed deeply. He waved Trystan, his second- in-command, over and whispered to him. With a nod, Trystan ordered everyone away.


The hairs on Catrin’s neck prickled. The only reason her father would order warriors away would be to reprimand her. She wilted under the king’s burning glare as he began questioning. “Trystan told me when we were imprisoned together that Cynwrig found you unconscious in Marcellus’s arms. I want to know what happened between the two of you.”

Catrin hesitated, fearing her revelation would anger her father and cause his condition to deteriorate. “You should rest now. We can discuss this later.”

“No. Tell me now!” Amren snapped.

Catrin could feel the king’s eyes probing her like a sharp-edged scalpel for the truth. She bit her lower lip to stop it from quivering. “When I was stricken with the falling sickness, Marcellus came to my aid.”

“Trystan said the Roman was found naked with you, and Agrona accused him of bewitching you with an amulet!”

“Marcellus had just finished bathing,” Catrin answered, suddenly feeling queasy.

Amren cocked an eyebrow. “Bathing?”

“Yes.”

“And that is all that happened?”

Catrin froze under her father’s cold stare.

“Answer me!”

“You can’t trust what Agrona says,” Catrin replied.

“And why is that?”

“She is a druidic spirit from your past.”



About the Author

Since childhood, award-winning author, Linnea Tanner, has passionately read about ancient civilizations and mythology that held women in higher esteem, particularly the enigmatic Celts reputed to be warriors and druids. She has extensively researched and traveled to sites described in the Curse of Clansmen and King series. A native of Colorado, Linnea attended the University of Colorado and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry. She lives in Windsor with her husband and has two children and six grandchildren.



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PROMO Blitz: Gap-Toothed Girl by Ray Harvey #promo #excerpt #giveaway #fiction


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Contemporary Fiction
Date Published: August 2018
Publisher: Pearl Button Press

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“Tournament night in a sweltering Las Vegas stadium, and the girl with the gap-toothed smile stood bleeding in her ballet slippers.”

Thus begins Gap-Toothed Girl, the story of Dusty May, a Lakota orphan with an iron will, who runs away from the horrific circumstances of her foster home and her foster father — a man of beast-like brilliance and power — to pursue her dream of lightness and ballet, even as her foster father unleashes an army to bring her down.

Part literary fiction, part thriller, part dance story, Gap-Toothed Girl is at its core a tale of human joy and freedom of will — a “relentlessly paced novel” combining “the surreal imagery of Nabokov with the psychological complexity of Dostoevsky” (Fort Collins Forum) to investigate the depths of the human psyche and the indomitable will to succeed, ultimately plumbing the very nature of human happiness and the human soul.


Excerpt

Chapter 1

Tournament night in a sweltering Las Vegas stadium, and the girl with the gap-toothed smile stood bleeding in her ballet slippers. The sodium lights of the arena lay upcast on the low-hanging sky above. An electrical charge hummed through the air: a crackling undercurrent that came neither from the lights nor from the distant heat lightning, but from the galvanized excitement of the crowd.

Before her, some twenty feet away and elevated four feet off the ground, there stretched a long green balance beam, atop which, at the southernmost end, stood eight empty whiskey bottles. The bottles were perfectly upright and in single file. A small springboard crouched in front.

High above her floated a long banner which said, in  shimmering red letters:

A CONTEST OF MOTION

She closed her eyes and inhaled. The air was dry. She stood alone upon the stage. She was dusky-limbed, Lakota. She held her breath a moment and then she released it.

When she opened her eyes, her gaze settled on the objects before her: the springboard, the balance beam, the whiskey bottles. The heat hung heavy. A rill of sweat slid between her breasts. She didn’t see the tiny camera-flash explosions igniting everywhere around her from within the darkness of the stadium. She forgot that there were thousands of eyes fixed upon her. She forgot also the pain in her toes and was unaware of the bleed-through and the blood leaking like ink across the entire top part of her slipper.

Offstage in the shadows, a lanky youth in a baseball cap gave a thumbs-up, but it wasn’t directed toward her.

A man with a microphone emerged on stage. He was thin and well-dressed and darkly complexioned.

A hush came over the crowd. The man held the microphone to his mouth. His voice came booming through the speakers with great clarity.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” he said, “ladies and gentleman. May I have your attention, please. Thank you. We are finally at the end of the night, and — my Lord — what a night it’s been. What a competition.”

The crowd erupted.

“We have seen — excuse me, please — we have seen tonight some of the very best dancers in the world, and I’m sure you know this is not an exaggeration. We have only one more to go. Did we save the best for last? Need I remind you that there’s fifty thousand dollars at stake here?”

He paused.

“Now,” he said, “now, then. Do you see this young woman up on the stage with me? I’m told she’s about to do something that only one other person in human history is known to have done, and that was Ms. Bianca Passarge, of Hamburg, Germany, in 1958 — except Ms. Passarge, I am told, was not mounting a balance beam when she did her routine. Can this little girl — all 115 pounds of her — I say, can she do it? Can she steal the money from these big city boys and girls, the Bronx break dancers and West Coast B-Boys and all the others who have astounded us here tonight with their strength and agility and their grace of motion? Folks, we are about to find out.”

The crowd erupted again. The MC turned and looked at the girl on stage behind him.

He winked.

He lowered the microphone and said in an unamplified voice that sounded peculiar to her:

“Are you ready?”

He smiled kindly.

She nodded.

He gave her the A-OK sign with his fingers and nodded back. Then her lips broke open in return, disclosing, very slightly, her endearing gap-toothed smile.

He brought the microphone back to his mouth and turned again to the audience.

“Here we go!” he said.

The crowd went dead-silent in anticipation.

“Okay, okay!” she thought. All ten of her fingers wiggled unconsciously and in unison.

Abruptly, then, the lights above her darkened while simultaneously the lights behind her brightened, and then the music began: fast-paced and throbbing and happy.

She bolted forward.

She sprinted toward the balance beam and with astonishing speed executed a back handspring onto the springboard, vaulting into a full fluid backflip on one foot upon the beam — which in the very same motion turned into another back handspring, and then another, all to within inches of the bottles at the far end of the beam. This entire process took no more than five seconds. Here she paused for a fraction and then performed a half turn. From there she leapt lightly onto the first upright whiskey bottle, which wobbled only slightly under her weight. She placed her other toe catlike upon the next whiskey bottle, and then she raised herself en point to great heights….



About the Author

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Ray A. Harvey, novelist, essayist, published poet, athlete, and editor, son of Firman Charles Harvey (RIP) and his wife Cecilia, youngest of thirteen half brothers and half sisters, was born and raised in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. He’s worked as a short-order cook, copyeditor, construction laborer, crab fisherman, janitor, pedi-cab driver, bartender, and more. He’s also written and ghostwritten a number of published books, poems, and essays, but no matter where he’s gone or what he’s done to earn a living, literature and learning have always existed at the core of his life.


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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Release Blitz: The Dragon's Shadow by Allison Morse @AllisonMorseLA #giveaway #yafantasy #fantasy #excerpt #newrelease



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Tween High Fantasy / YA
Date Published: September 24, 2018
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

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Royal twins ripped apart at birth become reluctant champions of good and evil.

Kylie, a teenage science geek, has no faith in people. Instead, she relies on what she trusts the most, the facts––what she can see, touch, and hear but never feel. With enough pain to deal with in her own world, she is thrust into another––a kingdom at war whose strange inhabitants fear one thing the most––the return of the dragon.  All of this is illogical to Kylie, but even more so, when she discovers she belongs there.

Her brother, Prince Jarlon, journeys to kill the dragon who has laid waste to his kingdom.  His only hope for destroying the beast is help from his sister, whom he has never met. Will their paths cross before the beast’s malevolence infects Kylie and turns her into his creature or will Jarlon have to destroy her, too?


Advance Praise

“A heartwarming fantasy adventure featuring winning characters.” – Kirkus Review


Excerpt

A deafening screech sounded. Jarlon’s limbs vibrated from the piercing cry of a teledicthus. The dragon’s minions.

The twenty-foot-high shelves rumbled, and books rained down. Screams came from outside the library door. “Jarlon you must escape,” the king commanded. “Go into the forest and find the Lady of the Eyes. I need you safe. Go.”

The library doors flew open. A teledicthus, flapping large leather wings and screeching its horrible wail, flew into the room. The monster’s red face featured a mouth that was more like a barracuda than that of a bird. Its lower jaw was longer than the top, and both were lined with a double row of razor-sharp teeth. The creature’s large, black eyes darted about, then settled directly on the prince.

The master of arms pushed Jarlon toward the doorway, but the giant bird swooped closer. The soldier lifted his sword.

Too late.

The teledicthus swiped. Blood sprayed from the soldier’s shoulder, and he fell. The bird screamed in triumph and flew upward, preparing to attack again.

Jarlon leapt to the soldier’s aid. Using a sleeve of his waistcoat, he made a tourniquet by tying it around the man’s arm to stop the bleeding.

The Sword of Legends in his hand, the king yelled to Jarlon to run and hide.

Jarlon looked up and saw the glistening teeth of the giant bird come closer. Blood covered the bottom double row. The beast then closed its mouth, and the blood vanished. The creature dove toward him.

Unsheathing his sword, Jarlon waited for his moment to strike. The wind from the teledicthus’ wings whisked across his cheek and a touch of saliva brushed his arm. He swung his saber at the bird’s neck.

The teledicthus dropped in midair to dodge the blade. Still, the bird did not avoid the sharp blow to the back of his head as Jarlon hit downward.

“Maglot!” he swore. He hit the bird squarely but with the flat side of his sword. The sharp end had failed to pierce the beast’s skin.

The teledicthus flew up and out of reach. A second screeching bird swooped into the room, and the two circled their prey, their sights set on the king.

Jarlon ran toward his uncle. Everything slowed. His heart pounded.

The teledicthus dove closer and closer still.

With arm held upward, Jarlon placed his body and his sword in front of the king, waiting for the beasts’ jaws to tear into his flesh. Instead, his uncle shoved him to the floor, and Jarlon watched the king ram the Sword of Legends into one of the great birds.

The bird fell dead.

Jarlon pushed himself to his feet but not in time.

The other teledicthus sliced into his uncle’s chest, leaving a gash that exploded in red and ran down the king’s robe. His uncle was dead!

A scream, more primal than any teledicthus could make, erupted from Jarlon. “No!”

The giant bird flew back to the roof of the library.

Watching it circle above, Jarlon held his sword tightly and waited to die. Then the stone floor rumbled beneath him. Something grabbed his leg.

“Jarlon!”

Tryff! Where was he?

Jarlon looked down. A stone from the floor had been removed. He scrambled through the opening and dove into the darkness.


About the Author

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Allison Morse is the author of three very different novels: Fallen Star a Hollywood Gothic mystery, The Sweetheart Deal, a Rom/Com and Dragon’s Shadow a YA Fantasy & Adventure all published by The Wild Rose Press. She lives with her wonderful husband in a house in the hills filled with books.






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Monday, September 24, 2018

Tour Kick Off: The Wizard's Gift by Michael Waller #fantasy #nowontour #booktour




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Fantasy
Date Published: 6/30/12

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The last of an ancient group of wizards leaves a gift to the newly arrived race of men. It is revered and cared for by a line of priests until it is stolen, and the high priest and his sovereign murdered by a king who believes himself destined to be a great wizard. But from ancient writings the high priest had discovered that the gift is not benevolent as was thought. This forces the son of the high priest, unexpectedly elevated to his father's position, and the young prince who is equally suddenly King, into a race to find the gift before it can be used as that may cause the destruction of the world. Accompanied by the retired captain of the palace guard they hope to speed their journey by crossing the Wasteland, a seeming desert, which is fabled to be populated by monsters, and from which no visitor has ever returned. In the course of their adventures they are hunted by dog faced men and captured by slavers, but the young prince truly becomes a king, and the priest discovers that he has a destiny that goes beyond the bounds of his world.




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Michael Waller is British and was born in the industrial north of Yorkshire. After being asked to leave school by his Headmaster he began a varied work career. This went from Chemist to Dog Catcher with stints as a Bingo Caller and door-to-door Insurance Salesman in between. For twenty years he worked in the oil and chemical industry which took him to the Middle East and finally the USA where he is now retired and living in upstate New York.




Amazon


September 24 - The Antrim Cycle - Excerpt
September 25 - Book Addict - spotlight
September 26 - This and That Book Blog - Guest Post
September 27 - Eskimo Princess - Spotlight
September 28 - Nana's Book Reviews - Excerpt
September 29 - Jazzy's Book Reviews - Spotlight
September 30 - Mythical Books - Guest Post
October 1 - Book Reviews by Virigina Lee - Excerpt
October 2 - Beach Bound Books - Spotlight
October 3 - Cinta Garcia De La Rosa - Spotlight
October 4 - Book Junkiez - Excerpt
October 5 - J Bronder Book Reviews - Review
October 6 - Bound 2 Escape - Spotlight
October 7 - The Avid Reader - Interview
October 8 - Stephanie's Book Reviews - Spotlight
October 9 - Morbid Reviews - Excerpt
October 10 - A Life Through Books - Review
October 11 - Momma and Her Stories - Review
October 12 - RABT Reviews - Wrap Up



RABT Book Tours & PR


PROMO Blitz: The Walking Horses by Linda S. Browning @LindaSBrowning #promo #paranormal #mystery #excerpt




Parlor Game Mysteries, Book 2
Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Date Published: August 2018

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It all started with a haunted Ouija board in Nashville and the cold case murder of Sophie Mathews. Then, Henry Meyer did not commit suicide in his tobacco barn in Columbia and the case went cold. When Olivia Honeycutt takes on the case of Eloise Venable Freeman, she must accept her paranormal proclivities. Eloise and her infant daughter, Andrea, allegedly died in a horrific fire thirty years ago. Her husband, David, is not satisfied with ashes. David wants answers. Olivia travels to Shelbyville, Tennessee, and the world of the Walking Horses to solve her most challenging mystery to date.



Other Books in the Parlor Game Mysteries Series:



Hanging Tobacco
Parlor Game Mysteries, Book 1
Published: June 2017

Hanging Tobacco is the first book in the Parlor Game Mystery Series. Olivia Honeycutt solved the cold case murder of Sophie Mathews with the help of Sophie’s Ouija board. Now, Olivia and her Nashville detective boyfriend, Presley, tackle the twenty five year old mystery surrounding the death of Henry Meyer. The old man was found hanging from the neck in the rafters of his tobacco barn in Columbia, Tennessee. Was Henry intent on suicide? Or, was it murder? Uncovering the truth behind Henry’s death proves both challenging and life threatening. Not everyone in Columbia wants to know the truth. Olivia takes the Ouija board on the road.








Excerpt


“. . . I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always -- take any form -- drive me mad! Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you!”

EMILY BRONTE, Wuthering Heights

CHAPTER 1

He waits in the shadows as silent and greedy as any panther awaiting its prey. It’s where the game always begins. I approach casually—pretending I don’t know he is there, pretending I don’t know he waits.

          I stand with my back against the refrigerator. At five-feet-something my head doesn’t come anywhere near the top of the appliance. After about one minute, he bops me tentatively on the top of the head with one paw and then retreats. Back he comes with another stealthy bop. I imagine he’s giggling with glee as I turn to sweep Toby from his perch. His giggle is a purr of satisfaction. He’s gotten me again. I’m a successful, professional, thirty-four-year-old woman; yet, I delight in playing this stupid game with a short-haired gray cat that I named Toby—short for Tobacco Cat. How on earth did I allow this to happen? I’ve always made fun of people who went stupid over their pets.

                Toby is approximately six months old and he’s a strange-looking animal—small for a male cat with round chipmunk cheeks. His mother was a small calico barn cat. His father had been a man of the gypsies. The veterinarian is convinced Toby’s blue-gray coloring, heart-shaped head, and large green eyes are distinguishing characteristics for a Korat. What a cat from the regions of Thailand had been doing fraternizing with a Tennessee barn cat was anybody’s guess.

                Five minutes later Presley Warren entered the kitchen with a prowling grace. He’s a big guy. Bull-in-a-china-shop size big. It kinds of ticks me off that he should move so easily and gracefully. I’m a little dinky person and I flail around whatever room I’m in at the time. He leaned into a morning kiss—“Good morning, sunshine!”—smacking his lips afterwards. “Yum, coffee with cream.” Gliding over to the kitchen counter my police detective boyfriend shrugged into the jacket and reached for his to-go cup upended in the dish drainer beside the sink. “Good morning, Toby!” He threw the greeting at the cat. Toby growled into his food dish and I growled into my coffee cup.

            I suffer through mornings as a necessary evil. Something to endure until a more respectable hour rolls around. He leaned over to kiss me goodbye with one hand holding his tie flat and the other grasping the now-filled to-go cup. He had that aftershave wonderful man-smell thing going and I thought fleetingly of grabbing his tie and wrestling him to the kitchen floor. I love the clean weekday man-smell. I’m also fond of the Sunday morning scruffy detective in-need-of-a-shave guy. It’s a toss-up. He grinned down at me as though he could read my mind. “I’ve got to go. Big meeting downtown. What are you doing today?”

                I sighed. “I’m going to make some calls to see what I can scare up.” In a lot of ways I’m jealous of Presley’s job. In a city the size of Nashville there is never a shortage of crime. Presley has job security. I’m a freelance journalist. There is nothing secure about a career in journalism.

     Presley whirled toward the hallway with coffee in one hand and car keys in the other. He called from the front door, “Text me later,” and he was out the door.

     I mumbled to the room. “Elvis has left the building.” Toby didn’t acknowledge the comment. Presley’s jeep rests in the driveway when he stays over. It’s my house so my Mini Cooper gets to live in the one-car garage. Setting my empty coffee mug in the sink I headed upstairs. I’d been awake for at least an hour. It was time for a nap. Presley had awakened me early; banging around in the small shower stall off the master bedroom. He could have showered in the bathroom downstairs, but he prefers to bang around and swear. The shower stall is small, perfect for a single professional hobbit-sized woman. The proudest day of my life had been moving into my fifteen-hundred-square-foot townhome. I fell in love with the soaring cathedral ceilings the moment I saw the place. Peter Pan could fly in here.

                Somehow a goofy-looking cat and a big-footed detective had burrowed their way into my little nirvana when I hadn’t been paying attention. Presley and I don’t live together. He has a small apartment in downtown Nashville. We are casually committed lovers; it’s complicated. We’ve been a couple ever since we laid eyes on one another last June. He is six feet of beat-up handsomeness. I was hooked immediately.

                I snoozed for about a half hour and woke up to Toby sprawled across my ankles in a purring puddle. Leaving the cat on the bed I went to shower and prepare for the day. By the time I re-entered the bedroom, Toby had left to roam the premises. I headed downstairs to the kitchen and my laptop. I was getting antsy for a story. The cold case mystery of Sophie Mathews had sold well throughout Tennessee. If I had included Sophie’s supernatural assistance in the solving of her case via a link with her Ouija board, I probably could have ended up on some national news shows…or even made the front page of the National Inquirer. While I had no problem furthering my career by telling her story, I would never have trivialized it with paranormal shenanigans. Sophie had meant a lot to me.

                A few months after Sophie’s case was put to bed I was invited to look into the cold case of Henry Meyer. When I wrote up Henry’s story and shopped it around, it sold like the funnel cakes at Mule Day weekend in the close town of Columbia—which was where Henry Meyer had not hung himself in his tobacco barn.

                I was bored. I needed to get busy and sell a story. I had a mortgage, a car loan, and a cat to support. I opened my laptop to search for local happenings that I could twist into a story and was immediately intrigued by a recently received email.



To: Miss Olivia Honeycutt

From:  David Owen Freeman

Date: January 19, 2015



     I am in need of your help. I was given this email address by Sheriff Lockheed of Bedford County which he acquired via his professional contacts with the sheriff’s office in Maury County. I was assured this was your business email and not personal. My wife and I have read the journalistic pieces you have written concerning the cold cases of Sophie Mathews of Nashville/Davidson County and Henry Meyer of Columbia/Maury County. My dear wife, Betsy, has encouraged me to write to you in the hope that you will look into the thirty-year-old deaths of my first wife, Eloise Venable Freeman, and infant daughter, Andrea Ilene Freeman. I have long suspected their deaths were the direct result of arson; therefore, they were murdered.

      I sincerely hope you will consider my request. I will personally cover all expenses you incur due to travel and hotel accommodation regardless of the outcome of your investigation. Eloise and Andrea lost their lives in an inferno at the Venable family estate. The official cause of the fire was never determined. However, I have always believed it was arson. There is a cold case at the Shelbyville Police Department filed away as Eloise Venable Freeman and infant daughter. My daughter’s Christian name isn’t even printed on the case file. The remains of my wife were recovered in the rubble. My daughter’s remains were never recovered. I am haunted by the summary in the report of the Fire Marshall. The remains may have been so insignificant that all traces of the infant could have been incinerated in the extreme velocity of the fire. Assuming it was arson (and I do), no motive was ever established. Eloise’s date of death was August 3, 1985.The fire started in the early morning hours of that date.

       Eloise was the daughter of Lawrence Venable. Venable Tennessee Walkers are well known throughout the country for the breed of Tennessee Walking Horses. I can be reached at the phone numbers and email addresses listed below. I will not go into further detail at this time. I sincerely do hope you will consider my request and get in touch.




About the Author

Linda S. Browning is retired from the University of Tennessee, Office of Research and Social Work. She lives with her husband in Middle Tennessee with their thirty-plus year amazon parrot and a young and energetic Bichon/ShihTzu mix. Linda is the author of Leslie & Belinda Mysteries.



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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Release Blitz: The Path of Destiny by Mike Shelton @MSheltonBooks #newrelease #youngadult #yafantasy #fantasy


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The Cremelino Prophecy, Book 1

YA Fantasy
Date Published: September 23, 2018

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2nd Edition



A Prophecy.

A Powerful Sword.

A reluctant wizard.



Darius San Williams, son of one of King Edward's councilors, cares little for his father's politics and vows to leave the city of Anikari to protect and bring glory to the Realm.

When a new-found and ancient magic emerges within him, he and his friends Christine and Kelln are faced with decisions that could shatter or fulfill the prophecy and the lives of all those they know.

Wizards and magic have long been looked down upon in the Realm, but Darius learns that no matter where he goes, prophecy and destiny are waiting to find him.

If you love magic, sword & Sorcery and wizards read this first book in The Cremelino Prophecy to find out what destiny awaits Darius.



Praise for The Path of Destiny:

5 Stars - "Author Mike Shelton has done a great job in creating characters that his readers will enjoy, connect with, and even care bout. His world creation abilities are second to none, and his ability to describe surroundings is so vivid and great that readers will feel as if they can simply slip through the pages and into Darius' world. Any reader, young adult or not, who enjoys a great work of fantasy with an extremely adventurous story line should absolutely read this book. I highly recommend it, and am very much looking forward to reading the next in the series from the talented Mike Shelton as soon as possible!" - Tracy A. Fischer for Readers' Favorite



"A fantastic young adult series that even adults can enjoy! It is fantasy series full of magic, suspense and adventure...I loved the connection of the magic, the horses and Darius and Christine. It was so exciting! Especially to watch the magic grow in Darius as he learned how to control his magic and what it needs to work. The three books are well written, played out and lead into each other very well. They are incredibly exciting and full of suspense. These are perfect books for young adults but even older adults who love fantasy." - workingmommyjournal.ca



5 Stars: "In a combination of medieval gallantry and fairytale fantasy, Shelton weaves a delicious tale reminiscent of Robin Hood or the Knights of the Round Table. The author's command of the English language draws the reader into a vividly described setting." - Lisa McComb for Reader's Favorite



"An exciting and character-rich young adult fantasy novel. Author Mike Shelton is expert at world building: both the world the characters inhabit, and their inner world as well. Darius and his friends are true-to-life characters who will keep you turning the pages. This is a fun and well-thought-out introduction to this series. Fans of a certain teenage wizard, or fantasy fiction in general, will find a lot to like here." Self-Publishing Review



"Mr. Shelton's debut young adult novel...is captivating." The characters are relatable, and the reader gets lost in their plights.4 out of 4 stars. - Onlinebookclub.org




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Other Boooks in The Cremelino Prophecy Series:



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The Path Of Decisions
The Cremelino Prophecy, Book 2

2nd Edition

Release Date: October 7, 2018



Cutting betrayal.

Increasing powers.

Complicated decisions.



A wizard walks the land once again, but he struggles with how to use his power.

Darius San Williams, now the first commander of the King’s Elite Army struggles with his emerging powers.

After winning his first battle against external foes, he must decide now to follow the King or to take matters in his own hands.

Back in Anikari, Christine wrestles with how to confront oppression against her people, while in Belor, Kelln must escape the clutches of an evil wizard and warn Darius.

Mezar, the captured Gildanian quietly watches everything closely and harbors a secret of his own.

Each of their decisions will determine the fate and destiny of their friendship and their kingdom.

For more magic, wizards, betrayal, and sword & sorcery read book 2 in The Cremelino Prophecy, The Path of Decisions.






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The Path Of Peace
The Cremelino Prophecy, Book 3

2nd Edition

Release Date: October 24, 2018



A wizard King.

An Evil influence. 

Powerful new magic.



Darius DarSan Williams, now newly crowned King of the Realm, is being pushed and tested on all sides by others vying for power.

His best friend Kelln is in Mar trying to find the escaped Preacher and his daughter.

Mezar discovers a plot in Gildan that could tear the Realm apart and put Christine in danger.

All are being watched over and guided by the mysterious Cremelino horses.  They hold one final magical secret that could help Darius save those he loves and find the path of peace.

Can everyone come together in time and find a solution or will the Realm fall to a conquering foe? 

With magic and wizardry abounding, and a race against time, the conclusion to The Cremelino Prophecy will not disappoint.  Read it today!





About the Author

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Mike Shelton is now on his third young adult/teen fantasy series. For information on his new releases, book reviews, and other relevant info, please join him at www.MichaelSheltonBooks.com

Mike was born in California and has lived in multiple states from the west coast to the east coast. He cannot remember a time when he wasn't reading a book. At school, home, on vacation, at work at lunch time, and yes even a few pages in the car (at times when he just couldn't put that great book down). Though he has read all sorts of genres he has always been drawn to fantasy. It is his way of escaping to a simpler time filled with magic, wonders and heroics of young men and women.

Other than reading, Mike has always enjoyed the outdoors. From the beaches in Southern California to the warm waters of North Carolina. From the waterfalls in the Northwest to the Rocky Mountains in Utah. Mike has appreciated the beauty that God provides for us. He also enjoys hiking, discovering nature, playing a little basketball or volleyball, and most recently disc golf. He has a lovely wife who has always supported him, and three beautiful children who have been the center of his life.

Mike began writing stories in elementary school and moved on to larger novels in his early adult years. He has worked in corporate finance for most of his career. That, along with spending time with his wonderful family and obligations at church has made it difficult to find the time to truly dedicate to writing. In the last few years as his children have become older he has returned to doing what he truly enjoys - writing!



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