Sunday, June 26, 2016

Tales From Virdura by: Graham Downs w/ Interview


Title: Tales from Virdura
Author: Graham Downs
Series: Kingdom of Virdura (Book 2)
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: June 1 2016
Edition/Formats: eBook
Source: Author via RBTL Book Promotions
Explore Virdura, a world full of fantasy, magic, and drama.
Find out what happens when a dashing young farmer's son swoops a neighbouring daughter off her feet.
Meet Queen Tricia and the Royal Wizard Solon. Or Queen Celeste, her daughter, as she continues to struggle to come to terms with her new role as queen after the death of her mother.
Or read about Tobin the Bounty Hunter as he takes down Jarvis, a merciless criminal who brutally slit a blacksmith's throat.
All these stories and more await you in Tales From Virdura, a collection of flash fiction stories that take you deep into the world and the lives of the characters who inhabit it.
If you enjoyed reading A Petition to Magic, this might just be your next read.
You'll find out more about old characters and meet new ones. You'll read prequels and origin stories, and you'll read original stories taking place in new locales within the Kingdom.
This book can be enjoyed as a companion to, or separate from, A Petition to Magic Book 1 in the Kingdom of Virdura Series.

This is a free story out of the collection. It’s called Runt Wizard, and it’s an origin story for Solon the wizard, a principle character in the book’s sequel, A Petition to Magic:
Young Solon stared stoically ahead as two of his tormentors held him down, and a third ripped off his shirt from behind.
He gritted his teeth as the thin reed stung his naked back. And a second time. And a third.
Solon vowed that he would not cry out. He was the son of the Royal Wizard, and he would carry himself as such.
Three other children danced around him, snorting like pigs and calling him names.
"Foolborn runt!" they chanted. "Where is your all-powerful magic now?"
The mocking continued, and the lashings went on. Seven now, and Solon could feel blood trickling down his back. He focused on the smell of the boys' sweat, mixed in with the dust of the dry, arid field they were in. Despite himself, a single tear ran down his left cheek.
"Oh, he's a cry-baby now too, eh?" said one of the boys. "Pathetic son of a useless mage."
Something inside Solon snapped. His eyes shot open, and under his breath, he began reciting an old incantation.
Another thwack of the reed.
"What's he doing now, do you think?"
"Speaking gibberish. I think we may have beaten him a little too hard, boys."
While his tormentors laughed, nobody noticed the storm clouds gathering overhead. Nobody paid any attention to the flash of lightning, and clap of thunder indicating how close it was.
Above a boy's head (the one who had insulted Solon's father), the sky crackled, and a blue bolt began to take shape, high up in the clouds.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Rekindled Flame by: Andrew Grey w/ Guest Post & Giveaway

Title: Rekindled Flame  
Author: Andrew Grey
Series: (Set in the Bronco Boys Universe) (Book 1 in Spin Off)
Genre:  M/M Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 13 2016
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Morgan has worked hard to build a home for himself after a nomadic childhood.  When Morgan is called to a fire, he finds the family out front, but their tenant still inside.  He rescues Richard Smalley, who turns out to be an old friend he hasn't seen in years and the one person he regretted leaving behind. 
Richard has had a hard life.  He served in the military where he lost the use of his legs and has been struggling to make his way since coming home. Now that he no longer has a place to live, Morgan takes him in, but when someone attempts to set fire to Morgan’s house, they both become suspicious and wonder what's going on.

Years ago Morgan was gutted when Richard moved away, so he’s happy to pick things up where they left off, but now that Richard seems to be the target of an arsonist, he may not be the safest person to be around.

“How on earth did Morgan find me again after all these years?” Richie asked himself as he tried to get his head around the fact that he’d lost everything, it had been Morgan who’d rescued him from the burning building, even though he didn’t remember, and now Morgan had taken him in. What was even more remarkable was that Morgan looked every bit the part of a firefighter rescuer. He was nothing like the thin, wiry boy he’d known when they were kids. There were moments when his smile or the way he bit his upper lip when he was thinking hearkened back to the boy he knew, but mostly this was someone he didn’t recognize.
Morgan was tall, broad, and strong. He did have the same intense eyes and jet black hair. It wasn’t as though he doubted Morgan was who he claimed, but Richie didn’t recognize this person. That is, until he took that trip down memory lane. Once they grew quiet and the fatigue caught up with him once again, he dozed off.
Richard hated sleeping. It was when the memories he’d spent four years trying to run away from caught up with him. During the day he could keep them away—life kept them at bay. Someone had called sleep a minideath or something. Well, for him it was true. Death and destruction haunted and plagued his dreams. He knew them well. Richard had met them up close and personal, and they’d left their scars on both his body and mind.
This time on Morgan’s sofa was different. When he dozed off, they stayed away. He had no doubt they’d return, but for now, this afternoon, he was on a huge beach in a bathing suit. His was green, and Morgan’s was red. His friend carried water in a container so big he rocked back and forth with each step. It had a spout on it, and Morgan set it at the top of the incline. Then the two of them dug a small hole and began digging a raceway for the water to follow back to the lake. All around them were people talking and kids laughing. “Are you ready?” Morgan asked, scurrying up to where Richard was putting the finishing touches on the raceway.
“Almost,” Richard said, hurrying excitedly to finish the bend in the raceway. He handed Morgan a large rock. “Use that as a dam right there. If we got the angle right, it could act like a waterfall on the downward side. That will be cool.”
Morgan dug where he indicated and placed the rock. When Richard finished, he helped, and when everything was ready, Richard turned on the water. It filled the initial pool and then spilled out, running slowly down the raceway, around the various bends and up to the rock dam. It filled the lake behind and then reached the top and spilled over, continuing down. Richard turned to Morgan, who was grinning, and watched as he raced toward him. Suddenly Morgan clutched his chest, smile fading, fingers covered in blood. He gasped and fell to his knees before collapsing onto the ground. Richard stood helpless as the raceway flowed red down to the lake.
He woke with a gasp, sitting up, looking at the grown-up Morgan as he tried to inhale. It was a dream, another reminder of how messed up and freaky his mind worked now. Thankfully Morgan smiled at him and turned back to the television. “You have to be hungry.”
“I guess I am.” He willed the residual images from his mind. “I hate that I can’t remember anything without my thoughts getting all twisted up.”
“Let me guess. You start out down a normal path and suddenly you’re back on the battlefield or it turns gruesome,” Morgan said, and Richard wondered how he knew. “I’ve taken classes. First thing, because we have to deal with losing people under traumatic, stressful situations, and there are times when we deal with someone who’s in a fire but thinks they’re back on the battlefield. Stress can do some wild things to people, so we have to be trained for anything.”
“I was starting to think you were reading my mind.” He stopped short of telling Morgan about his dream. It usually didn’t go over too well when he told someone he’d dreamed their death.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Fire and Ice by: Andrew Grey w/ Giveaway

Title: Fire and Snow  
Author: Andrew Grey
Series: Carlisle Cops #4
Genre:  M/M Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 20 2016
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Fisher Moreland has been cast out of his family because they can no longer deal with his issues. Fisher is bipolar and living day to day, trying to manage his condition, but he hasn’t always had much control over his life and self-medicated with whatever he could find.
JD Burnside has been cut off from his family because of a scandal back home. He moved to Carlisle, but brought his Southern charm and warmth along with him. When he sees Fisher on a park bench on a winter’s night, he invites Fisher and his friends for a late-night meal.
At first Fisher doesn't know what to make of JD, but he slowly comes out of his shell.  And when Fisher’s job is threatened because of a fire, JD’s support and care is more than Fisher ever thought he could expect.  But when people from Fisher’s past turn up in town at the center of a resurgent drug epidemic, Fisher knows they could very well sabotage his budding relationship with JD.

Once he’d showered, Fisher wrapped a towel around his skinny waist and pulled open the medicine cabinet. He pulled out the weekly pill container he set up each Sunday and opened it, groaning softly when he realized today was Sunday and his pills for Saturday were sitting in their slot. At least that explained the blues that had descended over him and the roller coaster he’d been on. It also accounted for the few hours he couldn’t remember from last evening. Oh, he remembered the restaurant with JD, Red, and Terry, and the food, the talking, the lightheartedness. But pretty much all he remembered about the hours before that was being cold and alone. The feeling stayed with him even if the exact memories of what happened were lost.
Fisher doled out his upcoming week of medications into their slots, then took his Sunday pills from the container, placed them in his palm, and chased them with a shot of water. Then he went back into the bedroom, dressed, and checked himself in the mirror as well as the time.
He had five minutes before he had to leave, and he needed to eat when he took his pills. He hurried to his tiny kitchen, pulled open the refrigerator, and grabbed an apple. There was only one but it would have to do for breakfast. He ate it as he left the house and got into his car for the four-mile drive to work.
When he pulled into the lot and parked, there were a lot of people heading the same way he was. They were saying good morning and greeting each other, chatting away. Fisher pushed his hands into his pockets and walked, head slightly down, the way he always did. Into the warehouse, punch in, check the systems, and then out to the yard-control booth near the entrance, where he’d meet incoming drivers and explain where they were to go. That was his day, every day the warehouse was running. He spent a lot of his time either speaking with the drivers or simply sitting and waiting. In his pocket was a small paperback that he could read on his break and lunch.
“Morning,” one of the men said as he passed Fisher. Fisher returned the greeting, then sat in his chair and began checking in the first of many trucks waiting to deliver their loads. By the time his morning was over, Fisher had spoken to dozens of drivers coming into the yard and an equal number waiting to be checked out with their loads to be shipped. He was the first and last line of defense in the yard, and Fisher took his job seriously. He was always meticulous and careful, checking each load against manifests and documentation.
“It’s lunchtime,” Ellen, his supervisor, said as she approached the booth. “I’ll take over for you so you can go in and eat.” A few months ago, after she realized Fisher was staying in the booth and eating a sandwich at his computer, she had started intervening, spelling him for lunch.
“You spend way too much time alone,” she told him as she settled in the seat. “I did this job for four years before you came, and there were times I wanted to pull my hair out. In summer it was hot as hell, and in winter, cold as blazes.”
“I don’t mind,” Fisher said. “I guess I’m a loner by nature.” He turned, waved once, and walked across the yard to the main building and down to the lunchroom.

Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.
Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing)  He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Facebook Group All the Way with Andrew Grey

The ones listed below is for the Carlisle Cops Only