Category Archives: Blog Tours

Guest Post: The Art of Brevity: Writing the Novella by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo

In early 2017 I read an enthusiastic review about a newly translated novel by Argentinian author Samanta Schweblin. The review gave very little away but described the book as surreal and horrifying and something to be read in one sitting. That sounded pretty intriguing, so I headed to the bookstore and bought a copy. The novel was called Fever Dream. 

I did indeed read Fever Dream in one sitting. Not only was it everything the reviewer had promised—strange and foreboding and beautifully written—it was also incredibly brief. At fewer than 30,000 words, this masterful slice of horror is technically a novella—a story that falls somewhere between 20,000 and 50,000 words. 

Many renowned classics are novella length: John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is around 30,000 words; Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea is 27,000, and Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle is fewer than 45,000.   

There’s just something about a story carved down to its bare essentials that feels especially potent.  

Horror stories in particular can benefit from brevity. Sustaining an atmosphere of claustrophobic dread is easier to achieve in 150 pages vs. 600. A narrower word count naturally leads to more clarity and focus, something that can get lost with a wide cast of characters and multiple subplots. 

When writing the novella, get to know your protagonist well and keep the story focused on her. Make sure your plot doesn’t stray from the main conflict; limit or eliminate subplots. Carefully consider backstory; for every detail you give about your main character’s past, ask yourself if it really matters. Finally, use a narrow time frame for your story, and only a few settings.  

It takes discipline to simplify your story and choose your details wisely, but learning the art of brevity pays off with a tightly plotted narrative that your reader won’t want to put down.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Maria Naranjo is the award-winning author of The Fourth Wall (WiDo Publishing, 2014). Her short fiction and creative nonfiction have been published in Brevity Magazine, Superstition Review, Fractured Lit, The Portland Review, Hunger Mountain, Hospital Drive, Reservoir Road, Literary Mama, Motherwell, and a few other places. Her stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best American Essay, and Best of the Net. All links to Elizabeth’s work can be found on her website at elizabethmarianaranjo.com.

Social Media Links:

#thehouseonlindenwaynaranjo

Tweets by emarianaranjo

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8124819.Elizabeth_Maria_Naranjo

– Blog Tour Calendar

September 19th @ The Muffin

Join us as we celebrate the launch of The House on Linden Way by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo. Crystal interviews the author about her book and also gives away a copy to one lucky reader.

https://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

September 22nd @ Deborah Adams 

Today, The House on Linden Way is in the spotlight at Deborah Adams blog with a guest post written by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo titled: Exploring our Deepest Fears Through Speculative Fiction.

http://www.deborah-adams.com/blog

September 23rd @ The Faerie Review 

In today’s spotlight at The Faerie Review is Elizabeth Maria Naranjo’s latest book The House on Linden Way – readers will be thrilled to learn more about this fabulous read! 

https://www.thefaeriereview.com/

September 26 @ What is That Book About 

Elizabeth Maria Naranjo is in the spotlight at What is That Book About as readers learn more about Naranjo’s thriller: The House on Linden Way! Don’t miss this blog stop on Naranjo’s WOW! Women on Writing book blog tour!

https://www.whatisthatbookabout.com/

September 27th @ Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire with Mindy McGinnis 

Elizabeth Maria Naranjo pens today’s guest post at Mindy’s blog. Learn more about Naranjo’s latest book The House on Linden Way as well as today’s topic: Traditional vs Self Publishing and My Experience with Both as Naranjo offers some insight into her stories!

https://www.mindymcginnis.com/blog

September 30th @ The Faerie Review

Hear some of Elizabeth Maria Naranjo’s favorite October stories as she pens today’s guest post at The Faerie Review. This is also your chance to learn more about her latest thriller: The House on Linden Way. Don’t miss this opportunity!

https://www.thefaeriereview.com/

October 1st @ Boots, Shoes and Fashion

Linda at Boots, Shoes and Fashion shares her thoughts after reading Elizabeth Maria Naranjo’s latest book called The House on Linden Way. This is a thrilling read and we can’t wait to hear what Linda thinks!

https://bootsshoesandfashion.com/

October 2nd @ Word Magic with Fiona Ingram

Fiona from Word Magic is hosting Elizabeth Maria Naranjo today. This is a great opportunity for readers to learn about Naranjo’s latest book: The House on Linden Way as well as read her guest post titled: The Lingering Ghosts of Our Childhood Homes. Readers will be thrilled to hear from Naranjo!

https://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com/

October 3rd @ One Writer’s Journey 

Sue Bradford Edwards offers her review of The House on Linden Way by fellow author Elizabeth Maria Naranjo. Find out what Sue thinks and learn more about this thriller!

https://suebe.wordpress.com/

October 3rd @ World of My Imagination

Nicole Pyles of WOW! Women on Writing offers a thoughtful review of The House on Linden Way by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo – readers won’t want to miss the opportunity to learn more about this thrilling book and it’s talented author!

https://worldofmyimagination.com/

October 8th  @ Boots, Shoes and Fashion 

Linda interviews Elizabeth Maria Naranjo about her latest thriller, The House on Linden Way! This book blog tour is one readers won’t want to miss – it’s THRILLING!

https://bootsshoesandfashion.com/

October 10th  @Girl Zombie Authors 

Chris at Girl Zombie Authors shares her review of Elizabeth Maria Naranjo’s The House on Linden Way – will it be too thrilling for this fellow author? Find out TODAY and be thrilled!

https://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com/

October 10th  @ Choices with Madeline Sharples

Today’s post is titled: Tips For Getting Unstuck While Writing Your Novel and it’s penned by none other than Elizabeth Maria Naranjo as she just released her latest thriller The House on Linden Way. Find out more today!

http://madelinesharples.com/

October 11th  @ Author Anthony Avina

Author Anthony Avina puts fellow author Elizabeth Maria Naranjo in the spotlight today as readers learn more about The House on Linden Way – this is a book blog tour stop that will thrill and delight!

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October 13th  @ Knotty Needle Creative

Judy reviews The House on Linden Way for readers at Knotty Needle Creative – find out more about this thriller and it’s talented author Elizabeth Maria Naranjo!

http://knottyneedle.blogspot.com/

October 16th @ Literary Quicksand

Jessica from Literary Quicksand reviews The House on Linden Way by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo – what will she think? Will fellow author Elizabeth be able to thrill Jessica? Stop by today to find out!

https://literaryquicksand.com/

October 18th  @ Author Anthony Avina

Author Anthony Avina reviews the work of fellow author Elizabeth Maria Naranjo and offers his thoughts about The House on Linden Way!

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October 20th @ Reading is My Remedy

Chelsea from Reading is My Remedy offers her review of Elizabeth Maria Naranjo’s The House on Linden Way for readers of her blog. This is a thriller and we can’t wait to find out Chelsea’s take on it!

https://readingismyremedy.wordpress.com/

October 23rd @ Literary Quicksand

Jessica from Literary Quicksand interviews Elizabeth Maria Naranjo – learn more about this talented author and her latest thriller, The House on Linden Way!

https://literaryquicksand.com/

October 25th @ Author Anthony Avina

Author Elizabeth Maria Naranjo pens today’s guest post at fellow author Anthony Avina’s blog with the title: The Art of Brevity; Writing a Novella. Hear from Elizabeth and find out more about her latest thriller, The House on Linden Way.

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October 27th  @ The Frugalista Mom

The Frugalista Mom offers her review of The House on Linden Way by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo. Find out more and stop by today!

https://thefrugalistamom.com/

October 30th  @ Wildwood Reads

Megan from Wildwood Reads offers her review of the thriller The House on Linden Way, by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo! Stop by and get in the mood for tomorrow!

https://wildwoodreads.com/

Blog Tour: Sigrid & Elyn: A Tale From Norvegr by Edale Lane

Sigrid & Elyn - Edale Lane

Edale Lane has a new FF alt history mystery romance book out: Sigrid & Elyn.

Attracted by passion, repelled by war. Can two shieldmaidens navigate battlegrounds of the sword and the heart?

Pre-Viking Scandinavia. Sigrid the Valiant is legendary throughout the kingdoms of Norvegr, along with her twin brother, for their many heroic deeds, but her heart has not found a home. Now, racing on the heels of their father’s murder, a neighboring kingdom’s raids threaten to cause an all-out war.

Elyn is a young shieldmaiden with a score to settle, fighting her own insecurities along with enemies who threaten her homeland, but she remains unconvinced all is as it seems.

When the two clash on opposite sides of their shield walls, sparks fly from both their swords and passions. But when they talk, the two fierce women discover an antagonist’s plot has pitted their kingdoms against each other.

Will Sigrid and Elyn move past their suspicions and differences to forge a relationship and foil the villain’s scheme, or will the enemy’s assassins end their search for the truth?

Action, adventure, and intrigue ride together with romance in this enemies-to-lovers saga from the pre-Viking land of Norvegr. Award-winning, best-selling author Edale Lane brings history to life in this fast-paced sapphic novel. Grab your ax and rönd and join the quest by clicking to buy now!

Warnings: violence, rape (in a memory), slavery as part of society.

Get It at Amazon


Giveaway

Edale is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card with this tour:

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Excerpt

Sigrid & Elyn meme

Elyn’s heart pounded in her chest as she weighed her options. Right here, right now, she could kill Jarl Sigrid the Valiant and gain great fame and renown. With no witnesses, she could concoct any story she liked about how the epic battle in the cave occurred… except without witnesses, people may say Sigrid died in the fall and all Elyn did was chop at her corpse making it appear she had been victorious. A further problem with that option was that the gods saw everything. To kill an unarmed, unconscious opponent was a dishonorable display of cowardice akin to murder.

What would Sigrid do? Elyn lifted her ax but hesitated. One so well respected would not slay an incapacitated foe, would she?

But what troubled Elyn the most was the true impetus behind her reluctance—she didn’t want to kill Sigrid. She wanted her to live. Lowering her weapon, she gazed at the fair legendary hero. Though caked in dust sticking to blood and sweat, her legs pinned under heavy jagged rocks, she was the most astounding human being Elyn had ever laid eyes on. Maybe it was not her beautiful face or toned body, but the songs and stories that hailed her victories over man and beast, that saluted her valor and generosity that most fueled Elyn’s imagination. Perhaps it was how Sigrid had saved her from a spear hurled on the battlefield when it had been against her own best interest. But maybe it was the strange energy that pulsed through Elyn’s sensations whenever they were near each other that compelled her to choose mercy. Then again, it could merely be her own sense of unworthiness.

I am nobody, she thought. I can’t kill a jarl, a female warrior jarl… a lovely, helpless woman of distinction. She needs my help.

Elyn shoved the ax back into her belt and lifted heavy stones off the fallen shieldmaiden, tossing them aside. As she worked, Sigrid awoke. Sky-blue eyes blinked and the trapped woman coughed away dust, soon becoming aware she was not alone.

With a startled expression, Sigrid grabbed her sword and swung it at Elyn, who had to jump to avoid its reach. “Do not think of crushing me with a slab of limestone!” she blasted with rage igniting in her glare. Sigrid’s voice was robust enough to overpower the burble of the waterfall. “I could carve you like a roasted pig even without the use of my legs.”

An admiring smile tugged at the corner of Elyn’s lips, and something sprang to life deep within her core. “I am certain that you could, Jarl Sigrid, but if you will notice, I am not attacking you, but digging you out of the rubble.”

“What happened?” Sigrid raised her left hand to the gash on her forehead.

“The ground gave way, and we fell into this pit chased by large rocks. I think a Jotnar is to blame,” Elyn replied in a placid tone that seemed to disarm Sigrid.

As her focus cleared, she aimed it on Elyn’s face. “I find myself at a disadvantage,” Sigrid admitted. “You know who I am, but I am not familiar with you. What is your name?”

Elyn heaved the last of the big rocks pinning Sigrid’s legs to the side and sat on it. “I am Elyn, a shieldmaiden of Firdafylke. I live in a village called Kaldrlogr. It would appear for the moment we are trapped in this crevice. Thus far, no one has appeared at the fissure above to lend aid, and I suspect the battle continues.”

Sigrid nodded. Elyn! So that is your name. Satisfaction nestled within Sigrid until she recalled why they were there. Feelings of languid infatuation evaporated, and vengeful wrath rushed in to seize their place. She pushed up on her sword, gathering her legs under her body, and struggled to her feet. She could tell her injuries were more than superficial, and she could not bear weight on her right leg, but she was determined. Mirroring her movement with caution, Elyn rose from her rock and shifted a hand to the ax on her belt.

Pinning the flame-haired shieldmaiden with a frigid glare, Sigrid snarled. “Why did your raiders attack our farms? It is fortunate you were not among their number as we left none alive.”

She cocked her sword arm for a swing, and in an instant, Elyn whipped out her ax to block the whirling blade. The motion of the stroke rendered Sigrid off balance, and she could have easily toppled over, but her opponent pushed against her steel with her weapon until she was upright and steady on her one good leg. Elyn’s action surprised Sigrid, though she was glad for it.

“We did no such thing!” her foe declared with heated conviction. She hoisted her ax, poised at the ready.

Sigrid realized she was in no condition to fight, so she had better rein in her temper. She glanced down at Elyn’s sturdy legs, shapely hips, rounded breasts, up to luscious full lips, and finally into stunning green eyes and held them.

“Several of my friends were killed,” Sigrid asserted, and she felt a quiver go through her body. “A dozen men under the banner of Firdafylke carrying shields with your colors,” she testified, motioning to Elyn’s rönd lying a few feet away, “attacked the outlying farms of my village, Gnóttdalr. They burned homes, slew livestock, murdered women and children, then tried to flee like cowardly rodents.”

Elyn’s brows knit together in concern. “When was this?”

“Less than two weeks ago,” Sigrid confirmed. With her shoulder stiff and in pain, she lowered her sword but kept a firm grip on its hilt. “Maybe a week and a day after the first time we fought.” Sigrid tried to calculate, but her head throbbed. Has it been three weeks I have spent dreaming of you?

“That is impossible!” Elyn’s declaration snapped Sigrid’s thoughts back into focus. “It wasn’t us. All of Jarl Njord’s warriors are accounted for at that time and none have gone missing,” the younger woman insisted.

Sigrid’s frown deepened. “I know about Jarl Njord and his intentions for the throne of Firdafylke. With King Tortryggr’s mind and strength failing, he supposes to increase his fame by defeating us, but it shan’t work.”

“What are you talking about?” Elyn fumed and tossed her empty hand into the air. “There is nothing wrong with King Tortryggr’s health, mental or otherwise. And while it is true Njord has ambitions, he is not a traitor. What about your King Grimolf? Greedy to the core! We know about his plans to take over our kingdom, how he has promised all you jarls will double your holdings.”

“Nothing but sheep dung!” Sigrid retorted. “That is the biggest load of shite I’ve ever heard.”

Elyn’s brows narrowed, and her scowl deepened. “What about the Svithjod raiders that attacked our farms? We had defenseless people killed by your warriors, too. Did they make sport of it? Was it a game to them?”

“We did no such thing!” Sigrid’s voice reverberated about the cavern, which only increased the throbbing in her head. “We supported you several years ago when Raumsdal assaulted your land. I personally led a team of wagons to reinforce your army with supplies, and my brother brought volunteers to join your defenses.”

“I know,” Elyn countered, “which is why we feel so betrayed that you have invaded now. Maybe the raiders did not come from your band, but they flew the raven flag and carried the yellow and black shields of Svithjod. Why do you lie?”

She raised her ax in a defiant motion and Sigrid reacted instantaneously, slamming her sword to bear against it. “I do not lie!”

The two shieldmaidens pressed closely together, hot with anger and confusion. Sigrid was not expecting the arousal she experienced at the proximity to her enemy, but her desire could not be denied. It was baffling and unacceptable. Only a handle of wood and a blade of steel stood between them. Sigrid kept her balance on her one good leg, but if Elyn pulled away, she would surely fall. She felt the heat of her breath, inhaled her intoxicating scent, and her body ached for a woman she should not want. Is this a trick? Have I been bewitched? A part of her wished to examine Elyn’s every feature in intricate detail, while reason ordered her emotions to stand down.

Elyn slowly backed away, almost as if she was being careful to not cause Sigrid to fall. “No, you do not lie.” The words rang with sincere belief and Sigrid eased her muscles as she mirrored her foe to relax. They lowered their weapons at the same time. “But neither do I.”


Author Bio

Edale Lane

Edale Lane is an award-winning author (Rainbow Awards, Imaginarium Awards, Lesfic Bard Awards) who is realizing her dream of being a full-time writer. She is the alter-ego of author Melodie Romeo, (Tribute in Blood, Terror in Time, and others) who founded Past and Prologue Press. Both identities are qualified to write historical fiction by virtue of an MA in History and 24 years spent as a teacher, along with skill and dedication regarding research. A native of Vicksburg, MS, Edale (or Melodie) is also a musician who loves animals, gardening, and nature. After driving an 18-wheeler cross-country for eight years, she now lives with her partner in beautiful Chilliwack, B.C. Canada.

Author Website: https://pastandprologuepress.lpages.co/

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/melodie.romeo/

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/groups/887028485401701

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/EdaleLane

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/edale_lane/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15264354.Edale_Lane

Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/edale-land/

Author QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/edale-land/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Edale-Lane/e/B07GRFPDRZ/

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Parasite by Ridley Harker Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A teen boy will be forced to decide between the brewing romance he has found sanctuary in and the fate of the island he calls home when a mysterious illness striking the town is linked to the new boy he’s been seeing in author Ridley Harker’s “Parasite”.

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The Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Jack Ives is used to being unlucky. His only friend has just moved away to college, his parents are alcoholics, and he’s relentlessly bullied by the town psychopath. All that begins to change with the arrival of a handsome but quirky new student, Lucien, who wants to be more than friends.

Their newfound happiness doesn’t last, however, as a strange new illness strikes the island. Fishermen go missing, and the villagers left behind aren’t themselves anymore. When Lucien is suspected to be the cause of the outbreak, can Jack overcome his teenage hormones and save Eldrick Isle? Will he even want to?

The Review

This was a haunting and captivating horror read. The chilling nature of the narrative took readers by storm, revealing both the panic-inducing body horror that films like John Carpenter’s The Thing and modern-day indie horror film The Bay have become known for and the suspense that keeps readers invested in the narrative as the motivations and twists of the story keep the true “threat” facing the people in town and the protagonist under a shroud of mystery. The brilliant imagery the author utilizes brings the “jump-scare” effect to the narrative, keeping readers hooked on the author’s writing.

The character development and atmosphere were the best-developed aspects of this narrative. Between the strong LGBTQ character bonds that the main characters shared together and the scare-filled atmosphere that kept the reader engaged with this narrative, the book hooked me immediately. The balance between every day, haunted aspects of daily human life that brought the townspeople to the place they found themselves in at the start of the narrative and the more parasitic, horror-themed problems that they come face to face with will have readers immersed in this story.

The Verdict

Powerful, thrilling, and entertaining, author Ridley Harker’s “Parasite” is a must-read LGBTQ-driven body horror novel of 2022! The perfect fall read for horror fans, the story and atmosphere will hook readers immediately, but it is the well-developed characters that will have readers invested as the narrative comes to its chilling and climactic finale. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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Parasite - Ridley Harker

Ridley Harker has a new gay horror book out (with a romantic subplot): Parasite. And there’s a giveaway.

Seventeen-year-old Jack Ives is used to being unlucky. His only friend has just moved away to college, his parents are alcoholics, and he’s relentlessly bullied by the town psychopath. All that begins to change with the arrival of a handsome but quirky new student, Lucien, who wants to be more than friends.

Their newfound happiness doesn’t last, however, as a strange new illness strikes the island. Fishermen go missing, and the villagers left behind aren’t themselves anymore. When Lucien is suspected to be the cause of the outbreak, can Jack overcome his teenage hormones and save Eldrick Isle? Will he even want to?

Warnings: Abuse, alcoholism, animal death, bullying, graphic violence/gore, guns, homophobia, misgendering

Universal Buy Link | Goodreads


Giveaway

Ridley is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour:

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47259/?


Excerpt

Lucien wanted to hit something. He wanted to lash out and make himself feel better by making someone else feel worse—Spencer, preferably, but Lucien was too upset even to fantasize. Something scuttled under the floorboards beneath him. Tiny claws on warped wood. A nearby hole in the floorboards… Vermin would have to do.

He brought his index finger to his mouth and bit down, worrying at the skin with his teeth until it broke. He tasted blood. The takeout bag sat beside him so he picked up a fry and, after seasoning it with blood, tossed it toward the hole. And then he waited.

A whiskered nose appeared first, followed by a furry brown face and black, beady eyes. A rat. The animal snatched the fry and disappeared back into the darkness. Lucien smirked and licked his finger clean. He absently probed the torn skin with his tongue until it was smooth again. Then he paused, momentarily forgetting about the rat. Something on his fingers tasted off.

Foreign.

Salty.

Some sort of grease.

He glanced dubiously down at the soggy french fries, holding his breath and waiting for disaster to strike. Nothing happened. His stomach rumbled. He licked his lips again. The scent of greasy, fried potatoes became too tantalizing to resist, and he reached into the bag and pulled out a fat, golden fry. He shouldn’t—years of lectures told him he shouldn’t—but a rebellion brewed deep inside him. He sniffed, and his stomach gurgled in approval.

Lucien popped the french fry into his mouth. It was cold. The texture was strange: crisp on the outside, soft on the inside. He had to chew before he could swallow. Grease coated his tongue.

His nutrient shakes were garbage.

Lucien scarfed down the entire bag of fries and then licked his fingers clean. Jack had left his milkshake behind, and Lucien drank that as well. The shake had a familiar texture, but the flavors… What would hamburgers taste like? He was going to find out.

An ear-piercing squeal erupted from beneath the floorboards. Lucien smirked into his straw and waited, listening. Judging from the sounds, more than one creature had taken his bait. The rat dragged itself out from the crevice. Little clawed toes curled in on themselves, and beady black eyes bulged out from their sockets. The bald tail became discolored, patchy and waxen. It flopped onto its side, its chest heaving madly as it labored to breathe. A black substance leaked out from its jaws, followed by a tiny, purpled tongue. It shuddered violently, and then it lay still.

Lucien didn’t notice. The paper cup crumpled in his grasp, and the remains of the strawberry shake dripped down his wrist. Behind his dry, irritating contact lenses, his pupils dilated. Lucien clutched at his belly, smearing milkshake across Jack’s borrowed shirt. It was like having shards of glass in his stomach, stabbing into his intestines. Ripping. Tearing. Sweat soaked his skin. He staggered to his feet and gagged. Waves of nausea threatened to bring him to his knees. His throat burned, and his stomach lurched.

He was going to be sick. Sick in the middle of Jack’s private sanctuary. Lucien clamped a hand over his mouth and stumbled toward the guest room. The door’s hinges screamed in protest when he fell against it. He landed heavily on his knees. The floorboards were wet and slimy, blackened with rot. They sloped toward the center of the room, where he saw the stony lip of the well peeking out from amidst the wreckage. The house was strange, but he had no time to explore, not when his stomach lining was burning its way up his esophagus.

Lucien dug his fingers into the moldering floorboards and dragged himself forward. Up close, the well stank. The putrid fumes of fetid water rising up to meet him suggested something had fallen in recently. Lucien leaned over the well’s side and vomited. The remains of french fries and strawberry milkshake hit the water below with a liquid slap. Strings of shredded tissue and dark, brackish blood soon followed.

Unbidden tears streamed down Lucien’s cheeks. He choked on a sob and then choked again as something elseslithered its way up his throat. The edge of the rotten boards gave beneath his clenched fingers, turning to splintery pulp. He tried to clamp a hand over his mouth, tried to keep it inside, but it was too late. Lucien curled in on himself, his mouth opened wide in a silent scream. His eyes rolled back behind his lids, and the world went dark.

It splattered onto the floor. It resembled a fattened leach, pulsating and slimy, and was the size of a large rat. It wriggled about, leaving behind a trail of black sludge. An alien kudzu sprung from the mess and cemented itself to the floor. Lucien opened his eyes, watching as the thing squirmed away from him. He felt a muted sense of alarm as it neared the edge. His head was foggy. He should grab it. Before it was too late, if it wasn’t too late already.

His fingertips scrabbled against the wood, mold and sludge filling the spaces beneath his nails, but his arms wouldn’t obey. He managed to brush the spongy tail of the creature before it tumbled over the edge and into the darkness below. It hit the water with a faint, echoing splash.

Lucien struggled to catch his breath. Empty and frail, his chest felt like a cage of papier-mâché. He rolled onto his back, panting. His eyes fluttered shut. Something moist crawled across his arms, up his ankles, under his jeans. It slithered through his hair. He was too tired to object. He wanted to sleep. He didn’t want to think about what could have happened if he had eaten in front of Jack. Or worse, if they had been in the middle of the crowded diner.

Inky blackness rose up to meet him, and Lucien didn’t resist.


Author Bio

Ridley Harker

Ridley Harker is an up-and-coming horror author who delights in all things gay and spooky. Influenced by Billy Martin (Poppy Z. Brite), Clive Barker, and Gemma Files, his favorite books are those with enemies to lovers, great villains, and queer main characters. Horror-romance is his favorite genre. He lives in the Middle of Nowhere with his two dogs, a grumpy old snake, and a host of pet tarantulas. Ridley is currently working on his MFA.

Author Website: https://www.ridleyharker.com

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/ridley.harker

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/HarkerRidley

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/RidleyHarker

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16649258.Ridley_Harker

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/ridley_harker

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Spotlight: The House on Linden Way by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo from Women on Writing Blog Tours!

I am so happy to share this special spotlight showcasing the incredible Gothic novel, “The House on Linden Way” by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo!

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We are excited to announce the WOW! Women on Writing book blog tour with author Elizabeth Maria Naranjo and her book The House on Linden Way. 


The book is a ghost story with elements of horror and Gothic suspense. 

This is a perfect October read – and here’s a bit more about The House on Linden Way

While passing through her hometown a decade after she left, Amber Blake impulsively revisits her old house on Linden Way. She only means to stay a moment, to show her three-year-old daughter Bee the place where she grew up. But when the kindly new owners invite them inside, Amber cannot resist.

Soon Bee is missing, the owners have disappeared, and Amber finds herself in a houseful of ghosts. Time takes on new meaning as she loses herself in living memories and a past that does not wish to be forgotten. 

As Amber fights the powerful lure of a childhood she’d long left behind, her tenuous hold on the real world slips further from her grasp. Is it merely nostalgia she’s battling, or something far more menacing? Who haunts the house on Linden Way, and where are they hiding her child? 

Categories: horror, gothic suspense, haunted house, ghost story, magical realism, thriller

Purchase your own copy on:  Amazon

About the Author







Elizabeth Maria Naranjo is the award-winning author of The Fourth Wall (WiDo Publishing, 2014). Her short fiction and creative nonfiction have been published in Brevity Magazine, Superstition Review, Fractured Lit, The Portland Review, Hunger Mountain, Hospital Drive, Reservoir Road, Literary Mama, Motherwell, and a few other places. Her stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best American Essay, and Best of the Net. All links to Elizabeth’s work can be found on her website at elizabethmarianaranjo.com.

Social Media Links:

#thehouseonlindenwaynaranjo




– Blog Tour Calendar

September 19th @ The Muffin
Join us as we celebrate the launch of The House on Linden Way by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo. Crystal interviews the author about her book and also gives away a copy to one lucky reader.

September 22nd @ Deborah Adams 
Today, The House on Linden Way is in the spotlight at Deborah Adams blog with a guest post written by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo titled: Exploring our Deepest Fears Through Speculative Fiction.

September 23rd @ The Faerie Review 
In today’s spotlight at The Faerie Review is Elizabeth Maria Naranjo’s latest book The House on Linden Way – readers will be thrilled to learn more about this fabulous read! 

September 26 @ What is That Book About 
Elizabeth Maria Naranjo is in the spotlight at What is That Book About as readers learn more about Naranjo’s thriller: The House on Linden Way! Don’t miss this blog stop on Naranjo’s WOW! Women on Writing book blog tour!

September 27th @ Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire with Mindy McGinnis 
Elizabeth Maria Naranjo pens today’s guest post at Mindy’s blog. Learn more about Naranjo’s latest book The House on Linden Way as well as today’s topic: Traditional vs Self Publishing and My Experience with Both as Naranjo offers some insight into her stories!

September 30th @ The Faerie Review
Hear some of Elizabeth Maria Naranjo’s favorite October stories as she pens today’s guest post at The Faerie Review. This is also your chance to learn more about her latest thriller: The House on Linden Way. Don’t miss this opportunity!

October 1st @ Boots, Shoes and Fashion
Linda at Boots, Shoes and Fashion shares her thoughts after reading Elizabeth Maria Naranjo’s latest book called The House on Linden Way. This is a thrilling read and we can’t wait to hear what Linda thinks!

October 2nd @ Word Magic with Fiona Ingram
Fiona from Word Magic is hosting Elizabeth Maria Naranjo today. This is a great opportunity for readers to learn about Naranjo’s latest book: The House on Linden Way as well as read her guest post titled: The Lingering Ghosts of Our Childhood Homes. Readers will be thrilled to hear from Naranjo!

October 3rd @ One Writer’s Journey 
Sue Bradford Edwards offers her review of The House on Linden Way by fellow author Elizabeth Maria Naranjo. Find out what Sue thinks and learn more about this thriller!

October 3rd @ World of My Imagination
Nicole Pyles of WOW! Women on Writing offers a thoughtful review of The House on Linden Way by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo – readers won’t want to miss the opportunity to learn more about this thrilling book and it’s talented author!

October 8th  @ Boots, Shoes and Fashion 
Linda interviews Elizabeth Maria Naranjo about her latest thriller, The House on Linden Way! This book blog tour is one readers won’t want to miss – it’s THRILLING!

October 10th  @Girl Zombie Authors 
Chris at Girl Zombie Authors shares her review of Elizabeth Maria Naranjo’s The House on Linden Way – will it be too thrilling for this fellow author? Find out TODAY and be thrilled!

October 10th  @ Choices with Madeline Sharples
Today’s post is titled: Tips For Getting Unstuck While Writing Your Novel and it’s penned by none other than Elizabeth Maria Naranjo as she just released her latest thriller The House on Linden Way. Find out more today!

October 11th  @ Author Anthony Avina
Author Anthony Avina puts fellow author Elizabeth Maria Naranjo in the spotlight today as readers learn more about The House on Linden Way – this is a book blog tour stop that will thrill and delight!

October 13th  @ Knotty Needle Creative
Judy reviews The House on Linden Way for readers at Knotty Needle Creative – find out more about this thriller and it’s talented author Elizabeth Maria Naranjo!

October 16th @ Literary Quicksand
Jessica from Literary Quicksand reviews The House on Linden Way by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo – what will she think? Will fellow author Elizabeth be able to thrill Jessica? Stop by today to find out!

October 18th  @ Author Anthony Avina
Author Anthony Avina reviews the work of fellow author Elizabeth Maria Naranjo and offers his thoughts about The House on Linden Way!

October 20th @ Reading is My Remedy
Chelsea from Reading is My Remedy offers her review of Elizabeth Maria Naranjo’s The House on Linden Way for readers of her blog. This is a thriller and we can’t wait to find out Chelsea’s take on it!

October 23rd @ Literary Quicksand
Jessica from Literary Quicksand interviews Elizabeth Maria Naranjo – learn more about this talented author and her latest thriller, The House on Linden Way!

October 25th @ Author Anthony Avina
Author Elizabeth Maria Naranjo pens today’s guest post at fellow author Anthony Avina’s blog with the title: The Art of Brevity; Writing a Novella. Hear from Elizabeth and find out more about her latest thriller, The House on Linden Way.

October 27th  @ The Frugalista Mom
The Frugalista Mom offers her review of The House on Linden Way by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo. Find out more and stop by today!
https://thefrugalistamom.com/

October 30th  @ Wildwood Reads
Megan from Wildwood Reads offers her review of the thriller The House on Linden Way, by Elizabeth Maria Naranjo! Stop by and get in the mood for tomorrow!

 



 

The Iron Crown by L.L. MacRae Audiobook Tour

Author: L.L. MacRae Narrator: RJ Bayley Length: 17 hours 7 minutes Producer: Audiobook Empire Publisher: L.L. MacRae Genre: High Fantasy Released: July 22, 2022


Fenn’s first and only memory is finding himself in the middle of a forest, face to face with a dragon spirit mocking him, all knowledge gone apart from his own name. Lost and confused, his only hope for answers is Calidra—a woman living on the edge of the world with her partner. Forced to return home when her father dies, Calidra has put off facing her estranged mother for seven years, and she begrudgingly helps Fenn, forging papers for him so he can avoid the Queen’s Inquisitors. But her mother is the least of her worries when they discover an ancient enemy is rising again. It should be impossible with the Iron Crown in power—and Fenn is terrified he might unwittingly be playing a part in the war’s resurgence. Surrounded by vengeful spirits and powerful magic, Fenn’s desperate attempt to find his way home might well alter the fate of Tassar, and every power in it. A new high-fantasy series bursts into life with the Dragon Spirits who reign supreme in the magic-drenched world of Tassar.
L.L. MacRae is a fantasy author of character-driven stories and epic adventure. Her books usually contain dragons, bucket-loads of magic, and are typically fun and hopeful. She lives in a tiny village in the English countryside, has a degree in Psychology, and was a professional copywriter before going full-time as an author—swapping corporate copy for magic and dragons! An accomplished full-time voice actor and audiobook narrator with 4 years of experience. RJ’s voice has been described by peers as a ‘well-weighted baritone, balanced & deep at the same time.’ Natually he’s got a mild Yorkshire lilt that’s trustworthy and relatable. He’s extremely adaptable however and capable of many convincing accents, or anything you throw at him really. RJ’s broadcast quality studio consists of a fully acoustically treated room, RØDE NT-1A microphone, Reaper digital audio workstation and Izotope RX7 for clean-up and mastering for that high end sound. So far he’s narrated over 30 audiobooks with more currently in production. As a VO he’s been the voice of brands such as Nickelodeon, Johnson and Johnson, Network Rail, Aegon, Accord and more. He’s friendly, reliable, professional, takes direction well and always makes sure you’re happy with your narration. He maintains he’s not trying to ruin his own career by deafening himself with heavy metal on his dog walks. At Audiobook Empire, audio reigns supreme, narrators are hailed as heroes, and headphones are worn with pride. Marrying pomp and circumstance with quality you can count on, Audiobook Empire is a full-service production house that produces and promotes audiobooks with gusto. Give your audiobook the imperial treatment by producing it with Audiobook Empire.
Q&A with Author L.L. MacRae
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • I listen to a lot of audiobooks, so I always have audio versions created of my own novels. It was never a question, really. Accessibility is incredibly important, and having books available in multiple formats is a huge part of that. People who are visually impaired, dylexic, or simply prefer audio shouldn’t have to miss out! So yes, I was always aware there would be an audiobook recording to happen once the novel was complete, but nothing I wrote was changed or affected by the idea it would be narrated, if that makes sense? I did worry about too much alliteration or something like that which might throw off a potential narrator, but that was about the most I was conscious of!
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • It was a bit of a strange process finding the narrator for The Iron Crown! Originally I’d started creating the audiobook with a narrator, but after almost a year without much progress, we decided to part ways. It was a shame, but it happens. It also meant I had a lot of people who’d already been waiting for the audiobook for a year, so I needed to get everything rolling again super quickly. I posted on my social media apologising to everyone waiting for the audio and explained what had happened. I also said (because I try to be transparent with people who follow me) that I’d be opening for auditions shortly. RJ Bayley, who has narrated other superb fantasy including Thirteenth Hour and We Men Of Ash And Shadow reached out to be notified when these auditions opened. We ended up in conversation and I sent him an audition script early. He sent back his audition very quickly and absolutely nailed every single line. He seemed to instinctively “get” my writing – both style and the characters .RJ was so good, in fact, that I would have felt bad opening to auditions because after hearing his version, I doubted I’d hear anyone who fit better. So we decided to move forward together, he did an AMAZING job, and the rest is history!
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
    • Honestly, other than a handful of discussions beforehand, there was no working together at all! RJ Bayley is a consummate professional and has a whole “welcome pack” for authors that he narrates for. It makes everything so much easier! He wants to know more about the characters rather than “this specific voice” which allows him the creative freedom to breathe life into the characters. For example, I’d provide information on characters ages, personalities, their level of confidence, where in the world they live (and in relation to each other), which gives RJ everything he needs to build a picture of who they are as a person. The voices he gives to the characters in The Iron Crown are nothing short of spectacular, so I’m very happy with this process! I gave a few pronunciation tips – when it comes to epic fantasy, so many words/names/places are made-up! – so he knew how I’d like them to be said. Of course I was always open in case anything came up that he wasn’t sure about. I heard the first 15 minutes and then nothing until the whole book was complete! It was a lovely surprise when he told me he was done – i was just as excited waiting for it as readers who’d been asking for the audio! Having a more hands-off approach was great. As an indie author, you have to do everything yourself, so leaving the production in capable hands is always a bonus!
  • What are the fantasy influences behind your writing?
    • The Final Fantasy video game series was my first experience of epic narratives, grey characters with incredible backstories, and superb worldbuilding. I return to a number of the titles in this series again and again – like a comfort blanket! But at around eight years old, it was incredibly significant on my psyche!
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • Music helps, and so do video games! Getting outside and allowing my mind to wander, or simply doing/watching something totally unrelated sometimes helps inspiration grow. Sometimes just going to bed and getting comfy is when my brain throws all the good ideas at me! I try and put trust in my subconscious that it’ll figure out a plot hole or create a new, fun idea that can be incorporated (if not into my current book, then a future project). More tangibly, brainstorming with other creatives – especially if they have totally different writing styles! I’ve had brilliant feedback and ideas generated from being part of a writing group, or just discussing a plot with another author. Their objectivity often allows them to comment on things that I hadn’t considered before, and then a snowball of inspiration begins!
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I’d say close to 80% of my reading is through audiobooks! It’s a fantastic format and can really bring a story to life like nothing else. I always have an audiobook on the go when I’m driving, cooking, cleaning etc. Sometimes I just want to chill out with a jigsaw puzzle and I’ll throw on a chapter or two of my current audiobook! It’s a huge part of reading (we’re told stories as children) and an aspect that I think sometimes receives unfair stigma. If I have the time to do “immersive reading” – where I listen to the audiobook while reading along with a physical copy or eBook – it can heighten the experience to a whole new level! Highly recommend it 😀
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • I think I would! As long as I could only observe safely, and not have to actually BE in the new place! I am super curious about the future – a short way ahead, say 50 or 100 years in the future, and also the far future, like 500, 1000, 2000 years in the future! I wonder what happens to humanity and the planet, if we’re okay in the end or if the apocalyptic science fiction becomes reality! But on balance, I’d probably go back to prehistoric times and see dinosaurs! I’m a huuuuge fan of dragons and dinosaurs are basically the next closest thing! So seeing what they really looked like, their behaviour etc. would be what I’d love to see if I could time travel! Ideally I’d be able to come back to the present after a whirlwind tour and hopefully have tonnes of inspiration!
  • Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams?
    • Oh yes! All the time! In fact it’s very rare that they DON’T appear in my dreams! It isn’t just characters, either, it’s places and plot points, too. Thankfully, my subconscious is pretty active and many scenes and ideas in my books come from my dreams. Dreams are pretty good at solving plot holes too! It’s a bit strange, but I feel like a lot of creativity comes from the subconscious. Your brain piecing together ideas without you consciously realising, and often the fruits of those appear in dreams. I day dream quite a lot (or at least, I used to!), and I have notebooks and note apps on my phone/laptop full of all these little half-ideas and concepts that often go on to be included in existing series, or even become the foundation for new series! Dreaming and allowing the mind to wander is super important to creativity for me, and I’m always pleased when they appear in my dreams! It’s kind of like visiting old friends that you didn’t know you had!
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
    • Keep writing. Follow the new, shiny ideas until you can write one to the end. Writing a novel is a slog, so keeping motivated as often as possible will help get chunks of it written! Also thinking what you have written is terrible rubbish that should be burned is entirely normal and part of the process. It will pass.
  • What’s next for you?
    • I’m currently writing the sequel to The Iron Crown, called The Shadow Gate. I’m hoping it’ll be released at the end of 2022, but it may be very early 2023. And of course, the audiobook version won’t be far behind! RJ is interested in returning to narrate the sequel, which is great for consistency, so watch this space!
L.L. MacRae’s Top 10 Books Read Last Year
  1. Burn Red Skies – Kerstin Espinosa Rosero (epic fantasy with dragons, elemental magic, and airship smugglers)
  2. Jade Legacy – Fonda Lee (final book in the Green Bone Saga – urban fantasy, crazy family dynamics, mafia-style characters with great martial arts)
  3. Reaper Man – Sir Terry Pratchett (the second of the “Death” books)
  4. Underlord/Uncrowned – Will Wight (some of my favourites in the Cradle series!)
  5. Legends & Lattes – Traveis Baldee (great slice of life, cosy epic fantasy!)
  6. The Thirteenth Hour – Trudie Skies (gaslamp/steampunk fantasy that’s quintessentially British! Feels very epic)
  7. Wolfeater – Anthony Mitchell (standalone fantasy set in a freezing landscape where survival is never guaranteed)
  8. Orconomics – J. Zachary Pike (satirical fantasy/D&D style adventuring with a very grumpy protagonist!)
  9. Iron Truth – S.A. Tholin (sci-fi – two people try and find a way off a ravaged planet where no one can be trusted, everyone haunted by demons…)
  10. Last Gifts Of The Universe – Rory August (cosy sci-fi about loss, family, and adventure)
Pronunciation Guide (Unlisted video) from the author – also gives a description of POV characters and other major characters, as well as some of the dragons in the book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkUBHodz_jQ   I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Audiobook Empire. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Guest Blog Post: Lessons learned querying agents and publishers by Carolyn DiPasquale

I am honored to share today’s special guest blog post from Carolyn DiPasquale, author of the book Reckless Grace. Today she shares the lessons she learned sending queries to agents and publishers alike. I hope you enjoy today’s post and be sure to follow the author and pick up your copy of their book today!


Finding a publisher is a long, lonely process. I’d heard the rejection stories, so I knew this going in, but I never imagined how hard it would be in that actual space.

Hoping to sign with a major company, aka the “Big 5 Publishers,” I began by querying agents. I spent hours trying to craft cogent query letters that, in retrospect, I think always missed the mark for two reasons. One, I had trouble boiling down a broad, complex work like Reckless Grace into a few catchy lines. My cognizance of the power of that letter—it could make or break me—also froze me up, resulting in stilted text. I received pass after pass. But infinitely more painful than the Dear-John emails was the total lack of response from most Big-5 agents who couldn’t be bothered to even acknowledge receipt of, much less respond to, not just my query letter, but also my book proposal and sample chapters, a package that took from several weeks to several months to put together. Which made me repeatedly feel like the book I’d labored over for the last seven years was worth nothing. 

But I didn’t give up because even if I couldn’t articulate it effectively in my queries, I believed in the importance of my project. It helped that my writer-friend, Elisabeth, was also shopping her manuscript among Big-5 agents without success. We commiserated with each other while reviewing one another’s letters and synopses, and this camaraderie lifted some of the gloom. I got so excited the few times she received “hits,” that is requests from agents to read her full manuscript; however, they ultimately passed. (Elisabeth still hasn’t found an agent after eight years.)  As time went on, I understood that Big-5 agents favor celebrities and well-known writers. They accept very few new clients, sometimes only one percent! 

Therefore, after a year without one bite, I moved on to smaller companies, called Indie (independent) publishers. Within weeks, I started getting hits. Both editors who read my full manuscript offered me contracts. Though thrilled at their interest, I felt I had to proceed cautiously; I’d invested too much time in writing Reckless Grace to release it without vetting these companies. After contacting authors who had used these publishers and hearing about their experiences, I had serious reservations and ultimately rejected both offers. I knew it was the right call, but I felt dejected and stuck. In the stifling July heat of 2020, I started writing query letters again. In August, I got another hit. Jay Gowen from WiDo Publishing requested my full manuscript and read Reckless Grace in three days, stunning me with a phone call. “I don’t usually telephone authors,” he said in a kind, professional voice, “but your manuscript absolutely slayed me.” I signed a contract the next day. 

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Book Summary

Fourteen-year-old Rachel guards a collection of secrets for ten years, journaling to vent her terror and loneliness.

Following Rachel’s fatal overdose years later, her mother, Carolyn DiPasquale, stumbles upon her daughter’s diaries. Shattered, she searches for answers, retracing her steps to figure out how parents and doctors missed three major mental illnesses.

What the single, working mother recalls is a far cry from what happens, as dramatically revealed in tandem chapters gleaned from Rachel’s journals. While the mother sprints from task to task, the daughter details the baffling emergence and frightening progression of bulimia, diabulimia, and borderline personality disorder; her eventual substance abuse; and heart-wrenching reasons for not seeking help.

Despite her loss, DiPasquale hopes her story lights a path for victims of mental illness while awakening all readers.

Publisher: E.L. Marker

ISBN-10: 1947966550

ISBN-13: 978-1947966550

ASIN: ‎B09W69TT11

Print length: 546 pages

Purchase a copy of Reckless Grace on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookshop.org. You can also add this to your GoodReads reading list. 

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About the Author:

Carolyn DiPasquale grew up in Franksville, Wisconsin, graduating from UW-Milwaukee with a double major in English and French. In 1983, she moved to Rhode Island where she raised three children while pursuing her Master’s in English at the University of Rhode Island. Over her career, she taught literature and composition at various New England colleges; worked as a technical writer at the Naval Underseas Warfare Center in Newport; and wrote winning grants as a volunteer for Turning Around Ministries, a Newport aftercare program for ex-offenders. She has been an active member of the Newport Round Table, a professional writing group (founded in 1995), since 2013. 

DiPasquale currently lives in Richmond, Rhode Island where she has started working on a sequel to Reckless Grace. She has also ventured into writing children’s books. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and baking with healthy ingredients, hiking and trapshooting with her husband Phil, and volunteering at the New Hope Chapel food pantry in Carolina, Rhode Island.  

Visit her website to follow her updates. You can also follow her on Instagram or Facebook.

Blog Tour Calendar

– Blog Tour Calendar

August 1st @ The Muffin

Join us at WOW! Women on Writing as we celebrate the launch of Carolyn DiPasquale’s memoir Reckless Grace. Read an interview with the author and enter to win a copy of the book.

http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com

August 1st @ Mindy McGinnis

Join Mindy as she features a guest post by author Carolyn DiPasquale on the topic of how mental disorders travel in packs. Don’t miss this! 

https://www.mindymcginnis.com/blog

August 3rd @ Pages and Paws

Join Kristine as she reviews Carolyn DiPasquale’s memoir Reckless Grace. You don’t want to miss this powerful memoir!

https://pagesandpaws.com/

August 8th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Join Anthony as he features Carolyn DiPasquale’s guest post about lessons learned from querying agents and publishers.

August 9th @ The Faerie Review

Join Lily as she features Carolyn DiPasquale and her memoir Reckless Grace.

https://www.thefaeriereview.com/

August 10th @ Word Magic

Come by Fiona’s blog where she shares the author’s guest post about memoir writing. Don’t miss this important post if you are interested in this writing genre!

https://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com/

August 13th @ Boots, Shoes, and Fashion

Join Linda as she interviews Carolyn DiPasquale about her memoir Reckless Grace. 

https://bootsshoesandfashion.com/

August 15th @ A Storybook World

Join Deirdra as she features Reckless Grace by Carolyn DiPasquale.

https://www.astorybookworld.com/

August 18th @ Pen and Prosper

Join Jennifer as she interviews Carolyn DiPasquale about her memoir Reckless Grace.

http://penandprosper.blogspot.com/

August 19th @ Knotty Needle

Visit Judy’s blog and read her review of Carolyn DiPasquale’s memoir Reckless Grace. You don’t want to miss this touching memoir.

https://knottyneedle.blogspot.com/

August 20th @ Choices

Join Madeline as she shares Carolyn DiPasquale’s guest post about whether women can age with grace.

http://www.madelinesharples.com/

August 22nd @ World of My Imagination

Visit Nicole’s blog as she reviews Carolyn DiPasquale’s powerful memoir Reckless Grace.

https://worldofmyimagination.com

August 24th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Join Anthony again as he reviews Carolyn DiPasquale’s powerful memoir Reckless Grace.

August 28th @ Liberate and Lather

Join Angela as she reviews Carolyn DiPasquale’s memoir Reckless Grace. 

https://liberateandlather.com/

September 1st @ Peaches and Cream Pages

Join Kelly as she reviews Carolyn DiPasquale’s memoir Reckless Grace. You’ll definitely want to add this book to your reading list.

https://www.instagram.com/peachesandcreampages/

September 2nd @ Heidi Lynn’s Book Reviews.

Join Heidi Lynn as she features Carolyn DiPasquale’s memoir Reckless Grace.

https://heidilynnsbookreviews.blogspot.com/

September 3rd @ Kelly Sgroi’s Blog

Visit Kelly’s blog today and read the guest post written by Carolyn DiPasquale about how to make your writing sing. Feel inspired today!

https://www.kellysgroi.com/blog

September 4th @ Free to be Me

Join Leslie as she reviews Reckless Grace by Carolyn DiPasquale.

https://lesliesvoice.com/

Blog Tour: Higher by Roz Alexander

Higher - Roz Alexander

Roz Alexander has a new FF holiday romance out: Higher. And there’s a Giveaway.

Where do dreams go to wait?

Tali Blue is definitely going back to finish her last semester of rabbinical school…eventually. When she moved back to her hometown seven years ago to help her grandparents raise her younger sisters, she planned on it being temporary. Now though, she has a stable job and a stable life surrounded by the people she’s known forever. It’s all just fine – and then there’s the incredibly annoying surprise of Maple.

Maple never meant to be successful. She just wanted to make weird art and practice her Ladino. And just like that, 15 years of adulthood has built a solid career, a great reputation as an art instructor, and a lackluster love life. It doesn’t help that she’s been spending all her free time consumed with making it as a Sephardic Jew into the Jewish art world that never seems to have space for her. And it definitely doesn’t help that she’s strictly a butch-for-butch queer. And then comes a sex goddess in the form of short, chunky, smoking hot, and incredibly nervous, butch, Tali Blue.

When Tali’s love of family, Maple’s art ambitions, and a Rosh Hashanah effort to #savethebees force these two together, both of them may learn that the only way out is up, together. This new year the honey is dripping on a lot more than apples. Higher is a steamy, butch-for-butch, grump-sunshine sapphic romance about what happens when you choose to take your dreams higher.

About the Series:

This entire Hot for the Holidays series is about queer Jewish people (and the people who love them) falling in love and having hot, explicit sex that can be read in any order and all year round.

Universal Buy Link | Goodreads


Giveaway

Roz is giving away a $10 bookshop.org gift card with this tour:

a Rafflecopter giveawayhttps://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47250/?


Excerpt

Higher meme

Forty-five minutes later Tali was done ha-cha-cha-ing down the hot oatmeal, scrubbing every inch of her body, and blow drying her short hair into something resembling a nice coif. She exited the bathroom into her bedroom, not unlocking the bathroom door into Anna’s room. Let her have to walk around as payback! It was a holdover from childhood when Beth and Anna played pranks on each other and Tali.

She was about to whip off the towel and dive into her closet for an outfit when she realized Maple was sitting on her bed. Looking at her.

She gripped the towel tighter, conscious of how it barely met across her hips. “What are you doing in here!”

“Want me to avert my gaze?” Maple’s tone was pure hunger, even while a teasing glint shone in her eyes.

“Why are you always early to everything? It’s ridiculous! Did Anna send you up?”

“Why are you always so late? And, yes. Both of your sisters did. I’m sure they’ll find this amusing that I made it just in time.” She stood and took a step toward Tali, who backed up, her shoulders and ass meeting the doorframe. “You don’t look embarrassed though, so maybe you’re as amused.”

“It’s a towel, why would I be embarrassed?” Tali swallowed around a surprising lump in her throat. And had it suddenly gotten much warmer in the room? She glanced over to double check she’d remembered to close the windows that morning. Yep, shut tight. The AC must be off or something.

“What is this look then? Is it your tell?” Maple was practically purring, a sound Tali didn’t realize humans were capable of until that moment.

“I’m great at poker. No tells here.” But her voice was growing faint, which indeed seemed to be a tell all on its own.

“No? What about me?” Maple was almost on top of her now, and Tali was torn between putting a hand out to stop her, and gripping her floral button-up to pull her closer. So many of their conversations took place over the phone and through text. Having her there, in front of her, reminded her how handsome and tall she was. How strong her arms looked. How irritating that smirk was. “If I wanted to kiss you, for example. What would my tell be?”

“Uh.” Tali felt herself at a crossroads. Maybe one they’d been at for some time. “You lick your lip.”

Maple startled at that, the smooth top energy sliding away for a moment while she considered that information. “In a sexy way?”

And here was the moment Tali knew it was up to her to choose what path they’d take. She wasn’t sure how to move forward in either direction, so she chose honesty. “Yes.”

Maple’s smile was staggering before it turned dangerous. She placed a hand on the wall above Tali’s shoulder and leaned in until they were a whisper apart. And then she slid her tongue slowly across her bottom lip, staring into Tali’s eyes.

“Yes,” was all Tali could manage. Yes, like that. Yes, please kiss me. Yes, I want this. Yes, yes, yes.

Maple’s other hand slid up the side of the towel, reaching the top and tucking her fingers under its edge. The look she gave Tali turned to one seeking permission. And Tali was going to give it, was going to enthusiastically consent to whatever came next, was going to…

“TALI!” Beth shouted as she swung the bedroom door open. “You locked the go—”

Tali moved faster than she could ever remember moving in her life. She meant to spin back into the bathroom and slam the door behind her, but Maple’s hand was still tucked into the towel.

So, instead, she pulled herself free of the fabric, falling naked onto the cool blue tile. Maple, eyes round as the moon, spun away from her, holding up the towel to block the sight from Beth while she managed to move forward and shut the door with her foot.

Forget every embarrassing moment before this. This is how I die of embarrassment. There’s no coming back from this. Beth will literally never let me live this down. And Maple…

Tali groaned and rolled around on the floor helplessly. She was stuck in here without her towel and with no clothing. Maybe she’d take up sewing and emerge one day in a beautiful button-up and slacks made out of the Moomins shower curtain.


Author Bio

Roz Alexander

They are a physically/progressively disabled, white, trans person with ADHD and have more interests than time in the day. You can find them spoiling their three terrible cat-beasts; connecting to their Jewish culture through moon-worship, plantcraft, and cooking traditions; and making weird art when they’re not writing or stewarding a native pollinator garden with their beshert.

Author Website: www.rozalexander.com

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritesRoz

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rozalexanderbooks/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21096037.Roz_Alexander

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Roz-Alexander/e/B0917ZWFZ2

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Blog Tour: Daisy’s Adventures in Love (Excerpt + Giveaway)

Daisy's Adventures in Love - Nikki Sitch

Daisy Sitch has a new MF romance with a strong trans sub arc, Love, Lust & WTF?!! book two: Daisy’s Adventures in Love. And there’s a giveaway.

Daisy’s Adventures in Love picks up where Love, Lust & WTF left off. Daisy’s finally found her match. Or has she? Is Brad really the one? And is Daisy ready for the surprising new challenges that a larger family might bring her?

Experience Daisy’s adventures, diving into love, family and fun. Daisy’s heart is on fire, for her girls, for Brad and for his kids. But as Daisy’s family potentially grows bigger, new unsettling—even terrifying—challenges arise. Daisy and Brad find themselves on a tightrope- one in which falling may mean the loss of one of their children. When you love more, you have more to lose.

To triumph, Daisy must dive deeper into not only love, but diversity, gender issues, transphobia, sexuality struggles, acceptance and the true meaning of motherhood. Luckily Daisy and Brad are not alone. Supported by a diverse cast of friends, including Kyle a psychologist who specializes in LGBTQ+ youth and family counselling, they chart a new-bigger and less predictable- life together.

Opportunities for growth abound. Kids growing and changing like crazy, love is anything but smooth and simple. Daisy’s gal pal chats bring her back to the crazy world of dating, a time she wants to avoid like the plague.

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Giveaway

Nikki is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour:

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47249/?


Excerpt

Brad

My fishing trip was great. Much-needed time away, just me and my buddies at the lake. On my way home, I picked up Kari and Kris from their mom’s. I was exhausted from the trip but could tell immediately that something was up with Kari. And it was big. She had a look about her. Tight. Scared. Held in.

When she asked if we could chat one-on-one tonight, I said, “Sure thing, sweetie, happy to chat with you about anything.”

But I wondered what it was I’d been missing. And for how long.

For some reason, my mind went to a video I’d watched of some daredevil hippie-type dude on a tightrope—no, a slackline—strung between two towering rock pillars.

Well, that’s a weird image. Why would that come to mind?

After supper, Kris asked to watch a movie. I got him all set up in the bonus room so Kari and I could chat in relative privacy. “Dad, I’m nervous talking to you about this, but I need to do it NOW. I’ve waited long enough. I’m just going to blurt it out. You can ask questions after.”

I nodded. I hadn’t always been good at, well, just listening. But funny how important it can be. Something told me it was one of those times to close my mouth and open my ears. My baby girl had something important to share with me.

Just listen.

Kari took a deep breath and exhaled, “Here goes nothing. I’m a pansexual transboy.” Silence. I waited.

Shocked, but desperately trying not to show it.

Kari blew out another huge breath and added, “There I said it.”

A what?

I sat very still. Attempting to process what I’d just heard. A feather could have knocked me over. Nothing could have prepared me for this. My brain was trying to process but I didn’t even know where to start. I limited knowledge about either word Kari had muttered.

Kari continued, “I know this is coming at you fast. I’ve researched and soul-searched and internalized this over the past few years. I’ve never felt right as a girl. It always felt wrong. I felt

awkward. It just took me a while to figure out what felt right. And before you ask, no, this isn’t a phase. The reality is: I am a transboy.”

I nodded, playing for time.

The video came back to me then, an overpowering image and feeling. The slackline, only it was me that was on the tightrope. I was balancing precariously over a steep faced gorge, with nothing but air and sharp rocks below.

I had so many questions. I felt so much love for my oldest child right now, lots of confusion, and I just wanted to hold on to my not-so-little girl.

I struggled for balance.

I’d heard the terms before, I guess, but I didn’t really know what they meant.

But I could feel the breeze. The air flowing over me, high on that slackline. I couldn’t panic there. I couldn’t lose my cool or pretend what was happening to my daughter was an affront to me. An affront at all. It wasn’t about me—it was about her, and if I reacted wrong and lost my balance, maybe it wouldn’t be me that fell—it would be her dropping so far, end over end, flailing onto the sharp and unsympathetic rocks so far below.

What do I do?

But some instinctive part of me knew what to do. I folded her into my arms, next to my heart, where she belonged. Always. I felt her try to pull away, but I wasn’t ready to let her go, and I pulled her in closer for another minute before releasing her.

“Dad, you haven’t said anything. What are you feeling?” Kari whispered.

Holding her, I felt my balance coming back. I was scared, still. Scared for her. But I knew something at that moment.

“We aren’t on a tightrope,” I said.

“What?” she asked.

Oops, that was my outside voice. That must’ve sounded extremely weird to her.

“Sorry sweetie, I’m a bit shell shocked. But we’re going to be fine.”

I didn’t know that. Some part of me knew that peril surrounded us—surrounded her, who I would’ve gladly fallen off any cliff to save, but I also knew that it wouldn’t be an act of physical bravery on my part that would help. It would be something else.

Summoning that something else, I said, “I want to be respectful in my response. It’s a lot to take in all at once. But I want you to know that I love you and I’m here to support you through anything and everything, always.” I exhaled, clearly understanding that things had changed in a big way. Not knowing quite what to do. I stared at my girl sitting on the couch. I heard the birds chirping outside. Nothing had changed for them. “How do I support you, Kari? What do you need from me?”

Kari released the air she’d been holding in, and a small smile touched the corners of her lips. “Ok, there are a few things I need from you right now: I would like you to start calling me Carson, not Kari. Also, use the pronouns ‘him’ and ‘he’. I know this will take some getting used to, but I’d appreciate it if you’d start trying immediately. I’ve closed the door on Kari; she’s gone.”

Gone? What do you mean gone? You’re sitting right here. You’re Kari, but you’re not.

My brain was scrambling, trying to find some semblance of logic and organization. I was grasping at straws and failing miserably.

I felt the air again. The high cliffs and the endless fall below. I was back on the slackline. I knew I shouldn’t say anything until the swirling stopped.

I’m not on a tightrope. We’re not on a tightrope.

If Kari was gone, I now had Carson.


Author Bio

Nikki Sitch is a mom, volunteer coach, landman, athlete, and more recently, she discovererd her passion as a writer. A Land Negotiator in the Energy Industry by day, Nikki fills her off hours, when not writing, with things she loves to do: spend time with family and friends, swim, bike, rollerblade, read, travel, golf, and walk.

Nikki wrote Daisy’s Adventures in Love, her second book, while living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her two boys and one dog.

Daisy’s Adventures in Love is Nikki’s second book and is a continuation from Love, Lust and WTF – Daisy’s Dating Adventures. Stay tuned for book three, picking up Daisy’s adventures where Daisy’s Adventures in Love leaves off.

Author Website: https://nikkisitch.ca

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/nsitch/

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/nikkisitchauthor/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/NikkiSitch

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nik6ix/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/22078002.Nikki_Sitch

Author Amazon: https://Amazon.com/author/nikkisitch

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Herald’s Call by Jaymie Wagner Excerpt & Giveaway (OWI Blog Tours)

Herald's Call - Jaymie Wagner

Jaymie Wagner has a new FFF urban fantasy out, Sing For Me book 3: Herald’s Call. And there’s a giveaway.

Woe to the wolf who dares to call

With unworthy hearts lest darkness fall

Dour note this horn will play

The hounds shall rise and wolves shall bay

Through the horn Herne shall command

By blood of the Hunt and a worthy hand!

It is said that long ago Herne, the god of the Hunt, could use his Horn to make wolves obey his commands. A legend that Amy Oakley, Alpha of the Howlers pack, learned as a child and stopped believing in long before her first change beneath the full moon.

After spending three years fighting for her lovers and packmates’ right to live among the werewolves of Londinium, all she wants is a chance to breathe, go back to running her pub, and never see the manipulative Marcel Charron again.

As an ancient prophecy begins to unfold, can Amy and the Howlers find the Horn of Herne and keep it out of Marcel’s hands, or will his web of schemes and plots spell doom for their pack and the rest of London’s werewolves?

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About the Series:

When Leah Corbyn was bitten on her mail route by a dog, she expected to go to the hospital for some stitches, a few days of medical leave, and for life to go on.

She had no idea that two weeks later she would become a werewolf under the full moon, or spend the next year trying to hide her ‘condition’, but after meeting and dating fellow werewolf Amy Oakley, it wasn’t long before she started to find an entire community in the shadows of London.

Surrounded by unexpected friends and dangerous enemies, Amy, Leah, and their packmate Amélie must fight to make a place for themselves, unaware that the conditions of an ancient prophecy are being met…


Giveaway

Jaymie is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour:

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47247/?


Excerpt

Herald's Call banner

Leah swallowed hard, and her voice was a hushed, raspy whisper. “Do you think…I mean…if my mum was a werewolf and she knew I wasn’t going to be. Could that be why she got rid of me?”

“Oh,” Amy breathed as she pulled Leah into a hug. “Oh, pup.”

“I mean…” Leah shook her head, tears starting to well in her eyes. “I never really knew anything. Where I came from. Why I was abandoned. Nobody even knows who gave me up. They just found me like a lost wallet!” She shuddered in Amy’s arms, tears running down her face.

“I finally learned something about where I came from and suddenly I wish I hadn’t!”

Abigail sat down slowly. “Leah,” she said in her most kind but firm doctor’s voice. “I can’t speak to why your parents made that decision. I wish I could. What I can tell you is that mitochondrial DNA takes a very long time to change from generation to generation, and the fact that you did not possess the full were sequences until you were turned suggests that it was a fairly distant ancestor. Five or six generations, easily.”

She waited for Leah to meet her eyes before she concluded: “Whatever their reasons, this was not one of them.”

Leah gave a sniff and dried her eyes with the back of her hand as she sat up. “That’s…that helps. Thanks, Abby.”

“Of course.” Abigail smiled at all of them before going back to the papers. “So – as I said, we don’t know as much, medically, as we would like about Turning. But this does suggest a few things to me. For one – it may explain part of why you survived the process, particularly with a diet that was…not terribly conducive to your new existence.”

That got a weak laugh out of Leah, and Amélie smiled with relief. If she could laugh…it was a good sign. “So – you think that explains my eyes, too?”

“It would seem so,” Abigail agreed with a nod. “I am not certain why it took so long to express, but my theory is that some of the latent werewolf traits you carry finally began to show through.”

Leah’s lips pulled into a slight frown. “Could that be part of why I’m a different sort of wolf than whoever turned me?”

Abigail nodded again. “Likely, yes.”

Amy reached up to lightly scratch at Leah’s scalp as she examined the different sets of results. “Does that explain Leah’s ear, too?”

Abigail shook her head and went back to the first chart. “The trait that affects the development of cartilage in the ear is an autosomal one. It most likely came from the were who bit you.”

Amélie looked down at the results again, and suddenly felt like she’d been given the last piece of a puzzle.

No one has been able to find the wolf who bit Leah…but they were assuming it was a were who lived in England.

Leah said the ‘dog’ who attacked her had a blonde and pale grey coat.

Marcel knew Leah was Turned.

Marcel knew Leah had no family.

Marcel knew where the Howl was.

Leah never spoke to Marcel at the trial, and Amy would not have told him anything about Leah or herself. If the records from Leah’s trial were sealed, there is no way he should have known any of the things he tried to use against us.

Marcel always said his ears drooped because of an old injury from a fight…but Marcel lied about almost everything.

Her chest felt tight as the facts began to add up.

Marcel…

Marcel is a liar.

Her mouth felt dry as she looked up. “Abigail?”

Everyone turned to look at her, and Amélie didn’t try to hide the dread and shock she felt.

“I know who Turned Leah.”


Author Bio

Herald's Call - Jaymie Wagner

Jaymie Wagner is a queer, trans, polyamorous author who lives in the Twin Cities with her cats and an alarming collection of tiny giant robots.

She has been published in several anthologies, short story collections, and posts her “Fractured Fantasies” twitter micro-stories where she explores different ideas and kinks.

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/jaymie.wagner.98/

Author Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/JaymieDWagner

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/JaymieDWagner

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21846389.Jaymie_Wagner

Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/jaymie-wagner/

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B09HF3P2ZC

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