Thursday, October 30, 2014

What Casts a Shadow? by Seth Mullins Interview & Giveaway


What Casts a Shadow?
by Seth Mullins

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BLURB:


A troubled young rock musician, a mystic mentor, and a generation of lost souls longing for a new voice to emerge from thewilderness...

When an altercation outside of a performance venue nearly proves fatal, Brandon Chane begins to realize how far his life is spinning out of control. His efforts to channel his pain, frustration and thwarted loves into his music may not suffice to save him. Then he meets Saul, a crisis counselor with the soul of an ancient medicine man, and a far-reaching journey of healing - one that may teach him how to steer away from the very edge of the abyss - begins.


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Excerpt 

An Air of Pilgrimage

Now it was all deepening. We merged with a river born of magic, myth and the dreams of all those who’d gone before us. I turned to my right and saw some violets casting off glints of tiny light like flecks of stardust. All at once, everything in existence was being created in every moment.

“It’s the light that can’t be extinguished!” I shouted. “I understand now!”

It’s easy to say such things when you feel all of Creation communing with you; easy, too, to assume that the other people around you will understand your sense of euphoria. And yet in actual fact Tommy did shout “Yes!” from his place at the vanguard as if he knew exactly what I was talking about.

And just like that, our whole holy pilgrimage south flashed across my inner eyes: the distances, the pockets of heart warmth and of emptiness, the strangers met and the intimacy of the music that we’d ushered in to their stomping grounds. My imagination deified our trusty travelling van, transforming it into an ancient Egyptian Solar Boat that had borne us across the heavens of Vision so that we could spread our gospel of every human being’s Divinity.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Seth Mullins draws upon the great sweep of human soul-journeying to weave his tales. He's inspired by music, shamanism, dreams and the mysteries and miracles of our inner life. His greatest love as a writer is for fiction that depicts a journey towards self-awareness in the deepest sense.

"Probably the most valuable thing that I learned throughout my spiritual journey in this life is the importance of trusting in one's self. Many of our cultural lessons encourage us to ignore or even fear our inner reality. And yet it is this realm that really does hold the answers to all of our questions, and can point the way towards the most fulfilling life experiences possible for us."

Mr. Mullins has lived in Maine, Connecticut, New Mexico, Oregon and Vermont.

Interview

1. Do you ever wish you were someone else? Who?

I try to avoid those kinds of fantasies. There are always aspects of my life that I wish I could change; but I’m on a journey that no one else has ever been on, and I’d hate to squander that opportunity by trading this life for someone else’s.

2. What did you do on your last birthday?

It just so happened that my family and extended family had planned a weekend get-together on a lake that fell upon that day (in mid-August), so my birthday celebration became part of the festivities.

3. Do you have any tattoos?  Where? When did you get it/them? Where are they on your body?

No. I’ve never found an image that I felt was ‘definitive of me’ enough to want to commit to my skin.

4. What are you working on right now?

The conclusion of The Edge of the Known trilogy: “Humanity’s Way Forward”

5. Is your life anything like it was two years ago?
I’ve produced the strongest writing of my life over the last two years, so this has changed so much else: How I see myself and my destiny, where I envision it heading, etc. I feel that I have stepped much more deeply into my ‘soul path’.


http://www.humanityswayforward.com (Humanity's Way Forward - my website)

http://frontiersofconsciousness.blogspot.com (The Edge of the Known by Seth Mullins - my blog)

"What Casts the Shadow?"  (The Edge of the Known) on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1rkhffS  

My Amazon author page: amazon.com/author/sethmullins




Giveaway:

• One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

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Haunted by Maris Soule Excerpt & Giveaway

It doesn’t matter to Valerie Wiggins that most people believe Jason McLain killed his wife. She needs the three-time Oscar winner’s expertise in special effects if they are going to turn their local charity’s annual haunted house into a money maker. Besides, every since she first saw his picture in the tabloids, she’s been attracted to him: his piercing dark brown eyes, unruly brown hair, and unsmiling mouth. And even though he’s come to this small town in the Sierra Nevada mountains to hide, she won’t take no for an answer. Except once he says yes, he fears he’s pulled her into the darkness that continues to haunt him.
Excerpt
“Nowadays every town and city in the United States has a haunted house at Halloween time. If you want Slaterville’s to bring people from miles around, it’s going to have to be different. More spectacular, frightening, and mysterious than any other haunted house in Northern California.”
Valerie Wiggins parked her white Ford in front of a run-down, peak-roofed mountain cabin and cursed herself for standing up and giving that speech at the last WIN meeting. The squeaking door didn’t get oiled, it got volunteered. It was now her responsibility to create a “different” haunted house, and her job to make sure it was more spectacular, frightening, and mysterious than any other haunted house around.
Just what she needed, another job.
She didn’t have the time. She didn’t have the energy.
Cut the bull, she told herself as she stared at the cabin. The truth was, she did have the time. And the energy. And she didn’t mind being in charge of the project. What she didn’t want to do was talk to the man who lived in this house.
“We have just the person who can help us turn our haunted house into a success,” she’d said at the meeting that night. “Living right outside of town.”
As if every woman in the room didn’t know about Jason McLain.
So now, thanks to her big mouth, she was the one appointed to talk to Slaterville’s newest and most infamous resident. His reputation alone scared most of the other women.
His reputation scared Val.
Unless you knew, you’d never guess a man who’d won three Academy Awards for special effects lived in this house. If he was as rich as the papers had said, he sure wasn’t using his money to upgrade his property. In the six months since he’d moved to Slaterville, he’d done nothing to improve the exterior of the old Dalton place. The fence was broken in several places; beneath the snow, the small patch of lawn that had existed years before was no more than weeds; the bushes around the house were overgrown and dying; and the porch sagged. All of the wood needed a fresh coat of paint.
The only changes she could see from back when the place had stood abandoned for years were the broken windows had been replaced and heavy drapes and venetian blinds kept passersby from looking inside. There were certainly no signs of life. The snow hadn’t been shoveled from the walkway, no smoke curled from the chimney, and no lights showed behind the closed drapes and blinds. There was nothing to indicate anyone lived in the cabin except the tire tracks that led to the garage near the side door.
Or perhaps away from it.
Maybe he’s not home, Val thought as she opened her car door.
“Write what you love and know.”   That’s the advice given to writers.
I fell in love with the Rhodesian Ridgeback the first time I saw one at a dog show. I love their temperament, their intelligence, and their personalities. I’ve shown them, bred them, whelped them, cried when I sent a puppy off to a new owner, and been as proud as a motherwhen one won at a dog show.
I also love living in the country. I have childhood memories of catching pollywogs in the creek that ran by our two acres in Walnut Creek, California; being able to pick ripe peaches from the tree (also almonds, pears, English walnuts, apricots and more); and sitting in my “thinking” tree making up stories.
When I married my husband, we were living in Santa Barbara, but his father was ill and we decided to move to Michigan to be closer to him. It was supposed to be a short-term move (just a couple years, my husband said). I won’t tell you how many years we’ve now lived in Michigan, but we now have grown children and teenage granddaughters. I haven’t regretted the move. Michigan is a beautiful state, and for 27 years we lived in the rural community of Climax. What a perfect location for a romance writer, and what a neat place to plot a mystery with a lot of suspense. (Yes, there are some similarities between the real Climax and my imaginary Zenith in The Crows and As the Crow Flies, but the events and people in those books are definitely fictional.)
We’ve now moved close to Lake Michigan (so my husband is near his sailboat), and we spend our winters in Florida, not far from the Gulf Coast. Both locations feed my love of being near water (remember that creek I played in and Santa Barbara) and are ideal places to nurture my desire to write. Whether I’m writing a romance, a mystery, or a combination of the two, I’m probably going to include an animal or two and there’s a good chance the characters will live in the country, the mountains, or near water. I’ve often used Michigan and California as settings, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Florida shows up in a future book. I’m sometimes asked if the characters in my books are based on me or someone I know. My answer is: Maybe bits and pieces, but my protagonists are always braver and smarter than I am (along with younger) and the antagonists are always nastier than the people I’ve known.
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Thieving Forest by Martha Conway Guest Post & Review


Title: Thieving Forest
Author: Martha Conway
Genre:
Historical Fiction/YA
Publisher: Noontime Books
Publication Date: August 7, 2014
Paperback:
416 pages

Synopsis:
On a humid day in June 1806, on the edge of Ohio's Great Black Swamp, seventeen-year-old Susanna Quiner watches from behind a maple tree as a band of Potawatomi Indians kidnaps her four older sisters from their cabin. With both her parents dead from Swamp Fever and all the other settlers out in their fields, Susanna makes the rash decision to pursue them herself. What follows is a young woman's quest to find her sisters, and the parallel story of her sisters' new lives.

The frontier wilderness that Susanna must cross in order to find her sisters is filled with dangers, but Susanna, armed with superstition and belief in her own good luck, sets out with a naive optimism. Over the next five months, Susanna tans hides in a Moravian missionary village; escapes down a river with a young native girl; discovers an eccentric white woman raising chickens in the middle of the Great Black Swamp; suffers from snakebite and near starvation; steals elk meat from wolves; and becomes a servant in a Native American village. The vast Great Black Swamp near Toledo, Ohio, which was once nearly the size of Connecticut, proves a formidable enemy. But help comes from unlikely characters, both Native American and white.

Both a quest tale and a tale of personal transformations, Thieving Forest follows five pioneer women and one man as they contend with starvation, slavery, betrayal, and love. It paints a startling new picture of life in frontier Ohio with its mix of European and Native American communities, along with compelling descriptions of their daily lives. Fast-paced, richly detailed, with a panoramic view of cultures and people, this is a story of a bygone era sure to enthrall and delight.


About the Author:
Martha Conway’s first novel 12 Bliss Street (St. Martin’s Minotaur) was nominated for an Edgar Award, and her short fiction has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Mississippi Review, The Quarterly, Folio, Puerto del Sol, Carolina Quarterly, and other publications. She graduated from Vassar College and received her master’s degree in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. She has reviewed fiction for the San Francisco Chronicle, The San Francisco Review of Books, and The Iowa Review. The recipient of a California Arts Council fellowship in Creative Writing, she has taught at UC Berkeley Extension and Stanford University’s Online Writers’ Studio.ethany Masone Harar graduated with a Bachelor's degree in English from James Madison University and a Masters in Secondary English Education from Virginia Commonwealth University.


Guest Post 
Big Families: What We Share and What We Borrow (or Steal)

I come from a big family — seven girls (yes, only girls) — but my father comes from an even bigger family — thirteen. There’s a story my dad tells about his younger brother, Jim. Whenever Jim went back to college after summer vacation, the older boys caught him before he left and opened his suitcase. One by one, each one of the brothers went through the suitcase to pull out their own personal items. By the last year it was a sort of game, with Jim trying to sneak out before the ritual suitcase opening and the other brothers stationed around the house as lookouts.

In a big family, you have to put down a stake every once in a while to mark your own territory. “This is mine,” was a common cry during my childhood. But I like to joke that my sisters and I didn’t just claim scarves or sweaters, we also claimed attributes. The “smart” one, or the “nice” one, or the “lazy” one (this last was usually applied by someone else).

Of course, claiming attributes can give rise to disputes as well, maybe even more disputes. One sister often declares that she is “just as smart” as the smart one. Another sister has now decided that she doesn’t want to be “the nice one.” Who can blame her? It sounds pretty generic.

When I set out to write a novel about sisters—only five, because I thought seven would be too many characters to keep track of— I definitely used my own experience as material. There’s the smart sister, there’s the nurturing sister, and there’s the superstitious sister (that’s me). There’s also the pretty sister, which to be honest I wanted to be me, too, but had to concede that it wasn’t. I pretty much stole my sisters’ personalities for the novel, and I was worried that when it was published I would get a good dose of heat from them.

I didn’t. They loved it. They each read my novel in record time and then called me to discuss which character was based on them, how they were like that character and how they weren’t, and how I got another sister “exactly right.” The funny thing is, I set the novel in 1806 (maybe thinking that would fool them?). But it didn’t matter, they still recognized themselves, and they recognized our family dynamic. Maybe sibling relations haven’t changed all that much in two hundred years. We borrow, we share, and when we can get away with it, we steal.


I’m glad I got away with it.

Author's Websites:                

Martha Conway’s website:
http://www.thievingforest.com/

My Review:
This was like "Little House on The Prairie" with all the deaths and challenges of pioneer life. Living off the land and trying to survive against the unknown. However this is a more accurate depiction. This story is not sugar coated for television. It was real and I felt for Susanna and her need to find her sisters. I really enjoyed the way that family was important to Susanna and how the author was able to have these 5 strong woman characters in one book. They faced so many dangers, and they also learned from the land. I am giving this book a 4/5. I was given a copy to review, however all opinions are my own.


Voodoo Romance Series Boxed Set by Janice Horton Interview & Giveaway

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To celebrate Halloween, Janice Horton is cranking up the fright factor with her Voodoo Romance Series Boxed Set. Keep your eyes peeled for weird, supernatural happenings as the reviews, guest posts and extracts and a giveaway to die for appear on your screens…wooooooooooooo!!
Boxset
The Voodoo Romance Boxed Set features Amazon bestselling ‘How Do You Voodoo?’ ‘Voodoo Wedding’ and ‘Voodoo Child’ and is exclusive for Kindle worldwide and - during the days of the tour - available to download at the amazing price of just 99p! So get your own Voodoo Romance ebook compilation now at the special price and don’t forget to keep up to date with all the voodoo romance reviews, author interviews and exclusive guest posts, excerpts, and don’t forget to join in the voodoo fun with the ‘Grow Your Own Voodoo Doll’ giveaway at the end of this post and on a host of book blogs over the coming days!
 
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Hi Janice - can you tell us what kind of research you had to do, if any, to write your three voodoo romance books, ‘How Do You Voodoo?’ ‘Voodoo Wedding’ and ‘Voodoo Child’? Janice says: “Happy Halloween or should that be Spooky Halloween? I have to tell you that I had a very spooky time indeed while I was researching these fun romantic voodoo stories because some of the story scenes take place in graveyards! In ‘How Do You Voodoo?’ a central scene takes place in the Necropolis in Glasgow, a cemetery otherwise known as The City of the Dead. The City of the Dead is the burial place of over five thousand people, mostly from the Victorian age. In those days, when Glasgow was a very important and wealthy port, the rich merchants were basically trying to outdo each other in death as well as life, by commissioning hugely expensive and architecturally fancy mausoleums and monuments as their gravestones. Now, all these years later, they are mostly neglected, wonky, covered in lichen and in a bad state of disrepair. This of course, together with a hanging Scottish mist, all adds to the spook factor. These are some of the photos I took while researching. See what I mean?
Glasgow city of the dead pics
Once I had created the characters of Nola and Louis in ‘How Do You Voodoo?’ readers wanted to know what happened next - so ‘Voodoo Wedding’ and ‘Voodoo Child’ came along in quick succession and I had lots more research to do as the plot moved from Scotland to New Orleans and back again. All three stories were such fun to write. They are each novella length, so around 70 pages, and together they follow on from each other seamlessly to become a novel length fun and romantic read.”  
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How Do You Voodoo? Loveless fashion model Nola Nichols thinks being beautiful is a curse; that is until she is cursed and her looks begin to fade just a week before the most important photo shoot of her career. In her attempts to get uncursed she finds herself taking part in a rather unconventional funeral, involved in a voodoo ritual, reveals one or two unrests in her own past and falls madly in love with a doctor. Erm, that would be a witch doctor, right…?
voodoo wedding graphic
Voodoo Wedding The voodoo isn't over for Nola! Loved up fashion model Nola and her handsome Haitian fiancĂ© Louis have finally set the date for their wedding. All they need now is a venue and a guest list, but before Nola can have the wedding of her dreams, she has to deal with something old, something new, something borrowed… and something voodoo!  
Voodoo Child Graphic
Voodoo Child In ‘Voodoo Child’, ex-celebrity UK fashion model Nola and her handsome Haitian husband Louis are expecting their first baby. But as one precious life begins another is about to end. Louis’s beloved old Uncle Sid is dying and has declared his last wish is to see Louis and Nola’s new baby baptised on St John’s Eve – the most important event in the voodoo calendar. The voodoo isn't over for Nola or for Louis!  
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  Janice Author BW
Author Bio: Janice Horton writes fun modern-day romantic adventure stories. Look out for her Amazon Kindle bestselling ebooks 'Bagpipes & Bullshot' and 'Reaching for the Stars' and her voodoo romance series of novellas ‘How Do You Voodoo? ‘Voodoo Wedding’ and ‘Voodoo Child’ which are now also available as a boxed set. Her bestselling non-fiction title ‘How To Party Online’ has been selected as recommended reading by publishers for authors looking to promote their books online. Janice has had work published in national and international magazines and regional newspapers and she is currently an editor at the innovative and award winning Loveahappyending Lifestyle Magazine where she produces the monthly Bookshelf feature and her quarterly Snap Gap Travel features. She has also been involved in BBC Scotland's 'Write Here Write Now' initiative and the research she did for her celebrity chef novel ‘Reaching for the Stars’ in Michelin-starred kitchens, attracted the attention of an ITV producer and became a television feature. Janice is an avid blogger and she loves to chat on Facebook and Twitter. See her website at janicehorton.co.uk. She is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association and an author represented by PR Publicists Hit Lit Pro.  
Author Links
 
Grow your own voodoo doll graphic
Enter via the Rafflecopter to win:
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Giveaway is UK only. CandleLit Author Services and Janice Horton reserve the right to cancel or amend the giveaway at any time, without prior notification.
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Jack Templar and the Lord of the Werewolves by Jeff Gunhus Giveaway & Excerpt

Jack Templar 4 Tour
Jack Templar 4
Jack Templar and the Lord of the Werewolves Fresh from confronting the Lord of the Vampires in the limestone catacombs beneath Paris, Jack Templar faces his toughest challenge yet as he searches for the next Jerusalem Stone, this one being held by the Lord of the Werewolves. But the narrow escape from the vampire lair came at a great cost and Eva battles to survive the new vampire blood in her veins. The only chance to help Eva is to continue their quest and find the Jerusalem Stones. Reuniting the Stones will not only stop Ren Lucre’s coming war against mankind, but also transform Eva back into her human self. From the ruins of ancient Delhi to the depths of the Black Forest in Germany, Jack and his friends face monsters, bewildering riddles and treachery from the most unlikely of places. Through it all, they are plagued by the Oracle’s prediction that at least one of their group with not make it through the adventure alive. Worse yet, they know that Kaeden, the Lord of the Werewolves, will do his best to make sure none of them do. But they are monster hunters of the Black Guard… and they will do their duty, come what may.
  Excerpt The stench hung heavy in the air. There was no other smell in the world quite like it. First came the stink of grease fires from the wall torches, the heavy black smoke that roiled through the air like a foul fog. Then a moldering, musty base layer came to the senses. It reeked of decay and seeping moisture that grew black mold on every surface. The mold clung on the rough-cut rocks lining the dungeon tunnels. It covered the thick iron bars holding the prisoners in place. It even grew on the tattered rags covering the miserable creatures in the cells and likely on their skin as well. That final smell overlay the symphony of stink. The Creach prisoners. Werewolves, harpies, blind mad-worms, blinderwursts, fangpiercers, even some demons held with the special pure iron chains required to keep them in place. Many of these creatures were pungent under the best circumstances, but locked in the deepest dungeon underground, sometimes for decades, they took on an odor so ripe, so awful, that visitors to the dungeon often had to hold their breath to enter. Even then, the smell would make their eyes sting and well with tears. Immediately after leaving the dungeon, visitors were allowed a bath or a shower in the castle. As they washed the stench from their bodies, they would feel an overwhelming sense of thanks that they were not a prisoner wallowing in the horrifying conditions they’d just witnessed. No one, human or Creach, wanted to be a prisoner in the dungeons of Ren Lucre. Far away, at the end of one of the long, twisting corridors, came the creak of a massive door opening. The prisoners stirred at the sound. Their reactions mirrored how long they had been in their cells. The newer arrivals looked up with expectation, still hopeful their punishment was going to be short and that someone was coming to tell them their nightmare was over. Those who had been there longer knew that hope was useless in this dark place. They simply cowered farther into whatever dark corner they could find in their cell, desperate not to be noticed by the Master. Then there were those who had been there the longest. They simply looked up with mild interest, knowing that nothing they did made any difference. Their spirits were broken. Worse, they knew this to be the dark truth, and they simply didn’t care. One single prisoner reacted in none of these ways. He simply stood, and the rags that had once been his clothes hung on his bony frame. Unbroken by years of starvation and torture, he still squared his shoulders in the direction of the sound and raised his chin, his eyes glistening in the torchlight with defiance. What he saw would have brought a normal man to his knees, but this man was no more normal than the monster approaching. Ren Lucre, the five hundred year old vampire, filled the hallway as he strode through it, his cloak billowing behind him as he rushed past the stinking cells. His pale, narrow face looked pinched and concerned. His blood-red lip pursed in a straight line, and his eyes glowered like embers in a fire that might at any time combust into new flame. He came to the thick set of bars that held the proud man, stopped, and stared him down. “Well, if it isn’t the Lord of the Creach,” the man said. Even though his voice was course and weak, he still managed an edge of bitter sarcasm. “You look like you’re having a bad day.” The man spat on the floor. “Good.”
   jeff
Author Jeff Gunhus
 Jeff Gunhus is the author of the Amazon bestselling supernatural thriller, Night Chill, and the Middle Grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book of the series, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His book Reaching Your Reluctant Reader has helped hundreds of parents create avid readers. Killer Within is his second novel for adults. As a father of five, he and his wife Nicole spend most of their time chasing kids and taking advantage of living in the great state of Maryland. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel. If you see him there, sit down and have a cup of coffee with him. You just might end up in his next novel.
Jack Templar awards
  Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 11/4/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway