Another great offering from Shawn McGuire!


Our dear author has been busy again. And this book cover–wonderful as always!

So what is this one about? Glad you asked:



Everyone deserves happiness. Is Robin the exception?

A cross-country move to a new state offers Robin Westmore the chance to get away from the relentless bullies and reinvent himself. But on the first day at his new high school Robin finds himself in front of Zane, the school’s star pitcher and chief tormentor, at the exact wrong moment and right back into the role of victim. Hopeless, he wishes for it all to stop.

When Desiree, the new leader of the genies, grants Robin’s wish he’s sure things are finally going his way. But problems in the magical realm have made Desiree equally hopeless and too distracted to give Robin the attention he needs.

As Desiree hides from her responsibilities, Robin disappears into the video game he’s created. There he finds excitement, adventure, and control. When the game presents him with a real escape from his tortured life, will he take it?


Sounds fascinating! And, just to make it a little more interesting, we have added an excerpt for your reading pleasure:



“You stayed up late again?” she asked as she took a box of tea from the back of the cabinet.

“Lots of homework,” I said. She knew I spent my summer developing the game. She didn’t know I spent at least two hours a night, after homework, still working on it.

She never protested when I said the dark circles under my eyes were studying related. Usually that was the case. Sometimes, though, Zane’s harassment got really intense and the circles came from lack of sleep due to nightmares.

There were days when he would stop in the middle of whatever he’d been doing and charge at me from across the lunchroom to slam into me or sneeze on my lunch. Once he even stood in front of me flapping his arms and making birdcalls. In the middle of the lunchroom. Why didn’t someone record that and put it up on the web? He looked ridiculous. Didn’t anyone else see that?

“Are you feeling all right?” Mom put the back of her hand to my forehead and I resisted the urge to swat it away. It was a caring touch. One of the few signs lately that someone gave a damn about me.

If I told her what was happening, would she do something? Maybe I could do online schooling. She knew I was a self-motivator and that she never had to check to see if I’d done my homework. Grades were everything to me. I’d never had less than a 3.8 GPA. The only reason it fell below a 4.0 was because of gym class. I could barely lift my backpack let alone do a pull-up. Maybe online school was the answer to my problems.


Her phone rang just as I was about to ask.

“Hello… Oh, I’m so sorry.” She glanced at the clock on the microwave. “I was thinking there was a one hour time difference. Five months and I’m still adjusting to being in the Mountain Time Zone. Let me get to my office and I’ll call you right back.”

She was already heading out of the kitchen when I said, “Bye.”

“Oh, sweetie.” She came back and kissed my forehead. “If you’re not feeling well you can stay home. Or call if you need to come home early. I’ll give permission for you to leave.”

She knew I got motion sick on the bus. If I said I was nauseous, would she still make me ride the bus or would she take twenty minutes off of work to come and get me?

I toasted a piece of cinnamon-raisin bread and spread on a thick layer of butter. Then I tugged on my coat and headed out the door. With every step I thought of how Zane would be waiting for me and that single bite of toast turned into a little rock in my stomach. I paused at the garbage can next to the garage and lifted the lid to toss in the barely-eaten piece when someone came around the corner, making me jump.

“Are you Robin?” A girl with long dark hair that looked kind of like dreadlocks but kind of not stood at the corner of my garage. “Wait. You’re not throwing that out are you? That’s so wasteful. There are hungry people who would gladly eat that.”

I looked from her to the toast and then shoved it in my mouth. I couldn’t handle a lecture right then.

“Who are you?” I asked through the mouthful of bread-covered raisins.

She made a disgusted face. “Manners. Heard of them?”

I chewed, swallowed, and brushed the crumbs off my hand. “Sorry. Yes, I’m Robin. Who are you?”

She smiled then. She had a great smile, one that made her eyes crinkle at the corners. “I’m Dara.”

“Nice to meet you. Can I help you with something?”

“I don’t know. Possibly.” Dara put her hand to her mouth and tapped a navy blue-painted fingernail against her blindly-white teeth, like she was contemplating the question. “Teasing. Nothing you can do for me, thanks, but I can sure help you.”

I shook my head. “You’ve got the wrong person. I don’t need help.” At least none that she could give. I doubted she could take on Zane.

“You’re Robin Westmore.”

She knew my name. Whatever that meant.

“You just moved here from Wisconsin.”

“Five months ago. So not just but yes, I’m from Wisconsin.”

“You’re being bullied by some kid named Zane and you want it to stop.”

I stood there, next to my garbage can, wondering who this girl was and what she was up to. It was common knowledge that I was Zane’s favorite target. Of course I wanted his harassment to stop, anyone would, but what could she possibly do about it?

“Look, I don’t know who you are but if Zane sent you—”

“Zane didn’t send me.” She paused, just for a beat. “I guess you could say the universe did.”

I didn’t need this. I had enough drama in my life. I didn’t need this chick adding crazy to it as well. Marijuana was legal in Colorado. Maybe she’d been dining on pot gummies or something. The universe sent her. Yeah, right.

“I’ve got to get going,” I said. “I’m going to miss my bus.”

“Don’t worry about that,” Dara said. “I can take care of that.”

I started walking. I had to go six blocks in about two minutes. If I wasn’t there I’d have to either wait for the next bus, which wouldn’t be for half an hour, or beg my mom for a ride during which I’d have to listen to her chew me out about responsibility.

Dara followed, her arms wrapped tightly together. She wasn’t wearing a jacket.

“Let me try again,” she said. “This is my first time and I’m not sure how to do this.”

What was she saying? “Are you a prostitute?”

“What? God.” She made a face. “No, I’m not a prostitute. What kind of hooker comes up to someone by their garage first thing in the morning?”

“I wouldn’t know. I’m not privy to the methods of the, uh, working class.”

She said nothing for half a block and then started laughing. Probably at the thought of me soliciting a hooker.

“Let me try this again.” She cleared her throat and squared her shoulders. “Yesterday afternoon around three-forty-five you made a wish.”

“I did what?” Oh yeah, the dandelion. “Do you live next door or something? How could you know that?”

“I told you, the universe sent me. Your wish has been granted.”


Wouldn’t that be great? I know where I could use that sort of thing in many places in my life.

Let’s have a peek at what makes Shawn McGuire tick:


Shawn McGuire

Shawn McGuire is the author of young adult novels that blend contemporary settings and issues with a touch of fantasy and magic. She started writing after seeing the first Star Wars movie (that’s episode IV) as a kid. She couldn’t wait for the next movie to come out so wrote her own episodes. Sadly, those notebooks are long lost, but her desire to write is as strong now as it was then.

Her books deal with harder topics (death of a sibling, divorce, dating violence, bullying, and teen suicide) because she believes it is important to talk about these things. Those kinds of topics can be hard to handle and a bit overwhelming, so she infuses a bit of humor in her work as well because she also believes that a sense of humor can help you get through just about anything.

Shawn lives in Colorado with her family where she spends her time reading, cooking and baking, practicing yoga and meditation, and hiking and camping in the spectacular Rocky Mountains.

Author Links

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Buy Links

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Author’s Other Works

The Wish Makers Series

Sticks and Stones

Free ebook with the following vendors


Google Play




Break My Bones

Free ebook until July 24th with newsletter signup

Never Hurt Me


Busy lady! Ever think you might want ALL those books ALL at once? Well, here’s your chance!



(hoping this works…)

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That’s it for now–tune back in another time, when I will have another fantastic book to blog about!

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Book Tour: “Center of Gravity” by Laura McNeill

center of gravity1


Hey all–yep, I’m still around. Busy beyond belief–I need to clone myself twice over. Life has this habit of really messing with your life.

Anyway–I have yet another great choice for your reading list. This sounds like an intriguing story, one about love and loss, and everything in between.


The truth could cost her everything. 

Her whole life, Ava Carson has been sure of one thing: she doesn’t measure up to her mother’s expectations. So when Mitchell Carson sweeps into her life with his adorable son, the ready-made family seems like a dream come true. In the blink of an eye, she’s married, has a new baby, and life is grand.

Or is it?

When her picture-perfect marriage begins unraveling at the seams, Ava convinces herself she can fix it. It’s temporary. It’s the stress. It’s Mitchell’s tragic history of loss.

If only Ava could believe her own excuses.

Mitchell is no longer the charming, thoughtful man she married. He grows more controlling by the day, revealing a violent jealous streak. His behavior is recklessly erratic, and the unanswered questions about his past now hint at something far more sinister than Ava can stomach. Before she can fit the pieces together, Mitchell files for divorce and demands full custody of their boys.

Fueled by fierce love for her children and aided by Graham Thomas, a new attorney in town —Ava takes matters into her own hands, digging deep into the past. But will finding the truth be enough to beat Mitchell at his own game? Center of Gravity weaves a chilling tale, revealing the unfailing and dangerous truth that things—and people—are not always what they seem.

center of gravity2

Pre-Order your copy today.






It’s always good to hear about the author behind the book, and Ms. McNeill sounds like she has quite a lot of life adventures under her belt:


After six years behind the anchor desk at two CBS affiliates, Laura moved to the Alabama Gulf Coast to raise her family. Her accolades in broadcasting include awards from the Associated Press, including Best News Anchor and Best Specialized Reporter.

Laura works at Spring Hill College as the school’s web content and social media manager and​ is active in her community—participating in fundraisers for the American Cancer Society, Ronald McDonald House, and Providence Hospital’s Festival of Flowers.

Laura was recently awarded a 2-book deal with Thomas Nelson Publishing, a division of HarperCollins. Her novel, Center of Gravity, set in Mobile, Ala., will be published in July of 2015 (meaning, NOW). Laura is represented by Elizabeth Winick Rubenstein, president of McIntosh and Otis literary agency in New York.​ Her writing awards include those from William Faulkner-Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, Writer’s Digest, RWA, and the Eric Hoffer competition.

She holds a master’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree in English from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. She is currently pursuing a second master’s degree in interactive technology from the University of Alabama. She is a native of Upstate New York and currently resides near the Alabama Gulf Coast with her two children.


Yep, I would define that as “busy”…

My favorite part of blogging for another author is the ability to and privilege of sharing an excerpt from the book. So, without further ado:



Life never quite turns out the way you plan. Take my first attempt at gourmet cooking.The twelve-week long class was a wedding gift from my husband, Mitchell. I think he secretly hoped the instruction would uncover my amazing talent and I’d be the next Giada De Laurentiis.

So armed with a new apron, thick, glossy new cookbooks, and dazzled by my new home’s professional kitchen—full of gleaming stainless steel utensils—I bounced fearlessly into the day of instruction.

I proceeded to set both oven mitts on fire, much to the horror of nearby students. The next week my crème brulee singed into a charcoal volcano. Week number three, the heady scent of cloves caused a wave of nausea so strong I had to run outside and gulp fresh air. I turned out to be pregnant, of course. So much for the Food Network and my budding career as a chef.

Since then we keep a fire extinguisher handy, and I work from a collection of stand-by, no-fail recipes. We’ve decided that I do excel at comfort food: chicken salad, tacos, and oatmeal cookies. Tonight’s plan: fresh vegetables and pasta.


Wow, I can relate! My mom seemed to burn oven mitts on a regular basis. We always knew what to get her for Christmas as a result. (Hey, we were kids on a limited budget…)

Alrighty–time for the ol’ rafflecopter to land—


Just click on this link:

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And be sure to visit these other blogsites for further info on “Center of Gravity”:


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“I Don’t Think We’re In Oregon Anymore” – a short walk through hell

My elderly neighbor thinks I’ve gone completely around the bend. She may be right.

Or it might be that I am trying to pretend that Oregon is NOT going through one of its hottest, driest summers ever.

Or, perhaps it’s because, when my legs tell me to walk, I must obey. Runners know what I’m talking about. They’re out there in sun, rain, snow, cyclones…simply doing what their exercise-conditioned bodies tell them.


So I will factor in all of these things while I decide if I’m on my way to Nutso-land, or just being physically fit.

It was a warmish afternoon, around 1:00pm, when I locked the door behind me and started on my route. I knew it was supposed to get warmer as the day progressed, but I didn’t realize it would zoom up quite as fast as it did.

The sky was a gorgeous, cloudless blue, and the sun beat down warmly as I stepped off the curb. The wind played with my hair, sashaying it across my upper arms and shoulders–just how I like it. I had opted to leave it down, letting it flow free, instead of putting it back in a pony tail.

Truth to tell, I don’t really mind the heat–as long as I’m not going in and out of air-conditioning. And as long as it isn’t humid. I was glad for the dryness of the air, because the virus I am currently carrying has shellacked my lungs, and I didn’t need more hindrance in breathing, thank you very much.

I passed a couple of girls sitting in the shade along the curb, smoking. Young things, their whole lives ahead of them. It blows my mind that, with what we know about lung cancer and cigarettes, that anyone would even start smoking. Yet they do.

I made the attempt myself, at age 15. Couldn’t inhale…tobacco.

I’m leaving that there.

But this is the observation I make, and I will say nothing more: Trying tobacco and hoping that you don’t get addicted is like kissing a rattlesnake on the nose and hoping you won’t get bit. That is all.

Now, I wasn’t entirely certain of where my feet were going to take me this day. There isn’t a main street in this town that I haven’t walked, and it’s figuring out new combinations that leaves me stumped at times. This day I decided to put in a new kink on an old trail–I would walk up to the middle school, and when I got to the nature trail behind it, I would go left, into Graham Oaks Nature Park, instead of right, which would merely take me into another neighborhood and back the way I came.

graham oaks

On a day like this one, there were few people out. I think I counted about five. One guy who passed me going the other way gave me an abashed smile as if to say, “Oh good, I’m not the only idiot out here in this heat.” Even the birds had pretty much given up singing about the day and were under cover, waiting for it to end.

There is no shade to speak of in the nature park. However, I was getting to where I was trying to avoid the shade anyway–it was too hard to get back out in the sun afterwards. Best to just stay cooking.

Halfway through my trek, which turned out to be 7 .5 miles, Nature changed. Or my perception of Her did. The sky was now a shade of merciless blue, out of which hammered the sun in all its fury–well, for Oregon standards, anyway. To you folks in 115+-degree weather who think I am a wimp, I say shut up. But in a most Christian way. Truly.

The wind was now a Pacific Northwest version of an Egyptian sirocco, which meant that its harlotry was over, and it had revealed itself for what it was: a dragon panting at my back, melting my once-carefree hair, which now hung like limp spaghetti down my back. At least that part of it which didn’t huddle wetly around my neck like cattle around a shade tree.

I passed schools, I passed parks, I passed many places where you would expect people to congregate. If there was no water involved, there was No. One. Around. Only people in their air-conditioned cars, driving past, wondering why anyone would be out there in the heat. I was beginning to wonder about that myself.

On my way home, I came across a young lady who was having car problems. I helped as much as I could, gave her moral support, talked with her for awhile, and cheered when her car started and she was on her way. Never a moment did I feel the heat while I was engaged in helping her. Funny how that works.

I was never so glad to see the park, with its water features, just a little over a mile from home. Not to mention the drinking fountain! I worked that fountain button as hard as I could–it was one of those set-ups where you’d have better luck lapping water up out of the basin–then surreptitiously stuck my leg in one of the cascading waterfalls in the water feature. There were a bazillion people there doing the same thing, so why not?

I started back on my last mile, and within three minutes, I kid you not, I was dry as a bone. This last distance I clung to the shade–I had had enough of the sun.

Passed the same two girls, on the same spot, with the ciggies.

It was at about this time that my neighbor spotted me.

“How many miles did you walk?” She knows me well.

“About 7.5.”

She rolls her eyes. “Where’s your water?”

“Didn’t take any. It gets warm and gross, and I finish it halfway anyway.”

The eye-roll again. “Well, get home and get some water in you.”

This I did. Some 60+ ounces. And I didn’t see the inside of a bathroom until 11:00pm that night. Guess I was a bit dehydrated…

I stayed in today. Tomorrow, at 7:30am, I will be joining a few others on another walk. Maybe I’ll take water this time. And my neighbor will have another eye-roll exercise, of this I am certain.

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What’s better than a steampunk story? Nine of them–in one book!




I am such a fan of steampunk that I could not pass up the opportunity to be a part of this promotion. It just sounds fantastic!



Shovel the coal and stoke the boilers as nine steam punk authors explore islands of mystery and adventure across the seven seas.


The Clockwork Seer by Katherine Cowley: On an island of oddities, a young clairvoyant struggles for normalcy, but deadly automatons have other plans.

Sindisiwe by Scott E. Tarbet: A slave girl in Zanzibar escapes a beating when a stranger in the marketplace proves her past is more than just a fairy tale.

Stand and Deliver by TC Phillips: Neither shackles, slave labor, nor the island’s deadliest inhabitants will prevent these brothers from meting out justice to their father’s murderers.

Island Walker by C. R. Simper: Kit digs her treasures out of trash heaps, but the theft of her invention leads to discoveries money can’t buy.

A Mind Prone to Wander by Danielle E. Shipley: Beyond a locked door lies Rowan Charles’ death or his sanity, and the survival or extinction of his people.

Curio Cay by Sarah E. Seeley: The future of humanity rests in the hands of three time-traveling scientists battling biomechanical creatures in the Jurassic past.

The Mysterious Island of Chester Morrison by Kin Law: Dodging her chaperone, a debutante stumbles into adventure and romance at the World’s Fair.

Revolutionary by John M. Olsen: A dirigible captain goes down with his ship, and wakes to find himself a captive of a sky-dwelling civilization.

The Steel Inside by Gail B. Williams: Darkness lurks in Sarah’s forgotten past, kept hidden by those who claim to be her devoted husband and loyal servants.


These all sound too good to pass up!

Purchase your copy here:

Amazon Kindle USA:

Amazon Kindle UK:


Time to meet the authors!



Katherine Cowley  

Katherine Cowley wrote her first story at the age of five, a retelling of the Icarus myth titled “The Turtle That Got Too Close to the Sun.” She has worked as a documentary film producer, a radio producer, and a college professor. She now devotes herself to writing steampunk, fantasy, and science fiction. Cowley’s short stories and essays have been published and won awards in the Locutorium, the BYU Studies Personal Essay Contest, the Meeting of the Myths, Four Centuries of Mormon Stories, and the Mormon Lit Blitz. You can also read her stories online at

Katherine loves European chocolate, the history of science, and steampunk fashion. She has lived in the United States, Brazil, and Finland, and currently resides in Arizona with her husband and two daughters.

Website | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

Scott E. Tarbet  

Scott E. Tarbet writes what fires his imagination: the broad umbrella of speculative fiction. He is especially intrigued by how human beings react to and interact with science, technology, and other magics.

Educator, chef, professional opera singer, and Steampunk craftsman, with a long list of short stories and other works to his credit, he makes his home in the splendor of the Utah mountains with his wife and best friend, Jewels.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google + | Amazon | Goodreads | LinkedIn | Pinterest

TC Phillips 

TC Phillips hails from tropical central Queensland in Australia, where he currently lives with his loving wife, three young children, a spoilt cat, and an overactive imagination. An avid reader from a young age, he has held a long-standing attraction for the written word and is excited to make his own contributions to the vibrant and ever shifting world of storytelling. Holding degrees in both Theatre Studies and Education, he is also currently completing his Master of Arts (writing) through Swinburne University of Technology.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

R. Simper  

R. Simper is an Arizona native who graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Purchasing and Logistics Management. She married another Arizona native in 1991 and is now the stay-at-home mom of three daughters and one son.

Simper has written in multiple genres over the past three decades. She has found that writing maintains a sense of order in her life. Her first published story, “The Journey of Inspector Roux” appeared in Terra Mechanica: a Steampunk Anthology (2014), another Xchyler publication.

Other hobbies that she enjoys are playing volleyball, genealogical research, and indexing obituaries. She is a member of the American Night Writers Association (ANWA).

Facebook | Twitter | Google + | LinkedIn | Goodreads | Pinterest

Danielle E. Shipley

Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them.

Shipley has also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home-schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing, publishing, and all that authorial jazz, she’s probably blogging about it at

This is her third appearance in a Xchyler anthology, following the paranormal “Two Spoons” in Legends and Lore, and “Reality As We Know It” in fantasy collection The Toll of Another Bell. Other publications include Inspired (a novel), and a series of fairy-tale retelling mash-ups, The Wilderhark Tales.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Sarah E. Seeley

Through two wonderful mentored research experiences, Sarah E. Seeley had the opportunity to work with dead sauropods and ancient odonates while acquiring her undergraduate degree in geology from Brigham Young University. She hopes to study more dead things in the future and contribute to scientific discussions about what makes life on Earth so amazing. In the meantime, she explores the bright side of being human by writing dark fiction.

Seeley’s independently published works include Maladaptive Bind and Blood Oath: An Orc Love Story. Sarah’s short story “Peradventure” appears in Xchyler Publishing’s Legends and Lore: An Anthology of Mythic Proportions. Another short story, “Driveless,” appears in Leading Edge Magazine Issue #66. You can learn more about Sarah on her writing blog at

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

Kin Law

Living in the bustle of NYC, Kin is constantly reminded he is a child of two worlds. Originally from Hong Kong, he’s traveled both geographically and socially, working in many professions including movie projection and line cooking. He has degrees in Media and Culinary Arts, and a great love of Philosophy. As for fiction, his favorite authors are Douglas Adams, Hemmingway, and Chuck Pahlaniuk.

Today, Kin is a culinary copywriter, intent on furthering his novelist career. He loves his fiancée, his cat Zoe, Scotch, bacon and coffee. Addressing himself in the third person makes him chuckle.

Website | Twitter | Amazon |

John M. Olsen

John M. Olsen has been creating things his whole life through a mixture of technical and creative processes, whether building family, stories, art, software, woodworking or anything else. He has dreams of becoming a Renaissance man and loves to learn new things to add to his store of randomly accessible information (otherwise known as irrelevant trivia). Writing is one of his loves, inspired by having read most of his father’s extensive fantasy and science fiction collection in his teen years.

He builds high-end simulation software, and has contributed chapters to several books on computer graphics and game design, as well as publishing fiction in multiple genres.

He lives in Utah with his wife and five children, some of whom are old enough to have moved out and back in. Together they have also raised three nieces and a nephew, and are minions of their benevolent cat overlord.

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Amazon | Goodreads |

Gail B. Williams

Gail Williams lives in her own private dungeon populated with all the weird and the wonderful she can imagine. Some of it’s very weird, and the odd bits and pieces are a bit wonderful. With a vivid imagination fuelled by a near death experience at the age of three, there was really no other choice for Gail than to write, something she’s been doing for as long as she can remember. She’s tried not doing it, but it never works for long, her brain gets itchy if she hasn’t written anything for a couple of days. Gail is English by birth, but lives in Swansea, Wales, married a Welshman and they have two fantastic children. They live with the world’s most imperious and demanding cat. An asset management specialist by day, a freelance editor and keen writer of an evening and weekend, she really needs to learn to sleep. To find out more see

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Amazon | Goodreads

James Ng

James Ng (pronounced Ing) was born in Hong Kong, where he spent most of his childhood drawing monsters and robots, making his own elaborate cardboard toys, and playing soccer. Ever since, he has been on the move between Hong Kong, Vancouver, Chicago and New York. His travels have greatly influenced him, allowing him to combine Eastern and Western cultures in his artwork.

Currently James is enjoying the freedom of being a freelance concept artist and illustrator. After a sunny summer in Vancouver, and traveling to London, and then to New York for an award show and exhibition, he is back in his home of Hong Kong to continue his career.



This excerpt is the first few pages of “The Clockwork Seer.”

There were too many people, but once the music started Medina could ignore them well enough. Her private viewing box made it easier, giving her a little separation from the crowd. Well-dressed men and women pushed through the aisles of the concert hall, finding their seats. Medina tasted cinnamon, a product of her own excitement and the energy of those surrounding her. Today’s performer hailed from the mainland: the brilliant Lucio Adessi, the best musician to visit the island this year. It was Sunday, the one day of the week that offered midday concerts.

The muscles in Medina’s arms convulsed. She clenched her hands onto the sides of her chair. The vision came as it always did: a shaking of her muscles, and a flash of colors and emotions. This time a spattering of small black and brown shapes cavorted across her sight, the taste of sour grapes sat on her tongue, and the scent of burning coal invaded her nose with a touch of fear. The vision was mild though, not overwhelming, thanks to the clockwork in Medina’s body which translated her visions into words and actions. Medina was mostly human—only a small part clockwork—and she often wished the sight would stop afflicting her so she could live a normal life. But she couldn’t do anything to prevent her clairvoyance. She waited expectantly for the typewriter in her right hip to print out instructions.

Thud, thud, thud, went the type hammers as they swung, pressing the metal slugs of type onto a small piece of paper. Then the typing stopped.

Medina paused with her hand to her hip, hesitating to take the paper. She tasted pickles, as she often did when she felt uncertain. Even when not receiving precognition, Medina experienced tastes and smells related to her emotions. Fortunately, this medical condition only ever heightened those two senses, while the visions flooded her five senses and all the nerves in her body.

The island caused her extrasensory gifts—or curses. The visions in particular tended to trouble her at inconvenient times, such as now, with the concert about to start. She did not want to miss it.

But she could not ignore a vision. She dared not risk it. Especially since the experience tasted of sour grapes, which she generally associated with monsters.

Medina glanced around to make sure no one was watching her, then opened the metal compartment in her side, which jutted out about an inch from her hip. She removed the piece of paper.

Tell the hall master to put out the nets.

The nets had only one purpose: to catch mechanical spiders. The newspaper hadn’t mentioned mechanical spiders in today’s forecast, but that didn’t matter. Medina’s visions were much more limited (and incredibly less useful) than those of the seer who worked for the newspaper: Medina could only foretell things directly related to herself, and only in the immediate future. Unlike most of those gifted with clairvoyance, she didn’t actually view the future; rather, what specifically she should do about it. But Medina’s visions were always accurate, so even if life would be easier without them, when they came she had to act, because of the small chance it might be about something important.

Medina dashed out of her loge—her private viewing box—not caring that people noticed her exit. She ran to the lobby of the building and hailed Mr. Frederic Cunningham, who owned the concert hall.

“Mr. Cunningham!” she gasped. “You need to put out the nets.”

“Spiders only come in the evening,” Mr. Cunningham replied. “It’s midday.”

But Medina had not planned to be here this evening, which meant the spiders could come at any moment. “You must put the nets out now. It’s important. I swear it on my life.” Medina’s hands shook. She folded them in front of her body, trying to stabilize herself. Even when ameliorated by clockwork, visions made her body weak and fragile.

Mr. Cunningham looked at the metal compartment in her hip. He knew she was part clockwork, and a seer. He’d grown to like her, as she had come to every single performance in the hall for the last four years. He had noticed that she preferred to sit alone, so he had given her one of the private loges without extra charge. Yet he obviously did not want to look like a fool by putting out his nets in the middle of the day. And she had never had a vision while in the concert hall before—in fact, she had never told him specifics about any of her extrasensory experiences.

“Please,” Medina pleaded. “Do it right now.” She had her own nets at home, but she could not bring them back in time.

“Very well,” said Mr. Cunningham. “But it better not deter anyone who is late to the concert.”

He instructed his assistants to put out nets. They looked confused but did not argue with him as they turned the cranks to lower the nets outside of the entryways and windows.

And then they waited, staring expectantly outside. No one knew exactly where the mechanical monsters came from or why there were so many more of them on the island than on the mainland. Rumors spread constantly about their mysterious creators and their plans, but Medina did not know what to believe.

A few seconds later, Medina gagged on the taste of sour grapes. Mechanical spiders rained down from the sky. They were the size of large dogs. Normally they rained all over the island, injecting venom into anything that could move and then crushing them with their mechanical jaws. But today they rained only on the street of the concert hall.

Men, women, and children on the street screamed and dashed away from the spiders. But the spiders did not attack them: they scampered on their eight legs across the road’s concrete surface towards the music hall, as if drawn by a magnet. She’d never seen them act like this before.

Medina tasted blood: fear.


Wow! What a fantastic excerpt. If the rest is that good, this book is destined to be a real winner.

Want to know more? Here’s a list of everyone who is giving this book a blog-boost:



June 28

June 29

June 30

July 1

July 2

July 3

July 4


And last, but not least:



Until next time–happy reading!

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Review of “The Unseen Promise (Tarkeenia Series Book 1)”, by Ellen Mae Franklin

unseen promise

“It had begun as a plaything to pass the time, an amusement for the petulant. A world created, a game of turbulence and beauty, untameable, most certainly volatile. A world made of wild magic, its lock and key the Patu Bata. Two halves of one whole sailed magestically around Tarkeenia’s bulk, chasing each other, as they cast rose and blue shadows across the fabric of the Known World. But this night was to be different.”

This world, this Tarkeenia, built and created by a family of gods and goddesses, populated by humans, elves, and assorted other creatures, was supposed to be a happy distraction, something for the gods to watch–much like a hamster in a cage. But what happens when there is discord in the family, and one or two of the members aren’t allowed into the plans? In other words–what if those outcast gods threw in their own deceptive magic, and said “hamster” grew into something that was unexpected?

And no one could do anything about it?


Ms. Franklin’s work is one of epic proportions. She has created a marvelous world, multi-layered and intricate in its design. Gods and humans, elves and dwarves–these are just some of the characters that populate Tarkeenia. To add to these, she has created two other races–the civilization of the Murrdocks, half-animal and half-human, and the underground, horrid Specks–eaters of flesh and the bane of all of the other races.

The descriptions and the very different personalities of the characters make this an exciting story to read. I highly recommend it. I also suggest getting “Heart of Secrets” as well, since it is the second book in the series, and I know you’ll want to continue reading this tale to its end.


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Cover Reveal: “Nacoma Knight”

. .

(hmmm…looks like a white cat in a snow storm…)

Now really, did you think I was just going to up and put the cover at the BEGINNING of the blog? Not happening. If I did that, you’d just click off and miss out on the other info.

…such as a Rafflecopter…

Okay–turning this thing over to the pros:

I know you are all so excited to see this cover, but first let’s get to know the Author, Ashley Nixon.


anixon Ashley was born and raised in Oklahoma, where the wind really does sweep down the plains, and horses and carriages aren’t used as much as she’d like. She has a Bachelor’s in English Writing and a Master’s in Library Science and Information Studies. When Ashley isn’t writing, she’s traveling, working out, or pretending she’s Sherlock Holmes. Her obsession with writing began after reading the Lord of the Rings in the eighth grade. Since then, she’s loved everything Fantasy–resulting in an unhealthy obsession with the ‘geek’ tab on Pinterest, where all things awesome go.


Facebook: Twitter: Blog: Website: GoodReads:


Wait ’til you read what the book’s about. I think you’ll see that the book cover (yes, it really is here) matches so very well with the story.



Anora Silby wants her mother alive again. She’d do anything to feel her touch, hear her voice, and understand the strange circumstances surrounding her death. So when the new kid, Thane Treadway, offers outlandish answers, Anora listens.

Thane believes Anora’s mother had her soul stolen by the Cercatore di Anime, a race of soul eaters. It isn’t until Thane starts forgetting things and having random outbursts of anger that Anora begins to wonder if Thane has personal experience with the Cercatore.

Anora’s search for answers leads her into the center of a mid-world battle between good and evil—the soul and the soulless. Not only that, she is the Eurydice, the only one of her kind who can enter and exit spirit. Her gift makes her a target, and soon Anora finds herself faced with the loss of her mother or the love of her life.

Can Anora see past her grief long enough to make a decision or will she lose everything?



       And the moment you have been waiting for!






Don’t you just love it!

I know I do! It’s obvious, from the schedule below, that a lot of other people do too:




Keep up with the event on Facebook

And enjoy the post on all these blogs


Hear those rotors a-thumping away in the sky? That would be our Rafflecopter!


<a class=”rcptr” href=”” rel=”nofollow” data-raflid=”330006f879″ data-theme=”classic” data-template=”” id=”rcwidget_bsdbmud5″>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>

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Okay, time for me to take off once again. I just love those rafflecopter pilots…hee hee…

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First the cover, now the book

Guess who’s back?

“Hawthorn” by Jamie Cassidy, Book 1 in “The Darkling Saga” series.

Genre: YA Horror/Fantasy ~*~ Release date: May 28th, 2015

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00008]

Remember the book cover? This time we have an extensive book excerpt. PLUS, the book is now available!






For those who didn’t see my earlier post, here again is the


 A house on a hill. 

A house filled with mirrors. 

A house with eyes that watch your every move. 

“I hate it on sight. It’s dull and large and clunky, a creepy old house with a creepy house smell.”

Learmonth Village has a history, a past that it holds dear, superstitions that it clings fast to. Learmonth House, however, is governed by its own set of rules, its own past. Gemma and her family are about to discover just what those rules are.

Learmonth has a pact with the darkness…

The darkness is hungry…


Voof…I shudder every time I read that. Gotta be good!

Hey, check it out–there’s a book trailer too!

Trailer Link:

Embed Link: http://ahref=

So who are the fine minds behind this book? Let’s find out:



Amos Cassidy is the pen name for Richard Amos and Debbie Cassidy. Amos is a 31 year old Diva and Cassidy a 38 year old mother of three; well, four if you include the husband. A common love of all things Joss Whedon, Urban Fantasy, and a tug of war over Jensen Ackles, brought them together, and one cold February afternoon, over nibbles and coffee, their partnership was born.


You can find Cassidy hard at work in her fortress of solitude which has eaten up the majority of her garden, and Amos…well he’s still trying to get the invisibility gizmo he got off a friendly alien in exchange for a pair of earphones to work. Funnily enough he hasn’t been seen around much lately…


Frequent doses of Sugary snacks, coupled with regular injections of caffeine aid in their production of a unique brand of cross genre tales. They are always writing, but are happy to take a break to chat to their wonderful readers, so drop them a line at, or just pop over to see what they’re working on and they’ll bust out the biscuit tin.


Mmmm…hope they’re chocolate-chip.

And, as promised–ta dah! –the








I’m still searching when I spot the strangest looking tree. It’s larger than the others, but that’s not what makes it stand out. It’s the trunk that draws me, split in two in the middle and twisted at the top to make an aperture that looks like the eye of a needle. It’s wide enough to slip through. At least I think it is. I am overcome by the strangest feeling of familiarity.  I take a step toward the tree, and then another, suddenly eager to find out if my theory is correct.

“I wouldn’t do that if I was you?”

I spin around in alarm to find the owner of the voice.

“Hi.” He is leaning against a tree, all casual-like. He’s tall, taller than Liam, with dark messy hair and dark eyes. He is striking to look at, the kind of guy you expect to see in one of those Cinderella story movies, or a character from a young adult paranormal novel. I stare at him, expecting him to disappear or grow some pimples or something, but he remains as gorgeous as ever.

Liam. I love Liam, I remind myself.

He holds out his hand. “Come on, those things can be dangerous.”

I look glance at the tree then back at him. “You have to be joking.”


“So you’re saving me from a tree?”

He nods sombre-like.

I feel a stab of irritation. Who does he think I am, some gullible twat from London or something? I step back and touch the tree and quirk a brow at him. Hah!

His smiles. “Maybe I just wanted to hold the pretty girl’s hand.”

I don’t know what to say to that.

“I’m Sam.”


“Nice to meet you, Gemma.” He flashes that smile again, all white even teeth and a dimple.

“You live up at Learmonth, right?”

“Yeah, what about you?”

“I don’t.”

God, he’s trying to be cute. I hate that. “Um, anyway, I best get going.”

“Why? You just got here. There’s some lovely spots to sketch. I can show you if you like.”

I frown. How does he know I sketch? My pad is in my backpack.

He cocks his head as if listening to something. “You have artist’s hands and an artist’s eyes. I see the way you look at things.”

Once again I don’t know what to say to that apart from, “You been watching me?”

He smiles. “I spotted you a few minutes ago. So, you coming?”

I hesitate. “I don’t know, you could be a serial killer or something.”

He nods. “True, but then we’re far enough from your house and the village for me to just grab you if I want.” He grins disarmingly.

I laugh. “Okay, you have a point. Lead the way.” He turns and I follow. This could be good. He looks my age, maybe a little older. Making a friend could be good, make starting college easier with a familiar face to look forward to.

I can’t help study his back, tapered down to his tight butt. Damn, now I’m checking him out. He does have nice arms, though, wiry and strong-looking even if he’s as pale as the moon. He doesn’t seem to feel the chill in the air.

I wonder if he’s wearing sun cream. I bet he burns easy.

I trip and stumble, but don’t hit the ground because he has me.

I don’t know how, but I have to ask. “Are you a vampire?”

He stares at me for a long beat and then bursts out laughing.

After a second I join in.

I realise he is still holding me, his hands warm on my skin. “Come on then, show me this place.”

He lets go of me and ambles off again. “Eyes on the trail now, Gemma.”


Okay, yep–I’m hooked. How come all I ever meet in the woods are squirrels? Not fair…

Well, that’s all there is for this post. Maybe I’ll come back soon to do a blog on squirrels. Or cookies. You just never know. Hope you’ve enjoyed!



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