Always a Booklover

The magic of books just enchants me. I love reading, what more can I say?

Blog Tour: Dustman by SM Blooding - Guest Post + Review

Dustman by SM Blooding

Dustmen are useless.

Meg has two kids, one of which is hell bent to land himself in jail. She’s about to lose her house, her home, her ability to support her children. Her aunt tells her to publish the story of her childhood friend, her dustman, her Luk.

Dreamland is empty.

He’s watching his world shrink, his friends blinking out of existence. Children no longer call for him. He’s watched his fellow dustmen disappear while their lands are eaten by a ferocious void.

There is no cure.

He’s next.

Buy it from Amazon Paperback | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble

SM Blooding

SM Blooding lives in Colorado with her pet rock, Rockie, their new addition, Mr. Bird, who’s a real bird. She likes to hike the beautiful Rocky Mountains, and is learning to play the piano and guitar. Currently, she’s trying to MURDER them both. Friends call her Frankie.

She’s dated vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, weapons smugglers and US Government assassins. Yes. She has stories.

She’s also an investigator with a local paranormal investigation group, Colorado Paranormal Rescue!

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Time for a short excerpt! Ahh, after reading it, I can't wait to read the book!

He looked at her, his eyes flaring, icy blue lights shooting from his eyes. “How is it you’re here?”
     She took a step back. “What do you mean?”
     “You exist. How?”
     She frowned at him, her nose flaring. “I was born.”
     He took one step toward her, his mouth set in determination. “So was I a long time ago.”
      “Things happened, Luk. I had to grow up. I couldn’t—” She looked at the refrigerator case in frustration. “I couldn’t pretend anymore.”
     “Am I pretend?” he growled, taking a step toward her.
     She looked up and blinked. She was surrounded by the warmth of his body as he crowded her space.
     His eyes, consuming and raw, sucked her breath away.
     “I don’t know,” she whispered.
     Like the unborn wrath of a tiger unleashed, he grabbed her waist and head, crushing her against him. His teeth ravished her lips, demanding them to open. His hands dug into her hair, pulling it loose in unruly waves.
     She couldn’t breathe. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to. This man, this solid and real man, made her feel something she hadn’t felt in a long time.
     She opened her mouth to him, pushing herself onto the balls of her feet to deepen the kiss. She ran her tongue along his, gasping as his teeth gripped it, raking it.
     She molded her body into his.
     He growled, pulling his lips from hers. His head against hers, he pushed her toward the glass door of the refrigerator case, pushing her back and up.
     She cried out, her eyes opening in surprise. “Luk,” she said breathlessly, caressing his face with soft, needy hands. “My Luk.”
     He growled again, deeper, claiming her, the intensity of his gaze, telling her without words she was his.
     She looked into his eyes and met his lips halfway.
     With a hungry, forceful sigh, he melted into her body.
     They both felt the heat of the kiss, so different than the first. This was primal. This was about claiming. This was about territory.
     This was about power.
     They closed their eyes, letting the emotions rack their bodies as they rocked against each other. The heat built inside them, their bodies touching.
     Her head came up as she sucked in air at the same moment the milk jugs in the case behind them exploded with a loud, multi-shot pop.
     They looked at each other, the spell broken but the result still apparent. Turning, she looked in surprise and amazement at the milk-painted case.
     His face was bright red.

And now, let's welcome SM Blooding to the blog to bring us away from this world, just for a little while:)

Come With Me to Dreamland!

Take my hand. Step right up. That’s it. Yes, under the umbrella. Just like so. Yes. *grin* Are you comfortable? Legs, arms, head all tucked in? *wild gleam* Good. Let’s go!

Grabbing your shoulders and tucking you into you into me, we’re off, rushing out of the window, high into the sky. The stars shine bright above us. There’s Jupiter and over there is Mars. There’s lovely Venus hanging out by the half moon. Far, far below us is your home. The wind rushes through your hair, tugging at my trench coat and nearly tosses my hat over your town. We climb higher and higher, getting lost in the stars.

And then we’re falling. Whoop! My stomach bottoms out as the wind catches our breath, but instead of a sleepy city, we find ourselves barreling down on a sea of green. Night slips into day. Cool becomes warm and you’re bathed in shimmering Dreamland sunlight.

A tree clips your arm, reminding you to keep all your limbs tucked in. We’re zooming through the pine trees of Forever Forest. Animals are scurrying out of our way as they scamper along the branches. A unicorn neighs below us, and hooves thunder. There. *laughing* There’s the gassy unicorn, his horn shining bright, his long mane and tail flopping around him as he runs to keep up with us, chasing us with laughter.

Barking touches our ears. That would be Dog. I veer his way, but the trees are too thick and I’m starting to really beat you up with the branches. I pull up and the unicorn disappears into the foliage. The barking heads off in a different direction.

Only to be replaced by a bone rattling roar.

I can’t see the expression on your face, but I’m grinning from ear to ear as we skate over the tree tops. Whooh. Whooh. Whoosh. Tick-tick. Whooh.

Ohhhhh. He’s close!

I put on an extra burst of speed and pull up.

A large blue-scaled body zips underneath of us, his wings larger than a tall tree, his body bigger than a house. His huge head twists, staring at us with one large eye, his eyebrow ridge rising as his beak gapes open. He banks right and we bank to ride with him, surfing the same current. With a dragon laugh, he bucks the air and heads down, his flicking tail nearly taking us out. That crazy dragon!

We coast the current, dipping over the dive that takes us out of Forever Forest, into the meadow, over Dreamer’s Hill, past the creek. Grandmother Willow waves, her head bobbing with the wind of our passing as we head into PaintBucket Forest. The trees below us are covered with leaves of every color imaginable. And just on the other side is the ocean.

We skid to a halt on the sandy beach. I close my umbrella, a huge grin on my face, and bow. “Welcome to Dreamland, dreamer.”

So yep, that's about it for today! Go here to check out the other tour stops! You'll find loads of awesome stuff on the other tour sites too! :D

Blog Tour: Seeking a Scribe by Marsha A. Moore - Guest Post + Excerpt + Giveaway

Hey guys! Welcome to today's blog tour! Sorry it couldn't come up earlier, my internet was down:( So yep, Seeking a Scribe is a fantasy romance and is the first in the Enchanted Bookstore Legend! It certainly looks great, don't you think? There will also be a tour-wide giveaway at the end so do look out for it! ;D

Seeking a Scribe by Marsha A. Moore

Lyra McCauley is a writer and loves fantasy novels, but until she opens a selection from bookstore owner Cullen Drake, she has no idea he’s a wizard character who lives a double life inside that volume…or the story’s magic will compel her from the edge of depression to adventure, danger, and love.
His gift to Lyra, the Book of Dragonspeir, was actually her copy, misplaced years ago. Lost in her pain following divorce and death, she fails to recognize him as her childhood playmate from the fantasyland. Friendship builds anew. Attraction sparks. But Lyra doubts whether a wizard is capable of love. She’s torn—should she protect her fragile heart or risk new love?
Opening the book’s cover, she confronts a quest: save Dragonspeir from destruction by the Black Dragon before he utilizes power of August’s red moon to expand his strength and overthrow the opposing Imperial Dragon. Lyra accepts the challenge, fearing Cullen will perish if evil wins. Along with magical animal guides, Cullen helps her through many perils, but ultimately Lyra must use her own power…and time is running out.

Buy it from Amazon (at only 99 cents!)

Marsha A. Moore

Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Her creativity also spills into watercolor painting and drawing. After a move from Toledo to Tampa in 2008, she’s happily transforming into a Floridian, in love with the outdoors. Crazy about cycling, she usually passes the 1,000 mile mark yearly. She is learning kayaking and already addicted. She’s been a yoga enthusiast for over a decade and that spiritual quest helps her explore the mystical side of fantasy. She never has enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at new stories with toes wiggling in the sand. Every day at the beach is magical!

Website | Google+ | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Fantasy Faction

Time for a short excerpt!

The smell of anise greeted Lyra as she opened the door to Drake’s bookstore. It took her back to happy childhood memories. Licorice-shoe-string-rewards for following her parents’ requests to stay on the dock while they secured the family’s pleasure boat to its trailer. The aroma brought a fleeting remembrance of times long gone, a treasure now that her folks had recently passed. At ease with the familiar scent, she settled into browsing through rows of antique bookcases.
The shop owner stuck his head around a set of shelves. “Do you like tea?”
“Yes, I do.” Before she could finish speaking, he disappeared. “Is that the wonderful smell?” she called out.
Kitchenware clinked in the back room. Receiving no answer, Lyra followed the noises, scanning collections as she walked. This bookshop appeared established, but surely she would have remembered it from her last visit to the Lake Huron village five years ago. Books were her passion, especially fantasy. She paused in front of that section and studied its titles.
The owner appeared, holding a pewter tray with a teapot, two cups, sugar jar, spoons, and napkins, which he laid on the corner of an old library table. She watched him carefully pour the tea and hand her a cup. He was about her age, mid thirties or a bit older, and handsome. His medium brown hair, peppered with gray at the temples, grazed his shoulders in wavy layers, and his beard was trimmed into a neat goatee. He wore long shorts, a knit golf shirt, and sandals—typical casual attire for this island resort community.
She set down her bag from the drugstore and accepted his offer with a smile. “Thanks. My name’s Lyra.” She blew across the hot surface of the tea to cool it and then inhaled the anise-scented steam. She closed her eyes to fully enjoy the memory. “Ah!”
“Afternoons of boating and licorice with your parents? Right?” he asked.
Her mouth dropped open. How did he know that?
He slurped from his cup. “Go ahead, take a sip. My folks gave me the same reward for taking my kid sister along on bicycle rides.”
Forgetting all about the tea, she asked, “How do you know my childhood memory?”
“Taste it.” His lips curled into a sly grin as he took another gulp.
She cautiously took a tiny sip, just enough to wet her lips and the tip of her tongue.  The flavor flooded her mouth, and her mind swam with wonderful memories. The taste transformed into that of gigantic popcorn balls the sheriff’s wife down the street made for Halloween trick-or-treaters, accompanied by images of Lyra’s costume—a red, fringed gypsy skirt borrowed from Mom. Next came a pumpkin flavor and vision of holding a cold piece of “punky-pie” in her five-year-old hand. Another swallow returned her experience back to anise. “What is this? How did you know?”
“Let me introduce myself.” His grin spread into a smile as his eyes met hers. He took a step closer. “I’m Cullen, Cullen Drake, and I know many things. What I don’t know is what sort of books you like to read.”
His keen interest caused heat to rise in her cheeks. “Well, actually I have several favorites, all fantasy and magical realism. You have a number of authors I like in this section.” She turned to refer to the shelves behind her, but found non-fiction hunting guides instead. “This case held classic fantasy a moment ago!”
Cullen put down his cup. “It moved. It’s over here, and I have just what you want.” He slid an old-fashioned library ladder along its track, set the locking device, and climbed straight up to the top shelf.
Lyra followed, walking between four comfortable leather club chairs grouped on a Persian rug. A portrait of a young girl and a man wearing a cloak caught her attention. Something seemed familiar in the child’s smile.
The noise of books sliding on shelves distracted her. She moved to the base of his ladder and glanced up. The ceiling of embossed tin panels decorated with Victorian teardrop chandeliers and paper Chinese dragons made a unique combination, to be sure.
But Lyra was more curious about the strange happenings in the store and its owner.  He was certainly odd, although not the bookish, geeky sort who usually ran bookshops she frequented. He had an athletic frame and strong legs.
“Can’t find it!” he exclaimed and quickly descended. His brow furrowed, he dusted off his hands on his shorts. “I’ve got to find that volume for you. If you don’t mind me saying, there’s a sadness about you. The book will make you happier than you’ve been since those days of licorice shoe strings.”
“After magical tea and shifting bookcases, I almost believe you.” She laughed to cover her concerns. Even four months after it was final, she worried that the loneliness she felt after her divorce blazed like a beacon on her forehead. But, Cullen knew so much—it startled her…actually, intrigued her. Her ex didn’t ever see inside her, didn’t want to. This man read her as though he knew her. Did he? He seemed so familiar.
“Once I find that book, I promise, you’ll be pleased.” He stroked his goatee. “Hmm. Where did I last see it?” The twinkle in his gray-blue eyes captivated Lyra. “Will you be here for the week? I can look for it and call you later.”
“I’m staying the rest of the summer with my elderly Aunt Jean. She owns a lovely cottage at the end of Walnut overlooking Lake Huron. I thought I’d keep her company and give her time away from her nurse during my teaching break. While I’m here, I plan to write my novel.”
“Great! You’re a writer? What do you teach?”
“Yes, and I teach American Literature at Southern University in Florida. Seems like you already would’ve known that since you jumped into my childhood memories,” she stammered, attempting some humor. Taking a long draught of the tea, her mind filled with memories of her pet dachshund wiggling next to her, displacing a row of dolls. Another part of her past he knew—impossible! Her forehead beaded with sweat.
“No, only thoughts associated with a lot of emotion, like the happiness of snuggling with your dog.”
“How?” she exclaimed, shaking her head. “I don’t understand.” Her mind swam, trying to grasp what happened. She desperately needed some fresh air. With trembling hands she set the cup down.
“I realize it must seem odd, but the book I’m looking for will help explain.” He leaned closer with a smile that somehow reassured her. “This is Saturday. If you can come by next Wednesday morning, I think I should have it for you by then…if you’d like.” He paused and looked into her eyes, waiting for a reply.
“Yes…I’m curious.” In spite of the confusion, she found herself agreeing. “Wednesday will work.”
“Fine. Let me take down your number in case I can’t find it.” He walked to the counter and located a notepad and pen. She dictated her number and full name, which he repeated, “Lyra McCauley, a lovely Celtic name for a pretty lady.”
“I think I need to go now. Thanks for the tea.” With shaking fingers, she collected her shopping bag and headed toward the door.
He escorted her out and offered his hand to shake, the corners of his goatee lifting into an inviting grin. “Enjoy the rest of your weekend.”
Lyra smiled and looked into his eyes, trying to discern his unusual clairvoyant gift. “You too.” The initial touch, of his palm against hers, sent electrical shivers along her arm. She jerked, yet didn’t let go, fascinated by the strong emotions flashing through her mind—attraction, excitement, and acceptance. After an awkwardly long pause, she dropped his hand, half-stumbled over the threshold into the sunshine, and took a long, deep breath.
She ambled to an outdoor cafĂ© a couple blocks farther down Tenth Street, while her mind buzzed with questions. How did he know those things about her? She dropped onto a seat at an empty table, shaded by an umbrella. He was fascinating and frightening at the same time…and familiar. Her divorce and loss of her parents left her lonely. He intrigued her.
 “May I get you something to drink while you look over the menu?” The waitress interrupted with a bright young voice, a college student working a summer job.
Startled back to reality, Lyra murmured, “Just water, please.” Alone in a crowd of lunch goers, her thoughts returned to the bookstore and many unanswered questions.
The waitress placed a glass of water in front of her.
She almost hated to drink and remove the sweet aftertaste of anise from her tongue.

And now, let's welcome Marsha to the blog!

Four Chinese Animals/Elements of Creation—Four Guardians of the Enchanted Bookstore Legends

My series, Enchanted Bookstore Legends, has two worlds, reality and a parallel fantasy world called Dragonspeir. The organization of magical power and leadership in that land is based upon the balanced system of the four Chinese elements of creation: earth, fire, water, air. Chinese mythology ties those elements to sacred animals that foretell future events. The unicorn is supposed to spring from the center of the earth as the phoenix represents fire, the tortoise water, and the dragon air.
For my legends, I selected those four animals as the four Guardians who collectively govern the Alliance. That is the realm of Dragonspeir which is good and fair, opposing the Dark Realm led by the Black Dragon. My heroine, Lyra McCauley, confronts a quest: save Dragonspeir from destruction by the Black Dragon before he utilizes power of August’s red moon to expand his strength and overthrow the opposing Imperial Dragon. Lyra accepts the challenge. She fears that the wizard she loves, Cullen Drake, will perish if evil wins since his immortality is dependent upon Alliance magic.
The unicorn represents the earth element. From times of the Ming dynasty, the unicorn was specially praised its ability to discriminate between good and evil. It would gore only the wicked with its single horn. Emperor Shun, the first law-giver, employed a minister who had such a beast in his court to do just that. My Guardian Unicorn is very powerful and a tough character, a sort of bad-ass, but fair to a fault. He judges whether Lyra is ready to begin her quest.
The phoenix, a legendary bird with brilliant colors, lived more than one life. It consumed itself by fire periodically, and a new young phoenix sprang from the ashes. In Chinese mythology, the phoenix symbolizes fire. Within its spirit, the Feng Hwang bird contains the balance of the solar Yang and the lunar Yin powers. The phoenix is called the Empress because it represents qualities of beauty and peace. I titled my Phoenix Guardian as the Lady of Peace, appearing only during happy times. She presides over the Meadow of Peace, a quiet collection of villages in the Alliance territory.
The third animal, the tortoise or turtle, represents water and was thought to be a model of the world. Its upper shell curved like the vault of the heavens, its lower shell flat like the Chinese envisioned the Earth at that time. They read the future in the pattern on the tortoise’s shell. The animal is perceived as a symbol of longevity and wisdom. My Tortoise Guardian is in charge of keeping the history of Dragonspeir for the Alliance. He commands a vast library of records and magical documents. Lyra and the higher magical depend on his resources to fight evil.
The dragon, the fourth prophetic animal, was a divine creature that signified wisdom and represented air. For centuries, it was the imperial emblem. The emperor’s throne was called the Dragon Throne and his face was called the Dragon Face. It was said that when an emperor died, he ascended to heaven riding on the back of a dragon. The celestial dragon, T’ien Lung, is sometimes represented as holding up the sky. For these reasons, in the Enchanted Bookstore Legends, I gave my Imperial Dragon the title of Head Guardian. He serves as a wise leader, coordinating the actions of the other three Guardians. In charge of the air element, he is expert in the magic craft of mystic astronomy, reading and gaining power from the stars by using an array of unusual instruments.
Additionally, astrological signs are grouped in a similar manner, according to their dominant elements of earth, fire, water, and air. In my books, residents of Dragonspeir who inherit magical tendencies must learn to utilize their dominant element in order to control and develop their abilities. Lyra, like all Scribes, is born under a fire sign and must learn to communicate with the main star of the Aries constellation—her birthmate star—in order to utilize her vast powers. This is awkward and she must work hard to master the techniques.
These four animals and the elements they represent were believed by the Chinese to make up all of creation. The realm of the fantasy world in the Enchanted Bookstore Legends that is good and fair embraces this balance. From this foundation, I utilized many more ties to Chinese mythology. Read more about those in Seeking a Scribe: Enchanted Bookstore Legend One.

Here's the tour-wide giveaway! Enter for a chance to win one of 8 ecopies of Seeking a Scribe! Yes, you heard me right, 8!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So yep, that's about it for today! Go here to check out the other tour stops! You'll find loads of awesome stuff on the other tour sites too! :D

Blog Tour: Kiss Me, Dancer by Alicia and Roy Street - Guest Post + Author Interview

Hey guys! Welcome to today's blog tour! Remember a few days ago, I held a giveaway for this book? Today, I'm gonna introduce the authors to you, who will be joining us with an interview and guest post! So yep, without further ado, let's begin! :) enjoy:)

Kiss Me, Dancer by Alicia and Roy Street

A roller coaster of a romance between a divorced dad and a dance teacher.

Ballet instructor Casey Richardson takes an immediate dislike to the brash, arrogant Drew Byrne when he pulls his nine-year-old son out of her “silly” dance class. Still, shecannot help noticing his smoking hot body and bedroom eyes.

A working class girl raised in the small fishing and farming community on Long Island’s rural North Fork, Casey knows all too well how easily a girl can get hurt by the notorious womanizing hunks that flourish on the South Fork in the Hamptons. Men like Drew Byrne.

The last thing she needs is for him to be the only one who can save her from losing her dance academy, the dream she has worked so hard to turn into a reality.

Remarrying is definitely off Drew’s list of things to do. As head of his Fortune 500 trucking company, he enjoys his wealth and has no problem keeping it a game with some of the world’s most beautiful women. So why should his son’s challenging, straight talking dance teacher get under his skin in a way no other female has?

Sure, Casey Richardson has luminous brown eyes and a lean, taut body that drives him nuts, but he’s seen plenty in his day with the supermodels he is used to dating. He tells himself it is because Casey is the only one who was able to bring his shy, uncommunicative son out of his shell. But even that isn’t it.

Bewildered, Drew decides he just might make use of those ridiculous psychic readings he won at North Cove’s Annual Fourth Of July Bazaar raffle. Little does he know the local psychic who donated the readings has taken off last minute for some trekking in Tibet —and Casey was swayed into substituting for her with phone readings to the anonymous winner.

Add in a stint on a hit TV dance-off series, a cozy local coffee shop, a narcissistic rock star and a protective big brother to make KISS ME, DANCER a sexy, heartfelt and fun read.

Buy it from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Alicia and Roy Street

In addition to being part of today’s Indie author movement, Alicia and Roy Street are also traditionally published. In 2009 they received a Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. They both share backgrounds in the performing arts. Alicia spent years as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. Roy in theater and standup comedy. Alicia is a chronic reader of every genre including the classics. She also loves old black-and-white movies, making organic soups from recipes she invents, working out and, of course, dancing. Roy’s into sweaty workouts, too, as well as watching boxing on HBO and eating Alicia’s organic soups. Their cat’s name is Wallace, an orange ten-pounder who’s crazy over pizza. He and Roy do slices every Friday night.

Website | Facebook | Alicia's Twitter | Roy's Twitter | Goodreads

And now, let's welcome Alicia and Roy to the blog! Roy also has an excellent guest post about how physical activity gives him inspiration prepared for us so do look out for it!

Hi Alicia and Roy, it’s lovely to have you guys on the blog today!

Great to be here, Victoria! Thanks for having us.

For starters, why not each of you tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?

In addition to being part of today’s Indie author movement, we are also traditionally published. In 2009 we received a Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. We both share backgrounds in the performing arts. Alicia spent years as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. Roy in theater and standup comedy. Alicia is a chronic reader of every genre including the classics. She also loves old black-and-white movies and making organic soups. Roy likes watching boxing on HBO and eating Alicia’s soups. Our cat’s name is Wallace, an orange ten-pounder who’s crazy over pizza. He and Roy do slices every Friday night.

How did you decide to begin writing together as a couple? Have either of you tried writing alone?

Alicia: We started writing as a couple when Roy asked me to help him with a romantic subplot for a mystery he was working on. Yes, we also write alone.
Roy: Yes, we both also write alone. I am currently working on a graphic novel and Alicia has a paranormal YA short story in an anthology coming out this spring. It is a prequel to a novel she is writing.

Did you guys have other aspirations/dreams in the past, or have you both always wanted to be writers?
Alicia: I was a professional dancer and choreographer and teacher for years. Roy worked in visual arts, theater and comedy. He had no intention of ever writing, but I was always an avid reader and hoped someday to write.

What gave both of you the inspiration for the plot of the book?

We thought it would be fun to center a romantic comedy around a dancer heroine. But we had also been thinking of setting a book in the North Fork, a rural area of beautiful farms and fishing villages way out on the eastern tip of Long Island. So we decided not to make it yet another story about star dancers in big professional companies, but about unsung heroes, women who find other routes for their love of dance.

Are the characters in your books based off real people, or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

We usually blend a mix of traits from people we know—as well as aspects of ourselves—to create each character. The best part for an author is that stage when a character becomes a living being that feels so real they tell you where the story should go.

Could you tell us a bit about Kiss Me, Dancer and why it is a must-read?

Kiss Me, Dancer is about listening to the dreams of your heart. Even when it seems they’ve failed, dreams can transform, and you can turn around and find yourself closer to them than you ever imagined. The book is also a fun, hot story about polar opposites falling in love.

What do each of you love most about the writing process?

We can set our own hours. We don’t have a boss hanging over us. And we don’t have to pretend to be in happy moods when we feel sucko.

How is it like working together to write? Do you guys ever argue over how you think a plot should go?

Actually we do amazingly well when working out plots together. We respect each other’s ideas and remain flexible. Neither of us gets defensive when we disagree. Although, being a couple means it is inevitable sparks will fly every so often.

Will you tell us a little about your plans for the future? Are there any other books that are in the works?

Kiss Me Dancer is book one in the Dance ‘N’ Luv series. We are planning to release book two, Touch Me And Tango, in May. We will also be continuing our Daphne Award Winning Saylor Oz series. Plus Alicia’s YA paranormal and Roy’s graphic novel are in the works.

And now, just some little random questions!

Favorite colour?

Alicia - mauve
Roy- blue

Favorite place?

Alicia – the beach
Roy- New York City

Favorite book?

Alicia – way too many favorites to say
Roy- ditto

Favorite thing?

Alicia – classical violin and furry creatures
Roy- banana smoothies and old, worn out boxing glove

What you do when you’re free:

We like to chill with a bowl of popcorn in front of the tube

Favorite day?

Alicia - Tuesday
Roy- Friday

Hmm, I think that should be about it for today! It was a pleasure to have you on the blog today, Alicia and Roy! Wishing you all the best in your career! :D

We enjoyed being here. Great questions, Victoria!

And now, let's invite Roy to the blog for a short guest post! Sit back and enjoy! :)

Over the years I’ve been an actor, stand-up comedian, and visual artist, all of which allowed me to stand and move about as I worked. The biggest challenge I face in writing is the need to remain seated hours on end in a chair, fingers busy tapping letters off a keyboard, eyes locked to an electronic screen.

I am physically active by nature. A hands-on type. A body person who is addicted to rigorous daily exercise. My days are only as good as my body feels and looks.

But unlike dancers, actors and even a fair number of painters and sculptors, writers tend to be sedentary creatures. At the same time I thrive on creating fictional worlds, characters and dialogues that run through my mind throughout the day. Maybe that explains why I get my juiciest ideas when I am in the middle of a workout or even washing dishes. Proof that stimulating the metabolism awakens the brain. And when it comes to writing good stuff, a dull mind is the enemy.

Sorry. Coffee Won’t Do.

To combat dullness, lots of writers resort to caffeine. Not me. Coffee just gives me headaches and makes my stomach growl for the munchies. A cycle I can live without.
My solution for getting over this challenge?


That’s right. I give myself permission to step away from my desk whenever I find myself getting the slightest bit groggy. I do some push-ups, run in place, or shadow box for ten minutes to get oxygenated blood rushing to my brain. Next, I return to the computer fresh and ready.

Metaphorically speaking, I would describe myself as a scribe who writes in sprints as opposed to a marathon writer capable of knocking off words on the page nonstop for hours on end.

True confession: I secretly envy those sedentary endurance writers.
Then again, who looks better in their cotton briefs?

So yep, that's about it for today! Go here to check out the other tour stops! You'll find loads of awesome stuff on the other tour sites too! :D And want to enter the giveaway? Click here!

Blog Tour: To Catch a Thief-Taker by Lilia Birney - Giveaway + Excerpt

Hey guys! Welcome to today's blog tour! So yes, let's start with the great news! There will be a giveaway! To one lucky commenter throughout the tour, he/she will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Certificate. So what are you waiting for? Comment! :P Oh yes, and I know I was supposed to do a review, but due to school, I am unable to review it just yet. Don't worry, it'll be up real soon!

To Catch a Thief-Taker by Lilia Birney

When Lady Penelope Annand's trusted servant goes missing, she is determined to get to the bottom of the matter. Even if that means hiring a thief-taker to track down her maid's whereabouts. But when the darkly smoldering Pierce Howe takes charge of the situation, Penelope finds herself growing more attracted to him by the second--even if she's infuriated by his high-handed manner. She doesn't trust any man--not after the way her first husband wronged her--so why is she so quick to believe in a thief-taker?

Pierce Howe has made a name for himself as one of London's most reliable thief-takers, leaving behind his family's sordid past to create a life of his own. But when Viscountess Annand, known in society as The Ice Goddess, demands that he track down her wayward maid, all his carefully-constructed defenses begin crumbling. As the Ice Goddess shows that she does indeed have a melting point, the thief-taker must decide if he can risk it all and tell her the truth about his past.

Lilia Birney

Lilia is a reader and writer of historical romance. While the Regency is her favorite era, she loves anything from the Revolution to the 1940s, with a special interest in American history. Her first novella, From Air to Eternity, was published by Night Shift Publishing in 2011. Her newest series, The Liberated Ladies, explores the lives of four very independent women in Georgian England. Lilia lives in New Bern, North Carolina.

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Time for a short excerpt!

She gathered her skirts and took a step, only to be caught around the waist from behind. Unable to breathe from the pressure of the arm around her middle, she kicked backward, connecting with her assailant's right knee.

"Damnation!" A familiar voice swore, and her captor released her. Rubbing her ribs, she turned to see Pierce kneeling in the dirt.

"Pierce, are you terribly hurt?" She knelt beside him, tucking her skirt to pad her knees. "I'm so sorry. You frightened me. I didn't know it was you."

"I was worried when I returned to the carriage and you weren't there," he gasped, rubbing his kneecap. "I should know now, I need never worry for your safety again. Who knew a lady's boot heel could be quite so painful?"

"You shouldn't have grabbed me so," she replied tartly. "How was I supposed to react? Here we are in the yard of a most notorious brothel—any man with a grain of sense would have approached me differently."

"Believe me, madam, I am regretting my mistake most heartily at the moment." He gingerly flexed his leg, grimacing slightly. "What the devil are you doing out of the carriage anyway?"

"I saw a servant passing by, and thought it would be wise to question her." She took his leg in both of her hands, pressing it gently. Heavens, what a strong, muscled leg he had. She was thankful for the darkness, which hopefully covered her blush. "Does this hurt?"
"I'll survive." He leaned back on his elbows in the grass, staring at her from under lowered brows. "I was concerned for your safety, Lady Annand."

"Thank you, but I can defend myself. As you now know." She withdrew her hands from his leg, keeping her eyes lowered. If he read her thoughts at that moment, how he would laugh at her—how everyone would laugh. The Ice Goddess, reduced to nothing but a bowl of porridge after touching a man's knee.

So yep, that's about it for today! Go here to check out the other tour stops! You'll find loads of awesome stuff on the other tour sites too! :D

Blog Tour: Holiday Affair by Annie Seaton - Giveaway + Excerpt

Hey guys! Welcome to today's blog tour. It's for Holiday Affair by Annie Seaton! There will be a giveaway at the end, so do stick around to enter it, yeah? So yep, let's begin!

Holiday Affair by Annie Seaton

Nothing more than a holiday fling…until he moved in next door!

Staid professor Lissy McIntyre believes that choosing a mate should be based on common sense, not runaway passion. And Lissy would certainly never pick a rolling stone like Nick Richards for long-term love. But a red-hot, tropical romance? Oh, yeah. He’s got a body just made for sinning and his sizzling kisses leave her senseless.

When Nick blows into town, he’s stunned to discover that his no-nonsense new neighbor and co-worker is the same sultry creature he seduced for one night of forbidden island pleasure. He’s unaccustomed to staying in one place for long, but he just can’t seem to keep his hands off the multi-faceted Lissy. Will Nick break loyal Lissy’s heart or will she be the one woman he simply can’t walk away from?

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Not sure if you should get the book? Check out some reviews here!

Annie Seaton

Annie Seaton lives on the edge of the south Pacific Ocean on the east coast of Australia. Recently retired from the world of full time work, she is fulfilling her lifelong dream of writing, and has had instant success! Her first two books were both published on the same day.

She writes across genres: steampunk, historical and paranormal romance, romantic suspense but her favorite genre is contemporary romance

She lives with her own hero of many years. Their two children are now grown up and married, and two beautiful grandchildren have arrived. They share their home with "Bob" the dog and two white cats, Boycat and Girlcat.

Annie’s working life was spent in education from early childhood through to teaching trainee teachers at university. She has worked as librarian, teacher, technology consultant and university tutor. She has now retired and spends her days writing down all the stories in her head.

When she is not writing she can be found in her garden or walking on the beach... or most likely on her deck overlooking the ocean, a chilled glass of sauvignon blanc in hand as the sun sets.

Time for a short excerpt!

She put her tea on the windowsill and looked outside for a long moment. The sun was dropping behind the trees and the late afternoon sunlight darkened the room, making it difficult to see his expression.

“Why…why? I came to you last Saturday and you threw my feelings back in my face.”

“I was ashamed of my behavior all week. I was scared you would take it as a commitment if I responded to you.”

“Did I ask you for commitment?” she asked, her voice frosty. “Me. This is me. Remember, I don’t do commitment, Nick. You know how I feel about that. I don’t believe in the sort of physical attraction we seem to have for each other ending up in any long lasting relationship.”

“I know,” he replied. “But I didn’t trust you. I thought I could avoid hurting you, but I think I did the opposite.”

He watched as she wrapped her arms around her chest and appeared to go into self-preservation mode.

“Not at all. I barely gave you a thought. I was busy all week with the research. It’s not long till we go the Cook Islands and I have a heap of writing up to do. I will admit I was a little embarrassed about my behavior at the restaurant, so I kept a bit of a low profile at the university.”

He knew she was not being honest with him and it amazed him how well he could read her, but he didn’t want to push his luck and upset her even more. She turned away from him and looked out the window, her arms still crossed in front of her. There was also no way he was going to let her know that all he wanted to do was come over and hold her. Not sex, just comfort.

And here's your chance to win an ecopy of the book!

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So yep, that's about it for today! Go here to check out the other tour stops! You'll find loads of awesome stuff on the other tour sites too! :D

Blog Tour: Kiss Me Dancer by Alicia and Roy Street - Giveaway

Hey guys! Welcome to the blog tour of Kiss Me Dancer by Alicia and Roy Street! Today will just be a giveaway but look out for an awesome guest post and interview on the 27th of April! Doesn't the book look great? Go on, enter the giveaway, you never know what you may get!

Kiss Me Dancer by Alicia and Roy Street

A roller coaster of a romance between a divorced dad and a dance teacher.
Dance instructor Casey Richardson takes an immediate dislike to the brash, arrogant Drew Byrne when he pulls his nine-year-old son out of her “silly” ballet class. Still, she cannot help noticing his smoking hot body and bedroom eyes. A working class girl raised in the small fishing and farming community on Long Island’s rural North Fork, Casey knows all too well how easily a girl can get hurt by the notorious, womanizing hunks that flourish on the South Fork in the Hamptons. Men like Drew Byrne.
The last thing she needs is for him to be the only one who can save her from losing her dance academy, the dream she has worked so hard to turn into a reality.
Unlike Casey, who’s had so many failures she calls herself “Calamity” Richardson, winning comes naturally to Drew Byrne. As head of a Fortune 500 company, he enjoys his wealth and has no problem keeping it a game with some of the world’s most beautiful women. So why should his son’s challenging, straight talking dance teacher get under his skin in a way no other female has? He tells himself it is because Casey is the only one able to bring his shy, uncommunicative son out of his shell. Or is it because Drew has finally met his match?
Add in a stint on a hit TV dance-off series, a cozy local coffee shop, a narcissistic rock star and a protective big brother to make KISS ME, DANCER a sexy, heartfelt and fun read.

Alicia and Roy Street

In addition to being part of today’s Indie author movement, Alicia and Roy Street are also traditionally published. In 2009 they received a Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. They both share backgrounds in the performing arts. Alicia spent years as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. Roy in theater and standup comedy. Alicia is a chronic reader of every genre including the classics. She also loves old black-and-white movies, making organic soups from recipes she invents, working out and, of course, dancing. Roy’s into sweaty workouts, too, as well as watching boxing on HBO and eating Alicia’s organic soups. Their cat’s name is Wallace, an orange ten-pounder who’s crazy over pizza. He and Roy do slices every Friday night.

And here's an awesome giveaway!

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Check out the rest of the tour stops here!

Blog Tour: Frozen in Time by Marie Symeou - Guest Post + Excerpt

I cannot express how sorry I am. I can't believe I actually forgot this. I wrote it down, but somehow, when I was looking through my calendar, I didn't see it. Until now. I'm really sorry! So yes, let's get started. Frozen in Time looks like an amazing read, and its set in Ancient Greece. What's not to love?

Frozen in Time by Marie Symeou

Set in Ancient Greece, at the time of Alexander the Great, a time when the spirit world of gods and goddesses and other immortal beings bleeds into the world of mortals, Frozen in Time is an engaging story of a love that can transcend anything. Even death or banishment to otherworldly realms and the transformation of the lovers into immortal beings.

After the death of his wife in childbirth, Philip, grief stricken and suicidal, joins the army of his half-brother Alexander, with whom he has a very uneasy relationship. But the world of immortals has other plans for him and the vampiric monster Scylla plays on his grief by seducing him in the form of his dead wife. Horrified when he discovers that he too is now one of the immortals, it becomes his life’s quest to escape Scylla, find a way of destroying her forever and to reunite himself with his beloved wife's soul.

Marie Symeou

Marie Symeou was born in North London, where she still lives. She is the author of FROZEN IN TIME, the first part of a historical fantasy trilogy set in Ancient Greece, and AGE OF DREAMS, a semi-autobiographical tale of fame, love and addiction set in the 1980s. She is also a singer/songwriter and an aspiring screenwriter.

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Time for an excerpt! Pretty long!

Philip could not believe his eyes. His Amaranthea. Sweet Amaranthea - a temptress in the silver moonlight.

He felt as if he were in a trance. Perhaps all the wine he had consumed had gone to his head. Trying to blink the vision away, he realized this was no alcohol-induced apparition. No, this beauty was alive. Solid. As clearly defined as the craggy rock at his side, a glorious sight clad in a scarlet cloak.

Strange mysterious music rang out as she called his name. Bewitching. Caressing.

‘Come my love, be mine.’

Without a second thought, he took her jewelled hand and let her lead the way along the rocky mountainside.

The air was thick with dust. Down below in Darius’ camp the flames from the torches outside the tents glowed brightly, flickering in the light breeze. Alexander had instructed his men to monitor Darius’ every move and nothing should have deterred Philip. But Amaranthea was his life.

Had been his life.

He wouldn’t even be in this war if it had not been for her. In all honesty, it meant nothing to him. He cared not whether he lived nor died.
Amaranthea led him to an opening buried deep within the jagged rock. Philip hesitated, turning to glance back at the campsite he had just left behind.

Through the hazy air he could see in the distance the masses of tents where the army rested for the night. They had all feasted well, as if tonight was their last, in preparation for tomorrow’s battle. By walking away, he had betrayed them all. Betrayed Alexander.

But the life of a soldier didn’t suit him. The thought of the terror and bloodshed he witnessed made him want to vomit. He had no real desire to kill anymore. And yet he had. So many times. It was what he was paid to do. But there were also times when he simply wished that an enemy spear would soon put an end to his misery.

Amaranthea’s voice drew him out of his dark thoughts, ‘Come, my love,’ she said, the breeze catching her long red hair.

He turned towards her, meeting her dark gaze. How could I have wished to die? he thought. We are together again.

They stepped into the vast cave. It was pitch black, but as Philip followed Amaranthea she seemed to glow, lighting his way up ahead. Philip blinked in astonishment at the network of passages that clearly came into focus.
As they walked the light illuminated something. Philip jumped back as the figure of a winged serpent with a woman’s head leapt out at him. The cave was painted. Walls covered in images, both beautiful and terrible. Recoiling, Philip caught the image of a serpent woman devouring the head of a child.

‘Why have you brought me here?’ he asked.

No reply. He paused, staring at the figure of Amaranthea walking steadily ahead of him. More paintings of monstrous creatures and women with half-serpent bodies, of winged maidens and warriors with snakes and torches in their hair came to view.

‘Why have you brought me here?’ he asked again.

Still no answer, but he could not help but follow Amaranthea towards a welcoming gleam of light. The sound of gently plucked harp strings floated in the air towards them, a melody so calming to a man whose ears had grown accustomed to the cries of war.

On entering the chamber, the intense heat hit Philip’s face. Fires and torches blazed brightly. Shadows from the flames danced on the ochre-painted walls, and fragrant oils burned - awakening his senses to memories of times long passed. On the ground, he noticed a scattering of rose petals. Whatever this dwelling-place was, he soon began to feel at ease.

Amaranthea guided him towards a large bed draped in shiny silk of crimson and gold. Philip sat his aching body on it. He so longed for a good night’s sleep. To lie back on those sumptuous cushions.

Amaranthea stood before him, holding his gaze. Her dark eyes flashed. Removing her scarlet cloak, she let it drop to the ground. Naked, her pale skin glistened in the glowing torch light, her red hair cascading over her shoulders. Philip had never seen anything so beautiful. So perfect, like a goddess. Overwhelmed with desire, he pulled her to him...

They made love. He had waited a long time for this.

‘Amaranthea,’ he cried.

Then everything changed. She hissed like a snake. Alarmed, Philip opened his eyes and to his disgust, he found himself staring into a pair of red demonic eyes. This was no longer Amaranthea but a strange woman that hissed like a serpent. In place of Amaranthea’s slender hands, sharp claws reached for him.

He tried to move away but it was too late. Something sharp pierced him in the neck and he felt his blood oozing out from the wound. He roared with pain. The creature pinned him down and began to suck his blood, licking and devouring it. He grew weaker. Then once again, he heard Amaranthea’s sweet voice.

‘My love, you are dying. I will give you back your life if you promise to be with me always. Until the end of time. I will not let the gods take you from me. You are far too beautiful for that. But you must be mine. Always. You will never love another. Do I have your word?’

He could barely speak. ‘Yes.’

Blood gushed into his mouth. He tasted it and hungered for more.

As more hot blood flowed into his veins, his heart throbbed strongly, its pulse heavy in his ears. He shuddered, felt cold, shivered. His eyesight began to flicker. Images of his life flashed before him. His childhood. His mother. His brothers. His wedding to Amaranthea …


Scylla’s skin prickled with excitement. Emerging from the ocean, water running from her slender body, she ran her hands across the slick black panther fur that was her only covering. The salty night air, heavy with the scents of pine and wild flowers, intoxicated her, and the cries of those participating in the worship of her father, fired her senses, calling her to join them. The snakes twined in her hair hissed malevolently. It was the one night she could remain in this human-form for the whole night. For she knew her immortal father watched over her. The evil spell would not have any power tonight.

The smell of frankincense drifted in the breeze as the pounding rhythm of drums drew her. Overcome with excitement, she sprinted into the woods to join the manic dancing and screams. Maenads armed with thyrsus, the sacred wand wrapped in ivy and tipped with pine, carried a goat in offering to the divine god of wine. They wore faun skins and had wreaths of ivy in their hair, and like Scylla, a few also adorned their heads with serpents, the hissing sound emitting from them drowned out by the heavy pounding rhythm of drums.

Standing in a ring with joined hands, the maenads sang an incantation to the divine one before they sacrificed the goat. They then beat the ground with their feet, manic laughter ringing through the misty air as they began to dance wildly. Cymbals clashed as the women twirled, whirling in frenzied fits.
Tearing branches off elm and oak trees, they ran untamed through the forest, biting into the raw flesh of any animal they could find, blood trailing down their mouths and chins. Tasting and savouring in delight. Then a gathering of fauns descended upon them and everyone abandoned themselves as an ecstatic Scylla ran to the top of the fir-topped hill, raised her hands to the sky and hailed her father’s glorious name.

Philip walked over to Amaranthea and wrapped his arm around her waist. The festivities, the lust burning in the air, had made him long for her. They had barely been able to keep their hands off each other since the very day he took her from her parents’ home, saving her from the miserable fate that had awaited her.

‘Let us disappear for a while,’ he said, his hot breath in her ear as he proceeded to kiss her on the neck.

Amaranthea unwound herself from his strong arms and turned towards him with a dazzling smile. The scent of him, of wine and sweat, made her feel lustful. ‘Oh, is that all you have on your mind?’ she said, teasing him as she fondly took his hand in hers.

He kissed her on the lips as he held her close and said, ‘Yes, my love.’ He pressed himself hard against her. ‘It is a time for pleasure, in the name of the great god.’ He lifted her and carried her off into the nearby woods, leaving Callias, Amaranthea’s brother, and their friends to their celebration of the maturing of the wine and coming of spring.

She kicked her legs in protest. ‘Put me down, Philip!’ she giggled as her burnished curls swayed behind her. The music played by Callias on the lyre as he entertained their friends at the farm had faded into the distance. Instead, she heard the sound of pounding drums, pan flutes and the rattling of sistra in the forest, and feet stomping the ground. It was a night vibrantly alive with elation.

Fuelled by love and desire, the crazed drumming sounds and orgiastic cries didn’t make her feel threatened. Tonight the veil between this world and the other lifted. No need to fear. Perhaps a journey into the invisible world wouldn’t be so forbidding after all. Would it not be fun, considering how her life had turned out? The gods had blessed her at last. No longer wealthy, no extravagant house to live in, no ornamental clothing, but she was the happiest she had ever been. Well, almost, she thought. But you can’t be truly happy. The gods wouldn’t like that.

Philip carried her off into the depths of the forest. The air was alight with laughter and the sound of lovemaking. Amaranthea settled into Philip’s strong arms and felt her desire rising. He was a very passionate man and they made love almost every night. But sometimes she felt it was a little too much. However, she hoped that the gods would see fit to give her the child she so desperately wanted. Only then would her life be complete.

At last Philip put her down so that she was leaning her back against the trunk of an old oak. He stroked her hair and began to kiss her. She groaned with pleasure as his lips brushed against her neck, his breath hot and reeking of wine. Skin tingling with desire, she reached up to embrace him, hands around his neck as his lips travelled lower. She sighed, thinking she would die from the longing. She loved this man so much. And she knew that he loved her, for he had risked so much so that they could be together. Running her fingers through his dark hair, she wondered what would have happened had she not met him. No, don’t think of that now, she thought, moaning as she felt Philip’s hands explore her body.

The pleasure was mounting. She needed his love. ‘Now!’ she cried, unable to control herself any longer. ‘Please, Philip,’ she sighed, pressing herself against him.

A babe was crying.

‘Can you hear that?’ she said, suddenly drawn back into reality.

‘It’s nothing,’ Philip said, pushing himself against her, burying his face in her neck. Whatever it was, it could wait. His hand slid up her slender thigh.

‘It’ s a baby crying,’ Amaranthea said, lifting her hands to his face in order to stop him. She took his face in her hands and widened her chestnut eyes.

‘Can you not hear that?’ she said, staring into his grey-blue eyes. ‘It sounds like an infant’s cry.’

‘You are just hearing things,’ he said, reaching under her chiton again.

‘Forget it. Let us have fun making our own child.’ His lips were upon her neck again.

‘Stop it, Philip!’ She said, pushing him away. The wreath of ivy in her hair caught on a branch and slipped off her head. Philip handed it to her and she noticed in the darkness that his eyes were glazed; he was very drunk, and she didn’ t like it. She had never seen him like this. The evening had become very strange. Something wasn’t right. Placing the wreath back on her head, she glanced up on the hill and caught sight of the large full moon almost touching the tips of the fir-trees. A very strange night indeed.

An infant’s cry again.

There was nothing for it. She had to find this poor babe and see why it was crying so loudly. Probably an abandoned child that nobody wanted. Most likely deformed in some way. She took a deep breath as she advanced towards the direction of the wailing. Her heart raced, strangely mimicking the rhythm of the drums.

Philip had no choice but to follow her. There would be time for more lovemaking later. Besides, he realized that she was right. It was not an animal’s cry. The wailing grew louder. It came from a dark cave. As Amaranthea ventured into the darkness with Philip behind her, she glimpsed a basket balancing upon a rock. Though it was dark, she could see it clearly from the light of the moon and also the lighted torches beaming from all the wild celebrations in the forest. Heart still pounding hard, she bent down to look into the basket. A crimson-faced babe kicked its legs under the blanket.

Amaranthea drew closer and gazed at the little screwed up face. ‘Oh, Philip, it’s a newborn babe!’ She lifted it gently into her arms. The wailing almost deafened her. The poor thing must have been so hungry. ‘Who would do such a thing?’ she said. The babe was tiny, the smell of birth still upon it. It was a boy as he had just revealed from under the blanket as he kicked and fussed, and it did not look deformed at all.

‘Perhaps the mother is dead,’ said Philip.

‘Yes, but who put him here?’ She held the babe close and tried to rock it calmly. He seemed to like her as the crying had begun to wane.

Philip threw a quick glance around for any clues. Dark, dirty… Just an empty dark cave. No clues whatsoever.

‘We have to look after him. We can’t leave him like this,’ Amaranthea said, her eyes deep pleading pools as she looked at Philip. She turned back to the child. Such a small babe, her heart almost erupted with love.

Philip, trying to focus his mind after the numbing by the wine, put his arms around her. ‘We have to find out whose it is.’ He didn’t add that feeding another mouth would not be practical for them right now. They simply could not afford it. But then when did that ever stop anyone from having a child

'Oh, Philip. The poor thing,’ she said. ‘I sense such deep sadness surrounding the conception of this child. He was not made of love.’

‘Not many children are,’ said Philip cynically.

‘Perhaps not. But this one, I can’t help feeling so sad for him, the poor little thing,’ she said, starting to rock the babe in her arms. ‘Sh… little boy, everything is going to be all right now.’

She smiled as the babe really seemed to be calming down. Unable to resist, she gently kissed the top of his soft, birth-scented head. ‘Oh, sweet little babe,’ she said, her heart swelling with love. She took a deep breath. Could it be that all her prayers and offerings of wine and honey to Hera had worked? It wasn’t quite what she had wanted, but somehow a child had been blessed to her, even if it was not from her own womb. She held it tight against her heart, wanting to look after it and keep it out of harm’s way.

Their attention was suddenly drawn to a horrified Callias running past them, shouting. ‘Help! Someone, help me!’ His olive-green eyes were wide with shock, and for a moment he didn’t recognize his sister. ‘It’s taken Chrysanthe!’

‘What do you mean?’ asked Philip. ‘What has taken her?’

‘It was some hideous woman with fangs. She just took Chrysanthe and bit into her neck and…’ Chrysanthe was a girl Callias was sweet on. The daughter of one of the workers on Philip and Amaranthea’s farm. Callias had fallen quickly in love with her and had wanted to marry her when he was a bit older. But now it was too late. Callias wailed uncontrollably.

‘Calm down, dear brother,’ said Amaranthea, reaching out an arm to hug him while she still held the babe in the other. As Callias’ elder by three years, she had always felt maternal towards him and had always taken care of him. They were very close, for they’d had to be with the parents they’d been cursed with.

By now the babe had also started crying again.

Philip turned to a horrified Amaranthea. ‘Take the child and go back to the house immediately.’ He dragged Callias by the arm. ‘Take me to where it happened.’

Callias hesitated, his throat choked with words he could barely get out. ‘I can’t… It was terrible.’

‘Come Callias, be brave,’ said Philip. ‘Maybe we can save the girl.’

‘No!’ Callias wept. ‘It’s too late. It’s too late!’

And now, let's welcome Marie to the blog to talk a little about how music helps in her writing!

Why music is important to me while I write

If it wasn't for music I don't know where I'd be. It has been the greatest inspiration in my life. Ever since an early age I became enthralled in its ability to capture all my emotions and elevate me to some higher place.

My love of music drew me to singing, which just makes my soul fly. But it also inspires me to write. I prefer editing in silence but when I'm writing I really need music to guide me and to help me envision scenes as if I'm watching a movie. If I need to write a battle or action scene then Hans Zimmer's beautiful scenic and soul-stirring soundtracks to Pirates of the Caribbean, King Arthur, etc are usually blaring from my headphones. The music of symphonic metal band Nightwish, especially the instrumental versions of their albums, is another enormous source of inspiration for me. Actually, I find their music highly addictive. It's really made a huge difference to my creativity since I discovered their music five years ago.

For other scenes in my vampire trilogy I use my old favourite, Bram Stoker's Dracula by Wojciech Kilar. And for really evil scenes I occasionally dig out the soundtrack of the original Omen film, which is just so eerie and powerful, I love it!

Before I discovered these amazing soundtracks I loved to write to classical music like Mozart's Requim, which is simply stunning and powerful, so dramatic that it really helps in increasing the tension and passion when writing those dark emotioinal scenes!

As my brother is a more gifted musician and composer than I am, I got him to write some instrumental pieces that would be a great fit for my vampire/fantasy novels. You can hear one such track on my book trailer for Frozen In Time (
We plan to make these tracks available for download soon. Vampires and the paranormal also inspire my lyrics, and a lot of our songs were born from my novels. Some of these are available (check out but we are putting an album together quite soon.

Another reason I need music is not just to inspire me. Unfortunately, I need it to block out all the intrusive noise that comes from living in London. I just hope that one day I can afford to have my own house in the country. Some place where I can also open a cat sactuary. Yes, that's my ultimate dream.

Thanks for having me on your blog!

So yep, that's about it for today! Go here to check out the other tour stops! You'll find loads of awesome stuff on the other tour sites too! :D


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