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Blog Tour: Dragon Rider's Gift by KH LeMoyne - Guest Post + Excerpt

Hey guys! Welcome to today's blog tour! Do you remember back in March, I hosted Kate on my blog for the book Return of the Legacy? Return of the Legacy is the first book in the Portal of Destiny Series, you can see it here! However, this book, Dragon Rider's Gift is the first in the Portals of Destiny Tales, which is a spin off from Portals of Destiny Series!

Dragon Rider's Gift by KH LeMoyne

Roark of Nedres spent his life absorbing lore, legend, and rumor to claim his dragon beast in order to save his people. Nothing has prepared him for the ultimate bond fate will demand.

Princess Nira Meriel Estar was born with the power of prophecy. Her most recent vision forecasts a dire fate for her people, promises few answers, and will deliver the country of Fyrhall a victorious future or crushing defeat.

Kraz, an ancient dragon of mythical power and knowledge, has eluded capture for a thousand years. However, only a dragon of great wisdom would consider an eternal bond to his warrior rider to save his dragon race.

Three souls. Two hearts. One courageous calling.

Buy it from Amazon

KH LeMoyne

A former technology specialist, KH LeMoyne writes sensual romance: urban and high fantasy, and scifi/futuristic. She lives in Maryland with her wonderful husband and corgi. Much to her dismay, she rarely encounters supernatural beings other than on paper. Visit her website: or blog:

Time for a short excerpt!

Roark slid from the dragon’s neck and glanced to the king’s balcony. His liege was gone, the commander as well. A sole witness remained. A servant perhaps? Skin of pale cream and eyes that promised as much challenge as the dragon at his back froze him in place.
The tip of Kraz’s tail grazed across the top of his head. Pay attention, Rider. Much has been lost for the chase of a beautiful woman.
Unaffected by the chastisement, he grinned at the retreating form, mesmerized by the thick mane of braided auburn hair swaying against a pale-yellow gown.
“Roark of Nedres, the king will see you now.”
He clamped down on his reaction to the lady and turned. The scowl on Commander Deneagus’s face reflected obvious disapproval of his perusal.
“You would do well not to let him witness your appreciation of the princess.”
Kraz’s rumble chortled behind him as Roark’s stomach plummeted with the realization of his mistake.
Of course, Rider. Why choose a simple challenge? You aim for the evilest mage, the most precious of dragons, and the most spectacular of princesses.
Wind rushed at his back as Kraz took flight, but Roark didn’t bother with a counter response. Instead, he followed the commander’s rigid form with one last glance to the empty balcony.

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

Victoria, thank you for hosting me on your blog today. In honor of the last stop in my PR tour for Dragon Rider’s Gift, the first in my dragon rider trilogy, I’d like to offer a special unpublished vignette as my post for your reader’s enjoyment. This scene occurs before chapter one and is a first glimpse of Roark of Nedres’s search for his legacy.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!


Closing Gambit – Dragon Rider’s Gift Vignette #2

Roark glanced at the pile of ingots, debating how many were lead painted with gold versus the real precious metal. Not that it mattered. His interest lay in the innocuous wool pouch tossed haphazardly onto the winnings by the Piceus peddler seated across from him. His true purpose in enduring five tedious hours of gambits.

Narrowing his eyes, Roark evaluated the multi-level playing board and the few pieces remaining. A quick calculation confirmed he needed one more circuit of his piece from the first level to the fourth to win the game, a path of sixty-four squares required on each level. However, that depended on the remaining cards. He eyed the deck and then the cavalry second-year guard, too inebriated to be much of a challenge, seated beside him.

Odds were in his favor. The second-year needed three circuits, and even with an excellent draw each time that wouldn’t deliver him a win. The peddler was a harder read, hanging behind Roark by only twenty points.

Black elven stink from the man invaded Roark’s nostrils, but he swallowed back disgust and withdrew five cards from the deck. He spread his full house on the table; missing the satisfaction an excellent hand usually produced. The vibration from the pouch was too distracting. Electric charges rippled from his fingers to his toes with a punch over his chest that vibrated like an external heartbeat.

Dark eyes gleamed at him from the peddler’s pudgy round face. Roark held back a snarl. Dark magic swirled around the man, black magic.

The second-year guard roused enough to draw and advance his piece one circuit.

Seven more turns, and Roark breathed relief as he lay down his cards for a two-point win over the peddler.

Prepared to reach for his winnings, Roark froze as the guard jolted out of his stupor and slammed his knife, point first, into the table. His strike landed between the outstretched fingers of the peddler, sneaking ingots in full view. It was enough to get a man, even an elf, killed.

“You didn’t win. Now pack your stinking bag and leave this town before we have you thrown out.”

“You cannot make me leave,” hissed the peddler. But he’d vacated his seat and retreated several feet from the table, shooting a narrow-eyed glare between the guard and Roark.

“I won’t need to bother. Two of the Vernu Alfar elves arrived an hour ago. They don’t much like your kind. Do they?”

Roark didn’t stay to watch the animosity play out, but swept the ingots into his satchel, pocketed the burlap pouch in his leather vest, and headed for the table by the back door. Biting several ingots to test for gold, he dropped ten solid ones on the table before the gambling hall

owner. A generous tip guaranteed more than just goodwill. He glanced over his shoulder toward his table.

“Don’t worry, soldier. We’ll delay the Piceus long enough to give you a head start.”

With a nod, he offered thanks and slipped out the door. It had been a year since he’d resigned from the border guard, much less worn his uniform, but many people along his posts still recognized him. A fact that worked in his favor, most times.

Roark pulled his coat’s collar tighter against the late night chill and headed along the winding cobblestones toward the gatehouse.

Three miles and forty minutes later, he paused in the isolated mountain pass and listened.

No sounds registered, but his gut twisted. A sign he never ignored. The next few yards would bring him to an overlook of the desert of Ouahe and a shear thousand-foot drop. Not somewhere he wanted to be trapped.

He glanced up. A rigorous climb would take him out of the pass, but he wouldn’t risk it at night. Backtracking to the last trail held risk as well, but he resisted going forward as if there were physically restraints around his body.

He’d turned and walked several yards when he heard the roar. Flinging himself to the ground, he glanced up in time to see the fireball whip past him and explode against the rock ahead. He rolled to the side of the pass. A check behind revealed the peddler crouched along the higher rocks, the claws of his fingers and toes gouged into the pass’s wall for purchase. His eyes flickered red before the next two fire balls spit from his mouth.

Roark dodged the first wad of flame, but rocks showered on him from its collision.

The second engulfed his coat. Busy wrenching his arms from the sleeves, he failed to see the next deluge of rocks. Pain splintered along the back of his head and down his spine. He flung the coat as he dizzily dropped to his knees.

Sensing the black elf’s approach, he collapsed to the ground.

He feigned unconsciousness during the kick to his ribs, and the following shove that rolled him onto his back. He even resisted reacting as the grimy claws frisked through his pockets for the pouch. Then the elf pulled aside Roark’s vest to the reveal his medallion.

“A dragon rider. My mistress will be most pleased, but it is your head she desires.”

At the blood-curdling scream, Roark froze in his grab for the peddler’s throat.

Above Roark one minute, and several feet away on his back the next, the peddler held his hand to his chest, spitting obscenities. He tried to roll up to sit, but only his shoulders left the ground before he flopped back like a fish. Each struggle to rise, forced the elf into a backward scramble.

Roark walked to him and planted his boot on the elf’s chest, while he gingerly dug in the man’s pants pockets for the pouch.

“You’ll never make it from this mountain alive, Rider.” The peddler muttered a garbled incantation with a smug expression, then screeched in delight as a flash of flame struck the ground and dissolved to reveal a tall, broad shouldered woman with hair the color of pitch and flashing red eyes.

“What mess have you wrought now, Dirkus?” she asked.

Roark stepped aside and poured the contents of the pouch into his hand. The dragon lace sparkled in the dying moonbeams. With minor interest, he listened to the peddler ramble nonsense to his liege lady of the Black Alfar court and watched the man point toward him.

“A rider, my mistress. As you wished.”

She glanced Roark’s way. Her eyes widened as they took in the medallion now hanging outside his vest. Then they narrowed as her gaze swept over the dragon lace. With an open hand, she turned and struck the elf across the head.

“You idiot. He has them both. We can’t touch him once the medallion and lace are in his possession. We can’t even touch the lace after it has chosen a dragon rider. You’ve wasted a precious and expensive opportunity.”

Dirkus cringed, jumping to his feet and backing away. “I did as you wished. We have him, my mistress.”

“We have nothing.” She grabbed him by his ear and with a high-pitched whistle began to spin. Mistress of the Black Alfar and her captive servant both rose in the air as the winds increased and the dust billowed around them.

Roark covered his face and turned to the rock wall, safeguarding himself against the violent dust storm that followed in the wake of her spell.

Minutes later, the black elves gone, he coughed to free his lungs and dug his way out of the dune that had engulfed him. He risked one more examination of the dragon lace before sliding it into the pouch and buttoning it back in his vest.

Picking up his coat, he shook it as he took stock. The sigil inside the coat had saved the fabric from disintegrating, though it wouldn’t have protected his flesh. An error he should remedy. Fortunately, the magical tattoo on his arm had repelled Dirkus’s attack. And the dragon lace, once matched with a dragon rider’s medallion, had taken on the weight of mountains. Only he could now wield them both.

With a satisfied smile, he skirted the piles of sand and resumed his journey.

He still had a dragon to find and a kingdom to save.

Copyright 2012 KH LeMoyne

Dragon Rider’s Gift is an adult fantasy romance, the first in the dragon rider trilogy and a Portals of Destiny Tale. For other vignettes, please visit my website under Portal of Destiny Tales – Portal Tales Extras.

So yep, that's about it for today! Thanks for visiting! Leave a comment and maybe check out some other posts! :)

Blog Tour: Racing to Love by Amy Gregory - Guest Post + Excerpt

Hey guys! Welcome to today's blog tour stop! Its a little late up, I apologise. Just got home after a long day at school. Its 1 am now gosh! So anyway, Racing to Love is published by Sapphire Star Publishing and is a novel of 79,000 words. It is the first book in the Carter's Treasure Series. Racing to Love is a contemporary romance, with aspects of comedy and drama in it. Take a look at the blurb, doesn't it look great? Thanks for joining me today and enjoy the post!

Racing to Love by Amy Gregory

From the outside, Molly West had everything, beauty, brains, and a career she’d retired from not once, but twice. Being in the limelight and in a sport that was male driven, she was often surrounded men. She ignored first the boys, and as she got older, the men. Unfortunately, they were all the same, all after one thing, and she had absolutely no use for them. Her cold shoulder and patented not a chance in hell look were usually enough to get her point across. Occasionally, she had to resort to her sass—and her brother.

Molly had no plans in changing what was a perfectly good system. That is until she walked into the pits. When she stood toe-to-toe with the sex in jeans, she knew right then and there that the man her adoptive mother always told her was out there, was now standing right in front of her.

Carter Sterling had traveled the racing circuit since he was a boy. He’d heard all the old standbys, She’s out there somewhere, love comes along when you least expect it. Good things come to those that… Yeah, he’d heard them all. The last place he expected to meet the love of his life was on a pro track. All she did was smile, and he knew, looking into her sapphire blue eyes, Molly West was his. Forever.

If it was only that easy. From the moment he laid eyes on her, he had a gripping feeling in him. An overwhelming need to protect her. A girl he’d just met. Carter had learned a long time ago that gut feelings are almost never wrong.

Molly now held his heart in her hands, but it was going to take a lot more than just love to protect her from the past she thought she’d buried a long time ago.

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

Amy Gregory

Amy Gregory leads an incredibly active lifestyle in Kansas City with her husband and their three fantastic kids who keep them running in three very different directions. When she’s not rushing her oldest daughter to tumbling, her youngest daughter to music lessons, or sitting track-side watching her son practice motocross, she’s taking the few minutes in between to scribble the next pages in her Racing to Love series.

When asked, “When do you have time to write?” Amy Gregory giggles. “In bits and pieces,” she says.

Amy is known for her snarky, off the cuff sense of humor, which you’ll find shining through in the characters she’s created. Her debut novel, Racing to Love, Carter’s Treasure, is set for release June 7, 2012.

I’ve spent my whole life trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, and now I’ve finally found it. – Amy Gregory

Check out her Blog!

Time for a short excerpt!

They continued to walk back toward the pits, but he stopped when they were in the darkened hallway, just before they would have rounded the corner and been seen.

Molly’s heart sped.

He was still holding her hand, but turned to face her as he placed his other hand on her waist. She sucked in a breath when he stepped forward. Her first instinct was to be anxious, to cower back, but something in those ice blue eyes told her she didn’t have to be afraid.

When he had leaned in to kiss her when they were sitting on the track, she’d panicked. And then when he had started to move away, she’d panicked again—for a different reason entirely.

Those flip-flopping emotions were about to drive her crazy.

Now, in the dimmed corridor, Molly closed her eyes to catch her breath and to search for a decision. He’d been rubbing his thumb on her waist, but his movements stopped when her eyes dropped closed. The soothing strokes didn’t continue until she finally reopened her eyes and dragged her attention up his chest and past his Adam’s apple. She continued up until she locked her gaze with his. When she offered him a hesitant smile, he began stroking her again with a warm smile on his lips.

Staring down at her, he let go of her hand and skimmed the back of his over her cheek. She felt her heart thundering, her pulse racing when she ran her hands up his chest, feeling each and every rippled muscle. She’d never purposely touched a man like this before. Sure, she’d felt Brody’s muscles when she’d smacked him for one reason or another. Or when trying to push him off of her after he’d wrestled her to the ground being an ornery brother and all. But this? This was foreign.

Her eyes were back on her own fingers, taking everything in. She stopped at his heart and could feel it pounding hard beneath the soft cotton t-shirt.

“Just so you know…” he started in his slow, sexy voice.

She could tell he was waiting for eye contact again before continuing. “Yeah?” she whispered.

“I’m going to fall in love with you.”

Aww, that last line was so amazingly sweet:)

And now, let's welcome Amy to the blog! She is joining us today with an awesome guest post about her and writing! Enjoy:)

This has been a crash course for me. I have always been a creative type of person, but I didn’t really know my destiny until finally it all hit me about a year ago. I know I’ve talked a few times about how the Racing to Love series came to me in a recurring dream. It’s the second half of that story that I don’t really think much about because it’s been such a blur.

I didn’t have a college degree in creative writing when I sat down to type out my four hundred plus page dream I’d hand-written. I was lost when it came to figuring out what to do after I had my, now thoroughly loved baby, typed out. I didn’t know one person in the industry, I had no one to ask questions of or to turn to for advice. This was a sink or swim for me, and now I had figured out something that I really wanted to continue to do and that was write. But I didn’t want to just write for myself and let them pile up in my laptop. So, what’s a girl to do that has no clue what the next step is?

I bought book after book after book on publishing. Of course Writer’s Market was the best and I spent weeks researching publishers and agents looking for the right one. I forced myself to go beyond my comfort zone and actually use the Internet, falling face first into Twitter and Facebook. I followed one author, then that became two and so on. Those people were kind enough to answer questions here and there because I was very careful to not bombard them.

The rest is like I said earlier, a complete and utter blur. A hard road, sometimes so disheartening I wanted to cry. But here’s the thing…if you want it bad enough, it’s worth every moment of heartache. It’s worth the early mornings to fit in a few moments to write, it’s worth rejection after rejection, because when it’s in your hands, in print, it’s like a dream come true.

So yep, that's about it for today! Today's blog tour is brought to you by CBLS Promotions!

Book Blitz: Dreamwalker by Andrea Heltsley

Hey guys! Welcome to today's review blitz! Alright, its supposed to be a review blitz, but due to exams I am unable to post a review today. I'm sorry, but do watch out for it as I'm currently reading and reviewing it! And I do apologise for the late post. My computer keeps hanging.

Dreamwalker by Andrea Heltsley

Noel Kennedy lost her boyfriend, her job and her dignity all in one week. Then something happened and she began to dream of this stranger she had never met. She couldn’t resist the man of her dreams named Jared especially when she met him in real life. Entranced, she slowly unraveled a world she was meant to stay out of. Her life was not what she thought it was once a sexy Boone stepped into the mix and shook things up. Can she escape a life of servitude or immortality for a chance at love?



Andrea Heltsley

I am a biology nerd who loves reading just about anything paranormal and some chick lit. I enjoy sunshine and my two Italian greyhounds with my husband. I always write to music, it helps the creative process. Dissolve is my first novel. I have been writing ever since I was in grade school and have finally decided to make a career out of it. More books to come summer 2012 and 2013.

Time for a short excerpt!

My eyes fluttered open and I saw something magical. I was lying on the ground next to Jared, my legs folded up, boots resting flat on the ground. I turned my head to the side, looked into his eyes and he smiled.

All around us, the tall green grass was mixed with red tulips tinged with silver and the field was whispering in the wind. A large white moon hung in the deep purple sky. I turned to peer into those smoky eyes that had me at hello.

“What is this place? It’s truly amazing. I have never seen anything like it.”

He smiled and just answered with a simple reply, “our wonderland.”

Then I gasped as Jared entwined his hand with mine and a shooting star came into view. The star seemed so close it appeared three-dimensional and was emitting a shower of stardust in its wake. Shimmering embers and sparkling bits surround us as I stared in awe.

So yep, that's about it for today! Watch

Blog Tour: Revealing Hamilton by Sarah J. Carr - Character Interview

Hey guys! Welcome to today's blog tour. Its a little late, I apologise, I had an exam today. SO yes, Revealing Hamilton is a science-fic novel released by Ruby Lioness Press on the 1st of June. This is the first book in the JackRabbit7 series.

Revealing Hamilton by Sarah J. Carr

A conversation with a stranger changes Amelia Hamilton's life forever. When she learns her grandfather faked his own death, normalcy slips from Amelia's grasp. To make matters worse, he is coming for her in less than seven days. What she hasn't determined is why.

Amelia's grandfather, Marius Benedict, once headed The Physician Coalition, an elite group of doctors who threw the Hippocratic Oath out the window. Years ago, they used a low-risk medical research study as a front for their experiments. Without their consent, innocents were injected with JackRabbit7, a hazardous substance used to alter their DNA. The victims were left with less-than-desirable super-human powers or excruciating death. Years after he disbanded the group, Marius has a new plan and is reforming The Coalition.

Max, a mysterious stranger from the Insurance Agency, offers to help keep Amelia safe. He introduces The Agency as an underground government organization that contains and eliminates those who intend to harm the world. To protect The Agency, the truth of their activities are concealed and replaced with sugar-coated stories in the media.

Over the course of the next week, Amelia has to accept the truth and learn who can be trusted. At midnight on her 23rd birthday, a contract between The Coalition and The Insurance Agency will expire, giving Marius full rein to approach his granddaughter and finish the project he started with her so many years ago.

Sarah J. Carr

Sarah Carr is a novelist who can be found most evenings with a cup of tea in-hand and her imagination racing from plot to plot. When away from her work, part of her mind is constantly brainstorming her next story and she always has writing paraphernalia within reach.

She wrote stories as a child, but became more serious about her passion during her twenties. In her spare time, she likes to read, splash in mud puddles, smell bookstores and eat Honeycrisp apples. Yearly, she participates in NaNoWriMo and has mentored others through the program. Due to her dedication to National Novel Writing Month, she is part of an amazing writing group.

Born and raised in Washington State, Sarah still resides in the area. Her life is richly filled with her supportive, yet swashbuckling husband and their golden Nugget.

And now, let's welcome Amelia Hamilton, the main character of the book, to have a little chat with us! :)

Victoria: Hi Amelia! Welcome to the blog. Let’s start with something big. Can you tell me your first memory?

Amelia: Wow, you jump right into the heavy topics. **long pause** Well, I was three or four years old and it was a spring afternoon. The house was in disarray and I couldn’t find my parents after a nap. **shifts in her seat** My grandfather had this dishtowel and--- I’m really not comfortable talking about this. Can we change topics?

Victoria: Sure. Let’s go back to the basics. What is your full birth name?

Amelia: I suppose that depends on whom you ask. My real name is Amelia Noelle Hamilton. I don’t know the history behind my first or middle name. I assume Noelle is because my birthday is near Christmas. Since I turned 18, my identity has been a problem. I tried to change my name multiple times and it keeps coming back incorrectly from the state. I think it’s a sick game my grandfather plays from the grave.

Victoria: Speaking of your grandfather, tell me about your family.

Amelia: I was an only child and never found my parents after that first memory I explained earlier. Please don’t make me dive back into that topic. My grandfather, Marius Benedict, was in a massive accident and died when I was young. At that time, I was placed into foster care and shuffled from home to home.

Victoria: It sounds like you had a rough childhood. Has that affected your relationships? Are you in a romantic relationship?

Amelia: Romantic? I guess you could call it that. I’ve dated this guy named Connor for a while. We’ve been together for a while and I moved into his condo six months ago.

Victoria: Why are you frowning when you talk about him?

Amelia: He’s been distant lately. I know he’s under a lot of pressure at work, and when he drinks, he---never mind.

Victoria: Sounds like that’s a sore topic and there’s some fear on your face. What are your other fears?

Amelia: I used to fear my grandfather, but he can only haunt my memories now that he’s dead. My current fears are needles and mosquitoes.

Victoria: Who’s your best friend?

Amelia: I have two. The first is Kyra Thomas. She’s been acting odd lately. She has a toddler that keeps her busy so I don’t question it. My other best friend is Donovan Davis. We’ve known each other since elementary school and we work together at Ellie’s. He’s a little kooky, but has a good heart. I’m concerned he wants to be more than friends, but I do my best to not give him false hope.

Victoria: What’s the worst thing that can be done to another person and why?

Amelia: **silence**

Victoria: Is something wrong?

Amelia: This is off the record and don’t ask me to elaborate. The worst act someone can commit is **pause** being restrained on a table and injected with JackRabbit7. It felt like a lit match being thrown into a puddle of gasoline. I was four. You put the puzzle pieces together as to “why”.

Victoria: Since I’m not allowed to ask more about that topic, do you have any pet peeves?

Amelia: I HATE two things. First of all, I hate it when people lie to me. Second of all, I hate it when people answer questions with more questions.

Victoria: My last question is do you believe in superheroes?

Amelia? **smirks** Once upon a time, I thought they were fictitious and limited to comic books and TV; however, if you read my story, you might believe in them, too.

Victoria: Alright! I guess I've taken up enough of your time! Thanks so much for visiting the blog and I wish you all the best:)

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: Darkroom by Joshua Graham - Guest Post

Darkroom by Joshua Graham

After scattering her mother’s ashes in Vietnam, photojournalist Xandra Carrick comes home to New York to rebuild her life and career. When she experiences supernatural visions that reveal atrocities perpetrated by American soldiers during the Vietnam War, she finds herself entangled in a forty-year-old conspiracy that could bring the nation into political turmoil.

Launching headlong into a quest to learn the truth from her father, Peter Carrick, a Pulitzer Prize Laureate who served as an embedded photographer during the war, Xandra confronts him about a dark secret he has kept–one that has devastated their family.
Her investigations lead her to her departed mother’s journal, which tell of love, spiritual awakening, and surviving the fall of Saigon.

Pursued across the continent, Xandra comes face-to-face with powerful forces that will stop at nothing to prevent her from revealing the truth. But not before government agencies arrest her for murder, domestic terrorism and an assassination attempt on the newly elected president of the United States.

Darkroom is a riveting tale of suspense that tears the covers off the human struggle for truth in a world imprisoned by lies.

Joshua Graham

WINNER OF 2011 INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS, and Barnes & Noble #1 bestselling author Joshua Graham’s novel BEYOND JUSTICE is taking the world by storm, one reader at a time. Many of his readers blame him for sleepless nights, arriving to work late, neglected dishes and family members, and not allowing them to put the book down.

Suspense Magazine listed BEYOND JUSTICE in its BEST OF 2010, alongside titles by Scott Turrow, Ted Dekker, Steven James and Brad Thor.
His short story THE DOOR’S OPEN won the HarperCollins Authonomy Competition (Christmas 2010.)

Publishers Weekly described BEYOND JUSTICE as: “A riveting legal thriller…breaking new ground with a vengeance…demonically entertaining and surprisingly inspiring.”

Joshua Graham grew up in Brooklyn, NY where he lived for the better part of 30 years. He holds a Bachelor and Master’s Degree and went on to earn his doctorate from Johns Hopkins University. During his time in Maryland, he taught as a professor at Shepherd College (WV), Western Maryland College, and Columbia Union College (MD).

Today he lives with his beautiful wife and children in Southern California. Several of Graham’s short fiction works have been published by Pocket Books and Dawn Treader Press.

Writing under the pen name Ian Alexander, Graham debuted with his first Epic Fantasy novel ONCE WE WERE KINGS, an Amazon #1 Bestseller in multiple categories and Award-Winning Finalist in the SciFi/Fantasy category of The USA “Best Books 2011″ Awards, as well as an Award-Winning Finalist in the Young Adult Fiction category of The USA “Best Books 2011″ Awards, and an Award Winner in the 2011 Forward National Literature Awards in the Teen/Young Adult category. ONCE WE WERE KINGS is available in ebook and hardcover editions.

Look for his next Suspense/Thriller DARKROOM (Simon & Schuster/Howard Books) to be released May 1, 2012!

For Film Rights Josh is represented by UNITED TALENT AGENCY.   Please use the CONTACT button on this website for all inquiries.
You can visit his website at

And now, let's welcome Joshua to the blog to talk with us a little about the life of a writer.

The Ever Changing Life of a Writer

Just when you think you’ve learned the ropes and mastered your system, things change. Isn’t that just the frustration of life? You can lament the fact that things keep changing and throw your hands up in defeat. Or you can embrace it and use the changes to your advantage.

As a writer, some things will never change. Writing involves creating characters for stories that challenge them and cause dramatic changes which reveal their true nature. So you always have to come up with the basic elements: character, setting, conflict.

However, one of the things that keep changing is the business of publishing.
There was once a time when in order to get your book published you had to print out all 400+ pages, find the name and mailing address of an editor, type and print out your query letter, your synopsis, your SASE (if you don’t know what that is, then you’re either a very young writer, or not a writer at all) and pack them all into a box or large enough envelope and drag it down to your local post office.

I remember a year when I submitted about 23 short stories to Pocket Books one year. I sent them all via priority mail, but at $3.75 each, it really added up. And this is not to mention that it took about 30 minutes just to print everything and pack it up. If you were sending a novel to say 10 editors, then the printing time for each manuscript would be about 10 times as long PER copy.

As you can see, it could easily take an entire day to submit your manuscripts to several editors the old fashioned way. Nothing wrong with this, some editors still insist on this method.

But then things started to change.

Writers began daring to think outside the proverbial box and break the “rules” and “guidelines” of submission with the hope that their books were good enough to cause the editors to overlook the fact that the submission guidelines were overlooked (e.g. send hardcopy only, no unagented submissions, etc.) They started sending their query packages via email. GASP! Yes, email.

Soon, many editors began to see that this was not only a “green” method, but a more efficient one as well. I used to send paper submissions and got very little response. Not even rejection letters. But as soon as I started sending email queries, I began to get replies within days. Some of them were rejections, others were requests for full manuscripts, and still others were very encouraging rejections which praised my work, but stated their publishing line was not a good fit based on the genres they publish.

Eventually, I gave up paper queries altogether. It became an economic impossibility to sustain, and it took way too much time. Most of all, it yielded the least results.

I sent email queries for my book DARKROOM and it was eventually acquired by Simon & Schuster/Howard Books and will be published in May 2011.
This is just one of the many ways the publishing industry has changed. It may not be the most dramatic change, but it has made my life a lot easier. And it works.

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: Kidnapped by Maria Hammarblad - Guest Post + Excerpt

Hey guys! Welcome to today's blog tour stop! Kidnapped is a sci-fi romance. I don't normally read sci-fis but I must say this looks really good! I can't wait to read and review it! :) So yep, do enjoy the post, Maria will be joining us with a guest post later on!

Kidnapped by Maria Hammarblad

It's a late winter night when Patricia Risden heads home in her car, on a road she's driven many times before. She doesn't have a care in the world, that is, until a man appears from nowhere, right in front of her.

The next thing she knows is being a prisoner of the unscrupulous Alliance Commander Travis 152; an intimidating man who demands information and complete cooperation. Travis soon realizes his mistake; Tricia doesn't know anything, and she is incapable of even getting a glass of water from the ship's computer.

Infamous for being a ruthless executioner, conditioned since childhood to feel nothing besides fear and pain, he still deems her harmless, and finds enough pity for the lost young woman to let her out of the cell; a decision that will change both their lives forever.

Kidnapped Upcoming releases: Undercover, to be released by Desert Breeze Publishing September 11, 2012.

What author Lynette Endicott has said about Kidnapped:

"Kidnapped is a well-written Science Fiction story of a woman kidnapped from earth and taken on a whirlwind tour of the universe with a captor whose heart is thawed by her innocence. This does not please his commander, who pursues, captures and loses both characters. In the process there is fun, adventure, sizzle, and an introduction to different worlds and their impact, one day, on our own. Be sure to pick up Kidnapped by Maria Hammarblad available from Desert Breeze Publishing."

Maria Hammarblad

Born in Sweden in the early 1970's, Maria showed a large interest for books at an early age. Even before she was able to read or write, she made her mom staple papers together into booklets she filled with drawings of suns and planets. She proudly declared them, "The Sun Book." They were all about the sun. She also claimed, to her mother's horror, that her being on Earth was a big mistake and that her alien family would come and bring her home at any moment. This never happened, but both the interest in space and the passion for bookmaking stayed with her.

As an adult Maria's creativity got an outlet through playing bass in a number of rock bands, and through writing technical manuals and making web pages for various companies and organizations. She did write drafts for a few novels, but the storytelling muse was mostly satisfied through role playing online on Myspace.

It was here, while writing stories together with people from around the globe, she stumbled onto Mike. They started talking out of character, and she moved over to Florida to him late 2008. Today the two are married and live in the Tampa Bay area with three rescue dogs.

Besides writing and playing bass, Maria enjoys driving off-road, archery, and Tameshigiri.

Books by Maria Hammarblad include:

The Goddess's Saga, a series of novels consisting of Touch of the Goddess, Wrath of the Goddess, and Return of the Goddess.

Embarkment 2577, a series of novellas consisting of Brand New World, High Gravity, and Adam and Eve.

Invasion and other short stories

YouTube Trailers!

Kidnapped | The Goddess' Saga | Embarkment 2577 | Invasion

Time for a short excerpt!

Time passed and she lost track of it. She tried to call out, "Hello," but no one seemed to care, and there was nothing to do but wait.

The erratic movements of the room still made her feel miserable, but it eventually settled down, and an unknown amount of time later, a portion of a wall seemed to just dissolve, showing the dark silhouette of the man. From her position, sitting on the floor, he seemed impossibly tall, and his clothes impossibly black. Even his boots appeared just to absorb any light that might come their way.

He hunched down in front of her, and watched her pale face thoughtfully. "You're space sick."

Patricia knew agreeing would be the safest thing to do, but she couldn't stop herself. She shouted, "No! I can't be space sick because I'm not in space, because that's crazy! I rolled with my car and I'm just unconscious. Leave me alone."

The man ignored her and reached out with his ungloved hand, plunging her into a fit of panic. She scrambled to get backwards away from him, but there was nowhere to go. "Sit still. If I wanted to hurt you, you'd be dead now."

His words didn't really soothe her; she was still convinced he wanted to kill her, that he'd just snap her neck, and she so wanted to live a little longer. Earlier in her life she had wasted time recklessly, and now every minute seemed precious.

Her expression must have amused him because a shadow of a smile tugged at his lips. It didn't quite reach his eyes, but it was the first emotion she'd seen on his face, and it made her feel marginally better. Maybe he was human after all. She stopped fighting when he pressed a finger against her skin, explaining to her frightened glance, "Pressure point. This should make you feel better."

To her surprise he didn't hurt her, and she did feel better. Once the queasiness receded she even dared ask for a glass of water. Her voice sounded small and pathetic, reminding her of a cornered mouse, but it got steadier after a couple of words, and she had to settle for thinking this was a good thing.

Her warder shrugged and went over to a portion of the wall, pressing his hand against it, making a console fold out of what seemed to be solid metal. He punched a couple of buttons and returned with a cup made from a soft, plastic-like material. Patricia clutched it, trying to force herself to sip, but water had never tasted so good.

The silence in the cell seemed almost tangible and she swallowed hard. She didn't have much hope that pleading to the cold eyes staring at her could be successful, but she still tried her best, "Please don't rape me."

It was her biggest fear after being murdered, and she wasn't at all prepared for his response; he started laughing.

She had the impression he didn't laugh often, and it changed his entire appearance. The handsome side became boyish and even better looking, and the nightmarish part of his face somehow softened. "Rape you? Now why would I want to do that to a skinny little thing like you?"

The response made her feel both relieved and offended. Someone looking like he didn't even have a thought of having sex with her?

He surprised her again, by sitting down on the floor next to her, mercifully turning the ruined side of his face away. "I'm Travis 152 of the Alliance space control."

The phrase wasn't exactly "space control," but it was the closest thing her brain could interpret it to. And, "Travis?" What kind of name was that for someone like him?

"You're my prisoner, and this is a holding cell. You're charged for interacting with the rebel leader William Reynolds."

He paused, as if checking if his words made any sense to her. Patricia did understand, she understood just fine, and she burst out, "I am an American citizen. Whoever you are, you can't just take me like this."

He answered dryly, "Yes, actually, I can. I did. And it's not like your little planet, what did you call it, America, will be able to do anything about it. I can assure you everything will be much easier if you just cooperate and tell me what you know. Do you have a name?"

Patricia managed to sound cheekier than she felt when she replied, "I'm Patricia Risden. The name of the planet is Earth, America is a country. It's a democracy and we have a constitution, and people will come looking for me!"

He didn't smile, but he lifted an eyebrow, and removed a gadget from his belt. To Patricia, it looked a little like an iPod. It wasn't, of course, unless Apple had developed interstellar connections. "I'm sure they will, but look here."

She recognized the solar system, it was the only thing it could be, and on the little screen it looked like they were making good time on Pluto. Glancing over at him, she wondered if he was lying, but it didn't feel like it.

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

Thank you for having me on the blog, I'm delighted to be here!

From time to time people ask what challenges me the most when it comes to writing. There are some evident answers, like time, inspiration, or creating characters. I have another one; I come from Sweden originally, a non English speaking country, and for me, it's language and cultural differences.

There is the obvious part with grammar and spelling, of course. I learned British English in school, and if I just type without thinking about it, the words come out like colour, labour, harbour, realise, and defence. I even got a refusal letter once, saying the story was good, but my constant misspellings of these words made it unappealing. I thought, "What? That's the way you spell harbour. How else would you spell harbour? Oooooh, harbor, that looks funky..." I've gotten used to writing realize with a z, but defense with an s still looks wrong.

Some words mean different things too. In my first draft of one of my books, I wrote that the heroine wore a jumper. On the other side of the pond, it's sort of a nice sweater. Now I know she's supposed to wear a blouse, a shirt, or a sweater, not a jumper… Words for food are difficult. A biscuit back home is something completely different than a biscuit in America. It's not too bad once you figure it out, but it took a while before I understood why people here found it peculiar to have biscuits, cheese, and grapes. Same thing with chips; in Sweden a chip is a potato chip, just like here, but in Britain, a chip is a French fry. Life is filled with little oopsies!

Another amusing problem surfaces when writing dialogue. I have a solid frame of reference to how Swedish couples talk to each other. When it comes to Americans, I've only been in one relationship; the one with my husband. He is filled with sweet words, making me feel beautiful and loved, and I tend to assume everyone talks like him.

I got an e-mail from my publisher the other day, saying the base premise of my new story is good, but I need to do something about the way the hero talks, because repeatedly calling the heroine "sweetums" is awkward. I started laughing. My husband asked, "What's so funny sweetums?" I said, "Your fault!" and it took a little while to explain. Well, if people don't say sweetums, it's time to start; it's a nice word!

The cultural differences are also tricky. On the surface, the countries seem pretty much alike, but the longer I'm here, the more I realize how big the differences really are. Sometimes, I write people's reactions in a way that seems perfectly natural to me, and readers here say, "That doesn't seem believable at all. Who would do that?" I used to think, "Well, I would, am I really that weird?" but now I know it's just a cultural thing. For Kidnapped, I've had wonderful editors who helped me straighten all these things out. I'm learning new things every day!

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: Heritage Avenged by Marsha A. Moore - Promo + Giveaway

Hey guys! Today, I will be hosting a tour stop for Heritage Avenged. Heritage Avenged is a fantasy romance, and is something really very different. It is the 2nd in the Enchanted Bookshop Series, with the first book being Seeking a Scribe. There will be a tour-wide giveaway at the end, so do keep an eye out for it!

Heritage Avenged by Marsha A. Moore

Lyra McCauley receives an alarming letter from the coroner who evaluated her deceased aunt, originally thought to have died of cancer. The news causes Lyra to take leave from her job and travel from sunny Tampa to the frozen island community in northern Michigan. Questioning whether Dragonspeir magic was responsible for her aunt’s death, she resolves to learn the truth and accepts the Imperial Dragon’s appointment into the Alliance sorcery training.

Additionally, becoming proficient in magic craft is the only way she can bridge the gap between her mortal human world and her lover’s. Cullen, a 220-year-old wizard, is dependent upon his Dragonspeir magic for immortality. He is her only family now; she cannot lose him.

Evil forces block her and try to steal her inherited scribal aura. Riding a stealth dragon, a cloaked rider pursues Lyra. Both the Alliance and Dark Realm alchemists lay tricks and traps. Her aura equals that of the first and most powerful Scribe, but will Lyra’s novice training allow her to discover the truth? Will she be able to be with Cullen, or will the Dark Realm keep them apart?

Buy it from Amazon ~ Available for only $1.29

Want to start from the first book in the series, Seeking a Scribe? Get it here! Available for only 99 cents, what are you waiting for? :)

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!

Time for a short excerpt!

From Chapter 1: The Letter

Lyra worried about Cullen on his flight home. Despite the fact he was over two hundred years old, it was only his second plane trip. The few wizards of Dragonspeir who visited the real world seldom traveled far, and then not conventionally. He kept her safe in his world last summer. She intended to keep him safe in hers.

“Next!” the heavyset postmistress belted out.

“I’ve got to hang up,” Lyra quickly whispered into her cell phone. “Be sure you call me when you land in Sault Saint Marie. Love you.”

She sighed and maneuvered to the clerk at the far end of the counter. If only they could live together in one world. She needed to learn more magic first and hoped to make a start in a few weeks, when she took her winter break from teaching to attend his Solstice Festival. Unfortunately, her formal lessons would have to wait until next summer.

When Lyra approached the counter, the woman peered over the top of her reading glasses as she shuffled papers. “Yes?”

“I’m here to pick up my mail from a vacation hold.”

“Theme of my day,” the postmistress muttered and then barked, “Name and ID.”

“Adalyra McCauley. Just since the day before Thanksgiving.” She fumbled in her purse and pulled the driver’s license from her billfold.

The women sighed, slid off her stool, and shuffled into a back room. A few minutes later, she lumbered back, carrying a small stack of letters, glossy ads, and magazines. She scooted the mail across the counter.

Lyra stuffed it all into a tote bag, then scurried to her silver Subaru sport wagon and tossed it into the passenger seat. Driving Cullen to the Tampa International airport and this stop barely left enough time to make it to the university in time to teach her ten o’clock class. But the memory of those lingering goodbye kisses made it worth the consequences.

She stopped for a red light at a twelve-lane interchange, tapping the wheel impatiently. The edges of the mail peeked out of the sack, tempting her. She pulled it into her lap and riffled through the letters. The usual bills. The signal remained red.

Thumbing quickly through familiar envelopes, one unusual return address caught her eye, William T. Betts, M.D., Washaw, Michigan—the island village location of Aunt Jean’s cottage on Lake Huron. Although addressed to Lyra, it had been sent to where her aunt lived prior to passing away. She couldn’t place his name as one of Jean’s doctors. Multiple postmarks revealed a path of forwarding, the oldest dated last August, a few weeks after the funeral. She checked the traffic light—still red.

She ripped open the envelope and yanked out the letter.

Dear Ms. McCauley:

I am writing this correspondence in my capacity of Birch County coroner. Please accept my condolences for the recent loss of your aunt, Jean Perkins. Prior to delivery of her remains to the Michigan State crematorium, her attending physician, Dr. Everett Schultz, requested an autopsy. Dr. Schultz and I wish to meet with you to discuss my findings at your earliest convenience.


William T. Betts, M.D.

A horn honked from behind and jolted Lyra into a panic. Her limbs froze and her eyes returned for another glimpse of the letter. She wildly scanned the page, searching for additional information. Aunt Jean had died of cancer. What more could they tell her than that?

At the time of Jean’s death, the abrupt change in her symptoms puzzled Lyra and made her question the visiting nurse. Hours before, her aunt’s mind had been lucid. Her eyes were clear and her breathing soft and steady, not a raspy death rattle. Now those initial concerns seemed grounded.

The driver behind her laid on the horn.

The noise jarred Lyra to the present. She exhaled an arrested breath. To brace her shaking arms, her free hand clamped the steering wheel. Unable to coordinate, her foot slid off the clutch and stalled the car.

A chorus of horns blared.

After fumbling with the ignition, she restarted and herded her Subaru into the stream of traffic. She locked her eyes squarely ahead to avoid angry road-rage stares from passing motorists.

One car pulled alongside and tooted. Her eyes shifted onto the driver who flipped her off before speeding away.

Shaking, she gave up rushing to be on time. Keeping her car safely on the road was challenge enough. She hung back to allow other cars to pass.

Plodding in the slow lane, her thoughts drifted to the letter. What had the coroner found? In September, the funeral home wrote, indicating they stored her aunt’s ashes, as Lyra directed, until she returned to collect them. The director never mentioned any question about the cause of death.

Lyra shifted before engaging the clutch. Grinding gears vibrated the car. White-knuckling the wheel, she gratefully turned at the sign for Southern University. Finally in her assigned parking spot, she slumped into the seat.

Before getting out, she reread the letter to search for clues between the phrases. She found none, but the words “earliest convenience” loomed. The doctor wrote the letter three months ago. Would that lost time make a difference?

Was it possible someone harmed Jean? Hundreds in the village visited the funeral and expressed sorrow. What about that strange man, Revelin? He came to Jean’s home, supposedly working as an aide from the home care division of the local clinic. He acted suspicious, trying to read Lyra’s computer screen, open to her draft of the new version of the Book of Dragonspeir. Maybe a person from Dragonspeir? A few supporters of the evil Black Dragon could enter her

world. But who? His alchemist, Tarom, possessed enough power and talent. A chill ran down her spine, thinking of his glowing red eyes and crimson cloak with moving tentacles at its hem. She sighed. No obvious evidence linked either man.

Sun rays reflected light through her windshield from the modern glass and concrete English building. This alerted her to pull herself together and go inside. After sucking in a deep breath to steady her nerves, she opened the car door and stepped out. Her legs shook under her weight. Her shoulders sagged under the load of the briefcase and bags. With an awkward gait, she ambled toward her building.

She stopped cold. Students raced around her to make their classes. What about Eburscon? Alchemist for the Imperial Dragon’s Alliance. She clenched a fist, recalling his haughty, antagonistic manner. He openly disapproved of Lyra’s influence on anyone in Dragonspeir.

Opening a side door off the parking lot, she checked her watch. Five minutes past the start of class time. She braced herself, rearranged her bags, and climbed two flights—a short cut to the classroom which avoided the department offices.

Three minutes later, she arrived in the room, out-of-breath and shaking, in no shape to teach. But, the chairman kept careful tabs on all his non-tenured professors, including Lyra.

Thankfully, the lesson was an easy one, reviewing short story reading assignments. The students in her American Lit course, just returned from a long Thanksgiving weekend, didn’t want to hear a rigorous talk about Emerson and Thoreau. Most eyed her with groggy stares, heads propped on elbows. A handful of alert and prepared students vied to contribute, snapping out responses to Lyra’s discussion questions. Usually she enjoyed pitting them against each other, but today she merely appreciated their participation.

Her mind wandered two thousand miles away. She watched the clock, counting the minutes until she could talk with Cullen during his layover in Detroit.

And now, enter the tour-wide giveaway here! Marsha is giving away 10 digital copies of Heritage Avenged!

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: Dissolve by Andrea Heltsleys - Promo

Hey guys! Welcome to today's stop on my blog!

Dissolve by Andrea Heltsleys

Everything seemed to be going right for Cora. She had a wonderful fiance, a great best friend and a fulfilling life. One day, a tragic event causes that life to crumble around her. She turns to her best friend in her time of need. They embark on a search for answers, delving deeper into a web of magic and destruction. The closer they get to the truth, the more questions they have. To Cora, magic was the stuff of fairy tales. Immersed into a very different kind of world, the real storm was just beginning to take hold.

“It felt like I was nowhere yet everywhere all at once. I was invisible and completely panicked. The millions of pieces I had dissolved to drift on the breeze and away from my nightmares. It was kind of like floating weightless in a pool, perfectly relaxing. The warm breeze from the window embraced and soothed me. I let the air current carry me as far as it could through the summer city.” “Defeated, I closed my eyes and took a few calming breaths trying to relax myself. I pictured the dandelion in the park today and took a deep breath as to blow the fluffy seeds in all directions. I pretended I was light and fluffy and started to feel a tingling in my body. I began to feel as light as the dandelion seeds and soon I felt like mist floating. This time, I tried to keep myself in the room, swirling in a humid block.”

Andrea Heltsleys

I am a biology nerd who loves reading just about anything paranormal and some chick lit. I enjoy sunshine and my two Italian greyhounds with my husband. I always write to music, it helps the creative process. Dissolve is my first novel. I have been writing ever since I was in grade school and have finally decided to make a career out of it. More books to come summer 2012 and 2013.

Time for a short excerpt!

I rushed into the front room only to find the nightmare playing out just like in my dream. Soon it was all a blur and I felt as if I was coming apart at the seams. I felt light, weightless. I saw myself mist into a million particles before I dissolved.

It felt like I was nowhere yet everywhere all at once. I was invisible and completely panicked. The millions of pieces I had dissolved into drifted on the breeze and away from my nightmares. It was kind of like floating weightless in a pool, perfectly relaxing. The warm breeze from the window embraced and soothed me. I let the air current carry me as far as it could through the summer city.

I just floated through the air as my frayed nerves softened and the edge of panic subsided. I felt so at peace and relaxed. I eventually made my way to Water Street and then I tried to force myself into Nessa’s building. My particles seeped at the seams of the door all around, splitting.

Once inside, the air died and my particles began to form again. In a matter of seconds, I swirled into my human form. Naked and freaked, I looked up to see Nessa witnessing the whole thing with her jaw dropped. The coffee mug she had been holding fell to the floor and shattered on the cherry wood. We stood like that for several seconds before I broke out of my own shock.

“I could really use some clothes, Nessa. This is kind of awkward,” I admitted, trying to shake her out of her shocked trance.

She snapped her jaw shut and left the room in silence. Just as quickly, she returned and tossed me a fluffy, white bath robe. The shock in her eyes had yet to dissipate and I wasn’t sure I could blame her. I was still in a state of shock myself. I wasted no time wrapping myself in the bath robe and having a seat on her brown leather couch.

Nessa stood there for several seconds before breaking out of it and joining me on the couch. I threw my arms around her and the tears began to flow without regard.

“Please tell me that was a figment of my imagination,” Nessa said.

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

Book Feature: Michal's Window by Rachelle Ayala + Author Interview

Hey guys! Today, I'll be featuring an author and her book on my blog. Rachelle's novel is a very intriguing one to be sure, and one about a Bible character we know so little about. It seems really interesting and I honestly feel that it will be a very good read. Hehe, let's get started, shall we? :)

Michal's Window by Rachelle Ayala

In ancient Israel, where women are property, Princess Michal loves her father's worst enemy, the future King David. She sacrifices all to save his life, but will her heart survive war and separation?

A novel of betrayal, forbidden love, and redemption, Michal's Window is an imaginative retelling of King David's story through the eyes of the woman who loved him first.

Michal's Window is a story of one woman's journey through love and heartache to self-realization. As one reviewer said, "So, once I let the modern feminist inside of me relax, I realized how timely her story is, because, sadly, many of the things she has to deal with are things that women still face today.”

Buy it from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Rachelle Ayala

Rachelle Ayala was a software engineer until she discovered storytelling works better in fiction than real code. She has always lived in a multi-cultural environment, and the tapestry in her books reflect that diversity.

She is currently working on a romantic suspense involving software engineers. When her hyperactive imagination is in the mind of her characters, Rachelle enjoys social networking, reading and music.

Rachelle lives in California with her husband. She has three children and has taught violin and made mountain dulcimers.

And now, let's welcome Rachelle to the blog to have a little chat with us!

Hi Rachelle, it’s lovely to have you on the blog today!
It’s nice to be here, Victoria.

For starters, why not you tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
Oooh… we’re going for the secrets already. Okay… something clean. Ha, got one. I had to wear corrective shoes in fifth and six grade, because they said I had flat feet. Those things were ugly! And every time you jumped off from climbing a fence, your feet would sting because they took away the flexing of your arches with those “supports.”

What made you want to become a writer?
I am an avid reader, as you are, and I get so engaged with the story, the plot and characters that I get angry when it doesn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. Writing is a way for me to express myself, as well as get the endings I like. Pretty selfish, huh?

Did you have other aspirations/dreams in the past, or have you always wanted to be a writer?
If I told you all my dreams, I’d have to write another book. I don’t think I grew up one day and said, “I wanna be a writer!” It all started with a character, soon a story grew around it, and then I did my research and wove more stories around the character and before I knew it, I had written a novel. I’ve had several false starts in the past. I wrote a children’s “Alice in Wonderland” type of story for a college Honor’s course, and my computer is littered with a few drafts I’d rather not think about.

What gave you the inspiration for the plot of the book?
Michal’s Window is a re-enactment of the life of a rather minor Bible character, Michal, the princess who became King David’s covenant wife. She is an ignored woman who had some rather startling characteristics. She not only crossed class boundaries to love a common man, her father’s servant, but she married him and defied her father, the King of Israel, to help him escape. Later on, she again defied a king, only this time it was her husband, King David. The Bible does not treat her kindly and reports that she had no more children after that incident.

I wondered what happened to her and what kind of relationship she had with her husband and how she dealt with being a woman in a world where she was not allowed to chastise her husband even when she was correct in her assessment.

Are your characters based off real people, or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
The characters in Michal’s Window are a mixture of real characters from the Bible and fictional characters. Because it is a work of fiction, I did fill in their personalities from my imagination, but I left their stories intact to fit the Bible narrative. I was able to embellish a lot more with the fictional characters, and I had a lot of fun with them.

The characters in my next book, Broken Build, are entirely imaginary. I don’t base characters off real people because invariably it gets too difficult to keep track of motivation and conflict when you have a real person in mind. Besides, I can’t make them do outrageous and stupid things without feeling guilty!

Could you tell us a bit about your book and why it is a must-read?
Michal’s story resonates with women everywhere. She was put in a position where she had to make choices between following her heart or adhering to the rules of society. She faced heartbreak, loneliness and grief when David, the man she loved, took on other wives. Her journey toward self-acceptance was more tragic than most, but her story is timeless, because many of the things she faced are the same for women today.

What do you love most about the writing process?
The first draft, when ideas are brimming all over the place and I can just write free flow. I literally live and dream my characters in this phase. They are alive, moving, feeling and acting. I never suffer from writer’s block. If anything, I’m too verbose and I have to do major revision and cutting later on. But the first draft is love at first sight when everything is rosy and wonderful.

And of course, do you have a particular favorite character? I know an author will love most if not all of the characters he/she creates, but I’m sure there must be a favorite of yours! So who is it, and why?
Well, of course we love our little darlings. But we do know a little too many of their warts. Ha, ha. So I’ll leave mine to the side and find someone who still holds some mystery for me.

My favorite character is Claire from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. She is perceptive, smart, conflicted, yet caring. She’s a bit of a scientist, yet a romantic at heart. And of course, she is paired with the dashing Jamie. I have no time for her husband, what what was his name again? That Randall guy? Yuckola. I only wish Diana hadn’t brought Claire back to the twentieth century to spend the prime of her life away from Jamie. [the big gap between Book 2 and Book 3]

But Claire is just as spunky in her fifties as she was in her twenties. So I wish her a long, long life and plenty of adventures.

Will you tell us a little about your plans for the future?
I plan to be a best selling author, of course. J I will continue to write more stories and entertain my audience. What more can a writer hope for?

And of course, are there any other books that are in the works? (Ideas thought out, perhaps even a rough draft?)
“Who broke the build?” Words you do not want to hear when you’re a software engineer in front of a major deadline.

My next book, Broken Build, is a fun caper through the world of a Silicon Valley startup with a deadline on Black Friday. As if broken builds were not enough to contend with, we have a murderer on the loose, bad driving, a confused but sexy hero, and a build engineer heroine with a high tolerance for pain.

I’d love to eventually do a time-travel with a twist and a psychological thriller. Time is my only constraint, since I will never run out of ideas.

And now, just some little random questions!

Favorite colour?

Favorite place?
Anywhere with my husband.

Favorite book?
The Holy Bible, King James Version

Favorite thing?
Honestly? My laptop. I feel as if I have tentacles attached from my fingers to the keyboard.

What you do when you’re free:
I go to school functions, volunteer for field trips and go places with my family. But my characters never let me go until I’m finished with their stories. So I’m never completely free.

Favorite day?
Sunday! All four of my children were born on Sunday. How statistically possible is that?

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

Thank you, Victoria, for having me here. Good luck with school, and maybe one of these days we will see a book from you, too. J

I welcome readers to contact me. Goodreads is a nice place if you want to discuss my book. Feel free to yell at my characters or rant on how differently you wanted the book to turn out. Who knows, maybe there is a budding author who might be inspired to write her own story after screaming at mine!

So yep, that's about it for today! I do hope you've enjoyed yourself and found a new book to add to your TBR! :)


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