2000 Facebook Likes Giveaway!

Hey, everyone! 🙂 I’m just reposting this here, in case anyone who follows me here isn’t on my Facebook page. Because I recently hit my next milestone of 2000 likes, I’m giving away some prizes in an awesome contest! You can win an ARC of Creator of Shadows, before anyone else gets a look at it, AND you can also win a $20 Amazon Giftcard to spend on whatever books you like! 😉

 

Here’s what’s on the post, which  you’ll find pinned to my Facebook page here.

 

I’m going to leave this giveaway up for the next two weeks, so everyone has a chance to take part. To take part, here’s what you need to do…

1. You must have read at least one of my books to take part in this contest.

2. Leave me a review on Amazon or Goodreads (either is fine, but Amazon reviews are super helpful!  )

3. Leave a link to your review here in the comments! (Or here on my blog comments)

And that’s all there is to it! It can be a review you’ve left in the past too, it doesn’t matter whether it’s from a few months ago, or a brand new one.  The names of all contestants will be put into a hat, and two lucky winners will receive an ARC, and one lucky winner will get an ARC and the $20 Amazon giftcard, drawn on the 10th May 2014!

*Rules/Disclaimer* This contest is open to followers of this page only, and can be from anywhere in the world. This promotion is in no way associated with, administered by, or endorsed by Facebook.

 

Advertisements

Thursday Teaser – Creator of Shadows!

 

“Help us! We’re trapped!”

“Trapped…”

“TRAPPED!…”

 

Andred’s eyelids burst open as she let out a cry, staring blankly up at the ceiling and not knowing if she really had called out of not. As the dream tumbled into place, she reached across a shaking hand to turn the lamp on, needing the comfort of the glow around her bedroom. As the bulb burst into life, shining on every corner of the room, she eased herself up. Her flesh still trembled from the nightmare, and she wiped a hand across her face, staring down at it with wide eyes as she realised she was coated in cold sweat. It had drenched her bedsheets, all of them twisted and tangled up in her legs and half on the floor.

Letting out a shaky breath, the goddess leaned her head back against the headboard, her chest heaving like a pump. The nightmare had been too real, too vivid. So many wailing voices and cries, all trapped together in the darkness. And that feeling that hovered over them all, a being of unimaginable terror that prevented any of them from ever leaving. And the Andred herself had been one of the many, calling out names of people who would never come, who would never hear them, shrieking until her vocal chords gave out.

As she rubbed her sore eyes with her fingers, trying to ease herself back into some form of calm, she heard footsteps hammering down the hallways outside. A second later, the door burst open to reveal Vladimir, out of breath with flashing eyes. Casting a quick glance around the room, he came over to Andred’s side, taking in her frightened expression and soaked bedsheets. Shaking his head, he grasped her cheeks gently in his palms, forcing her to stare into his piercing eyes. “Andred, what happened? I heard you screaming.”

“Oh, Vladimir,” Andred whispered, her own voice croaky and weak, as though she really had been screaming endlessly in that horrifying void. Her eyes fell to his side, unable to look him in the eyes, and they fell on the sight of his sword, hanging by his side. He was dressed only in pyjama bottoms, but he had still found time to arm himself. Throwing her arms around his neck, uncaring what the implications might be, she let out a sob.

“Hey, ssh. Was it a nightmare?” the vampire asked gently, concern thickening his accent as he rubbed a hand over her back soothingly. Andred could feel his palms pressing her closer with each motion, willing her to be alright.

Nodding her head profusely so he would know she was otherwise unaffected, she pulled away and leaned against her headboard again, locking puffy red eyes with his fierce gaze. “Vladimir, it was a terrible nightmare. And the worst part is…it was real,” she whispered.

“No, not if it was a nightmare. It will—“

“If I dreamt it, it was a nightmare, Vladimir,” she countered firmly, clasping his hand so tightly her nails dug into his skin. Throwing the sheet off herself, she drew her knees up to her chest and let go of him, hugging them into her chin. “You’ve never asked about my ancient years. I was known then by my formal name of Andraste. My sister was Brigitania, and between us, we were in charge of the land now known as Britain—here, in short. She had the north, and I had the south. We were older than those names, of course, but it’s the name we were known by when we were truly known as Goddesses of the Green Isle. I had the gift of divination, and I could bestow it on anyone I chose. But it also means when I dream, I see into other worlds, other places.” She gave an involuntary shudder. “And I saw somewhere terrible tonight.”

Searching her face, Vladimir asked quietly, “Where was it?”

Andred screwed up her face to catch onto a fragment of the dream, a memory which was fast fading away with being awake in the light and safety of her room. “I’m not sure, but…it wasn’t here. It was somewhere else, another plane. Like the Otherworld, but not there. And there were voices, so many voices. All calling out and crying our names. Like they knew us. And…I think they do.”

Vladimir’s features paled, and he shifted on the bedspread, pulling one leg up to see the goddess better. Giving a shrug, he asked, “Are you going to give me a clue?”

“The Dansu?”

His mouth fell open as he let out a soft gasp, and he blinked a few times, carding his hand through his hair. Finally he uttered, “But it can’t be. All those years ago, they helped us to fight the demons. We knew they were going to the Otherworld—“

“They never got there,” Andred interrupted, shaking her head slowly. Biting her lip, she fisted her hands against the sheet, scrunching it in her palms. “I’m not sure what’s happened, but they’re trapped somewhere. Someone—or something—is keeping them there. And I don’t know why.”

 

Taken from Creator of Shadows, Copyright © Miranda Stork 2014

 

Have you read the first and second books in the Scarlet Rain Series yet? Get the first one, Vigilante of Shadows, FREE for a limited time! click here!

And grab the second book, Keeper of Shadows, here!

Hunted by Tyffani Clark Kemp is out TODAY!

Hey again, folks! 🙂 today I’m featuring a new novel from one of my favourite authors, Tyffani Clark Kemp (make sure to check out her other books too) This is one book you don’t want to miss is you love vampires, drama, and epic stuff all rolled up into one. Scroll down to check out more – and take a look at that gorgeous cover designed by J. A. Howell!

Blurb

Book #2 in the LeKrista Scott, Vampire Hunted series

LeKrista Scott survived three separate vampire attacks, almost drowned, and turned down her boyfriend’s proposal. What else could possibly go wrong?

Apparently, if it’s not one thing, it’s another. Lizette, a brand new vampire with a grudge, blames LeKrista for being turned into a monster. In retaliation, she decides to go straight for the throat, so to speak, and attack LK’s ailing mother at her rest home. LeKrista enlists the help of her “Vampire liason” Roman, but it could never be that easy. Not for her.

A daywalker, a born vampire who can walk in the sun, has been hired by the head of the Vampire Counsel to collect LeKrista and the debt she owes him. As payment, her great great aunt is taken. Once again, the Mages refuse to help, so what is a girl to do, but rescue her family herself?

With her back against the wall, LeKrista will rise up stronger and teach the preternatural world to fear the Vampire Hunted.

Cover

Lookit the purty!

Lookit the purty!

Where can I get my grabby hands on a copy?

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CAN

And where can I find out more about the author?

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

September Again by Hunter S. Jones!

Hello, lovely people! 🙂 Remember the fabulous September Ends I featured a while back on the blog? Well Hunter S. Jones and ‘An Anonymous English Poet’ have done it again! Read down to find out more about their newest offering, September Again.

 

 

According to Cherokee beliefs, opportunity will bless you twice.

September Again, second in the series, September Stories, is the follow up to the hugely popular indie sensation, September Ends. September Again finds Liz Snow Savage leaving England. She follows her daughter Zelda Savage back to America after Zelda’s betrayal of her. More drama ensues as Liz looks for meaning in life while Zelda finds her direction after the tragedy of losing Jack O. Savage, The Poet. Set mainly in Chattanooga, Tennessee, September Again chronicles the rhythm of life’s cycles. The ebb and flow of love unravel the mystery of Liz’s past. September Again allows a further glimpse into the intricate web of passion and desire which have entangled Liz Snow, Pete Hendrix and Jack O. Savage for years. Will a chance encounter finally reveal the truth? What act will change the destiny of Liz and Zelda forever? The story of sin, salvation and redemption continues in Book 2 of the September Stories, told through a mosaic of prose with a smattering poetry. 

Magic happens when you least expect it.

Where can I get a copy?

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CAN

And where can I find out more about the authors?

Hunter’s Amazon Profile

Anonymous Poet’s Profile

Hunter’s Blog

Hunter’s Facebook

Hunter’s Twitter

Snippet Time – Creator of Shadows!

I love reunions. Just saying. Especially when it’s a character from the past. Also, PSSST! I’m going to have the pre-order links hopefully up by end of the week, so watch out for them. 😉


Arianwen swallowed hard, her throat tightening with worry. They hadn’t expected the people here to know anything about the goings-on in the capital, but they seemed as informed—possibly more—as they were. Deron stepped out carefully from behind Inghard, offering up a tense smile to the two guards. “Both,” he answered easily. “I’m human, and I have friends who are part o’ the Human Resistance. But ‘dis lot,” he gestured with a thumb, “are part o’ the Immortal Resistance. The point is, we’re all Resistance.”

The older man narrowed his eyes at Deron for a moment, chewing at his lip. Seemingly satisfied with the answer, he gave a curt nod, replying, “Aye, we agree. But it’s all humans here, I don’t think I can let you in. We won’t attack you, but you’ve got to move on. Get going.”

As he and the younger man turned to leave, Arianwen was gripped by a sudden mad idea to run over to him, and her legs pumped forwards before she had a chance to think over her decision. “Nae, lass!” Aodhan cried out as she jogged towards them. Opening her mouth to shout for the older man, her heart leapt into her throat as two hot black barrels appeared in front of her face, the young man’s tense features at the other end.

“We said ‘get going’, immortal. Do as you’re told,” the young man hissed in a faint French accent, his hair blowing gently in the wind that had picked up, scattering dust particles through the air. As if to make his point further, he clicked the safety off on the weapon, and moved forwards enough to make her stagger backwards, her feet scraping against the loose gravel below.

Holding her hands up to show she meant no harm, she shook her head, gazing deep into the man’s eyes. She saw terror there, not the cold, steely gaze she expected of someone guarding an entire fort. Speaking softly, she urged, “Please listen to me. We’re really not here to harm you in any way, or anyone inside. We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have to be, I promise you. There is only one thing we want, and that is to bring the Clan to their knees.” Arianwen bit out the last few words, venom from her emotions flavouring each syllable.

The older man spun on his heel and took in the sight of the demoness stood on her own, hands still raised in the air, before marching back across and lowering the younger man’s rifle. “Easy, Pierre, easy,” he soothed. “Let’s not lose our heads. They already said they mean no harm.”

Pierre gave an exasperated sigh, but he slung the gun over his shoulder as his companion asked, giving Arianwen a cold stare. “And you believe them?”

“Yes,” the other man replied, “I believe them. They haven’t tried to attack us in the last few seconds, have they?” Pulling his own rifle onto his back, he clasped his hands in front of his camouflage-covered torso and directed his attention at Arianwen, giving her hands a gentle nod. As she lowered them slowly to her sides, he continued, “My name is Franklin. We’re not making you stay out here because we don’t want you. But there are children inside there, and youngsters who have never been outside the walls of the Castle. Do you have any idea how it feels to be that human and terrified?”

Arianwen drew herself up smartly, smiling broadly. “I do,” she answered honestly. “I wasn’t always an immortal, you know. I was once human, like you all. And Deron here is human, and Psyche is…” She trailed off as she gestured towards her jet-haired friend, struggling to find the right words. “Well, she’s still half-human, anyway.” Turning back to Franklin, she added, “We know, believe me. I used to be a police officer before the war started. I know what people are capable of. And I also know what’s capable if we stand by and do nothing.”

Franklin gave a heavy sigh and squeezed his temples between his forefinger and thumb, before blinking and looking back up at Arianwen with tired eyes. “I’m sorry,” he retorted with a shrug, “there’s nothing I can do. Rules are rules.”

With that, he gestured to his companion, and they both turned to head back to the entrance. “No!” Arianwen begged, breathing heavily. “You have to listen, I—“

“Arianwen! Arianwen Harris?”

The male voice that called out her name from above the watchtower was familiar and hard to place all at once. Her mind buzzing with names of anyone and everyone she had known in her lifetime so far, she gazed up towards the tower and bright blue sky, squinting and using her hand as a shade. An elderly man was leaning over the side of the walls, waving frantically down to her. Narrowing her eyes further, she searched his face, flickering over every wrinkle and line around his shining eyes—it can’t be. It is! Waving excitedly back, she shouted up, “By the gods! Shiner! What the hell are you doing here?” Turning back to Aodhan with a face flushed with happiness, she grinned and cried out, “Aodhan! It’s Shiner!”

The rest of the group exchanged confused looks with each other, watching curiously as Aodhan’s jaw dropped and he raced over to Arianwen’s side. Gazing up with her, he let out a low gasp. “F**k me, it is. I never thought I would see that wee guy again.”

The elderly man disappeared from view, and unintelligible shouts came from the other side of the fort. Cries and yells could be heard making their way down from the air to the ground, and when they hit the bottom the screech of pulling wires echoed into the hazy afternoon air. With a groan, the metal entrance door scraped forwards, heaving up from the ground as the pulleys worked their magic in opening it wide. Arianwen nearly had to cover her ears from the metallic sound as it rose up into the air and revealed the inside of the fort, a crowd of people stood on the other side with wide eyes and frightened expressions.

As the dust cleared, Shiner came striding through the crowd, racing outside to meet his old friend. Arianwen’s lip wobbled before she felt the emotions bubbling up from her chest, and her eyes watered with tears. Holding her arms out wide, she sprinted across and wrapped them around the old man, sobbing with relief—relief that he hadn’t died, relief that she had found him again, and he was safe. She felt the warmth of Aodhan’s hand on her back, and he slapped a hand on Shiner’s shoulder. “Good to see you again, old man,” he said hoarsely, voice thick with feeling.

Breaking the bear-hug, Shiner stood back and smiled broadly at the two before him, wiping his tired eyes with the back of his sleeve. His features were etched with lines and worry, and his once thick hair was thin and grey, but it was definitely still him. “Come on,” he croaked in his Geordie accent. “Let’s get you inside, like. We can talk about why both of us are in the middle of nowhere in the fort.” Giving a wave to the two guards, he beckoned the group forwards.

After glancing nervously at one another, then over to the two demons, the others eventually trudged forwards. They stared forwards, ignoring the two guards in case they changed their minds, and they vanished into the fort as the heavy door slammed down again behind them with a cloud of muddy dust.

 

Taken from Creator of Shadows © Copyright Miranda Stork 2014

A Day In The Life Of…Kate Perkins-Armond

On March 31, 2014, I don’t get out of bed until afternoon. Part of this, of course, is that I’m an insomniac who regularly stays up until 4 a.m., but lately it’s been more than that. My glasses are broken. Which means every minute spent out of bed — and not forever walking into things thanks to legal blindness — is spent wearing custom-made contact lenses that are technically very unhealthy to wear beyond 12 hours. And I always go beyond twelve hours.

But I’m trying to be good today, so I lie in bed and try to think about work-related things. Specifically, I try to think about the one project for which I’m currently being paid. The other six writing and editing jobs currently on my freelance plate are all for – or with – my dear friend Jeff. He and I work on a complicated IOU system.

Thing is, the job that’s being paid in a bizarre thing called money comes with it the request to greatly expand the book’s love scenes, and I am far from in a romantic mood. I am frustrated by the job in general; I got through the previous night’s editing work by, on Jeff’s advice, imagining a meteor hitting the city as soon as the story is finished, removing it from my overstressed life. Today, however, I lie in bed and try to think romantic thoughts. Even if some of them are from different stories, old play-test works of mine that I am willing to steal from outright.

I get up and put in my contact lenses. I check the usual news, immediately feel my anxiety starting to flare up, and play a game of 2048 instead (addictive little flash things). Then it’s time to check on various social media things I’m running for Jeff’s Dawn of Steam series. Of the three people involved in this little self-publishing project (there’s another co-contributor, Jeff’s friend Sarah), I am possibly the best at marketing, and I am appalled by that fact. Jeff doesn’t have my anxiety disorder getting in the way, but all the Facebook/tumblr/Twitter stuff is really rough for him. Don’t even talk to him about code for the web site. Well, I can, but he’ll just say mine is wonderful without having the slightest idea what I’m doing.

When that’s done, I get some orange juice, then open the file for the book I’m being paid to proofread and expand. I put in commas and quotation marks, make tenses consistent, and yes, write two love scenes. There’s admittedly a lot of moving around in my chair to try to get the distance just right for my eyes, the strain being a little harder on me lately since I have to keep my contacts in longer.

At some point, my husband and I notice each other to be home and awake, respectively. We’d somehow missed that. I ask if there’s any news on where his work will be taking us next year. There isn’t. I consider muttering something about ‘gypsy academic lifestyle,’ but somewhere in my mind, a half-Roma amateur anthropologist called Julietta Penn rolls her eyes at me. Now that I’m done with the paid work, I’ll be able to get back to reading the third volume of Dawn of Steam, in which she is one of ‘my babies,’ the characters of whom I’m most fond and to whose characterization I pay extra close attention. I’ve written whole pages of Julietta myself, when it was agreed she needed more and the others didn’t have the time.

Eventually, when peanut butter crackers and occasional swigs of orange juice just aren’t enough, I get out the chicken I’ve had soaking in buttermilk in the fridge overnight, season it, flour it, and fry it up for lunch for me and my husband. Drinking it with more orange juice  will help absorb the iron better, so it’s said.

I open up the file for Dawn of Steam: House of the Rising Sun.  Yes, Jeff is a huge fan of the folk-blues song made famous by The Animals. Since the third volume of Dawn of Steam is set part in Japan and part in New Orleans, he apparently couldn’t resist.  Jeff wrote this entire three-volume epistolary Steampunk story in a single month – a November, to be precise. Most National Novel Writing Month writers are happy if they make the official goal of 50,000 words, but he had to write 300,000 in his first NaNoWriMo.  By the time he wrote House of the Rising Sun, he pretty much hadn’t slept in three weeks. In the initial draft, it shows.  It really does show.  That’s part of why it’s taken me so long to get through it. Massive restructuring will be required, moreso than the first two volumes, one of which is published and one of which is in third-draft edits.

As I read, I e-mail myself a running tally of notes to be addressed later when Jeff and I are less stressed.  Since I have been stressed, the notes are a bit snarky in places.  I point out an anachronism with simply a reference to the sentence and an ‘oh, honey, nooo.’ Simultaneously, I am exchanging e-mails with Jeff. A little of it is clarifying questions, but mostly just friend stuff.  Then he e-mails back a question mark.  I realize I sent the ‘oh, honey, nooo’ note to him instead of myself. I apologize and explain the anachronism. It’s no problem in his opinion, but it still annoys me that I was so careless.

Then I have to get up, walk around the apartment to expend nervous energy, and check the mail. The newsletter for my church has arrived. There it is on page 6, “Book Reading, April 22.” There are already little fliers on the church bulletin board saying “My Book Is Out (the primary authors helped)!” I still haven’t decided for certain which passage to read. The beginning is unfortunately the slowest part, but everything else has spoilers. Additionally, I get anxious about reading certain passages to a roomful of progressive-minded Unitarian Universalists without making it seem like the 1815 characters’ patriarchal nonsense is being validated. The irony is that also I worry if certain of my Catholic relatives back home will read far enough and carefully enough into the series to notice the biracial lesbians. My inner pedant immediately corrects me.  One of them is not a lesbian; she’s bisexual.

I return to the third volume. Eventually, I finish it.  Even though the ending needs some restructuring, it makes me cry. For once, it’s not tears of editing frustration – because I get those too – just normal sentimental tear-jerking on my part.

I fry up some more chicken for a late supper, because there was more chicken left, and not much else. After supper, I sit down and talk to Jeff online about the book. He’s sorry/not sorry about making me cry. We discuss various improvements and additions. As I look at the clock, I start to get anxious.  It’s almost midnight in my time zone, almost April, and I let the boy talk me into Camp NaNoWriMo. We have multiple novels, in the series and otherwise, to market or edit, and several short stories in progress for anthologies, and I haven’t done my taxes, but he talked me into doing a special mini-National-Novel-Writing-Month to focus on my own work. I’ve tried NaNoWriMo three times, and never gotten above 2,000 words. I freeze up on non-collaborative projects. Somehow, though, he talked me into it.  When midnight hits, I start to type in a new file and have to steel myself against going back and re-editing every sentence eight times.  I hit my goal of 333 words for the first night in 45 minutes and surprise myself. I’ll edit it all later.

Soon, it’s approaching midnight in Jeff’s time zone. He’s going to be working on Dawn of Steam 4. Never mind that I’d carefully registered all sorts of things for ‘the Dawn of Steam trilogy,’ the boy had to start us on a Book 4. Sure, sure, it’ll be the beginning of a new trilogy, set a few years later. Still, he doesn’t seem to get it when I therefore call it Breakfast-Time of Steam 1.

We’re getting into the time of night where Jeff normally gives me some stress-and-anxiety-managing tips for the night and the coming day, before I get ready for bed. However, he’s gone into Prolific Writer Mode, and while he’ll stop if I ask, I don’t want to interrupt. Instead, I start searching for indie publishing resources again. I run across an idea that would, in fact, involve writing over 1,000 words all by myself. It’ll be nonfiction, though, so I take a breath and give it a try. I even make myself keep the editing minimal before I send it off, take out my contact lenses, and go to bed.

 

Copyright © Dawn of Steam Trilogy 2014

Copyright © Dawn of Steam Trilogy 2014

 

Another fascinating day in the life of a creative! To find out more about Kate Perkins-Armond and her projects, click below to be taken to the good stuff! 😉

Website: www.dawnofsteam.net

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IOC6HNU

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dawnofsteamtrilogy

Tumblr: dawnofsteam.tumblr.com