Hello and welcome to the Virtual Fantasy Con blog tour!
Virtual FantasyCon is a fun and interesting online event happening in October and best of all it’s free. The location is your computer. You can drop by any day during the event and check out the booths for that day. There will be authors, bloggers, editors, artists, and publishers to list just a few. There will be a Cosplay booth, Blog Hop Hunt booth, panel discussions, and a new booth this year an Author Cache Sale booth (This booth is new and is only for the participating authors on the day of each event. Books on sale for $1.99 or 0.99 can list these books in the comment section below for guests to find and buy.) It is put together by lovely people like Carol March, Raven Williams, Denise Garrou, and others who have worked behind the scenes to make this event happen.
It’s a place to catch up on your favorite author and discover new authors. There is epic fantasy, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, children’s fantasy, and YA fantasy to name just a few of the different types of authors that will have a booth during the event.
To find out more about the event check out the following social media links:
Blog Hop Hunt
I love the addition of paranormal characters and by extension the genres where they’re commonplace.
Who among us didn’t dream as a child of having super powers or special abilities? Wasn’t it so much fun to imagine what it would be like to read minds, spin magic, or turn into another creature completely?
Well, the good news is through the wonder of books you can!
That’s the beauty of genres with paranormal and fantasy characters. They take people and make them more than the average human. Vampires can hear the heartbeats of those near them and move faster than the human eye can see. Werewolves become fearsome, almost undefeatable creatures who are very powerful. Wizards can warp time and space with magic.
Within these genres are fantastical worlds that are much like our own, but with certain tweaks. The characters fire our imaginations because they can do just a little more than we mere mortals.
Not only is fantasy/paranormal a genre all its own, but it’s a sub-genre in just about every other genre. Romance, historical fiction, mystery, all these genres have books featuring shifters, angels, vampires, witches and countless other types of characters that fall into the classification of paranormal or fantasy.
These characters are fun. There are endless ways to spin various myths and legends and portray these characters. The addition of a fantasy/paranormal character or setting adds a whole different level and depth to any story.
Traditionally, many paranormal beings live much longer lives. That gives an author the chance to explore various time periods through the eyes of the same character. Longer lives can add more layers to a character and it’s a creative way to show societal changes over the years.
Let that little child who dreamed of taking flight, defeating the bad guy or changing into a wolf, get swept away in adventure. Escape for a few hours with a book featuring fantasy or paranormal world and characters. This genre has something for everyone!
The Vampire Guard is my urban fantasy/scifi/thriller suspense series. Book one is Code Name Jack Rabbit. Please visit DSP Publications website from October 9 to the 16th and enjoy special pricing for this title. Come back on October 17 for the cover reveal of the second book, Quarry, which will be available for pre-order.
Welcome to The Vampire Guard, where myth meets science—to devastating effect.
When the threat is too great for human law enforcement to handle, world leaders turn to Akhkharu Nasaru: The Vampire Guard.
Forge, Blair, Lucas, and Declan are recruited by one of the world’s most ancient and secret societies, where they employ a combination of supernatural powers and cutting-edge technology to hunt down terrorists, thieves, biological weapons… and sometimes even their fellow vampires and werewolves. An eclectic organization comprised of individuals with diverse personalities, backgrounds, and abilities, this guard has bite—and they’re not afraid to use it.
Be sure to visit the other authors contributing to this blog tour:
Marsha A. Moore
Marsha A. Moore
The Maze of Twisty Passages
The Black River Chronicles
T S Paul
T S Paul
Welcome to the Wasp Nest
Writing and Fighting
Drops of Ink
Debbie Manber Kupfer
Paws 4 Thought
Hot Off the Shelves
Emotion in Motion
The Wizard’s Workshop
On the Ragged Edge
Jae Byrd Wells
Jae Byrd Wells
Lesley Donaldson, Writer
Jena Baxter Books
Blog tour main page HERE.
I'm so excited to be sharing my new Dreamspinner Press release, Take Two! It's a second chance at love story set during a movie shoot on location at the North Carolina coast. Take Two is a sweet, sexy, poignant, slightly angsty, and sometimes funny story about love that won't quit. Best part? It includes anachronistic pirates, silly movie dialogue, and general mayhem as action star Sander Carson, a.k.a. Sam Carr, tries to woo back his estranged husband, pirate expert and history professor Wesley Coolidge.
To celebrate the release, I'm taking readers on a tour of Bald Head Island, where the book takes place. You can watch all the videos on my YouTube channel. I had a lot of fun filming the tour and I hope you'll enjoy it too!
I hope you’ll enjoy this lighthearted romp and that you end up believing in second chances and true love that just won't quit! The book is now available at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, and all the usual suspects. -Shira
Lights, camera, action! When Professor Wesley Coolidge accepts a summer job as a historical consultant to a pirate movie being filmed in North Carolina, the last person he expects to bump into is his soon-to-be-ex, movie star Sander Carson.
Just like the flamboyant pirate he’s playing, Sander, aka Sam Carr, is used to getting what he wants, and he makes it clear he wants Wesley back in his life. Sam lost Wesley when he left their life in New York City behind for a career in Hollywood. But Wesley has finally managed to put the pieces of his heart back together, and he isn’t interested in Sam and Wesley: The Sequel.
Convincing Wesley to give their relationship a second chance will take much more than Sam’s apologies and reminders of good times past. If Sam wants Wesley back, he’ll have to show Wesley that they really can sail into the sunset together—a real-life happily-ever-after that won’t end once the final credits roll.
Excerpt from Chapter Two:
The entire scene was surreal. Gorgeous boat, beautiful scenery, good wine, and me by my lonesome. In the grand scheme of life, it certainly wasn’t the worst outcome. Still, he wished he wasn’t alone.
He pulled his cellphone from his pocket and tapped the preset for Carl. If they couldn’t be together, at least Wes could describe the alternate universe he’d just stepped into for him. It took a few seconds for the call to connect, and Wes imagined the signal snaking its way down through Florida, then skimming the waves to the southwest, across the Gulf of Mexico, and over to Guatemala.
“This is Carl Stephens. I’m unavailable to take your call at the moment. Please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I’m able.”
Figures.Wes shook his head and disconnected the call. He’d catch Carl another time. He didn’t want Carl to feel guilty about the change in plans. It wasn’t as if he was suffering here in North Carolina anyhow. He replaced the phone in his pocket and glanced up at the fly bridge again. Why not? He’d never been particularly shy, and he figured he’d feel more comfortable hanging out with the crew instead of pretending to be some pampered Hollywood celebrity. He refilled his glass and headed up the stairs.
The fly bridge was every bit as Wes had expected. Sleek, with the newest instrumentation, radio, and radar. The seats and console were white, as was the rest of the yacht, and the panoramic view was impressive. The captain sat facing the console, only the top of his head visible over the high-backed leather chair.
“We aim to please,” the captain responded without turning around. His clipped British accent reminded Wes of a young Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia. “Are the accommodations to your liking?”
“You mean the presidential suite? I only wish I could spend a month or two sailing the Caribbean in accommodations like that.” He sighed.
“I might be able to arrange that.” The captain spun his chair around so he faced Wes. Except he wasn’t a captain, and he wasn’t British at all--
“Sam?” Wes knew his jaw had just dropped to the deck.
Sam Carr—no, Sander Carson, Wes reminded himself—grinned back at him. It was too easy for forget that the Sam he’d married no longer existed. “That would be me.” The British accent was gone, replaced by a hint of a soft southern drawl. Well, at least that was authentic.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Wes demanded.
Sam appeared entirely nonplussed. “Is that any way to say hello to your husband?”
“Ex-husband,” Wes corrected.
“Not for another 46 days and seven hours.” Sam leaned back in the captain’s chair, causing the thin fabric of his T-shirt to stretch tight over the muscles of his chest. He looked better than Wes remembered. No doubt he had some expensive fitness coach he worked with every day to manage pecs like that. His bright blue eyes were as disarming as they’d always been, the hint of stubble on his strong jaw only made him look more attractive. Like a movie star.
Which, of course, Sam—or Sander—was.
“You haven’t answered my question,” Wes said, trying to ignore the jab to his gut at the reminder that their divorce would soon be final.
Why are you here?”
“I had a few days off from shooting, and I thought I’d take her out for a spin. They delivered her last week, and I haven’t had a chance to—”
“Wait a minute. You mean she… this is your boat?”
“Yep. Bought and paid for,” Sam said with pride.
The pieces began to fall into place. Marv leaving suddenly. The shoot in North Carolina. Sam wouldn’t have had anything to do with Carl’s boss’s change in plans, but he’d have known whom to call to find out about Wes’s plans. And Jeffrey. Shit, he remembered where he’d heard that name before: Sam’s personal assistant.
Wes made a mental note to read his secretary, Viv, the riot act when he got back to New York. Which would be very soon, if he had anything to say about it. She didn’t usually handle the details of his personal life, but she had access to his Outlook calendar. Come to think of it, she’d been asking him a lot of questions about his personal life lately. And she’d always loved Sam.
Everyone loves Sam.
“This isn’t going to happen, Sammy,” he told Sam. “I’m outta here.”
“Contract?” Sam said as Wes turned to head downstairs.
“Contracts can be broken.”
“You never read the fine print, do you?” Sam was clearly enjoying this.
“What have you done?” Wes glared at Sam.
“I didn’t do anything. The studio’s attorneys, though….”
“You set me up.” Stating the obvious. Sam was a hell of a lot smarter than he appeared. And way more devious. “What do you want from me, Sam?”
Sam tilted his head to one side and rubbed his chin as if he were considering the question. “You haven’t figured that out yet?” he asked.
Wes wouldn’t dignify the question with a response.
“I want you, Wesley Warren Coolidge. What else?”
Shira Anthony was a professional opera singer in her last incarnation, performing roles in such operas as Tosca, Pagliacci, and La Traviata, among others. She’s given up TV for evenings spent with her laptop, and she never goes anywhere without a pile of unread M/M romance on her Kindle.
Shira is married with two children and two insane dogs, and when she’s not writing, she is usually in a courtroom trying to make the world safer for children. When she’s not working, she can be found at the Carolina coast aboard Land’s Zen, a 35’ catamaran sailboat, with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel.
Want to hear Shira sing? You can listen to an excerpt from a live recording of Shira performing Tosca on her website.
Connect with Shira
When They Ask You to Be a Judge…
By Carole Cummings
So, if Scott and/or Angel ever come to you and say, "Hey, why don't you be a judge in our annual flash fiction contest?" you should probably... okay, I was going to say, "Run! Run far away. So far." Or maybe I was going to say, "Hide!" because Angel and Scott? Will catch you. No matter how fast you think you can run, they're somehow faster.
Angel's feisty for such a little thing, and Scott is just.. well, Scott! And hiding won't work either, since they're both deviously clever and they have puppy eyes--*puppy eyes*, like, Puppy Eyes of Doom--and they will hunt you down, omg, guys, they never sleep, they never give up, they're like the freaking Terminator. With puppy eyes. Of doom.
And okay, I was *going* to say those things, because they're all kind of true, in a lovable "how are you guys even real?" kind of way, but the *real* truth is this:
If Scott and/or Angel ever come to you and ask you to be a judge for this flash fiction contest--you should say yes.
I won't lie--judging a contest like this is at least as hard as writing a story for one. (And I know because I've done both.) There were *so many* awesome, creative, beautifully written stories to choose from, and it was really hard to narrow them down, and then narrow them down some more, and then narrow them down yet again.
And yet doing all that, as impossible as it was, was also the best time I've had while doing something adulty and responsible(ish) in a long time. Not only did I get to read all the amazing things everyone wrote, I got to read them before anyone else did, and I got to talk about them with Scott and Angel and Ben and Aidee and Jenn, and you know, who *doesn't* love to talk about amazing stories and characters and themes with other people who *get it*? (Also, I made friends with Scott's spreadsheet, which I wasn't sure was actually possible, but Angel's unshakable faith in me made the difference.)
It was like spontaneous IM parties just kind of sprouted up at random, and though it was always for the purpose of discussing serious points, or addressing a point of procedure, that little *ping* noise never made me cringe or cry, because I knew someone on the other end was going to make me smile.
So, say yes. It's hard, it takes time you didn't think you had, you'll be faced with impossible choices and handed goals you won't think you can meet. But your fellow judges will make you laugh, and you'll get random IMs in the middle of the day full of stickers and hearts, and Scott will not-so-gently poke you about that deadline you're trying so hard not to be late for, and every bit of it will be *fun*. So much *fun*, guys.
And all the while--and this is the most important part--you're doing something good, something worthwhile, something that will add to the growing world of LGBTQ+ speculative fiction, and maybe even kickstart someone who's never before tried to set down the stories in their head into thinking "Well, maybe I can try to do 300 words." And then maybe they'll do those 300 words, and then go on to do 1,000, and then 10,000, and just keep going. And it will all have started with 300 words.
Or maybe an old pro will think "The idea of telling a complete story with so few words is... daunting/intriguing/scary" and it is, but they'll give it a try anyway, and find out they *can*, and it'll be *good*, and they'll learn something valuable they can carry into their writing from then on. And they'll be better.
Being a part of this contest is being a part of something bigger than I suspected when I got the first IM asking me if I'd do it. Being a part of this contest is witnessing beginnings and accomplishments and victories, even if they might seem small to those who don't get it, and doing something that matters for two people who started all this and continue to do it for the simple reason that they like to see others push and try and do.
Because Scott and Angel are doing so much more here than an annual contest. They're doing something amazing, something fun, something that's important and something that will *stay*. And maybe one day they'll ask you to be a part of it.
You should say yes.
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Cover & Illustrations Artist: Mila May
Length: 33.6 K
Format: ebook, print
Release Date: General release 9/21/16
Price: $4.99 eBook, $12.99 print b/w*, TBD print color*
*Book contains 5 illustrations inside.
A 300-word story should be easy, right? Many of our entrants say it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever written.
Queer Sci Fi's Annual Flash Fiction Contest challenges authors to write a complete LGBTQ speculative fiction micro-story on a specific theme. "Flight" leaves much for the authors to interpret—winged creatures, flight and space vehicles, or fleeing from dire circumstances.
Some astonishing stories were submitted—from horrific, bloodcurdling pieces to sweet, contemplative ones—and all LGBTQ speculative fiction. The stories in this anthology include AI’s and angels, winged lions and wayward aliens. Smart, snappy slice of life pieces written for entertainment or for social commentary. Join us for brief and often surprising trips into 110 speculative fiction authors’ minds.
Smoke, by Zev de Valera
He rubbed his temples and squinted at the soft light of his surroundings through the fans of his thick eyelashes. The last drink had been a mistake.
Was that a shaker he'd felt, or the onset of a hangover?
He clutched a silken pillow and waited.
Suddenly, he felt his home tremble; a few pieces of glass
and ceramic ware teetered and then fell to their demise.
Shit. This is the real thing.
With an effort, he hauled himself from his bed.
How many years had it been since the last one?
The shaking ceased, and he looked around his small dwelling. A model unit when he'd purchased it. Now filled with the result of years of collecting: a gramophone, a first generation television set, a water clock. And much more. All of it all had sentimental value—as did the photos of the various men that sat atop or alongside the items in his collection. Some of these men had loved him. All of them had once owned him. Now he owned their memories. That was the bargain.
Another shake. Followed by several unnerving tilts. He willed his cherished possessions to remain in place and willed himself into sobriety and a more becoming appearance as he prepared himself for work.
What to wear?
He selected a red brocade tunic and pants. A classic look always worked best for the initial consultation.
A resounding thud.
He peered up into the small shaftway at the center of the ceiling.
Then a small circle of light at the end of the shaft.
He sighed, folded his arms, and transformed into a cloud of red smoke.
Up and away to meet his new master.
Judge's Choice — J. Scott Coatsworth
Buy Links Etc:
Publisher (info only, no buy link yet): https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/the-pill-bugs-of-time
Apple: Coming soon
Barnes & Noble: Coming soon
Smashwords: Coming soon
Goodreads Series Page: https://www.goodreads.com/series/187509-qsf-flash-fiction
In the first year of the Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction contest, we received about 15 entries for the theme “Endings”. In the second year, it was 115 for “Discovery”.
This year, we had more than 170 entries from people around the world, and from all parts of the LGBTIQA rainbow. “Flight” represents 110 of those people and their stories.
Sentries on sale this week! Use Sentries2016 (case sensitive) for 25% off the entire Sentries series (ebooks and paperbacks). It's valid from Sept. 12 to 18th (finishes at 11:59pm on the 18th) This code is valid for a single use, per person. The entire collection, including the bundle of the first five books, can be found on Dreamspinner Press.
Welcome to my blog tour for Waiting for Patrick. I’m offering giveaways of one signed copy, one electronic copy, and a choice of one title from my backlist. Comment below and at any of my other blog stops (posted below) to be entered to win. One comment, one entry. Dreamspinner is offering my other paranormal titles (Haunted, Lifeline, and What No One Else Can Hear ) for $0.99 during “Weekend Reads” on September 2, 3, and 4, in honor of Waiting for Patrick being my ninth published book. Waiting for Patrick will be available at a discounted price throughout the tour (September 1 through 15). Winners of the raffle will be announced on September 16th.
How to Make a Book Cover:
Bree Archer, my wonderful cover artist, was kind enough to break down the process of creating the cover art for Waiting for Patrick. I had sent Bree some reference material as part of the Cover Art spec sheet, but I can’t post those here, since I don’t own the images. She did a fantastic job of matching them with royalty free photos.
Architect Elliot Graham has bought and restored dozens of historic homes to their original splendor. As in his personal life, he loves them and leaves them, selling them off without looking back. But there’s something about the old plantation house he finds in South Carolina—a connection he can’t explain. He feels as though he recognizes the house, as if within its crumbling walls he might find something he doesn’t even realize he’s lost.
Ben Myers had promised his lover and soul mate, Patrick, that he would wait for his return. Ben has kept his word ever since Patrick left him to wait at the plantation house—during the Civil War. For the first time in many long years, Ben is no longer alone, and he reaches out to Elliot in dreams. Elliot tries to convince Ben that Patrick isn’t coming back, but Ben’s devotion is about to change not only his lonely existence, but Elliot’s life as well.
About the Author
Brynn has always loved to write about strong male characters and their close friendships. When she found the world of m/m fiction, she fell in love. Finally, a way to bring those strong male characters together and let those emotional connections spill over into deeper relationships. Sometimes her characters go through the emotional wringer, but they always have each other.
Brynn lives in Virginia near her two grown daughters who support her writing and sometimes act as proof readers. Both of her daughters are also aspiring writers and hopefully it'll just be a matter of time before they have their own author's biography.
Brynn was a teacher by profession for thirty years. She worked in special education with children with emotional disabilities. She has recently changed careers and is now working as a mental health counselor to this same population and their families. When she is not working or writing, she loves to draw and paint. She also gets outside as often as she can, reads anything that doesn't move out of the way, and is always looking for her next story.
Other Blog Stops
Bike Book Reviews
Drops of Ink
Snow's Untangled Threads and Musings
The Story Struggle and Beyond
Unconventional Love Stories
Misadventures of the Heart
Chaos in the Moonlight
Grace R. Duncan
Emotion in Motion
MM Good Books Review
Jacob Z Flores
Nicki J Marcus
Rainbow Gold Reviews
Our Story LGBTQ Historical Fiction
Purple Rose Tea House
Open Skye Book Reviews
The Novel Approach Reviews
Lisa (Novel Approach)
I've been working on a contemporary romance-a very different type of book for me-called The Long Con. I'm hoping to have it published through Dreamspinner Press next year sometime.
This little bit is when one of the MC's, Colton "Colt" Hale stumbles into a new job and a new life.
Colt glanced at the floor for a second before looking her in the eye. “I want to live in this area and learn about making whisky. It’s sort of been a dream of mine since I was a little kid.”
Truth, sort of truth, flat out lie. Maybe he’d have to weave a bit of a con. Wasn’t that what any job interview was anyway? A con.
“Where are you from?”
“Toledo.” Mostly true since that was his previous city. “I came here to get a fresh start.” Absolutely true.
“Do you have references?” She asked.
Colt shook his head. None that you’d want. “Mostly did day labor and kept to myself, ma’am.”
Read more snippets from the Rainbow Snippets group HERE.
Welcome to My World