Friday, October 18, 2019

Book Review: The Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski


Sword of Destiny (The Witcher series)      

Author: Andrzej Sapkowski
Publisher: Orbit
American release date: December 1, 2015
Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Fantasy/LGBTQ/400 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Geralt of Rivia, known as the Witcher, returns in another collection of short stories chronicling his adventures.

The Bounds of Reason – The people Geralt does jobs for are not always appreciative, and are sometimes downright dishonest. Having almost had his personal possessions stolen, Geralt makes the acquaintance of a man called Borch, known as Three Jackdaws, and his girls, Téa and Véa, two Zerrikanian warriors. They travel together to an inn known as the Pensive Dragon, where they eat and drink well, and talk about things such as dragons. Taking to the road again, they attempt to cross a bridge, only to find their way barred by soldiers who insist that only those with a safe-conduct can go through, by orders of King Niedamir, Lord of Caingorn. They aren’t the first to be stopped from crossing, and among the others Geralt finds Dandelion, who mentions the King and a dragon. Apparently a dragon appeared on the pastures outside Barefield and now the hunt is on. Three Jackdaws, amused by the tale, offers to pay the bribe required to get them through the blockade, to search for the dragon. They run into the other groups who’ve been allowed past, including a group of dwarves, a cobbler named Sheepbagger and his contingent, a sorcerer named Dorregeray, and the sorceress Yennefer, whom Geralt hasn’t seen in four years.

A Shard of Ice – Geralt and Yennefer are living together in a town called Aedd Gynvael, which translates to a shard of ice. Something about this town is rubbing Gerald the wrong way. People seem to know things they aren’t telling him. When Geralt tells the mayor he doesn’t intend to stay for any length of time, the mayor suggests he might like to talk with the wizard Istredd. When Geralt goes to see him, his worst suspicions are confirmed.

Eternal Flame – Geralt runs across Dandelion, who is having a variety of objects lobbed at him by an angry woman. The two men head to the nearest inn, but Dandelion is broke, as usual, and Geralt has spent his unds on a new jacket. At the inn, they run across a Halfling of Dandelion’s acquaintance, Dainty Biberveldt, who is talked into buying them food and drink. Imagine their surprise when another Dainty Biberveldt burst into the room, the first one’s doppelganger. And the fun has just begun.

A Little Sacrifice – Geralt finds himself intervening between a lovesick duke and the object of his affections—a mermaid. The two would-be lovers are at an impasse, neither willing to concede what the other wants. The duke wants her to have legs and live on land, Sh’eenaz wants him to grow a tail and come into the sea with her.

Geralt and Dandelion are traveling together and broke. It’s Dandelion’s fault, but Geralt is not angry. When an opportunity arises for Dandelion to make some money, he acts as if what he is being offered is beneath him, but Geralt unhappily reminds him they need the money. His nose out of joint, since Geralt seems to pick and choose his jobs without commentary, Dandelion agrees to accept the offer with Geralt’s promise that he will accept the next job that comes his way.  As it turns out, another bard has also been hired for the occasion, one whom Dandelion knows—Miss Essi Daven, aka Little Eye.

Sometimes love requires a little sacrifice.

The Sword of Destiny – Geralt finds himself in Brokilon, which is not a safe place to be, as evidenced by the bodies he finds. Brokilon is a forest and it belongs to the dryads, who do not suffer intrusion lightly and do not hesitate to shoot their arrows at trespassers. Geralt finds one person still alive, a man he knows by the name of Frexinet. The wounded man begs Geralt to find a princess, and then they are attacked. Good thing Geralt has friends in high places. But is this something he wants to become involved in?

Destiny has a way of happening anyway.

Something More – While crossing a bridge, Geralt finds a merchant cowering beneath his wagon, having been abandoned by his companions. He convinces the merchant, whose name is Yurga, that he means no harm but that he needs to leave this place quickly as it is dangerous. Yurga begs Geralt to help him and he’ll give him anything he wants? Geralt says he wants whatever Yurga comes across on his return but did not expect, and Yurga agrees. However, in protecting Yurga, Geralt himself is gravely injured and Yurga must save him.

Sometimes what you ask for is something more.

This second collection of Witcher stories is every bit as good as the first. Andrzej Sapkowski takes what could have been an ordinary sword and sorcery tale and brings it to life. He gives depths to his characters, monster or human, and he does a great job of world-building. His action scenes are riveting, and I can see Geralt in my mind’s eyes, whirling and slashing and dodging and throwing up witcher signs.  I love Geralt, he is a great character and, despite his claims to the contrary, I believe he is more human than he lets on, capable of greater emotions than he thinks he is. I love Dandelion (although I would never date him, I much prefer Geralt). Together, they make a great team. I don’t care for Yennefer much, but I’m afraid we haven’t seen the last of her. In this book, we first meet Ciri. I know we’ll see more of her.

Geralt must have gone through hell to become a witcher, and that as a child. It’s inconceivable that someone could do that to a child, and yet apparently it happened. What an unnatural sort of mother was Geralt’s to allow this to happen. I love the theme of destiny that runs through the stories, and how everything works out because of it.

If you like the video game, you’ll love the books. Looking forward to the next one!



Thursday, October 17, 2019

Virtual Book Tour: Falling For You anthology

Good morning! Please welcome authors  Jae El Foster, Jennifer Patricia O'Keeffe, and Adesanya to Full Moon Dreaming! They are here to discuss their new anthology. Jae is going to talk about his story, The Joys of Getting Pregnant or Sweet Little Angel From Hell. The authors will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC and goodies signed by Lord Vikkas (the cover model) to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour via Rafflecopter. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To find the other stops on this tour, go here. Don't forget to look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post!



FALLING FOR YOU
by Jennifer Patricia O’Keeffe, Adesanya, and Jae El Foster

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GENRE: Romantic Comedy, Women’s Fiction, Chick Lit anthology

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BLURB:

The Joys of Getting Pregnant or Sweet Little Angel from Hell by Jae El Foster

Toby has taken the best job – being paid to get a beautiful woman pregnant! Yet, things begin to turn sour between him and his new client when they keep running into each other at various places and get to see each other’s more ‘combative’ sides. While fuming over one such confrontation with the client, Toby is suddenly struck by a car and his world begins to change forever. He is given a business card that leads him to an abandoned warehouse where, once inside, he learns there is much more to this place than meets the eye. As Toby’s luck would have it, only his latest client can save him from what awaits him. What darkness lies within this old warehouse? What secret is his client hiding from him? Will this sudden adventure bring the two unlikely mates closer, or will it make Toby think twice about being her baby-maker? Find out the answers to these questions and more in this hilarious cutting edge tale of good versus evil!

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EXCERPT from The Joys of Getting Pregnant or Sweet Little Angel from Hell by Jae El Foster

He stood outside the doors, trying to look in through the opening, but it appeared dark inside and he could see nothing.

“Hello?” he asked again, and still, he received no response. Finally, growing impatient, he pushed the doors open and allowed the rays of sunlight to brighten the interior.

For a building that had last served as a textile factory, what he saw seemed misleading. The sunlight brightened a long hallway that was lined with a red carpet and narrow wooden walls on either side.

Toby stepped inside and took two steps forward before turning around to the sound of the doors closing behind him. Now, with the sun blocked out, he was trapped in utter darkness.

“Okay,” he said, nervous and on guard as he turned in a circle. “Who’s there?”

At the end of the hallway, a single light flickered on, showing him that the hall ended with a turn to the right. Knowing he should just turn around and run, he decided against chickening out. He’d had such a bad run already that this adventure would either turn out better for him or just finish him all together. He knew one of those had to be the outcome, but the world was pissing him off and he was ready to face it, rather than hide from it.

Slowly, he walked toward the end of the hall and the flickering light that brightened it. There, he paused, looking down the right turn and seeing more of the same – nothingness through the darkness. Shaking off the nerves, he made the turn and continued.

Again, at the end of the hall, a light came on, this time illuminating a door. The door appeared to have a wooden frame with a frosted glass window. The window had writing on it, but from where he stood, he could not read it. So, with more timid steps, he approached it to read it.

“John Smith, Esquire,” read the lettering.

Although this made no sense to him – having an office and this sort of hallway in an old condemned factory – he was at least glad to see Mr. Smith’s name. That gave him a bit of confidence in that, perhaps, he had not fully had the wool pulled over his eyes.

Because of the frost glass, Toby could not see through the window to tell if anyone was inside or not, and so he knocked on the wooden portion of the door.

There was no answer. Of course there was no answer, he thought, shaking his head. It was Sunday. Even if this John Smith and his Chans Dyab Enterprises were real, they wouldn’t have been in this dark and abandoned building on a Sunday afternoon. Likely, the man was off golfing or playing a round or two of tennis. At least, that was what Toby thought rich business men did on their time off. Then again, he could have just been out hitting more people with his car.

As he turned to leave, the door clicked and opened just a few inches. The room seemed dark, but regardless of that, he pushed on the door and opened it fully. It illuminated as he stepped inside.

It was, indeed, an office. There was a grand mahogany desk with a chair that looked like it had cost Mr. Smith more than Toby’s baby juice had cost Roslyn. There was a tall file cabinet, two computers, and two guest chairs. A globe sat atop a bookshelf, and there was a window with the curtains closed at the far wall behind the desk. Although it was simply furnished, it felt posh – more executively exclusive than anywhere Toby had ever stepped into. It even smelled good.

The chair, he thought, looked too inviting. He looked around and behind him, ensuring no one else was in the room with him, and he walked to Mr. Smith’s chair, touching its soft warmth. Then, wondering what it would have felt like to have been a well-to-do businessman, he sat in the chair to get a feeling… to imagine his life being much better than it actually was.

The office door shut, securing him inside. Toby stood with a jolt of surprise.
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Greetings, thank you for the interview! As I enjoy the list of questions, I’m only one in an anthology of authors and would like to keep the focus on the book as much as possible and not so much on me. I’ve answered a couple of the questions and have included a couple not on the list as well. If they don’t work and you have other questions toward the project itself that you’d like to ask, please do forward them my way and I’ll be happy to oblige. Much thanks! ~ Jae El

Question 1:       When you start a new story, do you begin with a character or a plot?
Response:        Usually the first thing to hit me is a title. It may be a tentative title, and it may never lead to a story, but the first thing that most often arrives is a working title. Most of the time, the title brings along with it the premise of the story – whether by the appearance of a character in my mind, or by a situation… or even an object. For instance, I’m drawn to antiques and creepy old houses. When I see something that strikes a chord in me, I can’t help but wonder what all it has seen and experienced over its time. Everything and anything is food for thought and possibly the bones of my next project.

Question 2:       Is there a story that you’d like to tell but you think the world isn’t ready to receive?
Response:        No one should ever be ready for the stories I have to tell. I work increasingly hard to create unusual books that are not expected of me, and at the same time, I like to be relevant. I push limits with my writing, and from time to time, I push buttons with it too. In recent years, I’ve incorporated more humor into what I write than I used to, but that’s only because I’m older now and realize that life is something you have to laugh at, or else you might just cry. Yet, everything I pen has a lesson and a deeper meaning than what’s on the surface. No one is ever ready to be told the things they need to hear, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t hear them. In my story ‘The Joys of Getting Pregnant’ or ‘Sweet Little Angel from Hell’ from the Falling for You anthology, the lesson is blatant, but for it to be learned, one must read the story. Yes, I know… everyone loves a spoiler!

Question 3:       Who is your favorite horror villain and why?
Response:        I have always been fond of Norman Bates. A momma’s boy suffering from an intense case of split-personality disorder – one of which is his serial killing helicopter mother – is pure terror. Norman, himself, was a boy that never got to grow up. Even though Norman dies shortly into author Robert Bloch’s sequel ‘Psycho II,’ Anthony Perkins helped keep the character alive for film fans with a few sequels, one of which includes a good deal of Norman’s back story. While the film franchise received a somewhat tasteless reboot with a Vince Vaughn Norman and an Anne Heche Marion Crane, ‘Bates Motel’ helped make Norman Bates a household name again through television, offering a modern look at the character and some interesting twists and turns in his story. Still, Norman Bates has always remained the same – a killer who kills from fear and necessity, all beckoned by Mother. I would be interested in seeing a prequel to ‘Bates Motel.’ Little ‘Young Sheldon’ would make a fantastic young Norman Bates.

Question 4:         Where did the idea for ‘The Joys of Getting Pregnant’ or ‘Sweet Little Angel from Hell’ come from?
Response:           This story is all because of my editor, the fabulous Jean Watkins. We planned and plotted the premise of the anthology and what we hoped for the cover together. Then, the call for submissions went out and I needed to write my inclusion. My anthology submissions for her have been more comedic, action-packed, or scary than erotic – something that I once wrote very well. So, when I asked her what she wanted for this story, she told me to give her something ‘hot.’ I tried to give her precisely what she asked for and began ‘The Joys of Getting Pregnant,’ about a young man who acts as the sperm donor for a woman trying to have a baby. The two fall in love, have a baby, and live happily ever after. Of course, that was the plan, but it’s not really what happened. Somewhere along the way, things took a comedic, dark turn, and the story melded into ‘Sweet Little Angel from Hell.’ Don’t blame me; blame the muses. Either way, it ended up being a hilarious dark romance that is exceptionally perfect for the Halloween season, and I’m quite proud of it.

Question 5:         Tell us about your protagonist.
Response:           Toby is your average twenty-something guy living in the city, working too many jobs, and still struggling to pay his bills. He takes a job as a sperm donor because he needs the money, and because he loves beautiful girls. Like most guys his age, Toby immediately becomes infatuated with this new, mysterious woman – and yes, she prefers the old fashioned way of getting pregnant. Problems arise when the two learn they have clashing personalities, and when his client’s father comes into the picture. Toby is a guy who, despite the threats in front of him, stands his ground the best he can. He’s stupid, and he’s brave, and he’s the type of man who will do anything it takes to keep the woman of his dreams by his side.

Question 6:         What’s it like ‘sharing the stage’ with the other writers in the anthology?
Response:           I am the last story in the book, and I follow two great female authors – Jennifer Patricia O’Keeffe and Adesanya. This is the third anthology that I’ve been included in with Jennifer, and my second with Adesanya. Jennifer is fresh in the field and is a wonderful romantic comedy and chick lit author. Her stories are pg-13 and are amazingly funny and heartwarming. I’ve known Adesanya for over half of my life. She and I go way back. Adesanya writes everything under the sun, and she does it well. She and I have written together many times in the past, and we’ve often borrowed one another’s characters – always respectfully. Aside from my significant other, no one knows me better than Adesanya, so writing together is a natural flow for us. When Adesanya, Jennifer and I get to be in an anthology together, the readers definitely know they are in for something special. All of our offerings for the Falling for You anthology are very different in content, but we are all deeply imbedded into our craft, so you know we’ve given you the best we’ve got.






AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jae El Foster is an author with whom you question going to bed with at night, but you dare to venture beneath the sheets with him anyway. As the venture concludes, you are perhaps romanced by it, or perhaps you are frightened by it. Don’t worry, because you are always satisfied by it. Despite the title or genre of the book, Jae El sets out to please you with climatic and unexpected conclusions that will make you tremble with emotion. Hop aboard the Jae El train and give it a good ride.



Additional Releases from Jae El Foster
Restless
Where the Demon Is
Shaded Whisperings: Forever
Shaded Whisperings: Playing St. Nick
Kings & Queens (DCL Anthology)
Enchanted Fairy Tales (DCL Anthology)
Beauty Within
Restive
The Greatest Gift of All

Visit Jae El Foster online at
www.jaeelbooks.com

Buy Link:  https://www.amazon.com/Falling-You-Jennifer-Patricia-OKeeffe-ebook/dp/B07VDLWKZ6/ref=sr_1_4

Tag Word Suggestions:  Chicklit, Romcom, Romantic Comedy, angels and demons, accident prone, firemen, autumn romance, Halloween, fallen angels, getting pregnant, devil’s advocate, erotic romance




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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Wednesday Briefs: In Pieces #74 (18.1)

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

What should have been a great evening is turning into the night from Hell for Ryan and Ben, what with the sudden appearance of both Cameron and Liza. Cameron tells Ryan that Liza wants him out of Ben's life, and offers to take Ben's place. Ryan is beside himself with anxiety. Can the situation get any worse? See what's going on in this week's chapter of In Pieces. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!


In Pieces #74 (18.1)


Salvation didn’t stop playing until after three in the morning. Ryan couldn’t remember another night that had felt so long, other than the nights he spent alone when Ben disappeared from his life. Ryan helped the band break down their equipment and return it to the van. He noticed Ben seemed rather subdued, despite the small smiles he sent Ryan’s way. Or the occasional kisses when they passed each other as they worked. But something was wrong, Ryan knew it, and the feeling of impending doom he’d been experiencing before only grew stronger.

The drive back to the motel was a silent one. Abby was slumped in the front seat, her head on Aiden’s shoulder, while Ben and Ryan sat together in back, hands clasped tightly. They’d told Marge good night at her car and she’d said she’d text them about breakfast the next day before she went back home to her partner. Ryan was sure it wouldn’t be an early meal, not with it being as late as it was.

Back at the motel, Aiden parked by their rooms and everyone got out. He held a sleepy Abby around the waist, and was yawning rather widely himself. “I was going to ask where we go next”—he yawned again—“but right now I don’t give a shit.” He handed Ben the keys to Cameron’s car. “Seeya tomorrow guys.”

“G’night,” Ryan replied to their retreating backs. He knew just where Aiden was coming from, being more than tired himself. Ben remained silent.

“Let’s go to bed, okay?” Ryan asked. He noticed the key to their room in Ben’s hand and gently took it from him, replacing it with his hand.

“Good idea,” Ben replied. Ryan thought his voice sounded odd, but not in a sleepy kind of way, yet he couldn’t quite put his finger on what he thought he heard.

As they approached their motel room, Ryan was surprised to find it lit, the curtains drawn. Normally, they didn’t bother to leave the lights on when they left. Maybe the maid had done it when she cleaned their room. Since Ben made no comment, he decided that was what it was, nothing to worry about. At least not until he pushed open the door and let Ben enter first.

There, seated in one of the motel’s chairs and obviously waiting for them was none other than Liza. She seemed less than happy—what else was new?—and sat poised, purse on her lap, as if ready to spring up at any moment.

“What are you doing here?” Ryan automatically took up a stand in front of Ben, who’d frozen in place, just inside the room.

“Ben knows,” she replied sharply. “Don’t you, Ben, darling?”

Ryan felt Ben flinch behind him, which only made him angrier. “How did you even get in here?” he demanded to know.

“By the truth, of course. I told them I’m Ben’s mother, and it was an emergency.” She rose from the chair as she spoke. “Ben and I have unfinished business, so if you’ll excuse us, your presence isn’t needed, Ryan. Why don’t you just go to the airport, take the next flight back to Loserville? I mean St. Louis?”

“Get out of here,” Ryan said, working to control his anger. He didn’t want to hurt Ben, he just wanted her out. “Ben doesn’t have anything to say to you, do you, Ben?” He half-turned so that he was still between them but he could see Ben’s face. He was frightened at what he saw. Ben’s beautiful eyes were almost lifeless, despite having removed the contacts already. He was licking his lips nervously.

“I have other truths, shall I tell Ryan what they are?” Liza goaded her son mercilessly. “He needs to know the truth about us so he can give up his foolish ideas of happily ever after he seems so hung up on. He needs to learn that reality is not fiction, no matter what he wrote in that horrible book of his. Those are fantasies, this is real. Do you want to tell him, or should I?”

Ryan focused on Ben, trying to keep him calm. He squeezed his hand reassuringly. “Don’t pay any attention to her. I don’t care what she thinks or what she does.  I’ll call the police and have her thrown out. She has no right to be here. This is our room, yours and mine.”

To his dismay, Ben’s eyes widened and he began to tremble. When Ryan tried to pull him into his arms, to calm him, he pulled back suddenly.  “I…I… please… don’t hate me, Ryan… please.” He turned abruptly and bolted out the door.

Ryan stood there in shock. Where was he going? What was happening here? Maybe he just needed to take a quick walk, to clear his head. But somehow Ryan didn’t think that was the case. Too late, he remembered that Ben had just received the keys to the car from Aiden. He hurried out into the parking lot, but he was too late. Ben was already tearing away, driving much too quickly. He reached the street, brakes squealing, and then disappeared into the darkness.

Frustrated, Ryan turned toward Liza. She didn’t seem upset. On the contrary, she seemed rather pleased with herself, like the cat who swallowed the canary. “What have you done to him?” Ryan asked. “Why are you doing this to him? What kind of mother are you?”

“The kind you wouldn’t understand.” She slithered across the room toward him, but he stood his ground. He wasn’t afraid of her. “Believe me when I tell you he’s mine. He was in my bed before he was in yours and he’ll come back to me. He always do.”

Ryan watched in disbelief as she marched out the door without a backward glance, her words echoing in his ears, just before he managed to collapse in the chair she’d vacated, tears of shock streaming down his cheeks.

to be continued

Now go see what the other Briefers are up to!





Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Virtual Book Tour: That April in Santa Monica

Good morning! Please welcome author Melody DeBlois to Full Moon Dreaming. She is here to discuss her new release, That April in Santa Monica. Melody will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour via Rafflecopter. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To find the other stops on her tour, go here. Don't forget to look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post!





That April in Santa Monica
by Melody DeBlois

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GENRE:   Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

Madison receives acclaim for running a talent agency for people with disabilities, but she doesn't know how to take care of herself. When her altruism becomes life-threatening—a matter of either develop healthy habits or die—she joins a reality TV show that pairs her with hot, raven-haired Brandon. He is witty, sexy, and her teacher. That makes him off limits.

After a successful run on a soap opera, Brandon stepped away from empty fame and now focuses on his work as TV's most noted health teacher. He has one fast rule—never fall for a student. But when he meets Madison, their chemistry is combustible. There's no hiding their conflict or their attraction, especially when it's all caught on film.

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EXCERPTS:



On the beach, Madison started to gather energy, so that when they went into downward-facing dog, he discovered, with her well-earned agility, she didn’t bend her knees as usual.

“Madison, you’re touching the ground!”

She beamed up at him. “I am!”

She was unimaginably beautiful. The way the sun seized the golden streaks in her red hair, the way the natural wave framed her angular face, distracted him. He had his fantasies about her, and this was one of them. The two of them by themselves on the beach, doing yoga. The only problem? The usual. They were not alone.

Warrior pose brought with it an expression of victory on her part, and child’s pose caused her to fold up within herself like a flower after sunset. No woman had ever done the positions with as much raw sensuality. Being with her made him, the yogic practitioner, forget how to move and how to breathe.

This day she stood taller and bent farther. The muscles in her arms supported her with effortlessness. Even her hands seemed stronger than before. She balanced herself with greater ease, like a goddess surveying her kingdom by the sea. Brandon closed his eyes against the gush of erotic pictures she evoked in him. He had been with her too long, yet not long enough.

When they finished, she purred, “I just might learn to love this.”

“You did well.”

“Do you think it was the fancy yoga outfit?”

He shook his head. “Nah, I think it was the woman.”


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Born in California, award winning author, Melody DeBlois follows the sun. When she isn’t swimming laps, she’s writing sweet and sassy romances. Her heroines are self-reliant and smart and her heroes are kind by nature and love dogs. She lives in California during the summer and spends winters in Arizona with her husband. She has plotted her novels while hiking the beach or trekking across the desert. Her most treasured possession is family.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48106063-that-april-in-santa-monica

https://www.facebook.com/melodydebloisbooks/

https://twitter.com/DeBloisMelody

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1) What is your idea of how to spend romantic time with your significant other?

I would want to spend time holed up with my love in a charming bed and breakfast, with windows that open to the smell of the sea and the soft blowing mist. True happiness would be walking hand in hand in the evening while the sun sets in a flurry of golds and reds. My favorite time, the most romantic, would be when the ocean becomes dusky blue, mirroring the sky, and with no one else around, we kiss.

2) When you start a new story, do you begin with a character, or a plot?

It depends on the book. The first novel I wrote didn’t begin with a character or a plot. I just sat down and wrote. No need to say how that turned out. That April in Santa Monica began with a man I saw hosting a reality TV show. He helped people who were ill with his Ayurveda teachings. He was sweet and kind, but he was also a little preachy and staunch, and I wondered what would happen if he fell in love with a patient who was the total opposite of him. My current WIP Undercover in Venice Beach started with a question. How would a poet from the Romantic era of Keats and Byron react to the text language of today? I pitched that idea to an editor at Source Books, and she asked that I turn it into a contemporary romance. One brainstorm led to another and it turned into the plot it is today.

3) Which musical would you say best exemplifies your life – and which character in that musical are you?

I couldn’t come up with a musical that exemplified my life, but I could see my heroine, played by Emma Stone, of course, as The Unsinkable Molly Brown. Like the Molly, Madison rescues people in need of her help. She’s strong-willed and courageous and takes on the good fight to improve her ailing health to get back to work as an agent for people with disabilities.

4) Who’s your favorite horror villain and why?

There are so many good villains in past and present fiction. The vain, self-absorbed Dorian Gray, Count Dracula, Dr. Jekyll’s Mr. Hyde, Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca, Annie Wilkes in Misery. To me, the most terrifying villain of them all is the killing psychiatrist cannibal created by Thomas Harris, Hannibal Lector. I find that most villains believe that all the evil is done in the name of right. Annie Wilkes, she was just a fan who wanted something of her favorite writer. She wouldn’t take no for an answer. Mrs. Danvers was acting on behalf of Rebecca, whom she loved. But Hannibal Lector is the personification of evil, and yet he could realistically exist. I think that’s what makes him scarier than all the rest. My favorite, though, is the villain in a Gothic horror novel that took me ten years to write. I used that pure evil element and combined it with a man who believed he was in the right. There were times while creating Moloch, I had to shove the manuscript in a drawer and not take it out until I was over my fear.

5) Do you have an historical crush and if so, who is it?

Yes, when I was young, I read The Great Gatsby and fell in love with Scott Fitzgerald. I wrote little love notes in the margins, telling him how much I adored him. Passages of his prose fascinated me. For example, what could have been a static scene is full of action: “He walked through a high hallway into a bright, rosy-colored space, fragily bound into the house by French windows at either end. The windows were ajar and gleaming white against the fresh grass outside, that seemed to grow a little way into the house. A breeze blew through the room, blew curtains in at one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding cake of the ceiling, and they rippled over the wine-colored rug, making a shadow on it as the wind does on the sea.” I read it now, and I’m still awed.

6) Is there a story that you’d like to tell but you think the world isn’t ready to receive it?

I used to want to write a time travel about a music festival in 1969 called Woodstock. To me, not enough time had past to make it history. About a week ago, a news story surfaced about the couple on the cover of the album recorded during the festival. The lovely couple has been married for umpteen years with scads of grandchildren. I thought what if, for some reason, these soulmates didn’t get together? What if one of them got the chance to return to that time in history? I’d call it, By the time I got back to Woodstock. It would be fun to research and to write.





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Monday, October 14, 2019

Virtual Book Tour: Arizona Caress by Bobbi Smith

Good morning! Please welcome author Bobbi Smith to Full Moon Dreaming! She is here to tell us about her new release, Arizona Caress. Bobbi will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter during her tour via Rafflecopter. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning! To find the other stops on her tour, go here. Don't forget to look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post!



Arizona Caress
by Bobbi Smith

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GENRE:   Western Historical Romance

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BLURB:

A dashing man from back east meets an unconventional Native American woman and they join hearts against all odds in this spellbinding tale of passion and western adventure from New York Times bestselling author Bobbi Smith.

Chance Broderick has plenty of charm and more than enough wealth, and his life among the Boston Brahmins offers plenty of tempting distractions. But when he receives word that his brother is in grave danger in the Arizona Territory, Chance dutifully travels west to help. There he finds wild, vast lawless lands full of surprises. But his greatest shock on the frontier is when he discovers that the tracker he’s hired is not the brash young boy he assumed, but a beautiful young Native American woman, Rori.

Raised by her Native American grandfather after the death of her white father and her Pima mother, Rori is an expert tracker who knows how to fend for herself. Chance is fascinated but she takes an instant dislike to him and nothing will satisfy her more than showing the arrogant man from back east a thing or two about how things are done on the frontier out west. Nothing could satisfy her more, that is, except the pleasure of his searing touch, his soft kisses. For Rori can’t help craving Chance as fiercely as he desires her and as they overcome the worlds of indifference and hostility which threaten to separate them, they find true love is their one destiny.

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EXCERPT:




Chance didn’t know what had awakened him. He glanced around and noticed nothing out of order. It seemed Burr and Rori were both still asleep across the campsite. Relaxing his guard, he closed his eyes again, and it was then he heard something in the direction of the creek.

Chance knew he hadn’t imagined it. He slid his gun out of his holster and got up to make his way down to the water’s edge. He moved quietly, staying hidden in the brush. He could hear a slight splashing in the water. He wasn’t sure what he’d been expecting, but the sight of Rori taking a bath was the last thing he would have imagined. The whole situation would have been funny, if it didn’t make him feel like such a fool. He’d been ready to shoot whatever intruder he found there, and the intruder turned out to be the obstinate boy!

Chance wanted to throttle him. What the hell was he doing taking a bath?! The temptation to embarrass him was too great to pass up. The scrawny kid was standing totally naked with his back to him in waist-deep water. Chance knew if he moved quickly, he could take him by surprise and give him the scrubbing he well deserved.

Without another thought, he laid his gun aside and charged into the water, grabbing the boy by his shoulders. It occurred to him that the boy felt awfully soft and fragile, but he didn’t stop to think about it. He just picked him up and dunked him good.

Rori gave a small shriek of outrage as someone grabbed her from behind and pushed her underwater. For a moment she actually feared for her life, but the powerful hands that held her quickly released her and she surfaced sputtering mad.

“What the—?” she spat out in furious indignation as she came up and faced her attacker. She forgot she was naked. “YOU!”

“You’re lucky I didn’t shoot you!” Chance began laughing, but his laughter stopped abruptly as his gaze dropped from Rori’s outraged expression to the perfection of her breasts, bared now to his gaze in all their feminine glory. He froze.





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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

After working as a department manager for Famous-Barr, and briefly as a clerk at a bookstore, Bobbi gave up on career security and began writing. She sold her first book to Zebra in 1982.
Since then, Bobbi has written over 40 books and 6 novellas. To date, there are more than five million copies of her novels in print. She has been awarded the prestigious Romantic Times Storyteller Award and two Career Achievement Awards. Her books have appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List, the USA Today Best Seller List and the Wal-Mart Best Seller List.

The rights to Ms. Smith’s books have been sold to China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Russia and Sweden. Bobbi has also written two faith-based contemporary novels – Haven and Miracles – using the pseudonym Julie Marshall.

Amazon buy link:

Barnes and Noble buy link:



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Friday, October 11, 2019

Virtual Book Tour: Homo Roboticus by Mayet Ligad Yuhico

Good morning! Please welcome author Mayet Ligad Yuhico to Full Moon Dreaming. She is here to talk about her new release, Homo Roboticus. Mayet will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour via Rafflecopter. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. To find the other stops on her tour, go here. Don't forget to look for the Rafflecopter at the end of this post!



Homo Roboticus
by Mayet Ligad Yuhico

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GENRE: Speculative fiction (sci-fi thriller)

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BLURB:

US Colony Agent Brice O' Rourke is traumatised as a child when half the world disappears as waters rose because of climate change and when North Korea unleashed sentient human like droid soldiers to conquer lands for their hungry people.

When the US Congress passed laws allowing the Homo Roboticus Sollus and Aequilavum programs, Brice gains Ira, a sister, and meets a fellow droid agent Lee Jae Sung who saves her life during a mission.

As a new President wins on an anti-robotist, authoritarian stance vowing a pre-machine existence, will Brice defy her own government and risk her life to save loved ones from extinction?

“Homo Roboticus is a richly-imagined cautionary tale of a future earth in which long-feared climate disaster has actually happened, the world’s population is permanently at war, and robots have become almost more human than their creators.” --Susan Krawitz, author of Viva, Rose!, a Sydney Taylor Honor winner, National Jewish Book Award debut fiction finalist, and Spur Award finalist

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EXCERPT:



The ground shook, but she held on to her hidden perch as the other children shoved each other as they rushed to the cliff’s edge. And then one by one, they jumped into the water with nary a hint of fear in their faces. To them, the sea was their playground.

“Hey Eilish, come here and hide!” she called.

A tiny elfin face looked up at her. She smiled. Eilish’s clothes had become disheveled, showing the glassinex parts of her anatomy.

“Come on over here. You’ll be seen where you are,” she said.

She pulled Eilish into her hidden, leafy lair and fixed her clothes, tugging her shirt sleeves over the shiny wrists, and socks up over knobbed knees.

“Brice, why do I need all these clothes?” Eilish said. “At home…”

“We’re not at home, Eilish. We’re out here to play.”

Eilish turned to her. “Who are we playing with? We’re always up in the trees. I want to go home.”

“Hush, Eilish,” she snapped. “Don’t move!”

Eilish sat down and hummed to herself. 

 Pulling a leaf from her own hair, she balanced precariously on a branch. Hidden in the sturdy branches of the mango tree, she intended to stay that way until the last rays of the sun vanished and the other kids ran back to their homes. Her family had left Antarctica, the coldest and windiest continent on earth, only six months before. Palawan, located in the western part of the Philippines, was a balmy tropical paradise, but it was still shocking for her to leave the house in the thinnest of garments and flip flops.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Mayet Ligad Yuhico is the author of FOURTEEN DAYS, a work of romantic contemporary fiction published in 2011.

Based in Singapore since 2012, Mayet has shifted to the genre of speculative fiction
in her new novel, HOMO ROBOTICUS, to ponder on the consequences of global warming and climate change.

http://mayetligadyuhico.com/
Newsletter: https://conta.cc/31y6SZK
https://www.facebook.com/mayetlyuhico/
https://www.amazon.com/Homo-Roboticus-Mayet-Ligad-Yuhico-ebook/dp/B07XG2H1XN



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