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Friday, June 23, 2017

Release Blitz: Rex by Saskia Walker #eroticromance @saskiawalker #billionaire

New from award-winning author Saskia Walker: Rex (A Stepbrother Romance)  #eroticromance  @saskiawalker #billionaire #stepbrother

Book Description:

Rex Carruthers can have any woman he wants, but he wants only one - his stepsister, Carmen Shelby. Their desire was once forbidden, and Rex walked away from his heritage as a result. Now, the reading of a will brings them back together, and Rex has something Carmen wants - his birthright, the stately home, Burlington Manor. 

Carmen Shelby is haunted by her desire for her stepbrother, Rex - a dangerous, masterful player, the man who broke her heart. Then Rex makes an outrageous suggestion - he will give her the
Burlington Manor Estate, in exchange for the affair they were denied. 
Carmen must risk her fragile heart and explore a new, submissive sexuality with Rex, a natural Dom. She quickly discovers Rex may be her true master, but can he control the powerful family secrets that both drew them together - and threaten to tear them apart. 

Buy links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US | Amazon AU | Amazon CA | Coming soon in print.


Carmen’s attitude triggered something dark in Rex. Something that was hungry and demanding to be fed. “Crawl to me,” he commanded.
Carmen’s head dropped back as if she’d been physically slapped.
The urge to push her some more roared in on him, taking charge. He strode to the chair where his clothes lay abandoned from the night before.
Swiping up his jeans, he fished into the pocket. He tossed the key chain out across the floor, holding on to the end of the long chain. “Get down on your hands and knees and crawl over here for it.”
When the key landed on the Persian rug, she stared down at it.
Rex jerked on the chain.
The key flipped over on the floor between them, like bait. Like a lure.
“Show me what you want, what you came here for,” he said.
Carmen shook her head.
“I want to know exactly what you wanted when you stepped through the door. The truth.”
She stared up at him. “I can’t do this.”
“You can, because you want the Manor, and you agreed to do whatever I said to get it.” Would she use the safeword? Would this push her humiliation trigger just that bit too far? He didn’t care, as long as it got the truth out of her. He had to know. “Why are you here? What did you want? Just the property?”
“Yes.” She dropped onto her hands and knees. Her voice was weak, forced. “It’s a fair exchange, that’s what you said.”
The light outlined her body, drawing his eye to her curves.
She moved suddenly, jerking forward and crawling toward the key, but she was in turmoil. He could sense it. He could see it.
The sight of her that way made him painfully hard and yet his sense of frustration only grew. He wanted to understand this woman more than anything in the world.
When she got to it, her hand wrapped around the key, but she stayed there, shifting uneasily. The light from the window fell across her naked form, delineating the arch of her waist and the curve of her hip. Her soft skin glowed in the morning light. In contrast, her face was shadowed by her hair as it fell forward, and she looked up at him like a wild creature, her eyes blazing.
“Tell me why,” he demanded, and he held tight to his end of the key chain.
Her body rippled, her back arching. Her head swung to one side. She whimpered. Taking a deep breath she moved again, gathering the chain up in her hand as she went.
“Just the house?” he asked. “That’s all you wanted? You were that mercenary?”
She froze, then sat back on her heels. Her breathing was labored. She was battling inner demons.
He pressed her further. “Why is this so hard for you to talk about?”
Because I’m scared.” She stared up at him, and her eyes looked wild.
Rex swallowed. “Why are you scared?”
Her eyes flashed shut. “
Because I wanted you.” Her voice was scarcely above a whisper “I didn’t realize how much, at first, but I came here because I’ve always wanted you.”
Rex's chest felt tight and restricted.
He let go of the key chain, throwing it down on the floor, and clicked his fingers. “Then come to my side.”
She moved fast, kneeling at his feet, her arms wrapping around his thighs. The key and its chain lay abandoned on the floor. Rex stared down at it, assuring himself of what had occurred.
She clung to him, and he felt damp tears against his skin. “Please don’t tease me about it.”
Rex let his head drop back, relief barreling through him.
Grateful, and empowered, he stroked her head possessively, admitting to himself that a month would never be enough.
Never enough.

About the Author:

Saskia Walker is a USA Today Bestseller and award-winning author. Her short stories and novellas have appeared in over one hundred international anthologies and several international magazines, including Cosmo, Penthouse, and Bust. After writing shorts for several years Saskia moved into novel-length projects.
Fascinated with seduction, Saskia loves to explore how and why we get from saying "hello" to sharing our most intimate selves in moments of extreme passion. Her novels Double Dare and Rampant both won Passionate Plume awards and her writing has twice been nominated for a RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award. She has lots more stories in the pipeline! Saskia lives in the north of England on the edge of the Yorkshire moors, with her real life hero, Mark, and a house full of felines.

Sign up for Saskia's newsletter to hear about her latest releases
or keep in touch using the following links:

Release blitz organized by Writer Marketing Services.


Guest Blog & #Giveaway: Dawn Girl by Leslie Wolfe @WolfeNovels

Pristine, golden beaches and a dead body
The Heroes and Villains of Everyday Life
You go about your business and suddenly you come across an individual who’s not exactly…  kind.  Who’s not the type of person you’d like to ask to come over for dinner.  Who’s definitely not the type of person you would accept around your children without feeling the urge to load your weapon.
This individual could be male or female, young or old, a stranger or a remote acquaintance. It doesn’t matter; these people just happened to cross our paths regardless of how much we’d want to never meet them again. Just to clarify, they could be the road rage driver who cut in front of you then honked and yelled at you for no good reason. They could be the creep who stalked your daughter on her way back from school. They could be the neighbor who poured detergent at the root of your favorite tree because she doesn’t like the fallen leaves on her lawn.
Or you find yourself humbled by an act of kindness coming from a total stranger, someone who goes out of their way to help you, while expecting nothing in return.  Someone you’d love to have over for dinner, but words fail to come out of your mouth to extend the invite. You can barely whisper thank you as they turn to leave, but they’ll be forever in your heart, together with the gratitude for having had the opportunity to meet them, even if for a split second.
            It doesn’t matter how these people look like; authors build physiognomies easily. We don’t need much inspiration for physical descriptions. Where these people really bring value into our artistic lives is through allowing us a glimpse into their souls.  I don’t mean that in a biblical way, not even remotely. Pragmatically though, such people make great heroes or villains.  Sometimes I like to look at one of these individuals and ask myself, “If you were a serial killer, who would you kill?  How would you go about it?  What would pleasure you the most?  And how would I catch you?” Or, on the other hand, “If you were my hero, how would you rescue me?”
Just like there are colors, myriads of colors in nature, there are equally many facets to human behavior. Sometimes people surprise us, whether in a good way or a bad one, but that dimension, that depth of perception, of feeling, of emotion, we only find in nature, in real people. In the strangers that provide us with inspiration for characters that that will become memorable, whether heroes or villains.
I like to people watch sometimes, looking for that edge of behavior, that wow moment when a complete stranger becomes a hero at the local mall just by returning a wallet or helping someone cross the street. All my characters are fictional, but here and there one of the traits they exhibit comes from a person who has crossed my path, at some point in time when I was watching. It’s discreet, buried amongst other personality traits my character is exhibiting, and it’s totally unrecognizable. After all, villains won’t admit they’re villains, and heroes don’t know they’re heroes.
All I do is watch, pay attention to the people that cross my path, and my world populates with countless heroes, and a few villains too.

 Read on below for a short excerpt, more info about Dawn Girl and a GIVEAWAY!

Dawn GirlTess Winnett SeriesBook OneLeslie Wolfe

Genre: Crime Thriller / Police Procedural
Publisher: Italics Publishing
Date of Publication: 8/30/2016
ISBN: 978-1-945302-06-0
Number of pages: 225
Word Count: 71,000
Cover Artist: Sam Roman

Book Description:

Her blue eyes wide open, glossed over. A few specks of sand clung to her long, dark lashes. Her beautiful face, immobile, covered in sparkling flecks of sand. Her lips slightly parted as if to let a last breath escape.

Who is the beautiful girl found at dawn, on a deserted stretch of golden sand beach? What is her secret?

FBI Special Agent Tess Winnett searches for answers relentlessly. With each step, each new finding, she uncovers unsettling facts leading to a single possible conclusion: Dawn Girl is not the only victim. Her killer has killed before.

Hiding a terrible secret of her own, Special Agent Tess Winnett faces her inmost fears, in a heart-stopping race to catch a killer who’s getting ready to end yet another life. Will she find the killer in time? Will she be able to stop him? At what cost?

The rules of the game have changed.

So has the textbook definition of a serial killer.

Special Agent Tess Winnett is the bold, direct, and short-fused heroine of Dawn Girl. Putting her life on the line, she doesn’t pull any punches, searching only for the truth, and for the man who takes lives on her watch. Intelligent, resourceful, and uncompromising, Tess will take readers on a memorable, white-knuckled journey in this suspenseful, gripping serial killer thriller.

Kindle      Paperback      Audible


She made an effort to open her eyes, compelling her heavy eyelids to obey. She swallowed hard, her throat raw and dry, as she urged the wave of nausea to subside. Dizzy and confused, she struggled to gain awareness. Where was she? She felt numb and shaky, unable to move, as if awakening from a deep sleep or a coma. She tried to move her arms, but couldn’t. Something kept her immobilized, but didn’t hurt her. Or maybe she couldn’t feel the pain, not anymore. 

About the Author:

Bestselling author Leslie Wolfe is passionate about writing fiction, despite spending a significant number of years climbing the corporate ladder. Leaving the coveted world of boardrooms for the blissful peace of the Florida-based "Wolves’ den," Leslie answers one true calling: writing.

Leslie’s novels break the mold of traditional thrillers. Fascinated by technology and psychology, Leslie brings extensive background and research in these fields that empower and add texture to a signature, multi-dimensional, engaging writing style.

Leslie released the first novel, Executive, in October 2011. It was very well received, including inquiries from Hollywood. Since then, Leslie published numerous novels and enjoyed growing success and recognition in the marketplace. Among Leslie’s most notable works, The Watson Girl (2017) was recognized for offering a unique insight into the mind of a serial killer and a rarely seen first person account of his actions, in a dramatic and intense procedural thriller.

A complete list of Leslie’s titles is available at

Follow Leslie on Twitter: @WolfeNovels

Leslie’s Goodreads profile:

Like Leslie's Facebook page:

Visit Leslie’s website for the latest news:   


3 $20 gift card combos, “Coffee and a Book,” Starbucks and Amazon gift cards $10 each. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Interview with J.M. Robison, author of The War Queen @JMRobison

Hi! Would you tell us a little bit about yourself? :)

I’m a smattering of awesomeness. I like experiencing new things so I could never see myself holding a career at any one place. Which is why I write stories. I can experience something new every day and with every book. I’ve been writing since I was 15 (now 29). I wrote a story in the 1st grade about a Leprechaun who lost his pot of gold but found it at the end of the rainbow. He got attached by a monster at the end just to give the story some kick. I’m in the U.S. Army Reserves and hold the job of Military Police. Full time, I work as a Deputy Sheriff (yes, I’m a female.)

What do you do when you are not writing?
Work at my real-life job, which is where I’m at now as I’m answering this question. I’ve since converted all my beauty products and household cleaners into chemical free. I make my own shampoo and laundry soap. I love the outdoors. Hiking. Camping.

Do you write an outline before starting a book or just write?
I just write. For me, as long as I have a shady beginning, a questionable middle, and uncertain end, I dive in and begin writing. I like to live my life without structure, too. I develop the story as I write it. I could never think up half my ideas on my own without something to prompt them. Writing prompts those ideas.

How do you market your book(s)?
I don’t so much as market my books as I do market myself as the author. I connect with people, ask budding writers on twitter what their stories are about and offer advice if they need it, which they often take me up on. “Read my book please” is something I actually saw on twitter today and, you guessed it, I didn’t read the book. Didn’t even look to see what the book was about. Connecting with people and knowing them as humans first instead of book-buying-robots will get you much further.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
The War Queen was rejected for publication 47 times before Tirgearr accepted me. Why didn’t I give up after the first twenty? Because if I’d given up after my 47th rejection, I never would have secured a publishing contract on my 48th try. You never know where just one more try will get you. I love The Haunted Mansion (the movie) and the part where Eddie Murphy is throwing hard objects at the glass windows to break them before his wife is married off to a ghost. His efforts fail and he slumps down in misery, bemoaning.
“You’re just going to give up?” says the Oracle.
“I’ve tried!” he complains.
“You try, you fail, you try, you fail, but the only real failure is when you stop trying.”
“What do you want me to do?” he asks.
“…Try again.”
Eddie then drives the whole damn car through the window and it breaks. He saves his wife, and the movie ends happy. I F*&$ing LOVE it. That’s what it felt like when I finally got my contract.

I know authors get asked this a lot but do you have any advice that you would give to aspiring writers?
And I LOVE answering this question because it took me 16 years making all the mistakes on my own to finally feel like I wrote something good. Any help I can provide a new writer not to take as long as I did is the sugar in my kool-aid. Follow other writers on twitter who offer writing advice. READ what they post. Had I actually read up on how to write, I could have shaved 10 years off my learning curve. You can join writing groups on facebook too, who offer writing advice.

When did you realize that you would like to write and publish a book?
When I first put pen to paper (I write every 1st draft by hand), I was already dreaming my first book to be a MOVIE. Yes. I aspire that high.

Can you tell us, in your own words not the book description, a little about your book?
Altarn is the first female to secure the title of State Head of Blindvar, which is similar to our current day President in the scope of the political responsibilities. Having females in a position of power is a new and not-welcomed concept (Sound familiar in real life?) Altarn faces biases because of this weird female-in-power gig. She even has reason to believe that Kaelin, who is the State Head of Ruidenthall, wants to take advantage of her perceived female “weakness” and take Blindvar from her. To make sure Kaelin doesn’t launch a military coup to kick her out of power, she travels in disguise to her sister state and ally, Luthsinia. Before she can even ask the king there to help her in the coming war against Kaelin, a war is launched on Blindvar. The kicker, however, is it’s not Kaelin’s army.

To make her startling situation worse, Kaelin is in Luthsinia for nefarious reasons of his own. He finds out Altarn is there, and kidnaps her. He takes her to Ruidenthall and keeps her detained in his castle. The people of Blindvar actually love Kaelin, where Altarn does not, and in the absence of Altarn (no one knows where she is or what happened to her) they flood Kaelin’s boarders to flee the foreign army staking claim in Blindvar. Kaelin accepts the refugees and plans to fight this foreign army out of Blindvar to win the people’s favor who will likely let him claim Blindvar for himself.

But since Kaelin is not willing to kill Altarn for this or keep her prisoner the rest of her life, he frees her, though under the threat that he won’t help Altarn fight this army out of her state unless she agrees to give him Blindvar. Altarn is forced to accept, but then must think of a way not to give Blindvar to him. Altarn almost sees her chance when Kaelin is mortally wounded in battle. If she lets him die, he won’t take Blindvar from her. But can she face her conscience if she does that? Further, if she saves his life, will he still claim Blindvar as planned? Or her heart?

Which came first for you, the characters or the plot?
The plot. I don’t think in all my 8 novels I’ve completed, where the characters have come first.

Where can we purchase this book?

Can we expect more novels from you in 2017?
A literary agent just asked for the entire manuscript for my YA historical fantasy based on Victorian Era England, called The Last Wizard. May Fingers cross and stars align.

Are you working on anything at the moment?
The sequel to The Last Wizard, appropriately called The First Sorceress.

Are you reading anything interesting at the moment? If so, what is it?
Good question, for you should never trust a writer to write anything good if they don’t read. I’m reading The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. About this writer who’s had a rough life but appears to have been given a lucky break with a publisher who seems too good to be true. I’m only halfway through it, but I’m liking it.

Do you think you may ever go into another genre?
I have a book planned that will be a religious fantasy:  a made-up religion where the main conflict and plot are centered on this religion. I can’t say I won’t break out of my fantasy box and write something completely different, like a western or more modern fiction, because I just might. Stories find me, I don’t find them. I’m not a writer, I’m an historian for other worlds.

Do you think you will have a follow up book to this novel or is it just a stand-alone novel?
It’s a stand-alone, but I do have plans to eventually write a story about the war that dethroned the kings. It will happen 324 years prior to The War Queen. Aptly called The War King (are you picking up on how I like to title my series yet?)

What is the hardest part of writing in your opinion?
 Wanting to write when personal obligations must come first. *sigh*

Can you tell us a few do’s and don’ts for aspiring authors?
DO establish yourself an author website, get on twitter, and create a facebook author page NOW. Experts say it takes 5 years to gain a following for you as an author. You MUST start before your book comes out. I love helping, so if you need help, contact me.

If you could live in the world you have created, would you? If no, why not?
YES YES YES! I write stories so characters can explore the world I physically cannot. I tend to get this God-complex when I write (the whole creation and creating people, thing). I want to see and touch and feel my creations.

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?
“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”
(Alexander Pope, “Essay on Man,” Epistle II, line 135.)

Because it is true, that the more we see the vices of the world, the more we come to accept them. Virginity used to be kept sacred and people respected that. But now strangers will have rampant sex with each other, and is becoming the norm. Marijuana used to be an evil, but now states are signing bills to allow it for recreational use. The more we see the vices, the more we accept them. Why?

Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?

Don’t’ think your glowing review makes a differences on Amazon or Goodreads? Of course you would never see the author get up and dance, shout out loud in joy that their book had an effect on you. You’d never see them pop the cork to celebrate, or go out to dinner to further relish in the good feeling your review gives us. Writers are strange creatures. Even if nobody bought our books, we would still write them. But to KNOW our books had an effect on you, maybe changed your life for the better (or worse, I guess, depends on the book), or made you question a previous truth… we get a God-complex. We are directly responsible for creating that feeling in you. And we love it.

Random Quickies!

Pepsi or coke?
Juice. Not any that has high fructose corn syrup, either.

Favorite kind of chocolate?
Kinder. Made in Germany. Found in Germany. American chocolate tastes like dirt after having real, European chocolate. Heresy’s can’t hold a candle to kinder.

Favorite book or author? Yeah we know it can be hard to choose! ;)
Susan D. Kalior (Warriors in the Mist).

Hardback/Paperback or eReader?
All but eReader.

Why do you like hardcover/paperback more?
Because inmates in jails don’t have eReaders, because blind people can’t use ereaders (braille, you know.) Because I went to Afghanistan and didn’t have internet to download books, but there was a shelf of free paper backs at the rec center. Because someday we won’t have electricity.

Favorite color?
Glow in the dark

Have you ever been out of the state where you live?

*takes deep breath* I’ve been to… Afghanistan, Romania, Germany, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, KuwaitNebraska, Idaho, Nevada, Missouri, Wisconsin, California, Utah… 

Date Published: Oct 2016
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing

300 years ago, the people dethroned their king and queen to prevent another tyranny. Now instead, the people nominate a State Head every three years and Altarn is the first female to hold the position. She’s used to tolerating the biases of men but Kaelin, the State Head of his territory, has declared her incompetent and has even, according to Altarn, threatened to steal her land – she believes he wants to make himself king. Believing she must “dethrone” Kaelin, Altarn rides to her last ally to ask for aid in the war against Kaelin she knows is coming.  But in her absence an army launches an attack… and it’s not Kaelin’s.

Taking advantage of the startling situation, Kaelin kidnaps Altarn so he can take her land without her in the way. Soon realizing he needs her help to fight this army instead, he releases her and, since Altarn’s army is too small to win the war alone, she is forced to accept his help, but payment for his help will be her land. No one believes Kaelin is secretly trying to make himself king, so after the battle is won, alone in her knowledge and lacking allies, Altarn must become the War Queen of legend to dethrone another king… though she unexpectedly dethrones his heart instead.

About the Author

J.M. Robison is a fantasy historian who chronicles the events which force heroes to reveal their  mistakes, lead rebellions to dethrone tyranny, and unearth ancient secrets to free the oppressed. Having joined the U.S. Army at 17 with a deployment to Afghanistan and Romania, and currently working as a Deputy Sheriff, J.M. Robison has seen a lot of people and been to a lot of places; the evidence of which frequently bleeds into her writing. She loves and uses essential oils. She makes her own shampoo, lotions, laundry soap, face wash, and toothpaste.

Contact Links

Reading Addiction Blog Tours


Excerpt & #Giveaway: Hell Holes: What Lurks Below by Donald Firesmith

Hell Holes: What Lurks Below
by Donald Firesmith


GENRE: Science Fiction (Apocalyptic)



It’s August in Alaska, and geology professor Jack Oswald prepares for the new school year. But when hundreds of huge holes mysteriously appear overnight in the frozen tundra north of the Arctic Circle, Jack receives an unexpected phone call. An oil company exec hires Jack to investigate, and he picks his climatologist wife and two of their graduate students as his team. Uncharacteristically, Jack also lets Aileen O’Shannon, a bewitchingly beautiful young photojournalist, talk him into coming along as their photographer. When they arrive in the remote oil town of Deadhorse, the exec and a biologist to protect them from wild animals join the team. Their task: to assess the risk of more holes opening under the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the wells and pipelines that feed it. But they discover a far worse danger lurks below. When it emerges, it threatens to shatter Jack’s unshakable faith in science. And destroy us all…


“I enjoyed my time in Firesmith’s world. I did not want to leave. I really got a kick out of it, and would happily come back for more. Recommended.”
MJ Kobernus, author of The Guardian: Blood in the Sand

“This book rocks.”
Barton Paul Levenson, author of Dark Gods of Alter Telluria

“a quick, enjoyable read. Full of action and fraught with danger”
Dave Robertson, author of Strange Hunting, Strange Hunting II, and The Brave and The Dead

“The book is an easy and quick read and an action-filled one that you’ll imagine as a TV series or a movie with no difficulty.”

Olga Núñez Miret, author of Escaping Psychiatry


My phone rang. Angie paused so that I could take the call. It was from Kevin Kowalski, an ExxonMobil manager for whom I’d occasionally worked as a consultant.

“Dr. Oswald,” he said when I answered. “Thank God, I got you. We have a big problem, and I need you up here right away.”

“What kind of a problem?” I asked, putting him on speakerphone so the others could hear. “Classes are about to start and I need to…”

“Forget the classes,” Kowalski interrupted. “We have a disaster in the making up here. You know those huge holes that opened last year in northern Siberia?”

“Sure,” I replied. “They’re probably just big sinkholes caused by the melting of subsurface ice or the melting of very large pingos.”

“Huh? What’s a pingo?” Kowalski asked. To Kowalski, surface features were merely something that made life difficult when drilling wells and piping oil.

“Pingos,” I replied, “are large conical hills of ice covered with a relatively thin layer of dirt. Anyway, what about the sinkholes? Are you telling me we’ve got one up on the North Slope?”

“Damned straight,” Kowalski answered angrily. “In the last twenty-four hours, we’ve spotted over two dozen, and several have opened up near our oil wells. There’s one close to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline down near Pump Station 2, and I don’t have to tell you the hell there’ll be to pay if another one opens up under the pipeline. We’re facing a financial and environmental disaster, and I need you up in Deadhorse ASAP. How soon can you put a team together? We need to know what’s causing them and how likely it is that one will open under our facilities.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

A computer geek by day, at night and on weekends Donald Firesmith writes modern paranormal fantasy, apocalyptic science fiction, action and adventure novels and relaxes by handcrafting magic wands from magical woods and mystical gemstones.
A computer geek by day, Donald Firesmith works as a system and software engineer helping the US Government acquire large, complex software-intensive systems. In this guise, he has authored seven technical books, written numerous software- and system-related articles and papers, and spoken at more conferences than he can possibly remember. He is also proud to have been named a Distinguished Engineer by the Association of Computing Machinery, although his pride is tempered somewhat worrying whether the term “distinguished” makes him sound more like a graybeard academic rather than an active engineer whose beard is still more red than gray.
By night and on weekends, his alter ego writes modern paranormal fantasy, apocalyptic science fiction, action and adventure novels and relaxes by handcrafting magic wands from various magical woods and mystical gemstones. His first foray into fiction is the book Magical Wands: A Cornucopia of Wand Lore written under the pen name Wolfrick Ignatius Feuerschmied. He lives in Crafton, Pennsylvania with his wife Becky, his son Dane, and varying numbers of dogs, cats, and birds.


Book Trailer:

Buy Links: The book is free


Donald will be awarding an autographed copy of the Hell Holes 2: Demons on the Dalton (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Guest Post & #Giveaway: Redemption Lake by Susan Clayton-Goldner


This blog is about vulnerability and how it connects with the creative process. We’ve all had people in our lives so guarded we rarely see beyond their masks. Occasionally, perhaps at times of great sorrow, rage, or joy, we get a glimpse, a spark, a piece of something we recognize as genuine. Many guarded people see vulnerability as a weakness, as leaving themselves without defense and open to attack. I disagree.

What is often thought of as vulnerability is really strength. Sharing our deepest fears and regrets is a courageous and unifying act. Our vulnerabilities, not our strengths, connect us as human beings and help us to avoid the aloneness of never being known. Most of us have made discoveries about a dead loved one and wished we could have known this while they were alive. When I was going through my mother’s things, I discovered a box of poems she’d written. I was 29-years-old, had written poetry my entire life, and had no idea my mother wrote, too. I was stunned. And a bit hurt, as I thought I knew her better than anyone. Why hadn’t she shared them with me? I suspect she was afraid to be that vulnerable. But her fear was misplaced. It would have been a great gift and inspiration to me to hear those poems in her voice.

Readers often question me about the way I go deep into human emotions. They talk about the courage it takes to be vulnerable. And perhaps they are right. Perhaps vulnerable people are brave enough to be honest and true to both their hearts and their convictions. In this era of so many different modes of communication—Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Instagram, etc.—we select bits and pieces of ourselves for public exposure—more concerned with our presentation than with our true selves. And while I understand the necessity of a certain anonymity for public media, I can also see the inherent dangers in terms of self-knowledge.

Making any kind of art takes tenacity, a deep need to create, a belief you have something to say and, above all, the courage to say it. Perhaps all good art is an expression of vulnerability and suffering because of the way it opens the mind and heart to newness. For writers, making our characters vulnerable means we give them courage to show up and be seen. It is the most authentic state of being—this place where you are open to the darkness, the light, and all the shades and shadows in between. Being vulnerable allows you to write deeper, more emotional characters. How many times as writers have we gotten rejected by an agent or editor because, “I just couldn’t connect with your character.” Discover your most authentic self. Write about fear, pain, resentment and heartache—dig deep into your own emotions—and your prose characters will come alive. Readers will feel the connection.

One of the most effective ways for a writer to gain sympathy for a character is to expose his wounds. Vulnerability is the gateway to that exposure. Sharing deep fears and regrets can and does make us feel vulnerable, but it is an ultimately unifying act and will connect our fictional characters to our readers. When a person or a character is open, he begins to heal both himself and others. And so I challenge you to have the courage to be vulnerable in your lives, and in your writing. Go forth and be BRAVE.

Date Published: May 17, 2017
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing

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Tucson, Arizona – Eighteen-year-old Matt Garrison is harboring two terrible secrets: his involvement in the drowning death of his 12-year-old cousin, and a night of drunken sex with his best friend’s mother, Crystal, whom he finds dead the following morning. Guilt forces Matt to act on impulse and hide his involvement with Crystal. 

Detective Winston Radhauser knows Matt is hiding something. But as the investigation progresses, Radhauser’s attention is focused on Matt’s father. Matt’s world closes in when his dad is arrested for Crystal’s murder and Travis breaks off their friendship. Despite his father’s guilty plea, Matt knows his dad is innocent and only trying to protect his son. Devastated and bent on self-destruction, Matt heads for the lake where his cousin died—the only place he believes can truly free him. Are some secrets better left buried?

            Redemption Lake is a novel of love and betrayal. It’s about truth and lies, friendship and redemption, about assuming responsibility, and the risks a father and son will take to protect each other. 


For the next hour and a half, he drifted in and out of sleep. Cradled by the night sounds of the desert outside the open window, each time a memory emerged, his thoughts thickened and folded back into sleep. At one point he heard water running for a bath. A little later, he heard a car outside. Oh God, please don’t let it be Travis. He stumbled to the window and opened the curtains. In the street, two long rectangular taillights moved away, turning south onto Oracle Road.
Matt leaned against the wall, staring at the sunflower sheets on Crystal’s bed. The same bed he and Travis had jumped up and down on when they were eight. The digital clock read 10:38 p.m. His head throbbed. He needed to close his eyes. Crystal would wake him in time to leave before Travis got home. He fell back onto the bed.
When he woke up again, the room was very dark. He wore only his boxers and a white T-shirt his mother had insisted upon—claiming his usual dark one would show through his tuxedo shirt. As if the color of his T-shirt could ruin her perfect wedding. But he’d been ingenious and found another way to ruin things for his mother. He turned toward the empty space beside him. It took a few moments for him to realize where he was. He closed his eyes, shook his aching head to clear it. Crystal was his best friend’s mother. What the hell was he doing in her bed?
He thought he heard the sound of the front door open, then close again. Oh God, please don’t let it be Travis. His eyes adjusted to the darkness. One event at a time, he remembered everything.
Fully awake now, he shot from the bed, rocking for a few seconds before he achieved balance, then hurried to the window. The moon hung over the mountaintop, its light silver and unforgiving. Crystal’s driveway was empty. Whoever he’d heard, it wasn’t Travis. On the other side of the street, an engine started. This time the taillights were round. Definitely not Crystal’s Escort. The car turned north on Oracle Road.
Matt let out the breath he’d been holding and glanced at the digital clock—its red letters told him it was 11:20 p.m. He needed to get dressed and leave. The dance ended in forty minutes and Travis would head home. He grabbed his tuxedo pants and shirt from the chair. His hands shook so hard he could barely work the fly and the button on his trousers. He slipped into his shirt, then sat on the edge of the bed. As if he had the flu, his head throbbed and his stomach felt queasy.
He rushed down the hallway toward the bathroom. And when he did, he saw the puddle of blood on the floor beside the bathtub.
He hurried across the room, jerked open the pale green shower curtain.
Crystal lay naked in a bathtub filled with blood-colored water. Her hair, her beautiful blonde curls, had been chopped off, shorter in some places than others, as if a small child had done it. Some of the curls were floating on top of the water.
For a strange moment, everything remained calm and slow.
Her head was propped against one of those blow-up pillows attached to the back of the tub with suction cups. The tint of her skin was pale and slightly blue. Crystal’s eyes were open and staring straight ahead—looking at something he couldn’t see. Blood splattered the white tiles that surrounded the tub. It dripped down them like wet paint. One of her hands flopped over the side of the tub. A single thick drop fell from her index finger into the crimson pond congealing on the linoleum floor. It covered her neck and shoulders. Tiny bubbles of frothy blood still oozed from the gash in her neck.
An empty Smirnoff bottle sat in a puddle of blood on the tub’s rim beside a straight-edged razor blade.
The bathroom was so quiet. Nothing but the sound of his own breathing. He clenched and unclenched his hands. His body grew numb. “Oh no. Oh God, no,” he said, the words thickening in the air in front of him. His head filled with strange sounds—the drone of insects humming, violinists tuning their strings. “What have I done?”
The contents of his stomach rose. He crouched in front of the toilet and heaved until nothing more came up. Then he started to rock, back and forth, muttering what he already knew was a useless prayer. Please, just let her be okay. He said it over and over like an unstoppable mantra. If only he could keep saying the words, maybe he could reverse this unthinkable thing.
Maybe she was still alive

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