GUEST BLOG POST from Author G. R. Stone on the LEAP YEAR 2016 – RAFFLECOPTER AUTHOR GIVEAWAY

Hey gang – we are headed into day three of the LEAP YEAR 2016 RAFFLECOPTER‬ ‪AUTHOR‬ GIVEAWAY‬ with a guest post from Author G. R. Stone.

Before we get to it, I want to take a moment to remind you to check out our original blog post regarding the contest and encourage you to enter for one of 19 great prizes!

And now without further ado – Author G. R. Stone!

I am so excited to be introducing my new novella – Marie’s Diary – The Introduction.

Marie

The adult romance trilogy follows the story of Marie Boxford, a forty-six-year-old, senior pharmaceutical representative, with her oldest in his final year of college and her youngest entering in the fall.

The story begins with her facing the reality of her fading marriage and how she begins to come to terms with it over the sunset of that chapter in her life.

While she has a close group of friends to confide in, she is reluctant to divulge everything to any one of them, so she takes to putting down her thoughts in an online diary.

She works through her feelings at her half of the failure in her marriage, all the while coming more and more out her shell. She acknowledges her lack of emotional and physical response to sex, in her marriage and with her husband. She realizes, as her husband did, that what she wants and desires will likely need to come from someone else.

The supporting character of the story is Ben Livingston – a single, white collar, professional who is just beginning a new relationship with a woman he works with, after exiting a recent, tumultuous, relationship. While navigating the Internet, he stumbles across the file share where Marie is storing her diary online.

As Marie begins the new chapters of her life, she is unaware that Ben has taken on the role of voyeur, taking vicarious pleasure by reading her entries.

This series is intended for mature audiences eighteen years and older.

I am also excited to announce that on Wednesday February 17, Blogger/Reviewer Catherine Bibby of Rochelle’s Reviews is going to be hosting a teaser excerpt of Marie’s Diary – The Introduction on her site; I am so excited for the opportunity and cannot thank her enough.

Website: http://www.RochellesReviews.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RochellesReview
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RochellesReviews

I also want to thank (via shout out) a number of heavy re-tweeters for me these past couple of days – I really do appreciate the support.

@_DakotaStorm https://twitter.com/_DakotaStorm
@crypticgoose https://twitter.com/crypticgoose
@JohnFindleyAuth https://twitter.com/JohnFindleyAuth
@annajayewilde https://twitter.com/annajayewilde
@EroticaNation https://twitter.com/EroticaNation
@HunterDarkly https://twitter.com/HunterDarkly
@healthmaturesex https://twitter.com/healthmaturesex
@AuroraSparks_ https://twitter.com/AuroraSparks_
@lilahenoir https://twitter.com/lilahenoir
@peanutpie3 https://twitter.com/peanutpie3
@LiteraryPornRTG https://twitter.com/LiteraryPornRTG
@alisaeaston https://twitter.com/alisaeaston
@mischa_eliot https://twitter.com/mischa_eliot
@ncsimmonsauthor https://twitter.com/ncsimmonsauthor
@CharlotteEHart1 https://twitter.com/CharlotteEHart1
@JulyCumming https://twitter.com/JulyCumming
@SuperSexyShorts https://twitter.com/SuperSexyShorts
@AshaSwordmaiden https://twitter.com/AshaSwordmaiden
@puffangel87 https://twitter.com/puffangel87
@WayneStinnett_ https://twitter.com/WayneStinnett_
@Warnat1 https://twitter.com/Warnat1
@DylanCross7 https://twitter.com/DylanCross7
@SolMage https://twitter.com/SolMage
@DiPuggo https://twitter.com/DiPuggo
@JamieSandulf https://twitter.com/JamieSandulf

Thank you, each of you, and anyone I may have forgotten – because of each of you this is a great launch.

On March 31, 2016 Marie’s Diary – The Separation will release and Marie’s story continues as she begins her formal separation from her husband, Brian.

The Separation

Thanks everyone for stopping by today!

G. R. Stone

GUEST BLOG POST from Author Traci Sanders on the LEAP YEAR 2016 – RAFFLECOPTER AUTHOR GIVEAWAY

Hey gang – we are headed into day two of the LEAP YEAR 2016 RAFFLECOPTER‬ ‪AUTHOR‬ GIVEAWAY‬ with a guest post from Author Traci Sanders.

Before we get to it, I want to take a moment to remind you to check out our original blog post regarding the contest and encourage you to enter for one of 19 great prizes!

And now without further ado – Author Traci Sanders!

traci

First off, I’d like to thank Jason Zandri for organizing this incredible event and for allowing me to be part of it!

My latest release “Unsevered” is a light paranormal romance (think the movie GHOST) about a woman named Jewel whose husband (Harley) is called to active duty just days after the couple returns from their honeymoon. Harley is killed in combat, and Jewel is left to pick up the pieces of her life.

It’s a realistic, compelling story about love found, lost, and rediscovered in a magical way.

Here is one of my favorite excerpts, as it paints a vivid picture of Jewel and Harley’s relationship and what they meant to one another, while giving a glimpse inside Jewel’s broken heart as she deals with the loss of her soul mate.

As well, it touches on the gripping sense of loneliness and loss that every military spouse endures on a regular basis. In fact, the dedication in the front of the book reads:
Dedicated to all military spouses … especially those

whose loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice.

~

It’s amazing how much one can miss taking care of another person. There’s no extra laundry to be done, no dirty dishes to wash.

His clothes hang in perfect rows in the closet, his toothbrush sits dry and unpasted in its holder. I asked him three times if he’d packed it. Not that he needs it now.

Cruel reminders are everywhere that he’s never coming back for these things, that he’s never going to need them again. The joy and laughter that once filled our room mocks me now. What’s there to look forward to anymore?

I curl up in a ball under the covers and breathe in what little of him remains on his pillow. Behind my tear-soaked eyes lurks a memory of our last day together when he was alive. It had started out as the perfect day.

 

* * *       * * *     * * *

Harley slept in as I tiptoed downstairs to make breakfast. In moments, the house was infused with the scent of bacon, eggs, French toast, and coffee. I enjoyed my food out on the back porch watching the waves caress the shore. I finished my meal, placed some fresh fruit in a bowl on the side, and carried the tray upstairs. He blinked his sleepy eyes when he saw me. His smile was intoxicating.

“Mmm, looks delicious.” He sat up in bed with arms folded behind his head.

“Well, after last night, I figured you could use a little refueling.” I offered him a dirty smile.

“The food looks good too.” He returned my gesture, took the tray from my hands and sat it on the dresser. Then he grabbed me by the waist, and threw me onto the bed.

I squealed and squirmed around in hopes of escaping his strong fingers that were torturing my ribs. “No, stop! I hate to be tickled!”

“Ooohhh, let’s find out if I can make you pee your pants,” he teased, and continued to find other reactive areas.

Finally, I made my counterattack and managed to grab the bulging stones between his legs. I squeezed until the power in his fingers diminished and he surrendered.

“Ha, looks like I’m not the only ticklish one.” I threw him a victorious smile, released his genitals, and fell onto my back.

He gently rolled on top of me and stared into my blue eyes. His soft fingers brushed through strands of my hair. “I love you, Jewel. I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to get to wake up to you every day for the rest of my life. Thank you for marrying me and making me the happiest man alive.”

“I love you too, Harley. You are the best thing that’s ever happened to me and I’m proud to be your wife.”

We locked lips, barely allowing a breath to escape. His hands began to wander and just as they reached my belly button, the phone rang.

Our passionate moment was replaced by silence as he answered it.

“This is Harley.” He shooed me away from him and whispered “go away” with a smile. Then, “No, Sir. Not you, Sir.”

My husband’s eyes adopted a gloomy appearance and he turned away to finish the conversation. I heard the words, “Yes sir, I will be there.” And then a click.

Knots formed in my stomach and my breakfast threatened to reappear. I closed my eyes hard and the only sound I heard was the echo of my pounding pulse. I knew this time would come eventually, but didn’t expect it to happen so soon. No, no, no. It wasn’t fair. We’d just returned from our honeymoon, hadn’t even had our first fight as a married couple.

He’d hung up the phone, almost in slow motion and sat on the bed without a word; his head hung low, his breath heavy. He turned to face me and took both of my shaking hands in his.

“That was my commander. He said we pull out at 0600.”

Tears pooled in his eyes. I’d never actually seen him cry and I wasn’t sure how I would react if I did. I was sure I wouldn’t be able to contain my own emotions, so I forced myself to play my part the same way I did when my parents told me they were divorcing. I shut down. My arms pulled away from his and I began to pack his things as I rambled.

“So what all do you need to take? Will it be hot there?”

I grabbed a few t-shirts and pairs of boxers. “How many pairs of socks do you think you’ll need?”

I wanted to die inside with each piece I placed inside his duffle bag. My stride was broken for a moment as I paused to inhale the scent of one of his t-shirts. My body shuddered and tears streamed down my face. I wasn’t able to fake it as well with him.

Harley wrapped both of his arms around my waist and placed soft kisses on the back of my neck.

“Jewel, honey. Look at me.”

I restored my brave face and turned around with my eyes trained on his—determined not to let him see my tears. His muscles bulged against my skin with tension and he embraced me as if he never wanted to let go.

“It’s going to be okay. We can get through this.”

“I know. I’ll be fine,” I said, lying so easily.

Knowing that it might be quite some time before we would have the chance again, we finally rediscovered the mood and made love one last time. It was soft and sweet, the perfect way to say goodbye. Our bodies stayed pressed tight together for the rest of the night. I finally found rest, listening to the beat of his broken heart, because mine was playing the same tune.

The break of dawn illuminated the path as I drove Harley to the base. His head leaned against the passenger window, his eyes fixed on nothing particular as signs and trees whizzed by. I could tell he was torn between staying with me and doing the right thing, even though there was no choice to be made.

Almost in slow motion, we unloaded his things from the car and embraced, surrounded by the other military men and women who bid their own farewells to their loved ones.

The pain in my chest was unbearable. I tried to swallow the lump that had formed at the back of my throat as the last few servicemen had boarded.

Harley brushed a half-bent finger along my cheek. “Remember the sign, sweetheart. I’ll always be with you.”

His voice was soft and empathetic, as he placed tiny kisses upon my hand. The plane engine roared a signal that takeoff was imminent. He pulled me to him and covered my mouth with his, and time stood still. Our tongues entwined as our wet lips slid across one another at a fierce, desperate pace. I’m not sure if either of us even breathed for the duration of that kiss. We shared a long, final embrace and then he joined his comrades.

I waited until the plane was but a dot in the sky to release my pain. Hot, stinging tears drenched my cheeks and became waterfalls within seconds. The other military spouses around me inquired if I needed anything. When I declined, they offered a supportive hand on my shoulder and gathered their children to head back home to continue living life the only way they knew how. Alone.

 

You can view the trailer for “Unsevered” here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1MAdWvujaM

Thanks so much for having me today and for letting me share a little bit about my new book. Please subscribe to my blog at www.awordwithtraci.com where you will find samples of my poems and stories, excerpts from my books, and daily tips on all aspects of the writing industry (publishing, marketing, writing, etc.) in my new segment for 2016 called “365 Days to Write Right.”

Buy links for “Unsevered”
Amazon: http://amzn.to/20zBXtw
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1nUdy0y

Unsevered

unsvd teaser

Buy links for “When Darkness Breaks”
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1TKCG5H
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1SAb7gD

When Darkness Breaks

Connect with me:
Blog: www.awordwithtraci.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AWordWithTraci/?ref=hl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tmsanders2014
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tsanders2014/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7508333.Traci_M_Sanders

 

THE BLOG TOUR – starring Author Gordon Bickerstaff

Blog 6 The Best and Simplest Advice for New Aspiring Writers

If you aspired to be an electrician or a plumber then you would spend a few years learning your craft. If you aspire to be a writer then it is important to learn your craft, and to learn the writing craft you need to take off your reading for enjoyment hat, and put on your apprentice writer hat.

Learn from the experts. Read a book for enjoyment then read it again as an apprentice writer with a critical reviewer hat on. Discover how the writer held your interest. Learn the writer’s techniques in unfolding the story. Examine how the writer has revealed and described characters, and places. When I’ve read a good book, I may read it three times (not in succession) to understand the writer’s techniques. If I learn something, I make a note – maybe a paragraph, maybe a page to remind me of good technique/style/exposition etc.

If you want to learn the writing craft; you should make notes. What worked in the book? Equally, what didn’t you like? No book can satisfy all readers, and experienced writers do make mistakes in storytelling. You will come across different writing styles and voices. Find one that you like so that you can define your own style and voice.

Compare books by the same author, and compare books by different authors. More than likely you will read in the genre that you like, but also dabble in other genres, and look at the different writing techniques used in different genres. Now, your notebook of the writing craft is building up, and you are gaining a good understanding of what writing techniques you like, and which ones you don’t like. Maybe you will come up with your own hybrid style that people like to read. More important, when you come to write, you will employ established writing techniques that will bring your story and its characters to life.

Agatha Christie read 200 books every year. President Theodore Roosevelt read a book every day. Harriet Klausner had posted 31,014 books reviews on Amazon before she died. Though some critics believe she couldn’t have read them all.

The time it takes to read a book depends on how quickly you read. If you read at an average 250 words per minute it might take one and a half minutes to read a page. So a 300 page novel will take 420 minutes or 7 hours. If you read for an hour a day then it will take a week to finish.

Some people read more books by speed reading – taking in a line at a time. I found that if I take in the words too quickly, I sometimes miss the significance, and reading is less enjoyable. When I’m not writing, I can read and enjoy a 300 page book in a week. If it is well written, I’ll read it again with my apprentice hat on, and learn something from the writer. Good writers write good stories, and use good techniques to tell their stories.

 

Buy Gordon Bickerstaff’s Books

GFB author bio pic

Amazon-UK – The Black Fox (Gavin Shawlens Thriller #3)

Amazon-USA – The Black Fox (Gavin Shawlens Thriller #3)

The Black Fox cover

Follow Gordon Bickerstaff here:

Website: http://goo.gl/2in8SX

Twitter handle: @ADPase

Deadly Secrets (Gavin Shawlens Thriller #1)

book 1

Everything To Lose (Gavin Shawlens Thriller #2)
book 2
 

Bertie O’Brien and the Button Factory by Jessica Strong – Author

I put up a post yesterday about the sudden passing of author Jessica Strong who I know through the  Clean Indie Reads Facebook group.

In that post I outlined that the Clean Indie Reads group is pushing an effort to get our membership that are interested to do a little something in memory of her. On December 26th, as a little remembrance / coordinated effort to do something to honor her passing, we are going to buy her books all on that day.

As part of my own comments in that thread I said “I’d like to think we could get her to #1 with a coordinated effort such as this on Saturday 12/26…” “If I lived nearby and brought flowers or something to the family to say goodbye, I would spend so much more (and it would be equally worth it).”

So that is what I am going to do. I am going to log in at 9AM EST, “drop” $16.00, and get all her books.

Between now and then, I am going to showcase her books on my blog and on my author page over at Facebook.

Today I am showcasing Bertie O’Brien and the Button Factory: How Bertie O’Brien built a button factory slaying monsters” 

button

I can’t give you a review of it; as I mentioned, the CIR group is going to do all our shopping on Saturday and then I will need to put it into my TBR bundle, but in the meantime I can share the summary with you and the existing reviews:

SYNOPSIS: I always knew there was a family secret. I just didn’t know how big that secret was until I went to visit my great Aunt Maggie. There in her attic she told me what everyone had tried to keep hidden all these years. My great, great Uncle Bertie was a monster slayer, but you won’t believe how he slew them. I’m still not sure I believe it myself.

Print Length is 39 pages, it was released on July 12, 2014 through Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (ASIN: B00LRWITEE).

FOUR STAR REVIEW – Unusual and interesting tale!June 6, 2015 By Angela Castillo (follow the link to the review).

Another FOUR STAR REVIEW was written by  GreenCedar on September 17, 2015

If you are looking for a short read-aloud, story to share with your young ones, this book seems like a good fit from the reviews.
I can let you know once I get it on the 26th and read it with mine.

Jessica Strong – Author

Since I became an author in late 2014 I have met MANY others in the profession. Most of those people I have “only” met online. Jessica Strong was one of those people.

I say it past tense because, unfortunately, I learned today she passed away. She was young; it was sudden and it was unexpected.

I met her as I have met many of the other authors I know – online. In this instance it was on Facebook, in an author support group named Clean Indie Reads. (There are many readers in there as well, but I believe it is fundamentally more authors).

Many people will view their online friendships with some prejudice along the lines of “well they aren’t the same as knowing people in the real world.”

I agree. In the real world, all too often, I can’t catch up with people. I miss their calls, the email interactions are fractured, and we never get together anymore. If it isn’t work, or the kids, or the weather, or the writing, then it surely is [THE NEXT THING ON THE LIST].

In small circles and in certain groups, like Clean Indie Reads, you interact with people enough to get to know them a little. Sometimes you get to know them better than some of your neighbors.

I never had a conversation with Jessica. I read along some of the posts and conversations she had in the group, and I looked over her work at Amazon when I first joined, but that was the extent of it.

And now she’s gone.

The Clean Indie Reads group is pushing an effort to get our membership that are interested to do a little something in memory of her. On December 26th, as a little remembrance / coordinated effort to do something to honor her passing, we are going to buy her books all on that day.

As part of my own comments in that thread I said “I’d like to think we could get her to #1 with a coordinated effort such as this on Saturday 12/26…” “If I lived nearby and brought flowers or something to the family to say goodbye, I would spend so much more (and it would be equally worth it).”

So that is what I am going to do. I am going to log in at 9AM EST, “drop” $16.00, and get all her books.

Between now and then, I am going to show case her books on my blog and on my author page over at Facebook.

I’ve lost my opportunity to get to know her personally as a member of that group, but I will do what I can to try to get to know her posthumously in her writings.

She left a part of herself behind in those and I will not waste a second chance.

“Some opportunities come once in a lifetime; as needed, live as many lifetimes as you can.” #Zandriism

Jessica Strong

— BLOG – All things Literary and Political
Amazon Author Page
Goodreads Author Page

“Life generally offers you a second chance called “tomorrow” but why leave things to chance in case that tomorrow never arrives? Do something today.” #Zandriism

New review posted for Another Sunset; rankings for Before Another Sunset climb

A new review showed up today for the main novel “Another Sunset”:

review

New numbers are also in as part of the “Before Another Sunset” campaign:

#2984 in Overall Kindle Store for free books.
#15 in Kindle Short Reads > One hour (33-43 pages) > Literature & Fiction
#46 in Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction

new numbers

Looking forward to the remainder of the week.

Before Another Sunset has been released

The 42 page novella prequel to Another Sunset is now available at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Before-Another-Sunset-Jason-Zandri-ebook/dp/B00T11GKYE

Westville, Texas. A small town with friendly people; families that have stayed and endured life’s ups and downs. Many have left as the town no longer can fully support its own. An old woman maintains one of the remaining small businesses at the center of town, helped by Maria, her second floor tenant. Maria’s daughter Caroline starts to question her father’s absence. She also dreams up an idea to help the local library. Friends uncover true feelings and a kind drifter’s travels bring him closer to the town.

before another sunset