Monday, February 24, 2014

BLITZ: "Of Sea and Stone" by Kate Avery Ellison (Xpresso Book Tours)

Here's a cool fantasy story.....(hang in there to the end of this post, there is a lot of neat stuff, and a pretty awesome give-away!)

"All of her life, clever Aemi has been a slave in the Village of the Rocks, a place where the sea and sky meet. She’s heard the stories about the fabled People of the Sea, a people who possess unimaginable technology who live below the waves in the dark, secret places of the ocean. But she never dreamed those stories were true.

When a ship emerges from the ocean and men burn her village, Aemi is captured, and enslaved below the waves in Itlantis, a world filled with ancient cities of glass and metal, floating gardens, and wondrous devices that seem to work magic. To make matters worse, her village nemesis, the stuck-up mayor’s son Nol, was captured with her, and they are made servants in the same household beneath the sea.

Desperate to be free, Aemi plots her escape, even going so far as to work with Nol. But the sea holds more secrets than she realizes, and escape might not be as simple as leaving…"

Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Ellison
Publication date: February 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Kate Avery Ellison 
I live in Georgia with my wonderful husband and two spoiled cats. When I'm not writing, I'm usually catching up on my extensive Netflix queue, reading a book, giggling at something funny online, or trying to convince my husband to give me just ONE bite of whatever he's eating.

Learn more about my writing and books at my blog, find teasers for upcoming works on my Facebook page, and subscribe to my new releases newsletter to be notified of new novels as soon as they hit stores!


Describe Of Sea and Stone in six words.
Atlantis, steampunk, sunlight, seawater, secrets, romance.

What books have you read and loved lately?
I am almost finished with Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, and it’s an absolute delight. Witty, immersive, and utterly compelling fantasy that reminds me very much of my beloved Megan Whalen Turner books.

Ice cream or cake?
Ice cream cake, of course! It’s the best of both worlds.

What authors have influenced your writing style the most?
I grew up on a pretty steady diet of mystery, actually, so I feel like classic mystery authors like Agatha Christie had a strong influence on me. When I was a teenager, I started reading fantasy by authors like Robin McKinley, Gail Carson Levine, and Sherwood Smith. The Blue Sword, Ella Enchanted, Crown Duel...I loved those books. I also had a huge love of historical fiction, so Ann Rinaldi, Elizabeth George Speare, and Eloise Jarvis McGraw influenced me a lot as well. As far as more recently-written books that I didn’t grow up reading, I continue to be an awe of fantasy authors Megan Whalen Turner (The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, etc.) and Melina Marchetta (Finnikin of the Rock), dystopian author Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games), and contemporary young adult authors Lucy Christopher (Stolen) and John Green (A Fault in Our Stars).

If you had to pick a shoe that represented your writing style, what would it be?
Have you seen those canvas shoes where an artist has drawn original artwork on the front and sides and is selling them online? I think my books are like that—in some ways they feel familiar, but they have their own surprises and twists that make them unique.

Who has been the most supportive person in your writing career?
My husband. About two years into trying to get published, I was ready to give up on my stories and get a job doing something tremendously ill-suited for me, like being a secretary (I am a very bad secretary. Very disorganized). He convinced me to give it more time, and he is probably the sole reason I am published today. He is my first reader, my strongest encourager, and my most reliable critic.

Are you working on anything else currently?
Yes! I’m currently hard at work on the second book in the Secrets of Itlantis series, and I’m also working on a few secret projects on the side—one is a more traditional fantasy, another is a post-apocalyptic novel. I hope to have more details about them for my readers very soon.

The sea sang to itself in the music of blue water and salt and gulls’ cries as I sat above it, crouched atop the column-like Looking Rock with a spear clenched in my hand and words of frustration crawling on my tongue. The water below lapped at the edges of the rock, foaming over the pebbled shore that ringed the rock, and the foam hid the fish I was trying to catch.

I bent over the water and stabbed the spear into the foaming waves. When I withdrew it from the pool, a fish wriggled on the end, and I smiled with a quick jerk of my lips. I had always been good with a spear, somewhat inexplicably according to Nealla.

I tossed the fish into my sack and moved to the other side of the Looking Rock, where the tide pools were often filled with exotic things washed in from the sea. It was a secret place, and few knew to look here. I came often whenever I had a moment of freedom from my duties, for if I could catch enough things of value, I could sell them in the marketplace and add coin to the stash I kept hidden away, the stash that would one day buy my freedom.

The first tide pools were disappointingly empty except for a few anemone and starfish clinging to the sides of the rocks, and a yellow fish darting away from my face as I peered down.

I moved on. Three more pools, empty. But luck had not abandoned me. At the final pool I stopped, transfixed by the creature I saw beneath the surface.

It was eerie and beautiful, with fluttering fins along its throat and back and tail, speckled blue scales, and a mouth full of teeth. It wasn’t a fish or a dolphin or a snake, but something that looked like bits of all three. I had never seen such a creature. It was some monster from the depths, but a small one.

I bent over the rock, sliding my belly forward by inches, peering into the deep glassy green of the pool beneath where the creature swam in small circles, imprisoned until high tide. I didn’t want to use a spear on such a magnificent creature. For this, I needed a net.

I stabbed my spear into the edge of the pool, marking the fish-creature as mine. Then I scrambled to the edge of the Looking Rock. The wind swirled around me, wetting me with a mist of sea spray as I brought my arms forward and dove into the sea below.

Bubbles exploded around me as I swam through the green-blue water. Below, fish wove between a jewel-colored spread of coral. A dark line at the edge of my vision signaled where the shallow waters ended and the deep water began.

No one ever went out into deep water.

I reached the larger rocks that rose from the water like the spearheads of giants and hauled myself onto a sea-carved shelf of white stone. My master’s house was before me, a collection of caves and hollows in the rock. It was a nice house, with a strip of pebbled beach facing west. Beyond the beach, a shallow place for bathing and washing was surrounded by thin white stones that protruded from the water like fingers and broke the force of the waves.

A hole in the rock wall led to the interior. Strings of shells formed a curtain barrier, and they tinkled and clicked in the wind. I shoved them aside and stepped into the cool stone passage leading to the house.
I needed one of my master’s nets. Just to borrow, to catch that fish.

The master’s father sat on a mat beside the fire, muttering to himself. Beside him were nets, the small ones used for hand fishing. He was mending them, his wrinkled hands moving swiftly as he worked over a hole.

“Hello, Old One,” I said, speaking carefully and respectfully. “I need to borrow a net.”

He lifted his head and scrutinized me. I was dripping from the sea. My hair stuck to my neck and forehead.  Droplets fell from my fingers.

He reached for one of the nets and lifted it toward me, but pulled it back before I could take it.

“Don’t go in the deep places,” he said, and his voice creaked. “The Sea People are in the deep places.”

“Yes, Old One,” I said, leaning forward to reach the net.

The master’s father was crazy, but gentle. Sometimes he liked to ramble about fables from his youth, and sometimes I listened, because none of the others did, and I felt sorry for him.
I didn’t have time for it today.

“I saw one of their ships the other night,” he continued, pulling the net farther away and out of reach again. “Came up from the depths, black as a wet stone, bright with lights. They’re watching us.”

“Don’t worry, Old One,” I said. “We’ll keep you safe.”

He harrumphed as if doubtful and handed me the net. “Stay out of the deep places,” he said again.
I snatched the net and hurried outside once more. The wind fanned my face. I stopped at the edge of the water and shaded my eyes against the glaring sun.

Someone else was on the Looking Rock. I saw a figure moving around the pool. Confound that Old One and his stories! I splashed into the water, my heart pounding as I swam hard, kicking my legs. I reached the rock and hauled myself up, hair dripping, leaving wet footprints as I ran to the tide pools. A young man stood at the edge of the pool, his feet hanging in the water, his arms braced behind him and his face tipped toward the sun. He was lounging, waiting for me, stretched out as if to show off his physical perfections and the gold bracelets on his arms and ankles. That handsome, arrogant face, smirking mouth, and long, dark lashes that contrasted with his pale, wavy hair—I’d know him anywhere.


I looked past him into the water and stopped in horror.

The creature was gone.

My bag of sad little fish lay at the edge of the rock, looking deflated in the sunlight. My spear lay beside it.
Fury built up at the back of my neck and swept through my throat to take hold of my tongue. Anger licked at my bones.

“You stole my catch.”

Nol opened one eye and looked at me. “What are you talking about? Your bag of fish is right there. I didn’t touch it.”

“No. The creature in the pool—it was my catch. I found it first, as was clearly demonstrated by my spear marking the pool. You took it! Where did you put it?” I was furious, devastated.
Nol straightened and blinked at me. His smile was slow and smooth, like butter being spread across bread.

“It wasn’t your fish,” he said. “It wasn’t in your net, so you had no claim.”

“I marked it with my spear—”

“You aren’t a fisherman, thrall-girl. The rules of the village don’t apply to the likes of you. You have no identifying marker that deserves to be honored, and that thing you call a spear is simply a piece of garbage with a point at one end. It could have washed into the pool on its own, for all I know.”

I wanted to strangle him. My anger was hot and fierce, and it made my legs tremble. But he was the mayor’s second son, and he could do as he liked. Instead, I bit my tongue and turned away.

I’d lost this round, but I would not lose to Nol again.

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BLITZ: "Earthwalker" by Kellie Wallace (Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours)

TAKE A LOOK AT THIS BOOK....IT LOOKS AWESOME!  (and don't forget to follow my blog, just take a look to the right)

"Noah is an angel whose job relies on collecting human souls who aren’t ready to leave their vessels. To his brothers Michael and Gabriel, he is just another rookie, earning his arch angel wings. When Noah catches an earth bound demon in his form stealing a soul, he is sent back to Heaven to plead his case. But no one believes him. He is banished from heaven for a crime he didn’t commit, given one year on earth to find the demon responsible for his framing. If he fails to do so, he will be dragged to hell for eternity.

On his first day on earth he meets publishing assistant Fern Holliday who helps him get back on his feet. She is reluctant in getting close to him, but agrees to help Noah find the demon. By following the signs Michael sends him, Noah and Fern travel the world in search of the demon. They grow closer every day until Fern is struck down by a mystery illness. Noah is at loss at what to do as her condition worsens. Before the year is up and he returns to heaven empty handed the demon appears agreeing to be taken back, only if Noah takes Fern’s soul to Lucifer. Will he follow the strict rules of heaven or succumb to his heart? Meanwhile Lucifer’s army is growing stronger."

Earthwalker - PROMO Blitz
By Kellie Wallace
Urban Fantasy
Date Published: 1/29/2014


ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Kellie Wallace

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Born in Sydney, Australia Kellie Wallace developed a love for the written word early in life, recalling her earliest memory when she was three years old. Her father used to read to her when she was a child, establishing a deep love and respect for books. Kellie wrote a bit in high school, most memorably her first fantasy book called Giblin the Conquer, an X Files fan fiction and a military fiction. She didn’t write another word until 2007.

After finishing high school, Kellie moved to the sunny Northern Beaches from the Central Coast and carved a successful career in the media/advertising industry writing for numerous Sydney based publications.

An aspiring novelist, Kellie fulfilled a dream in 2008 having her first book - All She Ever Wanted - published by Zeus Publications at the age of 22 years old.

In 2013, Kellie released her next catalogue of books Darkness before Dawn, Skylark. In her spare time she loves to write, game and draw. Her first crime fiction novel To lean of falling men will be out in 2014, along with EarthWalker and dystopian Edge of Tomorrow.


Noah entered the hospital foyer and shivered, his wet woollen coat dripping water onto the laminate floor. Around him people moaned, writhing in pain or comforted loved ones. He always hated coming to hospitals, the trip often leaving a bitter taste in his mouth.

A young nurse engrossed in her paperwork passed him unaware of his stained clothes, wet from the rain. He must have stunk, having spent most of the night shivering in an alleyway, gaining the courage to come inside the building. He gazed at the nurses behind the reception desk taking calls and admitting new patients. They wouldn’t notice if he snuck down the hall to Room 205.

He inadvertently lifted a hand to caress his left shoulder, branded with a handprint of an archangel. It stung tonight meaning his next soul was nearby. He remembered the night he’d gotten the brand, lying on his bathroom tiles dying of a heroin overdose in 1965. He didn’t see who’d grabbed him from near death but he did remember their grip on his shoulder, their fingers boiling his skin like plastic. His soul, ripped from his body, pulled through the ceiling and into the stars. He woke up days later, hovering over a dead body. He didn’t recognise them, or how they died but somehow he knew what to do. He rested his hand upon their shoulder and was temporarily impaired by a bright light. It was gone as quickly as it came, leaving behind a feeling of euphoria. Whatever he had done felt right. A baby’s cry snapped Noah back to reality, back to the dripping coat and the chill in his bones. The smell of the hospital nauseated him. He tapped his notepad against his chest and remembered the job he had to do. He wandered down the hall passing the dead or dying in their hospital beds. They were not his tonight.

When he approached Room 205, he fished in his pocket and withdrew his leather-bound notepad. Embossed in gold was the name of his next soul. Damien Jacobs. According to Noah’s Intel from Heaven, the man had terminal cancer, dead for at least an hour. But his soul was still affixed to the hospital, not ready to leave Earth.

Noah pressed a hand against the door and searched the halls. A nurse ducked into a room nearby, a patient hung by the cafeteria. No one paid him any attention, so he turned invisible, sucking energy from the objects around him. Reaping souls took stamina and energy, draining him quickly. He had a short window of time before he materialised again.

Noah stepped into the room and paused to listen to the sound of weeping. Damien lay dead in his bed, tubes still attached to his lifeless body. After all these years as an angel, he could never forget the colour of the human skin once a soul left the body. The fragile area around Damien’s eyes appeared transparent and elastic. His family sat around him, hunched over, each gripping onto a piece of his blanket, desperate to capture his soul before it left his body. Noah saw movement in the corner of his eye. Damien stood beside him in a white hospital robe, his face blank and deadpan. “Am I dead?”

Noah froze, knowing his answer could change Damien’s fragile frame of mind. When a soul is fresh from the body, there was no telling whether they would be agitated or bitter about their death. It all came down to the first interaction. An angel must treat them as though they were still alive, human.

He took a steady step towards Damien, his hand out stretched. “I am afraid it is true. But you must come with me now,” he said gently.

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This Blitz is brought to to you by Reading Addiction Book Tours

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

REVIEW: "I Am Abraham" by Jerome Charyn (Tribute Book Reviews)

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 Narrated in Lincoln’s own voice, the tragicomic I Am Abraham promises to be the masterwork of Jerome Charyn’s remarkable career.

Since publishing his first novel in 1964, Jerome Charyn has established himself as one of the most inventive and prolific literary chroniclers of the American landscape. Here in I Am Abraham, Charyn returns with an unforgettable portrait of Lincoln and the Civil War. Narrated boldly in the first person, I Am Abraham effortlessly mixes humor with Shakespearean-like tragedy, in the process creating an achingly human portrait of our sixteenth President.

Tracing the historic arc of Lincoln's life from his picaresque days as a gangly young lawyer in Sangamon County, Illinois, through his improbable marriage to Kentucky belle Mary Todd, to his 1865 visit to war-shattered Richmond only days before his assassination, I Am Abraham hews closely to the familiar Lincoln saga. Charyn seamlessly braids historical figures such as Mrs. Keckley—the former slave, who became the First Lady's dressmaker and confidante—and the swaggering and almost treasonous General McClellan with a parade of fictional extras: wise-cracking knaves, conniving hangers-on, speculators, scheming Senators, and even patriotic whores.

We encounter the renegade Rebel soldiers who flanked the District in tattered uniforms and cardboard shoes, living in a no-man's-land between North and South; as well as the Northern deserters, young men all, with sunken, hollowed faces, sitting in the punishing sun, waiting for their rendezvous with the firing squad; and the black recruits, whom Lincoln’s own generals wanted to discard, but who play a pivotal role in winning the Civil War. At the center of this grand pageant is always Lincoln himself, clad in a green shawl, pacing the White House halls in the darkest hours of America’s bloodiest war.

Using biblically cadenced prose, cornpone nineteenth-century humor, and Lincoln’s own letters and speeches, Charyn concocts a profoundly moral but troubled commander in chief, whose relationship with his Ophelia-like wife and sons—Robert, Willie, and Tad—is explored with penetrating psychological insight and the utmost compassion. Seized by melancholy and imbued with an unfaltering sense of human worth, Charyn’s President Lincoln comes to vibrant, three-dimensional life in a haunting portrait we have rarely seen in historical fiction.


Pages: 464
Publisher: Liveright
Release: February 3, 2014 

Jerome Charyn is an award-winning American author. With nearly 50 published works, Charyn has earned a long-standing reputation as an inventive and prolific chronicler of real and imagined American life. Michael Chabon calls him "one of the most important writers in American literature." New York Newsday hailed Charyn as "a contemporary American Balzac,"and the Los Angeles Times described him as "absolutely unique among American writers." Since the 1964 release of Charyn's first novel, Once Upon a Droshky, he has published 30 novels, three memoirs, eight graphic novels, two books about film, short stories, plays and works of non-fiction. Two of his memoirs were named New York Times Book of the Year. Charyn has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. He received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been named Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture. Charyn was Distinguished Professor of Film Studies at the American University of Paris until he left teaching in 2009. In addition to his writing and teaching, Charyn is a tournament table tennis player, once ranked in the top 10 percent of players in France. Noted novelist Don DeLillo called Charyn's book on table tennis, Sizzling Chops & Devilish Spins, "The Sun Also Rises of ping-pong." Charyn lives in Paris and New York City.


(I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.)

Oftentimes we lose the man to the legend.  We build up so much story around a historical/political/whatever-al figure that we forget who the real person was....or that So-and-So was a real person.  Nowadays figures in the public eye can - and have - fire back, defending their personality and true self.  When that figure is someone who perhaps had one of the biggest stamps on the history of the nation, but has been dead for over a hundred years, his or her ability to fight off critics is lessened (well, duh!).  How much can we really learn about someone purely from what he left in written form and other historical documentation?  Quite a lot, actually.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

COVER REVEAL: "Branded" by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki (Mark My Words Book Publicity)

(and don't forget to follow my blog  -->>
"Fifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best. Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home.

Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.

Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.

The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me.

I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter.

My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story."



Abi and Missy met in the summer of 1999 at college orientation and have been best friends ever since. After college, they added jobs, husbands and kids to their lives, but they still found time for their friendship. Instead of hanging out on weekends, they went to dinner once a month and reviewed books. What started out as an enjoyable hobby has now become an incredible adventure.


Abigail Ketner

Is a registered nurse with a passion for novels, the beaches of St. John, and her Philadelphia Phillies. A talented singer, Abi loves to go running and spend lots of time with her family. She currently resides in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with her husband, triplet daughters and two very spoiled dogs.
Missy Kalicicki

Melissa Kalicicki

Received her bachelor’s degree from Millersville University in 2003. She married, had two boys and currently lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Aside from reading and writing, her interests include running and mixed martial arts. She also remains an avid Cleveland sports fan.


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Monday, February 17, 2014

BLITZ: "Leviticus" - by Daniel Seltzer (Fire & Ice Book Tours)

1) There's a whole bunch in this post...all the typical stuff, but keep reading to see an engaging excerpt and frankly, one of the best guest posts I've seen in a very, very long time (thank you, Daniel!)
2)  Keep an eye out....I'm reviewing this book soon!

Science has created a world where anything is possible and everything is affordable.

A world where illness and disease have been eradicated.

What if you could be young forever?

What if you didn't want to?

Levi Clayton Furstman's decision not to be inoculated with technology designed to bestow youth and immortality leads him on a journey that forces him to reexamine his relationships, his purpose in life, and, ultimately, what it means to be human.

Virtual Book Tour Dates: 1/29/14 – 2/26/14
Genres: Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Futuristic, Nanotechnology


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Daniel Seltzer
Daniel Seltzer holds a J.D. degree and a BA in English. He also holds an MA in Bioethics and previously worked at a major university researching the ethical, legal and social implications (“ELSI”) of nanotechnology. It was while working there that the idea for this story first took shape.


“The technology for TIN has been around for decades actually,” said the young man assisting Clay. The lanyard hanging around the youth’s neck displayed the words Rudy and Genius.
It had been almost eight months since his family had purchased him an iMeme as a birthday gift and they had finally worn him down and elicited a promise to have the TIN nanochip fitted today. Rudy was explaining how the process worked and it seemed to Clay the young man knew what he was talking about. Most of the Genius Bar staff did.
“It uses the same technology the physically impaired use to transmit brain signals to a computer to perform specific functions. Your iMeme sits here on your Spot, or wherever you choose to keep it, and as long as it’s within a three-foot radius, it can transmit information to, or receive information from, the TIN, which is really just a cochlear nanochip placed in your inner ear. With two-way communication and the iMeme’s built-in nanocamera, the iMeme can perform any number of important functions.”
Clay was still nervous. “So you’re going to stick something in my inner ear? Right here?” he asked, looking around. “No doctor? No specialist?”
“Trust me sir, I’m an Apple trained audiologist. I’ve done thousands of these. I simply place this device in your ear and the TIN nanochip will be inserted into your cochlea. Takes just a few moments.” Rudy put a smile on his face to try to reassure Clay.
“That’s the problem, Rudy. I’m not too hip on you puncturing my eardrum with that thing. I mean, don’t doctors say that only thing you should put in your ear is your elbow?”
“Sir,” Rudy responded. “The PSD will barely enter your outer ear.”
“PSD? What’s a PSD?” Clay asked.
Rudy was clearly working to retain his patience. “Sir, the PSD is the Placement and Syncing Device,” he said, showing Clay the object in his hand. It looked to Clay like an ear thermometer with a small cable hanging off its lower end. Rudy pointed to the small tip protruding from the top of the PSD and continued. “A nano-needle extends from here into your inner ear and to the cochlea. The needle itself is thinner than the proboscis of a mosquito. Not only will you feel absolutely nothing, the procedure is so safe that even if the TIN were misplaced, there would be no harm done to you.” He saw the look of doubt on Clay’s face and added, “The TIN won’t be misplaced. I promise.”
Rudy put the PSD to Clay’s ear, pressed a button. Clay closed his eyes, expecting the worst. He felt absolutely nothing. A hopeful thought that the PSD was broken crossed his mind. He opened his eyes and turned to Rudy.
“Listen, if there’s a problem, I can always come back.”
“I’m sorry Sir. What was that you said?” Rudy asked, involved in hooking up Clay’s tiny iMeme to the cable dangling off the lower end of the PSD.
“I said,” Clay started and then jumped slightly when he heard a gentle whisper in his ear.
iMeme now activated: November 13, 2021. 5:43 p.m.
Clay spun around to see who had spoken to him, but quickly realized it was no one, simply his iMeme communicating to him. Clay flushed slightly with embarrassment as he noticed Rudy grinning. Clay wondered whether everyone reacted as surprised or whether Clay was the random oddball. The idea of being looked upon as some sort of fool annoyed him. “What if I want to take the chip out?” Clay asked.
A puzzled look crossed Rudy’s face. “Take it out?”

Author Daniel Seltzer is giving away 20 print copies of Leviticus and a $50 Amazon gift card! Enter through Goodreads and Rafflecopter! USA residents only, please.
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GUEST POST: Lost: A dystopia of not knowing where we are (by Daniel Seltzer)
"I want to begin by thanking you, Elnora, for allowing me to post on your blog and tell you that I love the name Only God Writes Trees – spectacular!

Since I’m not bound by topics here, and after reviewing your blog, I thought it might be interesting to discuss the spirituality of my writing and writing in general. I bill Leviticus as a futuristic, dystopian novel (and it is). But I’ve also attached the term “spirituality” to it as well. And it is a theme that will continue throughout the remaining two books of the trilogy.

I had been exposed to religious teachings while growing up as a Reform (and occasionally Conservative) Jew– and while organized, it was not always regular and certainly not paramount to my upbringing. I do not mean to infer that God was not important in my family’s life. I simply mean to convey that God was not the center of our lives. Rather, we were impressed upon with a sense that each of us must answer to Someone (and that is Someone with a capital S); that we are not without some accountability for our actions.

Now that I am grown, I still look at God as that outside voice that reminds me that life is larger than our collective selves; that our actions reach beyond their immediate recipients. That is not to say that my actions are taken in order to achieve some type of glorified existence after this one is over. Not at all. Rather, I believe in the Miltonian notion that Heaven and Hell lie between the ears – that our actions are important because they affect the here and now (notwithstanding, and exclusive of, some post-life reward or punishment) and that religious teachings speak of larger issues, of refined mores that have come to be acceptable methods of living. A sort of guidepost in living a good life (and not of regret or misery) in the here and present. Religious writings have become highly ingrained in our society – they are memes that resonate throughout mankind.

While taking a course in college entitled The Bible as Literature, or some such similar phrase, it became clear that much of what is attributed to our particular gods (Jewish, Christian, Pagan, etc) is actually universal among many religious teachings. I was struck by one such commonality while taking a Children’s Literature course in which I was introduced to the Norse myth Odin Goes to Mimir’s Well. For those unfamiliar, Odin (the Chief God in Norse Mythology) took the form of man and walked on earth in order to seek wisdom to save the world. Without the knowledge, the earth would be trapped between, and would eventually succumb to, the forces of darkness and death/nothingness. With the knowledge, the Gods and mankind would leave a force which would, in a time far in the future, conquer evil. But such knowledge was not free, and Odin, after learning the price, thought long and hard before he determined to continue his quest. And so Odin, in order to save mankind and destroy evil, drank from Mimir’s Well of Wisdom and, after gaining the knowledge he sought, put his hand to his face and plucked out his right eye. A very powerful myth: the story of a god, in the form of man, who makes an ultimate sacrifice for the benefit of mankind. Sound familiar?

It struck me that these stories of religion go deeper than simply teaching one belief over another, but teach truths that are universal to mankind. These stories, by their very nature, resonate with all of us. While listening to NPR sometime last year, a rabbi (and I apologize for forgetting his name) points out that the very first question in the bible is God asking Adam, “Where are you?” This is an important and the fundamental question – not “Who am I?” which can be answered without reference to anyone other place or being, but “Where am I?” which requires that you place yourself within a context. I think that may authors seek to answer this question. And the trilogy When We Were Gods of which Leviticus is the first book, attempts to do so as well.

Levi Clayton Furstman (Clay), the protagonist of my novel, is forced to answer this question of where he is. Society has changed overnight and he has suddenly lost his place, which he was, perhaps, never fully comfortable with in the first place. But there is a big difference between being uncomfortable with an answer and having no answer whatsoever. And so we take this journey with Clay as he tries to figure out where he has come from, where he is, and where he (and mankind itself) has a place in the futuristic world that has suddenly come to be. As such, this is, perhaps, a spiritually dystopian novel – one in which a seemingly perfect world is questioned by a spiritual homelessness, a world in which mankind has forgotten his place in the universe.

Leviticus takes some twists and turns getting to this point, and passes through some very dark episodes on the way – including the first chapter which begins with a flashback to Abu Ghraib (which one reader who enjoyed the book immensely told me she simply skipped) and, later, an old Russian’s recounting of a lesson learned while serving in the Red Army in the early months of 1945. But the book delves deep into the spirituality of mankind and seeks to help us all on our quest to discover where we are."


    Goodreads Book Giveaway  

        Leviticus by Daniel Seltzer    



          by Daniel Seltzer      

            Giveaway ends February 26, 2014.          
            See the giveaway details             at Goodreads.          
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Saturday, February 15, 2014

BLITZ: "Angel to the Rescue" by Petie McCarty (Reading Addiction Blog Tours)



Child psychologist Rachel Kelly isn't quite sure how to handle the situation with her newest client -- a six-year-old boy who says he can talk to angels and one is coming to help Rachel. She already has her hands full of trouble this Christmas season, and things quickly take a turn for the worse when a stalker crashes Rachel's Christmas party and takes her young clients hostage.

Police negotiator, Lt. Jake Dillon, walked away from his fiancée Rachel when she suddenly balked at having kids. His kids. Yet when the hostage crisis erupts, Rachel calls Jake first. Now he has a choice to make -- stand back and wait for the cavalry to save Rachel or step in and try to save her himself. Time is running out, and Jake may be their only chance for rescue.

Unless Rachel's little angel-spying client is telling the truth…

Angel to the Rescue - PROMO Blitz
By Petie McCarty
Contemporary Romance
Date Published: 12/11/2013


 photo Petie20Bio20pic_zps70087931.jpgPetie earned a zoology degree from the University of Central Florida and enjoys her “day” job as an aquatic biologist at "The Most Magical Place on Earth." Petie is a member of Romance Writers of America, and she shares homes in Tennessee and Florida with her horticulturist husband, a spoiled-rotten English Springer spaniel, and a noisy Nanday conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in Angel to the Rescue.

Petie has three other books released with Desert Breeze Publishing: Everglades, Catch of the Day, and No Going Back, recently named a 2014 EPIC eBook Award Finalist for the category of Contemporary Romance.

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"Jake whipped his BMW into the Azalea Center parking lot and switched off his headlights in one smooth motion. Clutch depressed and guided by the light from the few streetlamps, he coasted to a stop next to Wally's jeep though his emotions had tempted him to come screeching around the corner like the cavalry. Common sense and the need for stealth had won out. He couldn't risk driving the trespasser underground only to have him surface later when Jake had left.

Clicking off his interior lights, he pulled his Sig Sauer from the glove compartment, then climbed out and pushed his car door in until the latch quietly held. He waited several seconds to let his eyes and ears take in the entire scene. All the landscaping crowded around the Center provided a multitude of places for a trespasser to hide.
He touched the hood of Wally's jeep. Still warm, even in the cold night air. A brief stab of guilt hit him for leaving his team so abruptly in the Beef n' Brew. Couldn't be helped.

His gaze scanned the closest landscape beds for some sign of Wally. A stiff north breeze whipped across the parking area and stirred up leaves and debris. Barely visible through the treetops, the almost-full moon blazed bright.

He made his way past the large perimeter oaks to the interior sidewalk where he began a circle of the building, checking sections of garden as he paced. All the offices on the west side of the building were unoccupied, and all windows were dark, a few with vestiges of their interiors visible from adjacent emergency lighting.

Rachel's office faced the back of the property just around the corner. At this time of night, her office interior would be entirely visible with her lights on. Jake knew because he'd snuck over here enough times in the last few months to observe her office from the garden. He was pitiful and every few weeks, had needed a glimpse of her to get by. A wry smile twitched at the edges of his mouth. He could've been called in as a trespasser on any one of those nights should anyone have spotted him and cared enough to make the call.

Careful to remain off the sidewalk, he silently eased his way toward the back garden. If the trespasser was a stalker, then the perp probably knew the Center had no security guard and no security system -- a fact that had always bothered Jake.
He reached the back corner of the property and crossed the sidewalk to inspect the landscape areas adjacent to the building. Two quick steps and he shifted from one landscape bed to another. He crouched as he left the larger Camellias and moved through the shorter azaleas and Indian hawthorn.

Clearing the corner, his position was now even with the back of the building. He paused to reconnoiter and stared at the faint pool of light cast by an overhead office -- Rachel's office.

As his gaze rose to the second-floor office, his eyes searched for the all-too-familiar figure. Without thinking, he straightened to his full height, clearly visible to anyone glancing out the window. Yet no one searched for a figure in the garden. All eyes in the office were busy.

Rachel stood with Olivia and her children on one side of the conference room. On the other side of the room, a man in a worn red jacket and baseball cap faced them -- pointing a gun.

This was Jake's horrible nightmare."

 5 ebook copies of Angel to the Rescue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This Blitz is brought to to you by Reading Addiction Book Tours