Excerpt, Giveaways

Spotlight featuring debut author E. Curtis’ Discussion of a Decent Dream w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @discussthedream #Dark Fantasy

Discussion of a Decent Dream

by E. Curtis

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GENRE: Dark Fantasy

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BLURB:

In the fall of 1789, on the western edge of the Yorkshire Dales, a dense, persistent fog enshrouds the village of Ingleton. Shadowed spirits hide in the mist and bedevil the townsfolk, heralding a tragedy that has befallen one of their own.

Edmond continues to search for Alexandra, his fiancée, who disappeared the same night that the mist set upon their town. Presumed dead by all others, he visits Alexandra’s empty grave, desperate for any hint of what has become of her. Weary from the sleepless nights on his quest, no longer able to stay awake, Edmond falls into a dream before her headstone and there obtains clues from Alexandra as to her whereabouts.

Haunted all the while by a malevolent spirit, Edmond follows the trail that Alexandra left for him and enters the underworld, only to learn that he has been there before, and in fact, quite often. But more, he discovers how he is to blame for Alexandra’s disappearance.

A dark literary novel rich in imagery, Discussion of a Decent Dream unearths the consequences of a child’s decision to surrender his heart in exchange for unholy power and transcendent knowledge.

Discussion of a Decent Dream is a Finalist in Britain’s Wishing Self Book Awards in the Adult category.

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Excerpt One:

We ignored the portent that crept into the countryside the day she disappeared. But in the weeks that followed, with no answers as to what had befallen her, with no assurance that she still lived, we came to understand, and most saw the worst in the blanket of mist that stopped time and shut us out from the rest of the world.

I had just turned twenty-one the summer of 1789 when Alexandra went missing. And after all our fruitless searching, in need of some direction, I snuck, under the cover of night, into the yard where her parents had laid their sorrow to rest. Falling to my knees before the stone of her empty grave I spoke with reverence, not for the hallowed ground, but for the call that brought me, as though somehow she could hear me.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Curtis draws on personal experiences of the otherworldly for his writing. Through dreams, visions, and waking encounters, his exposure to darkness has motivated him to detail what he has come to know of the preternatural. While a few short pieces have been published on an online literary magazine, Discussion of a Decent Dream is his first novel.

Website: http://discussthedream.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/ECurtisBooks/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/discussthedream

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/discussthedream/

 

The book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour.

 

Buy link: www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07BTHW1SY/

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

 

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt, Giveaways, New Release, Reviews

#Review of That Guy and That Girl by Natalia Albrite w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #Debut Author #contemporary romance #New Adult @NAlbrite

That Guy and That Girl

by Natalia Albrite

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GENRE:   New Adult Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

Olivia Meadows is excited to finish her senior year of college as a volleyball national champion beside her teammates and best friends. A complication arrives in the form of John Hunter, that guy, her brother’s best friend whom she has had a secret crush on since she was eleven years old. Effortlessly charming and handsome, with a body honed by years of playing football, John initiates his charm offensive and Olivia finds herself unable to resist him.

John Hunter is pumped to finish his senior year of college as a football national champion beside his teammate and best friend. The only thing missing is that girl, Olivia Meadows, his best friend’s little sister. He needed to sow some wild oats before settling down with Olivia but now he is ready for something serious with the girl he has always admired. 

Be careful what you wish for. John and Olivia find themselves dealing with adult consequences very quickly and wondering if their young love can endure the pressures of adulthood. Will they find deeper love or implode from the pressures of their own making?

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Excerpt Three:

“Hey, I’ve missed you and I’m really glad to see you,” he says as he looks deep into my eyes. Simple words that say everything I want to hear right now. This is exactly what we need: to keep it simple and direct.

I want him to kiss me and I want him to do it now. I want to say ditto so we can get to the good stuff faster but just as quickly I decide to be as clear as he was, “I’ve missed you too and I’m so glad you’re here.”

We both stare at each other for a few seconds and then eventually smirk. He nods and says, “I’m gonna kiss the shit out of you now.”

I nod as he pulls me in closer. One arm moves to my lower back. I place my hands back on the pecs I want to appreciate more fully. He touches his lips to mine so gently. In some ways I want him to rush. I want him to deepen things quickly. But in more ways, I want him to take it slow and let this burn slow between us. It feels like forever since we have appreciated each other in this way.

He is clearly taking the slow route and eventually adds the slightest bit of tongue to his kisses. It’s subtle and I both love and hate the slowness in escalation. I involuntarily moan quietly. He knows how to build the tension. He pulls back and looks into my eyes again, “I love you.”

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Yall this book.  New Adult, debut author and she hits it out of the ballpark.  I’m in awe of Ms. Albrite and her talent.  Plus, the setting is in Texas, Austin to be specific to the places that the story takes place, I can relate to.  And I just fell in love with John and Olivia.  I won’t go into the set up of the book or the plot but I will, however, share my thoughts about specific things.

  1.  Olivia – biracial and she reminds John of this fact.  Ms. Albrite doesn’t skim over this but the topic is discussed between them due to John’s parents.  Trust me, they are the typical country club type.  Olivia is smart, funny and her own person.  She has a tribe that she can count on and her relationship with her brother, Marcus is fantastic.  Olivia is just your typical college senior trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life after she FINALLY picks out what her major is.  Her conversations about the picking of her major are hilarious and spot on.
  2.  John – is a delight.  He has been biding his time with Olivia and his feelings for her.  He’s not a player or douche either.  Just an all-around guy that has had his eye on his best friend’s sister since high school.  His conversation with Marcus is typical “bro” stuff yet, serious.  Did I mention that he is white and from a country club family?  Typical Dallas suburbs.  Trust me, I grew up there.  Ugh.  I hate parents like that.
  3.  This is a sweet romance for the most part.  The beginning was a bit hot and heavy but nothing your grandmother couldn’t read.  As the story unfolds, the bedroom stuff is completely unnecessary.  This book is about the characters John and Olivia and how they deal with something very major that changes their lives and relationship forever.  Not going to tell you what it is except that Ms. Albrite, again, tackles it head-on and lets her characters figure it out.  I will tell you that Olivia near the end of the book deals with something that a lot of women go through and I applaud Ms. Albrite for broaching the subject matter and letting Olivia and John in their own ways deal with it.  I had tears at one point.
  4.  Austin, TX – I will admit that I CAN.NOT.STAND. the University of Texas.  I’m from Oklahoma so there is that.  I did, however, like how Ms. Albrite uses the setting of the campus and sports has the backdrop for their story.  I could see The Drag, the stadium, and even where the house party is in my mind.  Trust me, I’ve been all over that town.  However, I would have liked to see the bats but that’s just me.
  5.  The emotional tug of war in the book.  One moment I was gasping, then getting misty-eyed and then laughing.  My emotions were all over the place with this book and normally, I don’t get that emotional when I read a book. This one just grabbed from the beginning and never let me go.  And yes, its NEW ADULT.  Who knew, right?

The payoff from the beginning is beautiful.  You will watch Olivia and John forge through the ups and downs, tears and triumphs on and off the playing field.  You get the parental involvement that is not heavy-handed but just right for the guidance that these two need at times.  You get Marcus and John’s relationship break down and then have to re-build it.  You see a beautiful love story that began when they were kids and see it grow into adulthood.

Ms. Albrite has a fan for life with her rich storytelling, amazing characters and a realistic plot that made me miss Olivia and John when the story was over.  I can’t wait for Marcus’ story later this year.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Natalia is a lifelong reader and lover of romance novels. Before finally tapping away at her keyboard to create her own stories, she tried all sorts of professions: elementary school teacher, barista, seller of make-up, baker, and the list goes on. When she isn’t pursuing the arts, she’s hanging out with her husband, two wacky children, and full-figured Corgi.

 

Website:

www.nataliaalbrite.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NAlbrite

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD-cYs7QgaRDMJMSy2QimNA

Instagram: http://instagram.com/nataliaalbrite

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nataliaalbrite/

 

Buy link:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PCQ1H6S/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

 

Natalia Albrite will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews

Interview of debut author, Gareth Frank featuring The Moment Between w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #PsychologicalThriller #DebutAuthor

The Moment Between

by Gareth Frank

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GENRE: Psychological Thriller

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BLURB:

After four years of mourning, Doctor Hackett Metzger is determined to stop letting his wife’s death control his life. He is finally beginning to live again, but his recovery leads to an unexpected fight for his own survival and startling revelations about what happens to all of us in The Moment Between.

Hackett, a brilliant neurologist, is a skeptic. He doesn’t believe he will one day be reunited with Jean, or dwell with God in heaven. What he does believe is that he should have seen the warning signs of her heart attack; he should have saved her. He also cannot accept the possibility that his clinical study of near death experiences could prove the existence of a conscious afterlife. When Hackett falls for the mother of a patient, grief finally begins to fade. But he has no idea his new love is hiding her dangerous past. Will Hackett’s damaged spirit endure another heartbreak?

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Excerpt Two:

Yu Lai’s eyes radiated sadness, and there was a slight tremble in her lips. Hackett could see her trying to flush out her emotions before speaking.

“Nobody really knows what death is, when it starts or when it is complete,” she said. You and I both know the body dies gradually. Under the right circumstances, someone whose brain stops functioning and whose heart stops beating can be brought back to life an hour later, even more. The cells of the brain don’t just die the second blood flow is cut off.”

“What are you saying, Doctor? Are you advocating that we outlaw transplants?”

“No. You know I’m not. I guess I was just spooked by the way her arms lifted up. It was clear that Mrs. Carrollton wasn’t coming back, but I don’t know if she was truly and totally gone.”

Hackett wanted to yell, wanted to shut her up. Death was death. When the brain died, the conscious mind went with it. Hackett had learned the hard way that it was better to face that fact.

Welcome Gareth Frank! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.

I spent thirty years as a union organizer and administrator. It was a very rewarding career, where I felt like I was making a difference for people and helping make their lives a little better. I retired seven years ago without a real plan for what was to come. When people asked me what I planned to do in retirement, I said I was going to write a novel. I figured if I said it aloud I was more likely to follow-up. It worked. I am now writing my third novel and loving it. Sometimes I wonder why it took me so long to get started, but I honestly think I would have given up if I had tried earlier in my life.

Is The Moment Between a single title, or part of a series?

The Moment Between stands alone. I like to explore new themes, new subjects, new characters and even new genres. I doubt that I’ll ever write a sequel, but then again, that could be a new adventure as well.

What were your inspirations for the story?

Steven King once said:  “(The writer’s) job isn’t to find ideas but to recognize them when they show up.”

For me, the idea for my novel showed up in the mail. I received a Christmas card that mentioned the death of a friend’s brother and alluded to his wife being the murderer. A very strange Christmas card, indeed. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. When I called my friend and asked what had happened. I found out that, as they say, fact was stranger than fiction. I used the women in question to create one of my characters. Some people think I created a monster. The truth is, real monsters are often real people. That was the genesis of my storyline.

The theme of my book grew out of my fascination with near-death experiences, and what they tell us about the conscious mind. Polling has shown that about 70 percent of Americans believe in some sort of afterlife. We all struggle between two competing natures, the logical and the spiritual. Where we lie between those two points largely defines who we are. That dualism lies at the heart of my book.

The Moment Between is a psychological thriller that brings death to life.

Please share your setting for The Moment Between. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?

My story is set in Washington, DC and Bethesda, Maryland. I have lived in Washington, DC and the surrounding area for most of my adult life. It’s a great place to live and work — the political scene is fascinating. The city is lovely, but it also has its share of grit which lends to a good setting. The music is great. The restaurants are varied and top-notch. The only problem is that it takes some effort to get out of the metropolitan sprawl. I also love Tuscany, so I threw in a chapter in Italy for the hell of it.

 

When did the writing bug first bite?

I think I have already answered this, but I would add that I wasn’t a strong writer in school. My writing didn’t improve until I started to read more for pleasure than education. Over the years, my technical writing improved and I only dabbled with fiction a very little bit. When I retired, I not only found the bug hiding inside, its bites caused my skin to swell.

Who are you favorite authors, book/series?

The first author I fell in love with was Kurt Vonnegut. After college, I concentrated on non-fiction by authors like David Halberstam and Hedrick Smith. I don’t have one favorite fiction author, but over the last few years, some of my favorite authors have been Fredrik Backman, David Wroblewski, Jeffrey Eugenides and Chris Cleave.

If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?

Maryann McFadden, my fellow author at Three Women Press, she knows my writing well, and has a great perspective on writing.

Chris Cleeve, because he has a way with drama and suspense that I love.

Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?

The hobby that I spend the most time on is volleyball. I have even spent time playing on the beaches of Mexico with a number of professional beach players. I am not nearly that good, but they have pity on me.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?

I was in the operating room for my son’s cesarean birth. Seeing your son cut from your wife’s belly then rising like a scene from The Alien is a sight you will not soon forget.

What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?

There is no better advice than the simple direction to write and read as much as is possible under your own personal circumstances. Everything flows from that. Of course, a little guidance goes a long way, too. I took some writing courses at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and worked with a great independent editor, John Paine. Both were invaluable experiences.
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Gareth Frank is a former union organizer and administrator. He received a Master’s Degree at the University of Wisconsin and later studied at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The Moment Between is his first published novel. His short stories have been published in various journals and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize as well as the Silver Pen Write Well Award.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GarethFrankAuthor

https://www.amazon.com/Moment-Between-Gareth-J-Frank/dp/1732294208

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Gareth Frank will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway