New Release: Lazy Days by Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie #Family #Adventure

I have a first time guest on my blog today—or more precisely, guests. Anita Dawes and Jaye Marie, sister authors, are celebrating the release of their new book, Lazy Days. I’ve read two of Anita’s wonderful novels, Let it Go and Secrets already, and Jaye’s are on my list. I will be adding this co-authored work to my TBR as well. I hope you’ll make them feel welcome and check out Lazy Days. They also have a very active blog and welcome new followers. You can find connect with them here.

And now, here’s Anita with a guest post to tell us how their journey toward writing began:

Book tour promo ad for Lazy Days by Anita and Jaye Dawes

Two years ago, when I first started hearing about Indie publishing, I never thought it would be something I could actually do, as the thought of anything to do with a computer filled me with dread.

I had been writing for years, and submitted my work to most of the mainstream publishers. Very nearly made it too, but as they say, a miss is as good as a mile! Which was a shame, for many people liked what I wrote.

So it didn’t take long for the idea of doing it yourself to become something I was determined to do. I enlisted the help of my sister, Jaye, as she is far more computer literate than I. More stubborn too!

What Jaye had to learn was incredible, and unbelievably hard. I tried to keep up with her, but there were days when even she was pulling her hair out. Some of it was easy, which tended to lull us into a false sense of achievement, but we persevered.

Eventually, we learned how to upload one of my manuscripts to Amazon, and I was finally a published author. (Well, sort of).

We didn’t stop there. We wanted to upload my other books and create paperback copies too, proof positive that I was truly a writer. One little success meant there could very well be others, and that was the best incentive in the world.

Learning how to do all that was a nightmare, but soon, four of my books were on Amazon and we were like a couple of Cheshire cats. We were tempted to stop there; after all, I now had four paperback copies of my books on my shelf, as well as the Kindle editions.

But we soon discovered that this was only half of the battle. Apparently, you need a platform, a reader friendly website to promote my books or they would remain in limbo. Then there was all the socialising and networking. So many writers were publishing their own books; we were a very small pebble in a very large pond!

We managed to create a passable website and established a presence on the internet. Not that this is the end of the story, there is no way you can rest on your laurels (that is if you even have some!)

Even if nothing monumental comes from all our efforts, we know we have tried our hardest. But we won’t stop writing, for that’s the fun part!

Book cover for Lazy Days by Anita and Jaye Dawes shows trees over stream, idyllic settingLazy Days Book Blurb:
This novella is the true story of our family’s first proper holiday back in the Seventies. Looking back, I wonder what made us think it was a good idea, but despite all the things that could have gone wrong, we had a fantastic time. I was the Skipper most of the time, and for some reason decided to record our adventures in a small notebook. We were young and without husbands, Anita was a widow, and I was glad to be rid of mine. (and that is another story) Money was precious and scarce back then, but all the saving and sacrifice turned out to be worth every single memory we all cherish.

This notebook has been treasured and kept safe, despite numerous house moves and family disasters, as a symbol of our courage and determination. Renting a boat on the Norfolk Broads could so easily have been one of the stupidest things we had ever done, but even after 40 years, we have such good memories of that time.

Over the years, we often thought of making it into a proper book, but along with everything else in our often-complicated family life, it was something we never got around to. Until just recently, when we were looking for some old photographs, found the now fragile notebook and knew it was time.

It wasn’t as easy as we imagined it would be either, for our logbook writing skills leave a lot to be desired, but there was just enough information entered on those pages to get us started.

banner for Lazy Days Book tour Quiz with starry sky background

Click HERE to join the Lazy Book Tour event on Facebook and take the quiz!

Connect with Anita and Jaye at the following haunts:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Anita’s Amazon Page | Jaye’s Amazon Page 

Purchase Lazy Days from Amazon 

 

Pre-Order Ninja School Mum by Lizzie Chantree

Banner for the book Ninja School Mom by Lizzie Chantree

Today, I’m participating in the blog launch tour for Lizzie Chantree and her new book, Ninja School Mum. Isn’t that a cool title?  And how about the cover—very snazzy!

The official release date is January 30th, but you can pre-order below. I’ve already reserved my copy and look forward to diving in!

Since this is the first time Lizzie has been on my blog, let’s get to know her better through a quick Q & A:

How do you celebrate when you launch a new book?
I jump up and down a lot! 🙂 I don’t usually do too much as my family are all a bit bewildered by the whole process. It’s hard to explain the emotional attachment you have to the stories that have taken so much time and energy to write. Launching them into the world for others to read is pretty scary!

So true, and I don’t think that ever gets easier. I do like your enthusiasm with the jumping up and down, LOL. What’s the best way to market your book?
Networking. Making contacts and actually interacting with them. Don’t just bombard people with marketing, get to know them and tell them about yourself and your writing.

Speaking of writing, what is your process? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a panster. I have a basic idea of the story and work out chapter ideas and then I make it up as I go along! The story unfolds to me as I write it. It makes the process so exciting, as I feel like I’m reading the story while I’m writing it and I can’t wait to see what will happen next in the story.

I definitely relate to that. I’m a panster too. What is your favorite color?
Any shade of blue. It relaxes me and I find it inspiring to look at. I love to sit and write by the sea.

Great choice. Blue is my favorite too, with green a close second. How long did it take you to write Ninja school Mum?
It has taken about ten months to write, edit, proof and get Ninja School Mum ready for publication.

Book cover for Ninja School Mom by Lizzie Chantree. Black silhouette of a young woman ninja, hair blowing in a breeze, orange background

BLURB:
Obsessive-compulsive  school  mum, Skye, is a lonely  elite  spy,  who is running from her past whilst trying to protect the future of her child. She tries hard to fit in with the other parents at her son’s new school, but the only person who accepts her unconventional way of life is new mother, Thea.

Thea is feeling harassed by her sister and bored with her life, but she suspects that there is something strange about the new school mum, Skye. Thea has secrets of her own and, although the two become unlikely friends, she hesitates to tell Skye about the father of her own child.

Zack’s new business is growing faster than he could have dreamed but, suddenly, he finds himself the owner of a crumbling estate on the edge of a pretty village, and a single parent to a very demanding child. Could he make a go of things and give his daughter the life she deserved?

When three lives collide, it appears that only one of them is who they seem to be, and you never know who the person next to you in the school playground really is.

Author, Lizzie ChantreeABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Award-winning inventor and author, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now runs networking hours on social media, where creative businesses, writers, photographers and designers can offer advice and support to each other. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex. Visit her website at www.lizziechantree.com or follow her on Twitter @Lizzie_Chantree

Connect with Lizzie at the following haunts:
Website | Author Page | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY OF NINJA SCHOOL MUM

Charles Yallowitz on Writing a Series #tips #epicfantasy

I’m kicking off the New Year with a guest post from fellow writer, Charles Yallowitz. Charles has just released the final book in his Legends of Windemere series. Last summer, I completed the final book in my Point Pleasant Series, and found the experience both challenging and rewarding. It was my first time creating story arcs that spanned multiple books. Three books to be precise. The Legends of Windemere spans fifteen books. Mind-boggling! How does Charles maintain the focus and energy needed to write such an involved series? Check out his tips below—and don’t forget to check out the Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age while you’re at it!

Book cover for The Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age by Charles Yallowtiz

Thank you to Mae Clair for letting me write a post for her blog and helping to promote, Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age.  This is the final book of my fantasy adventure series and it’s been a long road that has spanned 19 years and 15 volumes. It isn’t easy to keep things flowing, especially when you’re publishing 3 books a year. This goes along with a heavy outlining, writing, and editing system, which wear on the mojo. Avoiding burn out is a key to making it through such a massive project, so here are some tricks that I’ve used over the years to push forward.

  1. Rewards for finishing a stage of the process can be a great motivator. I know many say that writing and publishing are their own rewards.  That’s true, but you can’t have enough bronze rings on a long journey.  Just ask Sonic the Hedgehog.  This can be anything too.  I use pizza to celebrate finishing a first draft and publishing a book, which is something I don’t treat myself to when I’m working.  So, there’s a denial aspect in here too.
  2. Side projects can help because they take you away from the main one. You know how people tell you to leave a book alone before you edit?  Well, this is the same thing only it adds the idea of doing something else. Now, this can be poetry, another book, or even something that has nothing to do with writing.  By the time you finish this other project, you’ll be returning to the main one with renewed energy and excited.
  3. Push yourself to the limit, cry in public, and rant about how nobody understands artists. Throw in at least one mention of ‘suffocation’ or ‘stifling’.  End this by thanking everyone for coming over for the holidays.  You can get a good week or two of focus out of this one, but it might cost you some birthday cards.
  4. You know how I hinted that sitting there and doing nothing might not be a good idea? Well, don’t knock lounging around for a weekend or week. It really depends on how worn you are and what you want to do for recovery.  My favorite thing is to choose a DVD boxset and watch that while keeping a notebook nearby.  I don’t consider outlining and character designing as heavy work, so they’re part of my relaxation period. Other options are reading a book, doing a thorough cleaning of the house, and seeing if your family remembers who you are.
  5. Never be afraid to take a day off from writing if you feel that something is off. I’ve had quite a few instances where my mood wasn’t right because of something going on in my life or some other outside influence. Even the weather can wear me out in hours, which puts the writing at risk. Pushing yourself through these periods can work in your favor, but it’s just as likely that you burn out. This sensation of feeling off could really be the onset of a writer’s block or doubt, so pay attention to your instincts.
  6. Believe it or not, exercising can be a good energy booster. It surprised me too when I started using my stationary bike every other morning. Aside from building up some adrenaline and waking up your body, you can let your mind wander on the writing of the day.  Consider the scenes and decide on the points you want to hit or simply imagine what it might turn out like.  This has a secondary benefit of helping you go into the writing with less mental clutter since you’ve already sorted through stuff to some extent.
  7. Talk to other authors. Sure, we aren’t known as the most sociable bunch, but that’s only with outsiders. When you need someone to understand your worries and pains, another author is the way to go. Maybe somebody has a tactic to help you over a hump or you’ll find inspiration for something that was giving you trouble. In the end, it’s just nice to share your thoughts without being judged.

Again, thank you to Mae Clair for giving me this time.  Please feel free to check out Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age or help spread the word to those who love fantasy adventures.  Enjoy the adventure.

Author, Charles YallowitzAbout the author:
Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Connect with Charles at the following haunts:
Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Website

All cover art done by JASON PEDERSEN

Catch the rest of the LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE on Amazon!

Is this what it’s come to?

angry cat hissingI’m ticked right now. See the cat on the right? That was me a few nights ago.

Let me explain.

Lately, there’s a trend for authors to band together and offer free ebooks in a mass giveaway. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’ve even participated in the past. Authors get to collect email addresses for newsletters—hoping to convert the reader into a fan—and readers get to discover books they may not have chosen otherwise.

Normally, when I see a group giveaway, I’ll scan through the titles and see if anything interests me. I’ve stopped downloading books simply because they’re free, and only download if I intend to read them. My Kindle is overflowing as it is, so a lot of times, I leave these giveaways without opting to download a single title.

Recently, however, a particular book caught my eye. It’s one I had been considering for a while, and since it was being offered through an Instafreebie giveaway, I thought why not? I hopped over, provided my email address, and downloaded my free book.

Great, right?

I thought so too until I reached the end of Chapter 6 and this message appeared:  If you enjoyed this preview, I hope you’ll check out the full book on Amazon!

Huh?

Nothing like being six chapters into a novel and realizing the free “book” you downloaded was only a preview.

Here’s how it’s supposed to work:
Author offers free ebook.
Reader provides email address to the author in exchange for the book.

Simple, right?

I held up my end of the deal by providing my email, but did not get the free book I was promised in return. How does that make me feel?

Cheated.

Striped kitty looking at camera and making funny face. Words "where's the rest?" above

Worse, the author lost an opportunity for a new reader. I was enjoying the story, but suddenly—no more book. At that point, it was 10 o’clock at night and I was on my Kindle Paperwhite which doesn’t allow me to make purchases. I would have had to add the book to my wish list, then hop on my iPhone or computer to finish the purchase. Not likely given how irked I felt.

I started reading something else and don’t know that I will ever get back to the original book again. The author had just released the second book in the series so it made sense to do an Instafreebie–except it wasn’t. There are several book series I faithfully follow that initially hooked me through a free ebook. In this case, I’m sure I would have finished the first book and bought the second, likely becoming a long time fan.

That’s all down the drain given the avenue this author chose to take.

Is this the new trend, or did I miss something in the fine print? As authors we value the readers who provide their email addresses and sign up for our newsletters. There is a certain level of trust that’s expected when a reader volunteers that information. I hope what happened to me was a goof and not something most authors will practice going forward. If you promise a free book, deliver a free book. It should be simple.

Right?

When Your Novel Is Retitled

Sometime ago, I ran a blog post about needing a title for the first book in my new Hode’s Hill series of novels. I submitted the manuscript to my publisher with the title of The Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill.

I liked it, but it is long, and probably not the best for marketing. No surprise that the publisher asked for a new title. Many authors have their book titles changed, but this was a first for me. I’ve written six other traditionally published books all without title changes. The hardest part was, I had already written the entire book and was waiting on content edits when the request for a title change came through. My head was already wrapped around The Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill. I’d even been blogging about the book using that title. Worse—and I don’t know why this was so hard for me—all of my computer files had that title attached to them.

Title Ideas message on a white background against view of an old typewriter and paper

The good news is that my editor asked me for new titles, rather than the publisher assigning one. I was asked to submit multiple title choices from which the head editor would select. Over the course of four days, I submitted nineteen choices. Titles are not easy for me, so coming up with nineteen was not a simple feat. From those, my editor sent a handful to the head editor. Naturally, the very last title was the one he chose. 😊 Now that I’ve had time to unwrap my head from Blue Lady, I’ve grown fond of it.

So, what did we end up with?

*drum roll*

Cusp of Night

I hope it inspires thoughts of mystery and something lurking in the dark.

I’ve received the official blurb and am just waiting on a cover. The release is scheduled for June 12, 2018. If you like mysteries with dual story lines (one set in the late 1800s, the other in the present), whispers of a mysterious creature from folklore, old spiritualist practices, and ghostly occurrences, I think you’ll enjoy Cusp of Night. I can’t wait to share the cover and blurb with you. Be on the lookout.

Hopefully, it won’t be long before I can unveil both!

Book Release: Keeper of His Soul by Lauralynn Elliott #Paranormal #Vampires

I’m excited to have a brand new guest on my blog today. Lauralynn Elliott is a friend and sister author who enjoys exploring the paranormal in her novels. I’ve read several of them (she also does horror!) and found then engaging. Today, she’s here with a new release and has agreed to answer a few questions. I hope you’ll make her feel welcome.

Stack of old letters with ink quill and feather penLauralynn, please share a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.
I’m kind of boring, really. I’m a mother of two grown sons who have families of their own. I’m very active in the church and love my church family. I’ve always loved to write, and I remember writing my first story at about 8-9 years old, all on note cards.

On notecards? You were definitely determined to start writing, LOL.
Let’s talk plotter vs. panster. I think even plotters veer from their outline to a degree during the writing process. When you finish a novel, how closely would you say the end product resembles your original concept — 100%? 50%? Something else entirely?
I never plot except a little in my head. I’ve tried, but it seems to completely stall the creative process. The story unfolds as I’m writing. I usually know the ending, but sometimes that even changes.

We’re very similar there, although I do make notes prior to starting and as the story unfolds. It’s amazing how easily characters and circumstance can change the course of a plot thread.
I’d love to hear about your latest book.
It’s called Keeper of His Soul, which is a paranormal romance. It has vampires and witches!

Perfect for Halloween. How did you choose your title?
I chose the title because it was a sequel to Soul of a Vampire, and in this book, the main female character is literally the keeper of a soul.

I enjoyed Soul of a Vampire and already have Keeper of His Soul on my Kindle and TBR. Which character did you enjoy writing the most and why?
I enjoyed writing Jude. He’s the vampire without a soul in the book, and he’s very dark, at least at first. He was a lot of fun to write.

Not to mention he has a great name. 🙂 Okay, challenge time: share one sentence—yes, only one—of dialogue or description you love.
I don’t know why I love this so much, but this is where Jude is fighting with a warlock. He says, “If you think your heart is darker than mine, you are badly mistaken.”

A great line, and chilling too! Now for a few quickies on your personal tastes:

Favorite color: Purple
Favorite musical group or singer: The Beatles
Favorite TV show: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Favorite author: Stephen King
Favorite novel: IT
Food you never grow tired of: Pizza

Excellent choices, especially with The Beatles and It. 🙂 Thanks for being my guest today, Lauralynn. It was a delighted to host you at long last.

 If you’d like to connect with Lauralynn you can find her at the following haunts:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

And don’t forget to check out Keeper of His Soul:

book cover for Keeper of His Soul by Lauralynn Elliott

BLURB:
When Jan’s boss asks her and her best friend and co-worker, Tessa, to go to Arizona to pick up an ancient, dangerous book to bring back to the museum for safe-keeping, she never dreamed how that book would change her life. She also never dreamed she would finally find the owner of the soul in the bottle that she had been fascinated with for so long. She longs to return the soul to the vampire it belongs to, but things are never that easy.

Jude has been a vampire for quite some time, and he likes his life just the way it is. No guilt, no remorse. But when a pretty witch comes to him with his soul, it changes the game. He doesn’t want to have anything to do with his soul, but the witch has other ideas.

Will Jude ever get his soul back, or will he reject it? Will the Book of Forbidden Knowledge help or hinder Jan in her quest to help Jude? And will Jan be able to control the book, or will it control her?

Purchase From:
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords

About the Author:
Lauralynn Elliott is an independently published author of paranormal and fantasy romance books, as well as some horror. She started the indie journey several years ago and has never regretted it, loving the freedom to publish what she wants when she wants. You will find everything from vampires and ghosts to elves and wizards in her novels and novellas. She enjoys putting a little bit of a different twist on some of the old ideas about our favorite fictional characters.

Lauralynn lives in the southeastern United States with her husband of many years. She has two grown sons whom she adores. Reading, playing computer games, and spending time with friends are some of her favorite activities.

Book Release: Circumstances of Childhood by John W. Howell #RRBC #FamilyLife

Today, I’m happy to share the news that John Howell has a brand new release out. I pre-ordered mine and already have my copy downloaded to my Kindle. There’s still time for you to grab Circumstances of Childhood at the introductory price of just .99c.

Go forth and One-Click! 🙂

Circumstances of Childhood

By John W. Howell

Click for Amazon Kindle

Priced at $0.99 for the introduction

This is a different story for John. It is in the Family Life genre and tells the story of brotherly love, riches to rags, redemption and a little paranormal thrown in. Normally John writes thrillers but this time he has stepped into a different place. This book was written with love for the story and the hope it will be an enjoyable read.

Blurb:
When a former pro football star and broadcaster, now a Wall Street maven is accused of insider trading, will he be able to prove his innocence and expose those who are guilty?

Greg and his boyhood pal dreamed of big success in professional football and then later in business. Greg was the only one to live the dream. Now the founder of an investment fund Greg is faced with a routine audit finding by the SEC. The audit points to irregularities and all the tracks lead to Greg. The justice department hits him with an indictment of 23 counts of fraud, money laundering, and insider trading. His firm goes bust, and Greg is on his own.

His best friend knows he is innocent but has been ordered under penalty of eternal damnation not to help.

If you enjoy stories of inspiration, riches to rags, redemption, brotherly love, and a little of the paranormal, Circumstance of Childhood will keep you riveted.

Here is an excerpt.

I look down at my drink and wonder what will happen tomorrow. My daughter Constance wants to come and visit. She lives in New York, and before all hell broke loose, we didn’t see each other often. I missed her so much, and it seemed as if I had to beg her even to talk on the phone. Now, it’s like she wants to be here every weekend. It’s only an hour’s flight by the shuttle or three by train, so she can come when she wants. I just can’t figure out why she got so clingy. I have my troubles, but it doesn’t have anything to do with her. No use in asking her husband either. Though a nice enough guy, I always wonder if he has someplace important to go when I visit. He never sits still and stays busy on the phone or at the computer. He makes a good living, but it seems a person could take an hour to sit and talk. I’d looked forward to some kind of relationship when he and Constance got married. It’ll never happen with him.

When I take another pull at my drink, I notice the burn feels less. It happens every time. First sip initiation, I call it. It’s like the first puff of a cigarette, hits hard then, after, nothing. I decide to let Constance pretty much have the agenda tomorrow. She and I have not had a chance to talk about anything deep for a while. It could just be that she blames me for her mother running off with that guy with the house on the Hudson. He has a title, and the old gal couldn’t resist, but I think the daughter always felt I should have done something. Her mother’s sleeping with another guy and what the hell can I do about that?

I’ll just go with the flow. If she wants to go out, we will. If she wants to stay in, we can do that too. I better think about getting some food in the house. Of course, we can always order take out. I need to move on to my drink and let this go. Tomorrow will be what it is. I remember the day she was born. I looked down at her in my arms and promised I would do anything for her. I love her more than life itself, and I hope we can somehow get to the root of whatever’s wrong. She sounded strange on the phone this morning, and I feel helpless to do anything about it. I hope she opens up when she gets here.

For some reason, I feel tired. Perhaps I’ll go ahead and finish my drink. Maybe I’ll just go home and forget the burger. First, though, I’ll just shut my eyes for a minute. My hands feel good when I put my head down.

“Hey, Greg,” Jerry says. I barely hear him. “What’s the matter? You taking a nap? Greg?” I can feel him shake me, but I have no interest in waking up. His voice gets further away, and I think he says, “Oh, my God, Sophie, call 911, quick.” Now the room goes silent.

Author Bio:

John's Bio

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. The latest Circumstances of Childhood a family life story is available as of October 1st, 2017. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

John’s other books:

My Girl front His Revenge Our Justice

Available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

Travelling Through Time with Quantum Wanderlust

I can’t remember the first story I read that involved time travel, but I know I was enthralled from the start. It’s a concept that’s fascinated me since I was a kid. I even used it as a major plot thread in my first novel, Weathering Rock.

So, when AIW PRESS announced they were putting together an anthology of short stories themed on time travel, I knew I had to submit something. I’m pleased that my story, Family Tree, was accepted and is one of the shorts featured in Quantum Wanderlust.

This is a great group of authors, sharing highly imaginative stories. I’m reading Quantum right now and loving every moment of zinging through different eras and dimensions. The best part? Quantum Wanderlust is free. Yep, you heard that right. You can download your copy from the book vendor of your choice by clicking HERE.

Hang on a minute. Before you gallivant off, take a peek at this excerpt from Family Tree. My tale puts a spin on time-travel, fantasy, and family ties. In the short snippet below, my MC, Kevin, encounters a strange girl in the woods behind a home he has just purchased:

EXCERPT from Family Tree:

Kevin turned at the sound of a woman’s voice. Like a ghost, she emerged from the trees, a slim auburn-haired girl dressed in a white peasant blouse and a filmy skirt. Her feet were bare, her eyes large, colored like cinnamon in the thickening twilight. She couldn’t have been more than twenty years old.

“Who are you?”

Ignoring the question, she clutched his hand. Her touch was unnaturally cold. “They took my child.”

A kidnapping? He looked about quickly, jolted to think he might have stumbled onto a crime scene. But for the girl, the woods were empty. Maybe he’d misunderstood. “Who?”

“He’s just an infant.” The girl’s voice cracked. One trembling hand flew to her lips, her eyes rounding in desperation. There was something inherently wild about her—the long copper snarl of her hair, the frenetic edge of hysteria turning every movement jerky and sharp with an edge like cut glass. The air was cold enough that Kevin felt the bite beneath his long-sleeved chambray, yet the girl—in bare feet and thin clothing—gave no indication of being chilled.

Old stone draw well in the forest“You must help. Ilairen took him from me.” She pointed to the mouth of the well. “He took him down there.”

Kevin fought the urge to recoil. She was obviously crazy, probably why she was running around in the woods dressed for a summer picnic. Should he leave her and call 911, or try to coax her back to the house? Easing his hand into his pocket he felt for his cell phone, but came up empty. He’d probably left it on the kitchen table, along with his car keys. The girl certainly didn’t seem threatening. If he kept her talking, he might be able to lead her back to the house. “Who’s Ilairen?”

Her face crumpled. “My husband.”

“Husband?” She was more messed up than he thought.

Before he could utter another word, the black maw of the well mushroomed upward, leeching into a gelatinous hole. The ground rolled and buckled, slamming him with a blast of vertigo. Reeling off balance, he plunged feet first into a fish-eyed bubble of pulsing darkness and light. The sensation of plummeting catapulted his gut into his throat. He choked for air and surrendered to the hard-knuckled punch of freefall.

~ooOOoo~

Family Tree is just one of thirteen stories each from a different author. Here’s the complete lowdown on Quantum Wanderlust:

book cover for Qauntum Wanderlust an anthology of short stories about time travel

What if you had all the time in the world?

Thirteen authors answer that question with short stories about time travel. Go back in time to right a wrong, forward to see the future. No jump is too large, no method unfeasible, no lesson beyond learning.

  • Visit the past to learn a family secret.
  • See the formation of a future dictatorship.
  • Assume responsibility for weaving the fabric of time.
  • Travel back in time to WWII.
  • Use a family heirloom to solve problems.
  • Wear an inheritance to visit ancestors.
  • Leave a dystopian future for the hope of something better.
  • Make history come true in an unexpected way.
  • Fight evil fairies to protect a chosen angel.
  • Live with the childhood memory of visitors until the day they arrive.
  • Seek medical help for a memory issue and get way more than bargained for.
  • Discover that with great power comes great responsibility.
  • Uncover the secrets of a pharaoh’s tomb and curse.

Do the characters observe or interact? Is the outcome better or worse than the original timeline? Read these stories to learn how far they go, how they get there, and what happens when they return.

The scope is virtually limitless, definitely timeless.

Download your free copy of Qauntum Wanderlust by clicking here.

If you haven’t already grabbed your copy, go forth and one-click! 😊

 

Book Release: Path of the Traitors #Epic Fantasy #LegendsOfWindemere

Charles Yallowitz has a new book release in his Legends of Windemere series. I’m late in sharing the fanfare due to—ahem—a certain deadline, but wanted to help spread the news. Check out Path of the Traitors. Love that cover!

On the eve of destiny, the fate of the champions are in the hands of those they once called Enemy.

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Hated and distrusted, Queen Trinity must leave the shadows and reach for redemption.

With their final battle on the horizon, the champions are faced with a long-lost piece of the prophecy. Unable to search for the crests that are rumored to be the key to survival, they must turn to a band of their former enemies for help. Sinister desires and hopes for redemption collide as Queen Trinity of the Chaos Elves leads the hunt and struggles to keep her companions on the path of heroism. Monsters, traps, mysteries, and their own pasts will rise up to stand in the way of these people who have spent their entire lives committing sins. Throughout it all, another old enemy is lurking in the shadows and determined to claim her own delicious prize.

By the end of their journey, those who survive will learn that being a hero is more than simply stepping into the light.

Dive into the adventure on Amazon for $2.99!
Find it on Goodreads!

Excerpt: The Aura Syphon

A gurgling causes the two women to pause and look into the pit where the shadows are swirling among the jagged stones. Two black tentacles lance out of the ground and wrap around Yola’s waist, the ooze-dripping projections turning silver at the taste of her magic. Attracted to the stronger energy, the aura syphon yanks the immortal into its slime-covered maw and becomes a metallic beast. With its armored skin, the camouflaged predator is now visible and resembles a sea anemone with the body of a beetle. The jagged rocks are fused to the animal’s exoskeleton and there are six jointed legs that help it scurry out of the pit. Standing over Trinity, the creature opens a faint crease on its body to reveal a bulbous eye with a star-shaped pupil. It pauses to shove a few tentacles into its mouth and hit Yola with pulses of electricity to stop her from struggling. It changes from silver to gold when she attempts to break free, her efforts being quickly drained by the monster.

“Let the crazy woman go before you get killed,” Trinity whispers to the aura syphon. She creates a fireball in the hopes of getting its mouth open, but her spell is ignored. “No reason to have a snack when you have an eternal meal in your belly. Maybe we can have a trade. Can’t believe I’m trying to bargain with this thing. Well, I gave you a chance, so I’m going to blow you up before things get worse. Hope you heard that Yola and are bracing yourself.”

The beast gurgles before releasing a blast of sticky strands that lock Trinity in place. Instead of going after the trapped chaos elf, the creature turns its attention to the helpless army. Having had its fill of magic, the aura syphon is ready to gorge on fresh meat and opens a second mouth that is filled with knife-like teeth. Heading for Sir Harbiss, it is stopped when a chunk of earth erupts beneath it and flips it back into the pit. Unsure of where the attack came from, the aura syphon leaps out and reveals several eye stalks that search for an unseen enemy. A cutting wind lops off half of the projections, but Yola’s potent energy revives them and protects the crystalline armor plates. When the spell comes back around, it bounces off the new defense and bursts against a hill. Blasts of fire strike the beast from behind, so it sprouts a fan-shaped tail of water that douses the flames.

Looking around, the aura syphon stops when it sees that Trinity is nowhere to be seen and there is a hole where she once stood. Spikes grow from the predator’s belly and it slams against the ground in the hopes of impaling the chaos elf. The hiss of escaping gas is heard an instant before an explosion sends the shrieking animal into the sky. Careening towards a solitary cloud that is very low to the ground, the beast catches the scent of an aura that revives the one currently in its gut. Passing through the cloud, it finds its legs caught in a net that runs down to where Trinity is hiding behind a hill. With enhanced strength, the channeler slams the aura syphon into the ground and delivers a leaping stomp to its soft upper body. Instead of ejecting Yola, the creature opens its skin to swallow the chaos elf’s leg up the knee.

“Fine. Backup plan it is,” Trinity mutters, synching her aura to that of the imprisoned immortal.

Releasing as much magic as she can without killing herself, the channeler creates a power surge within the aura syphon. Unable to absorb or redirect so much energy at once, the predator tries to reject the grinning chaos elf. Plunging her fingers into its flesh, Trinity refuses to be thrown off and continues her assault. Blisters appear on the hard exoskeleton and the metallic color flakes off to reveal the natural black of the tentacles. Without warning, the gold returns and the animal explodes with enough force to collapse the ground. Before she can escape, the channeler falls into the pit and is buried beneath the icy dirt.

Need to catch Legends of Windemere from the beginning? Then click on the picture below! First book, ‘Beginning of a Hero’ is free!

Ready for the newest adventure in Windemere? Find out if Queen Trinity earns redemption or will return to the Baron’s side!

About the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Connect with Charles at the following haunts:

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com