Tag Archive | blog tour

Excerpt – Denai Touch

Recently, I was involved in the launch of an amazing new book – Denai Touch by Tiffany Shand. Well, the blog tour has finally reached my stop, and today I have a brilliant excerpt for you! ENJOY!

Book Cover

“No, that you will not, for I am beyond your powers. Do not think your bonded can save you. The Death Dealers have already come for him.”

Death Dealers? Devas. She could sense them now; three of them, besides the one that served Raven.

“The Ashrali will reward me well for bringing in a Nuardan,” said Raven. “Now your strength will restore my power.”

“Her blood will end the curse, but you need the strength and power of the Grand Mistress to get what you truly desire.” Helga let the drops of Cate’s blood drip into a small vial that she handed to Raven.

“You may kill me, but you will never be Grand Mistress,” Seline snarled.

Cate reached out to Jason again and felt the burn of kinetic energy. Get inside the temple!

I can’t. I’m surrounded.

Damn it! She needed to do something, but with Tasha holding her she couldn’t move and fidgeted in frustration.

Raven gulped down a potion and gasped as flames burst over her for a moment before vanishing. Cate looked away; the curse Ceri had placed on Raven was gone. She could feed again now, on whoever she chose to.

The rest of the coven would be no help either, they were all immobilised by the amulet’s power. She didn’t think Helga was an ally, but she hadn’t thought her an enemy either. She tried to call her brothers, but that didn’t seem to work. She sensed someone coming and felt a ray hope.

Cate turned to look. It was Odin and he was carrying the Grimoire. “It was right where you said it would be, Wise One,” he said to Helga.

Cate gaped at him. “How the hell did you get that?”

“Your magic shielded it well, but I have been a Mavis for a very long time. I know the same magic you and Talbot used.” Odin smiled. “Once I knew where the book and the missing pages were located, it was simple to take them. I can’t tell you how good it feels, knowing that you fucking Denai are all about to die. And you will never enslave anyone else the way that bitch enslaved me!” He glared at Seline.

“You let down the temple’s wards,” said Seline, realisation hitting her. She tried to make a grab for her former Mavis. “How did you break free?”

“I freed him,” Raven told her. “Even permanent compulsion can be broken.”

Odin placed the Grimoire down at Raven’s feet. “For you, my lady.” He got down on one knee. “I am, as always, your servant.”

“Thank you for your loyalty.” Raven’s fingers wrapped around Odin’s throat. Light flashed over him before his body exploded. Raven drew in a breath. “I haven’t taken a life like that in over fifteen years. I’d forgotten how good it feels.”

Raven’s dark eyes turned on Cate. “You cannot kill her, not yet. You need the power of the Grand Mistress,” said Helga.

Raven grabbed Seline, who stifled a scream as light started to pour out of her.

“No!” Cate cried and struggled, stamping on Tasha’s foot. The Null gripped her tighter.

Cate looked at Helga, who stood watching. Stop her! She directed her thoughts at the old crone, hoping she would hear. Help me. You can’t do this!

Helga flicked a glance in her direction. This is not my doing, witch. This is destiny at work.

You said it was my destiny to kill Raven! Or was all that a lie?

You have the power, girl. Use it.

Cate reached for her magic again and doubled over as she felt Jason get hit.

“What’s wrong with you?” demanded Tasha. “Is the ascension finally coming on?”

Seline crumpled to the floor, still alive, but a new aura of power now shone around Raven.

“More. I need more energy,” said Raven and reached for the Grimoire. A burst of light shot from the book and it slid away from her. “I don’t have the power!” Raven glared down at Seline.

She laughed. “You fool! You think taking my power is as easy as that? I am still Grand Mistress till I die or until I willingly give it up.”

“So be it.” Raven strode across the dais and grabbed Cate by the throat. “Now the prophecy will never come true.” Raven’s eyes turned black as she accessed her death magic.

Cate gasped, powerless to resist and let the magic burn through her. She collapsed to the floor, unmoving.

“Well?” Raven demanded.

Tasha felt for a pulse and found none. “She’s dead. You did it.”

“Finally. Kill them all!” The hovering Mija lunged towards the defenceless witches.

Seline glanced over at Cate. “You haven’t won yet,” she said and chanted words of power. The ground suddenly began to tremble.

 

You can buy the book at Amazon here: http://hyperurl.co/DenaiTouch

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Saying Goodbye and Hello

Well it’s time to say goodbye to author Carlie M A Cullen as the blog tour for her third book, Heart Search: Betrayal, comes to a close. And since she’s finished her trilogy and is facing the prospect of having to start again with whole new characters, I asked her opinion of the change. Here is her response…

 

Call me a wuss if you like, but I get quite sentimental about my characters. I get attached to them and they become members of my family, even if they do only exist in my head. The longer I’m with certain characters, the harder it is to let them go and this was brought home to me in an almost brutal way when I finished my Heart Search trilogy.

Even though I’d written ‘The End’, I still had all the revisions and edits to go through, so my characters were right alongside me, telling me what changes to make and where to leave well alone. When the final proofread had been completed and the book was ready to be launched like an ICBM on an unsuspecting public, someone turned to me and asked if I would miss my characters. Until that moment, I hadn’t thought about losing them and the idea came as quite a shock.

These wonderful people I’d created: Remy, Joshua, Jakki, Becky, Ashley, Aidan, Samir et al were part of me and had been since 2010 – the thought of ‘losing them’ was anathema to me. How could I lose them? Yet to move on and make room for new characters, I had to say goodbye to these people who had become real in so many ways and it was painful. It felt like a bereavement, but without the pomp and rigidity of a church funeral to go with it. The pain was physical for a few hours, something I wasn’t prepared for, as some outside force ripped them from my head. However, they’re not ripped from my heart. There will always be a very special corner allocated to Remy, Josh, and the others and I will never forget them!

Yet now, even as I say hello to new characters and get to know them, the ghosts of Remy and Joshua are still floating in the background, until I dive into writing my new novel, a standalone fantasy, and then I forget them for a while as the new characters take pole position.

Creating the characters for my new book has been a great distraction. They are so different in every way from the vampire culture created in the Heart Search series. There are no vampires in the worlds I’ve built. There are creatures of my own design and my main character is the lovely lady I use as my avatar. It’s exciting to explore these new worlds and getting to know the people who inhabit it – the good and the bad. It’s fun to write real bad guys and feisty women who can fight back with swords and other weapons. It’s so completely dissimilar and I’m really enjoying the challenge of it.

Excerpt – Heart Search: Betrayal

A few days ago, author Carlie M A Cullen launched the final book in her trilogy, Heart Search: Betrayal. During the subsequent 3 week blog tour (7-27 Feb) you will read many interviews and excerpts – each one unique.

And… today is MY turn!

 

Betrayal front cover

 

click on image to buy on Amazon

Excerpt

Joshua’s jaw dropped open and he stared at his elder in shocked disbelief. Immediately the surprise gave way to a primordial rage so intense, it radiated from every pore. “You coveted my fiancée? You watched her like a dirty voyeur looking for his perverse kicks? You let her see you, which probably scared her half to death?” With each snarled question he stepped closer, until he was in Samir’s face. “It’s all becoming clear now.” He nodded to himself.

“What is?”

“I never realised to what lengths you would go to stage manage those around you, or how ruthless you could be. I knew you were capable of it – just look at how you engineered that second . . . situation between Farrell and me. It almost cost me my life, but that didn’t really matter to you, did it? As long as you got what you wanted, the end justified the means. Farrell and I were expendable. That says so much about how deeply you care about your coven, your little family.” Joshua voice rose to a roar. He grabbed Samir by the throat, slammed him up against a tree then punched him in the face, hearing a satisfying crunch of bones.

He paused, savouring the feeling of having his maker at a disadvantage. When he spoke, his voice dripped with venom, cold as winter. “So now we get to the heart of it. You wanted Remy, my Remy, in your coven and went all out to get what you desired. How easy was it to manipulate Pavel and Iskra, to get them thinking along the same lines as you? How did you manage to sway them into agreeing it would be best if Remy became immortal? Do the most powerful vampires in the world know they’ve been manoeuvred by a master tactician? I wonder what they’d do to you if they realised. Perhaps I should educate them. It would be satisfying to see them mete out some justice.” A chilling smile crossed his face at the thought.

“And then we come to the deed itself,” Joshua continued. “You must have been so excited to be the one biting into her warm, human neck, to taste the blood you’d coveted for so long. I’m surprised you could contain yourself. You’re nothing but a sadistic, underhanded, controlling bastard!” He brought his knee up, missing Samir’s genitals by the merest fraction, catching him in the lower abdomen and pubis area. Samir clamped his eyes shut for a few moments so Joshua did it again, this time scoring a direct hit.

Samir raised his palms upwards and opened his mouth to speak, but Joshua tightened his grip on Samir’s throat.

“Move one more muscle and I will end you!” Joshua’s voice unnerved Samir and he fought to remain calm.

“If that is your desire, I won’t stop you. However, you are misreading this situation. Please just listen for a moment. Yes, I admit I engineered the altercation between you and Farrell and I’ve already apologised for my lack of judgement. The situation with Remy is completely different. I’ve already said I coveted her, but I didn’t know who she was. Even when Pavel, Iskra, and I were discussing her fate and trying to reach a fair and informed decision, I had no idea she was the one I’d been watching. It wasn’t until the night she was turned, when I officially met her at Grangewood, that I realised she was the same one.

“Think about it for a moment. Yes, I’d been observing and considering her suitability for the coven, but I didn’t know her name or who she was. Then you told me about Remy and your children’s visit to the manor. It was as a result of your disclosure that Pavel, Iskra, and I determined the best course of action for all concerned. Did I see Remy when she visited? No. Did I know what Remy looked like at that point? No. When we discussed how Remy was going to be turned, did I know then she was the same woman I’d sought? No! I can understand your anger at my revelation, but surely you can see there was nothing premeditated in the decision reached.” There was a pleading quality to Samir’s voice that Joshua hadn’t heard before and although it touched a chord deep within, his fury was too pronounced for it to reach him.

“You are a silver-tongued demon, Samir, but something doesn’t quite add up here.”

“Like what?” Samir looked puzzled.

“Oh, like the fact that we immortals have super-senses, hearing being one of them. You explained how you were looking in the window of her house on many occasions over a period of time. Now the likelihood of her being on her own every single time you chose to visit is remote. So working on the law of averages, and knowing how often Remy’s twin used to visit, you seriously expect me to believe you never once heard her name mentioned?”

AND… there’s even more for you. The author is running a giveaway! Check out her site for pictures of the various prizes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About the Author

HEADSHOTCarlie M A Cullen was born in London. She grew up in Hertfordshire where she first discovered her love of books and writing.

She has always written in some form or another, but started to write novels in 2011. Her first book was published by Myrddin Publishing in 2012. She writes in the Fantasy/Paranormal Romance genres for New Adult and Adult.

Carlie is also a principal editor for Eagle Eye Editors.

Carlie also holds the reins of a writing group called Writebulb. They have published four anthologies so far, two for adults and two for children, all of which raise money for a local hospice.

Carlie currently lives in Essex, UK with her daughter.

Book Launch – Heart Search: Betrayal

You saw the cover reveal a few days ago, now it’s time to give you the book! The final volume in the Heart Search trilogy is officially launched TODAY! The author is running a 3 week blog tour, so keep an eye out for various excerpts, interviews and reviews. Links to them will be posted on her website daily.

Heart Search Test Cover 300ppi

 

If you haven’t had the chance to check out this amazing series, the first book, Heart Search: Lost is FREE on Kindle for this weekend ONLY! Get it while you can.

 

 

NOW… (drum roll please)… I present to you, Heart Search: Betrayal!

Betrayal front cover

Click on the image to buy the book

Blurb

One bite started it all . . .

Joshua, Remy, and the twins are settled in their new life. However, life doesn’t always run smoothly. An argument between Becky and her twin causes unforeseen circumstances, an admission by Samir almost costs him his life, and the traitor provides critical information to Liam. But who is it?

As Jakki’s visions begin to focus on the turncoat’s activities, a member of the coven disappears, and others find themselves endangered.

And when Liam’s coven attacks, who will endure?

Fate continues to toy with mortals and immortals alike, and as more hearts descend into darkness, can they overcome the dangers they face and survive?

 

Check out this amazing trailer!

 

AND… even more for you to see. The author is running a giveaway! Check out her site for pictures of the various prizes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About the Author

HEADSHOTCarlie M A Cullen was born in London. She grew up in Hertfordshire where she first discovered her love of books and writing.

She has always written in some form or another, but started to write novels in 2011. Her first book was published by Myrddin Publishing in 2012. She writes in the Fantasy/Paranormal Romance genres for New Adult and Adult.

Carlie is also a principal editor for Eagle Eye Editors.

Carlie also holds the reins of a writing group called Writebulb. They have published four anthologies so far, two for adults and two for children, all of which raise money for a local hospice.

Carlie currently lives in Essex, UK with her daughter.

Carlie M. A. Cullen

Well, the time is finally up. Today is the last day of the blog tour for author Carlie M. A. Cullen’s Heart Search: Found. As her fabulous editor, I got the best position to be the one to close the tour. Throughout, we’ve had the chance to meet her in a couple of amazing interviews, seen some cracking excerpts, and even got her take on a few things in various guest posts. But there was one thing missing, in my opinion. We didn’t really know what was going on inside her head while she was writing, and after. Now though, we do.

Please read the guest post below by Carlie, to find out what she really thought!

Over to you, Carlie!

When I sat down to begin writing the second book in the Heart Search trilogy, I was full of ideas and inspiration, my confidence level was running high and it started well.

When I reached 10,000 words, for some inexplicable reason I began to doubt myself. It came out of nowhere and I suffered a confidence crisis. Just because I’d written one book, did it automatically mean I could complete another? Did I have another novel in me? Would I find enough of a story to finish it? Was I a good enough author to write a second book?

Having received nothing but four and five star reviews for Heart Search: Lost, I felt I had a lot to live up to and the pressure was on!

After giving myself a stern lecture, I connected with my Muse, dug deep and carried on writing. As the word count grew, my confidence came back little by little; the doubts were still there but I was determined to prove to myself that I wasn’t a ‘one tricky pony’.

The bulk of the story was written during NaNoWriMo and I finally finished the first draft of Heart Search: Found in January this year.

I’d done it!

I can honestly say I experienced the same sense of achievement and joy as when I finished writing book one; I’d overcome my misgivings, my confidence crisis and affirmed that yes, I did have it in me to produce another novel. This was another heady experience and I was euphoric.

As the manuscript went through the various stages of editing, alpha and beta reading, my excitement grew. I was getting excellent feedback and some great suggestions for small improvements, all of which added to the strength of the storyline and through all these stages I was expertly guided by my fantastic editor, Maria V A Johnson.

While all this was going on, my wonderful cover designer, Nicole Antonia Carro, came up with a great cover which now gives my books a signature brand and ties them together beautifully. I was also working closely with my book trailer creator, Connie J Jasperson and between us came up with a new, exciting and unusual concept that we are extremely proud of.

When Heart Search, book two: Found was finally launched at the end of June, I was ecstatic yet nervous. What would my readers think? Would they like it as much as the first book? So far, the response has been fantastic and I’ve had seven five-star reviews and one four-star. It’s only been out a little over a month so its early days yet, but I’m blown away by some of the comments I’ve received.

I’ve proved to myself I’m not a ‘one trick pony’ and as I begin writing the final book in the series, I’m fired up and excited. Perhaps it will be the best one yet – I’ll let you be the judge of that!

Wow! Thanks for that Carlie. I guess, even if you’re published, you still have moments of doubt. I’m glad you were able to get past it and produce the brilliant sequel you have. I look forward to working with you on book 3: Betrayals!

Now for the last time. Here is the cover and buy-links for Carlie’s new novel, Heart Search: Found.

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/11mZvnq
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/15XSYf2

And the amazing trailer one last time:

The Dreaded Red Pen

Today is the final day of the Heart Search: Lost Blog Tour. I know, I know. How ironic to end a blog tour  for a vampire novel on Halloween? But today is the perfect day to go all out! How many of you trick-or-treaters will dress up as Joshua tonight? Or Samir, or Jasna? Whoever you dress up as, have a great time! And to those that celebrate a more traditional Samhain or All Hallow’s Eve, blessed be. Also, make sure you get your entries in for the Heart Search giveaway before it closes today at midnight EST!

Now a final parting shot from Ms Carlie M. A. Cullen, to say goodbye to the Blog Tour for her first novel Heart Search: Lost.

 

You write your novel, the first draft is finished and you experience a sense of euphoria which lasts for several days, during which time you’ve sent it off to your editor.

A few years ago, you would have printed it out and sent it by mail or courier and all the corrections would have come back written in red pen. These days it’s obviously much easier to do everything electronically. The Comments boxes on the Review pane in Word have replaced the dreaded red pen.

None of us are naïve enough to think we’ve produced the perfect manuscript first time – or are we?

When I finished the first draft on Heart Search, my first full length novel, I thought maybe I’d made a few grammatical errors along the way, but that was about it. To me it was close to perfect. I’d done spell check so knew there were no spelling errors. But spell check can’t tell you ‘form’ should have been ‘from’. As far as spell check is concerned there is a correct spelling in that position. These were things I didn’t think about.

I found an experienced professional editor, Maria V A Johnson, who understood my nervousness, went out of her way to explain the process and didn’t overcharge. I was so impressed by her attitude I engaged her services and sent her my manuscript that very day.

When I got the edited manuscript back from my wonderful editor, I was gobsmacked and totally unprepared for how many corrections would be needed. It turned out my ‘close to perfect’ story needed a lot of work. I must admit I felt a bit deflated at first and I began to doubt whether I had any talent for writing at all. But I picked myself up and with a heavy heart began to look through the comments Maria had made.

As I went through them, I realised most of her comments were just because of silly mistakes I’d made where I’d been so caught up in the writing, I’d switched tenses or put commas where I should have used semi colons and things of that ilk. She also pointed out over-used and superfluous words which, when removed, made the sentences much stronger.

She looked at sentence structure and suggested ways to improve them. She pointed out areas where I was telling instead of showing. There were comments about sentences which didn’t flow very well and again suggested ways to fix the problem. Maria also looked at duplications of the same word(s) used close together and suggested alternatives. As well as looking at each line, she looked at the story as a whole and made structural and developmental suggestions. Each comment was written in an encouraging tone which made suggestions. I never felt I was forced to do anything. She used words like consider and suggest, leaving me in a position where I knew she recognised everything was ultimately my decision. I think she knew I needed her to acknowledge that.

We didn’t always agree on changes she suggested, which of course is the author’s privilege, but we’d forged a good working relationship where we could discuss the issues and often reached a good compromise.

By the time I’d finished going through all the comments and alterations, I realised the polished work on my screen had worth. There was a good story with strong relatable characters and I got to thinking that maybe, just maybe, I did have some talent after all.

Of course the process didn’t stop there. I had an alpha reader and two beta readers, all of whom made comments and gave valuable feedback. This resulted in me making a few more changes to the story and Maria once more edited my revisions.

The final result is the book which has now been released for sale and I have to say it’s a heady feeling.

My attitude towards editing has completely changed. I can now see why it’s so important to have a professional editor go through my work. I was too close to my words to see the errors – I saw what I wanted it to be and not what was actually written on the page. Maria opened my eyes and made me see and for that I’m incredibly grateful. She has supported me through the whole process and continues to do so as I launch Heart Search: Lost by joining my Blog Tour and helping to publicise it for me, all of which she’s doing out of the goodness of her heart. Editors like her are a rare find and I’ve already engaged her to edit books two and three of the Heart Search Trilogy!

Editing is a positive process, not a negative one. If you approach it in a professional manner, with an open mind and understand the editor’s position is to help and guide you, you will emerge with a polished work to be proud of.

 

Thank you so much for that Carlie! I wish you all the luck and success in the world for your new novel – and I can’t wait for book two to land in my inbox!

Other posts today are as follows:

Review: http://bit.ly/VDlZYx

Interview: http://wp.me/27ipo

Excerpt: http://bit.ly/Tu7OY7

 

You can buy the book from the link in the sidebar.

Visit Ms Cullen at her website: http://carliemacullen.com

Heart Search: Lost

I believe I mentioned before that I edited Heart Search: Lost by Carlie M. A. Cullen. Sometimes being the editor pays off! In all of the Blog Tour, I am the only one to get a SECOND excerpt of this wonderful book!

 

 

And here is the excerpt!

 

I checked the wine bottles on the table and found they were both empty. My glass was half empty and Pat’s only had about a mouthful left. She saw me check them and slurred,

“D’ya wanna open ‘nuther one?”

I shook my head. “Nah. Think I need t’go bed.”

“Think I do too,” she chuckled, her eyes somewhat unfocussed.

I drained my glass and carefully returned it to the table, using both hands to steady it. She made a grab for her wine and only succeeded in knocking her glass over. She chuckled again as she watched the contents puddle onto the tablecloth.

“Oooops. I made a mesh!” she exclaimed between giggles.

“C’mon, bedtime, yeah?” I asked trying to push myself to my feet, using the table for support.

“Yesh pleeease,” she replied trying to copy me, but only managing in lifting her behind a few inches off the seat before collapsing back into it, which resulted in another fit of giggles.

Using the table for balance, I swerved around it and dragging her arm around my shoulder, I managed to get her to her feet. We linked arms and weaved through the dining room to the exit. Once into the reception area we hugged and said goodnight – Pat headed in one direction and I headed towards the stairs.

I grabbed the banister rail and looked upwards; the stairs were comparable to a small mountain and instead of steps there appeared to be a smooth slide. I put one foot on the first tread and as I proceeded to move my weight onto it, my foot slid off and I ended up on the floor. I sniggered, before deciding it would probably be safer and more productive to crawl up, so on hands and knees I negotiated the stairs and eventually made it to my floor.

I edged a short way along the hall before getting to my feet, using door handles and the dado rail which ran the length of the wall. I snaked along the corridor, ricocheting off first one wall then another until I finally reached the door to my room. I pulled the key out of my pocket and promptly dropped it on the floor; as I bent down to retrieve it I overbalanced and ended up in a heap. Chuckles escaped unbidden and, despite my drunkenness I must have somehow realised there were people asleep nearby, so I put one finger against my lips and made a shushing sound.

 

Definitely well done! How many of us have been in that position after a few too many drinks? And how many of us have laughed at watching a friend in that position? I bet you can’t wait to read it now to find out what else she gets up to!