I’M ON TOUR!

I love saying that. It makes me feel like a rock star.

Phoenix Rising Banner 540 x 200

At any rate, I’m going on a blog tour beginning Monday, November 13- Friday, November 17. I don’t usually do blog tours, but Bewitching Blog Tours was recommended to me by a few of my writer friends, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I’ll be supporting the first two books in the Phoenix Rising series, Naked and NeoGeisha. Along the tour stops, you’ll find interviews, articles by me, and a few excerpts. There will also be a RAFFLECOPTER giveaway where participants can win Amazon monies, autographed books, free ebooks, and I’m even selecting a winner to be a character in book three! Isn’t that exciting? Plus, you’ll get to visit a bunch of blog sites that you may not have known about before. So here’s the schedule—

November 13 Mythical Books
November 13 Literary Musings
November 13 SImply Kelina
November 14 Other Worlds of Romance
Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Paranormal Romances
November 14 Fang-tastic Books
November 15 Paranormalists
November 15 Books,Dreams,Life
November 15 Mello and June, It’s a Book Thang!
November 16 The Book Junkie Reads
November 16 Vicky at Deal Sharing Aunt
November 16 The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom
November 17 Share My Destiny
November 17 Saph’s Books
November 20 Supernatural Central
November 20 Lisa’s World of Books
November 20 Roxanne’s Realm
NeoGeisha Teaser 2
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#NewRelease: NeoGeisha is LIVE!

Today is release day on my new book NeoGeisha! It’s the second in the Phoenix Rising series and picks up about a year after Naked. Cage and Phoe have begun their careers working for B.E.A.S.T. (Bureau for Espionage And Strategic Tactics). Their first case together takes them into a den full of vampires in a dystopian Las Vegas and the action takes off from there. I hope you’ll give the series a chance. If you’re a lover of James Bond, I think you’ll be satisfied.

NeoGeisha_b

BACK…

Macijah “Cage” St. John’ didn’t want the spy life anymore. He would have been thrilled to spend every morning lying in the field behind Phoe’s home in smalltown Louisiana watching the clouds roll by. But his Miss Addison wanted to spread her wings, literally. So Cage accepted a mission that teamed him up with his lady love. If only he had trusted her.

TO THE FUTURE

Everything about being a spy was a million times more exciting, and scarier, than the books she’d read in her former life as a librarian. When her first mission with Cage turned into a colossal clusterf*ck because he withheld information and kept secrets, Phoebe’s world narrowed into a long tunnel of betrayal. Captured by space pirates and delivered to a horrible fate, she wished the last words between them had been of love, because she was certain she would never see Cage St. John again.

NeoGeisha Teaser 2

Boroughs Publishing: boroughspublishinggroup.com/books/neogeisha

Amazon: (eBook): https://www.amazon.com/NeoGeisha-Phoenix-Rising-Book-2-ebook/dp/B076DDG8MX/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=K9NEY4DT95M7BBVJYFCX

Smashwords: www.smashwords.com/books/view/754577

EXCERPT: NeoGeisha (Phoenix Rising 2)

Hello, kittens! This week is very special, not just because it’s nearly Halloween (the Belle’s favorite holiday), but because the 2nd book in the Phoenix Rising series is out on Thursday, Oct. 26th! I wanted to give you guys a sneak peek at what you can expect from this 2nd installment by posting a little bit for your reading pleasure.

In this little blurb, Phoe is attempting to escape from a dangerous captor, Mr. Smith. She’ll use her feminine wiles to set the honey trap, but will he fall for it? And is Mr. Smith all that he seems?

NeoGeisha_b

“Dance for me as you did before, little firebird.”

“There is no music,” she said.

“Close your eyes. You can hear it down below.” She did hear music coming from the great hall somewhere beneath them. A strange melody with a heavy, sexual rhythm. “Hear it, little one?”

Phoebe nodded, opening her eyes.

“No. Keep your eyes closed. Feel the music, don’t listen.”

“But I…”

“Come closer,” Smith commanded, rising from the chair and moving toward her.

There didn’t seem to be enough air in the room as Phoebe took in the size of the man. He could crush her head easily with one of those enormous hands. He wore a fitted black tuxedo that looked so out of keeping for a man of his size. He looked like a bully cartoon character come to life. When he stood before her, his shadow completely obliterated her form. He pulled off the silk bowtie around his neck and Phoebe’s heart skipped a beat. Her fear almost got the better of her, but she stood firm. “When you feel the music, your body is free.”

Phoebe didn’t understand what he meant, but he reached around and tied his bowtie around her eyes. It was tight and completely blinded her. She started to panic, but then something…there was something so familiar about his scent. It was clean and woodsy and spicy. And masculine. God help her, the corners of her jaw ached and her mouth watered. “There. That’s better.”

Phoebe could hear his footfall as he paced around her. She could imagine his eyes scanning over her body, taking in every inch of her. Part of her wondered what he was thinking as he watched her here in the dark. Was he aroused? Incensed with a lust for her blood? The stories she’d heard from the other geisha didn’t seem to fit with this person.

“Now dance. Dance for me, geisha.”

The programming sequence immediately flooded her brain with information. Phoebe could almost see the code flash in front of her eyes. It was commanding her body to move and she found herself obeying, listening to the music downstairs. She was slow at first, simply swaying to the rhythm. Then she circled her hips in time to the music, sliding her hands across her midsection. She imagined that it was Cage sitting in that chair watching her; his eyes cataloguing every turn of her wrist and pop of her hip.

“Very good, little one. Very good. Now turn for me.”

Phoebe did as she was told, turning away from Smith as she stretched her arms out to either side. The gauzy folds of fabric parted and she could feel the cool air against her skin. She should be embarrassed, but whatever they had done to her brain had deadened her inhibitions and she reveled in her nakedness.

“Don’t you want to dance with me?” she asked. Her voice took on a deadly timbre and her heartbeat slowed. Phoebe could hear Cage’s voice in her head, reminding her that fear was good, but panic would get her killed. Right now she needed Smith close. Her first kill would be intimate.

“I don’t dance,” Smith replied.

Phoebe giggled and twirled, pulling the long pin that held her hair in place, letting the piles of curls spill down over her shoulders. “Everyone can dance,” she teased. “You just have to move your body.”

“Why don’t you move your body over here.”

**********************

Go HERE to order your copy now. And if you haven’t read NAKED already, you better get on it!

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COVER REVEAL: Heliodor by Shannon Wendtland

Hi kids! It’s been a while since we talked, but 2016 has gotten off to a busy start. But have no fear, with the dawning of springtime, the Belle is back in town. And to bring in the season, I’ve got a lovely cover reveal for a new steampunk novella that’s going live on 3/22 from Mocha Memoirs Press! I present, Heliodor by newcomer Shannon Wendtland!

Malfric sees through the eyes of the dead – literally reliving their last moments as if they were his own. This ability is highly sought and highly priced, which is why the unscrupulous Captain Finch hires him to find the murderer of a nobleman and the whereabouts of a valuable artifact.

Quantex, the able-bodied first mate of Captain Finch, quickly becomes Malfric’s foil as he demonstrates uncommon intelligence during the investigation. Together the two uncover several clues that lead them to the killer, the artifact, and the frayed end of a mysterious plot that begins to unravel the moment Malfric takes it in hand and gives it a good yank.

Sounds pretty amazing huh? I love a good adventure story! So without further ado……

 

Heliodor

AVAILABLE MARCH 22, 2016 @ mochamemoirspress.com !!

 

 

 

 

GUEST POST: E. Chris Garrison Talks About BLUE SPIRIT

BlueSpirit_cover_1200X800I’m really excited today because I have the pleasure of bringing you to a work close to my heart.  Blue Spirit is a fast-paced modern fairy tale that blends the fantastical and the humorous.  It’s really no surprise as it’s author, E. Chris Garrison whom I find completely hilarious.  I love the book and I know you will too.  But don’t take my word for it….

Introduce yourself and tell us a little about why you’re visiting the blog today.

Hello and thank you for having me on your blog! I’m Chris Garrison, an indie author from Indianapolis, Indiana. I am here because my publisher, Seventh Star Press, is helping get the word out about my latest release, Blue Spirit, a Tipsy Fairy Tale.

About me? Well, I’m a fan of all things science fiction and fantasy, though I mostly write urban fantasy, science fiction, and some steampunk. I am a long time homebrewer, and have been jokingly named Seventh Star’s official Brewmaster. I think it’s just to get me to bring “samples” of my stuff to conventions. I love board games and spending time with friends and family. My favorite band is Five Year Mission, who are doing a rock song for every original Star Trek series episode.

What inspired you to write Blue Spirit

Blue Spirit is a sort of spin-off of my Road Ghosts Trilogy. I had finished those three and wanted to move on to other characters and situations. I had the thought that rather than ghosts and demons, I’d like to write about fairies in our modern world. I also wanted to write something even funnier than the Road Ghosts, and I wanted it to be in first person so I could filter the world through one person’s senses and thoughts. I’d written in a sort of comic relief character in the second Road Ghosts book, Sinking Down, a drunken vampire roleplaying gamer named Skye, and it came to me that she might be the most fun to turn into a protagonist. Originally, I thought about setting it in Chicago where Skye lived, but instead went with what I know and set it here in Indianapolis. It was fun thinking up places in my own city that could be magical.

Blue Spirit is a fairy tale, of sorts.  What are some of your favorite fairy tales and why?

I am a huge fan of the Little Mermaid, and I’m not ashamed to admit that it’s the Disney version that I love best. I empathized with Ariel wanting to transcend the world she’d grown up in to become something else. Skye’s definitely impulsive and brave like Ariel, though she’s a bit older and makes more questionable decisions. I love the story of Pinocchio as a child, because I knew what it was like to yearn to be more than I was. I guess this is a similar theme with the Little Mermaid too, now that I think of it.As an aside, I watched Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons as a kid, and I loved the Fractured Fairy Tales segment most of all. I loved the skewed take on classic fairy tales, the sense of humor, and visual jokes. I guess that’s why I am a bit wry in my telling of my own fairy tales. 

Who is your favorite character in the book?

Although he was meant to be a sort of whimsical side character, I love the Transit King, Bask. He wasn’t meant to be more than a humorous plot device initially, but he’s turned out to not only be my own favorite, but a fan favorite as well. He’s also been borrowed by fellow Seventh Star Press authors R.J. Sullivan and John F. Allen in their writing. There’s just something irresistible about the little Fairy Godfather, riding the buses granting favors to those in need – in exchange for any favor he asks later. Also, I have great fun writing his vaguely Celtic accent and using him to say cryptic and prophetic things to my characters.  

Chris, you’ve been writing for quite a while now.  What are some things that you’ve learned on this journey from aspiring writer to writer with multiple titles under your belt?

I’ve learned that you’ve got to love writing. It’s not a quick path in any sense of the word. It’s a skill you have to work on by doing it often, and by getting feedback from others. I highly recommend finding or forming a critique group with other writers. The most important thing while writing the first draft is to keep going, don’t worry about whether your grammar and spelling or details are perfect. If you’re uncertain about something (say, a character’s eye color, or the length of a zeppelin) make a note as a comment in bold and move on. Write now, fix later. And be sure you do fix it later, go over the result before giving it to beta readers. When you get feedback, don’t feel obligated to change anything, but be sure to listen to what’s being said. If one reader says one thing, but others say different things, then it’s probably a matter of personal preference. But if many readers point out the same thing, it’s probably something you’ll need to fix.

Art seems to be a big part of the Seventh Star marketing model.  The cover art on this book is pretty extraordinary and it’s my understanding that the authors have a lot of say in the covers. Did you work closely with the artist, Anne Rosario? Tell us about that process.

Anne is a fantastic artist, a real professional, and a friendly person. I supplied her with a file containing my (often hilariously 1_Illustration_BlueSpiritbad) whiteboard sketches, along with notes and blocks of text from the book to go with the scene. She came back excited and had many questions about the characters, what they looked like, their personalities, and so on. She sent me pencil sketches of her ideas, and used feedback from me to produce the beautiful artwork you see on and in Blue Spirit. I very much look forward to working with her for the sequel, Restless Spirit. I’m interested to see how she’ll draw my trolls.

Blue Spirit is available right now!  Tell us where we can get it!!

 Print:

http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Spirit-E-Chris-Garrison/dp/1941706827

Kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Spirit-Tipsy-Fairy-Tale-ebook/dp/B00X6571BC

Barnes and Noble Link:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blue-spirit-eric-garrison/1105805795?ean=9781941706824

I also have a book trailer video, which features the artwork of Anne Rosario, along with other information about Blue Spirit here:

http://sillyhatbooks.com/blue-spirit

My Blog and contact information are at http://sillyhatbooks.com and I can be found on Facebook as E. Chris Garrison, author.

Thanks once again for having me as a guest!

Synopsis of Blue Spirit: Gamer girl Skye MacLeod can see fairies, but only when she’s tipsy. More Grimm than enchanting, some of these fairies are out to ruin her life, wreaking havoc with her job, her home, and her relationships. With the help of her tiny fairy friend Minnie, Skye has to protect her vampire wannabe gamer friends from all-too-real supernatural threats only she can see. Can she keep it together and hold fast against a wicked fairy Queen’s plot?

Blue Spirit is the first book of A Tipsy Fairy Tale series!

ECGarrisonAuthorPhotoAbout the Author: E. Chris Garrison (who also writes as Eric Garrison) is active in the writing community in Indianapolis, Indiana. He lives in the Circle City with his wife, step-daughter and a cabal of cats. He also enjoys gaming, home brewing beer, and finding innovative uses for duct tape.

Chris’ novel, Reality Check, is a science fiction adventure released by Hydra Publications. Reality Check reached #1 in Science Fiction on Amazon.com during a promotion in July 2013.

Seventh Star Press is the home of Chris’ supernatural fantasy series, Road Ghosts, including Four ‘til Late, Sinking Down, and Me and the Devil.

Cover Reveal: The Undying Light by Stephen Zimmer

So kids, I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but as always– I’m workin’ on it.  Things have been hectic and crazy, so I’ve let a few things slide. However, today, I just couldn’t let this one go.  Understand, this isn’t like a regular cover reveal in that I was not asked to reveal nor was I implored by a blog tour.  No, kittens, I’m unveiling this one all on my own because my very good friend, Stephen Zimmer, is always doing such nice and wonderful things for other people.  I felt it was my duty to help promote a book that he believes in so much.

His new book, The Undying Light, is the next in his Rising Dawn Series from Seventh Star Press.  It’s been anxiously awaited for a while now and as a reader– I’m extremely excited for the next chapter in the series.  As his friend, I’m very excited for the release of a book that is obviously so close to his heart.  This has been a tough year for Stephen, but he’s persevered and continued to be that “undying” light for everyone else, so let’s drum up some buzz and excitement for this new chapter!

undying light

Isn’t it beautiful?  Matt Perry, one of Seventh Star Press’s amazing cover artists has really outdone himself with this one.  Again, let’s give Mr. Zimmer a round of applause!  Now… the hard part…. waiting for release day…

A word from Stephen about Undying Light….

This day last year I endured the most nightmarish experience I ever had, the last hours with my mother in a hospital. While today is a very difficult day, I am following the advice of a friend, Susan H. Roddey, and unveiling the cover art and illustrations created by Matt Perry for my new book as a tribute to my mom, for very appropriate reasons. All of my novels have been dedicated to her, as she is a major reason why I am who I am today, and why I do what I do. She is the one that got me started along the path of the fantastical and using my imagination, reading me The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit at a very young age. She lives in everything I do, and I couldn’t think of a more appropriate book cover to unveil for this moment, when I think of what the title is referencing and what it means. It is not easy as this is the first full novel I’ve released since she passed away on this day last year. I’m here today to show that I’m continuing the fight and that the things that brought her great joy with me continue forward. I love her more every day and miss her dearly. The Undying Light portrayed in this novel embodies my greatest dreams, the ones that I hope most will be realized and I hope that everyone enjoys the new book. – Stephen

Share and share alike, kids!

An Angel Has No Memory by Peter Tupper

Memory FinalSo I’m reading all these really interesting new books lately from friends and I’m really excited to share them with everyone.  I came across “An Angel Has No Memory” and I thought it was worthy of sharing with all of you.  The author, Peter Tupper, was kind enough to come over to The Belle and tell us a little about his new release!

Greetings. My name is Peter Tupper. I’m a writer and journalist in Vancouver, BC, and I’m here to tell you about my new book, An Angel Has No Memory, published by Inkstained Succubus.

The woman– the Asset– the Toy– turned to face her, focussing her entire, though limited, attention. “Good day, Ms. Chung,” she said.

“Hello, ah, Gold,” Rose said, on edge. She knew about the Fulfilment House’s Assets, people who had agreed to have their bodies surgically reshaped into images of beauty and strength, and their brains augmented with millions of dollars worth of hardware, so their memories and identities could be erased and reprogrammed depending on the assignment: anything from sex worker to lawyer to assassin. She had seen images in the parent corporation’s advertising, but she’d never been face to face with one.

This one smiled at her with the tranquil, uncaring expression of a happy child. There was no complexity in there, no resentment, no hidden agenda or angry judgement waiting for her to make a mistake.

In An Angel has no Memory, Rose works as a programmer for Assets, people who can be programmed with whatever personality and skills are needed for the assignment. In between assignments, the Assets are kept in a child-like amnesiac state, and live in a carefully controlled environment where they exercise and do simple art. (If you notice a resemblance to a certain Joss Whedon television series, please keep it to yourself.)

Rose deals with the anxieties and frustrations of her job by pretending to be an Asset in their blank state, even stealing a set of Asset clothing and wearing it at home. She finds relief in being like a child or doll, separate from everyday life and the demands of being a person, and being cared for by others.

This is similar to the BDSM practices of submission, ageplay or petplay: stepping away from our society’s injunctions to be capable and responsible at all times. What people find puzzling and disturbing about masochism is the way it goes against the assumption that everybody wants to be more powerful, more free. Masochism is fundamentally perverse, but it meets the needs of the masochist, not only for suffering or for a lack of responsibility, but for recognition by another.

Going to an even further stage is disability pretenders, people who fantasize about being paralyzed or that their limbs are amputated.  It’s more than just the physical state of disability, or the fantasy of such. Functionalist sociologist Talcott Parsons identified what he called “the sick role”, in which the sick person is exempt from social obligations and not responsible for their condition, but must comply with medical authority and try to get well. Those who aren’t deemed sick are considered hypochondriacs or malingerers, and are effectively cheating. The sick role has its rewards.

When I was a kid, I went through an odd week when I really wanted to have a hearing aid, like the guy I had seen on a PBS kids show. Bear in mind, this was back when hearing aids were boxes bigger than a first generation iPod, with visible wires connecting to big earpieces, and you had to wear it on your chest to pick up people speaking. It made the wearer’s deafness extremely visible. I made myself a toy version with some string and a bit of wooden train track, and wore it for a while, then got tired off it. These days, hearing aids are much smaller, able to fit into the ear canal, and people who use them are less visible or even invisible. I doubt a modern hearing aid would have had the same impact on me; it wouldn’t have been visible enough.

In Lars von Trier’s film The Idiots (1998), a group of mentally and physically sound people gather to pretend to be a commune for people with severe mental disabilities. They go on expeditions into spaces like public pools and supermarkets where they twitch and drool. Even “the idiots” themselves don’t agree on why they are doing this; some want to shock the bourgeoisie, others see it as self-exploration and creative expression, others want a break from regular life. At least one member of the group really can’t cope with “real life”, further complicating the issue.

In Chuck Pahlaniuk’s Fight Club, the narrator attends support groups for people with incurable physical illnesses, partaking of their unconditional acceptance and support, because he cannot acknowledge he is depressed and lonely.

In Vicki Hooks’ erotic stories of amputee pretending, which sometimes combine with transvestism, the protagonist’s apparent disability does not lead to social isolation, but instead to friendship and romance.

Even the TV series Glee had a character who faked a stutter to avoid social interaction, and another who claimed self-diagnosed Asperger’s to excuse her obnoxious personality.

If masochism is fundamentally a need for recognition by another, then it would make sense that a person would voluntarily take on the role of the abject, the sick, the disabled, the weak, the primitive. This performance simultaneously sheds their old identity and creates a new one, one that is “special” and visible.

The problems start when you remember that some people can’t leave the “sick role” when they feel like it.

You can find Peter on the Web at http://www.petertupper.com