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Excerpt: Circle of Time by Debra Shively Welch

Excerpt: Circle of Time by Debra Shively Welch

Title: Circle of Time

Author: Debra Shively Welch

Genre: Time Travel, Historical

About the Book

Excerpt: Circle of Time by Debra Shively Welch
When 21-year-old Bridget Littleton decides to borrow her father's yacht and sail off of the tip of Florida toward Bermuda, she discovers that the legends about the Bermuda Triangle are very true.
After seeing a face in the ocean waves, her next memory is of spinning water and blackness. She awakens in the town of Bristol England in the year 1532.

Rumors of her beauty reach the court, and soon Bridget, known as Bridge, finds herself in the court of Henry VIII and Lady in Waiting to none other than Anne Boleyn.

Will she get out alive? Will she accidentally change the course of history, or is she indeed a part of the history she has studied since she was a little girl?


Bridget Littleton raised her face to the darkening sky. Stars sparkled and shone, accentuating the soft feel of the salt-scented air. Leaning against the rail of her father’s luxurious yacht, she gave herself up to the gentle listing of the ship, enjoying the sound of the slap of the waves against the yacht’s steel hull. To her left, a seagull flew – just at eye level, so close that she could hear it pull the wind beneath its snowy wings. Intermittently, the maritime bird would glide and soundlessly ride the air currents, like a silent phantom above the blue-green waves of the sea. Flap, glide, dip and climb, her airborne companion followed the yacht for a short time, then soared off in the quest of an aquatic snack. 
She’d brought an opened bottle of red wine to the aft deck of the yacht. There comfortable chairs and couches were placed for the ease of her father’s friends and clients. She still wasn’t sure as to how she was able to convince her father to let her use his yacht, but she was grateful. The Bridget, so named by her late mother, was a large, well-appointed vessel, its primary use being for the entertainment of her father’s business associates. Somehow she persuaded him to lend it. 
She preferred this part of the large, luxurious yacht, preferred to see where she had been rather than where she was going. She’d always felt that way, felt the pull of a past she couldn’t quite bring into focus. 
Lifting a crystal goblet to her lips, she drank of the Bordeaux she preferred, savoring the taste of black cherry on her tongue. She held the wine there for a few seconds, 
savoring the taste, then let it slip down her throat, enjoying the chocolate finish of the wine. 
The evening was a little cool, pleasantly so, and there was a slight wind carrying the scent of salt, a briny perfume she found enticing, seducing. She loved the smell of the sea. To her, it was a fragrance that called up phantoms of memories she could not quite grasp. 
The wind began to pick up, and as her hair lifted in response to its urging, she shook her head, reveling in the feel of soft hair moving against her neck and shoulders. She delighted in the wind in her hair – enjoyed the pull of it, the slight tug as hair and wind became playmates, dancing around her neck and cheeks, then billowing upward creating a silky parachute of silver and gold. Leaning her head back, she again looked up into the vast dome of sky above her. She loved to be at sea. She felt as if someone were calling to her; the pull of the sea was as strong and as insistent as a lover. 
Footsteps caused her to turn from the rail. “Ah, Liam, good evening.” She smiled in greeting as one of her guests approached her – a second bottle of wine in one hand and a shawl in the other. 
“I was afraid that you may catch a chill, Bridget. The wind is picking up.” 
“Please, call me Bridge. Thank you, Liam. That was kind.” Both turned to the rail and observed the wake of the boat as it made its progress. 
“Aren’t we in the Bermuda Triangle?” Liam asked. 
“Yes, we are. Not afraid are you?” Bridge teased. 
“Nah – not really.” Liam chuckled but finally admitted, “Well, not too nervous anyway. 
“Say, this is some yacht your dad has here. Who named it The Bridget?” 
“My mother did when I was born.” 
“I see. Not bad to have a whole luxury yacht named after you.” They fell silent as both gave in to the beauty of the night and the softness of the breeze. Bridge lifted her glass for another sip and Liam noticed a ring on the middle finger of her left hand as she raised it to her lips. The kiss of the moon’s ethereal rays made the stones dance with light as if it were enchanted. 
“Wow, Bridge, beautiful ring.” 
“Thank you. It was my mother’s. By tradition, it is given to the eldest daughter of the eldest son. There is some kind of mystery to it. My ancestress through my mother, Bridget Lyttleton, supposedly owned it. That is why I’m named Bridget, by the way. My father’s name is John, and he is also a Littleton, but my parents are something like seventh cousins. Anyway Bridget’s father-in-law was named John, as was her husband, Sir John, actually, and my mother thought it would be nice to honor her, especially since the ring originated with her. So Bridget I am, but of course it got shortened to Bridge.” 
“Well, it certainly is a beautiful ring. The gold is exquisite and, those are rubies, right?” 
“Yes. Actually, it’s a Tudor Rose.” 
For the second time that evening she held up her hand. The moonlight again caressed the stones and they seemed to come alive. Set in heavy gold, the center gem was a perfect four grain (equivalent to a karat) pearl surrounded by five slightly smaller rubies which shimmered in the moonlight. It was stunning, but Bridget measured its value by the previous owner, her mother, who wore it on the same finger until she died of cancer when Bridge was three. 
“Tudor Rose?” 
“Yes, it’s a rather long story, but basically, a rose bush bloomed with both red and white petals signifying the union of two royal houses. Don’t get me started or I’ll talk for hours about it. My hobby is Tudor history,” she laughed. 
“Oh, this may interest you,” Bridge said. Lifting the shawl she now wore and showing him an unusual brooch which was pinned to her gown. 
“Hey, that’s an interesting piece of jewelry you have there.” 
Bridget glanced down at the pin and smiled. 
“Yes. Actually, it has an amusing story behind it. 
“Upon hearing that I was intending a cruise which necessitated my basically staying within the Bermuda Triangle, my friend Cynthia became frightened. It is superstitious nonsense, of course, but what can you do? 
“So, she went to Tiffany’s and had it made for me as a good luck talisman.” 
“What is it? I can’t quite see.” 
“It’s a sixteenth-century ship. She knows of my love of Tudor history and this is a replica of one of Henry VIII ships named the Mary Rose, after his favorite sister. Here, dangling from the figurehead is a diamond. Supposedly representing the North Star. Here on the back of the ship, on the quarter-deck, is a woman. I guess that’s supposed to be me. 
“These scrolls along the water line are waves and represent that the ship is in a storm, but the woman will be safe because she has the North Star to guide her. She calls it the ‘Storm Tossed Ship’. 
“Oh!” Bridge exclaimed as the yacht lurched. The wind, heretofore a gentle breeze, was picking up, and the sea was becoming choppy. The shawl which Liam brought to Bridge rose into the air. She made an attempt to catch it, slipped and almost fell into the sea, the goblet of wine crashing to the deck with a splintering sound of shattering glass as red wine coursed down the planks in blood red streams. 
The wind increased and began to howl. 
“Bridge!” Liam yelled. Grabbing her arm, he attempted to keep her from sliding over the rail as the yacht tossed and pitched as if it were deliberately trying to throw her overboard. Below her, Liam watched in horror as a whirlpool appeared starboard, and like a tornado, began to draw Bridge into its depths. He held on frantically, his eyes stretched wide as he looked into Bridge’s fear-filled face. Slowly her arm began to slip from his hands until .............

Purchase the book on Amazon to find out what happened to Bridge!!!

Excerpt: Circle of Time by Debra Shively Welch

About the Author

Excerpt: Circle of Time by Debra Shively Welch
Born in Columbus, Ohio, Commissioned Kentucky Colonel, Honorable Debra Shiveley Welch, resides in Central Ohio with her husband Mark and son Christopher, an author and photographer. 
Author of seven books and a bevy of short stories and poems, Debra is the winner of Books and Authors best Native American Fiction, AllBooks Review Editor's Choice, Faithwriters Gold Seal of Approval - Outstanding Read, Books and Authors Best Non-Fiction Book and Excellence in Literature awards and is a medalist in the New Apple Award for Excellence.
Debra is now working on "Brave Heart Woman," third in the "Cedar Woman" series, "Memories of an Old Farm House," a micro memoir about her memories of her family's ancestral farmhouse situated on a hill across from Serpent Mound in Southern, Ohio and "Christopher's Family Table," a cookbook featuring recipes from Chopped Champion Christopher Thames and Chopped Champion Junior, Daniel Kligmann.


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NaNoWriMo: Preparing To Hit 50K

#NaNoWriMo: Preparing To Hit 50K #NaNoPrep #NaNoWriMo2016

NaNoWriMo is fast approaching, and that means it's time for some NaNo prep.

I know there are some of you that have already been working on preparations for the challenge for weeks (or even months), but I also know that there are many of you that haven't even started thinking about it yet, or that prefer to do minimal, or no planning at all. The good news is neither is wrong. You can in fact win the challenge without doing any planning in advance.

Today I'm joined by NaNoWriMo veterans Amanda Gernentz Hanson, and Vas Littlecrow Wojtanowicz to share some tips to help you win the November writing challenge. 

#NaNoWriMo: Preparing To Hit 50K #NaNoPrep #NaNoWriMo2016

Amanda Gernentz Hanson won in 2011 and 2012, and Vas Littlecrow Wojtanowicz won in 2005 and 2015. So how did they go about it? Did they prepare or did they just see what happened?

Amanda does a little of both. She explains "In 2011, I just saw what happened, but I plotted a little bit in 2012". When asked why she had this to say "I took a novel-length creative writing class in college, and we were taught to not plot ahead at all. But since then, as I’ve written more full-length stories, I’ve found that knowing where the plot is going at least a little bit helps guide you to your destination. Otherwise the stories get a bit off-track, and it’s sometimes hard to bring them back.

I've taken part in the challenge numerous times, and picked up my winner certificates several times. I personally found that I did better when I had just a vague idea about the main characters and general story I wanted to tell. Once I spent a lot of time planning before hand only to find that my characters took over and the story went in a different direction. 

Vas doesn't work much on plot ahead of time either. "I don't plot ahead of time because coherence isn't my main goal. I simply want to win the word race. My characters often develop in unpredictable ways, so I allow them the freedom to grow into their most authentic selves" she says. She prefers a more visual way of preparing. This is how she described it "I usually start preparing for the challenge one week beforehand. I'm a visual person, so I like to make doodles of what I would like to see in the story. I also spend many quiet moments letting my imagination wander. Just allowing my thoughts go where they will, really helps me connect with the world I'm about to create."

Top tips for winning

Amanda says "Keep writing, even if you NaNo graph shows that you’re behind! That’s the most discouraging thing, but the key to the whole thing is to just keep writing. You can do it!"

#NaNoWriMo: Preparing To Hit 50K #NaNoPrep #NaNoWriMo2016

Vas suggests "Scheduling your writing time and doing your best to avoid interruptions. I tried other techniques, but this one seems to be the most effective."

#NaNoWriMo: Preparing To Hit 50K #NaNoPrep #NaNoWriMo2016

So don't panic if you haven't prepared character charts, notes about locations, or even a basic plot outline. You can still win NaNoWriMo. The real trick to winning the challenge is to just keep writing. 

You can connect with Amanda Gernentz Hanson at http://www.browneyedtwentysomething.com/ and Vas Littlecrow Wojtanowicz at vaslittlecrow.com and velvetrasput.info

Interview with Christina Hoag

Interview with Christina Hoag

Tell us about your latest book.
It’s called “Skin of Tattoos.” It’s sort of genre-defying – a noir-crime thriller written in a literary style. The setting is the gang underworld of Los Angeles, the U.S. capital of gangs, and the main character, Mags, is a gang member. We meet him as he comes out of prison wanting, as most parolees do, to go straight and never return “behind the wall.” To do that, he has to get away from his gang, the Cyco Lokos, but the “clica” has undergone some changes since he’s been locked up, namely his rival Rico, who set him up on the charge that got him imprisoned, is now the “shotcaller” or leader. It’s a story of revenge and rivalry, but there are also other layers: Mags’s quest for his father’s approval, the hardships faced by a poor immigrant family, as well as the larger picture of the socioeconomic factors that drive gangs in our society in general. 

Interview with Christina Hoag
Who are your favourite authors?
Probably my all time favourite is Graham Greene. Many of his books are about the concept of being a foreigner, an outsider/observer, which I relate to on a personal level since I’ve lived in many countries both as a child and as an adult. That influence comes through in “Skin of Tattoos,” where Mags was born in El Salvador but left with his family fleeing the civil war when he was a child so he doesn't really feel Salvadoran, doesn't remember anything about the place, yet that is his identity. He’s an outsider to El Salvador, yet as an immigrant he’s an outsider to mainstream American society, as well. He finds his home in a gang with others from similar backgrounds.
What advice do you have for other writers?
Believe in yourself and that you have something worthwhile to say. Don’t let anyone steer you from your path. Use adversity to develop strength. And just don’t give up!
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
Probably my website www.christinahoag,com has the most complete bio and portfolio of my work. I’ve also got author pages up on Amazon and Goodreads, while LinkedIn is a bit more of a professional CV. Facebook.com/ChristinaHoagAuthor is where I post news and updates.

Who is you favorite character in your book and why?

I have to say it is Magdaleno. He really struggles to do the right thing, but his pride and ego get in the way. He’s just so humanly flawed. But I also love the antagonist, Rico, even though he’s a bit mental. He’s like that because of his childhood, therefore I have a great deal of sympathy for him.

Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?

It’s got a bit of everything. There’s a mystery that Mags has to puzzle out, a romance, action/adventure, as well as a thriller-style game between Mags and Rico where the stakes really amp up toward the end. It takes place in a setting that is unknown to most readers so that’s a new world for people to learn a bit about. Readers have also told me they like the secondary characters a lot – the other homeboys and Mags’ family.

Interview with Christina Hoag
How long did it take you to write your book?

Years! I wrote an outline for it in 2006, and started working on it in earnest in 2008. I originally wrote it as a YA, then after some feedback, changed it to an adult novel, which gave me a lot more leeway as far as plot and character and tone. It’s gone through countless revisions and wholesale rewrites. I’m still pinching myself that it’s finally published.

What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.

I’ve got two novels both in the final stages. One is called “The Revolutionaries,” a literary political thriller based on the 2002 coup attempt in Venezuela, where I was living at the time and working as a freelance journalist. An expat couple are the protagonists and they get wrapped up in opposite sides of the political debate, which drives a wedge in their marriage. The other is called “Angel’s Lust,” a detective mystery set in Los Angeles with a Latin American twist to the mystery. I’ll say no more!

What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing?

I prefer to go with a publisher because it’s third-party validation of your work. Somebody has read your book and deemed it worthy of publication. On the other hand, anyone can self-publish anything, which means there’s a lot of subpar stuff out there. However, if I were a big bestselling author, I think self-publishing is a very attractive option. You keep all your profits, all your rights and all your control!

Who or what inspired you to become a writer?

I won a prize for “writing interesting stories” when I was six years old so I guess writing was always there. It came out as soon as I literally learned how to put pen to paper. I discovered journalism in high school so I knew that’s what I wanted to do as a career. I’ve written fiction on and off my whole life.

Taking Your Book to the World

Taking Your Book to the World, guest post by Lauren Carr

Back when my first novel was published in 2004, my then publisher hooked me up with a publicist to teach me the ins and outs of book promotion. In our initial conversation, she asked, “Are you willing to do book events?”

After over twenty years of dreaming of the day I would become a published author, this question was a no-brainer. To my surprise, the publicist said how many authors won’t do book events.

Taking Your Book to the World, guest post by Lauren Carr
Over the next decade, I found out why. Book events are hard. They cost the author in time and money—with no guarantee that they’ll sell any books. So you would think that when virtual book tours came to being, that authors would snatch up the opportunity to promote their books without having the leave home—or even get out of bed and get dressed.

For these authors, online promotion doesn’t cut it. Some authors feel like they aren’t really promoting their books unless they have a table set up someplace. They don’t actually see the reader buying the book. One author told me in a desperate tone, “I need to get out there and promote my book.”

As for me, I’d rather sit in my scruffy bathrobe, or even less if no one is home, while selling books across the world wide web on a virtual book tour.

Virtual book tours have been the rage for writers for years. In spite of the advantages (like saving on gas money driving to and from the event), many authors are gun-shy to try it out. A few years ago, I was on an author panel in which one of the author declared that virtual book tours aren’t worth the investment. While I strongly disagree I can understand why she would have said that. 

There are a ton of virtual book tour coordinators out there and I have used more than one. Some are better than others. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad ones out there. So, it would be easy for an author who has had one, two, or more bad experiences to conclude that virtual book tours are a waste of money. I know more than one author who was burned by a bad tour coordinator, or one who was a bad match for their book.

When dealing with virtual book tour coordinators, it is definitely a case of author beware. Many book lovers have the mistaken impression that being a book tour coordinator is an easy endeavor that they can do at home, only to discover that it is a demanding job that requires massive organizational skills. Tour coordinators are dealing with authors (some who are quite needy), bloggers, and reviewers. It doesn’t take long for a new and inexperience tour coordinator to find herself in over her head. One author I know booked a tour with a new coordinator who offered tours for a rate that was much lower than anyone else out there. The writer went to all of the trouble writing her blog posts and doing the interviews. She sent them in to the tour coordinator, who in the meantime had decided that coordinating a book tour was too hard and got a job at Starbucks, leaving the author high and dry.
One author told me recently that she paid a tour coordinator for a month long review book tour and it never happened. The tour coordinator took her money and ran. Never answered her emails, etc.

When looking for a tour coordinator, check out the authors who have toured with them. Are they all newbies? Check out the rankings of their books on Amazon. Are they getting book sales? How long has this tour coordinator been in business? If they are brand new, maybe you’ll want to wait to see how long they stay in business.

Also, select a tour coordinator whose bloggers and reviewers fall in your book’s genre. I once had a tour coordinator place my clean-reads mystery on erotica blogs that you had to be eighteen years old to enter. She claimed she was expanding my audience. My thought, anyone visiting an erotic site is not looking for a clean mystery that doesn’t have even one sex scene.

I use iRead Book Tours and have been very happy. They have never let me down.

Another reason that many authors don’t see any success on their books tour is because they think that all you have to do with a virtual book tour is pay the tour coordinator and then sit back and wait for the sales to come in. Nope! If you want a successful book tour, you need to work at it!

So, should you take the plunge and do a tour or not? And if you do, how do you make sure you get your money’s worth?  Read on.

What Is Your Goal? Do you want to create buzz before your book is released with a spotlight tour?  Maybe you want to get reviews and generate publicity for your book that has been out for a while. Or do you want to get reviews coming in as soon as it is released? For most of these goals, you’ll need to launch your blog tour before the release date, which leads to the next point.

Schedule Your Tour:  Good tour coordinators who know what they are doing require time to set up the book tour. That means pitching your book to their bloggers and reviewers who in turn decide if they are interested in having you on their blog.

Keep in mind that most bloggers and reviewers don’t get paid for their blogs and reviews. They do this out of a love for books. They have jobs and families. Book reviewers get tons of review requests and will usually have a pretty tall TBR list. So it is an honor when a blogger or reviewer wants to feature or review your book on their blog. For this reason, you need to allow them plenty of time (my tour coordinator requires six weeks) to read your book for a review. If a blogger doesn’t have time in their schedule to review your book, many can offer you a book spotlight. In other words, don’t expect to email a tour coordinator on Monday and have a tour running the next week.

Get to Work on Your Tour Postings.  If you want your tour to be a success, and you don’t want to write guest posts or do interviews, let your coordinator know that up front. To make appearances at blogs with inadequate, poorly written guest blog posts or lack luster interviews will not be doing you or the bloggers any good. I knew one writer who wrote one guest blog post and sent it in to be repeated throughout the whole tour. None of those bloggers ever invited him back.

Publicize your blog tour.  Here’s a news flash: No one is going to come to your party if you don’t tell them that there’s a party going on! Make a big deal out of your tour.  This is your tour! This is your book that is being featured across the WORLD WIDE WEB! People all over the world are seeing your book! I’m not kidding. On my last two tours, one giveaway winner lived in Croatia. The next one lived in the Netherlands! 

Post details on your website and social media sites like a rock star launching a worldwide tour. And during the tour, post anywhere and everywhere until your fingers bleed! This is your time to shine!

Followup.  The day your entry is posted, be sure to respond to every comment, even if only to thank the commenter. Be sure to stop by days later as well.

Scheduling a blog tour is all about coordination and hard work. But I have found it to be a labor of love—not unlike writing a book. Good luck.

Taking Your Book to the World, guest post by Lauren Carr
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV. 

Connect with LaurenWebsite  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

Book Showcase: The Phoenix Syndrome by Claire Gem

Book Showcase: The Phoenix Syndrome by Claire Gem #Giveaway #books

Title: The Phoenix Syndrome 

Author: Claire Gem 

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

About the Book

Book Showcase: The Phoenix Syndrome by Claire Gem #Giveaway #books
Turning forty rocks a research technician's world. Her husband leaves her, and then she's bitten by a mouse at work. She goes a littlecrazy, taking off to chase after her old dream of a music career and her newcrush: a rock band drummer.

Turning forty, for Lannie Marvin, is rough. It's the day she discovers her husband is leaving her for a younger "soulmate." At work, a crazed mouse being treated with an experimental drug brutally bites her. Then, Lannie goes a little crazy, too. 

Seems she's recently developed a serious crush on the drummer of her son's favorite heavy metal band. Waking up to her husband's empty closet, her finger still throbbing from the mouse bite, Lannie snaps. Under the ruse of a shopping trip, Lannie kidnaps her sister-in-law/best friend, and heads toward Bethel, New York - the site of the original Woodstock concert.

Just so happens Dreamwish is playing a concert there, and Lannie managed to procure the pair of tickets her son won but couldn't use. 

Tristan Allard, the band's drummer, holds this benefit every year in memory of his wife, whom he lost to breast cancer. The musician is beginning to doubt his ability to write the band's music without his wife's inspiration - she was also his muse. Plus, he's damn lonely. So when a sexually charged, extremely attractive, slightly older woman literally plows into him at the backstage reception, Tristan is ready to learn more about her - and her long-buried interest in musical composition. 

The two head off for a wild ride of a weekend, but reality bites back. Tristan is headed to the UK to audition his next album's scores. And an elevated libido isn't the only side-effect of that experimental drug. 

To her horror, Lannie soon discovers the treated mice have gone deaf.

About the Author

Book Showcase: The Phoenix Syndrome by Claire Gem #Giveaway #books
Claire writes intensely emotional romantic novels. Her vision is to transport her readers into another place and time, creating characters so real, readers miss them when they reach The End. Her heroes are hot, & her heroines strong and brave: a combination producing the spark to fan the flames of your most intense romantic fantasies. Claire's characters are human, just like you & me. They make mistakes, they get clumsy sometimes, & they're not too proud to laugh at themselves & each other.

The keyword here is EMOTION. Big on the *Sigh* factor, Claire's stories aim to hit you straight in the heart and leave you smiling through happy tears.

She writes in two genres: romance w/a ghostly twist, and sexy contemporary. Claire's books are like a thrill ride at a theme park. Whether it's spooky-scary, angst-ridden relationships filled with gut-wrenching turmoil, silly chuckle moments, or hot-flash-inducing sex, Claire guarantees to take you on an emotionally intense romantic journey. 

You can connect with Claire here:


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