Guest Post: Denise Grover Swank


 

The third book in the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Wedding Pact series.
Libby St. Clair believes in fate–so much so, she’s willing to pin everything on a curse a fortune teller placed on her and her two best friends when they were kids. The curse, that each of them will marry before thirty, have a disaster of a wedding, and end up with a man other than her original fiancé, has come to fruition for both of her friends, who are now deliriously happy. But Libby’s attempt to quick-start the curse by proposing to her wrong-for-her boyfriend ends in a wild dash from the altar. She’s rescued by her friend Noah, the only person who understands her impulsive decisions–because he’s the same way.
Having spent most of his adulthood fleeing responsibility and commitment, Noah McMillan is finally ready to grow up. Of course, figuring out how is still a work in progress. When he realizes he’s in love with Libby, he flies to Kansas City to put a stop to her wedding. But Libby’s already pulled a runaway bride. Eager to cheer her up and prove that he can be the man she deserves, he takes her on a madcap car trip that will bring them all the way to the City of Sin.
In Vegas, those who risk it all either win big or lose everything, so what will happen if Libby and Noah take a gamble on love?

 

New York Times and
USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City,
Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a
nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten houses over the
course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and
smattering of Spanish and Chinese which she learned through an intensive Nick
Jr. immersion period. Her hobbies include witty Facebook comments (in own
her mind) and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you
believe her offspring.) Hidden talents include the gift of justification and
the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within
two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to
perform many
unspeakable tasks.
 She has six
children and hasn’t lost her sanity.
Or so she leads you
to believe.
 
 
Website:
Facebook:
Email:
DeniseGroverSwank@gmail.com
 
Catch up with the rest of The Wedding Pact Series
 

 

 

 

 

“Highway To Hell” Will Be Updated in September


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Yep, I’ve made the decision to update Highway To Hell from the NC-17 graphic story to a more R rated one. I haven’t rewritten anything other than some of the really sexual parts, while still retaining the rest of the story. 

In the end, I thought the excessively graphic sexual parts did nothing for the story itself. It even took away from it once I went back and reread it. Again, I wrote this novella five years ago and haven’t read it since it was published. 

I also wanted it more in line with the rest of the Dying Days series as well as fit seamlessly with the sequel, Highway To Hell 2, which will be coming on November 3rd. It will also be a kinda-sequel to Dying Days: Origins as well, wrapping up both stories at the same time. 

So on September 1st I will upload the newer version of Highway To Hell. If you want to read the original first, feel free to buy it asap. Once it is gone it won’t be changed back. I’m not sure how Amazon works but I think you can get the updated version if you bought the original previously, as I’m just updating the files. 

I will also be changing the print copy, too… so the few I have in stock at home will eventually be sold at cons and direct from me, too. 

If you’ve read Highway To Hell and have been asking for the sequel, Highway To Hell 2 is now up as a pre-order. It goes live November 3rd but feel free to show the love and loyalty and place your order now. 

Armand

highwaytohell2

Guest Post: Marian Allen


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So I’m at the vet’s and we get to talking about books, you know, like you do, and I pull out a postcard with my publisher’s (Per Bastet Publications http://perbastetpublications.com) catalog on it and point out which ones are mine.

 

The next time I come into the vet’s (two ancient cats and my Mom’s cat, who is now DOWN to 15 pounds … I see the vet a lot), and he says, “I looked up your publisher and I was surprised to see you write science fiction. I thought science fiction was written by physics geeks.”

 

I say, “I am a physics geek.”

 

I think that, by “geek,” he meant “someone who understands physics,” but I meant “someone who geeks out over physics.” Of course, Richard Feynman claimed that if you think you understand physics that proves you don’t. Kind of like the Tao.

 

This would all be by way of digression, except I’m not sure I had a point.

 

Oh, yeah – marketing.

 

I guess.

 

It’s really hard for me to push myself. Whenever I hear my own voice telling people about my books (unless I’m at a place where I’m supposed to be selling them), I hear a donkey braying. Okay, a jackass. Or, since I’m a girl, a jennyass. But I can totally talk to people about books in general and reading and other people’s books and, by the way, mine, too.

 

That postcard has been good for me. On the front is my publisher’s logo, web address, and QR code linking to the web site. On the back is a listing of titles with tweet-length tags for each title and thumbnails of the covers.

 

If the person I give it to freezes up, scared I’m going to plunge over the rim of the volcano, dragging them with me into hard-sell hell, I can say, “Take that with you and look it over if you want to or pass it on to somebody you think might be interested,” and turn the conversation to something else.

 

If the person is immediately interested and wants to know more, I can talk about the books that aren’t mine or I can gloss over mine in passing.

 

If the person specifically wants to know about my books, I bite the bullet and talk about them.

 

I’ll have to get a bigger postcard, because my publisher is coming out with two of its authors’ books on Audible, Winter Wonderland by T. Lee Harris and Bitter Cold by Katina French. And, by the way, a new collection of short science fiction stories (’cause I’m a geek) by me: Other Earth, Other Stars.

 

Per Bastet Publications – http://perbastetpublications

Marian Allen, Author Lady – http://MarianAllen.com

Other Earth, Other Stars – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B012HN603I

2001HalfBody4c

 

Marian Allen writes science fiction, fantasy, mystery, humor, horror, mainstream, and anything else she can wrestle into fixed form.

Allen has had stories in on-line and print publications, on coffee cans and the wall of an Indian restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky. Her latest books are the SAGE fantasy trilogy, her science fiction comedy of bad manners SIDESHOW IN THE CENTER RING, and her YA/NA paranormal suspense A DEAD GUY AT THE SUMMERHOUSE, all from Per Bastet Publications.

She blogs daily at Marian Allen, Author Lady (http://MarianAllen.com),  weekly at Fatal Foodies (http://fatalfoodies.blogspot.com), and monthly at The Write Type (http://writetype.blogspot.com).

Guest Post: Nick Cole


Zekes

What We’re Really Writing about when we Write about Zekes

 

I’m not saying you shouldn’t read Zombie Novels and think we’re not just writing zombie novels for fun.  We are.  We’re having fun doing it.  What I’m saying is there might be a little more going on than meets the eye.  Go ahead, read all the zombie novels you can get your hands on.  They’re great.  From JL Bourne’s Day by Day Armageddon Series to any of Maestro Armand Rosamila’s horro-romps.  Even that cat everybody like, what’s his name… Max Brooks.

Zombies are hot and they’re only getting hotter.  Which is ironic.  (They should be cool, when you think about it.)

But let’s step back for a moment.  Zombie Stories.  What’re they really all about?  Are they really about Zombies?  No.  There actually about two other things.  There about us, and, they’re about survival.  I’m absolutely convinced that people who read zombie books, and watch shows like The Walking Dead, are playing the home game all along, inside their heads.  At home, or wherever it is they’re reading that book.  No, zombie books are sort of a sweet little training simulation for what we’re all coming to believe might be some sort of societal collapse heading toward us on the interstate like a crazed trucker hopped up on Meth and Monster.  The need to take our health, welfare and security into our own hands is becoming apparent with each passing horror show some call the nightly news.  The problem is we get dangerously close to unwanted extra attention from Big Brother when we write/read directly about those things.  So, instead we use the zombie scenarios.  I don’t mean “we” the writers.  I mean a lot of readers are the “we” and in their own way their sim-ing the Meltdown by reading Zeke-Books.  This is nothing new.  It was actually one of the first accusations leveled at the Zombie Genre way back in the sixties.  That is was mere cover for the coming “Race War” we were all s’posed to throw on each other’s behalf.

Zombie Hunter

So, there’s that.

The other thing we’re writing about is ourselves.  Not the mindless monsters chasing us through the halls of the mall, or banging on our boarded up front door.  No, we’re writing about the monster who’s sharing our space, our rations and running and gunning alongside of us.  Because, isn’t that the real monster you should be afraid of.  The one that really scares you.  To death.  After all, who have you thrown in with, exactly?  The zekes, well… their just mindless.  But the sociopath next to you, watching your back, watching you while you sleep, what kind monster is that freak.  When police and government services have gone down and there’s no one to restrain them from all the booze and unlimited ammo they can do, well, you’re about to find out who, exactly, has your six.  And that’s what we’re writing about when we write zombie PA fiction.  We’re writing out our survival fantasy and the obstacles we’re going to encounter just to make it through the night.  Some of us may even be writing our own personal Day at Disneyland.  Watch out for those, it’s probably going to get a little dark.  Zombie novels are about a lot more than just chills and thrills.  A lot more.

Nick Cole is the author of The End of the World as We Knew It.

‘In the future, an artist specializing in historical records creates a piece of art based on three separate accounts of the Pandemic. What follows is a patchwork tale of survival and horror as two lovers struggle to survive the undying dead and the collapse of an America turned charnel house. Told as memos from Ground Zero, and later in the journal of a Dark Tower-like quest by train and foot across a nightmare landscape of ruined cities and raving corpses, the three accounts reveal more than just the grim realities of society’s collapse. The Notebook meets The Walking Dead in this stained glass depiction of the end of the world as we knew it.’

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Guest Post: E. Chris Garrison


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By Any Other Name: Why I am an Out and Proud Transgender Author

By E. Chris Garrison

When I first started putting myself out there as an author, I used my first name, Eric, although I hadn’t gone by it since 1999, using my middle name instead. Why did I drop Eric in 1999? Well, as the title of this article implies, I am transgender. Which means, I have felt for most of my life that I should have been born a girl. A fact I hid as a very close secret for decades, because the world wasn’t very friendly toward people like me. It still isn’t, but it’s gotten much better in the past 10 years.

 

So if I was going by Chris, why did my books say Eric? Well, I’d published articles in college as Eric, when I was part of the staff of the Purdue Engineer Magazine. That’s not a very good reason, though, since that was in 1987-1990. I guess I used Eric Garrison because it sounded more authorly to me, or more official sounding, since it was my given name.  I don’t remember why now, but I self-published my first book in 2007, and then another each year for the next few years, and since they were all linked together, I kept the same author name on it. I told myself it was like a pen name.

 

Then, in 2013, Hydra Publications published Reality Check, and I had another chance to change my byline, but it felt like a bad time to change, what with four books out already, why make this one stand alone?

 

And later that year, Seventh Star Press began to publish my Road Ghosts books, I could easily have changed then. I had a few hints that it might be a good idea, since I had begun to make friends at conventions, authors and publishers who’d meet me standing next to my books, and would call me Eric. I’d put a lot of effort into getting people to call me Chris in 1999 and 2000, but it seemed like I’d made a mistake using that old name as my byline, because it was undoing that work. I was becoming Eric again to many people.

 

And it felt uncomfortable. Chris is a nice androgynous name. I had gotten used to it. Hearing people call me Eric again reminded me why I’d changed. The problem gnawed at me, a vague imbalance, a minor trigger of my gender dysphoria. I didn’t want to be called an obviously male name. I’d struck a balance over the years to cope with my gender identity issues by straddling the fence, being as androgynous in presentation as possible. This upset that balance. It took having a good friend point this out in early 2014 for me to think to act on it. She asked me if it caused me cognitive dissonance to sell books with my male given name on them. I answered yes.

 

Also at that time, I was in the process of outing myself. My closest friends had known I was trans since the 90s, and the feelings I’d had during a couple of Transgender Days of Remembrance in November 2012 and 2013 had driven me to not want to keep secrets anymore. If I did nothing else for other transfolks, I could at least be a visible, positive ambassador for people like us, since most people don’t know any trans people. Or don’t realize they do. By being out like that, I thought, I could help change transgender from an abstract condition to an actual human for everyone I encountered.

 

I went on an epic trip to New Jersey (how often does anyone say that?) to take part in the Steampunk World’s Fair with K.A. DaVur, Katina French, and Thomas Lamkin, Jr. I spent the whole time dressed in skirts and a corset, and a rather silly steampunk hat. I interacted with all the customers as a woman, despite my books saying Eric on them. I had to explain to some that it was my pen name. People still treated me with courtesy and people still bought my books. It was a thrill to get to be myself and not one person treated me oddly, no one gave me funny looks, no one said anything mean to me. It was as if it was perfectly normal, at least within that space.

 

Since then, I’ve been attending more social events and events as an author presenting as myself. Sometimes I hide behind feminine costumes at conventions or shows, and sometimes it’s just ordinary circumstances. I make sure to surround myself with friends, and as long as I smile, it seems like I get very little friction from anyone else. And from the stories my trans sisters and brothers tell online, it seems like I have lived a very charmed transgender life.

 

So to continue this, I am spending the whole of Imaginarium as a woman. I’m packing a steampunk costume for the Masquerade, sure, but I’m also not packing any specifically male clothes. This is sort of a test; I’m inching my way toward transition to living full-time as a woman, and while this is another convention with anti-harassment policies, I want to see how it feels mingling with friends and new acquaintances, and the general public, for three days, as myself.

 

And meanwhile, if people realize I’m trans, then I hope my friendly smile and sense of humor will help show them that transgender people aren’t as strange as they might have guessed. And maybe they’ll take a chance on my books, whether they say Eric Garrison like my Road Ghosts Trilogy, or E. Chris Garrison like on Blue Spirit and Girl in the Gears!

 

If you’re going to Imaginarium, I hope to see you there! And if you don’t mind, my preferred gender pronouns will be she, her, and hers.

ECGarrisonAuthorPhoto

About 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.

 

 

Book Synopsis for 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!

 

Author Links:

website:

http://www.sillyhatbooks.com

Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/EricGarrisonAuthor

Twitter:

@ecgarrison

 eBook and Print Links for Blue Spirit

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

Guest Post: Amos Cassidy


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Crimson Chaos by Amos Cassidy, the thrilling conclusion to the Crimson Series, is out today! Rose, Raven, Roman and the gang must face their own personal demons and come together to fight an invisible threat that challenges the existence of their world.

 

An ancient prophecy.
An entity older than the beginning of time.
Surely the survivors of bloody battles on fey beaches deserve a timeout, a chill period, a chance to reflect? Yeah, right!
When the gang are faced with an ancient threat, it’s just another day at the office until they realise that this time their efforts may not be enough. This time maybe fate won’t be thwarted, because this time their foe is more powerful than anything they could ever have imagined. It’s a race against time, a race against the unpredictable, and, for the first time, the odds are stacked against them. It’s anyone’s game. No guarantees. No returns.
When Khaos strikes, who will be left standing?
 
What readers are saying…
…Amos Cassidy always does an amazing job of giving you just enough info to follow while still keeping you in the dark until the last possible moment…
…This series has been twisty and turny from book one, which I thought was going to be a typical UF but NOOOOO … we can’t have that. And following the gang’s story has kept me on the edge of my seat for the last three years…
Little Read Riding Hood
Fancy A Peek Inside?
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Don’t miss out on the Goodies!
 
EXCLUSIVE!!!!!
 

For the next 48 hours only, you can grab the LIMITED EDITION. Purchase it before 12AM 29th August PST (8AM GMT) to get access to an exclusive download link where you can get books 2 and 3 FREE. The limited edition also contains 7k worth of exclusive content; character interviews, shorts, an author bio from a few years back, told by Roman himself, and Raven does karaoke…yep, that happened.

Crimson Chaos release Blitz image 1

AMAZON
KOBO
NOOK
iBOOKS
SMASHWORDS

Want to know a little bit more about the Authors?

 Amos Cassidy is the pen name for Richard Amos and Debbie Cassidy. Amos is a 31 year old Diva and Cassidy a 38 year old mother of three; well, four if you include the husband. A common love of all things Joss Whedon, Urban Fantasy, and a tug of war over Jensen Ackles, brought them together, and one cold February afternoon, over nibbles and coffee, their partnership was born.

You can find Cassidy hard at work in her fortress of solitude which has eaten up the majority of her garden, and Amos…well he’s still trying to get the invisibility gizmo he got off a friendly alien in exchange for a pair of earphones to work. Funnily enough he hasn’t been seen around much lately…

Frequent doses of Sugary snacks, coupled with regular injections of caffeine aid in their production of a unique brand of cross genre tales. They are always writing, but are happy to take a break to chat to their wonderful readers, so drop them a line at amoscassidy.com, or just pop over to see what they’re working on and they’ll bust out the biscuit tin.

Links to Stalk the Author’s!
      

 

 

Guest Post: Andy Peloquin


Bucelarii - Copy

Why Do We Love Horror So?

 

Horror as a genre is quite a fascinating one!

What is it about the “things that go bump” that sends a chill down our spine? Why do our hearts race when we read tales of werewolves, vampires, zombies, or demons? What makes us shiver and quake when we read stories about mind-stealing aliens, hordes of nightmarish creatures, and monsters from mythology and lore?

Fear is a pretty interesting emotion. There are two types of fear:

  • Fear of something — Disease, death, theft, suffering, pain, dishonor, loss of money or status, etc.
  • Fear for something — Fear for your family and loved ones.

Which one causes more terror? Neither trumps the other–both are equally terrifying!

When we experience these fears, our body does some interesting things:

  • Our heart speeds up (by as much as 15 BPM faster than our resting heart rate)
  • Our skin temperature drops
  • Our palms begin to sweat
  • Our muscles get all tense and knotted up
  • Our blood pressure rises

What is causing all of these reactions? Why do our bodies act like this?

Simply put: it’s all about evolution.

Animals and humans have evolved over the years (centuries, millennia, etc.), adapting to their environment. Our brain and bodies have evolved slowly, and there are still certain aspects of our physiology and psychology that have not yet evolved. Look at the appendix and the last thoracic vertebra (the tail bone)–neither of these are strictly necessary, but we still have them.

Our psyche has changed a lot over time, but there are still things that remain unchanged. When we see something that is a threat (even if it’s just on a TV screen or in our minds), our bodies react out of instinct. The “animal” within us has that visceral gut reaction of fear and anxiety, and there is no control over it.

Psychologists aren’t quite sure what makes horror and action movies so appealing to us. Some believe that it has to do with the concept of “rites of passage”. Young males had to undergo certain physical and psychological tests and stressors to be considered “men”. Though many of those rites have disappeared from modern society, they’re not entirely gone.

Look at the “hazing” many college students endure. It’s all about “surviving” the torments–physical and mental. Horror movies and books have that same effect on us. They push our bodies to the limits of fear, and they give us a way to prove our courage. The “scarier” the movie or book, the “tougher” we are to survive it unscathed and unaffected by it.

Here’s an interesting thought: all of the physical effects of horror listed above (the increase in blood pressure, the racing heart, the sweaty palms, etc.) are the same effects caused by arousal and sex drive. Perhaps we “enjoy” horror so much not because of the actual horror itself, but because of the reaction it produces in our bodies. The flood of adrenaline, the surge of excitement, and the emotional “rush” caused by horror is a variety of the pleasure we feel when attracted to someone else.

Whatever the reason, horror is a genre that is here to stay! After all, what would we do without a good book or movie that gets our heart racing, sends chills down our spines, and gives us an excuse to cling to that handsome man or pretty woman beside us?

 

A faceless, nameless assassin. A forgotten past.  The Hunter of Voramis–a killer devoid of morals, or something else altogether? (Blade of the Destroyer–dark fantasy with a look at the underside of human nature)

 

The Last Bucelarii (Book 1): Blade of the Destroyer

The Hunter of Voramis is the perfect assassin: ruthless, unrelenting, immortal. Yet he is haunted by lost memories, bonded to a cursed dagger that feeds him power yet denies him peace of mind. Within him rages an unquenchable need for blood and death.

When he accepts a contract to avenge the stolen innocence of a girl, the Hunter becomes the prey. The death of a seemingly random target sends him hurtling toward destruction, yet could his path also lead to the truth of his buried past?

 

Title: The Last Bucelarii (Book 1): Blade of the Destroyer

Author: Andy Peloquin

Official Launch Date: August 21st, 2015

Publication Date: July 11th, 2015

Paperback Price: $15.99

Digital Price: $3.99

Pages: 298

ISBN: 1515038955

 

Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Blade-Destroyer-Last-Bucelarii-Book-ebook/dp/B012EI9M4A/

Amazon Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Blade-Destroyer-Last-Bucelarii-Book/dp/1515038955/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25269614-blade-of-the-destroyer

Book Launch Event:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1625045874438351/

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Andy Peloquin: Lover of All Things Dark and Mysterious

Andy Peloquin–a third culture kid to the core–has loved to read since before he could remember. Sherlock Holmes, the Phantom of the Opera, and Father Brown are just a few of the books that ensnared his imagination as a child.

When he discovered science fiction and fantasy through the pages of writers like Edgar Rice Burroughs, J.R.R Tolkien, and Orson Scott Card, he was immediately hooked and hasn’t looked back since.

Andy’s first attempt at writing produced In the Days: A Tale of the Forgotten Continent. He has learned from the mistakes he made and used the experience to produce Blade of the Destroyer, a book of which he is very proud.

Reading—and now writing—is his favorite escape, and it provides him an outlet for his innate creativity. He is an artist; words are his palette.

His website (http://www.andypeloquin.com) is a second home for him, a place where he can post his thoughts and feelings–along with reviews of books he finds laying around the internet.

He can also be found on his social media pages, such as:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndyPeloquin

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

www.linkedin.com/in/andypeloquin/

https://plus.google.com/100885994638914122147/about

https://www.amazon.com/author/andypeloquin

https://www.facebook.com/andrew.peloquin.1

10 Things You Need to Know About Me:

  1. Hot wings, ALWAYS!
  2. I never forget a face, but rarely remember a name.
  3. I’m a head taller than the average person (I’m 6′ 6″)
  4. Marvel > DC
  5. I was born in Japan, and lived there until the age of 14.
  6. Selena Gomez and Five Finger Death Punch are both in my playlist.
  7. Aliens are real, but it’s self-centered of us to believe that they would come to visit Earth.
  8. Watching sports: suck. Playing sports: EPIC!
  9. I earned a purple belt in Karate/Hapkido/Taekwondo.
  10. I dislike most Christmas music, aside from Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Reviews:

“Creative, gritty, and beautifully dark…fantasy addicts will love it!” — Peter Story, author of Things Grak Hates — http://peterjstory.com/

“The fantasy world has a compelling new antihero…the Hunter will terrify and captivate you.” – Eve A Floriste, author of Fresh Cut

“From the first words on the page this fantasy holds the reader spellbound even after the book is finished…his character is very well-defined even if his past is a mystery. Root for an assassin? Oh, yes, one must!” — Carol Conley, for InDTale Magazine