Saturday, March 14, 2015

Blog Tour Review - Like a Box of Chocolates by Justin Bienvenue



Description:

Take every notion, feeling, experience and expectation that you have on poetry and throw it up in the air, just take everything you’ve ever known about it and toss it aside. Not because the boundaries of what makes it so are being broken, and not because simple fundamentals and poetic structures are being altered, no that’s not it at all. Simply take a deep breath, relax and remember that nothing is off limits, nothing is too right or too wrong or completely outside the box(pun totally intended). So untie that bow, put your hand on the corner and open…open the book and take in that fresh page aroma and all the splendid “flavors” that is poetry.

Excerpt:

Marshmallow Street

The birds glide and fly in the air
Doing what they do best
Just like a road the skies they share
as their driving is put to the test

A pilot flies his jet with force
Doing tricks and trying to break sound
As he maneuvers, nature takes it course
As he lands safely upon the ground

A plane travels high above
As it departs from city to city
Look out, look down and fall in love
As the site is beyond pretty

All these things may share the sky
But one thing makes them complete
And if you yourself could also fly
You could join them on Marshmallow street

Bio:


My name is Justin Bienvenue, I was born in and reside in Massachusetts. I am a friendly and outgoing person. Always enjoy meeting new people. I graduated high school in 2006. As an author and poet, I have three published books, A book of Horror Poetry entitled, The Macabre Masterpiece: Poems of Horror and Gore published in 2011 and a Western Horror, A Bloody Bloody Mess In The Wild Wild West published in 2013 and Like A Box of Chocolates published in 2014. While I mainly enjoy writing poetry I have recently expanded my horizons and started writing stories, narratives and short stories. I enjoy writing and it always makes me satisfied to have others enjoy my work. I like to be creative and different, always trying new things. I have a background in creative writing which really helped me develop my writing and expand my imagination. When I’m not writing I also enjoy playing games and watching sports such as football, baseball and basketball. I also enjoy the outdoors, always playing sports whenever I get the chance and going for walks to gather my thoughts looking for my next best creative idea. Some of my interests include, History, Egyptology, Ufology, The Wild West and The Civil War.

Author Links


Buy Link


Review


Like a box of chocolates was an interesting collection of poetry. One word to describe it would be eclectic. The author writes about various topics, some dark, some lighter, and the poems themselves varied from more literal to a bit more metaphoric.

As a poet myself, I read this collection with a more critical eye, looking for depth and nuances and things that made me stop and think. This collection was more on the simpler side, which is not a bad thing. The differences between the pieces showcases the author's range of creativity. I have read a lot of poetry that I just could find no meaning to, but with this collection I was able to see where the author was going with his words, what picture he was trying to build for the reader, or what emotion he was trying to invoke.

It's a good start towards a serious path as a poet if that is what the author wishes to pursue. Go on and give this a read.

Three stars!


Sunday, March 8, 2015

That Writing Life

Surprise! I'm still busy and still have not found time to blog regularly. Or maybe that's not really a surprise.

So what have I been up to lately? Affairs two has been turned in to my publisher and I'm eager to start edits on it and get it ready for release, which will hopefully be in April. And even though I didn't think I'd get into book three this quickly, it's on a roll. Which is good because book two is coming out two years after Affairs of the Dead, which is too big of a gap in my opinion but I had great excuses: pregnancy, new mommyhood, and massive writer's block. But I'm determined not to let two years pass before book three comes out so who knows, I may have two releases this year!

So far book three isn't producing any major headaches, I've gotten to about 15k words and still know where I'm going even though I haven't written many notes at all. Definitely a book I'm pantsing. I won't get too optimistic though, I got all the way to the halfway mark with book two before I hit that impenetrable wall. But, it's good to be writing. To be able to incorporate that into my life with everything else I have going on feels very much like a victory. Plus it's exciting to get a series going, I love developing my characters and expanding the world they live in.

On another front, the blog tour business is doing well. Red Moon Book Tours has been open for a little over two months and between current, upcoming, past, and now booking, I've got about seventeen tours. It's challenging, but I enjoy the work, and enjoy helping authors get exposure for their books.

Only bummer in my literary life is that I have not been reading. At all. The time for that just isn't forthcoming. I have a lot of books I've started, and books I want to start. So I guess that's the next thing I have to tackle. For now I'll just be envious of all of you who can read, read, read!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Release Day Blitz - Four Valentines Heat anthologies from Etopia Press

New from Etopia Press, four great Valentine’s Day themed Anthologies to spice up your reading! The anthologies feature short stories from Etopia authors: Ally Shields, Nessie Strange, Keith Melton, C.L. Bledsoe, Elizabeth Ellen Carter, Cynthia Hampton, Chrissy Gissendaner, Jayne Ripley, Anne Lange, Nikki Dee Houston, Lyssa Jackson, and Arianna Archer. Whether it's Paranormal, Erotic, or Romance, these anthologies have something for everyone. Make sure you check these sizzling stories out!
Valentines Heat I



“Heart’s Pride” by Ally Shields
The Guardian Witch Series

When their wedding is ruined by a werepanther attack, Katrina is left hospitalized and Blane is just...gone. But when he finally finds his way back to Riverdale, he learns he’s not the only one who’s been tracking Katrina...

“Lost Soul, Lost Love” by Nessie Strange
The Living Dead World Series


It’s Jen MacLellan’s first trip back to earth as a new reaper, and Mardi Gras is in full swing. When she happens upon Chip, a partier stuck in a perpetual 1983, Jen decides to help him find the woman he loves so he can move on. Assuming all goes well when he finds her...

“Red Dogs” by Keith Melton
The Zero Dog Mission Series


Mercenary pyromancer Andrea Walker has just saved the world from bloodthirsty hagworms and is late for her Valentine’s date with Jake. Until she hears that Jake has already left her house...with her...

“V-Day” by CL Bledsoe
The Necro-Files Series


Daisy and her friends think going to a frat party on Valentine’s Day will be a fun, not-at-all-desperate Girls Night Out. What they don’t expect is to have Delilah’s succubus pheromones accidentally set off the apocalypse...

Valentines Heat II



“Moonstone Promise” by Elizabeth Ellen Carter

After her husband’s death in Colonial Pennsylvania, Ann Sellars forges a business partnership with Toby Jackson that quickly becomes a friendship. But when Toby proposes marriage on the eve of leaving for England, Ann isn’t sure if she’s ready to leave her memories, or her new business, behind...

“A Perfect Judge” Cynthia Hampton


When Kamber Prescott agrees to emcee the annual Valentine’s Day Fantasy Auction, she has no intention to bid on one of the sexy bachelors. But seeing Jeffrey Hatcher again after their Christmas party fling makes her reconsider. Especially since the auction has only one rule: the rules exist only if you want them to...


Valentines Heat III




“Rated Ex” by Christy Gissendaner

A blind Valentine’s date mix-up pairs Rebecca with her geeky high school boyfriend. Geek no more, Parker’s now the alpha of his pack, and he’s determined to show Rebecca what the last few years have taught him...

“Crash Me Once...” by Jayne Ripley

Cenn and Redlan are part of the werewolf pack on the space cruiser Wolfstar. But Redlan has never claimed her in front of the pack...and she’s starting to wonder why. When a foraging mission on a remote moon throws an unexpected catastrophe their way, each of them must decide exactly what to risk...and which of them will be the first to yield to their true feelings.

"Crash Me Once..." contains a scene of erotic spanking

Valentines Heat IV



Buy Links:


For more great books from Etopia Press, visit them here:

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Busy and Loving It

I like being busy. I may complain about it sometimes, but I like when there are various things going on in my life like different things that I am doing or trying to accomplish. Positive things of course. I'm the type of person who gets bored easily. I don't like being stagnant. Sitting around doing nothing is great sometimes, then it's time to find something to do already. So right now I'd have to say I'm busy, and I'm enjoying it.

On New Years Day I launched Red Moon Book Tours. I got the idea to start my own blog tour company back in early October, got really excited about the idea, then thought there was no way I would be successful at it and gave it up, then decided what the hell why not go for it? That's always been an issue with me, there are so many ideas I get, so many things I want to do or make or try, but sometimes I tend to talk myself out of taking that extra step to just go for it because I don't think I will succeed at it. But this time I told myself I would try. There are tons of blog tour companies out there and they were all started by people not unlike myself, so why couldn't I do it too? It took a lot of work, but I'm glad that I took the plunge. I've been working on booking six tours, so needless to say the new business has been keeping me busy.

But not so busy that I don't have time for other things! Such as editing a book. In early December I FINALLY finished the sequel to Affairs of the Dead, and there are no possible words to describe how happy I was to finish that book. It was by far the hardest book I've ever written, and it took about a year and a half, whereas Affairs was drafted in ten days. Part of the prolonged writing time was due to the fact that I was pregnant and was then dealing with adjusting to motherhood (and let's face it, there's no greater, cuter, more worth it time sucker than a tiny baby), but even if there was no baby in the picture it would have been hard. I got stuck in places I couldn't write myself out of, and the manuscript would stay untouched for weeks and months. I'd think about, even open it up and try to work on it, but all I got was frustrated because I just couldn't figure my story out. I loved my plot idea, but it didn't seem to love me back for a long time. I fought back hard though, and with A LOT of re-writing that often involved re-writing the re-writes then re-writing the re-written re-writes (did you follow all that?), I finally came out with the story I wanted to tell and I love it. I'm super excited for it to be published later this year. I just have to finish whipping it into shape then I can send it off to my publisher.

Other than that, there are other aspects of life that need attention too. I have a part time job, so that's three days of my week right there. Plus, my baby girl will be turning one next month so I am in party planning mode! I'm excited to give her a party that she won't remember now, I know, but will love to look back on one day through pics and video. So that's also been taking up my time (happily).

Being busy helps me feel like my life is more well rounded. Last year it was all about adjusting to a baby in my life, and I think I have finally reached a place where I can be 100% mommy and still do things for myself. Many times that means sacrificing sleep to edit my book because I finally realized that late at night with little miss was asleep was the only time I could get any writing done! Maybe I'll be able to start blogging more using that process. Gotta love that midnight hour.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Affairs of the Dead Contest Entries -- What's your Unfinished Business?

I recently wrapped up a two week contest tour where I asked bloggers to post funny, interesting, and creative unfinished business that a ghost would need taking care of, since that is what the main character in my novel, Affairs of the Dead, does. The winning entry will be incorporated into the sequel I am working on, which will hopefully be released next year. The winner will also snag an Amazon gift card along with books from Etopia Press. Here are the entries, read and enjoy! I will be picking a winner soon!



1) Her lover left one night and never came back a few weeks later she found out she was pregnant, she hid it from the world. She moved to a remote location in the woods and had the child at home with the help of a midwife she had befriended. Alone in her cabin raising a child by herself she vowed one day to make sure the baby would know the father. A few years later when the child was 3 the mother left the child with the midwife to make a trip to town. On the way back home she was ran off the road by a semi truck and died in the crash. She had told the midwife that if anything was to happen to her that she was to take care of her baby if she had not found the baby’s father. It was easy finding him while she was dead all she had to do was concentrate hard enough and Bam there she was in his bedroom staring down at his sleeping form. She hovered for a few moments trying to decide of a way to let him know, so far she hasn't been able to move anything, she decided to stay with him only leaving to check on her child, until she could find away to tell him about his daughter.

2) A man dies in his apartment while cross dressing. He returns as a ghost to get into his apartment and change his body out of his current lingerie, wig, heels and makeup before his body is found.

3) A ghost will remain to stick around and eat Pizza!

4) Maybe to haunt his/her favorite author to find out the end of a favorite series.

5) A ghost sticks around to cut coupons!

6) A very Type A woman’s ghost sticks around to find her great granddaughter’s little pink Hello Kitty sock that’s missing from her laundry.

7) A soldier is returning from (any) war with a last letter for the wife/sweetheart of a dying soldier buddy, but he himself is killed on the way. He still wants to see that the letter is delivered.

8) A ghost can't rest in peace without finishing that book their friend loved and loaned them, but they never got around to reading. Then after they have to let the friend know what they thought. 

9) A woman named Dana dies suddenly in a car accident. Dana was a fashionista that was very proud of her figure but one thing she never admitted to anyone was that she wore Spanx every day.  She doesn't want anyone to find out so her unfinished business is to hide all of her pairs of Spanx so that her secret dies with her!

10) My ghost pranked a friend who hates beans by swapping the labels of a can of beans and a can of soup, the friend hasn't opened what she thinks of the soup yet so my ghost hasn't seen the results of their prank. 

11) Teacher (clean cut average next door kind of girl) who works at night as a blogger for an adult toy (clears throat) company and has product testing experience. She has to get those things out of her house before her mother gets in from out of town. To do anything else would be disastrous. She can't just ask anyone. This is a girl to girl cry for help.

12) Girl has a fight with her boyfriend after another guy spells out a scene between said boyfriend and another girl. The event has a moment of truth and girl believes him only to fall victim to a horrific crime as he takes her away to console her. Now she is dead and watches boyfriend grieving and is powerless to stop the bad guy as his net of revenge draws closer. Guy has a bone to pick with boyfriend and is out to destroy more than his life-he won't stop until everything he loves is gone. She has to find someone who will hear her and help to prevent the boyfriend from being hurt-and tell him the truth. She is torn-she wants him with her but it is not his time-she can prevent any more evil from happening.

13) When you think of it being a ghost is like a lifetime of invisibility. And there’s definitely something I would do now as a ghost. I’m gonna go all Barney Stinson on you and say, wait for it, wait for it, wait for it. I am gonna make out with Jensen Ackles. Hell yeah!! That is like my ultimate dream come true. Well I would have preferred having little Jensen babies, but I’ll take what I can get! I know, I know I was only required to come up with one ‘unfinished business’, but man this is like the ULTIMATE unfinished business. No way am I going to cross over before I get to make out with and *cough* fondle *cough* Jensen Ackles.

Which entry is your favorite? 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Wild Fire Release Blog Party and Settings Hunt

I'm happy to help Ally Shields with the release of her new novel, Wild Fire. Be sure you grab a copy! Now, I'll let Ally take over:



Thank you so much for being part of the  release party and giveaway for the sixth book in my Guardian Witch series!
 (See contest details at the bottom.)

Book Blurb:

A vision. A lost talisman. A dangerous journey through time...

A month after their bonding, Ari and Andreas are still adjusting to married life when they learn the hard way that the O-Seven, the terrifying and brutal vampire elders, still have them in their sights. A three million dollar bounty hangs over each of their heads, and there’s no lack of assassins eager to collect.

When the local seer has a terrifying vision of the destruction of Riverdale, it’s up to Ari—as usual—to keep everyone safe. Only this time, an enemy from the past has bound her fire powers, and the city’s string of arsons seems connected.

Daron, the vampire prince in Toronto, has information that two of the vampire elders are on their way to Riverdale. Which can’t be good. Only a risky and unprecedented journey through time can provide the help they need. But that will leave Andreas to face the O-Seven alone...

Buy Links:


Book Trailer on Youtube: http://youtu.be/nGO1wudi7xQ

Excerpt:

The tracks in the snow gradually moved up the slope toward the older parts of Riverdale, out of the tourist district, past residential homes, angling toward the cliff area that overlooked the Mississippi River. Then it took a sharp swing north.

Ari looked ahead, her gaze following the tracks through the gate and into the Riverdale Cemetery. "I don't like this." She came to a stop with one hand on the gate. "Don't you think the trail is a bit too obvious? As if he wanted us to follow him?" Her eyes scanned the cemetery grounds for anything unusual, a shadow, a hint of color out of place among the stones and crypts. The only sizable tracks went behind a tall mausoleum.

"A trap?" Ryan drew his pistol. "Do you sense something?"

"Maybe. But there is a lot of magical interference in graveyards." Ari frowned. She sensed a flicker of Otherworld power, but it didn't feel right. Shielded? Would a halfling demon be that good? She eased through the gate; Ryan followed close behind. Her magic stirred, raising the hairs on her arms, and she stopped, extending her witch senses to probe the area around them—tasting, smelling, touching the environment. Her magic roared to life.

"Back!" she shouted. "Power. And lots of it."

Two gigantic figures leaped from the top of the nearest crypt. A howling rent the quiet of the cemetery. By the time the creatures landed—one in front of Ari and Ryan, and the other cutting them off from the gate—both had morphed into fiery red, eight-foot demons, their eyes deep black holes. Each carried a metal shield and swung a five-foot mace.

"Hellsgate warriors!" Ari crouched, raising her fingers to call the witch fire to her command.

Author Bio:

Ally Shields was born and raised in the Midwest, along the Mississippi River, and considers herself a "river rat." The setting and folklore of that area are often incorporated into her Guardian Witch series. After  a career in law and juvenile justice, she turned to full-time writing in 2009. She loves writing, reading and traveling. Way too often she can be found on Twitter. @ShieldsAlly

Author Contacts:

Other books in the series:

Awakening the Fire (#1); Fire Within (#2); Burning Both Ends (#3); Blood and Fire (#4); Fire Storm (#5).

Coming Soon:

Cross Keys, a Dark Elf urban fantasy (Oct. 3, 2014)
Eternal Fires (Guardian Witch #7) (TBA)


Blog Tour GIVEAWAY: Nov. 7-10:  Readers and writers always talk about characters in books, but settings are almost as important, and they play a huge role in the Guardian Witch series. Wild Fire is no exception, and this blog tour is revealing several settings that are the backdrop for major events in the book. In fact, I think they're so important that I'm running a special contest.

If you collect the names and numbers of all ten settings, you could win your choice of three ebooks in the series (including this latest release) or a $15.00 Amazon gift certificate. It's easy to do. Here are the rules.

Visit the blogs on this list -- or enough to collect all ten settings -- then email me at allyshieldsbooks@gmail.com by 9:00 a.m. EST, Monday, November 10, 2014 with your completed list. You will automatically be entered in the random drawing (two winners).

NOTE: A setting may appear on more than one blog, so be sure you have 10 different settings before turning in your entry.

Here is the list of participating blogs*:


(*If you can't find any of the posts, return to allyshields.com for updated links.)

Now for the setting: #3
Setting #3:  City Hall - Olde Town's buildings have always been part of every story, but this is City Hall's one appearance of significance. :)

Good luck! Thanks for  joining Wild Fire's release celebration!

More Fun: Those of you who read this before 6:00 - 10:00 p.m. EST on November 7, are invited to join us at the official Facebook release party (https://www.facebook.com/events/314795258698003/) for games and prizes, including books, swag and more gift certificates!!