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text 2017-12-13 15:25
Guest Post: Chrys Fey – Pizza as a Late Night Snack (Ghost of Death) ~ Excerpt

 

In Ghost of Death, pizza is very significant to the story. I won’t reveal why or in what way, but because it is important, it had me thinking about the pizza I make to eat. One of my favorites is one that I make at night for a late snack. Below is the recipe for a quick and easy pizza. You can consume the pizza while you consume this short read.

 

Flour Tortilla Pizza

 

Need:

 

Flour Tortillas

 

Marinara sauce

 

Shredded mozzarella cheese (cheddar is also good)

 

Pepperoni (if you want it)

 

Steps:

 

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

 

2. Put a flour tortilla on a cookie sheet.

 

3. Spread marinara sauce of your choosing on the flour tortilla. I have used pizza and pasta sauce. Both are good.

 

4. Add pepperoni if you want it.

 

5. Sprinkle on shredded mozzarella cheese. Sometimes I didn’t have mozzarella so I used cheddar. You can even mix them.

 

6. Pop into oven. Keep a close eye on it because it doesn’t take long for it to get done. 5 – 10 minutes depending on how crispy you want it to get.

 

7. Use a knife to cut it, let cool a moment, and then enjoy

 

 

Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept blending romance, crimes, and disasters. She’s an administrator for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, running their newsletter and book club. She’s also an editor for Dancing Lemur Press.

 

Fey realized she wanted to write by watching her mother pursue publication. At the age of twelve, she started her first novel, which flourished into a series she later rewrote at seventeen.

 

Fey lives in Florida and is always on the lookout for hurricanes. She has four cats and three nephews, both keep her entertained with their antics.

 

 

Facebook / Blog / Website / Goodreads / Amazon Author Page

 

 

Ghost of Death

 

Chrys Fey

 

Length: Short Story

 

Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery

Dead men may not talk but dead girls do.

 

Blurb: 

 

Jolie Montgomery, a twenty-one-year-old woman, wakes up in an alley next to her corpse. She has no memories of her murder or the night she died. She didn’t even see the killer’s face before he or she took her life. Wanting justice, Jolie seeks answers in the only way a ghost can…by stalking the lead detective on the case. 

 

Avrianna Heavenborn is determined to find the person responsible for a young woman’s death. She gets closer to the killer’s identity with every clue she uncovers, and Jolie is with her every step of the way.

 

But if they don’t solve her murder soon, Jolie will be an earth-bound spirit forever.

 

 

$0.99 CENTS!

 

Amazon US / Amazon UK / The Wild Rose PressB & NKobo 

 

 

 

 

I’m dead.

 

Jolie Montgomery didn’t know how she died, but all of a sudden she stood over her body in an alley. Her dark hair swam in a pool of blood. Her pale skin glowed in the moonlight, making her look like a porcelain doll, and her blue eyes shone with the metallic sheen of death.

 

Across her throat was a deep slash. No blood pumped from the slit in her flesh as all her blood pooled outside her body.

 

But I can’t be dead. I want to graduate from college next year. I want to be a journalist. I want Cody to propose to me. I want to pee on a stick and find out I’m pregnant. There is so much I want to do. I’m only twenty-one. This can’t be it!

 

She reached toward her body, wanting to make sense of what was happening, hoping she was dreaming, but her fingers passed right through her shoulder. Springing to her feet, she sucked in a panicked breath, but her chest didn’t rise. She spun in a circle, searching for help.

 

This isn’t right! How can I be dead? Why am I here? I don’t remember anything.

 

She never even saw her killer. All she knew was that she didn’t feel real. Her heart wasn’t beating. Her lungs weren’t expanding with breath. She was sure the alley stank with a dozen vulgar scents, but she couldn’t smell anything—not even the large quantity of blood at her feet.

 

Lifting her head, Jolie peered at the poisonous black sky and let out a scream. “Help! Somebody help me!”

 

But she knew if help came, it would be too late. 

 

 

Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2017/12/guest-post-chrys-fey-pizza-as-a-late-night-snack-ghost-of-death-excerpt
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text 2017-12-07 15:01
The Fate of Kings

Mark Stibbe is a guest on my blog today, announcing his new release The Fate of Kings and discussing the relevance of late 18th century politics to modern times. 

 

Source: samanthawilcoxson.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-fate-of-kings-and-its-relevance-to.html
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text 2017-12-05 15:07
Mark A. Rayner about his newest novel The Fatness + Giveaway [A guest post]

 

Many of you already know Mark A. Rayner aka Dilettante (you can follow Mark's blog on BookLikes here). Now it's time to know Mark's story a little bit better. With his new release The Fatness Mark also reveals a look behind the scenes of his newest book!

 

If you're hungry of great stories, make sure to request The Fatness copy in here. Enjoy and bon appetite

 

 

-- a guest post by Mark A. Rayner

 

 

The Fatness – a novel of epic portions

 

Canadian author Mark A. Rayner’s timely new book, The Fatness, is a satirical take on how not to deal with the so-called obesity “epidemic”. The novel posits a world in which the government gives those who are obese a simple choice: relinquish their publicly funded healthcare or go to a special Calorie Reduction Center (CRC) to lose the weight.

Mark is offering three copies as a giveaway here.

 

 

Behind the scenes:

why The Fatness was a difficult book to write

by Mark A. Rayner

 

It was personal.

 

Writers might say that of any book, true, but this novel was a particular challenge. I’ve struggled with weight issues most of my life, so I found it quite difficult to write a humorous account of what it would be like to be imprisoned for your weight.

 

Really difficult.

 

Like many of my novels, the idea for The Fatness first came to me in a dream. I’d been reading The Obesity Myth, by Paul Campos. It’s an eye-opening non-fiction about the bad science surrounding the idea of the obesity “epidemic”. That was sometime in 2005, the year ENC Press published my first book, The Amadeus Net.

 

In the nightmare, I was imprisoned in a Calorie Reduction Center, a concentration camp for the obese. When I awoke, I thought, so that’s a horrible notion. Terrifying. And strangely compelling. Should I even put this terrible idea out in the world? I wondered. Would readers know it was meant to be a satire?

 

I’m an optimist, so I wrote four chapters. They were bad. There was nothing funny about the book. It wasn’t biting satire, it was just bitter.

 

I made several other attempts, all failures. Six years ago I even got as far as completing an outline and a large chunk of a draft. But it wasn’t really what I wanted the book to be. It was strained and really not funny in a way that was compassionate for the inmates of the Calorie Reduction Centers.

 

Then five years ago I got serious about my own weight issues. I worked with two wonderful personal trainers and got my BMI – my body mass index – down below the dreaded 30 BMI for the first time in years. For some reason, that gave me the ability to write the book. I think I needed to understand the process of losing weight so that I could communicate its challenges properly. Within the course of a year, I wrote a completely new draft of the book.

Giveaway 

Ends December 18, 2017

REQUEST YOUR COPY ->

 

The biggest task, from a writing perspective, was to get the tone right. I didn’t want this to be an exercise in telling fat jokes. That is part of the problem, as far as I see it – we tolerate jokes about somebody’s weight in a way that we wouldn’t allow for other characteristics, such as race or sexuality. So pitching the humor in a compassionate way was important to me.

 

I think I learned how to do it by reading the work of Kurt Vonnegut, one of my literary heroes. I share his take on humanity. We are flawed, but we’re not worthless. It’s the opposite, really. Our flaws make us different, and our differences make us valuable.

 

A satire also has to be critical. Another way in which my writing is similar to Vonnegut’s is that we make fun of pretension and large-scale human systems. We’re suspicious of both. Pretension is a symptom of hypocrisy. This pitfall is only possible when we humans start believing our own lies.

 

The other major target, as far as I can see, has to be the way that humans are terrible at taking good ideas and turning them into governing principles. The human component seems to get lost as soon as we scale things up to the level of large systems.

 

Obesity is a complicated problem, and it’s not realistic to think we’re going to find simple solutions. There’s a genetic component to obesity – recent studies indicate it may be caused by a single gene. There are societal, financial and emotional components to it as well. Until we understand how all of these things fit together, it’s going to be a difficult issue to address. Blaming people for their weight issues is certainly not going to help.

 

After I got my own weight problems under control (for a little while) and finished the rough draft of the book, the following year I worked with my editor and produced two more drafts. Then my life got really complicated. My long-term relationship ended, my dog died, and I started a new and extremely challenging work position. (Sounds like a bad country and western song, doesn’t it?) So it took a few more years until I was ready to start the publishing process. Yeah, sometimes it takes that long.

 

This twelve-year project, from idea to publication, is the longest gestation period for a book I’ve written. By comparison, my first novel, The Amadeus Net, was a breeze – it only took ten years from start to finish.

 

But I think The Fatness is the best book I’ve written (so far), and the positive reviews seem to back up that feeling. I’m particularly pleased that readers feel the book is satirical, yet has a big heart that is compassionate for people struggling with obesity.

 

As the reading and writing process taught me, there are no easy answers.

 

Mark’s favourite writing space: in the garden.

 

 

The Fatness is a metaphor

 

I hope this is a story that can be read on many levels and enjoyed in different ways. I don’t think this is a spoiler, but it’s fair to say that there is a metaphor at the heart of this book.

 

If you buy into the notion of duality, you accept the idea that you are a consciousness riding around in a body. I think many fat people experience this every time they look in the mirror. I know I do. I don’t feel overweight, but there’s the proof of it right there in front of me. The idea that you might be physically incarcerated because of your body is a metaphor for how an obese person might feel every day: a thin person looking out at a fat one. That’s a paraphrase of the Cyril Connolly quotation: “Imprisoned in every fat man a thin one is wildly signaling to be let out.”

 

There’s some truth to it, in the same way that as we get older, we may experience the truth of Terry Pratchett’s observation: “Inside every old person is a young person wondering what the hell happened.”

 

But the thing is, that thin person, that young person, is a reflection of societal values. If you engage with any media, it’s impossible to avoid the idea that what matters is being thin, being young, being beautiful, being successful, and being famous. We see ourselves that way – we judge ourselves that way – even when these ideas have nothing to do with our worth as human beings.

 

The Fatness is an attempt to get people to recognize how media can have an impact on how we see ourselves and each other.

 

So my hope is that readers will be affected by the book. My hope, if they’re fat, is for them to feel less alone, to feel less guilty about their physicality. For the non-obese, I hope they get an understanding that nobody wants to be fat. It’s not a choice. And it’s not just laziness. Many fat people spend their entire lives trying not to be fat. I know that I have.

 

On a lighter note (pun intended), my goal is to make readers laugh. There are lots of things the book spoofs, and your political affiliations really don’t matter. Every reader will find something to enjoy. It makes fun of socialism. It makes fun of capitalism. And it makes fun of human foibles.

 

If nothing else, readers should come away with a sense of how absurd our bureaucracies can be, and how even the best intentions can go wildly astray. Even science.

 

 

Discovering more about medical science

 

I learned quite a bit while I was penning this novel. While the facts, myths, and quotes between the chapters – I call them ‘interstitials’ – are meant to be fun, they actually helped me discover more about obesity, body image, and the research process. I learned, for example, that science is very much a human process, prone to error and flaws. What we “know” today could easily turn out to be “wrong” the next. A tragic example of this is what happened in the ’50s and ’60s, when the medical profession decided that dietary fat was the enemy.

 

Ironically, I think this is one of the major contributing factors to the increase of obesity in society. This is terribly simplistic, but we substituted carbs for fat in our diets – and not just good carbs, like vegetables and fruits. We added in highly processed carbs, which are probably okay for us in limited amounts, but not if they make up the bulk of our diet.

 

I also learned how the food industry works. (It’s kind of shocking, in some cases.) I certainly didn’t realize that corporations were actively pushing unhealthy food at us to fatten up their bottom line. That probably makes me seem naive, but until I started digging into the subject, I really hadn’t thought about it much.

 

I learned about the importance of body image – on both sides of the BMI. I learned how damaging it is to shame people for being either too fat or too thin. Even if the intention is to help people become healthier, shame is actually counterproductive when it comes to weight management.

 

Finally, I discovered that keeping the weight off is just as hard as losing it. But that’s a topic for a sequel. (And maybe a psychotherapist.)

 

About Mark A. Rayner

 

Mark A. Rayner. Author. Mustache twirler. Photo by David Redding Photography, 2013.

 

Human-shaped, simian-obsessed, robot-fighting, pirate-hearted, storytelling junkie Mark A. Rayner is an award-winning writer of satirical and speculative fiction.

 

By day, Mark teaches his bemused students at the Faculty of Information and Media Studies (at Western University) how to construct social media campaigns and viable information architectures that will not become self-aware and destroy all humans. By night he is a writer of short stories, novels, squibs and other drivel. (Some pure, and some quite tainted with meaning.)

 

Many cheeseburgers were harmed in the making of this novel.

 

Mark A. Rayner's books:

 

The Fatness - Mark A. Rayner The Amadeus Net - Mark A. Rayner The Fridgularity - Mark A. Rayner

Marvellous Hairy - Mark A. Rayner Pirate Therapy and Other Cures - Mark A. Rayner The Meanderings of the Emily Chesley Reading Circle - Mark A. Rayner 

 

 

Follow Mark's blog on BookLikes

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text 2017-11-27 14:58
Guest Post: Shona Husk (Maid of Ice) ~ Giveaway/Excerpt

 

The vampires of the Blood and Silver series

 

Vampires have been the heroes of romance fiction for quite a while. With the Blood and Silver series I wanted to make them bad again…but not totally bad because in the world of the Blood and Silver series the vampires, or albanex as I called them, originally had a very important purpose. The albanex were elders who gave up life to become undead so they could pass on knowledge to younger generation. They were called the Keepers of the Law. 

 

Having a vampire that could live for centuries meant that magical knowledge wasn’t lost between generations and it would’ve given the society stability. Of course when the disaster hit and the people fled, bringing their Keepers with them, things went awry. 

 

The albanex need human blood to survive. It is blood magic that keeps them alive and humans soon grew to fear them and other blond magic users. The myth of vampires was formed—I like to ground my magical world with reality in places. In this series it was the formation of the vampire myth and the lure of lost civilization. 

 

With the loss of the civilization the rules got lost and perhaps some people became albanex for the wrong reasons. Power will always attract both those who know how to use it for the betterment of society and those who wield it for their own purposes. 

 

Thousands of years later there is the tale that Keepers of Law survive in tombs around the world sleeping for when they are needed. Not even my Albah know if it is true but they aren’t willing to abandon their elders. 

 

In Maid of Ice a tomb will be opened and the truth revealed. 

 

 

Maid of Ice by Shona Husk
Pub Date: November 21, 2017
Genre: paranormal romance

 

Book Blurb:


Stalkers and death threats . . .


For Finlay Ryder, danger means playing a racecar driver on a daytime soap. That is, until he’s forced to reckon with his true identity as an Albah, a magical ancient race, by one of his own kind. Someone wants him dead. And worse, an ancient vampire is on the prowl, drawing blood left and right. Now, Finlay has no choice but to hunt enemies with unspeakable powers—or risk being hunted himself . . .

 

. . . and that’s just the first date


Ice skater Alina Nyx is using her broken wrist as an excuse for a career change. And when she falls for handsome Finlay, Albah drama feels like her new full-time job. Learning about magic and vampires is exciting, until her life is threatened. Now, as she begins to uncover her own mysterious powers, she must combine forces with Finlay to eradicate their foes for good, or all Albah will suffer . . .

 

 

Buy links: AmazonKobo – iTunesB & N – Google Play

 

The steering was heavy, which wasn’t a good thing at racetrack speeds. Finley Ryder didn’t know enough about cars to determine what was wrong and keep the race car on the track while it hurtled around the corner at over one hundred miles an hour. He eased off the accelerator and tried to remember all the lessons he’d had before being allowed to drive the car himself.

 

  Nothing came to mind that would save his life. The steering was getting harder. He wasn’t going to make the next corner and it was coming up way too fast.

 

  “Car’s not responding.” Finley said into the microphone in his helmet. The microphone wasn’t there for his team to call out tips. It was there for the film crew to give him instructions and for him to spout any lines they needed said.

 

  “What do you mean?”

 

  What he meant was he was jelly in under ten seconds. “No steering.”

 

  He pressed the brake, to slow the car so he didn’t hit the wall as fast. He swore. It wasn’t going to stop in time, that much was clear. “Make sure you get the accident. You might need it for a later episode.”

 

  When they’d have to kill off his character.

 

  Finley didn’t like his chances of walking out of this. Panicked voices filled his headset. They were never going to let him do his own stunts again after this, no matter how qualified he was. 

 

His heart beat fast, pumping fear into his body. This was not how he’d planned on dying—he hadn’t made those plans yet. He didn’t give a shit how expensive the gearbox was. He tore his way down through the gears trying to slow the race car. There were sirens, emergency vehicles were already on the track. He didn’t take his eyes off the concrete wall to find out where they were. He knew what they were doing.

 

  They were coming for him.

 

  The car slowed, but not enough.

 

  He drew in a breath to calm the rising panic. This counted as dire situation, and he didn’t care who saw or what questions they asked. He drew the air around him into a shield. He’d tested his magical abilities before, but not like this. He wasn’t sure any Albah had.

 

  He was making history.

 

  With an exhale, he pushed every bit of will he had into cushioning himself, and the car, from the impact. If he’d been able to access some skin under all the safety gear, he’d have added blood into the mix.

 

  His eyes closed as everything collapsed around him. 

 

 

Shona Husk is the author of over forty books that range from sensual to scorching, and cover the contemporary, paranormal, fantasy and sci-fi romance genres. Her most recent series are Face the Music, Blood and Silver and Annwyn. As well as writing romance she also writes sci-fi for the Takamo Universe game and urban fantasy under anther pen name.

 

She lives in Western Australia and when she isn’t writing or reading she loves to cook, cross stitch and research places she’d one day like to travel.

 

 

Website – Twitter – Facebook – Newsletter 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2017/11/guest-post-shona-husk-maid-of-ice-giveawayexcerpt
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url 2017-11-01 08:55
Guest Blogger: Heather Davis on Top Five Reasons to Love Werewolves
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