Author Spotlight – Maria Riegger

AuthorSpotlight

Author Spotlight

Welcome back to another Author Spotlight. This week, I’d like to introduce you to Maria Riegger.

mariaMaria is based in the Washington, DC area. She is a banking/corporate attorney by day (but please don’t hold that against her), and a fiction author by night.

Maria is a Gemini whose head has always been in the clouds. From a young age, her mother scolded her for not paying attention; when she was bored, she would make up stories in her head. She has been writing since she was about thirteen years old. A lover of languages, she speaks French, Spanish, and Catalan.

She has been caught air-guitaring in public. She loves to laugh, and is the “go-to” person if a friend needs someone to laugh at his lame jokes. In true Gemini fashion, she indulges both her logical personality as an attorney as well as her creative fiction-writing personality. She loved law school and even misses it, which led her friends to conclude that she is certifiable.

A native of the Washington, DC area, she is a political junkie who has respect for all views and who admires the political involvement of Americans. She loves nothing more than a solid political discussion where all views are represented.

An irreverent Gen X’er, she writes gritty contemporary romance, with plenty of sarcasm.

Law School Heretic series

miscalculatedMiscalculated Risks

What would you do if you met someone who defied all of your stereotypes?

Outspoken and abrasive, law student Isabel enjoys arguing with just about everyone, including her friends. It’s 2010, and her strained relationship with her mother, less-than-stellar job prospects and frustrations with the conformist political culture of Washington, DC have left her resentful and unfulfilled. Only her sisters and a few good friends are able to keep her semi-grounded. When she meets a new fellow student who dares to challenge her, she is intrigued but skeptical. While Isabel is risk-averse where her feelings are concerned, she is also becoming increasingly curious. She’s afraid to get close, because being vulnerable always lead to being hurt, doesn’t it?

Let’s take a peek inside

Then suddenly a soft voice cut through all the chatter.

“Hey, Isabel.”

I whipped my head up, looking over my open laptop.

It was Tarek.

Jesus. I hadn’t even heard him approach.

I decided to take in the entire sight of him. Since he had addressed me directly, I finally had an excuse to take a good look at him. I decided afterward that it was kind of a mistake.

He was wearing a black T-shirt with dark jeans. His T-shirt hugged his chest, which, like his entire body, was lean and muscular. His short beard and goatee were neatly trimmed. He was certainly dark enough to be what Lara and Eric called “my type,” although I usually went for Latin men. I guessed his age to be about 28, but his eyes held an experience that made him seem more mature.

He wasn’t super-tall. I guessed that he was between 5 feet, 9 inches and 5 feet 10 inches. I
was 5’6” so I more or less did a quick comparison. His curly black hair hung in carefully
groomed, tight tiny ringlets around his face and almost down to his shoulders. He was incredibly sexy. He probably had to spend a lot of time on his hair, moussing it up, and that if he let it go it would probably be frizzy. His curls reminded me of Lara and her unruly hair, although her ringlets were more tousled and larger, and always framed her beautiful face perfectly. She was forever straightening it, but I kept telling her it looked gorgeous in ringlets, like Tarek’s curls did now. I felt myself softening a little at the thought of my sister, but I steeled my reserve and plastered a semi-scowl on my face. My scowl and general surly attitude were my defense mechanisms. After enough unpleasantness, people generally left me alone. I liked it that way.

Eric, Josh, and Dinesh were somehow building up a tolerance for it. It was starting to piss me off.

Lately, everything was pissing me off.

I had to admit, however, that I was intrigued as well as annoyed. Few people had the nerve to come and talk to me like this, with no warning.

I decided not to say anything at first. I just stared and raised my eyebrows.

He waited a good three to four seconds before he spoke. The left corner of my mouth started to go up into a smirk. Invariably, there were only two reasons a guy like this, a semi-stranger no less, would deign to talk to me. If he was going to miss class and wanted to get my notes, he was shit outta luck. And if he wanted a booty call, well, I wasn’t quite sure yet how I would handle that. Little did I know, he wasn’t going to ask me either of those things.

Acceptable Misconduct

misconductAll’s fair in love and law school. Or is it? 

Antagonistic Washington DC law student Isabel must face her unsettled past and navigate the final weeks of the semester while figuring out fellow student Tarek’s feelings for her before he slips away. Isabel’s rational mind and her emotions are at odds, but will she have the guts to see where this leads in spite of an uncertain future?

 

Book 3 coming soon (Title to be determined)

Other books by Maria:

Thunder Struck

thunderWhat do you get when you cross an East Coast Catholic Republican with a West Coast hipster atheist Democrat?

Monica, a Republican congressional candidate, who had a past affair with her Democratic opponent, Brian, must now deal with the fallout from a public scandal while navigating a razor-thin election and resolving her recurring emotional attachment to her opponent.

As oversized egos and the desire to win an election at all costs threaten the bond slowly forming between these two political opponents, they end up discovering that they may have more in common than they originally thought.

ScorpioYour Scorpio Child: A Guide for Parents

Scorpio is the most misunderstood of all the signs in the zodiac. Much has been written about Scorpio men and women. However, the Scorpio child remains somewhat elusive, mostly because Scorpio children do not usually say what is on their mind. Successfully raising a Scorpio child involves mindful parenting, including being conscious of your child’s feelings, and tuning out from distractions and tuning in to the child. I hope that you find the information in this book useful.

All of Maria’s books are available at lawschoolheretic.com/shop

Connect with Maria through her Amazon author pageFacebook, Twitter, or through her website

She has published a Self-Publishing Primer, which she’s giving away for free to new mailing list subscribers. You can click here to get it for free.

primer

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Author Spotlight – Colin Ward

AuthorSpotlight

Author Spotlight

This week, the spotlight shines on Colin Ward.

colinColin has been writing for about twenty years, producing plays and musicals, especially as part of being a Drama teacher in a previous life. He released his debut novel, To Die For in August 2017 – a crime fiction, serial killer thriller – and has been getting fantastic reviews. Now he has three more titles: Ripples – a collection of poetry, Stench of Death – a short story, and No Smoke – a play. It was after getting into authors such as Simon Kernick and Mark Billingham, and always loving TV crime dramas that have shaped Colin’s main genre. Almost all of his writing centers around building up to the plot twists, taking readers on a journey. He’s also not afraid to tackle the harder subjects.

His forthcoming projects include a novel adaptation of No Smoke and a collection of 100 war poems to mark the anniversary year. As a committed self-publisher, Colin writes, formats and designs his books, offering support to fellow authors needing help with their projects.

Let’s take a look at his books

STENCH OF DEATH

stenchA missing man. The disappearance of a prostitute. A suspicious connection.

When DS Greg Randle is called upon to track down a sex worker as a personal favour, he and DS Martin Shaw stumble across a link with another of their cases.

Has someone’s life come to a violent end? Without a body to prove it, the two detectives must work quickly to establish the facts before more victims suffer the same fate. “Stench of Death” is a short crime fiction thriller, with a pacey story that bears Colin Ward’s trademark plot twists.

MULCH (Bonus short story)

The chase is on to catch the killer who plunged a knife into her partner’s chest. Following the shadowy figure deep into the murky depths of an abandoned building, how far the furious red mist take her?

Available now at Amazon

TO DIE FOR
 

to die forCHASING ECHOES OF CRIES HE’D SPENT A LIFETIME TRYING TO SILENCE.

A KILLER TELLING A SINISTER STORY

DI Mike Stone investigates an unusual murder. It quickly becomes clear that the killer has only revealed the first brutal chapter.

A DETECTIVE FIGHTING A DARK DAEMON
The case takes on a disturbing speed as Stone finds his professional and personal worlds colliding, exposing a painful past, and threatening his future.

A CONNECTION WITH A TERRIFYING TRUTH
Who is this case really about? How far must Stone go to uncover the truth? And at what cost?

(A signed paperback to available to UK buyers direct from the Author at inasmanywords.com)

To Die For is available for purchase at Amazon

The ebook is currently HALF PRICE at £1.99 (paperback £9.49)

RIPPLES – a collection of poetry

ripplesRipples is an exploration of the effect and influence we have on each other–sometimes to build, at other times to break–as we share the world around us. Freedom and fate are woven together like the interplay between waves of our greatest oceans.

“History counts for nothing if it betrays a future, even with the beauty and miracle of life.”

This collection brings together poems written in a range of styles and forms, including free verse, haiku, and a number of experimental rhythmic and rhyming structures.

 

Get your copy at Amazon

No Smoke – a play

Detective Sergeant Ellen Cross is forced to revisit a child abuse investigation which failed to result in a conviction years ago. Is the same suspect on the hunt again?

As another local boy appears to become his new prey, the connections to the previous case begin to point towards some darker secrets lurking in the shadows.

Investigating the case off-duty, and against all advice, DS Cross must avoid triggering vigilante action from the boy’s emotionally fragile father as she tries to find justice for a family torn apart by tragedy.

No Smoke is a play about truth, perceptions, and lies amidst an uncomfortable relationship between the law, the media and society.

no smoke

Brave, brave theatre; strong writing; this is theatre at its most challenging; this is what theatre is all about.”-Geoff Thompson, BAFTA Award winner

Available at Amazon

For more information, visit Colin’s website or connect with him on Facebook or Twitter at @colinwardwriter or @inasmanywords

 

Author Spotlight – Jerold Last

AuthorSpotlight

Author Spotlight

Hello! Welcome back to Author Spotlight. Today’s spotlight is on Jerold Last.

jeroldJerold is a Professor at the University of California’s Medical School at Davis, near Sacramento in Northern California. Jerry, a two-time winner of The Indie Book of the Day Award, writes “tweener” mystery books (tough mystery stories that follow the cozy conventions of no graphic sex and no cussing), all published as e-books on Amazon Kindle, with six also published as paperback versions, that are fast moving and entertain the reader. Several of the Roger and Suzanne mysteries introduce the readers to South America, a region where Jerry has lived and worked that is a long way from home for most English speakers. He and his wife Elaine lived previously in Salta, Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay. Jerry selects the most interesting locations he found for Roger and Suzanne to visit while solving miscellaneous murders. Montevideo, Salta, Machu Picchu, Cuba, the Galapagos Islands, and Iguazu Falls are also characters in these books, and the novels portray these places as vivid and real. Jerry and Elaine breed prize-winning German shorthaired pointer dogs; Elaine also provides technical advice for Jerry’s dog-related novels like The Deadly Dog Show, Hunter Down, Abra Cadaver and Roger and the Cancelled Czech, as well as editing for all of the books.

The three most recently published Roger and Suzanne mystery novels are:

rogerRoger and the Cancelled Czech:  Roger flies to Europe to investigate several murders.  Was the assailant who pummeled a man to death just outside a synagogue in Prague’s Old City human, or was he a Golem lurking in the area? Who is The Cobra, a shadowy character with major connections to the worlds of espionage and art theft?  In the meantime, Suzanne has her hands full taking care of a new baby and beginning to train her dog Romeo for agility competitions. Like all of the Roger and Suzanne series on Amazon Kindle, this is a tough, sometimes violent, but clean (no cussing, no sexual promiscuity) mystery that can be enjoyed either as a series entry or a standalone novel.  Free from KU.

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079KYLBJ1

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079KYLBJ1

Paperback version: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1985649691/ref=cm_sw_su_dp

 

AbraAbra Cadaver:  Proving you can bury a body but you can’t hide it, German shorthaired pointer Juliet solves a complicated murder case in the popular mystery series featuring P.I. Roger Bowman and his scientist wife Suzanne. The setting is a winery in a small town in Northern California’s Central Valley. Why did the client’s husband, a California winery owner, disappear just a couple of days after his wedding?  The answer launches another suspenseful case that will entertain mystery fans, dog lovers, and wine aficionados alike.  As in all the Roger and Suzanne novels the language is clean, the sex is offstage, and the books can be read in any order so readers can begin the series with this novel, which is available either as an e-book or in a paperback version. Free from KU/KOLL.

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSFRPHH

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSFRPHH

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B06XSFRPHH

AU: https://www.amazon.au/B06XSFRPHH

 

rumRum, Cigars, and Corpses:  After more than half a century, U.S. citizens can once again visit Cuba.  What’s it like? Rum, Cigars, and Corpses, available from Amazon Kindle in both paperback and e-book formats, has the answer. This suspenseful mystery was inspired when the author and his wife recently took the same tour Roger and Suzanne join in the novel, so the setting is up to date and authentic. With a group full of suspicious tourists, the Cuban Intelligence Services, and a sprinkling of other spies and dangerous characters waiting for Roger and Suzanne in Havana, there’s no shortage of suspects in this whodunit thriller. Can be read as a series entry or a fully standalone novel.

Free from Kindle Unlimited

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cigars-Corpses-Roger-Suzanne-mystery-ebook/dp/B01EZBDCRC

CA: http://www.amazon.ca/Cigars-Corpses-Roger-Suzanne-mystery-ebook/dp/B01EZBDCRC

Paperback version: https://www.createspace.com/6491954

Connect with Jerold through Twitter or Facebook

 

 

Author Spotlight – David M. Salkin

AuthorSpotlight

Author Spotlight

Welcome to another Author Spotlight. This week, the light shines on David M. Salkin.

 davidA bit of a Renaissance Man, David M. Salkin is an author, gourmet chef and oenophile, scuba diver, Master Graduate Gemologist, and elected local-government official for 24 years.

In a secret lab, the DNA of Agatha Christy, Nelson DeMille, Lee Child, and Michael Crichton were combined in a Petri Dish, and Salkin was born. His books have received Gold and Bronze medals in the Stars & Flags book awards, and David has appeared as a guest speaker all over the country, including three times as a panelist at Thrillerfest in NYC. David has also written two screenplays, and continues to work on getting them produced. David is the author of fourteen published thrillers in various genres, including military espionage, crime, horror, science-fiction, action-adventure and mystery.

David is a graduate of Rutgers College with a BA in English Literature. When not traveling, diving, cooking or writing, Salkin works with veterans. He’s an associate member of the Philip A. Reynolds Detachment of the Marine Corps League and the Veterans Community Alliance.

Let’s Take a Look at His Books

  1. The Team (Post Hill Press)
  2. The Team II – Into the Jungle (Post Hill Press)
  3. The Team III – African Dragon (Post Hill Press)
  4. The Team IV – Shadow of Death (Post Hill Press)
  5. The Team V – Dangerous Ground (Post Hill Press)
  6. Hard Carbon (Post Hill Press)hard
  7. Deep Black Sea (Permuted Press)
  8. Dark Tide Rising (Permuted Press)deep
  9. Deep Down (self-published)
  10. The MOP (Post Hill Press)
  11. Forever Hunger (self-published)forever
  12. Necessary Extremes (Penguin Books)
  13. Crescent Fire (Penguin Books)
  14. Battle Scars [self-published?]

battle scars.jpg

Marine Corporal Sean Nichols is wounded in a devastating ambush that takes the lives of his three friends and leaves him an amputee. If not for the heroism of his sergeant, Deke Tilman, who pulled him out of the road, Sean would have surely died with his fire team. With the help of Deke, Sean now embarks on his next mission—recuperate from his serious injuries, and visit the families of his fallen comrades as he tries to make peace with such profound loss.

Battle Scars is a thought provoking drama with compelling characters that illustrates the resiliency and strength of the human spirit, the power of love and friendship, and the ability to overcome even our darkest moments. Gritty realism and original storytelling breathe life into Battle Scars as it inspires us with a surprising tale of heroism and the great sacrifice made by our modern war fighters. A Novella you can read in a few hours, but will think about for days.

“Battle Scars is an incredible story of brothers in arms and the bonds formed in combat. The struggles that are faced by combat veterans returning from war are real and nothing I’ve read brings that story to life like Battle Scars. This is a must read!” –LTCOL T. Kevin White “TK”, 150th Special Operations Wing

“This book is a gut check for those who have worn the cloth of the nation. For those who have not it is a testimonial for those who have served and sacrificed. As Americans we are blessed with freedom. It comes at a price.”James E. Livingston, Major General USMC (Ret), Medal of Honor Recipient

“This book was a tough read, and at the same time I couldn’t put it down. Salkin got this one right! Every now and again you come across a book that is as much cathartic as it is entertaining. At a time when we are losing way too many Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines, it struck a chord with this Old Soldier.”-COL William L. Peace, Sr., U.S. Army National Guard

“David Salkin has fired at close range and with unerring accuracy with this tale! He takes a tough situation that is all-too-often neglected and gives it life. This story is for all veterans and their supporters. His first-person writing style makes the reader feel present throughout the story. It’s a quick read that will leave you thinking long after completion. I most strongly recommend it to all who are interested in understanding better the true costs of America’s conflicts—past, present, and future. “- Major General GT Garrett, USA (Ret), 42nd Infantry Division

“Dave hit the nail on the head with this one. It’s a quick read simply because you don’t want to stop turning the page. This may be fiction but it certainly doesn’t read that way.”Neil T. Roeder, LTC, MS USAR

“David Salkin’s story is a must-read for all Veterans and supporters. This book not only entertains you, it educates you on the price paid by those who have the guts to walk the walk. His first-person writing takes you on a ride which seems to bring out all emotions and it also places you right on the battlefield. Maybe it’s just my love of heroic deeds but it sure knocked me on my knees. The read is overall life-like and is very consistent with the actions taking place every day in Iraq and Afghanistan. Kudos to Dave for really knocking this one out of the park.”Christian S. DiMeo (Ret) SFC., USMC / Embassy Marine Cairo/Beirut/Geneva – ARMY NG / Operation Enduring Freedom

“Battle Scars” hits like an RPG! Camaraderie, adrenaline, fear, loss, hope and redemption all in one exhilarating and disturbingly beautiful tale. Hard to believe David hasn’t been on the battlefield, because this tale rocked me back for days! A must read for everyone who is, has been, or supports our warriors!”Wayne Emery CPT, USA MACV Vietnam

You can purchase any of David’s books on Amazon

Connect with David on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, or through his website

Author Spotlight – Lyra Shanti

AuthorSpotlight

Author Spotlight

LyraToday’s spotlight is on Lyra Shanti. Lyra is a novelist, poet, playwright, and songwriter who currently lives in Florida with partner and spouse, Timothy, and their two insane cats. A lover of nature, animals, anime, music, theatre, movies, myths, and of course, great books, Lyra seeks inspiration from everywhere possible! 

Author of the award winning sci-fi series, Shiva XIV, Lyra is a dreamer of worlds far away. More books include The Artist, a wild tale of love, madness, and redemption, as well as The Rainbow Serpent, a re-imagining of Adam and Eve. Further information about Lyra’s stories, music, and more can be found atlyrashanti.com.

Shiva XIV (book 1):

shivaA dying kingdom. A galaxy in peril. And only the reincarnation of an ancient god can save them.
Prophesied to become the messiah of his kingdom, Ayn is charged with saving his people from disease and war. But when an unknown enemy threatens everyone he loves, the destiny he thought was his spins out of control.
His sheltered existence torn asunder, Ayn finds himself on an epic journey where he meets new friends, foes, and a mysterious cat creature that no one but Ayn can see.
Is the supposed reincarnation of “The Great Adin” losing his sanity? Or is everything guided by Fate? Ayn must decide before the entire galaxy is destroyed!

Let’s Take a Look Inside

Lost in thought as he walked, Ayn didn’t notice the strange creature following him. It wasn’t until he almost tripped over it that he could see something was there. For only a second, he thought he saw a strange blur of white and gold. It looked like a cat of some kind, but he wasn’t certain. One second, the creature was there, and the next, it was gone!

He wondered if he had slipped back into lucid dreaming. Meddhi-Lan would be so embarrassed about me right now, he thought, disappointed in himself.

Then, there it was again. The white and gold cat thing – just briefly in focus for a moment on the side of the street. This time, however, it seemed as if it were smiling at him. Now Ayn knew he was dreaming.

“Save me!”

Ayn stopped dead in his tracks, then looked around. He had heard a voice speaking directly into his mind!

“Please! Save me!” begged the mysterious, childlike voice yet again.

Ayn looked ahead at Zin who was casually walking without any notice or care about the strange voice.

Ayn gulped and begrudgingly decided to answer back in his mind. “Um… who are you and how may I save you?”

“Well,” purred the voice in his mind, “I suppose you could answer me a riddle.”

“A riddle?” Ayn silently replied.

“Yes!” said the voice, “a riddle!”

“I’m sorry,” said Ayn, “but I’m not very good at riddles.”

“Oh, well,” the voice said, disappointed, “I guess I’ll just be trapped here forever.”

Ayn looked around to see where the voice was coming from, but all he could see were street vendors and random passersby.

“I’m over here!” cried the voice in his mind.

Ayn began following the voice, using only his gut feelings. After a few moments of concentration, he could vaguely make out the shape of the white and gold cat creature he had seen before, and it was indeed trapped.

The poor cat-like animal was caged inside of a wooden box that was sitting on the back of a metallic, plasma-powered vehicle. How the creature managed to get inside the box was a mystery to Ayn, but he was trapped there nonetheless.

The vehicle was parked on the side of the street without a driver in sight. Ayn wasn’t sure if he should be getting involved, but at the same time, he wondered how often a person is psychically asked for help by a cat.

Ayn looked around to see if anyone was watching him. When he believed he wasn’t noticed, Ayn dropped his bag and ran over to the creature. Bending over and gazing directly at the animal, Ayn could see it more clearly.

The creature wasn’t really a cat, though it shared similarities, such as its ears, paws, and tail. However, upon closer inspection, Ayn could see that the mysterious animal also had tiny talons on its feet, as well as small wings that were chained together with a plasma-powered lock. Ayn looked into its nearly human-looking eyes and felt sorry for the poor cat-bird creature.

“Don’t just gawk at me!” said the strange animal. “Get me out of here!”

“How did you even get in there?” asked Ayn cautiously. “Weren’t you just behind me a few moments ago?”

“No, silly boy,” replied the cat-bird as it bent back its ears, “you must have been dreaming! Now help me out of this box!”

“How can I do that?” asked Ayn innocently.

The animal sneered and cocked its head, looking at Ayn as if he had asked the stupidest question in the universe.

“Aren’t you The Bodanya?”

Ayn was shocked that the creature knew of his true identity, and he began nervously looking around, wondering if anyone had heard the animal’s question.

“Don’t worry, Ayn. No one but you can hear me. In fact, not many can even see me… unless I want them to.”

Ayn was amazed and intrigued. “How is that possible?” he asked the cat-bird.

“Enough of you asking me questions! I am the one who asks the riddles!”

Ayn shook his head. “Alright then,” Ayn replied, “ask me what you want.”

The creature smiled, then looked deep into Ayn’s blue eyes. “Let’s see if you can answer me this,” said the cat-bird. “Why is it, with all my powers to control time and space, I am somehow still unable to escape this metal trap?”

Ayn didn’t know which part of the riddle to think upon first. His mind immediately jumped to the idea of the creature having powers that controlled time and space, and yet, Ayn’s heartfelt sympathy when it came to the cat-bird being trapped in a cage against its will.

The creature stared at Ayn with expectant eyes, waiting impatiently for an answer.

“Well,” Ayn slowly began, “first, I would need to know how it came to be that you were caught inside such a cage.”

The creature cocked its head and looked at Ayn with a sneer. “How can you ask me such a silly question?! I was caught by magic, of course!”

Magic? thought Ayn, stopping himself from giggling.

“What’s so funny?” asked the cat-bird.

“I… I’m sorry, but I don’t believe in magic,” said Ayn, matter-of-fact.

The creature snorted, then shook its head. “Well, you’re in for a big surprise then!” said the cat-bird with a sarcastic chuckle. “You’ll find out how wrong you are soon enough though,” the creature purred. “Now, stop asking me foolish questions and solve my riddle!”

Ayn gulped and looked around again, searching for Zin with his eyes. However, Zin was nowhere to be found. Ayn feared he had become separated and began feeling light headed at the thought of being alone in such a big city.

“Concentrate, Bodanya!” commanded the cat-bird.

After a deep breath, Ayn cleared his mind – the way Meddhi-Lan had taught him. He began using a technique that The Dei priests called “Symbol Touching.” The technique involved closing one’s eyes and imagining a symbol, or an image of any kind, at which point, if you focused on the feelings the image gave you, answers and truths would inevitably come.

At first, Ayn didn’t see or feel anything, but when he let himself imagine the cat-bird, and its unfortunate situation in the cage, Ayn’s mind began seeing a vast amount of images, almost at once. In his mind’s eye, he saw the creature in chains, being lured into the metallic cage with offerings of brightly-colored, sweet tasting fish. However, the image quickly changed to an entirely different setting. It was a planet… a wasteland.

Ayn intuitively sensed that it was the once great, but now mostly abandoned planet of Sirin. He didn’t know why he was seeing such a strange vision. Nevertheless, he let his mind wander further into the Symbol-Touching, for he could feel he was close to an answer to the cat-bird’s riddle.

Just then, he saw more cat-like creatures, though they were much, much bigger. In fact, they were like gigantic lions, but with wings, and all of them had stoic faces that seemed to Ayn similar to the priests of Deius.

As Ayn saw himself approach the giant cat-birds, they surprised him by turning their enormous heads in one direction at the same exact time – all looking directly at him. Their eyes seemed to glow, and Ayn wondered what they were trying to tell him.

Then Ayn remembered something Meddhi-Lan used to say: “When you want your dream-image to explain its meaning, simply ask it what it wants or feels. It will more than likely tell you. Dream-symbols are always honest, but you have to be brave enough to ask them honest questions.”

Ayn took a deep breath and gathered his courage. “Excuse me, magnificent creatures,” he addressed them in his vision. “May I inquire what it is you want to tell me?” The giant cat-birds all pricked their ears back at the same time like they were hearing a strange sound they had never heard before. “Do you understand my question?” asked Ayn.

After a moment of silence, he saw them simultaneously open their mouths wide. Ayn wondered if they were going to give out a loud roar. Just in case, Ayn covered his ears, and as he suspected, that’s exactly what they did. The roar, however, was even louder than Ayn could imagine. It was so loud that his ear drums felt like they would bleed.

Oh, please stop! Ayn begged in his mind, hoping they’d hear him telepathically. Unfortunately, they didn’t stop. The roar became so thunderous that it felt like Ayn would pass out from the intensity of the vibrations. When he could stand no more, Ayn heard something else within the roar; it was almost a whisper, as if a tiny voice was mixed inside the deafening loudness. When Ayn tried to fixate on the whisper, everything seemed to go completely quiet. He then heard what the whisper was saying: “Save us. We are slaves to time. Please… save us.”

Shiva XIV Copyright 2014-18 Lyra Shanti

Get your copy on Amazon.

 shiva 3

Her are some of her other books: The Artist

artistMusic… Madness… Sex… and Art. Can love save a man from himself?

Apollo Antonius Vidali was born and bred to be a great artist and musician, but in his search for artistic brilliance, he finds demons best left forgotten.

Fighting his treacherous past seems impossible until he meets a beautiful woman named Coda. To Apollo, she’s an angel of mercy. The only drawback is her own quest for respect as a composer. In a time when women were not seen as equals, Coda may prove more than Apollo bargained for as their love is put to the test. Adding fuel to the fire is Lord Sebastian Raleigh, a contemporary who challenges Apollo in more ways than one.

In this passionate drama, all forms of art mingle with the sacred and profane as one man searches tirelessly for redemption. Will he succeed or will he drown in the raging storm of his soul?

Purchase The Artist  here
 

The Rainbow Serpent

 

rainbowIn the time before humanity as we know it, there was a garden, a tree of knowledge, and a serpent who sought the truth.

A re-imagining of the “fall” from the snake’s point of view, this unique novella is a spiritual fairy tale for the ages.

“Flawless in composition, the story is plainly, yet eloquently written with beautiful imagery that reflects the universal truths of life, transparent as the colors of a rainbow.” – Eva Pasco

“A tender, compassionate tale that joins the hearts of creature and human being as one and the same.” – Neil

“This is a lovely spiritual fairy tale for all ages.” – pearlhunter

 
Get your copy of The Rainbow Serpent on Amazon
Lyra 2

To connect with Lyra, visit her websiteFacebookTwitter, Instagram, or her Amazon author page

Author Spotlight – D.L. Pitchford

AuthorSpotlight

Author Spotlight

DLWelcome back to Author Spotlight. This week, the light shines on D.L. Pitchford. D.L. was the youngest of four daughters born in Northern California to her parents Bobby and Pam, but the family moved to Southwest Missouri when D.L. was only four.

A love of creativity and a hunger for learning were an essential part of D.L.’s childhood. Her mother encouraged art and literature in every form, and by the age of ten, D. L. was already writing her own stories. This love only grew as D. L. attended college at Drury University, where she got her BA in English, Writing, and Fine Arts in 2013.

In 2014, D.L. married her husband, and they now have two little boys.

Billy Dixon Series – A New Adult Coming of Age / Slow-Burn Romance

If We Had No Winter (Billie Dixon #1)

no winterAfter her parents’ divorce, introverted Billie Dixon buries herself in her studies. Her plan? To stay out of sight, out of mind, and out of trouble. But that plan fails when she starts at Bradford College.

While hopeful to renew her relationship with her estranged father, she struggles to resist the advances of her persuasive tutoring student. But no one gets under her skin like her best friend’s playboy roommate, whose snarky smirk drives her up a wall…and into his bed.

But is Billie too broken to open her heart again?

If she can’t find closure with her father, she’ll close the door on love. But a huge fight with her father threatens to ruin any hope of healing her past and securing her future.

Here’s a peek inside:

By the time Zane and I finish at the Eyrie, it’s late, and with the final at eight, I want nothing more than to collapse on my bed and fall asleep. Holding a conversation with Zane is exhausting—both from the number of hours we’ve spent studying and from his unwavering attempts to hijack the conversation.

I kick off my shoes and drop my backpack at the foot of my bed before slipping into pajamas.

Thankfully, Val is elsewhere.

I lay my glasses on my desk and curl up under the covers.

Someone shoves a key in the door lock.

With a groan, I turn toward the wall and bury my head under the blanket, preparing for the bright fluorescent light that’s sure to follow.

“Hush,” Val says as the door creaks open, “I think she’s sleeping. That’s a first.” She shuffles inside the room, trying to avoid making noise, and opens her closet. “I’m going to grab a new shirt. This one has deodorant on it. Am I spending the night in your room or not?”

Her companion snorts, probably at her concern over deodorant. Xander—not that I’m surprised. “Who’re you trying to impress? We’re literally going across the hallway to have sex.”

She rifles through her closet, metal scraping against metal as she pushes hangers aside. “Should I wear this one? Or this one?”

There’s no sound for a moment.

“Well, your tits look great in the lacy one.”

“Xander! If I stay the night in your room, I might not have the time to come back for my stuff in the morning. I need to dress normally.”

“Right,” he says, sarcasm eating away at his voice, “we wouldn’t want you to do the two-doors-away walk of shame.”

Val huffs. “Which shirt?”

The mattress squeaks as he sits on her bed. “How the hell am I supposed to know? If you want a girl’s opinion, ask a fucking girl. Wake up Dixon and ask her.”

Dear God, no.

Val releases a low growl and returns to flipping through her closet. “Billie? Please! That bitch wouldn’t know fashion if it walked up to her naked and bit her on the ass.”

My grip tightens on the sheets, and for a while, the only sound is the scraping of hangers against the metal rod as she continues her quest for the perfect outfit, no longer concerned about the noise she’s making.

The bed squeaks again.

“Don’t call her that.” Xander’s words are so quiet I strain to hear them.

I frown.

Val pauses, then resumes rifling through her clothes. “She’s such a snob—and what the hell does she have to feel superior about? Doesn’t she know everyone hates her?”

“That’s not true.”

She releases a mirthless laugh. “Fine, she has one friend—and she’s as much of a bitch to him as she is to everyone else.” She pulls out another hanger. “I’m wearing this one.”

“Then you don’t get their friendship. You don’t get her.”

“Are you seriously defending her right now? You have to deal with her bullshit more than anyone else because your roommate is the only one who can stand her. All she does is play on her laptop and draw in that stupid sketchbook anyway. She’s not so special.”

“Have you seen it?”

“Seen what? The sketchbook?” The empty hanger clatters to the hard floor. “Like she’d show me what’s inside.” Val’s voice is muffled. “It’s probably a bunch of stick figures, and she won’t show anyone because she wants people to think she’s amazing.”

“You never know,” Xander says noncommittally, “maybe she is amazing. I bet she’s too nervous to show anyone. She’s probably really good.”

“I highly doubt that. Now, how do I look?”

He groans. “Why does it matter if we’re just going to bed? Can we go now? Jimmy’s studying till they close the library. I told him to make himself scarce for a while.”

“Fine, let’s go.”

Their footsteps lead to the door, but they stop as Val fumbles in her purse.

“Oh, come on, I just had them.” She laughs triumphantly as she yanks her jingling keys free, and the door opens.

“Seriously, can we go already?”

Val scoffs, and her keys jingle again.

The door shuts behind them, and Val locks the deadbolt from outside.

I push the covers away to breathe and stretch across the mattress. Above me, the dark ceiling plays back the discussion. I can picture it all in my head down to the irritated crinkle between Xander’s eyebrows at her high-maintenance apparel needs. He’s sent me that same look often. But the way his voice sounded when he spoke about me: soft, pensive, kind—that’s new.

Book Links:
The Longer We Dwell (Billie Dixon #2)

dwellBillie Dixon’s bipolar mother wants her in therapy and won’t take no for an answer. Her sister wants her to act the role of perfect daughter and bridesmaid for her mother’s wedding. And Xander wants her to admit feelings that don’t exist.

But her infectiously bubbly housemate doesn’t think she needs therapy. When the two become fast friends, Dahlia provides Billie with the effortless companionship she craves. Plus a thirst-quenching solution for her depression. But a bottle of wine isn’t the best coping mechanism when your mom’s an alcoholic.

Can Billie trust her instincts before she loses herself?

Now, Billie must choose between her first female friend and her own mental health. If she doesn’t keep herself together, she’ll end up every bit the alcoholic as her mother.

 

Book Links
Who We Might’ve Been (Billie Dixon #3)

whoAfter an eye-opening summer abroad, Billie Dixon’s world has fallen apart. Her childhood best friend has replaced her. Her boss at the gallery doesn’t think she’s paid enough dues to be a “real artist.” And Xander ignores her, even though they’re roommates. But she’s made her peace with that.

When her photography professor partners her with Dahlia Finnick, it’s only a matter of time before she intrudes on Billie’s life. And this time, Dahlia pursues what she’s always wanted—Billie—and she doesn’t care who she hurts in the process. Even if that person is the object of her affections.

Can Billie look past Dahlia’s faults and give her a second chance? Can she give one to herself?

Now, Billie has to choose between the acceptance she craves and the love she lost. But to mend her broken relationships, she must take her first leap of faith.

Book Links

For more information, visit D.L.’s Website, Amazon author page, or connect with her on FacebookInstagramTwitterPinterestBookbubGoodreadsBook and Main Bites, or Google+

Author Spotlight – Karen Kinna

AuthorSpotlight

Author Spotlight

karenKaren Kinna is in the Author Spotlight today. Karen was born in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Now living on a secluded lake near Austin, Texas with three rescue dogs — a wiener, a basset, and one crazy corgi, Karen writes full-time in a constant flurry of dog hair and stray kibble. Her hobbies include doing canine agility with corgi “Madd Maxx.” (Maxx and Jaxx even have their own Instagram account! “MaxxAndJaxx”)

A proud member of RWA (Romance Writers of America), Karen is a past vice-president of SARA (San Antonio Romance Authors) where she is still very involved with conferences and contests.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from Simon Fraser University, with minors in Journalism and Shakespeare.

For 14 years, Karen was a featured entertainment columnist twice a week for a large newspaper chain based in southern British Columbia. (MetroValley News.) She cut her teeth in the writing world by interviewing actors, authors, and musicians – including Diana Gabaldon, Robin Williams, and Alan Jackson.

Her ON STAGE theatre columns were syndicated and circulated to an audience of over 100,000 readers.

Karen has written plays for the stage, children’s books, and sci-fi and parenting articles for the past two decades.

Her first love is Contemporary Romance — the steamier the better!

When not writing, Karen narrates sexy romances for Audible under a pseudonym, in her home sound studio. She loves doing character voices and channeling her inner actress.

Life is too short for regrets! Recently, she has started kayaking and wakeboarding – Her Facebook motto is “Fifty and Fabulous!”

Wild at Heart Trilogy

Heart of the Storm (book 1)

heart of the stormA skillful cross between “We Bought A Zoo” and “Twister,” Karen Kinna’s compelling debut novel is sure to take the romance world by storm – literally.

When zoologist, fiery redhead Quinn Gallagher is sent into a Cat 3 hurricane to rescue the four-legged residents of a fledgling zoo on the wind-swept banks of Lake Charles, Louisiana, she isn’t prepared for the stiff opposition of Head Curator and Veterinarian, Dan Taylor. Stealing his coffee, his pride, and eventually his heart, Quinn is a force to be reckoned with in this madcap tale of delightful characters and epic conflict. Readers will never forget the pink Cadillac named Maribelle, an RV named Lucifer, a snake named Elmo, and a ferret named Houdini.

Heart of Fire (book 2)

heartWhen beleaguered cattle rancher Brody Gallagher answers the door to pregnant dark-haired beauty Tess Taylor, he is unable to send her packing, and her arrival compounds the strange activities that have been plaguing the ranch. An arsonist is on the loose and neither Brody nor the local police can get a lead on the culprit.

Worried about finances, cut fences, and increasingly violent fires, Brody and Tess are thrown together in the fight of their lives, sparking a raging inferno of passion which threatens to consume them both.

Get your copy of the Wild at Heart Trilogy on Amazon

Christmas in Canada (contains 2 complete novellas)

ChristmasIdentical twin sisters, Mac and Claire Adams, couldn’t be more different! Each woman finds themselves on a terrifying Christmas Eve adventure — and each meets the man of her dreams in the process….

Set in the lush snowy landscape high up in the Cascade Mountains of British Columbia, these two novellas are spine-tingling adventures of life and death… and unexpected passion.

Tomboy Mac isn’t into men … and certainly has no warm feelings for stranded helicopter pilot Beau Lamont from Baton Rouge Louisiana.

Type-A Claire has her life scheduled to a T. . . and doesn’t plan on letting billionaire oil tycoon Travis Smith from Austin Texas derail her life plans.

Christmas in Canada is available on Amazon

For more information, visit Karen’s website or connect with her on Facebook.

Author Spotlight – TK Lawyer

AuthorSpotlight

Author Spotlight

Welcome to another Author Spotlight with paranormal romance author, TK Lawyer.

TKAward Nominated Paranormal Romance Author, TK Lawyer has been writing since high school, but it was sometime in 2011 when her writing blossomed into a career. Craving excitement and adventure, she jotted down a few notes for a book and never looked back.

Her books blend her interest in the paranormal and her love of romance.

Steamy, unique, fun tales of adventure with alpha males and feisty, curvy females are her signature.  She writes what she loves:  passionate, erotic, emotion-tugging novels that widen readers’ experiences and leaves them wanting more.  No two books are alike and each one is a stand-alone novel ready for fans and readers alike to dive into and enjoy!

Let’s take a look at some of her books

AngelsAngels and Diamonds

Angels and Diamonds spins seven heartwarming tales of finding love when you least expect it and the struggles of holding onto true love. Each fun tale depicts ardor, attachment and dedication while staying true to the theme of a Diamond and an Angel.

Puppy Love- Petra, an owner of a dog rescue group in need of financial assistance finds an unlikely funding source

Bride to Be- Diamond, a bridal shop owner meets a man who seems vaguely familiar. Little does she know he will change her future

Promise- Tauria’s relationship with an Archangel leads to her forgotten past

The Gift- Celeste’s gift is more than her Angel can handle

Hunted- Natasha’s encounter with a mercenary has an unexpected, mutually beneficial outcome

New Home- Marisole’s home search for a ‘friend of a friend’ thrusts her back into the life of a man she once craved. Sadly, he doesn’t know she exists.

Make a Wish- Are Stella’s dreamy adventures genuine or vivid imagination?

Grab your copy on Amazon

Nightfall

nightfallTamara’s spicy scent thrills, seduces and weakens him like no other. She is his and he wants her. Unfortunately, she is done with men. Tamara’s been burned too many times in the past and she’s not looking for a relationship…..ever. But when she finds a stray dog on her doorstep she decides she wants a relationship with a male, after all- that of pet and pet owner.

Josh is not a dog and he has no interest in staying her pet. He has one burning desire- Tamara- in his bed, nightly and permanently. He will stop at nothing to convince Tamara they are better together and that he needs her, forever.
Their paths are intertwined and their future is inevitable but will Tamara allow Josh to love, cherish and protect her? Or will she say good-bye to the amazing, dedicated man whose loyalty and sweet promises could shatter her walls completely and consume her with desire?

nightfall 2

Nightfall is available for purchase here.

Jasper

jasperTatiana seeks rare, coveted treasure: a strong, loving, committed male she can respect, be proud of and become her full-fledged partner. She has sought this elusive prince among men, her own personal champion but instead found many, many frogs and quite a few toads. Does her hero exist on Earth, or did she miss her opportunity?

Jasper isn’t seeking a mate. His only intention is to rescue Tatiana from a fatal car accident, but he finds himself drawn to her in ways he can’t explain. She’s a rare, precious gem and there’s no turning back for him. He must know her and introduce himself in some sort of “human” fashion, at some sort of “human” event, for he is not of Earth.

Once Tatiana finds out Jasper’s true identity, will she accept and trust him? Will Tatiana allow herself to enter into a permanent, loving relationship with an unearthly but powerful being who only wants to adore and protect her?

All of TK’s books are available on Amazon

For more information or to connect with TK, visit her websiteTwitterFacebookGoogle+Goodreads, or Bookbub

For access to all book trailers, visit her YouTube channel

Author Spotlight – Jack Kregas

AuthorSpotlight

Author Spotlight

JackThis week’s Author Spotlight is on Jack Kregas. Jack was born in New England in the north east of the United States. After a stint in the US Army, he was discharged in Europe, and the next forty years were spent skiing and living life to the max, as well as creating several successful businesses.

Winters in the Alps and summers windsurfing on Maui, Jack departed Switzerland for Maui full time with his Australian wife and small daughter. After five years, he moved the family to Australia and became an Australian Citizen.

Jack now lives in Brisbane and is retired, writing full-time after his very successful autobiography, It’s All About Me and a few others. He plays golf and travels to participate in poker tournaments or promote his books. His latest novel, Decisive Sunset, book four in the stand-alone Joey Moretti series, is available now at all outlets.

Jack books

It’s All About Me and a Few Others

about me

Jack’s books are available on Amazon, ibooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords in paper and e-books. Two Videos are also available. You can see them at www.jackkregasbooks.com

To learn more, visit Jack’s website or connect with him on Facebook.

Mythical

Author Spotlight – K.M. Hodge

AuthorSpotlight

Author Spotlight

KMIt’s that time again–time to introduce you to another fabulous Indie Author. This week, the spotlight shines on K.M.Hodge. USA Today Bestselling author, K.M. Hodge grew up in Detroit, where she spent most of her free time weaving wild tales to spook her friends and family. These days, she lives in Texas with her husband and two energetic boys and once again enjoys writing tales of suspense and intrigue that keep her readers up all night. Her stories, which focus on women’s issues, friendship, addiction, regrets and second chances, will stay with you long after you finish them. When she isn’t writing or being an agent of social change, she reads Independent graphic novels, watches old X-files episodes, streams Detroit Tigers games and binges on Netflix with her husband. She enjoys hearing from her readers, so don’t be shy about dropping her a line.

* K.M. Hodge was awarded the winter of 2016 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for her Red on the Run.

Book Cellar Series

TX

Walker Texas Wife

“At first glance, the small town residents of Herald Springs, Texas, lead charmed lives. But behind the dazzling smiles and inside the large brick homes, they all have their secrets.”

Texas & Tiaras

“Nobody in Herald Springs can believe that their small town served as the scene for a major criminal showdown. With the events of the annual gala behind them, the drink and gossip club just want to get back to their normal lives, but the drama is far from over.”

The Book Cellar Series is available on Amazon

The Syndicate Series

syn
Sally Ride Chronicle (Prequel)

The Syndicate doesn’t believe in divorce, but murder is another story.

Sally wants out–out of her marriage, out of the mob, out of Ocean City. An impossible dream. That is until the MDNA, a secret hacktivist group, invites her to join the ranks of their rebellion. The goal? Take down the criminal empire.”

Red on the Run (Pinnacle Achievement Award for Thriller)

“You can’t hide from the Syndicate. Run, Red. Run!”

Reader quote: “Move over Baldacci. Prepare for competition from this new author! Spellbinding – hard to put down.” ~ Patrisha Ehlert

 

Black and White Truth 

“Seventeen years after The Syndicate trial, Jason Knettle sets out to write the shocking true crime novel on the group that ruined so many lives. With the help of a new source, he uncovers a frightening truth—The Syndicate is back… and more dangerous than ever with a new leader at the helm.”

True Blue Son

“Dr. Zander Ride grew up a son of The Syndicate, his fate as a career criminal all but sealed. With the help of his mother, he escaped a life of crime… until the night he heard The Syndicate had shot his mother in cold blood.”

Grab your copy of the Syndicate Series on Amazon

K.M. Hodge has a new series coming out November 12th — The Love Under Fire boxed set. Order yours now!

For more information about K.M., visit her website or connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.

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