Get to know Sandra Hurst

Sandra Hurst, in her own words

Sandra Hurst Peace outWhen I was little, we had a burgundy set of children’s encyclopedias and I would pick out stories and poems from them to put on performances in the living room, insisting that my family listen to the stories and legends that I had read. I grew up on the stories of Robin Hood, King Arthur, and the Fae. What else could I ever be?

I write because the words are my way of exploring a world I can’t see. I’m a myth-maker, there is nothing that gives me more creative juice than asking a question and then building a world to find the answer. Myths and fantasy give us the opportunity to look at ourselves in new and often unusual ways, to play a huge game of ‘what if’ and see where the answers will fall.

My mind isn’t healthy if I’m not writing, it really isn’t a choice for me.

I think that one of the hardest things to do as a newer author is to explain your writing style. It’s probably a question that would be more appropriately asked of someone who has read your work, and at the beginning, no one has. It’s hard to describe yourself without being either self-congratulatory or somewhat delusional. If I had to say something about my own style, I think I would call it lyrical. I was a poet long before I accepted the challenge of writing prose. I would compare my style to current writers I think I would say that it is somewhat like early work by Guy Gavriel Kay, although I think I smell the self-delusion rising on that one.

I now live in Calgary, Alberta with my husband and son, both of whom I love dearly, and have put up for sale on e-bay when their behavior demanded it.  My day to day life is a balance between my outside life as a paralegal counselor and my inner life as an author/poet. In between writing projects, I work on improving my craft, write book reviews, try to keep my blog current, and study mythologies from around the world. Continue reading

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Introducing Author Alexia Adams

Introducing Alexia Adams, author, mother, adventurer!

Alexia Adams authorAlexia the Adventurer

I have the heart of a nomad. If I could, I’d move to a different country every two years.

I used to have lots of adventures. My husband recently sent me a photo he’d seen online and said, “Isn’t this place amazing?” To which I replied, “Yes, it’s in India and I rode an elephant up the hill to the gates when I visited.”

What are some of your pet peeves?

I’m a mother of four so I’ve had to forget any plans I might have had for a clean, neat house. But what really gets my goat is when a family member cooks food just for themselves then expects me to clean up all the dishes.

Where were you born?

I was born in British Columbia on the west coast of Canada near to where I now live. But I’ve also lived in Montreal as a child and a small town in Manitoba where I went to high school.

If you knew you’d die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?

It would start with a long massage, then a catered picnic on the beach with my family, followed by a fabulous dinner in an Italian restaurant (again with my husband and children) where we’d share our favorite funny memories. Laughter and wine (and a glass or two of limoncello) would flow until it was time to go.

Who is your hero and why?

My husband is my hero. He had a disadvantaged childhood but has never let it stop him. He has a great sense of humor and is a fabulous life partner.

What do you do to unwind and relax?

I read. If I’m really stressed then I’ll reread one of my favorites as I already know the ending so I can just enjoy spending time with characters I know and love.

How do you find time to write as a parent? Continue reading

Can Glory live up to her illustrious name?

Best selling author, Dani Collins share how she created the character Glory in her On The Edge novel.

Dani Collins blog tourCan Glory live up to her illustrious name?

When I started plotting the book that eventually became On The Edge, my husband and I were redoing our will. My writing career was established with a backlist of twenty-plus books. I had to appoint someone to look after that side of things if I were hit by a bus.

That started me thinking that maybe my heroine, Glory, administers her mom’s literary estate. I decided her mother was an iconic romance author like Nora Roberts, beloved by millions. She left Glory’s father such a fortune, he’s able to sink it into the run-down Blue Spruce Lodge.

Glory’s mom had a long battle with cancer, so Glory has had to step up with increasing skills over the years. It started as stuffing bookmarks in envelopes, but by the end, she’s heavily editing books from her mother’s backlist.

Glory always wanted to write. In fact, by Grade Nine, she was so inspired by her mom, she scribbled scenes into a notebook Love scenes. Ones that starred a boy she had a crush on.

That was when that jock-pig, Garrett Waters, grabbed it and read it to the class. It was beyond humiliating.

Glory continued to dream up stories, but they didn’t make it onto paper. She couldn’t risk it. She didn’t write again until she began editing her mom’s books. Then her mom died and writer’s block hit, but before that, she was writing lengthy passages, sometimes whole chapters.

She never takes credit, though. Too scary.

Now her father is renovating Blue Spruce Lodge. He needs the cash that would come with a new release, but Glory’s mom is gone. Glory starts writing with the intention of publishing the book as an ‘undiscovered’ title of her mother’s.

I won’t spoil how that turns out, but I will tell you that the hero, Rolf—a serious jock who is a gold-medal alpine champion—is her inspiration for her own hero. And Rolf finds out what she’s doing.

Fun Fact: The book Glory writes, Blessed Winter, is a book-within-a-book. You get to read it as Glory writes it while she’s fighting with/falling for Rolf in On The Edge. Continue reading

Carey Decevito Presents, Night Shift

Night Shift coverTitle: Night Shift (Nightshade, #2) by Carey Decevito
Publication date: January 9th 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Synopsis

A serial killer…

A past that haunts no matter how much the distance…

Which one will strike first?

Eighteen deaths over eight years has left Shane Peters itching to find his mark. The death that started it all ensured his obsession with the murderer who had turned his life into a living hell, leaving him to raise a newborn daughter on his own.

Starting over wasn’t the easiest thing, but Emberlyn Roth had managed by shear grit and the skin of her teeth. It’s too bad one can’t outrun their past.

A protector of the wronged, Shane is torn between his duty as a detective for the Jacksonville PD and a quest to find himself some peace. Red tape binds his capabilities and moonlighting as an investigator for Nightshade Securities has him feeling stretched thin. Late nights on the streets and his sense of duty keeps him from being the father he wants to be. Throw onto his already rickety house of cards, an attraction to the mysterious Emberlyn, the lead he’s got on the murderer he’s been hunting for nearly a decade, and threats his woman is receiving by an unsavory character from her past, and he’s seriously tempted to take Dalton Kipper’s offer to join his team in a permanent basis.

Rules have a place, but when you’re faced with losing the one that means most to you, lines can become blurred. With the fate of his family’s future hanging in the balance, he’s ready to risk it all. Continue reading

Thigh Highs by Katia Rose

Thigh Highs book coverTitle: Thigh Highs by Katia Rose
Publication date: October 26th 2017
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

Synopsis:

Modelling lingerie for her arch-nemesis was not on Christina’s to-do list.
Then again, neither was he.

Aaron Penn might be the talk of the advertising school they both attend, but to Christina, he’s just an egomaniac with a cocky smirk to match. Fast forward to the end of [the] term, when a class project gone wrong has her stripping down to a negligee and letting Aaron photograph her to advertise a line of women’s underwear.

She expects suggestive comments and smarmy-eyed stares, but when Aaron gets behind the camera he treats her body like a work of art. Even though all she’s got on is a scrap of satin, the room suddenly feels way too hot.

As the tension between them builds to expensive-panty-melting-levels, Christina finds herself caught between falling for the complicated artist who knows just what poses to put her in, and wondering why he acts like such an irritating hotshot around everyone else. Continue reading

An Excerpt of Shut Up and Drive by Chynna Laird

Shut up and drive book coverTitle: Just Shut Up and Drive by Chynna Laird
Genre: Coming of Age, Contemporary

Synopsis

One teen, one cranky old man, and the open road. What could go wrong?

Eighteen-year-old Wil Carter can think of more than a fistful of things he’d rather do than go on a road trip with his ninety-five-year-old grandfather. But when Gramps Wilf barks an order, you listen or get an earful of grief.

Wil lost his parents in a horrible car accident when he was five. Gramps has been the only parent he has ever known. Now that he’s ready to go off to college, the old man says he has things Wil needs to learn to be the man he’s supposed to be. But the trip turns out to be more than he bargains for.

Along their week-long road trip across the Canadian Prairies, Wil not only learns tidbits about his own life but realizes the grandfather he thought he knew has mysteries of his own. With each stop they make, a new layer of emotional truth is revealed…for each of them.

Will Gramps teach Wil what he needs to know before the journey ends? And is Wil strong enough to hear it? Continue reading

Amy Braun’s Damnation’s Door

Amy BraunMeet Amy Braun

Amy Braun is a Canadian urban fantasy and horror author. Her work revolves around monsters, magic, mythology, and mayhem. She started writing in her early teens, and never stopped. She loves building unique worlds filled with fun characters and intense action. She is the recipient of April Moon Books Editor Award for “author voice, world-building and general bad-assery,” and the One Book Two Standout Award in 2015 for her Cursed trilogy. She has been featured on various author blogs and publishing websites, and is an active member of the Writing GIAM and Weekend Writing Warrior communities. When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, watching movies, taking photos, gaming, and struggling with chocoholism and ice cream addiction.

Amy’s current work includes the full length novels Demon’s Daughter, Dark Divinity, Crimson Sky, Storm Born, and Path of the Horseman, and the novella Needfire. She has short stories in various horror and urban fantasy anthologies such as Call From The Grave, Hotel Hell, The Maker of Monsters in Spawn of the Ripper, Survivalism in The Dead Walk: Volume 2, Dismantle in The Steam Chronicles, Lost Sky in Avast, Ye Airships!, Secret Suicide in That Hoodoo, Voodoo, That You Do, Bring Back The Hound in Stomping Grounds, Charlatan Charade in Lost in the Witching Hour, and her award winning short Dark Intentions And Blood in AMOK! Amy can be found online through her frequently updated blog, Literary Braun (literarybraun.blogspot.ca), as well as on Twitter (@amybraunauthor) and Facebook (facebook.com/amybraunauthor).

The final chapter in the praised Cursed trilogy, Damnation’s Door is a 310 page novel that sets its heroes against all odds, testing their trust in one another and pushing them each to their breaking points, forcing them to finally confront the darkness surrounding their lives above it, and either rise or fall before it… Continue reading

Author Maggie Bolitho shares her outback experience

Author Maggie Bolitho shares her experience about the great Australian outback we always hear so much about. I for one would love to visit—providing there are no spiders.

Maggie Bolitho book promoThe main themes of Outback Promise are betrayal and forgiveness, both of which are tied directly to the landscape where the second half of the book takes place, the Australian outback. In 2005, I spent three months camping in the Australian desert and was intrigued by the way the landscape changed from inhospitable and barren to bountiful and profuse after good rain.

In 2015 I went back and spent another three months exploring more of Australia’s remote areas. The second time many of the places I travelled through had recently experienced drenching rain. The abundant wildflowers and ubiquitous fauna were stunning.

The outback is a land of extremes, shifting from dry to wet in sudden explosive storms. ‘The creeks run dry or ten feet high’ is how an old folk song describes it. Water is the difference between life and death. Often the rains don’t come for years.

When they do come, a sleeping giant awakes. The rivers flood their banks, the roads are lost underwater and people on rural properties can be cut off for weeks. Many of those rivers drain into Lake Eyre (Kati Thanda) in South Australia and transform its parched salt pans to a massive body of water, 3,668 square miles, with an average depth of 5 feet.

When this happens, hundreds of thousands of birds, from as far away as Papua New Guinea, arrive to feed and roost there. No one can explain how they know the lake is full again. It just happens.

In Outback Promise, forgiveness is the difference between life and death of Ros and Grady’s marriage. There has been one death, one eviscerating dry season already in their lives, after the brutal loss of their son Cadel.

For Ros and Grady, they have to decide if they ae going to create their own wet season, their own time of healing and renewal. No one can explain how forgiveness finally happens but it’s there if they reach for it. Continue reading

Hard As Ice by Raven Scott

Hard as Ice book coverHard as Ice Fortis # 1 by Raven Scott
Release date: July 28, 2015
Publisher: Dafina

Synopsis

A covert ops specialist, a cyber-surveillance expert, and an unmatched international security and recovery pro. These are the men of Fortis. When money is no object, discretion is essential, and the police are not an option, the wealthy and powerful call on this trio of former government agents with elite military training—not to mention charm and good looks…

Former CIA agent Evan DaCosta is ready to continue his life of adventure, intrigue, and service. That means joining Fortis—and taking on the recovery of precious jewels stolen from a prestigious auction house. The list of suspects is long, but Evan is focused on the possibility of an inside job. Now he’ll have to go undercover and stay close to the gorgeous business manager, Nia James.

A gifted salesperson, Nia worked hard to get where she is today. Now, with her career at stake, a target on her back, and Evan watching her every move, she’s feeling the pressure and the heat. As Nia and Evan become intensely entangled, can they survive the secrets and threats standing in their way or will they run out of time? Continue reading

The Occasional Diamond Thief by J.A. McLachlan

Diamond Thief book coverThe Occasional Diamond Thief by J.A. McLachlan
Release Date: 05/15/15

Synopsis

The Occasional Diamond Thief is the tale of Kia, who is courageous and practical with a quirky sense of humor, and a loner.

When 16-yr-old Kia is training to be a translator, she is co-opted into travelling to Malem. This is the last place in the universe that Kia wants to be — it’s the planet where her father caught the terrible illness that killed him — but it’s also where he got the magnificent diamond that only she knows about. Kia is convinced he stole it, as it is illegal for any off-worlder to possess a Malemese diamond.

Even worse, Kia must translate for Agatha, who is as different from Kia as it’s possible for two people to be – Agatha is idealistic, naïve, and compassionate.

Using her skill in languages – and another skill she picked up, the skill of picking locks – Kia unravels the secret of her father’s mysterious gem and learns what she must do to set things right: return the diamond to its original owner. But how will she find out who that is when no one can know that she, an off-worlder, has a Malemese diamond? Can she trust the new friends she’s made on Malem, especially handsome but mysterious 17-year-old Jumal, to help her?

And will she solve the puzzle in time to save Agatha, the last person she would have expected to become her closest friend? Continue reading