Guest Post and Giveaway: Keep the Faith by Ana Tejano

ktf-blog-tour-header

Before marketing your book

When I finally decided to publish my book independently, I was told that going indie means we also had to work on the marketing. I knew it was going to be hard work, but I figured, hey why not? It should be fun, right?

A year after I published my first book, I took up a digital marketing certification course, which gave me a better perspective with regards to marketing. I never really had proper marketing training, even if I worked in the field so the course was eye-opening for me, and it helped me think of how I could use these lessons as an author.

So now that I’ve made myself credible (haha) – yay, you published your book! Now you want people – who are not your friends – to know about it. But before you start creating Facebook posts or tweeting up a storm on Twitter or adding all the #hashtags to your Instagram posts, here are some things that an author has to be very clear on first before jumping into everything:

Remember your WHY. Why do you write? Why do you want people to read your book? Your why will anchor all your writing and marketing efforts, so make sure you keep this in mind when you’re about to go out to the world with your book. People will buy and read your book because they believe what you believe. Or, they’re curious about why you believe what you believe. Knowing your why will also ground you, and help you to focus again when things don’t go your way.

Set your objectives and goals. And by this, it has to be something specific and measurable, and again, anchored to your why. Putting numbers on them will make it less lofty and will help you figure out how to reach it. For example – when I decided to put together this blog tour, my objective was to gain more reviews and create buzz for my book, and my goal is to have at least 20 bloggers to join. With those numbers clear in my head, it was easier to figure out what to post and when to post.

Understand your reader. Knowing your reader helps you to know how to reach them. While it’s tempting to say that your target market is “all readers,” remember that not everyone will like your book. Knowing your readers will help you know how to talk to them, find out where they are and then position yourself so they will be most receptive to your message. Knowing your reader is just like building characters: find out what they like, where they work, what are their online habits, what other books do they like to read? Once you have a pretty good idea of who your readers are – or who you want them to be – then it’ll be easier to strategize with your marketing.

Just like in writing, marketing your books can be a bit frustrating – but being hands-on with is a great learning experience. And just like in writing, don’t forget to have fun with it, too! Good luck, and happy marketing your book!

Jho-sigstylediv

Book Title: Keep the Faith

Release Date: July 31, 2016

Author: Ana Tejano

About the Book:

As a community development worker, Faith was quite familiar with heartbreak and recovery after all the time she spent on disaster relief missions. So when her five-year relationship ends right before she left for a mission trip to a typhoon-stricken town in Iloilo, she tries not to make a big deal out of it. How can she be broken up about a breakup when she’s with people who literally lost everything?

But now that she’s back, all Faith wants is for her life to go back to normal and have people stop looking at her with pity. Never mind that she still has a lot of questions about the breakup, or that she feels a tiny ache every time her ex comes up in conversations. She’s okay now, and happily distracted by Nico Tamayo, the attractive new guy at work.

With new possibilities in the horizon, Faith thinks she is well on her way to moving on. But when her past comes calling back to her, will all the good things in her present be enough to keep her on the path? Or will she finally learn that there was more to heartbreak and recovery than what she knows?

Links to Purchase:

Goodreadsbadge

About the Author:

Ana Tejano has been in love with words and writing ever since she met Elizabeth Wakefield when she was in Grade 3. She has contributed several non-fiction pieces in print and online publications, and has been blogging for years. When she’s not writing, she works as a communications manager for a payroll outsourcing firm, and serves in CFC Singles for Christ in every other time that she doesn’t spend reading or sleeping. She lives in Metro Manila and is also known by another name in her other circles (but it’s not a secret identity, really).

Contact Links:

ENTER RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY HERE:

rafflecopter-giveaway-e1420463655480

Excerpt #1:

“Hi.”

I froze at the sound of that now all-too-familiar deep voice—now less sleepy—and my panic gave way to anger. I turned around slowly.

Nico’s expression was friendly, oblivious to my seething. “I just want to say sorry for sleeping on your desk. Alvin told me you were coming back but I thought it wasn’t until Monday so I didn’t transfer immediately.”

“Did you touch anything here?” I pointed to my cubicle’s walls, ignoring his apology.

“Huh?”

“You’ve been using my desk since you got here. Did you remove anything?”

He shook his head, his messy hair flopping on his forehead. He brushed it away with a hand. “No. Why would I remove anything? I only sleep at other people’s desks, but I don’t take anything.” He gave me a cheeky grin at the last part, an attempt to make a joke, but I was too worked up to play along.

“Then what happened to my pictures, huh?”

ktf-quote-02“What pictures?”

I felt a light tap on my shoulder. I turned, and there was April, holding out a small paper bag. “Hey. I almost forgot to give you this.”

“April, do you know—”

“I heard you. They’re in the bag,” she interrupted gently. “I took your pictures down, okay? It’s not Nico’s fault. He didn’t even see them.”

I took the bag from her and peeked inside, and found the smiling face of my ex-boyfriend looking at me, beside my own. I was unprepared for the stab of pain when I saw our matching grins, remembering exactly when that photo was taken (second year anniversary, right after he took me out to dinner).

“I thought it would help if I cleaned it up when you told me what happened. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you.” She squeezed my arm, and left to answer her phone that started ringing again.

Squashing the urge to sort through the photos and memories, I shoved the paper bag in my bottom drawer, shutting the drawer with a loud click. When I looked up, I saw that Nico was gazing at me intently, and my face burned with shame again. Twice now. I can’t seem to get off on the right foot with this guy.

“I told you I didn’t know about anything,” he said, amused.

Well thanks a lot for rubbing it in. “If you hadn’t been sleeping on my desk then I wouldn’t have asked you.”

“Didn’t you learn much from what you saw on my profile?”

“I wasn’t stalking you!”

A small line formed between his eyebrows as if I was a Math problem that he was trying to solve. I tried to stare back at him but his brown eyes were too intense. Then to my surprise—and frustration—I saw the beginnings of a smirk tug at the corner of his lips.

“Aren’t you going to say something?” I crossed my arms.

Then his lips stretched into a full-fledged smile, a dimple popping on his right cheek. “I’m sorry. I promise I won’t sleep on your desk again.”

“Good,” I said with a firm nod. Then I started to feel a little silly for my outburst, especially after he seemed so gracious. “I’m sorry, too.”

“Peace?” he asked, extending his right hand to me. I uncrossed my arms and looked at his hand warily before glancing up at him again. He was still smiling.

“Okay,” I said, just a little begrudgingly, and reached out to shake his hand.

“My name is Nicolas, but everyone calls me Nico.”

“Hi, Nico,” I said, trying not to think of how warm his hand was. “I’m Faith. Faith Alvarez.” I let go of his hand. Too much hand-shaking was weird.

There was that dimple again. “I know.”

Wolf, in League by AF Henley: Blog Tour and Giveaway

The greatest gift of doing a blog tour is being able to touch base with old friends, and Cinderella Stories and I go back a long way. That’s one of the great things about the Internet, isn’t it? Being half a world away doesn’t really mean a thing when it comes to associates and acquaintances, and that is truly a blessing. So it’s an honour to be back as a guest and a friend, and I’m looking forward to sharing with you all the newest release in my Wolf series: Wolf, in League. For those that are joining the tour for the first time, welcome! And for those who have been here before, it’s amazing to see you again.

As I’ve done with the rest of the tours for these Wolf releases, this blog tour and giveaway is all about teasers. Tiny teasers, to be most accurate, which I like to think of as nothing more than a “bite” to whet your “appetite” for the rest. But before I let you get to it, I want to let you know about the giveaway that comes along with the tour. Follow through to the end of the post to learn how you could win your very own signed, print copy of Wolf in League, a “crystal and silver” diamante Howling Wolf Pendant, and a $20 gift certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market.

And now, the teaser, and an inside—or should I say outside—look at the GDBCG…

Tiny Teaser: Post 2

It wasn’t the stars that drew him here in the wee hours of the morning, though. It was the bats. There was something about the construction of the Center that drew a bucket load of bats, not that Matthew could have said what it was. The thing he found most interesting about the phenomena was that one could find them swooping and swaying around the building’s concrete block walls and its flat, thermoplastic roof at times other than the hour or so between dusk and darkness. Common sense told Matthew it had to do with insect population, reflective lighting, and a lack of predators, but the owls and hawks that were common to the area made that last reason somewhat unlikely.

Who really knew, though? Maybe the same things that kept the doctors peeking covertly at dark shadows kept the smarter birds of prey away as well. Regardless, Matthew found himself staring at the tiny, black, soundless beasts for stretches of time that surprised him when he finally thought to check his watch. For creatures of the night with all kinds of Hollywood superstitions behind them, they were surprisingly peaceful to watch.

He’d just told himself that he’d better be heading back in when a sound seemed to brush past his ear. He cocked his head, paused, and listened. He almost thought it could have been one of the bats, drawn by the light or maybe the scent of his cologne, but if it had been a bat, then it was one of the most talented bats in history. Because there’d been something awfully weird in the way it had sounded. If he’d been asked to say what that oddness was, he would have had no choice but to admit—foolishly, really—that he’d heard someone speak. His name, even. Which was more ridiculous than imagining someone had spoken in the first place. He was six stories off the ground. He could see every inch of the otherwise empty balcony. Besides, there was no one else on the level Matthew occupied but for a security guard who had been half-asleep, if not completely asleep, when Matthew had walked past him twenty minutes ago; Matthew had checked the sign-in roster just to make sure because he’d wanted to have a chat with one of his colleagues regarding a certain finding Matthew had stumbled across the night before. And there were no after-hours visitors allowed, without exception. Even during the day, not even an expected guest would get past the security gate without a badge—a badge which automatically added their name, picture, and personal details to the roster so that anyone who was anyone would know where they were allowed to be and where they were not. If there was someone out in the darkness whispering his name at barely audible levels, it had to be one of the bats. Or a very talented deer with the ability to fly.

Matthew flipped up his collar, shook his head and turned back to the door that he’d left propped open behind him. The doors were all glass. The windows were glass. Glass, glass, everywhere glass. He’d often figured it was there for security more than just an effort to soften the rest of the cold concrete building. After all, it was easy to see through; nothing could hide behind a glass door. It was also reflective.

So when he saw a face—a smirk, bright eyes, sharp cheekbones—shining back at him, Matthew startled. He whirled back to face the balcony.

There was no one there. Just the stars and bats above him, and the trees, manicured lawn, and fading gardens below him.

Wolf, in League Excerpt
© AF Henley, 2016

Jho-sigstylediv

Blurb

Wolf, in League

It’s been months since anyone at the Committee has had any contact from the O’Connell family or their pack members, and they are not happy. Suspicious of the activities that took place in D.C. and determined to find out what the wolves are up to, the Committee recruits one of their newest residents, Doctor Matthew Dietrich, to play the part of neighbor and infiltrate the family.

Matthew has always been a keep-to-himself kind of person. Though idealistic and optimistic, he prefers to work in solitude, at night, while he researches the findings that he hopes will one day change the world. When he’s approached by the executives of the Center, he has no idea why they’d choose him. And to say he is skeptical over the concept of men that can shift into wolves would be an understatement. Until he meets his new partner, the man that will play the part of his “husband” in the Committee’s scheme, Doctor Gavin Strauss.

Genre: Gay, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Notes: Wolf, in League contains some explicit and violent content

Book 3 in the Wolf series

Purchasing Link – save 15% by preordering your copy today! Discount available until October 10th

The Giveaway

On behalf of the tour, please join the giveaway by taking part in the Rafflecopter below. The prize consists of a signed, print copy of Wolf in League, a “crystal and silver” diamante Howling Wolf Pendant, and a $20 gift certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market.

For all the terms and conditions, please check out the t’s and c’s posted on the Rafflecopter.

** Please note that this giveaway is being offered tour-wide and there will be one winner awarded for the entire event.

ENTER RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY HERE:

Again, a great big thank you to Cinderella Stories for having me today. And my thanks to you as well for joining in. Best of luck with the giveaway and I hope you enjoyed the post!

Until next time,

AF Henley ❤

Jho-sigstylediv

AF Henley_Avatar cropped

About the Author

Henley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica.

A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish.

Henley has been proudly publishing with Less Than Three Press since 2012.

For more information, please stop by for a visit at afhenley.com.

Excerpt ~ Blood Thirst, an Eternal Romance by Dormaine G.

Octavia, a human, appeared into this world with a mysterious past unknown to even her. Victor a cultured man of influential prestige was born a savage vampire. They should have never been but their attraction was so profound neither could deny their love.

“Tell me to stop and I will.” He came to stand in front of her after hearing no more words of resistance cross her lips.

In a split second, he wished he could sire her and take her for his own. He wanted to tell her everything. This world, his world, about vampires, but he could not.

Victor gripped her face within his palms. “I cannot let you go. I will not,” he exhaled, caressing her lips. “But if you want me to, I will leave you be. Forever…”

“This is madness…” Octavia gazed up at him speechless. She tried to resist him, but the words of refute would not flow.

“And I cannot breathe when you are not near. I cannot think when you are not by my side. The last few days have been murderous knowing that I could not have you” He kissed her, not allowing her to refuse him.

He would never let her go.

***

Purchase Links:

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

AMAZON CA

EXCERPT

As he made his way towards the woods, Victor remembered that feeling of freedom. The night had always been his, to do what he wanted. Throughout the years, he’d missed being pure animal, but he had mostly missed the pursuit of a victim.

The chase—hearing the hurried pounding of staggering feet when a prey learns, at that very second, that vampires do exist. At that moment, nothing mattered but the sound of that beating heart as he’d zoned in on what would inevitably be a kill.

He’d let them run in the belief that they’d escaped this living nightmare, but it was a false hope Victor bestowed upon them. Cruel as it was, it was most exhilarating to listen to them scamper from afar.

Once captured, the rush soared through Victor’s icy veins when he saw the horrid fear in his captive’s eyes. Their pupils dilated. Their lips quivered. Their raspy breaths escaped. Some managed to scream, others choked on the lavish feast they had ingested. The more they feared, the more adrenaline filled their bodies, making the kill so much more exquisite. At the moment right before death, Victor always found it to be breathtakingly beautiful. Victor always had a way of picking the best hunts. His were always the ghastliest. The bloodiest. Young women were always his favorite to stalk and torture.

There was never a time when he didn’t have a different woman in his bed several nights a week. There were many women, and they were all at his disposal.

But the parties halted one treacherous night, so very long ago.

Goodreadsbadge

About the Author

Dormaine was born in Long Island, New York where she lived most of her life. As an adult she liked to travel out of the country though her favorite places to explore were her fantasy worlds as an author. She may be a nurse by profession but her heart has always belonged to writing. As a young child she spent many Saturdays in the library nurturing her love for books. There she discovered her fascination for the science fiction genre, through books, movies and graphic novels.

Now she resides in Colorado with her husband and two feisty dogs. After many years of working in hospitals and travel nursing she took time off to pursue a career in writing. Her first novel “Connor” is in one of her favorite genres, young adult urban fantasy. Her second love is for horror of which she created the “Madame Lilly, Voodoo Priestess” series. This is just the start of her exploration as she stays locked up her office in Colorado spinning more tales.

Blog: http://dormainegblog.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorDormaineg/?ref=hl
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/dormaineg
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dormaineg
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Dormaine-G/e/B00HNE9GOC

Excerpt: Old Enemies Make The Best Lovers by Kate Sebastian

“You don’t mind sitting up front, do you?” Victor asked Christy. He smiled. “I’ll introduce you to Kyle.”

“Actually,” she said, glancing toward the car, where she could see the outline of her nemesis’s head and shoulders on the driver’s side, “we’ve met. Ages ago. He was a couple of years ahead of me in high school.”

Victor’s eyebrows winged up, and he grinned. “What a coincidence.”

“Not a happy one,” she muttered.

“Sorry?”

“Nothing,” she said hastily. “I’m all good.”

He closed the rear door on the SUV and led the way back to the front, where he opened the passenger side door. “Hey, Kyle, this is Christy. I think you know her from high school? She’ll be sitting up front so my girl and I can neck in the backseat.” This was punctuated by a “Woohoo!” from Tracy, which had Christy grinning even as she came face-to-face with the specter of her high school horror days.

Even though a dozen years had passed since she’d last seen him, she still recognized Kyle Quinto. And she was sorry to see that his Facebook photo—in which he’d looked buff, tanned, and absolutely yummy—had been a recent one. A small part of her had hoped he’d be fat and balding prematurely, but he had a full head of black hair any woman would enjoy running her fingers through, and the white button-down shirt he was wearing did little to hide his flat stomach. She was doubly glad she’d gone shopping that week.

He was wearing shades, so she couldn’t see his eyes. It was too bad because she would have liked to be able to gauge the sincerity of the roguish smile he gave her. “Christina Martinez,” he drawled. “Now that’s a blast from the past.”

OldEnemiesMakeTheBestLovers-Teaser-2

From: Old Enemies Make the Best Lovers
by Kate Sebastian
#BuqoSteamyReads
Contemporary Romance
Released April 1, 2015

Blurb:

Christy Martinez may have been a nerd and the number one victim for the mean girls in her high school, but she’s since grown up, gone to college, and carved out a successful career for herself. Now in her late 20s, she’s put high school behind her, only to be blindsided by a blast from her past.

She and her friends have planned a much-needed vacation, but she finds out at the last minute that they’ll be joined by uber rich and gorgeous Kyle Quinto. He just happens to be the guy who played a cruel trick on her in high school, breaking her heart and making her a target for bullying in the process.

Can Christy forgive and forget? Because Kyle is a whole lot of hot.

Read/Buy Links:

Amazon (Kindle): http://bit.ly/OEMTBL-Amazon
Barnes & Noble (Nook): http://bit.ly/OEMTBL-BN
iBooks: http://bit.ly/OEMTBL-iTunes
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/OEMTBL-Smash
Buqo: http://bit.ly/OEMTBL-Buqo
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/OEMTBL-Goodreads

Author Bio:

Kate Sebastian has been crafting stories since she was tiny. She spent her childhood reimagining classic fairy tales and inventing new ones, then having her dolls and stuffed toys reenact them in elaborate sets she built by rearranging the furniture in her house.

She earns a good living as a writer, editor, and online content admin but decided to try her hand at writing romance since she reads so much of it.

For more updates, visit http://www.katesebastian.com, like Kate’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/katesebastianauthor and follow her on Twitter @ImKateSebastian.

Follow links:

Website: http://katesebastian.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katesebastianauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ImKateSebastian
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8202657.Kate_Sebastian
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kate-Sebastian/e/B01AZLX1U4

#StrangeLit: Darkest Dreams Blog Tour – Excerpt “Lagablab” by Myra Mortega

DD Banner

 #StrangeLit: Darkest Dreams

This is what happens you allow yourself to unlock your dreams: You may just find the darkness that lurks there. Explore the tragic, the romantic, and the comedic side of our darkness in these stories:

Majesty by Jay E. Tria
Dare to Dream by Madelyn Tuviera
Lagablab (or How L Came to Be a Warrior-Magician) by Myra Mortega
Sojourn by C.J. Edmunds
Trade by D.A.
Bayani by Motzie Dapul
When It Rains In Mystic River by Therese Barleta
In My Dreams by Yeyet Soriano
I Melt by Chen Cabaluna
Gamechanger by Mikael Javellana

#StrangeLit was a writing class held in 2015. For five weeks, participating authors wrote paranormal/fantasy stories, and this ebook bundle is a collection of work produced during the class. Read more #StrangeLit stories in the anthologies INCREDIBLE TRUTHS, FATEFUL TURNS, and KILLER SEASONS.

Majesty
A novella by Jay E. Tria

What would you do if the ghost of someone you loved appeared in front of you?

Majesty is a beautiful ghost, with her hair of fire and eyes gray like smoke. That was Andy Fey’s first thought when the ghost of her best friend Majesty Hall appeared in her bedroom, only two months since her death. Majesty doesn’t know why she’s there, why only Andy can see her.

Andy wasn’t sure if she could tell Gale, that boy who claims that he and Majesty were in love. Funny, sarcastic, and a self-proclaimed serial heartbreaker, Gale is proving to be a good friend in grief, though his trail of broken hearts could soon include hers.

As Andy and Gale wade through their sorrow, Andy wonders if Majesty is here to help ease her into this new, complicated friendship, or if she has a mission all her own.

Dare To Dream
A novel by Madelyn Tuviera

Step one: devise.
Step two: develop.
Step three: dream.

Weaving dreams is one part creativity and two parts quick thinking, Ellen believes – you receive an assignment as soon as open your eyes and are expected to absorb every single detail within the next minute so that you can craft an exciting dream for your subject. You have to monitor your Dreamer the whole time he’s snoring his heart out on his bed and going through the story you’ve made just for him. When your Dreamer rouses for a quick second then falls right back into a sweet slumber, you have to weave another dream for him that you’re certain will keep him asleep as long as he has to be. Rinse and repeat until the alarm sounds off – both for the Dreamer and the Weaver – then you move to your next assignment. That’s the routine. Easy as pie.

That is, until Ellen finds a couple of things in the dream she’d woven that she’s pretty sure isn’t part of the plan: two chairs, a flying platypus, stardust in the air. A voice she can’t recognize even if she’s supposed to know this world inside and out. And a man who isn’t her Dreamer changing the world she’s made and rewriting her Dreamer’s world altogether.

Lagablab (or How L Came to Be a Warrior-Magician)
A short story by Myra Mortega

If there’s anything that L takes great pride in, it’s the fact that she knows herself fully well. For example, she knows that she enrolled in law school because she just can’t take injustice. She also knows that she can see beings–various shapes and forms and figures nobody else can see. She has also been dreaming of the same dream for 24 years, and it has been driving her mad.

But one night, a shadow appears over her bed and tells her things that make her question her idea of who she is.

Intrigued, she goes into a wild goose chase to find answers and meets a bevy of beings–the White Lady, a wakwak, a kapre, among other things–that give her bits and pieces of her past and give her a glimpse of a future that’s far beyond her imagination.
 
Sojourn
A novella by C.J. Edmunds

Sometimes being a fish out of water can be a good thing. Only two things can happen. Either one adapts to the environment or simply peters out from intractability. Enter David Lansing, a half-Filipino call center trainer whose normal life took an unexpected turn when he suddenly woke up and is presented with visions and a spirit guide to boot! Why was he seeing these things? Who is the Guide and what did he want from him?

Peppered with appearances like the Tikbalang, Aswang and even the White Lady of Balete Drive, all part of Philippine folklore and urban legend, the story traces David’s existential journey of becoming; from his naive acceptance of the world to his burgeoning skepticism, and his acceptance of what his life is and how it could be. And while he’s at it, another Guide presents himself to him, one with a more pragmatic approach and outlook to the world of the supernatural; the same world that David is finally learning to accept and participate in.

But who is the better Guide or is he better off trusting his own instincts as he embarks on his journey to find that supernatural promised land; a place where people like him are common and living the most normal of lives; a place that is known only to a few; the magical community of the Dark District.

Trade
A short story by D.A.

Sacrifices have long reaching consequences for both the living and the dead as Carter discovers when Michael (yes, that Archangel) gives him a chance to be with his soul mate Alexa. He is tasked with being her personal guardian angel until the day she dies. But, when the end comes, Carter learns the hard way that life goes on no matter what.

Bayani
A novella by Motzie Dapul

In the year 2050, Patrick “Paquino” Aquino: president of the Philippines, former superhero, and murderer–not necessarily in that order–deals with the consequences of his actions following four years of martial law and the raid that ended a bloody political dynasty in the far north.

With a death sentence looming over his head and a revolution rising against him, he begins to wonder if his bid to save the country, made back when he was the impetuous young bayani Lastikid, is worth dying for.

When It Rains In Mystic River
A short story by Therese Barleta

Whenever sirens sound off, Naomi is always worried that Seth is somewhere being chased by the police, if not already gunned down by rival gangs that pollute the south side of Boston. “Please help me just this one last time,” Seth would always tell her, but Naomi just wants to live a normal life as a pretend human being, not Seth’s Encantada girlfriend who always bails him out of his shady dealings. As soon as Seth finds an out from this life he’s known forever, he takes the opportunity before Naomi can even say no. How could she when this is the exit they’ve both been waiting for? Or is it a shortcut to their doom?

In My Dreams
A novella by Yeyet Soriano

Welcome to Barrio Malaya!

Everyone in Manila will visit Barrio Malaya at least once in their lifetimes. It is a rustic yet picturesque town, with the sea in the north, thick woods in the east and west, and a train station in the south. It is one of the stops of a high-speed train system, which the dying board to go to their next destination.

Sixteen-year-old Olivia Roxas has a lifetime pass and has almost permanent resident status in Barrio Malaya. She first visited the place when she and her father met an accident when she was seven. They explored the town and rode the train together. But at some point, they got separated—she had to get off the train and her father continued his journey. She woke up to a reality without her father, and with an emotionally distant mother. From then on, Olivia was homeschooled and prevented from having any access to the outside world by an alcoholic mother who seemed to both hate her and love her too much to risk losing her.

In her dreams, Olivia has unlimited access to Barrio Malaya, and it is where she learned about everything, from how to make friends, to how to live, to how to fall in love. She also continued to board the trains, in the hope of finding her father.

Nineteen-year-old Gabriel Sahagun first came to Barrio Malaya when he was twelve years old. Victims of a freak accident, he and his parents already had their tickets to ride the train, but at the last minute, someone pulled him back. He never saw the man’s face. He woke up in the real world discovering that his parents were dead, but he had developed the talent to transfer Death—he can take whatever is killing one person, take it upon himself, and then transfer it to another person.

Liv and Gab meet in Barrio Malaya. Gab visits Barrio Malaya whenever he is in mid-transfer, meaning, he is the one dying. They fall in love but have never met in real life. But that is about to change, because Gab has taken a terminal condition and has lost all strength to transfer it to someone else. As he lies dying in the real world, it is up to Liv to find him, find a person to transfer the condition to, and get that person to Gab before Gab dies.

Did we mention that Liv has never set out from her house alone in all her life?

I Melt
A short story by Chen Cabaluna

Rick is predictable, organized & doesn’t like to take risks because of his condition. His clothes are color coordinated. His books are arranged by height. He only eats & drinks cold stuff. He’s very cautious to avoid human touch because he might melt. But then he met Alice, his new too perky lab assistant who helped him to overcome many inhibition and open up more to the world. There’s only one problem–he thinks Alice will melt him.

Gamechanger
A short story by Mikael Javellana

Mxyzalne – or Mix – has found her new Other: a boy named Jacob Dela Rosa. As a Herald, she knows she must take the boy under her wing and train him – in spite of how glaringly average he seems to her – if the world is to be saved.

When a powerful Decayed One makes an attempt on Jacob’s life, Mix calls his True Name out and sets a chain of events that will either save the world, or destroy it completely.

Jho-sigstylediv

Excerpt: Lagablab (or How L Came to Be a Warrior-Magician)

by: Myra Mortega

She dreamt of the sea.

She dreamt of ships and men clad in armor. They came with a thundering boom and pandemonium that shattered her ear drums.

They offered gifts from faraway places, and her people offered their friendship. She remembered not liking them, and she warned her people to be wary of the white men. There were omens, she said. There were premonitions of disease and death, she said. The spirits told me so, she said.

The tribesmen laughed at her. Back then she was a celebrated warrior. Back then she was a he, and she was highly regarded among her people. But it was the first time they saw ships of that kind. The white men brought strange ornaments and told strange stories, and it was the first time they had visitors of that kind. Let’s give them a try. We always welcome guests, the elders told her. And should they try to attack us, our warriors will protect us. You will protect us. Everything is going to be fine. Or so she was told.

She dreamt of the sea. The emerald waters were tinged with red. There were dead bodies everywhere. She saw aswangs ripped to shreds, lifeless shokoys floating on the sea, limbless tiktiks and wakwaks torn to pieces washed away on the shore.

“They have come,” the spirits whispered. The white men brought strange spirits with them. They are ravaging our land. Your people will be next, the spirits warned.

“What do we do? How can I help?” she asked.

“Remember who you are,” the spirits advised.

The next day, she called the councilmen for a meeting. She told them that the spirits talked to her, and they need to act. The strangers cannot stay in their lands any longer.

“But they haven’t done anything wrong. And they’re recounting a story of a man who descended from heaven to save them from Armageddon. It is quite intriguing,” the elders said.

But the story of the god turned into a story about an institution, and there were figureheads called priests that wielded much power. She was getting much agitated. The wakwaks would bring her stories every night, informing her that they’re losing people in their ranks, of the increasing death toll, and of talks about asking help from the northern islands to subdue the strangers.

“You will be next. Your people will be next. Drive away your guests. They are not your friends, they are conquerors,” they warned.

The next day, she called for a council meeting. All the elders were not present, but she still told them about the warnings from the spirits. Last night, the moon was red. A few days ago, there was an earthquake. This morning, she woke up to find animal entrails on her doorstep. “We have to act now!” she said, slightly panicking.

“They’re planning something. They want to conquer our land,” she added.

“We need to take up arms!” the warriors shouted.

“We will never be conquered!” the elders shouted.

They took out their drums and sang songs of heroes. She called on the spirits for help.

They were interrupted by the rajah, who admonished them for the din and the banging and the clanging.

“I have been baptized. My family has been baptized. We have sown our friendship to the priesthood of the white men,” he added, somber.

“Stop this savagery,” he ordered. “We shall start acting like civilized people.”

“They have turned you,” she said. “They have conquered you…” she added sadly.

She urged her fellow warriors to march on.

We shall take up arms.

We shall fight.

The next day, the waters turned red.

There were bodies on the water and on the ground. But they drove the ships away, and they were victorious.

They beat the drums, loud and proud. They celebrated their victory with fires and dancing. They mourned for their fallen brethren.

She thanked the spirits for their help.

She came home proud and mighty. She expected a grand welcome from her tribe.

Instead, she saw her house in shambles. A bright flame engulfed her home.

The elders turned to her somberly. It was the chief, they said. He has been conquered. There were other tribes and other chiefs who have turned to the religion of the white men, and they were not happy. She had to disappear, they said.

She woke up, breathless and confused.

She always dreamt the same dream every night for 24 years. She has dreamt it with such regularity that sometimes, it doesn’t feel like a dream anymore. She has come to visualize every detail so vividly that she feels like the dream has become a part of her memory, like a forgotten snippet from her childhood that has come to haunt her back.

About the Author

Myra has been enamored with strange worlds for as long as she can remember. She loves getting lost in fantasy, and she is grateful to Neil Gaiman, H.P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, and Dr. Who for introducing her to alternate dimensions of make believe.

At the same time she loves words and daydreaming, and she feels that the two are just perfect for each other.

This is her second attempt at documenting her flights of fancy. She hopes to do more of this one day.

In real life, she is freelance writer and editor who’s glued to the digital world.

You may reach her at:
myramortega@gmail.com
0929-325-0477

e28ba-bdbt2blogo2bfor2bbloggers

Guest Post and Giveaway – Earthquakes: A New Amsterdam Story by Kelly Wyre

Earthquakes Blog Tour Banner

Hi there! I’m so excited to be here today on Cinderella Stories to talk about my new novel, Earthquakes: A New Amsterdam Story. It’s the next installment in the New Amsterdam series, and it involves guns and ballet, two of my favorite things.

To celebrate the release, I’m doing a blog tour, and no tour is complete without prizes, amirite? I’m giving away a $25 Amazon gift card, a lovely necklace with a quote from Sinatra’s, Strangers in the Night – “Love was just a glance away, a warm embracing dance away” – and a free ebook copy of the book!

Earthquakes Prize Pack

How to enter? That’s easy… See the Rafflecopter Info below for all the ways to win!

rafflecopter-giveaway-e1420463655480

Winner will be selected at random after the contest closes on the 18th of March.

Meanwhile, I think I’d like to chat a bit about the characters in this world. It’s quite the web they weave. See?

New Amsterdam Character Web

CHECK OUT THE MASSIVE VERSION OF THE CHARACTER WEB RIGHT ‘CHERE.

I know that thing makes MY eyes cross, so let’s break it down.

Today? We’re going to talk about Tim Akkard

Dear Tim might be the only straight man left in New Amsterdam. He certainly feels that way sometimes.

Tim is rather non-descript; brown hair and eyes with a nice smile. He’s about Clark’s height – 6’1” or so – and a tad older than Clark (which puts Tim around Daniel’s age; early 40s). He’s naturally slim and stays that way because he often forgets to eat.

About a year and a half ago, or so, Tim lost his wife, Dana, to cancer. He still grieves her, and he is quite convinced there is no one else for him, now. They were perfect for one another. They were kink-compatible, for one thing. Tim’s a Dom-Daddy sort who builds S&M furniture as a side job to his career, which is in architecture.

Or he used to, until Dana got sick.

Tim’s a partner in an architectural firm, and it was that firm which built Bliss & Break. He’s also a 1/4 owner of those clubs. He handles the security, now, and rarely goes to the clubs at all. He rarely goes out, period, really, other than to work and occasionally to Lucian’s house.

Tim met everybody when Clark joined a support group for vets with PTSD after he was discharged from the services (and before he opened Glow or found his various other callings in life). Tim helped Clark organize a group for gay vets that works in conjunction with the various Rainbow Centers around New Amsterdam.

Tim does know about and occasionally support/participate in the activities of the Merry Band of Vigilantes (the nickname Clark gave to himself, Lucian, Chance, and all the rest of the men trying to take down crime in the City). He has no moral qualms about it, that’s for sure; anything to help out the common people he supports.

So that’s Tim. Even though he gets very little “screen time,” he’s one of the characters I get asked about the most regarding when we get his story. Believe me, I’d love to see this guy happy, so as soon as he lets me know what’s up? I’ll let you know. 🙂

As always, if you happen to have questions for this character, please feel free to ask ‘em in the comments! Follow the BLOG TOUR to learn more about the characters of New Amsterdam.

And to win prizes.

‘Cause PRIZES, y’all. They rock.

Thanks for reading!
Xxoo
Kelly

Want to Know More?

Check out the World of New Amsterdam

Peruse the Free Reads

See the Fan Art & Cool Stuff

And definitely catch up with Ellis and Bryn in Earthquakes, the latest installment of the New Amsterdam series. Need a taste? How ‘bout an excerpt?

PS – It’s better to read it with the SOUNDTRACK.

EARTHQUAKES: A New Amsterdam Story

Ellis had been close to martial artists when they were training. He’d sparred with Clark. He’d seen Kris and Daniel and all his friends shoot at the range. There was an economy of motion that the athletically and lethally inclined all shared. Ellis admired it, strived for it, and knew he’d never get there. He was a workhorse, not a prince of motion.

And as he watched Bryn begin to move – not merely stretch or contort but move – Ellis thought of churches and gods and houses of worship.

Bryn’s feet bent in ways Ellis had never seen. Bryn could balance perfectly on one foot or even a single toe. When Bryn shed his pants after a moment or two and took the first few steps in only a pair of snug briefs, Ellis wasn’t hit with a wave of arousal. He was struck dumb with awe. Every line of Bryn was defined. Even the lift of one arm and the point of his fingers were deliberate and beautiful. Ellis stood completely still and held his breath. He was in the presence of some sort of everyday magic and calling attention to himself might break the spell.

The concentration on Bryn’s face was unlike anything Ellis had ever witnessed. He didn’t exist for Bryn. Nothing did except the music, the motion, and whatever spirit had come alive in Bryn to make Bryn…shine. There was no other word for it. The light played through the windows and infused Bryn with incandescence.

And when Bryn started to dance, really dance, he outshone the sun. A turn here, a pointed foot there, a twist and a glide and… God, Ellis didn’t know what Bryn was doing. But he felt it. The music was hopeful and yet haunting, and Bryn’s dance tugged at every ache both old and new in Ellis’s body. Bryn’s face portrayed almost no emotion, but with every dart of his hand, every slice of his leg through the air, with every crumble, fall, and rise, Ellis was struck over and over.

I will try, said Bryn’s reach toward God and Heaven and all things on high.

Though I know I will fail, said the drop of Bryn’s arm.

I will carry on, said the sweep of his leg.

But I’ll lose, said an arch of his back.

I will fight, said a twisting leap.

I will fall, said the thuds of Bryn’s feet on the floor.

I want to love, said the open reach of Bryn’s fingers.

Please, said Bryn’s clutched fist.

Bryn’s expanse of chest, his shut eyes, and his rise onto his curled toes snapped something in Ellis, and as the music faded, Ellis couldn’t take it anymore. He shut off the music, strode to Bryn, and caught Bryn up in his arms. Bryn was sweaty and warm and breathing hard. Ellis couldn’t stop kissing him. Bryn melted against Ellis, resting heavily against him. Ellis ran a hand through Bryn’s hair.

“I see you,” Ellis whispered. “I see you.”

 ~*~

KellyWyre_Amsterdam_Earthquakes

Earthquakes: A New Amsterdam Story
Ellis Parker is a lucky man: he escaped his persecuting family, survived his tour of duty, and met Maxwell Clark in the city of New Amsterdam. Clark showed Ellis more than the ropes: Clark helped Ellis figure out who he is – a gay submissive with a massive fixation on a beautiful, mysterious ballet dancer named Bryn Rothe. Ellis knows a Good Man when he sees one, and he wants nothing more than to score a first date with Bryn.

Little does Ellis know that Bryn has a violent past that is crawling out of shallow graves to haunt him. Even his hectic schedule and beloved stage aren’t enough to distract him. It’s impossible for Bryn to figure out how he feels about Ellis with his demons between them, but when Ellis saves Bryn not once but twice, Bryn is forced to admit that there’s something about Ellis that Bryn might not merely want but need.

Together, they journey to the scene of Bryn’s original crime – Charles Towne, South Carolina. There they will dig up secrets that might explain Bryn’s tortured life but might also be his – and Ellis’s – undoing.

Own a Piece of the City – Get your copy of Earthquakes: A New Amsterdam Story, Today!

Connect with Kelly!

WebsiteBlogTwitterFacebookFan Page Google Plus
Tumblr – NSFW!PinterestAmazon Author PageGoodreads

Contest Fine Print:
This giveaway will run throughout the blog tour, and finish at midnight on March 18. Winner must be of legal age, and legally able to accept the prizes as awarded. By entering this giveaway, you are confirming your eligibility. Void where prohibited by law. Entries will be collected by Rafflecopter on each tour stop and via my blog post. No purchase necessary to win. Odds of winning are determined solely by the number of eligible entries.

Winner must respond within seventy-two hours of the congratulatory email and post. Posts will be made on my social media platforms. Winner may or may not be announced on the blog sites, in accordance with that site’s preference. It is the responsibility of the winner to watch for the announcement. A new winner will be redrawn otherwise. Shipping costs will be to the expense of Kelly Wyre, and can be shipped worldwide, where legally permitted. This contest is not sponsored by Blogger, Amazon, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Tumblr, or any of the sites wherewith the giveaway has been posted. By entering this giveaway you agree to hold Kelly Wyre and designates harmless should something go awry with either contest or the prizes awarded.

 

Release Day Party with Giveaway: Minsan Pa by Jessica Larsen

~BLURB~

Genre: Romantic Comedy, Drama
Word count:
37,300 words

28485178Natutong mahalin ni Neena si Yuusuke noong teenagers pa lamang sila. Subalit sobra siyang nasaktan sa bigla nitong pagkawala ng walang paalam. Sa paglipas ng mga taon wala siyang naging balita rito maliban sa mga scandal nitong nababasa niya sa mga magazines. But after eleven years, Yuusuke’s back as her boss at muling pinalalambot ang puso niyang akala niya ay naging bato na pagdating sa pag-ibig.

~ ~ ~Book Excerpt~ ~ ~

“Yuusuke!” sigaw ni Neena nang lampasan siya ng lalaki na tila ni hindi man lamang siya nakilala.Lumingon ito at tulad niya ay tila hindi rin ito makapaniwala.

“Neena, is that—”Hindi na natapos pa ni Yuusuke tanong, sinugod na niya ito ng tadyak sa sikmura. Pumaibabaw siya sa binata nang mawalan ito ng balanse at inumangan ito ng suntok sa mukha.

“Miss Salcedo, ano’ng ginagawa mo?” singhal ni Mr. Canlas bago pa man niya nasuntok ang mukha ng gulat na gulat na binata. “Hindi mo ba alam na anak ‘yan ng boss mo?”

“Ano?” hindi makapaniwalang sambit ni Neena. Tumingin siya kay Yuto Satuo na nakangiti lang na nakatingin din sa kanya. Ibig ba nitong sabihin, pamilya ni Yuusuke ang may-ari ng kompanyang pinapasukan niya? Akala niya noon ng mag-apply siya ay walang kinalaman ang apelyido ni Yuusuke sa pangalan ng Satou Airlines Corp pero ngayon—umalis siya sa ibabaw ni Yuusuke na kalamado namang tumayo.

Noon lang niya naisipang ilibot ang paningin sa mga co-workers niyang nakasaksi sa kanyang ginawa. Umiwas ng tingin sa kanya ang marami, halatang ayaw madamay sa gulo. Ang mga kalalakihan na nakaupo malapit sa kanila ay iba’t iba ang naging reaksyon, may nakanganga at napahinto sa akmang pagsubo, may isa pa ngang naibuga ang kapeng iniinom sa mukha ng kaharap.

Samantalang lumapit naman sa tabi niya si Miya at inakbayan siya, yumukod ito hawak ang kanyang ulo na iniyuko rin sa harapan ni Yuusuke sabay hingi ng paumanhin. “Sir, inihihingi ko po ng tawad itong kaibigan ko. Masyado lang po kasi siyang naasar sa napag-usapan namin kanina bago kayo pumasok,” sabi ni Miya, bagay na hindi niya sinang-ayunan.

Inalis niya ang ulo mula sa pagkakahawak nito at taas noong sinulyapan si Yuusuke bago hinarap si Alfredo Canlas. “Sir, papayag po akong mapatalsik sa aking trabaho kung ang lalaking ito lang naman pala ang magiging boss ko,” wika niyang nakaturo kay Yuusuke.

“Neena!” sita ni Miya.

Nilingon niya ito at pinukol ng masamang tingin. “Stay out of this, Miya.”

“Fine, you’re fired!” ani naman ni Alfredo.

“Salamat, Sir. I’ll pack up my things and go.”

“No!” umalingawngaw ang tinig ni Yuusuke sa apat na sulok ng canteen nang tumalikod na siya. Napatingin dito ang lahat.

~ ~ ~Links: Goodreads | Smashwords | iTunes | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

About the Author Jessica E. Larsen is an author of contemporary romance, YA, NA and Paranormal stories. She writes in both English and Taglish/Filipino language. Jessica’s not hundred percent sure what her characters are thinking, but most of the heroine in her stories love to bite her head off and fall for the guy they dislike, then blame her for their misery. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her reading or creating digital art. Jessica doesn’t like doing housework, but love hearing from her readers. She might be late at times, but she always takes the time to reply to comments and messages.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

INTL GIVEAWAY

Join the giveaway for a chance to win a $5 Amazon GC and an ebook copy of Minsan Pa.  Click on the Rafflecopter image below for the details. Good luck!

rafflecopter-giveaway-e1420463655480