Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Spotlight for Desert Melody by Laura Evans Serna

Author: Laura Evans Serna
Publisher: New Land Publishing
Pages: 219
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance

For generations the Ahn, Voyan, and Humans have thrived living side by side. The ambitious Ahn need solitude.  The communal Voyan thought share and hear the voices of the sacred dead around them.  Now Humans are becoming more like the Ahn, and the Voyan are struggling. 
 Teagan is a single Voyan mother and wet nurse. She lost the ability to thought share.  Though she spends hours walking in the desert searching for the voices she once heard, she embraces her new found intellectual focus and is drawn into the Human world of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Teagan plans to go into hiding to avoid being forced back to a Voyan community where her daughter would be an outcast. However she meets Josh, a generous and handsome man who understands her better than anyone.  She loves him, and Josh takes an active role in parenting Teagan’s daughter.
Teagan discovers that her behavior is more Human than Voyan because she has been unknowingly medicated.  She is part of a secret and manipulative eugenics program designed by Josh’s best friend. Teagan questions her faith in Josh while needing him in her life more than ever. Once off the medication, Teagan loses her focus, and her dream of helping her people through research slips away. 
Teagan is kidnapped by the Voyan and put into a lucid trance for months.  During this time she feels the desperation of her people.  But Teagan hears the call of the Kokopelli’s flute. She knows she is called for a purpose, and she escapes back to Human society.  At this point, though, Teagan can no longer speak verbally.  She asks the Ahn to continue providing her the medication so she can live as a Human and stay with her daughter and Josh.  She knows she is called to help her people.
Desert Melody is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Book Excerpt:

I lay in bed, enjoying the morning quiet as I watched my sleeping daughter. Her jet-black hair fanned out across our pillow. Thin white drapes over the window swelled gently as the cool morning air washed over us.
I traced the scars up and down my arms and chest, my hand stopping as usual on the jagged scar across my lower back. Would I ever forget? Did I want to? Thankfully, my Brianna stirred just then, bringing me back to the present. She opened her chocolate-brown eyes and melted my heart with her smile. I sent her off into the kitchen with my aunt Eva so that I could begin my morning ritual. I pulled out my electric breast pump and set it on the dresser.
My milk has Factor K, a protein known to significantly improve survivability for weak Voyan newborns. Only about 10 percent of Voyan women produce Factor K. Even without this protein, though, Voyan milk is invaluable because many postpartum Voyan have found they can no longer produce milk. Despite the efforts of a handful of dedicated Human biochemists, no suitable formula has been developed for Voyan babies. Donors save babies from starvation.
The buzz in my head grew stronger. Unintelligible whispers sneaked in to taunt me, to remind me of my damaged state. I could no longer pick up the thoughts of my family, and they couldn’t pick up mine.
I stepped into the shower, letting the thrum of water on my head chase the mumblings away. As I got dressed, Eva peeked her head in. In the light of the morning sun, the delicate scars across her chest looked like fine lace.
“Teagan, I made cinnamon rolls. Brianna’s favorite.” Her voice was slow and sweet.
“Everyone’s favorite,” I said, winking at Eva. She turned to go but remembered something.
 “Going out?”
Eva couldn’t understand my desire to get away from my Voyan family. With the Voyan, I was deaf and mute. I was disabled. Out in the city, I could pretend to be Human.
“I was, unless you need me here.”
“Just a few moments?” she asked nervously. I knew exactly what she meant. Eva wanted me to spend time with our ancestors. Picking up Brianna, I headed to the tiny golden room behind the kitchen.
Brianna was mesmerized by the candles that lit up the small ancestor room. A few silver and gold urns sat together in a corner. I could tell that at one time the urns had engraved designs, but now they were worn from years of being touched and rubbed. They held the ashes of my ancestors as well as those of many other Voyan my family happened to meet.
I closed my eyes, listening for something I knew I could no longer hear. The air was thick, and not just from smoke. I could almost feel the voices of the dead around me, but not quite. And the more I tried to feel them, the harder it was.

About the Author

Laura Evans Serna grew up in Albuquerque wandering the Sandia mountains and enjoying magnificent sunsets each night. She was spoiled by the mountain and desert wilderness and the freedom it offered. Now that she’s lived in Oxford, Washington, DC, and Tokyo, she knows how rare and precious that kind of experience is. 
As a teenager Laura would lie on her concrete driveway with her siblings and friends, watching Hale Bopp slowly cross the sky. She discussed science and theology with no reservation. What are the laws of physics, and where did they come from? What do they mean? Where do humans fit into all of this? What binds society together? Laura believes that these are the questions that make us human. They don’t belong to the scientists, philosophers, or theologians. Everyone has a right to make them their own.
Laura started her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of New Mexico. At the time, she was tired of Albuquerque. Until she left she didn’t appreciate the unique mix of cultures or the abundance of intellectual activity of her home town. She married a man in the Air Force and followed him to Colorado, where she spent her time teaching English with Catholic Charities and finishing up a degree in math at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Next Laura moved to the UK where she had the opportunity to study at the University of Oxford. She earned an MSc in Mathematical Modelling while pregnant and experiencing motherhood for the first time. (It was a struggle, to be sure!) Laura found Oxford to be a fantastic, walkable city perfect for pushing a newborn around in a pram. Although they only spent three years in Oxford, she will always feel as if it is a home of sorts for them.
Laura spent periods of time teaching math and doing technical editing, but motherhood suits her more than any other hat she’s worn. Her three daughters are a constant joy. She has come to the conclusion that the world over needs more, not less, of the maternal touch, and she wants to write stories featuring strong, intelligent mothers.

You can visit her website at or connect with her on Facebook.

Book Tour & #Giveaway for The Dragon Songs Saga by J.C. Kang

Welcome to my stop on the Book Tour, presented by Silver Dagger Book Tours, for The Dragon Songs Saga by J.C. Kang.  Please leave a comment or question for J.C. to let her know you stopped by.  You may enter her tour wide giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  Good Luck!

Prelude to Insurrection
by JC Kang
A Legends of Tivara Story
Genre: Epic Fantasy, YA
Three Moons Press

Only an orphan half-elf spy can avert a rebellion before it starts.

Jie’s superior senses have made her the perfect lookout. Now, as the adopted daughter of the Black Lotus Clanmaster, she wants to prove her pointed ears aren’t a liability when she’s tasked to infiltrate a rebel lord’s castle.

In this prequel to Songs of Insurrection, Jie must decide between her duty to the emperor and her sense of compassion toward the downtrodden. No matter her choice, it will have explosive consequences for her, the realm, and the upcoming war.

Songs of Insurrection
The Dragon Songs Saga, Book 1
Three Moons Press

Only the lost magic of Dragon Songs can save the realm. Only a naïve girl with the perfect voice can rediscover it.

Blessed with an unrivaled voice, Kaiya dreams of a time when music could summon typhoons and rout armies. Maybe then, the imperial court would see the awkward, gangly princess as more than a singing fool.

When members of the emperor’s elite spy clan uncover a brewing insurrection, the court hopes to appease the ringleader by offering Kaiya as a bride.

Obediently wedding the depraved rebel lord means giving up her music. Confronting him with the growing power of her voice could kill her.

Orchestra of Treacheries
The Dragon Songs Saga, Book 2
Three Moon Press

The mightiest dragon threatens the world, and only the power of a Dragon Song can vanquish him.

Two years have passed since Kaiya rediscovered the lost magic of Dragon Songs, yet the power of her voice is untrained. Potential suitors see her as a stepping stone. One ruthless cousin would rather step on her gravestone.

Not one to get walked over or buried, Kaiya is holding out for the exiled foreign prince who inspired her to sing. The only one who appreciates her abilities more is the world’s last dragon, Avarax, and it’s not because he enjoys a good song.

Raw and unproven, she finds mentors in unlikely places. An elf courtier. An ancient healer. A martial arts master. And an evil sorcerer. She’ll need their guidance to survive the final showdown between a girl finding her voice, and a dragon who has no intention of being fooled a second time.

Dances of Deception
The Dragon Songs Saga, Book 3

An invincible empire threatens to invade Cathay, and only a Dragon Song can ensure peace.

After vanquishing the Last Dragon with the power of her voice, all Kaiya wants is a quiet life of anonymity. Instead, the Emperor sends her to negotiate peace with the aggressive Teleri Empire.

The critical mission reunites her with her childhood friend Tian, now an assassin-spy who loathes killing. He is no longer the adorable, gullible boy from her memories, any more than she is the adventurous, sweet girl from his. Instead of rekindling nostalgia for a youthful innocence they both yearn for, their reunion ignites a mutual hatred.

When the Teleri Empire breaks off talks, Tian must help Kaiya escape. Orcs, Ogres, and enemy soldiers stand between them and home, and their volatile relationship could get them captured… or killed.

Symphony of Fates
The Dragon Songs Saga, Book 4

Kaiya escapes her ordeal at the hands of the Teleri Emperor, only to return to a homeland beset by enemies on all sides, and crumbling from within.

As a teenager, she quelled a rebellion with the Dragon Scale Lute. As a young adult, she vanquished a dragon with the power of her voice.

Now, robbed of her magic by grief, Kaiya must navigate a web of court intrigue to save the realm before it falls. Only she can lay claim to the Dragon Throne on behalf of her unborn sons—whether the father is the lover who perished rescuing her, or the hated enemy who killed him.

In the final story in Kaiya’s saga, she must rally a nation, repel invaders, and prove to the world why her family alone holds the Mandate of Heaven.

JC Kang's unhealthy obsession with Fantasy and Sci-Fi began at an early age when his brother introduced him to The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, Star Trek and Star Wars. As an adult, he combines his geek roots with his professional experiences as a Chinese Medicine doctor, martial arts instructor and technical writer to pen epic fantasy stories.

Follow the tour HERE!

Book Tour & #Giveaway for Rising by Sonya Weiss

Welcome to my stop on the Book Tour, presented by Silver Dagger Book Tours, for Rising by Sonya Weiss.  Please leave a comment or question for Sonya to let her know you stopped by.  You may enter her tour wide giveaway, where one (1) randomly chosen commenter will  be awarded a print copy of the book, by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  Good Luck!

by Sonya Weiss
The Tazavorn, Book 3
Genre: Young Adult, SciFi Supernatural Romance
Lyrical Press
Pub Date: May 9, 2017

When sparks fly between a human and a Supernatural, the entire planet could be at stake.

It’s been ten years since the Great Extinction, when Supernaturals threatened to destroy humanity. Now, in the sleepy town of Wayside, Nevada, seventeen-year-old Cassie Grant’s life couldn’t be more ordinary. Determined to get into an Ivy League college, her focus is squarely on her studies. But suddenly everything changes when she witnesses Jason Taylor, a cute and quiet loner, mysteriously save a young boy from falling to his death.

Although the Supernaturals ultimately retreated to their planet, three families were left behind—including Jason’s. So far, they’ve been successfully hiding in plain sight. But Jason knows that if Cassie exposes him, all their lives will be in peril—especially since Cassie’s father is the head of the Alien Eradication and Defense Department. At first, befriending Cassie is Jason’s survival tactic. But as they spend more time together, they begin to fall in love. With the authorities closing in and a hidden threat that could tear the very Earth apart, can Cassie and Jason keep each other safe—or will their star-crossed romance start another war?...

I wiped off the mess I’d made of my makeup for the second time, and stared at the pallor of my skin in the mirror. The scar high on my cheekbone wasn’t as bad as the ones on my back, but it was a visible reminder of the attack that gave me nightmares. Each time I’d jerk myself out of sleep, I’d fallen right back into the disturbing images again. No high IQ needed to guess why. At dinner Dad had talked in detail about the destructive nature of aliens. As if I needed to be told.

          His stories and warnings alone weren’t the reason I didn’t like aliens. I knew firsthand that they killed, that they left humans scarred. I didn’t blame my father for my injuries, but my mother did. I pushed away the memory of what happened during that awful camping trip in New Mexico. That night had forever changed all of us and made me look at aliens differently.

          Aliens were mysterious, powerful beings who were hunted by the government but more often than not, we humans were the prey. While there were a lot of pro-alien groups around that spouted on websites and to anyone who’d listen that we had nothing to fear from these “visiting creatures,” the scars on my body were living proof that was a lie.

          A strange premonition swept over me and I shivered, then tried again to reapply my makeup fast so I wouldn’t be late for school. One more year, and then I was through.

          I couldn’t wait to get out of Wayside, Nevada, far away from my father, and his job as lead agent at the Alien Eradication and Defense Department. I didn’t want to live with the reminder of aliens at every conversation. I needed a clean slate, a place where I could build good memories. I wished we could go back to our lives before the Great Extinction.

          That war between the humans and aliens sucked the laughter out of our family like a tornado had spun through. Aliens had killed my uncle during one of the battles. My father hadn’t been the same since his brother’s death but he’d tried hard to keep himself together. But then after me nearly dying during that camping trip because of an alien attack, my father had unraveled in ways that baffled and sometimes even scared me.

          I finished applying my makeup, checked my arms and back in the mirror to make sure my scars were hidden, and gave my face one final glance. Good enough. 

Grabbing my backpack, I made my way down the stairs to the living room where Mom lay curled on the sofa beneath a blanket. She had the same shoulder-length black hair and brown eyes I did, but where she was cover-model confident, not even photoshopping could erase my self-consciousness. I was a little on the nerdy side so I’d never been that confident, but after I was scarred, it had only gotten worse. I didn’t wear sleeveless shirts anymore and I wouldn’t dream of ever wearing a bikini again.

          With a frustrated sigh, Mom sat up and muted the television, silencing the anchor mid-report on the frequent earthquakes striking our area. I stood behind the sofa and lip-read the closed captioning for a few seconds.

          “Anything new, or are they rehashing yesterday’s news?”

          “Not much new other than the United States Geological Survey is monitoring the area. Nevada is the twenty-first state hit with a wave of them.”

          “That’s a lot of earthquakes.”

          “There’s nothing to worry about, Cassie. If there were, the USGS would inform the right people who would then inform the public.”

          I didn’t believe that. Because of Dad’s job, I had insight into how the government hid things. The rash of unexplained earthquakes made me edgy. 

“Where’s Dad?”
          To my surprise her lips tightened, and I wondered if there was trouble again in Alienville. “He slept at the office last night.”

          “Chasing little green men wore him out?” I pushed my hands through my out of control hair to corral it into a ponytail.

          She tried to hide it, but a ghost of a smile flitted across her lips, and for a second we were unified in the knowledge Dad was acting weirder than usual. “You know your father.”

          My stomach dropped. They’d been fighting more lately and the fights were getting uglier. “Did he sleep at the office because of his work or…”

          “You should eat. I’ll make you something.” She got up and went into the kitchen. Mom was a great cook, but she never took the time anymore because she always had to leave the house before I did. I didn’t know what she was still doing home.

          After taking the milk out of the refrigerator, she poured a glass, and then reached for the box of pancake mix. When she pulled the eggs out and set them on the counter, I said, “Mom? What’s going on?” Different what-ifs flitted through my mind while I waited for her to answer. Dad was having an affair. Mom was sick. Or Dad’s grouchy, could-never-be pleased mother was coming to visit. That last one made me feel sick. “Is Grandma coming for a visit?”

          She glanced over her shoulder, shook her head, and laughed as we shared a look of mutual thank-God relief. “Speaking of aliens,” she muttered. 

          I laughed again. “Seriously, Mom. What is it?” I covered her hand with mine to get her to stop trying to make breakfast.

          She hesitated, as if trying to decide how to answer. “Your dad thinks there’s a connection between aliens and these earthquakes.”

          I rolled my eyes. Their power wasn’t something to be underestimated, but I wasn’t stupid enough to think they could control the Earth. “He thinks there’s a connection between global warming and aliens, power outages and aliens, rising taxes and aliens. When doesn’t he think things are related to aliens?”

          She shook her head as if trying to shake off the sudden heaviness blanketing both of us. “You don’t want breakfast?”

          I moved to the pantry and scored the last chocolate chip granola bar from the box. “I don’t have time. The class hike is today. I have to rush, or I’ll be late.”

          “You’re wearing that?”

          I glanced down at my jeans with the myriad of artful cuts. “These are retro. Everyone’s wearing them.”

          “I meant the T-shirt.”

          I put a hand over the image of ET. I’d unearthed the shirt at the secondhand store. “It’s a joke.”

          “Make sure you change before your father sees it. No use throwing gas on the fire.”

          Dad was exactly the reason I’d bought the shirt, and I didn’t care if he saw it. Yes, I was afraid of aliens, but I was tired of my fear holding me hostage and I was trying to find my way back to the me I’d once been. There were so many things I didn’t do anymore since that camping trip because I was too afraid.

          “Cassie?” Mom said.

          “Fine, I’ll change before he sees it.”

          “Are you riding in with Mark?” She sounded hopeful, not yet knowing my status as the alien hunter’s daughter wiped out my dating life once again.

          “Um…no. Gotta run.”

Sonya Weiss is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and author, including the Stealing the Heart series with Entangled Publishing. She's addicted to great books, good movies, and Italian chocolates. She's passionate about causes that support abused animals and children. Her parents always supported her bringing stray animals home, although the Great Dane rescue was a surprise.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Release Blast & #Giveaway for Lightstruck by Liz Crowe

Welcome to my stop on the Release Blast, presented by Tasty Book Tours, for Lightstruck by Liz Crowe.  Please leave a comment or question for Liz to let her know you stopped by.  You may enter her tour wide giveaway, where three (3) randomly chosen commenters will be awarded prizes, by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You may follow all of the stops on the tour by clicking on the banner above.  Good Luck!

The Brewing Passion Series #2
Liz Crowe
Releasing May 30, 2017
Totally Bound

Brewer Ross has given up on love…until he meets a woman who turns his life—and brewery—upside down.

Ross Hoffman held the potential for a perfect life in his hands—a life with Evelyn, the only woman he’d ever allowed himself to love, their baby and…her husband, Austin Fitzgerald, who also happened to be his best friend. But the challenge of trying to make a threesome into something acceptable—let alone the thought of actually sharing Evelyn with anyone—forces him to bolt. Determined to put all thoughts of their relationship behind him, Ross jumps headfirst into a new brewery job in Colorado, and back into the sort of sexual decadence that he hopes will distract him from his misery.

When he agrees to assist Austin through a spate of brewery mishaps, he lays eyes on his true fate—in the form of the petite, mysterious and exotic Elisa Nagel. Hired as assistant brewer, Elisa is absolutely everything he believes he doesn’t want in a woman. But he’s drawn to her in ways he can’t explain, and he can’t help but fall hard, fast and deep, which places him square in the middle of her horrific, until now secret backstory.

Ross is determined that his love will conquer and overcome the horrors of Elisa’s past, allowing her to trust him with the only thing he desires—her heart.

Reader Advisory: This book contains a scene with attempted rape and violence, as well as a brief scene alluding to person being drugged and raped.

She’d parked in front of the building where Ross, apparently, had a set of rooms at the top of a single flight of wooden steps. She stared up them, contemplating how drastically she wanted her life to change, and the fact that if she walked up those steps, it most definitely would.

She went up fast, not giving herself a chance to turn and run away. But when she raised her fist to knock, she hesitated. The voice was screaming at her now, blocking out the sound of the rain. She put the bags down and slammed her hands over her ears, crouching for a few seconds, willing it silent. Finally, her mind cleared, and she stood. Taking a deep breath, she raised her fist and banged hard on the door. 

“Hoffman! Open up!”

By the time he finally did open the door, she was soaked all the way to the skin but she felt energized—reborn. Slick and wet and eager in ways that confused her. Even the line of stubborn between Ross’ eyes didn’t deter her. She smiled, held out her arms and yelled, “Can I come in? It’s a tad damp out here.”

He stood inside the door, arms crossed over his bare chest. She stared at his pecs, at the thick black hop vine tattoo that matched hers, at his visible ab muscles. “Eyes up here, please, ma’am,” he said. “I’m not a piece of meat, you know.”

She held up the bags of food. “Do you have a microwave?”

He nodded, but didn’t move, continuing to block her way in. She dropped her arms, letting the rain pelt her, sensing his gaze taking her in from her dripping hair to her wet shoes. “You are a crazy bitch,” he said, conversationally, as if she weren’t standing right there, getting pelted in the rain while he remained dry less than a foot from her. “I’m not positive I want any part of you.”

She blinked, then forced herself forward and into his arms, dropping the bags as she wrapped herself around him. “That’s okay. I want us enough to make up for your lack of enthusiasm.”

He yelped. “Shit, you’re—”

“Yes, wet to the skin. I know. We seem to be like this a lot, don’t we? Now, shut up and kiss me before I—oh”

He did just that, transporting her to what she’d come to think of as her only happy place—in his arms, with his mouth on hers, his tongue breeching her lips, forcing her to give in to him. She wrapped her arms around his neck and let him drag her inside. He picked her up, soaking clothes and all, continuing to kiss her all the way to the bedroom at the back of the mini-apartment.

Now Available for Pre-Order
Brewing Passions Book Three

Amazon best-selling author, mom of three, Realtor, beer blogger, brewery marketing expert, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville currently living in Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.

Her early forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction subgenre, “Romance: Worth the Risk,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”).

With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.

Don’t ever ask her for anything “like a Budweiser” or risk bodily injury.