Demon by Laura DeLuca – Guest Post/Promo/Giveaway

Demon by Laura DeLuca – Guest Post/Promo/Giveaway


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Demon by Laura DeLuca

Demon, Book Two in the Dark Musicals Trilogy, inspired by Sweeney Todd is available now in both PRINT and eBook!

When Justyn and Rebecca set off for the New York School of Performing Arts, they think their dreams are about to come true. To their dismay, they aren’t in high school anymore, and the competition is steep. Rebecca must compete against accomplished singers for a role in the production of Demon Barber, including a stunning Gothic diva with her sights set on Justyn.

It doesn’t help that things keep disappearing from their apartment or that Rebecca’s father refuses to accept that Justyn is an essential part of her life. Yet, all this seems minimal in comparison to the serial rapist terrorizing the campus.

Consumed by fear and obsessed with revenge, Rebecca and Justyn start living the story of Sweeney Todd—both on and off the stage.

Excerpt: 

Rebecca unwound the silver ribbon. When she lifted the lid, she found two matching pendants, each laced to a long hemp chain. They were shaped sort of like seashells, with an endless spiral pattern that looped out from the center as the chambers grew larger. They were dark brown in color with a few hints of tan along the edges. The stones had been polished and smoothed on both sides, but when she lifted them, she could see that the two pieces fit together perfectly. She swore the halves fought to snap together, like magnets in her hand. There was an energy pulsing and vibrating within the stones that even a novice witch like Rebecca could feel.

“They’re beautiful,” Rebecca whispered as she ran her hand along the intricate grooves.

“It’s an ammonite.” Justyn lifted one of the pendants, brushed her hair to the side, and hooked the clasp around her neck. His breath tickled her skin as his hands moved with graceful dexterity, giving her goose bumps despite the humid August night. “They’re actually fossils that are millions of years old, named after Ammon, an ancient Egyptian deity. When they’re divided in half, they’re perfect mirrors of one another. Some cultures believe that if the two halves are given to lovers, it will bind them together forever. When made into necklaces, they’re often called soul mate pendants.”

“Wo-wow,” Rebecca stuttered. As usual, the sentiment behind Justyn’s gift was even more beautiful than the gift itself. It left her a little flustered. “That’s amazing. How do you know all this stuff?”

“You don’t spend eighteen years living with Darlene without learning a thing or two.”

Rebecca laughed. Justyn’s mother Darlene was definitely something special. EMT, exotic belly dancer, and Wiccan High Priestess were only a few of the titles she claimed. Rebecca knew she was a fountain of earth-based knowledge after years of studying the Craft. As Darlene’s new apprentice, Rebecca greedily dipped into that knowledge herself as often as possible.

“It’s beautiful,” Rebecca repeated, too overcome with emotion to think of anything more eloquent to say. “You certainly know how to make things interesting.”

“Like I told you on our first date, I try not to be boring.” He winked at her. “So … are you going to put mine on for me?”

“Oh yeah … sorry.”

Rebecca giggled as she lifted the hemp chain. She wasn’t nearly as graceful as Justyn. She almost dropped the necklace in the sand three times before she managed to get the clasp locked. When she finally had it secured, he placed his hand over her heart, where the ammonite lay. He did the same with her hands, lifting them to his chest. His dark eyes had lost all glimmer of humor. He met her gaze with a stare filled with genuine emotion. Beneath her fingers, she could feel the gentle, steady rhythm of his heart beating in perfect tune with her own.

“Our love will span both space and time. In this life and the next, you shall be mine. All eternity I will be by your side. For a love so strong cannot be denied. Spirit and flesh merged into one. So mote it be, for all days to come.”

When he was done with the recitation, he kissed her. Not just a gentle brush, but a deep, passionate embrace that left her throat tight and her heart pounding with a familiar  yearning.

“I’ve never heard that poem before,” she said once she’d caught her breath. “Who are you quoting?”

Even in the moonlight, she could see him blush. “I guess I was quoting myself. It was really more of an incantation than a poem though. These necklaces are meant to be a symbol of our love, and it seemed a little spell work could only add to the power of the stones. There is power in words, Becca. Just like there is power in nature.”

“You mean, you wrote that?”

He nodded, but his eyes twinkled, and the playfulness was back in his voice. “Well, actually, I just made it up as I went along.”

“Wow. Actor, singer, and now an improv poet slash chant writer. Is there anything you can’t do, Lord Justyn?”

He smiled and tilted her chin so he could look into her eyes. “I can’t stop loving you.”

Guest Post:

Wildwood

For anyone who doesn’t know, this author is a South Jersey girl through and through. Though I was born in Philadelphia, my family moved to our summer home in Wildwood, New Jersey before I started kindergarten. Today I live about fifteen minutes inland but our family business is still located in Wildwood Crest. When I started writing Phantom, I decided to set the story a little closer to Atlantic City because it corresponded better with the storyline, but in Demon, a few of the main characters visit my hometown in the first and last chapter of the book. Now you can see and hear a few of the sites Justyn and Becca would have enjoyed on their day trip to Wildwood.

Rides1Rides2

rides3Wildwood is a little island in South Jersey known for its endless miles of free beaches and it’s amazing boardwalk complete with dozens of rides. It hasn’t changed much since my own teenage years when I would spend the whole day hanging out with friends. In high school I even worked on the boardwalk, first at an arcade and later at an ice cream parlor. Here you can ride the Giant Ferris Wheel, feel the heart pound on the Sea Serpent roller coaster, or make a splash on the log flume. Just a few my old favorites, those these days I prefer the beach to the rides.

Wildwood has always been a popular tourist destination. Back in the sixties, a singer called Bobbie Rydell even wrote a song called Wildwood Days.  If you come visit in the summer, you’ll hear this song blasting through the speakers on the boardwalk at least once an hour.

ocean

In the summer months, the beach is dotted with colorful umbrellas, but like Lord Justyn, I prefer the seashore in the off season. It might be a little too chilly to go swimming, but there’s nothing more amazing than finding yourself staring out into the vastness of the ocean when you are the only person around.

Duffy's

Of course, since I had favorite characters heading to Wildwood, I had to have them stop by and say hello to my family. Our restaurant, Duffy’s on the Lake, makes a little cameo appearance in Demon.

 

“They drove the forty-five minutes to a little tourist town called Wildwood, a resort known for its free beaches and spectacular amusement parks. They spent the day sunbathing, exploring the boardwalk, and stopped for dinner at a little restaurant called Duffy’s on the Lake. Finally, they headed back to the beach to watch the sun set on the nearly deserted shoreline.”

The scenes in Wildwood take place at the beginning and end of Demon. The majority of the book is set on the college campus, but these two scenes are a few of my favorites. I enjoyed them so much, I decided to set the third book in the Dark Musicals Trilogy in another local tourist town. Stay tuned for Hyde when Justyn and Becca will come home for the summer and land a job at a dinner theater in Victorian Cape May. Watch as a new play comes to life both on and off the stage in the thrilling finale to the Dark Musicals Trilogy.

Demon Buy Links: Amazon    Smashwords   Barnes & Noble 

 You can also add Demon to your shelf on goodreads.

Phantom, Dark Musicals Book #1

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If you haven’t read the first book in the series, now is a great time to get your copy. To celebrate the release of Demon, Phantom is now on sale for only $1.99 exclusively on Amazon!

The “Phantom” was a musical phenomenon that Rebecca had always found enchanting. She had no idea that her life was about to mirror the play that was her obsession. When her high school drama club chooses “Phantom” as their annual production, Rebecca finds herself in the middle of an unlikely love triangle and the target of a sadistic stalker who uses the lines from the play as their calling card.
Rebecca lands the lead role of Christine, the opera diva, and like her character, she is torn between her two co-stars—Tom the surfer and basketball star who plays the lovable hero, and Justyn, the strangely appealing Goth who is more than realistic in the role of the tortured artist.

Almost immediately after casting, strange things start to happen both on and off the stage. Curtains fall. Mirrors are shattered. People are hurt in true phantom style. They all seem like accidents until Rebecca receives notes and phone calls that hint at something more sinister. Is Justyn bringing to life the twisted character of the phantom? Or in real life are the roles of the hero and the villain reversed? Rebecca doesn’t know who to trust, but she knows she’s running out of time as she gets closer and closer to opening night. Only when the mask is stripped away, will the twenty first century phantom finally be revealed.

Buy Links: Amazon    Smashwords     Barnes & Noble

About the Author:LD authobiopic

Laura “Luna” DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and four children. She loves writing in the young adult genre because it keeps her young at heart.  In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the editor of a popular review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years.  Her current works include Destiny, Destiny Unveiled, Phantom, Morrigan, Player, and Demon.

Author Links:  Website      Facebook      Twitter     GoodReads      Pinterest 


Giveaway:

 

Laura is giving away a Demon prize pack includes which includes a signed copy of Phantom, gothic key chain, incense gift set, mini Buddha figurine, lavender purification bath salts, geode, crystal point, natural stone pendant, and sage smudge stick with abalone shell.  Shades Demon Giveaway

This giveaway is open to US Residents only.

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Games of Fate by Kris Austen Radcliffe – Review/Street Team Announcement

Games of Fate by Kris Austen Radcliffe – Review/Street Team Announcement


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Book BLURB:

GAMES OF FATE

Contains Adult Sexual Content and some violent imagery.

Rysa Torres misses information.  Loses concentration.  Her attention problems randomize her life but she pushes forward anyway, doing the best she can—until monsters activate a part of her she didn’t know she had.

As visions of the future whip inside her head, Rysa realizes the truth:  She’s a Fate.

And she will set fire to the world.

All her options explode.  Her family ripped away, what little control she had destroyed, Rysa is left with one choice:  Will she die to stop the coming flames, or will she allow the man and the dragon she loves to die in her place?

Games of Fate begins Fate ~ Fire ~ Shifter ~ Dragon, a new Urban Fantasy series with Strong Romantic Elements by Kris Austen Radcliffe.  Set in the open spaces of America, the series takes Rysa and Ladon—and Ladon’s companion beast, Dragon—through a landscape punctuated by unfamiliar creatures:  Fates with the ability to see past, present, and future.  Ghouls called Burners who devour with fire and acid.  Shifters who shape much more than their bodies.  And two dragons who speak with color and pattern.

It starts here, now, with one young woman’s fight against a burning future—and against the death of the man she loves.

Review:

Wow, just wow.  Good lord this book had a lot going on.  Psst…I like books like this.  Plus, it’s a paranormal, urban fantasy, New Adult, romance mash-up that its the bull’s eye!  This book has something for everyone and mean everyone.  The Fates are from mythology, dragons, shifters, The Burners are more post-apocalyptic, family dynamics and romance.

Rysa is just your typical college student that has ADHD and human, or so she thinks.  I loved the ASL (American Sign Language) and ADHD plot point.  It made Rysa realistic and someone who you could relate to in the story.  I don’t have it but I know people who do and it can be confusing to follow a person but again, that’s what made Rysa tick.  I also liked that the relationship that she found with Ladon and Dragon, yes, that’s the dragons name, starts off a little rocky but ends up to be strong and sure.  She bonded with Dragon early on and it was sweet.  I’m not a dragon person but Dragon has a place in my heart now.

Ladon is an intriguing character.  I liked that Ms. Radcliffe paced his characterization slowly and let it build.  That’s another thing that I really liked about the book.  Her world building started off slowly and paced itself within the entirety of the book.  I HATE info dumps and since I’m new to the urban fantasy genre, I like it when the author builds it up slowly.  I can imagine the scenes, people and the general atmosphere within the book.  Great job!

The twists and turns kept me glued the Kindle.  Plus, the fast paced action didn’t let up either.  I would be remiss to mention the sex scenes between Rysa and Ladon.  I actually blushed when I read the first one.  Dang!  And I don’t blush.  The twist at the end of the book was brilliant and no, I will not tell you a thing about it.  You need to read this book to find out.

I recommend this book to anyone that likes fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal and a romance that my be little different but romantic none the less.

Pink

Also available:  Prolusio: Three Stories of Fates, Fire, Shifters and Dragons.

PROLUSIO:

Contains some violent imagery.

Three short stories set in the Fate ~ Fire ~ Shifter ~ Dragon universe, Prolusio sets the stage for Games of Fate, also available now.

In Texas, a struggling rock star attempts a comeback.  Fire, though, has other ideas.

In Wisconsin, Shifters do what they do best—anger a dragon.

And in Minnesota, a mother struggles to free herself from the bonds of a fate she cannot escape.

 

 photo 3142551d-f3a1-41de-8a1b-329c548ca108.jpgKris has set up a street team.  Woo Hoo!  If you are interested, just click on the graphic above and it will take you right to the page to sign up.  🙂

BIO:  kris austen radcliffeAs a child, Kris took down a pack of hungry wolves with only a hardcover copy of The Dragonriders of Pern and a sharpened toothbrush.  That fateful day set her on a path traversing many storytelling worlds—dabbles in film and comic books, time as a talent agent and a textbook photo coordinator, and a foray into nonfiction.  After co-authoring Mind Shapes: Understanding the Differences in Thinking and Communication, Kris returned to academia.  But she craved narrative and a richly-textured world of Fates, Shifters, Burners, and Dragons—and unexpected, true love.

Kris lives in Minnesota with her husband, two daughters, an Handsome Cat, and an entire menagerie of suburban wildlife bent on destroying her house.  That battered-but-true copy of “Dragonriders”?  She found it yesterday.  It’s time to pay a visit to the woodpeckers.

 

ONLINE LINKS:

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/krisradcliffe

Oxford Blood (The Cavaliers, book #1) by Georgina Derwent – Review

Oxford Blood (The Cavaliers, book #1) by Georgina Derwent – Review


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Title:Oxford Blood

Series: The Cavaliers #1

Author: Georgiana Derwent

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, New Adult, Vampire

Publisher: self-published

Format: Ebook, Paperback

Length: 304 pages

Buy Links: Amazon |

Book Description:

A Tale of the Posh, the Privileged and the Paranormal…

The Cavaliers are the most elite society at Oxford University – rich, powerful, and beautiful. No one realises that they are no ordinary students, but a group of aristocratic vampires from the English Civil War. For four hundred years they have groomed the most promising students to run the government, police, and finance in the way the vampires wish, granting them eternal life in return for absolute obedience.

When Harriet French arrives at Oxford University from her working class northern state school, she’s prepared for a culture shock, but not to become embroiled in the Cavaliers’ scheming and bloodlust. Harriet thought she’d be busy enough juggling her demanding tutor, new friends, and the murky world of student politics. But now, she must find the rebel vampire who is killing off the members, stop the Cavaliers from orchestrating a massacre of the year’s most beautiful and successful students, and defy the Society to be with the man of her dreams.

Oxford Blood is a British, adult, paranormal romance. It’s a tale with vampires that aren’t afraid to kill and a heroine who’s not afraid of sex or her own ambition.

Review:

Pink here…first of all I want to apologize to FMB and Georginna for not reviewing  Streaming Spires.  My sister, Harlie has lost some reviewers on her site, so to keep the peace, I’m helping over there right now.  I will be reading it and posting the review later in the month once this conference called RT is over.  Not sure what the big deal is about it but Harlie is crying because she can’t go.

I just loved this book and I don’t like vampires.  Remember Twilight killed that for me?   Somehow Ms. Derwent created a world that this Texan could relate to and its set in England.  I love England and one day hope to visit.  Oxford College is on the list to visit when I get over there.  Her world building was interesting and travelling through the history of the Caveliers to the present was cool.  I love English history so it intrigued me and keep me turning the pages to find out more.  Yes, I can be a geek!

Harriet was an interesting heroine to me.  In the beginning she kinda got on my nerves but when it was revealed that her mother and step father were vamps…well, that throw everything out the window for me.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to be abandon by my mother and then years later find out that she’s a vamp?  I would need therapy and a stiff drink.  I think she did accept it a bit quickly but I’m sure in Streaming Spires the relationship will be further explained.  Plus, why the necklace?

On to the romance or triangle between Tom, George and Harriet.  I’m so loving the bad boy Tom but there is something that is too creepy about him and I can’t put my finger on it.  Dang it!  I hate that sometimes.  🙂  George and Harriet have shared the blood bond and started dating now.  I’m okay with that but I still wonder about how Tom is going to figure into their relationship further down the road.  Hmmmmm….

I was drawn into this series and I just kept reading and reading it and was sad when it ended.  I loved the ending and it set up for a great sequel in Screaming Spires.  Just need to read it now.  🙂

I highly recommend Oxford Blood is you want your vamps to make sense, throw in an interesting historical angle and a heroine that you can relate to…read Oxford Blood.  It doesn’t disappoint.  🙂

Pink

About the Author: Oxford author DSC_7364

Georgiana Derwent read History at Oxford University. Aside from the vampires, The Cavaliers Series is an exaggerated but fairly accurate portrayal of her time there. She now works in London and lives with her fiancé. He’s been very supportive throughout the writing of her books, mainly because he likes to claim that all the most attractive characters are based on him.

Georgiana fell in love with vampire novels after reading The Vampire Diaries back in 2000. At the time it was a struggle to find any similar paranormal romances, a situation that it’s fair to say seems to have been rectified in the last few years. She now loves paranormal series, fantasy novels, and modern literary works in roughly equal measure.

Ever since her teens, she wanted to write a vampire series. Ever since going to Oxford she wanted to write a book about her experiences there. During a dull few months between finishing university and starting her graduate job, she had the idea of combining the two and The Cavaliers Series was born.

Website and Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter |

Introducing Tease by Decadent Publishing, featuring Cursed by Cate Masters – Guest Blog/Excerpt/Giveaway

Introducing Tease by Decadent Publishing, featuring Cursed by Cate Masters – Guest Blog/Excerpt/Giveaway


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Geeky heroine seeks alpha male

Heroine – statuesque, blonde, into reading, the arts, and light rock music. I love my work as a genetic scientist but I also like to play with fire. Literally.

 

Looking for intelligent, caring, cultured alpha male for long gondola rides, interesting enough to show me the Venetian sites but also open to a walk on the wild side.

 

Men whose definition of risk only applies to their financial portfolios need not apply. I’m looking for the real thing.

 

Contact Melina Weaver at 555-5555.

Doesn’t it always seem like the two people you’d never put together as a couple also make the best couples? And once you look a little deeper, beyond the surface, then you get it. Oh riiiight. He’s perfect for her because he’s exactly what she said she wanted – intelligent, caring, cultured – definitely an alpha male. And off-the-charts sexy. With a touch of something extra…

Yes, she’s a bit of a geek. Spends waaay too many long hours at the lab. Her work with the hormone oxytocin is a little hard to follow, especially when she explains it (she could talk about it all night, and passionately, too, but you’d understand none of it). You might as well read an article in a scientific journal about how this so-called “love drug” affects each person differently. When given to mothers, they can become more nurturing. When given to someone with a criminal bent, it twists that bent into something like the crude knives convicts sometimes make in prison.

Melina understands what a danger this presents, but can’t seem to make her employer understand. But she doesn’t combat her stress and frustration with meditative practices. Instead, she takes up fire dancing. (She wasn’t kidding in the ad when she said she likes to play with fire – literally! lol)

No problem. Alpha males are great at handling fiery women. *grins*

Here’s a peek at Cursed:

Cursed

The Vitruvian Man, book 1

by Cate Masters

Paranormal romance novella

Available April 24 from Decadent Tease: http://www.decadenttease.com

Blurb

Ten days of freedom. That’s all Fate had allotted me each year. In the streets of Venice, I could walk among them. Mingle. Belong.

 

During Carnevale, they had no idea who I was. What I was.

 

For ten days, it didn’t matter.

 

Until I met her.

Bruno diCesare lives alone by necessity, not choice. An experiment performed by Leonardo da Vinci, who believed having a dual DNA would grant a person immortality, used magic to render Bruno a chimera – the head of a lion, body of a dragon. The only time he can mingle with people is during Carnevale, ten glorious days of masked anonymity, frivolity and intimacy.

Melina Weaver learned fire dancing to enliven her dull existence. A scientist, her long hours at the lab leave no time for a social life. For ten days at Carnevale, she can pretend to be someone else. Someone sexy and daring, who lives on the edge.

Once she meets Bruno, her wish comes true, but everything goes terribly wrong. Beneath Bruno’s costume lurks an alpha male, but is he dangerous? Worse, can she return to an employer who sells her research to the military to make an army of efficient killers? Her only hope may lie with the man she’s just met and never seen.

Excerpt

Light danced in his dark eyes. “I must admit, your fire dancing fascinated me. What made you choose such a dangerous skill to master?”

“The thrill of the challenge, I suppose.” It balanced the rest of her mundane life, to a degree. Mastering each new level gave her a sense of achievement, where work couldn’t.

Something flashed through his dark eyes. “Mistakes must be very painful.”

“I practiced a long time before I worked up the nerve to actually light the wands. I found the fire great incentive to focus, however.” God, her grin must be goofy, the way he stared. Such gorgeous eyes, such a deep brown they almost appeared black. He probably had rugged features, if his large hands provided any indication. Too bad he wore gloves, another barrier between them.

“Yes,” he said, “I imagine so.”

“What about you? What other magic do you know?” Oh please, can you get any more ridiculous? It sounded like a line from a bad chick flick.

The crinkle around his eyes was the only evidence of his smile, but enough to charm her.

“Lifetimes of studying the dark arts have provided me with many tricks.”

“Lifetimes?” she blurted.

He stiffened in her arms. “Pardon?”

She watched him carefully. “You said ‘lifetimes’. Plural.” And what the hell did he mean by ‘dark arts’?

Rigidity masked the grace of his movements. “I’m sure you’re mistaken.” He stared over her head as they whirled to the song’s rhythm.

Mistaken my ass. How very strange. More strange that the question upset him. He’d clammed up, and his muscles were so tense, she expected him to bolt. Better to drop it. For now. “Must have been a slip of the tongue.”

“Yes.” Relief sounded in his tone, though guarded.

This man had something to hide. How intriguing.

BUY LINKS:

Decadent Publishing Buy Link

Author Bio:

Cate Masters has made beautiful central Pennsylvania her home, but she’ll always be a Jersey girl at heart. When not spending time with her dear hubby, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company. Look for her at http://catemasters.blogspot.com and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.
Cate loves to hear from readers! Email her at: cate.masters@gmail.com

Email Address: cate.masters@gmail.com
Website URL: http://www.catemasters.com (redirects to blog)
Blog Name and URL: Cate Masters
http://catemasters.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cate-Masters/89969413736?ref=ts
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CateMasters
Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/105560752271686579982/about?cfem=1
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2944596.Cate_Masters
Other Social Media: Coffee Time Romance forum
http://coffeetimeromance.com/board/forumdisplay.php?f=1752

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Tease is a sub-line of Decadent Publishing. Tease’s main goal is to publish stories that are heartwarming, action-packed and romance-filled in order to leave readers craving more. As a proud part of Decadent Publishing, Tease serves to give both readers and authors the chance to make a difference with romantic fiction. For more information, please check out: http://www.decadenttease.com or http://www.decadentpublishing.com.
©2013 Decadent Publishing
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Fallen Ruler by Eleanor T. Beaty – Promo/Excerpt/Guest Blog

Fallen Ruler by Eleanor T. Beaty – Promo/Excerpt/Guest Blog


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Giveaway is paperback copy of Fallen Ruler by Eleanor T Beaty.  Ends 05/14/2013 and is tour wide.  Rafflecopter and tour schedule links are at the bottom of the post. Good Luck!

 

 

Title: Fallen Ruler

Author: Eleanor T Beaty

Genre: Paranormal, YA

Publisher: self

Format: Ebook, Paperback

Length: 260 pages

Buy Links: Amazon |

Book Description: FallenRuler3d (copy)

For sixteen years, Lya, has lived as a normal human, until her father, Walter, gets involved with the wrong people and puts Lya’s life at risk. During a visit to Miami, Lya’s older sister is kidnapped, and Lya and her father are subsequently taken hostage by Walter’s associates and forced to board a plane to India. When the plane lands in Delhi, Lya is rescued by three monks and taken to a Monastery. There her reality is shattered, when she learns the true identity of her rescuers and, even more surprisingly, herself. Lya is now faced with the toughest decision of her life. Can she live up to her ethereal destiny and save her family?

Fallen Ruler Excerpt

A lush garden, with ancient ficus trees, surrounded her grandmother’s cottage in the Grove. The tall trees’ cascading aerial roots had terrified Lya when she was small. At night they turned into huge monsters with scary faces. Nee had come up with the perfect solution to make her feel safe; she’d placed three angels with chimes in the garden to guard the house. These angels didn’t have wings or names. They were but blue wooden silhouettes.

Nee’s gates stood open. The mango trees in her garden were loaded; the sweet scent of ripe fruit permeated the driveway. There would be mango bread for tea. Her seventy-year-old grandmother opened the door dressed in an orange Sari. Her shoulder-length gray hair was pulled back in a ponytail, which brought out her almond-shaped brown-green eyes.

“Abhaya.” Nee gave her a tight hug.

Abhaya, Lya’s Indian name meaning “fearless,” had been given to her by a nurse at the DelhiHospital the day she was born.

Lya kissed her grandmother’s cheek.

Nee looked past her. “And Utpalini, has she escaped?”

Utpalini was Andrea’s Indian name, given to her by Nee. “More like bolted, while I dozed.”

Nee smiled. “Her loss.”

Lya felt bad about her sister’s treatment of Nee. Andrea considered her an embarrassment, an outdated hippie who should be put out of her misery.

The aroma of mango and dough drifted through the house. Nee’s cottage had beautiful art pieces collected during her travels. The Russian icon of a Madonna and Child and the bronze Buddha sitting on his wooden pedestal were Nee’s favorites.

“I set tea in the garden with the angels.”

Lya smiled to herself. As soon as they stepped out, the chimes rang in welcome. Lya bowed and thanked the angels. She still hadn’t figured out how her grandmother rang those chimes on cue. There were no wires. Three places had been set on the old picnic table under the golden raintree’s cascading canopy, now lined with yellow flowers. Lya sat facing the house, knowing her grandmother liked to face the angels.

“How was the trip?”

Lya shrugged. “Ok. I didn’t sleep much. The plane was full.”

Her grandmother poured the tea. “And your father?”

“He caught a flight to headquarters. He’ll be back tonight.” The company’s headquarter was in New York City.

“And your mother?”

Her mother, Carla had stayed behind to pack up the house. Or so she said. “She arrives next week.”

“How is everyone dealing with the move?”

“Well, it varies. Mom’s upset; she didn’t want to leave Brazil. When Dad announced the move, she said she didn’t care where they went, since anywhere with Dad sucked.”

Nee’s eyebrows shot up. “I thought things had calmed down.”

“No. I think it’s gotten worse between them. They weren’t fighting as much because they kept out of each other’s way. Both Dad and Andrea are furious over the move. Dad thought he’d get something like Paris after Bolivia and Brazil, and not another underdeveloped country like India.”

Words on Paper -The Power of a Writer by Eleanor Beaty

Many years ago I gave one of my first novels to a professional for critique. What I heard back blew my mind. My novel didn’t contain a family conflict. It was full of action, mystery and adventure but no family conflict. The mother and son got along. That didn’t make the novel an interesting read. I was shocked, of all the things to criticize!

For so many years, decades even, YA books always contained a strong central, or parallel theme, of family conflict; the misunderstood teen and the mean, misunderstanding parent. Why does it have to be that way? What are we telling our teens? It’s okay, you should hate your parents and think of them as your enemy. God forbid your parents be someone you can count on during difficult times. Writers perpetuated the behavior from previous generations, like the sixties, seventies and even further back, stigmatizing teenagers, boxing them into formated behavior. Books and films created impossible obstacles, making it unconventional for families to be close. They dictated how teens were supposed to act. Rebel against adults! They will never understand you!

In order to be happy you had to go off and brave the world alone, leaving those who gave you life in the rearview mirror.

That was the norm, the acceptable, the traditional and anything outside of that was weird. If your parents cared about you, if they hugged and kissed you, if they told you they loved you – you were not cool. But that wasn’t the way all over the world. It was, and is, a very American thing. Maybe English too, but it was America who dictated through films and books what was cool to the rest of the world. And cool was being a rebel without a cause.

I remember a British film that dealt with that topic, and put a dent into that stereotypical behavior – To Sir With Love, with Sidney Poitier. Actually, it had two controversial themes. Besides the rebellious and neglected teens, it also dealt with race, as the teacher wasn’t white. The teacher’s battle was not only against the rebels, he had to battle the parent’s prejudice against the color of his skin and gain respect for his knowledge. That film marked my generation. It was an in-your-face type of film that made many people less intolerant and more aware. To Sir With Love was a good film; it brought conscience to a generation in desperate need of guidance. It is still an up-to-date theme, because history repeats itself. You can even invert it; a white teacher trying to make a difference and gain respect from African-American students, in a poor neighborhood, where the color of his skin undermines him.

When I read this critique about my novel’s lack of family conflict, I wondered if people like her didn’t stop to think that we writers can be our children’s worst enemies.

I am Brazilian, born of American parents. My dialogue with my parents was difficult. With my father it could be summarized as an eternal conflict, where I spent my time fighting to prove he could not dominate me. I was independent. Really? Who paid the bills? Still, there was a limit to what I was willing to submit to. I missed out on getting to know my father. He died when I was in my early twenties and I can never make up for that precious lost time.

With my mother, after years of confrontation, I managed to turn the situation around and show her that we needed to support each other. It was only the two of us, with no one else to count on, as my siblings were elsewhere. We could be friends. It took her a while to give in but we had the most amazing friendship during my high school years.

Thanks to those years with my mother, my ideals of motherhood took me down a different path. I wanted above all to be a friend aside from a good mother to my children. Having constant dialogue was vital. I wanted to be open and fair, show them the real me. It took years to become this person and in return I had wonderful years with my kids. Yes, there were moments where I had to separate the friend and the mother and impose those unpleasant and very necessary rules and limits.  But… This paragraph feels unfinished.

A writer can bring positive change with adventure and excitement, suspense and action. We can write stories showing that the toughest conflicts are not always inside our homes. The conflict in our homes should be dealt with and not ignored. That way the family becomes a support system for our children. Parents don’t always have to be the focus of conflict, realistically there are other family members who can cause just as much pain. We have to mix it up and get out from under the tunnel vision from the past. Not be afraid to show parents/adults as scared to fail, even if teens have a hard time believing it. To teens, parents were never children. Why is that? Books should broaden a teen’s view of life. Teach them to reach out when they’re in trouble. And when a teen reaches out, it helps parents reach back.

I hope to have the option to write stories that show teens they can have a friend in their parents and not be shot down for it. Even if that means I won’t be a millionaire author. And when I do expose conflict, maybe I can give some insight into how to overcome those obstacles. Teens need help to achieve balance, as balance is strength. The written word has the power to help achieve that balance in a teen’s life, and I feel honored when one of my novels does just that.

About the Author: Eleanor T Beaty Author Pic

Eleanor T. Beaty is a Young Adult Paranormal author. A worldly person born in beautiful Brazil and spent much of her childhood in several places (Argentina, Switzerland, and the US to name a few). She holds a BA in English Literature and is published in both Brazil and Turkey.

Eleanor loves spirituality and magic – both have allowed her to gain a strong grip on life and enjoy what it has to offer. She believes that everything has a reason and understanding those reasons help us deal with the difficult moments. Eleanor currently enjoys life with her husband in Brazil.

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