Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday's Montage Mantlepiece: Sins of the Autumn

Book two in The Seven Deadly Sins Collection of Anthologies

The seven deadly sins: lust, wrath, greed, gluttony, envy, pride and sloth.

The Sins of Autumn weaves a general thread of revelation loosely tying these tales together. Wrath, gluttony and pride are explored in these hot m/m tales involving action, burning hot sex and out-of-this-world adventures that will leave you hoping for cooler weather—soon!

Hail Storm by D.J.Manly
D.J. Manly tackles the sin of wrath.

Chance and his buddies adore the band Hail Storm so much they form a tribute band in their honour—never knowing that Chance has a bigger connection to the lead singer of the group than he is aware of. At a fan reunion for the band, Chance finally meets the members of Hail Storm, and a secret related to Chance’s health years before is revealed.

Whisked into the world of rock ‘n roll, Chance will become torn between Hail, the brother he never knew, and the enigmatic Storm, to whom he is gradually losing his heart. Can he risk his brother’s wrath and confess the torrid affair he is having with the man Hail loves, or will Chance abandon Storm in order to keep his brother’s love?

Full by A.J.Llewellyn
A.J. Llewellyn explores the sin of gluttony.

Barney Calloway is a super-successful voice over actor in Hollywood. He is, however, extremely overweight. He has struggled with his weight his whole life. Things come to a head when he demolishes half his sister’s birthday cake before she can even set eyes on it.

Leaving her house after her party is over, he finds a business card tucked under his windshield wiper saying one word.


On the reverse side of the card is a toll-free number, which, out of curiosity he calls. A woman’s voice tells him his order has been processed. Order? What order? He goes home and falls asleep, waking in the morning to find he’s lost a hundred and three pounds. He’s gone from being a lard ass to a hot ass and nothing will be the same again...unbelievably, the changes aren’t necessarily for the better. His family members all react weirdly and an old love, Diego, really struggles with the new Barney. Will Barney ever have the life and the love he craves? And will he ever really feel...full?

Autumn Quest by Serena Yates
Serena Yates tackles the sin of pride.

The parchment thief has been stealing books and scrolls all over Naiman, but when he manages to enter the Royal Library, the Khan’s patience runs out. He decides it is time for a change of tactics and puts his youngest son, Bayar, in charge of solving the mystery of the thief’s identity. Bayar is as surprised about this as about the fact he is going to have a guardian—the ruggedly attractive Chinux.

Chinux is a bounty hunter of some renown and very much his own man. He relishes the challenge of finding the parchment thief and bringing him to justice, even if he has to ‘babysit’ the youngest prince in the process. When Bayar and Chinux discover the thief’s identity, they are shocked.

Will the quest to find and bring him to justice tear them apart or bring them closer together?

Hail Storm by D.J.Manly
When Hail Storm came to New York the first time, Chance was only thirteen years old. The year before, he’d been stuck in the hospital, waiting to die. His parents were extremely protective of him ever since he’d got his second chance at life. Although it annoyed the hell out of him, he understood. What he didn’t understand was why his father was so against anything that specifically had to do with Hail Storm. Chance had saved all his allowance for six months to purchase a ticket to their show. He did odd jobs and had even secretly skipped his lunch on occasion. When the box office opened, Chance got there early in the morning before school, knowing he’d find himself at the back of a long line because people had been camping out all night waiting for tickets. He racked his brain in order to come up with a good excuse for missing his morning classes.

He purchased the cheapest ticket. It was way up in the rafters but it didn’t matter. He’d be in the same room with them. He was still so damn excited he couldn’t concentrate on anything except that damn ticket. As for his dad, he figured if he bought the ticket he’d have to let him go.

He was wrong.

His father said no, and Chance knew by the way he said it, he really meant it. He even cancelled his shift at the hospital that night so that he could take Chance to a movie instead. Chance knew it was his way of making sure he didn’t sneak out and go to the show despite his father’s objections.

Chance was miserable. He even cried bitter tears and refused to go to the movie. He locked himself in his room, hating his father and vowing never to forgive him. His mother tried talking to his father before she left for work that night. She told him some of Chance’s other friends were going with their parents and he could get a ride there and back. "It’s perfectly safe," she said. "Why won’t you let him go?"

His father wouldn’t budge. Even his mother found it hard to explain. Chance knew she felt sorry for him but that didn’t make him feel any better. His heroes were in the same city and he even had a ticket to the show, yet he couldn’t go. It was too cruel.

Jackson and Pete couldn’t go, either, but that was because their parents weren’t doctors, and they had no money to fork over for tickets. Chance would have given his ticket to one of them but he knew it wasn’t fair to choose one over the other, so instead the ticket sat on his bureau, unused. Chance’s two best friends stood together outside the stadium, watching the limo speed into the underground parking lot. Pete called him on his cell phone to tell him about it.

It was wacky and bizarre, yet really wonderful in its own way. Chance never expected that their performance at a school talent contest would lead to hundreds of people wandering around in a field somewhere dressed up like members of Hail Storm. Still, none of them had been to a Hail Storm concert. Circumstances had always seemed to work against them.

No one could have guessed that an amateurish video, shot in a dimly lit high school auditorium, would capture the imagination of a host of Hail Storm fans, prompting them to come together in a farmer’s field outside New York. Shortly after the video became popular, they were interviewed by all the local media. "We’re celebrities," Jackson exclaimed. "I’ve got girls crawling all over the place."

Jackson was bisexual. He’d experimented but he leaned more towards girls. Pete and Chance were into guys. They jokingly told Jackson he could have their share of the female groupies. His response was, "You can have all the guys...except I want the ones who look like Danson Storm."

They were all really excited that Friday afternoon when they headed out of town in a minivan borrowed from Pete’s older brother. They were all talking in bursts about the comments on the Internet site, while Hail Storm’s latest CD blared in the background.

"Do you think the television people will be there?" Pete asked, following Jackson’s directions as Jackson traced his finger along the map.

"I imagine," Chance replied. "I wouldn’t mind seeing that cute DJ again."

"He was hot," Pete said.

Jackson laughed. "You guys—sex, sex, sex."

Full by A.J.Llewellyn
It started with me stuffing my face with somebody else’s birthday cake, and ended with my finding a mysterious business card that sent me on a bizarre, life-altering journey with just one word—Full.

Yeah, I know. Weird, right?


I’d been the one delegated to pick up my sister Cyan’s birthday cake that fateful Friday night. What did they think they were doing asking the fat guy to pick up a cake and head clear across the San Fernando Valley in peak-hour traffic? What did they think would happen?

It started with just one rose.

I’d lifted the lid just to check on Cyan’s creamy, two hundred dollar creation from Sweet Lady Jane bakery. I’d been so good up until now. As I waited on the 101 freeway- turned-parking-lot near the 405 interchange, I got antsy. It was hot. Fall was always hotter in Los Angeles than the actual summer.

On the radio, local blowhards John and Ken were discussing the outrage of a pizzeria in the Los Angeles suburb of Maywood that only accepted pesos for pizza. Whilst they gnashed their teeth over this and the whole illegal immigration issue, all I could think of was how much I’d like a pizza right now. Since I didn’t have one, cake seemed like a pretty good substitute.

I really did open the box just to check on that expensive cake. Honest. The delicious scent of rose-infused icing tickled my nose and shot straight through to my taste buds without my permission. Just one icing rose. I could do it. I could cover up the space. At the age of thirty-two, I’ve been hiding my eating habits for years. What was one single rose? tasty. I ate it in one gulp, my starved senses wallowing in all that butter cream. For three days I’d been on my new Weight Watchers diet and my body had no idea what had happened to it. Dare I eat a second one? I looked around. Cars on either side of me, the drivers in varying degrees of stress.

But I had a cake.

Yeah...I did dare.

That’s when my problems started. The cake didn’t look right. I had to even things up a little and pick a rose from the other side. Uh-oh. Now it looked like it was missing something.

On the radio, John and Ken screamed at some hapless guy from the pizzeria who could barely speak English.

"You no want to order pizza?" he kept asking. "Is nice!"

"This isn’t Mexico, amigo!" the radio hosts shouted in unison.

I turned down the radio as I peered inside the box. The cake looked weird. Okay. I’d gone too far. Maybe...okay, maybe if I ate a couple of leaves that would make things look better. I checked the dashboard clock. Ten minutes to six. I had ten minutes to make it to my sister’s Encino house in time for her pre-dinner drinks.

I ate a rose from the middle edge of the cake, twisting the box around on the passenger seat. I took a credit card from my wallet and used it to smooth down the icing. I began to worry about bacteria from the card. Hell, I’d welcome death by bacteria if my sister saw the cake in this condition and freaked out. She’d murder me for sure, but in a slow and painful way. She’d make me watch Zumba DVDs or something. She was an exercise freak.

Blinking, I wondered what the hell had come over me. I was on a strict eating plan of twenty-nine points a day on Weight Watchers. How many points were in a single rose? How many had I eaten? Two, three...nine?

Now, I did feel a bit guilty. It sort of looked...bare. It was like that episode of I Love know, the one where Lucy and Ethel wear the same dress and rip the flowers from each other’s bodices live on camera.

Each time I tried to fix my problem, I made another one. I began to panic, especially when the traffic started to move. I drove with the cake perched on my knee. It got all mushed up in the box. Maybe that would be my excuse.

Autumn Quest by Serena Yates
"This can’t be right." Bayar stared at the ragged piece of ancient parchment in his hands. Faded ink markings indicated boundaries—the names of cities and villages more legendary than a collection of wizard myths. "I thought the Khaganate was just a legend?"

He stroked the folds and creases, trying to flatten the map so he could make sense of what he saw. The musty odour of ancient dust fluffing up from the mysterious document’s wrinkles made his nose itch. It had been hidden at the back of one of the spell books he’d recently discovered in the oldest section of the Naiman Royal Library. Small wonder no one had come across it in living memory. Tradition limited the research of history and the Old Magic to those of royal blood. Very few of his family members showed any interest in understanding their past, so he was on his own.

If the landmarks he was familiar with were any indication, the Khaganate had been even bigger than oral history hinted at. From the looks of it, the legendary empire that was supposed to have existed before it broke apart into today’s smaller khanates and chiefdoms, had stretched from sea to sea—as far north as the icy realm and farther south than any caravan in living memory had dared to go.

"Vashir Khan requests your presence in the council room immediately, your highness." The palace guard’s voice shocked Bayar back into reality.

"What—my father wants to see me right now?" Bayar sighed, shoving his glasses back up to the top of his nose. "I’m in the middle of something here."

"Yes, your highness, right now." The guard stood a respectful few paces away from the large table Bayar was working at today. "The matter is quite urgent and, as you know, the Khan does not like to be kept waiting."

"Isn’t it always urgent?" Bayar shook his head as he carefully put the flattened piece of parchment into a protective sleeve before sliding it into the folder containing his notes and other research materials.

The guard remained unsmiling and quiet while Bayar dusted himself off, the dark green of his velvet vest only slowly reappearing. He put his reading glasses into a pocket and grabbed his folder before following the impassive guard into the long, quiet corridors. Deep carpets covered the cold stone floor and muffled the sounds of their booted steps.

"Finally!" His father’s voice boomed across the ancient council chamber adjacent to the throne room. "Sit down so we can get to the bottom of this problem."

What the hell was going on? Not only was the whole family present, but the two royal councillors had also made an appearance. His mother puckered her brows in a very un-queenly scowl. Both of his elder brothers looked angry, and his younger sister wrung her hands. Bayar quietly joined them, focusing on keeping his hands from visibly shaking with nerves. He much preferred the company of his books to that of people...even his family. He grimaced. Especially his family.

"I have some very bad news to share." His father raked the bushy white hair that made him look far older than his fifty-five years. "The confounded parchment thief managed to get into the Royal Library last night."

Bayar suddenly felt ice cold. The unthinkable had finally happened and the royal defences had been breached. Whoever this thief was, he clearly had no respect for their traditions. Damnation! He looked around. Everyone in the room seemed to share his shock, if all the dropped jaws and horrified looks were any indication. The majority might be more worried about the potential political implications than the threat of ancient knowledge being lost to the hands of incompetent ruffians, but their fears were just as real as his concerns.

"As usual, he’s left a disgusting piece of rotten fruit to ‘replace’ the stolen book, so we know it was him. Differently from usual, there was also a note." His father frowned. "The content was slightly puzzling but made it clear this thievery is part of a bigger campaign, possibly directed at destabilising the government."

"What did it say?" Bayar leant forwards, not wanting to miss potentially revealing information.

"Autumn is not only the season of harvests. It is also the precursor for winter, the season of death." His father straightened his golden vest, a sign that he was ready to go on the offensive. "The arrogance of stealing an irreplaceable historical book from right under our noses just galls me! Together with this note, delivered on the first day of autumn, the act is a clear threat against the royal family, possibly the entire government. That is unacceptable. He has got to be stopped."

Author Bios:
DJ Manley
D.J. Manly says, "I write not only for my own pleasure, but for the pleasure of my readers. I can’t remember a time in my life when I haven’t written and told stories. When I’m not writing, I’m dreaming about writing, doing something wild and adventurous, or trying to make the world a better and more open-minded place to live in. I adore beautiful men, and I know I’m not alone in this! Eroticism between consenting adults, in all its many forms, is the icing on the cake of life!"

AJ Llewellyn
A.J. Llewellyn lives in California, but dreams of living in Hawaii. Frequent trips to all the islands, bags of Kona coffee in the fridge and a healthy collection of Hawaiian records keep this writer refueled.

A.J. never lacks inspiration for male/male erotic romances and on the rare occasions this happens, pursues other passions such as collecting books on Hawaiiana, surfing and spending time with friends and animal companions.

A.J. Llewellyn believes that love is a song best sung out loud.

Serena Yates
I’m a night owl and start writing when everyone else in my time zone is asleep. I’ve loved reading all my life and spent most of my childhood with my nose buried in a book. Although I always wanted to be a writer, financial independence came first. Twenty-some years and a successful business career later I took some online writing classes and never looked back.

Living and working in seven countries has taught me that there is more than one way to get things done. It has instilled tremendous respect for the many different cultures, beliefs, attitudes and preferences that exist on our planet.

I like exploring those differences in my stories, most of which happen to be romances. My characters have a tendency to want to do their own thing, so I often have to rein them back in. The one thing we all agree on is the desire for a happy ending.

I currently live in the United Kingdom, sharing my house with a vast collection of books. I like reading, traveling, spending time with my nieces and listening to classical music. I have a passion for science and learning new languages.

DJ Manly

AJ Lleweylln

Serena Yates


The Fire Sisters by AG Henley

Title: The Fire Sisters
Author: AG Henley
Series: Brilliant Darkness #3
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Release Date: September 25, 2015
Fennel and Peree are finally where they’ve worked ceaselessly to be: together and safe from the Scourge in the protected village of Koolkuna. But on the day of their partnering ceremony the children of the village are stolen away—Fenn’s loyal companion, Kora, among them.

Fenn wants to bring the children home, especially as the villagers seem to blame Peree and her for the tragedy. Only since the death of her own family, she’s terrified that a wrong move on her part will lead to the loss of others she loves.

Despite her apprehension, Fenn and Peree join a small search party led by rival Kaiya, the one person who stands a chance of finding the children thanks to her mysterious past. As they travel away from the safe waters of Koolkuna and into the Scourge-infested wilds, Fenn endures Kai’s scorn, her subtle designs on Peree, and the squabbling of  the group. But nothing in her life so far has prepared her for the fierce warrior women who will steal others’ children to preserve their own existence—the Fire Sisters.

If Fenn is to survive the threat of the Scourge, rescue the children from the Sisters, and have a hope of making a life with Peree in Koolkuna, she must face her fear of failure and loss and become the leader she’s destined to be.

Read THE FIRE SISTERS, the thrilling conclusion to the bestselling young adult fantasy Brilliant Darkness series! There are three novels and two short stories in the series. The first novel, The Scourge, was a finalist for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award.

The Scourge
The Keeper (novella)
The Defiance
The Gatherer (novella)
The Fire Sisters

Why don’t we start off with you telling us a little about yourself.
Thanks for having me! I SO appreciate bloggers for the good work you do to help authors get the word out about their books, and you’ve been especially kind to me. Thank you!

So, I’m a YA author with a now complete (hooray!) series of dystopian/post-apocalyptic books. The Brilliant Darkness series begins with The Scourge, a 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist, and includes The Defiance and the just-released The Fire Sisters. There are also two novellas in the series. The series features a blind girl who believes she’s mysteriously protected from flesh-eating creatures called the Scourge, but she hasn’t been tested—until now.

I’m also a psychologist, which makes my workweek an interesting mix of fantasy and heart-wrenching reality.

I know it is good to hear an encouraging word now and then to know how much the readers love your books and to keep you going. So what is your favorite comment from a fan that really lifted your spirits? 
I LOVE my readers, and I have such nice ones. They are incredibly supportive. One comment that has always stuck in my brain came very early after I first published The Scourge in January 2012. I was not planning to self-publish, but at the time I couldn’t interest an agent in my writing. I thought no one would buy or read my book.

A woman, an early reader, said she was so engrossed in The Scourge that she read while trying to do her housework, and while changing her baby’s diaper. I was thrilled that the initial response was that the book was hard to put down. I see that as a primary goal for an author: to make you lose sleep, because you can’t stop reading : ) Consider that fair warning! You can see her actual comment here, third one down on the left.

I don’t want to give away any details in Fire Sisters to spoil the series for everyone else, so I will just focus on the series as a whole. I just love your Brilliant Darkness series! How did you come up with such a great idea for a story?
Thank you so much! I initially came up with the idea of people trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world full of swamps. I figured they’d move up into the trees. But, what if half the people moved up and wouldn’t share with the other half? That’s how the two main groups in The Scourge, the Lofties and Groundlings, were born. (The swamp idea kind of fell away, although water is very important to the story.)

Then, I thought, what if the main character, a Groundling, was blind? And THEN, I thought, and what if there were zombie-like creatures that only she was protected from, due to her blindness??? And that was it. Fennel and the Scourge were born.

I find the concept of the Lofties (tree dwellers) and Groudlings (Ground dwellers) so fascinating. Then there is the dreaded Scourge. Can you tell us a little about each of them?

Lofties are all fair-haired and fair-skinned. Groundlings are dark. Once a year, the two groups meet for the Exchange, when they trade their infants based on their coloring. It’s a terrible time for both groups, but they’ve been locked in this tradition for generations. The Lofties hold the safety and security of the trees and treetops, while the Groundlings control the community’s only water supply. So they have a tense, mistrustful relationship, as you might imagine. The Groundlings are particularly bitter, because they have to hide in cold, dark caves for days when the Scourge come, because the Lofties won’t share their trees.

The Scourge are vicious flesh-eating creatures that chase down and devour, or turn, any humans they come across—except the Sightless, like Fennel. I should say here that if you don’t like blood and gore, don’t be afraid of The Scourge. Most people who say they aren’t zombie fans, and are easily grossed out or afraid, don’t find my series to be objectionable at all. It’s really fantasy romance : )

Your characters have a ways of getting themselves into so many bad situations and some causes problems for those around them. Which character(s) gave you the most problems when trying to write their story?
Hmm, I’m not sure any of them gave me problems. I LOVE creating characters. They usually just jump into my head fully formed!

I love so many of the characters in The Brilliant Darkness series so I can’t pick just one. Who was your favorite character to write? 
I’m attached to my two mains, Fennel and Peree. It was so fun to build their relationship from scratch. But the most fun to write was Moray. He’s a bad guy, really, but he has heroic, good guy moments. I really tried hard to write him so that you couldn’t classify him, so he wouldn’t be black and white. I hope I succeeded right through The Fire Sisters.

I know right now the series consist of 3 full length novels and 2 novellas. So is this it or do you feel there will be a spin-off or prequel in the future?
Hmm, this is it for NOW. Funny you should mention a spin-off, though. I did try to leave the ending somewhat open for a few characters, and there are many more questions about the world of the Scourge…

What are you working on now? Has a new story started to bring itself to life?
Thanks for asking! I’m writing a YA time travel short story right now for an indie anthology that will release in March. I met a group of women writers here in Denver who all write YA and are mostly indies. We have done a few writing retreats together, and at the last one someone said, “Why don’t we publish a short story anthology?” So, Tick Tock: Seven Tales of Time came to be! It’s so much fun to write a new character in a new world. I could totally see this leading to its own series down the road…

I’m also revising a novel I wrote last year that is YA speculative fiction. It will be a duology, if all goes as planned.

There is one question we like to ask all of our authors. Is there any advice you would like to give to the aspiring authors out there?
Read a lot. Write a lot. Honestly, that’s what being an author boils down to. I read, write, and create all day, and it’s a privilege to get paid to do it!

We would like to thank you for joining us today A.G. Henley you are amazing! Now I would like to give you the last word. Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your books or yourself that I did not ask about? Or is there something you would like to say to all the readers out there?
Thank you so much for reading and supporting the work of authors and bloggers! I can create books and worlds, but that’s only half the equation of reading. Readers provide their own lens and interpretation to what I write, and they bring richness to the experience of writing that would otherwise be very solitary. We’re a team – and I appreciate my other half!

Thank you again for having me on the blog! It was a lot of fun.

***Interview questions created by Candy Cassin with Otherworldy Book Adventure. Used with permission.***

Author Bio:
A.G. Henley is the author of the BRILLIANT DARKNESS series. The first novel in the series, THE SCOURGE, was a finalist for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Award.

A.G. is also a clinical psychologist, which means people either tell her their life stories on airplanes, or avoid her at parties when they've had too much to drink. Neither of which she minds. When she's not writing fiction or shrinking heads, she can be found herding her children and their scruffy dog, Guapo, to various activities while trying to remember whatever she's inevitably forgotten to tell her husband. She lives in Denver, Colorado.


The Fire Sisters #3

The Scourge #1

The Keeper #1.5

The Defiance #2

The Gatherer #2.5

Brought to you by: 

The Clairvoyant's Glasses by Helen Goltz

Title: The Clairvoyant's Glasses
Author: Helen Goltz
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Release Date: September 28, 2015
When Sophie Carell was eight-years-old, her eccentric, clairvoyant great aunt, Daphne, predicted Sophie would be one of the greatest clairvoyants of her time. Sophie wanted to be a movie star. Her mother said not to worry about it—Aunt Daphne was daffy.

When Sophie is called to the reading of Daphne’s Will, she is given a pair of glasses that will change her life. But that’s not all she acquires. Along with the glasses, Sophie ‘inherits’ a protector—the handsome and powerful Lukas Lens; plus brooding Detective Murdoch Ashcroft who is keen for Sophie to fill her aunt’s shoes and put her talents to work for him.

Sophie has to decide if she will focus on her acting career or explore her new-found clairvoyant skills. But danger lurks around the corner…

Sophie studied Lukas.

“You have more questions?” he asked.

“A thousand—like do you age normally, do you change at all when you are doing witch stuff and many more, but not for now, I need to take it all in.”

Lukas ran his hand through his light brown hair. “Good idea, enough for now. But in a nutshell… yes, I do age normally… look at Alfred. No, I don’t change into the Incredible Hulk and I’m on your side.”

Sophie smiled as she stood and walked to the window to look out on the street. “A month ago none of this world existed, now I’m hanging with a witch, it’s surreal,” she said.

Lukas rose behind her. “I imagine it is a bit daunting.”

“That would be the understatement of the year,” she said, turning to face him. “Can I ask you one more question today?”

“Of course.” Lukas leaned against the counter watching her, his hands flat on the counter top.

“Don’t be offended, but you’re not the most masculine guy—in your suit, you look like you’ve just stepped off a Calvin Klein fragrance shoot. How exactly does your line of the family protect us?”

“Mind power,” he answered.

“Is that enough?” Sophie lifted a glass paperweight that was reflecting prisms of light from the window and held it up in her palm.

Lukas glared at the glass prism, his pale blue eyes went amber; it shattered into pieces.

Sophie screamed and dropped the remaining shards from her hand. His eyes returned to a pale blue colour.

“I’ll do my best,” he assured her.

Naming a Character and Other Tough Decisions by Helen Goltz 
Okay, it’s not like you are naming your first-born, but it might as well be. That name you choose for your characters must reflect the character through thick and thin; they have to live up to it or down to it; it might have to be sexy or tough or mysterious.

When choosing a name for my masculine stars in The Clairvoyant’s Glasses, I chose the name Lukas for my male witch because it was sexy, interesting and old-world. It didn’t lend itself to nicknames. For the street-smart police officer I picked the name Murdoch. I worked with a Murdoch once and the name says ‘reliable, strong, solid’ to me. Everything my Murdoch is. I looked up popular Irish names to select Daniel for my cute and trouble-making Irish journalist.

For the girls in The Clairvoyant’s Glasses, I took into account the era and the genre. I found some great ‘witch’ sites with witch names and their meanings.

I selected Orli as the name for my ethereal, white-hair spiritual female. Orli means ‘my light’. Sophie and Lucy were popular names in the year that those characters were born—I estimated their age and looked online for the ten most popular female names that year.

So, where do you source your names from? Here’s some of my sources:

1) Popular names lists for the year in question
Depending on the genre and when your book is set, there are plenty of lists online that can help. For example when I was writing the 1940s historical romance Autumn Manor, I Googled most popular boy and girls names in the 1920s, because my characters were now about 20 years old.

2) The cemetery
Yes, I get that it sounds a bit morbid, but I’ve found lots of great names from cemetery headstones. Lovely names like Matilda but most importantly, plenty of surnames, because they can be harder to ‘create’ than first names.

3) The newspaper or online
Who hasn’t done it? Been searching quickly for a surname that you are probably only going to use once (e.g. like a witness giving a report in your story) and glanced at the local paper or stories online and grabbed a name.

4) Work
Have you ever glanced down that work phone list, or been searching for a quick name and ‘borrowed’ a first or last name from the office? Mm, me either :)

5) Friends and family
Both handy sources for first and last names … just make sure you mix them up and you don’t insult anyone.

Author Bio:
After studying English Literature and Communications at universities in Queensland, Australia, Helen Goltz has worked as a journalist and marketer in print, TV, radio and public relations. Helen is the author of seven books and is published by Clan Destine Press and Atlas Productions.

Helen Goltz

Publisher: Atlas Productions

Brought to you by: 

Release Day Blitz: Hookah by Cameron Jace

Title: Hookah
Author: Cameron Jace 
Series: Insanity #4
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult
Release Date: September 28, 2015
A Plague Scarier than Death
Alice and the Pillar have to stop a Wonderland Monster who’d lashed out an incurable disease onto the world. Their biggest challenge is that the world loves this monster so much.

A Cure Larger than Life
The only way to save the world is to travel to the other side of the globe, and peek into one of Lewis Carroll and the Pillar’s darker pasts.

A Truth Madder Than Fiction
This time, the price of saving the world is too high. Alice will have to live with the consequences of the maddest logic of the world surrounding her.

Will Alice find who the Pillar really is? What he wants? Is she brave enough to handle the one Wonderland Monster she’d thought was a good friends? And even so, is the world ready the truth?

"Have you ever jumped out of a plane in a parachute, down to meet up with people who’d take selfies of your blood on their faces for breakfast?

I am doing it right now. And guess what, it’s nighttime, so not only am I free-falling, but I am also doing it in the dark. That’s what I call a bonus.

Throwing away the Pillar’s goggles, I hear the plane explode in midair above me.

Oh my god, this is for real!

“I’ve always wanted to blow up my employees,” the Pillar shouts all the way down. I am not sure how I can hear him. “But you’ll be fine. Just pull the red lever when I tell you to.”

In spite of all the madness, I feel unexpectedly fine up here in the air. Fine is an understatement. I feel euphoric. I want to feel like this every day. It’s ridiculous how much I am enjoying this, although I may get face-palmed by the earth in a few seconds.

Mary Ann, also known as Alice Wonder, 19 years old, dead and gone. I imagine the scripture on my grave says. But who cares? She was mad anyways.

Suddenly I realize that the madness hasn’t started yet. Not at all.

Down below, I can see something glittering. The vast land where we’re landing is nothing but an endless field of ridiculously over-sized mushrooms.

Big mushrooms growing everywhere, whitening up the black of the night.

Author Bio:
Cameron Jace is the bestselling author of the Grimm Diaries and Insanity series. A graduate of the college of Architecture, collector of out-of-print books, he is obsessed with the origins of folk tales and the mysterious storytellers who spread them. Three of his books made Amazon's Top 100 Customer Favorites in Kindle 2013 & Amazon's Top 100 kindle list. Cameron lives in California with his girlfriend. When he isn't writing or collecting books, he is playing music.


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