Book Launch – Ritual of the Lost Lamb by Charles Yallowitz #Fantasy

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Dark times are waiting for the champions in

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Death is a blessing that the Baron is not ready to bestow upon his new toy.

In the chaos surrounding the Spirit Well, Luke Callindor has disappeared and the only clue the psychic scream of agony that Dariana cannot ignore. Knowing that a journey to Shayd will result in their ultimate battle, the champions have devised another way to rescue their friend. With permission from the gods, Nyx has begun the Ritual of the Lost Lamb. It is a long and exhausting spell, which is made even more difficult by a new threat that is out to make all of the Baron’s enemies suffer.

It is a race against time where every minute lost brings Luke Callindor one step closer to a fate worse than oblivion.

Grab it on Amazon!

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Indie Author Friday: Myrtle Brooks #indieauthor #literary @JGCitygin

It’s finally Friday!!!  And that means it’s time to welcome another indie author to Books & Such.  Myrtle Brooks is here to share her intriguing story about an infant adopted and raised by Old Faithful geyser and a mother buffalo.  She also offers valuable writing advice and names the cereal that describes her colorful personality.

The story, a fable on man’s edification through nature’s examples, begins during the era of the First U.S. Cavalry in Fort Yellowstone, and the founding of the National Park Service 100 years ago in 1916.

At the turn of the twentieth century, an infant of mysterious origin is adopted by Old Faithful geyser and by a mother buffalo named Bearer of Song. Beloved to all the park, Flower of the Steam Basin grows up with their stories, proverbial sayings and teachings: in a land where the animals, winds and geysers speak their own languages.

Having met a child her age and her parents, trust ripens between families, and Flower of the Steam Basin gains a closely protective circle of human friends. At nine, she is brought face-to-face with Retired Lieutenant Ned Halpen of the Yellowstone Cavalry, whose exemplary career embodied the role of protector of Yellowstone’s spiritual and physical heritage.

In the wake of Lt. Halpen’s passing, her sacred vow to continue his legacy brings both reward and mortal danger. And when the circle is breached, Flower of the Steam Basin and her father are forced to choose between her well-being and the performance of her sworn duties.

This is her story as seen through the eyes of Yellowstone.

What’s the most constructive criticism you’ve been given in your writing career?

‘Your book is too long. Tighten it; make it concise. But don’t hack at it.’ This from a friend of a friend, a retired professional editor. As a result I edited two novels, including Geyser Girl, a book of short stories and a screenplay. I eliminated what was unnecessary and cumbersome without destroying the art.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Be persistent, write what you love and be objective.

What do you love most about the writing process?

I love how it courses through the veins. When you love what you do, even the most difficult tasks (editing, writing the query and synopsis, marketing) will flow. Tears, frustration, labor pains, yes. But it is a labor of love.

A penguin walks through the door wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?

“I have traveled the world and lived others’ lives vicariously. From this, I have gained empathy; I have understood the common bond between all creatures and the necessity of friendship.

“Now, please do be a friend and show me to the nearest walk-in refrigerator.”

If you were a box of cereal, which one would you be?

Trix. I’m a big kid with a colorful personality.

 If you were an animated character, who would you be and why?

Belle, Beauty and the Beast. She looked beyond the beast’s physical appearance, even beyond his gruffness, with a deep-seated spiritual discernment; sought the innate goodness in him, understood he was cursed and tried to help him. It has been my favorite fairy tale since childhood because of the traits she holds which I try to emanate in real life.

Author Bio

As written beneath her yearbook photo, Class of 1970, the expressed lifetime goal of the author herein known as Myrtle Brooks, is: “to realize the love present in everything.” Maturity has taught her that this is a vision meant to be shared.

When not at home in her beloved Brooklyn, N.Y., she may be found dancing with the big rigs on the interstate as she heads for national parks and places of quiet beauty.

Knowing her place, she enters such sanctuaries as a respectful visitor and humble observer;

Whereupon she is lovingly greeted and made welcome as family.

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House of Furies (House of Furies #1) by Madeleine Roux #bookreview #horror

After escaping a harsh school where punishment was the lesson of the day, seventeen-year-old Louisa Ditton is thrilled to find employment as a maid at a boarding house. But soon after her arrival at Coldthistle House, Louisa begins to realize that the house’s mysterious owner, Mr. Morningside, is providing much more than lodging for his guests. Far from a place of rest, the house is a place of judgment, and Mr. Morningside and his unusual staff are meant to execute their own justice on those who are past being saved.

Louisa begins to fear for a young man named Lee who is not like the other guests. He is charismatic and kind, and Louisa knows that it may be up to her to save him from an untimely judgment. But in this house of distortions and lies, how can Louisa be sure whom to trust?

Featuring stunning interior illustrations from artist Iris Compiet, plus photo-collages that bring Coldthistle House to chilling life, House of Furies invites readers to a world where the line between monsters and men is ghostly thin. – Goodreads.

This cover really grabbed my attention first, and although I haven’t read any other books by this author, her name caught my attention second because of her Asylum series, and I immediately requested this novel.

House of Furies is very well-written, with incredible imagery.  From Mr. Morningside’s office, to Coldthistle House, to the fate of some of its inhabitants – the descriptions were eerie and vivid.

Louisa’s character was admirable in the way that she stood up to Mr. Morningside and demonstrated strong loyalty to her friends, yet I also appreciated her flaws, which made her character more interesting and complex.  Despite Mr. Morningside’s alleged identity, I enjoyed his character and found myself agreeing with some of his actions.

As with most gothic horror, this book is more of a slow burn, but a very enjoyable, creepy read.  Although classified as YA horror, this would also appeal to adults.  House of Furies is scheduled for publication May 30th, 2017.

Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the digital ARC.

Eclipse Lake by Mae Clair #IndieAuthor #TuesdayBookBlog #bookreview #mystery

Small towns hold the darkest secrets.

Fifteen years after leaving his criminal past and estranged brother behind, widower Dane Carlisle returns to his hometown on the banks of sleepy Eclipse Lake. Now, a successful businessman, he has kept his troubled past a secret from most everyone, including his seventeen-year-old son.

But memories in small towns are bitter and long.

Ellie Sullivan, a nature photographer for a national magazine, has a habit of ping-ponging across the map. Her latest assignment leads her to Eclipse Lake where she becomes caught up in the enmity between Dane, his brother Jonah, and a vengeful town sheriff. When freshly-discovered skeletal remains are linked to an unsolved murder and Dane’s past, Ellie is left questioning her growing attraction for a man who harbors long-buried secrets. –

If I knew nothing about this book, I’d want to read it based on the cover alone – isn’t it the perfect picture of tranquility?  But don’t be misled because, as it also says on the cover, ‘Small towns hold the darkest secrets.’  And that is so true of the town of Eclipse Lake.

Mae Clair captures the atmosphere of small towns so well – the gossip, reputations that are never forgotten, nosy neighbors, etc.  But she also creates characters that lure you into that small town, asking you to stay awhile and learn their hidden secrets and scandals.  And that’s why I found it so difficult to put this book down.

Most people who read this will be charmed by the romance between Dane and Ellie – and I was, but the relationship that wormed its way into my heart was between Dane and his son, Jesse.  I loved how they were so protective of each other and the way Jesse’s respect for his father grew even more (eventually) upon learning about his past.  As an animal lover, Koya also stole my heart.

When the mystery is revealed – I sure didn’t see that one coming.  Thought I had it figured out all along – wrong!

Well-paced, both captivating and unlikable characters, clashing family dynamics – Eclipse Lake offers mystery and suspense as well as a good redemption story.

Indie Author Friday: Teagan Riordain Geneviene #IndieAuthor #mystery #suspense

Today I’m hosting one of my favorite guests – Teagan!  She’s so much fun, and a highly creative writer, as evidenced by her book, Three Things Serial.  Who else could make short stories out of random things suggested by blog readers?  It’s Friday, today is Cinco de Mayo, and the penguin in the question below has the right idea.


The Three Things Serial Story

Hi Teri. It’s great to be at your blog again. When I started my blog (Teagan’s Books) at the end of 2012, I did a few posts. By 2013 I wanted a theme — something more than just talking about my novel (Atonement, Tennessee) each week. That’s how the first of my serials began — The Three Things. I expanded on a writing exercise I developed long ago. (I would ask friends to give me three completely random things. Then I would write until I had mentioned all the things.) So I brought that exercise to my blog, but I had the readers send me their things. I let the things drive every detail of a serial story, setting, plot, and characters. The serial took shape and my blog grew with it. Eventually I did four different serials.

Comics Mural Teagan
Image by Chris Graham

Blurb — the Three Things Serial, a Little 1920s Story

Pip, a modern woman — a flapper, begins the first of several adventures. In this story a mysterious white-haired woman is kidnapped. Pip finds a bent key, a scrap from a special quilt, strange tattoos and other “things.” Later, Pip and her friends find themselves on a luxurious yacht where they encounter figures from history and celebrities of the era. The mystery comes to the forefront when they reach the destination, the gilded mansion, Cà d’Zan.

While any of the serials were being created at my blog, people would ask for a book version. So I’ve finally made time to “book-ize” the first serial! Here’s the Kindle version and the paperback. Now I’ve almost finished book-izing the second serial, Murder at the Bijou, Three Ingredients-I. It will be coming your way soon!

Link to novella launch:

Now for answers to your so very creative questions!

What’s the most constructive criticism you’ve been given in your writing career?

Write what you know. That doesn’t mean that I don’t learn new things in order to write a different story. I’m a research geek. It’s hard to stop myself from jumping onto long research tangents. However, I like some basic element of the story (such as the location) to be something I know well.

If you could tell your younger writing-self anything, what would it be?

Don’t listen to your parents — go ahead and write any story you want. Does that sound rebellious? Well, I was in sixth grade and started writing short stories. They got attention from my teachers. My parents didn’t want that, so they told me I’d better stop doing that right now. So I didn’t start writing in earnest until my late thirties.

What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?

For The Three Things Serial Story, I think that would be one of the less important characters, Flavio Fabro. From the beginning, I thought he was a player.

1920s 4 Look-alike Guys

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

As a writer, I always saw myself as strictly working in the fantasy genre. However, when I decided to use my three things exercise at my blog, I knew that method worked best with mystery stories. So I took a deep breath, and jumped into the mystery arena. It’s still not how I see myself, but I’m comfortable writing that kind of mystery.

What’s your favorite kind of cookie and why?

Shortbread. I’ve always liked shortbread cookies. However, in adulthood I developed a nasty and huge allergy to eggs. It’s hard to find cookies, pastries, or any dessert (heck, anything period!) without eggs hiding in it somewhere. Shortbread cookies usually don’t have eggs.

What’s the last thing you watched on TV/Netflix?

I cut the Comcast cord about three years ago, and I’ve never looked back. For me, television consists of YouTube and Netflix. I’m totally fine with that. That gives me more TV than I could possibly watch. At this writing the last things I watched were a Steven Colbert sketch via YouTube, and on Netflix, an episode of Murdoch Mysteries.

A penguin walks through the door wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?

Don’t you wish you could be this cool for Cinco de Mayo? See me in my tuxedo and sombrero? I’m the cat’s pajamas, huh? Thank God Prohibition is over! I’ll have a margarita. Time to get spifflicated.

If you were an animated character, who would you be and why?

I admit that some anime is a guilty pleasure for me. (Just like movies and TV, some of it objectifies women way too much, and even sexualizes young girls. I don’t like those. Others, however are very good.) So I think I would be Kagome from the Inuyasha series. As a young girl I always fantasized about other eras. Kagome goes back to feudal Japan.

Inuyasha vol-1 1997

This was fun, Teri. Thanks for having me over! Hugs.

Buy Links:

Kindle version and the paperback

Teagan on Social Media:


Ghostly murder on Lisa Burton Radio

Drop my Craig’s blog today where my character Finn is being interviewed on Lisa Burton radio!

Entertaining Stories

Coming at you with one, point twenty-one jigawatts of power, all across the known galaxy and into the spiritual realms, this is Lisa Burton Radio, the only show out there that interviews the characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and with me today is Finn McLachlan. He and his friend Cain have been observing some pretty unusual situations lately. “Welcome to the show, Finn.”

“Thanks, Lisa.When they said robot girl, I pictured a female C3PO or R2D2, which you’re so much not.Totally a good thing.”

“Thanks, Finn. My bio says you’re in high school and you have a girlfriend named Lindsey. What can you tell us about her?”

“Somebody crossed their wires, sweetheart.Lindsey is one massively cool girl, but she’s into Cain, my best friend, who’s currently trapped in the web of the reigning mean girl, Erin.I know, high…

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