Sword & Sorcery: Guiding the Blue Flame (Guardian Series)by J.W. Baccaro


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Virtual Book Tour Dates: 3/12/14-3/26/14

Genres: Sword and Sorcery, Coming of Age, Dark Wizard Fantasy

Promo: Book Three “The Coming of the Light” in the Guardian Series will be available for FREE on Amazon in ebook format on March 15th and March 16th.

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The Elemental Crystals were originally created to protect the earth. However, Abaddon the Demon Lord plans to use them to transform the earth into a realm of haunting darkness and witchery, forever.  In Guiding The Blue Flame, a young but powerful Nasharin Warrior, Darshun Luthais is drawn to one of these magical crystals of immense power. He learns he‘s the fulfillment of the two thousand year old Prophecy of the Guardian. The Wizard Olchemy informs him that he is the protector and guardian the earth has been waiting for.  With Darshun‘s ability to sense the Elemental Crystals, Olchemy devises a plan to obtain them. Accompanied by a small group of companions the hunt is on, in hopes to retrieve the long lost crystals before the Demon Lord claims them.  During the journey, Darshun encounters Aurora, the sole survivor of a now extinct people. He falls in love for the first time, and now resents the so-called Guardian of the Prophecy role. Due to Darshun‘s naïve spirit he‘s caught off guard by Nayland, a mysterious dark warrior who confronts him about his abandonment of the quest. He reveals that he too, is a Nasharin warrior, though far exceeding Darshun in skill and power. Darshun‘s father, Mirabel saves him from death at the hands of Nayland.  Outmatched and in bewilderment from the attack, a fire awakens in Darshun. He plans on reaching his father‘s level of power with a journey to Shajin Island, where Nasharin Warriors train. He‘ll be gone for only one day in Earth realm time, but due to the magic of the rigorous island, it will be seven long years for him. Entering the mystical realm of Shajin, he eagerly awaits its life threatening challenges.

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Excerpt:

From Chapter Three of “Guiding the Blue Flame.”

Later that night, when Darshun lay in his bed, he kept thinking about the stories Damacoles shared with him, wondering if any truth dwelled in them. A sacrificial goddess of fire? A mischievous god of theft and murder? Surely, such tales were legendary, meant to scare children into behaving. For it was never a good thing to play with fire or to prowl the outdoors during the dark hours. No wonder the elders would conjure up such stories.

These thoughts were cut short when Darshun heard noises outside his window. They sounded like stones hitting the house and a rustling of leaves. He wondered if Repsi might be there, creeping around stealing belongings or anything that was precious to him.

Then came the worst of it yet; a voice, coming from under his bed, whispering—hissing his name twice: “Darshun…Darshun.” Then, there was an impish laugh.

Darshun closed his eyes, covered his ears and remained still, shaking, sweating—praying it would go away! His fists were clenched so tight, he could feel the veins popping out of his forearms. Then, after a while, when the noises stopped he felt ridiculous, thinking himself to be a fool. “They’re just tales.” He laughed. “And I’m scaring myself into hearing things. Heh, yes…” Sleep began to take hold, his eyes feeling heavy. “They are tales—that’s all. Just—tales…”

****

A clutter of loud noises outside Darshun’s window awakened him. It sounded like colossal boulders rolling across the ground and hitting the side of the house. He lay in bed, trembling, not daring to see what it could be and remembering the same business earlier in the night.

Then the noises stopped, and he heard heavy footsteps trotting away over the fallen leaves. “Someone’s out there.” He climbed out of bed and walked to the window, peeped outside and saw nothing. It looked pitch black. That’s strange—a few hours ago there was a full moon. There came another crash in the distance, but this time it sounded like a crackling, furious, like the stone castle collapsing. Darshun leapt away from the window, sinking to the floor in darkness. “What is going on?” He panted with fear. “I better wake up Father.”

Stepping across the room in shadow, he grabbed a candle off a stand and set it ablaze, then made his way down the short hall to Mirabel’s room. But when he got there the bed was empty, the blankets lying on the floor. “Ah, Father. Where did you venture off to now?

Not wanting to be alone, he decided to go outside and look for him. Darshun hoped he would find his father before whatever else lurking within the city found him. He grabbed his sheathe and sword along with a dagger, slipped into his brown leather ankle boots and cloak, then ventured outside. The darkness seemed so thick he couldn’t see two feet in front of him. “Where in the world could he be? Perhaps at Uncle Seth’s?”

Unexpectedly, a scream sounded, a horrible sounding scream like that of a frightened young girl. It echoed from every direction of the city. Then there were crackling noises and a rustling of leaves in the woods, like someone or something running through the brush.

Darshun stopped and pulled out the sword. Seconds later, the noises went silent and a wet wind came. Lightning flashed, followed by bangs of thunder. “Father!” he shouted, his voice echoing through the night-shaded city. “Where are you?” A second flash of lightning lit up the sky for a few moments revealing much of Loreladia. During this time, he saw something about a hundred feet away. It sent chills down his back.

A creature stood there and it looked to be at least eight feet tall. A set of horns rose off its skull like a bull. It had unnaturally long arms, dagger-sized claws, three wide legs—the third extending down where the groin would naturally be behind it. He swung a swaying tail while possessing dark red skin and yellow eyes. Its eyes were terrifying, glaring at Darshun with hatred. The stench it exuded was indescribable.

His heart raced. But when another wave of lightning split the sky, the creature disappeared. “Di-did—I imagine it?” Swiftly, the storm elements struck a tree, bursting it to flames. The fire lit up the surrounding area. When Darshun turned around he witnessed the creature again, this time standing about ten feet away! Its eyes flashed. He screamed and ran.

The creature chased after him.  It moved like a large puppet, unsteady and off balance, probably due to its additional leg which made the thing all the creepier.

Help me!” Darshun shouted, but no one came to his aid. He continued to run through the dark city until he reached Uncle Seth’s house, staggering into the yard. He banged on all the doors and all the windows. There came no answer. Everyone seemed to have vanished. Kicking open the back door, he ran into the house and looked around for a candle, blindly touching the small round tables in the living room. Instead, he discovered an oil lamp, recently put out, its smell spreading through the house. He ignited it and searched for Seth and Mirabel, scurrying through every room and still, they were nowhere to be found.

Darshun blew out the wick and stood still, listening to the rain beating down on the house, praying the creature wouldn’t find him. Then he felt a warm liquid hit his face and drip down his cheeks. Curious, he relit the lamp and looked above, witnessing fresh blood splattered completely across the ceiling, along with intestines driven into cracks, dangling to and fro. Darshun screamed, then put a hand over his mouth, realizing his stupidity. “Oh no,” he whispered.

As though it’d been waiting for this precise moment, the creature crashed through the front door, kicking the wood apart tightly grabbing his arm and tossing him across the room like a doll.

He hit the wall and fell to the floor.

The creature walked over, its stench unbearable, like a rotten corpse.

Adrenaline rushing, Darshun quickly stood up, drew his sword and struck the creature in its left leg, hacking off a chunk of flesh. Then he ran to the nearest window and jumped through it. He tumbled onto the muddy ground, smashing his jaw and dropping the sword. The creature reached through, grabbed his leg and began to pull him back in. Its claws dug into his skin, piercing to the bone and he screamed in agony. Punching the thing in its face didn’t seem to faze it either, it only hurt Darshun’s hands. Then, he remembered the dagger he’d brought. He took it off his girdle and stabbed the creature’s hand.

It roared terribly, saliva shooting out its mouth—then released him.

Darshun picked up his sword and ran into the woods as fast as his little legs would take him. He ran and ran until he ended up being a long way off and found a thicket of bushes to hide under. He was soaking wet, and the temperature had dropped so much his breath now showed. Trying to calm down, he rubbed his sweaty face and wounded leg, which began to swell with severe pain. Soon, he would need medical attention. But these thoughts vanished when he heard a crackling of sticks. Something was coming toward him. Darshun gripped his sword and remained still. The noises stopped…nothing sounded now except the rain. Perhaps it was an animal?

Lightning struck a tree near-by and in fear, he hurriedly climbed out of the thicket. The fire burned high, giving off much light, and he knew he needed to abandon the area fast. Then, as if things weren’t bad enough, he felt a cold breath on the back of his neck—shivers of fear ran down his spine. Slowly, he turned around and there the creature stood, face-to-face with him. It grabbed his throat, lifted him off his feet and slammed him against a tree.

Its face was hideous—cut, mangled as if it’d been mutilated while decaying with disease.

Darshun vomited onto it, the vomit dripping down its bloody cheeks. “My father?” he asked tired and weary. “Where’s my father?”

Grinning, the creature pointed up at the trees.

Darshun eyes widened. Hanging by two ropes tied to their legs were Mirabel and Seth. Their bellies had been torn open and their throats cut, blood oozing like a river.

Hideously, the creature laughed and rose up its other hand, extending blood stained claws.

After the loss of his loved ones, nothing else mattered—nothing except justice or perhaps revenge. An uncontrollable desire began to overtake Darshun. Dramatic emotions of hate, love, desperation and madness surged within while sleeping beast began to awaken. “Father—Uncle Seth…” Suddenly, it happened. “Nooo!!!” he screamed in rage and fury as a red fire exploded around him, blowing the creature off its feet. The fire surrounded Darshun’s entire body. Even his pupils consisted of flame.

At first, he didn’t understand what could be happening. His anger ignited, awakened or unleashed something inside of him, perhaps lying dormant and the energy magnified. He felt a bodily change in every pore, a sensation within his eyes, a tingling throughout his hair. His body became different—he seemed different, transformed.

The creature, now terrified, desperately ran for its life.

Darshun raised both hands, naturally understanding what to do and shot two streams of blistering red flames out of them. Burning through every tree in their path, the flames struck the creature and disintegrated it.

A fierce yellow light shined all around him as Darshun awoke. He screamed, crashing his head back and forth, confused, disoriented, unaware of his surroundings until the light vanished and he saw Mirabel. “Fa—father?”

“Yes son, it is I. Everything is going to be all right.”

“It was a dream—only a dream.” He sighed and collapsed, out of energy. Within moments, he fell back to sleep.

****

Upon seeing the flames, many Loreladians rushed over speedily, standing in the middle of the street, gazing upon Mirabel’s house—nearly ash. Seth Caelen stood there too, having sensed the disturbance in Darshun.

“Good heavens,” Mythaen greeted, running up to Mirabel. “Are you and Dar all right?”

Mirabel glanced over, then fixed his eyes back on Darshun. “Fine,” he answered.

“What happened?”

“A candle fell.”

“A—candle?” he asked, confused. For not only was it highly unlikely for Mirabel to make a mistake like that, but candle fire burns a beautiful orange-yellow, where this fire seemed to be a blistering red. “Are you positive?”

“Yes! It was a candle, a molding of wax!” Mirabel’s tone sounded fierce, his words sounding more like a growl. He sighed, and then finished in a calmer tone, “Just an accident started from an old Wizard’s candle. Everything is fine now.”

All right, that made a little more sense to the small crowd. After all, Mirabel was a keeper of magical souvenirs.

“Well, if you like, you and Dar can stay at my place tonight,” Mythaen offered. “Or perhaps in the castle?”

“You can stay with me!” Elwin blurted out, wishing to be with Darshun. “Mother won’t mind.”

“I appreciate the offer, but I will pass.” He picked up Darshun and held him in his arms. “The danger has passed and the fire is out. You can all return home now.” He turned to Seth, speaking almost in a whisper, “Accompany me for a short time?”

“Of course.”

They walked out of the city and into the woods, abandoning the perplexed crowd. Mirabel ventured only a short distance then stopped, setting Darshun down on some soft leaves. He then swiftly made a fire.

“That was no candle accident, was it?” Seth asked, though he knew the answer.

“No, it was Darshun. Come here, look! They’re still visible.”

Seth gazed and saw claw marks around his neck with trickles of fresh blood. He also saw the wound on Darshun’s leg and shadow-like markings across his face, arms, and chest. They were now beginning to fade, like ghostly hands releasing their grasp. “Is it possible?”

“Yes. A Dream Assassin attacked him.”

“Sorcerer Dream Assassin spells are difficult to achieve. They must have the blood of the one they intend to kill. Darshun has either lived in Loreladia since we rescued him or been with you.”

“I know, I know. It doesn’t make sense. But whoever cast the spell must possess a bit of his blood. Someone wants him dead.”

“The Northern Cullach?”

“I was thinking the evil ones in command of them. Remember what Deloth spoke of? About Darshun having to be sacrificed because he was a creature of the Light, and if he lived disaster could fall upon them.”

“I remember, but what does it mean?”

“Seth, tonight I felt a power within Darshun that even I fear. It’s what awoke me earlier. The very house trembled. I heard him scream and fire shot out everywhere. He unlocked his element in his dream, his element of Fire and at only age twelve, something no Nasharin has ever achieved. His inner power is so strong—I could barely contain him. Then I carried him into the street and shielded his fire. Everything within the house was gone, everything except that—golden ball. Somehow, it rolled into the street and stopped at Darshun’s side and once again—it was glowing!”

“What are you saying?”

“The Prophecy of the Guardian and the Second Great War could be upon us.”

Seth stared at Darshun in amazement, thinking about the signs, the golden ball and the extraordinary power of this boy. Along with the threat of the Dark, Darshun’s dreams and the presence of the Archangel. “Yes, the pieces do add up. Incredible!”

“I’m not certain of it. Nevertheless, for now I will remain in the forest and continue to train him. He needs to learn how to control his element and strengthen his mind, lest another attack come.”

“All right. Don’t fret about your house. I’ll build another.”

“Thank you, my friend. And please, until I understand for certain what’s going on, do not tell anyone about this.”

Seth nodded, and his eyes darkened. “Mirabel, if the prophecy is at hand, then you know what kind of evil shall threaten not only us, but all of the earth!”

Mirabel sighed. “I know. Our only hope shall be this little Nasharin.”

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About the Author:

J.W. BACCARO is the author of the Guardian Series. In his free time he enjoys literature–fiction and non-fiction, playing electric guitar in the heavy metal band Rigor Hill, Consciousness and NDE studies, and thinking how to intertwine his thoughts about the world’s myths, legends and distinct truths into his next novel. He lives in upstate NY with his wife Melissa, his son Alexander, his two German Shepherds and his three cats.

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Virtual Book Tour Dates: 3/13/14 – 3/27/14
Genres: Erotic Romance, Romantic Fantasy

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“A sexy, mountain adventure with twists and turns…and smoking hot love scenes.” – Virginia Wade, author of The Moan For Bigfoot Series

Riley may be one of the top female mountain climbers in the world, but when testing her abilities by scaling the forbidden mountain, she encounters an adventure completely out of her control. The mountain is forbidden for a reason, and when she finds herself in unknown territory, surrounded by a mountain tribe she never knew existed, her stubbornness thrusts her further into a ritual she knows very little about. She becomes a prize in The Carnal Games…and she’s not so sure she wants to be in that position, but she has no choice.

This title contains sexual content unsuitable for anyone under the age of 18.

This is a novelette containing approximately 16,182 words.

Excerpt:

The thing that boils the blood in my veins more than anything else is when someone tells me I can’t do something.

Do you really plan to be able to even announce the climb?” Jared asks, and then laughs. “Listen, Riley, even if you could handle the physical strain, there are political aspects baring anyone from trying.”

Physical strain? Are we truly having this discussion? Poke fun all you want,” I say and pat his bare chest. “Listen, I mapped it out. Should be a piece of cake.”

Riley, when will you rest? What do you have to prove? Seriously. Why don’t you just drop it and move on? You can’t do it,” Jared says.

That’s all it took, those four words and the heat rises to the surface of my face, and anger takes over. “I can do it, and no one will stop me.” I push off him and climb out of bed. I pull my jeans on, and search around the room for my bra.

Awe, come on baby. I didn’t mean anything by it. I take it back. I know you can do it, I just meant, not by yourself, you’d need a team. Why don’t you come back to bed?” Jared begs.

You may be one of the world’s leading climbers, but I’m your equal, Jared,” I say, finding my tank top first. I put it on, and grab my bag.

You’ll end up killing yourself, Riley,” Jared rises up on his elbows, the sheet falls off most of his godlike body, and I’m almost tempted to join him.

I’ll see you in a few months, Jared.” I turn and leave the room, slamming the door behind me. He’ll soon see not how only equal I am, but how superior. No one tells me I can’t do something. No one!

***

The closest I can get to Mount Gangkar, includes being a part of the 19-day Mount Gangkar Trek starting in Paro. Only four other people make up our small party of trekkers, and I’m not just the only American, but also the only female.

You know, dear lady, the traveling chaps will provide our basic necessities, like food and water,” the English man, Conner, says and smiles. The others laugh with him. They’ve been teasing me about my pack since we began.

I’m well aware of that fact,” I say, smiling and pushing past these amateurs.

You have to admit, she’s one spunky broad,” Conner’s friend, Kyle, says. “How many women actually want to do this. I couldn’t get Miriam to even consider it.”

One more day and we will reach the destination that will allow us all to part ways. Then, what’s really in my pack will become so much more useful.

Even the toughest of women need to bring a shitload of stuff wherever they go,” Conner says. He and his friend laugh, and I move further up the line, passing the lead packhorse, but I can still hear their whispers. “I’m glad Miriam isn’t here, so I can stare at that ass all day long. Man, what I wouldn’t give to have just a five-minute fuck session with her.”

It takes everything I have to ignore his asshole comments and keep trudging along. I remind myself of my true quest, and know this is only temporary.

The rhododendron and bamboo forests begin to thin out, revealing the breathtaking mountains. Snow covers the peaks, and excitement boils under my skin. It won’t be easy slipping away in the night, through unknown territory, but I know the sacrifice will be worth it.

What will the guide do when one of his hikers goes missing? At the exact location where the government forbid such trespasses?

As the others break at a yak herder’s camp, they accept an invitation to join them for some butter tea. I decline and sit outside viewing the very mountain I’ve been dreaming about for months. Mount Gangkar…the highest unclimbed mountain in the world.

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Angelica Boone was born in the south, and enjoys being outdoors, especially on the beach under the hot sun. During the evening hours, she enjoys writing short erotic stories, which allows her deepest, darkest fantasies to come to life.

Hayden Voss enjoys life even when it’s not all filled with candy kisses, hot men, and beautiful women. She lives each amazing moment of this precious life to the fullest.

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Urban Fantasy: Serendipidus by Jennifer Ott @JenniferLOtt


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Virtual Book Tour Dates: 3/3/14 – 3/10/14

Genres: Urban Fantasy, Satire

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Maybe it’s time to set aside intellectualism and experience the wonders of things that can’t be explained.”

The Earth has stopped rotating and no one seems to notice or care, except for bleeding-heart supermodel Venetia DeMille. While Mother Earth begins to fade into a silent death, Venetia clings to hope. She solicits the help of a scientist to help, but no avail.

Not to be hindered in her quest to save the Earth, Venetia sets out on a journey around the world to find like-minded people and caring souls – an exuberant youth, a magical healer and a man of God. Although together they are able to rekindle faith, their effort still does not provide results. It is a mysterious meeting of four horsemen that carry them to the east where they experience a connection to the earth and each other.

Could the forces that gather with their united efforts prove to be the remedy to save the planet?

Excerpt:

As Venetia snoozed peacefully, the shadow of a large machete crossed her face. Opening her eyes, she saw a tall, striking man wearing a white turban and a white silk robe tied loosely around his waist, exposing his tanned chest. “Who are you and why have you kidnapped us?” she asked, unafraid.

I am the Sultan Saosh! Who are you?” he asked, pointing the tip of the knife at the nape of her neck.

I am supermodel Venetia De Mille,” she replied.

What are you doing here?” he asked, daringly.

Why did your thugs bring us here? What do you want?” Venetia asked.

Saosh pressed the knife deeper into her neck, just enough not to pierce skin. “What were you doing in Haifa?”

Looking for answers.” Venetia pushed the knife away from her neck and sat up. “My friends and I are trying to save the world. We have tried science, healing magic, prayer and now we are here at the cradle of civilization looking for answers.”

Impossible! It is I who is going to save the world. I am the Sultan Saosh. I am the descendent of Aushedarapmah, who is the descendent of Ansedhar.” He swung his arm in a dramatic gesture. “It has been written from many ages, when the sun hung motionless in the sky my ancestors met with the angels and returned them to Earth, to bring peace and righteousness to humanity. As my ancestors have done in the past, I will do. I am waiting for my angel.” Saosh glanced down at Venetia’s beautiful face and vivid blue eyes, and believed she had arrived.

Venetia admired the dashing Saosh and his passionate declarations. Is it possible? Could I be his angel? Could this be fate, destiny? “How do you know when she…your angel will arrive? What are you supposed to do?”

Saosh thoughtfully pressed the tip of his sword into the sand. “My angel will tell me what to do, what to say. My angel will give me the answers humanity needs to hear. Do you know the answer?” he asked curiously.

No,” said Venetia. “Sadly, I don’t, that is why my friends and I are searching.”

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About the Author:

Inspiration comes from watching way too much Monty Python. The abstract and the absurd way of looking at normal life, not only offers humor, but questions many problems in society in a light-hearted manner. If we can laugh at ourselves, if we can laugh at life, problems do not seem quite so difficult to tackle.  In fact, problems are not as complicated as they seem; everything is very simple. If you can laugh at it, write about it and read about it, most likely one would think about it.

Author Jennifer Ott has written several satire fiction, Wild Horses, The Tourist and two non-fiction books Love and Handicapping and Ooh Baby Compound Me! Her latest book about the homecoming of a Vietnam Veteran, Edge of Civilization will be released soon.

Jennifer Ott lives in Long Beach, California, enjoys the sun, the sand, the surf and lots of Mexican food.

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Epic Fantasty: The Avatar of Calderia Book One: Awakenings by David M. Echeandia @avatarcalderia


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the avatar of calderia

Genre: Epic Fantasy

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A Dark sorcerer is Awakened from eight hundred years of ensorcelled slumber, unleashing an ancient and terrible scourge upon the land as he uses his malevolent powers to enslave a continent and create an empire built on blood magic and death.

Across the Luminous Sea in Calderia, a crown prince grows to manhood, unaware that he carries within him a seed of divine power that must now be Awakened, if his people have any hope of surviving the evil sorcerer’s coming invasion of his homeland.

But to do so, the human prince must help forge an alliance with other warring nations, including his blood enemies, the Elves, and their warrior princess who wants him dead. Somehow, these sworn foes must join forces, gathering other companions as they undertake a perilous journey to find a hidden talisman, solve an age-old mystery, and save their world from oblivion.

Excerpt:

Killian moved forward to the edge of the clearing, then turned and looked at Ellianthia, holding out his hand.  After some hesitation, she inhaled deeply and walked over to his side, raising her hand tentatively to press her palm to his.  The Elfin princess looked up at him, his flame-red hair gleaming in the sun, his blue eyes clear and bright with excitement.  What kind of power did this human possess, that he could so easily enter this sacred place, this Elfin sanctuary where even Mellisandria, an ancient Wise One, trod lightly?  She gripped his hand more tightly, wondering what might happen if she let go.

They walked directly to the mound, hearing no sound save that of their own footsteps, the pounding of their hearts, and the rustle of the grass as they brushed against it in their passing.  When they reached the mass of tangled vines and stood before the Stone, he felt humbled by its megalithic size and grandeur.  The surface visible beneath the branches and the blossoms appeared smooth and flawless, with no sign of weathering, as if time had stood still for ages here in this place of power.

Killian did not know what he was meant to do next, but he felt drawn to walk around the Stone while it waited for him to unlock its mystery.  Still leading Ellianthia by the hand, he had paced perhaps a quarter of the way around its base before he found that same palm-sized circle that he had seen in his vision, positioned partway up the side of the monolith.  Knowing instinctively that this was what he had been seeking, he raised his hand toward the circle and looked at Mellisandria for final confirmation that he should proceed.

It is your destiny,” she said, nodding once.  With that, he stepped forward and placed his palm flat upon the circle.

At the instant of his touch, a brilliant flash of golden light erupted from the circle, encasing the Calderian prince and the Elfin princess. Then several gasps arose from the observers, Ellianthia’s loudest and nearest of all, for Killian’s eyes were two luminous orbs glowing with divine presence, as if the gods themselves had entered his body and now looked out through their Avatar upon the awestruck mortals gathered there.  In that moment, any lingering doubts that he was indeed the chosen vessel of the deities vanished from the minds of all who had witnessed it.

Almost immediately thereafter came a deep rumbling that shook the ground and rattled the lofty branches of the trees around them.  A strong gale sprang up, whipping hair and clothing about, and making them blink from the force blowing against their faces.  The deep vibration seemed to be emanating from within the Stone itself as, before their wind-stung eyes, a vertical crack appeared in that flawless gray surface.

Soon, the crack became a narrow crevice running down from top to bottom, then widened steadily into a rift that grumbled and creaked with every inch of movement, cleaving the granite and snapping the vines that covered it.  Then two stone doors, each some five feet in width, pivoted as if on hinges and swung outward, revealing a dark, mysterious opening into the monolith.

Killian glanced at Ellianthia, who was staring back at him with the same expression of shock written on the faces of the other Elves and humans waiting behind them on the edge of the clearing.  Though the glow in his eyes had dimmed, he was undeniably the prophecy fulfilled, for all could see that the “One who will come to split the stone” stood before them.  She tried to pull her hand away, but he shook his head slightly and pointed toward the opened doors, knowing that their presence was required there.  Gathering his courage, he led her inside.

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david echeandia

I was raised on the East Coast, enduring the freezing winters and loving New York pizza by the slice, the kind you fold in half and start eating with the hot melted cheese dripping down into your mouth. Now a psychologist, I live here in the California sun with my wife and daughter, and assorted pets. I don’t regret leaving the cold weather behind, but I do still miss the pizza.

 

I have been enamored with science fiction/fantasy since I was (as my southern grandmother used to say) “knee-high to a grasshopper.” Thank the gods for ebooks, because I ran out of room to store my collection many moons ago. I enjoy reading, RPG’s, canning homegrown preserves, old time radio, more reading, and Scottish Highland Games (middle name is McMaster). I actually had a kilt of my clan tartan made, and I’ve been promising myself to learn how to play “Scotland the Brave” on the bagpipes. Perhaps one day…

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Master Schedule (OVER):

3/5 Fantastic Indie Authors (Interview)

Stop 2 Book Freebies and Giveaways

3/6 Peace Love and Writing

3/7 Musings of a Book Maven

3/8 Fantasy Book Lane

3/10 Girl Meets Books (Guest Post)

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3/13 Coffee, Books, & Art (Review)

3/14 Pressed Leaf Publishing (Guest Post)

3/17 Readers and Writers Connect Spotlight

Post 2 – Readers and Writers Connect Review

Post 3 – Readers and Writers Connect Interview

3/18 Mrs Brown’s Books (Review)

Stop 2 Fantasy Books List

3/19 Memories in a Box (Guest Post)

Stop 2 Cryptic Reads (Review and Guest Post)

YA Contemporary Romance: Spiral by Jacqueline Levine #RT @Dirterazzi


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Virtual Book Tour Dates: 2/27/14 – 3/27/14

Genres: Young Adult, Young Adult Contemporary Romance, Chick lit

 

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Blurb:

Still adjusting to life with his new stepfamily, complete with annoying twin sisters, seventeen-year-old Jack Hansen thought his Christmas Eve dinner couldn’t get any more complicated – until celebutante Cherie Belle walks into the room. The niece of Jack’s new stepfather, Jack had no idea the young starlet was even in the family. But his initial excitement quickly fades when the teen queen ruins dinner, humiliates his little brother, and storms out, leaving the blame for the night’s demise to fall squarely on Jack’s shoulders.

But then tragedy strikes for America’s tabloid princess, and Jack and his family are all Cherie has left. Suddenly, Jack finds himself riding the roller coaster that is Cherie Belle’s life: fending off the paparazzi, moving to California, and being cast in the tabloids as her new boyfriend. That part would be fine if it were true. Instead, Jack missteps onto Cherie’s bad side and becomes the target of her diva mood swings and mean-spirited pranks, as she goes to ridiculous lengths to make his life miserable.

Just when Jack is through playing nice, his life turned upside down, Cherie shows up drunk and sobbing, revealing she is far from over her parents’ deaths. He realizes she’s giving the public exactly what it wants: an epic fall from grace. Jack knows he should tell someone that Cherie is spiraling out of control. But once Jack begins to care about Cherie, it becomes harder to keep her secrets; especially when Jack becomes her biggest secret of all.

Excerpt:

Cherie had faded in and out the entire time we shopped, so I don’t pay attention to her. I don’t follow her gaze, and instead I proceed to pay the cashier. Britney asks to carry the grocery bag, and I fiddle with her coat to make sure it’s zipped. We’re immersed in our own worlds, our normal routines. I wish that for just a second I had noticed the growing media storm outside.

Because when we emerge from the supermarket, we are swarmed by humans with cameras for heads. There are all types – fans holding up cellphones, professional photographers, and news reporters with video cameras and microphones that they immediately thrust in her face.

Cherie! Cherie how are you?”

We love you Cherie!”

We’re praying for you, Cherie!”

Stop wearing furs! Do you know how many defenseless animals are killed for your stupid fur coats?”

Cherie, will you still be hosting the New Year’s Ball with Caz?”

My head is spinning. We take a step left, and they step in our path. We swerve right, and there they are again, blocking our path. I look down at Cherie, who keeps her sunglasses down to hide her eyes. I can tell by her stiff, unsmiling mouth that she is unnerved. Her head hangs low, her shoulders curve inward, and she tucks her arms against her body. She is shrinking inside of herself.

But they don’t seem to notice. Or care.

Cherie, are you going back to work on Choc it Up?”

Cherie, is it true you were drinking at a nightclub the evening your parents died?”

Cherie, is Jack your new boyfriend?”

Britney cries out, “Jackie!” before I have a chance to digest that last question. I look down and see she is engulfed by the photographers.

I’ve tried to keep my cool up until now, but these people have crossed a line. Frustrated, I command, “Move!” They part immediately. I lean down and hoist my sister up in one arm. I reach out with my free hand and grab Cherie’s. Gritting my teeth, I lower my head and plow through the crowd like we’re one yard short of a first down, and I have been given the ball. Surprisingly, they get out of my way.

But it doesn’t stop the questions.

Jack – Jack, are you and Cherie dating?”

Cherie, how does it feel to be an orphan? Can you give us a statement?”

The barking continues to swirl and swim around my head as we walk hastily forward. I do my best to tune them out and protect the girls. They both look like they’re about to cry, and I’m not sure who needs more shielding. I quickly deposit Cherie into the front seat.

Buckle Britney in when I put her in the car seat,” I command, and she nods. I swing around to my side and drop Britney, who has started to cry from all of the commotion, into the back. It’s the first time I have ever set her down in the car without checking that she was safely buckled, but I trust Cherie to take care of it. I jump inside, start the engine, and throw the stick shift into reverse.

The cameras are everywhere. I honk my horn and gesture for them to move. I can get in trouble if I hit someone, and I would definitely lose my license. Frustrated, I shout, “Get out of the way!” I’m almost ready to hit someone anyway. They seem to sense I’ve reached my limit of patience and start to back away from my bumpers.

Thank you! Geez! How the hell did all those people know we were there?” I mutter, more to myself than to Cherie. “Only two guys were outside when we first got there!”

Those two guys tell two guys, and pretty soon you have a gaggle of them at your door,” she replies.

I’m baffled. “Tell me that this is not every day of your life.”

She shakes her head. “It wasn’t this bad before.”

* * *

DIRTERAZZI.COM

CHERIE BELLE LOVE AFFAIR: REAL LIFE ROMANTIC COMEDY

Celebrities really are just like the rest of us: they trip, they fall, and they are caught in midair by a handsome prince charming that can’t tear his eyes off of…um…yeah, keep dreaming folks. That kind of stuff only happens to princesses, and celebutante Cherie Belle!

Cherie Belle stepped out yesterday for the first time since the funeral for her parents, who were killed in an automobile accident on Christmas Eve. Escorted by her new family member/possible love interest/arm candy, Jack Hansen, Cherie made her way to a local grocery store in upstate New York. Following our last report about Cherie’s dwindling waist size, we’re not really sure she’s going to eat the food she was buying, but that’s another story.

Our reporter on the scene claims the moment between Hansen and Belle, pictured above, was the kind of stuff romantic comedies are made of as Cherie, who was sporting her signature high heels, suddenly tripped and soared toward the ground. In a blur, Hansen, the 6’2” tight end (ahem, get your mind out of the gutter, ladies, it’s a position he plays for his high school football team) thrust his arm out and caught the teetering Belle just in time. Then, they stared into each other’s eyes, forgetting everything and everyone existed, even Hansen’s five year old sister. All these love-struck kids needed was a little Maroon 5 ballad playing in the background and some rain to make it a magical movie moment.

Cherie’s reps are keeping mum about Hansen’s relationship to their client, insisting he’s just a nice kid who is trying to help Belle for the short time she is in his hometown, and they want to emphasize the word short. No decision has been made yet about whether or not Cherie’s grandparents will be her permanent guardians, but Cherie isn’t letting an uncertain future keep her from fulfilling her duties as a star of the upcoming flick, “This Side of Sunny.” Cherie will be on the first flight back to Hollywood after she and Caz Farrell perform in Times Square for the Kidz Channel’s New Year’s Special. According to Carl Schwartz, Cherie will promptly begin touring and giving interviews to promote the movie.

From the looks of this picture, however, Jack Hansen isn’t letting Cherie out of his sight too easily. Even though she plans to perform with Caz Farrell on New Year’s Eve, one question still remains: Who will Cherie kiss when the ball drops?

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About the Author:

Born and raised in New York, Jacqueline Levine is a new Indie author on the block. After seven years in the classroom, she decided to turn a play written for an after-school drama class into a full-length novel. Her experience teaching and mentoring young teens, combined with a guilty pleasure of reading celebrity news, inspired the themes and many of the scenes in the tale of a starlet’s fall from grace and the small-town boy who is doing everything in his power not to fall for her. After a year of hard work and editing, she self-published Spiral in August of 2013, and it is one of her greatest accomplishments.

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Master Schedule (OVER):

2/27 Fantastic Indie Authors (Interview)

Stop 2 Peace Love and Writing

2/28 Literary Chanteuse

3/3 Little Whimsy Books (Interview and Review)

3/4 Mrs Brown’s Books (Review)

3/5 Musings of a Book Maven

3/6 Book Freebies Contests Sweeps and Giveaways

3/7 My Reading Loft

3/10 The Cat’s Pajamas Book Haven (Review)

3/11 The Best YA Books To Read

3/12 Rose Wynters

3/13 The Complete Self Publishing Indie Authors Resource Center

3/14 Bestseller Books

3/16 Indy Book Fairy

3/17 Teen Romance Books List

Stop 2 Books and Chocolate (Review)

3/18 Cheap and Free Kindle Books

3/19 The Best Indie Books To Read

3/20 Cryptic Reads (Review)

3/21 Raven Reviewer (Interview)

Stop 2 Raven Easter Eggs

Stop 3 Popular Romance Novels For Young Adults

3/24 Haloangel Reads

Stop 2 Bestseller Books

3/25 UK Romance Readers

3/26 Literary Winner (Review)

3/27 Michelle Abbott’s Blog (Review)

Stop 2 Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

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