Blog Tour & Giveaway: A Curse on the Mountain by Missouri Dalton

Happy New Year! What better way to celebrate a new year than with a new book, launching a new potential series? A Curse on the Mountain is my first book from Dreamspinner Press, and I hope not the last. With every new release you would think I would get less excited, but that could not be less true. I think though, I am a little more excited that usual about this release.

Probably because I’ve been working on this book for ten years. Eep.

A lot of writers will tell you that there comes a point when you give up on a book. You put it to bed, in a drawer, in file and you forget about it. I couldn’t forget about this one. I couldn’t let it go. I knew, deep down, that someday I would be ready to write this book the way I knew it should be written, and then I was. I wrote the draft that would be transformed into the book you can now buy and read for yourselves. Sometimes we do have to give up, but I’m so glad I didn’t give up on this one.

Have a wonderful new year!

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BOOK DETAILS

Title: A Curse on the Mountain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781632162823 [ebook]
Length: 214 Pages
Genre: High Fantasy, Gay Romance
Release Date: Dec 29th, 2014

2015About the book

A Curse on the Mountain

In the cursed city of Var Eldore, perched on a mountaintop surrounded by a frigid swamp, the rain never stops. Former pleasure slave Myr lives in hiding, trying to stay a step ahead of his captor. But there’s more to Myr than he realizes, and destiny has other plans for him. Soon, he counts soldiers, spies, nobles, and wizards among his allies. Their goal is to oppose the king and those who perpetuate slavery, and fight for the freedom of their land. As they uncover secrets and conspiracies, each more tangled than the last, Myr also discovers he has unique abilities to aid their cause—the Redeemers.

As the strength of the Redeemers grows, so does the number of enemies they must face. Each member of their alliance has his or her own demons to battle, and Myr must confront the truth about himself and become the leader they need. Alongside his lover Ryall and the people who have become his family—as well as some unlikely friends—Myr and the Redeemers must prepare for war. If they fall, the city in the rain will follow.

Purchase LinksDreamspinner Press eBook | Dreamspinner Press paperback

2015About the author

Missouri Dalton is a writer of horror/paranormal contemporary fantasy and alternate historical novels.

Missouri was raised mainly in transit, slowed down to finish school in one place and was then determined to be as nomadic as possible, if only because that’s how things just worked out. She uses writing as an escape from her own neurosi and currently lives with her dear friend Sophia.

connectwiththeauthorWebsite | Twitter

2015Giveaway

It’s day five of the blog tour and I’m giving away something at each stop along the way! Today, those of you who comment on this post will be entered to win a short story commission. That’s right, pick the characters you want to read about and I’ll write story about them. It’ll become a free read later on, but you’ll get the exclusive first look.

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Guest Post, Excerpt, & Playlist – Making Nice by Elizah J. Davis

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I’ve never been the kind of writer who can have music playing in the background as I write. Mostly because I tend to sing along with whatever is playing, which makes me a delight to have on road trips. I can’t help myself. However, I do enjoy creating story and character playlists to listen to while I brainstorm.

In Making Nice, Blake has a love of 80’s and 90’s pop that was instilled in him at a young age by his sister-in-law (where have all the sax solos gone?). His retro pop playlist is a nice glimpse into Blake’s playful side and is, for the record, a great mix to do housework to.

Blake’s Playlist:

Wake Me Up Before You Go Go – Wham!
We Built This City – Starship
Faith – George Michael
A Little Respect – Erasure
The Flame – Cheap Trick
Waiting for a Star to Fall – Boy Meets Girl
Cherish – Madonna
If I Could Turn Back Time – Cher
Joyride – Roxette
The Sign – Ace of Base
If I Had $1000000 – Barenaked Ladies
Wannabe – Spice Girls
Semi-Charmed Life – Third Eye Blind
I Want It That Way – Backstreet Boys
Baby One More Time – Britney Spears

2015Excerpt

Blake was finishing up the last of the dishes, singing along to Britney Spears more loudly that was strictly advisable, when he spotted a movement out of the corner of his eye. He jumped, and the mixing bowl he was holding slipped from his fingers into the sink, splashing him with sudsy water. It was Ryan. Of course it was Ryan.

“What the hell?” He yanked the headphones out of his ears, scowling. “You scared the crap out of me. What’s wrong with you?” Then he narrowed his eyes. “How long have you been standing there?”

“Just enjoying the show.” Ryan leaned against the doorway as Blake pulled his iPod from his pocket to shut it off.

“Come on, then,” Blake said, sounding resigned. “Let’s have whatever smartass comment you’re dying to get out.”

“About what?”

“My music.”

Ryan gasped. “Blake, you wound me.” He put his hand on his chest and joined Blake at the sink. “I would never speak a word against Miss Britney. I’m offended you would even think me capable.”

“Uh-huh.” Blake continued to watch him, suspicious. It was too golden a mocking opportunity for Ryan to pass up. He had something else planned. “Nothing about my singing and dancing?”

“Your performance was riveting,” Ryan said. “I was riveted.”

 

2015About the book

Twins Blake and Bianca Dunlap have always been there for each other, ready to lend support and make sacrifices. Blake can’t imagine a bigger sacrifice than getting along with Bianca’s fiancé, Matt. However, Matt turns out to be more than the meathead Blake had dismissed him as, but Matt’s best friend, Ryan Everett, is a different story. Ryan seems intent on being an insufferable jerk as often as possible. The fact that Blake is undeniably attracted to Ryan only makes the whole situation more annoying.

Since they’ll all be stuck together for the long haul, Blake is determined to make nice.

Unfortunately he overshoots, and he and Ryan end up on much friendlier terms than Blake intended. While he and Ryan agree there’s no harm in having a strings-free fling, that changes when Matt and Bianca find out about it. As more complications arise, Blake and Ryan become more determined to do what it takes to avoid letting them down. But the only way to ensure getting through a joyous wedding and avoid the questions neither of them want to answer is to convince everyone it’s something more.

Purchase Links

Dreamspinner | Amazon | ARe 

2015About the author

Elizah J. Davis has lived in various parts of the United States, but currently resides in the Pacific Northwest, enjoying the abundance of coffee readily available there. Once upon a time she had journalistic ambitions, but switched to creative writing after she realized journalism involved too many facts and not enough unicorns. She loves stories of all kinds, but has a particular fondness for romance and fantastical adventures. When she isn’t busy making things up, Elizah enjoys reading, laughing at cats on the internet, buying girly shoes, and trying to come up with world domination plans that don’t require the donning of pants (her endeavors towards which have thus far been unsuccessful).

connectwiththeauthor

Website | Twitter | Tumblr | Facebook

Guest Post & Excerpt: On Wings of Song by Anne Barwell

Thanks, Charlie, for hosting me today :)

No one really wins a war.  Even if one side is ‘victorious’ over the other, it comes at a very high price for both sides.  Often those who survive are left with not only physical injuries, but mental and emotional ones too.

During WWI post traumatic stress syndrome was not recognised or understood. Soldiers suffering from it were either sent back to the front lines or shot for desertion if they ran because they couldn’t face returning to the horrors that had already scarred them.  Many who fought refused to talk about their experiences, even years later.  Recurring nightmares were common. So was jumping at loud noises as it threw them back into the memories of the battlefield, and the sound of bombs and gunfire. Many men saw their friends die in front of them. Accounts of seeing men caught in the barbed wire between the trenches and no man’s land are common. I’ve read several stories of men caught in a bomb blast while climbing the wire, and the only thing left of them are an arm, or a leg.

In Wings of Song, Jochen and Aiden fight on opposite sides of the war, but neither of them escape unscathed.  Six year later, when they meet in London, both men can see the difference in each other.  Both have lost so much, and still have nightmares about what happened to them and those around them.  Although I knew they were damaged, I didn’t realise just how much until I began writing their story.  I had originally thought about giving them a series as I want to write a detective series set in the 1920s, but it soon began clear that it couldn’t happen.  They’ll still be there, but as side characters, or appear as a cameo.

My grandfather fought in the trenches in WWI.  My father spoke of how he never talked about it and how the family said his health was never the same afterwards.  Sadly he died before I was born so I never had the opportunity to meet him.  He was an artist, and from I’ve heard, very much like my dad in personality.

Many families grew up having lost loved ones, or had them return as a completely different person from who they were before. Often the psychological injuries were far worse than the physical, and much harder to heal. For many they never really did.

Yet, despite this, and with the memories of everything and everyone they’d lost still fresh in their minds, just over ten years later the world was at war again.  People often ask me why I write stories set during WW1 and II. There’s a saying that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.  I think that’s why it’s important to remember those who fought in the war, and not whitewash their experiences.

Lest we forget.

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BOOK DETAILS

Title: On Wings of Song
Author: Anne Barwell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 97816325497
Length: 110 Pages
Genre: Historical, Gay Romance, European
Release date: December 24, 2014

Purchase Links

Dreamspinner Press eBook

2015About the book

Six years after meeting British soldier Aiden Foster during the Christmas Truce of 1914, Jochen Weber still finds himself thinking about Aiden, their shared conversation about literature, and Aiden’s beautiful singing voice. A visit to London gives Jochen the opportunity to search for Aiden, but he’s shocked at what he finds.

The uniform button Jochen gave him is the only thing Aiden has left of the past he’s lost. The war and its aftermath ripped everything away from him, including his family and his music. When Jochen reappears in his life, Aiden enjoys their growing friendship but knows he has nothing to offer. Not anymore.

2015Excerpt

“I’ve seen it,” Aiden said quietly. “I wish to God I hadn’t.” He looked directly at Jochen. Jochen met Aiden’s gaze. He’d seen an echo of Conrad’s fire in Aiden when he’d talked about his music earlier that afternoon.

“Don’t die on the wire, Aiden.”

“I’ll try not to.” Aiden’s words were an empty promise. They both knew it, but what else was he going to say?

The red-haired man Aiden had spoken to about arranging the burials walked over to him. He too held a shovel, and he wiped perspiration from his brow despite the cold. “There’s going to be a combined service for the dead,” he told them. “In about ten minutes in no man’s land in front of the French trenches.”

As they made their way over, men were already beginning to gather, soldiers from opposite sides sitting together, conversation dwindling to a respectful silence. A British chaplain stood in front of them, a Bible in his hand, a German beside him. Jochen recognized him, although he didn’t know his name. The young man was only a few years older than Jochen and was studying for the ministry—would he ever get the chance to complete those studies?

Jochen and Aiden found somewhere to sit a few rows back from the front and joined the company of men. The German spoke first. “Vater unser, der du bist im Himmel. Geheiligt werde dein Name.”

The British chaplain repeated the words in English. “Our Father who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy Name.”

They then spoke a few words each, some from the Bible, the rest from their hearts. Their congregation was silent apart from a few quiet “amens.” Jochen saw a couple of men wipe tears away. He was close to it himself.

Finally the chaplain bowed his head in prayer. When he’d finished, he spoke quietly to the man who had come to stand next to him. It was Captain Williams. He nodded and looked over the crowd, his gaze fixing on Aiden.

Aiden must have guessed what Williams wanted. He inclined his head in response and then stood. Jochen glanced between the two men, confused. What did Williams expect Aiden to do?

“Aiden?” Jochen asked softly.

Aiden smiled at him and began to sing. “O Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining….” He lifted his head, his voice strong and clear, each note building on the last to create something truly beautiful, something angelic. Aiden’s eyes shone; his body swayed slightly in time with the music. He was the music.

His audience sat in awe. Jochen could feel the emotion rippling through the men around him, tangible, as though he could reach out and touch it. He felt something inside himself reach out, wanting to be a part of it, to be carried along the wave of pure music, to grab it and never let go.

2015About the author

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand.  She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.

In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth.

connectwiththeauthor

BlogWebsiteCoffee Unicorns |  FacebookGoodreads
Dreamspinner Press Author Page

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