Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt, and Giveaway – Aspect of Winter by Tom Early

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AboutTheBook

22930117Title: Aspect of Winter

Author: Tom Early

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press

Cover Artist: Sadie Thompson

Length: 260 pages

Release Date: October 15, 2015

Blurb: It’s hard enough being gay in high school, but Fay must also deal with hiding his magical ability—powers he barely understands and cannot possibly reveal. His best friend Sam is his only confidante, and even with her help, Fay’s life is barely tolerable.

Everything changes when Janus University, a college for individuals with magical capabilities, discovers the pair. When the university sends a student to test them, Fay and Sam, along with their classmate Tyler, are catapulted headfirst into a world of unimaginable danger and magic. Fay and Tyler begin to see each other as more than friends while they prepare for the Trials, the university’s deadly acceptance process. For the first time, the three friends experience firsthand how wonderful and terrible a world with magic can be, especially when the source of Fay’s power turns out to be far deadlier than anyone imagined.

Excerpt

The fire suddenly roared back up again, the flames tinged an eerie purple. A keening noise filled the air, coming from the portal. The air became charged with energy as something began to force the portal to open wider. With a final sigh it complied, the jagged crack of light spreading to around twenty feet wide and opening up even farther.

It happened all at once. Screams of rage and fury filled the air as thousands, and I do mean thousands, of vaguely human-shaped clouds with glimmering yellow lights for eyes flew out of the portal, forming a hurricane of spirits around us. The air was filled with them, and their hatred was so intense that we all cowered slightly. They kept flying counter-clockwise around us at dizzying speeds, until it seemed like we were surrounded on all sides by a swirling gray wall, interspersed with pinpoints of yellow light. Then they separated, rocketing off in every direction, leaving smoke and ash to fill the air.

Pulses of white light began to flare up as the Sluagh Sidhé, the dark spirits of Irish lore, slammed themselves into the candlelight protecting the graves. Some of them vanished as they were pulled into the mirrors, but most of them flew through the few trees dotting the graveyard, flying too high to be caught. We breathed a collective sigh of relief as no corpses rose. We hadn’t missed anything, thankfully. The spirits weren’t relenting, however, and the air was already beginning to thicken.

“Sam!” I shouted. “I don’t think the mirror trick is going to work for these guys! They aren’t taking the bait! What was the other weakness that the Baí Zé said they had?”

“It was light, Fay! Really powerful light, enough to affect the souls of the dead!”

Sam muttered a few words, and a Light orb began to circle around her, keeping the Sluagh Sidhé at bay, and I did the same. Tyler stuck close to my side, protected by the pale light surrounding us.

Then the redcaps arrived en masse. Dozens of diminutive creatures, similar in appearance to the clurichaun save for their bloodred hats, ran through the portal, each clutching a wickedly sharp bone sickle. They were grinning wildly, and their serrated teeth gleamed.

“Sam!” I shouted. “We need to act, now!”

I gritted my teeth and pulled out a few of the ice diamonds that I hadn’t laid out in front of the bonfire, and dropped them on the ground as the redcaps approached. I focused hard and the ice began to run like water, gathering around our feet and rising. Soon we were all wearing small boots of ice, except for the soles. Hopefully it would provide some small protection against getting our tendons sliced open by those sickles.

A second later they were on us. Tyler had backed away rapidly and was leading a few of the bloodthirsty creatures to the side.

Sam had… whoa. Her own shield was up and ready. Sam had modified the Minor Orb spell again. She had conjured her five orbs and sent them rotating helically around her body, almost too fast for me to see them. In the second before the redcaps forced me to pay attention to my own fight, I watched as the first one to get too close to her was just blasted to one side with incredible force. A few of the Sluagh Sidhé flying through the air were pushed aside from the wind her orbs were generating as well.

“Inertia, bitches!” Sam screamed victoriously. Sweat was pouring down her brow from the effort, though. She wouldn’t be able to keep it up for long.

BuyLinks

Harmony Ink Press

Amazon US

Amazon UK

All Romance eBooks

AboutTheAuthor

Tom Early is currently a student at Tufts University who probably spends more time than is wise reading and writing instead of studying. More often than not, he can be found wrapped in a blanket on the couch forgetting most of the things he was supposed to do that day.

When not writing, Tom can be found either reading, gaming, drawing, scratching his dog, or bothering his friends. He also frequently forgets that it’s healthy to get more than six hours of sleep a night, and firmly believes that treating coffee as the most important food group makes up for this. If you show him a picture of your dog, he will probably make embarrassingly happy noises and then brag about his own dog. He’s always happy to talk about any of his previous or current writing projects, because people asking him about them reminds him that he should really be writing right now.

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TourSchedule

October 19:

Love Bytes Reviews

World of Diversity Fiction

Sue Brown

October 20:

BFD Book Blog

RJ Scott

The Land of Make Believe

October 21:

Boys on the Brink

The Purple Rose Tea House

Queer Sci-Fi

Drops of Ink

October 22:

Carly’s Book Reviews

Wicked Faeries Tales & Reviews

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

Divine Magazine

October 23:

Reviews and Interviews Blog

TTC Books and More

Nephy’s World

Diverse Reader

Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt, & Giveaway – Hostage by Cheryl Headford

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AboutTheBook

HostageLGTitle: Hostage

Author: Cheryl Headford

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press

Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh

Length: 328 Pages

Release Date: September 17, 2015

Blurb: Astrin Raphael wakes up in a strange place, frightened and confused. He is told to trust someone who seems to hate him, and he tries—he really tries. However, things change rapidly when he discovers his friend is actually his archenemy, Rowan Gabriel, whose abusive behavior stems from a deeply ingrained, if unwarranted, hatred over something that happened many years before, and simply wasn’t Astrin’s fault.

When Rowan’s uncle and Astrin’s father are kidnapped by Strebo Michael, the two crown princes are catapulted into an adventure that forces them to work together, and along the way their feelings for each other grow. Rowan is quick to let his hate go, but Astrin can’t release his inhibitions. It takes Astrin almost dying from a poisoned dagger before he finally accepts Rowan’s love.

When they return home, their problems continue as their Houses try to negotiate a way for the young men to be together. It soon becomes clear at least one of them will need to relinquish his throne.

Excerpt

Rowan looked into the sincere green eyes, which were far from clear and never would be as long as he was here. If Rowan had been thinking clearly, he would have been impressed that—even though he was drugged, hurt, and ill—Astrin was handling the situation far better than he was. Unfortunately, Rowan was not thinking clearly, and the only thing that crossed his mind was frustration. He was so determined to hate Astrin, no matter what, he’d blinded himself to anything about Astrin that was admirable or likable.

The things he couldn’t ignore—Astrin’s obvious beauty and calmness of spirit—did nothing more than irritate him enormously. Somewhere deep inside, he knew Astrin was a good person, but Rowan wouldn’t acknowledge it. He couldn’t, because if he did he’d have to stop hating Astrin, and that was simply not going to happen.

“You didn’t do anything. I just don’t like you.”

“Why not?”

“Because you’re self-absorbed, stuck-up, and arrogant.”

Astrin’s eyes went wide. “Am I? I… I don’t feel like I am.”

Rowan snorted. “No one who’s truly arrogant ever believes they are.”

Astrin considered. “I suppose you’re right. I don’t want to be any of those things.” He considered again. “Will you help me?”

“Help you?”

“Help me not be anymore.”

Rowan snorted again. “Yeah right.”

“No, seriously. I really don’t want to be those things you said I am— any of them. Please help me change.”

Rowan stared at him, genuinely shocked. “Um… er… okay…. Okay, I will…. At least I’ll do my best.”

Astrin treated him to a blinding smile that made him feel slightly stunned. Those eyes were powerful weapons. Thank the Gods Astrin wasn’t aware enough to know how to use them.

“Have you finished eating?” Astrin nodded, placing his half-empty plate back on the trolley. Rowan shook his head. “You have to eat it all, or Ragnor will have my guts for garters.”

“That’s an… interesting expression.”

“You think it’s just an expression?”

For the first time, the two boys genuinely smiled at each other. Astrin leaned forward to pick up the plate again and missed the expressions flowing through Rowan’s eyes. At first he was amused, then horrified, and then—cold.

“Why have you been taking care of me? I mean… you don’t like me, and you’re obviously not part of my family: we look too different. So who are you? Are you a servant? You don’t seem like one.”

“A servant?” Rowan stared at him, outraged. “No, I am not a bloody servant. I’m Crown Prince of House Gabriel.”

Astrin’s eye widened with an expression of startled shock. “Really?”

“I am not in the habit of lying.”

 “No, I… I wasn’t saying you were lying, but….” Thoughtfully, Astrin chewed on a piece of food and frowned. “I don’t understand.”

“There are a lot of things you don’t understand.”

“If you’re a prince, then why…? Why are you taking care of me?”

“Because my uncle feels I need a lesson in humility.”

“Oh… so you’re arrogant, self-absorbed, and stuck-up too?”

BuyLinks

Harmony Ink Press (ebook)

Harmony Ink Press (Paperback)

Amazon US

Amazon UK

All Romance eBooks

AboutTheAuthor

Cheryl Headford was born into a poor mining family in the South Wales Valleys. Until she was sixteen, the toilet was at the bottom of the garden and the bath hung on the wall. Her refrigerator was a stone slab in the pantry, and there was a black lead fireplace in the kitchen. They look lovely in a museum but aren’t so much fun to clean.

Cheryl has always been a storyteller. As a child, she’d make up stories for her nieces, nephews, and cousin, and they’d explore the imaginary worlds she created, in play.

Later in life, Cheryl became the storyteller for a reenactment group who traveled widely, giving a taste of life in the Iron Age. As well as having an opportunity to run around hitting people with a sword, she had an opportunity to tell stories of all kinds, sometimes of her own making, to all kinds of people. The criticism was sometimes harsh, especially from the children, but the reward enormous.

It was there she began to appreciate the power of stories and the primal need to hear them. In ancient times, the wandering bard was the only source of news and the storyteller the heart of the village, keeping the lore and the magic alive. Although much of the magic has been lost, the stories still provide a link to the part of us that wants to believe that it’s still there, somewhere.

In present times, Cheryl lives in a terraced house in the Valleys with her son, dog, hamster, and two cats. Her daughter has deserted her for the big city, but they’re still close. She’s never been happier since she was made redundant and is able to devote herself entirely to her twin loves of writing and art.

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Winner’s Prize: Signed Paperback of Hostage.

Runners Up Prize: 2 E-copies of Hostage.

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TourSchedule

September 21:

Gay.Guy.Reading And Friends

The Land of Make Believe

September 22:

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

The Purple Rose Tea House

September 23:

Queer Sci-Fi

Diverse Reader

September 24:

The Novel Approach

Wicked Faeries Tales And Reviews

September 25:

MM Good Book Reviews

Drops of Ink

September 26:

Cia’s Stories

Author Cody Kennedy

September 27:

Bayou Book Junkie

Louise Lyons

September 28:

Prism Book Alliance

Boys on the Brink

September 29:

World of Diversity Fiction

Love Bytes Reviews

September 30:

Eyes on Books

Christopher Hawthorne Moss – The Pros & Cons of Historical Fiction

The Pros and Cons of Historical Fiction: A Conversation with Character(s)

By Christopher Hawthorne Moss, author of BELOVED PILGRIM

Assembled: Christopher Hawthorne Moss; Frankie Deramus, the riverboat gambler from WHERE MY LOVE LIES DREAMING;  KING LAWRENCE, the title character of AN INVOLUNTARY KING; and ELISABETH/ELIAS, the protagonist of BELOVED PILGRIM.

FRANKIE DERAMUS:  What are we talking about this time?

CHRISTOPHER MOSS:  The Pros and Cons of Historical Fiction.

ELISABETH/ELIAS: As opposed to what?

CHRISTOPHER MOSS: Actual history.  You are all fictional characters.

KING LAWRENCE: That’s not true.  I’m factual.  I was the King of Crislicland.

CHRISTOPHER MOSS:  Don’t you remember that one review where she said she looked it up and could not find a KING LAWRENCE?

KING LAWRENCE:  Oh yeah, that’s right.  But I lived in a factual time and place.

FRANKIE DERAMUS: Mais non, mon roi.  The time perforce was real, but there is no Crislicland, never was.  There was, and is, a New Orleans and a Mississippi River.

ELISABETH/ELIAS: “New” Orleans?  What was wrong with the old one?

CHRISTOPHER MOSS:  We talked about it, you guys.  You know, the New World and all that.

FRANKIE DERAMUS:  Chez moi.

ELISABETH/ELIAS:     I knew some real people.  Actually, several.  A Margravina, some dukes, some counts, even an emperor or two.

FRANKIE DERAMUS:  I knew some Confederate generals.  I told Johnny I knew Stephen Foster, but my author had his dates wrong on that one.

KING LAWRENCE:  And I met King Offa of Mercia.  In fact, my fictional son married one of his factual daughters…

CHRISTOPHER MOSS:  All right, all right.  Let’s focus here.  Some people don’t like historical fiction.  Why do you think that is?

KING LAWRENCE:   I suppose they think they can’t believe it.  History is one thing, but fiction is by definition all made up.

ELISABETH/ELIAS:     Except history isn’t always fact.  The Crusade I was on was never recorded by an eyewitness.  The three people who wrote about it were a monk who didn’t come with us, another monk who asked some people who did ten years later.  And the emperor’s daughter, who stayed comfortably sitting on her velvet throne while we all sweated and starved our asses off.  Facts have never been my friend.

FRANKIE DERAMUS:  I know what you mean, madame…. I mean monsieur.  Mine is the only romance Christopher here wrote, yet historians would question my romance with another man ever could have taken place.  Pure merd.

CHRISTOPHER MOSS:   Or that our “Beloved Pilgrim” here would have an identity we now call “transgender”.  They would say she’s a woman and no women fought in the Crusades.

KING LAWRENCE:   I don’t see why.  We had Saxon women warriors.

ELISABETH/ELIAS:     The Church made a rule you couldn’t tell about the women in the Crusades, even though the Paynim wrote about them.  Besides, I am not a woman.  Not in my heart and soul.  I am a man.  Is that what you called transgender, Christopher?  Why would I need an “identity” as that?  I know myself.  I know who and what I am, and that’s a man.

CHRISTOPHER MOSS:  Exactly.  So what you are saying is that since history has lots of holes in it, we should make the rest of it up?

FRANKIE DERAMUS:  Certainemnet.  But it must be plausible.  You can’t just make things up willy nilly.

KING LAWRENCE:   I’m surprised you knew that expression, “willy nilly”.  You speak Creole French, right?

FRANKIE DERAMUS:  Oui, but I speak English as well, and, more important than that, I am fictional.  I mean, neither of you spoke English, not in your real time.  Christopher had to translate everything you said, in a manner of speaking.  I can say whatever I want, except in the book.  In the book we all have to at least sound like we fit our time.

CHRISTOPHER MOSS:  Frankie, you said some historians don’t believe there was same sex love in the past.

FRANKIE DERAMUS:  Not exactly.  They know there were men who loved men and women who loved women.  They just get squeamish when writers like Christopher suggest that there were any people who saw themselves as part of an identity.  All because of that Foucault fellow.  But he had his own, how do you say, agenda.  He was trying to prove some theory about power.  Frankly, I never quite understood what he was going on about.

ELISABETH/ELIAS:     You know what I think?  I think they believe same sex loving people are only about sex.  They think there were men who just liked to have sex and would have it with anyone and anything.  They don’t seem to understand that love is about two people who meet, fall in love, and stay together.  It’s like you always say, Christopher.  You can’t pass laws against people falling in love.  Whether they grew up looking forward to the day they would fall in love with someone of their own sex, when the time came, they felt the emotional attraction.  You can’t stop that from happening.

KING LAWRENCE:   Tell me about it.  It seemed like half the male population of the British Isles fell in love with my wife.  But I see what you are saying.  And how would they know, anyway?  Like whether there was a Crislicland?  They weren’t there.

ELISABETH/ELIAS:     But there was no record of a Saxon kingdom called that.

FRANKIE DERAMUS:   Just because there was no record doesn’t mean the thing never was.  Maybe with a huge kingdom, but lots of things and people did not get recorded.  Like men like me.

ELISABETH/ELIAS:     And men like me.

CHRISTOPHER MOSS:  Back to what you said about a story needing to be plausible.  Even for example if there was no riverboat called Le Beau Soleil, there could have been.  It doesn’t matter if a novel doesn’t read like a transcript of real events, so long as it is within reason that events and people like that might have existed.  Enough to make up stories about.

KING LAWRENCE:   In fact, that’s what is so good about historical fiction.  The stories.  People think of history as dry and flat.  They know what happened and who was there but they don’t usually know what the majority of those who lived through it felt about it.

CHRISTOPHER MOSS:  That’s one of the two points about historical fiction that I think makes it every bit as important as history.  That it humanizes the events of history.  The second is that it can present stories that are overlooked, erased from history.  For example, there are lots of records of people who were punished for being caught making love.  The only reason is that it was against the Church or civil authorities.  First of all, that is hardly the whole story of what we now call gays and lesbians.  And by thinking about what it would be like to live at such a time and have that punishment hanging over your head all the time, you can write a plausible story that is broader in concept, and by definition important to human understanding.

ELISABETH/ELIAS:     The only people you seem to find more detailed about are rich people.  Aristocrats.  Like me.

KING LAWRENCE:  And me.

FRANKIE DERAMUS: Et moi!  You know, I just realized something.  Christopher always writes about the uppermost classes.  He needs to come up with a commoner to write about.

KEVERN TREVELYAN:  I’ll be there as soon as I can.  It’s a long walk from Cornwall to Winchester.

CHRISTOPHER MOSS: Kevern’s in my next novel.  Thanks for popping by, and thanks to you all for enriching my life.

KING LAWRENCE:   Thank you, Christopher, for giving us life.

BelovePilgrim_cover

Blurb for BELOVED PILGRIM, 2nd Edition

By Christopher Hawthorne Moss

At the time of the earliest Crusades, young noblewoman Elisabeth longs to be the person she’s always known is hidden inside. When her twin brother perishes from a fever, Elisabeth takes his identity to live as a man, a knight. As Elias, he travels to the Holy Land, to adventure, passion, death, and a lesson that honor is sometimes found in unexpected places.

Elias must pass among knights and soldiers, survive furious battle, deadly privations, moral uncertainty, and treachery if he’ll have any chance of returning to his new-found love in the magnificent city of Constantinople.

Buy link:
http://harmonyinkpress.com/coming-soon-beloved-pilgrim-by-christopher-hawthorne-moss/

AUTHOR BIO

Christopher Hawthorne Moss wrote his first short story when he was seven and has spent some of the happiest hours of his life fully involved with his colorful, passionate and often humorous characters. Moss spent some time away from fiction, writing content for websites before his first book came out under the name Nan Hawthorne in 1991. He has since become a novelist and is a prolific and popular blogger, the historical fiction editor for the GLBT Bookshelf, where you can find his short stories and thoughtful and expert book reviews. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his husband of over thirty years and four doted upon cats. He owns Shield-wall Productions at http://www.shield-wall.com. He welcomes comment from readers sent to christopherhmoss@gmail.com and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Website: http://www.shield-wall.com
email: christopherhmoss@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kitmoss2012 

OUR STORY GLBTQ HISTORICAL FICTION
http://bookworld.editme.com/Our-Story-GLBTQ-Historical-Fiction-Edited-by-Nan-Hawthorne-0

Additional Links:
WHERE MY LOVE LIES DREAMING
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4126

Artwork (cover, author, publisher logos)
https://www.dropbox.com/home/Public/Beloved%20Pilgrim

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