Tuesday, 31 October 2017

#YouTube Tuesday: Reading for 24 Hours | #ReadathonbyZoe | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:


She read for 24 hours! Well, in between eating and naps while she was sick, but still...

Medieval Monday: Hallowmas (Halloween) | Allison D. Reid

Originally posted by Allison D. Reid:

Soul soul for a souling cake
I pray you, missis, for a souling cake
Apple or pear, plum or cherry
Anything to make us merry…”
halloween1Halloween is coming! Now a fun night for costumes and treats, many say its origins go back to the pagan festival of Samhain, meaning “summer’s end.” It marked the end of the harvest, and the beginning of winter. According to the Celts, this was the time when “the veils between this world and the Otherworld were believed to be at their thinnest: when the spirits of the dead could most readily mingle with the living once again.” They believed that Saman, the Lord of the Dead, would come that night to take up into the afterlife the souls of those who had died that year. Like many pagan traditions, the holiday was eventually Christianized, and remained a time to honor the dead, especially the saints. All-Hallows Eve, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day together were referred to as Hallowmas–a three day event beginning the night of October 31st.
medieval-images-of-deathSome of our current Halloween traditions have their roots in the Middle Ages. People would dress in costumes intended to scare away any dark spirits that happened to be wandering about. Bells were rung, and there were processions and bonfires to scare away witches, ghosts, and evil spirits. Children and the poor went door to door, offering prayers for the household’s deceased relatives in exchange for small “soul” cakes.
soul-cakesThe video I included today is by Claire Ridgway, founder of TheAnneBoleynFiles and the Tudor Society. She demonstrates how to make “Soul Cakes” using a traditional Tudor recipe (which she reads from so you can hear the original version). If you’re feeling adventurous in the kitchen this week, or want to bring something interesting to that Halloween party you’ve been invited to, give it a shot!

(Did you miss last week’s post on medieval money? It’s not too late–just click to read.)

Monday, 30 October 2017

An Unexpected Afterlife by Dan Sofer | Renee's Author Spotlight

Originally posted on Renee's Author Spotlight:

Dan Sofer won the 2016 Best Book Award (American Book Fest, category: religious fiction) for his novel, "A Love and Beyond" ("A mysterious crime. A ruthless secret society. And a desperate bachelor...")

His novels blend romance, adventure and magical realism, sprinkled with humor and insights into Jewish life and legend - entertainment for the heart and soul.

Dan lives in Israel with his family.

His second novel, "An Unexpected Afterlife" ("You only live twice?"), hit the shelves in March 2017 and the sequel, "An Accidental Messiah" will follow in late October 2017.

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About the Book


Readers' Favorite 5-Star Medal Winner.

When he wakes up naked and alone in the Mount of Olives Cemetery, Moshe Karlin doesn't remember dying two years ago, nor does he realize how hard he'll have to work to win back his perfect old life... and his wife. In fact, he'll be lucky to survive his first week on the streets of Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, other changes are afoot in the Holy Land. A reluctant prophet prepares to deliver a message of redemption--and the end of life as we know it--when a freak accident changes the course of history.

An Unexpected Afterlife is the first "highly original" novel in the new fantasy adventure series of biblical proportions, The Dry Bones Society. If you enjoy romance and adventure, humor and heartbreak, engaging characters and non-stop surprises, then you'll love this romp in legends of the Resurrection and the World to Come.

"An amazing read... a masterful storyteller." (Readers' Favorite, 5-Star Medal)
"Fascinating... You've got to read it." (Esra Magazine)
"A mind-opener... a tour de force." (Federation Star)
"One of the best books I have read in a long time." (EM, Amazon Reviewer)

Get it Today!

Keep reading for an excerpt:

Moshe Karlin emerged from a deep and dreamless sleep with a premonition of impending doom. The world seemed out of place. The dawn chorus of summer birds filled his ears, but louder than usual, as though an entire flock had perched on the windowsill above his bed. The mattress pressed against his back, hard and coarse. A chill breeze tickled the hair on his bare chest.

Bare chest?

His eyelids snapped open. The endless blue velvet cano-py of heaven stretched overhead, and as he gazed, a star winked out. His heart thumped in his rib cage. He was not in his bed. Or his bedroom. Or even his house.

He craned his neck forward. He lay on his back in a stony field, as naked as the day he was born.

His head slumped to the ground.

Moshe Karlin, you are in deep trouble.

Galit would kill him when he got home. That is, if she ever found out.

As his bold plan for sneaking home unnoticed grew flesh and sinew, the crackle of a loudspeaker jarred his thoughts, and a nasal voice boomed: Allahu akba-a-ar! Allahu akba-a-ar!

Moshe heard the East Jerusalem muezzin most mornings but always from a safe distance. This morning, however, the blaring call to morning prayers seemed to issue from only a stone’s throw away.

Correction. You are in very deep trouble.

My Life as an Indie Author #PoweredByIndie | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:

Even though I’m not yet where I want to be as an author, I have to say that so far this journey has been a dream come true.
I think the main reason I feel so differently from other authors I’ve read about is that I’m not trying to rush things. I know where I want to go and I know eventually I’ll get there as long as I keep moving forward. So, I take it a day at a time and I’m allowing myself to enjoy the journey.
It wasn’t always like this for me though.
I decided early on that I wanted to self-publish my work. I had many reasons for this, but the main reason was that I just didn’t want to have to answer to anyone else as far as my work was concerned. I have an entrepreneurial spirit, and I’ve always wanted to be my own boss is whatever I did.
There was a time where I had considered traditionally publishing. I was scared. I wasn’t sure I could do it on my own because, at the time, there was a lot of negativity that went with being self-published. Even today, there are groups of people out there who use cyberbullying tactics to bring down indie authors.
Then organizations, like Amazon and Smashwords, made it easy to self-publish. While there is still some negativity, it seems to be dying down. Many readers are turning to indies because our books are cheaper, and according to many, a better value for the money.
I didn’t want to just jump into it though.
I took some time to study the industry and what I would be expected to do. A lot of the negativity was based on the belief that self-published authors put sub-par work into the world, and because of that, the whole industry was suffering.  I didn’t want to be one of those authors.
Once I started publishing, I was so determined to get my name out there. I pushed myself to write and market myself, sometimes for up to 16 hours a day. And I burned out. This thing I loved to do was suddenly more like work, and I began feeling like I didn’t want to do it anymore.
I didn’t give up though. I made myself take a break, and I decided it wasn’t worth doing if it wasn’t going to be fun for me. I stopped setting word count deadlines, and I loosened up my schedule. Now I seem to get more done in a shorter time than before. I don’t write as much as I did, but that’s more due to my health.
I’m not rich or famous, nor is that my goal, but I’m living the dream!

Saturday, 28 October 2017

#Halloween #InstaFreebie #BookGiveaway - Get The Dream Crypt Free (Limited Time)! | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:

From now until the 4th of November, you can download The Dream Crypt free on InstaFreebie!

Rylee is a normal girl, living in a normal world. At least that’s what she thinks until an Onyx Warrior tells her the truth. She is trapped in a dream world by an ancient and powerful vampire, while he feeds on her blood at his leisure. Worse, her only chance for escape is likely to get her killed.

Get it Free!

Friday, 27 October 2017

The Heart of the Pack by Iris Sweetwater | Renee's Author Spotlight

Originally posted on Renee's Author Spotlight:

Iris Sweetwater has been writing short stories and poetry since the age of four. This first love of writing got her featured in several poetry publications starting at the tender age of 13. Following high school, she found her niche in marketing, writing and editing for large websites and newsletters. Following finding out of her pregnancy with her daughter, she was unable to work, so she turned to the life of a freelancer. Iris began to find more confidence in her ideas and talents as she ghostwrote for publishers large and small and authors with great ideas who did not have the talent to put those ideas into eloquent words. At the end of 2016, Iris decided it was finally time to start publishing the stories that came from her own heart and has many books planned over the next few years.

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About the Book

The war between the Olympia werewolf pack and the coven is over. A beloved brother has turned out to be a complete stranger and sealed his fate in death and punishment. Life should be peaceful now, but there is a battle raging inside the members of the pack; the kind that bites and fists cannot win. This is a war of the heart and of the mind. What is right and what does your heart want, and which should you go with? The werewolf brothers and the new leader of the coven will have to make the most heartbreaking decisions now that the storm has passed.

Get it today on Amazon!

Keep reading for an interview with the author:

Why did you decide to be a writer?

Honestly, it's what I am good at. I have been doing it since I was four. My brain is far too full of ideas not to write!

Did you have a hard time sharing your work with the public?

When I was younger I felt nothing I did was perfect, it wasn't good enough. After ghostwriting for 6 years and writing bestsellers for others, I knew I had what it took.

What genres do you write?

PNR, YA Fantasy, New Adult & Contemporary Romance

Is there a genre that you've been wanting to experiment with?

Mystery/Thriller, only because I feel like I can mix it with romance and fantasy elements and make a really big deal with it.

If you could be one of your characters for a day, who would it be and why?

Annalise; she has so much power to use, and she is beautiful.

What is the oddest thing you've ever researched for one of your books?

I haven't researched much for my own yet, but I have ghostwritten a lot of MC romance books. I have had to look up the flow of illegal drug trade and human trafficking for those!

What authors have most influenced you?

Lauren Kate, Alyson Noel, JK Rowling, Holly Black, Cassandra Claire, Addison Moore

What are your goals as an author?

I want to make a career out of this. I want to make enough to have a savings for my daughter and a house for my family. I want to have at least a few loyal fans.

What do you enjoy doing aside from writing?

I love dancing and singing.

What book or series do you enjoy reading over and over again?

The Celestra series by Addison Moore

What are you working on now?

The final Brothers of Fang novel.

What was the hardest part about writing your latest book?

It is hard to tie up all the loose ends without being obvious and without ruining the characters the way the readers like them.

How do you market/promote your work?

Mostly, getting the word out to as many places as possible the week of release seems to work the best. Really large takeovers are also good.

Do you have any advice for other authors?

Do not let anyone tell you what to write and how to write without your permission. Do you.

Do you have anything specific you'd like to say to your readers?

You can always come to me and ask questions or express opinions. I will never get so big in the head that I do not want to hear from you.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Special Features - Runes: A runes Novel (Runes series Book 1) by Ednah Walters | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:

Seventeen-year-old Raine Cooper has enough on her plate dealing with her father’s disappearance, her mother’s erratic behavior and the possibility of her boyfriend relocating. The last thing she needs is Torin St. James—a mysterious new neighbor with a wicked smile and uncanny way of reading her.
Raine is drawn to Torin’s dark sexiness against her better judgment until he saves her life with weird marks and she realizes he is different. But by healing her, Torin changes something inside Raine. Now she can’t stop thinking about him. Half the time, she’s not sure whether to fall into his arms or run.
Scared, she sets out to find out what Torin is. But the closer she gets to the truth the more she uncovers something sinister about him. What Torin is, goes back to an ancient mythology and Raine is somehow part of it. Not only is she and her friends in danger, she must choose a side, but the wrong choice will cost Raine her life.
Runes (book 1)
Immortals (book 2)
Grimnirs (book 3) or Grimnirs: Clean Version
Seeress (book 4)
Souls (book 5)
Witches (book 6)
(Strangers to lovers, YA Paranormal Romance, Teen fantasy, Teen Romance, Coming of age, True love, HEA, illness, cancer, hope, Swimming, swim team, high school romance, witches, magic, runes, reapers, Norse mythology, YA sports romance, Valkyries, gods and goddesses)

Get it Free on Amazon!

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

#WIP Wednesday: Getting Ready for NaNoWriMo | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:

I’ve decided I’m definitely participating in NaNoWriMo next month, so the rest of this month will be spend preparing.
I’m going to start writing the A God’s Deceptionseries, so I’m planning the entire series first. So far I’ve got all of the main characters worked out, and I’m plotting events at the moment. They’re all out of order, so it’s going to be fun trying to put them in some kind of order, but once I do that, I’ll have a good idea of how many books the series will be.
They’re all out of order, so it’s going to be fun trying to put them in some kind of order, but once I do that, I’ll have a good idea of how many books the series will be. I’m estimating between 4 and 6 at the moment, but depending on how things go it could be more.
So it’s safe to say that Shadow Stalker and my other serial are on hold for the time being… at least until December. I need a break from it though to get my creative juices flowing again. Then maybe I can get over that hurdle and finish it.
While I’m writing for NaNoWriMo next month, I’ll be posting occasional snippets on Twitter and Facebook using #AGodsDeception, so save the hashtag and check it out beginning November 1st. I’ll post at least once a day as I’m writing. Also keep an eye out here for my Saturday Sneak Peeks where I’ll share some of what I’m writing.
It’s going to be a crazy, exciting month. I hope you’ll join me!

The Bitter Ashes Series (Books 1-3) by Sara C Roethle

$0.99 for a limited time (reg $5.99)!

She’s not their long lost fairy princess. She’s their executioner.

Kidnapped in the middle of the night, and thrust into a world straight out of Norse Myth, Madeline only knew three things: First, her kidnappers were something other than human. Second, she could no longer run away from the deadly gifts that had plagued her entire life, because these people wanted to use them. Third, she was falling in love with a man she definitely shouldn’t be falling in love with.

A normal person would run screaming into the night, but Madeline isn’t normal, and there’s something about dark, alluring Alaric that’s making her question everything she’s ever known.

Get it Today!

Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Google Play

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

#YouTube Tuesday - IBPA Recap: The World of Fan Fiction | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:

If you love to write fan fiction, you need to see this!
This one also got me thinking about what I’ll allow when people ask to write fan fiction of my work. It hasn’t happened yet, but when it does, I should probably be prepared.
What do you think are fair rules for fan fiction? (Share your thoughts below)

Medieval Monday: Timber! | Allison D. Reid

Originally posted by Allison D. Reid:

I’ve been binge watching old episodes of Barnwood Builders (diy network), which follows a group of men who reclaim old decaying log cabins from the 1700s-1800s.  They restore the original logs and rebuild the cabins so they can be turned into new log cabins, giving life to a piece of our history that is rapidly disappearing.  It is interesting to learn about the history of pioneer building techniques, how to cut notches and chink, how to build a roof, etc.  (And 68 year old Kentucky native Johnny Jett cracks me up.)
Medieval construction was also largely timber based, and some of what the pioneers did hadn’t changed all that much from medieval times.  I found this video that shows how trees were transformed into wood beams with nothing but hand tools.  Since I’m always fascinated by the daily life aspect of the Middle Ages, I enjoy videos like these–though I have to say, I cringed a little at the obvious safety issue of repeatedly swinging an ax toward your body.  At any rate, this is the kind of detail that helps me with my world building when I’m writing.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Coilhunter by Dean F. Wilson

In this “weird west” tale of grit and vengeance, an unconventional bounty hunter seeks the killer of his family.

Get it today on Amazon!

Friday, 20 October 2017

The Origin Key - Book One of The Treasures of Dodrazeb by S.D. McPhail

In the third century, the Persian Empire was a world power whose influence stretched from China to Europe. The king and his sons maintained peace with a powerful army—until the day a horde of screaming vandals attacked the king.

Pursuing a criminal known as the Viper, Prince Rasteem becomes suspicious when the Persian army easily conquers Dodrazeb. Princess Laneffri is desperate to expel the Persian invaders from her kingdom and she will stop at nothing to protect its secrets—especially the Origin Key. Is Dodrazeb hiding the Viper or something even more dangerous? When Rasteem learns what the Origin Key can do, he must find a way to make the princess an ally to save both their kingdoms from annihilation.

Get it today on Amazon!

Oztober: Australian #SFF Showcase & 99c Sale!

Support Australian Authors!

This Weekend Only!

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Special Features: Mercenary Instinct (The Mandrake Company series) by Ruby Lionsdrake | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:

Skulking around in the ruins on a planet swarming with treasure hunters, slavers, and bounty hunters isn’t good for one’s health. But Ankari Markovich needs a few archaeological samples for her latest business venture, a venture that might prove lucrative enough to move her family off the impoverished planet where she grew up. Unfortunately, she has no sooner collected her samples than she’s captured by a band of brawny mercenaries. The captain might be handsome, but he’s intent on turning her over to some finance lord who has, for reasons unknown, put a bounty on her head, a ridiculously large one at that. If she can’t figure out a way to escape before she’s delivered to the lord’s home world, she could be forced into a life of indentured servitude—or worse.
Captain Viktor Mandrake doesn’t usually take on piddling bounty hunting gigs, but when his intelligence officer informs him of a criminal on a nearby planet, he decides it wouldn’t hurt to take a shuttle down to collect the woman. But Ankari Markovich is trouble from the start, nearly eluding his elite forces, then fighting and tricking his people left and right. He finds himself admiring her spirit, but according to her warrant, she’s a criminal. The safest thing is to keep her in the brig and ignore her until she can be handed off to the man who wants her.
But the situation grows more complicated when other bounty hunters show up, wanting to claim Ankari for themselves. Thanks to this woman, Viktor’s ship is in danger, his crew members are going missing, and he’s fighting enemies he never asked for in a jungle in the middle of a hurricane. He’s either going to strangle Ankari… or fall in love. Either scenario could get him killed.
Mercenary Instinct is a full-length, stand-alone novel of 90,000 words. It is part of the “Mandrake Company” series of science fiction romance stories and is recommended for readers who enjoy space-based adventure (such as Firefly) and steamy love stories (in the style of Linnea Sinclair).

Get it today on Amazon!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Dragonblood Throne: Legacy by Tom Fallwell | Renee's Author Spotlight

Originally posted on Renee's Author Spotlight:

Early in life, Tom Fallwell discovered a love for fantasy and science-fiction, delighting in the wonderful escape into realms undreamed of. Weaned on the greats like J.R.R. Tolkien, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert E. Howard, Roger Zelazny, Robert A. Heinlein, and Michael Moorcock, just to name a few, Tom's imagination was forever inspired by those marvelous tales.

One day, he discovered a simple book of rules called 'Chainmail', by Gary Gygax, and found a new love: the love of creating adventures and stories of his own. 'Chainmail' evolved into 'Dungeons & Dragons', and Tom played consistently with friends as both a player and a dungeon master (DM) for decades. Such activities helped him develop his ability to create worlds and stories for other players to enjoy.

Now retired from his long career as a software developer, Tom writes all the adventures and characters that constantly fill his mind and shares them with the world.

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About the Book

Orphaned as a young child and growing up alone in the forest, Delina lives a life of isolation; her only companion a saber-toothed panther. Her strange eyes frighten those she occasionally encounters, so she keeps to herself, until a young, wounded warrior ends up at her doorstep. As she nurses him back to health, she discovers she is more than just a young woman with unusual eyes, she is a dragonblood, destined to become the ruler of Almar.

Now hunted by the dark sorcerer who murdered her father, usurped his throne, and killed all her kin, she must find out how she can release the essence of the dragon inside her to defeat him. Everything depends upon her willingness to embrace her legacy and reclaim the Dragon Throne.

Get it Today!

Keep reading for an interview with Delina, a character from the story:

Did you have a close relationship with your family?

My mother was killed when I was five years old, and I never knew my father. I've lived alone, except for Morlok, in the forest all my life since.

What is the happiest memory from your childhood?

Playing at the edge of the river with the turtles while mamma washed clothes in the cold waters. The tiny turtles would snap, but they didn't hurt, and I remember laughing as I played and mamma's soothing voice telling me she loved me.

Who was your best friend growing up?

Morlok has always been my best friend and companion. She is a shadowfang, and saved me when I was lost and alone. She all but raised me as if I was one of her own cubs.

Who is your enemy?

The High Lord Kargoth, the self declared ruler of Almar. He murdered my father and killed all my kin, claiming the Dragon Throne for himself.

Tell us a little about your world, and where you fit in?

I have lived in the forests of Almar, with Morlok, as a hermit, avoiding direct contact with others because my eyes frighten them. I'm a dragonblood, one who contains the essence of a dragon within, though I appear to be an elf. My kin ruled Almar, more specifically, my father, for hundreds of years before the usurper came. There is a prophecy that a dragonblood will one day return and defeat the dark and evil High Lord, and reclaim the Dragon Throne.

Who has been the greatest influence in your life?

Morlok has been the only friend I've known for many years. She taught me to hunt and has watched over me. Some may say she is just an animal, a cat of the wilds, but she is far more than that. I cannot imagine life without her.

Have you ever been in love?

I've never met anyone that I cared about, Morlok being my only companion. Though, she is a cat, and not a person. Yet, there is this man who was being chased by the blackguard of Kargoth, and he was injured at the entrance to my cavern home. I nursed him back to health, and I found that he looks at me differently than any others have before. I like how his eyes shine with affection when he looks upon me, unafraid of my strange eyes.

What kind of clothing do you prefer to wear?

I have always made my own clothing, from the furs of bears and other creatures of the forest. I prefer those furs made from the black bears that roam these woods.

What is your favorite food?

I'm very fond of the boar stew that I make myself, using the wonderful kapor roots found in the forest for seasoning, as well as few vegetables, of course.

What do you own that would be hardest to part with?

I have a bow that I made myself, and use for hunting. Made with my own hands, I cannot imagine not having it with me. Yet, there are no material things that I could not part with, as long as Morlok is always at my side. I truly love our hunting excursions together.

Name some of your bad habits.

I lose my temper easily with most folk I do encounter from time-to-time. They look upon me with fear, and it infuriates me.

What do you regret most in your life?

Running away as my mother was burned to death by the local villagers as a witch. They feared my eyes, and would have burned me as well, but mother had made a secret tunnel and urged me to escape into the forest. I'm still haunted by her cries as I ran, terrified, into the dark woods alone. I was only five years old, but the memory is strong.

#WIP Wednesday: BeemGee Has Saved Me | Renee Scattergood

Originally posted by Renee Scattergood:

BeemGee is a new browser-based app that helps authors plan their stories. I decided to give it a try when I got an email about a competition where you get a 30-day premium trial and you are given 10 tasks over the 30 days to work towards a finished outline for a novel.
It was the best thing I could have done.
I’ve been feeling discouraged because I’m stuck on Episode 21 of my Shadow Stalker serial at the moment. The ending has changed a bit, so I’m having to tie a few things together before I can move on and because of my brain fog, I just can’t seem to do it.
Having a more structured way of planning the stories with my brain the way it is at the moment is helping me focus. So I’m getting tons of planning done on A God’s Deception. The best part is it really fits my style of planning where the story is planned around the characters. So it’s working well for me, so hopefully by the end of this month, I’ll have a finished outline. I might even participate in NaNoWriMo this year since I’ll have the outline ready.
I’m going to use the same method to plan the first (and subsequent) seasons of my new serial as well.
Due to feedback from my newsletter subscribers, I’m going to write each series entirely before publishing the individual novels. I’m still trying to determine the best amount of time in between each novel, so I’ve put together a survey for my subscribers. If you want to have a say, subscribe today!

Dominion Rising: 23 Full Length #SciFi & #Fantasy Novels

Find the Science Fiction and Fantasy reads you’ve been craving! 

Whether it’s alien invasion or dark fairytales, heart-pounding galactic adventures or cyberpunk romance, Dominion Rising will satisfy with a thrilling mix of 23 all-new full-length novels set in fantastical realms.

Sword and sorcery, far-flung galactic empires, alternative history, epic magic, slipstream futures: this collection of carefully selected, exclusive novels is sure to delight readers of speculative fiction.

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These award-winning, New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling authors have left no stone unturned in the science fiction and epic fantasy universe to bring you the very best escape from planet Earth.

All the novels are available exclusively in the Dominion Rising collection.

Get it Today!

Reading A Child Lost by Stephanie Ayers

Grab Your Copy of THE 13 BY STEPHANIE AYERS on Amazon: