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Thursday, June 27, 2024

The Big Comb Over by J.P. Rieger - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

The Big Comb Over
by J.P. Rieger


GENRE:   Family Satire; Farce; Magical Realism



Three nephews and three eccentric uncles.


It’s 2050 and Robbie Elders has all but forgotten about his oddball, religious fanatic uncle, tim tim. He’s taken up the latest fad, genealogical research based solely on DNA. But Robbie’s “inconclusive” DNA results are unsettling. He crashes back to his childhood, back to his world of comic books and tim tim.

I opt for posh and London” declares Lady Florence Stour. It’s 2019 and time for a Royal Wedding. Robbie’s uncle, Stef, is engaged to Lady Florence, a distant member of the British royal family. Stef’s Baltimore clan have been invited, but Robbie’s mom and dad can’t attend. They’ve entrusted Robbie and big brother, Doyle, to their mom’s two eccentric brothers, uncles Roy and Roland. Roy, a weathered waterman with a severe Baltimore accent, lives for Maryland blue crabs. Roland, a mildly hypochondriacal actor, lives to survive the Karens he unavoidably encounters. And then there’s Desales, Roy’s smart aleck, teenage son. He lives to prank. They’ve descended upon London. What could possibly go wrong?

Meanwhile, tim tim has been coaching Robbie on “the mission.” A silly religious fantasy according to Robbie’s atheist parents and the therapists. Or perhaps not? Things are not always as they appear in The Big Comb Over.



He was thinking that the man’s accent could be Irish. But more Cockney, almost. Odd. He saw the man thrust his hand forward.

“Name’s Roy.” He shook Roy’s hand, earnestly.

“Name’s Dixon. Pleasure to meet you.” He glanced over at Roy’s suit. “Nice couture! A refreshing play on seersucker! ‘Maison Dixon’ is mine. Curious to hear about yours!”

Roy felt a bit confused. He had already introduced himself. He figured maybe those white things were hearing aids. And he had a crazy name. “Ya said yours is Mason Dixon?”


“Like your Mason-Dixon line?”

“Well, thank you, Roy! Which particular line do you favor?”

Roy felt confused again. “Favor? Well, I was thinkin’ of the long one? The old one?”

Bertram nodded, knowingly. Nice to know the “Smart Man” line was still revered. Teddy had been encouraging him to drop it. “Yes, Smart Man, a long and successful line.”

Roy nodded. “Why, thanks, Mr. Dixon. But I would reckon everbody ’roun here’s heard of it. Don’t take too much brains. Historical, like.”

“Brilliant! Thanks, Roy. That’s my job. To keep those lines out in the public’s mind.”

Roy scratched at his rusty beard stubble. “So, like, ya do surveys, still? Ta mark the lines?”

“Well, certainly. But those are a little old school. We don’t always attach a survey to each line we produce. We get things done more with social media. Influencers, mainly. Good judges of the zeitgeist.”

Roy was thinking that surveyors setting lines without surveys didn’t sound very safe. And he wasn’t sure about the rest. “Ya done anything here in Bawlmer? Any new ones?” Roy had been shopping at that new supermarket in Middle River. He wanted to make sure the building was safe. He was hoping Mr. Dixon’s company was not involved.



What Kind of Writer Am I?

Isn’t there a song, What Kind of Fool Am I? Well as the saying goes, “No fool, no fun.” That’s me. I’m primarily a humor writer and happy to act as your designated fool! I enjoy farce, satire and generally absurd humor. The Big Comb Over hopefully ticks all those boxes. The Big Comb Over is a family farce with a little fantasy thrown in for fun. I’m also a mystery and crime writer and love mixing a little dark humor with those genres. The Case Files of Roderick Misely, Consultant, Clonk! and my as yet unpublished Sunscreen Shower all fall into the mystery/crime fold.

I’m a writer influenced by my many literary heroes. One of my favorite writers was Charles Willeford. He was an existential humorist and social satirist. Self-taught, he wrote true ‘pulp’ fiction to survive in the 1950’s but slowly began to refine his craft. His characters were often misfits and sociopaths. His humor was definitely ‘black.’ He once told an interviewer, “Just tell the truth, and they’ll accuse you of writing black humor.” He had a hard time finding publishers and frequently worked with small, niche publishers. He finally found success in 1984 with the publication of Miami Blues, featuring police detective Hoke Mosely. His publisher begged him to do a ‘cop series’ featuring Mosely, but Willeford hated the idea of becoming a ’serial’ novelist. To shut the publisher up, he wrote a sequel featuring Hoke Mosely, where Mosely goes on a demented killing spree, murdering his own family. Obviously, this was not quite what the publisher had in mind. That ‘sequel’ was never published. Ultimately, Mosely did relent and published three other Hoke Mosely novels, all of which are wonderful.

Alexander McCall Smith is another favorite. If you haven’t read the Detective Varg and the Von Igelfeld series, you are missing out. In Varg, Smith gently lampoons Swedish manners and mores and in Von Igelfeld, intellectual German academics. But I doubt that his Swedish or German readers feel offended. He lampoons in a loving, respectful way.

Kurt Vonnegut is also a hero. Vonnegut is the dean of absurd, existential social satire. Whenever I’m feeling a little depressed, I just reread God Bless You Mr. Rosewater and feel better.

Naturally, I love reading the mystery and crime genre, too. I’m sure I’ve read all of Elmore Leonard and Agatha Christies’ novels. More currently, I’ve enjoyed reading British cop mystery novelist Susie Steiner. Her three Manon Bradshaw novels are masterful. (Very sadly though, she passed away in 2022.)

And what mystery fan does not love Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes?  And of course, let’s not forget Edgar Allan Poe who invented the “detective mystery” genre featuring his detective C. Auguste Dupin. Poe’s Purloined Letter is a personal favorite. Although not a Dupin story, The Gold Bug is one of the most clever and engaging mysteries ever written. My first novel, The Case Files of Roderick Misely, Consultant, featuring a young lawyer wannabe with questionable scruples, is something of an homage to those writers. Of course, Poe took fantasy and horror fiction to new and extraordinary places, too.

Well, that’s what kind of writer I am. If you enjoy any of those writers, check out my books, too!



J. Paul (J.P.) Rieger is a born and bred Baltimorean and mostly retired Maryland attorney. As such, he’s well acquainted with the quirkiness and charm of Baltimore’s unique citizens. He’s author of Clonk!, a police farce set in Baltimore and published in 2023 by Apprentice House Press (Loyola University-Baltimore). He’s also author of The Case Files of Roderick Misely, Consultant, a mystery novel featuring a wannabe lawyer anti-hero. The Big Comb Over, a slipstream comedy of manners featuring three nephews and their three eccentric uncles, is Paul’s third novel. Paul is married and lives in Towson, Maryland.




J.P. will award a $25 Amazon OR Barnes and Noble Gift Card (Winner's Choice!!!) to a randomly drawn winner via a Rafflecopter during the tour.

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Cargo of Bones by Z. Lindsey - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Cargo of Bones
by Z. Lindsey


GENRE:   Fantasy



Devil bureaucrat Essie Darkenchyl and her friends barely survived the jungle, but now they're going straight to Hell--AKA her hometown!



“What’s happening now?” Two Rabbit shouted.

“Looks like some kind of sheep,” Merritt said.

Essie’s eyes shot open.

“Sheep?” Two Rabbit asked.

She still couldn’t move. She was staring at the sky again. Purple storm clouds.

“Essie?” the doctor asked. “Are you awake? You hear me? You’re bleeding to death! For Aro’s sake, let down that shield or aura or whatever you’re projecting.”

He was just out of sight. They were all out of sight. Essie desperately tried to sit, but it only made the storm clouds choke in on her faster.

“Whoa!” Connie said. “Those are some mean sheep.”

“Sand sheep?” Boon asked.

Their voices made her head throb. She tried to follow, but couldn’t. It sounded like nonsense.

“By Aro—the sheep stepped on that guy’s crotch!” Merritt shouted. “Please don’t say we’re being rescued by sheep.”

“That’s if they don’t attack us, too,” Boon said.

“Holy Mother,” Two Rabbit said. “I’ve never seen a sheep spit like that.”

“Ohhhh.” Essie smiled as much as she could. “Llamas.”

Then she passed out.



When it comes to worldbuilding in fantasy novels, I often hear folks say they don’t know where to start. They’re not sure how to connect the neat ideas they have in their mind into a tangible world. As an anthropologist and a lover of the complexities of human cultures, I’ve thought a lot about how to create fictional cultures, and my answer may be surprising: Don’t start with the culture.

Instead, start with the characters. Understanding the story, you want to tell will help build the world. Understanding your character will help you understand your world better. If your character is a cynical young warrior who has seen too much bloodshed in her short life, what were the power structures like that allowed her to be so hurt? If your character is an immigrant gnome trying to start a shop in a bustling elf city, how do folks in the city view immigrants, and not just how do they view them, but what events led to them viewing immigrants that way?

If you build your world in relation to your characters, you’ll be less likely to fall into the trap of info-dumping. Character-focused worldbuilding means you understand the world close to your character better than the world far away. In turn, when you explore your world for your readers, you’ll reveal details that are relevant for the story and the character.

I always focus on my characters’ opinions about places they’re visiting. Answering these questions helps to build an organic world that doesn’t seem like a copy-pasted version of Middle-Earth or that sort of thing.

I also tend to shy away from too much research for my book. Organic knowledge is better. If you happen to be reading a neat book about, say, the ancient Egyptians, feel free to drop aspects of it into your fantasy novel. But researching ancient Egypt for your novel doesn’t always work out. That’s because the depth of information out there about subjects like ancient Egypt is far bigger than what you’ll ever need for a fantasy book. You won’t be an expert but a novice, and that will show up in your worldbuilding.

Rather, pluck from things you already know. Today, some folks critique the adage “write what you know” because fantasy is outlandish and unreal by its very nature. But don’t just write what you’ve experienced, but use all the knowledge you already have while writing. If you’ve read original Middle Ages Robin Hood stories, you haven’t met Robin Hood, but you sure know him, so he’d be a great candidate for your fiction.

My current novel, Cargo of Bones, takes place in an age of exploration-style world, with big sailing ships and shady quasi-governmental mercantile organizations. I picked that because that’s an era I’m familiar with. I wrote about the colonization of Yucatan for school, and while I do live in the area, a lot of what I know of that era is what I’ve read about. There aren’t a lot of pirates in Mexico today, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know a thing or two about pirates--enough to put them in my book, for sure.

Cargo of Bones finds the heroes in the desert. They have to go to the hometown of the main character, who’s based on my wife. So naturally, there are some elements of Laredo, Texas in there. I’ll spoil a big joke: Many people think Laredo is dangerous, thanks to false media narratives. But if you’ve lived there, especially before the recent arts explosion, you’d probably be more likely to call it boring. The city of devils in this book is similar. Despite their magical tasks, their daily life is fairly mundane.

But it is a fantasy book, right? I can do whatever I want, so there are also llamas. There are no llamas in Laredo, or at least not naturally. I’m sure one weird rancher has some llamas. But I was studying childhood in ancient Andean cultures while working on the book, and looking at cute llama sculptures. I wasn’t living in the Andes or anything, but I was already familiar enough with those cultures to imbue my fictional culture with some traits like chicha beer and pillowed stones without having to do outside research.

This doesn’t mean I never do research for my books. My Google search history is the typical author search history: “What do you call the bottom of a ship? What causes bioluminescence? How big is a Brigantine? Is an arrow in the lung fatal? What cute animals live in the desert?” But I don’t do comprehensive research for my books.

While writing, you might think, as I did, “Hey, the mountains these people live by feel pretty similar to the Andes; why don’t I stick some llamas here?” And once you’ve thought that, you might have to Google, “How far can a llama spit?” And I’m fine with that.

But if you decide to have an Incan-style fantasy world, so you watch a Nat Geo documentary about Andean people for reference, you may end up inserting harmful stereotypes or foolish-sounding misunderstandings into your work. I know the rallying cry of a certain type of fantasy writer is, “I can write what I want!” What they don’t realize is that stereotypes aren’t just offensive--they’re eye-rollingly dumb to the folks who recognize the stereotypes. Dumb is something writers typically don’t want to be called.

If you’re thinking, but I haven’t studied ancient cultures! What can I do? I’d say if you want to be a fantasy author, study some ancient cultures! Not because you need to, but because if you like reading fantasy, you’ll probably find info about ancient people interesting.

Even if you haven’t studied ancient cultures or visited ancient ruins, you’ve probably got some similar knowledge you can use. If you like to cook, make up the food culture you want to see. If you row, drop your characters in a city of canals. If you like to do makeup, describe how your main character’s makeup fits in with or defies cultural expectations. These are all examples of “writing what you know” in worldbuilding.



Zac Lindsey is an anthropologist and a linguist who focuses on the Maya people of Quintana Roo. Since childhood, he's had a not-so-secret love of weird, silly, and well-structured fantasy. When other people's parents were reading them picture books, his mom was reading him Terry Brooks. He typically writes hopeful and character-driven fantasy.

Today, he lives in Quintana Roo, Mexico with his wife, daughter, and various stray cats.







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Z. Lindsey will award a randomly drawn winner a $25 Amazon OR Barnes and Noble (Winner's Choice!!!) Gift Card AND a Digital Copy of the Featured Book, "Cargo of Bones," via Rafflecopter during the book tour.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2024

A Troubled Heart by Tricia McGill - Book Tour - Blurb Blitz - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

A Troubled Heart
by Tricia McGill


GENRE:   Historical Romance



Unsure of his real past or name, Finn O’Connor thinks he was born in Ireland and taken from his mother as a baby by a gypsy woman. As a toddler, an English woman then took him to London. About ten he fled to join a gang of boys who survived by their wits on the streets. Five years later, he was arrested for a minor crime and transported to The Colony of New South Wales for a 10-year term. In 1846 as transporting of criminals neared an end in NSW, he was moved to the infamous penitentiary at Port Arthur in Van Diemen’s Land.

On the day Finn received his papers of freedom an accidental meeting brought him into contact with 20-year-old Esther Blythe. Born in Surrey, England, genteel Esther is kind and caring. As a 4-year-old her parents brought her to Van Diemen’s Land where her Papa, a doctor, took on the task of providing medical aid to the prisoners at the Port Arthur penitentiary and its surrounding area. Sadly, both parents were killed in an accident, leaving Esther with no option but to work as a governess/nursemaid.

For reasons that even she did not comprehend, Esther took ex-convict Finn under her wing when they met outside the penitentiary hospital. Could be she saw a fellow lonely soul who simply wanted someone to have faith in him. Life seems to take a turn for perhaps the better from then on, but will these two lonely people overcome many obstacles to find the happiness they seek together as they face an uncertain future.



Esther sat with her head on her bent knees, staring at the flames before her. Luckily the rain had stopped as dawn crept nearer. One of the troopers had managed to get the small fire going using the flint he carried. After the two men had rummaged about in the ruins of the kitchen they returned with the blackened kettle and a couple of tin mugs. Pike, who was the youngest and had the very small makings of a moustache, said, “We carry tea and usually have our billycan with us, but as we were only on a short survey looking for any runaways, we carried just the bare supplies.”

He now handed her a mug of the brew, which was at least hot. “Thank you, this is lovely.” Esther hoped that when someone returned with supplies, they at least carried milk and porridge and perhaps some bread and cheese.

As he walked away to join his mate who was again sorting through the rubble that had stopped smouldering, Finn sat beside her and sipped on his drink. “How do you feel?” Giving her a thoughtful glance, he rubbed at his chin. “What a mess. Can you believe the woman would do such a thing?”

“Never in my life. I knew she was desperately unhappy of course, but how she could take a blade to her husband and then take her own life is a tragedy far beyond my understanding. You have probably seen more insane people than I have.”

“A few in my time.” With a shrug, he stared into his mug. “Most go crazy after spending a time in solitary with little food and no light.”

A thought occurred to Esther as her tummy roiled at the thought of the suffering of those folk, plus what she guessed might be hunger pangs. “I guess if they do not return later with supplies, we can always go over to the farm.” She nodded in the general direction of where she knew Nellie often went to collect milk, butter, and cheese. “I expect the farmer and his wife will be wondering at the flames they must have seen rising.”

As the words left her mouth, a wagon came trundling towards them. As it neared, the driver, a man that Esther had seen a few times, waved his hat as he stared at the ruins of the cottage. “What in the Lord’s name happened?” he asked as he pulled the horse up and jumped down. “The master sent me across to see what was amiss.”

Pike came over and put a hand up before asking the man’s name and what farm he had come from. Without too many details he then explained some of the happenings of the night, leaving out the murder and suicide. “Go back and tell your master that we would be grateful if he could supply us with a few necessities like milk and bread and perhaps he might have some fresh meat. When our Lieutenant returns, he will arrange payment.”

Nodding enthusiastically the man gave the ruins another quick glance, and then shook his head in Esther and Finn’s direction before climbing aboard and urging his horse into a near gallop.

“Would you like me to heat some water for you, Miss? Perhaps you might like to wash the grime off you,” Pike said as he sent Esther a smile. “It’s good luck that the well is still in working order.”

Esther returned his smile. “That would be lovely. How very thoughtful of you. I suppose I am looking as grimy as all you men are.”



Award winning author Tricia McGill was born in London, England, and moved to Australia many years ago, settling near Melbourne. Horses and dogs feature largely in her books. She’s had a succession of dogs in her lifetime and a few horses along the way.

The youngest in a large, loving family she was never lonely or alone. Surrounded by avid readers, who encouraged her to read from an early age, is it any wonder she became a writer? The local library was a treasure trove and magical world of discovery through her childhood and growing years. Tricia is a dreamerwho still dreams every night; snippets from those dreams have translated into ideas for her books.

Although her published works cross sub-genres, romance is always at their heart. Tricia finds the research entailed in writing historicals and her other great passion, time-travels, fascinating.




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Tricia will award a $10 Amazon OR Barnes and Noble (Winner's Choice!!!) Gift Card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

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My SECOND Life by Yeats - Book Tour - Book Blast - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Simon Yeats is awarding a $25 Amazon OR Barnes and Noble (Winner's Choice!!!) Gift Card to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

We all have two lives. We only get to experience living in the second after we realize we only have just one.

I have my first real scare in life when I get attacked by a kangaroo when I am seven. My first brush with the cliff-face edge of death comes when I am 12. My dad drives the family down the dangerous Skipper’s Canyon dirt road in New Zealand in a rented minivan.

Including the occasion I am almost involved in two different plane flight crashes, in the same night, there have been at least a half dozen more occasions when I have been within a moment’s inattention of being killed.

However, none of those frightening incidents compare to what I experience after my son is abducted.

This memoir is the story of how I used the traumatic experiences of my life to give me strength to forge on during a 13 year fight to be a father to my son.

What did it take for me to get to my second life?
It took me to truly understand what fear is.

As I cross the hotel lobby floor towards the elevator, a man approaches me and addresses me by name.

Oh god, not again. I know what this is. Another process server who is going to hand me court documents to tell me I am now being sued for refusing to follow my ex-wife’s demands to buy my son another cell phone.

That would have been far more preferable.

The man leads me over to the couches in the hotel lobby, and we sit. He speaks only Portuguese so that I can only understand some of what he says. So, I use Google translate so I can fully understand what is going on.

His name is Michael.

The man is not from the court.

He is on the direct opposite side of the law, as it turns out.

He is a killer for hire.

My ex-wife has hired his services.

What? Right now, I know I am sitting in bizarro world.

Simon Yeats has lived nine lives, and by all estimations, is fast running out of the number he has left. His life of globetrotting the globe was not the one he expected to lead. He grew up a quiet, shy boy teased by other kids on the playgrounds for his red hair. But he developed a keen wit and sense of humor to always see the funnier side of life.

With an overwhelming love of travel, a propensity to find trouble where there was none, and being a passionate advocate of mental health, Simon’s stories will leave a reader either rolling on the floor in tears of laughter, or breathing deeply that the adventures he has led were survived.

No author has laughed longer or cried with less restraint at the travails of life.


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Playtime Clothes by Kim MacLean - Book Tour - Book Blast - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kim MacLean will award a randomly drawn winner a $15 Amazon OR Barnes and Noble (Winner's Choice!!!) Gift Card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The young boy's room is an undeniable mess. Did he actually clean his room, as he is telling his mom? Or do his clothes come to life and play?! They are, after all, playtime clothes. Is he learning a lesson to tell the truth and be accountable, as we all do in life? Or is it a world of make believe? It is for you to enjoy while you decide.


Kim MacLean was inspired to be creative while she and her little girls made their own fun inside their home on long, cold winter days. Her girls sat for hours painting and gluing crafts into works of art on paper. Oh, the rows and rows of finished masterpieces drying on the floor while Kim sat and wrote! And there were the hundreds of books that they read and enjoyed together that further inspired creativity and an adult love of children's books!

Tia Bates is an artist, illustrator, and storyteller from London, Ontario. She is inspired by the beautiful illustrations she grew up looking at in children's books just like Playtime Clothes, the first children's book she has illustrated! Currently pursuing a master's degree in fine art, Tia's personal artwork is all about the stories we tell.



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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Dungeon of Horrors by Hawk MacKinney - Book Tour - Book Blast - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. A randomly drawn winner will receive a $20 Amazon OR Barnes and Noble (Winner's Choice!!!) Gift Card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The bank’s newest Trust Officer Terri Stanley prepares the requested department’s internal audit. Finding puzzling inconsistencies and a jumble of misappropriations and unexplained offshore accounts, she follows protocol and immediately punches in the listed number for the Executor-Trustee, Craige Ingram.

Wealthy land owner/parttime PI Craige Ingram reaches the file back to homicide Lt. Grayson MacGerald after finishing a quick read-through of the preliminary forensic report from Coroner Fred Dinkins on the unexpected death of bank President Royce Sedgewicke. Dinkins’ meticulous autopsy findings verify that a massive apparent heart attack was not from natural causes, confirming what these longtime SEAL buddies suspected.

When Ingram gets a call from Terri Stanley, the bank’s attractive, newly-hired Trust Officer, wanting to discuss in confidence possible account irregularities discovered during her audit, he never imagines the twisted world of money and greed that would involve a psychopath’s trail of bloody body parts strewn along Ingram's river property, or that Terri and her son would disappear.

Confronted by a race against time, Ingram fears that Terri might become one more on the list of dead who crossed a twisted mind bent on thrill-kills and retribution.

Terri had no trouble with Craige’s directions. A half hour later, she turned into Ardochy’s meandering white-graveled drive and spotted Craige waiting on the steps of Ardochy’s columned porte-cochère carriage porch. Terri thought of her father and his brushy-browed scowl at her for breaking his business rule. Once her father learned of her infatuation with a teller at his Napa Valley Bank. “Never mix business with anything else, and never on your own doorstep,” he told her. He never mentioned it again.

As her car pulled up and stopped, Craige hurried down the steps to open her door. “I see you made it.” As she stepped out, his eyes followed every turn of the shapely ankles.

“It was no problem.” Her thoughts cluttered. Feelings surfaced she’d had since that first time they’d met. Now they surged, somehow stronger, with his nearness. Terri would never have believed her good sense could be so altogether rattled, and she tried not to think about what Irene had said. In the private sanctions of her heart, Terri tried to keep her mind on why she came—it wasn’t working.

“Come on in the kitchen.” Craige held open one of the double-carriage porch doors. “I iced a fresh pitcher of tea.” He led her through the butler’s pantry into the sedate library.

“Oh my, all these marvelous books…” Terri murmured.

“It’s my favorite room in Ardochy,” Craige smiled. “All for the enjoyment of reading. Theosia left me several first editions. Sit down, make yourself comfortable.”

The soft leather chairs, Tiffany lamps, and comfy reading niches made the high ceiling expanse of shelves somehow cozy. She looked around the library with its frescos in delicate pastel blushes, intricate friezes and matching tiered chandeliers heavy with Austrian crystal drops. Without seeming out of place or time, she thought he seemed to belong to this refined, patinaed ambience of high ceilings and ornate carvings. He filled the Chippendale chair as though he belonged—male supremacy without being rawboned. Terri sat, recalling private times with her mother, of parlor rites and playing dress up that wasn’t all play-act—learning to sit, stand and walk properly; how to set an afternoon high tea, finger cakes and scones. Terri wished she hadn’t hurried her makeup that morning. Had she used too much perfume? Did he find it pleasant? She’d refreshed her lipstick before she left to come here—what if it was on her front teeth? She found herself acting like a high-school subdeb.

“If you prefer, there’s unsweetened tea.” Craige iced his glass with the tongs from the silver and crystal ice bucket.

“No,” she said. “It’s fine.” His devil-may-care rakish smile, the dark auburn reflections from his hair and the fiery golden flecks in his green eyes kept getting in the way of why she came. “With so little to go on, I’m not sure where to start,” Terri began. She tried to soothe her jitters.

“About what?” Craige asked, picking up on her nervousness.

Terri knew she was taking a risk. He could be part of it, yet some inherent trust told her different. She handed him several folders.

“Perhaps I’m overreacting.” She looked straight at Craige without wavering. “Several of the portfolios don’t quite add up. There're stocks, mutual funds, international oil, precious metals, grain futures, money markets. Some of it’s over my head.”

He jigsawed any number of reasons she might have for coming out here. Her eyes seemed to swallow the room. At least he was lost in them. He wanted her visit to be more than just business. “An audit should take care of that.”

“On that matter there’s been some foot dragging,” she replied. “Enough to leave me somewhat uncomfortable.”

It struck Craige as an odd remark for a bank officer, even more so about her own bank. He studied the bottomless eyes of this wholly female creature, and his gut feeling told him this visit wasn’t a concoction.


Internationally acclaimed author and public speaker, Hawk MacKinney began writing mysteries for his school newspapers. Following graduation, he served in the US Navy for over 20 years. While serving as a Navy Commander, he also had a career as a full-time faculty member at several major state medical facilities. He earned two postgraduate degrees with studies in languages and history and has taught postgraduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem, Israel.

In addition to professional articles and texts on fetal and adult anatomy, Hawk has authored several novels that have received national and international recognition. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel, was nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award.

Known for his terrifying suspense and unique “Southron” dialog, Hawk has published five novels in the Moccasin Hollow Mysteries: Hidden Chamber of Death, Westobou Gold, Curse of the Ancients, Dead Gold, and Blood of the Dragonfly.

In a change of direction, Hawk has also published three books in The Cairns of Sainctuarie science fiction series: The Bleikovat Event, Volume I; The Missing Planets, Volume II; and The Inanna Phantom, Volume III.

His latest work is a series called the Moccasin Trace Mysteries. Dungeon of Horrors is the first book in the series, and the second book – Blood in the Shadows – is in development.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Shakti of the Illuminated Lotus: A Dark, Erotic & Futuristic Fantasy for Adults by Luki Belle - Book Tour - Blurb Blitz - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Shakti of the Illuminated Lotus
A Dark, Erotic, & Futuristic Fantasy for Adults
by Luki Belle


GENRE:  Erotic Supernatural Dark Fantasy



In a fictitious, mysterious, and futuristic Earth, the Western and Eastern continents are poised to become entangled in an ancient holy rivalry and epic battle.

The enigmatic and powerful king of Asukhas rules over the technologically, scientifically, and militarily advanced Western Continent, closely guarding his blissfully ignorant population of captive humans.

The golden-haired spirit, Ahankara, is suddenly released from captivity in the void and unleashes a powerful reptile upon the world's oceans.

Associate professor of philosophy Anjali Valpolicella seeks psychotherapy from renowned Western psychologist Dr. AlexanDRA, and their therapy sessions may reveal an important secret to possessing the much-coveted Trident of Kumarun.

In Shakti of the Illuminated Lotus: A Dark, Erotic & Futuristic Fantasy for Adults oceans roil as factions doggedly compete in a dark and erotic quest to find the Trident, hidden by the Eastern continent's divine panthers for centuries. The fate of the World teeters on the brink. Who will possess the Trident? Do they want to use it to gain access to the holy realm of Juwala, or will they use the Trident to destroy the realm and take command of military forces of unimaginable power?



“I have found the gateway to Juwala in the womb of the ocean! The path created by the Spirits of Illumination when their leaders Himayiel and Gimael came to Earth” Jashmitha paused intentionally.

A deep frown appeared on the king’s forehead as he unclasped his arms slowly, his mouth opened to speak but words could not be expressed, he was in utter disbelief of what he had just heard.

Mother Balaktaan nodded convincingly “It does exist AlexanDRA!”

The king shook his head vigorously “No! My father dispelled those rumors! There is no such gate only a void between Earth and the underworld of Jackal King Vihaan, where Ahankara has been exiled!! You could not have found something that never existed! My father would have never kept something like this from me!” he said earnestly and walked to her, holding her shoulders firmly to look into her languid eyes.

“AlexanDRA…listen to me…the path and gate to Juwala were protected by the kingdom of Nakandas” she said in her shrill voice without shrinking away from him.

“NO! No! No! You are lying…you are mistaken!! He would have told me!!” he clenched her shoulders, her body starting to writhe beneath from the pain.

 “AlexanDRA…the kingdom of Nakandas, divine serpents of the ocean, their kingdom has disappeared, the path and the gate have been left unprotected! You must call a gathering with the Spirits of Illumination!”



Luki Belle works in the media industry. Listening avidly to stories from diverse cultural fiction books read to her by her extended family, storytelling was a fixture from early childhood. Pouring over magnificent and enchanting illustrated books in her family's library, Luki was drawn to the mythology of South Asian Indians, Greeks, and Romans. These diverse mythologies were her strongest inspiration when, many years later, she started penning the first outline for her debut novel, Shakti of the Illuminated Lotus.









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