Tag Archives: #melange

Erin Elliott's Debut: Mira's View

MirasView

Title: The Sword of Lumina: Mira’s View

Author: Erin Elliott

Publisher: Fire and Ice Young Adult Publishing, an imprint of Melange Books LLC

http://fireandiceya.com

Cover Artist: Stephanie Flint

 About the Book

Galena is just like every other elf, enslaved by the powerful Rau. Once a beautiful and powerful race, the elves has been reduced to slave labor in the mines of Rau. Galena grew up hearing the stories of old about a sword, when wielded by the right elf, ending Rau’s tyranny. Unsure if she believes these stories, she finds herself plunged into a world unfamiliar to her, hunted by Rau for her unnatural magical abilities. Will she find the sword promised to her people? Or will she fall prey to the idea of a sword that doesn’t exist?

 Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Miras-View-Sword-Lumina-Book-ebook/dp/B00LALJ3EW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403757279&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Sword+of+Lumina%3A+Mira%27s+View

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/miras-view-erin-elliott/1119872800?ean=2940149782277

Melange:  http://www.fireandiceya.com/authors/erinelliott/1mirasview.html

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJiscg8ZDSY

Character Interview

I’d like to welcome part of the cast from Mira’s view, Erin Elliott’s debut YA fantasy novel. Galena, Elenio and Tark have joined me for an informal Q&A today. They have promised to behave but we’ll see. 

Do you have any scars, tattoos, piercings? What do they mean to you?

Tark: We all have the marks of Rau on our hands and feet. They are tattoos that keep us from using our magic, placed on us by mauks for Rau. If most elves even think about magic, they get headaches, but Galena is different.

Galena: I’ve been able to use small bits of magic for at least the last couple of years. I didn’t know what that meant until Rau started sending his torlics to hunt me down. Now, I find myself in the middle of the stories we heard about as children. Tark, Elenio, and myself are on a quest now to find the Sword of Lumina, promised to us by the lone goddess, Mira.

Do you have any siblings? If so, what are their names and ages?

Galena: My brother Tark, is the oldest at 34 and my other brother Melan, is just behind him at 32.

Elenio: I’m an only child.

Who has been your greatest influence (parent, friend, idol)? Why?

Galena: My father. He taught me everything that I know and encouraged me to free the elf race.

Tark: my sister, Galena. Despite everything going against us, she is still determined to free the elves. Nothing gets her down.

Elenio: my promised one, Galena. She is the strongest elf that I’ve ever known. And it doesn’t hurt that she’s awesome with a sword. Total turn on.

Where did you grow up? How do you feel about it now?

Galena: All of us grew up in the small village of Tomeka. It’s on the northern most point of Tomiro. I liked growing up there. It was quiet, my whole family was there; I had a lot of good memories there.

Elenio: Would I happen to be one of those memories. (Addressing Galena) Galena: You’re at the top of the list you conceited brat.

Tark: I plan on going back after this quest, if we live through it that is. My commitment partner and daughter are still there.

Do you have any pets?

Galena: I recently acquired a ferret on my trip. They’re supposed to have vanished when the elves fell. What can I say, I’m just lucky or Mira is playing a mean trick on me.

Tark: I have a daughter, does that count?

Elenio: Putting up with Galena is enough of a chore for me. (Galena smacks Elenio in back of the head)

 What is currently your biggest responsibility / commitment?

Galena: Hands down finding the Sword of Lumina and destroying Rau. Tark: Keeping Galena safe.

Elenio: Keeping Galena from hurting herself too badly. (Galena knocks Elenio to the ground and proceeds to punch him a couple of times, which Elenio is too busy laughing to defend himself properly.)

Who is your biggest rival / enemy?

All three in unison: Rau.

Galena: Haulua comes in a close second though. He’s the god that created Rau specifically with the intent of bringing down the elves. Stupid, paranoid god.

 What is your greatest talent?

Galena: I rock with the sword, plus, unlike the other elves, I can use magic.

Tark: I’m pretty good with the sword as well.

Elenio: I pretty good at making Galena mad. (Runs from the room cackling laughing with Galena hot on his heels)

What are you the most hopeless at?

Tark: Keeping those two from picking on each other.

What, if anything, do you do to keep fit and healthy?

Tark: Training with the sword on a daily basis generally keeps one pretty fit. Running from torlics also does a nice job of keeping me in shape.

How did the two (or however many) of you meet?

Galena: I grew up with Elenio. He’s been my best friend since birth.

Elenio: I think I’m the only one who can handle her (holds hands up in truce.) I got to know and like Tark through Galena.

Tark: And that pretty much sums up my answer.

What were you doing before you met? How was your life different?

Galena: Training for the day that one of the elves were called to find the Sword of Lumina. I just didn’t think it would be me.

Elenio: Galena convinced her father to train me as well so she wouldn’t have to do it alone.

Tark: I had completed my training and was working in the village and building my own family.

Galena: Now, we’re always together on this quest. It’s been kind of stressful and I’m still not completely sure that this sword actually exist.

Tark: It does, why else would Father train us?

Galena: Because he was a mindless elf like all of our ancestors. (Tark rolls his eyes).

Elenio: Other than the running for our lives and Galena constantly trying to give us heart attacks, this trip has been great. What?! (Addressing Galena) You have!

 

ErinElliott 

About the Author

I am a preschool teacher in a Washington Court House, Ohio. I am a graduate of Washington City Schools and I currently live in Circleville, Ohio. I have a wonderful husband and between the two of us, we have five children, four boys and one girl. We also have a wide variety of animals living with us. Everything from the more common pets like dogs and cats to more exotic like cockatiel and cockatoos. I love watching football in the fall and swimming in the summer. Christmas is awesome and without a doubt, my favorite time of year.

Believe it or not, I did not like reading until about the fourth grade when I finally found a genre that really sparked my interest—fantasy. From there it became a passion of mine and often times the perfect way to escape the difficult times in everyday life. Mythical creatures are another love of mine so I combined my two loves and set forth to accomplish what I have always wanted to do: write books for everyone to love.

 Keep In Touch With Erin:

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/swordoflumina

Twitter page: https://twitter.com/eelliottauthor

Blog Site: http://www.erinelliottwriter.wordpress.com

Romantic Suspense: Nick Spinelli Series by Valerie Clarizio

cravingvengeancevjc

Craving Vengeance, a Nick Spinelli Mystery

Nick Spinelli’s normal life as a homicide detective has been catapulted into a whirlwind of chaotic holiday adventures ever since he met the beautiful Shannon O’Hara.

Nick had hoped to spend his first Valentine’s Day with Shannon in a traditional manner, starting with a nice dinner out on the town and then perhaps a long warm adventurous night in her arms. His plans quickly change when cupid is found murdered in a back alley. The investigation becomes more and more inconceivable,as Spinelli discovers that Shannon is linked to the victim.

When another cupid turns up dead, and it is discovered that Shannon knows him as well, Spinelli is motivated to go undercover as a singing valentine dressed as cupid, complete with wings and a quiver of arrows. How many other cupids are at risk? Is Spinelli on the killer’s list as well? The stress ignited by the day’s events causes sparks to fly between Spinelli and Shannon as he struggles to piece it all together and stop the string of slayings.

Buy Links:

Amazon

Melange-Books LLC

Excerpt:

Spinelli’s eyes popped open. He stared into the face of an angel. Was he still sleeping? How was it he had lured this beautiful creature into his life just a little over two months ago? He resisted the urge to run his fingers over her soft, milky white skin. She looked so peaceful when she slept. He would never be bored watching her sleep. Her slow even breaths mesmerized him. Was he dreaming? He almost went so far as to pinch his arm.

Shannon stirred and flipped over. Her shiny red hair spread out over her pillow like wildfire. He didn’t need the nearby streetlight peeking through the window blinds to notice her fiery hair, but it certainly helped to illuminate its zest. Spinelli reached over and skimmed his hand over her soft hair. Silky strands sifted through his fingers sending an electrical current rippling throughout his body. He debated waking her, taking her again. He nearly chuckled at the thought. When they’d first met, they couldn’t stand to be with one another, now they couldn’t stand to be apart. Cupid’s arrow struck him, hard and fast, out of nowhere. He was done, toast.

His cell phone vibrated on the nightstand. He reached over her to grab it before it woke her. Too late. Her beautiful emerald eyes fluttered open. He stared into the sea of green looking back at him, nearly forgetting about the call.

Her full ruby red lips stretched into a soft smile. “Nick, your phone is vibrating.”

His ears focused on the sweet sound of his name rolling off her tongue. No one ever called him by his first name. Everyone called him Spinelli or Detective, even Shannon did when they first met. But at some point over the past couple of months, she had started calling him by his first name. It nearly drove him insane every time she said it. His heart raced. He should take her again.

“Nick,” she whispered, knocking him out of his reverie.

“What?”

“Your phone is still humming.”

“Oh, yeah.”

He grabbed his phone from the nightstand. The time in the upper right-hand corner read 4:00 a.m. Captain Jackson’s face flashed across the screen. He tapped the screen and held the phone to his ear. “Spinelli here.”

“Rise and shine, Spinelli. We got one for you, down on Water Street. Male, late 20’s, cause of death not obvious. I’ve already texted you the address. The officers on the scene are cordoning off the premises.”

Though he wasn’t a morning person, not even close, a rush of adrenaline crashed through him like a tidal wave. This is what he lived for, catching killers. He sprang out of bed as Jackson’s words trailed off. “I’m on it,” Spinelli rasped before he disconnected the call.

He retrieved his contact list and tapped Detective Walker’s profile. Walker answered with a growl. Spinelli gave him the details; then he did the same with Detective Marsh.

Spinelli slid into a pair of jeans and pulled a long sleeved navy polo shirt over his head. He grabbed his Beretta 9mm from his nightstand and secured it in his holster before he slung the chain connected to his gold detective badge over his head.

He’d nearly leaped through the bedroom door before he remembered Shannon still lay in his bed, entwined in his comforter. He’d rather it be that she were intertwined with him. He spun on his heel and in two long, quick steps was at her bedside.

Her bright green gaze fixed on him. An amused look covered her face. He knelt down beside the bed. “I gotta go.”

“I gathered that.”

“So I’ll pick you up at your place tonight at 7:00?” he asked, confirming their dinner date.

“Yes…no.”

Spinelli arched a brow. “No?”

Shannon rubbed her eyes. “I mean yes to dinner, but can we push it back to 8:00? I know that’s getting late, but I’m scheduled to do the singing valentines for the church fundraiser from 4:00 until 7:00.”

“Oh, okay. I’ll change the dinner reservation.”

He leaned forward and brushed his lips lightly across hers. He knew he had to keep it light or he wouldn’t be able to leave.

She didn’t play fair. She reached up, wrapped her arms around his neck, and pulled him to her. He let her, he was weak. His mind was mush.

He responded to her demand for more and deepened the kiss. His tongue passed through her lips. She tasted sweet. How did she always taste so sweet? His heart pounded in his chest.

Suddenly, Captain Jackson’s words from moments ago echoed in his head. We got one for you, down on Water Street. Male, late 20’s, cause of death not obvious. Christ, he’d nearly forgotten he had a dead body to attend to.

He pried his lips from Shannon’s, nearly needing the help of a mechanic with a crowbar.

He rose to his feet, willing his knees to support him. She always left him weak-kneed, and she probably didn’t have a clue. “I’ll see you tonight. I have a special Valentine’s evening planned for us.”

* * * *

Shannon watched Nick walk out the door, sure that if he were to turn and look at her one more time with those dark charcoal eyes, she’d probably melt in an instant. He had the most intense eyes.

She curled into a ball and pulled the thick comforter up around her neck. His masculine scent coated the soft material, stimulating her senses, as if his mouthwatering kiss hadn’t already left her completely aroused. She wished he hadn’t had to leave. Another round of lovemaking would have been ideal. She’d had a taste of him, and now she couldn’t seem to get enough.

She giggled at the thought of their rocky start. When she’d first met him she thought he was the most cold-hearted, egotistical human being she’d ever met. She’d never been more wrong in her life. He turned out to be exactly the opposite. Never in her life had she met anyone so caring, giving, and loving. His rough exterior was just a front he used to shield himself, as a result of his unfortunate upbringing. Growing up on the streets with a drug-addicted mother certainly took its toll on him.

A sense of pride crept through her as she thought about all he’d accomplished; finishing high school on his own after his mother died when he was only sixteen, then going on to college, and becoming one of M
ilwaukee’s finest homicide detectives. It took a strong person to accomplish such. She admired his strength and determination.

 covertexposurevjc

Covert Exposure, a Nick Spinelli Mystery

Detective Spinelli’s life is tossed sideways when he is reassigned from the Homicide division to assist in the Child Services division of the Social Services Department for the holiday season. From the beginning, Spinelli and Caseworker Shannon O’Hara generate their own kind of fireworks, causing more than the normal workplace stress. They both have their own philosophies for dealing with the clientele. However, the forces of nature have their own plan for Spinelli and Shannon.

Shannon moonlights as Santa Claus’ little helper at the mall, and when Santa and an elf turn up dead Shannon appears to be next on the killer’s list. Spinelli is placed back on homicide and goes undercover as Santa to help capture the killer. He catches a great deal of grief along the way but will he capture the heart of his little Santa’s helper as well?

Buy Links:

Amazon

Melange-Books LLC

Excerpt:

Spinelli followed Shannon to her office, unable to peel his eyes from her shapely legs. His nostrils narrowed, sucking in every ounce of the sweet scent that lingered in the air behind her. She gestured for him to take a seat in a chair opposite her desk. Her phone rang and she picked up the receiver as she sat down. As she spoke on the telephone, he scanned her small office memorizing every detail like detectives tend to do. He couldn’t help but notice how just a touch of feminine warmth accented the professional décor. His eyes shifted from the photo of an older couple, perhaps in their early seventies, to a photo of three little red-headed boys. He wondered if the boys belonged to her. He glanced at her left hand, no ring.

Shannon hung up the phone receiver. “I’m sorry about that, Detective Spinelli,” she said as she thumbed through the mounds of neatly organized stacks of case files on her desk, “here it is…the Washington file.”

Spinelli watched as she flipped the file open and lost herself in the information for a brief moment. She blew out a sigh and looked up at him. He could easily see the sadness flood her big green eyes. Shannon cleared her throat. “The authorities picked up Gilbert Washington early this morning as a result of a domestic abuse call.”

“What happened? What did he do?” he asked as he leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms over his chest.

“Apparently the neighbor placed the 911 call when he heard Gilbert and his wife, Charmane, arguing. A loud thud followed the arguing. The neighbor assumed the cause of the thud was Gilbert throwing Charmane against the wall. As it turned out the neighbor was right. Unfortunately the kids witnessed the entire exchange.”

Shannon shook her head. “We’ve offered Charmane assistance for herself and her children but she refuses to leave Gilbert. As a result, today we will be removing the children from the home and placing them in foster care.”

“Why does she refuse to leave him?”

“Scared perhaps.” Shannon sighed and shook her head. “And he’s probably her crack supplier.”

“Is Gilbert still in lockup?”

“Yes, so it would probably be a good idea to head over there and remove the children before he’s released.”

“I’ll get my unmarked and meet you up front,” Spinelli replied as he sprang to his feet and headed for the door. Before his third step hit the floor he heard Shannon call his name. He turned to find her standing behind her desk holding up a set of keys.

He cocked his head to the side. “What?”

“We’ll take one of the vehicles assigned to Social Services. They’re fully equipped with car seats for matters such as these,” Shannon said as she handed the keys to him. “You can drive so I can review the file some more.”

“Car seats? How many children are we talking about here?”

“Three. The oldest, Lesha is seven, Darius is three and Christina is nine months old.”

Spinelli followed Shannon to the parking lot. She pointed at a dark green Dodge minivan. “That’s the one.”

He shifted his eyes from the minivan to Shannon and then back to the van. “That, we’re taking that?” No red lights, no sirens, no excitement. Life as he knew it was slipping away from him.

“Perhaps you could just get in and drive, and forget the comments,” Shannon said as she climbed in through the passenger door.

Spinelli got in on the driver’s side and started the engine. He adjusted the seat to accommodate his long legs, then the mirrors. Once he finished altering everything, he glanced over at Shannon.

“What?” she asked.

He shook his head. “I’m just wondering how I got here. Yesterday I was a homicide detective and today I’m driving a minivan that smells like sweaty socks.”

“I’m sorry you’re not pleased with your assignment but we need to get going if we are going to remove the children before Gilbert makes bail.”

Spinelli put the minivan in drive and headed toward the Washington home located just north of downtown, on Cherry Street. He knew that area could mean trouble. His senses moved into “full alert” mode.

About The Author

Clarizio Photo copy

Valerie Clarizio lives in beautiful Door County Wisconsin with her husband and extremely spoiled cat. She loves to read, write, and spend time at her cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She’s lived her life surrounded by men, three brothers, a husband, and a male Siamese cat who required his own instruction manual. Keeping up with all the men in her life has turned her into a successful hunter and fisherwoman.

She is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Wisconsin Romance Writers of America. Additionally, she was a finalist in the 2011 Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, Novellas Need Love, Too! Contest.

Keep in Touch With Valerie:

Website/Blog: http://valclarizio.wordpress.com/

Twitter:  @VClarizio

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Valerie.Clarizio

 

Daphne Olivier: The Pegasus Project

Pegasus Project_Olivier

The Pegasus Project.

When Jack Randal lands a job with Bells Biological Research Centre, he sets off for the remote South African farm, unaware of the dangers lurking behind the high, electrified fence. It doesn’t take long for him to uncover a top-secret project. When a fellow scientist dies under mysterious circumstances, Jack zeros in on the Pegasus Project. Tension mounts as he probes the dark secret surrounding the genetically modified bio-fuel, and the time comes when he must decide whether to risk his life in order to prevent a global catastrophe.

Excerpt:

Bernie Kemp stepped into the greenhouse, closed the door behind him, then leaned back against it and groaned. His head felt about to burst, and the air, heavy with the smell of earth and chemicals, made him gag. The sight of the plants, lined up in their dome-shaped tanks, all waiting for attention, made him feel a thousand times worse.

The hangover was his own fault. He should have listened to Anna. He could hear her voice right now, echoing in his head. “Hey, Bernie, put that bottle away. One more drop and you’ll be blotto. You’ve got to go to work tomorrow. You can’t afford another day off. Not if you want to keep your job.”

Anna was right. Trouble was, the blasted woman was always right. She never tired of telling him how lucky he was to land the job with Bells Biological Research Centre, or of reminding him that he’d never make the kind of money he earned anywhere else.

It was true, all true. But Anna didn’t have to put up with a boss who breathed down the back of her neck, or work with the monstrosities that grew in this greenhouse. Bernie stared at them now—long rows of grey-green weirdoes, each in its own airtight tank, most sprouting pods that looked more like mushrooms than flowers. Or brightly coloured toadstools, some red, some yellow, some purple, some a mottled nondescript shade.

Bernie had no idea why it was necessary to grow the plants in a state-of-the-art greenhouse where water, nutrients and temperature were rigidly controlled. Or why he was supposed to wear goggles, mask and gloves when working with them. Bernie gave a fleeting thought to putting them on, then shrugged. He was damned if he was going to strap that heavy contraption around his head. Not while it ached like hell. Who would know the difference? Not Brandt. The big boss seldom inspected the plants before midday, and the chance of anyone else passing by was next to nil.

Bernie didn’t ask questions. He did what he was told—no more, no less. His job was to measure the height of each plant, count the pods and record the data—a never-ending task because the bloody things grew so fast. It was a backbreaking job at the best of times, but today, with a sledgehammer banging away inside his head, just thinking about what lay ahead made him shudder. What he wanted more than anything was to crawl into bed and stay there until the hangover wore off.

What he wanted and what had to be done were two different things, but it occurred to him that it wouldn’t do any harm to take a nip of the hair-of-the-dog first. In fact, Bernie felt quite sure it would do him a great deal of good.

He reached into his pocket and brought out the half-jack he’d had the foresight to place there before leaving home.  He unscrewed the cap and took a quick gulp. The brandy rolled over his tongue and slid down his throat, burning all the way down. The second gulp spread a warm glow through his body. He hesitated, then shrugged and took a third big swallow. This time his vision blurred—not a good sign, but on the plus side his headache seemed a bit better. Yes, definitely. Not altogether gone, but faded to the point where he could almost bear it. That decided him. With a quick look around to make sure no one was near, he lifted the bottle and kept it pressed to his lips till the last drop was gone.

Bernie flung the bottle under one of the many trestles running the length of the greenhouse. No one would see it there, lying among the maze of vats and pipes and pumps that delivered just the right amount of water and nutrients into the tanks above. No one would see it, and the way he felt right then he didn’t give a damn if they did.

He stood swaying and blinking, doing his best to focus on one of the double images that kept swimming into view. Then, with a determined effort, he lurched down the centre aisle toward the bank of taps and dials that lined the far wall. He almost made it. Had it not been for the coil of hose lying on the floor he’d have got there, no trouble at all. But his foot caught in the tangled coils and he went flying, arms spread wide. Down he went with an almighty crash. Two crashes actually, because one of the dome-shaped tanks went down with him.

Stunned, he lay there staring in bewilderment at the splintered glass and the plant with purple and red pods that lay crushed and broken beside him. Then, with a curse, he pushed himself up to his feet.

Buy Links:

http://www.amazon.com/Pegasus-Project-Daphne-Olivier-ebook/dp/B00C1T0GS4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1392528525&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Pegasus+Project

http://www.melange-books.com/authors/daphneoliver/PegasusProject.html

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About Daphne Olivier

I have always wanted to write, but nursing, raising a family and farming got in the way, and it was only when I retired that I was able to follow my dream. From an early age, I read everything I could lay hands on—biography, fantasy, historical fiction, thriller, mythology, science fiction or the classics. My novels reflect this wide interest for I write in several different genre`—thriller, science fiction, YA, memoir and historical fiction. I live in a small town in South Africa with my husband and two dogs.

What inspired you to write your current novel?

I’ve spent most of my life on a farm so when I set out to write a thriller I naturally turned to agriculture as a theme.  As GMOs are so much in the news these days, I set out to research the subject. And the more I discovered, the more fascinating the subject became. The Pegasus Project is the result of that research. It’s a story about the search for a bio-fuel that will replace our reliance on oil and what might happen if that research fell into the wrong hands.

Is there a hidden message in your story and if so what is it?

I didn’t set out to include a message, but hope that those who read it will be more aware of the pros and cons of GMOs and the effect they have on our lives.

How do balance writing with all of life’s responsibilities?  Which ones do you have to juggle?

I write whenever time permits and often get up in the small hours to catch up on my schedule.

What is your favorite quote?

Writing is easy. All you have to do is sit and stare at a sheet of paper till drops of blood ooze from your forehead.

What is the one thing about a book that will make you close the cover and not finish it?

Too much description and back-story in the opening paragraphs. If the author doesn’t hook me right at the start, I close the book and put it away.

What do you see as your next project and when can we expect it?

My latest novel, Thunder on the Veldt, (a story about the Anglo-Boer War) is due for release by Mélange Books in March 2014.

Keep in touch with Daphne:

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/daphne.f.olivier 

Website/Blog: http://www.daphneolivierdotnet.wordpress.com/

Twitter:  @Dafol2

Email: dafol@mymtnmail.co.za

Other books by Daphne Olivier:

The Peacock Throne –  published by Wild Child Publishers

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The Kennaway Woman –  published by Mélange Books

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The Way it was – published by Mélange Books

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