Guest Post Call of the Forbidden Way

418kINONWsL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Today I’m pleased to host Robert Owings on my blog, author of “Call of the Forbidden Way”, a Shamanic thriller. Robert Owings is sharing a guest post with us about shamanism and why it’s becoming popular again.

What Is Shamanism – And Why Is It Becoming Popular Again?

Given its recent popularity and growth, shamanism is re-establishing its place in the world. Naturally there’s much more to say when it comes to this subject. And if you want to start a good argument among shamans, or shamanic practitioners, just try asking them to define what it is. Which of course puts me in some treacherous territory given I’m attempting to write about the subject, but I’ve already crossed that boundary.

First, let me say that while shamanism is experiencing a global revival there is nothing new about it. Contrary to popular belief, prostitution isn’t the world’s oldest profession. No, it’s being a shaman. Every tribal culture had someone whose job it was to walk between the worlds, connecting with unseen deities so as to provide two basic services for their community: healing and protection. These two core needs have remained essential among all human societies right up through today. It’s just that today society turns to more “civilised” means to deliver these needs.

Yet shamanism has functioned within all pre-history tribal groups through the millennia. These tribes or clans typically numbered no more than hundred and fifty individuals, often smaller. The shaman was an essential member of these societal groups, a key person essential for their survival.

While healing and protection are imbedded in all shamanic practice, there are many more aspects and purposes addressed within shamanism, ranging from death passage rites to helping to find a lost sheep. Much of today’s focus in shamanism is directed by the individual as a form of spirit-infused psychology, and on the collective level to address global concerns such as Climate Change, world peace, and social justice.

It is speculated that part of today’s interest in shamanism comes from the paucity of meaning or connection to something greater in our increasingly materialist world. While organised religions have attempted to address such matters, numerous people have turned to shamanism to find solace and support for these concerns. The appeal is not just that it is different or trendy, but shamanic practitioners sense they gain a more meaningful and authentic connection to Spirit and divine forces of the Universe.

Here is where institutionalised religions come up short in addressing these needs, which is rooted in belief, underwritten by a requirement of faith. Shamanism on the other hand requires little effort of faith. Instead it can offer a direct experience with the Divine, and often delivers an intense engagement with these unseen forces. And yes, there are many other methodologies to access the Divine such as meditation, dance, dreams, etc.

Part of the reason such an experience is so powerful is that it supersedes our modern rational minds. As a species we all carry millennia of imbedded instincts that respond to these forms of experience. Simply put, shamanism is primal. Humans have practiced shamanism far longer than any form of belief system that arose through empires, organised religions, and the institutionalisation of civilisation.

That legacy has legs—the lineage of our ancestor’s psyches still churns in our subconscious as instinct, intuition, and a longing to connect.

There are lots of interesting contradictions within shamanism, probably mostly due to the fact that human beings practice it. By it’s very nature it’s anti-authoritarian, even rather subversive at the core. This is one of the reasons civilised societies have always sought to stamp it out, replacing shamans with institutional priesthoods who would work in collusion with the agenda of kings and empires. Shamanism fosters questioning, radical free thinking, and is always challenging the established societal order; all inconvenient qualities for a society that requires its populace to think and believe in the same manner: “long live the king”, et al.

We live in interesting times today. We are empowered with extraordinary technical capabilities that carry both good and harmful potentials. There’s great uncertainty in the world. Shamanism provides access to non-ordinary states of consciousness. The guidance one gains in these realms often comes from power animals, plant spirits, spirit guides, etc. and gives the practitioner a sense of empowerment and autonomy to address some of these conditions. There’s no end game here, it’s simply a continuous shamanic process of chop wood and carry water.

So this is where I work, exploring the questions, navigating the ominous, still connecting dots, still striving to learn. The more I do, the more I learn how much I don’t know. I’m okay with that. This is simply my spiritual path, one that I’ve found fosters connection and meaning, and hopefully some healing as well.

About the Book

When Carson Reynolds gets hired to produce a documentary film at a gathering of Native American medicine men, he never suspects it will be a portal into a world that will radically change his life. Despite his resistance to the Call, he is ineluctably drawn into a realm of shamans, priestesses, deities, and plant-medicine work, where he becomes engaged in a searing struggle with extra-dimensional forces that threaten the future of humanity as we know it.

Buy on Amazon.

Author Bio

Robert Owings is an explorer of consciousness. His recently released novel Call of the Forbidden Way is a spiritual plant-medicine thriller and the first book in a forth-coming trilogy published by Cosmic Egg.

Guest Post Lament of the Fallen-

Bucelarii 2 SmallI’m hosting a guest post today by Andy Peloquin, author of The Last Bucelarii (Book 2): Lament of the Fallen. The book also launches today. Congratulations! I’ll leave the word to Andy Peloquin now.

The Challenges of Writing an Anti-Hero

Writing heroes and villains is something I find fairly simple. Each hero has to have a few flaws to make them human, and each villain has to have something good or noble to make them more interesting. But an anti-hero, a character who is neither good nor bad, hero nor villain, that is a challenge I find absolutely fascinating!

What is an anti-hero? Wikipedia defines an anti-hero as a character “who lacks conventional heroic qualities such as idealism, courage, or morality”. They may have heroic and villainous tendencies, but they cannot be qualified as either good or bad.

Take a look at one of the most famous anti-heroes: the Punisher. The Punisher does horrible things–he kills people by the dozen. Yet look at WHO he kills (mobsters, gangsters, drug lords, criminals). He faces off against Marvel’s heroes as much as he fights the villains. His actions are too dark and depraved to be accepted as an Avenger or a “hero”, yet the villains fear him more than they fear Captain America or Wolverine.

Writing an anti-hero is like walking on the edge of a sword. If you’re not careful, you could step off and slip into the realm of heroism or villainy too easily. A good anti-hero does the right thing, usually for the wrong reason or in the wrong way. But there’s an element of heroism about him that makes him relatable.

But to write a good anti-hero, the heroic traits (nobility, sacrifice, courage, etc.) can’t be overdone. There has to be just enough about him to make him sympathetic to the reader, yet not so much that he slips into becoming a true “hero”. An inexperienced writer may convert their anti-hero into a proper hero, but a true anti-hero will never have the sense of morality or convictions to be a hero.

And yet, they cannot slide into the realm of villainy either. Readers want to empathize with the anti-hero, which means they can’t ever go truly “bad”. Their actions always have to lean just on the right side of “good”. Too far to the “bad”, and you risk losing the audience’s empathy for the character.

That, for me, is the most challenging–and thrilling–part of writing The Last Bucelarii series. The main character (the Hunter) is a half-demon assassin, one who begins firmly on the “villainous” side of the line. Yet, quickly you see that there is something heroic and noble about him, which puts him just on the heroic side of things. Throughout the course of the book (and through the series), he will make decisions that send him into the realm of villainy, but he always has to return just enough to the heroic side to make him a character to root for rather than despise. THAT is the true challenge of writing an anti-hero, and one I enjoy every moment!

About the Book

Title: The Last Bucelarii (Book 2): Lament of the Fallen

Author: Andy Peloquin

Official Launch Date: August 19th, 2016

Publication Date: July 21, 2016

Paperback Price: 15.99

Digital Price: 3.99

Pages: 340

ISBN: 1535388668

The Hunter of Voramis is no more.

Alone with the bloodthirsty voices in his head, fleeing the pain of loss, he has one objective: travel north to find Her, the mystery woman who plagues his dreams and haunts his memories.

When he stumbles upon a bandit attack, something within urges him to help. His actions set him at odds with the warrior priests commanded to hunt down the Bucelarii.

Left for dead, the Hunter must travel to Malandria to recover his stolen birthright. There, he is inexorably drawn into direct conflict with the Order of Midas, the faceless, nameless group of magicians that holds the city in a grip of terror. All while struggling to silence the ever-louder voice in his mind that drives him to kill.

From feared assassin to wretched outcast, the Hunter’s journey leads him to truths about his forgotten past and the Abiarazi he has pledged to hunt. His discoveries will shed light on who he really is…what he really is.

Fans of Joe Abercrombie, Brandon Sanderson, and Brent Weeks will love the Hunter…

Author Bio

Andy Peloquin: Lover of All Things Dark and Mysterious

Andy Peloquin–a third culture kid to the core–has loved to read since before he could remember. Sherlock Holmes, the Phantom of the Opera, and Father Brown are just a few of the books that ensnared his imagination as a child.

When he discovered science fiction and fantasy through the pages of writers like Edgar Rice Burroughs, J.R.R Tolkien, and Orson Scott Card, he was immediately hooked and hasn’t looked back since.

Andy’s first attempt at writing produced In the Days: A Tale of the Forgotten Continent. He has learned from the mistakes he made and used the experience to produce Blade of the Destroyer, a book of which he is very proud.

Reading—and now writing—is his favorite escape, and it provides him an outlet for his innate creativity. He is an artist; words are his palette.

His website ( is a second home for him, a place where he can post his thoughts and feelings–along with reviews of books he finds laying around the internet.

He can also be found on his social media pages, such as:



10 Things You Need to Know About Me:

  1. Hot wings, ALWAYS!
  2. I never forget a face, but rarely remember a name.
  3. I’m a head taller than the average person (I’m 6′ 6″)
  4. Marvel > DC
  5. I was born in Japan, and lived there until the age of 14.
  6. Selena Gomez, Skrillex, Simon & Garfunkel, Celine Dion, and Five Finger Death Punch are all in my writing playlist.
  7. Aliens are real, but it’s self-centered of us to believe that they would come to visit Earth.
  8. Watching sports: suck. Playing sports: EPIC!
  9. I earned a purple belt in Karate/Hapkido/Taekwondo.
  10. I dislike most Christmas music, aside from Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

A Few of My Favorite Things

Favorite Books: The Gentlemen Bastards by Scott Lynch, The Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson, Sherlock Holmes by A.C. Doyle, Warlord of Mars by E.R. Burroughs

Favorite Songs: Wrong Side of Heaven by Five Finger Death Punch, Prayer by Disturbed, I’m an Albatraoz by AronChupa, Look Down from Les Miserables, Shatter Me by Lindsay Sterling and Lizzi Hale

Favorite Movies: 300, Red Cliff, Shoot Em Up, Love Actually, Princess Bride

Favorite Comics: Anything with Deadpool, Wolverine or Doop in it

Favorite Foods: Hot Wings, Meat-Lover’s Salad, A good sandwich (made by me), Yaki Soba, Sushi

Favorite TV Shows: The Flash, Daredevil, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Hawaii Five-0, Brooklyn 99, Firefly (too soon!), The Last Ship, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones


“Creative, gritty, and beautifully dark…fantasy addicts will love it!” — Peter Story, author of Things Grak Hates —

“The fantasy world has a compelling new antihero…the Hunter will terrify and captivate you.” – Eve A Floriste, author of Fresh Cut

“From the first words on the page this fantasy holds the reader spellbound even after the book is finished…his character is very well-defined even if his past is a mystery. Root for an assassin? Oh, yes, one must!” — Carol Conley, for InDTale Magazine

“Oh the carnage! Fantastic bloodthirsty carnage! The fight scenes in this book were fast-paced, detailed and thrilling. I love a good sword fight and there is plenty of that here.” — Ami L. Hart

“One could get lost in this novel for its twisting plots, seemingly endless imagination, dark yet irresistible characters, or the mind-numbing paradox of its simultaneously dark and romantic world. One could follow the long and winding road of the dusky, fierce protagonist and fight tooth and nail not to sympathize with him. One could dance in the dizzying, intricate circles of Peloquin’s neo-mythology, or even basque in the black sunlight of a well-crafted gothic novel that both entertains and enlightens.” — Jesse G. Christiansen


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Guest Post HEN & CHICK: The Marauders’ Island

HENandCHICKcoverPlease wlecome Tristan Tarwater to my blog today, who is sharing a guest post about writing series and serials.

Guest Post: Serials

In my neverending quest to try new things and also make things hard for myself, I decided to release HEN & CHICK: The Marauders’ Island as a serial online. For about a year, I released one episode/chapter a month for an exclusive audience, first through Patreon and then through Gumroad Memberships.

I am a big fan of mini-series, Netflix and shows on E4 like Humans, The Aliens, Peaky Blinders, which have shorter seasons but definite story arcs and endings within a much bigger narrative. While the story of our mage Azria is ongoing and there is still much of the world of Mun for her to explore, I definitely wanted to have definite endings to larger plot lines. Having definite end points and goals gave me something to write towards, which kept the plot moving. With a quick turnaround of a month, knowing what it all lead to helped me trim the fat and kept me focused. Planning larger arcs with the end goal of a trilogy helped remind me to drop hints to keep Azria barreling towards the problems and adventures of the next two books. I wanted to serialize a story for several reasons, but the process of writing and finishing a concise but compelling episode really helped me shake off and hone some of my habits as a writer.

Some writers have daily goals for getting their prose wordcount in; I used to try to adhere to this, at 1,000 words a day but would beat myself up when I didn’t hit it. Writing and editing an episode a month was a decent sized goal that incorporated a lot of the different things writers have to do: not only writing but editing, writing promo for it (can’t just dump it in the inbox! You have to write a little something something for your wonderful readers!), writing a bit of a blurb, doing promotion for it. It left me time to work on other projects as well. Sometimes I would write short stories about the other characters in the book or work on different projects entirely. Having an episode done in a month was a small but mighty accomplishment which kept me working towards more!

In HEN & CHICK: The Marauders’ Island, Azria’s first quest in finding a long lost treasure is completed. In her second adventure she faces more challenges, more dangerous and more personal than before. Azria has learned a lot as a mage and a crew member of the ship, The Hen & Chick and I’ve learned quite a bit as a writer! Are we both up to the challenges facing us? I guess we’ll find out one month at a time!

About the Book

Azria, a mage of Miz, is the key to revealing a long lost treasure trove: at least that’s what her mother, alleged pirate Captain Apzana says. Generations ago, THE MARAUDERS’ ISLAND was sunk by the greatest mage in Mizian history, Iyzani, as an act of war and revenge. If Azria can undo the magic of powerful mages who came before her, a vast treasure will be theirs for the taking. But more mysteries than riches surface as Azria approaches a part of Miz’ history meant to remain drowned by the waves. Those who would stop her warn her: reveal the past and destroy the lives of mages forever. Azria must decide if she will be the daughter her mother needs or protect her homeland’s secret.
HEN & CHICK: The Marauders’ Island is a swashbuckling fantasy story, where a wizard of immense talent and legacy must find her own place in the World of Mun. The power to control the elements is trumped by long grudges, old lies, and personal desires. Magic is for the bold, and surviving the ambitions of the powerful isn’t for the feint of heart.
A fantasy tale laced with magic, salt and coconut wine! 

Buy the book on Amazon.

Book Tours: Guest Post In Shadows Waiting


I’m hosting a guest post today by Stewart Bint, author of paranormal horror “In Shadows Waiting”. Enjoy the guest post! I’ll leave the word to Stewart now.

Why I Write Horror

My two genres, horror and science fiction both represent the unknown, and it’s that fear of the unknown that sends a tingle down most people’s spines.

With horror, my personal preference is not for constant blood and gore with a clearly defined protagonist creating mayhem, but a slowly developing menace and unease. And it’s even better, in my opinion, when the reader can closely identify with the character. Especially when they are ordinary people in ordinary situations.

What could be more idyllic than the summer facing my young hero, Simon Reynolds, in In Shadows Waiting? So imagine the impish glee that ran amok from my soul when I set the chain of events into motion that tapped into his family’s basic fears.

Firstly, the unease of thinking they may be targeted by burglars. How basic is that fear? The fear of your home being invaded? I want my readers to experience that fear and unease – only through my book of course, not in real life!

Then I positively love making my readers squirm as my characters’ unease turns to fear and fear turns to horror.

I suppose what I’m really saying with all this is that I write horror because I just love putting my characters through hell (does that make me a bad person?). And I get such a buzz when readers tell me how my writing affects them.

DM Cain – author of The Phoenix Project and A Chronicle Of Chaos – had this to say about In Shadows Waiting: WI love a good creepy horror story and this one had me jumping at every noise and shadow.”

Yes! Exactly the reaction I was hoping for. Maybe writing horror is my way of compensating for not being able to pursue my first career choice. My careers teacher at school was having none of it when I said I wanted to be an assassin.

About The Book

in-shadows-waiting-by-stewart-bintTitle: In Shadows Waiting

Author: Stewart Bint

Genre: Paranormal, Horror

Young Simon Reynolds lives a bucolic life at his family home, White Pastures, surrounded by a loving family and a charming community. Simon finishes his A levels and looks forward to unwinding while his sisters work on their tans.

Meanwhile the tiny community of Meriton has been plagued by a spate of burglaries, and White Pastures seems to be next. A shadowy figure stalks the house, but the police can find no signs of an intruder.

Inspired by the author’s real-life experience with the supernatural, In Shadows Waiting recounts a summer that changes the Reynolds’ lives forever. As the summer progresses, the shadows take on an altogether more sinister implication, and White Pastures begins to reveal a terrifying secret.

The epicenter of an event that has scarred an entire community, White Pastures grows more and more dark, possessed by a shadow that yearns, a shadow that will not be denied. At White Pastures, someone will die — but love never will.

Author Bio

Stewart Bint is a novelist, magazine columnist and PR writer. He lives with his wife Sue in Leicestershire in the UK, and has two children, Christopher and Charlotte. As a member of a local barefoot hiking group, when not writing he can often be found hiking barefoot on woodland trails.




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Book Tours: Guest Post for Trespass


I’m hosting a guest post today for the book tour for science-fiction / fantasy “Trespass”. The author talks about five things he learned while writing Trespass! I hope you enjoy the post.

Five Things I Learned Writing Trespass

Don’t try to be Too Clever

I wanted my first novel to be special, to be different. Setting out to write a book was a major turning point in my life and the realisation of a dream I’d nurtured for as long as I could remember. For me, the bells were ringing and I was determined to write something out of the ordinary. So I didn’t give the main character a name but I did give him lots of flashbacks, and just for the hell of it, I decided to keep dialogue down to a minimum. It was all going to be very literary. And it took me a long time to realise that all this monkeying about was self-important nonsense. I was putting literary backflips in the way of the story and while backflips are very clever, we read a novel because we want to be entertained by the story itself rather than by the writer. The writer should melt into the background while the story takes centre stage. And this brings me on to the next thing I learned…

Always Put the Reader First

I read a lot and very widely; everything from crime to humour to sci-fi to classical. So I have a fair idea when a story is really good. And yet, when I started writing, I was so focused on getting the book finished that I didn’t take enough consideration of the reader. The pacing was all wrong and there wasn’t enough interaction between the characters. In fact, there weren’t enough characters in the story at all – too many scenes focused on a single character and that made the story dry. And it took me while to see my mistakes because I was just too close to it. When you’re in the thick of it and scribbling away like nobody’s business, you don’t always recognise it when you start to go off the rails. I needed to achieve a certain distance and that only came with time. When I’d put the book aside for a while, I realised that I should treat my writing as if I was cooking a meal for someone. A good cook thinks only about how the meal will taste to the diner, and a writer needs to keep their readers in mind at all times. It was a hard lesson to learn, but one that I’ll never forget. Now, I’ll look at a page and say, “What happens on this page?” And it had better be something worth reading about or out it goes.

Writing a Novel isn’t a Sprint, it’s a Marathon.

And then another marathon. And another. It’s like one of those endurance events that brave souls endure to raise money for charity. OK it’s not physically demanding, but on a psychological level, it takes its toll. So what do you do? Well, if you want a book to be any good, you have to grit your teeth and just keep tapping away at the keyboard. And when you make it to the finish line, you don’t celebrate for long, because Page One is sitting patiently and waiting for you like a dog that knows it’s dinner time. So you sigh and you start again. And again. And you tell yourself, as often as you can, that each rewrite will make the book that little bit better. I’ve learned why people call writing a craft. Anyone can nail some planks together and make a rudimentary table, but a skilled woodworker isn’t satisfied until they’ve sanded and polished it to perfection. Now, I’m not calling myself a master craftsman by any means, but I’ve learned what it means to tie on the apron and pick up the sandpaper. And I’ll gladly do the same tomorrow and the day after.

Complex is OK

On paper, Trespass sounds like a complex novel. There are several plot lines and they run over a period of about 5,000 years. And what’s more, those plots intersect and interact with each other. So while writing, I often worried that I’d made it too complicated and wondered if people would find it hard to understand. But I underestimated people’s desire to get their teeth into a complicated story. I’ll admit that the plot wasn’t easy to plan and I found it very demanding to write – the different time periods needed a lot of careful handling. But interestingly, people often say they love the way the story flits back and forth through time. People like the richness of the story and the depth that the different timelines bring. Perhaps it’s because readers like to be kept in suspense and they enjoy the fact that the story isn’t a vanilla, predictable novel. That sense of anticipation is a wonderful thing and must be valued and nurtured, so I’m glad I stuck with my interweaving plots. Which takes me to the next thing…

Stick to Your Guns

It sometimes feels like everything is a remake these days. Films are stretched into a series until they run out of sequels and then go back and remake the first one. And bookshops are suddenly filled with a range of very similar books, churned out by publishers trying to jump on the latest bandwagon. The pressure to bend a piece of creative work until it matches something that’s already popular is very great indeed. But I fought against it with this book. Sure, it makes it difficult for me at times, when I struggle to tell people what genre my book fits into, but I don’t think that will matter in the end. What’s important is that I was true to myself and wrote the story as I saw it. And I’ve learned that this pays off eventually. If I’d tried to twist this book into an imitation of The Time Machine or Doctor Who, I wouldn’t have believed in it and I wouldn’t have been able to write it convincingly.   If I don’t believe a story, why should anyone else? I’ve learned how vital it is that I’m committed to the story I’m working on, so I poured my heart and soul into Trespass. I think that commitment paid off – but what do you think?

Let me know at, give me a mention on Twitter @mikeycampling, or find me on Facebook/authormikeycampling. I always reply to comments and emails so go for it. And if I’ve whetted your appetite for a good story, then you can always claim two free books by signing up on my site at:

Thank you for taking the time.

Mikey Campling

About the Book

166_0.218591001427739589_tp_cv_hr Title: Trespass

Author: Mikey Campling

Genre: Science Fiction / Fantasy

Three stories, separated by five thousand years, united by one deadly secret:

Somewhere, sometime, the stone is waiting.

Trespass combines gritty, edgy modern-day action with a thrilling adventure across time. Discovered over 5,000 years ago, the Darkeningstone affects everyone who finds it.

Jake was too smart to believe the rumours about Scaderstone Pit, but now he’s in more danger than he could ever have imagined.

In 1939, as World War II looms, the lives of two men will be changed forever.

Over 5,000 years ago, a hermit will keep the stone a secret. But someone is watching him – someone with murder in his heart.

When it finds you, what will you see when you look into The Darkeningstone?


Author Bio

Mikey grew up in North Yorkshire, but he refuses to be classified according to Northern stereotypes, which is just the sort of bloody-minded attitude you’d expect from a Yorkshireman.  During his first day at school, he discovered the wondrous world that is The Book Corner, and he has never really left it.

He now lives in Devon, on the edge of the wilds of Dartmoor, with his wife, two children, and a black Labrador called Lottie who will only bark when she’s asleep. And lots and lots of books.

You can find out more on Mikey’s website:

You can also get two free books, free audio stories and free artwork by joining his mailing list at:




Book Tours: Guest Post and Giveaway Mothering Through Bipolar


Today’s guest is Rebecca Moore, the author of “Mothering Through Bipolar”, a memoir. She talks about why she started writing down her jounrey as a parent diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, and why she writes the things she writes.

Why I Do What I do

Four years ago when I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, I made it my mission to reach out to other parents who were struggling with the same illness. At the time, my illness consumed me and there were many days I couldn’t get out of bed. I needed to find support from other parents and find out how they coped when the symptoms returned and they found themselves unable to push through those hard times. I needed suggestions, advice, but more importantly, I needed a support network.

A year passed and I found no other parent that had been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. I scoured the internet for hours, even losing sleep during my search, trying to locate just one support group to help me get through.

I finally had enough and decided to start my own blog, writing about the coping techniques I found to be helpful and writing about my daily life as a mother with Bipolar Disorder trying to raise a family of seven children. Not an easy task when my youngest child was just a year old herself.

But soon enough I had parents searching me out. I was speaking out about my illness, I wasn’t hiding it. I wanted the world to know that moms can have a mental illness and still be great parents. I wanted to be a positive influence on mental health in general.

The media had reported way too many horror stories of moms taking their own lives and the lives of their children. As a society, our first reactions are, “How can a mother do that to her own children?”

The truth of the matter is, if we didn’t stigmatize against mental illness as much as we do, then maybe those moms would have felt safe enough to reach out to other family members, psychiatrists and therapists and be honest about how they are feeling without fear of judgement or worse, losing their children because of having a mental illness.

Pregnancy and the change in hormones that comes with it can change our mental status. We find ourselves having thoughts about harming ourselves or harming our children and these thoughts come out of nowhere. They envelope us in their darkness and with no place to turn for help sometimes we act on what our brains are telling us to do.

But there is a solution to this. We can make it safe for moms and dads alike to reach out for help without judgement. We should be able to tell our doctors that we are having thoughts of suicide or worse without fear that we’ll lose our children. We should be commended for taking that step of strength and asking for help.

And that is why I write about my illness, that is why I wrote “Mothering Through Bipolar” and that is why I do what I do. I don’t want parents to feel as though they have to hide behind a curtain and not be able to reach out for the help they so desperately need.

I was one of those moms who had those scary, dark thoughts. Had I not reached out, I would not be here today to help raise awareness about mental illness.

About the Book

CoverTitle: Mothering Through Bipolar

Author: Rebecca Moore

Genre: Memoir

Mothering Through Bipolar is Rebecca’s journey of living with Bipolar Disorder while raising a family of seven children. She takes her readers on an adventure through depression, mania, legal issues, relationship problems and other difficulties. Rebecca offers her readers encouragement, comfort and support; always with a message of hope.

Author Bio

Author PhotoRebecca Moore has been diagnosed with everything from Postpartum Depression to Bipolar Disorder. Rebecca enjoys writing about surviving her journey through mental health and likes to help others who have been there as well. She is a strong Mental Health Advocate for parents living with mental illness. Rebecca is also the CEO of her nonprofit organization, Bipolar Parenting Foundation. She also runs a column on PsychCentral called Bipolar Parenting. Rebecca lives in Northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband and seven children.

“We must break down the wall of shame society has built for us” – Rebecca Moore in Mothering Through Bipolar



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Book Tours: Guest Post From Frights to Flaws


I’m hosting a guest post for the book tour for MG fantasy “From Frights to Flaws” about MG characters. Enjoy the guest post!

When MG Main Characters Have to be Dependent

We all know that in middle grade fiction, the protagonists have to make their own decisions and not rely on adults to help them or make decisions for them. It’s why in some stories, including mine, the main characters are orphans. I even watched a video where the person in it said to keep adults out of the story as much as possible.

However, I disagree with keeping adults out of the story. While the characters can’t have adults decide for them on what’s right or wrong, here are some things they need to rely on adults for.

 Driving them to places: Unless the main character is of licensed age (which hardly ever happens in MG fiction, and would probably be very hard to sell unless you’re a super famous, popular, author who’s won many awards), they still need adults to drive them places. Middle grade protagonists are usually no older than 13 or 14. Therefore, they are not going to be old enough to drive.

Signing things for them that only adults can sign: If your main character is going on a school field trip and is under 18, they will need an adult to sign their permission slip for them. An example of this is in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, when Harry had to ask his uncle to sign his permission form to visit the village outside of Hogwarts. Aside from permission slips, adults need to fill out children’s health forms, school forms, and camp forms (if applicable). They also need to pay bills and taxes in order to keep their homes.

Having and maintaining legal custody over their kids: If you keep adults out of your MG story as much as possible and make your main character purely independent, then you might as well make your protagonist over 18. Except for the book, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, MG main characters are ALWAYS going to be under 18. Therefore, they cannot be financially dependent. They need to live with adults (parents, guardians, foster parents) and rely on them to keep legal custody for them until they either turn 18 or graduate from college.

Escorting them to places where minors must be accompanied by adults: Some places, such as hotels, will require minors to have an adult with them. If your character is going somewhere where everyone under 18 needs to be supervised, then they will need an adult to accompany them.

Those are the four things middle grade protagonists need to rely on adults for. Other than that, they can be independent.

About the Book

FromFrightsToFlaws_Sunayna PrasadTitle: From Frights to Flaws

Author: Sunayna Prasad

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

    Twelve-year-old Alyssa McCarthy is sick of her uncle’s unfair rules and longs for a better life. After discovering the existence of magic, she finds out about a dark wizard hunting her down. An unforgettable storm occurs in Alyssa’s ordinary New Jersey town before the sorcerer kidnaps her to the Fiji Islands.

On the enchanted island of Yanowic, Alyssa learns that she is unable to get out of the country due to a giant shield. She must defeat some dangerous creatures and the evil wizard in order to leave. But with sorcerers and magical technology getting in her way, can Alyssa succeed?

Author Bio

sunayna in IndiaSunayna Prasad has been writing stories for several years, starting at the age of six. Now twenty-one, she is a college student will study who studies art and design as well write for children. Aside from that, Sunayna also likes to cook, watch movies, and draw. She lives on Long Island, New York, with her family.


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Book Tours: Guest Post for Nowhere Train


I’m hosting a guest post today for the book tour for paranormal / new adult / dystopian “Nowhere Train” by Allie Burke. Enjoy! I’ll leave the word to Allie now.


I really don’t know why writing is so hard. Writers in all genres talk so much about how much they love being a writer and how they love their childlike imaginations and how being a writer is the best job in the world, yet we find these diagrams that show that writing is thirty percent staring outside of the window, sixty-eight percent not being distracted by the internet, and two percent of the time actually spent writing. This is usually meant to be a joke, but for some, its reality is not that far off.

For me, I think the hardest part is the commitment. Writing a novel is a long process that one must be extremely dedicated to, and of course, another issue that we all have is getting an idea for a book halfway through and it can be very difficult deciding which one to write. Your readers may be awaiting a sequel but there are these other characters from this other new book that won’t shut up. A novel requires the perseverance of a marriage, and giving up is not an option for an author. Just considering the plot and the character development and the world building and what the first sentence will be is daunting, let alone the thought of sticking with it for fifty-thousand words or more. For example, many of us who blog for a living can write a blog no problem, but I’ve been thinking about this novel I’m supposed to be writing for months and haven’t done it yet. Why? It’s a lot of work. We are master procrastinators.

Such is life, though, even with so many things outside of writing, and most of us authors eventually do get it done, and on time no less. It’s a mind game called failure that we love to play chicken with to see who will win and who will die. But what it comes down to is the drive and the goals and the dream to create and if you are a writer, you have that in you.

About the Book

NowhereTrainebookCoverTitle: Nowhere Train

Author: Allie Burke

Genre: New Adult, Paranormal Romance, Dystopian

Two-years post end-of-the-world, all Jetilyn Fournier wants to do is learn to navigate a world that is no longer her own. Surviving zombies feels easy, though, compared to dealing with her rocky relationship with her best friend, the death of her mother, her sister’s faux happiness, and her father’s sudden desire to speak, after decades of silence. Saving herself is not even something she can fit in at the moment. Enter Devlin Shea: for all intents and purposes, a mortal enemy. Though she should hate him instantly upon contact, she doesn’t, and before she knows it, Jett has another life to save. Told in the surreal prose that Allie Burke has come to be known for, Nowhere Train is the first zombie novel of its kind. At two parts hippie and one part magic, it is as deadly as it is beautiful; as dark as it is hopeful, baring the question in mind: who–and what–are Jett and her family really fighting for?

Author Bio

A Bestselling Author, publishing imprint Manager, and Psychology Today Blogger from Burbank, California, Allie Burke writes books she can’t find in the bookstore. Having been recognized as writing a “kickass book that defies the genre it’s in”, Allie writes with a prose that has been labeled poetic and ethereal.

Her life is a beautiful disaster, flowered with the harrowing existence of inherited eccentricity, a murderous family history, a faithful literature addiction, and the intricate darkness of true love. These are the enchanting experiences that inspire Allie’s fairytales.

From some coffee shop in Los Angeles, she is working on her next novel.

Visit Allie at


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Book Tour: Guest Post for Keep Dancing


Today I’m glad to host a guest post for the book tour for “Keep Dancing”. I’d like to welcome the author to my blog, and thank her for writing the guest post! Also, if you’re interested, there’s a giveaway for a $2000 diamond ring during this tour (yeeep, pretty awesome, right?) Scroll down to participate!

Guest Post

First of all, a huge thank you to I Heart Reading for inviting me to guest post!

A lot of readers have really enjoyed the early 1980s setting of my novels, and they have asked me why I chose that time period for my novels, Come Dancing and Keep Dancing. I began writing the first book in 2009, on the thirtieth anniversary of my arrival in New York City. I wanted to describe what Manhattan was like when it was still rough along the edges; when SoHo was still the domain of artists and galleries, and the occasional local bar or cafe. And when nightclubs like the Palladium, the Roxy, Danceteria, and the Mudd Club attracted a huge mix of people from many different strata of society.

Back then, you could go out dancing and run into just about anyone: actors, politicians, rock musicians. Celebrities weren’t surrounded by bodyguards; the assumption was that if you were allowed into a club, you were cool. No one was going to harass anybody; after all, this was downtown. And there were no cell phones back then. People didn’t walk around with a camera in their pockets 24/7—so if you were famous, you didn’t have to worry about being photographed every time you turned around. That made for a much more open atmosphere, where regular people rubbed shoulders with the glitterati as everyone cut loose on the dance floor.

And since (like my character Julia) I work in book publishing, I wanted to write about what the businessw as like before the advent of e-readers and computers, when we were all lugging home 400-page manuscripts every night. As with the music biz, the changes have been seismic. Unfortunately the salaries are pretty much the same, especially for assistants (when you account for inflation). I really did find those lavender shoes (that I write about in the novel) on the street, and I wore them until they fell apart.

Another question that people often ask me is which authors have influenced me. I tried to make my books very funny—in fact, one reader just emailed me that she was laughing so hard over the scene where Julia and Jack have dinner with Julia’s mom, that she almost woke her roommates up. That made me feel great! So in that humorous vein,I like Lauren Weisberger’s The Devil Wears Prada and Jennifer Weiner’s Good In Bed, as well as Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary, Allison Pearson’s I Don’t Know How She Does It, and Alice Clayton’s Wallbanger. I really like fiction with a sense of humor! But I would never suggest that I’m as good a writer as these authors — I just admire their work.


About the Book

02_Keep Dancing Cover
Publication Date: February 5, 2015
Percambio Press
Formats: Print & ebook
256 pages

Series: Come Dancing, Book Two
Genre: Contemporary Romance/New Adult/Chick Lit

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Julia is a young book editor on the rise. Jack is a British rock star at the pinnacle of his fame.

Can they both get what they want—if what they need threatens to tear them apart?

It’s January, 1982. Twenty-four-year-old Julia Nash has just moved in with her boyfriend, rock and roll guitarist extraordinaire Jack Kipling. Their connection sizzles as Jack takes her to England to meet his mother, and then to a private Caribbean island for a sensual post-holiday retreat.

But back in New York, they hit a turbulent patch. Career-focused Julia is in the running for a new job, while Jack’s life becomes even more chaotic with an upcoming thirty-city tour. Although free-spirited Jack enjoys his partying lifestyle, he craves more support on the home front. But Julia doesn’t know if she can ever be a domestic goddess—or if her wild boyfriend can ever be domesticated.

On tour, Julia experiences private jets, mind-blowing concerts, shocking hotel room antics, and screaming headlines. Back home, she has to decide if their relationship can withstand the ravages of fame and conflicting interests—not to mention a suave bestselling author who seems to like more than her grammar sense.

Emotionally poignant, hilarious and steamy, Keep Dancing will delight brand-new readers as a stand-alone novel, and also serves as the perfect follow-up to Come Dancing.

Praise for Keep Dancing

“Set in the 80s and dripping with the excesses this time period excelled at, Julia and Jack have reached a point in their relationship where the hard work begins. Julia is working towards her own stardom, while Jack continues to play in the world that made him. As external forces do their best to force this unusual couple apart, Jack and Julia will need to decide if they should keep dancing or find new partners. Emotionally plump with laughter, love, and heartbreak…” —Smexy Book Reviews

“HOT”—“In book two of the Jack and Julia series, Wells once again titles chapters after hit songs, and finds even more ways to describe the excitement surrounding New York City as she did in the debut…” —Romance Times

“This is a 5 star series, and I recommend this as a wonderfully fun yet angsty read. I loved the chemistry between Jack and Julia and their crazy bad communication skills (they didn’t have cell phones, after all). The breakups were worth it, if only just so they could make up!” –Cindy Becker, The Book Enthusiast

Praise for the first novel about Jack and Julia: Come Dancing, an Amazon Bestseller and Apple iBooks Breakout Book

“Wells builds an emotionally poignant love story, abounding with romance and humor.” —Smexy Book Reviews

“Sometimes a book like this comes along and takes me out of the niche reading that I tend to find myself in…. I am in love… So very sex + the city.” —Must Read Books or Die

“It reads like a very, very good romantic comedy movie.” —Michelle & Leslie’s Book Picks

“Once you start, you are completely unable to put it down.” —Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews

“Like a well-oiled machine or a well-tuned guitar, Julia and friends work their way into your heart.” —Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

“Hot, sexy, and combustible.” —Blushing Divas Book Reviews

“Come Dancing is brimming with both humor and heart.” —Flashlight Commentary

“It’s a fun romp, and the sparkling characters definitely made it worth the read.” —A Bookish Affair

“I enjoyed reading Come Dancing! It had a good story, fascinating characters, and a charming vibe.” —Julie Anne, Teacups & Book Love

Keep Dancing Available at Amazon

About the Author

03_Leslie Wells Credit © Leslie WellsLeslie Wells left her small Southern town in 1979 for graduate school in Manhattan, after which she got her first job in book publishing. She has edited forty-eight New York Times bestsellers in her over thirty-year career, including thirteen number one New York Times bestsellers. Leslie has worked with numerous internationally known authors, musicians, actors, actresses, television and radio personalities, athletes, and coaches. She lives on Long Island, New York.

Author Links

Website | Blog | Facebook | Google+ | Goodreads

Sign Up for Leslie Wells’s Newsletter.

Keep Dancing Blog Tour Schedule

Friday, May 1
Review at Peeking Between the Pages

Saturday, May 2
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book

Monday, May 4
Review at Red Hot Books

Thursday, May 7
Guest Post at I Heart Reading

Friday, May 8
Spotlight at Rainy Day Reviews

Monday, May 11
Review at Tea Cups and Book Love

Tuesday, May 12
Review at Room With Books

Wednesday, May 13
Spotlight at Susan Heim on Writing

Friday, May 15
Spotlight at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, May 20
Review & Guest Post at Must Read Books or Die

Thursday, May 21
Spotlight at Romance Junkies Blog

Monday, June 1
Review at The Life & Times of a Book Addict
Spotlight at Genre Queen

Tuesday, June 2
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, June 3
Review at Shelly’s Book Shelves

Thursday, June 4
Review at SOS Aloha

Friday, June 5
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Monday, June 8
Review at The Danish Bookaholic

Tuesday, June 9
Review & Excerpt at Reading in Pajamas

Wednesday, June 10
Review at Book Nerd

Thursday, June 18
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Monday, June 22
Review at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Wednesday, June 24
Guest Post at Brooke Blogs


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Book Tours: Guest Post Knight of Rapture Tour

04_Knight of Rapture_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

I’m hosting an interview today for the “Knight of Rapture” tour, and I’m interviewing Ruth A. Casie, the author of the book.

Author Interview

Ruth, I am so excited to have you as my featured guest today. I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions.

Thank you so much Majanka for inviting me onto your blog.

Ruth, how long have you been writing romance? Would you say it has always been your calling?

I’ve been writing romance since 2010. I was an avid reader and hadn’t planned to write a book. A friend was writing a romance and I asked to help her. One thing led to another and we decided we would each write a story and create a series. She was busy with college hunting with her daughter and training for the NY marathon so writing went on the back burner for her. I embraced it and continued. The book was published in 2011.

Has writing always been my calling? Not writing but storytelling. When I told my older sister that I had written and published a book she said she wasn’t surprised. I always had a story. She’s fifteen years older than me. One time I got her to wear a cowboy hat and boots while I played Dale Evans (I know, I’m really dating myself here) and charged around on my tricycle.

Your Druid Knight series seems like something any historical romance and paranormal romance lover will enjoy. Can you tell us about it?

There are several underlying themes in the stories: trust, family and acceptance. The first two stories are about Rebeka and Arik.

In Knight or Runes: Rebeka Tyler never thought herself a warrior, renown authority on medieval and renaissance studies, yes, a martial arts amateur, absolutely, a warrior, definitely not. Tossed into the 17th century, she’s plunged into the midst of a struggle between two druid masters. While she tries to decode the ancient runes and unearth a family secret in order to return she physically fights for her life against the dark druid, Bran, and struggles emotionally with the druid knight, Lord Arik, and the truth about their past. Neither Rebeka nor Arik can succeed by themselves they must partner in order to win. But it will cost her dearly, her heart.

In Knight of Rapture Rebeka is tricked to return to the 21st century: For months Lord Arik has been trying to find the precise spell to rescue his wife, Rebeka, but the druid knight will soon discover that reaching her four hundred years in the future is the easiest part of his quest.

Bran, the dark druid, follows Arik across the centuries, tireless in his quest for revenge. He’ll force Arik to make a choice, return to save his beloved family and home or stay in the 21st century and save Rebeka. He can’t save them both.

Rebeka Tyler has no recollection of where she’s been the past five months. On top of that, ownership of her home, Fayne Manor, is called into question. When accidents begin to happen it looks more and more like she is the target. Further complicating things is the strange man who conveniently appears wherever trouble brews—watching her, perhaps even….protecting her? Or is he a deliberate attempt to distract her? Rebeka can only be sure of one thing—her family name and manor have survived for over eleven centuries. She won’t let them fall… in any century.

As an added treat, I wrote, The Druid Knights Tale – a Short Story. Here you’ll find out about Rebeka and Arik’s parents as well as some insight into Arik and Bran going off to druid school.

Do you have a day job outside of writing romance? If so, can you tell us about it?

I worked for almost thirty years at JPMorgan in a variety of areas for their global treasury products (checks and money transfers): product management, project management, marketing and communication. I retired two years ago. I was looking forward to writing full time and I haven’t been disappointed.

I spend the day writing, editing, researching, and/or promoting my books.

You’ve just won a free all-expenses paid trip to anywhere in the world; where would you go and why?

I’ve been very fortunate. I travelled around the world for the bank and have been in many wonderful places. My dream is to follow my family roots back to ‘the old country,’ Russia and find out more about both my mother’s and father’s families.

In your Druid Knight books, time travel plays an important part in the plot. If you could time travel to any-when or anywhere, when/where would you go? Why?

I’m in love with medieval England and Scotland. I’ve researched and read about the period and the places. My stories are set in Avebury and the England-Scotland border. Today’s courting rituals are rooted in medieval chivalry. This is the era where romance saw its rise in literature and the stage.

Do you have any advice for romance authors just starting out in the industry?

I think the best advice I can give any author is the best way to promote your book is to write the next one.

About The Book

Please join Ruth A. Casie as she tours the blogosphere with HF Virtual Book Tours for Knight of Rapture, from March 30-April 10, and enter to win an eBook & $25 Amazon Gift Card!

02_Kinght of Rapture_CoverPublication Date: March 30, 2015

Series: Druid Knight Series, Book Two
Genre: Historical Romance

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He crossed the centuries to find her…

For months Lord Arik has been trying to find the right combination of runes to create the precise spell to rescue his wife, Rebeka, but the druid knight will soon discover that reaching her four hundred years in the future is only the beginning of his quest. He arrives in the 21st century to find her memory of him erased, his legacy on the brink of destruction, and traces of dark magick at every turn.

A threat has followed to take away all they hold dear—forever…

Bran, the dark druid, is more determined than ever to get his revenge. His evil has spread across the centuries. Arik will lose all. Time is his weapon, and he’s made sure his plan leaves no one dear to Arik, in past or present, safe from the destruction.

But their enemy has overlooked the strongest magick of all…

Professor Rebeka Tyler is dealing with more than just a faulty memory. Ownership of Fayne Manor, her home, has been called into question. Convenient accidents begin happening putting those she cares for in the line of fire. And then there’s the unexpected arrival of a strange man dressed like he belonged in a medieval fair—a man who somehow is always around when needed, and always on her mind. She doesn’t know who to trust. But one thing is certain. Her family line and manor have survived for over eleven centuries. She won’t let them fall, not on her watch… in any century.

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More Titles by Ruth A. Casie

Knight of Runes (Druid Knight Series, Book One)
The Guardian’s Witch

About the Author03_Ruth A Casie

Ruth A Casie is a seasoned professional with over twenty-five years of writing experience but not necessarily writing romances. No, she’s been writing communication and marketing documents for a large corporation. Over the past years, encouraged by her friends and family, she gave way to her inner muse, let her creative juices flow, and began writing a series of historical time travel romance novels.

When not writing you can find her home in Teaneck, New Jersey, reading, cooking, doing Sudoku and counted cross stitch. Together with her husband Paul, they enjoy ballroom dancing and, with New York City close by, going to the theater. Ruth and Paul have three grown children and two grandchildren. They all thrive on spending time together. It’s certainly a lively dinner table and they wouldn’t change it for the world.

Ruth is a Trustee and on the Executive Board of Shelter Our Sister (SOS) in New Jersey. SOS is Bergen County’s only shelter for victims of domestic violence. She frequently speaks at various functions around Bergen County on behalf of the Shelter.

For more information visit Ruth A. Casie’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Sign up for Ruth A. Casie’s newsletter.

Knight of Rapture Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 30
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, March 31
Review at Book Nerd
Guest Post at Mythical Books

Thursday, April 2
Spotlight & Excerpt at Griperang’s Bookmarks

Friday, April 3
Guest Post at I Heart Reading

Monday, April 6
Spotlight at Genre Queen

Friday, April 10
Review at Back Porchervations
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection


To enter to win an eBook of Knight of Rapture & a $25 Amazon Gift Card please complete the giveaway form below.

– Giveaway starts on March 30th at 12:01am and ends on April 11th at 11:59pm EST.
– Must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner will be notified via email.

Knight of Rapture eBook + $25 Amazon Gift Card