Debut Author Spotlight – Julie Lovett

To continue my series of blogs on new authors living in Suffolk, I am delighted to introduce Julie Lovett and her debut novel The Prophet and the Time Traveller. 

Welcome Julie.

Julie

What is your book about? 

It’s a humorous novel about relationships between siblings, lovers and friends, set against a dystopian backdrop.

The prophet book cover

 Why did you choose to write your book?

I started writing my book as a comment on farming methods, the futility of war and so on. However, it quickly transformed into a more balanced and readable story.

 Who or what was the inspiration behind it?

The main characters are identical twins, as are my brothers. However, my brothers are not failed scientists, they have never time travelled (except slowly forward like the rest of us) and they are usually far more sensible than the characters in my story. However, I think they will appreciate my joke.

 What kind of research did you do?

I didn’t research specifically for this book, but I did bring fifty years of life experience, an enquiring mind and a good imagination to it.

 What was the biggest challenge in writing the book?

My biggest challenge came when I finished the main draft and went back through the book looking for areas that I felt could benefit from expansion or clarification.  I discovered that my writing style had developed immensely by then and it was difficult to insert new material into the early chapters in a seamless way.

 What was the best part of writing your book?

I enjoyed letting my imagination go into freefall, indulging in descriptions that would seem superfluous in normal life and having an appropriate outlet for my sense of humour.

 Do you have any advice to give authors who wish to self-publish?

I would advise other new authors to enjoy the experience and get lots of feedback on your work prior to publishing, if you can.

 What are your future writing plans?

 I am currently writing a children’s story about a young wizard who believes he can only conjure up nettle soup, a bitter sweet story about a ghostly mother who interferes with her daughter’s love life and a collection of short stories and poems.

Thank you Julie for letting us know about your debut novel.

You can learn more about Julie by visiting her website:

https://julielovett.wordpress.com/

You can purchase her book on Amazon.

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Prophet-Time-Traveller-Julie-Lovett-ebook/dp/B01IO7F4AG/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Prophet-Time-Traveller-Julie-Lovett-ebook/dp/B01HDT05ZA

The prophet book cover

 

 

 

Author Spotlight – Kim Forester

In this two-part author spotlight, I would like to introduce Kim Forester who has just independently published her non-fiction book Inside Broadmoor (Secrets of the Criminally Insane – Revealed by the Chief Attendant) based on the journals kept by her Great Great Grandfather Charles Bishop Coleman who worked at Broadmoor Prison for the criminally insane in the last half of the nineteenth century and the first part of the twentieth century.

I have read it and it is a very interesting read indeed!

 

Kim harket

Who are you and what do you do? (Tell us a little bit about yourself)

My name is Kim Forester and I was born in the South East of England, although I now live in East Anglia.  My early years were spent in Berkshire and my teens in the West Country.  As an adult I moved back to Berkshire and amongst other jobs, worked and travelled for an American company in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and the USA.  A further move, to West Wales, saw a challenging change of direction for me, working for the Crown Prosecution Service with Dyfed Powys Police in a joint unit assisting victims and witnesses of crime.  For family reasons I recently moved to East Anglia, and continue to work full time at a power station in the renewable energy industry – for me, writing has to fit around the day job!

What is your book about?

Inside Broadmoor Book Cover

A work of non-fiction, my book ‘Inside Broadmoor (Secrets of the Criminally Insane – Revealed by the Chief Attendant)’ is about the staff, patients and their crimes at the most famous hospital for the criminally insane in the world, between the years of 1873 and 1912.  It has at its core, the starting point of my Great Great Grandfather Charles Bishop Coleman’s notebooks and diaries.  He began as an Assistant Attendant and worked his way up to the top job of Chief Attendant during his 38 years service, during which he wrote about and recorded his time at the Hospital between those years.  Each of the 180 entries I have included in the book is a ‘jumping off point’ for the sad, grisly, and sometimes redemptive tales of individuals who served time at Broadmoor during those years.

Why did you choose to write your book and who or what was the inspiration behind it?

The work did not begin as a book.  I started researching on behalf of my Mother, purely from a shared interest in our family history.  We knew very little about Charles before finding his papers and photographs following the loss of my Grandmother.  We knew that several people in our family had worked at Broadmoor of course, but not what that really entailed.  There is another book on the subject written by Berkshire Records Office Archivist, Mark Stevens, but his book finishes around the time my book begins.   My family and I felt that by publishing, we would be able to open up this shadowy world further for others to explore should they wish.  Sometimes, in genealogical research a small clue can take you in a whole new direction and Broadmoor continues to fascinate today.  My Great Great Grandfather worked there during the crimes of ‘Jack the Ripper’ and today the Hospital holds the ‘Yorkshire Ripper’.  We are endlessly intrigued by the darker side of human nature, probably because it is so alien to the vast majority of us.

What kind of research did you do?

 Researching for this book was time consuming, detailed and required a lot of checking and double checking as you can imagine.  When you are writing about the real lives of people (even those who passed away many years ago), it is important to do your best to try to get the facts as accurately recorded as possible.  Where Charles’ notes helped me in this was because he listed dates, crimes and names.  Once you have this information, you can work backwards and forwards through archives, court proceedings, contemporary newspaper reports, gaol records and any other ‘titbit’ of information you can find before bringing it all together to give a more rounded picture of an individual and their crime whilst not forgetting their victim(s).  This has to be done for each individual and with 180 in the book you can see why it was such a big project and took several years.

What was the biggest challenge in writing the book?

 The biggest challenge was probably to avoid temptation and also to know when to stop.  One of my many research trips was to the Berkshire Records Office in Reading, but not to look at patients records.  I used their files to double check what Charles Bishop Coleman recorded relating to his own service.  I had contemplated asking to see certain individual’s records but ultimately decided that this would move me too far away from the core idea of the book, which was the viewpoint of Charles himself.  The Medical Superintendant and his team of doctors of course recorded their opinions of patients at Broadmoor, but whilst fascinating, it seemed too much of an intrusion for me as a non-medical individual to expand upon this avenue of research.

Thank you Kim for a truly interesting insight into your book and your life.

Watch out for Part two of Kim’s Spotlight where she reveals some exciting news about her Great Great Grandfather’s journals. 

Inside Broadmoor Book Cover

You can purchase this fascinating book and find out more about Kim at the links below:

Amazon:

UK:   http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1530786428

USA:   https://amzn.com/B01F0AY97O

AU:   http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01F0AY97O

 Website:   http://www.insidebroadmoor.com

Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/Kim-Forester-246195889102951/

 

Have you heard about Women in Horror Month? Author spotlight – Angeline Trevena

To celebrate Women in Horror Month

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I am hosting an author spotlight on Dystopian Horror writer – Angeline Trevena and her book The Bottle Stopper, Book 1 of The Paper Duchess Series.

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I tend to think of myself as one of the unlikeliest horror writers you’ll ever meet. I am terrified of spiders, the dark, the sight of blood. Much of my day is spent creeping round the house investigating sounds that absolutely must be either an intruder or a ghost.

AHHHH!!!  A SPIDER!!!!!sacophage-2

After all, I once had a nightmare after watching the Eddie Murphy film ‘Coming to America’. Yes, really.

Yet, fate found it funny to make me one of the biggest horror fans going. Ever since my brother introduced me to the classic horrors of the 70s and 80s when I was a teenager, I’ve been hooked.

Despite that, I was a late comer to the likes of Stephen King and Clive Barker, not picking up their books until my 20s. But once I did, I made a pretty quick shift from reading fantasy, to reading the kind of books that had me jumping at every bump in the night.

And that was when I started writing horror too.

I’ve actually been composing stories since before I could even write, and it’s, pretty much, my natural state. If I wasn’t a writer, I honestly don’t know what I’d do. And yes, being such a scaredy-cat, I do scare myself with my own writing. Frequently.

In fact, I would hate to meet my horror-self in a dark alley!

Angeline as scary self

Because, that’s how I see it; there’s me (favourite colour yellow, watches trashy dating shows, laughs at fart jokes), and then there’s horror me (filled with an uncontrollable darkness, knows several ways to kill a person, truly sadistic). Two very separate people.

But, even when they are filled with an uncontrollable darkness, women can have a very tough time in the horror genre. Sure, we’re allowed to write about romantic vampires, but when it comes to the real horror, the gory horror, the truly terrifying, many see that as a male-only domain.

Though I’ve never experienced it myself, I do know other female horror writers who have been told that ‘women shouldn’t write horror’, or even that they ‘can’t’. This leaves many women using pen names, or gender ambiguous names, knowing that their books will simply sell better if they don’t publicise the fact that they’re female. Sadly, however, the industry will never change if women keep hiding. Not that I blame them, it’s savvy business sense after all.

And that’s where initiatives like Women in Horror Month (WiHM) come in.

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Now in its 7th year, WiHM runs every February worldwide, and seeks to celebrate, promote, and support the work of women in the horror genre. It pulls together a wide variety of events, such as screenings, festivals, readings, blog hops, podcasts, and even blood drives, from all over the world.

You can get more information on WiHM on their website:

www.womeninhorrormonth.com

This year, as part of WiHM, I’m having a week-long sale of my latest book, The Bottle Stopper. This is the first book in The Paper Duchess series, set in a dark future dystopia where women are owned and controlled by the state.

The Bottle Stopper 800

 

The Bottle Stopper follows the story of Maeve, a girl left in the care of her abusive uncle after the administration took away her mother. Maeve, lives in the slums, outside of the system, but it’s an existence she’s desperate to escape from. In fact, as her uncle’s violence towards her increases, it becomes a matter of life and death.

Trouble is, to save her own life, she has to sacrifice the lives of others.

The Bottle Stopper:

“Too much trouble, and you’ll end up just like your crazy mother.”

Maeve was six when they took her mother away, and left her in the care of her Uncle Lou: a drunk, a misogynist, a fraud.

For eleven years she’s lived with him in Falside’s slums, deep in the silt of the Falwere River. She bottles his miracle medicine, stocks his apothecary shop, and endures his savage temper.

But as his violence escalates, and his lies come undone, she devises a plan to escape him forever. Even if it means people have to die.

If you like stories of oppressive governments, genetic selection, mass murder, and the fight for freedom, if you look for unlikely heroes and always root for the underdog, you’ll love The Bottle Stopper.

99 WiHM Promo

And for a whole week, from February 8th – 14th, you can grab the Kindle edition for just 0.99!!!

From either Amazon.com, or Amazon UK. www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01360P622

If you want to know more about Ageline and her work, please visit her website:

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www.angelinetrevena.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Life-O-Suction Guest Post by Queen of Spades

It gives me great pleasure to present to you a very talented poetry and prose writer – Queen of Spades.

I could go on and on about her work and who she is, but I think Queen does a fabulous job of doing that herself.

So, take it away Queen of Spades!!!

Shoebox and Scrapbook

 

For those moments when my thoughts are at their most random, the end results can be a picture or a poem. Some are for a studio audience and others are for the bottom of a fancy shoebox.

Today I’d like to share some of my random pictures, along with a bit of backdrop surrounding them.

Nikki.Image.1

If I’m not mistaken it was around July—close to the time where America celebrates its independence. I was suffering from a bit of massive cabin fever, dying to get out but wanting to feel pretty. Random my design became with the eyes and that was the end result.

A few little lines were inside my head. I jotted them down on a piece of receipt paper that was left in my car.

Funny how we are always celebrating freedom
but more often than not,
we’d rather be Free to be Dumb
that chain ourselves to Knowledge.
If those are the only choices I have,
let me be Intelligence’s slave
and my Emancipation never be paid
with acres or a mule.

There was more but I got busy. With different errands here and there. Once those were completed and I made it back home, I tried to recapture that spirit. Unfortunately, it was gone and so was the spark that began the poem.

Nikki.Image.2

This is just outside of my house, prior to the time change—when one could still see a light sky at around 8 at night. It was the hue of the sky more than anything: varying shades of purple with the yellow here and there.

Lines from that scene … I still have not deciphered what they mean or if they will appear anywhere beyond this guest post.

These branches will never break away. How can they when the roots are in disarray? They will never let her defy gravity to run her fingers through the clouds—too slow for solace, too fast for substance.

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I wanted to zoom in on the fantastic green of the tree, making it the focal point more so than the boat. I think that was accomplished. It was one of the happenstances where my mind was empty—a peace obtained not by mediation but just existed. Those are few and far in between for me, so when they come I cherish them.

Nikki.Image.4

 

Man I can’t feel my face
not because I’ll mess up the mascara
but because I’m still not certain
this is really my face.

Yes, I am a creature of habit but the door has been opened to experimenting. Not too long ago, I went to a department store to have a professional makeover. There are so many things in the world of makeup I didn’t know existed. Brow primer? Brow wax? Lip primer? Different brushes, different techniques. My jaw would have been dropped the whole time, if I didn’t have to keep still for the makeup artist to put product on me. The end result placed a lot of emphasis on my brows and eyes while downplaying my lips. If one looks closely, there’s even a bit of blush on my cheeks which I tend not to do. When I imagine blush, I think of my grandma who would put a rouge dot on each side of her face. So you can understand why blush equaled bolt.

I have not dared to look that grand again recently but I have marked a lot of Beauty Tips 101 You Tube videos as “Watch Later”.

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It’s so easy to put on makeup
and get many likes and shares
but Social Media drowns into whispers, then quiet
if there is something significant
or if one is bare.

A day in my life … after I’m off my day job or a day I’m not working. I do a “howdidya” do—my way of describing an updo obtained without the use of Bobbi pins. First, having long Earth locs can be quite heavy and breaks are needed from time to time to get them off my neck or away from my face. Second, I’m not a fan of Bobbi pins. I can’t sleep in them and if they are in my head for too long, I get the “itchies” and start yanking them out anyway. I’m saving the pins the rejection; they should be thanking me!

In the backdrop are images I use as a bit of a motivational collage, if you will. I take advantage of the fact that the slope of the wall is actually the roof of the house. Besides, it is challenging to hang framed pictures with a strong possibility that they would fall. Cleaning up bits of glass is not my favorite thing.

QOS-Logo copy

For all of my writes that made it to publication, you can check them out at the following retailers:

Amazon Author Page

Smashwords (where you can grab some of my freebies)

and

Feel free to network with me via

Website

Facebook Author Page

Google Author Page

Twitter @authorqspades

Want to Come to a Fantasy Sci-Fi Dystopian Steampunk Bargain Books Party? Then Read On – Meet the author – Nicola McDonagh

Prior to the Facebook Extravaganza – Fantasy Sci-Fi Dystopian Steampunk Bargain Books Party I am spotlighting each author taking part. Today, the day of the event, I am spotlighting – Myself!

In June, my publishers closed down and I gained the publishing rights to my YA Dystopian/Sci-Fi series The Song of Forgetfulness. So I self-published the books with an addition of a Prequel, Whisper Gatherers.

So, this is me:

me and storm b&W

Nicola McDonagh is an author, creative writing tutor, and photographer. She lives in Suffolk, UK, with her musician husband and a plethora of rescued/feral cats. She came to writing prose late in life and is trying to make up any lost time by dabbling in more than one genre.

Nicola won the Suffolk Book League’s Short Story Competition 2011 with her story, ‘Glimmer’. The anthology of short stories – Glimmer and other stories was given a Certificate of Excellence by All Authors Publications and Promotions in June 2015.

Nicola was short-listed for the Escalator Genre Fiction Competition 2012 with an extract from Echoes from the Lost Ones; book 2 in her YA dystopian/sci-fi series, The Song of Forgetfulness.

You can contact Nicola and learn more about her work below:

 Email:                          nikki@nicolamcdonagh.com

 Author Website:      http://www.nicolamcdonagh.com/

Book series site:     http://www.thesongofforgetfulness.com/

 Facebook:                https://www.facebook.com/thesongofforgetfulness?ref=hl

Blog Page:               https://nicolajmcdonagh.wordpress.com/

Twitter:                      @McDonaghNikki https://twitter.com/McDonaghNikki

Re-Launch of The Song of Forgetfulness-Dystopian/Sci-fi Series  

“A story of trust and faith…it is an adventure that takes you to a time and place like no other.”

“A brilliant and unique read for adults and young adults alike…reminded me of Patrick Ness’ Walking Chaos Trilogy.”

                    sof covers

http://www.thesongofforgetfulness.com

 The struggle to survive just got harder.

In a land disfigured by famine and disease, fear spreads throughout the scattered population of NotSoGreatBritAlbian when the Agro Empire cuts food supplies and kidnaps special children – The Meeks. But there is hope. Adara, with her secret power.

 I’m Adara. I’ve got six fingers on each hand, and a secret I cannot share.

There is a rustling in the wind. Lights beyond the boundary fence.

A sign of Agro threat.

A murmur haunts Cityplace.

Something is coming.

 Shock-faced moon

“The moon shone bright. A shock-faced ball in the black sky that looked down on the three of us as if to shout, “Prevail. Stand steady.” The wind whipped around our feet and legs, and a swirl of ash and dry earth spiralled up before us. I coughed and spat out the filthy soil that bore the taste of Agro boot.”

Synopsis of The Song of Forgetfulness:

The Song of Forgetfulness is an unsettling and mysterious vision of the future where animals are almost extinct, humans are subjugated by the sinister and secretive Agros, and gifted children know as Meeks, are going missing.

After her brother is snatched and her Santy is injured during a ruthless raid on Cityplace, Adara embarks on a dangerous quest to find Deogol. But her journey through the ravaged terrain of NotSoGreatBritAlbion is fraught with danger when her search is jeopardised by lustful Woodsmales, savage Wolfies, and sinister monks in the Monastery in the Clouds.

Yet Adara finds friends and allies who help her to realise her true potential as a Bringer and deadly weapon. When she encounters powers greater than hers, Adara must use all her courage and skill to battle against evil forces to save herself and those she loves from being slaughtered by Agro spies.

As filthy battles ensue and loved ones perish, Adara must sing The Song of Forgetfulness one last time if she is to save not only the Meeks, but all the folk of NotSoGreatBritAlbion, from a life of slavery and despair.

There is hope. The Meeks have a hidden weapon that only Adara can unlock. Outside the Agro headquarters, folk are gathering. A legion of Woodsfolk, Clonies, S.A.N.T.S, Holy ones and Ladies, are on their way.

There’s just one problem Adara’s bro – Deogol.

You can purchase your copies of the books in The Song of Forgetfulness series on Amazon.

From 18th July to 25th July, all three books will be on sale for $ 0.99 and £ 0.99 What a Bargain!

Plus! there is a short story Changeling Fog Free to Download when you purchase a copy of Whisper Gatherers.

author banner for FB event

http://amzn.to/1GSFkQQ

I hope you found my books interesting.

Don’t forget – join the other authors and me Today – 18th July for – Fantasy Sci-Fi Dystopian Steampunk Bargain Books Party

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https://www.facebook.com/events/577034945770324/

 

Meet the Author: Best Selling author of the Grey Tower Trilogy Alesha Escobar

Prior to the Facebook Extravaganza – for Fantasy Sci-Fi Dystopian Steampunk Bargain Books Party I am spotlighting each author taking part. Today I would like you to meet the very talented and Best Selling author – Alesha Escobar, and her Historical/Mashup novels the Grey Tower Trilogy. I have read and enjoyed.

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Alesha Escobar writes fantasy to support her chocolate habit. She enjoys everything from Tolkien and Dante to the Dresden Files and Hellblazer comics. She resides in California with her partner-in-crime, Luis Escobar, a 20-year art veteran on The Simpsons television show. Alesha is the author of The Gray Tower Trilogy, an action-packed supernatural spy thriller set in an alternate 1940’s. The trilogy books have hit the Amazon bestsellers lists for Historical Fantasy and Mashups. You can find Alesha at her weekly blog, Fantasy, Mashups, & Mayhem, where she discusses fantasy and science fiction, TV shows, movies and books, and celebrity gossip. She’s just kidding about the celebrity gossip.

Alesha says : “Also, the first book of my Gray Tower Trilogy is free!”

Tower's Alchemist SW Cover

The Tower’s Alchemist (The Gray Tower Trilogy, #1)

Wizard Vs. Nazi Warlock Vampires. It’s a very different World War II. The Nazis have unleashed occult forces throughout Europe and the Allies are forced to recruit and employ wizards to counter their attacks. Among them is the battle weary spy, Isabella George, a Gray Tower dropout trained in Alchemy. Longing for retirement and a life of peace, she accepts one final job-extract a deadly warlock from Nazi occupied France and prevent him from unleashing an alchemical weapon that will devour the continent. But France is crawling with the Cruenti, vampiric warlocks who feed off other wizards. When things don’t go according to plan, one Cruenti sets his deadly eyes on her.

Betrayal is everywhere. Even some of her closest allies cannot be fully trusted. Worse still, she finds, she can’t even trust herself. She becomes a woman torn between her charismatic spy lover who offers her what she desires most, and one of her closest confidants, whose soft seductive eyes hold deadly secrets about her past, and the Gray Tower itself. Plans within plans. Plots versus counter plots. Heists gone wrong, sword-wielding Catholic priests, and the greatest manipulation of history that has ever been seen, is just a taste of what Isabella George is in for, in her final mission.

You can purchase Alesha’s books here:

Masters of Time at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WH5T2BY

The Tower’s Alchemist (The Gray Tower Trilogy, #1): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005QSFXC6

Keep in touch with Alesha: Blog: http://www.aleshaescobar.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/aleshaescobar

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAleshaEscobar

Twitter: http://twitter.com/The_GrayTower

I hope you found these snippets from Alesha’s book interesting. Don’t forget – join Alesha and me on 18th July for – Fantasy Sci-Fi Dystopian Steampunk Bargain Books Party Facebook  book banner

https://www.facebook.com/events/577034945770324/

Author Spotlight – Fantasy Author Devorah Fox

Prior to the Facebook Extravaganza – Fantasy Sci-Fi Dystopian Steampunk Bargain Books Party

I am spotlighting the authors taking part. Today I would like you to have a look at the very talented and Acclaimed Fantasy author Devorah Fox. The Lost King the first instalment of the Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam epic fantasy series, is a brilliant book.

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Devorah’s Biography

“What if?” Those two words all too easily send Devorah Fox spinning into flights of fancy. Best-selling author of The Lost King, The King’s Ransom, and The King’s Redress in The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam literary fantasy series she also co-authored the contemporary thriller, Naked Came the Sharks with Jed Donellie and the Masters of Time: a SciFi/Fantasy Time Travel Anthology. Publisher and editor of the BUMPERTOBUMPER® books for commercial motor vehicle drivers she is developer of the Easy CDL test prep apps. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she now lives in The Barefoot Palace in Port Aransas on the Texas Gulf Coast where she herds rescued tabby cats and writes the “Dee-Scoveries” blog at http://devorahfox.com.

The KIng’s Redress is the Third in the Series the Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam epic fantasy series.

the king's redress cover

When everyone you trust turns against you, what do you do? Dragon slayer of renown, Robin, King Bewilliam, has bested both man and beast to battle his way back to the Chalklands and reunite with his sons, but discord threatens the kingdom’s hard-won peace and prosperity. War breaks out and Robin finds that there is no one he can trust, not even his closest knights. Fighting for his throne pits him against a shocking, unsuspected rival. With his own life and lives of all his imperiled subjects at stake, Robin faces off against his fiercest enemy in mortal combat.

Don’t forget there are two more excellent books in the Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam epic fantasy series.

the king's series cover

You can watch a trailer for the King’s Redress here:

http://youtu.be/H5IW8oVJCnQ

You can Purchase the book here:

amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LDZ0XY4

smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/3235

More information about Devorah can be found on her blog and Facebook Page:

my blog: https://devorahfox.com

my FB page: https://facebook.com/DevorahFoxAuthor

 

I hope you enjoyed learning about Devorah’s books.

Don’t forget – join Jane and me on 18th July for Fantasy Sci-Fi Dystopian Steampunk Bargain Books Party

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Just go to this link to download Free short Stories and watch book trailers: https://www.facebook.com/events/577034945770324/