Guest Post by Author – Vera Nazarian, The Cobweb Bride

The Cobweb Bride

CobwebBride-Mockup1

At the Heart of a Fairytale

by Vera Nazarian

I must warn you, Cobweb Bride is a fantasy that’s a little bit different from so many books being written now.

For one thing, it is written in a more traditional “vintage” style. There’s a breath of the nineteenth century nostalgia, and a bit of creepy darkness found in the fairytales of the Brothers Grimm, and reminiscent of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen. There is also a sense of many layers, ornate imagery, and a richness of history that can be found in fantasy that fully partakes of the world storytelling tradition.

For another thing, Cobweb Bride is not fast paced. Instead, as any profound mystery, it starts out slow and immersive, and compels you onward into its trap of enchantment. First, it firmly anchors you with wonder, as it illuminates the universe in a glittering mother-of-pearl palette of ethereal colors, using “paint” that is slightly touched by faerie magic, so that snowflakes sparkle like stars, and stars cascade down like snowflakes, until you forget what it is that’s falling, in this alternate Renaissance world blanketed in deadly Winter. And then, the action speeds up, drawing you deeper into the funnel, closer and closer to the scary-beautiful thing at the heart of the fairytale….

This is also a modern-day fable. And at its center is the ancient myth of Persephone and Hades in the Underworld. But don’t be fooled. You will not encounter the myth in its ordinary easy trappings. Instead, you will have to dig deep and search underneath things, and peek inside dark corners, to find it. Because… you are looking for shadows. And here, in this fairytale, shadows are not what they seem.

This is a story of Death—Death, the gentleman, taking on grim, elegant, human form. Death, the irresistible lover, searching for his lost bride. Death, the capricious stranger with control over all of us mortals. Death’s choice—to stop all dying until his Cobweb Bride is found and brought to him—sets in motion a series of world-altering events, like dominos falling.

This is the story of Love—Love of a young peasant girl, love of a granddaughter for her dying grandmother, love of grieving parents for their undead daughter, love of a fair maiden for a brave knight, love of a son for his broken father, love of a princess for a villain, loves of peasants and aristocrats, emperors and witches. In fact, if you draw closer, you will find that there are so many forms of love exemplified in this story that it too is at the heart of the fairytale….

In the absence of Death,

In the presence of Death,

Only one thing remains,

It is Love.

Finally, this is an epic. An ensemble cast of characters, with intertwining lives and pseudo-history, in the tradition of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, and with just as much “death,” but death that is treated in an entirely different humane manner—because there is no true dying in this fairytale and all the dead remain as active characters throughout—and with sympathetic main characters that serve as permanent anchors throughout the story.

So what then is really at the heart of a fairytale such as Cobweb Bride?

It is you.

Come, take that first step upon glittering virgin snow, and sink inward!

About the Author

VZVera Nazarian is a two-time Nebula Award® Finalist and a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. She immigrated to the USA from the former USSR as a kid, sold her first story at 17, and has been published in numerous anthologies and magazines, honorably mentioned in Year’s Best volumes, and translated into eight languages.

Vera made her novelist debut with the critically acclaimed Dreams of the Compass Rose, followed by Lords of Rainbow. Her novella The Clock King and the Queen of the Hourglass with an introduction by Charles de Lint made the 2005 Locus Recommended Reading List. Her debut collection Salt of the Air with an introduction by Gene Wolfe contains the 2007 Nebula Award-nominated “The Story of Love.”

Other work includes the 2008 Nebula Finalist novella The Duke in His Castle, science fiction collection After the Sundial (2010), The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration (2010), and four Jane Austen parodies, Mansfield Park and Mummies (2009), Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons (2010), Pride and Platypus: Mr. Darcy’s Dreadful Secret (2012), and Pagan Persuasion: All Olympus Descends on Regency (forthcoming), all part of her Supernatural Jane Austen Series.

After many years in Los Angeles, Vera now lives in a small town in Vermont. She uses her Armenian sense of humor and her Russian sense of suffering to bake conflicted pirozhki and make art. In addition to being a writer, philosopher, and award-winning artist, she is also the publisher of Norilana Books.

Vera’s links:
Official website:
http://www.veranazarian.com/

Norilana Books:
http://www.norilana.com/

Cobweb Bride Mailing List:
http://eepurl.com/vodcT

Twitter:
http://twitter.com/Norilana

Facebook (author page):
http://www.facebook.com/VeraNazarian

Facebook (personal)
http://www.facebook.com/Nazarian

Pinterest
http://pinterest.com/veranazarian/

Blogs:
http://www.inspiredus.com/
http://urbangirlvermont.blogspot.com/
http://norilana.livejournal.com/

Goodreads:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/186145.Vera_Nazarian

LibraryThing:
http://www.librarything.com/author/nazarianvera

Shelfari:
http://www.shelfari.com/authors/a1628414/Vera-Nazarian/

Red Room:
http://www.redroom.com/author/vera-nazarian

SFF Net Newsgroup:
http://webnews.sff.net/read?cmd=xover&group=sff.people.vera-nazarian

Austen Authors:
http://austenauthors.net/

Vera Nazarian’s Amazon Author Central page
http://www.amazon.com/author/nazarian

The Official Book Website:

http://www.norilana.com/cobweb.htm

Kickstarter page:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2027984632/cobweb-bride?ref=live

COBWEB BRIDE
(Cobweb Bride Trilogy, Book One)

cobweb bride

by Vera Nazarian

Release Date: July 15, 2013

Publisher: Norilana Books

Imprint: Leda

Trade Hardcover
(First Edition)
ISBN-13: 978-1-60762-112-6
ISBN-10: 1-60762-112-6
$24.95 US / 18.00 UK

Trade Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1-60762-113-3
ISBN-10: 1-60762-113-4
$14.95 US / 12.00 UK

Ebook (multi-format)
ISBN-13: 978-1-60762-114-0
ISBN-10: 1-60762-114-2
$5.99

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Book Review of HAVE NO SHAME by Melissa Foster

have no shameREVIEW

Have No Shame, takes the reader into the deep south of America in the 60’s where racial prejudice is not just rife, but a way of life.

Alison, on the cusp of womanhood, has led a sheltered life, the wider world and its views kept from her by her over-protective father. However, the return of her sister from New York, together with the meeting of a young black man are the catalysts for a journey of realisation, self-discovery and new understanding of those closest to her in this coming of age novel.

I found Melissa Foster’s writing to have a great depth of emotion and I could really empathise with the conflicts experienced by the characters.  Although a subject matter that has been covered many-a-time, Have No Shame tells the story of racial segregation and prejudices in a fresh way with one or two outcomes I hadn’t expected.

Amazon UK link

BOOK DESCRIPTION

The racially-charged prejudice of the deep South forces eighteen-year-old Alison Tillman to confront societal norms—and her own beliefs—when she discovers the body of a hate crime victim, and the specter of forbidden love turns her safe, comfortable world upside down.

Alison has called Forrest Town, Arkansas home for the past eighteen years. Her mother’s Blue Bonnet meetings, her father toiling night and day on the family farm, and the division of life between the whites and the blacks are all Alison knows. The winter of 1967, just a few months before marrying her high school sweetheart, Alison finds the body of a black man floating in the river, and she begins to view her existence with new perspective. The oppression and hate of the south, the ugliness she once was able to avert her eyes from, now demands her attention.

When a secretive friendship with a young black man takes an unexpected romantic turn, Alison is forced to choose between her predetermined future, and the dangerous path that her heart yearns for.

HAVE NO SHAME is an emotionally compelling coming of age novel featuring a young woman who cannot reconcile the life she wants with the one she’s been brought up to live. Have No Shame will resonate with anyone who has ever fallen in love, and those who have been forced to choose between what they know in their hearts to be true, and what others would like them to believe.

Paperback, 304 pages

Expected publication: May 6th 2013 by World Literary Press

ISBN

098905084X (ISBN13: 9780989050845)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

melissa foster

Melissa Foster is the award-winning author of four International bestselling novels. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, the World Literary Café. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.

Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

Visit Melissa on The Women’s Nest, Fostering Success, or World Lit Cafe.

Authors Links:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Goodreads

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How You LeaveTexas by Alana Cash

HYLT cover

BOOK DESCRIPTION

How You Leave Texas is a volume of three short stories and a novella about four young women who leave Midland, Austin, Fort Worth and Mayville, Texas for New York, California, Jakarta, and in one instance, jail.  The young women seek escape from boredom and sorrow and they find it.  Hilarious, tragic, and revelatory, the stories are about extraordinary women with ordinary lives

Synopsis of individual stories:

Dam Broke – On the night of their high school graduation, Annabelle and Mickey ride a scooter in pouring rain as they reveal closely held secrets. (6 pages).

In sixth grade, I abandoned the reading glasses for a blond wig and a fake mole above my top lip. Mickey started wearing sunglasses indoors and carrying business cards.

Camille’s Net Worth – On the day she turns 40, Camille’s life goes from bored to worse in uncontrolled demolition.  She accepts an exciting job opportunity and travels back and forth to Indonesia.  The job isn’t what is appears, but the irony of how things turn out causes Camille to laugh until she has tears rolling down her face. (42 pages).

“I’m not going to spend much time repeating myself,” Camille said, “I want you to remove whatever you want to keep from this house. You can store your stuff in a rental truck if you need to until you find a new home, but you will be gone from here by midnight and never return.”

“You can’t do that!”

“If you are not gone by midnight, I will set fire to the house.”

Krystal’s Wedding – Krystal leaves her seriously flawed family in Midland, heading for New York City, where she takes a few slippery steps.  Krystal’s mother encourages her to find a husband in order to escape her loud roommate in Hell’s Kitchen and her boring job. However, Krystal actually gets her footing in New York and in life when she is offered a new, fulfilling direction (21 pages).

Krystal felt safer with Hudson there, but it must be as clear to him and his family as it was to her that theirs was a match of china and paper plates. As Krystal faked a sip of the champagne with a name she couldn’t read because it was printed in twirly letters in French, she wondered how hard his mother would try to prevent Hudson from getting too serious …

Frying Your Burger – Nicky and three irreverent friends spend mornings at a coffee shop tossing repartee on love, sex, and religion.  For a short while, Nicky is caught up with a sexy Hollywood player, becoming a pawn in the battle of egos between two movie directors trying to ruin each others careers.  The affair flares, then fizzles, but Nicky lands on her feet (108 pages).

I went into the room marked Cashier and got into a long line. And there he was. Grinning that grin. He should have had a license for it. It was that bright. I stood next to him in my white t-shirt and white pants looking like someone straight out of the “hospital orderly fashion catalogue.” It was all I had clean that day.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

alana cash

Alana Cash is an adventurer.  She’s been on ride-alongs in New York City patrol cars. She’s kissed a man inside Norman Bates’ Psycho house. She trekked alone through war-torn Serbia.  She’s used her experiences as inspiration for her work as an acclaimed writer and filmmaker.  Some of her favorite accolades are:

  • She was one of 60 US teachers profiled on the PBS series, “A Writer’s Exchange,” for her talent as a teacher at the University of Texas Informal Classes
  • Her feature film, “Tom’s Wife,” based on her novel of the same name, won awards all over the world
  • Her documentary “Anna Freud: Under Analysis,” part of documentary trilogy on women in science, was translated into German for broadcast in Austria, Germany & Switzerland

She’s a native Texan and makes great chili.

WEBSITE:   WWW.ALANACASH.COM

Wikipedia

IMDb

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Book Review : It Happened One Night by Phillipa Ashley

it happened one night

REVIEW

This is the first book I’ve read by Phillipa Ashley and wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I have to say I really loved It Happened One Night.

Initially, I thought this was going to be a story of young love between and 18 year old, Sophie,  and 21 year old, Adam, but that was just the first few chapters where the scene and background were set for the rest of the book. The ‘early’ years ended on a cliff hanger – all the reader knows is that something quite bad happened at a party. The next chapter starts 10 years later, where we catch up with Sophie and Adam and find out what happened and how their lives have moved on since then. The supporting cast had some great characters which all added to an entertaining, fun and relaxed read.

Phillipa Ashley has a lovely, fresh style of writing that is well developed, yet casual at the same time. It made me feel totally at home and once I started reading it, I didn’t want to put it down.

Definitely one to put in your suitcase alongside your flip-flops and sun cream.

DESCRIPTION

Sophie McBride has been in love with Adam Templar for as long as she can remember. Talented, brilliant and sexy, he shines like the sun over the tiny Lakeland village where she’s grown up. Now, at eighteen, she has her own big ideas and what’s more, Adam is home from university and has finally noticed her . . . really noticed her. When he asks her to a party, she dares to hope that all her dreams can come true, but what happens that night sets off a chain of events that bring heartbreak for Sophie – and lead to Adam leaving Langmere under the darkest of clouds.

Ten years later, no one is more shocked than Sophie to find him back in the village. Now an up-and-coming film director, he’s returned to make a drama about a notorious local poet and brought his glamorous cast, crew – and girlfriend – with him. As the on-screen drama plays out, can Sophie and Adam lay the past to rest or will history repeat itself?

Amazon UK

Amazon US

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

phillipa ashleyBritish author, Phillipa Ashley, loves writing lively, sexy, funny romantic fiction. After studying English Language and Literature at Oxford University, she worked as a copywriter and journalist. Her novels have been published by Headline Little Black Dress, Piatkus Entice and Samhain Publishing.

She started writing fiction in 2005, after being inspired by the BBC TV drama, North & South. Her first novel, Decent Exposure – titled Dating Mr December for the US – topped the Play.com Romance chart and won the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers Award 2007. In 2009, it was filmed as a Lifetime TV movie called 12 Men of Christmas starring Kristin Chenoweth and Josh Hopkins. Having her novel made into a movie inspired It Happened One Night which is published in June 2013.

Her most recent book for Piatkus Entice is Miranda’s Mount which won Best e book at the Festival of Romance Reader Awards 2012.

Her books have been translated into many languages including Thai, Turkish, Bulgarian and Russian. In the US, four of her books have been published by Sourcebooks and reached the Amazon.com Romance Top 20. She was a judge for the RNA Love Story of the Year 2011 and has interviewed many interesting people during her career as a journalist including the writers, Ian Rankin and Sir John Mortimer and actors Richard Armitage, Robert Powell and Nigel Havers.

Phillipa lives in Staffordshire with her husband and daughter and loves Champagne, Jane Austen, hiking, surfing and body boarding. She also loves visiting her apartment in the Lake District as often as possible, the setting for It Happened One Night.

She is represented by the Wade & Doherty Literary Agency and Sayle Screen.

Phillipa’s Links:

www.phillipa-ashley.com

Twitter : @PhillipaAshley

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Phillipa-Ashley

Phillipa’s Author Page on Amazon

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Book Review : Security by Mandy Baggot

Security_600

REVIEW

With a slight shift in sub-genre from romance to romantic suspense, Mandy Baggot’s books get stronger and stronger.  This is probably my favourite one to date.

We meet Autumn Raine, singing superstar and she is not instantly likeable, coming across as spoilt and self-obsessed. However, gradually the walls come down and you get to know the real woman underneath who is both vulnerable and determined at the same time. Underneath the celebrity exterior, there is a genuine likeable person. She’s had a lot of emotional obstacles to overcome and has not always had the best advice. Now she’s up against the biggest challenge yet with her life in danger.

Cue mean and moody, northern bodyguard, Nathan Regan. He doesn’t change his attitude or his mind for anyone, that is until he comes up against Autumn Raine . As if outwitting kidnap plots and extremists isn’t enough for one guy, he also has  demons of his own to battle at the same time.

With unexpected twists in the plot, Security, has suspense and tension all the way through, together with some great chemistry and tough romance, this really is my sort of book.

Description

Autumn Raine is a pop vocalist at the very top of her game. She’s a style icon, the paparazzi’s darling and everyone wants to be her friend. But when her safety is threatened, her whole life starts to unravel.

Enter Nathan Regan, an ex-elite soldier who is assigned to protect her. He’s a good man doing bad things but what drives him? Passion? Madness? Or grief? Demons from his past are threatening to consume him. Can he win the fight alone or will he have to admit he needs help?

As the threat deepens, Autumn starts to find out who she really needs in her life. Is there still room for personal assistant Janey or rapper boyfriend Rockweiler? When everyone around her is feeding her lies, how does she work out the truth? Does her record producer know more than he’s letting on? What is her mother, the British Foreign Secretary’s involvement in the situation? And can Autumn put her faith in a forty-something Jamaican woman who handles an automatic weapon as expertly as she cooks?

Eluding kidnap and trying to stay alive, can Autumn find the strength to be the person she longs to be? And can two people, poles apart, forge something strong enough to survive anything?

GIVEAWAY

As part of of the Security launch, Mandy is having a giveaway. Anyone who posts a review on Amazon up until the end of May can enter into the Rafflecopter draw to win a £25/$40 Amazon gift certificate. You will be able to enter via this link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e42d6b8/

About the Author

Mandy Baggot brings you award-winning fiction! In 2012 she won the coveted Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance. Her novel Strings Attached was also short listed for Best Author Published Read!.

Mandy writes strong contemporary romance and characters you’ll fall in love with. Previously self-published, she was signed by US
mandy baggotpublishing house Sapphire Star Publishing in January 2012. Shortly afterwards she became a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Mandy is a self-confessed Twitter addict who also likes to show off her singing talents on You Tube – check out Lady Gaga! She has auditioned for X Factor, appeared on ITV1s Who Dares Sings and longs to duet with Bryan Adams. She also has a fondness for white wine, mashed potato, country music and World’s Strongest Man.

Mandy lives near Salisbury in Wiltshire, UK with her husband, two daughters and two cats called Kravitz and Springsteen.

You can find out more on Mandy’s website
http://mandybaggot.com

or check out her author page at Sapphire Star Publishing
http://www.sapphirestarpublishing.com/mandybaggot

mandy's books

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An Audience with an Author – Linn B Halton

It’s a great pleasure to drop by and visit you today Sue and tell you all about my latest book, Never Alone.

It’s the last of five manuscripts I wrote when I first began writing in 2009. At that time I hadn’t thought beyond the writing process, really! I had absolutely no idea how long it takes to go through the editing process and get a book out there. In the meantime I signed with Sapphire Star Publishing for two of those five manuscripts and decided I would also self-publish. I enjoy being able to mix it up and it has been a positive in terms of what I’ve learnt about the processes and publishing. It also means I can easily mix genres – so I now have one chick lit, three with a psychic hint to them and one true story.

With my debut novel (Touched By The Light) I really enjoyed weaving the complicated twists in the storyline and when I wrote Never Alone I set myself a challenge. Could I write a story and keep that ‘twist’ to the very end, whereas with Touched By The Light it unravels much earlier in the process. I wondered whether the readers would spot the subtle clues in Never Alone or be shocked when they read the final chapter.

I’m awaiting the first reviews, but early feedback I’ve had includes:

“I have hardly thought of anything else since I read it….that’s a good thing I think. In fact, I want to re-read it to make sure I didn’t miss any ‘hints’…I already re-read the ending right after I finished!”

“Thought provoking to say the least!”

“My jaw dropped open…”

As far as initial reactions go, I’m delighted! This story is meant to make readers think about life, the decisions we make and how we can often be guilty of living one day at a time without thinking too much about the future. That’s fine if you are happy, but what if that isn’t the case and you are choosing to gloss over it, because facing up to it means change? That’s the position Holly finds herself in, despite having ‘the perfect’ life…

A contemporary romance with a Twist!

NeverAlonecover“It’s a gift to be shown something that allows you to make a difference and alter the outcome of someone else’s life.neveralonegirl However, the weight of the responsibility that goes along with that is huge and what about the ethics? The thing I have to ask myself, is how did my actions change the future?” Holly Elizabeth Atherton

Holly is the envy of all her friends, she has lived with the gorgeous Will for five years and supported him every step of the way. His IT business is about to go global and they are on the verge of having all their dreams come true!  A life split between homes in the UK and Los Angeles beckons, offering them a glamorous and exciting lifestyle they will both fit into quite perfectly. So when Will pops the question, why won’t Holly say ‘yes’?

Portrait of man at home with computer

neveralonemale2A series of terrifying encounters unleashes an inherited psychic connection within Holly. Her ‘perfect’ life is turned upside down as she struggles with the reality of her ‘gift’. Help comes from a chance meeting with medium Peter Shaw and she discovers that she is also being given healing and protection by the spirits of two people. One of them is her best friend’s brother, Nick, who died suddenly in tragic circumstances. Holly finds herself confiding in him in an attempt to sort out her own life.

She begins to sense that the path she’s on isn’t the one she’s destined for, but is it too late to change things? The thought of hurting the people she loves the most causes her to bury her emotions, until fate takes a hand………..

Life’s all about the choices we make …

Thanks so much Sue for being a part of my Fiction Addiction Book Tour and for being a fab host!

Linn’s links:

Website 
A loveahappyending.com author
Signed by:http://www.sapphirestarpublishing.com/linnbhalton
Twitter: @LinnBHalton
Facebook: Linn B Halton
Romantic Novelists’ Association page

Amazon.co.uk (buy)
Amazon.com (buy)

neveralonebanner

It’s been a pleasure to have Linn here today and I would like to thank Fiction Addiction Book Tours for organising this.