Monday, February 21, 2022

Friends To the End by Cherie Colyer

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Cherie Colyer will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Pretend your protagonist is at school and opens his/her locker – what will we see inside?

Zach would have schoolbooks, a tattered blue backpack, a one-pound container of salt (to repel ghosts), an iron wrench (also to repel ghosts), running shoes, and a camera in his locker. Hanging from the hook would be a sprig of rosemary, another great way to ward off ghosts.

What’s your favorite sweet treat?

I can’t resist fresh-out-of-the-oven, homemade chocolate chip cookies. The gooier the better! I also love ice cream, but it doesn’t always agree with me.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

A witch. Hands down! My obsession with witchcraft started after reading Escape From Witch Mountain. I would have done almost anything to have magical powers like the kids in the book.

What candy do you give out at Halloween?

We buy large bags with a mix of chocolates. The must-haves in our house include M&Ms, Snickers, Heath, Almond Joy (for hubby), Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Kit Kats. We always have way too much candy.

Coal or candy in your Christmas stocking? Why?

There was always candy in my stocking. Not that I was an angel (I was actually a bit of a rebel growing up), but I wasn’t bad and didn’t do anything to hurt others.

What superpower would you love to have? Why?

Oh, I’d want magical powers. (Goes with the whole wanting to be a witch.) But if that wasn’t an option, I’d love the ability to shape shift like Mystique from the X-Men. She’s my favorite mutant: smart, clever, and talented.

Favorite hot beverage. Why?

I’m a coffeeholic. I’ve been drinking it since I was a teen. Add a little hazelnut creamer, and it’s heavenly. It also helps me to wake up. I’m much happier after my first cup.

You’re stranded on a desert island—which character from your book do you want with you? Why?

Dom. He’s resourceful and doesn’t panic. I feel as if he’d be the first to figure a way off the island.

You’ve just won a million dollars and you’re not allowed to save any of it. What do you spend it on?

Oh, this is fun! I’d buy my dream house. Nothing crazy big, but it would be somewhere peaceful and by water. The den would have wall-to-ceiling bookshelves and a sliding ladder to make it easy to reach the books on the top shelf. I figure this might use up half of the money. Maybe more, because I’ll need to buy more books to fill the bookshelves. After that I’d travel, starting with a family and friends trip to Universal Studios in Florida. From there, I’d travel the world. There are so many places I’d love to see.

Thanks so much for having me on your blog! It’s been a lot of fun!

Twelve-year-old Zach is convinced he'll never be happy without his best friend Jeremy by his side. But both of their lives changed with a bang five months ago, and as far as Zach's concerned, it's his fault Jeremy will never see his twelfth birthday.

When Zach moves with his family to a Chicago suburb, he quickly becomes friends with a group of thrill-seeking kids trying to find a disappearing haunted house. But Zach's not worried. He doesn't believe in ghosts, so he follows them into a wild, dangerous encounter that becomes a battle to decide what's real and what's not.

Read an Excerpt

We scrambled to our feet and ran to the front door, stopping with the toes of our gym shoes just outside the worn threshold. If the house vanished at that very moment, would we vanish, too, or did we have to be inside to disappear forever?

A long table rested next to the wall in the foyer. Several black-and-white photos in tarnished silver frames sat on top of it. The women in the pictures wore large floppy hats and long dresses. The men wore white shirts and jackets like Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. The children had on sweaters and knee-high socks. No one was smiling.

“I thought you wanted to go inside,” I said. “Now’s your chance.”

Josh shook his head. “Not so important anymore.”

“Yeah, I can see just fine from here,” Dom said.

But Morgan was inside.

A stomp of my foot on the aging wood confirmed we were standing on an extremely solid porch. We were peering through a very real doorway. If this was the vanishing house, shouldn’t it be translucent like Ghost Girl or hazy like the car?

“Maybe we’re overreacting,” I said. Just because the welcome sign happened to have the same name on it as the guy in the graveyard, and just because the date on it was a couple of centuries old, that didn’t mean we should assume the worst. Right?

Only, the evidence in front of us said otherwise. The house was lit with candles and oil lamps. There were no televisions or radios or phones visible. The more I noticed, the more it looked wrong. The fancy armchairs and matching sofa, the family portrait above the stone fireplace, even the shoes left near the door were unlike anything I’d seen before.

Dom mumbled something inaudible and then screamed Morgan’s name.

The air in the house was cool. It pushed against the warmth of summer, fighting to keep it outside. With it came a whispered, “Don’t.”

About the Author:
C.L. Colyer found her love for writing in first grade when her class was sent to the library and asked to find a book for their first book report. While she doesn’t still have this book report, she’s very proud to say she got an A on it. Her favorite thing about the book was that it had no words. That’s right, not one! That gave her the freedom to interpret the pictures in any way she wanted and write her own story.

This sparked her love for writing essays. It wasn’t until she was an adult that she sat down and penned her first novel. This story has a special place in her heart because it’s the story that helped her discover her passion for writing. She has since written several books, many of which may never see the light of day, but all of which helped her learn to combine her passion for writing with her fascination with all things mythical. You’ll find examples of this in her novels.

She lives in Illinois with her family.

Keep in Touch:

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The Dark Beast by Dave Maruszewski

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Dave Maruszewski will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Why do you write juvenile fiction? What draws you to it?

I was drawn to it because of my son. It was a good way to connect with him and help him with bedtime. He always had trouble going to sleep. Reading or telling stories were a good way to relax him.

I continued this book to the publishing phase because I love the focus of the genre. You try to tell a great story, play with human interaction and make some points along the way. I find some types of writing a little too pretentious and maybe laborious (for me) in their creation.

Sometimes I think of reading juvenile fiction as straight forward, but as an author I get to think of all these different ways to present material and spin different possibilities of plot progression. It ends up giving me the ability to be creative in a way that isn’t frustrating (to me.) In fact, it is the opposite. It’s a fun pastime.

What would you write in a letter to your teen self?

Wow, that topic is a book in itself. I probably would tell myself to not rush to the end. There isn’t one. I think that back then I was focused on getting through those years to become a grown up in society. I thought that was when living truly began. I didn’t realize, every moment is living just with different possibilities and circumstances. Whatever I was doing back then, no matter what, was shaping me to be more myself. I was already me. Enjoy the moments and pay attention to where they lead you.

What candy do you give out at Halloween?

I get multiple bags with different types of candy, preferably with candy bars with chocolate and/or caramel in them. After that, I brace myself for my wife to give me the angry stare after she realizes there is no way that we’ll give all of this away. Then, my son and I make our plan to eat the rest.

What book is on your nightstand currently?

I like to read in parallel. Currently, I believe I am reading three main books, I think. The first is Bruce Campbell’s Further Confessions of a B-Movie Actor. I love autobiographies. I think the semi-famous make some great books. They have interesting lives. They are down to earth people like you and me while having been around the larger celebrities. They give good perceptions of both worlds.

The second is How to Listen When God is Speaking by Mitch Pacwa. I’m a pretty spiritual guy so I like to read these insightful and helpful books. There’s always more to what we experience, and to be honest, there is more to us than how we act and exist day-to-day.

The last is Game Programming: All in One by Jonathan Harbour. I was involved with and still make video games. It is an old book. Once in a while I like going back and seeing where video games were. Surprisingly, I still pick up tricks and ideas to relay to others.

Looking at this list, I think they all can be said to be insightful. I guess that is what I get/like most from reading. You get to go deeper into something or someone in an entertaining fashion. That exploration can be rewarding.

Although, I think that I feel the irony a little. I’m not reading any fiction at the moment.

Ideal summer vacation.

I keep dropping hints to my wife about going on a cruise. I don’t think she is going for it. Maybe she just doesn’t want to get stuck on a ship.

I like the idea of going places and then having the option to go ashore or stay in the hot tub. Plus, buffets! Maybe it is better for my waistline to do something else. Perhaps a hiking trip is better served.

Favorite pizza toppings.

My son and I almost always get pepperoni and black olives. They’re great. I I’d throw in sausage and mushroom, too. Maybe a little onion? But pineapple, come on. Why ruin these wonderful savory tastes with sweet? I’m kidding, but I’d prefer to put the pineapple in a bowl and eat it after I am done with the pizza.

You’ve just won a million dollars and you’re not allowed to save any of it. What do you spend it on?

My son would have me buy a car, like a Lamborghini. I’m so cheap that I would try to resist and think it’s a waste. If I got it though, I would probably love it.

If it were purely my choice, I would throw a gigantic party somewhere warm with all of my past and present friends. I would then pay for everyone’s airfare, food and housing. We’d stay and hang out until the money ran out. Then, back to work.

Favorite class in high school. Why?

I had a great teacher for Earth Science. His name was Mr. Lingenfelter. In fact, he was one of the two best teachers that I had in my entire schooling. I liked almost all the science classes that I took. My teacher made the class material even better. There were so many different topics in that course. It was hard to get bored.

Recently knighted squires Raven, Romda, and Ravai are tasked to help a nearby priest. However, this simple errand turns into much more. They cross paths with the Dark Beast. After that brief encounter, they soon realize the Beast’s plans to destroy an entire town. They journey to this town, meeting residents who tell large tales about the Beast. How much of stories are true? The three will find out. The Dark Beast is coming.

Read an Excerpt

The Dark Beast lunged toward Agnew and grabbed him, but his hand smashed into something. The wizard had put up as a barrier, invisible to the Beast.

“A nice spell,” the Beast said, “but there are ways around it, as well.” “It will be too late,” the wizard said. He then shot out a large burst of blue energy. The Beast jumped out of the way, grabbed onto one of the rafters, and did not come back down.

“Do you know what your problem is?” the Dark Beast asked.

“Right now?” Agnew replied. “You.”

“No,” the Dark Beast continued, “even in my form, you are more than my superior. You have great power.” Agnew almost seemed pleased to hear this.

The Beast continued explaining. “However, you are too vain and unwilling to get your hands dirty. No one turned me into the beast that you see before you. I chose to do it. It made me stronger. You would never do it.”

The wizard released another blast, almost missing, but indeed striking the Dark Beast. He fell to the ground.

“It would appear that you have overestimated yourself,” Agnew proclaimed. “I stand above you, and you are defeated.”

The Beast looked up and said, “But you won’t touch me, will you, even if I am dead?”

“Of course not,” Agnew replied. “That is why I have guards.” He raised his hand to give the final blow.

The Dark Beast rolled and smashed another vial on the ground. The mist penetrated Agnew’s shield. When he smelled it, he immediately got sick and tried not to vomit.

The Beast slowly rose with a glare aimed directly at Agnew. The Beast was unaffected. His form was resistant to the sickly fumes.

About the Author:
Dave Maruszewski is blessed with a great family. He was originally inspired to write stories by his wife and son, when they encouraged him to put his bedtime stories on paper.

His stories are created from an accumulation of experiences from careers/backgrounds as a physicist, engineer, teacher, artist, video game designer and software developer. He strives to develop stories with sound moral values that will be enlightening as well as entertaining to youths and adults.

In between writing stories and running his own company, Digital Tumult (, Dave enjoys video games, watching internet videos and hanging out with his family.

Book Website:

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Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Love Me, Please by Chris Bedell

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Chris Bedell will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

"Love and Mysteries at 17"

I’m currently 27—my Goodreads photo is a few years old. Anyway, the reason a lot of my main characters are 17 is because that age is older than 15 or 16, but not quite a legal adult (18). A duality therefore exists by having main characters be 17—the pull between childhood and adulthood. And that duality is often reflected by having my characters deal with very difficult situations. Unfortunately, teens sometimes have to mature sooner than they should because of issues/events that might’ve happened to them.

Dealing with the death of a friend was very important to Colton’s story. His friend—Declan—was Colton’s one escape from his abusive home life. And the first chapter of the book occurs at Declan’s house, where he’s throwing a party. And the party is where Colton meets Tripp (his love interest in the book). Declan is therefore an indirect catalyst on Tripp and Colton meeting. And as Colton and Tripp get closer, Colton starts to forget about his goal (finding Declan’s killer). But the book does circle back to the identity of Declan’s killer because it’d BE wrong not to give Colton and readers closure.

Ultimately, I don’t find it a challenge not to repeat myself by having books combine love with a mystery element. The uniqueness of each plot is what makes each of my books different. And while all of my books have different plots, there’s the same running theme of dealing with dark/gritty situations, such as with how good people sometimes must do bad/difficult things to protect themselves and the people they love. That’s what makes reading fun, though—that element of make believe. Readers can get lost in something that isn’t real, and hopefully get some entertainment as a result.

Colton should be like every other seventeen-year-old, hanging out with friends, procrastinating on homework, and dreaming about which colleges he should apply to, but Colton’s focus when he gets home every day is on how violent his alcoholic mother will be. Will he be her ashtray again or worse?

Tripp has the perfect life – handsome, from a wealthy family, and is the football player everyone wants to date. Tripp just wants to date one person – Colton, but he can’t seem to break through that tough exterior and get Colton to trust him.

A friend’s party opens the door for both to potentially get what they want, but it’s that same party ends with Colton’s best friend dead. Caught between wanting to finally find happiness with Tripp and discovering what happened to Declan, Colton discovers that he isn’t the only one who’s kept secrets. How well did he really know Declan and can he trust Tripp enough to let himself believe he’s worthy of being loved?

Read an Excerpt

The placard clinked against the door, and I cocked my head. A group of guys in varsity jackets just entered VERONICA’S. I was more concerned with the guy I locked eyes with, though. More specifically, Tripp. He and his friends just walked by my table.

My throat tightened. Mom’s words and actions weren’t the only thing that would remain burned in my mind for the foreseeable future. I couldn’t forget about punching Tripp and how I wanted nothing more than to apologize for our altercation on Monday.

Gina leaned closer. “What the hell was that about?”

I sipped my caramel latte. “Nothing.”

“I’m not that gullible. I saw the look you guys exchanged.”

“Leave it alone!” I exclaimed.

“Do you like him?” she whispered.

“Gina, please!”

“I’m not judging. I have a gay uncle.”


Gina squealed at me. “I’m serious. That glance isn’t the way you’d look at a friend.”

I resisted making a fist or screaming; it would’ve been a shame to throw over ten years of friendship away just because discussing my sexuality made me uncomfortable.

“If there’s something you wanna tell me, then don’t hold back,” Gina continued.

“I’m bisexual,” I blurted, making sure not to speak too loudly.

Relief trickled through my body. For one moment, my life wasn’t a warzone. I told Gina my truth and said fact fucking mattered. I couldn’t help feeling great. I let someone in, and my life hadn’t imploded. So, maybe there was hope for me yet.

About the Author:
Chris Bedell's previous publishing credits include Thought Catalog, Entropy Magazine, Chicago Literati, and Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, among others. His 2019 books include his NA Thriller BURNING BRIDGES (BLKDOG Publishing), YA Paranormal Romance DEATHLY DESIRES (Deep Hearts YA), and YA Thriller COUSIN DEAREST (BLKDOG Publishing). In addition to his YA Thriller BETWEEN LOVE AND MURDER, his 2020 books include his YA Contemporary I’LL SEE YOU AGAIN (Deep Hearts YA), YA Thriller THE FABULIST (BLKDOG Publishing), YA Thriller I KNOW WHERE THE BODIES ARE BURIED (BLKDOG Publishing), and YA SciFi DYING BEFORE LIVING (Deep Hearts YA). Besides his YA Thriller LOVE HIM/HATE HIM, Chris’s 2021 books include his YA Fantasy CROSSING DESIRES (Spectrum Books) and rerelease of his YA Fantasy IN THE NAME OF MAGIC from JMS Books. Furthermore, Chris graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2016.

Amazon Author Page

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