Monday, March 27, 2023

Raven, Romba, and Ravai: Malketh and the Undead by Dave Maruszewski,

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $25 Amazon/ gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What part of the writing process do you dread?

Starting. Just sitting down and committing to t a long period, even if it is for 2 hours, I get anxiety. Once I start going, everything is fine. I don’t know why I stress out about it. I have enough experimental data that I should roughly know the outcome before it begins. Yet, I still stress.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

Luckily, I do not. I think that I attribute it to two things. The first is that I am not a full time writer. That takes the stress out of producing, and also it allows me to not be immersed in writing for long periods. The second is that I write in parallel. I like to write multiple things at once. That can create large amounts of dead periods in terms of production, but it also helps when I get stumped. I just pull out another book, article, etc. and work on that.

Tell us about your latest release.

This is the second book in the Raven, Romda and Ravai series. The first story kind of set the three protagonists on an epic journey to fight a legendary villain. They were inexperienced and learned as they went.

Here, the three are returned to the kingdom as somewhat accomplished. Still youthful, they aren’t allowed to run the biggest operations. When a rogue mage comes back to the kingdom, they are sent on a reconnaissance mission to get some basic information. Unfortunately for them, it throws them into the action again.

Magic in the kingdom has been banned, so it is not like they can bring another wizard to go toe-to-toe with the mage. Instead, Raven, Romda and Ravai have to use more practical measures. Not only that, the mage’s specialty of magic is necromancy. So, they will have to take him and an undead army as well.

How do you develop your plot and characters?

For the plot, I usually have a loose skeleton on what I want to accomplish. I take note of things that I like in fiction. For example, I like when there are two villains in the story. It makes the plot more unpredictable. So, I am currently writing a book with 2 villains. After that, I have usually 5-10 themes that I want to address. I use those to resolve plot. Say, I want to talk about nonviolence. I may have a conflict that our characters will try to do without fighting.

Themes will also help with character development. In the nonviolent case, how will each character react? Will they like it? Will it come naturally to it?

Lastly, I am writing a series. I have a direction that I want to take main character. So, I need plot and side character to get them there. I can do this by an ushered–like fashion or just plain antagonize these poor heroes.

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?

Probably every teacher that I had from about 6th grade until 11th. I actually liked learning. I guess that I loved it a little too much as I saw it as a social experience as well. I just screwed around and talked as much as I could. I should have to teach middle school as my penance.

Raven, Romda and Ravai are settling into their new knightly duties well. With the Dark Beast defeated, their normal tasks almost seem mundane.

Amidst the boredom, Ravai asks, “Why does no one talk about villains from the past?”

Romda reasons, “What would be the point?”

There is a point. Even though villains may have been defeated in the past, they may still be around, waiting in the background ready to resurface once again.

Malketh has returned to the kingdom, but something is different about him this time. He is back with an entire army … an entire army of undead soldiers!

“Whether you want to read this aloud to your little one or let them explore this magical world on their own, parents can rest assured that this second installment in the Raven, Romda, and Ravai series will be a playful, whimsical addition to their bookshelves.” –The Book Review Directory

“… the squires are appealing characters, as is their comical banter.” - Blue Ink Review

A great story for the fantasy loving youth, this adventure will appeal to those who like action and humor in an easy reading environment.

Read an Excerpt

Ravai said with almost a stone face, “We need to get back to shore. I’m not sure that snake is dead.”

The two swam probably twice as fast as they did when they were racing. Both were exhausted when they made it to the shore. They walked onto the small sandy shore, then both plopped down on their backs gasping at any available air.

After Raven finally caught his breath, he said to Ravai, “I have to admit, you handle yourself well in a fight.”

“Yeah,” Ravai agreed. “That was a sweet move with the shield, too. I mean from you.”

Raven responded, “Thanks.”

Ravai looked down at his leg and became alarmed, “Oh no!”

Raven worried and asked, “What?”

Ravai noted, “I lost the dagger! Darn, that was my favorite!”

Raven responded again, “Don’t worry. I’ll buy you a new one for saving me. I have some extra money that I was going to use on a good shield. Apparently, they come in handy.”

Ravai laughed, and graciously declined. “Nah, it’s okay. You can just tell everyone how great I was in the fight.”

Raven said, “Something tells me that you’ll beat me to it.”

From that day on, the two became friends…

Ravai looks at Raven and acknowledges, “I guess that was the first time that we teamed up. Hmm.”

Raven then says to Ravai, “Look, I was talking with Romda. She thinks we can win, and to be honest, I’m starting to believe her.”

Ravai says back to Raven, “Yeah, I just don’t want to lose.”

Raven replies, “This, I know.”

Ravai says, “Not that. I just don’t want to lose … people.”

About the Author
Dave Maruszewski is blessed with a great family. He was originally inspired to write stories by his wife and son.

He strives to develop stories with sound moral values that will be enlightening as well as entertaining to youths and adults. The Raven, Romda and Ravai books are targeted especially for children who shy away from reading. His stories are created from an accumulation of experience from careers/backgrounds as a physicist, engineer, teacher, artist, video game designer and software developer.

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


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Friday, March 24, 2023

Marked by K.A. Gandy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. K. A. Gandy 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.

What’s your favorite sweet treat?

Chocolate! I love most any kind (the darker, the better!) but my secret guilty pleasure is Andes’ mints. I don’t know why, but those things are seriously addictive.

What candy do you give out at Halloween?

A little bit of everything. I always grab the chocolate, and my kids love the sour/gummy stuff. My husband will eat any of it, but his favorites are KitKats. So, we’ve got a little bit of it all! We also do the teal pumpkin project, so there are allergy-free and non-food options as well.

What book is on your nightstand currently?

The Matchmaker’s Royal Mess by Frieda J. Downing.

Hunger Games or Twilight? Why?

Both. But if I can only have one, Twilight. I am so not ashamed to be Team Edward. As a teen I even had a t-shirt.

Which of your characters would you most like to meet IRL? Why?

Atlas, because I am fascinated by how his brain works, and Auntie from Zanetti. She is so wise, and so calm. I feel like just being near her would feel like a hug.

Favorite pizza toppings.

Pepperoni, bacon, pineapple, and cheese. It sounds like a weird combo, but it’s perfection!

Playlist for your current book.

Paper Rings, Taylor Swift
The Sound of Silence, Disturbed
I’m Not Alright, Shinedown
Fire, Sara Bareilles

On the run from the men who murdered her parents, there's only one way to save herself. Marriage to a genetically-matched stranger.

Demy has been on the run since she was thirteen years old. Mysterious men in black cloaks have been chasing her, and so far she's evaded them. Something, though, has changed since she turned eighteen. Their attempts to capture her have gotten closer and closer, until she's only got one option left: turning herself over to the NLC, for the compulsory marriage program.

She doesn't want to get married, but with her would-be captors on her heels, she's got no choice but to hope the NLC's strict security protocols will be a safe haven. Marriage is a small price to pay for her life, after all. And maybe, just maybe, she'll finally have the space to discover why she's being hunted.


Marked is a new entry point in the Populations Crumble world, but many familiar characters will be present from the original trilogy.

Read an Excerpt

“Do you think one of the guys got here early? I already picked two of my three.” She does an excited little shoulder shimmy at the thought, but I want to run back to my room. I’m not ready to meet my guys, and I really hope we’ll get a little more time.

I still haven’t even opened the app. Though, if people are going to start showing up . . . I need to get on that. I trail behind Cammie and Leilani to the top of the grand staircase, and we only make it halfway down before a chipper, feminine voice calls out.

“Whassup, my ladies?!”

My head snaps up from the woven stair runner, and I see another blonde girl waiting in the middle of the foyer.

Cammie and Leilani both call out excited greetings, and I belatedly add a, “Hello,” to the mix.

We make it down into the foyer, and she’s bouncing on the balls of her feet like a boxer. Though, as a boxer I can’t imagine she’d do much. She’s maybe a hundred fifteen pounds soaking wet, short and delicate-looking in a slouchy green t-shirt, ripped jeans, and scuffed-up tennis shoes.

“My name’s Nell, and I’m joining you three for this round of matches! Have you guys met your dudes yet?”

“Uh, no? We just did all the medical exams this morning. The schedule in our e-planners says we have a week of training classes before the introductions,” Cammie answers, mirroring Nell’s peppy tone.

A week before any guys show up? Oh, thank God.

“Okay, so the fun is just beginning, nice!”

“Uhm, have you done this before or something?” Leilani asks.

“Oh, yeah. Couple years ago, now. But, uh, things didn’t work out.” She shrugs one shoulder blithely, but doesn’t offer any other explanation. “So, this is round two for me. Sucks I couldn’t have gotten here after the boring classes, though.” Nell rolls her eyes dramatically.

“So, what was it like?” I blurt the question, suddenly needing to know everything, while simultaneously afraid to hear what she has to say.

“Which part? The matching? The honeymoons? The breakup?”

“The matching—let’s start with that,” Leilani cuts in, anxiety ratcheting her voice up to a higher register than usual, and for a moment, I feel a sense of camaraderie. We’re all going through this roller coaster of unease and unknown.

About the Author:
K. A. Gandy was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, and is married with two kids. She has worked as a restaurant hostess, library book shelver, ranch hand, tour guide, Realtor, tech whiz, landlord, and small business consultant, all in addition to pursuing her passion of writing. She likes to write late in the evenings and thinks drinking hot tea and baking great cookies fuels hopes and dreams. If you would like to find more of her works, you can sign up for her newsletter at You can also get updates on Facebook at I’ve also recently started a facebook group for readers, who enjoy YA Dystopian books, and am available by email at as well, if you’d ever like to drop me a line directly!

Amazon buy link:

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Monday, March 13, 2023

The Breaks Between You and Me by Taiya Collier

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Taiya Collier will be awarding "bookish" sweatshirt and sticker pack (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Somewhere out in the hills of Montana, 17-year-old Harper Cassidy has a home. Really, she does! And so does her sister, Lil. But since all they’ve ever done is skip across the Pacific Northwest from town to town, following her mom’s every desire from Montana to California, it’s been getting harder and harder to feel rooted anywhere.

Until tragedy strikes. And, before she knows it, Harper is... free. Free to go home to Montana and return to a stability she never had. Only, there are several problems standing in her way.

First, she has to create a stable life for her and her seven-year-old sister. Second, she has to do it alone. And third, worst of all, she has to keep her mother’s absence a secret from the people she grew up with: her grandfather, her aunt, and him, the boy.

Andy Madden is Harper’s best friend, and the answer to her aching loneliness, but he is also the threat to containing the secret that her life depends on. A secret that seems just a little too heavy for any one person to keep.

Read an Excerpt

Your name is Andy, and you’re a city boy. You’ve never dressed like one, but the reason how I know is because you’ve always dreamed like one. You stay up late on cloudy nights because you’ve always said they look like city skies, and you love city skies, even though you’ve never even been to the city in your life except for once in New York with your mom when you were seven. It was loud and you loved it. She held your hand on the streets and you gripped it. The air smelled like hundreds of different things at once and somehow, you could manage to breathe it in.

About the Author:

At just eighteen years old, Taiya Collier is already making a name for herself as an author. The Austin-native has set her sights on creating age inclusivity within young adult fiction and shattering the notion that writing about teen life can only be done by middle-aged writers who lack true understanding of the experience. She's published four books so far, each filled with riveting storylines sure to enthrall readers from start to finish! By inspiring other teens towards authorship, she hopes to build up a new generation of YA novelists capable of capturing accurate accounts of today’s youth culture. Taiya is currently attending college full time while continuing to write as often as she can. Her recent works explore themes of identity, strength, growth, and resilience in young adulthood—all of which are important aspects of her journey as a writer. In addition to writing her own stories, Taiya is also involved in various literary events and speaking engagements throughout the year. As an advocate for literary inclusion, she uses these opportunities to spread awareness about the importance of diverse representation on all platforms.


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