Friday, August 21, 2015

"Tantalizing Tidbits" by Ceci Giltenan and others

GUEST POST and EXCERPT
Tantalizing Tidbits:
21 short stories to make you sigh, shiver or blush
by Ceci Giltenan, Tarah Scott, Sue-Ellen Welfonder, Victoria Barbour, Natasha Blackthorne, Ria Cantrell, Stephanie Joyce Cole, Kimberly K. Comeau, Kathryn Lynn Davis, Ted Grosch, Brenda Margriet, Mary McCall, Kate Robbins, John Robin, HD Smith, KyAnn Waters, and Victoria Zak


Tantalizing Tidbits is currently on tour with Bewitching Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post by one of the authors and an excerpt from one of the stories. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
A collection of short stories written by bestselling authors, representing an eclectic mix of styles and genres. In a word, this book is a smorgasbord; an opportunity to try a bit of everything.
In the spirit of the smorgasbord, the collection is presented as a menu and authors have shared recipes which accompany each story - some fitting, some funny, some simply old favorites.
Ranging from ultra-short but spine tingling, to meatier tales that are nearly novellas there is a little something for every appetite including comedy, tragedy, fantasy, werewolves, at least one ghost, life, death, and of course love.
Dig in. We hope you find at least one tidbit you enjoy.

Appetizers
Savory fare for smaller appetites - short stories from a wide range of styles and genres.
"The Motorcycle" by Tarah Scott
Paranormal fiction
3074 words
No man can ever fully master memory. But maybe, just maybe, he can learn to live with it. Even be glad for it. Even if that means reaching across space, time...and the grave.
"Ida and the Nor’easter" by Victoria Barbour
Contemporary fiction
8014 words
Is there such a thing as a curse? With a storm looming on the horizon, 98-year-old Ida Walsh fears a repeat of the terrible events of her childhood. Will her indomitable wit and resilience be enough to save the day?
"Gardens" by Stephanie Joyce Cole
Literary fiction
4225 words
Anne begins to question the rigid limitations of her new marriage as she spies on a mysterious neighbor.
"One Who Waits" by John Robin
Epic Fantasy
6538 words
Contains moderate violence
Al'a will die at his father's hands, unless he can master a forbidden magic.
Al'a Solaris, born into the Sun Priesthood, only wanted to prove his worth to his father when he delved into forbidden magic. Now, he must die at his father's hands, to restore honor to his bloodline. But the blade his father wields is also his final hope -- if only Al’a can discover its secret and master the fire within.
"The Hole" by Ted Grosch
Literary fiction
Just exactly why is Bernie digging that hole?
"The Spirit Bottle" by Ted Grosch
Literary fiction
A bushman's duty is his legacy for the tribe.
"The Summons" by Ria Cantrell
Paranormal romance
5477 words
Contains mildly explicit sexual scenes
A magical journey where love knows no boundaries, the Summons combines romantic and ethereal love in a mystical setting.

Main Courses
Hearty fare to satisfy larger literary appetites.
"The Seventh Sister" by Sue-Ellen Welfonder
Paranormal romance
12,439 words
A story of love, legend, and magic.
Down-on-her-luck American artist Maggie Gleason returns to Ireland, hoping to put old hurts behind her. Instead, revisiting the fishing village that enchanted her twelve years before only reopens wounds – until the unexpected appearance of roguish pub owner Conall Flanagan proves that the Ancient Isle is a magical place where anything can happen and true love always stands the test of time.
"Falling in Time" by Sue-Ellen Welfonder
Time travel romance
11,090 words
When love calls across the ages…
Aspiring writer Lindy Lovejoy knows all about happy endings. But when she travels to Scotland to research Celtic myth and lore, she never expected a chance to live her own storybook romance, until a stop at mystical Smoo Cave whisks her back in time and into the arms of Rogan MacGraith, a Highland hero who’d burn up the pages of the steamiest Scottish romance novel.
"Clouds Across the Moon" by Kathryn Lynn Davis
Historical Women’s Fiction
17,151 words
In the 19th century Scottish Highlands, young Morna struggles with new motherhood, her child’s illness, and her inability to compete with her husband's idealized vision of her. Will she have faith in the magic of her dreams, and thus find the strength to save her child’s life - and her own - as she begins to recognize the truth and depth of the woman she really is?
"The Lady’s Portrait" by Kate Robbins
Contemporary Romance
17,332 words
Contains mild to moderate sexually explicit scenes
When Gillian Beaton meets the captivating Ciaran MacLeod, she’s immediately attracted, but is she ready to trust again? Have her demons followed her to Scotland and can new love grow out of old heartbreak?
"His Harlot" by Natasha Blackthorne
Historical Erotic Romance
23,018 words
Contains extremely explicit sexual scenes that some readers may find offensive
Late one night, in the midst of a summer’s hot spell, Thomas spies Rosalind in the woods, clad only in her shift, dancing in the moonlight. It’s really more than a man celibate for three years can bear. Thomas is in danger of falling into a sin so powerful it threatens to challenge everything he thinks he knows about himself and life…
"Sneak Peek at Highland Legacy: King Arthur Strikes Back" by Mary McCall
Medieval Highland Romance
12,494 word
Please note, this is NOT a short story, it is an extended preview of Mary’s next novel, book III in her Sisters by Choice series due for release soon. It is a taste of things to come and while it does not end on a cliff-hanger, it is not a complete story.
Michael wed Christina when he was nine and she was three, then promptly went about his life and tried to forget about her. Now the pair must unite to thwart the Beast, return the Power of God that was stolen by their ancestors, and save the world in an epic battle between the forces of good and evil.

Desserts
Looking for something lighter or perhaps a happy ending? The stories in this section won’t disappoint you. They are shorter and mostly romantic, or funny, or both.
"Onyx" by H.D. Smith
Paranormal fiction
7099 words
Contains mild violence and a frustrating lack of S’mores
For those that like it short and sweet.
Madison Monroe thinks she has everything in life figured out, until one ill-fated camping trip has her running for her life through the woods being chased by two wolves - both eager to claim her.
"The Life She Had Before" by Brenda Margriet
Contemporary Romance
5429 words
A woman is torn between bitter revenge and the sweetness of a second chance.
"Hi. My Name is Harold" by Kimberly K. Comeau
Humor
3778 words
Is there light at the bottom of an empty peanut butter jar?
For Harold, giving up peanuts for medical reasons means the end of life's greatest pleasure…until his wife introduces him to all-natural peanut butter. But his addictive personality isn't satisfied with an occasional indulgence.
"The Jewel of Grim Fortress" by Victoria Zak
Paranormal historical romance
7105 words
Eradicating wayward supernaturals has its consequences.
The hereafter may be closer than Carson Kincaid thinks when he is charged to discover what ails Laird Maclean’s mind. Can Kincaid conquer his inner demons while battling the armies of evil?
Paisley Shaw, a powerful druid, has endured her share of hardened times starting the moment Laird Maclean stormed into her life. Now, she must find a way to stop him from taking her powers before it’s too late.
"Beautiful Storm" by KyAnn Waters
Erotic romance
7073 words
Contains extremely explicit sexual scenes that some readers may find offensive
Adrian Beck lost everything, including his passion for designing beautiful buildings, after 9/11.
Isabelle Clemet, of Clemet Hotels, is ready to rebuild after Katrina. She wants the Adrian.
Can an erotic late-night encounter on a secluded beach help a lonely architect rediscover his lost passion?
"When a Rose Blooms" by Tarah Scott
Historical romance
4353 words
On the anniversary eve of his wife's death, Nathaniel kneels at her grave asking questions he fears were answered the night she died. Despite cold solitude, desire flares when he learns the woman who now haunts his dreams awaits him in the great hall. By morning’s light, she will meet him on the battlefield he has built around himself, and force him to choose between the living and the dead
"Sorry for Your Trouble" by Ceci Giltenan
Vignette
1913 words
Ceci shares poignant but sometimes funny memories of the first funeral she attended in Ireland.
"The Personal Ad" by Ceci Giltenan
Contemporary sweet romance
4211 words
Always the best friend and never the leading lady, will Nina find love when she answers a quirky, sweet personal ad?

Excerpt from "The Summons" by Ria Cantrell
By the time he could return to the comfortable flat he was renting, it would be late in the night, or rather; early in the morning and he would fall blissfully into bed with no energy left for dreams that left him aching and troubled. At least, that was his hope. He had to concentrate and stop his foolish reverie of something that was not real; that would never be reality--only--somehow, despite his rationalization of it, deep down he knew she was as real as he was. He shook his head again as if the movement of it would actually clear it and he thought to himself that he hadn’t even been drinking or for that matter, smoking anything to make the fantasy take on such a life of its own. He had to stop it. He was a grown man. He felt rather silly for putting so much onto a woman that was not even real.
***
She had seen him again. She did not know what it meant, but she knew that somehow, he was seeking her, too. He was not of her time; that she was certain, although the way he wore his hair was similar to the men she knew in her village. He was tall and handsome, but his eyes held a deep emptiness that she, herself understood all too well. The time for her to have been mated to a man had long passed as she had been called to care for her dying father. There was no room for courting in her world where her responsibilities pressed upon her like the weight of the standing stones.

Praise for the Book
"I was lucky enough to read this and it is a fabulous read whilst lazing on the beach or in the garden, most of the authors are well known to me and it was great to meet a couple who weren't. The stories are unique and some are in genre's I don't normally read, but enjoyed all the same. So if you are looking for short stories to while away the hours then look no further, and like me you may find new authors to read." ~ Fanni Ann
"21 tantalizing short stories from some awesome authors. This collection definitely has something for every reader. Fast paced, well thought, with tantalizing characters and sumptuous storylines. If you read one collection this summer, do pick up this collection, you won't be disappointed. I absolutely loved this collection and look forward to more these amazing storytellers. A keeper and a must read!" ~ April Renn
"Excellent collection of shorts from my favorite authors! Lovely idea!" ~ Amazon Customer
"A great collection of stories. This is a collection of short stories written in different genres and I enjoyed the addition of the different recipes too." ~ Leah Weller

Guest Post by John Robin, author of the fantasy short story "One Who Waits"
5 Facts About My Story that Might Surprise You
1. Al’a, the boy in "One Who Waits" is one of the most important characters in the epic fantasy arc of stories I plan to write. When I wrote this story, I was about a third of the way into Blood Dawn, my debut novel-in-progress, and decided when asked to write a story for the anthology that I would write something that directly related to the novel so that I didn’t get too far off track. It turns that writing this story helped me solidify the motives of the man who Al’a becomes in Blood Dawn – and who he will become in my plans for future books.
2. "One Who Waits" is actually a prelude story to Blood Dawn. Although it can stand alone, when read before reading Blood Dawn it sets the stage for the events of the novel and resonates with several themes and plotlines therein. Alternatively, it can be excluded from Blood Dawn, so it is not a prologue per se – rather, it is a companion story. It was my hope in writing this story that I might introduce readers to the larger epic I am working on and thus gain some interest in the novel.
3. My cat is my muse. I have a cat named Wizard, who enjoys jumping in my lap and splaying out on the keyboard. This makes writing difficult, but often he jumps up and decides that it’s cuddle time when I need some time to think. Often, his hypnotizing purr is all it takes to connect with what I need to write next.
4. The world of "One Who Waits" is not round. Though it might come across as a dystopic empire set in a world on the brink of collapse, I was heavily influenced by C.S. Lewis’ Narnia when I conceptualized the world I wanted to set my stories in. Although there are charted waters, the edges of those waters are perilous and lead to other mysteries, whole other worlds waiting to be explored. What I enjoy about this is it allows me to define a cogent world – much like our modern day – all with the possibility that this reality will soon be discovered to be part of something much greater (think of what might happen if one day we discover we are surrounded by aliens or beings from another dimension).
5. I was highly inspired by romance author Ceci Giltenan when deciding how I wanted to tell my stories. What I enjoyed about Ceci’s work was how she could zoom into different castles and time periods and tell the stories therein. I thought this would be an excellent way to explore epic fantasy, so with this in mind, I’ve stepped out of what would be a strictly linear narrative and look forward to exploring the tapestry of a time period full of stories that beg to be told, much like how our own history is full of the tales of unique people and the courses of action they took to define their mark on the world.
Brief biography
Inspired by the great fantasy epics and many episodes of Star Trek, John Robin’s stories use magic, complex cultures, vivid world building, and deep character conflicts to explore modern day issues. John has been writing stories for more than twenty years, and presently he makes his living as a freelance editor while preparing what he intends to be his debut novel, Blood Dawn.
If you enjoyed "One Who Waits", you’ll be happy to know that it is the prelude to John’s much larger epic fantasy novel in progress, Blood Dawn.
John is part of an exciting crowd-funding publishing model provided by Inkshares Press. Think of it as Kickstarter, but for books. Authors include Gary Whitta, writer of the screenplay for the new Star Wars movie.
If you like epic fantasy with magic, flare, and strong female characters, then check out John’s Inkshares page for Blood Dawn, where you can read more about the book and support John by pre-ordering a copy..
If you’d like to read the opening thirteen chapters, and follow his progress, you can do so by signing up for his monthly newsletter.

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