Just one more day of this blog tour!

Talk about a lot of work! Didn’t realize what I signed up for when I started it, but holy moly! I Hope you all have had a chance over this past month and a half to find a few good authors to check out. I think we covered just about everything genre wise, which is impressive if you think about it. Anyways, after tomorrow we should go back to our normally scheduled posting. You all have a wonderful day!

Brain to Books Blog Tour Judith Quate

Brain to Books Blog Tour

image2Fast Fact

Author: Judith Quate
Genre: Memoir
Book: Our Special Child:  Jason’s Story


image1I am a woman, wife, mother, grandmother, sister and a good friend.  This is what defines me.  What I present to you on this website is a mixed media artist who creates inspirational art and fiber creations.  What most inspired me to launch my business is the valuable lessons I learned for twenty-eight years raising a son with cerebral palsy.  I was his nurse, social worker, advocate, therapist and most importantly, a loving mother.  My book, Our Special Child:  Jason’s Story, will soon be available and you can purchase it here on this website.
I create mixed media paintings and designs because I want to share the valuable lessons I learned caring for my son. He inspired me every day and it is now my turn to pay if forward.
I lived in Philadelphia for most of my life.  Nine years ago my husband and I moved ten miles north of Philly to Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  I loved the city but it was time to live in a more peaceful surroundings in my retirement years.
I started creating my business four years ago after I retired from my federal government position.  I worked over 40 years of my life, 22 years with the federal government.
I am sole owner of my business and designer.  I love working alone, making my own decision and working the hours I choose to work.  I share my time babysitting my two grandchildren and working out at the gym.  Life is good and I am making the most of it.
Book Blurb

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Connect with Judith

Brain to Books Blog Tour C.L. Schneider

Brain to Books Blog Tour

Fast Fact

Author: C.L. Schneider
Genre: Fantasy
The Crown of Stones: Magic-Price
The Crown of Stones: Magic-Scars



Born in a small Kansas town on the Missouri river, I grew up in a house of avid readers and overflowing bookshelves. When I was sixteen I wrote my first, full-length novel on a typewriter in my parent’s living room. My main focus is adult epic fantasy, but I also write urban fantasy, and the occasional science fiction or post-apocalyptic story.
I am proud to be a self-published author and a member of the #indiebooksbeseen community. My goal as a writer is to stir emotion and make the reader feel, whether it be good or bad. I believe in writing fearless, and that telling a story as it is meant to be told, is far more important than word count.
The Crown of Stones: Magic-Price is my first published novel. The second book in the trilogy, Magic-Scars, was released earlier this year.

Magic Price


Ian Troy is one of the Shinree, a fallen people with an inherent addiction to magic. Scorned and reviled for the deadly side of their spells, the Shinree are bred as slaves. Their magic is suppressed by drugs and used only as it serves the purposes of the other races.
COVER Crown of Stones Magic PriceDescended from a long line of soldiers, Ian is conscripted into the Rellan army and made to fight in their longstanding conflict against the ruthless Langorian invaders. The downfall of Rella imminent, Ian goes against orders and turns to the Crown of Stones, an ancient Shinree relic of untold power. Ignorant of its true purpose, Ian uses the crown to end the war, and pays a terrible price.
A decade later, still tortured by the aftermath of that day, Ian lives as a bounty hunter in self-imposed exile. Having renounced his magical heritage, he curbs his obsession with a steady stream of wine and regret. He struggles to put it all behind him, until a fateful encounter with a pretty assassin brings Ian’s past crashing into the present. Targeted by a rogue Shinree, and a ruthless old enemy, Ian is forced to use magic again. His deadly addiction is rekindled and his life of isolation is brought to a swift end.
With the land he gave up everything to protect once more in jeopardy, and his people’s future at stake, Ian becomes embroiled in a violent race for control of the Crown of Stones. To save the realms and those he cares for, Ian must embrace the thing he fears most: his own power.
Magic-Price is the first installment in The Crown of Stones trilogy.



Bodies pressed in on me on all sides. More were piled up beneath my feet. The grass, gorged with assorted fluids and trampled remains, squished under my boots as I carved open my opponent’s chest, pushed him aside, and moved onto the next.
There was always a next. The Langorians were a swarm…an inexhaustible, savage, mindless swarm. And we had no choice but to become like them to survive. To become animals, going at each other, mechanically pushing against the tide, battering whatever stood in our way with whatever we had; clubs, axes, swords, knives—our bruised, bleeding bare hands. Fighting for days, months, years, striving to hold out against an enemy that knew nothing of mercy, an enemy stronger, and far more brutal than us, we’d become something less than we were.
And we were still losing.
I grabbed the Queen’s arm and steered her out of the fray. “We can’t take much more of this.” Needing to be heard, I drew her closer. “We should pull back.”
“Pull back?” Queen Aylagar Arcana yanked herself free. She gave me a wild, defiant look. Full of passion and reckless resolve, it made her exotic features come alive. “My order stands. We press on, Troy. As always.”
I shook my head. “Our numbers are dwindling too fast. We can’t win this.”
“We can and we will.” Aylagar raised a hand. She touched my face and the sound of metal clashing and men screaming seemed to fade away. Brushing back the blood-splattered white strands that had come loose from my braid, she ran a finger down the strong line of my jaw. “Trust me, Love. The Langorians will not have Rella.”
“How can you still believe that?”
“Because I must. Because I have faith.”
“Ayla…” I stopped myself. Then I started again. “I saw the messenger arrive from Kabri. I know he carried orders from the King. You can’t keep ignoring them.”

“I can. And I will.” She dropped her hand and backed up. “My husband is a fool. I don’t care how many messengers he dispatches from his throne, he is not out here. The blood of these men bathes my skin, not his. This is my war, Troy. Mine!” she cried. “We fight. We die. We go on until we prevail—by my command. I will not surrender. That is the way of it. That is the only way.”
My throat went dry at the fire in her. The way she stood, outlined by the backdrop of chaos, flanked by the crackling flames that consumed our camp, with sweat beading on her dark skin and battle-lust glazing her stare, I wanted to pull her into my arms. I wanted to go back to this morning, on the furs of her tent, when Aylagar’s flawless, ebony skin was on me. Where status and race didn’t matter and death felt far away. Mostly, I wanted to believe her, as I had so many times, that every battle brought us closer to victory. That persistence was our greatest strength and it would carry us through.
But this was it. King Draken of Langor was throwing everything he had at us, making one final push to wipe us all out. To once and for all, lay claim to the land his forefathers had sought, and failed, to conquer. Surrendering was unacceptable; she was right in that. Yet, Aylagar had lost her way. Somewhere along the line, the outcome had stopped mattering to her as much as the fight, and my affection, my awe of her, had blinded me for far too long.

Magic Scars


Magic doesn’t wound the same as a sword.
The story of Ian Troy continues in Magic-Scars, the second installment in C. L. Schneider’s riveting epic fantasy trilogy, The Crown of Stones.
Crown of Stones Magic ScarsCaptured by his old enemy, King Draken of Langor, Shinree magic user Ian Troy was sentenced to prison. Tortured and drugged, robbed of his will, his memories, and his magic, Ian was made to do unspeakable things. Rescued, as his body slowly rids itself of the drug, Ian realizes he has returned to an unfamiliar world gripped with fear. In the wake of his fall, those he cared for were left to their own grim fates. Draken has seized control of the realms and named himself High King. His brutal rein has sparked a desperate rebellion that Ian now finds himself a part of. His one task: recover and repair the Crown of Stones, in hopes it will tip the balance in the revolution that is brewing. In pursuit of the reason behind the artifact’s strange loss of magic, Ian is driven to release an explosion of retribution and power that leaves him irrevocably scarred.
Struggling to reconcile the man he has become with the man he once was, Ian strives to understand the growing number of magic-scars adorning his body. He searches for the truth behind his link to the Crown of Stones and uncovers shocking secrets buried for generations beneath the sand. To become the weapon the resistance needs, he must assume responsibility for his magical inheritance. But can he curb the destructive appetite that comes with it?
The price of Ian’s magic and his addiction have never been higher.

Excerpt Book 2 (Magic-Scars)

I eyed the door. Instinct told me to hold off. I tried to listen. I crouched among a group of snow covered barrels and waited to see if a sentry was on watch.
It took less than a minute to know waiting wasn’t on my list of favorite things. I was pretty confident I didn’t like eerie silences either, as the longer the quiet stretched, the more it unnerved me. Swiftly, uneasiness became panic, then dread.
With each scrape of the swinging lantern and flap of the sail, the calm ate at me.
It ate until I was hollow. Until that same nagging notion (the one I had just started to ignore) crept back. It was a noiseless, internal clamor. An urge that gouged into what was left of me, chiseling pieces off, scooping them out even as it reminded me that I’d lost the very thing that once filled the hole.
Something was missing.
It’s more than that, I realized. It’s someone.
He was out there, past the night and the snow. He was in trouble. He was suffering and it was my fault. Or was it? I had no memories to match my guilt. No face or name to prompt such urgency. All I had was intuition ringing like a claxon in my head telling me to go, to find him.

Interview with C.L. Schneider

Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get started writing?
How did I get started writing? You can blame books on that one. I was a huge reader and an early reader. But, honestly, it feels like I have always been writing. I can remember being very young and rewriting the scripts for my favorite TV shows because I didn’t like how the story was evolving or what the writers were doing with the characters. Sometime I would write commercials or fake news reports and make my poor family sit down and pretend to be my audience. I wrote poems and started more short stories than I can count. It was rare when I read a book I couldn’t finish, but at sixteen, I had a streak where I picked up and put down several book in a row that weren’t cutting it. I thought I could write a book at least that good, so that’s what I did. I spent the rest of that summer on the draft of my first full length novel; a post-apocalyptic monstrosity entitled A Twist of Fate. Looking back now, I’m fairly certain it was no better than those books I couldn’t finish. But, was the start of something. Twist of Fate set me on my path, and one of these days I’m going to pull that monster out of the box in my closet and give it the shine it deserves.
What do I do when I’m not writing?
That’s an easy one. I’m always writing! If it isn’t on my laptop, or on paper, it’s in my head. Occasionally, it’s on a napkin in a restaurant. The rest of my day is spent letting the dog and cat in and out, and ignoring the laundry.
What is the one thing that would surprise us?
I’m not sure if it’s surprising, but it’s something not many people know.
There was a time in high school when I seriously considered a career in special effects make-up. Since I was a young child I’ve been fascinated by what goes on behind the scenes in a theatrical production. As part of the drama club in school, I worked on the stage crew, building the scenery, creating props, putting together the costumes. I even choreographed a musical once. But what truly fascinated me were the creatures and characters created for fantasy, sci-fi, and horror movies. I wanted badly to be a part of that world and to create my own fantastical creatures. For several years I read everything I could find on the subject. I looked into schools and even narrowed down my choices. But, life had other plans for me. Now, I create my creatures with words—and binge watch Face-Off every chance I get.
Is this your first book?
I have a closet full of unpublished works (some completed, some not), but The Crown of Stones: Magic-Price was my first published novel. The second book in the trilogy, Magic-Scars released earlier this year.
What genre is it and what is it about?
The Crown of Stones trilogy is adult, epic fantasy. It follows the trial of Ian Troy, a man born with a crippling addiction to magic. As Ian struggles with his addiction, he faces enemies, old and new, in an attempt to unravel the secrets of The Crown of Stones and unite the realms.
What inspired you to write this book?
The Crown of Stones trilogy was mostly inspired by the character of Ian Troy. I believe the most interesting characters are flawed. The more flawed, the more real they feel to me. Super Heroes are great. Yet, I’m more interested in what’s behind the mask. How much muck were they dragged through before they became super? When I created Ian I did a very lengthy profile. I wanted my story to revolve around magic, so I made magic (what should be his greatest strength) his greatest flaw. I added in a few traits inspired by some of my favorite books from childhood, and the story evolved from there.
How did you come up with the title?
I had this gorgeous piece of amethyst sitting on my bookshelf for years. I always wanted to work it into a story. So when I created the character of Ian and his magic, the original title of the book was The Amethyst Crown. But as my magic system evolved, so did the crown and the title.
Tell us a little bit about the cover art?
The covers for both Crown of Stones books were done by Alan Dingman. Alan is a personal friend of mine as well as an incredibly talented local artist. When I decided to self-publish I looked first at the covers CreateSpace was offering. They were all well done, but none of them could live up to the image in my head. The cover of Magic Price has been bouncing around in there for a long time. I couldn’t compromise. Working at Simon & Schuster as well as having his own portrait business; I knew Alan was a busy man. I approached him about taking on the work as a side job and, thankfully, he jumped at the chance. The way he can pull an image out of my head, and enhance it with his own flair, amazes me.
I believe if a cover I done right, an author can convey so much to potential readers. With both Magic-Price and Magic-Scar, I wanted to convey the tone of the book as well as provide a glimpse into a pivotal moment in the main character’s life. I’m very picky. Every detail has to be just right. Alan is very patient. Though I wouldn’t doubt he’s sick of me by the time the project is done!
If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?
People ask me that all the time, and I find it such a hard question. The characters are all so unique to me. I find it hard to squeeze them into the mold of someone else’s body and features. It is fun, though to see my characters through other people’s imagination. Some readers have come up with great suggestion for actors to play in a Crown of Stones movie. Have a look: The Imagine Film List | Magic-Price (The Crown of Stones Series)
Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?
Different writers have inspired me at different times in my life. Some whose titles I have devoured over the years (in no particular order) are: H. G. Wells, Jules Verne, Margaret Mitchell, Emily Bronte, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Jennifer Roberson, C. J. Cherryh, Stephen King, Andre Norton, Ray Bradbury, Jim Butcher, Simon R. Green, and Mary Shelley.
What does your writing process look like?
Almost every book I’ve ever written has started on paper. I love a blank page. But a blank screen…not so much. My drafts are a messy vomiting of ideas, half of which don’t make it between the lines. I call it my skeleton. The story is usually coming to me fast and furious at this point so it’ also easier to carry around a notebook rather than the laptop. When I have enough down to start really working with, I head to my laptop and put the meat on the bones. I usually go back and forth a couple of times from notebook to computer. I don’t write linear at this stage. I write whatever scenes I see most clearly in my head. Later, I marry them together on the computer. Once the draft is done I start revising. After the first revision I start sending some to my beta readers. The second and third revisions are my favorite. By this time the story has really come together, and I can start adding in all the nuances and massaging sentences and paragraphs, making sure they have the proper rhythm and flow. By the time I start obsessing over a fourth revision, is when my editor steps in and pries it from my hands.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I do read my reviews, every single one of them. I know some authors who have sworn off reading their reviews, but in the beginning I don’t think most can probably help it. At least I couldn’t. I distinctly remember the shock at my first five star and the tears at my first one star. I thought I was prepared for the praise a much as the candor, but it takes some getting used to. Your blood is on those pages. It’s never easy to hear someone bash not only their content, but you as a writer. But, it gets easier. You learn what is really constructive and what to ignore, and if you’re lucky, the good outweigh the bad.
I read a quote once by Tibor Kalman: “When you make something no one hates, no one loves it.” Those words helped me immensely when it comes to dealing with reviews. I still say them to myself from time to time. They remind of the diversity of human taste and how you really can’t please everyone. All you can do is be true to the story that’s in you, and tell it. That being said, if enough reviews highlight the same issues or potential problems with your work, it might be time to take a look at it.
As far as responding to reviews, I may thank the reviewer on social media for reading, or for their kind comments. I think that’s only polite. But, in my opinion, engaging someone who wrote a bad review is never a good idea. People are entitled to their own views, no matter how you might not agree with them. Not to mention, there is too much emotion wrapped up in your work. You’re for more likely to answer with your heart than your head and make things worse. Read them and move on. Resistance is not futile!
What is your favorite Halloween costume you’ve ever worn?
My favorite costume is when I went to a party a couple of years ago dressed as a female version of Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead. I had the crossbow, the ear necklace, the red handkerchief, the knife. I even attached the angel wings to my vest. It was as much fun to put together as it was to wear.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on Magic-Borne, the final book in The Crown of Stones trilogy. It’s heading off to my editor in September so I’m scrambling to be sure it’s exactly how I want it first. I’m finding it very bittersweet. These characters have been a part of my life for so long. There is so much to wrap up and touch on, I want to make sure Ian and his friends get the proper send off.
I recently started work on my next book, which centers on the story of a half dragon woman who flees her world to seek sanctuary in ours. I have two hundred pages of a draft done. I wrote it about a year ago, but my idea has expanded quite a bit since then. I reworked the plot just last week, so I’m unsure yet how much of the draft I’m going to keep.
I’m also in the beginning stages of co-writing the first book in a Viking-themed epic fantasy trilogy with fellow author Jeremy Swiger. We have some draft finished, the first book plotted out and a loose plot for books two and three. So I have a lot to keep me busy.
What genre do you enjoy writing the most and why?
I think this one is pretty obvious. Fantasy, of course! I love fantasy in all its forms and offshoots. To me, fantasy is endless possibility. I’m not sure a writer can’t ask for much more than that.
 What do you wear while writing?
Since I squeeze it in during every free moment I have, especially in the summer when the kids are home, I write with whatever I have on. But what do I prefer to write in? My PJs. Or my yoga pants. For marathon writing sessions I want anything comfortable, where I’m free to pile in the chocolate and not feel the pounds creeping on.
Do you have a pet or pets?
Yes, we have pets. Unfortunately, our Beta fish, Happy and Bro, died recently. But, we still have Skittles the cat, who spends her days trying to figure out how to sleep on my laptop while I’m writing, and her nights plotting on how best to off the dog. As you can see below, she also does a bit of zombie modeling for her immature owners.
Woodstock, (otherwise known as Woody, Woodrow, or Drop It) is our 70+ pound, 1 ½ year old lap dog. Despite repeated attempts on his life, he still believes Skittles is his best friend.
What is your favorite snack food?
Is coffee a snack food? If not, I would have to say chocolate covered pretzels (chocolate covered anything, really) or chips and salsa. Do not leave a bowl of either in front of me. It will likely be empty by the time you come back.
Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
I would love to meet Amelia Earhart. She was the first woman aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic. We were born in the same small Kansas town, and I’ve always found her quotes inspiriting. Amelia Earhart was bold and gutsy, and didn’t listen to the naysayers. She believed in herself. I admire her fearlessness.

Connect with Schneider

Buy Magic Price

Buy Magic Scars

See the Brain to Books Blog Tour Giveaways with Lu!

Brain to Books Blog Tour Timothy Bateson

Brain to Books Blog Tour

Fast Fact

Author: Timothy Bateson
Genre: Science Fiction & Urban Fantasy short stories
Books: Across the Karman Line


Timothy BatesonTimothy is a displaced Englishman, currently living in Alaska. Since moving to Alaska in 2005 he has participated in a succession of NaNoWriMo events, honing his writing skills. He has also been working on a number of writing projects with his wife, Sandi, a fellow creative soul.
From there projects has sprung an alternative Seattle, populated by mortals, with a vibrant supernatural community. Between them, the creative couple write short stories and novels, based in this wonderful setting, sharing locations, characters, and a common overarching plot. More recently he has started branching out into science-fiction, and has found this just as much fun to write in between plotting his novel, and filling out the background of his Seattle.
Fireside Booksigning 5-30-15


Timothy has participated in several NaNoWriMo events over the last few years, and only failed to complete the 50,000 word goal twice in that time.
As an avid amateur  falconer, Timothy has had the honor of handling and flying almost every class of raptor, from the little owl, all the way up to the Martial Eagle.
Sold out his first book signing event, at Fireside Books, when “Moon Shadows” released in October 2014.
Is active in  a number of online writing and reading communities on Goodreads and Google+, and recently guest hosted a number of book reviews and author bios as part of the Author Cyber Convention 2015 (arranged through Goodreads).

Across The Karman Line Cover

Has had the pleasure of working very closely with Fireside Books, his local independent bookstore, on two book signings, and a handful of other author/reader events.


In space, fate rests in the hands who created the craft. Wits and creative risk separate life from death while navigating the three-dimensional sea or marooned on an alien planet. The trust between captain and crew unifies a mission. And sometimes, the final take-off is the hardest.

Connect with Timothy

See the Brain to Books Blog Tour Giveaways with Lu!

Brain to Books Blog Tour Jeanne Lyet Gassman

Brain to Books Blog Tour

Fast Facts

Author: Jeanne Lyet Gassman
Genre: Christian historical fiction; literary fiction and creative nonfiction
Books: Blood of a Stone (Tuscany Press)


Jeanne Gassman (2)Award-winning author JEANNE LYET GASSMAN lives in Arizona where the desert landscape inspires much of her fiction. She holds an MFA in Writ­ing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and has received fellow­ships from Ragdale and the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Her debut historical novel, BLOOD OF A STONE (Tuscany Press) received a Bronze 2015 Independent Publishers Book Award in the national category of religious fiction. Her work has appeared in Hippocampus Magazine, Hermeneutic Chaos Literary Journal, Red Savina Review, The Museum of Americana, Assisi: An Online Journal of Arts & Letters, Switchback, Literary Mama, and Barrelhouse, among many others. In addition to writing, Jeanne also teaches creative writing workshops for libraries and community groups.


Independent Publisher Book Award (Bronze) for BLOOD OF A STONE in the national category of religious fiction
Finalist for 2015 Independent Author Network Book of the Year Awards for BLOOD OF A STONE
Fellowships from Ragdale and the Arizona Commission on the Arts
MFA in Writing, Vermont College of Fine Arts
1st place, WOW! 2012 Fall Flash Fiction Competition
Finalist, Tuscany Press Novel Prize for BLOOD OF A STONE
Violinist, Phoenix College Symphony
Instructor, Creative Writing for community groups and libraries (including numerous grants)
Freelance editor
Short Fiction and Creative Nonfiction published in dozens of literary magazines
Blogger, Jeanne’s Writing Desk


Jeanne Gassman (1)Set in the first century on the edges of the Roman Empire and the Jesus movement, Blood of a Stone is a sweeping story of murder, betrayal, love, and the search for redemption.
Faced with the brutality of slavery, Demetrios confronts his master and flees by the blood of a stone. Determined to escape his past, he struggles to create a new life and a new identity with his friend and fellow escaped slave, Elazar.
However, freedom has its price. Secrets cannot remain secret forever. A chance for love is lost. Elazar betrays Demetrios to a so-called prophet named Jesus of Nazareth. Fearing the Roman authorities and Jesus, Demetrios risks everything to silence those who would enslave him again. His quest leads him to startling discoveries and dire choices. Demetrios must answer the question we all ask: Can we ever be free of our past?


“Blood of a Stone takes the reader on an adventure in a fascinating period of history where the Roman Empire and the birth of Christianity converge. An extremely well written historical novel.”
— Amazon Best Selling Author The Olivia Series, Yael Politis
“Jeanne Gassman has composed a spiritual journey of one man’s heart-rending path to redemption on the fringe of the Jesus movement.  Wrapped in polished prose and vivid depictions of life in 1st Century Palestine, Gassman’s story transcends genres to offer a rich biblical tale of love, loss, forgiveness, and the restorative power of faith.”
— Barbara Devlin, Bestselling Author of the Brethren of the Coast series
“BLOOD OF A STONE by Jeanne Gassman is an enthralling, introspective historical tale that studies the human spirit in all its various forms: the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. The novel is touching, wonderfully written and has a stunning story line that will stay with me for a long time. Highly recommend!”
—Eliza Knight, USA Today Bestselling Author
“Details of 1st-Century Palestine come alive as Jeanne Lyet Gassman weaves a compelling story of unspeakable challenge and the search for redemption. Trapped in a life of desperation, Demetrios will do whatever it takes to escape, even kill those who enslave him. But when his life comes in contact with the man, Jesus, everything that seemed so important begins to shift. The story moves from pulse-pounding action to heart-wrenching honesty, as Demetrios pursues the Peace every heart craves.”
—Amazon Best-seller Author, Christy M. Bellar, The Lady and the Mountain Man
Grace, one of the most challenging journeys of life and literature, is explored in this fine debut novel by Jeanne Lyet Gassman. Set in first century Palestine during the time of Jesus, BLOOD OF A STONE is a moving, well-researched, beautifully turned novel that had me engaged and in tears. Highly recommended!
— Best-selling author Allegra Jordan, The End of Innocence
“Jeanne Gassman is a remarkable writer who brings a Biblical era stunningly to life in
this powerful and fast-moving tale of sin and redemption.”
— American Fiction Prize Winner, Clint McCown, author of Haints
“In art man finds a conduit to the divine. Blood of a Stone, Jeanne L. Gassman’s artful debut, is a tale of murder, love, betrayal, and redemption in 1st century Judea. Crafted with imagination and superlative style, her story tracks slaves Demetrios’ and Elazar’s arduous climb from sin to forgiveness.”
—Winner of the Independent Publisher Book Award, David Beckett, The Cana Mystery

Excerpt from Blood of a Stone

by Jeanne Lyet Gassman
Farmers, merchants, townspeople, and peasants crushed together on the narrow road into the city, pushing toward the marketplace. Shepherds whistled at their herds of goats, struggling to keep them away from the booths stacked with winter figs. Herod’s auxiliary troops circled through the mob on horseback and foot, their shouts lost in the uproar.
“Move, move! In the name of Caesar and the King, get out of the way!”
The people dropped back to clear a path for more soldiers who marched in tight formation. Their conical helmets bounced up and down in waves as they jogged along the road. One of the horsemen accompanying them broke rank and rode into a group of spectators that had pressed closer for a better look. He swung his sword and warned them to keep back. There were a few muttered epithets, but no one spoke too loudly. A space opened around the soldier, and the crowd could see why they had been forced off the path. The troops dragged behind them a captured slave: a dark-skinned man with the letter F, for fugitivus, seared into his forehead. His hands and feet were bound, and if it were not for the rope that jerked him upright and pulled him along, he would have fallen face down to the ground.
Demetrios brushed his fingers across his own shoulder, feeling the raised, damaged flesh beneath his cloak. If he had not killed Marcus and escaped, his fate could have easily been the same as this poor runaway’s.
Someone pitched a stone at the auxiliaries, striking the horse. The animal reared up, and a farmer in front of the soldiers lost control of his cart. The entire procession halted as his crates of doves toppled to the ground.
The terrified birds flung themselves against the wooden slats; clouds of feathers spiraled into the air. The farmer tugged at his donkey’s rope, but the creature dug in its heels and refused to move, its hysterical brays adding to the general confusion.
The slave, sensing he had a receptive audience, raised his head. The wound on his brow had festered. His skin glowed with fever and madness. He blinked, scanning the blur of faces in front of him, seeking one he knew would understand. Then he paused and focused his gaze on Demetrios, a faint smile playing around his mouth.
Demetrios shrank back behind a cluster of men.
Of all the Jews, the soldiers, and the travelers in this place, how did he know? How does one slave recognize the other? Although the sun was warm upon Demetrios’s back, he shivered.
A man behind Demetrios said, “I heard they found him in the caves near the hot springs. He belonged to Herod’s house. Not a good place to hide.” The woman with him asked, “Where are they taking him?”
“With a group of other slaves to the mines. He’ll never see daylight again.”
Holding fast to the reins of his skittish horse, the furious soldier confronted the crowd. “Who threw that stone?”
When no one answered, he hooked one of the crates with his sword and smashed it to the ground. Several doves flew out, sweeping low over everyone’s heads. “Clear this trash from the road.”
Some of the men behind Demetrios laughed and jumped to catch the floundering birds; others complained loudly about the delay. A couple of the women near him finally stepped forward to help the beleaguered man drag his remaining crates to the side. The soldiers began to move again, their captive stumbling behind them.
The slave cried out, “Please! Help me!” before he disappeared into the wall of armored bodies.
“Demetrios of Tiberias? Is that you?”
Over the bobbing heads, Demetrios strained to see who was calling him. He cut across the road and scooted around the people still pursuing errant doves.
“Demetrios of Tiberias!” the voice called out to him with authority.
Demetrios wheeled around. They knew. The soldiers were coming for him. He was caught, trapped like a beetle in the clinches of a scorpion’s pinchers. Someone had revealed his secret, knew that he, too, was an escaped slave. Marcus’s slave. Marcus’s murderer.
“Demetrios! Demetrios!”
Demetrios tried to escape through the crowd, but the throng closed about him. He had to get away. Escape. Again. As he ducked and darted through the multitude, Demetrios realized he would be running for the rest of his life. He would forever be a slave.
He pushed against the backs of a group of men. “Let me through.” But the crowd would not part for him.
A hand clutched his arm. He froze. Doomed. He was doomed. And he would be sentenced to die in the mines like his fellow slave. The hand that had seized him spun him around now to face his fate.

Interview with Jeanne Gassman

If you are wanting to appear on either of my sites, here are the list of interview questions. Help yourself! Copy/cut/paste them, answer them at your convenience, then email your answers toabchrysler@yahoo.com. I can post same day or in the future according to your schedule!
Answer whatever questions you would like. Add your own questions if you wish and send them toabchrysler@yahoo.com along with the date you want them posted 🙂 Also, include your bio, author pic, book cover, and all the links that you want 🙂 This is all optional. I only request that you send me a reminder email a day prior to when you want them posted because I can not guarantee I will remember 🙂 I send out a notification email when I post your interview and I include the links! 🙂
Angela B. Chrysler: I want to take a moment to welcome Jeanne Lyet Gassman, author of BLOOD OF A STONE (Tuscany Press) available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, andIndieBound.

Thank you so much for speaking with me, Jeanne Lyet Gassman. Please take a moment to tell us about your book.
ABC: How did you come up with the idea for your book?
Believe it or not, the concept for BLOOD OF A STONE was inspired by a dream my husband had. In our house, my husband is renowned for his unusual and interesting dreams, and he likes to share them with me. When he told me he had dreamed about Kirk Douglas filming a movie about a man who plots to assassinate Christ, I stole the idea and ran with it.
ABC: Stories always require some form of research. What kind of research did you do for your book?
Since this is historical fiction, I had to do a lot of research for historical accuracy. I poured through a number of scholarly texts, read articles and stories of archaeological finds, spoke to experts, and visited museums. After the book was accepted by Tuscany Press, I worked one-on-one with a brilliant historical expert who had been on several archaeological digs in the Middle East and who spoke five languages. He advised me on all sorts of interesting details, including ancient magic spells, the way certain foods were preserved and prepared, cultural and religious traditions, etc.
ABC: Which scene or chapter was the hardest for you to write?
Without revealing spoilers, I will say simply the most difficult chapter to write was one in which one of my favorite characters died unexpectedly. Several characters die in this book (it’s a harsh world!), so I’ll leave it to the readers to figure out which character I’m talking about!
ABC: Please describe your favorite scene or chapter in your book and tell us why it’s your favorite?
My favorite chapter is probably the one with the sorceress Endorah. She was so much fun to imagine and create, since she’s a charlatan. The research for this chapter was fascinating as well.
ABC: Which of your characters, do you relate to the most (or) who is your favorite character and why?
Well, I love all of my characters, but I really like Tabitha because she is so strong and courageous. She grows from a spoiled, impetuous young woman to a generous and wise soul. Yet, she still maintains a certain innocence throughout.
ABC: I once read that every author is simply a compilation of his/her favorite authors. Which authors have done the most to influence your writing and why?
There are so many authors I admire that it’s hard to narrow the choices. Certainly, many of the “greats” have had an influence: Dostoevsky, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ray Bradbury, and Flannery O’Connor are a few that come immediately to mind. Can you tell I like intense, descriptive writing? By the way, I was fortunate enough to meet Ray Bradbury a few times when he was alive. Truly a charming and lovely man.
ABC: “Story” has always been the center of all human cultures. We need it. We seek it out. We invent it. What does “story” mean to you?
For me, “story” allows us to understand and explore complex issues via a fictional construct. A good story makes sense of the unfathomable, provides insight into the human condition, and asks us to reconsider our own prejudices.
ABC: Tells us about your next project.
My next book is set in the mid-twentieth century and is about a family whose lives are intertwined with the atomic bomb tests in Nevada in the 1950s and 1960s. When the mother, Irene, becomes convinced something in the area is causing her to have repeated miscarriages, she abandons her husband and young son and flees to Arizona during her fifth pregnancy with the hopes of saving her unborn child. Her choices create a rift in the family that could destroy them all. Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, THE DOUBLE SUN is the story of the compromises we make for reconciliation and the grief and guilt that hold us back.
ABC: Where can we find you and your book?
Well, I like to joke that I live on the Internet! You can find me on Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, and even LinkedIn. I have a website and maintain a blog, Jeanne’s Writing Desk, where I post opportunities for writers. My award-winning debut novel, BLOOD OF A STONE, is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and other selected bookstores.
ABC: Thank you again for speaking with me.

Connect with Jeanne

Blog–Jeanne’s Writing Desk  http://www.jeannelyetgassman.blogspot.com

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Brain to Books Blog Tour Nicholas C. Rosis

Brain to Books Blog Tour

Fast Facts

Author: Nicholas C. Rossis
Genre: Epic Fantasy and Short Sci-Fi

Who is Nicholas C. Rossis?

Nicholas Rossis lives to write and does so from his cottage on the edge of a magical forest in Athens, Greece. When not composing epic fantasies or short sci-fi stories, he chats with fans and colleagues, writes blog posts, walks his dog, and enjoys the antics of two silly cats, one of whom claims his lap as home. His children’s book, Runaway Smile, earned a finalist slot in the 2015 International Book Awards.

Finding Inspiration

Like many authors, I’m asked on occasion where I find inspiration for my stories. The answer varies. Many of them stem from a dream. Others, from something I’ve read, or even a song that I’ve heard. Usually, the initial idea bears little resemblance to the final story.
This is particularly true of short stories; one of my favorite genres. To illustrate my point, here is how I came up with each of the stories in my recently published collection, Infinite Waters: 9+1 Speculative Fiction Short Stories.

The Things We Do for Lust

Beware of Greek gods bearing gifts

As a Greek, I grew up with ancient Greek myths. I was listening to some theories about Greek gods the other day. Everyone seems to have their own theory about them, describing them from anything between aliens to Atlantis refugees. “The Things We Do for Lust” offers a light-hearted alternative. Trekkies will probably enjoy the many Star Trek references.

The Twist in the Tale

A confused woman meanders through a sleepy town. But not all is as it seems

“A Twist in the Tale” came to me while reading on Alzheimer’s. What if the warped reality of those suffering from this terrible disease is actually based on fact? What if we pity them only because we can’t see the full picture?

James’ Life

A man with nothing to look forward to but oblivion, discovers it’s not that easy to escape his life

“James’ Life” is lighter in nature, despite the heaviness. I was reading about advances in 3D technology. What if video technology evolved to the point of the characters having their own feelings about what was happening to them? How happy would they be repeating the same mistakes night after night?

What’s in a Name?

A cruise has an unexpected ending

I thought of “What’s in a Name?” while listening to Little Blue by The Beautiful South. I wrote two versions of this story; one in a tropical setting, and a second in a science-fiction one.

The Lucky Bastard

How far will the luckiest man alive go to escape his luck?

I was going through a rough patch when I thought of “The Lucky Bastard.” Life can throw us a whole lot of curveballs, but where would we be without them? I started wondering how important these times are to us. Would we be able to appreciate a life with no hardship whatsoever? Would someone who has led a perfect life be happy, or deeply miserable, unable to enjoy and appreciate any of their achievements?

Two’s a Crowd

Blood runs thicker than water. Especially when you spill it.

The idea behind “Two’s a Crowd” came to me from a comic I read as a young teenager, and that I was thinking about the other day. A man has a recurring nightmare. Every single night he fights axe-wielding monsters in a bloodied battlefield. When a monster kills him and the police find his body, they are baffled as to why anyone would commit murder with a large axe. However, once again, it is the nature of reality that’s really questioned here. “Am I a butterfly dreaming I am a man, or a man dreaming I am a butterfly?”, as Chuang Chou put it.

Is There a Doctor in the House?

A high school student just loves to experiment

A late-night special lies behind “Is There a Doctor in the House?” It is the tongue-in-cheek story of a well-known doctor’s son. What would he be like, as an awkward teenager? Would he continue his father’s experiments?

Sex and Dinner

A timeless combination. Or is it?

“Sex and Dinner” was a Valentine’s special I wrote for my blog, stemming from a discussion with a couple of friends about the strange ways species use to procreate.

Would You Like Flies With That?

Nothing’s scarier than a supermarket.

“Would You Like Files With That” is pretty much copied verbatim from a strange dream I had. I simply added the Halloween aspects when I published it on my blog as a Halloween special.

Infinite Waters 3d book_700Infinite Waters

A woman seeks her future at a carnival. She discovers more than she expected.

Finally, I wrote “It’s in the Cards” as a contribution to the Rave Soup for the Writer’s Soul anthology. It comes from another dream, and was published there in December 2014, and became the container for these other stories under the new title, “Infinite Waters”.

Author at Work

writeratworkAs you can see, an author can find inspiration in pretty much anything. So, if you see me sitting on a chair, listening to music, and staring at a wall, please keep in mind that I’m not lazy: I’m actually hard at work!

What readers are saying about Nick’s fantasies:

“Philosophical ideas woven into science-fiction stories that read like classic stories by the masters, often with a delightful, thought-provoking and unexpected twist at the end.”
“Phil K. Dick is up on a cloud laughing with glee”
“From the very first sentence I realized I was not reading a book, I was going on an adventure.”
For more on Nick or just to chat, visit him on:

Check out the Giveaways for the Brain to Books Blog Tour!