Audio spotlight & Author Interview: Koush Hollow, by Leigh Goff

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Title: Koush Hollow

Author: Leigh Goff

Narrator: Erin Seidel

Length: 8 hours 7 minutes

Publisher: The Parliament House

Released: July 14, 2021

Genre: Horror

After her father’s untimely death, Jenna Ashby moves to Koush Hollow, a bayou town outside of New Orleans, dreading life with her wealthy mother. As the 16-year-old eco-warrior is introduced to the Diamonds & Pearls, her mother’s exclusive social club, she comes to the troubling realization that secrets are a way of life in Koush Hollow: How do the Diamonds & Pearls look so young, where does their money come from, and why is life along the bayou disappearing? As Jenna is drawn into their seductive world, her curiosity and concerns beg her to uncover the truth. However, in this town where mysticism abounds and secrets are deadly, the truth is not what Jenna could have ever imagined.

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Author Bio

Leigh Goff is a young adult author with type 1 diabetes who is inspired by caffeine, enchanted spells, and unforgettable, star-crossed fates. She is the author of three published young adult novels, KOUSH HOLLOW, BEWITCHING HANNAH, and DISENCHANTED. She is also a member of SCBWI and a graduate from the University of Maryland. Although she’s terrible at casting any magic of her own, she is descended from accused witch, Elizabeth Duncan of Virginia, who went to trial in 1695.

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Q&A with Author Leigh Goff
  • What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?
    • For me, they must come together at the same time. I always outline the story first, so I need both of those elements fleshed out in the outline before I start to do the actual first draft. That being said, the characters are always a bit easier to develop than the plot.
  • What part of the book was the most fun to write?
    • In Koush Hollow, the climactic end was absolutely the most fun to write. It’s actually the darkest thing I’ve ever written. I totally enjoyed visualizing those events and writing them down. Great fun and bit cathartic!
  • What would you say to an author who wanted to design their own cover?
    • I’ve never had to design my own cover and I’m not sure that’s my strength anyway, but I have had input into all of my covers. I’m appreciative that the publishers asked for that input and took my advice to tweak the art to make the cover design more pertinent to the story. No one knows the story better that the writer so it’s always nice to add those little touches.
  • Have you ever considered writing under a pseudonym, and why or why not?
    • You know, I wish I had used a variation of my name. I thought about using L. A. Goff, rather than Leigh A. Goff when my first book, Disenchanted, was published in 2015. With Koush Hollow, which is my third, I requested that change in my name for the cover, but since I already had a following under Leigh A. Goff, the publisher wanted to stay with that. However, in the future, if I write in a different genre, I may push for L. A. Goff.
  • What’s your favorite and least favorite part of publishing?
    • My favorite part is the excitement that comes with the offer letter. It means someone read the work and loved it. There’s nothing you want to do except pop a Champagne bottle and toast to the book’s future. Least favorite part—public speaking events to promote it. I’m absolutely terrified of public speaking, however, I love speaking with small groups or book clubs or doing book signings and meeting the readers. That’s pretty awesome.
  • How important was professional editing to your book’s development?
    • Oh my gosh—editors are critically important to finishing and polishing the final version. When a writer has been in a story for months, it is difficult to go back and see the trees (the trees being all the mistakes hahaha) for the forest. It’s not always fun to see those mistakes, but editors are a necessary part of a writing team. I am always so grateful for their insight and suggestions to make the work the best it can be.
  • How did you come up with the title for your book?
    • Koush is a play on the French word, cauchemar, which means a terror that comes in the night. And there are legends in the South about witch-riding nightmares where people dream about a witch or demon sitting on their chests or backs trying to suffocate them. This strange phenomenon is called a cauchemar. And since there are mystical characters, strange waking dreams, and nefarious women in Koush Hollow, it seemed like an appropriate title.
  • What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?
    • Cold Lemon Spindrift in the warmer months/hot chocolate coffee in the colder months, Summer my dog next to me, a comfy chair, and my laptop. I need to be comfortable so I can just focus on writing and nothing else.

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Spotlight & Character Interview: Mountain of Flame + Giveaway

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On Tour with Prism Book Tours

 

We’re celebrating the release of the third book in the Gems of Fire series, Mountain of Flame! Today, the author shares an interview with the main character of the series, Anna. Next, she shares excerpts from the books. Plus, there’s a giveaway to enter below. Enjoy!

Gems of Fire
(Gems of Fire #1)
By Diane E. Samson
Young Adult Fantasy
Paperback, ebook & audiobook, 276 Pages
November 6, 2018 by Clean Reads

*

Palace of Sunderland. Paradise to the peasants. Prison to sixteen-year-old Anna, daughter of the king. She can never escape the castle’s cold walls and scorning disapproval of her father and his brute royal counsel, Seamus. She’ll always live in the shadow of her late mother, the queen. Will they ever see her for who she really is?

A riding accident lands Anna in the hands of traders who sell her as a slave in distant Kasdod to none other than her father’s enemy, Lord Anwar. After overhearing a dangerous plot to conquer Sunderland and kill the royal family, Anna must escape and warn her father, even if it means facing her greatest enemy.

With the doom looming over her, Anna is approached by a dangerous man in the dark. He claims to want to help her, but can she trust him with her secrets? The perils of the journey ahead will push Anna to the limit and answer the one question that has always plagued her…

Will she ever be enough?

Praise for the Book

“What an exciting book to read. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. The characters were very well developed, and it made me cheer for them all the way through. The cover is very dramatic and fits very well with the story. Great read.” – Goodreads Reviewer

“One Tough Princess…A princess who despite great suffering never gives up. I really loved Anna’s determination and heart. You’ll find adventure, high stakes and romance in the midst of such horrible circumstances. A solid plot with a story that stayed with me.” – Amazon Reviewer

“A breathtaking journey into royal courts, slavery, escape, war, and love. This book has it all…” – Amazon Reviewer

 

(Affiliate links included.)

Valley of Bones
(Gems of Fire #2)
By Diane E. Samson
Young Adult Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 370 Pages
February 13, 2021 by Diane E. Samson

 

Princess Anna is left to rule Sunderland as regent when her father, brother and her presumed fiancé Jack ride to battle devouring creatures in Jack’s home kingdom of Oclen. She must establish herself as a strong leader with the Sunderland council and a neighboring king who brings along two handsome princes to negotiate an alliance.

Trouble erupts as outlining Sunderland villages are attacked by pillaging marauders and the council loses confidence in Anna’s leadership. As Anna waits in trepidation for word from her father’s army, all she hears is silence. Her scouts never return. When the reports of a coming horror reach Anna, she forges an unlikely alliance and forgoes her father’s long-standing policies against gems of power. She trains Sunderland’s remaining soldiers to fight with gems. She’ll lead them to battle to rescue her family and the one she loves.

But first she must survive the treachery brewing in her own court.

(Affiliate links included.)

 

Mountain of Flame
(Gems of Fire #3)
By Diane E. Samson
Young Adult Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 450 Pages

August 4, 2021 by Diane E. Samson

Reeling from Jack becoming king of Oclen, Princess Anna returns home as Sunderland’s Defender. Earning her title was a hard-fought honor, but Anna can’t escape the guilt of leaving Jack alone in that cursed, starving place.

When Jack comes to Sunderland seeking aid from Anna’s father, she must decide whether to return with him and help defeat the curse plaguing the cold northern land. If she remains Sunderland’s Defender, she knows her heart would never forgive her for abandoning Jack to rebuild a crushed kingdom.

Can Anna leave what she loves to become queen of a people suspicious of her and the gems? Joining Jack would mean battling an evil greater than anything she’s ever faced, for the curse’s roots grow deep. But if she doesn’t, Oclen will likely fall and Anna will lose Jack forever.

(Affiliate links included.)

Character Interview with Anna

(These answers represent the timing of Book One, Gems of Fire)
 
Tell me about yourself:

I’m Anna of Sunderland, 16-year-old, third-born to King Vilipp. My birthday is in autumn, September 21. I resemble my mother in appearance only. She was loving, good and adored by all. I can’t help but disappoint my father and his brooding advisor, Seamus.

Who are your siblings?

Stefan is my older brother and crown prince of Sunderland. He’s watched out for me to the best of his ability since our mother passed away when I was four. He is now 22 years old. Saira, 20 years old, is my older sister. She’s been away to be educated as an ambassador and has recently returned to Sunderland.

I get along better with Stefan. I’m frequently compared to perfect Saira. I’m always found lacking.

Describe your home:

Sunderland is a medium-sized kingdom in the heart of the continent, bordered by a semi-circle of mountains on the west, north and east sides. To the south of Sunderland lies a semi-arid region and the kingdom of Tagora. The capital city is Kasdod where King Vilipp’s enemy, Anwar resides.

Karfin is Sunderland’s capital, a city set into a white mountain where valuable gems are mined. The village in front of the castle is surrounded by a tall outer wall. The Alpin river weaves in front of the castle, providing protection from intruders. The only way into the castle is by a drawbridge.

Where are you the happiest?

I find comfort at the stables and riding my horse, Farley. He was given to me by a southern prince who found him alone in the desert as a yearling. He quickly became my project and my solace. Farley only allows me on his back. His groom’s name is Bart. I consider him my only friend.

What is your greatest fear?

I fear I’ll never gain the respect of my father. He only sees me as someone to marry off. And no one wants a headstrong girl. I also fear being locked away in a cage, trapped and unable to defend myself. I especially fear being alone with Seamus.

What are your pursuits?

I love horseback riding, archery and sparring with Stefan. I grew up hiding from my tutors, and they’ve pretty much given up educating me. I don’t have many friends at court.

Are you close to your father?

Not really. Father has never recovered from losing my mother. I pretty much lost both parents back then. Like I said, Stefan has done his best to look after me, as well as my faithful nurse, Mary.

Who is the person you admire and/or despise the most?

I admire my brother Stefan. He’s funny, caring and loyal. He’ll make a great king.

I despise Seamus, my father’s advisor. He’s pretty much taken over most duties of the king and poisons me in my father’s mind.

What do you remember of your mother?

Mother was gently, kind and always held me close when I cried. She loved me very much.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Spirited, Longing, Determined


About the Author

Diane E. Samson grew up on acreage just north of Kansas City, Missouri, with horses and dogs in the backyard. She later pursued her love of words and earned a degree in magazine journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. After graduation she worked as a reporter, managing editor, freelance writer and in public relations. After moving around the country, she’s recently returned to the Kansas City area where she lives with her husband, children and golden retriever.

She’s written fiction off and on her whole life and is the author of the YA fantasy Gems of Fire series including Gems of Fire, Valley of Bones and Mountain of Flame. The series centers on a girl traveling a journey of self-discovery in a world of powerful gems, supernatural forces, epic battles and of course, handsome heroes.

Tour Giveaway

Print copies of Gems of Fire and Valley of Bones by Diane E. Samson, a $25 Amazon gift card, three gem necklaces, and bookmarks (US only)

Ends September 19, 2021


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Spotlight & Excerpt: Blood Lust + Giveaway

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Blood Lust

Thirst Book 1

by L.M. Mountford

Genre: Steamy Paranormal Romance

Sooner or later, the thirst always wins…

After a thousand years, Lucian had given up any interest in the world. His only concern that night was finding his next drink, preferably from a flavoursome twenty-something with loose morals and no expectations. Then he saw her…

Kate is just a girl from the country, who came to the city with her brother to find a life away from their parents’ car crash. That is until the police came knocking on her door one morning and ripped her new life apart.
Now she has nothing and no one, with only one on her mind…

When these worlds collide, and the things that go bump in the night come calling, can they mend the rifts in their souls and give each other what they need?

Blood Lust is a sizzling-hot Paranormal romance. If you like strong-willed, sassy heroines and oh-so-bad, drop-dead gorgeous Vampire heroes with lots of bite, you’ll love this page turner.

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bloodlust lmm - excerpt

“Is this seat taken?”
She whirled around, eyes widening at the sight of me looming over her. I had to force back my toothy grin. She looked like a scared little rabbit. A rabbit with the most beautiful eyes I’d ever seen.
“Um, I suppose so.” Her voice trembled but I’d already pulled the seat back and had made myself comfortable. She looked away quickly, her heart already racing, those big blue eyes flitting back and forth, desperate for something, anything to look at other than me. Good, I’m already affecting her. This may just be easier than I thought. A few more little pushes and this delicate little rabbit will be all mine.
And she would be mine.
“I’m Lucian,” I said, taking a sip of my drink, just slow enough for her eyes to focus on my mouth.
I could practically feel her heart fluttering as her eyes lingered just that moment too long. Then she pulled herself together and hurriedly looked away. “Kate.”
“Beautiful.” I smiled. “Such a beautiful name for such a beautiful girl. But a beauty by any other name would be no less exquisite.” I extended my hand.
Uncertain, her eyes moved from my hand, to my face, back down to my hand, then back to the sea of bodies rippling around us.
“Would you prefer come here often?” I dropped my hand. “How about what’s a nice girl like you doing in a dive like this?”
“Is that the best you’ve got?” She said it without looking, but the tension in her voice betrayed her. She was interested, and she was overcompensating to try and resist my charms.
“Oh, my dear girl, you have no idea.” This was going to be easier than I thought. “You’re not waiting for anyone, by any chance, are you? I’d hate to interrupt.”
Her head whipped around, eyes suddenly bright. “What makes you think I’m-”
“Such beauty should never be unaccompanied,” I smirked across my drink at her before making a show of looking past her. “And by the way you keep watching all these people, I’d say you’re looking for someone.”
Kate visibly relaxed. “What sharp little eyes you’ve got.”
“I have my talents, just wait till you get to my teeth.” She blushed and dropped her eyes to the table. “So,” I pressed, “who’s the lucky fellow?”
“It’s just a friend.”
“A friend?”
“Yes,” She sipped her otherwise untouched drink. A Henry, judging by the strong smell of citrus. “She’s been badgering me all week to come to this party and barely ten minutes after we get through the door, she disappears.”
She was lying.
She had a talent for deception for sure. Her story was simple and plausible, her delivery perfect. If I had been anyone else, she might very well of pulled the wool over my eyes. But she could not lie to me. I could tell, I could always tell.
Nevertheless, I played along. “Good friends are hard to come by. Would you care for some company till she gets back?”
“N-no, it’s fine.” She drained her drink. “I saw her going off with some guy a little while ago. No doubt she’ll have him balls deep by now and will have completely forgotten about me. So, I’ll be leaving soon.”
“For home?”
“Yes.”
“Is it far?”
“Far Enough.”
“Do you drive?”
She scowled. “I don’t think that’s any of your business.”
Her anger only inflamed my amusement and desire. There was some fire in my little rabbit after all. “The city’s no safe place for a girl all alone. If you’re not driving, I wouldn’t dream of letting you walk home all alone. Anything could happen.”
At my words, Kate sucked in a breath. Suddenly she was as white as a sheet.
“No, thank you. I’ll be fine.” She pushed back from the table, grabbing her clutch as she got to her feet. “Nice to meet you, Mr Lucian.” Then she was gone into the crowd.
I watched her go, unable to resist admiring the way her jeans hugged the curves of her buttocks as she sashayed through the bodies. I couldn’t wait to sink my fangs into that luscious derrière.  “The pleasure, I’m sure, will be all mine.”


A self-confessed tiger fanatic, L.M. Mountford was born and raised in England, first in the town of Bridgwater, Somerset, before later moving to the city of Gloucester where he currently resides. A fully qualified and experienced scuba diver, he has travelled across Europe and Africa diving wrecks and seeing the wonders of the world.

 

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$15 Amazon giftcard – 1 winner,

ebook of Blood Lust – 3 winners

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