TOUCHING FATE Release

Touching Fate by Brenda Drake

If you’re part of the writing community, you are most likely familiar with the amazing Brenda Drake: the Queen of Contests. She is extremely generous in all she does for other writers. I also think she must be part robot to accomplish everything she does!

I’ve been very fortunate to be a part of several of Brenda’s contests, and I've met so many fabulous writers because of them. So I’m thrilled to have a chance to help with Brenda’s Release Day Launch for her book TOUCHING FATE. Check out the book and excerpt below, and be sure to enter the amazing giveaway!
Touching Fate by Brenda Drake
Aster Layne believes in physics, not psychics. A tarot card reading on the Ocean City Boardwalk should have been a ridiculous, just-for-fun thing. It wasn’t. Aster discovers she has a very unscientific gift—with a simple touch of the cards, she can change a person’s fate.
Reese Van Buren is cursed. Like the kind of old-school, centuries-old curse that runs in royal families. Every firstborn son is doomed to die on his eighteenth birthday—and Reese’s is coming up fast. Bummer. He tries to distract himself from his inevitable death…only to find the one person who can save him.
Aster doesn’t know that the hot Dutch guy she’s just met needs her help–or that he’s about to die.
But worst of all…she doesn’t know that her new gift comes with dark, dark consequences that can harm everyone she loves.

Excerpt from TOUCHING FATE

The spell was broken when some partiers ran up the beach screaming and laughing. Aster turned in the direction of the noise and spotted Reese standing there. He waved. A moronic move, he reprimanded himself. Strolling up the beach James Bond-style would have been better, but instead, struggling in the sand, he headed for her. He decided if she moved toward him as well, it would be proof that she was attracted to him. Aster spun around and faced the ocean again.
 
Reese stopped. She was still angry with him. Just when he made up his mind to leave her alone, she started down the beach toward him.
 
“Hi,” she said, staring up at him. The golden specks in her eyes were like stardust glinting in the low-lying sun.
 
“What are you doing here?”
 
“Leah invited Jan, and he brought me along.”
 
“I see.”
 
“Well, I didn’t put up a struggle. I have to admit, I was hoping to see you.” He held out the aster. “This is for you. A peace offering. One simple flower can mean so much more than a bunch, don’t you agree?”
 
A shocked expression crossed her face, and Reese thought he had blown it. But then she gave him a sweet smile and took the flower from him. “Stolen ones are even better.”
 
“Well, in all honesty, it was a spur-of-the-moment decision. A gentleman doesn’t court a lady without bringing a gift.”
 
“So you’re courting me?” She tried unsuccessfully not to smile. It was rather fetching, her pink glossed lips twitching at the effort. “You don’t even know anything about me.”
 
“Well, that is the point of dating, isn’t it? To get to know each other?”
 
“I’m not sure.”
 
When the silence between them got uncomfortable, she lowered her head and picked at the stem of the flower.
 
“Not sure, huh?” This girl was a hard nut to crack. Reese got an idea. “How about we play a game?”
 
She looked back up at him. “What kind of game?”
 
“One where I tell you something about me, then you tell me something about yourself.”
 
“Sure, why not?” She twirled around and padded across the beach, lifting up sand with her toes and flicking it into the air in front of her. “You go first.”
 
“All right, then,” he said, keeping pace with her. “My family lives in a castle just outside of Amsterdam, complete with towers and turrets. It’s been in the family for generations. We only live in a few rooms. The rest of the place is open for tours. It helps pay for the upkeep and taxes.”
 
“Really?” She knotted her fingers behind her back. “Does that mean you’re royal?”
 
“No. But my father is a count.” He hated talking about his lineage. “It’s just a title,” he said, as if it wasn’t a big deal, which it wasn’t, at least to him.
 
“That’s pretty awesome,” she said.
 
“Now you.”

Brenda Drake

About the Author

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram

Brenda Drake grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up are of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling.
So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).

Giveaway

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Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 193

SUNSHINE!!!!! The sun finally broke through the clouds, and I even saw blue sky. My family members scattered around South Carolina have been incredibly lucky with no major damage to our property. It’s been scary, and the pictures from the news show just how fortunate we were. Please keep South Carolina in your thoughts. 
 
It seems kind of silly to post them with everything going on, but here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the past week:
 
9/30 - Her bathroom was her sanctum sanctorum, so he'd been forbidden entry, but he had to sneak a peek. What he found inside still haunts him.
 
10/1 - The hurricane howls, and he boasts he can withstand the wind. But even in a stalwart vorlage, the wind knocks him on his butt. They cheer.
 
10/2 - She changed her shirt ad arbitrium throughout the day to confuse her coworkers, but they paid her so little attention, no one noticed.
 
10/3 - "Get me a beer." "Yes, bwana," she mumbles. "What's that?" "Nothing, dear! Happy to stop cleaning to fetch your drink while you watch TV."
 
15 Minute Tweet Tales10/4 - Ben's fiancée dumped him for a famous musician. When Ben ran into her a year later, that life had left her a caput mortuum of a person.
 
10/5 - It's de jure that women aren't allowed to drive, but her father disguises her as a boy and teaches her. He knows it might save her life.
 
10/6 - Jenna, Tori, et alii pulled the prank that resulted in Amy's death, but I know it was Jenna who pushed it too far to eliminate a rival.
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?
 

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 192

We’re now a full week into the new TV season, and I’m not much happier than I was last week. I did like Blindspot and Limitless more than I thought I would, but they still didn’t suck me in like some shows in the past (Sleepy Hollow and Lost are examples of pilots I loved from the very start). I thought Life in Pieces was horrific; I didn’t crack a single smile even though it was a ‘comedy’. There were a lot of great actors in it, and I was embarrassed for all of them. I also gave Minority Report a second chance, but I’m now officially out – while I still like the idea, the execution is boring, paint by numbers. More shows are starting this week, so hopefully something will really wow me. In the meantime, here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the week:
 
9/23 - Thunder cracks as he says his vows. His new mother-in-law whispers, "Absit omen," but the couple ends up divorced in less than a year.
 
9/24 - For hours,the dog chews a hole into dog food container. Just as he reaches the first piece of kibble, the garage door goes up. C'est la vie.
 
9/25 - A wish to always play stunning music. Fingers touch keys, a melodious treat. But compelled to play da capo until bone clicks against ivory.
 
9/26 - "Excusez-moi, you look like Juliette Binoche." She knows his accent is fake and isn't the only lie in that sentence, but she still blushes.

15 Minute Tweet Tales

9/27 - She stares at him, wishing for a montage of cute moments to get them to the comfortable part. Damn romantic comedies - dating is hard!
 
9/28 - She knew they didn't have enough evidence to convict her, but she pleaded nolo contendere because more digging might uncover worse crimes.   
 
9/29 - She didn't hate cauliflower per se, she just thought they looked like brains. When her boss served them, she ate them with her eyes closed.
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?
 

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 191

The new TV season started yesterday, which is always a bad time for my writing productivity. For years I’ve had this “rule” that I have to give every show a chance by watching at least one episode because you never know what might turn out better than a terrible sounding premise. 
 
Jane the Virgin is a great example of this from last year – I thought it sounded pretty bad, but it was one of my favorite shows from fall 2014. 
 
Whereas last night I watched Minority Report, which was the fall 2015 show I was most excited about, but I thought it was pretty much a dud. I might give it one more chance, since I still like the premise, but the execution left much to be desired. 
 
Sadly, after reading the descriptions of this year’s new fall shows, the thought of sampling all of them sounds pretty tedious. The lack of originality in the new offerings demonstrates why so many people are turning to Netflix. Actually, I’m not sure if I’ll bother watching them all, and if I do, it will be out of habit rather than interest. Blerg.
 
Hopefully my 15 Minute Tweet Tales are more entertaining than the new shows:
 
9/16 - They had an entente cordiale and were fine with each meeting their needs elsewhere, but when he turned to her sister, the battle began.
 
9/17 - She'd heard the Grand Canyon was mirabile visu but put off seeing it. Cancer diagnosis. A race to the end. Will she get there in time?
 
9/18 - Shouting drew my attention. The burly man's noli-me-tangere glare turned my heart to ice. Her "help me" look compelled me to interfere.
 
9/19 - She tells dad she can't wear prêt-à-porter outfit the 1st day of school. He doesn't understand. Literally. When did his kid get so fancy?
 
15 Minute Tweet Tales9/20 - Grin wide,girl skips with ice cream she saved to buy. It splats on sidewalk. Old woman passing says, "Sic vita est, dearie, get used to it."
 
9/21 - When his wife stepped out in sexy lingerie, he growled, "Vive la différence," ignoring that his man boobs were almost as big as hers.
 
9/22 - Cruel experiment to become someone's weltgeist, his the only face she sees since birth. Stash of books hidden in floorboards saves her.
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 190

15 Minute Tweet TalesI’ve been so lost in my own little world that I forgot today was Tuesday, and therefore almost forgot to post my 15 Minute Tweet Tales. But I finally came back to reality, so here they are: 
 
9/9 - The judge meets with lawyers in camera to discuss strategy. The defendant is charming the jurors, but it's disastrous for him to go free.
 
9/10 - The PA spent hours completing mise en place for celebrity chef. Ten minutes before live broadcast, the chef switches recipe with a smirk.
 
9/11 - Her birthday + lights are out + giggling = prima facie surprise party. It's definitely a surprise. Hubby forgot wife was coming home.
 
9/12 - Another jerk cheats on her. Wonders what's wrong with her that none remain semper fidelis. Realizes picking wrong companion. Adopts a dog.
 
9/13 - Desperate to understand his death, she used his GPS to follow his antemortem route. She saw the same thing he did. She met the same fate.
 
9/14 - As he rang up her jugs of acid, the clerk joked, "Trying to get rid of corpus delicti?" Her quiet answering look loosened his bladder.
 
9/15 - I make nice with his girlfriend du jour, hoping one day he'll tire of these bimbos and realize his soulmate is right in front of him.
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 189

15 Minute Tweet TalesI haven’t gotten around to writing a blog post about my secret project yet, but it’s not so secret anymore since two of my articles have already been published – I’m now a freelancer for the MTV News website writing about YA books!! Whoo hoo! I’m still planning a blog post with the details of how it all happened, so stay tuned.
 
And now here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the week:
 
9/2 - As the schmo her sister set her up with drones on, she realizes Ivy was exacting revenge for the gum-in-the-hair-before-prom incident.
 
9/3 - Her early arrival at home is apropos to discover her husband's secret: he loads the kids with sugar before leaving for the night shift. #15tt
 
9/4 - His study has the finest collection of belles-lettres in the state. Not that he's read a single one, but he thinks it looks impressive.
 
9/5 - She gives her daughters her good jewelry causa mortis. The ungrateful wretches run out and pawn it. Makes it awkward when she recovers.
 
9/6 - Reads in fashion mag cling wrap is the dernier cri, so wraps herself up and goes out. Didn't realize it goes under clothes for weight loss.
 
9/7 - The rap star is a phenom, but acts like an enfant terrible, not because he wants to but because it's the only way to get media coverage.
 
9/8 - After his shady excuse, she comes home early to catch him in flagrante delicto. She does, but it's not an affair, he's watching a rom-com.
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 188

15 Minute Tweet TalesI’ve been working hard on a secret project, or actually it will really be projects, that I’m super exited about. I just finished the first one, and hopefully there will be many more to come. I think I’ll make the official announcement later this week, but for now it's another short and sweet 15 Minute Tweet Tales post.
 
8/26 - He's inspired to paint en plein air, but since he uses his naked wife as his canvas, his masterpiece goes to jail for indecent exposure.
 
8/27 - His dorm's covered with film noir posters, so she hopes she's found THE ONE who gets her darkness. They belong to his roommate. Who's gay.
 
8/28 - A rabbit screams. She finds Grand Guignol display of her dog's hunting prowess. It'll be a while before she feels comfortable cuddling him.
 
8/29 - Shelf holding viruses being experimented on in vitro crashes to the ground. Six months later, the few remaining humans huddle in bunkers.
 
8/30 - Psychic: You'll see a cardinal before death. Every flash of red in sky becomes memento mori. A chandelier falling in church kills her.
 
8/31 - People say their boss is crazy, but hers is truly non compos mentis. He's nice, so she tries to cover, but he keeps forgetting his pants.
 
9/1 - He didn't have the charisma to be a true paterfamilias to his clan, so he spiked the drinks with drops of his blood to bind them to him.
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Good Times with Old Friends

When I say old friends, I don’t mean we’re elderly because obviously we’re still super hot young women. Yet despite the fact that we’re most definitely still spring chickens, we’ve somehow been friends for over twenty years. And this past weekend we got together for a reunion weekend. 
 
I’m talking about my three best friends from college: my roommate Nina, my sorority sister Dana, and Dana’s roommate Nikki who also happened to be sorority sisters with Nina. Yeah, it’s bit confusing, but further proof that we were destined to become The Four Duke Girls. 
 
We became The Four Duke Girls our junior year when we traveled to Australia for a semester abroad at the University of New South Wales. The four of us shared an awesome apartment one street back from Coogee Beach and took super easy classes like “Reading the Romance Novel” and “The History of Modern Olympics.” We traveled all over Australia and New Zealand together, met people from all over the world, and basically had a blast. 
 
Four Duke Girls at Sydney Opera House
 
This year was the 20th anniversary of our trip Down Under (holy crap! I can’t believe it’s been that long), so we got together at my family’s lake house to celebrate. Although we’d seen each other in various combinations over the years, it had been ten years since we’d all four been together. But you’d never know it from the weekend. Even though there were a lot of stories to share to get caught up on each other’s lives, it felt like old times. In fact, we said it felt kind of weird because of just how not weird it felt to all be together again.
 
We had scrapbooks and videos of our time in Oz, which often triggered memories that sent us into hysterical laughter. One day we were so busy talking that we kind of forgot to change out of our pajamas until 2:30. It was a super lazy weekend and so much fun. 
 
I’d planned to get a picture of the four of us, but we were so busy chatting that we never got around to it. But, honestly, we all pretty much look the same. I’m the only one who seems to have acquired grey hair and extra weight. 
 
Four Duke Girls with Kangaroo
 
I love these ladies, and this type of connecting with old friends is good for the soul. It reminds you of who you used to be, how far you’ve come, and what ‘childhood’ dreams are still within reach. I highly recommend it – pick up the phone and give those friends from your past a call!

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 187

15 Minute Tweet TalesI’ve got some longer posts coming up over the next week or so, so I’m keeping this one short and sweet and getting straight to my 15 Minute Tweet Tales
 
8/19 - Mom declares the twins pari passu; but since one has her husband's blue eyes and the other her lover's green eyes, that's not really true.
 
8/20 - "Raus!" she shouts so loud it scares the cat from the room, but it's directed at the chin hair that keeps slipping from her tweezers.
 
8/21 - Beauty is sine qua non to be chosen by prince, so she's proud to be selected. Locked in dungeon, she finally wonders, “Chosen for what?”
 
8/22 - He says he volunteers for tour after tour due to amor patriae, but she hears him talk in his sleep and knows it's the thrill of the kill.
 
8/23 - Every theory he had was contra mundum, so he was scorned by the scientific community. As the world burns, they wish they'd listened.
 
8/24 – The salesclerk convinced me the tight, leather dress is hot. She's right - after dancing five minutes, I feel like meat cooked sous vide.
 
8/25 - Slips on silk robe, pours champagne, lounges in sun. Dolce far niente is life for her. Front door opens. Panic. Lady of house home early.
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 186

15 Minute Tweet TalesThe past week has been interesting on Facebook as many of my friends post pictures of their kids on the first day of school. First of all, SO MANY ADORABLE KIDS!!! Second, it makes me feel old to see my high school friends posting pictures of their kids … in high school!! Where the heck as the time gone?!? Good luck to all the kiddos as they embark on a new school year!
 
And now here are my 15 Minute Tweet Tales for the past week:
 
8/12 - The King is an idiot, but his mother is an éminence grise who keeps the people from revolting. He only lasts two months after her death.
 
8/13 - He grins, says, "Fiat lux!" and flips the switch. A sizzling sound. Power goes off in entire subdivision. His neighbors dread December.
 
8/14 - We input the latest outbreaks for analysis of our containment efforts. The screen goes black, then displays: GRAVIORA MANENT. Uh oh.
 
8/15 - He asks lawyer, "What about habeas corpus?" "They literally have a body covered with your bloody fingerprints. No judge will go for it."
 
8/16 - When he arrives at brunch, everyone glares at him. Memory hazy, he suspects in vino veritas got the best of him at the rehearsal dinner.
 
8/17 - Despite beauty treatments, poise classes, and even plastic surgery, she's a Disney princess manqué, roaming the park in her Goofy costume.
 
8/18 - As oldest of nine siblings, she became nil admirari to deal with the chaos, but sadly that meant even the good things were less exciting.
 
Play along and write tweet tales for the above words. If you’re willing to share, post them on twitter with the hashtag #15tt or add them below in the comments because I’d love to read them. Any thoughts about this week's tweet tales or #15tt words?