Welcome to the blog tour for THE TELLING, the first book in the young adult fantasy series, The Spinner Sagas, by K.J. Moullen. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive guest post, and details on her giveaway.
THE TELLING (The Spinner Sagas #1) by K.J. Moullen
Sixteen-year-old Blaine was a normal teenage girl. Sure, she moved around a lot, but that wasn’t completely weird, right? Then her mom tells her she’s actually from another dimension called Renault, whose inhabitants can do magic. Um, what? Suddenly, Blaine is running from an evil she barely understands. Blaine is thrust into the confusing, beautiful, and magical world of Renault with a mysterious boy she just met. There, she begins to discover her own unique abilities and her place in the universe..
Guest Post – What I Hope Readers Take Away From The Spinner Sagas: The Telling
Before the journey of writing a book begins, I think every author strives to create a story that will intrigue the reader’s imagination and keep them turning the page to find out what happens next. My hopes did not differ from those that had taken pen to paper before me and achieved that goal. When I began writing The Telling, It was not my intention to share it with the world. Writing as well as reading had always been a great escape from everyday life for me.
While I was writing about Blaine and her journey I wanted her to be someone that people could relate to. It is my belief that everyone at some point in their life has felt as if they don’t fit in. We are faced daily with choices and decisions from the trivial all the way to life changing moments. Some of the choices forge a completely different path for us bringing on new challenges and allowing us to grow as a person. At times a decision of another impacts our direction in life and that can make you question who is truly in control. Blaine faces many of these adversities that many of us can relate to.
I hope that when readers finish reading the book, they want to know where Blaine’s pathway ultimately leads her. I hope they can visual the beautiful worlds, fantastic creatures and magical elements in their mind. I hope they long to pick up another book, whether it is mine or that of another author. I also hope that they are able to take away from it a sense of empowerment, a deeper sense that we are all connected at a higher level and we all have a purpose. I hope Blaine’s journey shows that our choices, right or wrong, can and do affect the world around us. Finding our purpose may be more difficult than it seems or maybe it just takes looking deep inside and believing in something that has been there all along. Mostly I hope people understand when they believe in themselves, the key to knowledge is theirs for the taking.
Author K.J. Moullen
About the Author K.J Moullen started her life as an adventurer. She always loved the outdoors, whether it was playing king of the hill with her pet goat in southern California, playing hockey on the frozen lakes of the Kenai peninsula of Alaska, or snorkeling and surfing off the shores of Maui. Amongst the breathtaking places she lived, her imagination and love for writing knew no limitations, allowing for a lifetime of plotlines and characters to be created and written about. She now shares her life’s adventures with her husband and two children in their home in North Texas..
Welcome to the blog tour for HARDWIRED, the first book in the adult romantic suspense series, Navy SEAL, by Andrea Bills. See below for information on the book, buy links, a guest post on the top ten songs that remind her of the plot, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis When Navy Seal Operative Luke Kiersey is finally granted leave after five years, he finds himself driving to a house he doesn’t recognize in a town he’s never been to. The house is home to a beautiful woman and a little girl with big blue eyes. Day after day, he drives back only to hide in the shadows and wonder why he can’t seem to walk away from them.
His therapist says is PTSD.
His handler tells him he’s just not cut out to be part of the civilian world.
Luke can’t help but feel like it’s more.
The dog tags that once hung proudly around his neck, now feel like a collar; leashing him to a life that he fears he didn’t choose. After the terrible things he’s done in the name of freedom, could he possibly be worthy of something as precious as the woman and child he continues to watch?
When the two worlds collide, Luke needs his mind to be stronger than the implant the government placed in his back. They’ve told him he can’t survive without the implant they use to control him, but Luke’s wondering if he can survive without the little girl with big blue eyes and the gorgeous woman she calls mamma.
Guest Post – Top 10 Songs That Remind Me of the Plot Just know that I’m rubbing my hands together with excitement over discussing my playlist for Hardwired. When I was first asked for a playlist for the first book I wrote I had no idea that was a thing. I of course listened to music while I was writing, but I didn’t make a playlist, but now I’m much more in the know so I’m prepared.
First and foremost to the song that gave birth to this entire book. Halsey’s Gasoline. I heard this song while on a road trip, and pulled off the interstate to get my thoughts written down so I wouldn’t lose them. Luke was born on the side of Interstate 70 just outside of Washington, PA.
Taylor Swift- I Know Places– Perfect on the run song.
Eric Church- The Outsiders– This song makes me think of Luke, Dean and Kip as a unit.
Taylor Swift- This Love– I love all the ocean elements of this song, it just fit so perfectly. It’s definitely Luke and Jen’s love song.
Miranda Lambert- Tin Man- This song personifies Jen for me while she grieves.
Kenny Chesney- Wild Child– Bella has to have a song too, coincidentally enough I always think of my own daughter when I hear this song.
Cody Jinks- Loud and Heavy– The opening of this song gave me all the feels when writing Luke’s SEAL scenes. The lyrics are powerful.
Brett Young- Would You Wait for Me– This one just seems to obvious for a military romance
Welcome to the blog tour for LOVE AND OTHER SECRETS, a stand-alone young adult contemporary romance, by Christina Mandelski. See below for information on the book, buy links, a guest post on why she loves her book’s cover, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Star lacrosse player Alex “Kov” Koviak has it all. Or so everyone thinks. He’s real good at pretending his life is perfect…until he meets Bailey. The girl challenges him and pushes him and makes him laugh like he’s never laughed before. Their friendship is their little secret, and he’s happy to keep her to himself.
Between school, two jobs, and trying to get into NYU film school, Bailey Banfield has zero time for a social life. But then she meets Alex in her express lane at the grocery store, and their secret friendship becomes the only place she can breathe. She refuses to complicate that with more. No matter how charming Alex can be.
When Bailey decides to film outrageous promposals for her NYU application, she enlists Alex’s help to plan an over-the-top, epic promposal to someone else. Too bad the only prom date Alex wants anywhere near Bailey is him.
For a guy who seems to have it all, he’s about to lose the only thing he’s ever wanted.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Crush contains a cocky lacrosse player in over his head with his secret best friend, unexpected midnight kisses, swoon-worthy slow dancing, and movie-night cuddling that’ll make you ache. You’re going to want an Alex of your own!
Guest Post – Cover Love I love the cover of my newest release, Love and Other Secrets, so much! Entangled does a fantastic job of creating covers that match the stories behind them. In this case, I think the photo of the guy (main character Alex) and the girl (main character Bailey) does a great job of showing the friendship that is the base of their relationship–but also is a bit of foreshadowing (as all good covers are) because obviously, this is NOT how you sit on a couch with someone who is only a friend!
I’m a sucker for aesthetically pleasing colors too, and this palette gives me all the feels. And of course, the discarded Converses on the floor (Alex’s family housekeeper would never allow them on the sofa!) are just a fun extra detail.
I hope this cover makes everyone who sees it want to get to know these two characters much better. Thanks for having me on the blog!
Author Christina Mandelski
About the Author Christina Mandelski was born in South Florida, where her love of reading was cultivated in a house full of books. Stories like The Little House series, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Island of the Blue Dolphins and The Secret Garden, filled her imagination and fueled her dreams to be a writer. That dream came true when her first young adult novel, THE SWEETEST THING, was published in 2011, and she’s beyond thrilled about her upcoming series for Entangled Crush. Chris lives in Houston with one handsome husband, two beautiful daughters, and two freakshow cats. She has a fondness for the beach, her family and friends, and she still loves to read (especially curled up with a good cup of coffee!) She also enjoys shopping, traveling and eating, especially cake. Always cake. When she’s not doing these things, you can find her holed in a cozy spot with her laptop, writing. Visit her at www.christinamandelski.com.
Welcome to the blog tour for HARBINGER, the second book in the young adult fantasy series, Dragonrider Legacy, by Nicole Conway. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive guest post, and details on her giveaway.
HARBINGER (Dragonrider Legacy #2) by Nicole Conway
Synopsis Victory is written in the blood of the brave. As the armies of the Tibran Empire continue to march across Maldobar, a path of scorched destruction and despair is left in their wake. Even with the formidable princess, Jenna Farrow, leading the charge, the strength of the dragonriders is waning. Tibran victory appears inevitable—especially after Princess Jenna and Prince Aubren are taken hostage by the infamous Lord Argonox. Separated from her brother and tortured for information, Princess Jenna refuses to bend to the iron will of Argonox. But her strength and resolve may only last so long. Held prisoner in his dark tower, it would take a miracle to set her free—or perhaps a pair of demigods and their dragons. With revived dragonrider legend, Jaevid Broadfeather, at his side, Reigh must now make a choice: face the truth about the origin of his dark powers, or turn his back on world in need. But throwing off a lifetime of shame and self-doubt is not so easily done—especially when the cost of failure means the destruction of the world. The long-awaited hero has awakened. The ancient spirits are stirring. The dark goddess has chosen her champion. But is he ready to embrace that rite and become the HARBINGER Maldobar needs him to be?
I hope you’ll enjoy reading HARBINGER half as much as I enjoyed writing it – because if you do, you’ll have a blast! I’ve always liked stories with lots of action, touches of humor, and characters that felt comfortable and like people you could be friends with in real life. I tried to bring these elements into this series. I wanted you to relate to Jenna, laugh with Eirik, roll your eyes at Reigh, and feel true sympathy for Phillip. And of course, I want you all to want to be a dragonrider! I know I do!!
About the Author New York Times bestselling author Cassia Leo loves her coffee, chocolate, and margaritas with salt. When she’s not writing, she spends way too much time re-watching Game of Thrones and Sex and the City. When she’s not binge watching, she’s usually enjoying the Oregon rain with a hot cup of coffee and a book.
Welcome to the book blitz for ANGEL BLUE, the first book in the adult urban fantasy series, Seven Deadly Sins, by Jennifer Silverwood. See below for information the book, buy links, an exclusive guest post, and details on her giveaway.
ANGEL BLUE (Seven Deadly Sins #1) by Jennifer Silverwood
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited Title: ANGEL BLUE Series: Seven Deadly Sins #1 Author: Jennifer Silverwood Release Date: August 17, 2018 Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy Links:Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis Vinny Bucci and Tommy Stecker are almost cousins—their mothers call themselves “sisters of the heart,” so that sort of makes them cousins, doesn’t it? Since childhood, they’ve shared holidays and Sunday services and their passion for soccer. But now they’re eighteen, high school seniors, and what has always been devoted friendship—the next best thing to family—has started to feel like something else. Something more….
Unfortunately, the Steckers can’t accept their son’s same-sex romance, and upon recognizing the teens’ mutual attraction, they push Tommy into dating a girl from church, then compel him to attend a Christian College far away from Vinny’s school. The Buccis and the Steckers—once a family of choice—clash over what’s right and go their separate ways.
Forced into separation, Vinny and Tommy are both devastated, but while Vinny hardens his heart to love, halfway across the country Tommy becomes emotionally and physically ill. Their passion for each other hasn’t diminished, let alone died, but they lose contact, and for the first time in their lives learn what it is to live with a broken heart.
Will Tommy and Vinny find their way back to each other, or will they accept the rules dictated by family and try to live severed lives, their love forever unfulfilled?
A Mature Young Adult Romance
Cast of Characters Season 1
EANNA Anu, the Eanna: The last of her house, Anu is a little over 1200 human years. Her features were once common to the Eanna, with waist-length black hair, amethyst eyes, and bronze skin. Since her miraculous escape from the fire that destroyed her family, Anu has suffered through episodes that put strain on her immortal body. She has been promised to Malku, the future sarrum, since her youth. Forced to train for a position she never wanted, Anu hasn’t given up seeking the truth behind what happened to her family.
Emim: Deceased ruler of the Eanna and Anu’s grandfather. Rumored to be the last watcher. His death has been difficult for Anu to bear.
EEMURANNA Etlu: Once the leader of the sarrum’s legions, Etlu has made empires rise and fall. The exact year of his birth is unknown. He is extremely tall, built by centuries of honed muscle instinct. Where he goes, war inevitably follows. No wonder he sought absolution saving and protecting Anu. Over the centuries, their relationship has evolved into something he both fears and needs. Etlu’s power stems from his ability to manipulate chosen and cursed minds, if they aren’t aware of his gift. Only Eanna knows his secret. He carries a slightly curved black sword etched in runes, rumored to have been bathed in the blood of a 10,000 cursed.
Belum: Older in appearance, Belum has served as Etlu’s second in command since the fall of the Roman Empire. He is married to Nina, the much younger daughter of Lady Tiamatu. Belum is cousins with Etlu’s mother. Part of his gift includes influencing his people’s emotions. Contrarily, he allows his young bride free reign to cause mayhem. To quote Belum, it keeps him young.
Malku: kin to Etlu; the future sarrum and son of High Lord Ninazu. He is known for his ruthlessness and cruelty, a cause for fear among both chosen and cursed. Upon Eanna’s birthday, Malku comes to claim his bride at last.
Nina: The daughter and heir to Lady Tiamatu’s seat of power, Nina considers herself Eanna’s best friend. She is young, a mere 600 years old, she willingly married the older Belum, because of the sex of course. Nina wants to lead their house into a new era, where they blend with humans. She’s not highly ambitious or ruthless like her mother. Nina only wants a good life. While she’s very loyal to Eanna and Etlu, she often spies on Eanna for Etlu.
Lady Tiamatu– Born five hundred years before Vikings came into power in Norway, she has been ruler of House Gisnu for the past millennia. One of the few pureblooded Gisnu left, Tiamatu is highly ambitious, despite the dissolution of her house.
SHADE Charon: She has forgotten her exact age but remembers the rise of the first Roman Caesar. Though she is small, with short silver hair and trusting crystal-blue eyes, she is far from innocent. Charon has been an assassin for her father as long as she can remember. For the past few centuries, she’s considered herself a free agent, moving beneath her family’s radar. She’s developed quite a reputation as a death dealer among the cursed, to the point children are threatened by a visit from the Charon, should they misbehave.
Gabriel: The “golden prince” of the cursed is somewhere around 1200 years old, and looks more like a chosen, with golden hair and eyes that glow in his passion. However, he is the son of Elder Lord Rama and little brother of Charon. Currently, he is the leader of the underground resistance, waging a secret war against the chosen. He seeks to remove the chosen from power and make Isabol his queen, uniting their peoples again.
Elder Lord Rama: Born in Egypt during the early Ptolemaic Era BCE., Rama has long fought to destroy and undermine the chosen houses. His abuse of power has corrupted him physically, though this hasn’t lessened the respect of the shades, who call him king.
BITTERHELM CLAN Wilhelm: At a little over 500 years, Wilhelm has seen the end of the Red War and countless atrocities committed by chosen and cursed alike. After his parents’ deaths, he sought refuge with his clan in the Canadian wilderness. But his little sister Isabol drags him into the war he abandoned years ago. Like many in his clan, he is marked by curling auburn hair, and sun-kissed freckled skin. His chest is tattooed in Nordic runes with the first Nephthys prophecy. He is the leader of the Bitterhelm Clan, though defers to his grandmother, the current Nephthys. Wil has always seen the world for what it could be. As Isabol would put it, he is a believer.
Isabol Nephthys: At a young age, she chose to become her elder brother’s first sword, forming a bond that made her feel older than her 200 years. What’s worse is she was marked as the next Nephthys, thanks to her blood-red eyes. Though she’s small, Isabol is extremely fast for her kind and admittedly trigger happy. She fell in with the shades and Gabriel after her mate Jakob died. She has wandered ever since, but Wilhelm’s supposed death changes her. She decides to find him, alive or dead, and bring him home where they belong.
ICEVEINS CLAN Volney: The eldest seeker in the Iceveins clan, Volney lost an eye during the last war. He fought at Wilhelm’s side in the last New World skirmish two hundred years ago. It doesn’t take much to convince him to join the Bitterhelm siblings. He is one of the few who knows what Isabol’s legacy as a Nephthys truly is. He killed the redum tracking Wil, but not before learning “an angel” picked the cursed up and flew away.
Devona: Corwin’s mate; she was eager to join her family in seeking the prophecy and hopefully finding a cure for the sickness plaguing their kind.
Corwin: Like Wilhelm, Corwin was a true believer, and convinced his father and mate to join the Bitterhelm siblings in their quest. He dies when he trips over a mine sensor, before Isabol can stop him. His death breaks what remains of their makeshift pack.
A Game of Houses The Last Seven
KURGAL – House of the Mountain Led byNINURTA – Lord Who Completes the Foundation The Kurgal live deep in the Himalayas. Here they are still revered by neighboring humans who make effort to protect them. The chosen keep the outside world from coming in. Etlu brought Eanna here a century after fleeing the Carpathian Mountains. It was a place familiar to them both with its impossible peaks but far more dangerous and foreign. Ninurta taught Eanna how to inflict pain and then heal it, he taught her self-control for her rage. Etlu meanwhile learned all he could of the cursed movements in the countryside. He built allies and led their armies for a time to prevent the giant beasts from destroying human villages. He began to realize that his house did not have far-reaching enough abilities of control and began to grow discontent even more with the sarrum. SHIIMTI – House Where the Wind of Life is Breathed in Led by NINLIL – Lady of Airspace The Shiimti, live deep in the jungles of India. There they still live, where they began a lost civilization man has yet to unravel. Their palace holds many of India’s treasures and clues that might possibly be directed back toward the chosen. Here Etlu and Eanna come to visit after they leave the Kurgal, to find a far larger house. Yet even more secretive. The only reason they are allowed inside is that both are considered pure blooded, but Ninlil sees secrets in Eanna’s heart. She is the first to have any inkling of just who Eanna is. Among the Shiimti, women rule over the men, and there are three layers to every member. The first, is the outer persona they show strangers, welcoming but aloof and cool. The second, to those in the inner circle, the secrets deemed worthy to share. The third is kept guarded above all else, the soul. Shiimti is the only house that believes they all lay claim to their own souls. Because they face the present darkness every day in their jungles.
EBABBAR – House of the Rising Sun Led by NINGISHZIDDA – Lord of the Artifact of Life It lies hidden in a small oasis within Iran where Sumer, the society the watchers created, began. It is an underground city mostly, beginning from the base of a lost Ziggurat. The underground world is a paradise and a world of beauty. It is here that the Ebabbar keep most of the old relics and scrolls. It is the best defended and considered a haven by others of their society.
EKUR – House Which is Like a Mountain Led by NINHURSAG – Lady of the Mountainhead The Ekur are the most numerous of the houses. They are also the proudest, for most lesser come from this house, and serve the “pure-blooded” chosen. To the Ekur, to serve is the greatest honor. Most of the soldiers and weaponsmiths also come from this house. Ninhursag, their Lady, is a proud warrior herself, and of extremely high stature, eight feet in height. Their base of operation is in Siberia and extends far into the north in lands that man deemed inhabitable.
EMEURANNA – House of ANU’s Hero Led by The Sarrum – High Lord of the Annunaki The Emeuranna are led by the sarrum himself, and his people. This is the only surviving chosen castle in the Carpathian Mountains, sheltered far from the outside world. The old ways are kept mostly intact here, as is custom for the High Lord’s seat. Here the Council of Seven makes overall decisions for the rest of the chosen. They now have the best defense against the cursed.
ERESH – The Scented House Led by NINIGIKU- Lord Bright Eyed One of the last New World houses left in power, hidden deep in the Amazon rainforest, and source of the legends of El Dorado. The richest of all the houses by far. They have not intermarried with the humans hardly at all, there is no need. Unique to all other houses save the rumored lost eighth house, their memories are shared collectively if they desire, their movements always calculated. Any time they intermarry with other houses it is a very chess-like move, to bring back strength to their kind. While staying among them, Eanna learns she is closely related to them.
GISNU – House Causing Light Led by TIAMATU – Lady of the Abyss The Gisnu were the first of the thirteen houses to journey across the lands to the ever growing and developing New World. They were also the first beings to settle there, after the Native Americans. Once based in the Northlands among the Vikings, the Gisnu set up their home in the north of what is now Canada. It is here that they have remained, and for a thousand years protected the forests, and peoples around them as best they could. They are more advanced than any of the other houses, keeping themselves updated with the latest technology.
Author Jennifer Silverwood
About the Author Jennifer Silverwood was raised deep in the heart of Texas and has been spinning yarns a mile high since childhood. In her spare time, she reads and writes and tries to sustain her wanderlust, whether it’s the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania, the highlands of Ecuador, or a road trip to the next town. Always on the lookout for her next adventure, in print or reality, she dreams of one day proving to the masses that everything really is better in Texas. She is the author of three series–Heaven’s Edge, Wylder Tales and the Borderlands Saga–and the stand-alone titles Stay and She Walks in Moonlight. She plans to release her first serialized Urban Fantasy, Angel Blue in August 2018.
Welcome to the book blitz for LETTING GO OF GRAVITY, a stand-alone young adult contemporary by Meg Leder. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive guest post, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis “The anticipation and slow burn of Parker and Finn’s relationship is electric…[an] absorbing novel that will appeal to fans of Rainbow Rowell.” —Booklist
Parker struggles to reconnect with her twin brother, Charlie—who’s recovering from cancer—as she tries to deal with her anxiety about the future in this powerful new novel.
Twins Parker and Charlie are polar opposites.
Where Charlie is fearless, Parker is careful.
Charlie is confident while Parker aims to please.
Charlie is outgoing and outspoken; Parker is introverted and reserved.
And of course, there’s the one other major difference: Charlie got cancer. Parker didn’t.
But now that Charlie is officially in remission, life couldn’t be going better for Parker. She’s landed a prestigious summer internship at the hospital and is headed to Harvard in the fall to study pediatric oncology—which is why the anxiety she’s felt since her Harvard acceptance is so unsettling. And it doesn’t help that her relationship with Charlie has been on the rocks since his diagnosis.
Enter Finn, a boy who’s been leaving strange graffiti messages all over town. Parker can’t stop thinking about those messages, or about Finn, who makes her feel free for the first time: free to doubt, free to make mistakes, and free to confront the truth that Parker has been hiding from for a long time.
That she keeps trying to save Charlie, when the person who really needs saving is herself.
Guest Post In my new book Letting Go of Gravity, my main character Parker struggles with anxiety, even though she doesn’t quite know what’s going on until the end of the book. As someone who also has a hard time getting out of her own head, like Parker, I’ve discovered a few ways to help manage my busy mind. Here are some of the tricks Parker and I have used to calm ourselves:
Immerse yourself in the words of others. For Parker, it’s listening to Taylor Swift. For me, it’s finding a book that I can lose myself in. Sometimes, the mere act of letting yourself spend time with other voices is enough to give your worried mind a break.
Get busy. In my book, Parker starts helping out at a local ceramics shop, working with a group of old women while discovering the joy of making things with her own two hands. For me, it’s writing and being a reading buddy at a local elementary school. Creating and volunteering are both great ways of slowing the worry train, letting your mind focus on other avenues.
Be kind to yourself. It’s very easy to be mad at yourself when you’re anxious. You know that you’re not thinking rationally, but that doesn’t stop the anxious thoughts. But being mad at yourself doesn’t help you feel better—in fact, it makes Parker (and me) feel worse. Instead of being hard on yourself, be kind. You can’t always stop the thoughts, but you can at recognize that anxiety is hard and you’re doing the best you can.
Talk to your friends and family. Throughout the book, Parker’s new friends Ruby and Finn encourage her to talk about her feelings, and it’s only when she starts to tell people that she’s worried and scared that things start to get better. I’ve found that being open about my worried thoughts with people I trust—my family, my best friends, my therapist—is often the first step toward owning and overcoming my anxiety.
Know that it’s okay to seek help. It takes Parker a long time (a whole book!) to recognize she needs help in managing her worry. It took me twenty-plus years. More than anything, I hope that anyone who sees a little or a lot of themselves in Parker knows it’s okay to ask for help, whether it’s from a teacher, trusted adult, therapist, or good friend. Anxiety can be a hard road, but having someone on your side can make the journey a lot easier.
I hope you enjoy Letting Go of Gravity, and if you’re anxious too, please know you’re not alone—Parker and I are both with you.
Author Meg Leder
About the Author A former bookseller and teacher, Meg Leder currently works as a book editor in New York City. Her role models are Harriet the Spy and Anne Shirley. She is the coauthor of The Happy Book, and spends her free time reading, looking for street art, and people watching. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Welcome to the book blitz for SEARCHING, the second book in the young adult fantasy romance series, Fading, by Cindy Cipriano. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an guest post, and details on her giveaway.
SEARCHING (The Fading Series #2) by Cindy Cipriano
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited Title: SEARCHING Series: The Fading Series #2 Author: Cindy Cipriano Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing Release Date: July 20, 2018 Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Romance Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis A fast-paced fantasy romance with rich characters and immersive storytelling,Searching is the second book in theFading series by award-winning author Cindy Cipriano.
To say Leath is traveling light is an understatement. She’s only bringing three things on her trip. One is a silver heart locket—a gift from her longtime best-friend-turned-boyfriend Victor Santana. Next is a wedding token in the shape of a J, from James Turner. And of course, she’s packing her pistol. That’s it. She knows that when she leaves Woodvine, even her own mother may not remember her in the shifted reality that will be left behind. Bringing anything else would be pointless. But she’s driven now, by something that eclipses everything else, something she just got back: her memories. And now that she remembers James—she won’t stop searching until she finds him.
Guest Post Thanks for hosting me today on Adventures in Writing. I’m thrilled to be here to talk about the second book in my paranormal romance series Searching. I’ll also pass on some tips I’ve learned in my journey as an author. First, a little about Searching, which is the second book in The Fading Series.
Searching To say Leath is traveling light is an understatement. She’s only bringing three things on her trip. One is a silver heart locket – a gift from her long time best friend turned boyfriend, Victor Santana. Next is a wedding token in the shape of a J, from James Turner. And of course, she’s packing her pistol. That’s it. She knows that when she leaves Woodvine, even her own mother may not remember her in the shifted reality that will be left behind. Bringing anything else would be pointless. But she’s driven now, by something that eclipses everything else, something she just got back: her memories. And now that she remembers James—she won’t stop searching until she finds him.
A fast-paced fantasy romance with rich characters and immersive story-telling, Searching is the second book in the Fading series by award-winning author Cindy Cipriano.
And, a reminder about book one in the series, Fading.
Fading Seventeen-year-old, Leath Elliott lives with her mother in the microscopic town of Woodvine, North Carolina. Leath’s father was killed in a tragic accident when she was fourteen, and her friend Victor Santana has been there for her every step of the way since. But the friendship starts to change when Victor develops deeper feelings for Leath. If that wasn’t complicated enough, newcomer James Turner, an emancipated minor with a dark past, wanders into her sights. Leath is captivated by him and wonders if he might be the boy of her dreams—literally.
The Fading Series – Insider Info (or as much as I can tell you) ☺
I often think of the series as the VLJ story. As in Victor-Leath-James.
Being in love is wonderful, heartwarming, and can leave you breathless. But, sometimes, it is so confusing! If you have ever loved two people at the same time, you can relate to what Leath is going through in The Fading Series. Although some readers have expressed their choice (Victor or James), many feel the way the same way Leath does; she loves them both.
Feeling Extra? Readers are often surprised to learn that one of the settings in The Fading Series is a real place. Judaculla Rock is a 2,000-3,000 year-old petroglyph located in western North Carolina. Several legends surround the origin of the rock as well as the images that are carved into its surface. I’ve had the opportunity to visit Judaculla Rock a few times and have really enjoyed incorporating this setting into Fading.
Which brings me to writing.
I’m often asked if I have any tips for new writers. The best suggestion I have is to join a critique group.
No, wait. Join one yesterday.
Learning how to give and receive thoughtful criticism will make your writing stronger. Writing is often an isolated endeavor. Being a part of a critique group helps foster a sense of community. It’s great having someone to turn to when you need to bounce ideas around. And, having a group discussion about your writing will help you see your story from a different perspective.
I’m also asked about the editing process. I’ll leave you with my best tip for editing.
Read your entire manuscript aloud. That really helps you notice mistakes and helps you smooth out the rough spots. If necessary, I suggest you record yourself as you read aloud the more difficult sections.
About the Author Cindy Cipriano lives in North Carolina with her husband, son and their 27 pets.
Just three dogs who think they are children and three cats who think they are raccoons. It only seems as if they make 27. When Cindy isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and the avoidance of cooking.
Cindy’s first novel, The Circle, Book One of The Sidhe won the 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Book Silver Award for Pre-Teen Fiction – Fantasy. Other titles in the series include The Choice, Book Two of The Sidhe (2015) and The Lost, Book Three of The Sidhe (2017). This seven-book series is published by Odyssey Books.
Miller’s Island Mysteries #1 The Case of the Toxic River (2017) is the first in her eleven-book science mystery series (Vulpine Press). #2 The Case of the Catalyst will release in 2018.
Look for Fading, the first in her young adult series, in April 2018. (Clean Teen Publishing). Fading is the tale of first loves and the consequence of dreaming up Mr. Right.
Welcome to the blog tour for STRICKEN,a stand-alone middle grade/young adult dystopian adventure with a scifi twist, by C.K. Kelly Martin. See below for information the book, buy links, an exclusive guest post by the author, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Naomi doesn’t expect anything unusual from her annual family trip to visit her grandparents in Ireland. What she expects is to celebrate her thirteenth birthday, hang out with her friends Ciara and Shehan, and deal with her gran’s Alzheimer’s. What she finds is a country hit by an unexpected virus that rapidly infects the majority of the Irish population over the age of twenty-one.
Amnestic-Delirium Syndrome (ADS) starts off with memory loss, but the virus soon turns its victims aggravated, blank, or violent. Naomi and her friends must survive on their own, without lucid adults, cut off from the rest of the world, until a cure is found.
But there are whispers that ADS is not terrestrial, and soon Naomi and her friends learn the frightening truth: we are not alone.
Guest Post – Cover Love Seeing a new book cover for the first time is always exciting for an author– it’s a visual representation of your work that will (hopefully!) have an immediate impact on whoever sees it. Stricken is my first middle grade book and my first book cover that wasn’t a photograph. Those things alone made me giddy. An original cover illustration!
The first I saw of the Stricken cover art was a black and white sketch that I instantly fell head over heels in love with. Canadian visual artist Nick Craine adapted Bruce McDonald’s, Dance Me Outside and Hard Core Logo into graphic novels and his illustrations have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The New Republic.
To me it’s no small thing that Nick Craine also designed the best book cover I’ve ever had. I’m in absolute awe of main character Naomi’s defiant posture atop an overturned car. Seeing Dublin’s main thoroughfare, O’Connell Street (a place central to the Easter Rising of 1916 and the Irish Civil War of 1922) pictured behind her gives me a thrill every time I see Stricken. If you ever go to Dublin, there’s no way you’ll visit the place without seeing O’Connell Street and O’Connell Bridge, which spans the River Liffey. The Stricken cover vividly portrays more than a familiar city street though; it shows a place in trouble, a place where life has been turned upside down. It makes me want to snatch up the book and find out what happens within the pages, even though I’ve already read it. It’s a cover that sets up delicious expectations, which I dearly hope I meet.
I was twenty-one the first time I landed in Dublin, but there was something about it that nearly instantly felt like home. That makes this book and its fabulous cover very special to me. I can’t thank Nick Craine enough.
Author C.K. Kelly Martin
About the Author Long before I was an author I was a fan of books about Winnie the Pooh, Babar, Madeline, Anne Shirley and anything by Judy Blume. Throughout high school my favourite class was English. No surprise, then, that most of my time spent at York University in Toronto was as an English major—not the traditional way to graduate with a B.A. (Hons) in film studies but a fine way to get a general arts education.
After getting my film studies degree I headed for Dublin, Ireland and spent the majority of the nineties there in forgettable jobs meeting unforgettable people and enjoying the buzz. I always believed I’d get around to writing in earnest eventually, and I began writing my first novel in a flat in Dublin and finished it in a Toronto suburb. By then I’d discovered that fiction about young people felt the freshest and most exciting to me. You have most of your life to be an adult but you only grow up once.
Currently residing near Toronto with my Dub husband, I’m an aunt to twenty-one nieces and nephews, and a great-aunt to two great-nephews. I became an Irish citizen in 2001 and continue to visit Dublin as often as I can while working on novels about young people.
My first young adult book, I Know It’s Over, came out with Random House in September 2008, and was followed by One Lonely Degree, The Lighter Side of Life and Death, My Beating Teenage Heart and sci-fi thriller Yesterday. I released Yesterday’s sequel, Tomorrow, in 2013 and put out my first adult novel, Come See About Me, as an ebook in June 2012. My most recent contemporary YA books, The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing and Delicate, were published by Cormorant Books’ Dancing Cat Books imprint in 2014 and 2015.
Welcome to the blog tour for BLOOD OATH, the second book in the young adult historical romance/fantasy series, Blood Oath, by Amanda McCrina. See below for information on the book, buy links, a guest post on the author’s road to publication, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis The aftermath of what happened in the capital has shaken Torien to the core. Battling self-doubt and bitterness, he must find his resolve as he is sent back to Tasso to quell a violent uprising on the Road.
But Torien will need more than resolve to navigate the deadly path before him. His troops are inexperienced and his new adjutant untrustworthy. A series of murder attempts leaves the whole camp on edge. As the threat of mutiny builds, the mission seems doomed before they even reach Tasso—and Torien is beginning to suspect it was meant that way. He and his men are being set up to fail.
With his best friend in the hands of the rebels, his commanding officer refusing to negotiate a peace treaty, and his own men ready to turn on him at any moment, Torien must decide once and for all how much he’s willing to sacrifice for an empire he no longer believes in.
Road to Publication The Blood Oath books weren’t the first books I queried. Back in 2012, while I was still in college, I’d actually queried another fantasy manuscript set in the same world as Blood Oath. (That manuscript eventually ended up self-published and is now, thankfully, out of print.) So I’d already had a little bit of experience with querying by the time I wrote Blood Road in 2014-2015.
Still, I queried Blood Road for eight months before the manuscript generated any interest—and then, a bit unusually, I received a publication offer and an offer of representation from an agent almost simultaneously. I signed with the agent, and a few weeks later, in January 2016, we accepted the offer of publication from Month9Books.
The road hasn’t been without its bumps since then—I parted ways with that first agent and have since shifted genres, too—but Blood Road was released in April 2017, and I’m glad to be able to share the sequel with you now!
Author Amanda McCrina
About the Author Amanda McCrina has studied in Italy, taught English in Japan, and currently tutors Latin in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her BA in History from the University of West Georgia, and is now pursuing her MA. She writes stories that incorporate her love of history, languages, and world travel. She drinks far too much coffee and dreams of one day having a winning fantasy-hockey season.
Welcome to the blog tour for CINDERELLA’S INFERNO, the second book in the young adult fantasy romance/fairytale retelling series, Cinderella, Necromancer, by F.M. Boughan. See below for information on the book, buy links, a guest post on the author’s road to publication, and details on her giveaway.
CINDERELLA’S INFERNO (Cinderella, Necromancer #2) by F.M. Boughan
It’s been two years since Ellison defeated her stepsisters and sent her evil stepmother back into the Abyss.
Though she’s learning to control her dark magic and has spent time traveling with Prince William and bringing peace to the kingdom, one fact remains. She is a necromancer and he is a paladin of light. And so, the king refuses to give his blessing for them to marry.
To appease his father, William has begun to avoid her. But when even her younger brother Edward grows distant, Ellison learns her mother’s spirit has been visiting Edward in secret, threatening to overwhelm him with her own loneliness and longing. When Ellison accidentally touches her mother’s spirit, her tainted touch condemns her mother’s spirit to eternal damnation.
Ellison resolves to descend into hell to save her mother’s soul and bring her physical body back to the world of the living. William hopes this good deed will bring Ellison into favor and finally allow them to be wed.
But the journey through hell is fraught with peril. Temptations abound and the demons Ellison sent back to the Abyss are thirsty for revenge.
Evil cannot be defeated without sacrifice—but when that sacrifice means choosing between the ones Ellison loves and her very own life, how far is she willing to go to make her family whole again?
Road to Publication
Last September, I told you about the road to publication for my debut. I think where we landed in that post was a loose and possibly mixed metaphor about a gravel road, smooth sailing, and chunky rocks.
Let’s just pretend that was an intentional choice… a metaphor within a metaphor for my publishing journey, okay? Ahem. Moving on.
The road to publication for CINDERELLA’S INFERNO, the sequel to Ellison’s story in begun CINDERELLA, NECROMANCER, was a much shorter path. More like a little side street instead of an unpaved gravel road.
The thing is, a writer has all the time in the world to get that first book done before their debut—it’s okay that the road is long, because there are no deadlines or constraints or people sending angry emails to their inbox asking when their draft will be done. When it comes time to write the second book, however, there usually is a deadline. Which means your road is short, much shorter, and you don’t have time to grab a donut at the cool little diner on the side of the highway. Heck, you don’t even have time to eat, let alone stop for gas, or take a selfie at that quirky antique shop you’ve always meant to visit, or brush your teeth, or… or… or…
Er, this might be getting a little too real.
Here’s the thing. I wrote CINDERELLA’S INFERNO in less than two months. Sorry, let me clarify—I handwrote it. In two journals. And then I typed it up and started hacking it apart.
I had very little time to complete the novel due to Circumstances (which I can’t really go into, but please trust they were legitimate and unavoidable), but the good thing was that I’d been researching and planning out the story for about a year prior to that. So when it came time to sit down and actually write the book, the process was much shorter than if I’d had to start from scratch.
After I handed in my revised draft—which at that point was probably the third or fourth version—I sat back and waited for my edit letter. When it arrived, there were some excellent points to consider, and I took the time to carefully fix things like phrasing, language, description, and emotional impact.
After that was handed back in, I waited again. And got more revisions. And made more fixes. And then got more revisions. And made more fixes. And got even more revisions (though these were mostly minor edits to grammar and word choice). Made those fixes. There might have been another set before first pass pages, but I’m not sure. The versions basically start to bleed together after a while…
Then I handed in the last version, after which I sat back and waited. Actually, I’m still waiting, because it’s almost book release time! Soon I’ll get to hold the result of this journey in my hands, and thank my brain and fingers for enduring what I put it through on the road to this sequel’s publication.
About the Author F.M. Boughan is a bibliophile, a writer, and an unabashed parrot enthusiast. She can often be found writing in local coffee shops, namely because it’s hard to concentrate with a cat lying on the keyboard and a small, colorful parrot screaming into her ear. Her work is somewhat dark, somewhat violent, somewhat hopeful, and always contains a hint of magic.
Welcome to the blog tour for STANLEY & HAZEL, a young adult historical mystery/romance, by Jo Schaffer. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive guest post about her road to publication, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis A great depression has gripped the city of St. Louis in 1934. Stanley, an orphaned newsy, lives in a poor part of town hit especially hard by the economic downturn. One night, Stanley runs into Hazel, a restless debutante in waiting who has begun to question her posh lifestyle in the midst of the suffering she sees. She’s out and about without an escort and against her father’s wishes.
When they discover the body of a girl with her head bashed in by a baseball bat, the very different and separate realities of the two teens inform their decision. Together they will figure out what happened to her and bring those responsible to justice.
But getting involved with each other and digging into the secrets behind this murder earns them some powerful enemies, including a secret group seeking to rid society of all they deem “undesirable.” They’ve put into motion “The Winnowing,” a plan seeking to take over the city and enforce their will.
As Stanley and Hazel’s forbidden feelings for one another grow, their investigation turns deadly. Now, it is up to Stanley and his gang of street kids to stop Hazel from becoming the next victim.
The Road to Publication I have always written for myself. And then about ten years ago I got invited into a writing group that changed everything for me. Their support and encouragement made me feel like maybe my stories could be published. So I wrote a lot. Five novels and a lot of rewrites and detours before I was published.
It has been a long road to publication. I’ve gone through four agents and countless submissions. My first book went through an agent to a small publisher that never compensated me.
For the Stanley and Hazel trilogy, I represented myself and it was picked up by Month9Books. Georgia McBride is a forward thinking, savvy publisher who took a chance on me and I have enjoyed working with her.
Author Jo Schaffer
About the Author Jo Schaffer was born and raised in the California Bay Area in a huge, creative family. She is a YA novelist, speaker, writer at Patheos.com, works in film production and is a Taekwondo black belt.
She’s a founding member of Writers Cubed and co-founder of the Teen Author Boot Camp, one of the largest conferences in the nation for youth ages 13-19. She and a crew of local and international bestselling authors present writing workshops to hundreds of attendees at the Utah-based conference as well as hundreds of others worldwide who view the conference online.
Jo loves being involved in anything that promotes literacy and family. She is passionate about community, travel, books, music, healthy eating, classic films and martial arts. Her brain is always spinning new ideas for books and sometimes she even gets around to blogging.
Jo is a mom of 3 strapping sons living in the beautiful mountains of Utah with a neurotic cat named Hero..
Welcome to the blog tour for FRACTIONS OF EXISTENCE, the first book in the new adult scifi/fantasy romance series, The Existence, by J. Lenni Dorner. See below for information the book, buy links, a deleted from the book, and details on her giveaway.
FRACTIONS OF EXISTENCE (Existence #1) by J. Lenni Dorner
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited Title: FRACTIONS OF EXISTENCE Series: Existence #1 Author: J. Lenni Dorner Release Date: September 19, 2017 Genre: New Adult Science Fiction/Fantasy Romance Links:Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis Once they were humanity’s exalted protectors— now they are being hunted.
Xavier will weigh all human life against Gwendolyn’s ignorant happiness. The good news is that her choice can blow his away.
Omnipotent beings find each other while playing an online game. Xavier has been searching for Gwendolyn, his true mate and the missing member of the Existence. Only if reunited can the group regain the rest of their memories and access all of their powers. Hidden in plain sight, disguised as humans, they help who they can, as best they can, when they can.
The Eyes in the Shadows, a religious sect, has been trying to free humans from the “prison” of life on Earth for millenniums. The Existence has always been able to thwart them… until now. They’ve discovered a way to end the world that no one will see coming.
Gwendolyn has her future all laid out. There is a plan. She knows what her parents want for her and how to get it. Then Xavier, a friend from a virtual game, makes her question everything. He’s full of secrets, one being an understanding of her fear of the wind.
She tries to suppress her intense attraction to the mysterious and frustrating Xavier. She’s engaged, after all, and the thoughts she’s having aren’t proper. Gwendolyn is swept into a whirlwind of secrets, danger, and a forbidden attraction. She’ll drive across the country in her beat-up old car, not knowing if he is genuinely interested or just being polite. (He refuses to kiss her!) Gwendolyn’s journey is full of self-doubt, sacrifice, and dark visions that invade her sleep. Will she uncover the truth about herself?
Deleted Scene The following scene was once part of the opening of Fractions of Existence. It was cut because it puts the reader into the head of a minor character who does not appear again in Book One of the series. There is also a paragraph from the narrator. And it felt too much like an info dump about Xavier. The editing eventually came down to cutting it out.
However, I love the way she describes Xavier as, “one shaken-not-stirred martini away from being a legend.” #LaughingAtMyOwnJoke
Fingers played in the chilled water of the elaborate fountain. Many had speculated, but none had correctly guessed, how this indoor oasis came to be and functioned without a power supply or attachment to the city’s water system. Echoes of the splashes bounced throughout the cavernous three-story-high lobby. Ophelia, the security guard, turned a blind eye. She opened her rumpled copy of the New York Times to scan the same stories she had perused during her lunch break.
Earlier in the day, Ophelia scolded a child for playing in the fountain; but the fingers now dipping belonged to the luscious man who owned this high-rise building and the business headquartered within. Ophelia wasn’t daft enough to yell at the boss.
Besides, Xavier Doyen was a rare sort. His lucrative acquisitions company could amass enough money to propel him to the ranks of the ten wealthiest citizens of the world; but it probably never would, since every week another check was written out to a different charity. Many thought the wealthy twenty-two-year old was mad, allowing benevolence to rule rather than greed. Ophelia thought it much more peculiar that her boss daily greeted nearly every employee, by name, and put so much effort into taking care of the entire staff. Nowhere else in this city was there a boss who cared so much. So what if Mr. Doyen wanted to be the eccentric sort who splashed his hands in a fountain?
Xavier was known for his smile (not this odd childish behavior). Sometimes it served as a diplomatic tension breaker; other times it was a perfect tool to charm the ladies. It was at its finest when it appeared because of consummate love. Sadly, that particular smile was stricken from his being for far more years than Ophelia could have possibly guessed.
Peering around the edge of her newspaper, Ophelia imagined what it would be like to be the object of his affection. Such a fine man should not have to accept the solitude of bachelorhood. Her boss was one shaken-not-stirred martini away from being a legend. Yet, Mr. Doyen seemed disenchanted with the fine women he dated. Ophelia had come across more than one of those ladies in the pages of magazines. If her boss could so easily acquire women of such enviable beauty, yet continue to wear such a lonesome expression when no one (except the security cameras) was looking, what chance would she have with him? A woman of substance, Ophelia thought, perhaps that’s what he desires.
Author J. Lenni Dorner
About the Author J. competed in Write Club 2014 & 2016. The Creative Writing Institute held writing contests that resulted in J Lenni Dorner being published in “WRONG!: A themed anthology 2014” and LOST!: A themed anthology 2017. J self-published “Preparing to Write Settings That Feel Like Characters,” in 2015. Winner of the Write Edit Publish Now flash fiction “Youthful Frights versus Adult Fears” Halloween challenge 2015. Signum University’s Mythgard Institute held a creative writing contest in the autumn of 2015 called “Almost an Inkling” in which J Lenni Dorner was the Popular Vote Winner of week 6, resulting in publication in The Soul of Wit. The Operation Awesome Flash Fiction Contest 12 win in April 2016 went to J Lenni Dorner.
A to Z Challenge co-host as of 2017.
When not reading or writing, J enjoys video games, laughing at funny cat videos, finding drawings of dragons on Pinterest, and watching movies.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE SWEET LIFE, a stand-alone adult contemporary/cowboy romance, by Dakota Star. See below for information the book, buy links, a post from the author on main character’s bucket list,and details on her giveaway.
THE SWEET LIFE by Dakota Star
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited Title: THE SWEET LIFE Author: Dakota Star Publisher: Limitless Publishing Release Date: April 3, 2018 Genre: Adult Contemporary/Cowboy Romance Links:Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis Alexis takes her job very seriously. As one of the younger account executives, proving herself in the workplace is much more important than having a love life. And now that she’s been assigned a dude ranch account, she’s more determined than ever to show her doubters that she has what it takes.
Unfortunately there’s a tall, hot-tempered, brown-eyed cowboy who manages to distract Alexis from her goal by grabbing her attention…in a non-professional kind of way.
Mitch is the cowboy of her dreams—and also a distraction her career can’t afford.
And the real doozy? He also happens to be the ranch owner’s son, and this little fact alone has the potential to ruin everything for this city girl.
Mitch Johnson’s Bucket List (In a totally random order)
Go to Australia
Mitch is always up for adventure, and where can you find more adventure than Australia. Exploring the Great Barrier Reef, seeing how a working cattle station differs from a dude ranch, and watching for cassowaries and crocodiles in the rainforest are high on his list of great vacation activities.
Mitch believes in conquering challenges big and small. He’s already fallen head over heels for a feisty red head, why not fall from the sky.
Make Alexis Happy
He met the woman of his dreams and fell in love. He wants nothing more than to prove it to Alexis every day. Hey, if she’s not up for Australia, he’ll even change his vacation plans.
Own a Working Texas Ranch
Mitch grew up in Texas and would someday love to return. He never wants to give up the country life. A home on the range with Alexis at his side sounds like a great option.
Horseback Ride across the United States for Charity
Mitch knows he’s been blessed, and now Alexis has made his life even better. One day he would like to pay it forward a little bit. Horseback riding across the United States would be an amazing adventure, but since few California to Connecticut horseback rides exist, hell settle for a shorter cross-country jaunt as long as he doesn’t have to ride in a dressage saddle.
Author Dakota Star
About the Author Dakota Star likes worn-in cowboy boots, a well-trained horse, a cold beverage, and trails to ride in the woods.
She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two daughters. Both her daughters have finished college and moved away so her dogs, cats, and retired horse now keep her busy. When not outside hiking or horseback riding, she loves to read and travel.
She has worked as an editor, a freelance writer for local newspapers, and an educator at local environmental non-profits like aquariums and The National Audubon Society.
Welcome to the book blitz for WHEELER, a stand-alone adult contemporary sports romance/romantic suspense, by Sara Butler Zalesky. See below for information the book, buy links, a post from the author on writing (un)awkward scenes, and details on her giveaway.
WHEELER by Sara Butler Zalesky
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited Title: WHEELER Author: Sara Butler Zalesky Release Date: July 4, 2016 Genre: Adult Contemporary Sports Romance/Romantic Suspense Links:Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis Loren Mackenzie has overcome many obstacles in her life to be an elite professional cyclist in the Women’s World Tour in Europe. Known as the Ice Queen of the peloton, she rarely shows emotion in the heat of competition; inspiring her team with quiet strength and determination. But her cool confidence masks a dark past filled with horrors.
A change in management of Loren’s cycling team brings her face to face with a life she thought she left behind, adding to the pressures of competition. When a chance meeting with an A-list celebrity quickly develops into a whirlwind romance, the cameras of the tabloid-media focus on Loren, revealing the cracks in her facade.
The affair also exposes a menacing rival, threatening not only her chances in the World Championship but her life. When love and obsession collide, Loren stands in the center of a storm.
Can she find the courage to defeat her inner demons, or will her fear and shame consume her?
Writing (Un)Awkward Sex Scenes: A How-To Guide I’ve been hesitant to give Wheeler to friends and family or even tell my coworkers I wrote a novel. Why? Like my protagonist, Loren Mackenzie, I only let people see what I want them to see; I like to keep my cards close to the vest. I’m a Scorpio, it’s who I am.
But, in very unScorpio fashion, I can’t write or talk about sex without blushing and I stumble over my words. I’m a visual thinker, meaning I can see what I want to describe in my mind clearly, like a photograph. While I don’t have an eidetic memory (I wish!), I can envision what something looks like or how a person moves and fairly accurately describe it. That includes sex.
Jennie Nash wrote a great article for the HuffPost blog called, 7 Rules for Writing Sex Scenes. She says, ‘Sex scenes are very difficult to write because everything else is stripped away and all you’ve got to work with are the characters and the emotions. There’s nowhere to hide. But that’s also what makes them so powerful.’
I couldn’t agree more, Jennie.
Set the Stage for Doing Good Work. There is nowhere to hide, in your head or in the place that you write. I write in my dining room/playroom/office, between 9pm and 2am most nights. It’s often the only time I am completely alone, other than my cats. My spouse and child are asleep and I can sit quietly and focus, listening to my Pandora stations. Music can inspire, especially sappy love songs. I even have a Spotify playlist aptly named: Graham’s Mixtape.
Focus on Dialogue. Do other people talk during sex? Uh, well, I don’t, really. (Is it hot in here?) With Loren and Graham’s first time, I wrote in a little more nervous excitement for her. For Graham, he has a sensuality to him already, and perhaps I wrote him a little over-the-top romantic. But that’s okay; it works for the character’s type. He’s not your typical leading man. While he’s tall, he doesn’t have the big muscles of Chris Evans or Chris Pratt. Think Colin Firth+David Tennant+Tom Hiddleston+Patrick Stewart = Graham Atherton.
Which leads to Characters Stay in Character and Watch the Tone. Graham is an actor and actors emote. He has a love of Shakespeare and uses the bard’s words to woo the lovely Loren. Nobody would have guessed – least of all those closest to her (and possibly herself) – that she was such a romantic. Same with speaking French. Somehow it works for them and sets the tone for the characters throughout the story.
Consider the difference between the internal and external action. I’ll be honest, I thought about scenes I’ve seen in films or read in books (with some of my own experiences) and envisioned every single action and reaction. I thought I had created some viable scenes until one of my Alpha readers, Debbie, said: “The build-up was great, loved that, but then you only come at me with a sentence and expect to finish it off? I’d be disappointed.”
After I got up off the floor from laughing, I began anew with more blushing and ear burning as I rewrote every single sex scene in my novel. There aren’t many, mind you, but heaven forbid they do it the same way twice. I had to come up with different situations and positions. Should they have oral? OMG Do I really have to write that? HOW do I write that? (Shudder)
Which leads to Remember, they’re just words. I’m new to this writing thing, and I find it very hard to separate myself from the feels and step out of the scene. I get snappy when interrupted because I am left feeling raw and exposed. It sucks even more because I know I’m reacting that way but I can’t stop it.
My intention has always been to write complex characters and true-to-life situations as best I could. Real people laugh and cry, flirt and kiss, yell and argue, dance and sing. They put themselves through enormous amounts of stress. They love and they have sex. There’s no way to get around it.
Which brings me to Jennie’s last comment: Prepare for the inevitable confrontation. At some point, someone will ask about what I wrote. Can I talk about sex without wanting to run and hide? My cheeks will be bright pink and I might not be able to look the person in the eye ever again.
Author Sara Butler Zalesky
About the Author Sara was born in the wee hours of a November night in New York City. When her family moved to a small borough in northwestern New Jersey, she had little choice but to move as well. Self-sufficiency is a tough thing for a toddler.
The dichotomy of being the middle child of three, but the only girl, was difficult, as typically no one really pays attention to a middle child. Mostly, Sara spent her time creating fanciful stories in her head when she should have been focused on other things, an issue that continues to this day.
Most of these stories have never been shared, let alone completed. This all changed in the spring of 2015, when Sara was encouraged by a friend to expand upon a short story she had accidentally emailed to him. The result is ‘Wheeler’, a romantic, women’s fiction/sport novel, which combines the author’s romantic inclinations and her passion for cycling.
Sara currently resides in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA, with her loving husband and their son. She is a paralegal for a boutique law firm in Chester County, Pa, an avid road cyclist and indoor cycling instructor at a national chain.
Follow the author’s blog at sarabutlerzalesky.wordpress.com or on Twitter @sarazalesky. She does a little dance every time someone ‘follows’ her on Twitter. Really..
Welcome to the book blitz for AT ANY PRICE, the first book in the new adult contemporary romance series, Gaming the System, by USA Today bestselling author, Brenna Aubrey. See below for information the book, buy links, a post from the author on the redesigned covers, and details on her giveaway. You can currently pick up the ebook for Free!
AT ANY PRICE (Gaming the System #1) by Brenna Aubrey
When Mia Strong, proud geek-girl and popular gaming blogger, auctions off her virginity online, she knows she’ll make waves. But what she will not be making is a love connection. Her rules are set in stone: One night. No further contact.
It’s a desperate step, but it’s the only way she can go to medical school and pay her mother’s mounting hospital bills.
Difficulty Level: Millionaire CEO
Adam Drake, the enigmatic auction winner, is a software prodigy who made his first million at seventeen. Now, in his mid-twenties, he’s sexy, driven and–as CEO of his own gaming company–he’s used to making the rules. Before Mia knows what’s happening, he’s found the loophole in the rules of her auction. Every stipulation she’s made to protect her heart gets tossed by the wayside.
She can’t tell if he’s playing her…or if he’s playing for keeps.
This New Adult book is intended for readers over the age of 18 due to adult language, sexual content and adult situations.
A Whole New Look Same “stunningly addictive” story, but with a whole new look!
The new Adam & Mia covers were over a year in the making! Over the period of ten months, photographer Lindee Robinson followed the life journey of real life couple, Marcus and Elena.
When it came time for me to choose a new “face” for Adam & Mia, the beloved couple featured in five of the Gaming The System books, I knew Marcus and Elena would fit the part. I contacted Lindee for her assistance in the new look and she was thrilled, informing me that Marcus and Elena, both professional models, had so much natural chemistry together, they’d be perfect!
So we contacted them soon after their own real life fairytale wedding, but were informed that timing would not be on our side for a little while… they were thrilled to learn that they were expecting their first child. Instead of searching elsewhere for new models, however, Lindee came up with a wonderful idea. Why not document their pregnancy, the early infancy of their child and launch an epic project fit for an epic super couple?
So we did just that…over the course of ten months and three different photo shoots, we collected enough images for the new look for the Gaming The System books. Elena was eight months pregnant during their first shoot, their child, six months old at the second. For the third, Marcus and Elena recreated their own wedding, complete with Elena’s wedding dress for the cover of Adam & Mia’s wedding book. All the pieces fit into place. Lindee had taken over a thousand photos of them over the course of many hours in photo shoots. Now it was time for a new design.
I had no question that I’d go back to Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations to give the books a fabulous new look. After all, she’s the one who created their original, amazing brand four years ago when I went to her with At Any Price. And as with her previous covers, they are compelling, eye catching, classy and colorful. Covers fit for Adam & Mia.
I hope you all enjoy the new look as much as I enjoyed working on this project when I got the idea over two years ago! I’m glad they are finally ready to reveal–well….almost all of them…but I’ll be talking more about those other ones later!
Author Brenna Aubrey
About the Author Brenna Aubrey is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author of contemporary romance stories that center on geek culture.
She has always sought comfort in good books and the long, involved stories she weaves in her head. Brenna is a city girl with a nature-lover’s heart. She therefore finds herself out in green open spaces any chance she can get. She’s also a mom, teacher, geek girl, Francophile, unabashed video-game addict & eBook hoarder.
She currently resides on the west coast of the US with her husband, two children, and two adorable golden retriever pups.
Welcome to the book blitz for WHO SHE WAS, a stand-alone new adult contemporary romance, by Stormy Smith. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. For a limited time, you can pick up the ebook for just $0.99!
Synopsis Trevor Adler loathes the music he used to love, but it’s the key to his full-ride scholarship and the ticket away from his dysfunctional parents. To kick off their freshman year, Trevor’s roommate drags him to a frat party, where he ends up face-to-face with his childhood best friend and finds himself entrenched in memories he’d rather forget.
Unable to let Charlie go again without understanding the truth of why she disappeared from his life and chose to become the type of person they always hated, Trevor is relentless in his pursuit of the girl he once knew.
Charlotte (Charlie) Logan is broken. Under her perfectly-crafted exterior are the shards of a shattered heart. A handful of angry words changed her life completely and Charlie’s never been able to forgive herself for the truth she’s hidden from everyone.
While Trevor pushes Charlie to remember the music that lit her soul and the laughter they shared, they find themselves reverting to a banter-filled rhythm that feels all too familiar, yet different now. When Trevor’s own secrets come to light, it becomes clear he and Charlie both must face their tragic pasts if they have any hope at a future together.
Excerpt – Chapter 1 “Are you guys ready for this?”
The overly-excited frat boy in charge yelled into the microphone and the backyard of the Sigma Alpha house hit deafening levels. Inside their dingy kitchen, I shared a wary look with a few of the Kappa pledges.
“As much fun as we’re already having tonight, it’s about to get real! The fifth annual dating auction is about to start. That means the only thing standing between you and a hot little sorority pledge is your parents’ money!”
A petite redhead who barely looked fifteen, let alone eighteen, drew back the curtain of the kitchen window to peek out as he continued and then giggled.
“I can’t believe rush week is finally here and tonight is the auction!” She actually clapped her hands together and I forced my eyes not to disappear into the back of my head. “I hope Austin bids on me,” she gushed. “He’s so hot.”
“And you will be yet another notch on his freshman bedpost,” I muttered before I could stop myself. The girl behind me in line stifled a chuckle, and I smiled knowing there was someone else who understood how absurd this was.
“Your mom was a Kappa, too?” She asked.
I nodded. The line of sorority pledges filed forward through the kitchen to the back door as the emcee announced the next piece of meat up for bid. I kept my eyes forward and not on the half-filled keg cups and ripped open chip bags.
“Can you believe we have to go through with this just to pledge?” The girl twisted a piece of her hair and I didn’t miss the fear that flashed in her eyes. “The worst part was when I told my mom, she was actually excited.”
We took another step forward as I shook my head in disbelief. I hadn’t bothered to even tell my mother since it wouldn’t have mattered. Getting in was all she was worried about and Katie was the only one who ever mattered to her.
Then, I was next. I swallowed down my own anxiety and pressed my sweating palms down my skirt. It was tight and high-waisted, and my heels were higher than I was comfortable with.
Katie would have loved me in it.
I missed my Chucks.
My name came over the crackling sound system and I felt warm fingers encircle my own.
“You’ll do great, Charlotte,” she encouraged. I hadn’t even bothered to ask her name and she’d been astute enough to pluck mine from the bio being read to the crowd. I gave her a tight-lipped smile and returned the gesture even though I wanted to yank my hand from hers and wipe it off again.
I pushed through the torn screen door and pulled the humid August air into my lungs as I straightened my posture and put one foot in front of the other. My smile was so automatic it didn’t matter that I didn’t feel it anywhere but the shift in my cheeks—not too much teeth to seem fake, just enough for no one to ever think anything was wrong.
The emcee’s voice was lost in the cat calls. I heard bids of anywhere from five dollars to twenty as they commented on my rack or how my long hair would come in handy. My fingers tapped out a familiar rhythm onto my hip, one that I refused to acknowledge, but it was the only way I could keep circling the rickety stage.
I had to get into this sorority. It was what she wanted. It wasn’t optional.
“Two hundred and fifty dollars.” His voice silenced the crowd.
My smile didn’t waver as I let out a longer exhale and thanked whoever he was while also praying he wasn’t a psycho.
A sweaty, drunk guy helped me off the stage, and I was thankful when my heels sunk slightly into the ground because it was over and all the attention shifted to the next piece of cattle. I followed the turning heads in the direction of my bidder, who was still lost in the crowd.
The crowd shifted as their attention focused back on the next pledge up for bid. The light from the porch found him and he stood facing me, clearly waiting. For a split second, time stopped.
He smirked, catching my pause. The baby-face Trevor had the last time I saw him was gone. Instead, angular features and questioning eyes stared back at me.
I wanted to spin on my heel and run the other direction. Trevor was the slip knot of my life. The carefully intertwined ropes I’d wrapped around the person I used to be — the one he alone had understood and yet still abandoned — could be unraveled with one tug. He could destroy me and everything I’d done to atone for my mistake.
No one knew what I’d done. How it was all my fault. I’d never told anyone so he couldn’t know. It was a secret I desperately wanted to share so I no longer had to bear it alone, but knew I couldn’t.
“Fancy meeting you here, Charlie,” Trevor said as he pushed his thick-rimmed glass up his nose, failing to convince me he was any more comfortable with our impromptu reunion than I was.
I didn’t need him anymore. He was the who’d disappeared and left me all alone. It didn’t matter that he was the one who knew the rhythm I tapped out to get through the worst of times. Or that in an instant I remembered what real laughter felt like and the feel of ivory under my fingertips. It couldn’t matter. Not anymore.
I charged forward, auto-smiled and played the part I’d cast for myself.
“Charlotte,” I stated. “My name is Charlotte.”
Author Stormy Smith
About the Author Stormy Smith calls Iowa’s capital home now, but was raised in a tiny town in the Southeast corner of the state. She grew to love books honestly, having a mom that read voraciously and instilled that same love in her.
When she isn’t working on, or thinking about, her books, Stormy’s favorite places include bar patios, live music shows, her yoga mat or anywhere she can relax with her husband, twin sons or girlfriends. .
Welcome to the sale blitz for THE TEXAS MUTINY SERIES, a new adult contemporary sports romance series, by M.E. Carter. See below for information on the books, buy links, an exclusive list of ten fun facts about the series, and details on her giveaway. Also, for a limited time, you can pick up JUKED, book 1 in the series, for free.
Synopsis Juked: verb.
A slang soccer term meaning: faked out, deceived, confused your opponent
See examples Daniel Zavaro and Quincy Watson:
As the rising star in Houston, Daniel has found fame as Captain of his Pro soccer team and the city’s most eligible bachelor. Daniel has everything – except someone special – and that suits him just fine. He doesn’t want, or need, complications.
Quincy has baggage, and lots of it. After a tragic accident spins her world on its axis, she finds herself as a single mother, raising a newborn nephew she never knew she had. Between parenthood, her full-time job, and dealing with the suffocating grief of losing her sister, every day is a struggle.
When they begin to cross paths unexpectedly and often, an unlikely friendship starts to evolve. Feelings change. Lines get crossed. What happens next surprises them both…
a person, especially a young woman, who regularly follows a celebrity in the hope of meeting or getting to know them.
See example Tiffany Wendel:
Whore. Slut. Cleat Chaser. I’m used to the names so they don’t bother me. These are my boys. My friends. So what if I like to have dirty sex with them? My body is no one’s business but mine.
Why is Rowen Flanigan making me re-think how I live my life? Making me question my choices? He’s only a rookie.
a member of an athletic team in his first full season in that sport.
See example Rowen Flanigan:
Player. Son of a legend. Rookie.
Sure, I’d heard the stories of the groupies before. Who hasn’t? I’ve just been more sheltered than my teammates. So what? I didn’t expect her to be smart. Witty. Kind. She brings me to my knees in every way – except one.
That part? I’m saving until the time is right.
So how in the hell did I end up falling for a Groupie like Tiffany? And how in the hell is this going to work when everyone at my job has had a piece of the one thing I haven’t?
Ten Fun Facts about the Texas Mutiny series By M.E. Carter Every author has their own writing process. The things that make them most comfortable and help them reach their goals. Problem is, characters seem to have a mind of their own and sometimes that means the original process goes out the window! I experienced that phenomenon over and over while writing the Texas Mutiny series. Here are Ten Fun Facts about the series and how the writing process didn’t exactly go as planned.
My youngest child, who most know as “Bug”, is the inspiration for multiple younger characters in the series. When I wrote Juked, baby Chance started out as a two month old – the same age Bug was at the time. When I wrote Goalie, Theo was about 14 months old – the same age Bug was at the time. I try to keep the characters different, but babies/toddlers all tend to be pretty similar in their learning process, so many everyday situations have been added to various scenes. .
I never planned to write a book about a groupie. But when inspiration hits, there’s not a lot you can do to stop it. I was in my car writing Juked one night, while my daughter was in dance practice. I was researching derogatory terms for “soccer groupie”. (For the record, there are several terms, but nothing I’ve been able to find that is exclusive to the sport of soccer, like “puck bunny” would be to hockey.) Instead, I stumbled across several blog posts from former soccer groupies and I was fascinated. So yes, some of the things that happen in Groupie? They’re not the result of my imagination at work as much as they are based on true stories. .
I never panned to write Goalie either. One of my beta readers for Groupie mentioned that she would be interested to know what happened with Santos and Mariana, who were at that point, just secondary characters that popped in and out very briefly. I told her there wasn’t a story there. The following morning, I sent her quite a few texts cussing her out, as I suddenly had a 30 chapter outline and story rolling through my brain. .
Goalie is about a couple going through a divorce. I wrote it while I was going through a divorce. There’s a misconception that I wrote my own divorce story. I didn’t. We could all be so lucky as to divorce a man like Santos. Which is weird to say since he’s a serial cheater. But if you make it to the end, you’ll see why I can wish for that. .
I’m not a fan of naked torsos on covers, but I wanted to try a “Social experiment”, if you will, about how well a naked torso cover is received. That’s how Juked ended up with a soccer player on the cover. Then it turned into a whole series and I have to keep the covers consistent with more torsos. Serves me right. .
Speaking of covers, one really cool feature with the paperback, if you put two of them side by side, the second one upside down, and push the covers together, the pictures come together like a puzzle to make one whole person. It works with the covers of Groupie, too. However, it does NOT work with Goalie. If you put those two pictures together, it looks like a threesome with a four-boobed alien woman in the middle. That’s a different genre, altogether. .
I toyed with just letting the soccer team be the Houston Dynamo, which is our actual team here in Houston. Then the inspiration for Groupie hit and I figured their very real PR department wouldn’t want to have any sort of association with some of the things my players do off the field. And since a lawsuit didn’t fit into my schedule, I very quickly changed the team name. .
Speaking of changing the team name, I couldn’t come up with one I liked for anything! So I had a contest in my group for one. The winner, Helen Cope, came up with the name “Texas Mutiny”. Not only did she win some books, she is a character in Juked. Remember Rosemary Cope? Erik’s mother? Helen’s middle name is Rosemary and liked the sound of it for the character. .
In the acknowledgements of each Texas Mutiny book (except Megged) is the name John Marshall. He is the husband of a good friend of mine and has been obsessed with all things soccer since he can remember. He’s in his 40’s and still plays on a competitive league. John has never read a romance book in his life until he beta read the entire series. It’s not uncommon for him to send me notes from his job because he’s gotten caught up in a chapter. His wife has even texted me pictures of him reading my books the day they go live, so he can see the final product! I also been told the conversations they had while he beta read Groupie were, um…. Interesting. .
My favorite characters in this series, by far, are Tiffany and Rowen. There is something so lovely and wonderful about knowing nothing in your past matters to the person that loves you the most. I love them so much that they are getting a second book, tentatively titled Outswinger. It’s scheduled to release in July.
a player in the goal whose duty is to prevent the ball from entering or crossing it
See Santos and Mariana DeGuajarado
As goalie of the Texas Mutiny, Santos is damn good at protecting that net. But he never bothered to protect his marriage.
Letting the fame and notoriety go to his head, he lost the things he loved the most… his wife and kids. Now he has one shot to make it right before losing at this relationship game and he’s determined not to miss this time.
Mariana has been scarred so deeply by Santos’s betrayals, she will carry the wounds forever. After almost ten years of marriage though, she knows him well, and she knows he won’t let go without a fight. Still, she refuses to be a push over.
Synopsis Megged: noun.
a playing technique where the aim is to kick, roll, dribble, throw, or push the ball between an opponent’s legs
See examples Santos and Mariana DeLaGuajardo:
It’s been two years and three months since Santos has had sex. Not that he’s keeping track. After the way he betrayed the love of his life, he’s willing to give up sex altogether as long as it means keeping her in his life. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t thought about it…
Despite living in the same house for months, Mariana is still hesitant to cross that final, physical line. The wounds that Santos left combined with her insecurities stop her from taking what she really wants.
When a misunderstanding makes them realize they’re finally on the same page, Santos and Mari must decide what’s most important to them. But this time, it’ll be Mari’s way or nothing.
*****MEGGED IS A 13,000 WORD SHORT FOLLOW UP TO GOALIE. IT IS INTENDED FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY*****
Author M.E. Carter
About the Author My name is ME Carter and I have no idea how I ended writing books. I’m more of a story teller (the more exaggerated the better) and I happen to know people who helped me get those stories on paper.
I love reading (read almost 300 books last year), hate working out (but I do it anyway because my trainer makes me), love food (but hate what it does to my butt) and love traveling to non-touristy places most people never see.
I live in Houston with my four kids, Mary, Elizabeth, Carter and Bug, who was just a twinkle in my eye when I came up with my pen name. Yeah, I’ll probably have to pay for his therapy someday for being left out..
Welcome to the book blitz for IMMORTAL FIRE, the third book in the young adult fantasy series, Red Winter Trilogy, by Annette Marie. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive guest post on the author’s favorite dragons, and details on her giveaway.
IMMORTAL FIRE (Red Winter Trilogy #3) by Annette Marie
About the Book Title: IMMORTAL FIRE Series: Red Winter Trilogy #3 Author: Annette Marie Publisher: Dark Owl Fantasy Release Date: April 11, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis Once, Emi believed the heavenly gods were righteous and wise, while the earthly yokai spirits were bloodthirsty and evil. But with a traitorous deity poised to destroy her world, and the yokai standing as humanity’s only defense, the lies of her upbringing have toppled to reveal a far more terrifying reality.
Despite the looming threat, Emi can’t escape her greatest distraction: Shiro, the fox yokai who has so deftly claimed her heart for his own. Soon—too soon—she will have to break the curse that binds his magic and memories. And once the ancient power inside him awakens, the yokai she loves will be changed forever.
As the earthly gods gather to wage war against the heavens, Emi and Shiro must gamble everything to turn the tide against their immortal, all-powerful foes. Together, they will find a way to save her world—even if it means losing each other.
Annette Marie’s Top 5 Dragons 1. Smaug from The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien, because of course he’s in my top five. He’s the ultimate dragon personality. “My armor is like tenfold shields, my teeth are swords, my claws spears, the shock of my tail is a thunderbolt, my wings a hurricane, and my breath death!”
2. Temeraire from His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik. Temeraire just isn’t quite what you’d expect—intelligent, elegant, and surprisingly polite. I’m pretty sure everyone who’s read the book immediately adored him. The dragonet puzzled at the question for several moments, and finally said, with a dissatisfied air, “I do not have a name.”
Laurence asked, formally, “May I give you one?”
It–or rather he, for the voice was definitely masculine–looked him over again, paused to scratch at an apparently flawless spot on his back, then said with unconvincing indifference, “If you please.”
3. Mushu from Disney’s Mulan. This one needs no explanation, right? Mulan: My ancestors sent a little lizard to help me?
Mushu: Hey! Dragon. DRA-GON, not lizard. I don’t do that tongue thing.
4. Janx from The Negotiator Trilogy by CE Murphy. A dragon in human form, he’s my favorite character from the series. I wanted him to be in every chapter. Margrit saw him move, quick long strides that somehow suggested a larger creature transferring its attention from one spot to another. His approach was consummate grace, fire flowing across an open space like a living thing. Then he was beside her, making the air crackle with dry heat.
Eyes half-lidded like a snake’s, he stepped back with a smile that revealed curving eyeteeth and offered her a hand. “Dance with me, Margrit Knight.”
5. Zwi from the Steel & Stone Series by yours truly. How could I resist including one of my own dragons? Zwi is absolutely Adorable, with a capital A. Plus she’s clever, brave, and always ready for trouble. Piper drew herself up and glared instead. “Your dragonet snuck into my room and stole something from me.”
Ash glanced at the creature on his shoulder. It tilted its head and somehow managed to project total innocence.
“Zwi, were you stealing again?” he murmured.
The dragonet trilled, its head weaving from side to side as it squirmed in a distinctly guilty way.
Author Annette Marie
About the Author Annette Marie is the author of the Amazon best-selling Steel & Stone series, which includes Goodreads Choice Award nominee Yield the Night, and fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast- paced urban fantasy and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her comparatively sensible husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.
Welcome to the book blitz forThe Lost Knight, the first book in the young adult fantasy series, The Lost Knight, by Candy Atkins. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive guest post by the author, and details on her giveaway.
The Lost Knight (The Lost Knight #1) by Candy Atkins
About the Book Title: The Lost Knight Series: The Lost Knight #1 Author: Candy Atkins Publisher: Monster Publishing Release Date: May 20, 2016 Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Synopsis How am I supposed to save the world when I’m not strong, not brave, not smart, and not particularly good at most things? I ran away from home the day after my thirteenth birthday when Auntie and her weird friend attacked me. Now I’m on the run with the Grim Reaper and a scary soldier. And I’m no longer on Earth. They were expecting me to be a Knight. The savior that’s supposed to stop a war and prevent the invasion to Earth. But I’m not. They grabbed the wrong girl. I just don’t know how to tell them.
Guest Post – Why Do Thirteen Year Old Girls Disappear? I made Agatha Stone, the protagonist of the Lost Knight Series, thirteen years old to embody just how unprepared she was to save the world. But I discovered something interesting: she doesn’t have a lot of other girls her age to stand next to on the shelf.
When I finished the series my daughter was thirteen. She might have been able to save the world, but no one asked her so we will never know. No one ever asks a thirteen year old girl to do anything. We often say how hard “that age” is, but there’s really nothing in our society that addresses it. Instead, it’s shut down, minimalized, and our girls basically disappear until they’re fifteen and the messiness is over.
Thirteen year olds are not cute and silly, like they were just the year before. Instead, they’re uncomfortably sexual, highly opinionated and moody. When my daughter started middle school one of the teachers warned me that “There’s nothing meaner than a middle school girl.”
I don’t think they’re mean. I think they’re in pain. Hormones riddle girls with doubts, which makes them afraid, which makes them act out or disappear.
Our society has based puberty off the experiences of boys. There are many coming of age movies/books/stories about how difficult and fun “that time” is for boys. I’ll wait while you try to think of a few for girls. If you said Are You There God It’s Me Margaret, congratulations you’ve made it to middle age. That book is fortyfive years old. If you said Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, you’re not as old, but that was seventeen years ago.
There are a few disturbing examples of girls discovering their sexuality, but a comedy, drama or sitcom about the real issues of being thirteen is highly under represented. And the thirteen year old actresses are out of work unless they look ten. They won’t work again until they’re fifteen, unless they model, but that’s a different discussion.
Generally speaking, there are no television shows where a thirteen year old girl is the star. If she was cast in a television show when she was younger, her now thirteen year old character is a shell, with minimal lines and almost no story.
As a female writer, I don’t want to complain or moan about the unfairness of it all, or blame the evil thing (insert whatever evil thing you wish) or rail at men for writing about what they know. Instead, I wrote about a girl. I tried to make her as true to a thirteen year old girl as I could.
I was thirteen once. I had a daughter and a stepdaughter who both struggled through “that time.” It’s nothing to be afraid of. I encourage other creative types to explore these interesting and uncharted stories and let our girls be heard.
Author Candy Atkins
About the Author Candy Atkins is a full-time writer who lives with her husband and two kids in Orlando, Florida. She’s an avid reader and lover of all things fantasy and sci-fi. Her debut novel,The Lost Knight, is volume one of the six-part Lost Knight Series.
Her life’s journey has taken her from dining with the President to being on food stamps to running her own company. And since all author bios end by naming and quantifying pets…she also enjoys spending time with her boxer, Butler, and Wynona the cat.
Welcome to the book blitz for Midnight Sky, the second book in the young adult dystopian romance series, Dark Sky, by Amy Braun. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive guest post by the author, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis There are secrets, there are betrayals, and there are sacrifices…
The Behemoth has been destroyed, and the bloodthirsty Hellions seem to have left Westraven. But Claire Abernathy’s mind is not at ease. A terrible disease plagues her sister, appearing to have been brought on the Vesper, the leader of the Hellions beyond the tear between worlds– the Breach.
To save Abby and stop the Hellions for good, Claire must find the machine her parents built before the attacks, and fix it before the monsters return. To do so, she needs the help of her crew, and must ignore the secrets and rivalries between her captain and the man she saved.
Because the Hellions are not the only dangers following Claire. Twisted humans and old enemies surface to stop her and destroy all she loves. While she is determined to endure the trials, a single betrayal could shatter the hope of a better world, and force Claire to make a choice that will cost her dearly…..
Guest Post MIDNIGHT SKY was probably the most challenging novel in the series to write. Sequels need to carry the events of the first story and act as the gateway to the grand finale. I wanted this story to have a dramatic end, but I needed events to carry the story and close certain questions. I was excited to delve back into the world of Westraven and add new history to the story. I decided to focus on the backstories of Claire’s parents, since their actions are crucial to the series and the story as a whole.
The map I sketched of Westraven became more detailed, and I think my favorite setting to write in this story was the Barren, a haunting, once militarized portion of Westraven that holds history for more than one member of the Dauntless crew. World-building is one of my favorite things to write about, and I was excited to jump back into Westraven and expand its setting.
Another exciting element was the love triangle between Claire, Sawyer, and Riley. I’d always planned for a rocky relationship between Claire and Sawyer, given their strong wills and butting-heads, but I’ve never written a love triangle. Riley was a late addition to the DARK SKYuniverse, and I was so glad to include him. His story is a complex, terrifying one, and since he seeks Claire’s affection, it forces Sawyer to consider his attitude when the risk of losing Claire’s heart becomes evident. He doesn’t trust Riley and fears for Claire’s safety, but to win her over he’ll have to change. By the time the story was over, I could tell that all of the characters had grown, though Sawyer’s arc was perhaps the most apparent.
Starting the story took a little longer than I intended, but I was flying through it by the end. The final scenes were written at 2:00AM because I couldn’t sleep without the idea jotted down. I was very happy it ended the way it did, considering what will be coming in the final novel. Since MIDNIGHT SKY grew so close to my heart, I decided to put more effort into its promotion, seeking the help of XPresso Tours and En Pointe Author Services to help with blog tours, release blitzes, and review opportunities. I’m so pleased to have taken that risk, since it has definitely paid off.
There was a fair amount of editing recommended by both my Beta reader and my editor, but I was grateful for their insight. I constantly strive to improve my writing, and correcting my bad writing habits helps produce a stronger story.
One of the best moments in this journey was seeing the cover for MIDNIGHT SKY, created by Deranged Doctor Design. They blew me away with the CRIMSON SKY cover (and every other cover they’ve made for me), and I decided to put a little more insight into what I wanted from the sequel’s cover. The result was stellar. I couldn’t be happier with the look of the cover, and am dying to see what they’ll create for the final novel and two novellas of the DARK SKY series.
Writing sequels is always daunting. You want to carry on with what readers love, but you also want to introduce new elements to make the series stronger as a whole. I’ve never written an ending like this before, so I hope my efforts paid off. I know that I’m happy and proud and passionate about MIDNIGHT SKY, and I think new readers and fans of the previous novel will find it to their liking.
Ten years ago, the sky shattered and the Hellions emerged. No one was able to keep them from destroying the city of Westraven. Now that the bloodthirsty monsters rule the skies and have forced the few remaining humans underground, Claire Abernathy lives in a nightmare. She survives by using her skills as an engineer for a ruthless tyrant connected to her mother and father’s past failure.
Then Claire’s world is torn apart when her sister Abby is kidnapped by the Hellions, and Claire herself is taken by dangerous sky pirates known as marauders. But Claire will not be intimidated by them while her sister’s life hangs by a thread, and so she strikes a deal with them: If they help rescue Abby, she will fix their ship and give them the chance to take the revenge they desperately seek.
As Claire fights for her sister’s life, she begins to realize that the Hellions are not the only dangers she’ll face. Burdensome secrets and devastating betrayals threaten her at every turn, and if she loses herself to them, it won’t just be her life that is destroyed…..
Author Amy Braun
About the Author Amy is a Canadian urban fantasy and horror author. Her work revolves around monsters, magic, mythology, and mayhem. She started writing in her early teens, and never stopped. She loves building unique worlds filled with fun characters and intense action. She is the recipient of April Moon Books Editor Award for “author voice, world-building and general bad-assery,” and the One Book Two Standout Award in 2015 for her Cursed trilogy. She has been featured on various author blogs and publishing websites, and is an active member of the Writing GIAM and Weekend Writing Warrior communities. When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, watching movies, taking photos, gaming, and struggling with chocoholism and ice cream addiction.