Friday, March 30, 2018

The Ancient Tripod of Peace by Kalen Cap



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kalen Cap will be awarding a $40 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Teens Lexi and Gil face relic-thieving secret societies.

Plagued by loneliness in her Lake Erie Islands community, vegan Lexi hopes to make like-minded friends in high school. But her dad’s job is jeopardized when relics are stolen from his museum, changing her priorities. And she finds her new teachers’ eerie dislike of her troubling.

His dad in jail, cipher enthusiast and bacon-loving Gil hopes freshman year will provide a clean slate. Soon, he discovers secret codes within a Shakespearean play while paired with Lexi, pulling him into an ancient mystery.

With the official museum burglary investigation stalled, the mismatched teen sleuths join forces to try and crack the case. Lexi’s inquiries and Gil’s codes capture their teachers’ attention. But these teachers have the stolen Tripod of Peace, a powerful relic sought by rival secret societies. Caught in these societies’ crossfire as thieves wield an instrument of astounding power, Gil and Lexi are in danger.

The Ancient Tripod of Peace is the first book in novelist Kalen Cap’s Teen Thief-Catchers Series. If you like stories with artifact treasures, fighting secret societies, and spirited protagonists, you’ll enjoy this novel.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Lexi hadn’t met any vegan guys her age, only girls. “Want to join me and Anita later?”

“Sure. I’ll try it out,” Trevor agreed.

“We only have a day to find our code for this topic,” Gil said. “Let’s focus on the project. I don’t want to start out locked in with something weak.”

The three read the project description again. Lexi felt clueless. She asked the others how to begin.

Gil said the topic related well to his social science fair project the year before on secret codes in writing.

Lexi rolled her eyes. From the way Gil told it, the project was designed for him. Full of yourself maybe?

Trevor said he spent part of a summer in Greece the year before when his father ran workshops there. There, he’d learned about ancient Greek history. Lexi didn’t mind as much when Trevor made it sound like his experiences aligned with the project. Unlike Gil’s, Trevor’s voice soothed her.

Trevor and Gil both stared at her expectantly. She blushed, first believing they were checking her out. But she soon realized they wanted to hear her special connection to the project topic.

“My grandmother usually teaches history here, too. She gave the opening talk at assembly. Oh, and my granddad’s an actor. He used to be a professional and acted in lots of Shakespeare. They can give me pointers,” Lexi said. My grandparents? That’s my “in” on the project? I’m such a loser. She was determined to not be the weakest link in the group.

About the Author:
Kalen Cap is a writer living in Ohio and regularly commutes back and forth between Columbus and Port Clinton residences. Set among the Lake Erie Islands, “TheAncient Tripod of Peace” is his second novel, first of the Teen Thief-Catcher series. His first novel, “Tangled Ties to a Manatee,” was published in 2012.

Author website - http://www.kalencap.com
Amazon Author Page - http://www.amazon.com/Kalen-Cap/e/B007XZEKTC/
Author’s facebook page for the new series - http://www.facebook.com/TeenThiefCatchers/
Buy the book at https://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Tripod-Peace-Thief-Catchers-Novel-ebook/dp/B07B29FTBX

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Nadia's Heart, Part 2 by Wendy Altshuler



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Wendy will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

*****


In Nadia's Heart, Part One, amnesiac Nadia knew that something was wrong, so she went in search of her missing heart. What she encountered has only brought more questions: about her origins and her ties to the people of the Land of Silence. She learned that her heart was indeed removed, and that her memory was erased by an evil Voice. But why? Now Nadia and her glowing-eyed companion, Georgeonus, must help recover the stolen hearts of the children of the Land of Silence. In Part Two, they will do battle against the evil Voice and travel to frightening places. They receive help from a powerful Witch and Wizard, and Nadia gets her heart back—but it's not at all what she expected. Can they rescue the stolen children's hearts in time?

*****


From Chapter IV: The Silver Witch:

They remembered that her visit had been preceded by a magick dust.

The dust came from above, the air tingled, and miniscule, silver particles glistened as they fell. It was musical, and as they breathed, they smelled fresh air like new spring, and they felt an excitement of imminent magick. She appeared suddenly, and at first no one knew where she had come from or how; she was just there on the road. She came as naturally as if she had approached them from the road. But as the magick dust settled, they realized—remembered—that the Silver Witch had dropped out of the sky.

As she stood there smiling at them, they remembered that they had looked up at the sky at a circling dot which descended. As it approached, it formed the shape of a square, floating quilt. The Witch was soon revealed to be sitting on top in black garb and hat, her silvery skin thick and rubbery. With both hands placed on diagonal corners of the quilt, she jumped off and shook the fabric out like clean laundry and parachuted down to them, the tennis sneakers on her feet ready for the road. Softly she landed, snapping the quilt upward and folding it once, twice, three times, and again and again until it was a small square deposited into one of her pockets.

*****


Wendy Altshuler is a writer-producer who explores myth in new media. She writes fantasy novels and creates works in stop motion animation. Her credits include award-winning screenwriting and WGA-accredited representation. With a degree in psychology and a Master of Arts from Columbia University, Altshuler documented the work of international choreographers and wrote and produced regional programming. Her short plays have been performed at Boston Playwrights' Theatre, at regional schools and most recently, Puppet Showplace Theatre. Altshuler's young adult book series has been hailed as "emotionally moving, uplifting and wholesome," and "spirited and haunting. . .with much symbolism and beauty."

Website: http://arborgate.net
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/waltshuler/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sirtwosays

Buy Link: Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Nadias-Heart-Part-Two-Adventures/dp/153972977X

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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Jack Gregson & The Forgotten Portal by Peter Wilson


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Peter Wilson will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Winner of the Bronze medal in the 2017 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards in the Pre-Teen Fiction-Mystery category.

Something has changed at Gregson Manor. An evil force from the family's past has returned to upheave their lives. Jack and his cousins explore the family secrets as they are pulled through a portal into a universe of endless worlds and possibilities. Together, they race to escape and destroy the evil Theorden and his followers who strive to unlock the power of the Forgotten Portal and wreak havoc on Gregson Manor and the World.

Read an Excerpt

They continued down the mud track until reaching a junction where three paths met and the Warden Statue stood before them.

“The Monk,” David said as they looked up at it. Over the years the three of them had named all twenty-three statues of Gregson manor, based purely on what the person looked like. While they knew each represented important Gregson family members from different generations, that hadn’t stopped them inventing some of the more childish names such as The Fat Dwarf, Big Butt Betty and Jack’s personal favorite The Constipated General.

The Monk stood on a small pedestal, the total height of the statue being around two meters. He had bare feet, with long flowing robes closed by a rope tied around his waist. His hands were pressed together at chest height as if praying and his shaved head was bowed with eyes closed.

“What do we do now? There’s no blue emerald here that I can see.” Rosie asked, examining the statue from all angles.

“Don’t know, that nutty woman didn’t say.” David replied, referring to the curator. “She did tell us to the bring the book though, maybe that will tell us something.”

Rosie pulled it out, then dropped the bag to the ground and sat on it. She went to the contents page and read down the list until she came to the chapter on the Rear Garden.

She started to read: The Rear Gardens are situated at the rear of the Gregson Manor…

“Whoever wrote this really spells things out, don’t they? Does it mention that the grass is green and the trees point upwards in a tree like fashion?” David asked sarcastically. “It’s like it’s written by a moron, for morons.”

About the Author: Peter Wilson has been writing for years. He started with short stories (many of them just 55 words long). The storylines and genres he chooses to write in are fantasy, horror & fast paced thrillers, as that is what he enjoys reading.

A number of years ago Peter sat down to write another short story, based on a prompt given in an online writing competition. As the word count rose, he realized that it wasn’t so short and it had turned into a novel: Jack Gregson & the Forgotten Portal, which recently won a Moonbeam award. He’s currently working on the sequel to the book, in what he plans to be a trilogy.

Peter lives in Sydney Australia. When he’s not writing, he works in the digital world, creating content for games, music and movie companies.

Website: https://www.peterwilsonauthor.com/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/jgregsonportal/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15155874.Peter_Wilson

Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Sophie Washington: The Snitch by Tanya Duncan Ellis


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Tonya Duncan Ellis will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Why do you write juvenile fiction? What draws you to it?

I like kids better than adults! LOL. Seriously, somehow I draw energy from being around children. I find them very insightful and so funny and interesting. I’ve taught Sunday school at my church for years and sometimes with my busy schedule and all I have to do with my own family and work I feel like I don’t have time to volunteer with the kids. Once I’m back with them in the class again I experience so much joy that I know I can’t give it up. There’s something about being with children that just gives me life.

What books were your favorite as a youth and why?

My favorites were Otherwise Known As Sheila the Great, Blubber, Ramona the Brave, Little House on the Prairie, all these books had girl main characters overcoming struggle and growing from them. They are realistic stories about everyday life and growing up, which I guess appealed to me. These themes run through my Sophie Washington book series as well. I’m glad I’m able to bring in some more diversity with the characters in my books than I had growing up.

What’s your favorite sweet treat?

I’m a chocaholic to the core. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, fruit covered with chocolate, it’s all good to me! Give me a rich piece of chocolate mousse cake or chocolate truffles and we’ll be best buddies.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

It’s cliché but I wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. My nose was constantly stuck in a book as a kid and once my English teachers told me I had a way with words and encouraged me in my storytelling, that was all she wrote. Even as a teenager the library was one of my favorite hangouts. I worked there, for free. I’ve always liked the feeling I get from writing down my thoughts and having other people read and appreciate them.

What superpower would you love to have? Why?

Endless energy. Would that make me the Flash? It seems like I have a never-ending list of things I want or need to do each day and never enough time to do them all. If I had endless energy I wouldn’t have to sleep and could zip through my to-do list lightning quick. I’d still want to be able to lounge or take naps when I wanted to though.

Sum up your books for Twitter: 140 characters or less.

Ten-year-old heroine and diverse friends deal with bullies, gaming, fitting in, peer pressure and that first crush, with a Texas twist.

Which of your characters would you most like to meet IRL? Why?

I’d most like to meet the bully Lanie Mitchell in real life and give her a big hug. She seems like she needs one. Maybe then she wouldn’t be so mean to the other kids.

You’re stranded on a desert island. Which character would you want with you and why?

Definitely Nathan Jones. Sophie doesn’t call him Mr. Know It All in the first book of my series for nothing. He’s super responsible and I’m sure he would remember to bring matches and maybe even a flare gun to signal for help. I haven’t mentioned it in the books but he is the character most likely to become an Eagle Scout.

9. Playlist for your current book.

 “Mean” by Taylor Smith could be played when Lanie is taking Sophie and Chloe’s lunch money. “Mama Said Knock You Out” by L.L. Cool J when Lanie knocks Nathan Jones down at his locker. “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor to be played when Sophie and friends gather at their lockers to plan revenge.

10. Favorite class in high school. Why? 

English, of course. It’s the place where I got to read and write and do all the things I love and get good grades for it.



There’s nothing worse than being a tattletale…

That’s what 10-year-old Sophie Washington thinks until she runs into Lanie Mitchell, a new girl at school. Lanie pushes Sophie and her friends around at their lockers, and even takes their lunch money. If they tell, they are scared the other kids in their class will call them snitches, and won’t be their friends. And when you’re in the fifth grade, nothing seems worse than that.

Excitement at home keeps Sophie’s mind off the trouble with Lanie. She takes a fishing trip to the Gulf of Mexico with her parents and little brother, Cole, and discovers a mysterious creature in the attic above her room. For a while, Sophie is able to keep her parents from knowing what is going on at school. But Lanie’s bullying goes too far, and a classmate gets seriously hurt. Sophie needs to make a decision. Should she stand up to the bully, or become a snitch?




Read an excerpt:

“Nice glasses,” smiles Mariama, one of my other good friends in our class. Mariama’s family moved to our neighborhood from Nigeria last year. Some people make fun of her because she dresses different sometimes and talks with an African accent, but she’s really nice.

“Thanks, this is my first time wearing them,” I say. “I was a little nervous this morning.”

“Well, you shouldn’t be because they look really good,” she assures me. A few of our other classmates come through the hall, and no one seems to pay too much attention to me wearing glasses. Seems like it’s not a big deal after all.

“Hey Soph,” calls Chloe, rushing over to join us at the lockers, “those are some cute specs. I may get some with red frames to match my uniform logo.”

“You’re supposed to wear glasses to see, Chloe,” Mariama and I laugh.

“Well, they can be used for fashion, too,” she informs us.

We compare notes on last night’s science homework and grumble about the many review packets Mr. Simpson assigns.

“He must really want us to become astronauts,” Chloe complains.

“Yeah, it took me over an hour to get mine done,” I say.

Suddenly, I hear Mariama whistle under her breath.

“What’s wrong?” I ask.

I see Lanie moving in our direction.

You mean she bothers Mariama, too? I think to myself.

“Hey, Miss Tarzan,” Lanie says, turning toward our friend. “I see you’re wearing that necklace from Africa that you promised me,” she says, pointing at the string of colorful wooden beads my friend is wearing.

Mariama, who is at least a foot shorter than Lanie and probably 15 pounds lighter, starts to shake.

“My mother gave me this necklace,” she says, “and it was a gift from her mother to her.”

“Well, it’s going to be my gift now,” Lanie snarls, reaching out to grab it.

“Why don’t you give it a rest?” says Chloe, moving to block her.

“And who’s going to make me?” Lanie smirks.

I feel my face getting hot under my new glasses. I am so tired of Lanie bothering everybody and spoiling all our fun. If I wasn’t so scared of people calling me a snitch, I would march right down to the principal’s office and tell on this bully.

“Leave her alone, Lanie,” I say through gritted teeth.

“And who’s going to stop me?” she asks.

“Me.”

Lanie laughs and shoves me against the locker.

“You couldn’t stop a flea.”

“Come on, Sophie, let’s just go,” Chloe urges.

But I’ve had enough.

I shove the bully back.

“I said, leave her alone.”

Lanie looks surprised for a second.

“Fine, if she won’t give me her necklace, then I’ll take yours.”

She yanks my precious silver friendship chain from my neck and knocks me to the floor so quickly that my new glasses fall off. “Sophie!” Chloe and Mariama rush over to help me as the bully hurries off down the hall.

“I hate her!” I reach on the floor for my new glasses and see that the glass is cracked in one of the lenses.

“Oh no!”

What am I going to do now?

About the Author:
Tonya Ellis remembers hiding in the restroom from a few bullies during her elementary school days. She encourages kids to speak out if they are being mistreated. She knew she wanted to become a writer after an article she wrote was published in her hometown newspaper. Since then, Tonya has worked as a journalist, written for newspapers and magazines and won awards for her books. When she’s not busy writing, she enjoys reading, biking with her husband and two sons and daughter, and travelling to interesting places. SOPHIE WASHINGTON: The Snitch is the second book in a series about Sophie and her friends.

Website: http://www.tonyaellisbooks.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tonyaellisbooks
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TonyaDEllis
Buy the book at Amazon.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Details of My Reality by Katie L. Oslin - $50 Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Katie L. Oslin will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Amy Thatcher is full of despair since her best friend is no longer by her side. Known as the ice queen, Amy is quick to dismiss people and barricade her sweet and beautiful soul. Although young, she’s wise beyond her years. And nothing and no one is going to get in the way of achieving her goals; or so she thinks.

Life soon shows Amy that it has other plans. She’s suddenly thrust into a world full of difficult circumstances and even more difficult decisions.


Read an excerpt from the book:

He hugged me tightly for so long I wondered if he’d ever let me go. Our cigarettes developed the longest ashes I ever saw. As mine finally fell to the ground, I was reminded of how quickly I fell for Johnny and how our relationship had been burning for the last three years. Eventually, we, too, like that ash, would fall. We would end up a memory of something that burned so deeply into our souls and it too would eventually turn to ash.

Such thoughts swirled through my mind, as I drove without a destination. Eventually, I found myself at the park where Johnny and I went that fateful night when he showed me the secret overlook and took my virginity and my innocence. I decided to park the car, then I grabbed my emergency blanket, flashlight, and cigarettes and walked toward the precipice where it all began.

A tear fell down my cold wet cheek. I sighed and gave him my heartbreaking answer. “Honestly?” I held back my tears as best I could. “I want you to leave me alone, Johnny. I want you to love me enough to let me go. I want you to help me finally get over you by staying the hell away from me. I want you to stay out of my life and let me be. Please, Johnny, I’m begging you.

“I want to be happy. I deserve that, and you of all people know it. Since I can’t have it with you,” I said, crying a little harder, then I deserve to have it with someone else. So, please, Johnny, if you love me like you say you do, you’ll let me go.”

About the Author:
Katie L. Oslin is a Midwesterner who started writing diaries, poetry and many short stories at a very young age. As a newly published author THE DETIALS OF MY REALITY is her first novel.

She is also a wife, mother and bachelor’s prepared registered nurse. Living on the coast of North Carolina, she frequents the beach and finds inspiration in the sound of the waves and the solitude of her surroundings.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katieloslin
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/katieloslin
Instagram: http://www.intstagram.com/khaoos1982
Website: http://www.katieloslin.com

Buy the book at Amazon.

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Friday, December 15, 2017

Annabelle and Aiden: Worlds Within Us by J.R. Becker



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. J.R. Becker will be awarding 2 personally-signed Annabelle & Aiden books, along with 3 limited-edition Annabelle & Aiden bookmarks (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Why do you write juvenile fiction? What draws you to it? My inspiration for this book, and in fact, the entire Annabelle & Aiden series, is to show children that our actual reality can be just as exciting as fiction, or more, and can help us change the world.

What’s your favorite sweet treat? Pecan pie, (or “pecan bars”), by far. Then, some sort of salty caramel bar.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Architect. Why? Love design.

What would you write in a letter to your teen self? Don't listen to anyone unless it makes sense to yourself. Make your own decisions. You know better. Think about it, but in the end, do what you think will be best for you. You know best. Trust me.

What superpower would you love to have? As a busy parent and hobbyist with never enough time, honestly, nothing would be better than, every night at 11pm, to be able to make the clock go back to 8pm.

What book is on your nightstand currently? Righteous Minds by Jonathan Haight.

Hunger Games or Twilight? Hunger Games.

Sum up your book for Twitter: 140 characters or less. This gorgeously-illustrated book takes children on an adventure through the earliest stages of our universe. “How did our universe form?" Annabelle wonders to Aiden. Luckily, the friendly Tardigrade Tom answers by taking the children on their biggest adventure yet! Soaring through space and time, they marvel at the big bang, and learn how each and every one of us is literally made of the same stardust. This book empowers children, who learn how we each hold a part of the universe inside us, and are far more special, interconnected, and 'larger' than we may think. #science #childrensbooks #bigbang #wearemadeofstars

Favorite hot beverage. Chai Latte. Why? Soothing, comforting, filling.

Ideal summer vacation. Backpacking through Iceland or the Swiss Alps!

Favorite pizza toppings. Fried, breaded eggplant. It's all about that. Mushrooms too.

Create an ice cream flavor. What’s it called? It's called SPACELUST and it’s purple.

You’ve just won a million dollars and you’re not allowed to save any of it. What do you spend it on? I’d give about half to charity to environmental causes, and the rest I’d invest. And sure, I’d take a week snowboarding trip.

Who was your teenage crush? SHIRLEY MANSON. Why? Because she was/is an amazing redhead rocker. Why not?

"How did our universe form?" Annabelle wonders to Aiden. Luckily, the friendly Tardigrade Tom answers by taking the children on their biggest adventure yet! Soaring through space and time, they witness the universe's earliest stages, marvel at the big bang, and learn how each and every one of us is literally made of the same stardust. Readers will learn how we each hold a part of the universe inside us, and are far more special, interconnected, and 'larger' than we may think.

Excerpt:

Did you know you hold the strength
of hydrogen bombs?
Or that there’s parts of different stars
in each of your palms?

You’re made of pieces
that used to be part
of dinosaurs, Shakespeare,
or Amelia Earhart.

You are the world
experiencing itself.
So do not feel small,
or left on a shelf.

We’re made of our world,
its mountains and wells.
So the way that we treat it,
is how we treat ourselves.

There's worlds within us
you would not believe:
Everyone that was
and that ever will be...

are all within you,
and came from the stars.
And that's just how big
and amazing you are.

AUTHOR Bio:

AUTHOR: J. R. holds a B.A. in Philosophy and a Juris Doctorate from Emory University School of Law. When he's not practicing entertainment law, playing drums, or enjoying the great outdoors, Joseph enjoys all the science and philosophy books and podcasts he can, pondering the bigger questions and dreaming up ideas for future children stories. (Got any? Send them in!)

After publishing his first (philosophical, dystopian) novel The Spider & the Ant, and later becoming a father, Joseph was inspired to found the Annabelle & Aiden series to foster curiosity and scientific awareness in the next generation.

Joseph lives in New Jersey with his wife Leah, and two children, Annabelle & Aiden.

ILLUSTRATOR: Max lives in a small town just outside Venice, Italy. As an illustrator, she is proficient with multiple mediums (from physical to digital) and can draw in multiple styles, as seen in her portfolio below. Max is especially fond of cats, Game Of Thrones, and Lindsey Stirling. After wandering the cosmos in search of the perfect illustrator, we're lucky to have found her, just on the other side of our blue planet.

Check out Max's site HERE (http://www.maxrambaldi.com).
See Max at work on her YouTube page HERE. (https://www.youtube.com/user/DigitalMakeup)

SITE: http://www.AnnabelleAndAiden.com
Amazon Listing: https://www.amazon.com/Annabelle-Aiden-Worlds-Within-Us/dp/0997806656
This book raised over $18,500 in preorders on Kickstarter. View the campaign here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1269876999/annabelle-and-aiden-worlds-within-us
https://www.facebook.com/AnnabelleandAiden

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Monday, November 6, 2017

Welcome to Sortilege Falls by Libby Heily


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Libby will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. The book is currently FREE on kindle, nook and at Smashwords. The buy links are at the end of this post.

Sixteen-year-old Grape Merriweather moved to Sortilege Falls expecting a fresh start and new friends. But things are never quite what they seem in this sleepy Missouri town. Her math teacher looks like a witch, her school is being stalked by a vampire, and Grape could swear the town’s garden gnomes are moving. None of that compares to the small group of teenage models, blessed with otherworldly beauty, who rule Sortilege Falls. Even the adults are powerless to tell them no. When the models fall ill from a mysterious disease, all of the town’s secrets start leaking out. Grape is determined to help her new friends, but searching for the cure might just get her killed.

Read an Excerpt:

Grape Meets the Models

Grape’s entire body stiffened as she looked up from her phone. Five of the most beautiful people to ever walk the earth stood scattered around two Porsches. Did I walk into a photo shoot?

“I mean, gross.”

The words came from an impossibly beautiful girl. Loose, raven-black locks fell over her shoulders, the tips lingering above her full bosom. Grape could almost hear the sizzle and static of her electric blue eyes. The sun had kissed the girl’s skin lightly, leaving a glow that made the air around her shimmer. Her pouty, pink, full lips begged to be kissed, though the guy standing behind her, his arm draped over her shoulder protectively, warned off all who would be so bold.

The boy behind her, if anything, was even more handsome than she was beautiful. Muscle stacked upon muscle until his clothes had no choice but to hug every inch of his body. His dark eyebrows and strong jaw lent him a tough look, one that was backed up by the playful anger in his eyes.

The raven-haired goddess turned and embraced her beau, her face tucked away into the heat of his chest. He sat propped up on the hood of a yellow Porsche, the sleek lines of the car offset by the disdain on his face. They were so incredibly, delightfully gorgeous that even though he looked as if he had seen a cockroach instead of a human being, Grape’s heart still melted at the sight of them.

“I think she’s in love.”

Grape snapped her gaze away from the Adonis with the nasty temperament and turned toward the twin boys standing in front of a black Porsche. Her eyes bounced between the two, taking in every perfect feature. Flawless, rich, dark brown skin. Sparkling hazel eyes. Muscles so tight that you could bounce a quarter off their abs, or arms, or anywhere on their bodies, really. They looked as perfectly engineered as the cars they stood by. But it was their lusciously long eyelashes that sent Grape swooning. Men were not meant to be this pretty.

“Leave her alone, guys.”

Grape’s head spun. Each person she saw was more beautiful than the last, and the redheaded girl standing off to the side was no exception. The baggy jeans and generic T-shirt she wore did not detract from her creamy skin and full lips. Her large brown eyes fascinated Grape—red flakes glimmered from inside each caramel-colored orb.

The air felt charged with a million volts. Her thinking grew cloudy. Were these angels? Was she daydreaming? How did anyone get to be this beautiful? She could sense their hostility, but something inside her felt warm and gooey. Snap to, Grape, she told herself. They want to hurt you.

“Awww, look. It likes us,” the twin with the goatee said. The clean-shaven twin’s face softened. Was that pity she saw in his hazel eyes?

“Stop being mean,” the redhead said, sounding more bored than angry.

“I’m not being mean. Where’d you buy that shirt?” Goatee asked. His quiet tone was laced with thorny edges.

Grape swallowed hard. The fuzz inside her head abated. Focus, she told herself, feeling like an idiot. “I don’t know. Kohl’s maybe.” She glanced down at her blouse. The shirt was a birthday present from her mother, and she wasn’t sure where it came from, but since her mother did most of her own shopping at Kohl’s, it seemed like a pretty safe guess.

Goatee turned toward his brother and smiled. “Pay up.”

Clean-Shaven shook his head at her as if she’d named the wrong store on purpose. He pulled a thick wad of cash from his pocket, peeled off a twenty, and handed it to Goatee. “I was sure it came from Kmart.”

“Why does it matter where I bought my shirt?”

The raven-haired girl glanced out from her hiding place in her boyfriend’s embrace. “It just looked familiar. I wore the same shirt. Three years ago.” She smiled, but there was no kindness when she bared her teeth. “Before it was a knockoff.” The girl hid her face against her boyfriend’s pecs. Their chests rose and fell at the same time, breathing as one.

“Okay. Well, I don’t really buy designer clothes.” Grape wanted to have a witty comeback, but she still wasn’t sure where the insult lay. Did they or did they not like the shirt?

What the hell is wrong with me? Of course they’re making fun of me. Why aren’t I angrier?

“She means she modeled the design,” the redheaded girl said, cutting her eyes to the couple.

“You’re a model?”

The brothers snickered. “Pretending she doesn’t know who we are, that’s so cute. Is that the new fad amongst the Normals?” Clean-Shaven asked.

“I don’t understand anything you just said.” Grape felt completely out of her depth. This was the school parking lot, but she might as well have been on Jupiter.

The redhead took a step toward Grape, shooting a nasty glance to the others crowded around the cars. “Don’t worry about it. They’re just teasing.”

“I thought about modeling.” Grape hadn’t meant to say that, but no one else spoke, and she felt like she had to say something. Her skin grew hot. She knew she was was blushing beyond red and into crimson mode. She’d practiced runway shows off and on in her bedroom since she was twelve, but she had never told anyone she wanted to be a model. Ever.

“Ow,” Grape cried, only then noticing that she had twisted her ring so hard it was actually cutting into her finger. A tiny drop of blood oozed out and fell to the pavement below.

“Aren’t you a little fat to be a model?” the boyfriend asked. His voice sounded like pure honey even when he spoke acid.

“You think I’m fat?” Grape stared down at her flat tummy. No one had ever called her fat before. There was still a bit of room in the waistband of her size four skirt.

“I’m just saying you could stand to lose a few pounds, unless you want the runway to collapse.”

“Ouch, Adam.” Clean-Shaven punched the boyfriend playfully on the arm.

Goatee winked at Adam. “My boy calls it like he sees it, and he sees a chunky monkey.”

“I’m well within my weight range.” She could feel her voice growing high-pitched. Damn nerves. These people were jerks.

“Of course you are, you look great,” the redhead told her. “These guys just don’t how to joke around without being completely mean.”

“We aren’t joking,” Adam said, giving his girlfriend a quick kiss on the top of her head.

Goatee pulled out his car keys. He turned his back on Grape, tired of their new toy.

“Whatever. Class is about to start. Are we skipping or staying?”

“Skipping,” the raven-haired girl peeked out to say.

Adam looked Grape over and made a face as if he’d smelled something terrible. “Yeah, I think I’m done for the day, too. I feel the need to hit the gym.”

She rubbed her hands over her stomach but it still felt flat like normal. What were they seeing that she wasn’t?

“The shirt looks nice on you,” Clean-Shaven said before climbing into the driver’s seat of the black Porsche.

“Like a muumuu on a water buffalo,” Goatee added and hopped into the driver’s seat of the yellow Porsche. The couple got into the back of his car and huddled close together.

“Mandy, you coming?” Goatee asked.

“No, I have a test,” Mandy, the redhead, said. “I’ll see you later.”

“Suit yourself.”

Grape waved stupidly at the drivers as the engines revved. You look like a goober, she told herself, but she could not stop waving.

“Move.” Mandy grabbed Grape by the arm and pulled her toward the sidewalk.

Grape tried to shake her arm free, but Mandy’s grip was surprisingly strong. “Let go of me.”

Mandy stared at her with an I-told-you-so look as the Porsches sped off, right through where Grape had been standing.

“Oh my God, were they going to run me over?”


“How?”

Mandy shook her head. She stared after the Porsches as they pulled into traffic and sped away. Finally, she turned back to Grape and offered her an apologetic smile. “Sorry about that.”

“Which part?”

“All of it, I guess.”

Behind the Scenes Info:“Welcome to Sortilege Falls” is my second novel. My first, “Tough Girl” was about an eleven-year-old who is slowly starving to death and loses herself in an imaginary world to combat the misery of her life. I wanted to write something happy after that and WTSF is about as “happy” as my writing gets. The idea was to come up with a main character whose very name sounds like a smile, thus Grape Merriweather was born. Stories grow and writers hardly ever end up writing the book they intended. That is definitely true with WTSF. My “happy” story grew to encompass the themes of beauty worship, celebrity, as well as delving into the mysterious relationships between child stars and their parents. In the beginning of the novel, Grape is new at school and eager to impress. She was popular back home and has never had trouble making friends. She spends over an hour the night before trying on outfits and picking the perfect one for her first day. But she is ignored by students and teachers alike. Everyone is too caught up with the beyond gorgeous models to bother with one new student. We discover this weird world along with Grape and I tried to stay true to her voice. It was very important to me that Grape wasn’t perfect, that she partially fell under the Models’ spell as well.

About the Author:
I was born during a blizzard. I’m told it was pretty cool but I have no memory of that time. I grew up in two tiny towns in Virginia and spent most of my twenties moving around the US. I’ve lived in Virginia, Florida, Missouri, and Washington. I’ve settled down, for now, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

I’m a writer and improviser. I studied acting in college but spent more time rewriting lines than memorizing them. My first play, Fourth Wall, was produced my junior year. Since then, I’ve written several full length plays, one acts and screenplays. I started writing fiction in my late twenties. Now, I focus mainly on novels but still dabble in theater.

Fun facts about me: There are none. I’m sorry to disappoint you so soon. But, I do love to read, write, and run. My hubby is my favorite person on earth. Dogs are my second favorite. All dogs. I love orange juice, especially when it’s mixed with club soda. Carbonation is better than alcohol. Jaws is my favorite movie. Everything I’ve said so far is true.

Awards:


Puschcart Prize Nomination for “Grow Your Own Dad” – Published by Mixer Publishing
Semi-finalist Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference – “STUFF”
Honorable Mention The Ohio State Newark New Play Contest – “The Last Day”

Contacting Libby: Email: libbyheilyauthor@gmail.com
Snail Mail: PO Box 58251/ Raleigh, NC 27616

WEBSITE: http://libbyheily.com/
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AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Libby-Heily/e/B005HBXAOU
GOODREADS: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5066866.Libby_Heily

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