Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Outcast by Lauren Hillman

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lauren Hillman will be awarding a $30 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.

Merissa is a faerie with no magic, no memory... and no friends. Until a hummingbird arrives with an ominous message: The Queen wants her dead.

With the help of the hummingbird Chippen, Merissa sets out on a dangerous journey to find the one faerie who may know the truth about her past. But they only find more questions when they meet Griff, a gypsy boy with pale grey eyes and one heart-melting dimple and Merissa discovers a strange connection between them. But soon her past will endanger them all.

But she is a faerie. And faeries are protectors. So if anything will help Merissa regain her lost powers it will be to save her friends.

The next day Merissa walked into the home of Ming-Li, a Juniper Faerie. She was the oldest faerie in the village and an herbalist. Wherever she touched plants would grow. She understood the power these plants had to heal and would break them down and make teas with them, giving them as medicines to anyone who asked. On rainy days faeries would gather in her home to gossip over hot tea.

Before Merissa entered there was plenty of loud chattering, occasionally broken up with the tinkling laughter of a chorus of faeries. The doorbell jingled overhead as Merissa entered and the laughter abruptly stopped. All eyes turned to stare. One young faerie, newer to the village than even Merissa, choked on the tea he was drinking and began to cough. The woman next to him had to slap his back until he stopped. Asha was seated at the centre table but when Merissa entered she quickly excused herself and slipped into the back room.

Ming-Li was the first to break the silence. “You’re not welcome here anymore, girl. Go home. I don’t want no speak about evil magic in my teahouse. Asha’s told us what you been talkin’ about and we don’t want any of that in here, you hear?”

Once Ming-Li spoke up a half-dozen others found their voices too and shouted angry words at her until Merissa found herself near tears, searching the room for a friendly face. She saw a brief glimpse of Asha’s eyes peeking out from the crack in the doorway but she ducked from view as soon as Merissa spotted her.

Andella, one of the older faeries who used to kindly help Merissa with her magic experiments chimed in, “Well I don’t know why you’re so surprised we feel this way. You’re talking about changelings! And if anything you say is true, it means one of us from this village must have been involved in some way. You don’t want to go down this road, Merissa. It won’t be long before some traveler gets wind of what you been saying and a regent of the Queen is sent here to make inquiries into all of us. You want to get us all killed? Now go and don’t let us be seeing you more often than absolutely necessary. In fact, if I was you, I’d consider leaving Reya for good and finding yourself a nice place in the Citadel where you can live a quiet, anonymous life.”

Merissa continued standing there, confused at the sudden turn against her.

“Go,” Andella yelled and Merissa could see the fire in her eyes and hear the flames in her voice. The level of hate scared her into action and she rushed out the tiny door into the drizzly sky outside.

This was the first time since her beginning she returned to that open field. She had no idea what compelled her to return to that spot but that’s where she found herself standing as the drops of rain began to fall more heavily. Merissa quickly searched the ground for any fallen leaves she could shelter under. But it was spring and the forest’s edge was too far so she made do with a daisy standing nearby. It wasn’t perfect and she still got wet, but her wings and hair stayed mostly dry which was some consolation anyway.

She slumped against the stem of the daisy and started to cry.


Lauren Hillman is an actor, teacher and writer living in Vancouver, BC. Originally from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario she moved west after university to pursue a career in acting. For the last ten years she has primarily been working as an acting teacher in elementary and middle schools, occasionally writing scripts to be performed on stage. The transition to novelist wasn’t easy but was aided by the knowledge and love of storytelling that the theatre gave her. Her first novel, Outcast, was largely inspired by her students.

Twitter: @LaurenJHillman
https://www.facebook.com/Outcast-by-Lauren-Hillman-445179775881844/
https://www.instagram.com/create_with_lauren/
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Thursday, September 7, 2017

She's Like a Rainbow by Eileen Colucci


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Eileen Colucci will be awarding a $10 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.

Eileen, thank you for stopping by and chatting with our readers. What did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

I wanted to be an actress. As a teen, I was very shy and I loved that I took on a whole other persona when I was on stage. My shyness fell away and I lost myself in whatever role I was playing. The summer after 6th grade, I played Gwendolyn in a production of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST. In middle and high school I was in various plays including the lead (Melinda) in TEACH ME HOW TO CRY, and children’s theater where I played a leprechaun. In college I was a ladybug in ALICE IN WONDERLAND; I was asked to read twice for the White Queen, but all the juicy parts went to the theatre majors. Anyway, by then I knew I was not going to pursue acting as a career. It was just a fun hobby. But I think actors are storytellers at heart and I have ended up being a storyteller.

What would you write in a letter to your teen self?

Dear Eileen,

First of all, don’t be so shy! Go ahead and invite that boy you have a crush on to the Sadie Hawkins dance. You should have more confidence in yourself. In a few years, quite a few of your classmates are going to vote for you as “Most Likely to Succeed,” and you should not be so surprised. (That title will ultimately be “stolen” from you by the girl with the highest GPA who will insist on a revote and actually run a campaign to win.) But really, you need to lighten up. Don’t be so serious all the time.

Understandably, you are devastated when your dad dies when you are sixteen. But, as hard as it is to imagine now, you will heal. You will grow into a strong, brave, outgoing young woman. As the song says, you will survive. So, take it easy on yourself and enjoy your teen years rather than wishing you could fast forward through them to your twenties. And know that it does get better from here.

Yours truly

What superpower would you love to have? Why?

I would like to be able to transform into other creatures, especially a dog so that I could play with my Labrador retriever, Phoebo. I do play with him but I think it would be more fun to relate to him as a dog. Plus, Phoebo doesn’t have any canine friends because he lives in our big garden and we don’t take him out for walks for fear of him getting into a fight with the packs of strays in our neighborhood. We did try to get him to be friendly with my brother-in-law’s dog when he was little, but Phoebo was not interested. Living in Morocco, our options are a bit limited. There are no doggy parks though we have taken him to the beach, again when he was little, and he loved that. So I would like to be able to roll around on the grass and just be one of the dogs. My husband actually does this, without any superpowers, and sometimes I think Phoebo is convinced that he is just another dog. It would be cool to have a real tail though.

Ideal summer vacation.

My husband’s and my ideal summer vacation is spending it anywhere with our two sons and their families. The hardest part about living in Morocco is being so far from them. Since they live close to each other in Virginia that is where we go. We usually stay for about six weeks and try to rent a house by the beach for a week during that time. Some places we have been are the Outerbanks (saw the dolphins), Chincoteague (saw the wild ponies – and mosquitoes!), and most recently Sandbridge, Virginia Beach (saw the turtle nesting grounds). Nothing beats building sand castles and going for walks on the beach with our grandchildren.

Playlist for your current book.

She’s a Rainbow – The Rolling Stones
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
Going Under – Saliva
Unbreakable - Faydee
Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper
True Colors – Cyndi Lauper
I’m Still Standing – Elton John
Broken - Lifehouse
Feeling the Moment - Feeder
Find What You are Looking For – Amy Grant
Let the River Run – Carly Simon
Time in a Bottle – Jim Croce
Something Fine – Jackson Browne
Feeling Good – Nina Simone
Morocco – Xena Aouita
You are so Beautiful – Joe Cocker

Who was your teenaged crush? Why?

When I was a teenager I was in love with Davy Jones of the Monkees. Davy was so cute and funny and he was short just like me. He seemed very intelligent and was oh so romantic. Most of my friends were also in love with Davy though one or two preferred Mickey. I watched the TV show faithfully every week (it was my favorite show) and compared notes with my girlfriends afterwards. The highlight of my Monkee-mania was going to a concert in Forest Hills, New York, to see Davy and his group in person. That was awesome. Years later by chance I came upon Davy Jones and Mickey Dolenz performing by the World Trade Center in New York City. Though we had both aged, I felt a slight thrill at seeing my teenaged crush again. Sadly Davy Jones passed away in 2012. You can read an article I wrote in memoriam, “For Davy – Thanks for the Memories,” on my website.

Favorite class in high school. Why?

I loved all my English classes in high school without exception. I couldn’t wait to drop math in tenth grade so I could sign up for all the English electives. I couldn’t really pick a favorite. But one class stands out and that was my twelfth grade History class. It was an Honors class so all the students really wanted to be there. What made it so special was the teacher, who had a doctorate, and the textbook he chose for us. It was called, “Viewpoints.” The book consisted solely of original documents. So when we studied a particular subject we would read primary sources from that era usually presenting two different sides of the story. Then we were encouraged to debate with each other and reach our own conclusions on the events. It was revolutionary for most of us who were used to being exposed to the textbook author’s point of view alone and being expected to memorize globs of information. Instead we were being taught to think for ourselves.

Thanks so much for hosting me!

I love interacting with readers and invite everyone to contact me through my website or through my Goodreads blog. I hope you enjoy SHE’S LIKE A RAINBOW and look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Author's Note: It is my hope that SHE’S LIKE A RAINBOW will promote peace and understanding among people of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. My aim is to stimulate discussion on everything we have in common as human beings regardless of our particular heritage. We are all connected.

“The summer I turned ten, my life took a fairy tale turn.”

So begins Reema Ben Ghazi’s tale set in Morocco. Reema awakes one morning to find her skin has changed from whipped cream to dark chocolate. From then on, every few years she undergoes another metamorphosis, her color changing successively to red, yellow and ultimately brown. What is the cause of this strange condition and is there a cure? Does the legend of the White Buffalo have anything to do with it? As Reema struggles to find answers to these questions, she confronts the reactions of the people around her, including her strict and unsympathetic mother, Lalla Jamila; her timid younger sister, Zakia; and her two best friends, Batoul and Khalil. At the same time, she must deal with the trials of adolescence even as her friendship with Khalil turns to first love. One day, in her search for answers, Reema discovers a shocking secret – she may have been adopted at birth. As a result, Reema embarks on a quest to find her birth mother that takes her from twentieth-century Rabat to post-9/11 New York.

Reema’s humanity shines through her story, reminding us of all we have in common regardless of our particular cultural heritage. SHE’S LIKE A RAINBOW, which will appeal to teens as well as adults, raises intriguing questions about identity and ethnicity.

Read an Excerpt:

We were not very strict Muslims. We did not pray five times a day, nor did we go to Mosque every Friday (though we did attend on all the Aids or Holy Days, to celebrate the Sacrifice of Abraham, the end of Ramadan, and such). Zakia and I emulated Mother and did not cover our heads. As she got older, Mother took to praying and began to wear a head scarf whenever she went out, removing it at home, leaving it on in her shop. She did not insist that we begin wearing one however. Since Zakia and I went to the French Mission schools, we did not receive religious instruction as part of the regular curriculum like our cousins who went to Moroccan schools did. To fill this gap, Mother hired a tutor who came once a week to teach us the Koran and to supplement the mediocre Arabic lessons provided at school.

Mother had several copies of the Koran. There was one, wrapped in gift paper that she kept in her room. I had come upon the sealed package one day when I was about seven and, not knowing what was inside, I had torn the golden wrapping to have a peek. Afterward, when I’d asked Mother why she kept an old Koran that was falling apart, she had scolded me severely and boxed my ears. She told me that Father had brought the holy book back from the Haj and had carefully wrapped it in order to preserve it.

Needless to say, we did not use this book for our lessons. Instead, Haj Brahim (he was addressed as “Haj” because he, like Father, had made the pilgrimage to Mecca) would take down the large, heavy Koran from the top shelf in the book case and try to help us understand the verses. When this failed, he would settle for having us memorize them.

Not content to just recite the words without understanding their meaning, I had convinced Mother to buy a version that had the Arabic on the left side with the French translation on the right. This was the book that I used for my private prayers and to search for an explanation for my multiple transformations.

I was not having much success however and decided I must talk to Haj Brahim about it. I didn’t want to ask him in front of Zakia, so I would have to choose my moment carefully.

One afternoon, Haj Brahim showed up a little early for our lesson. Mother showed him into the sitting room and asked Naima to make some tea. Zakia was having a shower because she had participated in a race at school that day (that she’d lost, of course). Seizing the opportunity, I slipped into the room and gently closed the door.

Haj Brahim was a portly man, in his sixties and decidedly bald. He was an old acquaintance of Father’s who had helped Mother settle the inheritance after Father died. Mother was in a predicament as a widow with only daughters. In the absence of a male heir, Father’s three brothers had tried to wrest as much as they could, but Haj, who was an expert in Islamic law and connected to one of the Mosques in Rabat, had made sure that Mother’s rights, however limited, were protected. (Those rights would have been even more limited had Father not already taken several precautions while still alive, such as putting many of the deeds and wealth in Mother’s name.)

I cleared my throat and Haj, who sat leaning back on the sofa with his hands folded in his lap, looked over at me and smiled. As always, he wore a little white skull cap that he only removed now. I began hesitatingly to describe my problem. Haj must have been aware of my transformations as he’d been giving us lessons since I was nine and still “Reema, The Palest One of All.” He had never mentioned anything about my “condition” though. He listened carefully as I timidly described my tormenters at school, mother’s failure to sympathize, and my personal doubts as to God’s role in all this. I stopped abruptly when Naima brought the tea and placed the tray in front of me.

Using the knitted mitt, I grasped the silver teapot and poured some tea into one of the crystal glasses. Then, I poured the tea back in the pot and served us both. I glanced at the clock. Zakia would be coming in any minute and my chance would be lost. Haj nodded subtly, as if he understood my urgency, and went to get the Koran from the shelf. He put on his reading glasses, then took them off and wiped them with the cloth napkin that Naima had given him.

He paused before putting them on again and recited to me, “’Endure with patience, for your endurance is not without the help of God.’ God presents us all with different challenges, Reema. You must have patience and His wisdom will be revealed to you. All in good time.”

“But, why Haj? Why is God doing this? Making my skin change color all the time like I’m some kind of freak. What have I done wrong?”

Without answering, he opened the book to the very end and read me a verse:

As time passes,
Everyone suffers loss
Except those who believe
and do good deeds and urge one another to be true
and to bear with courage the trials that befall them.

I could hear Zakia coming down the stairs. I quickly noted the page so that I could go back to it later.

Haj closed the book and said softly to me, “You are young, Reema. What seems like a great ‘trial’ today may not seem so terrible later on. You are a good girl. Just be brave – and patient.”

He patted me lightly on my hand. Somehow, it did not feel patronizing or dismissive. The butterfly touch of his fingers gave me hope.

About the Author:
A native New Yorker, Eileen Colucci has been living in Rabat with her Moroccan husband for the past thirty-plus years. She is a former teacher and recently retired after twenty-eight years as a translator with the U.S. Embassy, Rabat. Her articles and short stories have appeared in various publications and ezines including Fodor's Morocco, Parents' Press, The New Dominion and Expat Women. SHE'S LIKE A RAINBOW, which was recently published, is her second novel.

Colucci holds a BA in French and English from the University at Albany and an MA in Education from Framingham State University.

When not writing, Colucci enjoys practicing yoga, taking long walks and playing with her chocolate Labrador Retriever, Phoebo. Now that she and her husband have four grandchildren, they spend as much time as possible in Virginia with their two sons and their families.

WEBSITE: http://www.eileencolucci.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/921642.Eileen_Colucci

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Seven Days With You by Hugo Driscoll



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Sean Johnson’s life as a small-town farmhand has been nothing but predictable, but when he meets Sophia Hillingdon at the local animal sanctuary, she gets him out of an eighteen-year rut, away from the mundane existence on the farm, and a grieving, drunken father.

Sophia is the first person who understands him and makes him believe that he might get out of their small town, who tells him, he has the potential to be whoever he wants to be and do whatever he wants to do.

But as their relationship unfolds, it is the most devastating of news that will change both of them forever.

Read an Excerpt from the book:

I hadn’t been anywhere, but my mind had been everywhere. That’s how I felt that summer. Or more precisely, that’s how Sophia had made me feel by the time summer neared its conclusion. The months of July and August had followed identical patterns to June in that we rarely spent a day apart. We rode with Violet across the Suffolk countryside, sometimes for miles on end, often stopping by at local pubs. Then it would be Saturday. That was the best day of all for there was no work on Sunday, which meant dancing with Tom and Jessica until our bodies could no longer stand. We drank, we laughed, and most nights after, we made love as we tip-toed up the stairs of my father’s house. I was obsessed with everything about her. Yes, Sophia Hillingdon, the girl I’d known for barely a few months was the girl I now wanted to spend the rest of my life with. And though we often drove each other crazy, we soon laughed and made up as if nothing happened. It often puzzled me as to why Sophia found our fights so amusing seconds after we were hot from the exertion of spouting obscenities at each other. Red-faced, she’d often say, “You drive me mad Sean. But, you know something? That’s just how I like it.”

“Why?” I’d ask.

“Us,” she would say. “I love how angry you make me because…. Well, I’m obsessed with you… even our arguments sound oddly beautiful.”

About the Author: Hugo Driscoll is a 25-year- old British journalist and content writer for an online publication in London.

When he's not working, you can usually find him writing in the basements of cafes or lamenting the unfair treatment of millennials in overcrowded London bars.

You can also find Hugo on Twitter, Facebook, and his personal blog, which he updates regularly.

Seven Days with You is his first novel.

http://twitter.com/hugosa
https://www.facebook.com/hugodriscollauthor
https://hugodriscollwriting.com/

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hugo-Driscoll/e/B072DX4K4S/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Seven Days to Goodbye by Sheri S. Levy


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sheri S Levy will be awarding a $20 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.

Why do you write YA novels. What draws you to it?

Having taught many types of students, I enjoyed finding ways to encourage their interests and confidence. Pre-teens and teens develop in different stages and need subjects to identify with and connect. If they don’t have discussions with siblings or parents, it is helpful for them to read a book with the appropriate subjects. Writing for teens is exciting and a challenge. I like to address subjects affecting their lives and hope to encourage their own self-discovery.

Pretend your protagonist is at school and opens her locker- what will we see?

My protagonist is in the eighth grade. Trina is not neat and organized. The floor of her locker is filled with books, clothing left behind, and snacks in case she gets hungry. Her hobbies are training service dogs and riding the barn’s schooling horse, Chancy. She has filled the side of her locker with pictures of her very first dog, a white German shepherd, Gretchel, jumping over bushes, collecting gum balls in her mouth, and her favorite picture is the two of them sitting on the grass with her arm wrapped around Gretchel’s neck. Other pictures of her first black and white kitten, she received at Christmas, Claus, sits inside her dad’s shoe. And another of Gretchel and Claus snuggling, and sound asleep. But in the middle of the locker door is Chancy, a chestnut–colored-thoroughbred. Her head hangs over the stall door with her big brown eyes pleading for an apple chunk.

What’s your favorite sweet treat?

My favorite sweet treat has to be dark chocolate. I am allergic to gluten and have a reaction to sugar, so dark chocolate is safe. Occasionally, when we wander downtown, I can’t resist the ice cream shop and break all my rules. I order a double scoop-dark chocolate ice cream cone with chocolate frosting and Heath bar spread around the cone. Then a few hours later, I must take medication for a headache. It is always worth the discomfort.

Ideal summer vacation

There is nothing better than being on Edisto Beach, South Carolina. After growing up on California beaches, this southern beach is different than any other location. The water is brown instead of blue because the sand is made of crushed shells not quartz like you find on the Gulf beaches. The currents keep the sand stirred up, and keep the water dark. Sea grass grows in the sand dunes and rock jetties help reduce erosion. It is an old fashion beach without commercial activities. The one rental shop supplies kayaks, bikes, and beach toys. Patrons of the small island enjoy casual restaurants, a very small grocery store, and a liquor store. If you need to shop, you can browse the few souvenir shops and find beach clothing and essentials. We rent an older house over-looking the ocean, purchase fresh shrimp or fish caught that day, and enjoy watching the sunset. Our family usually joins us for a few days and livens-up our days. We kayak, ride bikes, or walk the beach looking for turtle nests and dolphins. I sit on the screened-in porch, listen to the waves roar, inhale the salt air, and watch for pelicans.

Life moves slowly, and I never tire of being on Edisto Island.

Sum up your book for twitter.

I am introducing my sequel, Starting Over. Trina trains a new pup, misses her 1st boyfriend, furious with a new girl at the barn, decides 2 offer help & suffers the consequences.

Thirteen year old, Trina has chosen to raise service dogs and have puppy after puppy. But during her seven day beach vacation, Trina struggles with having to return Sydney at the end of the week and worries about her best friend changing into a stranger. To complicate the week, Sydney, meets a young boy with autism and the girls meet his two older brothers. Tension is raised over the guys, and Trina fears she’ll lose more than her service dog. Will Trina's lose her best friend, also?


Enjoy an Excerpt

Uh, oh. The wind lifted the Frisbee into the air. It looked as if the disc had sprouted wings, and disappeared up and over the jetty. Sydney halted, staring at me. He was used to chasing his toy. His eyes asked for permission as his body quivered pent-up energy. Letting him struggle for a minute, I giggled and said, “Okay, Syd. Find Frisbee.”

I did a slow jog towards the rocks and seconds later, Sarah called, “Wait for me.”

I turned around and stopped. “Wow, you're joining me! Come on. I’ve got to find Syd’s Frisbee. It’s on the other side.”

We climbed over the jetty. The dogs used their four-legged drive and moved much faster than Sarah or me. When we reached the top of the mound, Sydney stood a distance away with his Frisbee at his feet, leaning close to a small boy. The boy continued to pat the sand in his bucket and turn it upside down, making a row of mounds.

My heart did a triple beat in quarter time. I started running. Sydney’s stub wiggled and jiggled as soon as the boy’s sandy hands rubbed his back.

“I’m sorry,” I said running ahead. I bent, face to face with the boy. “I hope he didn’t scare you.”

The boy never looked at me, only at Sydney and back to the sand. He said in a monotone voice, “Doggy, doggy.”

Sarah meandered up to us. I panted in fast spurts. Worried about the boy and Sydney, I never noticed the rest of the group. A little ways from the small boy, two guys around our age worked on a fort or it could have been a sand castle. The one who seemed to be the oldest, stood. He had long legs and was much taller than I expected. Using his hand, he shoved his longish brown bangs out of his eyes.

Oh, Sarah had definitely noticed. She smiled, pushed loose hair back into her braid and pulled her bathing suit in place.

I rolled my eyes. Okay. Here she goes.

About the Author:
Sheri, originally from California, moved to South Carolina with her husband, two children and a Siamese cat. Soon they adopted their first rescue dog who influenced their need to continue living with dogs. Sheri taught a multi-handicapped Special Ed class, and then a GED-parenting class, which included home visits. Because of her love of reading, Sheri found unusual ways to encourage children to read. After her rescue of a difficult dog, Sheri enrolled in dog classes to change his behavior. Her dream of writing, Seven Days to Goodbye, came from the culmination of her beach experiences, her understanding of behaviors, and from research with PAALS, a service dog organization.

Facebook: http://Facebook.com/Sherislevyauthor342003522553368
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Sheri-S.-Levy/e/B00NSGMS0S
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/SheriSLevy
Website: http://www.sherislevy.com

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Daughter's Curse by C.J. Davidson


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. C. J. Davidson will be awarding $10 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.

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

I discovered books around the fifth grade. Harry Potter was the first book I ever read, and it offered an escape from a terrible reality I was living. I still remember the first emotions I felt while I read it, because I identified with Harry. I remember thinking that it was odd that Harry had a scar on his forehead like I did. Of course, I kept it hidden with bangs, but still. After I finished reading the first book, my imagination did wonderful things for me. This is around the time when I first came up with the fantasy world contained in A Daughter’s Curse, and it wasn't as the plot for a novel. I created the mystical world years ago to escape a difficult childhood. It was at a young age when I discovered my imagination and it helped me cope with my reality for the next couple of years, before child services intervened. I want to be able to help children who are having a difficult childhood and give them an escape from reality.

What books were your favorite as a youth and why?

Harry Potter books were a considerable influence in my life. Every time I opened the pages of one of those books, I would imagine myself there, escaping from hardships going on in my life. As mentioned before, they helped me discover my imagination. If it weren’t for them, A Daughter’s Curse would not be around now.

Another book that I read in my youth was A Child Called It. That one opened my eyes, and I knew that it wasn’t just one child going through abuse like that. It gave me strength and inspired me to be stronger in difficult situations.

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

“A Daughter’s Curse” introduces a suspenseful romance about 16-year-old Brisnay Caplin who is not only discovering who she is, but where she comes from and what that means. Set in a parallel world in which only certain mortals have their own type of weapon and powers, depending in which element they are born in, she must overcome obstacles to deal with the consequences of her heritage and a forbidden love.

Ideal summer vacation.

I would love to vacation somewhere near the Rocky Mountains. There are splendid views and nature always has a way of stimulating my imagination. I would love a window facing the mountains while I write.

What superpower would you love to have? Why?

I’m a small-town girl, and when I drive through big cities, let me tell you, it’s something else. Telekinesis would sure help move some cars out of the way. Not in the sense that I have road rage, that is not the case. It is more when people cut you off within inches. (laughing)

When Brisnay discovers that she is a part of a fantasy world and meets Nickolaus, her miserable life takes a turn for the better. A world where anything is possible becomes her refuge and sparks fly between her and Nickolaus. Just when she thinks she knows everything about the realm she was thrust into, she uncovers shocking truths that rattle her to the core.

Betrayal. Hate. Envy. Deceit. Vengeance. Retribution. These are some of the things that Brisnay must face to fight a powerful, unknown enemy who is out to destroy her and strip her of the powers she's rightfully inherited.

Brisnay realizes that she has no choice but to take a stand and must get revenge by fighting for the right to love.


Enjoy an Excerpt

Brisnay was shocked when Cesare commanded her to conjure a weapon of her choice out of the water. The first thing that popped in her mind was a bow and arrow.

“Now, pick it up from the water,” Cesare told her.

Brisnay gave him a perplexed look.

“Go ahead. Dip your hand in the water,” Cesare dared her.

Another look of confusion decorated her face before she reached into the water. The water had nearly reached her elbow when she felt something hard and cool. She grabbed it, as if it were something just randomly lying on the floor. She pulled her hand up, and a bow loomed into view. The bow was frozen solid, yet it didn’t freeze her hand.

“Wh—” Brisnay started, astonished.

“You’re missing something,” said Cesare with a nod down at the water.

She reached down, and the same thing happened; she felt something hard and cool. She brought her hand up and—

An arrow?

“But how?”

“Shoot it,” said Cesare.

Brisnay looked down at the bow. The retractable string was frozen solid, too.

“But it’s frozen.”

“Aim and shoot,” Cesare repeated.

Still perplexed, Brisnay placed the frozen arrow on the bow, putting the end up against the frozen string.

“Pull.”

Brisnay pulled, expecting the frozen string to shatter to pieces, but she was wrong. The frozen string resisted and became flexible at her pull. The arrow made a loud whistling noise when it left. Brisnay didn’t turn to see where the arrow went. She was busy watching the string bounce a couple of times before becoming frozen solid again.

Cesare simply waved his hand, and the frozen bow disappeared from her hands, changing to water.

About the Author:
Today, I am married and have four children. Their names are Dluce, Marin, Carlos, and Isabella. I work as Branch Manager at a financial institution. I couldn't be happier with what I have accomplished so far.

My next step is to somehow help those affected by domestic violence. What hurts the most, is when children are in the middle of it. It is my belief that no one should have to feel unsafe, living life on the edge, wondering when they are going to get hurt. Sleeping with one eye open is the worst feeling in the world. Fear that catches in your throat paralyzes your whole body. Living life like that hurts and it comes with consequences. I know.

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/C-J-Davidson-1403997853241488
WEBSITE: http://www.cjdavidsonofficial.com/bio

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Lake of Sins: Hangman's Army by L.S. O'Dea


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter to win a Kindle Paperwhite . Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Secrets to writing a series


Some authors are plotters and some are pantsers. I’m a combination of both. This is important because plotters wouldn’t write a series in the same way that I do.

For me, the secret to writing a series is to write it in chunks, or write the entire thing at once. This may seem counterproductive because it’s going to take you a lot longer to get anything out there for readers, but for me it works.

I started writing this way by accident. When I finished my first book, it was huge – over 160,000 words. At this time, I was trying the traditional publishing route and I sent it to numerous agents. One of them was kind enough to contact me back, saying that no one would ever be interested in a first time author’s book of that size. She suggested that I cut around 100,000 words. Yeah, that’s right. Basically, she said “Cut it all – anything that big is full of fluff.” She didn’t actually say those words, but that’s what I read between the lines. She did also suggest that if I couldn’t cut that much then I should consider breaking the book into two.

That was going to require a lot of work, but it was the better of the two options – the only one I was willing to tackle. That’s how my one book became Lake Of Sins: Escape and Lake Of Sins: Secrets In Blood.

What I hadn’t realized was the benefits of writing them together. One of the main perks was I could go back and change things in book one to fit a situation in book two. I could leave little seeds—a trail for the reader to follow—in book one that will come to fruition in book two.

Once these were published, I sat down and wrote the rest. The entire series is done in rough (some very rough) draft. Part of me wishes I’d waited to publish the first two books because now I’m constrained by the rules that I set up in books one and two. Stockers have to be basically blind with no sense of smell, even though my life would’ve been easier if I could’ve changed that. I hadn’t realized how important Harbor Point was going to be when I wrote about it in book one. If I’d waited to publish Escape, I could’ve dropped some tiny seeds about Harbor Point, but as it stands, I have to live with what is published. As far as the future of the Lake of Sins, Escape, Secrets In Blood, and Hangman’s Army are the bible. The rules set up earlier cannot be broken.

So, my secret for writing a series is to write it all together and then publish. Most won’t agree with me, but that’s okay, because it works for me.

A rebellion is brewing in the world of the Lake of Sins while Hugh Truent sits in prison days away from his execution.

After taking his findings about the genetic similarities between the classes to the Supreme Almighty and the Council, Hugh had been arrested for treason and all his evidence had vanished as if made from smoke.

To protect his family, he cut off all contact with the outside world while he sat in prison for over four years waiting for his execution. He has no idea that some of his reports were leaked to the other classes and that civil war looms on the horizon.

Trinity and her friends have no hope of winning the war unless they can unite the classes. In order to do that, they need someone everyone will follow. They need the one person all the classes trust and believe in. They need Hugh.

That means they have to break him out of a maximum security prison and convince him to lead their army, but that won’t be easy because Hugh wants revenge and he’s not going to let anything get in his way especially mouthy, attractive, know-it-all Trinity.

Read an Excerpt:

Hugh

“What do you suggest we do?” From this position, the next tree was quite a distance away. The River-Men waited in the water below. He didn’t want to go back but he didn’t think they had a choice.

She went farther out on the branch toward the other tree. “Do you think you can jump?” She turned toward him, her golden eyes searching his face. “Don’t lie. If you miss, you die.”

“I’ll never make that jump.” There was no room for manly bravado in this situation.

She stared at him for another moment and then leapt. The River-Men dipped below the surface and then back up as she landed safely on the other tree. His heart thudded in his chest. She wasn’t leaving him. She wouldn’t do that. He had faith in her. He trusted her, but his stomach knotted. He’d trusted before and had been betrayed.

She tied the end of the rope around the trunk of the tree. “Do you think you can cross on the rope? If you don’t, I’ll come back, but then we’ll have to backtrack and that means sleeping in the swamp tonight.”

His arms and back ached and his hands were a bloody mess, but he could do this. He had to do this. “Throw me the rope.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah.” He wasn’t sure at all but they didn’t have time to go back. He caught the rope and tied it to the trunk of the tree, making sure it was tight-really, really tight. Then he grabbed the taut rope and wrapped his ankles over the top of it. Hand over hand, he moved away from the safety of the tree. He glanced down. The River-Men were swimming faster, excited and anticipating a meal.

About the Author:
L. S. O’Dea grew up the youngest of seven in a family that uses teasing and tricks as an indication of love (or at least that’s what she tells herself). Being five years younger than her closest sibling often made her the unwilling entertainment for her brothers and sisters.

Before she started kindergarten her brothers taught her how to spell her first and middle name—Linda Sue. She was so proud she ran into the kitchen to tell her mother. She stood tall and recited the letters of her name: L-E-M-O-N H-E-A-D.

She’s pretty sure she has her siblings to thank for the demons that lurk in her mind, whispering dark and demented stories.

Website: http://www.lsodea.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lsodea
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lsodea
email: lsodea7@gmail.com
Join Readers’ Group and Get the First Two Books in the Lake of Sins Series for FREE: http://lsodea.com/yourfreebooks-2/

Buy Links: This book is the third in the series--and the series should be read in order. The first two books is the series are FREE. Buy the books at Amazon:
http://myBook.to/LOS_Escape
http://myBook.to/LOS_Secrets
http://myBook.to/LOS_HangmansArmy

Buy the books at draft2digital:
escape = https://books2read.com/u/4Xgn21
secrets = https://books2read.com/u/bo6Dn9
hangman = https://www.books2read.com/u/bzpA5Z

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Buried Dolls by Lynn Hones


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lynn Hones will be awarding a $15 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.

Jody had the misfortune of breaking her ankle. The only available apartment to convalesce in is a derelict mansion just outside of town. The tenants prefer to keep to themselves except when sneaking strange dolls into her rooms. Suffering from loss of memory after a horrific event destroyed her biological family, Jody clutches at straws trying to find out who she is and why some people in the house leave her clues to get out or get murdered. Find out if Jody regains her memory, what happened to her family and who, among her friends, is actually her enemy, working to see her killed.


Read an Excerpt

It seemed odd that this lonely old spinster would go to such trouble to hide a note in the book, simply telling her to enjoy it. Ohjeita. He aikovat tappaa sinut j√§lleen. Slowly she typed the letters in one at a time. Such a strange language, she thought. When finished, she hit the translate button, and put her hand to her mouth. There in English it read, Get help. They are going to kill you. “What?” she said out loud. “What is wrong with this woman?” Jody pushed her blankets aside and stood. She slowly walked into the living room to double check that her front door was locked and bolted. One could never be too safe. And she was more afraid of Mrs. Junhuton than anyone or anything else. Slowly she walked back into the room and lay down. In between the space of wakefulness and sleep, at a time she reserved for thoughts of what was and what will be, she noticed a crack in the wallpaper. A small, fine line that needed further investigation. She opened her eyes and turned on the light. She followed that crack and rose and scooted over toward the end of her bed so she could reach its craggy edge. She ran her fingers along it. Upon further investigation she noticed there was another similar crack running parallel to that one and she saw one about two feet perpendicular to it. A door.

About the Author:Lynn Hones has been married for 28 years and is mother to two lovely daughters. She has two rescued cats and two dogs who are so big she calls them livestock. She lives in a large, drafty old home on the shores of Lake Erie and loves nothing better than grabbing an armful of books and heading to the beach. She combs the beaches for beach glass and makes jewelry out of it. Living in a historic harbor town, she has lots of inspiration for her books. She loves to write and chew massive amounts of bubblegum; preferably at the same time. She’s an expert bubble blower.

Website: http://www.lynnhones.com
Devine Destines: http://www.devinedestinies.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4028588.Lynn_Hones
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lynn-Hones-Books-392798690821239/
Buy the book at Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

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