Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Alpha Girl by Kate Bloomfield - Virtual Tour and Giveaway

Today we're visiting with author Kate Bloomfield on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the paranormal young adult novel, "Alpha Girl".  Isn't that a truly amazing cover? I love it!!

Kate will be awarding an autographed copy of ALPHA GIRL to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US ONLY), so leave a comment here and then follow the rest of her tour here.

Seventeen year old Rose Goldman is highly unpopular in the little town of Halfway. Ever since the 'attack' when she was a girl, people and animals have been afraid of her. She gets bullied in school, and called 'wet dog' because of the way she smells, despite being extremely hygienic. However, life takes a turn when a new teacher starts at Halfway High. Mr. Stone, the quirky and charismatic English teacher is twice Rose's age, but she feels an unexplainable pull towards him from day one. Despite her better judgement, Rose pursues a friendship with Mr. Stone, who seems unable to stay away from her.

What is pulling this unlikely pair together?

Alpha Girl is the first book of the Wolfling Saga, and is not intended for audiences younger than 15 years of age, as it contains scenes of a sexual nature, and coarse language.

Please do not read if you are easily offended.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Mr. Stone’s smile faltered. ‘I like my women to have a mind of their own – to be witty. Like you.’

My throat closed up. Like me?

‘You’re an amazing girl,’ he said suddenly.

His use of the word girl made my stomach twist painfully.

‘Am I?’ I asked.

‘Of course.’

‘A girl?’

He smiled knowingly. ‘An amazing woman,’ he corrected himself.

‘No one has ever told me that before,’ I said.

‘I don’t believe that,’ he smiled. ‘You’re clever, and beautiful, and damn witty.’

Mr. Stone’s jaw tensed as he realized what he was saying.

‘Beautiful?’ I asked, the word escaping as nothing more than a whisper.

‘Don’t you know?’ he asked.

My heart thundered as I stared at him. Oh please, my mind begged. Please tell me what is going on in that head of yours.

‘D-don’t I know what?’ I asked.

‘Don’t you know what you’re doing to me?’ He said as though I was torturing him.

‘What?’ My skin stung and my head swam with the possibilities.

‘Rose, I-’ He paused to collect his thoughts. ‘I’ve felt this … this pull towards you since day one. I can’t explain it.’

He didn’t need to explain it, because I felt it too. His eyes, his smile and his scent had me drawn in.

I placed a shaking hand over his, which was still on the steering wheel. He looked at our hands for a moment before allowing me to thread my fingers through his. I could feel his pulse in between each of my fingers.

Mr. Stone inhaled deeply. ‘Christ,’ he muttered, shutting his eyes tightly.

‘What’s the matter?’ I breathed.

‘That … that scent. The way you smell-’

I suddenly became very self-conscious. Bullies at school often accused me of smelling like wet dog. I sniffed my shirt, but I smelled perfectly normal.

‘What is it?’ I said defensively. ‘I showered this morning-’

Mr. Stone laughed, and I felt my cheeks burn with embarrassment.

‘No,’ he said with a small smile. ‘You smell amazing.’

‘I do?’

‘Absolutely. You always do.’

I never wore perfume, only regular home brand antiperspirant.

‘It makes me dizzy,’ he confessed. ‘It’s intoxicating.’

‘What do I smell like?’ I asked, rather flushed.

Mr. Stone licked his lips as though he could taste me in the air. ‘Sweet,’ he said.

My cheeks burned crimson, and I wished he would look at me. I couldn’t believe this was happening.

‘I want to kiss you so very badly, Rose,’ Mr. Stone said under his breath. ‘But I can’t … and it’s killing me.’

My heart hammered so loudly against my ribcage that I was sure Mr. Stone could hear it from where he sat.

Suddenly, I felt powerful. He wanted me … and it terrified him.

‘Mr. Stone,’ I breathed, but he still didn’t look at me. ‘Tom.’

A small groan escaped him as though his name leaving my lips was taboo.

‘Look at me,’ I said, my eyes fixated on him.

‘I can’t,’ he said, shaking his head.

Best-selling and independent Australian author, Kate Bloomfield, has successfully made a name for herself in the world of self-publishing at just twenty-three years old. Her newest and most precious book yet, Alpha Girl, is a controversial Paranormal Romance between a student and teacher. A book not for those easily offended.

Kate was born in Enfield, London in 1989, but has lived in Wollongong, Australia for most of her life.

Now working full time as an independent author, Kate has published four novels, and two short stories.

Her fifth novel ‘Alpha Girl’ is a paranormal romance that explores a complicated a student/teacher relationship. It is due for release on April 1st 2013.

For more information about Alpha Girl, please visit: www.bloomfieldkate.com

Blog: www.katebloomfieldauthor.blogspot.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/katebloomfield
Facebook: www.facebook.com/katebloomfieldauthor
Wattpad: www.wattpad.com/katebloomfield
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/KateBloomfield
Amazon: http://amzn.com/e/B0077DUFJO

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Ifs by J. D. Pooker - Virtual Book Tour

Today we're visiting with author J. D. Pooker on her tour with Bewitching Book Tours for the middle grade fantasy novel, "The Ifs".

J. D. answered many of my prying questions -- thanks!

Why Middle Grade fiction? What draws you to it?

I write both middle grade and YA fiction. I enjoy writing it because I love thinking about what things kids are worried about nowadays. With two kids of my own, I know they are going to face tough times, and I like to imagine how they would react in those situations and give them some guidelines in my story about what to do.

What books were your favorite as a youth and why?

I LOVED Christopher Pike novels. Such a fantastic writer!

What’s your favorite sweet treat?

I really don’t say no to any sweet treat, unless it has nuts in it. Bleh. I’m a huge brownie fan, so I’ll eat any type of brownie. I also love orange soda.

What superpower would you love to have? Why?

The ability to multiple myself. Then I could accomplish everything I need to accomplish in a day.

Favorite class in high school. Why?

English. My teacher was a huge influence on my writing. I’m thankful for his inspiration to create.

The Ifs by J.D. Pooker
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Publisher: Little Devil Books
Date of Publication: April 23, 2013
Number of pages: 146

Book Description:

Landon and Broden are brothers. Some days they DO NOT get along very well. They spend most of their time fighting, arguing and plotting ways to get revenge on each other.

Then, strange things start happening…

Noises in their room that are not the cat.

Homework is mysteriously finished.

A broken shoelace repairs all by itself.

Clothes are put in the hamper on their own. The brothers want to share their weird experiences, but they don’t know if they can trust each other. But when they find out who’s behind all the strange things around the house, they are called to battle.

Battle? Whoa! Right there in the forest by their house! A battle with the most unusual creatures and wildest of beasts. And when the battle turns more dangerous than they imagined, Landon and Broden must face their fears, put their grudges aside and learn how to work together.

Now Enjoy Chapter One:

“Good night, boys. I love you.” Mom smiled slightly as she blew each of the boys a kiss.

“Love you, too, Mom,” the brothers said in unison.

She clicked out the light and closed the door.

Landon settled into bed and closed his eyes.

He dreamt that he ran through the forest. His breath came in pants, his legs were heavy and hard to move. Something stomped behind him, breathing on his neck. When he glanced over his shoulder, there was nothing but trees. He turned back just in time to see a branch in front of his face. He ducked just before hitting it, but the movement shifted his weight and threw him off balance. He fell forward, rolling through dirt and leaves. As soon as he stopped, he held his breath and listened. The footsteps still sounded behind him. He tried to push himself up, but he couldn’t move. A puddle of mud surrounded him, and he sank into it. He grabbed at the tree roots in an attempt to save himself. Suddenly, the footsteps stopped. Landon quit struggling and glanced around. The forest grew darker, and someone laughed—a low, menacing laugh, like a villain in cartoons. The renewed desire to pull himself out overwhelmed him, but his movements caused him to sink faster. When the mud was about to cover his face, he jerked awake.

His foot connected with something on his bed, and it thumped onto the floor before scurrying across the room. Landon wiped the sweat from his forehead and rubbed his eyes. Cautiously, he glanced over the edge.

“Tiki?” he whispered. “Tiki is that you?”

He waited for the meow, but it never came. He shrugged and hopped off the bed, walking to the bathroom to get a drink of water. As he came back to his room, something clinked. What was that? He squinted in the darkness, hoping the gesture would allow him to see what made that sound.

“Tiki?” He walked to his bookshelves. He was sure the sound came from that area. “You know you’re not supposed to be up there.”

He stood in front of the shelves, patting each shelf with his hand, looking for the cat. A meow sounded behind him. Tiki stood in the doorway. Something thumped in the closet to his right. His heart began to beat rapidly, and he jumped back into bed, throwing the covers over his head. It was a zombie, he knew it. Mom and Dad told him they didn’t exist, but he was sure they did. What else would have made that sound? It was going to come out of the closest, its eyes glowing red and teeth dripping with spit, and eat him. The only protection he had was the force field created by his blankets. Hopefully, they kept him safe.

Landon listened intently, waiting for another sound to permeate the darkness, but nothing sounded. He relaxed. The zombie must have moved on. It knew it couldn’t get through his shields. His heart rate slowed; he took a deep breath.

Eventually, he fell back asleep.

His alarm woke him the next morning. He poked his head out of the covers and glanced at the clock. 7:00. He folded the covers to his waist and rubbed his eyes. He didn’t feel very rested. In fact, he was incredibly tired. He wanted nothing more than to roll over and go back to sleep. Landon finished rubbing his eyes and glanced down. Tiki lay at the end of his bed, staring at him and blinking slowly. Landon huffed. Dumb cat caused a lot of issues during the night, and she looked at him like she was innocent and did nothing wrong. It was her fault he was so tired. But what could he do? He had to go to school, and Mom would be mad if he hurt the cat. The only thing he had to look forward to was that it was Friday. He jumped onto the floor and turned to Broden.

“Hey.” He shook Broden’s shoulder. “It’s time to get up. We have to get ready for school.”

Broden rolled over and swatted at his brother but missed. Landon backed out of the way.

“I’m up, I’m up,” he said.

Landon felt ornery and punched him in the arm before running down the hall. Broden yelled at him from the bedroom. It wasn’t the nicest thing to do, but Broden needed some motivation to get up. As he turned to go downstairs, he heard Broden right behind him. Landon glanced over his shoulder, smiling. He took the stairs two at a time and went into the kitchen. Mom sat at the table, checking her email and eating a bowl of cereal. Phew! Landon was safe.

“Good morning,” she said between bites.

Landon was about to answer when Broden burst into the room. He tried to smack Landon on the head, but Landon blocked it, and the two started a slap fight. Broden must not have noticed Mom at the table, or maybe he didn’t care. With her there, Broden could get into a lot of trouble for starting a fight. After all, Mom didn’t see Landon hit Broden in the bedroom, so she couldn’t punish him for that.

“Boys,” Mom called over the melee. “It’s too early for that. Knock it off.”

“He hit me,” Broden whined.

“No I didn’t,” Landon protested.

“I don’t care who did what. Knock it off before I hit you both.”

The two settled down and grabbed a bowl and a box of cereal out of the cupboard. As they sat at the table, they kicked at each other. Landon tried to whack his brother good, but he missed and hit the table leg. He jammed his toe and yelped in pain. Broden laughed. Mom just stared at him, her lips pursed.

“I hope that teaches you a lesson,” she said and stood, taking her bowl to the sink. She walked out of the room without saying another word.

Landon put his foot on the chair and examined his toe. It was red and throbbing, but there was no blood, so he would be fine. Still, it upset him that Mom didn’t get Broden in trouble. She was there, she saw him start the fight. Landon didn’t know why he wanted Broden to get in trouble. He was tired and grumpy, so it sounded like a good idea. Maybe he wanted Broden to feel as bad as he did. Either way, it didn’t work out, and that made him angry. He wouldn’t have hurt his toe if it weren’t for Broden. That made him even madder.

“See, that’s what happens when you mess with me.” Broden smiled.

Landon flipped milk at him. There was no other way to retaliate. Plus, he knew it would upset Broden. He’d be sticky and dirty for school.

“Mom! Landon’s throwing food!”

“No I’m not!”

“Boys,” Mom called from downstairs, “you don’t have time for this. Did everyone finish their homework?”

Landon’s eyes grew wide. “Oh, yeah. My math.” He scarfed down the rest of his cereal and ran upstairs.

The night before, he’d been having a hard time solving a math problem. He agonized over it and tried several way to find the answer, but he never did. The paper was stained gray from him erasing his work so many times. He was determined to finish it, but he never got the chance. It was bedtime. His only hope was that when he went upstairs, a new idea would come to him and he would be able to solve it.

Once in his room, he pulled on his clothes, ran into the bathroom to brush his teeth, then sat at his desk. The anger and frustration from the morning faded away, replaced with determination to finish his assignment. He opened his math book and pulled out the paper. He grabbed his pencil and scanned down the paper, stopping on the problem he had been working on before bed. Determination was replaced with confusion. He was sure he hadn’t finished the problem, but as he stared at the paper, there were numbers filled in on the page. The writing was crooked and light, as if whoever had written it had a hard time holding the pencil. He scrutinized it for a long time.

Broden came into the room and pulled him out of his stupor. Landon placed the paper back into his book. He looked at his brother.

“Did you do my homework?”

Broden stopped getting dressed and looked at him. “Why would I do your homework?”

“I don’t know. To mess with me. The writing is all sloppy.”

Broden cocked his head to the right. “Landon, if I wanted to mess with you, I wouldn’t do your homework for you. I’d flush it down the toilet.”

Landon shrugged. “Well, someone did it.”

Broden pulled on his pants. “Maybe it was Mom.”

Landon nodded. “Maybe.” He placed his book in his backpack.

“Boys,” Mom called from down the hall, “are you getting ready?”

“Yes,” they answered.

“Mom,” Landon yelled, “did you do my homework?”


“Did you do my homework?”

Mom poked her head into their room. “Why would I do your homework for you?”

Landon shrugged. “I don’t know. ‘Cause you felt sorry for me?”

Mom rolled her eyes. “First of all, sweetie, I didn’t even know you were having trouble with your homework. Secondly, I’m busy sleeping at night, not sneaking around in the dark finishing people’s homework. Maybe it was the homework fairy.” Landon chuckled. “Mom! You know there’s no such thing.”

“There is if you believe.” She knocked on the wall. “Now, c’mon, we’ve got to get to school.” She left the room.

After the boys were dressed and ready to go, they met their mom in the living room. They piled into the car and backed down the driveway. The ride to school was silent. Mom pulled in front of the building and turned to face the boys.

“Have a good day, angels.” She smiled. “Go straight home after school. Your dad will be waiting for you.”

“Okay, Mom,” they said as the climbed out of the car. “Love you!”

“Love you, too!”

Landon turned and waved as he walked toward school, but Broden was already half way to the playground. They played until the bell rang, then headed into their classrooms.

The first thing Landon’s teacher asked for that morning was the math homework. Landon turned it in, feeling pretty proud of himself that he had finished all of it, even if he had a little help. He came to the conclusion that he must have gotten up in the middle of the night and finished it in his sleep. It was the only way to explain it. Surely, the zombie in his closet didn’t do it, so who could have? And it would explain why he was so exhausted.

He went through the rest of his day without giving it a second thought. By the time lunch rolled around, the only thing he thought about was getting onto the playground and playing kickball. He ate his turkey and noodles as fast as he could, then ran outside. On his way, his shoe came untied. While retying it, the shoelace broke. He held the string in his hand and stared at it.

“Oh, man.”

“Landon, c’mon!” his friends called.

He put the lace in his pocket and headed onto the field. He’d have plenty of time to worry about it later. Right then, the most important thing was the game.

Landon’s team was up by two points, and it was his turn to kick. He was easily one of the best kickers in his class. The game would be won by the bell. There was a runner on second, and Landon was sure he could get him home. He lined himself up at the plate and eyed the pitcher. The boy watched him for a few seconds, his eyes narrowed to slits, before winding up his arm and tossing the ball. Landon steadied himself and watched the ball approach. He took one step forward and kicked. His foot connected with the ball with a thump, sending it sailing over the other player’s heads, along with his shoe.

At first he didn’t notice, the excitement of the great kick overwhelmed him, but when he started running, the gravel dug into the bottom of his foot. Still, he wasn’t going to let it slow him down. The runner on second base took off; Landon had to get to first. He would, even if he had to limp. He was half way there when he turned to see where the ball was. The shortstop was crouched down with his arms out. The ball bounced and he scooped it up, shifting it quickly to his right hand to throw. Landon quickened his pace. If he didn’t hurry, he would be out. As his shoeless foot came down, he stepped on a rock. Pain started in his heel and traveled up his calf, causing him to almost lose his balance. He wanted to yell, but the pain took his breath away. That, and he had to get to first base. There wasn’t time to yell. The shortstop cocked his arm back. Landon braced for the blow. Before it could come, the bell rang. Landon stopped in his tracks, and he and the other kids groaned with disappointment. He turned to get his shoe, then headed back into the building.

Landon was thankful to be able to sit down. The heel he hit on the rock was on the same foot he jammed his toe. His whole foot felt like it was pulsating. He lifted his foot to his chair and slid his sock down. The heel was already bruised. A black circle surrounded by red covered part of his foot. That was going to be sore for a while. He was a little thankful that he couldn’t tie his shoe. The pressure might have made his foot explode. He replaced his sock and put his foot on the floor as the teacher handed back their homework from the night before. Landon looked at his grade. B. He shrugged. Not bad. He glanced down the page to see which problems he missed. The first one that caught his eye was the one he didn’t finish. Not only was it checked, but the teacher had written a little note beside the problem. It read: “Please make sure I can read your writing. This is a mess.” Landon shook his head and stuffed the paper in his desk.

After school, Landon met Broden at the monkey bars, as usual, and they headed home. They only lived a few blocks from school, but their mom liked to drop them off on her way to work. They didn’t mind because that meant they got to sleep in a little bit longer. They didn’t say anything the whole way home. Landon’s foot was sore from the rock, although it didn’t hurt as bad as it had earlier in the day, and he had to concentrate on walking so he didn’t lose his shoe. Broden was busy kicking a plastic bottle cap down the sidewalk.

When they got close to the house, Broden turned and kicked the cap at Landon. It hit Landon in the hand, and even though it wasn’t going fast enough to cause real damage, it still stung. Landon’s gaze flicked up from the ground. Broden smiled, then took off running. How dare he! He would pay for that! Landon tried to follow him, but his shoe kept falling off, preventing him from running. He would have taken it off, but that would make his foot hurt even more. It didn’t really matter. There would be plenty of time to get revenge. Broden didn’t have anywhere to hide.

Landon walked into the house and noticed Broden hugging Dad around the waist. He would have to wait to get back at his brother.

“Hey, sport,” Dad said. “How was your day?”

Landon set his backpack by the couch. “Good.”

Dad smiled. “We’re going to go play some football in the backyard. Do you want to come?”

He nodded enthusiastically. “Yeah. Let me change my shoes real quick.”

He ran upstairs and kicked his shoe into the room. Sitting on Broden’s bed, he took off the other one and pulled on a pair of old sneakers. He ran back downstairs and joined his dad and brother outside.

Playing with Dad was always fun, but Landon’s foot still hurt, so he wasn’t overly excited. Still, he tried his best. Broden caught the first throw, so Landon promptly tackled him. The second one was his, and Broden whacked him hard. Broden’s shoulder dug into his back, which hurt, then when he hit the ground, the air got knocked out of him. That was painful, too. It took him a few moments to get to his feet. When he did, his arm was around his waist to help with the pain. He thought about quitting and going inside, but then Broden would tease him. He could stick it out for a little longer.

Mom got home a few hours later, and the family ate dinner and watched a little TV. Broden didn’t tackle him hard again, and Landon was thankful. By the time they sat on the couch to watch cartoons, Landon was so tired, he forgot about getting revenge on his brother. Landon and Broden went to bed at 9:00. All night, Landon kept dreaming that someone was poking his foot, right where he stepped on the rock, with a small stick. At one point, they poked it so hard, pain radiated through his leg, causing Landon to jerk awake. His foot throbbed again. He rubbed his heel for a moment, barely able to keep his eyes open. Right before falling asleep, he couldn’t help but think something weird was going on.

J.D. Pooker lives in wonderful Wyoming with her husband and two sons, along with a black lab named Ryder and a sweet kitty named Alia. J.D. likes to spend time with her family and go camping, fishing, and snowmobiling.

Her sons are the inspiration for writing children's stories. She wants to encourage them to be readers and show them how powerful and exciting the imagination can be. She wants them to see that countless worlds exist, and all it takes to get there is a good book.


Friday, May 17, 2013

Untellable by Suzanne Lilly - Review tour and giveaway

This review is done in conjunction with the author's tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. Suzanne will be awarding a backlist eBook (winner's choice of Shades of the Future, Bad Hair Day, or Rapunzel's Daughters) to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so leave a comment and you're entered! If you want more chances to win, visit the rest of her tour stops here.

Untellable by Suzanne Lilly
Contemporary New Adult Romance
129 pages
5 stars

Aspen Dwyer, recently emancipated from foster care, is searching for a place to hide from a past with secrets too dark to share. Honey Creek, Ohio, presents itself as the best place to start a new life and stay undercover. There she meets Colton Moraine, a man with strong family ties and an even stronger sense of loyalty. His boisterous, loving family welcomes Aspen with warmth she hasn’t felt in years. She’s surprised at how quickly and deeply she falls for Colton. When a dangerous criminal comes to Honey Creek, intent on his revenge against her, Aspen must choose between two options. Should she stay and risk her life and the rejection of the people she’s grown to love? Or should she run again, and leave behind any chance of a happy future?

My Review: I've never read anything by Suzanne Lilly before this story, but after enjoying Untellable, I'm planning on rectifying that mistake. She's written a truly amazing story, populated by real characters I truly cared about.

Untellable is part of a series set in Honey Creek.  The series appears to be written by many different authors, but I'm so intrigued by, and in love with all the characters, I'm sorely tempted to pick them all up.  If they're half as good as this book, I'll enjoy every word.

Aspen is our heroine, a former foster child on her own and hiding out from her father (who is not a nice man).  While he's in jail at the start of this story, it's clear it won't be that way forever.  She's determined to make a new start in a tiny, nowhere town and equally determined to keep from letting anyone close to her again.  But, in Honey Creek, that's not an easy thing to do.  Like any small town, everyone is in everyone else's business!

Colton is a hunky fireman who likes Aspen from the moment he meets her.  He's fun, caring and doesn't take no for an answer.  While he's certainly not perfect, he is a perfect hero for Aspen.

The plot is mainly about Aspen coming out her shell and finding herself (and the courage to stand up to the man she fears).  She grows as a person, and she learns that it might be scary to fall in love, but it's not always dangerous to do so.

The story had me smiling all the way through.  It's sweet, touching, a bit scary and nerve-wracking and ultimately satisfying.  The romance is sweet, and this is a book that could be read and enjoyed by readers from the mid-teens on up.

Now enjoy an excerpt:

I hoofed it to Java City, arriving before Margot. I ordered coffee for both of us and set it on the table. My leg bounced up and down uncontrollably while I played with my locket and waited for Margot to show up.

“Nice hairdo,” Margot commented, dry as toast. I’d forgotten about the French Twist.

“Grandma Millie and I were sort of playing dress up. She did my hair and said I look like someone named Grace Kelly.”

“Hmm. I can see that.” Margot eyed me. “Do some research on Grace Kelly. I think you’ll see what she’s talking about.”

“Grandma comes up with something new every time I talk to her. She’s never dull.” I was bursting to tell Margot about the coin.

“You know, being there for her every week means more than you realize,” Margot assured me. “You listen to her. Your presence helps her, even if she sometimes seems confused.”

“I hope you’re right. Some days she totally has it together, and other days, I’m not so sure. Today was a good day.” I took a sip of coffee, smiling at Margot over the lip of the cup.

She waited. She had saintly patience. Finally, her patience ran out. “All right, Aspen, out with it. You look like the cat that caught the goldfish. What’s up?”

“Grandma gave me something today.” I leaned in and whispered, a mirror of what Grandma Millie had done with me. “A family heirloom.”

“Oh? Why are we whispering?” Margot leaned toward me. “What is it?”

“A coin.” I paused. “A very rare coin. I think this is what Rick and Mom were fighting about the night he murdered her.”

Suzanne Lilly writes lighthearted young adult stories with a splash of suspense, a flash of the unexplained, a dash of romance, and always a happy ending. Her short stories have appeared in numerous places online and in print, and she has placed and received honorable mentions in writing contests. Her debut novel was Shades of the Future in 2011 followed by Untellable in 2012. She lives in Northern California where she reads, writes, cooks, swims, and teaches elementary students.

You may find Suzanne Lilly online at these sites:

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Suzanne-Lilly/e/B006HY79IY
Website: http://www.suzannelilly.com
Blog: http://www.teacherwriter.net
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/SuzanneLillyAuthor
Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5258804.Suzanne_Lilly
Twitter: @suzannelilly http://twitter.com/suzannelilly

Buy links:
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/289280

Turquoise Morning Press: http://www.turquoisemorningpressbookstore.com/products/untellable-by-suzanne-lilly

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Untellable-Honey-Creek-Books-ebook/dp/B00BKTAXHK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1361796979&sr=8-1&keywords=untellable+by+suzanne+lilly

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/untellable-suzanne-lilly/1114700545?ean=2940016203263

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How Not to Train a Zombie by Annie Rachel Cole - Virtual tour and giveaway

Today we're visiting with author Annie Rachel Cole on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the middle grade novel, "How Not to Train a Zombie".

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so leave a comment today and follow the rest of her tour here.

How does a thirteen-year old become the most popular kid in 8th grade? He trains a zombie to be a pet... And that's exactly what Max Taylor plans to do, even if he had to lie, steal, and lose his best friend in the process.

Now enjoy an excerpt:

“That’s not only the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard, but it’ll get us in all sorts of trouble.” Chad’s nasally baritone voice blasted its way through the crowded hallway. Only the clanks of locker doors slamming shut were louder, but not by much.

Up and down the hallway, students turned and stared at Chad and Max. Some pointed and laughed, but most just ignored them as if they didn’t exist.

“Sheesh! Can you talk a little louder? I don’t think they heard you in the band hall.” Max’s face turned several shades redder than the lockers lining the wall. This wasn’t exactly the kind of attention he wanted, especially not after yesterday’s Career Fair. How his mom found out about it, was beyond him. He had thrown away the first flyer asking for volunteers to speak to his class about their careers over a month ago, and he made sure to throw away every flyer he had gotten since then.

But somehow she found out.

And yesterday, she showed up in a bright pink flower shirt and her overalls and talked to the class about the joys of being a gardener. Max wanted to die. Gardening wasn’t even her career. It was her hobby! And everyone knew it. And then his mom singled him out when she left. Shaking hands would have been okay, but is that what his mom did?

Oh no!

She hugged him in front of the whole class. Even having Eddy Pratt’s dad talk about being a zombie exterminator couldn’t erase the embarrassment and humiliation Max endured the rest of the day.

I live in Texas with my husband, son, and two cats who think they run the place. I read, write, play Texas Hold’em poker (I'm actually part of a local league), and occasionally I compete in BBQ competitions with my husband. Our team name is Outcast Cookers. I also teach in a public school.

My likes include: a wide variety of music (see my play list for book 2 on my blog), Star Trek (My son got me a signed picture of Patrick Stewart which sits on my desk.), Star Wars, Grimm (TV series), winter (though we don’t have snow), the holiday season, coffee, hot tea (with cream and sweetener), pizza (no anchovies though), puzzles, Edgar Allan Poe, Ray Bradbury, and JK Rowling.


Buy Links
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/How-NOT-Train-Zombie-ebook/dp/B00BEB2YEY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1362452994&sr=8-2&keywords=how+not+to+train+a+zombie

Amazon Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Train-Zombie-Annie-Rachel-Cole/dp/1482348322/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1362452994&sr=8-2

Barnes and Noble (Nook): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/how-not-to-train-a-zombie-annie-rachel-cole/1114502583?ean=2940016367675

KOBO: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/How-NOT-to-Train-Zombie-/book-nbRfqNj2ZEevgBkikZAqag/page1.html?s=YYcFvJjQx0CvQ7y1XEUBPg&r=1

Lucid by Natalie Roers - Virtual tour and giveaway

Today we're visiting with author Natalie Roers on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the paranormal YA novel, "Lucid".

Natalie will award one $10 Amazon gift card given to one random commenter at the end of the tour, so comment today AND follow her tour! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. The rest of her tour stops are here.

Being hailed by critics as an intelligent new voice in young adult fiction, Roers' debut novel tells the anything but ordinary, coming of age story of a small town, teen aged, misfit named Travis Hunter.

Disfigured at birth and ostracized at school, Travis dreams of acceptance and secretly yearns for the affection of a beautiful young woman named Corrine. When a mysterious doctor promises to help Travis through something called lucid dreaming, Travis suddenly finds himself ushered into a secret society called "The Lucid", a collection of social outcasts like himself, who have created their own world inside of dreams.

When Travis discovers he is able to bring Corrine into these dreams, he gets more than he ever bargained for and soon finds himself learning the secrets of love and life in a fantastic unconscious world.

An instant classic, Lucid is a timeless story of self-acceptance with a fresh paranormal twist.

Now enjoy an excerpt:

Her eyes widened. What I saw in them made me want to drop to my knees. She knew who I was! I could see it. She recognized me! It was real.

“The bird! You made the bird!” I bellowed. “It was yellow and its eyes were made of stone!”

Corrine shook her head back and forth in disbelief. As I staggered toward her, she tripped backwards and fell into the line of coffee pots behind her.

“What the? Grab him!” I heard John yell.

In all the excitement I had forgotten there were other people in the room.

“The guy’s gone nuts!” Terry screamed.

I felt their arms grab me from behind.

Marissa, who had been watching the scene unfold in stunned silence, now ran to Corri to help her to her feet. “Get him outta here!” she yelled.

John and Terry started to pull me back by the shoulders. I swung around and hit Terry square in the face. The smacking sound that my hand made against Terry’s cheek shocked them enough to let me go for a second.

The enormity of what I had just done didn’t register at all.

I rushed forward, completely out of control. But as I got closer to Corri, her image started moving away from me. Terry and John had lifted me clear off the ground. They were carrying me by my arms, backwards, out the front door.

There was no pain as my body slammed against the cold cement outside. Adrenaline was coursing through my veins. The feeling was in every part of my body: every finger, every toe, was alive and on fire.

"Roers' debut novel heralds the arrival of an intelligent, heartfelt voice in the world of young adult fiction. The rich characters, emotional complexity, and confident prose are matched only by the landscape of dreams that Roers sets them against... a landscape brought vividly to life by the author's seemingly boundless imagination. This is a novel that respects its readers as much as its characters, and that's a beautiful rarity."
~ Mike Flanagan, Filmmaker, Absentia and Oculus

"Natalie Roers' debut novel is both riveting and relevant. More than a paranormal/fantasy/thriller, this is a complex tale that cuts to the very of heart of issues facing young adults today. Well sculptured characters and powerful imagery propel Roers' fascinating narrative."
~ Jason Tinney (Award-winning freelance journalist, musician, actor and the author of the story collection Bluebird.)

"Lucid is an interesting story and a fun read."
~ Amy Carol Reeves, author of Ripper and Renegade

"Natalie Roers' voice is amazingly confident for a first novelist. Her journalist's eye for human detail draws you in, and makes you care about the people who populate the LUCID world. The more I got to know them, both awake and asleep in the world of lucid dreaming, the more time I wanted to spend in their world."
~ Jeff Howard, writer for Film District and Focus Features.

Natalie Roers is a veteran writer, voice artist, and on-air personality. A journalist by trade, Lucid is her first work of fiction. She is busy at work on her second novel and hopes to raise money and social awareness for worthy causes with each book she writes. Natalie plans to donate a portion of every sale of this book to her favorite anti-bullying organizations. She lives with her husband Cory, and son Austin, in Columbia, South Carolina.





Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Death Lies Between Us by Jody A. Kessler - Review tour and giveaway

This review is done in conjunction with the author's tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. Jody will be awarding a $30 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so complete the Rafflecopter entry at the end of this post and you're entered! If you want more chances to win, visit the rest of her tour stops here.

Death Lies Between Us by Jody Kessler
New Adult paranormal romance
272 pgs
4 Stars

Saving the life of someone you love should not be the worst thing you have ever done, unless you are an Angel of Death.

Disgruntled with his position in the afterlife and conflicted by his feelings toward his new client, Nathaniel Evans forgoes the rules and saves nineteen year old Juliana Crowson from being hopelessly stuck in Forge Creek. This alters Juliana’s destiny and she finds herself in a series of near death accidents.

In the mountains of Colorado, Nathaniel comforts Juliana as she struggles to understand her paranormal abilities while coping with her brother’s drug addiction. When an ill-tempered Native American Shaman teaches her the difference between ghosts and place memories, she decides she wants nothing to do with the supernatural world. Too bad she doesn’t know that Nathaniel is part of it.

Will fate bring these two together, or has Nathaniel made the biggest mistake of his afterlife?

My Review:  There was quite a lot going on in the book with the angel of death, ghosts, drug abuse, potential love interests, Native American beliefs, hater girls and more ... it sometimes made it a bit difficult to keep everything straight.  Still, the concept behind this story was so interesting I couldn't help but keep turning pages.

I did like how the author switched between Nathaniel and Jules' POV so we could see what was in both their heads.  I wasn't a fan of her brother, Jared ... I think I was supposed to like and empathize with him more than I did.  Yes, I realize there was a drug problem, but he was just mostly really a character I just didn't enjoy from the moment we meet him.

I wish Lance had been more viable as a potential love interest.  He was definitely interested, but it's clear from the start that Juliana has less than zero reciprocal interest, and that was too bad.  I really dig a good love triangle!

I really enjoyed watching Juliana realize and grow into her "powers" as she stumbled across ghosts and memories.  These scenes in particular were typically well written and fascinating to read (the mother in the store, concerned about her daughter, was gut-wrenching and nearly brought me to tears -- I hope my mom watches over me when she's gone like that).

I loved Nathaniel ... what a great character. I hope we continue to learn more about him as the series continues.  He feels like a character with a lot of interesting backstory... he absolutely has me intrigued.

 While I wasn't totally in love with the book (and again, I think it might be because of the sheer volume of information here), I did love the premise and the two main characters (plus Juliana's grandmother is fantastic) enough that I'd check out another book in the series.  It was absolutely worth my time.

Now enjoy an excerpt:

“I can help it feel better. Trust me. Just one more second and… there.” I place her foot down on the grass and lean back. “Feel any better?”

She covers her foot and ankle with her hands. “Yes, much. It’s not even cold anymore.”

She looks at me with a clear question on her face. I turn away and watch the water meander downstream. “You should be more careful out here. What if I hadn’t shown up?”

“I could’ve died from hypothermia.”

“You don’t sound disturbed about it,” I point out.

“You did show up though, and I didn’t die.” The next thing she says into her lap, but I hear it clear enough and I am surprised by the words. “It wasn’t totally unexpected.”

“Did you just say you were expecting death?”

“Does that sound crazy? It’s just — I had a feeling something really horrible was going to happen today.”

“Do you get that feeling often?” I ask. Maybe behind those delicate green eyes is someone who is missing a few marbles. I don’t really believe it from the short amount of time I’ve been with her, but it’d make things less complicated right now if she was mental.

“Not often, no. But one time something really bad did happen, so I take it seriously.”

I remembered her black pen scratching, the words “when will it be my time” and her sullen face in her room. Is she psychic or something? She sits still, her eyes focused on her lap. Her fingers are busy shredding blades of grass into miniscule pieces.

“It ended up not being too terrible after all. You came, and now I’m fine.”

Jody A. Kessler enjoys writing paranormal novels and is a member of Pikes Peak Writers. She is a yoga instructor, Reiki Master, and a graduate from the Colorado Institute of Massage Therapy. When she took an extended leave from her massage practice to stay at home with her newborn she returned to her first true passion —writing. She spends most of her time being a mother, writing, and teaching yoga, but also likes going to concerts, hiking, practicing herbal medicine, and reading anything that catches her interest. Jody lives in the mountains of Colorado with her family.

She welcomes visitors to her website www.jodyakessler.com

Buy a copy on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Death-Lies-Between-Us-ebook/dp/B00BLMYLUG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362021443&sr=8-1&keywords=death+lies+between+us

Or connect with her here:

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Monday, May 13, 2013

The Hunters and the Queen by Virginia Vayna - Virtual Tour and Giveaway

Today we're visiting with author Virginia Vayna on her tour with Bewitching Book Tours for the paranormal YA novel, "The Hunters and the Queen".

Virginia will award 15 eBook copies of the novel to commenters, so make sure you complete the Rafflecopter entry below.

Virginia answered many of my prying questions -- thanks!

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

A girl develops into another being as the Sky world calls upon her spirit to help balance the destruction caused by the Order of the Hunters. Her past calls her back.

You’ve just won a million dollars and you’re not allowed to save any of it. What do you spend it on?

How fun! I can give so much money away! It’s always been a dream to be a grandiose philanthropist. So, I would start with a monthly donation of $15,000 to the Grameen Foundation. The Grameen Foundation works to transform the lives of the poor, and the foundation works to transform the development sector. My monthly donation will provide an ongoing gift to women around the world who are working toward economic self-sufficiency. I would donate on a monthly basis for two-years, then, I would still have money left over to spend elsewhere. I would also help any of my relatives or friends in a financial bind, I would pay off my student loans, and I would further donate money to the ASPCA and to the Humane Society to help animals.

I still have money leftover! With the leftover money, I would most likely install a pretty awesome shower in my bathroom. I would also buy a nifty sink too. Perhaps, hardwood floors in my bathroom and bedroom too? I bet I still have money left to spend; I do! I would further donate money to community parks, so the landscapes stay clean, neat and available for the public to enjoy. With any remaining money, I would take a vacation to Canada and relax in nature.

Favorite pizza toppings?

I love, love, love pizza! Really, I do. The cheesy gooeyness, the soft bread, the deliciously salted crust, and the fresh toppings make this one of my favorite things to eat. As a snack, as breakfast, or as any other part of my day, pizza is a delicious, delicious food. Now, I can get down and dirty and just eat plain cheese pizza; if you want to make it with a 5-cheese blend, I won’t argue. I absolutely crave pineapple, pepperoncini, mushrooms, green peppers and olives on my pie. The sweet, salty, crunchiness blends well with the cheesiness and crunchy crust. I don’t even want to talk when I eat a good slice of pizza, I just want to savor my bites in complete bliss.

Create an ice cream flavor. What’s it called?

I like marshmallow, caramel, chocolate, pretzels, nuts and toffee in my vanilla ice cream, but I can’t really find this combination. Do you know of any brands that carry this flavor? I’d love to know. So, if I were to create my own ice cream flavor with all of the above ingredients, then, I would name the flavor- Salty Caramel’s Chocolate Playground. What do you think?

Ideal summer vacation

Any place where I can relax in nature with my family and friends.

Playlist for your current book

I listened to a lot of classical music, dub step, and instrumental music while writing this book. Some songs that I enjoyed are as follows:

(Song, artist, album)

O Fortuna, Deggial, Therion
Requiem (The Fifth), Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Beethoven’s Last Night
Icarus, Mythos, Purity
Carmina Burana, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Night Castle
The Vitamin String Quartet, Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Crystallize, Lindsey Sterling

The Hunters and the Queen
The Element Series-Book One
Virginia Vayna

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

ISBN: 9781301592753

Number of pages: 191
Word Count: 88,176

Cover Artist: Andrei Titus

Amazon  Smashwords   BN   Kobo   Sony  

The main character, Jolán Vajnbirg, is developing into another being. She has a calling from the sky world. A battle is on the horizon.

While working on her studies at the Churchill Military Academy in Kinsburgh, England, Jolán Vajnbirg’s final year at the academy develops into a year of competition, aristocratic love, reincarnated spirits, and a calling from the sky world to help save earth from the death and destruction caused by the Order of the Hunters.

Jolán Vajnbirg is an often reserved, yet occasionally outspoken young woman living in Kinsburgh, England. She has a relatively easy life living in her quiet England town. She has a full-ride swimming scholarship to the Churchill Military Academy. She has a strong mind, she has an athletic body, and she has a loving family and caring friends.

As Jolán embarks upon her final year at the Churchill Academy, her life takes an unexpected turn. She has a quaint encounter with Colemund, the Prince of Gallia Belgica, and the two are literally a universal match created centuries ago. As Jolán begins the last year of her studies, she experiences many changes.

The sky world is steadily preparing Jolán for her future fate. Jolán will need her friends, her strength, and her new development to help her battle the Order of the Hunters. The hunters have upset the universal balance of earth, and the hunters have upset the sky world.

Virginia Vayna was born in Dayton, Ohio. During 1999, she moved to Long Beach, California, where she lived on a sailboat for three-years. She currently holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, and she holds a Master of Social Science. Virginia enjoys writing historical fiction, fantasy, paranormal romance, mystery and YA. Her first book, The Hunters and the Queen, is the first book in her Element series.

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Prize by Lars D. H. Hedbor - Virtual Tour and Giveaway

Today we're visiting with author Lars D. H. Hedbor on his tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the historical YA novel, "The Prize".

Lars will award one $25 Amazon gift card given to one random commenter at the end of the tour, so comment today AND follow his tour! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. The rest of his tour stops are here.

Lars answered many of my prying questions -- thanks!

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

Growing up during the American Revolution in Vermont, Caleb's actions will shape the direction of his life - and the fate of a nation.

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

I hoped to enter the space program, but that dream died with the Challenger crew. Growing up with a mother who was a journalist, in a house with more books in it than the school library, I always pretty well knew that I'd be a writer, myself.

Favorite class in high school. Why?

Although I loved languages and mathematics, and never got better than middling grades in it, I'd have to say that my chemistry and biology classes were my favorites. Learning how the building blocks of the universe come together to form everything from rocks to grass to human beings, and how marvelous the inner workings of all of these are, gave me a sense of the incredible complexity that is there to find by examining any everyday object in our lives.

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

I think I'd tell that young man that things are both harder and easier than he expects, and that the road ahead is enriched with countless moments of joy, each worth pausing to cherish and appreciate. More than anything else, I'd advise him to never take for granted the people he loves, for change is constant, and life is short.

What books were your favorite as a youth and why?

Like so many before me and after me, I devoured the classic Hardy Boys mysteries, and when I exhausted those, the Nancy Drew series was a natural supplement. It wasn't too long after that that I discovered H. G. Wells' classic science fiction, and then began reading Robert Heinlein.

What book is on your nightstand currently?

I tend to read a number of books simultaneously, so it's a stack of books. At the moment, I'm in the middle of Lost Moon, written by the commander of the Apollo 13 crew, Ghost Stories, by Jim Butcher, which I'm trying to read before my wife gives me too many spoilers, and The Arts & Crafts in New England, 1704-1775, which is an old compilation of newspaper articles concerning artisans of the Colonial period. On my Nook, I'm re-reading Patrick O'Brien's Master and Commander, for the pure joy of reading some of the finest historical fiction ever set to paper.

What four literary characters would you most like to have over for dinner?

Wow, tough choice. I think I'd love to spend an evening with Robert Heinlein's recurring character Lazarus Long, a man who has lived for four thousand years, explored the galaxy, and come to know himself better than perhaps anyone else in history.

I'd also really enjoy meeting Patrick O'Brien's famous partnership of Captain Jack Aubrey and Doctor Stephen Maturin, whose exploits during the Napoleonic Wars in the service of the British Navy touched on most of the seagoing events of that era.

Finally, Carl Sagan's character Ellie Arroway, from his novel Contact, whose single-minded devotion to the pursuit of science helped her to discover the lasting value of her own humanity in understanding the makeup of the universe.

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

Of all the characters I've written, Captain Mallett in The Prize is the most fascinating to me. I intended that he have no more than a passing mention, but as soon as he made an appearance in the story, this forceful and entertaining personality strode to the center of the stage and insisted on being heard.

His past as a French pirate in the mid-eighteenth century Caribbean is hinted at in the historical record, but his crusty nature and his irreverent approach to life, along with his overwhelming competence at the things he needed to do, all make him tremendously compelling.

You’ve just won a million dollars and you’re not allowed to save any of it. What do you spend it on?

 I'm travelling, and bringing my kids to see the country - and the world. I could easily spent years driving across this amazing country of ours, and really getting a sense of its unique strengths, as well as its incredible natural beauty and riches.

After that, exploring our roots in Sweden, Germany and England, and seeing some of the great places of the world, and really delving into the history that's shaped our present day would probably help me to exhaust the remainder of this boon. It's a great, fun daydream to consider!

Thank you so much for hosting me in my blog tour - it's been a pleasure answering your questions. I do hope that your visitors will give my novel a read, and let me know what they think of it. I'll also be glad to answer any questions that they may pose in comments here.

Thanks again!

Caleb's father is serving with Ethan Allen's Green Mountain Boys as the long-anticipated open war against the British rages up and down the length of Lake Champlain. Between his duties on the family farm and constant worry about his father's safety, the young man's attentions are already fully occupied when a fateful encounter with an unlikely neighbor changes everything. Pulled into new intrigues and new friendships, Caleb finds himself on a path that changes his life - and which will affect the outcome of the whole war.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Mallett did not bother to saddle his horse, but merely put the bit in the stallion's mouth, and pulled himself up on its back. He called out to Caleb, "Here, you ride behind me. Louis is a strong horse, certainly a good deal stronger than his namesake on the throne in Versailles." Both Mallett and the horse snorted, and Mallett added, "The horse is smarter, too."

Caleb smiled and took Mallett's proffered hand to clamber up behind the older man. Scowling now at the still-pealing bell, Mallett growled, "Hold tight, lad, we're going to ride hard." Since he did not want to slide over the horse's rump and find himself suddenly sitting on the road, Caleb heeded Mallett's advice, clamping his hands around the rider's wiry sides.

With a nod, Mallett snapped the reins, and kicked the horse into a smooth, speedy pace over the ground. By the time they pulled up before the blockhouse, where a crowd had gathered, the bell had stopped pealing, but MacGregor stood at the top of the steps, reading loudly from a broadside.

Captain Mallett and Caleb dismounted, and Mallett tied up his horse before they joined the crowd, coming into earshot of the general store proprietor.

"…when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security."

As he drew breath, the man beside Caleb whispered excitedly, "'Tis a declaration of independence for the colonies from the Crown, passed by the Congress this week past!" Caleb's eyebrows went up, and even Mallett seemed surprised, pursing his lips thoughtfully and nodding to himself.

Lars D. H. Hedbor is an amateur historian, homebrewer, astronomer, fiddler, linguist and baker. His fascination with the central question of how the populace of the American Colonies made the transition from being subjects of the Crown to being citizens of the Republic drives him to tell the stories of those people. Hedbor resides in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and five daughters, and is hard at work on the next novel in the Tales From a Revolution series.

Web: http://LarsDHHedbor.com
Twitter: @LarsDHHedbor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lars.D.H.Hedbor

"Wonderful! Lars Hedbor has magnificently captured the zeitgeist of Colonial Vermont! He seamlessly blends his tale with the events of the American Revolution in the Champlain Valley!" - Daniel O'Neil, Executive Director, Ethan Allen Homestead Museum

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Chinese Heritage Tale Tour by Camille Picott - Review tour and giveaway

This review is done in conjunction with the author's tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. Camille will be awarding an autographed Raggedy Chan bookmark to every commenter; a Chinese Heritage Tale illustration signed by the author and illustrator to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour, and a grand prize of a Limited Edition Raggedy Chan Doll to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour via a Rafflecopter drawing at the end of this post. If you want more chances to win, visit the rest of her tour stops here.

I opted to read and review "Raggedy Chan".

Raggedy Chan by Camille Picott
Middle Grade Fairy Tale
44 pages
4 stars

Emma Chan-McDougal receives a special gift from her Auntie Gracie: a rag doll named Raggedy Chan. But Raggedy Chan is no ordinary doll. She is a beautiful Chinese princess who lives in a jasper palace on the enchanted isle of Kunlun. The peace of her island home is threatened when Drought Fury steals Winged Dragon, bringer of rain. Without Winged Dragon, Kunlun will wither and die.

To save her stricken homeland, Raggedy Chan sets forth alone. Her quest leads her to America, where she meets people who distrust her because she’s different. Can Raggedy Chan adapt to the strange ways of this new land and rescue her beloved dragon?

In this modern fairy tale, Chinese-American author Camille Picott draws on her heritage to weave a story of magic, adventure, and sacrifice.

My Review: This short chapter book grew out of the stories the author heard growing up from her family members--and offers quite a bit of depth so both children and their parents can enjoy the book. The legend of the princess is told with a richness of language and description--while the present day story that serves as the framework for it is told in simpler, more basic language.

Emma is half-Chinese, half-American, but clearly identifies mostly with her American heritage...that is until her mother's Auntie Gracie comes to stay with Emma while her mom goes back to work. She's on a one-woman mission to introduce Emma to the Chinese part of her heritage by teaching her to eat with chopsticks, play mahjong, create wontons and at the same time she shares with her a fable about the difficulties people have in coming to a new land.

I believe this book would be a good one for parents and children to read together--and can lead to some good discussions about how to treat people that are different. Though marketed as a middle grade book, I think it would be more enjoyed by 6-8 year olds--again, with their parents.

Now enjoy an excerpt:

“What do you have in there?” Emma eyed the large canvas bag hanging from Auntie Gracie’s shoulder.

Auntie Gracie smiled. “I show you. Come sit on couch.”

Emma scrambled up, pulling the red-haired rag doll into her lap. Auntie Gracie sat beside her, picking up the doll.

“This your favorite toy?”

“It’s from Grandma McDougal,” Emma said. “She had a raggedy doll just like this one when she was a little girl.”

Auntie Gracie pursed her lips and placed the doll on the coffee table. She reached into the canvas bag and pulled out a new rag doll. The yarn pigtails hung long and black. She wore a bright red dress and a white smock. Her black eyes, stitched of thread, had a distinct almond shape.

“She for you.” Auntie Gracie plopped the new doll into Emma’s lap. “Her name Raggedy Chan.”

“Raggedy Chan?” Emma burst into giggles, hugging the doll to her chest. “Wasn’t that Mommy’s last name before she married Daddy?”

Auntie Gracie nodded. “You like her?”

“I love her.”

“I tell you about Raggedy Chan. She from China, like me. You like to hear how she come to America?”

“Oh, yes, please.” Emma snuggled up next to Auntie Gracie, pulling a throw blanket over her legs. “I love stories.” She cuddled Raggedy Chan. Her other raggedy doll lay facedown and forgotten on the coffee table.

Auntie Gracie arranged part of the blanket over her own legs. “One time, far away, there mountain kingdom called Kunlun . . .”

Camille Picott is a fifth-generation Chinese American. She writes science fiction and fantasy books with Asian characters and/or Asian settings. Camille grew up reading speculative fiction stories largely devoid of Asian characters and culture. This, coupled with a passion for her heritage, is the reason she strives to bring some aspect of Eastern myth, legend, culture, and ethnicity to all of her writings.

Website: www.camillepicott.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/camille.picott

Twitter: https://twitter.com/camillepicott or @camillepicott

You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/camillepicott

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/camillepicott

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Monday, May 6, 2013

Cover Reveal: Resisting Fate by Heather Van Fleet

Title: Resisting Fate
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Release Day: June 14th 2013
Publisher: Sunshine Press

Seventeen-year-old Emmy O’Connell is the epitome of a hot mess.

Her boyfriend’s been shipped out of town to some boarding school four states away. Her step douche is constantly drunk and badgering her. And then there’s her good-ole-mom… The lady is nothing more than a miserable shell of a woman. She’s turned off all of her feelings and her ability to be a good mother as well, leaving poor Emmy and her four year old brother Jamie to suffer. Life couldn’t get much worse, right?

 Enter the elusive, cocky, and oh-so-broody Jack Hartman…

The jerk cousin of her boyfriend becomes Emmy’s worst nightmare…times ten. He’s cruel. He’s insensitive. But he also has this strange little ability over her – he makes her weak in the knees with the single touch of his hand. But no matter how miserable or amazing Jack makes her feel, Emmy can’t seem to deny him, especially when he takes on the role of her protector –her pseudo-knight in a black leather coat. A knight who also just so happens to ride in on his black Harley, instead of a white horse…

And to make a bad situation worse…

Werewolves and teens shouldn’t mix! But what can Emmy do when she finds herself thrown head first into the center of it all? Can she handle the supernatural mess her life rapidly becomes or will she fight against the inevitable fate her heart desires?

About the author:

Heather Van Fleet currently reside in northern Illinois, with her three little ladies, and fabulous hubby, and high school sweetheart, Chris. She’s a stay at home mom by day, and an avid and completely obsessive writer and reader by night.

She’s always had a soft spot in her heart for books, and has been creating her own little stories since the age of seven. But she never really had the confidence or the time to actually sit down and really do something about it until her youngest daughter Isabella was born just two years ago. Bella, as well as her older sisters Kelsey and Emma, are and always will be her greatest inspirations.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Paranormal Properties by Tracy Lane - virtual tour and giveaway

Please welcome author Tracy Lane on her tour with Bewitching Book Tours today for her Paranormal YA, Paranormal Properties.

She's offering a tour wide giveaway (US only) of:

4 signed print books and sets of 2 trading cards
6 sets of two trading cards

See the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post to enter.

Thanks for stopping by and answering some of my questions!

Why YA (or Middle Grade) fiction? What draws you to it?

I started out reading Middle Grade and YA books. I just never graduated myself out of them. I love the worlds that were created and the people that lived in them. I would sit and daydream that I was a part of that world and writing the stories makes me a part of it.

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

Dear Self,

You are doing what you are meant to do. Keep reading and daydreaming, one day you will create the worlds you love to read and others will be loving the worlds you create in your stories. Do not doubt yourself, I am you. Would I steer you wrong?

Coal or candy in your Christmas stocking? Why?

Both. I can be both good and bad at the same time so why not get both at the same time? I hope the candy is wrapped.

What book is on your nightstand currently?

The Life of Pi. I watched the movie and was intrigued! Now I have to read the book. I usually do it the other way but I wasn’t even aware there was a book until after I saw the movie.

Hunger Games or Twilight? Why?

I loved them both but I would have to say Hunger Games. I see myself more as Katniss. I am a protector of my family. I would be the one to step up to save someone I love.

What reality show would you love to be on? Why?

Storage Wars. I absolutely love that show! I would have fun hanging with them, especially Barry, he sure is a character!

Favorite TV show from your childhood?

Scooby Doo. I lived for their adventures and mysteries. Shaggy and Scooby were my favorites and still are. When I visit Universal Studios I always look for the Van so I can see Scooby and Shaggy. My book is like a Scooby Doo story.

Ideal summer vacation.

That would have to be spending a whole summer in Hawaii. There are so many stories there and cultural differences I know I could leave being very inspired for new stories. Not to mention it is a beautiful place and wonderful people!

You’re stranded on a desert island—which character from your book do you want with you? Why?

That would have to be Frank Barrone. He is handsome! And since I love music he can sing to me. And him being a ghost does not matter to me, I can do anything silly I want and he won’t be able to tell anyone. The perfect companion while deserted on an island.

You’ve just won a million dollars and you’re not allowed to save any of it. What do you spend it on?

An island with as many supplies as I can buy! Island with houses and piers are going pretty cheap. I can spend $750,000 on the island and the rest on boats and supplies. I’d buy a few survival books and make a go at living there. It would be the perfect place to write my books.

Paranormal Properties Paranormal Properties Book OneTracy Lane
Genre:  YA Paranormal
Publisher:  Pants on Fire Press
ISBN:  978-0982727171ASIN:  B00BMHF6X6
Number of pages:   192Word Count:   33,000
Book Trailer:   http://youtu.be/NwIoLYHHznU
Amazon Print   Kindle   

Book Description:
Jake Weir, while on the set of his parents ghost hunting TV show, agrees to help a ghost investigate a 61 year-old murder.

Jake Weir is not like the other kids in Dusk, North Carolina. Then again, Dusk, North Carolina is not like other cities. Known as one of the most haunted cities in America, behind Salem, Massachusetts and New Orleans, Louisiana, Dusk is ground zero for Jake's ghost hunting parents.

The Weir family has arrived in Dusk eager to scope out some of the town's 127 reported "paranormal properties," which just happens to be the name of their own ghost hunting show: Paranormal Properties. What Jake doesn't know, and what his parents could never imagine, is that Jake can see ghosts! And hear them. And talk back to them! This talent comes in handy when he runs into Dusk's oldest, most famous ghost: one Frank Barrone, a one-time lounge singer made famous by his booze-soaked ballad, "Barroom Eyes."

Frank was gunned down by a local mobster in 1951 and has been searching for his killer ever since. When he learns that Jake can see and hear him, Frank makes young Jake a deal: if Jake will help Frank find his killer, Frank will help his parents find a ghost to film for their upcoming Halloween Special on Public Access Channel #319. Jake enlists the only friend he's made in Dusk, an overweight tomboy nicknamed "Tank," to help him track down Frank's killer. As clues emerge and old leads heat up, Frank and Jake learn they make quite a team. But will Jake find Frank's killer? And will Frank find a real haunted house in time for Halloween?

 “Paranormal Properties is a great, family-friendly Young Adult novel about a boy who can talk to ghosts. Equal parts Scooby-Doo, CSI and the Hardy Boys, you will enjoy getting to know Jake, Frank and Tank as much as I did. Now, if only ‘Paranormal Properties’ was a real show I could watch on TV every week…” ~ Rusty Fischer, author of Zombies Don’t Cry

Enjoy an Excerpt:


The voice was eerie, barely above a whisper. Jake paused, his sneaker poised above a grave as he stood in the middle of Dusk Cemetery.

It was nearly midnight and he’d grabbed the wrong flashlight before sneaking out of his bedroom window. It had run out of juice halfway through the graveyard, and he’d been blindly stumbling around ever since.

The moon was full, but it was frequently obscured by heavy cloud cover and he had to wait until another patch moved through to see very well.

He wasn’t scared, so much. Jake had a special relationship with graveyards, and this was far from his first time at the rodeo. Still, it was the first time a headstone had ever talked to him.

The voice grew louder. 


It was a female voice, sounding dark in a way a ghost might: dark and deep and frosty.

He risked another step, letting the moonlight guide his path. It was a big cemetery, and well-maintained as cemeteries go. There were headstones everywhere, some leaning, some taller than Jake.


Jake turned to the left to follow the sound. It was coming from a massive tombstone two feet taller than he was, and three feet wider. He pointed the flashlight at it, but the beacon was dim, even after he banged it three times on the palm of his hand.

Then, suddenly, it lit, falling upon the dead soul’s name: “Rose Colder.”

It was there on the grave stone, but the flashlight flickered out just before he could read the dates. 

“Silas…” came the eerie voice again, so close he could hear the ghost’s lips smacking.

But, wait. Did ghosts really have lips to smack?

Jake parted his own lips and spoke for the first time since walking into the graveyard. “R-R-Rose?”

He hadn’t meant to stutter, but he couldn’t help it. He heard a rasp, or a cough, and then the crunch of dry leaves behind the headstone. 

“Silas?” was the reply, and then the rustling of cheap plastic against flesh. The clouds broke, the moon shone down, and a giant, yellow monster reared from behind the headstone, smiling.


“Gotcha!” said the beast, in a boastful, girlish voice. It was a girl, a giant girl, a living girl in a big, yellow raincoat.

“W— who are you?” Jake stammered, trying to hold his ground. He had to look up a good four inches to see her face.

Her eyes glittered beneath her short, greasy hair. She was heavy, but with her big smile and that cheerful way about her, she looked more nice than scary.

“I’m Tank,” she said proudly, inching closer to him with big black and white sneakers crunching over dry, dead leaves. “Who are you?”

“Jake Weir,” he said, relieved he didn’t stammer that time. “And who…who’s Silas?”

“Don’t you know?” she asked, sitting down on one of the large marble slabs that surrounded Rose Colder’s grave. She patted the one next to him, and he sat, too.

He didn’t know why, but even in a graveyard, even after pranking him in her big, yellow raincoat that made her look like a linebacker for an NFL team, this “Tank” girl didn’t scare him.


“No,” he replied.

Tank frowned. “Rose Colder,” she explained, “snuck out at midnight to meet her boyfriend, Silas Miner, in this very cemetery over a hundred years ago. But Silas’s Dad didn’t approve of his son dating a commoner, so he kept Silas from seeing her and sent a couple of local thugs to teach Rose a lesson. When the thugs showed up, Rose fought back…and lost. They buried her here, and legend has it that every night, at midnight, she rises from her grave to take revenge on the men who ended her life.”

“So…so that’s why you were calling me Silas?” 

Tank nodded, and then slugged him on the shoulder. “What are you doing here, anyway?” Jake shrugged. He didn’t really want to tell her.

She pulled a flashlight from her raincoat pocket and flicked it on, right in his eyes. “Hey!” He held up a hand to shield his face.

“Wait, hold up.” Tank pointed the beam up. “What’s that on your hat?”

Jake blushed. He’d grabbed the hat at the last minute, not thinking about it. He had so many of them, and they all looked alike: black ball cap, neon green writing that spelled “Paranormal Properties.”

“You…you work for that TV show? The ghost hunting one?”

“You know about it?” Jake was surprised. They’d just gotten into town, and his parents hadn’t even filmed an episode here yet. That’s what he was doing out in the graveyard at midnight, trying to find something extra special for a new episode.

Of course, they’d kill him if they found out, but he figured it would be worth it if they finally got more than a handful of people to watch.

“Know about it?” Tank shouted. “I watch it every week! You know, the live feed on the web page. We don’t have any local channels that play it.”

Jake beamed in appreciation. “Cool,” he said.

“So,” Tank urged, nudging his knee with her own. He noticed she was wearing plaid pants under her yellow rain coat. “Do you work for it or what?”

“My Mom is the host. My Dad is the cameraman.”

Tank gasped and shoved Jake with each word. “No. Way! Get. Out. Of. Town!” 

She stopped shoving him and stood up instead, yanking him by the sleeve of his T-shirt. Dragging him from the cemetery, she said, “I love your Mom. You have to tell me all about her.”

“Where are we going?” he asked, finally regaining use of his feet and catching up to her. 

She saw him at her side, looked down and let him go. “There’s a diner around the corner, open all night. I’m buying you a hot fudge sundae and you’re going to tell me all about what it’s like to have famous parents.”

“Famous?” he chuckled as he followed her past the cemetery gate. His Mongoose bike was sitting there, dry and rusty, just where he’d left it.

“Sure thing.” She reached behind some bushes and lifted out a green ten speed with just one hand. 

They mounted their bikes and, now that he was looking for it, Jake saw the neon sign for the Dusk Diner just around the corner. Yet, something was still bugging him. “Hey,” he said, “what were you doing in the graveyard at midnight?”

Tank shrugged. “Couldn’t sleep.”

“So you went to a cemetery?”

She  shrugged again, pedaling off. While struggling to catch up, Jake heard her say, “Hey, I met you, didn’t I?”

About the Author:
I was fascinated with the paranormal when I was very young. I always felt like someone was around me even when I was alone. It caused me to be inspired to write a paranormal book where a teenager can see and hear ghosts and actually makes friends with one.

I use to love to write short stories in school and always wanted to be a writer. But raising children and working jobs I just could not find the time to indulge my passion. Then my children grew up and I ended up having two teenagers at home who did not need as much attention from me. I started toying with the idea of writing once again. So setting aside 5 to 10 minutes per day to write at least one page I could end up with a book a year. Now Paranormal Properties is published and I have a list of 8 more books to write. I don't think I"ll be slowing down anytime soon.


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