Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Review Tour and Giveaway - Broken by Tanille Edwards



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




Meet Milan, a young supermodel with a disability from New York’s Upper East Side, who falls deeply in love as she is coming of age. In this romantic drama, the emotional conflict of a girl’s inner soul is revealed as she deals with a first love, the pain of loss, and the pleasures of stardom, all while coping with a lifelong secret. In the world of Milan, the people are real, the situations are rolling, and the truth is often concealed. Broken is a racy circle of sisterhood, laced with a touch of earthiness, glamour, wealth, and fame.





My Review


Milan is deaf, but since the death of her mother --who was very supportive-- has decided that her deafness makes her too "different" so she changes schools and hides her disability.

This story is told from Milan's POV in first person.  She is a supermodel and attends a very exclusive high school--this is basically the story of her and her friends.  They live in a world of glamour and wealth--their PE is yoga along with a very high class locker room: "The gym locker room was complete with a sauna, showers, and massage therapy for 30 minutes once a week, and, of course, the full-length cherry wood lockers with our names engraved in platinum."

For all her stardom, Milan sees herself as very down-to-earth.  She sees her modeling as just a job and truly just wants friends who will like her for herself. The only problem with that is, since she met them living a lie, they don't really know her--and hence the dilemma.

There is a mystery that surrounds her first love--for some reason, he was banished from her life and Milan desperately wants to find out what happened.  This mystery is what propelled this reader to continue reading.  There were times I wanted to shake Milan--but I still cared enough about her as a character to want there to be a happy ending.

I'll have to wait though to find out, because this is only the first book in the series and, be warned, it ends on a cliffhanger.  3 stars.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“How do you guys know each other?” Cara asked.

“Why?” I asked.

“Oh,” Cara’s face quickly turned to a grimace. “So you’re leaving.” Cara turned her back to Courtney as if she were insignificant.

“Ummm, yeah. I guess.” Courtney looked disheartened. Her eyes shifted to the floor.

“No, why don’t you stay, Courtney? We can all fit.” I smiled.

“Locker run, sugarplum! I will be back, though,” Cara said.

“Whatever!” Frenchy said.

I ignored Cara as she left. I turned my attention back to the kids in the cafeteria and, like clockwork, they stared right back at me—or maybe Courtney. My guess? They wanted to know who the newest girl was to infiltrate the group. Part of me was hoping to save her from this. But she did come over and introduce herself. Maybe this was what she wanted. It was too early to tell. Frenchy looked like she was wondering the same thing.

Oddly enough, Sierra hadn’t said much yet. Sometimes she didn’t like new people. Everything was always about hierarchy. A little part of me loved the hierarchy. It was what made lunch interesting. Though I can’t remember when I stopped hating it and started loving it. One quick reflection of my face in the spotless window across from our table, where the sun shined from high in the sky, reminded me of why I had hated this all. That was all people saw in me, my reflection. Grossly petrified to admit it, for a moment I ventured deep inside my heart. My heart was still quietly aching. Inside, I felt fear. One of my professors once said that fear was detrimental to all that made us smile. I was a little afraid of being ridiculed and ... dethroned.

Even though I had not asked to be put on top of the A-list, losing it all would make me ... fragile.

Just crazy.

There was a voice inside that wondered if that was just what I needed so people could really see me. Could that be the reason I had signed up for enough AP classes to be a college freshman? I was trying so hard. There were some new things about school. While the uniforms were much the same, the faces looked different.

“Get a load of the Salem witch trials over here,” Sierra texted me.

Frenchy had dyed her hair jet black. And stopped all of her Fake Bake. It was a little dramatic. I caught an eyeful of her questioning Courtney, who seemed to be ready to go.


Meet the Author

Tanille is the co-author and creator of the children's green book series "Jordan & Justine's Weekend Adventures." She is also the author of the new media young adult novel with music "Cameo by Tanille." Th¬e Undercover Starlet Journal is a title Tanille created to inspire young women and has extended Undercover Starlet into brand extensions that appear throughout

her novels. Tanille has been writing since age 16. She earned an MBA at 21 and graduated magna cum laude.

Links:
http://www.Tanille.com
http://www.facebook.com/TanilleMusic http://www.twitter.com/MilanParkAve
http://www.soundcloud.com/TanilleMusic

NEW TANILLE ALBUM INCLUDED Readers get free music downloads of the new Pop R&B hits "All of Me" and "What's a Girl to Do" by Tanille, and more with purchase.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/broken-tanille-edwards/1119705766?ean=9780978730215
http://www.amazon.com/Broken-Tanille-3-Part-ebook/dp/B00KXPZMBO/
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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Review Tour and Giveaway - Seams in Reality by Alex Siegel

 http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/11/review-tour-seams-in-reality-by-alex.html

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

SEAMS IN REALITY is the first book in the Seams in Reality Series.

MY REVIEW:

My goodness, what a great new series!  I picked this book up and did not put it down until I was finished... yes, it was THAT good.

The characters are easy to relate to.  The two main characters, Andrew and Charley are college students and discover they have more in common than a love for theater. They both have a special talent--Andrew didn't know about his though until something odd happens during a performance.

Charley has already been working with Tonya as an apprentice and introduces Andrew to her.  Slowly it's revealed that Andrew has been in their sights for a long time and there's a whole family history he never knew about.

The book is well-paced with some great lines--I love Tonya and her dry humor.  There was one line she had that literally made me LOL.  There are adventures, a touch of mystery, and even a touch of romance growing between Andrew and Charley. 

Beware that the book DOES end on a bit of a cliffhanger--- it is the first book of the series after all.  Good news is... Amazon has the second book ready for you!    I give this book a rating of 4 and look forward to the rest of the series.

As a freshman in a suburban college near Chicago, Andrew leads an ordinary life until he meets Tonya, a strange woman with an even stranger secret. She is a master sorcerer, and he becomes one of her apprentices. Tonya's other apprentice is a resourceful young woman named Charley, and they aren't the only sorcerers in the world. The United States government has an entire bureau responsible for controlling them and the special seams which enable magic. Andrew's new life takes a dangerous turn when he meets Blake, a sorcerer who knew his grandfather. Blake's thirst for power leaves a trail of casualties, and in the end, only Andrew can stop him.

"No, you finish first," Andrew said in a loud, clear voice. "Never leave a job 'til you're finished— remember that. Biff, up in Albany I saw a beautiful hammock. I think I'll buy it next trip, and we'll hang it right between those two elms. Wouldn't that be something? Just swingin' there under those branches. Boy, that would be..."

His amplified words boomed through the auditorium. Every seat was filled, and he was the reason, although he never bragged about it. Critics had lauded his acting skills in the strongest possible terms. Andrew remembered one article that had said, "Andrew Kenworthy has the imagination and command of a professional actor twice his age. He would be at home on a Broadway stage." He tried not to let the praise go to his head.

He had no idea where that talent had come from. Neither of his parents were actors or had expressed any interest in the subject. Death of a Salesman was Andrew's first serious production. Something about this particular stage had inspired him to stretch himself in ways he had never attempted before.

He was facing the fake trees on the set. They were just wooden cutouts painted green and brown, and close up, they looked cheap, but the audience didn't care. He was pretending there was a hammock hanging between the trees.

An unexpected movement caught Andrew's attention. Somebody was hiding in the shadows behind the trees, but the play didn't call for an actor to be back there now.

Andrew glanced towards the right wing. Some actors were waiting just offstage, ready to come in on cue. Stagehands in black clothes stood further back with varying levels of interest. Charley had a clipboard in her hand, and she stared at Andrew with a curious expression.

Another movement drew his attention back to the trees. A man in a rumpled gray business suit was standing just out of the light. He was carrying a battered old suitcase in each hand.

Exhaustion made his face sag, and Andrew guessed the man was in his forties. Andrew had never seen him before, but he still recognized him.

Willy Loman, Andrew thought.

He completely forgot an audience was watching. He wandered over and stared at the apparition. Willy just stood there with his sagging shoulders and bent back. He had a blank, mindless expression.

"Hello?" Andrew murmured.

Willy didn't respond.

Andrew glanced at Charley, and her eyes were wide with alarm.

"What are you doing?" she whispered. "Say your line!"

Andrew turned back, but Willy had silently vanished. There was nothing behind the fake trees.

What the hell is going on? Andrew thought.

He remembered the play. He turned to the audience, and even though the auditorium was dark, he could see over a thousand faces. They were watching him expectantly.

He realized he had forgotten his next line.

The actor playing Biff said, "Pop, I just washed the car. Do you see? How's that, Pop? Professional?"

Oh, right, Andrew thought. He looked at the other actor. "Terrific. Good work, Biff."

The performance continued, but Andrew would be the first to admit it was the worst of his short career. He kept glancing behind the trees and blowing his lines. Normally, he had the focus of a laser beam, but not tonight.

Finally, the show ended, and he didn't get his usual standing ovation. When the curtain dropped, the audience was still in their seats.

About the Author:

Alex Siegel grew up a math and computer geek. At the age of twenty-five, he received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell. He continues to make a good living as a software developer in Chicago. In his late twenties, he took up creative writing as a serious pastime with the intention of eventually making it his career. This goal has been elusive, but failure is not an option. In 2001, his wife gave birth to triplet boys. People often ask him how he still finds time to write. In 2009, he began the Gray Spear Society series, and he hopes it will be his key to literary fame.

Website: http://www.grayspearsociety.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GraySpearSociety
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GraySpear
G+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/114008779380457126099/posts
Newsletter: http://ow.ly/CrMTe
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Thursday, December 18, 2014

The 13th Descent by Ky Lehman - Spotlight and Giveaway



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



ONE CHOICE CAN MAKE AN IMMORTAL HUMAN.

BUT WHAT CHOICES NEED TO BE MADE TO GO BACK AGAIN?

The revolutionary year following Serenay "Ren" Avalon's eighteenth birthday could rival Clark Kent's entire adolescence.

After her mother and her grandmother were killed in a car bomb explosion at the heart of their sleepy hillside town where nothing extraordinary usually happens, she discovers that her mother is actually alive and in hiding, her long lost father is a Father, and her best friend, who turns out was once an Archangel, has taken a gargantuan step back in his evolution to live on Earth with her for the past thirteen lifetimes. And besides being the only one in her immediate circle with a serious case of past life dementia, she learns that during her first lifetime, she was married to one of the greatest teachers history has ever known who is now the gorgeous lead singer of a hot new rock band taking the world by storm, and who is keen to meet up with her again in the twenty first century.

As Ren realizes that the powerful family name she bears also brings with it the promise of an unnatural death, she is reminded that it has always brought hope to people on both sides of the veil, human and Tor. As the world draws closer to being completely shrouded by the dark cloaks of her age-old enemies, the Bloodstones, she now, more than ever before, has to draw strength from her origins to protect her family and their ancient truth from this global force responsible for torturing and killing centuries of her ancestors.

As she struggles to unearth who she was, who she is, and who she chooses to be, as well as the expectations of her first mortal love and the heavenly love she has always guiltily denied, she has until midnight on the Solstice find a way to bring light to a compromised heart and to a world on the brink of perpetual darkness.

This first book in The Rosefire Trilogy by debut YA author, Ky Lehman, is a reminder of how the choices we make in the throes of love, loss, hope, and adversity are what makes the divine human, and the human divine.


Enjoy an excerpt:

“Come on, Renay! You’re as slow as a wet week,” she snaps.

“Right behind you,” I grumble, trying to coax my jelly legs to step out of the car.

She bustles us inside and disarms her house alarm. She grabs my hand, leads me straight to the navy blue comfy couch and gestures for me to sit. “Drink?” she asks.

“No, thanks.”

She goes to the kitchen and gets me a tall glass of water anyway.

Then everything goes from strange to downright bizarre when she sits down, squishes in next to me, puts her arm around my shoulders and rests her cheek on my hair. I am wedged in-between her and the armrest: I couldn’t move if I tried, and I honestly don’t want to. Hugs from my one and only aunt are like sunny days in the winter. They are rare. They are warm. They smell of cream and cinnamon. They go by too quickly. And you know you’ll have to wait a while for the next one.

“Look at me, Renay,” she gently commands. Bleary eyed, she carefully scans my face and sighs.

It seems she is already regretting what she is yet to say. A chill of forewarning forces a shiver: it sets my heart pounding and my legs that have finally regained feeling start to twitch and shake, preparing to run. She senses my panic and holds me tighter, and starts to softly hum a familiar tune that Nanna must have used to calm her down too. Slowly, the dread resides and the warmth returns. My stiff posture thaws allowing me to slump into her side. Realising she has been given the green light, she takes a deep breath and starts talking.

Aunt Romey has never been one to beat around the bush. Simple English. No fluff. The bare facts followed by her opinion of them. But this time, the candour I usually appreciate brings with it a realisation that hits me so hard, that, for the first time since the bomb went off, I am relieved the undercooked takeout chicken kept me home that night.

Bedtime stories that once lulled me into sweet dreams now leave me feeling cold, heavy and sick.

Horrifying truth gives a voice to the intoxicated mutterings of a grieving husband and father.

Nanna’s fairy tales.

Georgie Pa’s drunken rants.

All of the frayed strands and loose ends I’ve obliviously left hanging tangle and weave into the blood stained tapestry that is Aunt Romey’s history lesson.

Three versions of the same unfathomable story, each with its own conclusion. The fairy tale ends in hope.

The drunken rant ends in fear.

And the history lesson will only end with the death of the Three Roses, who my newfound enemies believe are Nanna, Mum and me.

Surrounded by the ghosts of our ancestors and their vindicating screams, I cling to the only olive branch within reach.

Mum may be on the run, but she is alive and well.

But the sinewy little branch is not strong enough to bear the weight of centuries of lost life. It snaps, and I limply fall into large, familiar, bloodstained hands that carry me off into the black quiet.


About the Author:
KY LEHMAN is a novelist, a children's author, a teacher of swimming and water safety, wife to her high school sweetheart and the proud mother of their three very tall sons. She lives in the Yarra Ranges, Victoria, Australia, with her husband and their children where she is currently writing the second book in The Rosefire Trilogy, The 13th Rising.

Facebook ~ Amazon Author Page ~ Twitter
Buy the book at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.





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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Danny Dirks and the Heir of Pendragon by S. A. Mulraney - Spotlight and Giveaway


This spotlight post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via the rafflecopter at the end of this post during the tour.


Danny Dirks wants nothing more than to play baseball in his father's orchard, but he's finding out that he is no ordinary boy. With the approach of his fifteenth birthday, Danny's begun hearing voices and seeing visions of his dead mother. He's also fairly certain that the cute girl next door is really a shape-shifting dragon. All of these things lead Danny to the discovery that he is the heir of the legendary Arthur Pendragon and the linchpin in a pact established between man and dragon centuries ago. Now, rogue dragons threaten that pact and the peace that comes with it. They aim to reopen the portal through which they originally came to Earth in order to bring back a rebel dragon army. It's up to Danny to learn to channel the power that is Excalibur and, with his new friends, prevent the portal from being opened.



Enjoy an excerpt:

“Dad…”

“Danny…”

“What the hell was that about?”

“Don’t swear, son. Your grandfather and I…we just have differing points of view about something. But, it’s not for me to interfere,” he said.

“I don’t understand…”

“Honestly, neither do I. It’s times like these that I really miss your mother. She would have known what to tell me. She always did.”

“But, what did Grandfather mean when he said all that stuff in your office?”

“How much did you hear? You know, Danny, it’s not right…”

“Dad! It’s also not right to talk about someone who isn’t there! You guys were talking about me, and you were upset! Why? What’s grandfather…”

“Shhhh…Danny…listen to me. I might not agree with…everything your grandfather has to say, but know this…I still trust him. And so should you. Don’t let my…fears…sway you. Just listen to what he has to say. Do what he asks of you. Your mom wanted it that way. She asked that I not interfere when it was time for all of this to happen.”

“All of what? What’s going to happen? What’s going to happen that has you…you…scared?”

“I…it’s not for me to say, Danny. Your grandfather is the one who needs to explain all of this. I only know what your mother trusted me with…and to be honest, I’m not sure I believed half of it until…recently. Listen…just…just try and roll with it for a bit. Everything will be fine. You’ve got a birthday party to look forward to this weekend and Grandfather will be here for at least another week. Try to enjoy this time with him. Don’t worry about what you heard this afternoon.”

Danny looked hard into his dad’s eyes. His father blinked and looked away.

“Too late,” Danny said.


In second grade, Scott Mulraney wrote a series of comic strips called Peanut (a peanut with arms and legs) and Stickman (self explanatory) because those were the two things he could draw with some consistency. He ripped off every story line from Garfield, but his family thought it was cute. In high school, he wrote a rip-off of Red Dawn, changed the location to his NJ home town, and essentially made himself the lead character. It involved finding a super-secret helicopter with a strategically placed instruction manual. How convenient. During high school, he devoured Stephen King novels, but never pursued writing anything of substance. Then, in an event that would shape the rest of his life, Scott found himself kicked out of college, jobless, and relatively friendless. He turned to writing poetry and eventually short stories followed. Writing had brought him back from the brink and he pursued and eventually earned a degree in Literature with a focus on creative writing.

He completed his first novel (not ripped off from anyone) after five years, in 2010. After waffling about what to do with it, he self-published the suspense thriller under the pen name Andy Rane. A moderate success, for independent standards, Scott then followed with the first draft of Danny Dirks. Completed in about six months, he knew he had something special and wasn't quite prepared to self publish the novel. Fast forward to 2014 and the changing markets convinced him that he could provide everything to his stories that traditional publishers could. Danny Dirks and the Heir of Pendragon is his first full-length young adult novel and one of many stories he hopes to tell.

He currently lives with his wife and son in his home state of New Jersey.

Website: http://samulraney.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/S.A.Mulraney
Twitter: https://twitter.com/samulraney
Book link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MR5ENG8

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Virtual Tour and Giveaway: Elf Hills by S.S. Dudley


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.

PLEASE NOTE: This book is free on Amazon from Dec 15 – 19, 2014. If you prefer print, the paperback is available through Createspace here. This is a code for a 15% discount off of the retail price ($8.99): 9DSCQ3UU.
Something strange, something magical, is going on in the dusty hills behind the small town of Villaloma. Yet each time Linda Peters puts on her running shoes and sets out to find the enchanted kingdom she imagines—full of dancing elves, unicorns, and more—something stops her. And with school starting soon, she only has a few more chances to really search the hills. While Linda’s frustration and doubt grow, her cousin, Nugu, looks for answers in his books and wonders if maybe, just maybe, Linda’s stories are for real.

The day finally arrives when Linda can run far, the day she is sure she will find her magic city. But when she and Nugu feel their goal must lie just beyond the next hill, they only find more hill. Is it all a figment of an over-active imagination; a wistful fantasy?

Or is there truly something magical in those hills that only the strong of heart—and leg—can discover?

From the Prologue:

This fairy tale, as you might have guessed already, takes place on a hill. Or, rather, on many hills and a mountain or two in Northern California, near what people call the Great Valley. One hill in particular stands out, though, because that is where everything started. It was a nice hill; well rounded, not too high, not too low. It was distinctly a hill, snuggled up against a mountain like a nursing cub to its resting mother. For the most part this hill was well-dressed with dark green oak trees and tall grasses, usually yellowed and dry except for the four or five wet months of the year. Along one side, a seasonal creek slipped out and down into the plain. Here the vegetation—red-stemmed manzanita, prickly blackberry bushes, and other shrubs—was thick and difficult to move through.

From afar, the hill was not remarkable; it had many siblings stretching to the north and south as far as the eye could see. This hill was special, though. For one, a strange—some said magical—copse of trees stood near the base of the hill where the creek emerged. These trees were short, had long, dark-green leaves, and bore bright yellow fruit that, if eaten, were said to imbue a person with the strength of ten men. For another, the hill was haunted. On certain nights of the year a white light would shine from the very top of the hill. It was brighter than the brightest star; brighter even than a full moon, perhaps, and it cast long shadows across the plain. The first people that lived in the area told many stories about that hill, the light, and the spirits that lived there.

About the Author:

S. S. Dudley grew up in Wyoming, USA, an avid reader and lover of the outdoors. He studied at the University of Wyoming and the University of Illinois. He started his first book (an epic fantasy hand-written in with a blue fountain pen...) when he was 13, but never finished it. At some point (as his mother recently reminded him), he decided that he needed to go do something (like get a job) for a while before he could, or should, write. He did, and spent time in Colombia, Panamá, Antarctica and the dark recesses of large science buildings on college campuses. That done, he now writes, lives and runs in Northern California with his wife and two children. He can be found at http://www.ssdudley.com, http://www.facebook.com/author.ssdudley and on twitter at @SS_dudley.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Finding Refuge by Cathi Shaw


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post to win a $50 Amazon/BN Gift Card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.




After successfully escaping Séreméla, Thia, Kiara and Mina agree to meet in the newly created safe haven of The Refuge. As a precaution they take different paths to their destination, only to find that those paths force them even farther away from one another. As one pitfall and danger after another emerges, they are once again left to wonder if there is anyone they can trust and if they will ever uncover the secrets of the Prophecy.





Enjoy an excerpt:

Mina cocked her head and tried to figure out what he was hearing but all she could make out was a light breeze through the trees. Then it occurred to her. That was all she could hear. Earlier the forest was alive with sounds of birds and small animals. Now it was silent except for the wind. A shiver raced down her spine and her hand went for the small dagger that she’d taken to carrying in her belt.

The horses began to grow restless. Mina moved to calm her mare but the animal snorted and rolled her eyes nervously, side stepping as if from an invisible enemy. Mina tried to soothe her but both mounts were seriously spooked.

“Arion?” she asked uncertainly.

“Sshhh.” He put his finger to his lip and was moving toward her when the first black shadow whirled into the clearing.

Mina’s mare screamed and reared, ripping her tether from the ground as she ran into the forest.

Mina stood paralyzed in front of the creature. She watched in horror as it lifted its hands toward her, preparing to attack her just as had happened the previous year. Mina was powerless to do anything. She vaguely realized the dagger had fallen from her fingertips as she encountered the red gaze of the creature in front of her.



Cathi Shaw lives in Summerland, BC with her husband and three children. She is often found wandering around her home, muttering in a seemingly incoherent manner, particularly when her characters have embarked on new adventure. In addition to writing fiction, she has taught rhetoric and professional writing Okanagan College, The University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University. Cathi is the co-author of the textbook Writing Today. Finding Refuge is the second book in her Marked Ones series. You can read more about Cathi on her website (http://cathishaw.com). You can also find her on Twitter (@cathishaw) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/TheMarkedOnesSeries).

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Refuge-Marked-Cathi-Shaw/dp/1939156610/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417311451&sr=8-1&keywords=cathi+shaw
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Monday, December 8, 2014

Guest Blog and Giveaway - The Kingdom Lights by Steven VS


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post to win a $50 Amazon/BN Gift Card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Balancing life and writing


This is a very difficult thing to get right and I don’t think anyone ever fully does.

When I first started writing it was during my time at medical school. All university degrees can be stressful and medicine is no different. It involves many lectures, a lot of time in the hospital picking up practical skills and communicating, and then there are the hours and hours of studying afterwards. The sad truth is that there was little time for writing during term time.

So when I did write it was always during the summer holidays. Like many other writers I have always wanted to write novels, to tell stories that would inspire people the way I was inspired when I was younger. So this I found highly motivating and pushed out a novel, one over two summers. Of course neither was much good – in fact they were pretty awful, but I learned a lot from them.

For the Kingdom Lights, I took a different tact. Instead of trying to blitz it, I let the story breathe a little and wrote it over an eight month period or so. I was doing my Masters Degree at the time, so I had a little more breathing room.

If you are a university, or your kids are little more grown up, and you do have that extra time – utilize it! People will often say “I don’t have the time” but really break down where that time is going. Surfing the net aimlessly? Watching day time television? I’m not saying you shouldn’t do these things, but in moderation. Set yourself deadlines like – today I will write 1000 words and so on. And that’s how I did it – even if I only wrote for thirty minutes a day, I said to myself I would write a minimum of 5000 words every week. And bit by bit the novel came together.

Of course if you have a full-time job things start to get a little crazy. When I started working as a doctor I was blasted into the ground with long hours that involved working weekends, nights and these truly soul-crushing thirteen hour surgical on-calls and for a long time I didn’t write.

Then I said to myself well what is a writer that doesn’t write? And there is always a silver lining – always weekends off or days off after busy shifts. It was a grueling experience at times, but sometimes there is no quick fix or magic bullet, you just have to write. And remember whatever you write, whatever, something will always be better than nothing.

In a world where cities float, airships sail the skies and mythical creatures are summoned in a pinch, Celes Vale is distinctly average. Living in the shadow of his talented cousin and his powerful aunt and uncle, Celes is resigned to a future of soot, factories and well, more soot.

But on the night of his twelfth birthday everything changes. A blinding light, a whispered voice and in an instant Celes becomes the first ordinary child in history to develop magic, sending him on a fast-track ticket to the greatest of the floating cities, Gardarel. Boasting grand, elegant buildings wrought from shimmering white stone, the entire city appears as though it has been built from light, and so it has come to be called the Kingdom Lights.

Though some welcome Celes, others want the dirt-ridden up-start off their city preferably head first. Nowhere is this clearer than in the attitude and actions of the beautiful and haughty Lady Ban and her sneering nephew, Marcus Blackwood. But Blackwood, with his gang of goons and unimaginative one-liners, is soon the least of Celes s problems.

With a little magic and a lot of detective work, Celes and his group of Scurriers and Wisps unravel the dark truth behind Lady Ban s prim, perfect smile an alliance to the villainous Wardens and the masked man who leads them. However, in his attempt to expose Lady Ban, Celes unwittingly stumbles onto an even darker conspiracy a plan that could lead to the complete destruction of Gardarel itself.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Light. Beautiful, pulsing, bathing him in its emerald glow…his eyes were peering open now, his mind fumbling for thoughts and memories, a taste like metal upon his tongue. “Are you hurt?” said a voice, faint, distant. “I didn’t want to hurt you, but I didn’t have a choice.” “Choice?” the boy croaked. He tried to reach up, but his hands had been bound, thick ropes cutting into soft flesh. I’m back in the Gravity Rooms, he realized, though the chamber itself had been transformed entirely. The emerald light now dripped with the crimson of hundreds of Flare Crystals, as though an angry swarm had surged forth against a far larger beast. “I know why you’re here, but I...you can’t stop this.” As his eyes began to focus, Celes saw the Warden standing before him, draped in a white cloak, his iron mask half-hidden beneath his hood. It was strange, so strange to find the spectre amongst shadows for once illuminated. “You can’t,” said Celes his lips cracked, his thoughts dizzy. What’s…my head, I can’t think… “You can’t destroy Gardarel. Please. I know you’re working for Lady Ban. You don’t…you don’t have to do this!” The Warden took a knee before him. “I do,” came the whispered reply, soft and sad. “They made their choice; and I, mine.” About the Author:
A resident of the sleepy coastal town of Bexhill, East Sussex, England. Steven graduated in the summer of 2013 from the University of Southampton with a Bachelor of Medicine Degree and a Master’s Degree in Global Health from Sussex University – where he spent the majority of his time in Shawcross writing this novel!

In between writing and dreaming Steven is a medical doctor and has worked at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire and the Princess Royal where he fights the system with quirky lanyards.

Steven’s debut novel steampunk fantasy The Kingdom Lights is out on October 17th published by Neverland Publishing.

http://stevenvs.co.uk
Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review and Giveaway - Ennara and the Book of Shadows by Angela Myron

When strange accidents start happening around thirteen year-old necromancer Ennara and her
friends, she must search for the mysterious stolen artifacts causing the attacks while learning
the highest form of magic--the spells that could prevent the fruition of a terrible prophecy.

My review:

Ennara and her friends are back. A year has passed after the events in Ennara and the Fallen Druid. Ennar and Kithe are enrolled in the Acedemy (think Hogwarts), but not everyone is happy with her being there. And, things take a turn for the worse when artifacts begin disappearing and druids are being possessed.

Ennara and her friends are a year older and are having to face challenges of a different kind--including mean girls at school. And, when dangerous things begin happening around her, those people who do not want her at the Academy have a clear weapon at hand.

I enjoyed this book just as much as the last-- and there's a touch of romance blooming which makes a nice touch. I love first love stories, especially paired with action and magic, and this book has both. A third book is in the wings and I'm anxiously waiting news of when it will be out. Ms. Myron's website says it's a four book series, and I already know I'm going to be sad when it comes to an end. I love these characters! My rating: 5.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Ennara dashed through the statue’s legs to the center of the room. This would be her one
chance to get it right.

First, the Source. She focused on the clear light that was the source of all—the central
possibility that made her world and her magic.

Then, the enlightened ones. The familiar tinkling filled the air once more. The dim room
brightened slightly.

Finally, the creature before her. Kelach the Knight, a symbol of the gift of protection, twisted by
dark magic into a force of violent abandon. Ennara visualized the hero of legend, standing firm
at the tunnels of the Royal Way to ensure the people of Ililsa escaped the troll, goblin and wraith
army of the Fallen Druid Ardewynn.

A sense of peace, strength and determination settled on her. The giant statue turned and raised
his ax once more. He hesitated mid-swing. Was her meditation working? Ennara refocused,
calling on the Great Protector’s spirit.

A column of orange-red light burst into the room above her, momentarily enshrouding the statue
and herself. When it vanished, the room had shifted. She was no longer conjuring the great
protector, she was the great protector.

A deep, hearty voice filled her mind. Fear not, Ennara. Touch this damned image of my former
self. It will be freed from its dark curse.

Warm courage flooded her. Her stomach relaxed, her shoulders fell. The massive stone figure
roared as it plunged its huge angular blade down. Ennara breathed deeply into her belly. She
took a small step back and raised her hand. She lightly toughed the stone ax as it swung inches
from her face.

An orange-red shimmer crossed the stone, rippling through the statue. The monster’s fierce
expression softened, transforming once more into the courageous legendary soldier. He
seemed to regard her briefly, an intelligence crossing behind those blank eyes, and returned to
inanimate rock.

Ennara looked to her friends. She’d found the key to unlocking the spell on the statues. Now
she just had to use it on the others before it was too late.

About the Author:
Angela Myron was born in Vancouver, Canada in 1973. She grew up in the piney forests of
southern British Columbia, studying tiny blue bells, dodging hidden cacti, and creating fantasy
worlds in her back yard. She loved to imagine lands of fairies and goblins, then invite friends
over to introduce them.

Angela studied biology and professional writing at university, starting her degree at the
University of Victoria in Canada and finishing it at San Francisco State University. She wrote
grant proposals for nonprofits, technical manuals for software, and freelance journalism before
writing fiction.

www.angelamyron.com
https://www.facebook.com/myron.angela
https://twitter.com/AngelaMyron
 http://www.pinterest.com/angelamyron/
Buy links: Preorder at http://amzn.com/0692239626, http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/
ennara-and-the-book-of-shadows,https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/449530.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Book Review: Citadel of Fire by Matthew Wolf


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Matthew will be awarding a swag pack consisting of a high-quality mousepad with cover art for Ronin Saga, an R/S T-shirt, and a R/S baseball cap to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a GRAND PRIZE of a autographed hardcover of The Knife's Edge as well as a swag pack consisting of a high-quality mousepad with cover art for Ronin Saga, an R/S T-shirt, and a R/S baseball cap to a randomly drawn winner also via rafflcopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Seventeen-year old Gray is descended from a legendary hero known as a Ronin and haunted by his forgotten past. He returns home to a wizards' keep, unaware he is now labeled a murderous traitor for killing his best friend.

Now he must cross a dangerous desert full of thieves, mythical beasts, and other magical unknowns, all to return to a home that may be his demise. At the same time, a poisonous evil seeks to convert the world to their dark mantra, "strength is life, weakness death."

Gray may have hero's blood in his veins, but how can one kill a belief?

Read the review:

Citadel of Fire continues Gray's adventures from The Knife's Edge, but there is enough exposition in the second book that I feel you could pick it up and enjoy it without having read the first one. But, this is good enough you should read them both--I believe it will give you a better feel for who the characters are and where they come from.

The characters in this book are engaging--it's hard to pick out a favorite. The interactions between them feels real and you can see just how much the friendship bond they share strengthen each of them.

I can so see this as a movie--the author does a great job of painting the picture of where they are--and the action scenes are incredible. If you are a fan of large fantasy/magical sagas that center around good vs. evil and saving the land from the evil, you could do worse than give this young author a try. I'm really looking forward to the next book in the series. Rating: 4.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Light and shadows flickered across Ayva’s vision.
Those sharp gray-green eyes taking her in, seeing into her... She felt her hand reaching out, her heart quickening. Her palms turned damp. She leaned forward and—

Ayva’s eyes snapped open. She put a hand to her brow, shielding her gaze from the morning sun. She was still in her bedroll and, in the peripheries of her vision, she saw Darius packing up his things and brushing down his spirited cormac. The majestic beast pranced with energy despite days of hard travel.

Her thoughts returned to her dream. Gray.

Absently, she grazed her lips with her fingers. Shaking her head, she put the confusing bundle of thoughts and questions to the back of her head and rose. Yawning, she took in their camp. The ground beneath her feet was soft sand. From it, tubers and the occasional plant sprouted. Nearby, a strange purple and green succulent bristled with finger-length spines, multihued like a rainbow bed of nails. That was tame for Farhaven

About the Author:
Matthew Wolf is the author of the Ronin Saga. Or maybe he's a Ronin. Either way, he's involved somehow. Aside from epic fantasy, he enjoys woodcrafting, outdoors, a bit of a health nut (Kale is good!), and trains in Kung Fu.

His childhood of traveling the world and studying Old English and Japanese influenced the schemes of the Saga, and the world of Daerval. He is a graduate from UCSB with a Literature degree with a specialization in Medieval Literature and Japanese.

www.roninsaga.com
www.facebook.com/roninsaga
https://twitter.com/roninsaga
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7077739.Matthew_Wolf

Buy the first book of the series, The Knife's Edge at Amazon. Buy the second book of the series, Citadel of Fire, at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 1, 2014

By Starlight by Nancy Lindley-Gauthier -- Virtual Tour and Giveaway




This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Nancy will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


The night my best friend Gracie disappeared, I had a nightmare.

A monster loomed from the shadows around the campfire. I ran. The thing stretched after me…

I woke gasping, afraid it might somehow be true. Gracie could always make me feel better – but she didn’t respond to my email. Not that night; not ever.

That's what lead to my summer camp counselor job here near Gracie’s home. Hiking and canoeing fill every moment but I don't forget why I'm here. I’m going to find Gracie.

The camp-owner, a famous Native seer, isn’t any help. Her herbal healing and Spirit Bear talisman won’t help find Gracie.

There's the local ranger and my campers, but will they believe me? I’m alone with this. Somehow, I will find her...


Enjoy an excerpt:

"Shhhh." Frankie, riding point, set her paddle in front of her. She deftly removed her camera from its bag. I followed her gaze, past the high yellow-tipped grasses in a pocket of boggy greenery. Dark, vine-covered stumps jutted from the black surface of the water. Long branches of goldenrod lay flattened, at the foot of narrow, dark limbs. No, not tree limbs, those were legs!

Frankie hastily snapped a photograph of the moose. The animal’s face was half-submerged, but as we glided by, it slowly raised its head and stared at us.

Immense, it stood with long green growth hanging out of its mouth and trailing back into the water. Everyone saw it now. Quiet fell over the lot of us. Frankie leaned this way and that, trying, I guess, to get an exceptional shot.

Slowly, the moose dropped its head back to its soggy grazing.

Chelsea let out a long, drawn out "Coooooool."

I wondered if the kayakers had belted by without even noticing the massive animal by the riverside.

The quiet creek allowed us to glide with paddles barely touching the water. I think after spotting the moose we were all of the same mind.

All we needed now was to see a bear. I stared hopefully into the thick woods on our other side, thinking they might prefer the shade of the evergreens. The girls had to be thinking the same thing, because quiet hung over us; a quiet full of expectations.

Nice that the kayakers had shot ahead. They were always chattering and would have ruined the chance for us to see wildlife.

A splash alerted me again to the swampier side. It held more promise for a bear. Tempting, large dandelions grew right down to the water's edge, and beyond that, stalks of what might be wild rhubarb. Nearer, maple saplings bowed over the river, trailing their leaves and making little circular ripples.

Dragonflies hovered in formation in the shadow of the little maples. They darted up and sideways, always keeping a strange, arrow-shaped formation, as we drew abreast.

A stick twirled slowly in the gentle current, caught in a scrawny maple branch. The yellowy stick had a strangely curved arch as if, somehow, man-made. The dragonflies shot upward as I reached it. I stretched very carefully to grab it. The strange stick snapped closed over my hand…


A New Englander throughout her life, Nancy Lindley-Gauthier currently resides in New Hampshire. Her chief interest is her horses (she both rides and drives them) and she especially loves trail riding. Occasionally, she is dragged away from the equines to serve as pillion rider on husband Kent's motorcycle.

Also among her favorite activities is whale-watching… and she’s pleased to record sightings of Minke and Greys off the East Coast and Humpbacks along the Inside Passage on the West.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23241229-by-starlight

http://www.amazon.com/Starlight-Nancy-Lindley-Gauthier-ebook/dp/B00LF5GB8E/ref=asap_B00JE5RBBI_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417397997&sr=1-3

http://anothershoestringadventure.weebly.com/

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Virtual Tour and Giveaway - Christine Manzari's DEVIATION


This post is part of a cover reveal for the re-release of Christine Manzari's DEVIATION. One randomly drawn winner will be awarded a $25 Amazon/BN gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Being a Sophisticate of the Program seems like it’d be a pretty sweet deal: a little genetic alteration and anyone can be smarter, faster, and stronger. It’s a dream come true. All you have to give up is your freedom.

Cleo is a Sophisticate and she has a bright future in the Program. But she has a secret. When she gets upset, bad things happen. Explosive things. Things she can’t control.

When her secret is discovered, she’s sent to the Academy to train in the military branch of the Program. She’s destined to be a human weapon in the war that’s been going on since Wormwood occurred nearly 30 years ago. She soon learns that although her ability is unique, there are others like her — other Sophisticates with lethal skills and odd code names like Archerfish and Mimic Octopus.

Immersed in a dangerous game of supernatural powers and dubious motives, Cleo doesn’t know who to trust. Ozzy, the annoyingly attractive cadet who has perfect aim in weapons class and deviant lips behind closed doors, begs her not to use her powers. He’s the golden boy of the Program, but can she trust him? Or will she find herself a target, caught in his crosshairs?

Enjoy an excerpt:

My hands were shaking. My blood was on fire and my skin was crawling as if my insides were actually boiling. Air. I needed air. I tried to crawl off the bed and get to the window, but the words from the email were blazing through me — a bellowing inferno of indignation.

Donors.

Cease and Desist.

Property.

Punishment.

Indiscretions.

Revoked.

Trusted.

My hands covered my ears as the words screamed through my head. Or was I screaming?

Pressure was building inside me and I just wanted to let it go, to feel relief. It was too much. I was too hot.

Exhale.

The computer exploded, throwing flaming plastic and metal across the bed. The television answered with its own death, spewing its fiery innards onto the desk and floor, igniting the carpet instantly. The rage in my chest echoed like a heartbeat and with each pulse, something in the room burst into flames. In less than a minute, I was surrounded by broken and burning bits of my room, all of them melting or on fire. A small untouched circle of floor under my feet was my haven, my island in the disaster. Flames raced up the drapes, licking at the ceiling as shards of glass from the window fell inward with an eerie tinkling.

I stared in disbelief, unable to move, as the room burned around me and smoke curled to the ceiling like agitated ghosts. The goldfish flopped helplessly among the wet rubble of his shattered home. Pictures hanging on the wall curled up in the heat, catching flame and falling to the floor in large, ashy flakes.

What had I done?


About the Author:
The first thing Christine does when she's getting ready to read a book is to crack the spine in at least five places. She wholeheartedly believes there is no place as comfy as the pages of a well-worn book. She's addicted to buying books, reading books, and writing books. Books, books, books. She also has a weakness for adventure, inappropriate humor, and coke (the caffeine-laden bubbly kind). Christine is from Forest Hill, Maryland where she lives with her husband, three kids, and her library of ugly spine books.

Website: www.christinemanzari.com
Email: christine@christinemanzari.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ ChristineManzari
Twitter: twitter.com/Xenatine
Instagram: instagram.com/xenatine
Pinterest: pinterest.com/xenatine/
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/ Christine_Manzari

Buy the book at Amazon, Smashwords, or Smashwords.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Q&A with Mark Duncan, author of BRINGING UP MIKE


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Mark will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Books in the Hall chats with Mark Duncan, author of BRINGING UP MIKE. Why Young Adult fiction? What draws you to it?

Bringing Up Mike is about raising an artificial intelligence that is developing as a child. Many of the same coming of age issues faced by both Joe (the teenage developer of Mike) and Mike (the artificial intelligence), are the same as for any young adult. Young adult fiction provided a great setting to examine why we do things.

What’s your favorite sweet treat?

I love both ice cream and gelato. I live just north of Palo Alto, about a mile from Tin Pot Creamery, Gelataio, Scoop Microcreamery, Cream, Friche Yogurt, Palo Alto Creamery and Rick’s Ice Cream. While I particularly like Burgundy Cherry and Jamaican Almond Fudge, many of the new stores have unique flavors: Salted Butterscotch, Bourbon Vanilla with Salted Caramel, as well as a very intense Dark Chocolate.

What candy do you give out at Halloween?

Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups! They come twenty-eight wrapped cups per 14 oz. box. They’re simply wonderful—creamy and delicious. It’s hard to eat a Reese’s peanut butter cup after having experienced Justin’s. Fortunate for me, the local Costco sells them!

What superpower would you love to have? Why?

The power to read woman’s minds! Sorry, this is actually a question that April poses to Joe when they go on a date to have pizza, followed by a movie, in Bringing Up Mike. But speaking as a man, won’t it be great?

Speaking of pizza, what are your favorite pizza toppings?

I love deep-dish Chicago style pizzas topped with extra tomatoes, artichoke and anchovies. It’s a great combination! The acidity of the tomatoes balances nicely with the bitterness of the anchovies, and sets off the artichoke hearts. Patxi’s Chicago Pizza in Palo Alto is my favorite place for this.

What book is on your nightstand currently?

At the moment, I’m reading Fire by Kristin Cashore. It’s the prequel to Graceling that I just finished. Other books I’ve read in the past few weeks: All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Red Rising by Pierce Brown, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Poor Man’s Fight and Rich Man’s War by Elliott Kay, A Sword into Darkness by Thomas Mays, Lines of Departure by Marko Kloos. And of course, there’s a pile of non-fiction books, the most recent of which is The Intel Trinity by Michael Malone.

Hunger Games or Twilight? Why?

Hunger Games. I read The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay during one week. I’ve seen the first two Hunger Games movies as well. I never could get into any of the Twilight novels, they just didn’t have any appeal for me.

What was your favorite childhood TV show?

I loved Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone. It always had something significant to say about the human condition—gender roles, racial relations, and other social views. Subsequently, I was quite fond of the first two seasons of Star Trek with William Shatner and Leonard Nemoy.

What’s your favorite hot beverage. Why?

I love hot chocolate! Particularly Mexican hot chocolate—that’s with cayenne pepper and cinnamon added to. It has a real kick to it. I like coffee, but it doesn’t like me—I can’t sleep at night after drinking it, so I only drink it occasionally, early in the morning when I need to stay awake.

Ideal summer vacation

Flying somewhere I’ve never been before, exploring the area, then renting a car or taking the train to the next nearby destination. No specific, particular plan—rather an open-ended exploration. Of course, this means avoiding peak travel or tourist times when accommodations become scarce. I’ve done this traveling to Europe and the Hawaiian islands.

Which of your characters would you most like to meet in real life? Why?

George’s father, Allen Barber is a professor emeritus at an East Coast university. He’s 82 and is a very sharp and insightful person. Martha’s father, Ed Alexander is a former U.S. Army Colonel. At age 75, he has traveled all over the world. He has an prosthesis on his lower leg, due to an IED having blown it off. Both of them have great stories and experiences to share.

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

Martha Barber, age 49, was a military brat. She’s expert with animals, handy with a gun, gardens and cooks. She makes quick, correct, decisive decisions under pressure. In a paintball battle, you want to be on her side.

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

Art, travel, education and gifts. I love art, my walls are covered with paintings, weavings and artwork. Travel expands my view and understanding of the world; it is incredibly stimulating. With money being no object, there are many university led tours around the world that lecture on their history and culture. In terms of helping people, helping them get a better education is very much like the difference between giving poor people fish, or teaching them how to fish. I’ve always felt good about the times and places where I was able to help someone.

What happens when Joe, a teen prodigy makes drastic changes to his life and attends high school incognito with Mike, an artificial intelligence? His plans take an unexpected turn when he buys a neglected former racehorse.

Bringing Up Mike is a tapestry of intertwined stories over the course of a school year: A teen genius who has grown up too fast, a neglected former racehorse, a bereaved couple morning the death of their son, a girl struggling to attend college, and a former mobster determined to be top dog.

Bringing Up Mike is about people given a second chance at happiness and success and how they become better people and mature.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Martha walked to the barn, the shotgun stock tucked firmly against her side, then stopped fifteen feet from the back of the horse trailer.

“Any reason why I shouldn’t shoot you trespassers?”

Three men who were struggling to get the stallion into the trailer froze. The fourth, a big burly man, stood in front of Martha, the horse directly behind him.

“This isn’t what you think. We’re retrieving our lost stallion,” said Sly.

“At dawn? Without asking permission?”

“It didn’t seem polite to wake you up so early.”

“Seems to me you sold him for four thousand dollars.”

“It was a joke to teach the kid a lesson. That horse is worth twenty thousand, I knew the contract wasn’t valid, because he’s a minor.”

“There’s no way I’d let that stallion go back to someone who starved him.”

“He had plenty of pasture! Once he learned not to bite the hand that fed him, he’d get his grain.”

As they talked, Sly edged closer to Martha, then tried to grab her shotgun. Martha pivoted, pointed the gun at the wheel on the horse trailer, and shot.

There was a CRACK-BANG as a burst of birdshot exploded the tire. Startled and frightened, Comanche reared up and dragged Reuben and Sam, who had wrapped lead ropes around their hands. Martha threw herself flat on the ground, followed by the crack of a bullet that stopped Sly in mid-step.

About the Author:
Mark Duncan grew up in Pasadena, not far from Caltech. In high school he spent Friday and Saturday nights at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab (SAIL) and subsequently was a member of the Homebrew Computer Club. He received his BSEE from UC Berkeley. He has worked or consulted for numerous startups in Silicon Valley. He lives in Menlo Park, near Stanford and has written extensively on emerging technology topics. He enjoys photography, movies, theater, fine dining and has visited all 50 states and much of Europe. He is the author of Bringing Up Mike, www.askmarpublishing.com, mark@askmarpublishing.com

Book Website: http://www.askmarpublishing.com/books/bringing up mike.html,br> Publisher Website: http://www.askmarpublishing.com
Author Website: http://www.askmarpublishing.com/authors/mark duncan.html
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/askmarpub
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/askmar

Buy the book at Amazon, Amazon UK, iTunes, BN.com, or Kobo.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Taking the Reins by Katrina Abbott - Spotlight and Giveaway


NOTE: THIS BOOK IS CURRENTLY *FREE* EVERYWHERE IT’S AVAILABLE!! LINKS ARE BELOW.

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One lucky person will receive a $25 Amazon/BN GC via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Brooklyn Prescott (if that’s even her real name) is the new girl at TheRosewood Academy for Academic Excellence, now that she’s moved back to the States after two years living in London. Rosewood, a boarding school for children of the rich and famous and known for its celebutantes, is missing just one element important to any junior’s education: boys. But luckily for Brooklyn, and the rest of theRosewood girls, there’s a boys’ boarding school, The Westwood Academy, just a few miles away.

On her very first day, Brooklyn meets Will, a gorgeous and flirty boy on campus to help with move in. But is he who she thinks he is? And what about Brady, the cute stable boy? Or Jared, the former child actor with his grown-up good looks who can always make her laugh? As Brooklyn settles in at Rosewood, she’s faced with new friends, new challenges and new opportunities to make herself into the girl she always wanted to be. Whoever that might be.

Taking The Reins is the first installment of The Rosewoods, an exciting new Young Adult series for readers who love fun, flirty love stories.

Enjoy an excerpt:

I should have felt insulated and safe in the back of the Town Car.

Instead, my heart was pounding like crazy as the driver pulled into the long circular drive that would bring me to the front of the Rosewood Academy for Academic Excellence—my new home for the next ten months. The windows of the car were tinted, so no one could see in, but as I was in one of several limos (mixed in with Range Rovers, Audis, Mercedes' and other cars of the famous and wealthy), no one really paid attention. And, gauging by the chaos on the front lawn of the school campus—registration, moving in, laughing and getting reacquainted—people were too wrapped up in their own stuff to notice a new girl, anyway.

The new girl.

I sighed and gave myself a couple moments to calm my nerves as the driver rolled to a stop at the curb. I took my long brown hair out of the ponytail holder, then second-guessed and put it back in again. Then realized it would look sloppy to have a ponytail, so I took it out one last time.

God, Brooklyn, get it together.

The driver put the car into park, turned halfway toward me and smiled. “This is it.”

“Yeah,” I said, glancing out at the crowd. There were several tables, including one with a banner that read, “Check in. Come here first.” Brilliant. At least that part was sorted. The fitting in and making friends part couldn’t possibly be quite so easy.

“It will be fine,” the driver assured me, as though he was reading my mind and standing in as my father or something, making me feel guilty that I’d forgotten his name already. “I hear it’s a good school.”

I almost snorted at his comment; Rosewood wasn’t a good school. Rosewood was the best school.

About the Author:
A survivor of adolescence, Katrina Abbott loves writing about teens: best friends, cute boys, kissing, drama. Her main vice is romance, but she’s been known to succumb to the occasional chocolate binge. She may or may not live in California with her husband, kids and several cats. Taking the Reins is not her first book. Visit Katrina online at www.katrinaabbott.com

Website: http://katrinaabbott.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AbbottKatrina
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KatrinaAbbottAuthor
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/abbottkatrina

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo, or Google Play.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Virtual Tour and Giveaway - No Light by Devi Mara


This post is part of a book blast organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter will be awarded a $20 Amazon/BN gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Dems have been held captive since before the world was made. They are the darkness only spoken of in whispers. As much as they are hated and feared, those who guard them are even more so. The pariahs of society, they live apart from the rest of the world in a settlement called Ameritat. That is where The Dems Trilogy begins. An unlikely and dangerous love between a human guard and the most feared of all the Dems. It will be the beginning or the ending of everything.

Sarah Mackenzie was never meant to be a guard, never meant to descend into the bowels of the earth, but The Corridor is where she is sent. With little information and even less training, she is thrust into her position as a Dem handler. She walks a thin line between life and death, as she tries to uphold her family honor and unlock the mystery of the Dem’s captivity. The pursuit of truth will drag her deep into a world of corruption, hatred, and greed and she will have to decide where her loyalties lie. With the humans who have mistreated her or the Dem who could destroy them all.

Enjoy an excerpt:

The staircase twisted down into what felt like the very bowels of the Earth. Wrought iron and spindly, it creaked with each movement. Every irregular step nearly pulsed with hesitation. Some held back by fear, others pressing forward toward something new and terrifying. The bodies swayed in and out of the sparse light, like spirits jumping at the stone walls.

Her gaze dropped momentarily, away from her thoughts, to look toward their destination. The diamond weave of the steps allowed a caged view of what lie beneath. Sarah's hand gripped the railing tightly, jerking her eyes to the back in front of her. Not allowing them to stray to the lonely darkness beneath her feet.

The steady creak and pound of the footsteps seemed to go on forever, as the class followed the trainer. After ten minutes, the hollow sound of the stairwell seemed to swell in volume. Shuffling coats, heavy breathing, and something else. Sarah tipped her head, peering over the railing into the darkness. There was a wailing just under the creaking of the iron and the thuds of the heavy work boots.

"What is that?" she heard one of her classmates whisper.

She narrowed her eyes at the blackness beneath her feet. So far down, the cold of the stone stairwell made her hands nearly freeze to the railing. She did not dare let go.

"Do you hear that?" Another voice whispered.

The noise increased in volume. It sounded like glass ground between two stones. It set her teeth on edge. It was only the settling of the stairs. Nothing to be afraid of, but that did not stop her hand from shaking in her pocket. She stared at the back in front of her, stepping down over and over.

About the Author:
Writer of cross genre romance, Devi Mara, grew up in rural Missouri. An avid reader and writer, she found inspiration in the people and places around her. The result, a fluid concept of the romance subgenres.

Her debut novel, No Light, was released in January of 2014 and is the first book in the Dems Trilogy. It was followed by her first stand-alone novel, Kingdom Come, in May. The second novel of the Dems Trilogy, Darkness Blooming, was released in August of 2014.

Devi is a lover of coffee and chocolate and partakes in both daily. She lives in Missouri with her family. Including two dogs too human for their own good.

She loves hearing from readers and encourages them to message her on Facebook or contact her on Twitter. She is always open to questions and comments.

Website: www.devimara.com
Blog: devimarawrites.blogspot.com
Twitter: @devimarawrites
Facebook: www.facebook.com/devimarawrites</ a>
Buy the book at
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Monday, November 17, 2014

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway - Deceived by L.A. Starkey

http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/09/vbt-deceived-by-la-starkey.html


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Prizes are as follows:

• One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.
• One randomly chosen host will receive a $25 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

They say a soul is the immaterial essence, the animating principal, the actuating cause of an individual life.

But what if you had to share yours with the one person you hated the most?

The soul mate principal states that for every one soul there is another that will recognize its match, hence creating the perfect union.

But what if you had two soul mates, which would you choose?

What if your choices had eternal ramification?

Deceived, the debut novel in the Soul Keeper Series, is a modern day love story about the implications of having more than one soul mate, and having to choose between the two of them. The decisions of the gods has left the next generation, their heirs, torn between fate and reality, and the balance of the future hangs in anticipation of what's to come.

Enjoy an excerpt:

There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and even though the breeze had picked up, embracing Sam like a good friend, the warmth of the sun was putting up a mighty fight. Being someone who thrived outdoors, she loved that New Hampshire had four seasons and took profound joy in having the ability to experience all the weather gods could throw her way. After the first few warm up miles, Sam stood back up on her peddles and pumped out the next few miles with a good bit of effort.

Man, it feels good to get my blood pumping.

Sam looked to her left as a quick movement of yellow jotted between the trees.

“No!” A loud masculine voice rang out.

She jerked forward in time to swerve, barely missing the yellow lump lying in the road and instead hitting the curb. She plummeted off the bike, flying through the air and landing in a crouch. Her chest heaved in effort to gain much needed oxygen as all of the blood in her body rushed to its aid.

Her eyes quickly surveyed her surroundings as she cautiously rose. No one was close enough to create the loud protest that was still reverbing in her head. Trying to regain her composure, she worked to make sense of what had happened. I could’ve sworn there was something yellow in the trees. And then it was in the road, right?

She searched the ground finding nothing to support her internal claim.

About the Author:

Laurie Starkey is the author of the upcoming Soul Keeper Series, a supernatural young adult series, and The Liarus Detective Series, a supernatural middle grade series. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, Jacob and three beautiful kiddos.

She is a CPA by trade, a church planter and entrepreneur at heart; however, writing and reading are passions she just can't help but indulge in. With more ideas that one person should be allowed, she is blessed to have a muse that doesn't seem to take a vacation and more energy that one might consider healthy.

Website: www.lastarkey.com
Blog: www.lauriestarkey.wordpress.com
Twitter: LAStarkey Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/L.A.StarkeyAuthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23109999-deceived
Amazon (kindle/paperback): http://www.amazon.com/Deceived-Soul-Keeper- Series-Volume/dp/1500927872/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409578566&sr=8-1- spell&keywords=deceivede+soul+keeper
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