Monday, May 30, 2016

Two Brothers, One Redhead, and a Stolen Giraffe by Sarah Mandell

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sarah Mandell will be awarding 5 of her handmade laser etched wooden pendants that she is launching as a new collection in conjunction with the release of the book to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Welcome to Books in the Hall, and thanks for answering some of our questions. Why do you write juvenile fiction? What draws you to it?

The teen years are the best of times and the worst of times. There are ups and downs that only happen during that chapter of life, and you begin to figure out who you are and what you want for the very first time. You start to make choices for yourself (good, bad, or otherwise), and so much of the world is still unknown, so I like writing fiction that features young adult characters because there’s so much good emotional material to work with.

Pretend your protagonist is at school and opens his/her locker – what will we see inside?

Books, books, and more books. Nothing but the classics for Daniel McElroy! You’d find Ernest Hemmingway, and Joseph Conrad, all overdue from the library by several weeks.

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

I always wanted to be an interior designer. I remember constantly rearranging my dollhouse as a kid after I was supposed to be asleep at night. It was way more fun to move the furniture around and repaint the walls than it was to pretend dolls were living in the house. I enjoyed arranging the spaces, and filling them with beautiful colors and textures.

Funny story, I went to school for interior design and have worked in the field since 2005. It was the only job I could ever picture myself doing, and I didn’t have a back up plan so I’m glad it worked out!

What book is on your nightstand currently?

The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno by Ellen Bryson.

Hunger Games or Twilight? Why?

Hunger Games. Easy.
Katniss is badass, and whats-her-face is not.
The end.

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

A quirky coming-of-age story about the complications of love, loss, and newfound independence.

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

Josephine Larsen: she’s self-sufficient and clever, so I think having her there with me would triple my chances of survival. She can tell which way is north, start a fire, and gut a fish, definitely a girl who knows how to get by on practically nothing. I’m never really sure which way is north, the only fires I’ve started are by accident, and I would probably cry if I had to gut fish. I wouldn’t last very long on a desert island by myself!

Playlist for your current book.

So glad you asked! I’ve been working on this playlist for Two Brothers, One Redhead, and a Stolen Giraffe since 2011. I think…maybe…it’s finally ready to share. Writing this book actually changed my taste in music, and all of these artists (except Sam Beam and Doug Burr) are new to me since 2011. I had very specific background music in mind when I was writing and editing the book several years ago, but at the time I had very little to choose from that suited the story, so I listened to Iron and Wine and Doug Burr the entire time. From there, thanks to Pandora and Spotify’s suggestions, I discovered a brand new world of music and have become a huge fan of Noah Gunderson and Damien Jurado, just to name a few.

Who was your teenaged crush? Why?

Pretty much any guy in a rock band who wore eyeliner (Christopher Hall from Stabbing Westward, Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails, Dave Navarro from Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc.). I can’t even begin to explain this...

Favorite class in high school. Why?

Art: I absolutely love to work with my hands, and to this day, creating art is something I look forward to. Art classes in high school led to art school, which led to a creative career in interior design, which led to a little side hobby turned small business called Once Again Sam. So much of my life is what it is today because of those art classes in high school!

The McElroy brothers find trouble easily. Dylan plunges headfirst into it, while Daniel cleans up behind him. That’s the way it’s always been, ever since their mother left them to be bounced around the foster system, causing trouble wherever they went. The soon-to-be euthanized giraffe they just stole from the Northside Animal Park may be their biggest predicament yet, in more ways than one, but there's no undoing what's been done.

Lost in Nebraska without a plan, clueless how to care for the ornery old beast in the back of the trailer, the well-meaning brothers stop to rest at an abandoned-looking barn. A pretty redhead with a snappy temperament and a shotgun discovers the boys and their sixteen-foot stowaway. Her name is Josephine, she lives on this farm with her father who is spoken of, but never seen, and her root cellar has more locks than a bank vault. She’s got a way with animals and plenty of secrets, not to mention the interest of two brothers who swore they’d never let some girl come between them.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Daniel and Dylan McElroy snapped their eyes open only to be blinded by a billion-watt flashlight aimed in their faces. It might as well have been the sun. They scrambled to their feet, unable to see who or what was behind that blazing white light. They shielded their faces, begging for mercy.

A female voice came from behind the painful brightness. She managed to get out, “What in the hell…” before the beam of light shifted upward, illuminating Millie’s unimpressed face. The giraffe’s long eyelashes blinked downward, inspecting the people below. Her nubby horns cast strange shadows on the ceiling of the barn.

While the beam of light from the girl’s torch shown upward still, locking Millie in the spotlight, Daniel got a good look at the person holding it. She was a teenager with fiery red hair all mussed up from sleep that fell well below her shoulder blades. Her eyes were pale in color, but he couldn’t be sure if they were blue or hazel in this severe lighting. She had delicate features, a snobby little nose, and a pair of pink lips parted in astonishment as she gazed upward at the out-of-place creature. This girl, a member of the Larsen family perhaps, was a pretty thing, but she was not in good spirits being woken in the middle of the night only to find two strange young men and a reticulated giraffe in her family’s barn. She had a shotgun at her side, which she now raised up and aimed at Dylan.

Daniel cleared his throat, ready to say just the right words to save young Dylan from certain death. Again. “We didn’t mean to cause no trouble,” Daniel explained, palms open with vulnerability. Daniel had always been the spokesperson when trouble found them, or more likely, when Dylan found trouble. He was the explainer of the mischievous pair.

“Am I hallucinating, or is that a giraffe?” the girl demanded to know.

“That?” Daniel asked, glancing upward in hopes she was referring to something else. “Uh. Yeah. That would be Millie. Millie the giraffe.”

About the Author:
Sarah Mandell is a professionally trained artist with a background in commercial interior design. She's also the brains and busy hands behind a thriving indie craft business called Once Again Sam in Greenville, SC. Even with an ever-expanding collection of creative outlets, she's truly the happiest when she's writing. Two Brothers, One Redhead, and a Stolen Giraffe is Sarah’s second novel. Her debut novel was Celia on the Run (Untreed Reads, 2012).

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Spirit of the Northwoods by Auria Jourdain

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Auria Jourdain will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_SpiritOfTheNorthwoodsStruggling to settle into a new school, junior Shannon Colfax finds herself entangled in a feud with popular football jock Brent Duray after he bullies her autistic twin brother, Shane. After an unlikely savior comes to her rescue—Brent’s friend, Cody Williams—the jock and his entourage devise an immediate retaliation plan: Duray promises to leave Shane alone if Shannon and Cody survive the infamous Paulding Light Challenge on Halloween night. Desperate for vindication, they take the dare...but are the local legends truly paranormal, or are they dealing with something more sinister?

Enjoy an excerpt

“Bye Shanna!” Shane yelled again, looking at the ground as he waved at his sister.

“Bye, Shanna!”

Shannon whipped around, ready to throttle the sarcastic bully that dared mock her brother.

“What an idiot! Who the hell would tease an autistic boy?” Christa stood on her toes, her lips lifting into a sneer. “Idiot is right. Look who it is!”

As the culprit emerged from the crowd, Shannon glared at Brent Duray, the school’s most popular jock. His girlfriend, a petite cheerleader with blonde, blown out hair and a toothpick waist, walked next to him, smirking at Brent’s teasing. As usual, the arrogant football player’s entire entourage followed close behind—mostly members of the football team. Shannon balled up her fists and cursed under her breath.

Christa tossed her head, scoffing in derision. “Duray’s a jerk. Let it go, Shannon.”

The tall, blond boy sneered. “Yeah, Shanna, let it go.”

Shannon’s face flushed with anger as she glared at Brent menacingly. She and Brent had been oil and water from day one when she overheard him teasing her twin. The senior linebacker refused to back down, and they’d been mincing words ever since.

“Leave them alone, Brent. You are acting like an idiot.”

Glancing over Brent’s head, Shannon frowned, unable to recognize the voice that had called out from the back of the crowd. “Who is that?”

“Cody Williams!” Christa’s face lit up as Duray turned toward the dissenting voice, her excited whisper echoing in Shannon’s ear.

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_SpiritOfTheNorthwoodsAbout the Author: An avid reader from an early age, Auria Jourdain has fond childhood memories of spending quiet afternoons with a book in her hand. She loved the "happily ever after" sweet teen romances, and when she came of age, she plunged into the world of historical romance with fervor, transporting herself to a bygone time. Her favorites were Regency, but as a girl brought up in a common home, she was disheartened that most of the novels of this era focus on the nobility and wealth. Auria set out to write her own romance, encompassing her passion for French Revolutionary history and her innate sense of goodwill for the common man. An idealist at heart, she writes heroes and heroines that struggle to find acceptance in their world.

To go along with this theme, two years ago, Auria wrote a Young Adult novel during NaNoWriMo for her 17 year old autistic son who is struggling to make his own way in the world. Looking to educate people about this mysterious disorder, she wrote Spirit of the Northwoods for him and set it in their hometown in the Upper Peninsula. Her release coincides with Autism Awareness month, April 2016, and all proceeds for this novel will be donated to the Autism Society of America. Auria hopes that someday we can break down the social barriers and forgo stereotypical judgments that harm our world so that people like her son can form positive relationships with others.

Auria lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with her husband of twenty years, her four children (ages eight to eighteen), and two golden retrievers. A rather new transplant to the area, she loves the changing of the seasons, and she is currently working on a contemporary romantic suspense trilogy set in her rough and rugged homeland. Silence the Northwoods is set at a local ski resort in her hometown of Ironwood, Michigan—the ski capital of the Midwest. Silence the Waters takes place during the summer on the dangerous river ways that flow into Lake Superior in the Keweenaw Peninsula; and Silence the Birchwoods is an autumn tale set on Sugar Loaf Mountain, near Marquette, Michigan. All three involve murder, mystery, and romance, of course.

Auria spends her the long winters plotting and scheming her next book, and in the mild summers, she and her husband devote every waking moment hiking and kayaking the Northwoods. An amateur photographer, she lives fifteen miles from the shores of Lake Superior, and her muse has been piqued by the awe-inspiring beauty that surrounds her. Although she hasn’t officially acquired “Yooper” status yet, she can’t envision living anywhere else.


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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Lies I Live By by Lauren Sabel

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

What books were your favorite as a youth and why?

I love The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I read it every few years as a reminder of how to fully live my life and embrace the hidden positivity in every situation. When I was growing up, The Secret Garden taught me about the emotional impact that good writing can have on a reader. I also love The Twits by Roald Dahl. Although I’ve only reread it once as an adult, the impact it had on me as a kid is incredible. The Twits taught me that writing could be laugh-aloud funny, and can even exact revenge on a formidable (and sometimes beloved) enemy.

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

An author. I feel incredibly humble that it actually happened to me. It helped that I grew up with a family friend who knows James Patterson, so I knew that authors are real people, which in my opinion, is a considerable first step towards becoming something. I’ve always wanted to contact Mr. Patterson to tell him of the impact he had on my life, but he’s not, you know, a real person. :)

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


What superpower would you love to have? Why?

Flying. I can already feel what it would feel like to have wind rustling under my arms as I lifted off into the sky. The rest is easy, right?

Hunger Games or Twilight? Why?

Hunger Games. I am interested in the darker side of life, and the less certain side of love, both of which are very Hunger Games-esque.

Favorite TV show from your childhood?

The Wonder Years. Why can’t TV producers make another Wonder Years?

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

LIES I LIVE BY is a YA thriller about a teen psychic spy whom lives a double life to save her loved ones from torture at criminals' hands.

Who was your teenaged crush? Why?

In middle school and high school, I always had crushes on guys that felt out of my league. Now that I look back, they probably weren’t so untouchable after all. I mean, I’m lovable, and everyone is looking to love someone. I was just so insecure that I never believed I was worthy. Although I did have one shining moment: I leaned over my desk during math class and bit the back of the baseball player’s neck I had a major crush on. It never resulted in a date; but I don’t think he ever forgot me.

Favorite class in high school. Why?

Math, mostly because I didn’t care about it at all so I could spend the entire time writing poetry. Unfortunately, I really cared about my English classes, so although I absolutely adored my teachers and loved reading the texts we were assigned, I didn’t get a lick of poetry written.

Thank you!

These are the facts: My name is Callie Sinclair. I am seventeen years old. I live in San Francisco. I love my boyfriend, Charlie. I work for a secret governmental agency. I am a psychic spy. This romantic, action-packed twist on the classic spy novel is perfect for fans of Ally Carter’s Embassy Row series or for any reader who enjoys cinematic writing and stories of romance and intrigue.

At seventeen, Callie is the government’s youngest psychic spy, trained to track dangerous people and weapons in her visions. When another young—and handsome and witty—psychic joins the agency, Callie’s personal and professional lives get messy all at once. If she can’t find a way to change the events she’s seen in her visions, she could lose the people she loves most . . . and her mind. Literally.

Richly painted against the backdrop of San Francisco and Berkeley, Lauren Sabel’s enthralling novel captures the thrill of exploring a unique power in a dangerous world.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Right now, all over the world, there are psychics searching for dangerous weapons, biological hazards, serial killers. But you’ll never know about it. The government will deny it. “That is not reliable information,” they will say, not mentioning the hundreds of psychics behind closed doors, accurately finding kidnapped people and murder victims. They won’t tell you about how some minds can see below the ground, above the earth, backwards and forwards in time. And they won’t tell you that some of them are housed in mental institutions, or that one of them is your neighbor, or that one of them is below the legal voting age. Or that, for those people, life is a secret they can’t share, so they are always alone, except for one place: In their own minds.

About the Author:
Lauren Sabel lives in the quirky dark spaces of her mind, and she tries to shed light on these spaces in her books. After publishing VIVIAN DIVINE IS DEAD in Summer 2014 with Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of Harper Collins, she confronted her lifelong fear of being psychic by writing LIES I LIVE BY (pub May 2016). Since in this YA thriller, teenage psychic spy Callie Sinclair works undercover for the government, forced to hide her real identity from everyone she loves, Lauren is now certain she’s on the CIA watch list.

Websites: AND
Twitter: @laurensabel
Facebook: /
Instagram: laurensabel AND liesiliveby




Barnes and Noble:

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Friday, May 13, 2016

Musings of an Earth Angel by Suzanne Adams - Interview and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Suzanne Adams will be awarding an autographed copy of Musings of an Earth Angel (US only) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

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

I wanted to be a an actress and a doctor. LOL. I have always liked the spotlight a little bit I guess. Honestly I never thought I would become an author until I learned about life purpose and got the idea to write this trilogy. Writing really just comes very naturally to me!

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

I would tell myself about what is really important in life. That it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks and that I shouldn’t try to fit into a mold of what other people tell me I should be doing. I would say its really important to just be real, authentic, and be true to who you are.

What superpower would you love to have? Why?

To be able to snap my fingers and be anywhere I wanted to be. I love to travel and think this would be so cool, to be able to transport myself and friends anywhere at any time. I would get to see so many places and it wouldn’t matter how much time I had, because I could always go back and forth!

Hunger Games or Twilight? Why?

I love them both!! If I HAD to pick one I would pick Hunger Games, but only because I love the fact of what Katniss stands for. I love that they are trying to change the world for the better and how she gives them all hope.

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

Dancing with the stars, because I love to dance. I think it would be such an amazing experience to get to learn from professionals and wear all the fun costumes.

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

I would donate quite a bit to help children that don’t have families, or that can’t afford to eat. I would build my dream house right on the beach with my office and bedroom over looking the ocean. I would travel the world luxury style and do the documentary that I have always wanted to do!

22-year-old Samantha Kingston had the perfect job, perfect boyfriend, and perfect Friday nights. When disaster strikes she loses everything and is propelled into a journey where evil and good, dark and light are battling for her destiny. Will the Demon Brigade viciously destroy her? Or will her Angel team and the Divine help her to elevate and see her real truth as an Earth Angel?

Enjoy an excerpt:

I looked at my reflection in his rearview mirror; my eyes wide with my pupils dilated, my face a sickly looking yellowish hue. Sweat continued to stream down my cheeks. Please, please just let me get back home. I did my best to hold in the hideous noises that wanted to escape my body. After Peru I thought the worst was behind me, but now I wasn’t so sure. I could feel my organs flailing around inside of me and felt a huge knot of pain on the inside of my throat.

My phone dinged with incoming texts.

The first was from Rose. Hey, what is going on, and do I need to come home now?

Absolutely not! I texted back. Stay and enjoy your birthday.

Ken, sweet Ken, also sent me a message. I hope you feel better and let me know if I can do anything or if you want company.

He was the polar opposite from Lucas. Rose had tried to get us together after Lucas and I split up, but I could never see him as more than a friend no matter how hard I tried. Another wave of cramping overcame my body, and I had to lay down across the back seat of the cab in the fetal position. Finally, we pulled up to my place. I threw twenty bucks at the cab driver and staggered out of the cab. The hail had given way to rain, and I was drenched by the time I got into my condo.

I stumbled through the doorway and barely made it into my kitchen, where I began to scream, releasing harsh, wretched noises. The foreign sounds were loud and nasty and came from a place of dark, deep-seated pain. They were unlike anything I had ever heard and did not feel like anything I had ever experienced before. I’d had episodes of uncontrollable sobs, random bouts of back pain, and massive unexplained waves of nausea for a while now, but this was different. This pain was magnified tenfold, as if a strong man had reached inside my chest and was ringing my heart out like a wet towel. I hunched over and a hollow, high-pitched shrill forced its way out of my mouth.

I felt as though I had an entity inside me, something dark and desperate, something that clearly wasn’t me, something fighting for its life within my body. I could feel my heart beating faster and faster and faster and even faster. I thought maybe I should have gone to the ER instead of coming home. But I knew that would have given my Uncle Bill all the ammo he needed to prove his theories about me true.

About the Author:
Suzanne Adams is an author, motivational speaker and Life Purpose consultant from Atlanta this is sharing her zest for life with audiences around the globe. She believes that having fun and following your passion are the keys to finding true happiness and she's passionate about helping unlock what that means for you.

Suzanne's purpose is to teach people how to live a life of fulfillment and joy. She does this through teaching you her proven 5 step process to attract happiness and freedom into your life. Her first book, Musings of an Earth Angel, was just published this fall.

Website ~ Spotify Playlist ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Book Website

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Hope by Grier Cooper

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Grier Cooper will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Pretend your protagonist is at school and opens his/her locker – what will we see inside?

Due to her busy ballet schedule, Indigo is only at school for a couple of periods each day. Even though her locker doesn’t see a lot of use she’s covered the inside of the locker door with photos of her role models, many of whom overcame extreme circumstances. Indigo looks at Misty Copeland’s photo and the caption below it, “I Will What I Want”, the most. Despite being told by several top ballet schools that she had the wrong body for ballet and would never be a dancer, Misty proved them all wrong when she became the first black prima ballerina in American Ballet Theater’s 75-year history. Indigo’s photo collection also includes Sylvie Guillem (known as the rebel ballerina) Wendy Whelan, Yuan Yuan Tan (SF Ballet’s youngest principal dancer in history) and Michaela DePrince. There’s also Indigo’s favorite family photo (taken three summers ago on the seaside cliffs of Maine) and other photos she finds beautiful: her mother’s roses in full bloom, a dragonfly who came to visit one day when she was sitting by the pool, a closeup of her younger brother’s tiny hands days after he was born.

What’s your favorite sweet treat?

Unfortunately I can’t pick just one and I blame my father for that. When I was growing up there were always obscene amounts of sugar in our house but it wasn’t until my adult life that I pinpointed him as the culprit. These days I eat very little sugar, and even so, I can’t pick one favorite sweet treat. It’s a tie between cheesecake and chocolate (preferably milk chocolate, even better if they are Sees foil-wrapped round chocolates. I don’t know why but they are so good!). I have a killer cheesecake recipe that a friend discovered lying on the side of the road a few years back, so every once in a great while I’ll make one from scratch. This past year I started experimenting with flavors; pumpkin swirl is a new dessert nirvana.

Ideal summer vacation

Every summer I set aside time for my ideal summer vacation: time on the beach with my family. We usually rent a little cottage back East (where I grew up) and spend time with the cousins (there are lots of them). My brothers check to see if I remember how to throw a football, and we play the games we enjoyed as kids, like SPUD. I catch as many waves and as many sunsets as possible.

What superpower would you love to have? Why?

I’ve always wanted to fly… if you’ve ever watched a bird in action then you know why. It must be incredibly liberating to propel yourself into the air and soar high above the world. I’ve had a few flying dreams (sadly none as of late) so I feel like I’ve gotten a taste of what it feels like…all I can say is wow.

And hey, no traffic. That’s always a plus.

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

How do you dance your way to the top without losing yourself?

Playlist for your current book

1. Hayling – FC Kahuna
2. Fame and Fortune – Bekah Barnett
3. Butterflies – Suzanne Ciani
4. Don't Forget to Breathe – Bitter:Sweet
5. Such Great Heights – The Postal Service
6. Miss You – Trentemøller
7. Truth From Fiction – Supreme Beings Of Leisure
8. Death Cab for Cutie – Someday You will be Loved
9. Don't Look Back – Télépopmusik
10. Change My Head – Autolux
11. Heal This Land – Tina Malia
12. Lillies Of The Valley – Jun Miyake
13. This Is My Life – EDWARD MAYA feat. VIKA JIGULINA
14. I Am What I Am – Above & Beyond pres. Oceanlab
15. Anthem – Emancipator

Indigo is living the life she’s always imagined at the famed New York School of Ballet. Or is she? Although she hopes she’ll be chosen for the company, her ballet teachers aren’t talking and their silence is confusing.

When Indigo is singled out for a coveted solo she feels her dreams are finally within reach, until she finds out she’s dancing with Felipe Gonzalez, the school’s smolderingly hot rising star. In the days that follow, Indigo questions everything she thought was true and finds herself making surprising choices.

After a fateful piece of paper reveals the truth, Indigo must ask herself the hardest question of all: can she take control of her own future to create the life she wants?

Read an excerpt:

Maggie plunks her bag down, grabbing the spot next to me. “Ten minutes ‘til the fun begins,” she says. She glances around furtively before adding, “Who knows what torture she'll dish out today. But inquiring minds want to know: will she reach new levels of cattiness or will we be left sorely disappointed?” She grins wickedly as she finishes tying a ribbon on her pointe shoe.

Neither of us fares well when Alexa Damore teaches class. She's known for her snide comments and keen ability to pick people apart. “I’ll take disappointment over outright humiliation any day,” I counter. “But who knows. Maybe one of these days she’ll be miraculously transformed.”

Maggie arches an eyebrow. “What?” I continue. “It’s not too much to hope for–a little prayer can’t hurt. Pray with me. ” I fold my hands together and duck my head down. Maggie smacks me.I stick my tongue out at her while I finish tying my shoes. I refuse to climb on the negativity train with her. It's never a good way to start class.

The door to the studio glides open and a sudden hush sweeps through the room, as if the oxygen has been sucked away. Alexa Damore has arrived–but she’s wearing street clothes–and she’s not alone.

Benjamin Stafford, Artistic Director of Manhattan Ballet Theater, also known as the man who holds our future in his hands, stands in the center of the room. From where I stand, the ambient light behind him illuminates the outline of his body, as if he's a living embodiment of a god. Then again, he is a god in the world of ballet. The silence is deafening as he slowly rotates around, gazing at each of us in turn. He flashes a brilliant smile and it’s all I can barely look at him. He's even larger in life than he is onstage with broad shoulders, chiseled features, dark, tousled hair, and blazing blue eyes. On any given day he’s something to look at, but the glowing outline thing further illustrates the glaring difference between him and everyone else in the room.

His eyes fall on me and my heart flutters in my ribcage. I immediately stand a little bit taller and suck in my gut. My breath gets shallower and tighter. I close my eyes and force myself to breath normally. Passing out in class is not the way I want to make an impression.

I may not survive this class.

About the Author:
Grier began ballet lessons at age five and left home at fourteen to study at the School of American Ballet in New York. She has performed on three out of seven continents with companies such as San Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, totaling more than thirty years of experience as a dancer, teacher and performer.

She writes and blogs about dance in the San Francisco Bay Area and has interviewed and photographed a diverse collection dancers and performers including Clive Owen, Nicole Kidman, Glen Allen Sims and Jessica Sutta. She is the author of the Indigo Dreams ballet fiction series for young adults and The Daily Book of Photography.

Amazon Author page:
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Monday, May 2, 2016

Interview with Jennifer Osborn

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jennifer will be awarding digital copies of The Dawning of Scarlett via iBooks to 5 randomly drawn winners plus a $10 Starbucks GC to 3 other randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What books have most influenced your life?

I have to say, SE Hinton’s books. I had a very turbulent childhood and teen years and when I discovered The Outsiders and felt Ponyboy’s angst and pain, I was mesmerized. I couldn’t get enough of her broken heroes and read everything she put out. Reading a book where someone understood my pain was transformative. I hope to be that for someone else in the future.

What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?

Hmm. Everyone seems to have advice, even when you don’t ask for it. Even non-writers will offer writing advice. Keeping that in mind, the worst pieces of writing advice have been what I get almost every time I talk to a non-writer, “You should write a story about ‘insert title here’” or “I have a really great story idea, you should write it”. I know they mean well, but it’s almost a cliché now.

The best advice was to keep writing. No matter what, just keep writing and to write what I love.

How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?

I try to keep my ideas original. I don’t like to keep to norms regarding any trope. So, if I want to write about something, I’ll try to figure out a way to present it that is new. That approach lead me to write “The Veiled”, book one of my Shilund Saga.

Where are you from and what do you love best about your hometown?

I am originally from Corbin Kentucky. What I love the most about it is the friendliness of everyone and the fact that everything is close together. I have plenty of friends and family who still live there.

When writing descriptions of your hero/ine, what feature do you start with?

Oddly enough, I start with hair. I never even thought about that until you asked this question. Somehow I see the character’s hair first.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I have written 7 books thus far. Admittedly, the most favorite is always the current one I’m working on. You have to love what you write, else how could you devote so much time and energy to it? Trying to define a favorite is trying to figure out which child is your favorite. :-)

As a pale revenant—the vampire faction believing all life is sacred—sixteen-year-old Scarlett Ellis has learned to hide in the human world. She goes to night-school, works at a coffee shop, and her uncle Chasem trains her in martial arts. No matter what, she has to be prepared, because when she turns seventeen, she’ll be of Dawning age—and her biological father Apollo vows to see her dead first.

Expecting her Dawning to be impossible, she accepts the fact that she will become a rogue, forever hunted by revenant renegades and outcast by her own people. Scarlett thinks she’s prepared for this—until the curly-haired Nicholas Lightener walks into her life and asks her out on a date.

Torn between her feelings for Nick and the danger of the revenant world, Scarlett’s strange life is turned inside-out when she’s kidnapped and forced to do the one thing she swore she’d never do. Plus, she has no idea whose memories keep appearing in her dreams, or if they can even help her. Determined to free herself from a death sentence, Scarlett must fight to become who she was born to be.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Suddenly, I’m standing in a field, illuminated by sunlight, but I'm not burning. It's warm and relaxing. I look down to the translucent skin of my hands and can see the blood coursing through my veins. I turn my hand over, staring at it.

A movement catches my eye and I look up. Before me is a beautiful woman with dark hair and clear eyes. At first, her gaze is loving, adoring almost, and then it fades into a bone-chilling shriek as she turns to run away in horror. I try to reassure her that it’s okay, but the words get stuck in my throat. Her skin burns and flakes away, and before I know it, her scream fades to a muffled shriek, abruptly cut off as she becomes a pile of ash. A maniacal laugh sounds beside me, and I turn to see a dark-headed man with a deviant grin.

"Wasn't that lovely?" he asks me, laughing right as I feel my skin start to burn.

About the Author:
After working in the legal and technical fields for many years, Jennifer Osborn took the plunge into full time writing in 2015. She is the award-winning author of The Shilund Saga and The Sentinel’s Insurgency. When not writing, she listens to a different muse and creates paintings and collages of all sorts.

She lives in the Cincinnati area with her husband, three dogs and two cats.

You can find out more about her at Website:
Facebook: AuthorJenniferOsborn
Twitter: @hondagirljen
Instragram: hondagirljen
Amazon Author Page & Buy Links:

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