Friday, July 31, 2015

Spotlight and Giveaway: Dare to Trust by J.L. Bowen

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. J.L. Bowen will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_DareToTrustThirteen-year-old Armond Costa heals in three days, no matter what abuse his uncle and aunt inflict upon him. On his fourteenth birthday, he sprouts wings and discovers his aunt and uncle had lied to him. He's the lost Golden Demon's Healer. His father, King of the Golden Demons, insists he return with him and save his people from being persecuted by their mortal enemies, the Dark Demons. Now, Armond must choose between the Ellis brothers and seventeen-year-old Rusty Owens -- the only family he's ever known -- or condemn the Golden Demons to extinction.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“It’s five minutes to midnight, Peter. Do you think he’ll change?”

“They always do. Fourteen. At the witching hour.”


I clutched the iron chain and flung it at them, but it clunked short at their feet.

Uncle Peter narrowed his eyes. “You better stop right now.”

I flicked it again. “Stay away from me.” My voice sounded funny, like I was plugging my nose. What would he do if someone planned to cut his fat ass into tiny pieces?

Splintering pain burned in my back, and the force of the torment threw me onto my stomach, robbing me of my breath. Something moved inside me like a knife moving through my flesh. But Aunt and Uncle stood still. They hadn’t moved. Stop, make it stop. I screamed.

Uncle Peter ran over and held my right arm. “Janet, grab his other arm. They’re forming.”

Aunt clawed her nails into my left arm. Uncle tightened his grip and covered my mouth. I tasted dead fish. Did he ever wash his hands?

Agony pierced my spine. My betraying stomach roller-coasted, and last night’s dinner of roast beef and mashed potatoes rushed up my throat. I withered and spewed in his palm. “Please, stop.”

Suddenly, they released me. I collapsed, face-first in my own vomit. Slime shot up my nose, and I sneezed. My arms trembling, I pushed away from the putrid smell.

The blinding torture slowly faded. Cool air caressed my back and moved my hair. I wiped my sweating brow. I could breathe.

I glanced over my shoulder to see where the cool air was coming from, and my heart raced into a pounding frenzy. I blinked. It couldn’t be. Not feathers like a bird or an angel, but shiny and smooth like leather. I shook my head, but my wings were still there.

Cobwebs flew overhead and landed on Aunt’s arm. She brushed her arm and did a little jig. “Eewww, get it off me!”

“Janet, quit whining. Grab his other arm, and let’s move him across the room here before I get sick.”

They dragged me, the chains hanging down likes vines, and tossed me into the corner. I groaned.

Uncle plopped down onto my buttocks. “Get the chain-saw,” he said. “And plug it into the wall.”

“Please don’t kill me,” I said, my voice too puny.

He anchored his boots on the iron bands around my wrist and shifted hard. My wrists snapped. Pulsing agony bolted up my arm. I shrieked.

“Here.” Aunt Janet panted and handed him the chain-saw. “Take it. It’s heavy.”

“I’ve broken both of his wrists, so he won’t be able to move them when I ask you to hold him down.”

Aunt seized my wrists. Torment rippled through me from the tips of my fingers up to my shoulders.

But this wasn’t bad enough—Uncle stood on my thighs, his boots digging into my skin and muscle, crushing me into the ground. Too weak to move, I struggled to say something, but only gasped. I swallowed and spat, “Get off me.”

The roar of the chain-saw blocked out my yell. Jagged blades cut into me. Bones cut and shattered. My teeth chattered. I screamed loud, wishing someone would hear me. Anyone. But the grinding of the machine was too loud.

Not even getting beaten with a baseball bat hurt this bad. Blood and gore splattered onto Aunt’s face. At her blood-sucking vampire smile, I passed out.

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_DareToTrustAbout the Author:J.L. Bowen writes both contemporary and paranormal young adult books, and she lives at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Denver, Colorado. She loves to take her cocker spaniel, Raven, walks on the trails behind her house or up at her family cabin in Frisco, CO. She is a member of the Colorado Romance Writers of America, Young Adult Romance Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America. She has won awards for her CRW newsletter articles. She loves to go on ghost tours and her favorite ghost tour was the Jack the Ripper Tour in London.

Amazon Author Page:

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Maisy and the Money Marauder by Elizabeth Woodrum - Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Elizabeth will award a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter a $10 Amazon/BN GC. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. NOTE: Maisy and the Money Marauder is the second book of the Maisy Files series. The first book is available from Amazon for only $0.99.

MediaKit_BookCover_MaisyMarauderMaisy is back! Lunch money has been stolen at West Valley Elementary, and everyone's favorite fourth-grade detective in on the case. With a cherry lollipop in hand, her fedora, and her trusty notebook, Maisy steps into her black and white mystery world to search for clues. Join Maisy on her quest to unmask a thief in Maisy and the Money Marauder.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Shadows danced across Maisy’s face in the dim light. Dramatic music filled her bedroom, and she reached for the popcorn bowl without moving her eyes from her little TV screen. It was a tense moment in one of her favorite old mystery movies. The villain was about to be caught. Maisy knew that the detective would soon march out from a shadowy corner and catch the bad guy. He would be wearing a long trench coat and a fedora hat. He’d sound so impressive when he demanded that the villain, a sneaky looking robber named Vinny, turn himself in, that Vinny would have no choice but to give up. But, Maisy was still on edge while she watched the scene unfold.

She was curled up with her favorite pup, Reesie, snuggled under the blanket beside her. As soon as Maisy had turned off the lights and started the movie, the little dog had nudged the pillows with her nose to show that she wanted under the covers. Maisy had complied with her request and tossed the pillows to the floor, so that she could scurry under the fluffy, purple comforter. Now, Maisy reached over and patted the lump that was the tiny dog.

The movie wasn’t very scary. After all, it was old and in black and white. Movies like that were not scary at all compared to some movies made today. But, still, Maisy loved the stories and detectives in the old movies so much that she couldn’t help but be drawn into them every time she watched one. She felt a little better having her dog there with her.

Suddenly, the moment she had been anticipating was on the screen. The detective smoothly arrived on the scene and, after a little scuffle, took control. Vinny gave in and put his hands up to show he would go quietly. Maisy relaxed and munched the last bits of her popcorn. As she sighed in relief, a little nose popped out from under the purple covers. It was soon followed by the sweet face of a little black and brown terrier-mix. One of her ears was flopped over, and she stretched her mouth wide in a huge yawn. Apparently, Maisy had disturbed Reesie’s slumber. The pup crawled around and finally settled herself on Maisy’s lap. She plopped her head down with a sigh and fell back asleep. She didn’t even notice as Maisy shook her head and laughed.

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_MaisyMarauderAbout the Author:Elizabeth Woodrum has been a teacher for thirteen years. She came to love writing when she was in elementary school, but more recently began writing material for use in her classroom. From that writing, grew the desire to write books for the general population of children and adults alike. The Maisy Files, a children's series, is the first series that she has published.

As a reader, Elizabeth prefers the fantasy genre, but she enjoys realistic fiction as well. Some of her favorite authors include JK Rowling, Rick Riordan, Veronica Roth, Suzanne Collins, and Nicholas Sparks.

Originally from Indiana, Elizabeth currently lives in Ohio with her two pets: a cat named Butterscotch and a dog named Reese Cup.

Amazon Author Page:

Buy the book at Amazon.

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Q&A and Giveaway with A.J. Cosmo

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. A. J. Cosmo will be awarding a $75 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

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

Katherine Applegate said that if a subject matter is too difficult for adults, write it for children. I think that Juvenile fiction presents a challenge in that you must write an engaging story without resorting to adult crutches such as erotic scenes, violence, or profanity. In other words, your scenes must be interesting because there is something interesting going on. Kids also get to have a bigger dose of truth in their fiction. It's odd, but adults are normally fed sanitized or overly dramatic narratives. Things are either saccharin sweet or falling apart at the seems. In the oddest sense, the most unrealistic genre is actually the closest to reality.

3. What books were your favorite as a youth and why?

My all time favorite kids book is "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie." I have no idea why, but it spoke to me. It still does. People will take what they can from you and you have to learn to be both giving and guarded.

4. What’s your favorite sweet treat?

Marshmallows. I'm not able to eat much due to some bizarre food intolerances I have, but I do get to have marshmallows and I adore them.

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

Dear me,

You literally would not recognize yourself. You write for a living, you are half the size you are now, and a lot of things that you're scared would go wrong, will go wrong. You're not where you thought you’d be, but that's okay, because you’re in some place better. Don’t be so afraid of everything. Stop planning so much. Everything is going to be alright.

7. What candy do you give out at Halloween?

I live in Los Angeles so we never get any trick or treaters (parents take kids to Disneyland or malls.) However, if we did have trick or treaters we would be that awesome house that handed out full-sized candy bars. Getting those was like winning the lottery on Halloween.

8. Coal or candy in your Christmas stocking? Why?

I'm at that horrible adult point where no one knows what to get each other so Christmas devolves into half-guesses, practicality presents, and gift cards. My mom put up stockings last year but the only one of us who got anything was the cat. My favorite present was a bag full of fresh socks and a workout outfit because I really needed both. Sigh. Growing old is weird.

9. What superpower would you love to have? Why?

Telekinesis because I am extremely lazy and wish that I could grab coffee refills with my mind while having the keys on the computer press themselves. I always have so much more energy in my thoughts than I do in my body. ;)

10. What book is on your nightstand currently?

I rescued a copy of Where the Sidewalk Ends from a bargain bin and am re-reading it for the first time since I was ten.

11. Hunger Games or Twilight? Why?

Both? I don’t know. They both get a lot of hate from my generation but honestly you don’t become that popular without having something to offer. Hunger Games is one of the most well thought out world building in all of literature while Edward is the most lovingly described character in all of fiction. Writers listen up, pay attention to what does well, even if you think it's awful, everything has something to teach us.

13. Favorite TV show from your childhood?

Tiny Toon Adventures. The Spielberg trio (Tiny Toons, Freakazoid, and Animaniacs) are still some of the best cartoons ever produced for television. Rocko's Modern Life was another insane favorite that really should not have been aired. Same goes for Ren and Stimpy. Good gosh, did children's cartoons loose their edge or what? Spongebob still skirts the line, but I find a lot of modern cartoons grating, as they just seem terrified of short attention spans.

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

All the kid's phones read "$500 Gamestop gift card to the kid that Brings me Aiden- Jacob" I'm Aiden, btw.

15. Favorite hot beverage. Why?

Coffee. Is there another answer? Tea maybe, but I'm assuming by the number of Starbucks in the world that I'm not alone in this. I like a regular sized drip or press coffee with a splash of soy milk. I'll drink it black if need be. I love the taste but lets not kid ourselves here, I'm after the caffeine.

16. Ideal summer vacation.

Taking one, lol. I would love to visit the Great Barrier Reef and all of New Zealand. I'd also like to go back to Disneyworld before I have children of my own. Camping would be nice, especially up in Northern California. I don't know!

20. Favorite pizza toppings.

I love supreme gluten free pizzas with vegan cheese. The individual favorite topping is sun-dried tomato, but that's a misnomer because I would refuse to eat them alone.

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

Toasted marshmallows. I can’t have ice cream, but I can have marshmallows, so everyone can eat ice cream based off of my favorite treat.

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

I'd open up a foundation where if you write them and ask it will send you $20. Anyone is eligible, they just need to contact and explain why they need the money. Why do this? Because most people simply don’t ask for what they want and even fewer have the gumption to go after things. Anyone alive is currently within your reach. I think it would be neat to teach 500,000 people that.

23. Playlist for your current book.

For some reason I've been writing a lot of children's books while listening to electronic dance music. I really hope that doesn't alter the writing too much. LOL

What a way to start summer… I should have never stood up to that bully Jacob. It was just a water balloon thrown to save my friend’s behind during recess. Now we’re on a bus heading home and everyone gets the same text: “$500 gift card and full immunity to the kid that brings me Aiden- Jacob.” I’m Aiden by the way, and the entire fourth grade is staring at me. Hopefully, with my friend’s help, we can get off at the next stop, three miles from my house, and make it home before the entire neighborhood finds us.

Soaked is the first middle-grade novel by author/illustrator A.J. Cosmo. Filled with humor and suspense, this surprising page turner is a tale of friendship, courage, and standing up for what’s right. For 3rd-5th grade readers.

Enjoy an excerpt:

I'm a coward.

That was the first thing that crossed my mind when the water balloon splattered on Jacob's face. Jacob, the boy who never needed a hall pass. Jacob, the kid who never ate his own lunch. Jacob, the one you cleared the bathroom for.

Cowards don't do this, I thought. Cowards run. Let everyone who has ears to hear know that I, Aiden Jones, am a coward.

Jacob let go of Ben's collar and let his victim join my side. Our classmates fell into a sick silence. No one knew what to do because no one had ever challenged Jacob before.

What about me though? What did Jacob have in store for me? Would he drag me into the bathroom and give me a swirly? Would he hold me under the water fountain? Would he stuff my pockets with water balloons and make me do jumping jacks?

Jacob just stared.

The summer sun pulled the water from his shirt, just as it soaked up the moisture from the plants and our skin. Since the drought began in the mid-west, our cozy little school had turned into a solar oven. The worst part was that the principal could have cranked up the air conditioning and given us all relief, but she didn't, not even on the last day of school. That's just the kind of lady she was.

"Jacob--I didn't mean to--I mean," I said.

"You almost got my phone wet," he growled.

About the Author:
A.J. Cosmo is the author and illustrator of over forty children’s books including the best-selling “The Monster That Ate My Socks”. He lives and works in Los Angeles, loves reading and video games, and is hard at work finishing the Monsters A to Z series. “Soaked” is A.J.’s first middle-grade novel.

Soaked Purchase page:

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