Spotlight & Giveaway for The Dinner Creations Cookbook by Diane Krause

 

Author Bio:

Diane Krause is a Southern girl who began cooking and baking at a very young age. She’s the former owner-operator of Dinner Creations, and still enjoys sharing Jalapeno-Stuffed Chicken and King Ranch Chicken with those she loves. Diane currently works as a freelance writer and editor. She’s the author of a short inspirational book for writers, 25 Ways to Create Classic Characters Readers Will Love, and is currently at work on her second cookbook.

Author and book links:

http://www.thedianekrause.com

http://www.dinnercreationscookbook.com

Twitter: @DianeKrause2

Genre: Cookbooks

Publisher: Southern Road Press

Release Date: 2nd edition released 7/14/13; Original release September 2009

Purchase link (Amazon):The Dinner Creations Cookbook: A Collection of Freezer-Friendly Recipes

Book Description:

The Dinner Creations Cookbook is a collection of more than 130 delicious freezer-friendly recipes.


Dinner Creations was a meal assembly business that operated in Friendswood, Texas from 2004 to 2008. With this cookbook, you can enjoy the Dinner Creations favorites in your own home. Among those favorites are:

  • King Ranch Chicken
  • and Dumplings
  • Jalapeno-Stuffed Chicken
  • Baked Salmon in Puff Pastry
  • Herb Crusted Flank Steak
  • Guiltless Brownies
  • ….and many more!

Each recipe includes freezer preparation instructions, and as an added bonus, printable freezer labels – complete with thawing and cooking instructions – are available at www.dinnercreationscookbook.com.

INTRODUCTION

Dinner Creations operated in Friendswood, Texas, from 2004 to 2008 and was one of the first meal assembly businesses in the Houston area.

Through the business of Dinner Creations, we gained a whole new family. We shared life stories, celebrated weddings, and rejoiced over the addition of new little ones to families. We watched people provide care and comfort to others through the gift of food and considered it a blessing to be a part of that caring. We made new friends, and we had a very good time doing the business of Dinner Creations.

This book is a collection of the recipes from Dinner Creations. Perhaps these recipes will enrich your family, and maybe even help you extend a bit of care to those around you.

From all of us who have been a part of Dinner Creations, thank you for letting us have a place around your dinner table.

—Diane Krause

Owner, Dinner Creations

BACK-TO-SCHOOL OATMEAL BARS

Yields 24 bars

3/4 cup butter, softened 3/4 cup brown sugar 1/3 cup sugar 1 egg

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups flour 1 tsp. baking soda 2 cups quick-cooking oats 3/4 cups chocolate chips, or other flavored chips 1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup nuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray, or line with foil.

Cream softened butter with sugars. Add egg and vanilla extract and mix well. Stir together the flour and baking soda, then add to butter mixture. Stir in oats, chips and raisins. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan, then cut into bars.

FREEZER PREPARATION:Mix batter as directed and spread in pan; do not bake. Cover tightly, label and freeze.

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Book Spotlight: Flashback

Flashback Button June-July 300 x 225

Flashback by Maria Hammarblad

Flashback

Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Suspense/ Military

Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing

Release Date: June 21, 2013

Purchase on Amazon:  Flashback

Book Description

Steve Petersen is a Very Troubled Man. Sole survivor of a Taliban POW camp, he often thinks only parts of him returned; his sanity appears to have been left behind. He seeks solace in alcohol and drugs, but nothing helps block the images from his mind for more than minutes at a time, and he is trapped in horrifying flashbacks.

He is more than surprised when he wakes up in a bright and merry bedroom that turns out to belong to the widow Anna, a woman he has rudimentary memories of meeting. Knowing he should leave isn’t the same as doing it, and before he knows what’s happening, he finds himself pulled into a world with real life problems, such as folding laundry, and what’s for dinner.

Whiskey is no longer his first priority, and not being alone in his waking nightmare is a relief. That is, until Anna disappears. Steve finds himself forced to return to Afghanistan, a place where he’ll have to face both external enemies and himself.

*****

Enjoy an excerpt from Flashback

When they came home, Steve sank down in the sofa without even taking off his jacket. Life outside could sure be exhausting. Anna went into the kitchen, and he rested his head back and closed his eyes. Listening to her hum a song, just a little out of tune as she loaded the coffee maker soothed his nerves.

A hard rattling sound made him open his eyes again. Gunshots, and they were close. Anna still sang, and she would be an easy target.

He ran through the apartment, making sure to stay away from the windows. Peeking around the corner, his beautiful fiancée was oblivious to the danger.

Women.

How did they survive?

He sprung out from his hiding place behind the wall, shoved her down on the floor, and threw himself over her. After all she did for him, protecting her with his own body was the least he could do.

Anna wheezed, clearly trying to draw a breath.

“Sssh, they’re coming.”

She lay on her back, and the question in her eyes was clear. Have you lost your mind? Of course he had, a long time ago. She should know. When she opened her mouth, he covered it with his hand so she couldn’t draw attention to them.

“Don’t you hear them? The shots?”

She shook her head and closed her fingers around his wrist, attempting to pull his hand away.

“I think we’re safe, but be very quiet.”

Anna nodded, and as soon as he removed the hand, she whispered, “Please get off me. I can’t breathe.”

He obeyed, she endeavored to sit up, and he pulled her back down.

“Don’t make yourself a target.”

Why did she look so exhausted?

“Sweetheart, there’s nothing there.”

“But…” He had heard them.

“That noise? Remember the crazy people upstairs? I don’t know what they’re doing, but it’s definitely them.”

*****

About the Author

authorphotofromgoodreads

Born in Sweden in the early 1970’s, Maria showed a large interest for books at an early age. Even before she was able to read or write, she made her mom staple papers together into booklets she filled with drawings of suns and planets. She proudly declared them, “The Sun Book.” They were all about the sun. She also claimed, to her mother’s horror, that her being on Earth was a big mistake and that her alien family would come and bring her home at any moment. This never happened, but both the interest in space and the passion for bookmaking stayed with her.

As an adult Maria’s creativity got an outlet through playing bass in a number of rock bands, and through writing technical manuals and making web pages for various companies and organizations. She did write drafts for a few novels, but the storytelling muse was mostly satisfied through role playing online on Myspace. It was here, while writing stories together with people from around the globe, she stumbled onto Mike. They started talking out of character, and she moved over to Florida to him late 2008. Today the two are married and live in the Tampa Bay area with three rescue dogs.

Besides writing and playing bass, Maria enjoys driving off-road, archery, and Tameshigiri.

Upcoming releases

Operation Earth, to be released by Desert Breeze Publishing August 2013

Borealis XII, to be released by Desert Breeze Publishing November 2013

 

Fun Facts

Favorite color:             Blue

Favorite food:             Chicken with cashew nuts

Doesn’t eat:                 Mammals

Favorite TV Show:     Star Trek TNG and Leverage

Favorite animal:          Border Collie

Quotes:                        “Full Speed Ahead” and “Caffeine is good for you”

Author Links

Website: http://www.hammarblad.com

Blog: http://www.scifiromance.info

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mariahammarblad

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mariahammarblad

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Book Blitz & Giveaway for The Secret Guardian


The Secret Guardian

by Wes Dodd


Wes Dodd was born in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1958, currently residing in Southside Virginia. He has two daughters and three grandchildren. Within the last couple years he has discovered a passion for creating and breathing life into great stories. He has published three novels: The Crimson Key, a mystery, The Secret Guardian, fantasy and Saving Faith, a romantic thriller.

Website | Blog

Secret GuardianThe Secret Guardian

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: CreateSpace & BookTango

Release Date: April 2013

CreateSpace | Book Tango

Book Description:

A Sacred Society exists amongst us all. Believed only as a myth—its origin thrives in secret. Once transformed, each generation of its members become the elite of our society—some for good and some for evil as well. Troy Anthony, unknowingly and somewhat unwillingly, is about to join the elite, like his father before him. It takes a close family friend to ultimately expose the Secret to Troy, revealing his true destiny, and then she becomes a valuable ally. They inadvertently share a unique bond—one of which many doubt its very existence. Troy is taken to two magical places where he learns many secrets of the world, many of which we all have been curious about. It becomes an epic battle where Troy clashes with an evil tyrant, his father’s assassin, a distant cousin sharing many of Troy’s unique abilities.

She pointed at the water once again. “Touch the water with your finger, and you will see. Go ahead, trust me.”

Troy reluctantly reached out towards the lavender water with his index finger, slowly pushing it towards the water as if frightened from not knowing what may happen next. He barely stuck his finger in, then jerked it out quickly, as if something within the water might bite it off. The ripples that resulted spread quickly throughout the tiny pond—as if magical. As the water became calm and smooth once again, a clear picture appeared before him within the water. It was a clear picture of his mother—Claire. She was holding a newborn baby while in a hospital bed. His father, Bruce, was standing by the bed, and they both seemed very happy.

Alexa looked at Troy and smiled. “Troy…this is your history.”

Troy was mesmerized by the picture before his eyes, he as a child with his loving parents. It lasted for a few moments then slowly faded away. Then picture after picture appeared of times in his life, all in sequence. The second was of him playing in the tub with his mom, smiling with no teeth, splashing water with a crop of soap suds for hair. Then appeared his first steps at home with Mom and Dad. Then his first Halloween dressed as a fireman, walking from house to house with his dad. Then Dad taking him for his first haircut, which his mother treasured, tucking away the clippings in a safe place. Then when he got his first puppy, a Dalmatian named Blazer that would pull him along in his little red wagon.

Alexa watched Troy as he gazed at his history. She saw and felt his emotions, laughing right along with him. He continuously watched—his eyes glued to the pictures.

Then came Christmas when Dad dressed up in a Santa suit. Santa was enjoying the warm freshly baked cookies, washing them down with the ice cold milk, while he and his mother spied through the banister from upstairs. Then came his first day of school with riding the school bus for the very first time, and of course the time he lost his first tooth—he always believed that the quarter was a silver dollar. Troy and Alexa laughed together as they watched picture after picture.

Then came that awful day when Troy was dressed in his little black suit at his father’s funeral—saluting his father’s casket. Alexa could sense his emotions building up, quickly turning from happy to sad and then angry once again. Then he calmed down as the pictures showed the move to Virginia, his high school and first date with Becca. Then of course came football and winning each championship, including the last one with the miraculous catch that he couldn’t remember making.

Finally the pictures ceased, as the calm water turned lavender once again. Both sat quietly for a few minutes. Troy rose in silence and slowly walked around the edge of the water, gathering his thoughts as well as his emotions. Could what she was saying possibly be real? After a few minutes Alexa walked over to him. She put her hand on his shoulder. “Will you be all right?”

Troy turned to face her, looking deep into her amazing eyes. “I am not sure how you are doing this. Is it possible that you are telling me the real truth? I doubted you because it went against everything I had been taught…but now what you say might be the truth. There is still much I do not understand. I still have many questions to be answered.”

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Book Blitz for Cassie Scot by Christine Amsden

Cassie Scot:

ParaNormal Detective (Book 1)

About The Author:

Christine Amsden has been writing science fiction and fantasy for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams. (You can learn more here.)

In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children, Drake and Celeste.

Website | Twitter

Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Release Date: May 15, 2013
Book Description:

Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.

Read The First Chapter Here

Praise for the Cassie Scot Series:

From Publisher’s Weekly:

In this entertaining series opener, Amsden (The Immortality Virus) introduces readers to the eponymous Cassie, a decidedly mundane member of a magical family. …Readers will enjoy Cassie’s fish-out-of-water struggles as she fights magical threats with little more than experience and bravado.”

Kim Falconer, bestselling author of The Spell of Rosette, Quantum Enchantment Series, had this to say:

When sorcerers call the shots, what’s a girl without powers to do? Get ready for a ripper of a murder mystery full of romance and intrigue, where magic potions bubble, passions spark and vampires are definitely not your friend. Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective grabs you by the heart and won’t let go until the very last page. Well written, immersive and unputdownable. This is urban fantasy at its best. More please!”

*****

Learn More About the Cassie Scot Series

from Christine Amsden: 

Cassie Scot: Looking Forward

When I talk about Cassie Scot I’m usually not talking about the book, Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective. I’m usually talking about the entire series. This is my third book, but my first series, so it has been an interesting adjustment for me. In my mind, Cassie’s story is complete, even though for the reader it has barely begun.

In fact, Cassie’s story is complete. There are four volumes in the series, all written, all under contract, and all pending release within the next year or so. Each of the volumes is framed by a self-contained mystery, which should give the reader some sense of closure at the end. Personal, romantic, and familial problems remain, however, and these issues are what I think of as Cassie’s story. The first book is about Cassie solving a murder/missing person mystery. The series is about Cassie discovering who she is and what she wants. I suppose that part doesn’t play as well in a teaser, but I think it’s relevant. To some extent, we all strive to figure out who we are and how to accept ourselves. This is never more true than when faced with the disapproval or disappointment of parents – something Cassie knows all-too well.

Cassie isn’t the only one going through a period of self-discovery. To a lesser extent Evan Blackwood is trying to figure out who he is and what he wants. Well, he’s sure about one thing – and if you’ve read the epilogue to book one you know what that is. He’s confused about much of the rest. In stark contrast to Cassie, Evan has a lot of magical power and he doesn’t want to be like his father – using that power for his own wealth/comfort and little else. At the same time, Evan is used to getting his way and he has the power to take most of what he wants. On the surface this may seem like a good thing, but in Secrets and Lies, book two in the Cassie Scot series, he will learn differently. It was a challenge to show him going through this sort of transformation from Cassie’s point of view, but I hope the reader sees it.

When I look at the series as a whole, one of the choices I have often found myself questioning is the use of vampires in the first book. This may seem like an odd thing to say. I mean, it’s urban fantasy. Of course it has vampires! Well…

I didn’t plan to write the first book right away. In those early weeks, I thought I would write a long short story or novella as a sort of proof of concept. There were a lot of important details popping around in my mind – Cassie character, her family, the town, the rules of magic, the love interest – somewhere in the middle of all that I decided to test the waters with vampires because it’s simple. Everyone knows them. They don’t require a lot of thought. I don’t know when they became permanent, but somewhere along the line I knew I was writing a whole novel instead of a short story, and by then the plot had stuck.

Vampires are not at all important to the overall story. It’s not the last you’ll see of them, but they don’t have a huge part to play. If you’re a vampire fan, sorry, but hopefully you love Cassie enough to stick with her. Those who are sick of vampires in fantasy, bear with me. And know that these vampires are Stoker-esque (and not even a little bit sparkly 🙂 ).

“There is nothing so evil in the world as what humans can do to one another.” – Edward Scot (Cassie’s father). This may have almost seemed like a throwaway comment in book one, but it wasn’t. It definitely becomes important later on, and it’s something I firmly believe. I’ve never thought fantasy novels needed literal demons to fight. Give a human being power, and let’s see what he decides to do with it. History has shown us that it isn’t always pretty.

The last time I revised the first book in this series, I had completed the final volume. This means that I had my plan fully formed and implemented. There are a couple of little things in the first book that you probably won’t even think about unless you go back and reread it sometime after you finish the series. Then you’ll think, “Oh, she did have a plan!”

I love it when authors do that. I hope I’ve pulled it off to your satisfaction as well.

Book Two Teasers:

1. Cassie is going to learn something very important about her mother that she never knew.

2. Kaitlin and Madison will take on bigger roles, and each will develop a problem of her own.

3. Edward Scot (Cassie’s dad) and Victor Blackwood (Evan’s dad) will come face to face. Their mutual enmity will not be in doubt.

4. The reader will learn one more of the reasons why Edward hates Victor.

5. The mystery will be the search for two teenage girls who went missing from a summer camp.

6. The life debt Cassie owes Evan will be a big deal.

Book Blast & Giveaway for Desolation

17877167

Purchase on Amazon:  Desolation (Infernal Designs) (Volume 1)

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17877167-desolation

Desolation by Travis Simmons

Book Description

Asher St Paul thought it was just a typical zombie apocalypse like in the movies, until the necromancers crawled out of the woodwork. Since the undead have chased the living into hiding, the necromancers are able to roam freely in a new America of their making. Asher is seeking safe harbor. The need for safety is what drove him from his home in Philadelphia Pennsylvania before it was shelled. He has searched from quarantine to quarantine, always finding them overrun with zombies until he hears of The Refuge, a military compound in Binghamton New York. 

With his family and lover lain to rest by his own hand, he has nothing left to lose and gives everything he has to reach the safe haven. But questions arise when he reaches The Refuge, mainly, how has he been able to sustain multiple zombie bites and not change? He thinks he has found safety in the military compound turned quarantine, but he was wrong. Even now there is a necromancer trying to make The Refuge their kingdom of the dead.

*****

About the Author

Travis SimmonsI have always been a do-it-yourselfer. I haven’t had any formal education on writing, and I haven’t been raised around writer types. For that matter, I wasn’t even encouraged to read when I was a kid, even though plenty of people in my family read. When I was a teenager, I discovered Cliff’s Notes on Mythology, and it sparked something in me. It was like a floodgate had been opened, and all of these stories started rushing in. I would get ideas at random times, and I would jot them down. I have a pretty big file system of everything I have ever written. Someday I will get to them and put them all into electronic files. There is some good material in there, but there are a lot of bad stories too.

I started writing when I was thirteen or fourteen. At an early age I was already writing books of Saracin (the world The Bonds of Blood takes place in). The first book I wrote of that place was “The Calling of the Two” (not yet released). While I was writing that, I kept thinking of these characters Jovian and Angelica. I knew they had a part to play in the storyline, but they weren’t going to be in the same series. For that matter, they weren’t even going to be in the same age. As I finished the first draft of “The Calling of the Two” I went on to write the first book of Angelica and Jovian’s story. At that time it was The Mirror of the Moon. Later an editor told me it was so massive that I should make the one volume into two, and so The Bonds of Blood was born, and The Revenant Wyrd Saga went from a planned three to six.

That story has taken many forms until now, and I am sure if I didn’t declare that it was “done” it could continue to transform.

Along the way, I discovered my passion for research. I absolutely love researching. It would be nothing for me to sit for days on end, barely eating, just getting up to take care of necessities, and research really odd theories and stories. I get my ideas from them to be honest. Of course, my idea’s are never the main theme of the research I am doing, but it always seems to come from some obscure topic mentioned while I am researching. For instance one book I am outlining now is based on something I heard while watching Ancient Aliens.

Unlike most authors, I have not always loved reading and writing. I hated it until I was in 7th grade. My teacher wanted us to read the entire semester. We would read a book and write in a journal about it. Back then the teachers were allowed to spend more time on what their passions were, and actually foster something in their students, and she did just that. She made me love reading and writing. She told me to go to her book shelf and pick out a book that I was interested in. I found one of my first loves: David Eddings’ Pawn of Prophecy.

Back then I was in remedial reading, and my teacher (Mrs. Peters) would sit with me for the time I was in her classroom, taking turns reading the story out loud with me. We would read where the adventure was taking Garion, and then we would flip to the beginning and look at the map so we could follow them as well.

I think it was at that point, getting lost in a book I love to this day, that I knew I had to do this. I had to create the same magic for others that Mr. Eddings created for me.

At times it is boggling. I have three series of books started, and 2 more forming in my mind (and outlined on the computer). At this point I have to step back and finish the ones I have started before I can let myself move forward.

I feel that I am blessed in being able to write, and forging a life of my passion. It is tough at times, but that is what makes the payoff all the sweeter. The writing business is a huge adventure, trying to figure out what to do and what not to do; when to do things and when not to do anything. Currently I am planning the release of the second book to “The Bonds of Blood”. This is the first time I am armed with the knowledge of what I must do for a book release, and I finally understand why it nerves so many authors up, but it is that excitement that makes me love writing. Every time I hear a reader I don’t know praise my work, it makes my heart race and brightens my day.

Travis is the author of The Bonds of Blood, the first book in his epic fantasy series The Revenant Wyrd Saga. He has also written a young adult novel called A Lament of Moonlight which is book one of his pre-apocalypse series The Harbingers of Light. He is currently seeking publication for the first book of a third series, a zombie novel called Desolation. When he isn’t writing he is helping his family and trying to live a normal, under the radar life. His interests lie in cooking, gardening, green living, and human rights advocacy. He is a huge supporter of the Trevor Project and all agencies that seek to preserve natural resources and protect pets from abuse.”

Author Links

*****

Giveaway

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Release Day & Giveaway for One Tiny Lie by Kathleen Tucker

Tucker_One Tiny Lie cover

One Tiny Lie by Kathleen Tucker

Book Description

Livie has always been the stable one of the two Cleary sisters, handling her parents’ tragic death and Kacey’s self-destructive phase with strength and maturity. But underneath that exterior is a little girl hanging onto the last words her father ever spoke to her. “Make me proud,” he had said. She promised she would…and she’s done her best over the past seven years with every choice, with every word, with every action.

Livie walks into Princeton with a solid plan, and she’s dead set on delivering on it: Rock her classes, set herself up for medical school, and meet a good, respectable guy that she’s going to someday marry. What isn’t part of her plan are Jell-O shots, a lovable, party animal roommate she can’t say ‘no’ to, and Ashton, the gorgeous captain of the men’s rowing team. Definitely him. He’s an arrogant ass who makes Livie’s usually non-existent temper flare and everything she doesn’t want in a guy. Worse, he’s best friends and roommates with Connor, who happens to fits Livie’s criteria perfectly. So why does she keep thinking about Ashton?

As Livie finds herself facing mediocre grades, career aspirations she no longer thinks she can handle, and feelings for Ashton that she shouldn’t have, she’s forced to let go of her last promise to her father and, with it, the only identity that she knows.

*****

About the Author

KathleenTucker

Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit. Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

Author Links

Blog: http://www.katucker.blogspot.ca/

Website: http://www.katuckerbooks.com/

Author Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/K.A.Tucker.Author?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kathleenatucker

Novel Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17302495-one-tiny-lie?ac=1

Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4866520.K_A_Tucker

Atria: http://imprints.simonandschuster.biz/atria

*****

Buy Links

Amazon: One Tiny Lie: A Novel (ebook) / One Tiny Lie: A Novel (book)

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-tiny-lie-k-a-tucker/1114256929?ean=9781476740485

*****

Giveaway

Enter the Giveaway by clicking on the Rafflecopter link below:

3 signed copies of One Tiny Lie

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*****

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Start the Ten Tiny Breaths Series

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Purchase on Amazon: Ten Tiny Breaths: A Novel (ebook) / Ten Tiny Breaths: A Novel (book)

*****

Watch the Book Trailer for Ten Tiny Breaths

*****

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Book Promotion for Vampire Elite

Vampire Elite
RELEASE DAY Blitz
Paranormal Romance
Date Published: 6/7/13
Join the release party:




THIS BOOK IS ON SALE FOR $.99 TODAY FOR ITS RELEASE!

GET IT @ AMAZON

Vampire Elite is a new vampire series
The first two parts are released in one volume
Vampire Elite
Part 1. Prophecy
Part 2. Keepers of the Key
         
What will he do if saving his people means destroying the woman he loves?
A millennia-long war between two immortal races is about to come to an end. Long ago, the Vampire Elite began capturing the immortals called the Amiti, attracted by their unique blood properties. Now most Amiti live in underground cells, forced to serve as vampires’ bloodstock. The few surviving free Amiti, preparing a final strike, have declared their Queen a traitor. Her execution makes possible the rise of a new Queen, her young daughter Arianna, who will inherit her mother’s mystical powers. Working with the Keepers of the Key, Arianna may be able to eliminate the vampires, once and for all, from the face of the earth.
The new Queen is the last hope to save her dying race and she’s ready to fight to the last drop of her blood.
 But the King of the Vampires has other plans.
 What neither expects is the passion that erupts between them.
Vampire Elite is an epic story of a bitter conflict between two immortal races, and the effect of that conflict on everyone living in its grip. The characters are driven to love and betrayal, vengeance and sacrifice in a world without easy black-and-white answers.
            Based on an ancient Egyptian legend, packed with action and intrigue, Vampire Elite will pull you into the entrancing world of immortals and open new portals into their hidden universe.
Readers’ Favorite reviewers on Vampire Elite:
You’ve managed to restore my hope in the future of vampire books …
… a fascinating read and definitely a book for anyone who loves fantasy, romance and of course vampires.
… a spellbinding novel of action, suspense, romance, and conscience …  character development is superb … the type of book that will make you read all day until you get to the end! It is deliciously addictive!




For more info please visit
Twitter: @TheVampireElite


Meet VE Character: Arianna, Queen of the Amiti and Keeper of the Mystery of Balance
Arianna becomes the Amiti Queen as an infant, following the execution of her mother. Along with the title, she also inherits all of the Queen’s powers, including the role of Keeper of the Mystery of Balance as well as the Gift of Ra, a power bestowed by the Sun God himself to help her protect herself and her people. Sheltered by her father as a child, Arianna finds herself thrust into a world of danger and intrigue when he is murdered and she must confront the fact that her race’s destiny depends on her. Despite how overwhelming it can be, Arianna ultimately embraces her life’s mission: to free her people from their enslavement by the Vampire Elite by any means necessary. But along the way she encounters an unexpected and seemingly unmanageable challenge—the charismatic and powerful vampire King Tor, who takes her on an emotional and sensual journey that makes her question her very destiny. Will the young Queen have the willpower and inner strength to fulfill her purpose and save her people, even if it means destroying the man she loves?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Kindle Free Book Blitz & Giveaway for Hex and the Single Witch

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Hex and the Single Witch by Roxanne Rhoads

Book CoverHex and the Single Witch

Vehicle City Vampires Book One

Publisher: Bewitching Books

Genre : Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy

Word Count: 83,000

Anwyn Rose is descended from a long line of powerful witches yet she can barely cast spells young witchlings have mastered. She has one functioning witch gift, the power of knowing, which she puts to good use as a Detective on Flint’s Preternatural Investigation Team.

It’s a new era in Vehicle City, supernaturals are running the town.

The P.I.T has their hands full with paranormal crimes. Top priority is a serial killer, who appears to be a vampire, draining young women in the city.

Anwyn is on the case with her sexy partner Detective Mike Malone. Complicating things is her relationship Galen, a vampire who looks more guilty than innocent, although Anwyn trusts her instincts even if her power is on the fritz.

Mysterious spells, compromising situations, and a possible demon on the loose make it hard to focus on the case, but Anwyn has to make things right before the human police execute the wrong vampire.

Hex and the Single Witch contains magick, a little bit of mystery, a lot of supernatural mayhem, and a sexy love triangle that will leave you wanting more.

Purchase on Amazon:   Amazon Kindle     Print

 *****

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*****

Book Bonus Material:  Hex and the Single Witch

Excerpt from Hex and the Single Witch

“So you have a complete data base storing the images of magick you take with the camera?”

“Yeah, I have used my talents for combining technology and magick for more than just weapons and wards for the P.I. T. Crew. I’ve created this camera to record everyone’s signature magick. With some tweaking, like I did a moment ago, I can also capture images of magick placed on someone or something. I upload it all into my magickally altered computer and start sorting out the spells, bindings and threads layered on you. While I am at it, I can also add your personal magick signature to my database.”

“How many Others have you stored in that thing so far?”

“I have almost every known witch in the area. I have been snapping discreetly, but I don’t have too many vamps, weres, or demons yet.”

“Wow, amazing. I didn’t know magick could be caught on film.”

“The wonders of digital technology are now used magickally. Just look at vamps, for years they couldn’t be seen on film or in mirrors because of the silver used in film processing. Now digital technology allows them to use cameras and screens to see themselves and be caught on camera.”

I was completely awed by Mel’s abilities. “So how long will it take to unravel all this?”

“It’s going to take a while and I really need to concentrate. I don’t mean to kick you out honey, but you know I do my best work when I’m alone.”

“I understand, Mel. I’ll let you work. Call me as soon as you find something or figure something out.”

“You bet, Wyn.” Suddenly a thought seemed to pop into her head, “Hey, are you going to the Vampire Ball Saturday night?” she asked.

“The Vampire Ball? You mean that crazy costume party downtown where humans dress up as vampires not realizing real vampires walk among them?” I snorted, the whole thing seemed ludicrous to me. Plus, no one asked me to be their date.

Mel’s eyes narrowed. “Wow, your Gram really has kept you out of the loop. How do you keep your job as Preternatural Liaison when you don’t know jack about the supernatural activity in this city? Satinka Tala puts on The Vampire Ball so preternatural types and humans can mingle—safely, on her terms. Guardians will be all over the place, making sure no one gets out of hand. And I guess you didn’t get the P.I.T. Crew memo, team members are encouraged to be there. I would think because of your job as Liaison it would be a requirement for you.”

Shit. “Sorry Mel, I didn’t know. I haven’t even checked my mail box at work or my email in days. This whole Galen-Mike thing has thrown me for a loop and is obviously keeping me out of it. Not to mention the fact someone is messing with my personal mojo. And as far as the ball…I was kinda hoping a certain vampire would invite me.” I looked down at the floor.

“Honey, this is the twenty-first century and we aren’t in high school, you don’t need a man to ask you to go anywhere. Nobody asked me and I’m still going, you can be my date.” Her smile was radiant.

“Okay, Mel. It’s a date. Now I need to find something to wear.”

“Don’t worry about it, I have something perfect tucked away in my closet. I bought it but the color doesn’t work with my skin tone, for you…it’ll be perfect. Come by tomorrow and we’ll play dress up. Now, I have to get to work on tracing your bindings.”

“That’s great Mel, thanks.” I smiled at her realizing I had really missed hanging out with her.

“That’s what friends are for, Wyn. Now get the hell outta here.” Laughing she gave me a big hug and practically shoved me out the door.

*****

Excerpt Featuring Mike Malone

Excerpt featuring Mike Malone:

“You should have told me why you hate vampires so much. It was during the Hysteria wasn’t it?” The damn Hysteria ruined and destroyed so many lives all thanks to a bunch of power hungry vampires and Others who thought it was a good idea to let humans know they existed. Like the witch hunts, the burning times from before hadn’t proven that was a bad idea. But, no, they thought a new, modern generation of humans could handle it.

The Hysteria proved humans hadn’t evolved much. Of course, neither had the Others.

“Yeah,” he said into his hands.

“You know I lost my dad to vampires at the end. At the last battle. The rogues had the humans all riled up. No one knew what was going on, the riot started and there was this group of mercenaries, humans killing anything that moved. My dad’s team tried to get them out of there, but as soon as they realized vampires and Others were on the police squad the mercenaries decided to wipe everyone out. My dad was shot and while he was down rogue vampires finished him off.”

“Then how can you still be close to them?” Mike sneered.

“Humans played their part in his death too, Mike. Can I shut myself off from the world and hate everyone? It’s unrealistic. I understand your hate, but they are not all bad.”

“They all drink blood. They are monsters designed to kill humans.” His snarl looked ferocious.

I had not realized his hate ran so deep.

“And humans are designed to kill animals and each other. Doesn’t mean we all do.” Stubborn man.

“Anwyn, I’m sorry I can’t look at them the way you do.” He glanced at me then stared at the floor.

I touched his face gently and made him look at me. “Mike you can’t carry pain and anger around with you forever. Believe me, I know. I dragged it around with me for a long time. I lost both my dad and my mom that night. Even though my mom still lives and breathes, she’s not the same. But I can’t change it, and I can’t hate everyone for it. I just have to accept it. I took this job to try and prevent other kids from growing up with this pain and anger. Isn’t that why you took this job too? You know we have to fight the bad guys and take help from all the good guys we can, right?”

“Yeah,” he muttered.

I caressed his strong jaw. Goddess, he was a beautiful man. And more complex and tender than I had thought. I took off his top hat and laid it on the desk so I could run my fingers through his wild wavy hair. The move startled Mike and he looked at me with a puzzled expression on his face for a moment before heat flared in his eyes.

As soon as I saw the flames in his eyes my body responded. A burning need rose inside me, an ache suddenly needed to be filled.

Mike’s expression changed into one that promised deliciously wicked things. Hot damn.

*****

Reviews

If you enjoy ALL things paranormal with an erotic twist, then this is definitely the read for you! It has a darker side to the Paranormal world, but still has plenty of humour and mystery thrown in to keep you wanting more. ~ Nomi’s Pararanormal Palace

Hex and the Single Witch had a little bit of everything from romance, murder and snarky one liners. If you are looking for a quick, steamy and well fleshed out plot to read then you should give Anwyn, Mike and the others a go in the first book of the Vehicle City Vampires series. ~The Book Nympho

This book is fun and full of all things supernatural and smexy! Featuring not one, but two sexy men to keep you squirming in your seat wanting more. The heat level was a lot higher in this book than I was expecting, but hey I’m not complaining! ~Book Liaison

From beginning to end the pages of Hex and the Single Witch were full of supernatural creatures, fun sexy music, action, mystery, smokin hot scenes, and magic. This book has something for everyone age 18 and over. Simply put Hex and the Single Witch was fun, witty, and hot. ~ Brenda Demko

Reviews from Amazon

I loved everything about this book and really can’t wait for the next instalment. ” ~ sarah brown

No one told me to have a glass of ice water at my side while reading Hex and the Single Witch. By the time I realized how much heat this book generates, I was too engrossed to put it down and too busy turning pages to go to the kitchen. Passion, desire and hot, steamy sex are a big part of this book but there’s so much more. The sign of good Erotica is removing the sex and seeing if you still have a story, otherwise it’s just porn. Hex and the Single Witch delivers a great story. This paranormal thriller will keep you guessing on a couple of levels and leave you anxiously awaiting the next release.  ~ Deborah Sanders

This was a great book that left me wanting more!! Good writing, great characters and a good story… ready to read more!!!! ~ HB

This book really grabs you from the start and makes you hold on tight for the ride. Can’t wait for the next one 🙂 ~ Jen b

Roxanne Rhoads spins book one of her riveting tale that captivates you at the beginning that I can’t wait for book two! ~Linda Bass

*****

About the Author

Roxanne Rhoads

Story strumpet, tome loving tart, eccentric night owl…these words describe book publicist and erotic romance author Roxanne Rhoads.

When not fulfilling one the many roles being a wife and mother of three require, Roxanne’s world revolves around words…reading them, writing them, editing them, and talking about them. In addition to writing her own stories she loves to read, promote and review what others write.

Roxanne is the owner of Bewitching Book Tours and operates Fang-tastic Books, a book blog dedicated to paranormal and urban fantasy books.

When not reading, writing, or promoting Roxanne loves to hang out with her family, craft, garden and search for unique vintage finds.

Visit her online

Author blog www.roxannesrealm.blogspot.com

Book Blog www.fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com

Bewitching Book Tours www.bewitchingbooktours.blogspot.com

Facebook

www.facebook.com/RoxanneRhoads

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http://www.facebook.com/RoxanneRhoadsAuthor

http://www.facebook.com/FangtasticBooks

Twitter @RoxanneRhoads

Roxanne can also be found on Linked InGoodreads and Google+

*****

Giveaway

Enter the Giveaway for a chance to win the following:

Signed copy of Paranormal Pleasures, Hex and the Single Witch keychain, Bewitching Book Tours Witches Broom Ink pen
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Spotlight & Giveaway for Crimson Key by Wes Dodd


The Crimson Key

by Wes Dodd


Wes Dodd was born in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1958, currently residing in Southside Virginia. He has two daughters and three grandchildren. Within the last couple years he has discovered a passion for creating and breathing life into great stories. He has published three novels: The Crimson Key, a mystery, The Secret Guardian, fantasy and Saving Faith, a romantic thriller.

Website | Blog

The Crimson Key

Genre:Mystery

Publisher: Outskirt Press

Release Date: July 2012

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Book Description:

David Paige, a young detective from Charleston, S.C., is about to embark on an investigation of a lifetime—his own. After an unexpected tragedy shatters his perfect world, he discovers that his mother had been keeping a life-long secret from him, revealing that he is not who he believed he was. With no family member to turn to, David has to rely on his detective skills and a mysterious item left to him from his mother—a crimson-colored key.

The search for the truth takes David to New York City, where he runs head on into lies, deception and murder, all in an attempt to cover up a string of dreadful crimes. Then if this is not enough to deal with, he falls for the daughter of a prominent man, both sharing an undeniable attraction—which complicates his life even further.

It isn’t until a near-death experience, and help from his mother through several frightening nightmares, that the pieces of the puzzle finally begin to come together. The Crimson Key ultimately unveils many secrets, surprising many people including David—opening his eyes and heart as well.

The two were very close as young children but grew farther and farther apart with each passing year. Amber had blossomed rapidly, leaving Alice behind in a life filled with neglect, which led to resentment on her part. Alice felt and heard her sister sobbing for the first time she could remember.

Why are you crying?” Alice asked tenderly.

Alice,” Amber replied in a shaky voice, then hesitated a long moment. “You do know that I have always loved you dearly, don’t you?”

Why of course,” Alice promptly replied, while she thought to herself, “You sure have a funny way of showing it. I only see you about once a year, and it is always at night so no one will recognize you coming here. We never go out together in public. You make me feel as if you are ashamed to be seen with me.” Then Alice asked in a caring way, “What is wrong?”

Amber made a good effort to gather her emotions as she released her hold on Alice. Taking a step back, she wiped the tears from her face. “I am in love with an evil man.”

Alice didn’t feel sorry for her at first, or the least bit shocked by her statement. She thought to herself again, “I’m not surprised. You have always chosen the wrong type men. You always pursued the Bad Boys, or what you would call the Fun Guys.”

Then Alice noticed a bruise on Amber’s left cheek, and her feelings changed instantly. She asked in a serious tone, “What is his name?”

Alice and Amber stood facing, eyes locked in a stare, Alice waiting for an answer that Amber did not want to reveal. A tiny whimper then broke their stare. Alice’s eyes dropped instantly to the basket below that remained mysteriously covered with the blue blanket. The basket moved ever so slightly as another tiny whimper came from within. Alice’s eyes rose quickly, meeting Amber’s, which were again overflowing with tears.

What have you got?” Alice asked very slowly as she knelt down next to the basket. She gently rolled back the blanket revealing a tiny, tiny baby boy.

I couldn’t do it,” Amber said in a trembling voice, as tears rolled rapidly down her cheeks.

Alice could hear her sister’s voice but failed to comprehend a single word; the tiny baby boy had stolen her full attention.

I kept it a secret for as long as I could,” Amber continued. “I knew he didn’t want a child, him being married with a child on the way and due at any time now. At least it was when I left three days ago. It would have made him very angry…and he has a furious temper.”

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Spotlight, Review, and Giveaway for Kissing Fire by A.M. Hargrove

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Kissing Fire (An Edge Novel # 3) by A.M. Hargrove

KissingFire-BookCover

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Date Published: April 15, 2013

Purchase on Amazon:  Kissing Fire (ebook) / Kissing Fire (book)

Each book in An Edge Novel series can be read as a stand alone

Book Description 

Preston Mitchell, undercover DEA agent, has led a life of danger and obscurity. Knowing his job would never allow a normal relationship, he’s never opened himself up to any woman…that is until the lovely Avery Middleton stumbles into his life.

To the outsider, Avery has it all…wealth, family, connections and a great job. But on the inside, she’s miserable. Her social life is in the dumpster, the kooky gal next door has some zany plans for her and her selfish mother drives Avery to the point of insanity. Her only salvation is to get out of Charleston and start a new life. So that’s precisely what she does. She moves to Seattle and steps right into the path of hot and sexy, Preston.

Unfortunately for both of them, Avery ends up being in the wrong place at the wrong time and is now running for her life. But she’s not alone. She has a gorgeous DEA agent protecting her and suddenly finds herself irresistibly captivated by him. There’s only one problem. Preston carries more than his share of mental baggage, courtesy of his job. His covert missions have put him in places and situations he can barely stand to think about. Avery rocks Preston’s world because she is nothing like anyone he’s ever met and something extraordinary begins to happen between them. But can their love survive in this world, where danger, intrigue and deception lurk on every corner?

*****

Book Review

Kissing Fire is a contemporary romance that blends a comedic and serious tone to tell  this story.  Based on the book’s description, I expected more of a dangerous, action-oriented story involving romance, so I was happily surprised to find this book includes funny, light-heart moments to provide relief from some of the painful, and, at times, heart-wrenching aspects of the storyline.

The initial setting for the story is Charleston, South Carolina, where Avery Middleton realizes her social and romantic life has become stagnant.  Longing for a change, she accepts a job in Seattle and moves with the intention of starting over. Although Avery comes from a privileged family, she wants to be independent from her family’s wealth and be successful on her own.  Avery is an easily likeable character because of her feisty nature, humorous thoughts, and the unexpected situations she often finds herself in, leading to, sometimes, embarrassing and belling jiggling laughter.

Upon arrival to Seattle, Avery visits her brother who has also moved away from home to start a life with his new wife. Caroline.  There, she coincidentally meets Preston Mitchell, Caroline’s brother, who is staying with the couple. Preston is a DEA agent who has recently returned to the country after completing his latest undercover mission.

When Avery and Preston meet, they instantly fall into lust for each other. By providing both Avery’s and Preston’s point-of-view, I was able to really connect with and care about them because I’m given insight into their private thoughts that clearly reveal their insecurities and vulnerabilities.

Working undercover has put Preston into more than his share of unimaginable horrors. Because of his past, Preston sees himself as “Dirty. Disgusting. And certainly not fit for proper society.” He believes that he will never find a good woman capable of loving him because of the physical and psychological scars that have skewed his perspective.

Preston initially hides his profession from Avery to protect his identity, but, when a Mexican Drug Cartel finds his location, he is forced to go on the run, dragging Avery along with him, since she now become a target as well. Although Avery is strongly attracted to the sexy DEA Agent, her low self-esteem and body image issues make her think Preston would never be interested in her. An awkward situation provides the impetus for them to reveal their insecurities and paves the way for romance.

I fell in love with Preston over the course of the story. His willingness to sacrifice his personal happiness for his country is more than admirable, given what he’s endured.  I also loved how he is direct and honest with Avery, so that she knows what she’s getting into before they pursue the relationship.  As he reveals the gritty, raw details of his past, Avery always responds  to him in a way that soothes Preston’s mind and body.  They are so good for each other on an emotional level because they consistently boost one another’s self-esteem. I also appreciated that Preston wants more than just a sexual relationship with Avery. He wants her heart before they become intimate. Their time alone together allows their attraction to grow into love. The passion between them is hot, steamy, and intense!
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Everything is wonderful until Preston confesses a secret he’s been keeping from Avery, and everything falls apart. Avery is angry, hurt by Preston’s actions, and she doesn’t feel she can trust him anymore.  Once Preston explains the motivation behind his actions, I know I could forgive him. However, Avery thinks he’s destroyed her life.  I have to admit, I think Avery overreacts by giving up on their relationship so quickly after they have worked so hard to establish a strong foundation.

Nevertheless, Avery leaves Preston. She leaves Seattle to start over yet again. Although the hurt and pain over their breakup lingers, a visit from her friend Melissa, a female sumo wrestler, with her outrageous antics provides a nice diversion to Avery’s somber mood.

female sumo wrestler

A central question from this point in the story is whether Preston and Avery can truly let go of their love for each other. In the midst of all this angst, Preston and Avery again find their lives endangered, and the action and suspense that follow, as these conflicts are resolved, also contribute to making this book a worthwhile read.

Rating

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*****

Excerpt from Kissing Fire

Boy oh boy, was Preston hot. Make that boiling. Scorching. Molten lava kind of hot. Messy dark brown, slightly wavy hair that was not long but not short either. And, oh what a mouth he had. His mouth made me want to jump on board and ride that train for life. His lips were the perfect kind of full and every so often, he’d run his tongue across them and I’d automatically squirm. His face was pure angular perfection…high cheekbones with those slight hollows beneath them, that were the perfect shape to accommodate my lips. But those eyes…my oh my. They were golden brown, like coffee with lots of cream. I could only imagine what they looked like right when he was…

Cheezits Ava, get your head out of the bedroom!

“Wouldn’t you agree Ava?” my brother was asking me.

I shook my head and swallowed. “I’m sorry, what did you say?”

“We were talking about the weather here in the summer and I was saying how much more pleasant it is than in Charleston?”

“Oh, yes it is.” Was my voice breathy sounding, or was it my imagination?

Preston was wearing jeans that rode low on his hips. They were tight and he had a superior set of buns. What would I pay to see those babies?

“Ava? What do you think?” someone asked.

“Buns!” I blurted out.

“Excuse me?” Caroline, my sister-in-law, asked.

Holy Toledo, did I just say buns out loud? What the hell Ava!!!

“Fun! Anything sounds fun!” I quickly said.

“Ava, you look a little flushed. Are you sure you’re feeling okay?”

“Hot! I mean no, I’m fine.” I looked across the room and my face totally flamed. Everyone was staring at me. I had unbuttoned my blouse and was fanning myself. I’d noticed that Preston had a gloriously hot tattoo of a sideways cross on his arm. I think I needed to go home.

“So Avery, where are you staying?” Caroline asked.

“Oh, I’m at the Four Sexy. Seasons! I mean the Four Seasons.”

Oh dear God, I need to get my act together here.

*****

About the Author

A.M. Hargrove

One day, on her way home from work as a sales manager, A. M. Hargrove, realized her life was on fast forward and if she didn’t do something soon, it would quickly be too late to write that work of fiction she had been dreaming of her whole life.  So, she rolled down the passenger window of her fabulous (not) company car and tossed out her leather briefcase.  Luckily, the pedestrian in the direct line of fire was a dodgeball pro and had über quick reflexes enabling him to avoid getting bashed in the head.  Feeling a tad guilty about the near miss, A. M. made a speedy turn down a deserted side street before tossing her crummy, outdated piece-of-you-know-what lap top out the window.   She breathed a liberating sigh of relief, picked up her cell phone and hit #4 on her speed dial.

 Boss:  Hello

 A.M.:  Boss, is that you?

 Boss:  Why yes, A. M., who else would be answering my phone?

 A.M.:  Er… right.  Well, I’m calling to let you know you can pick up my luxury Ford Focus at Starbucks near the interstate.

 Boss:  Why ever would I want to do that?

 A.M.:  Because I quit!

 A.M. hit the end button and speed dialed her husband.

 A.M.:  Hi hubs, can you pick me up at Starbucks?

 Hubs:  Sure… Having some car trouble?

 A.M.:  Not at all.  I don’t have a car to have trouble with because I just quit my job.

 Hubs:  WHAT?!

 A.M.:  It’s time for a new career and I am going to be a very famous novelist.

 So began A. M. Hargrove’s career as a young adult paranormal romance author of self-published ebooks.  Her series, The Guardians of Vesturon, centers around a family of six siblings and is a mix of humor, mystery, suspense and of course, love.  Survival and Resurrection are her first and second full length novels in the series and Beginnings is the prequel novella.  Her third installment, Determinant, will be released on June 30, 2012.  (It didn’t happen exactly like that, but you get the idea!)

Author Links

Official Website | Twitter | Facebook | Blog

Goodreads Author Page | Goodreads Fan Club

*****

Giveaway

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Prizes: 

Ebooks of Kissing Fire, Shattered Edge and Edge of Disaster
 
$50 Amazon Gift Card

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*****

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Spotlight & Review for Surviving Raine

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Surviving Raine by Shay Savage

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• Genre: Adult Romance
• Expected Release Date: May 21st, 2013
Book Description
As the captain of a schooner catering to the elite on the Caribbean Seas, Sebastian Stark does his best to avoid any human encounters. Interacting with people isn’t his thing, and he prefers the company of a bottle of vodka, a shot glass, and maybe a whore. There’s no doubt he’s hiding from a checkered past, but he does well keeping everything to himself…
 
…until the night his schooner capsizes, and he’s stuck on a life raft with one of the passengers.
 
Raine’s young, she’s cute, and Bastian would probably be into her if he wasn’t suffering from alcohol withdrawal. As the days pass, DTs, starvation, and dehydration become the norm. Even
the most closed person starts to open up when he thinks he’s going to die, but when she realizes their traumatic pasts are connected, it’s no longer the elements that have Bastian concerned.
 
He has no idea how he’s going to Survive Raine.
***
 
Bastian isn’t the most pleasant guy Raine could have ended up with in the middle of the ocean with no chance of rescue, but he has an uncanny knack for survival. As she digs through the walls surrounding the stubborn and challenging man, she finds something surprisingly different buried inside…
 
…and he can answer the question she’s asked for years.
As she learns more about what has brought him to this fate, Raine is determined to drag this self-destructive man back from the edge of the wave. Isolation is her only chance to tear the man out from inside of the animal, but this one has been abused for a long time.
 
She also has to live long enough to get through to him.

*****

Book Review

Wow! Wow! Wow! This was an emotionally intense read for me, that will, undoubtedly, stay with me for a long time.  This is not an easy review for me to write because the story is so richly developed, disturbing, complex, and complicated. The central characters Sebastian and Raine cannot be easily labeled as a particular type of character; in fact, they defy any specific objective characterization. I think this is what makes the book so amazing for me.

Another refreshing aspect of this book, which falls into the contemporary romance genre, is that the point-of-view (POV) is told from only Sebastion’s perspective. A romance told by a male protagonist? Yes, I’m intrigued. After finishing the book, I think the author make a wise choice by limiting the point-of-view to just Sebastian. Delving into his psyche was fascinating, disturbing, and at times overwhelming for me.

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I don’t think I could have handled Raine’s point-of-view as well. Another advantage in not having Raine’s POV is that I frequently wondered about the true motives behind her actions. I’m just as curious as Sebastian to know how she really feels about their relationship and how it evolves over the course of the story.

Sebastian is one of the most wounded characters I have ever encountered. When the story opens, Sebastian is depicted as a man with a powerful physicality, who is angry, brooding, and extremely aloof around others. At the age of 29, he is living as just a shell of the man he has the potential to be.  Maintaining numbness is his main concern each day,and a steady supply of alcohol, cigarettes, and prostitutes keeps the nightmares at bay. He doesn’t want to think or feel anything about his painful past, so it is little by little that horrific scenes from his past are revealed as he gradually allows himself to remember the excruciating details of all that he has endured.

Sebastian is the captain of schooner who takes wealthy tourists out for excursions on the Caribbean ocean. Living on the sea, away from general society, allows him to escape his dangerous and violent past, for now. Fortunately, he has the congenial John Paul who helps him with ship operations and social interaction with the passengers.

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When the ship capsizes during a storm, Sebastian finds himself stranded on a lifeboat with a young Raine.  Raine is at times panicky and her constant questioning greatly annoys Sebastain. She initially seems so naïve, so inexperienced compared to the jaded Sebastian. The contrast in their personalities causes them to clash quite a bit since they are trapped on the tiny vessel with nowhere else to escape.

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Sebastian avoids people as much as possible. Being forced to interact with Raine unnerves him and brings out appalling behavior. He is crass, verbally abusive, and has an inclination for violence.  Not knowing how Sebastian might react, Raine is very cautious, even to the point of cowering around him.  I don’t think this makes Raine weak. She’s in survival mode. Sebastian has the knowledge and skills to keep her alive. She has no choice but to try to coexist with him peacefully.  I admire her tenacity to brave Sebastian’s wrath to learn more about him.

Sebastian is an alcoholic, and, when he gets the DTs,  I feel like I’m on an emotional rollercoaster.

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He reminds me of a wounded animal, scared and afraid to be touched. While in this vulnerable state, he lashes out at Raine in the cruelest of ways. As much as I wanted to despise him, I could not, when, in the midst of his delusions, he reveals details of his difficult life both through his hallucinations and  his unintentional verbal confessions to Raine.  His story is heartbreaking, and Raine can’t help but feel compassion for him, touching him to soothe his pain and comforting him regardless of his opposition. As Sebastian becomes more coherent, he discovers that he likes Raine’s gentle touch, and this act symbolizes the first chink in the thick walls of protection he has built around himself.
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When Raine begins asking him questions about some of the things he said while in withdrawal, Sebastian becomes afraid of what he may have revealed, but decides to take a chance and trust  Raine with his secrets, even though it may endanger both their lives. His willingness to trust is another huge blow to those impenetrable  walls he has worked so hard to resurrect. When they both realize they have a connection to a past event, Sebastian worries that she will hate him for what he has done.  Surprisingly she doesn’t blame Sebastian.  However, I wonder if she will at a later point in time.

As the days pass, hope for rescue diminishes, while Sebastian and Raine fight for survival.  Raine becomes extremely grateful to Sebastian, admiring his resourcefulness and unwillingness to give up.  He becomes a hero to her, and this angers him because he doesn’t deem himself worthy of anything good.  He cannot fathom why she is so interested in getting to know him.

“You really ought to stay away from me,” I warned her, and at the same time I leaned into her touch.

“That doesn’t seem possible at the moment,” Raine smiled and glanced around the small craft. “Even if it were, I wouldn’t want to stay away from you.”

“I’m not…a nice guy, Raine.” I didn’t know how to make her understand that there wasn’t anything else to me despite what she wanted to believe. I was what I was-violent, crude, and utterly unlovable.  

Sebastian’s low self-esteem and self-loathing make him reluctant to get close to Raine. However, Raine has a feisty, persistent side and she just keeps working to tear down those walls:

“I’ve seen you, Bastian – the real you. I know what’s inside that thick skin you try to use as a shield. I’ve seen you at your worst, and I’m pretty sure I saw you at your best…when you told me not to be scared. You can’t fool me anymore, Bastian. I know too much. I know you’ve been hurt, and I know you’re scared.”

Most of the story revolves around the growing intimacy between Sebastian and Raine through their experience on the raft and when they find land.  During their acclimation on a deserted island, there are scenes of intense, dramatic action that reveal a brutal side of Sebastian. Yet, Raine seems to accept him just as he is. A major turning point in the story is when Sebastian finally drops his barriers and gives his precious, safely guarded heart to Raine:

“I love you, and I need you to love me. I want it…so, so much…I need it. Even though I think it would be better for you not to care about me, I need you too much to turn away from it. I’ll never walk away from you, Raine. I swear-I’ll be with you as long as you will have me.”

 I loved watching Sebastian grow emotionally as he his love for Raine provides him with a reason for living. At times, he is even able to show his vulnerabilities, especially since Raine is always telling him how much she loves and cares about him, no matter what.  The erotic, passionate love scenes between them only solidify the bond they have formed.

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However, Sebastian can’t seem to truly shake the feeling that if and when they are rescued, Raine will abandon because it’s still difficult for him to accept that she deems him worthy of loving.  Thinking about this leaves him panicked:

“I couldn’t breathe. I was pretty sure my heart slowed down under the pressure. If she ever did that-if Raine left me- it would kill me. I didn’t doubt it at all. The pain of her being gone would definitely kill me.” 

Maybe after spending so much time in Sebastian’s head has influenced my way of thinking because I wonder, too, if Raine will stay with him once they return to civilization, and she returns to her former life.  Although she seems to accept him unconditionally, what will she do if Sebastian can’t return to his former life, without succumbing to alcohol again? Does Raine truly love him, knowing all that he has done? Is this merely a case of hero worship because he has the capacity to protect her now?  No matter the hardships Sebastian has already endured, I do truly believe Raine’s rejection of him will prove to be his final breaking point,  and the title Surviving Raine  is an apt name for Sebastian’s struggles.

This is a completely engrossing story that ended with several unanswered questions about their return, their commitment to each other, and the danger they face after being found because of others who fear that Sebastian and Raine will reveal secrets best kept hidden. I so hope they find that HEA.

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I look forward to the expected sequel.

A copy of this book was provided to me by the author via CBL tours in exchange for an honest review.

 

Rating

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*****

Excerpt from Surviving Raine

“What’s your problem?” I snapped again. I hadn’t really meant to, I was just tense and pissy.

The smoke was helping, but what I really wanted was a drink. I didn’t suppose anyone packed any of those little tiny airplane-sized booze bottles in the survival kits.

“I…um…” she stumbled over her words and looked away. Even under her darkened skin, I could see red creeping into her cheeks.

“What?” I was annoyed now. If she was going to complain about my smoking, I was going to lose it.

“I…have to go to the bathroom.”

I laughed. I took one last long drag, getting it all the way up to the filter before I tossed the butt out onto the waves.

“Then fucking go!”

“Where?”

“Didn’t you notice the en suite bath?” I laughed again, and then took a smidgen of pity on her. “Over the side, where do you think?”

“Well…how?”

All right, she did have a point there. Or rather, she didn’t have a point. Or a pointer. I had to laugh again at my internal joke.

“Just…I don’t know…hang your ass out over the edge. Or get in the water.

Whatever.”

“I’d have to take off my suit.”

“So?”

She blushed again.

“What? You want me to hang out in the next room for a few minutes? I promise I won’t gawk at you.”

She didn’t move. Well, actually, she was still fidgeting around; she just didn’t make a move to actually solve her dilemma. If she kept this up, she was going to pee in the fucking raft.

“If it makes you feel any better, I’ve already checked you out front and back, had my mouth on yours and my hand on your tit, so it’s not like…”

She gasped and covered her mouth with her hands. I realized how what I had said sounded, considering she had been unconscious the entire time. I shook my head.

“I didn’t mean…ah, fuck.” I grabbed my shirt and flopped down on my back, covering my whole face up with the garment. I lay there for a moment but didn’t hear her moving at all, so I yelled at her again. “Get on with it!”

She moved. I could hear her shuffle over to the front of the raft and then move around in one place, presumably taking off her shorts and her bathing suit.

“If you are going to get in the water, put the life preserver around your waist first and hold on to the fucking ladder. I don’t want to have to dive in after your ass again.”

“Okay,” she said. “Um…where is it?”

“Right outside the opening – on the left.”

“Thank you,” she said.

“Whatever.”

I listened to her move around a bit more and then felt her move closer to the opening and off to the side. There was a soft splash, and a minute later I heard her pulling herself back up onto the raft.

“There’s something similar to a towel over there,” I said – flinging my arm out in the
direction of the back of the raft and waving my hand around. “Make sure you dry off the floor, too.”

“Thank you,” she said.

“Whatever.”

I listened to her move around some more, getting pretty fed up with just lying there, baking, with my fucking shirt over my head.

“Are you done yet?”

“Almost,” she said quietly. Her voice still sounded scratchy. “Okay, I’m done.”

I grabbed the shirt off my face and sat up, looking over at her. She was adjusting the straps on her suit and still blushing.

“Do you know why my…um…throat hurts?”

“Yeah,” I said. I didn’t elaborate. After a minute she finally asked.

“Why does my throat hurt?”

“Because you inhaled a shitload of salt water,” I stated. “It fucks up your throat and your vocal cords. Give it a day; it’ll be better.”

“Thank you,” she said, again.

“Whatever,” I replied, again.

I shoved my hand down into the sealed up container for rations and pulled out a carb bar. I tore it in half and threw one of the pieces at her.

“Eat it,” I instructed. “You can have the other half in six hours.”

“Six hours?” she repeated.

“Are you a fucking recorder? Yes, six hours.”

I knew I was being a bastard, but my brain was working overtime trying to figure out what our best course of action might be. Having her here made it ten times more difficult. If it was just me, I was pretty sure I would be fine. There was plenty of food and water for just me. I could fish, I could take care of myself, and I could stay alive under pretty extreme circumstances.

Having her here with me just…complicated everything.

*****

About the Author

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 Shay Savage lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, two children, and a variety of household pets. She is an accomplished public speaker and holds the rank of Distinguished Toastmaster from Toastmasters International. When not writing, she enjoys science fiction movies and loves soccer in any and all forms. During the fall, she coaches her daughter’s soccer team. Though she currently works in the technology field, her school background is in psychology, and she brings a lot of that knowledge into the characters within her stories.
Author Contact

Website • Goodreads • Twitter • Facebook

*****

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Purchase on Amazon:  Surviving Raine

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To post a comment or start a discussion, please click on the green Leave a Comment link located at the bottom of this post after the tags. 

Review & Giveaway for Escaping West

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Escaping West by Morgan K. Wyatt

Book Description

Kitty Hamilton is unsure how her life got so out of control. The unexpected deaths of her parents earned her a berth at her embittered aunt’s home. Her latest beau abandoned her, which made the prospect of leaving town appealing. Her version of leaving didn’t include fleeing town dressed like a man, but circumstances dictate otherwise. Kitty becomes Kit to throw the law off her trail. As the pretend brother to her best friend Harriet, she accompanies her friend out west to her contracted bridegroom. They encounter Nick Kennedy, flamboyant gambler, who takes an interest in the odd couple. Kitty enjoys the freedom her disguise allows, but she abandons any hope of attracting the handsome Nick Kennedy. Revealing her gender, might snag her a chance at the elusive gambler, but could also land her in prison. She keeps telling herself he isn’t worth it, but she’s not entirely convinced.

Watch the Book Trailer

*****

Excerpt from Escaping West

Why did she do such an impulsive, stupid thing? She knew why even if she didn’t want to admit it was something in his kisses. Then there was his voice, low, intimate calling her name.

“Kit, where are you?”

She could even hear it as if he was nearby. Amazing, Kitty shook her head bemused until she heard the voice again.

“Kit.”

Her imagination must be working overtime. Duke whickered loud and hard. She started to tell him to hush when she heard boot steps on the gravel. Freezing in place, Kitty strained to hear the approaching footsteps.

“Kitty, it’s me, Nick. Where are you?”

Letting go of the breath she’d been holding, Kitty took another breath before calling out. “I’m over here in the hole. Be careful.”

“I’m coming, sweetheart.” He called back, his boot heels scrambling for purchase over the rocks.

He’d called her sweetheart. She sighed then she accidentally put her weight on the wrong foot. “Ouch!”

“What, honey?” Nick called out in a voice that sounded a little closer.

“Hurry,” Kitty managed through clenched teeth. He was there before she knew it. Deftly jumping into the hole and wrapping her in his arms, accidentally battering her already savaged ankle.

“Ouch, watch it,” she complained.

“I didn’t expect undying gratitude, but something like my hero might not be out of line,” Nick commented laughingly.

“Thank you, Nick. I am grateful. I hurt my ankle when I fell into the hole.” Kitty snuggled into Nick’s shoulder appreciative of his warmth and inhaled deeply, enjoying the smell of worn leather and clean male.

Nick paced around the small hole with Kitty in his arms. He dragged his boot toe around the edge trying to find a way up or out.

“Well, darling, looks like I am going to have to toss you up,” Nick acknowledged.

“What,” Kitty squeaked. “Toss me where?”

“I looked, and there seems to be no easy way out of here. It’s up to you. Once you’re up, I need you to tie the rope to the saddle horn on Duke’s saddle and back him up. Once I get a hold of the rope, pull me up. Can you manage?”

Kitty had her doubts as she felt Nick’s voice vibrate through the clothing separating the two of them. In the end, tossing seemed to be her only hope of getting out, and she imagined Nick was a good tosser. Naturally, he would be good at everything.

*****

Book Review

The 18oo’s provides the setting for this light-hearted western romance that provides lots of chuckles and informs readers of the societal limitations women endured during this time.

The protagonist of this story is Katherine (Kitty) Hamilton, a young girl of nineteen, who has been forced to grow up with a malicious Aunt Eugenia who despises her and, over the years, has become more abusive.

Kitty lives in a small rural town where the pickings are slim to find an eligible bachelor to marry. Of course, marriage was expected, in order for a woman to have a safe and secure life.  For some odd reason, Kit realizes her aunt has discouraged any man who is interested in courting Kitty. As a nineteen -year-old, with no suitors knocking on her door, Kitty worries that she is getting past her prime and may end up a bitter spinster just like her aunt.

Kitty lives in a small rural town where the pickings are slim to find an eligible bachelor to marry. Of course, marriage was expected, in order for a woman to have a safe and secure life.  For some odd reason, Kitty realizes her aunt has discouraged any man who is interested in courting Kitty. As a nineteen -year-old, with no suitors knocking on her door, Kitty worries that she is getting past her prime and may end up a bitter spinster just like her aunt.

When her aunt begins to attack her with a whip for an unjustified transgression, Kitty tries to protect herself, and the assault ends with her aunt accidentally falling and hitting her head.  Out of rage, Eugenia reveals that the real reason behind her callous treatment of Kitty is because of the dowry Kitty’s parents left for her.  Eugenia is determined to keep Kitty’s money and threatens to press charges against Kitty for attempted murder.

Knowing her aunt is just vengeful enough to go through with her threat, Kitty finds what’s left of her hidden dowry and plans her escape with her best friend, Harriet.  Harriet has become a mail-order bride and is leaving for British Columbia to meet her new husband. In order to minimize her chances of being caught, Kitty cuts her hair and decides to pose as a man, call herself Kit, and pretend to be Harriet’s younger brother.

While traveling together by train, both Kitty and Harriet are excited by the adventure that awaits, especially since neither have ever traveled abroad. Their naïvety and innocence certainly make for an entertaining journey full of chuckles and laughter, especially when Kit realizes that masquerading as a man is not as easy as she expected.  For example, the scene where Kit has to use the bathhouse for men is hilarious and one of my favorites.

Kit quickly catches the eye of Nick Kennedy, a professional gambler, who is also traveling on the same train.  It doesn’t take Nick long to discover that Kit is really a female. His curiosity over why she would go to such extremes to hide her identity draws him to her. Although Kit feels an attraction to Nick, she is adamant that he not discover her gender. Using her sharp tongue, she tries to deflect his interest, but he is persistent, and this leads to some entertaining banter full of subtle flirtation on Nick’s part.

The handsome Nick Kennedy is a kind and caring man even though his gambling lifestyle would be considered unsavory by any proper, young lady. However, Nick has grown tired of the dangerous life he leads and considers retirement . His heart has been hardened since the betrayal of the woman he loved. Yet, now that he’s met Kit, he feels protective of her. After Harriet reveals their destination, he decides to follow them to make sure Kit will be okay, since she’s obviously hiding from something or someone.

Once they arrive, Kitty continues to pretend to be a man and soon finds herself employed in a saloon, playing piano to entertain the customers. The saloon owner Stella and some of the others working there quickly see through Kit’s disguise but decide to let her hide out in their establishment. When Harriet gives Kit tips on how to act more “manly,” I thought I’d roll over laughing:

“You could talk less and stick a rolled sock down your pants,” Harriet advised with a wink.

“I’ll talk less, but what’s with the sock?”

“You’re manly parts. You might even want to move it now and then.” The blonde chuckled at her friend’s horrified expression.

“Stick my hands down my pants and start scratching away?”

“No…You do the scratching on the outside, haven’t you watched men at all?”

When Nick arrives, their secretive courtship begins, even though both are reluctant to reveal their true feelings for each other. The suspense of the story begins to build when a Pinkerton agent, hired by Aunt Eugenia arrives, intent on capturing Kit for prosecution. Furthermore, Nick has a vindictive gambler who feels cheated chasing him with intent to do harm.  My curiosity of the outcome of these conflicts made this an, overall, interesting read.  However, for me, the climatic outcome of Kit’s conflict with her aunt was not as dramatic as I had hoped for or expected.

Numerous grammatical and proofreading errors were the main drawback for me in reading this book.  At times inappropriate verb tense is used, essential articles and other words are omitted, and the wrong word is used. These errors increasingly proved to be a distraction to me as I read. Just one more proofreading would greatly enhance the overall quality of the book.

Although I found some flaws with this book because of my personal preferences when reading, I do want to emphasize that I am glad that I read the book. If you enjoy a good western filled with humor and romance, do check out Escaping West.

I received a copy of this book from the author via Goddess Fish Tours for an honest review.

Rating

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*****

About the Author

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Morgan K Wyatt, raised on a steady diet of superheroes, believed she could fly at a very young age. After using trees, barn lofts, sliding boards, and even a second story window as launch pads, she found her flying skills were limited to fast and downward. By the age of nine, her dreams to be a superhero needed some modifications, which caused her to turn to writing and horseback riding as alternatives to flying.

At the age of twenty, she had another chance at superhero greatness as being one of the few female soldiers trained for combat. The fact that women will be able to serve in combat soon indicates that all the witnesses to the grenade incident have retired. The grenade incident didn’t prevent her two sons or daughter-in-law from enlisting in the service. Having different last names probably helped.

Morgan recently retired from teaching special needs students to write fulltime, instead of in the wee hours of the night. With the help of her helpful husband and loyal hound, she creates characters who often grab plot lines and run with them. As for flying, she prefers the airlines now.

Author Links

www.morgankwyatt.com

www.twitter.com/morgankwyatt

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Morgan-K-Wyatt/160636730670958?ref=hl

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5826299.Morgan_K_Wyatt

*****

Giveaway

Morgan will be awarding the winner’s choice of ivory, peach, or white, cultured freshwater pearl necklace to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

To enter just click on the green “Leave a Comment”  link located at the end of this post following the tags. 

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Follow the tour and comment. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/04/virtual-review-tour-escaping-west-by.html

*****

Purchase With Discount: 
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Secret Cravings Publishing is offering a sale during the Rebel Heartsong and Escaping West tours.  All Morgan K Wyatt books bought May 15-31st are available for another 20% off publisher’s site.
The code is Morgan20
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To post a comment, please click on the green “Leave a Comment link located at the bottom of this post after the tags.

Interview & Giveaway for Order of the Black Swan Set (Books 1-3) by Victoria Danann

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Victoria Dannan has expanded her Book Tour for Moonlight: The Big Bad Wolf  (Book 4 of the Order of The Black Swan series)

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To see the book promotion for the Order of the Black Swan, Books 1-3, complete with book trailers for each book, please click on my earlier post: Book Promotion: Order of the Black Swan

Learn more about Book 4 in the Order of the Black Swan series by clicking on my earlier post that includes an excerpt from the book along with my review: Spotlight and Review of Moonlight: The Big Bad Wolf

*****

Victoria Danann’s Self-Interview

Hey. If Rembrandt and Van Gogh can go self-portraits, I can do a self-interview. I know what you’re thinking. “Yeah. Well. You’re not Van Gogh.” You’re right, of course. But doing three blogs around the release of three books in the space of ten months has created the answers to a whole lot interview questions.

On occasion I interview other authors. I always ask if there was a question they always wanted to be asked and had never had been and, if so, what was it? That was part one of what led me here. The second part is character interviews. When I do character interviews – let’s face it – I’m interviewing my own imagination.

Soooooo, why not just ask myself the question I’d like to answer. The following is a sampling of some of my favorite all-time blog tour questions followed by one of the one questions I’ve never been asked, but would like to answer. (There are a lot.)

PART ONE: THE BOOKS

1. Do you feel that you can relate to one character in “this book” more than any other? And why?

No. I don’t relate to one more than another, but I love Rammel Hawking the most. And he knows it. He uses it  to his advantage to manipulate me all the time.

One person recently told me that, if action figures of my characters ever come out, she wants to place a preorder for Ram. I have to agree with her. Because this saga has a lot of balls in the air (pun not intended, I swear). Ram is on the zigzag path of a hero’s journey in a classical sense. Add to that the fact that he’s drop dead sex and a one-woman elf and, really, what more could you want?

2. Many people feel the PNR genre is on the way out. Do you agree? Are there any changes you’d make to stay on the cutting edge of this genre? Will you change genres?

I think that will be true if more authors don’t stop the vamp-by-number, more-weres-the-better rehash and try for something different.

Before I started writing I spent two full years reading every PNR that had enjoyed any success to find out what had already been done, then set out to create something new. I get a lot of feedback that starts by saying, “I                 don’t really know what genre to put this in…”  I love comments like, “She explodes stereotypes.”

Also, I’m writing true Paranormal Romance. It’s not paranormal suspense or paranormal mystery or paranormal  thriller with a love interest back story. The romance is the main plot for me. And romance is never going to be on  the way out.

3. As writers, we are bombarded with ideas every minute of every day. What’s the idea behind this series and   how did it come about?

I read Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein when I was about twelve-years-old and have always been  fascinated by the concept of other worlds that are similar, but not identical.  I combined that with my formal                 academic education in Paranormal Psychology, the fact that I always got along super well with boys, and voila.

PART TWO: WRITING

1. Do you write full time?

Snort.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

If people “decide”, they’re not really writers. My working theory is that, if you watch children carefully, they will show you who they really are by the time they are eight or nine. At that age I had two stacks of legal pads on my bed. One I used to sketch glamorous evening wear. The other I used to write my own Bobbsey Twins novels. I did spend a few years as a designer of glam dresses and was copied by the biggest names in the business. I had a big following in the Northeast, South America, and Europe and still see some of my dresses show up in the movies. So I checked that off the list and did it until I was done. Now I’m writing.

3. Have you ever made big changes in your story because someone – your crit partner, a friend, or beta reader – really didn’t like it?  Are you glad you did (or didn’t)?

The answer is yes, but the someone was one of the characters. My Familiar Stranger started out to be a different story. My heroine was supposed to end up with the character of my choice. I was about 80% finished when another one of the guys (characters) started insisting that he was the one who should get the girl! I let him make his case and finally had to agree, but it caused a lot of overhaul.

Since then I have done a poll on Facebook asking fans who they wanted to end up with the girl and the big majority agreed with my character. It was him all along.

4. What unique factor do you think you bring to the book/story market?

First, I waited to start writing until I was old enough to really have something to say.  Secondly, one of the  comments I hear most often is that people enjoy the chronicle style of ongoing story. I call it a serial saga. If I                 were not an Indie, it never would have happened because it doesn’t fit the commercial “formula” of how to pie chart a paranormal romance. (Yes. I made a verb out of the phrase “pie chart”.)

5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The hardest part of writing is slogging through the emotion. I know that, if I’m crying so hard I can hardly see the  PC screen, I’ve gotten it right, but it’s also very emotionally draining and it ruins my looks for half a day.                 Conversely, if I’m lying in bed at night reading my own book and laugh out loud, I know I got that right as well.

6. Who were your major influences?

Stephen King, Anne Rice, my tenth grade literature teacher without whom I might never have read Julius   Caesar, MacBeth, Random Harvest, or Lord Jim, my seventh grade English teacher without whom I never                 would have read the entire works of William Saroyan, my father who bought me the Scribner Collection which  included all the classics appropriate for young readers. (I learned to love the art of story AND the art of Maxfield                 Parrish who illustrated the covers.)

7. Do you have any advice for any other aspiring writers out there?

Yes. Writers are born, not made. Run as hard and fast as you can from a course on “creative writing” classes because nothing will kill your own embryonic art or creativity faster.

PART THREE: PERSONAL

1. What are 5 fun/interesting facts about you?

I play bridge. I like going to movies in the daytime by myself (though I rarely get to). I teach magickal arts online.  I worked for the airlines when I was very young and have traveled a lot. I speak canine. (Bonus #6. I do all my

own graphics work: covers, ads, book trailers, etc.)

2.  What is the most inspiring quote you have ever heard?

a. This actually relates to how busy I am. It’s a motto used as my email signature on personal mail. THE QUOTE: “It’s better to burn out, than fade away.” – Rock of Ages, Def Leppard. Some people have wrongly attributed this to Kurt Cobain. Sorry. No. Others have said it wasn’t Def Leppard, it was Neil Young, “It’s better to burn out, than to fade away,” – My, My, Hey, Hey. Also wrong. Neil Young used an extra “to”. Big difference you see.

b. Winston Churchill is reported to have given a commencement address in which he simply took the podium and said, “Never give up,” nine times.

3. What’s your favorite book?

Memnoch the Devil, Anne Rice. Also high up on the list: The Gate to Women’s Country by Sherri S Tepper and Good Omens  by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. HOWEVER, I wouldn’t recommend any of these to someone unless I knew that they were students of religious studies or, in the case of Gate, feminism.

4. Greatest joy?

Reviews.

5. Greatest aggravation?

Reviews.

Now, about A Summoner’s Tale… If you haven’t read Books One and Two, I hope you will do so before you read Book Three. Black Swan is a serial saga meaning that each book is actually a chapter installment in an ongoing story. This particular installment involved characters that were introduced in the first book.

If you read by Kindle, you will find A Summoner’s Tale available at Amazon after release. If you another e-reader, you can still get the book in the form of an anthology that will be available in electronic format everywhere. The Order of the Black Swan Collected Tales, Books 1-3. $6.99 for all 330,000 words. This is a dream come true for me because readers will experience the first three books as conceived as one story.

*****

Giveaway

Click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter the Order of the Black Swan Giveaway

You have a chance to win one of 7 E-copies of THE BLACK SWAN SET, Books 1-3

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*****

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To post a comment or start a discussion, click the small green  “Leave a comment”  link located at the end of this post after the listed book tags.

Book Promo & Giveaway: Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy

Writers Workshop of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Writers Workshop

Genre: Speculative Fiction

Page Count: 210 pages

Published: April 18 2013

Publisher: Seventh Star Press

Amazon: Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy (ebook) / Writers Workshop of Science Fiction & Fantasy (book)

Barnes & Noble / Goodreads

Writers Workshop of Science Fiction and Fantasy edited by Michael Knost

Book Description

Writers Workshop of Science Fiction and Fantasy is a collection of essays and interviews by and with many of the movers-and-shakers in the industry. Each contributor covers the specific element of craft he or she excels in. Expect to find varying perspectives and viewpoints, which is why you many find differing opinions on any particular subject.

This is, after all, a collection of advice from professional storytellers. And no two writers have made it to the stage via the same journey-each has made his or her own path to success. And that’s one of the strengths of this book. The reader is afforded the luxury of discovering various approaches and then is allowed to choose what works best for him or her.

Featuring essays and interviews with:
Neil Gaiman
Orson Scott Card
Ursula K. Le Guin
Alan Dean Foster
James Gunn
Tim Powers
Harry Turtledove
Larry Niven
Joe Haldeman
Kevin J. Anderson
Elizabeth Bear
Jay Lake
Nancy Kress
George Zebrowski
Pamela Sargent
Mike Resnick
Ellen Datlow
James Patrick Kelly
Jo Fletcher
Stanley Schmidt
Gordon Van Gelder
Lou Anders
Peter Crowther
Ann VanderMeer
John Joseph Adams
Nick Mamatas
Lucy A. Snyder
Alethea Kontis
Nisi Shawl
Jude-Marie Green
Nayad A. Monroe
G. Cameron Fuller
Jackie Gamber
Amanda DeBord
Max Miller
Jason Sizemore

This edition also includes several full page illustrations from award-winning artists Matthew Perry and Bonnie Wasson.

*****

About the Editor

Editor Michael Knost

Michael Knost is an award-winning author, editor, and columnist in the Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Supernatural Thriller genres.

He has written several books and dozens of short stories, edited a number of anthologies, including the Legends of the Mountain State series, and he currently writes a column for Shroud Magazine.

He recently won the Bram Stoker Award in the United Kingdom for his book Writers Workshop of Horror, a collection of articles and interviews on the craft of writing.

He is currently working on a Mothman novel due to hit bookshelves later this year.

Michael has worked in the radio, television, and newspaper industries, and currently lives in Chapmanville, West Virginia with his beautiful wife and daughter.

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Blog | Seventh Star Soundoff

*****

About the Publisher

Seventh Star Press

Seventh Star Press is a small press publisher located in Lexington, KY.  SSP specializes in speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, and horror).  The company was established in October of 2008.

*****

Giveaway

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Celebrate with SMR: 2 Months & 200+ Followers (Giveaway of Culture Shock)

Sun Mountain Reviews Celebrates Two Months & 200+ Followers

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I started Sun Mountain Reviews in March because I am so passionate about reading. This love led me to major in English and teach writing and literature classes for a number of years. For me, going to work was playtime because I was able to share my passion with others and delight in the stimulating discussions I had with  students and colleagues.  Since I  enjoy reading books from all genres, I wanted a place where I could express my thoughts about the books I’ve read and a space where I could be creative by adding in a variety of multimedia to complement the books and support my reviews.  Thus, Sun Mountain Reviews was born. I really didn’t have any idea that I would gain so many followers in such a short amount of time.  This was just a creative outlet for me, but now with such loyal followers, I am even more motivated to continue reading and writing to share my reading experiences with you!

In order to help me celebrate, I have partnered with author Jeanette Pekala who has graciously provided 10 ebooks of her first book in the new series Culture Shock (Culture Shock #1).  At the end of this post, you will find a link to enter the Giveaway.  Thank you Jeanette!

*****

Culture Shock (Culture Shock #1)

By: Jeanette Pekala

Cover (1)

Book Description

CULTURE SHOCK is a witty tale of mystery and romance with a large helping of southern hospitality.

Macy Holmes is a seventeen-year-old socially-isolated introvert since her best friend’s death a year ago. When her family decides to move from Manhattan to the quaint country town of Bougainvillea, Florida, Macy finds she’s in a completely different world. Macy is no longer the outsider hiding behind designer clothes when she is sought out by three strange students, one of whom she is particularly interested in. The more time she spends with Chad the more things don’t add up. When his true identity is finally revealed, Macy is pulled into a supernatural society with its saturation of inhabitants residing in Bougainvillea.

You would think she has enough on her plate, but no, then her dreams become infiltrated by an external magical force, Macy and her band of supernatural misfits must find the culprit behind the magic-induced nightmares. The must dodge zombie assassins, shift shape-shifters and high school bullies in order to stop this perpertrator before Macy, her friends or her parents pay the ultimate price. Espeically when Macy has the sneaking suspiciion that these dreams are reality…

*****

Excerpts from Culture Shock

Excerpt #1

There were two guys and one girl. The girl had severely long red wavy hair and flawless fair skin. She was supermodel skinny. Heroin-addict supermodel skinny. Her back was to me so I couldn’t get a good look at her face.

The first boy was sitting next to her. His back also to me, but when I first caught them spying, I noticed something peculiar about this boy. He was wearing a black hoodie, with the drawstrings tied so tight, the hood was covering nearly his whole face. He had dark aviator glasses on and gloves. Seriously, it’s like ninety-something degrees outside. Why on earth would you wear gloves? His skin, what was showing of it anyways, was even paler than the girl’s.

Excerpt #2

We found a spot over by the water free of sawgrass. It was a beautiful view. On the back end of the lake was a dense forest. It was dark just beyond the first set of trees. That was the only end of the lake that had remained uninhabited. There was a syrupy mist rising slowly off the surface of the water. It was creepy, but romantic in a sinister way. The sights, sounds, and smells all mingled together to create a scene an artist would love to capture with the stroke of his brush.

 *****

Author Interview

Readers interviewed Jeanette Pekala about her debut novel, Culture Shock. Here is what they came up with.

Tasha: How close are Jeanette and the main character? Even though it’s fiction, do you have anything in common with her? Can we get to know you by understanding the main character?

There does happen to be a little Jeanette in the main character, Macy Holmes. I like to think of her as a mixture of me and my sister. She’s silly and quirky like me but very much the fashionista diva like my sister.

Marie Ann: Did your family feel neglected when you were writing your book?

Well, my hubby doesn’t care because when I’m writing, I’m not nagging him so he can pretty much play video games all night long when I’m in a writing groove.

Nicki: What inspires you to write?

Life is what inspires me. It’s the ultimate muse—from relationships to nature and history. I pull inspiration from the deep love I have for my husband and pour that into the feelings of my characters when they’re high on love, but pull from other’s heartbreak to recreate the devastation in the souls of the characters I write. Nature inspires me—from old gnarled trees to vibrant wildflowers. It’s magical. If you’ve read Culture Shock you know I’m a history buff especially when it comes to architecture. The majestic old homes in north central Florida, so different from the city where I grew up, have inspired the fictional town of Bougainvillea where Culture Shock takes place.

Nicki: Why did you or what led you to write Culture Shock?

I awoke from a horrific nightmare one night with the taste of fear in my mouth, shaking for my life very much the same way Macy, the MC does in the book. It was a nightmare that felt so real it took me quite a few minutes to calm down afterward. After I regained my composure, a light bulb went on, Ah-ha (snap fingers) that would be a great concept for a book. I pulled out a notepad and jotted down the nightmare with a green dried out marker at 3am (it was all I could find). That’s how Culture Shock was born.

Nicki: Are you working on any current projects?

Yes, I’m currently working on Shock Wave, the second book in the Culture Shock Series. It should be released in the fall if all goes according to plan.

Arie: What is the primary focus or point of your book? Does your book strive to accomplish something intellectual, social, geopolitical, metaphysical, cultural, societal, emotional, relational, or recreational?

Wow! Good question. The primary focus of my book is entertainment. It’s definitely a light-hearted, nothing too deep though you will find plenty of humor and gore. Macy does go through an emotional journey where she tries to break out of her shell to become a confident young woman.

Cristiane: What made you write a mystery thriller? And who is the blue-print for the heroine, Macy?

I mentioned before why I wrote it. I previously had 2 failed attempts at writing novels so for weeks I was thinking, what could I write??? I need a new concept! Something that’s not overdone, or maybe something that’s popular, but with a new twist? Nothing came of my brainstorming until I had that nightmare. Culture Shock starts out slow at first, but picks up the pace and will have you staying up late into the wee hours to figure out who did what and what happens next…

 *****

About the Author

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After finishing her degree in Sociology from the University of Florida, Jeanette Pekala had no idea what she wanted to do with her life.

While her husband was deployed overseas, she focused on what she loved to do, write, where she has finally found an outlet for her overactive imagination.

She lives a not so normal life just a wee bit north of Bougainvillea where she resides with her husband and two children working on Shock Wave, book 2 in the Culture Shock Series.

*****

Contact Links

Email: jdpekala@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JeanettePekalaAuthor

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

Blog: http://adventuresoflifeandliterature.blogspot.com/

Website: http://jeanettepekala.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeanettePekala

Buy Links

 Amazon: Culture Shock (Culture Shock Series) (ebook) / Culture Shock (Culture Shock Series) (Volume 1) (book)

Createspace Paperback: https://www.createspace.com/4205224

Barnes & Noble (Nook) Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/culture-shock-jeanette-pekala/1114839472?ean=2940016355870

*****

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Click on the link below for a chance to win one of ten ebook copies of Culture Shock (Culture Shock #1)

Giveaway ends, Friday, May 31st

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*****

Thank You to all those who have helped Sun Mountain Reviews to grow!

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To post a comment, please click on the green Leave a Comment link following the tags at the bottom of this post.

Book Promo & Giveaway for Comes the Night

Comes the Night (1)

Age Group: Young Adult/New Adult

Genre: Paranormal

Release Date: November 27, 2012

Tour Organized by: AToMR Tours

 

Comes the Night (Book 1 in the Casters Series) by Norah Wilson and Heather Doherty

Book Description

How far would you go to escape your own personal teenage hell? Would you run away, break away from everything you know—even your own body?

Alex Robbins, Brooke Saunders and Maryanne Hemlock could not be more different, yet they all have something in common—deep and soul-searing pain. They are also all students at Streep Academy, a boarding school just one step away from juvie, where they’ve come to complete high school. The three have been relegated to Harvell House, the residence reserved for the hardest cases, the so-called Rejects from Reject Row. 

In the forbidden attic of the old Victorian house-turned-residence, the girls discover the diary of Connie Harvell, a young woman who was confined and abused there some 50 years ago. In the end, Connie’s attic prison couldn’t hold her—not completely. She found a way out. At least a dark part of her did. And after reading her diary, the girls discover they can escape at will too. A terrifying, thrilling flight from their bodies and their troubles. 

But God help them, their pain isn’t all they leave behind when they join with the night. 

And God help anyone who’s wronged them…

*****

Excerpt from Comes the Night

“Yeah, I know,” Alex said. “I shouldn’t have… gone off on you.” That was all the apology she could manage. “But can’t you guys just imagine it? How… how vulnerable this girl was? How sad? How desperate? Tapping on the window like this.” Her fingers took on a rhythm now as she tap, tap, tapped on the glass. “Can you imagine her standing here, crying for someone to hear? Begging over and over… I want out, I want out, I want out—”

Alex was out.

She felt her body drop, felt the sharp explosion of pain as her head hit the floor, but simultaneously she felt a part of herself fly beyond the stained glass and out the window. Alex was conscious of Maryanne’s hands shaking her shoulders. Could feel them on her body as she lay on the attic floor. But at the same time, from outside the window she saw Maryanne’s panic as she leaned over her limp form. From outside she clearly saw Brooke, with her hand over her mouth, take a step backward from her sprawled body.

Co-consciousness.

She knew it instantly—that was what she was experiencing. She was aware in both worlds, in both ways! Alex-on-the-floor stared out at Alex-past-the-window. Connie had felt this, written about this. And Alex was feeling it now. She’d cast out too.

*****

About the Authors

NORAH WILSON is a Kindle best-selling author of romantic suspense and paranormal romance. She lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, with her husband, two adult children, dog Chloe, and kitty, Ruckus.

HEATHER DOHERTY fell in love with writing while taking creative writing courses with Athabasca University. Motivated by her university success, and a life-long dream of becoming a novelist, she later enrolled in the Humber School for Writers under the mentorship of David Adams Richards. Her first literary novel was published in 2006. While still writing dark literary (as well as not-so-dark children’s lit), she is beyond thrilled to be writing paranormal/horror with Norah. Heather lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick with her family. (No pets, but I swear Norah’s dog, Chloe, calls me Aunt Heather).

Together, Heather and Norah write dark, edgy, frightening young adult paranormal/horror.

Social Media Links

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/wilsondoherty

Website:  http://castersthebooks.com

Facebook Norah: http://www.facebook.com/norah.wilson1

Facebook Heather: http://www.facebook.com/heather.doherty.5

*****

Links to find/buy the Book

Amazon: Comes the Night (Casters) (Volume 1) (print) / Comes the Night (eBook)

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/259473

Barnes and Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/comes-the-night-norah-wilson/1114073057?ean=9780987803795

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17069123-comes-the-night

 *****

Giveaway for Comes the Night

#1: Five (5) unsigned print copies of Comes the Night sent from CreateSpace – open internationally;

#2: Five (5) eBook copies of Comes the Night (Smashword coupon code) – open internationally;

#3: Three (3) $10 gift cards – choice of Amazon, B&N, or Book Depository

Click on the link below to enter:

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To post a comment or feedback, click on the green “Leave a Comment”link following the tags at the bottom of this post. 

One Day Book Blast & Giveaway for The Undesirable

the-undesirable

Release Date:  January 28, 2013

Genre: Young Adult/ New Adult

Series: Book #1 in the Undesirable Series

The Undesirable by S. Celi

Book Description

*This book is Mature YA/ New Adult. It is recommended for readers 14 and over.

What if everything you knew turned out to be a lie?

Charlotte Walker knows how to live under the rule of The Party. She has managed for 18 years. She helps out her drunken mother and keeps life going at a familiar, steady pace. She doesn’t ask questions, even though she has many of them in her heart.

Fostino Sanchez knows how to live under the rule of The Party, too. For 19 years, he’s worked to be the perfect Party member. He knows what must be done to keep Maxwell Cooper in power, and how find the The Undesirables that threaten to take away everything that matters.

As the months go by, what matters most to Fostino is Charlotte Walker.

While their love blooms, danger comes to Charlotte and Fostino’s small hometown of Harrison Corners, OH. Threats they never knew existed could take away all that they care about. And just when these two teens think they know what will come next, Charlotte learns the truth about a secret she has long suspected.

What Charlotte finds out changes everything. 

EVERYTHING. 

THE UNDESIRABLE is Charlotte Walker’s story, from her point of view. It is a thrilling, suspenseful tale of love, curiosity, adversity, and maturity against the backdrop of a futuristic war.

Should Charlotte trust Fostino with what she knows? Can she trust anyone? Will she find it in herself to rise up against terrible odds? What if the ultimate Undesirable is her?

*****

Watch the Book Trailer for The Undesirable

*****

About the Author

AuthorNew Orleans born Sara Celi has lived all over the United States. She calls the Greater Cincinnati area and the Queen City home.

She’s currently a TV reporter and anchor in Oklahoma City, and has spent more than a decade working in journalism. She graduated cum laude from Western Kentucky University in 2004.

Celi is also a contributing author to Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Positive.

The Undesirable is her debut novel.

In her spare time, she likes to read, shop, write, travel, run long distances, volunteer with the Junior League, and fund raise for Cooperative for Education, a non-profit providing educational opportunities for Guatemalan kids.

Contact

Twitter: https://twitter.com/saragceli
Blog: http://celibrationoflife.wordpress.com/

The Undesirable

Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16148033-the-undesirable

Currently $.99 on Amazon: The Undesirable (Undesirable Series)

*****

Giveaway for The Undesirable

Click on the link below to enter the Giveaway:

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Check out The Palms (Swept Away Novella #1) by S. Celi

Man and Woman Couple In Romantic Embrace On Beach

Release Date: June 25, 2013

Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17564983-the-palms

 An adult Romance (mild and pretty clean)

Book Description

Three days on Palm Beach will change everything. 

We all have one–the one who got away. For 31-year-old Trent Matthews, that woman is Lauren Crawford. For 28-year-old Lauren Crawford, that man is Trent Matthews. 

Ten years after they last saw each other on Palm Beach, an unexpected night at The Breakers sends Lauren and Trent roaring back into each others lives. She’s still sassy, sexy, and sophisticated. He’s still rich, handsome, and an expert with women. The years have passed, but old feelings haven’t died. 

Not even close. 

Now, these two have a second chance at love.

The problem is–Trent left Lauren without any explanation in 2002. She’s still mad and confused. Back then, Trent had his reasons–about a dozen–for his abrupt exit from her life. But even a decade later, he doesn’t want to admit all of them–or make them public. And that hesitation may cost him Lauren. Forever. 

Will Trent admit the mistakes of his youth? Will Lauren grant Trent her forgiveness? Or will they lose love again underneath THE PALMS?

*This story is novella length, at 23,000 words.

To post a comment or feedback, click on the green “Leave a Comment” link following the tags at the bottom of this post. 

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Cover Reveal for Falling for The Good Guy

FallingfortheGoodGuy_FINALCOVER

Release Date: Friday, May 24, 2013

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Falling for the Good Guy (Nice Girl to Love, Book #2)  by Violet Duke

This is the followup to Resisting the Bad Boy (Nice Girl to Love #1)

Book Description

From the evil author who left you hanging off a cliff in RESISTING THE BAD BOY comes the second book in the NICE GIRL TO LOVE series: Abby & Brian’s story…

Abby Bartlett is well aware that everyone thinks she’s in love with her best friend Brian.  He is, after all, the type of man a nice girl should be with—the polar opposite of the bad boy—the kind of guy who didn’t let his wife’s decade-long illness stop him from showering her with a lifetime of love every second until her dying day.  Yes, Brian has been the yardstick against which Abby has measured all other men.  But everyone’s wrong; she couldn’t possibly be in love with him.

Because she’s never once allowed herself that option. 

It’s taken a while but Brian Sullivan has finally come to terms with being a widower at the age of thirty, surviving the woman he spent half his life loving, a third of it losing.  Truth is though, he wouldn’t have ‘survived’ any of it really had it not been for Abby—sweet, incredible Abby—the woman he’s never once had to picture his life without, never realized he couldn’t truly live without.  Until now.  Now that he’s finally able to love her the way she deserves, the way he knows she wants to be loved…by his brother.

Who’s giving him exactly one chance to speak now or forever hold his peace.  

*****

About the Author

Headshot_wine2

 Violet Duke is the pen name of Nina Nakayama, lovingly chosen in honor of her two wacky children. A former professor of English Education, Nina is ecstatic to now be on the other side of the page writing wickedly fun contemporary romance novels. When she’s not catering to the whims of her story characters or feeding her book-a-day reading addiction, she enjoys tackling reno projects with her power tools while trying pretty much anything without reading the directions first and cooking ‘special edition’ dishes that laugh in the face of recipes. Nina lives in Hawai’i with her two cute kids and similarly adorable husband.  You can visit her website to learn more about her and her various monthly giveaways.

Author contact Links

http://www.violetduke.com

http://www.facebook.com/VioletDukeBooks

http://twitter.com/VioletDukeBooks

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*****

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CoverResistingBadBoy

                   Purchase on Amazon:

                                 Book 1

   Resisting the Bad Boy (NICE GIRL TO LOVE)

Spotlight and Author Interview for Screaming Spires (The Cavaliers Book 2)

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Screaming Spires (The Cavaliers #2) by Georgiana Derwent

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00033]Series: The Cavaliers

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, New Adult, Vampire

Publisher: Self-Published

Format: Ebook, paperback

Length: approx 100,000 words

Publication Date: April 12, 2013

Book Description

A Tale of the Posh, the Privileged and the Paranormal…

The Cavaliers are the most elite society at Oxford University – rich, powerful, and beautiful. No one realises that they are no ordinary students, but a group of aristocratic vampires from the English Civil War. For four hundred years they have groomed the most promising students to run the government, police, and finance in the way the vampires wish, granting them eternal life in return for absolute obedience.

In her first year at Oxford University, Harriet French became inextricably tied to the Cavaliers. Now Harriet’s back at Oxford for her second year. Armed with a vampire boyfriend, some great friends and the truth, she’s expecting an easier time.  She’s wrong.  Her best friend is now a vampire and the Cavalier who turned her to save her life is facing death for the one good deed he’s ever done. Just when it seems that things can’t get any worse, the Cavaliers’ ancient enemies decide to strike at the heart of the society and they’ve got Harriet in their sights. 

Screaming Spires continues the story of an ancient vampire conspiracy and the ordinary girl caught in its web begun in Oxford Blood.

*****

Book Excerpt

“Dance with me,” someone said suddenly, taking hold of her hands in a way that left no room for argument.

With a sinking feeling, Harriet recognised George’s voice. She forced herself to stay calm as she looked up at him, pristine in his tailcoat and Cavalier bowtie.

“Dance with you? Are you insane? You killed my cousin. You kept my necklace hidden for weeks. You mesmerised me whilst they drained Caroline. If I had the strength, I’d kill you.”

George smiled and shook his head. “No you wouldn’t,” he said firmly, leading her onto the dancefloor.

Before Harriet had a chance to take stock of the situation, they were in the middle of the marquee. She moved to the music as though she had no control over her body, allowing herself to be alternately spun around by George and pulled into him.

“So don’t I get a thank you then?” he whispered after a particularly vigorous twirl.

“I don’t know how you have the nerve even to speak to me, never mind to ask for my thanks.”

“I gave you what you wanted,” he said, pulling her closer. “I gave you your best friend back. If I’d asked you beforehand, what would you have said? Let her die or change her?”

Harriet was finding it difficult to concentrate on the conversation. The marquee was hot and full of people; the music was loud; the dancing was too vigorous. She needed to sit somewhere cool by herself and get her thoughts in order. Instead, George’s deep green eyes were boring into her, his cool hands were gripping hers, and it was becoming harder by the minute to remember all the terrible things he’d done. Harder still to push him away.

*****

Interview with Georgiana Derwent

Sun Mountain Reviews is pleased to have the opportunity to learn more about Georgiana and the Cavalier Series

Tell us about yourself and your Cavalier series:

I’m in my mid-twenties. Much like my heroine, I grew up in the north of England then studied History at Oxford University. Nowadays, I’m a qualified lawyer and work for the British government, so writing makes a nice relaxing break from work. I live in London with my fiancé, Frederick, who’s just the sort of posh English boy that my book romanticises and that Americans tend to love! We’re getting married, back in Oxford, next year.

(Congratulations on the upcoming wedding!)

The Cavaliers is a three part series, each book corresponding, Harry Potter style, to one year of the heroine’s life at university. So far there’s Oxford Blood and Screaming Spires, and I’m currently working on Ivory Terrors. I’ll try my very hardest not to write another Cavaliers book after that, as one of my pet hates is series that get dragged out beyond what was originally planned for them.

The basic plot is that Britain is run by a secret society of vampires, The Cavaliers. They have a special branch of the society at Oxford University and each year, recruit some of the most promising students, turn them into vampires and then get them top jobs to maintain The Cavaliers’ hold on the country. They are what I like to think of as “proper vampires.” They can’t come out during the day, they have to drink human blood, they aren’t afraid to kill and they love to seduce people. The main focus of the book is about a female student at Oxford who becomes entangled with the Cavaliers partly due to falling in love with one of them and partly through family connections.

How did you come up with the idea for creating the series? What was your inspiration?

I’ve loved vampire books ever since my teens and always wanted to write one. It always used to make me laugh how in a lot of vampire and other paranormal novels, you get the character of the mother who is completely clueless about what’s going on. I thought it would be fun to have a mother who actually knows more than the heroine, and who, rather than trying to stop her going out with the mysterious, dangerous bad boy, is actually desperately trying to set her up with him. I actually wrote a very vague outline for a book like this when I was about seventeen, but then I went to university and never had the time to really write it.

As soon as I started at Oxford University, I fell in love with the place. The buildings were beautiful, the history was inspiring and there were some amazing people there. It was all so strange and so different from my previous life that I honestly feel that if there’d turned out the be vampires there, it wouldn’t have thrown me that much!

I desperately wanted to write a book about an ordinary girl who goes to Oxford, and just after graduation, I started writing a really literary “I’m totally going to enter this for a Pulitzer” type novel set at Oxford about education and class and gender, and then about two chapters in, I realised that wasn’t a writing style that I was entirely comfortable with and that writing it was boring me. So I decided to resurrect my old vampire mother plot and merge the two. I mixed in some of my favourite periods of history, and there it was: The Cavaliers.

Briefly describe your protagonist, Harriet French and her personality:

On the face of it, Harriet’s a fairly normal girl. She lives in the north of England with her aunt, uncle and two younger cousins, her father having died and her mother walked out when she was a baby. She gets into Oxford University, which is one of her lifelong dreams, and decides to completely embrace every aspect of it – the educational, the social, the extra-curricular and the romantic.

Harriet’s quite confident and ambitious. Yes, she wants to meet a great boyfriend, but she also wants to do well in exams, to succeed in students politics and to support her friends. She’s definitely not a weak character. That said, Oxford is so different to anything she’s known before, and so outside of her comfort zone, that sometimes she doesn’t know quite how to react to things. In one chapter, for instance, she goes off with a guy (who’s a vampire) despite everyone warning her not  to, and gets bitten. When she’s rescued by another vampire, who she has a massive crush on, he tries to explain to her about vampires, but she thinks that the two of them have ganged up on her to play a complicated practical joke.

Most of the time though, she’s extremely calm. I can’t stand heroines who are crying and shouting all the time – Harriet tends to take most things in her stride.

Finally, it turns out that her mother is an extremely powerful vampire. The two of them have a very close but very fraught relationship, and the mother/daughter dynamic is nearly as important to the book as the romantic relationships.

Oh, and one more thing. She likes pretty dresses and champagne. I mean, she really likes them. It’s a bit of a standing joke for people who’ve read the books.

What are the most enjoyable and challenging experiences for you in writing this series?

I think the most enjoyable thing was being able to really indulge in some nostalgia for my days at Oxford University. It was amazing what funny little memories came back whenever I started to write. I also love writing scenes where characters are having really dramatic, emotional conversations (sometimes I think I should write screenplays instead of novels, because dialogue is definitely my favourite thing to write) and scenes that fill in the history and the backstory.

I think the two challenges were trying to do something new with vampires when there are so many vampire books available, and striking the right balance between making the vampires evil enough that they are interesting to read about and aren’t just basically super-attractive humans, without making them so brutal that they can’t possibly work as love interests.

What was the hardest scene for you to write in Screaming Spires?

Technically, either George’s trial or the scene where Augustine explains his life story and the history of the Treasures, because they were pretty complicated parts of the plot where I had to get a lot of important points across without drowning readers in too much information.

Emotionally, (a bit of a spoiler this one!) definitely the scene where Harriet breaks up with Tom. I felt like I’d invested huge amounts in that relationship over the course of two books and I kept wanting to change the storyline, but it really is necessary to make the book work.

What authors have had a significant influence on your writing?

I always think of The Cavaliers as basically two stories.

Half of it is pure paranormal romance, and that’s pretty directly influenced by LJ Smith. Her Vampire Diaries books were the first vampire novels I ever read and pretty much still my favourites.

The other half is a sort of coming of age tale about a normal girl suddenly finding herself surrounding by old buildings, strange traditions and rich people. That aspect draws a lot from my own student experiences, but is also influenced by a book called Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld, about a girl at an elite New England boarding school.

Finally, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Material is one of my favourite series ever, and although it’s had less of a direct influence than the other two books, I think it’s influenced me both by helping me to think of Oxford as a magical setting and in the character of Adelaide, who owes a certain debt to Pullman’s Mrs Coulter.

What do you usually like to read when you aren’t writing?

My tastes are pretty varied. I read about fifty percent what I guess you could call “genre fiction” – paranormal, fantasy, historical etc and about fifty percent contemporary literary stuff. I always say that I like genre books that don’t forget about prose and literary books that don’t forget about plot. Two books I’ve loved recently are Days of Blood and Starlight, and Bring up the Bodies.

As well as the three books I already mentioned in the Influences question, some of my all time favourites are: Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell, A Song of Ice and Fire – George RR Martin, The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood, American Gods – Neil Gaiman, Prep – Curtis Sittenfeld, What a Carve Up – Jonathan Coe, The Dark is Rising series – Susan Cooper, Discworld Series – Terry Pratchett

What are your current projects?

I’m currently about halfway through the third and final book in The Cavaliers Trilogy: Ivory Terrors. I’m hoping to publish it by the end of the year. I’m trying to stay focused on getting that finished, but I’ve got lots of ideas for new, unconnected books. My next book after Ivory Terrors will probably be called the Separation of Powers – I’ve got it roughly plotted out and it’s sort of a fantasy, about a woman plotting to take over the country to avenge her brother’s murder, by seducing the lord who killed him.

Thank you for the Interview!

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About the Author

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Georgiana Derwent read History at Oxford University. Aside from the vampires, The Cavaliers Series is an exaggerated but fairly accurate portrayal of her time there. She now works in London and lives with her fiancé. He’s been very supportive throughout the writing of her books, mainly because he likes to claim that all the most attractive characters are based on him.

Georgiana fell in love with vampire novels after reading The Vampire Diaries back in 2000. At the time it was a struggle to find any similar paranormal romances, a situation that it’s fair to say seems to have been rectified in the last few years. She now loves paranormal series, fantasy novels, and modern literary works in roughly equal measure.

Ever since her teens, she wanted to write a vampire series. Ever since going to Oxford she wanted to write a book about her experiences there. During a dull few months between finishing university and starting her graduate job, she had the idea of combining the two and The Cavaliers Series was born.

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Book Description for Oxford Blood

A 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist.

The Paranormal Romance Guild say – “Georgiana Derwent has managed to merge the world of Oxford University, with its rich history and very British traditions with a totally entertaining and plausible vampire story. This is going to be a favourite series.”

A Tale of the Posh, the Privileged and the Paranormal…

The Cavaliers are the most elite society at Oxford University – rich, powerful, and beautiful. No one realises that they are no ordinary students, but a group of aristocratic vampires from the English Civil War. For four hundred years they have groomed the most promising students to run the government, police, and finance in the way the vampires wish, granting them eternal life in return for absolute obedience.

When Harriet French arrives at Oxford University from her working class northern state school, she’s prepared for a culture shock, but not to become embroiled in the Cavaliers’ scheming and bloodlust. Harriet thought she’d be busy enough juggling her demanding tutor, new friends, and the murky world of student politics. But now, she must find the rebel vampire who is killing off the members, stop the Cavaliers from orchestrating a massacre of the year’s most beautiful and successful students, and defy the Society to be with the man of her dreams.

Oxford Blood is a British, adult, paranormal romance. It’s a tale with vampires that aren’t afraid to kill and a heroine who’s not afraid of sex or her own ambition.

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Blog Tour & Giveaway for Mirror of Shadows

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Tour Schedule: May 6-11, 2013

Release Date: September 1, 2012

Genre: paranormal mystery romance

Age Group: New Adult

Mirror of Shadows by T. Lynne Tolles

Book Description

Ella McKaye returns home for her grandmother’s funeral to find she’s inherited a ton of money and a run down mansion she never knew existed, called Grey Manor. Her greedy mother is appalled when the will stipulates specifically that Ella can’t give her any of the inheritance. She quickly throws Ella out of her home forcing her to take up immediate residence in the spooky old mansion.

Within minutes of entering her new home she has a strange interaction with a creepy old mirror in the main hallway and the ghostly inhabitants of the past get more and more agitated the longer Ella’s there. Nearly fatal back to back accidents make Ella start to wonder if she’s angered some ghost or if there is something more sinister at work.

Will Ella unravel the deadly mystery before she becomes a ghost herself? Or will fate take another one of the Grey ancestors to the grave.

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6 Words:

Spooky – This story has some scary elements, but definitely no horror.

Sad – I chose sadness, because the whole stories comes into being from the act of Ella’s grandmother dying. It sets a tone for the story and you find that up until this time, Ella’s life has been one sad moment after another.

Love – What is a story without love? Ella could use a bit of this and she finds it in many area: Parental Love with Mimi and Marlin, Love Interest in Jeremy and Matt, and Unconditional Love in Boo.

Betrayal – The biggest example of betrayal is what is revealed in the mirror between Willow and Byron Morton.

Predictable – Although I’ve been told the story is a bit predictable, it doesn’t seem to hinder the reader from wanting to know how it plays out.

Depravity – I chose depravity as a word to describe the Morton villains in this story because I view them as such.

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About the Author

T. Lynne tolles

T. Lynne Tolles is a lifelong avid reader of all things paranormal and now is a writer of new adult paranormal romances for readers 15 to 115. She grew up in the sunny California San Francisco bay area. She’s the mother of two, wife to one and pet mom to three cats and Newfoundland dog.

Blood of a Werewolf is the first of five books in a series called, the Blood Series. Other titles include Somber Island and Mirror of Shadows – both unrelated to the series

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Amazon:Mirror of Shadows (ebook) / Mirror of Shadows (book)

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