21.10.14

Loop by Karen Akins

Loop #1
Author: Karen Akins
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels…at screwing up.
After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her.
Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.
But when those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future.
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"A creative take on romance in a high-stakes, high-concept mystery that trusts its readers' intelligence." - Kirkus

"LOOP is a page-turning adventure with some brilliant and original twists to the time travel genre. I devoured the entire book in one sitting!" - Julie Cross, Author of the TEMPEST series

"Hilarious and suspenseful with a delicious dash of romance, LOOP is a mind-bending good time!" - Melissa Landers, Author of the ALIENATED series

Karen Akins lives in the MidSouth where she writes humorous, light YA sci-fi. When not writing or reading, she loves lightsaber dueling with her two sons and forcing her husband to watch BBC shows with her.
Karen has been many things in her life: an archery instructor, drummer for the shortest-lived garage band in history, and a shockingly bad tic-tac-toe player.
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Soulless by Crystal Collier


I'm delighted to be a part of Crystal's blog tour today! 

Title: SOULLESS
Author: Crystal Collier
Publisher: Raybourne Publishing
Series: Maiden of Time, #2
Publication: October 13th, 2014
Category: Young Adult (YA)
Genre: Paranormal Historical


When Alexia's wedding is destroyed by the Soulless—who then steal the only protection her people have—she's forced to unleash her true power and risk losing everything.
Alexia manipulated time to save the man of her dreams, and lost her best friend to red-eyed wraiths. Still grieving, she struggles to reconcile her loss with what was gained: her impending marriage. But when her wedding is destroyed by the Soulless—who then steal the only protection her people have—she’s forced to unleash her true power.
And risk losing everything.
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Author Interview

Can you tell us a little about your latest book?

SOULLESS is book 2 in the Maiden of Time Trilogy: Alexia manipulated time to save the man of her dreams, and lost her best friend to red-eyed wraiths. Still grieving, she struggles to reconcile her loss with what was gained: her impending marriage. But when her wedding is disrupted by the Soulless—who then steal the only protection her people have—she’s forced to unleash her true power.
And risk losing everything.

What inspired you to write it?
The characters wouldn’t stop talking. They have this life of their own.

How did you come up with the idea for the cover?
That was a LONG, hard process. My graphic artist is epic and sent me several concepts, but none were right. Eventually I had to focus on what was central to the story—a wedding, a war, time manipulation—and then the light bulb went on.

If it was made into a movie, who would you like to play the main characters?
… … This is where I admit my ignorance of pop culture. Truth, I’d want Alexia to play Alexia, but she might not be so cool with that.

What is it about this genre that appeals to you so much?

I love to shiver and gasp and swoon, all while reading the same book.

What made you want to become an author?
I’ve always HAD to tell stories—whether through pictures, music or the written word.

How do you come up with character names?
Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes they come to me. =) I like to start with symbolism though, and build from there.

Name one of your all-time favourite books?
Les Miserables.

Who, or what, inspires you?
Cheese, and my wonderful family who instilled its love in my heart.

Where is your favourite place to write?

In nature.

What is your favourite movie that was based on a book?
THE PRINCESS BRIDE –How do you get better than that? (Although I thought the book was atrocious.)

Name two of your favourite authors.
Cassandra Clare and Dean Koontz.

If you could have a dinner party with any authors from any time in history, who would you choose and why?
It would be fascinating to sit down with Jeffery Chaucer. I absolutely LOVE the Canterbury Tales, but the appeal to me would be learning about his era, where his stories came from, and how his works survived.

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I’ve written and orchestrated a 2.5 hour musical.

Who would play you in the movie about your life?
... Again I’ll plead ignorance.

Tell us an interesting fact about where you live.
It’s vacation world. (Orlando, Florida.) Yuppers.

What are your (writing) plans for the future?
I’m currently working on a serial story (Bellezza, release TBD 2015) and TIMELESS, final book in the Maiden of Time Trilogy.

Tell us one thing that's on your bucket list.
Hang gliding.

Favourite myth / fairytale?
Anything Grimm.

Who did you want to be when you were a kid?

An artist, singer, actress, teacher, author, AND ad specialist with an advertising firm. Why not try them all, eh?

Crystal Collier is a young adult author who pens dark fantasy, historical, and romance hybrids. She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, three littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese.
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20.10.14

Jack Templar and the Lord of the Werewolves.

Jack Templar 4 Tour

Jack Templar and the Lord of the Werewolves
Fresh from confronting the Lord of the Vampires in the limestone catacombs beneath Paris, Jack Templar faces his toughest challenge yet as he searches for the next Jerusalem Stone, this one being held by the Lord of the Werewolves. But the narrow escape from the vampire lair came at a great cost and Eva battles to survive the new vampire blood in her veins. The only chance to help Eva is to continue their quest and find the Jerusalem Stones. Reuniting the Stones will not only stop Ren Lucre’s coming war against mankind, but also transform Eva back into her human self. From the ruins of ancient Delhi to the depths of the Black Forest in Germany, Jack and his friends face monsters, bewildering riddles and treachery from the most unlikely of places. Through it all, they are plagued by the Oracle’s prediction that at least one of their group with not make it through the adventure alive. Worse yet, they know that Kaeden, the Lord of the Werewolves, will do his best to make sure none of them do. But they are monster hunters of the Black Guard… and they will do their duty, come what may.
Jack Templar 4

Excerpt
jeffThe stench hung heavy in the air. There was no other smell in the world quite like it. First came the stink of grease fires from the wall torches, the heavy black smoke that roiled through the air like a foul fog. Then a moldering, musty base layer came to the senses. It reeked of decay and seeping moisture that grew black mold on every surface. The mold clung on the rough-cut rocks lining the dungeon tunnels. It covered the thick iron bars holding the prisoners in place. It even grew on the tattered rags covering the miserable creatures in the cells and likely on their skin as well. That final smell overlay the symphony of stink. The Creach prisoners. Werewolves, harpies, blind mad-worms, blinderwursts, fangpiercers, even some demons held with the special pure iron chains required to keep them in place. Many of these creatures were pungent under the best circumstances, but locked in the deepest dungeon underground, sometimes for decades, they took on an odor so ripe, so awful, that visitors to the dungeon often had to hold their breath to enter. Even then, the smell would make their eyes sting and well with tears. Immediately after leaving the dungeon, visitors were allowed a bath or a shower in the castle. As they washed the stench from their bodies, they would feel an overwhelming sense of thanks that they were not a prisoner wallowing in the horrifying conditions they’d just witnessed. No one, human or Creach, wanted to be a prisoner in the dungeons of Ren Lucre. Far away, at the end of one of the long, twisting corridors, came the creak of a massive door opening. The prisoners stirred at the sound. Their reactions mirrored how long they had been in their cells. The newer arrivals looked up with expectation, still hopeful their punishment was going to be short and that someone was coming to tell them their nightmare was over. Those who had been there longer knew that hope was useless in this dark place. They simply cowered farther into whatever dark corner they could find in their cell, desperate not to be noticed by the Master. Then there were those who had been there the longest. They simply looked up with mild interest, knowing that nothing they did made any difference. Their spirits were broken. Worse, they knew this to be the dark truth, and they simply didn’t care. One single prisoner reacted in none of these ways. He simply stood, and the rags that had once been his clothes hung on his bony frame. Unbroken by years of starvation and torture, he still squared his shoulders in the direction of the sound and raised his chin, his eyes glistening in the torchlight with defiance. What he saw would have brought a normal man to his knees, but this man was no more normal than the monster approaching. Ren Lucre, the five hundred year old vampire, filled the hallway as he strode through it, his cloak billowing behind him as he rushed past the stinking cells. His pale, narrow face looked pinched and concerned. His blood-red lip pursed in a straight line, and his eyes glowered like embers in a fire that might at any time combust into new flame. He came to the thick set of bars that held the proud man, stopped, and stared him down. “Well, if it isn’t the Lord of the Creach,” the man said. Even though his voice was course and weak, he still managed an edge of bitter sarcasm. “You look like you’re having a bad day.” The man spat on the floor. “Good.”  

Author Jeff Gunhus
Jeff Gunhus is the author of the Amazon bestselling supernatural thriller, Night Chill, and the Middle Grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book of the series, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His book Reaching Your Reluctant Reader has helped hundreds of parents create avid readers. Killer Within is his second novel for adults. As a father of five, he and his wife Nicole spend most of their time chasing kids and taking advantage of living in the great state of Maryland. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel. If you see him there, sit down and have a cup of coffee with him. You just might end up in his next novel.
Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 11/4/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  
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17.10.14

Foreign Exchange by Denise Jade

Evernight Teen Contemporary/Mystery
Jamie Monroe has always played it safe. That is, until her live-for-the-moment best friend, Tristan, jets off to Italy on a student exchange program. Left alone with her part-time mother and her disabled brother, Jamie discovers that she is quite capable of taking her own risks, starting with her best friend’s hotter-than-hot older brother, Sawyer. Sawyer and Tristan have been neighbors for years, but as Jamie grows closer to the family she thought she knew, she discovers some pretty big secrets.
As she sinks deeper into their web of pretense, she suspects that her best friend may not be on a safe exchange program at all. Jamie sets off to Europe on a class trip with plans to meet up with Tristan, but when Tristan stops all communication, suddenly no one seems trustworthy, least of all the one person she was starting to trust—Sawyer.
Buy Links: Evernight Teen Amazon


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Excerpt:
Hi,” I say when I find Sawyer at his locker. My face is beaming like someone plugged me into a wall socket.
“Jamie.” He smiles back, but his eyes are rimmed with red like he's really tired. “Have you heard from my sister again?”
Not exactly the topic of conversation I'd hoped for. I nod. “I got another email. She got to Milan fine and is settling in.”
Sawyer pulls out his phone. He looks at me, then at his phone, then back at me again.
“She's...everything's okay with the exchange program?” he asks. His words are tentative.
“Tristan's fine, Sawyer. She says the schoolwork is going to be harder than expected because of not speaking Italian, but otherwise she's great. She loves Europe.” He looks at his phone again. I put my hand out. “Here, you want me to show you the email?”
He hands me his phone. It takes me a minute to figure out how to log in through his browser, but I hope I can put his mind at rest. My email is coming up on the screen when the first bell rings. I have English first class and my teacher's a real stickler about tardiness. I glance down the hall toward my locker.
“You go,” Sawyer says, his palm open for his phone. “I'll look it over and see you in class later. Okay?”
“I—” I’m not sure what to say. Tristan’s been talking about finding my dad in her emails. It’s our big secret and she’d been adamant about not sharing it with anybody. But I think I can trust Sawyer. And, after all, it is my secret to keep. If I’m making a mistake it’ll only hurt me. “Okay,” I say, finally, passing his phone back to him. Our fingers brush against each other, but we don’t have time to let them linger.
By the time I get to English, I'm thinking of another problem. Tristan hadn't wanted me to tell anyone about her modeling over there. I’ll have to tell Sawyer not to mention it.
When I dash into class later, Sawyer’s already seated in his usual seat with his head down. He's flipping through something on his phone, and again I think about signing him into my email earlier. Instead of feeling nervous, after having some time to think about it, trusting him makes me feel closer to him. Like we share our private emails with each other all the time.
“Hey.” I sit down beside him.
He finishes typing something, and then shoves his phone away before Mr. Echols catches sight of it. “Hey,” he says finally, smiling over at me. He still looks really tired.
“Everything okay?” I ask.
He blinks a few times, looking down, and I wonder if he isn't okay. Is something really wrong? “Do you...” he trails off and seems to rethink what he's saying. “Do you think with the program... do you think everything's okay about that? I don't know what's going on, but maybe...I mean, I think maybe Tristan’s over there trying to model.”
I swallow hard. This is the moment of truth, where I have to decide how much I can trust him.
But his pause is barely long enough for me to open my mouth. “I need to get on that class trip, Jamie. I need to stop my sister from doing anything stupid.”
A host of emotions rush through me. Fear, anger, betrayal.
“Wait, what?” I ask him. “You're going to try to get on the class trip so you can interfere with Tristan's dream?” Tristan’s told me how jealous he can be. How he’s done this before.
Sawyer looks over at me with wide eyes, like he can't believe I'm calling him out on it.
Mr. Echols interrupts us, starting class, but I'm too upset to pay attention to a single word he's saying.
Sawyer passes me a note halfway through class.
I’m seriously worried about my sister, Jamie. I have to tell you more about the program. Just hear me out. Please?
I keep my eyes from Sawyer for the rest of class. I'm sure he knows I'm angry, but he doesn't try to talk to me again, at least for now. I'm even angry at myself for getting so caught up in my feelings for him and not noticing all the things that Tristan's warned me about.

Author Interview
Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
Foreign Exchange is about a girl named Jamie, who sneaks away from her class trip in Europe to find her missing best friend.

What inspired you to write it?
I was inspired by a combination of the movie Life As We Know It and a desire to bring some of my performance and traveling background to life. While the end product came out nothing at all like the movie, I loved the idea of a responsible girl having to work with a sexy, untrustworthy playboy to solve a problem.

How did you come up with the idea for the cover?
When I think of traveling Europe, I think of trains. My husband and I traveled much of Europe by train several years ago, many times traveling through the nights. I loved the photo that was chosen for the cover, as it has the feeling of searching, and of being at the beginning of a very long track.

If it was made into a movie, who would you like to play the main characters?
I always have a really hard time with this question because I’m not all that in tune with current actors and actresses. But from those I do know, I would pick someone like Sophie Nelisse for the main character of Jamie. I think she’d do well with Jamie’s ability to speak multiple languages. I’d see someone like Odeya Rush as her beautiful fashion-model best friend, Tristan, and someone like Tyler Blackburn for sexy Sawyer.


What is it about this genre that appeals to you so much?

Honestly, I feel like the genre picked me, more than I chose it. The first novel I wrote was in the head of a thirty-year-old guy, and all my critique partners asked me, “Are you sure this shouldn’t be YA?” It took me until I started actually writing a young adult novel to see how perfect it felt to be in a teen’s voice.

What made you want to become an author?
Actually, I didn’t decide that I wanted to become an author either. It kind of happened by accident. I enjoyed writing and started to share my work with critique partners. My critique partners were all trying to get their work published, so I thought, “Why not give it a try.” It is kind of addictive to be able to share literary works, but I wouldn’t have known how much had I not been nudged to send my stuff out into the world.


How do you come up with character names?

I love coming up with character names, and keep an ongoing list in my phone. I pick up names everywhere, from my son’s judo classes, to clerk nametags at the grocery store. I quite often look the names up in baby name books to see what they mean as well.

Name one of your all-time favourite books?
This is a tough question. I have so many books I love. But if I had to pick one, I’d probably have to go with Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I love the voice, and the humor, and of course the hot romance.


Who, or what, inspires you?

I’m greatly inspired by young people who are pursuing their dreams and passions. That may be part of why I love writing for this age group so much.

Where is your favourite place to write?
I love to write at my kitchen table when no one else is home. I don’t get the house to myself all that often, so I also have a tiny office that doubles as a spare room. But creativity-wise, I love the kitchen table best.

What is your favourite movie that was based on a book?
Hmm, this one’s tough, too, because usually the book is so much better than the movie! I’m going to go with Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, since I actually liked the movie better than the book in this case.

Name two of your favourite authors.
Wow, you’re great with the tough questions, huh? Really hard to narrow this down, but I’ll say that I would read anything by Stephanie Perkins or Gayle Forman.

If you could have a dinner party with any authors from any time in history, who would you choose and why?
I grew up as a reluctant reader and writer, and still haven’t read many of the classics. I’m sure most authors would say Jane Austen or Oscar Wilde, but I would likely pick people from our current times. I’d love to sit down with Jandy Nelson, Laurie Halse Anderson, and Kiersten White. Jandy – to figure out how her brain works; Laurie – to glean wisdom about the world; Kiersten – because I know we would laugh and laugh and laugh.

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
In my spare time I dance and tour with a professional Polynesian dance troupe.

Who would play you in the movie about your life?
Probably Julia Louis-Dreyfus. People have always told me I look like her (must be the curly hair), plus she’s very funny, and I hope my life story would be more comedy than tragedy.

Tell us an interesting fact about where you live.
I live in a border town of Canada (just bordering Washington) and the post office in the US is actually closer to home for me than the one in Canada. Also, I live in the raspberry capital of Canada (and who doesn’t love raspberries?!)

What are your (writing) plans for the future?
I plan to keep drafting at least one new young adult novel per year. I have far more ideas stored up than I’ll ever be able to write. I also hope to keep putting out new nonfiction books to help writers as I learn more along my journey.

Tell us one thing that's on your bucket list.
Not to ever make a bucket list, but just to push myself to do things rather than putting them on a list!


Favourite myth / fairytale?

Beauty and the Beast. My wedding was actually themed after this.

Who did you want to be when you were a kid?
One of Charlie’s Angels. It looked like a fun life.

Denise Jaden’s novels have been shortlisted or received awards through the Romance Writers of America, Inspy, and SCBWI. The first draft of her debut novel, Losing Faith (Simon & Schuster), was written in 21 days during NaNoWriMo 2007 and she loves talking with writers and students alike about her Just-Get-To-The-End fast-drafting process. Jaden’s other young adult novels include Never Enough (Simon & Schuster) and Foreign Exchange (Evernight Teen, 2014).
Her first non-fiction book for writers, Writing with a Heavy Heart: Using Grief and Loss to Stretch Your Fiction, includes a variety of clear guidance and practical exercises to help writers get to the heart of their stories. Her second non-fiction book, Fast Fiction (New World Library) includes tips on constructing a story plan that works, as well as daily inspiration to keep writers writing, regardless of when the mood strikes.
Find out more about Denise and her books at www.DeniseJaden.com or on Twitter @denisejaden.

Giveaway: $25 Evernight Teen Gift Card


“Foreign Exchange is a fresh contemporary YA that will keep readers compulsively turning pages until the very end. Combining international intrigue with a steamy forbidden romance makes for a can’t miss read.” 
- Eileen Cook Author of Year of Mistaken Discoveries.

“Great contemporary/mystery combo!” 
Shanyn Day, Book Blogger, Chickloveslit.com

“A pitch perfect voice and delicious chemistry between the characters kept me turning those pages!” 
Tara Kelly, author of Amplified and Encore

Foreign Exchange is heart pounding and suspenseful...the teenage dream of escaping the boredom of suburbia by travelling Europe and spending quality time with a hot guy shifts into a dangerous nightmare. 
D.R. Graham, author of Rank and the Noir et Bleu MC series.

16.10.14

The Intern by Gabrielle Tozer

The Intern
I just LOVE the look and sound of this book, don't you?!

Title:  The Intern 
Author:   Gabrielle Tozer
Genre: New Adult
Publish Date:   10/1/14
Publisher: Harper 360
Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.


Seventeen-year-old Josie is studying journalism and ends up at Sash magazine to do an internship. Josie has little enthusiasm for fashion and wants to be a serious journalist. But she has little choice. It’s Sash or the local cat fancier’s magazine. Once at Sash, Josie comes to grips with the fact that the fashion industry isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Plus she has to contend with her fellow interns and the editor, Rae, who is in charge and arbitrary - one day Josie’s her hot new favorite, the next, who knows? Country girl Josie also has to get used to living in the city, and sharing a small flat with her cousin Tim, and his hotter-than-hot roommate James, is an education. Things come to a head at Sash when Josie manages to connect with Billy, a troubled rock star. But a disastrous episode at a nightclub and the fallout on social media causes Josie to wake up and see the real person behind his glamorous front. Josie starts to wonder if she’ll ever get the journalistic break she longs for …

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Purchase Links:
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 Giveaway: One Finished Copy of The Intern

Author Photo_GABRIELLE TOZER 
Gabrielle Tozer is a senior features writer who has edited, sub-edited and written for several magazines, newspapers and anthologies throughout the past decade. In addition to Gabrielle’s work on Dolly, Cosmopolitan, DisneyGiRL, Mamamia and FamilyFun, she has also written for creative journals such as GOfish and Take It As Red. Born and bred in regional New South Wales, Gabrielle now works at Pacific Magazines and lives in the heart of Sydney.  

     

14.10.14

5th Annual Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

Up for grabs:

$20 dollar Amazon Gift Voucher
Paperback copy of The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw (a Morgan Sisters novel)
Paperback copy of December Moon (The Raven Saga)
Ecopy of ALL of my books (Raven, December Moon, The Lost Soul, The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw,  Daisy Madigan's Paradise, The Temporal Stone, Looking for Lucy Jo and Forever Fredless)



All you have to do is fill in the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL YAY!!
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Don't forget to visit all the other awesome blogs for a chance to win big! Have fun :D






Learning to Swim by Annie Cosby

learning to swim banner
Learning to Swim by Annie Cosby
Genre: YA Contemporary/Fantasy
The ebook is free until Oct. 16Amazon

Learning to Swim

When Cora’s mother whisks the family away for the summer, Cora must decide between forging her future in the glimmering world of second homes where her parents belong, or getting lost in the bewitching world of the locals and the mystery surrounding a lonely old woman who claims to be a selkie creature—and who probably needs Cora more than anyone else.
Through the fantastical tales and anguished stories of the batty Mrs. O’Leary, as well as the company of a particularly gorgeous local boy called Ronan, Cora finds an escape from the reality of planning her life after high school. But will it come at the cost of alienating Cora’s mother, who struggles with her own tragic memories?
As the summer wanes, it becomes apparent that Ronan just may hold the answer to Mrs. O’Leary’s tragic past—and Cora’s future.

annie cosby
Annie Cosby reads and writes in Galway, Ireland, where she lives with her boyfriend and a whole lot of seagulls.
Learning to Swim is the first book in her USA Today-recommended Hearts Out of Water series, and the second book releases Nov. 30.
When she’s not writing, she’s usually editing for awesome clients like Anna Katmore and Month9Books/Swoon Romance. And she loves to hear from you!
unnamed (1)
Excerpt:
“Do you know about the Merrow, dearie?”
  “I don’t think so,” I said. She nodded and seemed to deliberate whether to go on. I knew she would. She always did. “The Irish told each other stories about a sea creature much like the mermaid. Only she’s called the Merrow.” She readjusted the scarf on her head as she nodded knowingly. “They’re sweet, sweet creatures. Capable of real love. Well, human love—if that can be said to be real love.” “Do you believe in them?” I asked skeptically. The old woman’s eyes remained fixed on a spot on the horizon. I followed her gaze. There was nothing but boats and seagulls, the normal fare of the ocean. She finally seemed to find herself and her eyes continued to rove. “They say that love cannot overcome nature,” she finally said. “Supposedly the nature of the Merrow always overcomes whatever love they held for their human man. She will always go back to her people under the sea.” Sounded to me like a cruel comment on female nature made by a bitter man. “And the merman, oh, there are stories of mermen. Terrible stories. The mermen have cages at the bottom of the ocean in which they keep the souls of our drowned sailors and fishermen.” A chill ran through me despite my unwillingness to become involved in the story. The pale, bloated body at the pier drifted to the forefront of my mind. Souls, chained to the bottom of the ocean, fighting uselessly, perpetually against their chains, appeared in my imagination. The soul had long been gone from that bloated body when I found it. I only then became aware of the old woman looking at me. Her eyes were narrowed and she looked at me with an intensity that I had previously only seen her use on the ocean. I felt my cheeks redden. “They play music, too,” she said. “Do you ever hear music under the water?” I’ve never been under the water. I shook my head. The old woman sighed. “I suppose one must listen for it, then. I haven’t listened in a very long time. A very, very … very long time.”

The Giveaway:
paperback copy of Learning to Swim + some swag. Open internationally.
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Zoe and the Demon Slayer by Neel Kay

Zoe and the Demon Slayer by Neel Kay
Publication date: October 6th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult

Twenty-four year old book worm and blogger Zoe Graves was looking forward to the fourth and final instalment of her favourite book saga – The Augustin Chronicles. The evening was meant to be spent in line at the local bookstore with hundreds of other fans, getting the book, maybe even meeting the author, and ultimately spending the night with the dreamiest hero of them all, Lucien de Forest and the love of his life Noomi Augustin.
But somewhere someone thought otherwise.
Confused and hurt after a mugging by the bookstore, Zoe is somehow transported to another world, and suddenly finds herself in a snow-covered landscape witnessing a bloody fight far away from the English summer, and is left to rely on the help from the rather reluctant Matis, who just happen to be out to kill none other than Zoe’s favourite hero and heroine, Lucien and Noomi.
Although convinced she might be in some sort of limbo or maybe even in a coma, Zoe figures that her role in the story is to prevent Matis from killing her all-time favourite fictional couple.
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Eight facts about Worrock (the country in which Zoe + the Demon Slayer takes place. Well, for most part)

1. Worrock is actually in the same world as Bragimark and Niola from “The Witch of Luna Hill”-series. Worrock is the most southern of the three countries.
2. A snake is often depicted in Worrockan jewellery. It represents the Boncrup Snake that vowed to protect the country from outside intruders.
3. Worrock usually has a very mild climate, except for the rather harsh winters - but on the plus side: they are fairly short.
4. The original people of Worrock are the Kraquars of which Matis is one.
5. Worrock is also home of a Niolan line of witches called Isilins - they came to Worrock many years ago. Now, there is only one Isilin left in Worrock, though.
6. Worrock is a popular place to settle down, not least because of the mild climate and short winters, but also because it is known as a peaceful country – except of course when demons wander through an interdimensional portal that leads straight to Worrock.
7. The outer city of Eldgaard is inspired by houses and villages in 19th century Denmark, whereas the village of Neffe is mostly inspired by Viking houses.
8. If you ever did travel to Worrock, you’d probably think you had travelled about 8-900 years back in time. Or possibly that you’d lost your mind.
 
Introvert, creative, awkward.
Neel Kay lives with her husband and two kids in rural surroundings in the south of Denmark, not far from the German border. She’s a trained milliner, studied English at university, and now works a day job as a web editor. But she’s been writing always.
Love coffee, scarves and sea views. Oh, and butt-kicking heroines who know how to swing a sword and aren’t afraid to get a little dirty.

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13.10.14

Confessions of a Teenage Rape Survivor by Holly Dae


I just had to help share this book with the world...

22754329Release date: October 16th 2014
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | IBooks | Kobo

Synopsis via Goodreads:
Before she was raped, almost sixteen-year-old Allison Sommer knew exactly what she wanted and was in total control of her life. Get through high school, go to college to appease her dad, somehow stay fit, lithe, and athletic through all the stress and become a professional cheerleader. Normal teenage stuff. Simple. At least it was simple before she was raped. 

Now Allison's whole life is out of her control. She can't trust in her own choices, can't rationalize anything anymore, so she just goes through the motions, hoping that eventually she'll go back to normal, can stop pretending. That doesn't happen, especially when she's forced to reveal what happened to her family and closest friends.

On the MTV commercials and reality shows that emphasize that she has nothing to be ashamed of and guide viewers to some website like don't-be-a-victim.comand a support hotline, no one warns her that the aftermath is more difficult than the rape itself, that her family's efforts to be supportive make her feel more alone and confused. 

And being raped has more devastating consequences than Allison ever imagined, forcing her to make one of the most difficult decisions she's ever had to make. It should be a no-brainer, everyone says, but being raped makes Allison question everything and everyone she thought she could trust.

Either way, Allison won't let anyone force her to do anything again, not like her rapists did, even if it makes her already difficult enough circumstance more difficult. Uncensored and unflinchingly honest, these are the confessions of a teenage rape survivor.

EXCERPT


"Are those your brother's sleeping pills?" Gene asked.
Allison nodded. No use denying that.
Gene looked at her again, then at the pills, and then at Allison again. His eyes widened.
"Were you going to take all of those?" Gene asked in an incredulous tone. He didn't wait for an answer, already having assumed the worst. "How many have you taken already?"
Allison opened her mouth to reply, forgetting that one of the pills was sitting under her tongue. Gene saw it as she started to try to explain.
"Oh shit! Spit that out!"
Gene reached across the counter to squeeze her cheeks and force the pill out her mouth causing Allison to have two instantaneous reactions. First, she spit out the pill. Second, she punched Gene straight in the jaw, which caused Gene to let go of her and grab his face.
"What the—"
Allison gasped as she shook her hand out. She shouldn't have done that. She didn't mean to do that. Gene wasn't a rapist. Well, she hoped he wasn't. The guy who asked her for directions to distract her didn't look like a rapist either. Either way when Gene grabbed her so suddenly, she couldn't help it.
"I'm sorry," she said quickly.
"Are you insane? What is wrong with you?"
"I didn't mean to punch you. It was an accident. I swear."
Gene rolled his eyes, stilling rubbing his jaw. "Not the punch. I probably deserved that for scaring the hell out of you, grabbing you like that. I'm talking about those sleeping pills. That many of those things at once can kill you."
Allison blinked. He thought…
"I wasn't trying to commit suicide!"
"Could have fooled me," Gene said sliding the pills off the counter and into his hand. He threw them down the garbage disposer.
"But I wasn't," Allison said, heart racing in panic. If Gene thought she was trying to kill herself, he'd tell her brother, and her brother would tell their dad, and she'd never be left alone, and she'd have to tell the truth. Then they'd make a big deal out of it and want her to report it to the police, and the police would want a description and account of what happened, and then she'd never be able to forget. "I just wasn't thinking."
"The hell you weren't," Gene snapped as he snatched the bottle with the remaining pills off the counter and put them in his pocket.
"I was just so tired and the bottle said one pill was mild and good for four hours of sleep, so I decided to take enough to knock me out for a day," Allison tried to explain.
"Six pills would have knocked you out all right," Gene said as he began to dial a number into his phone.
"What are you doing?" she asked apprehensively.
"Calling your brother," Gene said and then cursed. "Damn it. I have his phone in my pocket. Do I have your dad's number in my phone?"
Allison lunged for the phone. In all likelihood, he probably didn't have her dad's number, but she didn't want to chance it.
"You can't call tell them," Allison said grabbing onto the phone.
Gene tried to pull it out her grasp as he said, "Sure. Not telling your brother and father that you're suicidal is a great idea."
"I'm not suicidal."
"Says the girl who was about to take six sleeping pills," Gene said getting the phone out of Allison's grip and holding it out of her reach.
Allison all but tackled him into the counter.
"I told you!" Allison screamed, exploding in anger. "I'm tired! I just wanted to go to sleep without the nightmares! You can't… You can't tell them," Allison finished, all her anger dissolving as a sob escaped her throat. She hadn't even noticed she started crying.
She stopped trying to get the phone then, falling onto the floor as her body shook with sobs of fear at what Gene would do and anger at herself. When did she get so weak?


About the Author
Holly Dae is a recent college grad with a B.A. in English who, instead of putting on a suit to work at a desk 9-5 for five figures and a lifetime of misery and crushed dreams, decided to write YA novels about the taboos concerning contemporary issues like rape, abortion, drugs, teen pregnancy, and sometimes sex with the hopes that someone will pat her on the back and say she touched their life.







11.10.14

Unstrung by Kendra C. Highley

I love this cover, and the synopsis sounds fabulous. What do you think?
   Unstrung
UNSTRUNG by Kendra C. Highley
Lexa Pate, seventeen-year-old thief extraordinaire, has burned a bridge or two in her life. You don’t make a career out of stealing other people’s property without making enemies. When a risky job goes from bad to worse, Lexa and her adopted family find themselves on Precipice Corporation’s hit list because they’ve accidentally stolen the wrong thing—plans for a new model of genetically engineered super humans. Now, every bounty hunter, cop on the take, and snitch in the city is after them. Lexa’s world crumbles around her as she fights to keep her family safe even as someone strolls out of her forgotten past. Quinn claims to know who Lexa really is, but can she trust a stranger she met while robbing his boss? More importantly, does she really want to know what Quinn has to tell her? Based on the fairy tale Pinocchio, UNSTRUNG takes you into a near future world where the lines between fake and real are blurred, all that’s pristine isn’t always innocent, and being a criminal isn’t always wrong.
 



Author Kendra C. Highley
Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to two self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most important job. She believes chocolate is a basic human right, running a 10k is harder than it sounds, and that everyone should learn to drive a stick-shift. She loves monsters, vacations, baking and listening to bad electronica.
     

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$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 11/2/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway  

10.10.14

The Society of YA Storytellers: My Top Ten actresses

Today we're talking our top tens. And we can choose any topic we like. Ooooh how exciting. I love so many things that I'm not sure where to start. What should I write about *taps fingernails on the desk*. Hmmmmm. Oh, I know!

My Top Ten Actresses in movies (I know it's not really to do with writing but most actresses are in a movie than was based on a book, right? lol!). This list is in no particular order.

1. Reese Witherspoon


One of my favourite movies is Sweet Home Alabama and she was just so darn cute.  But way before that, I remember a movie called The Man in the Moon which totally blew me away. I think I cried for days!

2. Sandra Bullock


Love Love Love her! I don't think I've ever seen a bad performance by this gorgeous gal. One of my all-time favourite movies is Practical Magic and she was just to die for in that film. I also watch Hope Floats quite often too, I just love it so much!

3. Anne Hathaway


I'm a bit of a kid at heart and I loved her in Ella Enchanted although I've seen her in more serious roles and she just knocks my socks off. And of course I can't forget The Devil Wears Prada!

4. Caitriona Balfe


I'm sure, like you, I'd never actually heard of her before Outlander but this woman can act! She's amazing. I'd love to see her in something else though to see how she can turn her skills to another genre but purely for Outlander, she makes my list!

5. Emily Blunt


I think Emily is one of the most beautiful actresses of our time, but maybe that has something to do with her voice as well. Did you see her in The Young Victoria? WOW what a performance!

6. Meryl Streep

This lady is in a league of her own.

7. Diane Keaton


She's been amazing in everything she's ever been in, whether it's classic or comedy, I just love her.

8. Julia Roberts


The original Hollywood darling, right? This woman can do no wrong. I had actually intended to find the Pretty Woman scene, you know the one with the jewellery box? But when I started looking at movie scenes, I remembered Eat Pray Love and just couldn't resist sharing this with you. 

9. Natalie Portman


She's just exquisite and her acting abilities? Well, what can I say? WOW! And I just love that she can go from exquisite ballerina to acting alongside Thor!!

10. Michelle Pfeiffer


I re-watched What Lies Beneath the other day and I couldn't take my eyes off the screen (even though I've seen it a dozen times!). She's got such amazing talent as a serious actress and then she goes and plays a witch in Stardust. She's simply incredible.


I must admit, I do have lots more favourites but these were the first to pop into my head. But what about you. Who are some of your favourite actresses?

Blade Singer by Aaron de Orive and Martha Wells.


bladebanner(1)

Blade Singer Wall Paper
Blade Singer by Aaron de Orive & Martha Wells
202 pages

Manuel "Manny" Boreaux, a troubled adolescent from Texas, is magically transported into the body of a goblin pickpocket in an alternate world inhabited by faerie creatures. Manny must quickly adapt to the danger all around him and try to find a way to get back home, a feat complicated by the pickpocket's association with a notorious gang of thieves. But when Manny uncovers a plot to assassinate a young king, he must enlist the aid of an elf cavalier and a cat burglar to thwart a Sidhe witch's scheme to ignite a civil war between humans and the Fae.




Inspirations for Blade Singer

It all started with an incredible duel.
It was the climax of Scaramouche, the 1952 movie starring Stewart Granger and Mel Ferrer as Andreu Moreau and the Marquis de Maynes. The amazing swordplay lasted around eight minutes and ranged all across a lavish theater, ending on a stage with a shocking reveal. It's one of my favorite cinematic moments and one of the finest sword fights ever put on film. I longed to write a story that featured a duel like that.
My love of swashbuckling films started early. Movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood such as The Black SwanThe Adventures of Robin HoodCaptain Blood, and The Three Musketeers (the one that starred Gene Kelly) made an indelible impression on my young mind. I've watched the 1973 version of The Three Musketeers (the one that starred Michael York) so many times, I've memorized every line of dialogue. And there are some zingers in there courtesy of Alexandre Dumas and George MacDonald Fraser (who also gave us the entertaining Flashman novels).
I suppose it was inevitable that I would write a story like Blade Singer. But it didn't start out as a novel. My background is in film production, which I studied at the University of Texas. My focus was on screenwriting. I took very naturally to the screenplay format. Some find it overly mechanical and restrictive, but I loved it. It's ideal for training storytellers to think in terms of scenes and beats, for understanding the narrative flow, and for achieving the maximum amount of drama with the fewest words possible. Blade Singer's first incarnation was as a feature-length screenplay.
A few years after I wrote the screenplay, I got the opportunity to show it to one of my favorite authors, Martha Wells. I had just finished reading her wonderful novel The Death of the Necromancer and found myself sharing a panel with her at ArmadilloCon. I expressed my admiration for her work, and then helped her prepare for a Star Wars trivia contest (I forget who won). I was fortunate enough to become her friend. When I told her about my desire to turn the screenplay into a novel she was incredibly supportive. And when I asked if she'd be interested in co-writing it with me, I was delighted (and stunned) when she said yes.
The screenplay became the spine of the novel, and together Martha and I fleshed out the setting, characters, and subplots. We settled on how we'd share the writing duties and we dug in. It was an amazing experience. Martha's talents as a storyteller are both enlightening and humbling to witness in action. When the novel was finished, we were both very proud of what we had created.
Blade Singer is a middle-grade fantasy novel that features faeries, swashbuckling, monsters, intrigue, ancient sorcery, and a singing crystal sword. It's fun, it's scary, it's suspenseful, it's exciting, and it's funny. And of course it features an incredible duel worthy of the one that inspired this story all those years ago. We're confident that if you check it out for yourselves, you'll agree. 

About the Authors
A graduate of the University of Texas' film program, Aaron de Orive began his professional writing career in the video game industry, serving as a lead or senior writer on Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided, Tabula Rasa, Anarchy Online, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. He is also the creator of the fantasy role-playing game SHARD: World of the False Dawn. Blade Singer is his first novel. Aaron lives in Austin with his wife, daughter, and two very spoiled terriers.

Martha Wells is the author of a number of fantasy novels, including The Cloud Roads, The Siren Depths, The Wizard Hunters, Wheel of the Infinite, and the Nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer. Her YA fantasy, Emilie and the Hollow World, was published by Angry Robot/Strange Chemistry in April 2013, and the sequel, Emilie and the Sky World, was released in March 2014. Two collections of Books of the Raksura novellas will be published in September 2014 and Fall 2015. She has had short stories in Black Gate, Realms of Fantasy, Stargate Magazine, and Lightspeed Magazine, and in the anthologies Elemental, The Year's Best Fantasy #7, Tales of the Emerald Serpent and The Other Half of the Sky. She has essays in the nonfiction anthologies Farscape Forever, Mapping the World of Harry Potter, and Chicks Unravel Time. She has also written media-tie-in novels, Stargate Atlantis: Reliquary and Stargate Atlantis: Entanglement, and a Star Wars novel, Empire and Rebellion: Razor's Edge.


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9.10.14

COVER REVEAL: A Reaper Made by Liz C Long

ReaperFBCover 
Liz Long is a lovely lass so I am so excited to share the cover of A REAPER MADE with you today. The book will be released on October 30th (just in time for Halloween, YAY!) on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and KOBO. Want to join in on the online release party? You could win all kinds of ebooks, swag, and maybe even a gift card or two. JOIN HERE! Huge thanks to all the amazing bloggers and authors who volunteered to help with the cover reveal! Without further ado, here is the cover for A REAPER MADE. Congrats Liz!!

  ReaperCoversm 

 
Synopsis
Grace had finally gotten used to her new afterlife as a “Made” – a Reaper who used to be human. When Made Reapers and souls begin disappearing, however, Grace and her mentor Tully suspect demons. Grace’s worst fears are confirmed when her living family is threatened. She’ll have to break every rule in the Reaper book to save them, including using a little magic to become temporarily human. With the help of Tully and her witchy friend Tessa, Grace goes undercover to save the fates of kidnapped souls – only to discover that demons aren’t working alone. Betrayal and distrust runs deep and Grace discovers that sometimes even Reapers are prone to humanity. And just in case you'd like to see the full wrap for paperback, I'm more than happy to share that too because I LOVE the back! All cover art done by my brilliant BFF, Erica Dickson.
ReaperSpreadsm

Liz Long, indie authorLiz Long is a ridiculously proud graduate of Longwood University with a BA in English. Her inspiration comes from action and thriller genres and she spends entirely too much time watching superhero movies. Her fabulous day job as a social media editor includes writing for a publishing company in Roanoke, VA.
Her first book, Gifted, is the first book in the Donovan Circus series, where superpowers meets the circus. Burned is the second adventure. Her standalone book Witch Hearts, is a story about a serial killer hunting witches for their powers. All titles are available at Amazon on Kindle and paperback, Barnes & Noble for Nook, and iBooks.

New Cover Reveal: Judgement of the Six by Melissa Haag


Cover reveals are always exciting, but when an author reveals a whole host of new covers, well.... I can't wait to see!! So check out Melissa's revamped series covers! Cool huh?

Books 1-3 Available NOW, Book 4 releases November 24, 2014

Our world is being judged, and we remain unaware.
In a world filled with people, Gabby is uniquely alone. The tiny glowing sparks that fill her mind and represent the people around her, confirm it.
Clueless regarding the reason behind her sight, Gabby struggles to find an explanation. A chance encounter leads her closer to the answers she has struggled to find and into a hidden society where fur is optional. There she meets Clay, the intense werewolf delusional enough to think he has a chance with her.
Gabby escapes back into her old life, but not quite alone. Clay follows her and silently makes a place for himself in her world. As if that isn’t enough to deal with, problems compound when other werewolves, ones with abnormally colored sparks, begin to stalk her.
Instead of gaining answers, her list of questions is growing. What do the other uniquely colored sparks mean? Is she not as alone as she thought?
Judgement has begun...

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They kept me prisoner for four years, using me for my predictions.  They thought they had me subdued, meekly following orders, but they were wrong.  I was waiting for a chance to run.  I had to be careful, though.  They had my brothers, and the leader wasn't exactly human.
The sudden death of her stepfather gives Michelle the only chance she may ever have to  escape, and she takes it.  She needs a place to hide and someone to listen to her predictions so her head doesn't explode.  Yet, there's nowhere she can hide and no one to protect her from the monsters pursuing her.
Then, she meets Emmitt.  He's calm, kind, caring...and a werewolf.  If she can find a way to trust him, he might be able to do more than just keep her safe.  He might be the one who can help her fight for answers about her gift and the other women like her.
Only time will tell if what she discovers is enough to keep those she loves safe from an emerging evil.

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The dreams start and Bethi’s very normal life goes down the toilet. Reliving past lives, where Dog-men chase her and she sees her eventual tormented death, Bethi sets out to find a way to live this time around. The dreams hint at an answer. She needs to be strong enough to find it, or die…
The third installment of the Judgement of the Six answers questions, questions answers, and risks the fate of the world.

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I left home because I didn’t want to end up in a cage like a lab rat. Hitching rides, begging for cash, and sleeping on the ground got old fast. That was the only reason I braved an overgrown path to a group of buildings. I’d hoped to find a bed and a decent night’s sleep. However, what I found was a place overrun by werewolves.
While on the run, Charlene finds herself surrounded by werewolves, creatures she can’t control with her mind like she can humans. Their existence has her believing she’s found a safe place to stay, a place where secrets are okay. However, she soon discovers she’s anything but safe. Charlene must learn how to use her abilities to influence the strange new species because if she can’t, the next bite she suffers might just kill her.
Read how the cycle begins, and have no doubt. Charlene’s past will shape the future of the Judgements.


Melissa Haag currently resides in Wisconsin with her husband and three children. Touch is her first published novel. She is currently working on book five of a separate six book series. To learn more about her upcoming projects, visit her at: http://melissahaag.com , and you can connect with her on: https://twitter.com/imagine2live & https://www.facebook.com/author.MelissaHaag