Blog Stop for Tara Nikkel and the Dream Mage (Tara Nikkel #1) by R.A. Sapp #freebook w/a Rafflecopter Giveaway!


Tara Nikkel and the Dream Mage banner
This is my stop during the book blitz for Tara Nikkel and the Dream Mage (Tara Nikkel #1) by R.A. Sapp. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 15 till 21 february, you can view the complete blitz schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours.
On 20 and 21 February this book will be free on amazon!

Tara Nikkel and the Dream MageTara Nikkel and the Dream Mage (Tara Nikkel #1)
by R.A. Sapp
Genre: Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: January 13, 2015

Blurb:
Meet a teenager with some serious issues. Tara Nikkel is a girl with a whole host of ailments: cerebral palsy, asthma, and a severe peanut allergy (just to name a few). And if all that wasn’t enough, Tara’s also an orphan with two clueless foster-parents who are hoarders as well as being professional couch potatoes. But everything changes for Tara when she ventures into a storm to find her missing beagle, Pudgy. Through an unexpected series of events, Tara finds herself in a magical realm known only as the “really real world”. Come join Tara on an adventure filled with magic, goblins, zombies, dragons—and more! Ages 13 and up.

You can find Tara Nikkel and the Dream Mage on Goodreads

You can buy Tara Nikkel and the Dream Mage here:
Amazon

Want to know the story behind this story? Check out this post about the real Tara on the author’s website.

Excerpt:
Tara could feel Billy’s eyes looking down at the metal braces on her legs, examining them, exploring their mechanics. It took all of her strength to resist slapping his curious booger-dripping mug.
“Yes?” Tara snapped at him. Billy smiled at her, stupidly. Tara fired at him again: “Didn’t your folks tell you it’s not polite to stare, nimrod?”
“What’s wrong with your legs?” he asked. A tiny green caterpillar crawled out his nostril. He sniffed and the green goo disappeared back up into the space where his brain should have been.
“You are disgusting,” Tara huffed at him.
“Were you in a car accident or something? I saw you walking on your crutches in the quad. Joe McKenna says you look like a baby giraffe the way you walk.”
Tara wanted to cry. She bit her lip, doing her best to avoid giving Billy Higgins the pleasure of seeing her melt into a puddle of tears. In her mind she pretended she was a powerful sorcerer and that with a tap of her pencil she could transform Billy Higgins into a toad—and a really ugly one too. A little smile crept on her face when she imagined Billy Higgins trying to croak at Mrs. Ross for help.
Evil, yes, but funny.
It was Friday, the end of a miserable first week of seventh grade at Tevis Jr. High. Tara had been home-schooled her whole life, so this was the first time she had actually gone to class with other students. She was already regretting this decision. Being the new kid is hard enough when you’re thirteen, but having to be the new kid with cerebral palsy—well, that’s an entirely unique form of difficult. And if all that wasn’t bad enough, the Bakersfield air was so toxic on her asthma that Tara had to wear a special filtration mask if she went outside for more than fifteen minutes.
Billy Higgins’ lower lip hung a little too far from his gums. He watched her with great interest. His brown eyes waited with pleasure for her to entertain him.
“Will you stop staring at me please?” she said under her breath so the other students would not hear.
“Like a baby giraffe,” he repeated, snickering, as if the words themselves were packed with an endless supply of comedy.
The bell rang.
Mrs. Ross was so startled that she accidentally tossed her red pen and it popped Billy Higgins right in the center of his face. The class erupted in laughter.
“Oh ma dose,” Billy moaned, covering his face with his hand.
Tara crackled a smile. She imagined for a split-second that she had summoned that red pen from Mrs. Ross’ hand and had directed it telepathically at Billy Higgins’ dumb face. A squeaky giggle escaped her mouth. That was almost as good as turning him into a toad.

author photoAbout the Author:
R.A. Sapp lives in beautiful Orange County, California. He is married to Rebecca and together they have two children–Abigail (The Healer) and Christian (The Wizard). In addition to reading and writing, Mr. Sapp enjoys running and mountain biking. He has run several half-marathons (including completing the Beach Cities Challenge in 2014) and hopes to complete a triathlon someday.

You can find and contact R.A. Sapp here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Tara Nikkel and the Dream Mage. These are the prizes you can win:
– 3 signed paperback copies of Tara Nikkel and the Dream Mage by R.A. Sapp (US, UK and Canada only)

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Lola's Blog Tours

Guest Post/Book Trailer/Excerpt featuring Dance of the Pink Mist (The Cracked Chronicles #2) by K.D. Van Brunt w/a $50 GC giveaway!

Guest Post/Book Trailer/Excerpt featuring Dance of the Pink Mist (The Cracked Chronicles #2) by K.D. Van Brunt w/a $50 GC giveaway!


dancepinkmist1sDance of the Pink Mist

The Cracked Chronicles, Book 2

K.D. Van Brunt

romance/paranormal/urban fantasy  – 100K

Editor’s Pick

 

In the sequel to Win the Rings, Gray is now a prisoner at Cracked, forced to undergo combat training under the supervision of his nemesis, Jace.  He soon learns first hand why all the other kids at Cracked are scared to death of her, but he also finds a chink in her armor and they both realize they have an eerie connection to one another.

 

Gradually, Gray is drawn into Jace’s dangerous world of Special Ops missions, where death waits like a shadow in every corner.
For Jace, Gray poses a new kind of threat.  Although she’s proficient in all types of combat, Jace’s training hasn’t prepared her for him, and she is forced to confront feelings she has never experienced before.

 

 

Buy Links:     Evernight Teen    Amazon

All Romance eBooks

Excerpt:

I give three raps on Jace’s door, precariously balancing an armload of her clothes in one hand and her newly pressed uniform jacket in the other.  I’ve been Jace’s personal valet and general all-around slave for over six weeks now, bustling from one task to another, while trying not to incur her prickly wrath.  And even though much of what she makes me do is demeaning, curiously I find myself stealing looks at her when she’s not paying attention to me.

“Come in,” Jace says through the closed door.

I try to stick my thumb on the bio-sensor pad next to her door, but the action causes me to lose my balance just enough to send the pile of clothes cascading to the floor.  There are no outside doorknobs here, just these small rectangular pads beside every door, which read your thumbprint and release the lock.

“Shit!” I curse.

I drop to my knees to salvage what I can and refold the rest.  The door opens behind me causing me to flinch.  I look up at Jace wondering if she’s going to give me a swift kick to the ribs for this, but she just stands in the doorway tapping her foot impatiently on the floor.  She has her arms folded across her chest looking peeved, and I see she’s dressed in old sweats and a loose-fitting camo tank top.  She doesn’t have a bra on.  For some reason I blush at this, as if I walked in on her while she was dressing.

“I should make you re-wash all of this, Gray, but I’m feeling generous tonight.”

“Excuse me.  Did you say Gray, sir?”  This would be the first time she’s used my first name since I got here.  Until now it’s been rookie, rook, newbie, new meat—among others terms of endearment.

She shrugs.  “I suppose you’ve earned the right to be called by your first name.  Don’t let it go to your head.”

“Thank you.”

“Whatever,” she says with a sigh.  “Now listen up.  My bathroom needs cleaning.  So get this mess picked up and get to work on it.”

Five minutes later, I’m standing in front of her dresser putting away her newly refolded clothes.  I’ve memorized by now the layout of her drawers—underwear and socks in the top drawer, shirts and pajamas in the second, pants, etc., in the third.  There’s a fourth and fifth drawer, but I’m not supposed to open those, so I don’t know what she’s hiding in there.  Finishing, I glance over at Jace, who’s sitting cross-legged on her bed flipping through a magazine—Jane’s Intelligence Review.  Gee, that looks like a fun read.   Her blonde hair is so fine and soft I feel this irrational urge to run my hands through it, even though she’d probably kick me in the groin if I tried.  She’s leaning forward to study the magazine and my eyes lock onto her tank top, which is gapping enough to almost flash her entire, braless chest at me.   I gawk for a moment, but then feeling like a perv, I advert my gaze.

“Don’t stare at me, Gray.  Get to work.  The cleaning supplies are under the sink.”

I nod, but I think I detect a subtle, knowing smirk on her face.

Every room in the dorm is laid out the same—a main living area and a small bathroom off one end of the room.  The best that can be said about the bathrooms here is they’re functional: toilet, sink and commode, and a shower.  No bathtubs.   Sighing, I pull out a bristle brush and get to work on the stainless steel toilet bowl.

“You ever been to Alaska, Gray?” Jace asks after a few minutes, when I’ve moved on to scrub the shower stall.

I hesitate, puzzled by the question.  “Once.  Anchorage, sir.”

I hear her sigh loudly.  “You can call me Jace from now on.  What was it like?”

I hesitate, briefly surprised by the realization I don’t have to call her ‘sir’ anymore, but at this point it’s been so deeply drilled into me I’m not sure I’m capable of calling her anything else.

 

Book Trailerhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vthvY3hdzwI

 guestpost

The Road to Being Published

 

The first and toughest hurdle for an aspiring writer is to write the story.  The next hurdle is getting the story “published.”  This second hurdle can be huge or not so huge.  That’s because of the range of options available to writers today.   The bottom line is, if you can write the story, you can get it published—that’s not to say it’s easy, just that it’s attainable.   Which publication option is best?  The answer is going to vary for each person.

 

Most writers want to at least try the traditional publishing route—get an agent and sell their manuscript to one of the big name publishers.   For most of us, this is difficult.  The hard reality is that very few manuscripts make it.  But, if you’re dedicated to your craft, able to handle rejection, and willing to be persistent, you can definitely improve the odds, maybe even turn them in your favor.   In most cases, though, this is going to take some time.

 

What if the agent route isn’t working or just isn’t what you want?  You can submit your story directly to publishers that accept unagented submissions.  There are a many of them out there.  Most, but not all, are of modest size and independent.  If you do your research and carefully compile your list of possible publishers, this can be a great option for a writer.   Still,  it’s no shoe in.  If a publisher doesn’t like your story and doesn’t think he can sell it, you’re probably going to be rejected.  Having said that, though, these publishers are much more willing to look at stories aimed at niche markets or that are outside the current market trends in fiction.

 

Of course, like everything in life, not everyone has a wonderful experience.   You can find a lot of feedback online about small/indie publishing.  Study it.  See if, on balance, this is something that might work for you.  One thing for sure is you’re going to have to put in a lot of time and work marketing your book.  You should be doing this any way, no matter what publishing option you pursue, but it’s critical for the smaller publishers.

 

Then, of course, there’s the self-publishing option (although an interesting alternative to self-publishing to think about is Amazon’s new Kindle Scout program).

The benefits of self-publishing include the fact that you have full control over your story and no one is going to reject you.  This can be good or bad.  You’re going to have to do all the work (or pay someone to do it for you), but if you have the skills or you hire someone good, you can turn out a very professional looking book.  One potential problem with self-publishing is that without a “gatekeeper” handing out rejections, and thereby forcing people to improve their writing in order to make the cut, the quality of self-published stories is spotty to say the least.  And readers know this.  So, you have to work especially hard to market your book, but if you have a good, well-written story and you’re willing to roll up your marketing sleeves, your self-published story can really flourish.  There are certainly some amazing success stories out there to emulate.

 

What’s my publishing story?   I wrote the three books of the Cracked Chronicles (yes, book three is done) with initially little more than vague thoughts about how I would get the series published.   When I finished and turned to publishing options, I discovered that the market for young adult urban fantasy was a bit saturated—at least from the standpoint of the big publishers.  Translation: it was going to be a difficult sell getting an agent/traditional publisher to buy into it.   So, rather than waste six to nine months in a likely unsuccessful endeavor, I decided to skip the agent route for these books and go directly to small/independent publishers who were publishing books like mine.   This was the right choice for me.  I’ve had a wonderful experience with Evernight Teen—they work hard with their authors to make their books the best they can be and position them so they can succeed in the marketplace.

 

Whatever publishing route writers choose to follow, the key is persistence.  If you don’t give up, your story will get published.

 

 

K.D. Van Brunt

During the eight hours of the day when I’m not writing, reading or sleeping, I’m a lawyer in Washington, DC.  I grew up in Southern California, moved to Seattle before coming east to Boston to go to school.  Now, I live in the great state of Maryland with my wife, my dog—a standard poodle named Buffy (and who do you think named her?), and my hot Camaro.  One of the few things I like better than pizza is driving fast.  So, if you happen be in the DC area and a black Camaro with a red stripe and a rear spoiler roars by and blows your doors off…thaaat could be me. 

WEBSITE
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dance of the Pink Mist Tour Banner

Book Blast for Broken Dreams by Nancy Pennick w/a $20 GC giveaway!

Book Blast for Broken Dreams by Nancy Pennick w/a $20 GC giveaway!


MediaKit_BookCover_BrokenDreams

BROKEN DREAMS

by Nancy Pennick

BLURB:

Two friends…

Blood sisters till the end…

Until they’re not.

One cold night in a boarding school dorm, two fourteen-year-old girls make a blood sister pact. Friends forever. As young schoolgirls, they’re determined to find true love, learning the hits and misses along the way. As graduation nears, the girls have different outlooks for the future. Lucinda longs for adventure. Anna chooses city life and marriage. Finding their way back together, the girls head west for an experience of a lifetime until a handsome cowboy bursts into their lives, changing the course of their friendship forever.

Excerpt Five:

“Don’t worry. It’s not the first time it’s happened.” He gave her a wicked smile, part imp and part seductive. He hopped up in one smooth motion and moved the cart to the side.

Anna, surprised by his answer, burst out laughing. She pictured him being knocked down by carts in every aisle of the library. She quickly covered her mouth.

Roy put a finger to his lips. “You don’t want to be asked to leave, do you?” That caused both of them to double over in silent laughter.

Anna took deep breaths and slowly straightened up. When she made eye contact, the hysterics started all over again. His eyes held a hint of mischief, drawing her in. Roy ran his hand through his wavy brown hair and leaned against the bookshelf as if having a casual conversation with an old friend. Funny thing, it felt like more than friendship.

“Anna!”

She spun around at the sound of her name. “Lucinda! This is Roy. I just knocked him over with a cart.” As soon as she said it, she had to swallow hard to suppress the giggle that begged to escape.

“Yes, she did. She’s lethal.” Roy held out his hand. “Hello, Lucinda, nice to meet you.”

She leaned across Anna and shook his hand. Anna took a few steps back so Lucinda could get closer to Roy. “I’ll just be over there.” She gestured and grabbed a book off the shelf as she went by.

I can’t believe that just happened. I find Roy. I knock Roy over. I instantly fall in love.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, Nancy currently resides in Mentor, Ohio with her husband and son, plus a delightfully entertaining lovebird. Her writing is influenced by all the years of working with young people as a teacher and raising her own son. When not writing, Nancy loves to travel with her husband and enjoys a good cup of tea. Broken Dreams is a stand alone companion piece to her young adult Waiting for Dusk series.

Publisher- Fire and Ice

http://www.fireandiceya.com/authors/nancypennick/brokendreams.html

Links to me:

Twitter- https://twitter.com/npennick   @npennick

Facebook Fan page – https://www.facebook.com/nancypennickauthor

WordPress blog- http://nancypennick.wordpress.com/

Amazon Author Page- http://www.amazon.com/Nancy-Pennick/e/B00AKX0MZ0/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Goodreads –  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6734986.Nancy_Pennick

Links to other books:

Waiting for Dusk

http://www.amazon.com/Waiting-Dusk-Nancy-Pennick-ebook/dp/B00AF47ELO

Call of the Canyon

http://www.amazon.com/Call-Canyon-Waiting-Dusk-Book-ebook/dp/B00F6DEYHG

Stealing Time

FREE short story:

Taking Chances: A Waiting for Dusk Story

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Release Day to S. Briones Lim’s Intensity

Happy Release Day to S. Briones Lim’s Intensity


Book Title: Intensity

Author: S. Briones Lim

Expected publication: February 3rd 2015

Genre: Chick Lit/Romance

Braces, zits, first kisses and crushes.

 Together best friends, Ruthie and Celine have experienced it all. Now at twenty-eight they face their biggest adventure—Celine’s impending nuptials.

Caught with the realization of how life is about to change, the two decide to embark on one last grand adventure to meet their favorite boy band, Intensity…

 Things start off as fun, but the friends quickly realize,  some things are better left in the past…

Book Links: Intensity-Goodreads

Buy Link: AMAZON

EXCERPT

“NO!”

Ruthie’s sudden outburst caused Celine to jump clear off the bed. Clearing her throat, Celine replied, “I’m sorry?”

“No!” Ruthie shook her head feverishly. “You just said you wanted to relive our childhood again, right?”

“Yeah…?”

“Then I can’t in good conscience meet Intensity by taking the pussy way out.” Ruthie stomped over to her wastebasket and retrieved the tiny book, staring at her friend pointedly.

“You can’t be serious!” Celine gasped.

Ruthie pursed her lips and lifted the book in the air, waving it around manically. “We are going to meet him by doing it the way our seventeen year old selves always tried to!”

“BY SNEAKING BACKSTAGE?” Images of their old diagrams flashed through Celine’s head.   She shook her head quickly. “It’s never going to work! You’re insane!”

“It will work,” Ruthie replied adamantly.

“NO WAY!” Celine yelled. “You happen to forget that I’m technically a public figure. I can’t get caught sneaking backstage at a boy band concert. How bad would that look for my career?”

“You use a pen name,” Ruthie smirked.

“Regardless, as a grown woman I have to put my foot down and veto this idea. I have gone this long without a criminal record and I’m not about to tarnish that!”

Ruthie couldn’t help but laugh. “Oh, come on! We’re not going to be arrested! The worst that’ll happen is we get caught and kicked out. At least we tried, right?”

Authors Bio:  

Thanks to her Mom’s unwavering devotion to read a childhood bedtime story to her every single night, S. BRIONES LIM’s love for books began before she could even speak.

 Raised in Southern California, Lim initially dreamt of becoming an artist. After a Psychology Degree (Summa cum Laude), a stint in Art School, and a career in Advertising/Media she is finally diving back into her first love – books. As a self-renowned bookworm, Lim’s love for reading has inspired her to pen her own novels and hopes her readers will fall in love with her stories as much as she enjoys writing them.
 Her obsessions include time with family, Cherry Coke, popcorn with jalapeños, watching movies and her dogs, Tobi and Roscoe. She currently lives in Virginia with her husband.

Author Links:

facebook.com/sbrioneslim

 

 

Twitter: @sbrioneslim

 

Instagram:  @sbrioneslim

 

Pinterest: @sbrioneslim

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt featuring Drew’s POV from The Seventh by debut author S.D. Wasley w/a $10 GC rafflecopter giveaway!

Excerpt featuring Drew’s POV from The Seventh by debut author S.D. Wasley w/a $10 GC rafflecopter giveaway!


theseventh cover

THE SEVENTH

S.D. Wasley

 

YA Paranormal Romance. Suspense

Released Jan. 23rd / Evernight Teen / 69.5k

 

~Editor’s Pick~

Blurb:

Sixteen year old Mimi Alston has company. No less than three ghosts follow her around, and only she can see them. At her last school, she was known as the girl with imaginary friends. Now Mimi’s starting fresh in a new town, where she’s determined to make some real friends and fit in for once. She’s ready for a normal life…except Mimi never counted on her fascination with troubled goth-boy, Drew.

 

When she’s invited to join the elite Gifted Program, Mimi discovers she’s not the only one at the school with an unusual talent. Maybe being normal isn’t even an option anymore.

 

 

 

Buy Links:   Evernight Teen     Amazon     Smashwords     ARe

Excerpt:

“Mimi, would you mind telling us about yourself now?”

I swallowed again. How did she expect me to make a coherent sentence after what I’d just heard? If there was another Mimi, a logical one that could step outside of my own body and look at the situation objectively, she would say: Get a grip, Miette. This is bullshit. These people are either lunatics … or they are playing the cruellest prank in history. But the problem was, logical Mimi had gone AWOL. I believed these kids. Deep in my heart, I knew without a shadow of a doubt they were telling the truth and––whether what they were describing was real or not––they believed in their gifts as fact. Doctor Mayer would have a field day with them.

I heard myself launch into speech and marvelled at how unlike myself I sounded. I heard a Mimi I hadn’t heard in years: excited, happy and relieved. “I’m Mimi Alston. I come from Perry Ridge. I have one brother, who’s much older. He lives in Canada with his wife. I love drawing, especially portraits. I had a nickname at my old school. Mimi-and-her-imaginary-friends.” I couldn’t believe I was telling them this secret … a secret I had been so determined to keep that I’d actually been prepared to fake my whole personality, day in and day out, at this new school.

“It’s because I have company with me, pretty much all the time. Meet my ghosts, Hannah, Albert and Marvin.” I pointed at the chairs beside me and the other kids stared. Even Drew raised his head to look at me in amazement. “Hannah joined me when I was thirteen. She was a kitchen maid. She was nineteen, and she was pregnant with her boss’s child. She died having the baby. Albert joined me when I was fourteen. He was a soldier in World War II. He died on the stretcher after getting a serious shrapnel injury. And Marvin only joined me earlier this year. He was homeless after losing his house because of his gambling debts. He died of hypothermia during a cold snap.”

Patience’s eyes looked like horrified saucers as she stared at the empty chairs beside me. After a moment, Mona let out a shuddering breath and even contemptuous Cassie looked impressed. Gabe sat watching me curiously, as if he didn’t expect quite what he was seeing or hearing.

“You’re a Necromancer,” nodded Ms Deering.

Necro … doesn’t that mean dead?” asked Mona.

“And mancy is magic, or conjuring,” affirmed Ms Deering. “Mimi calls the dead.”

“I call them?” I couldn’t help exclaiming. “I never called them! I don’t want them around!”

Ms Deering just smiled ruefully. “I don’t think you can help it. I didn’t mean you actively call them––I meant you bring them … attract them. You invite their spirits to make contact.”

“Why?” I asked.

“The million-dollar question,” Mona laughed shortly, dragging her eyes off the empty chairs beside me. “Why do any of us have these gifts?”

“Can you hear them?” Patience asked me, her face still terrified. Great. She was freaked out. Oh, well … at least she didn’t think I was crazy.

“Yes,” I said. “That’s how I know what happened to them.” My mind drifted towards some of the other things they’d said to me and I hastily changed my train of thought. “They used to talk more, but I started trying to ignore them so they stopped being so … chatty.”

Mona cackled at that. I decided I wouldn’t mention the medication I had been taking to help me “ignore” my ghosts. I could feel Drew still watching me, so I looked back at him. I badly wanted to ask him why he looked so stunned. I also wanted to ask him what his gift was. But I couldn’t form a sentence because his face was so painfully beautiful in that moment that I forgot to breathe and just stared.

“Drew,” Ms Deering said in a firm tone. “Please tell us about you.”

Drew snapped out of our little two-way staring contest and cast an angry look at Ms Deering before getting up and shouldering his satchel.

 

When Drew first meets Mimi (Drew’s Point of View)

 

Homeroom. Nine a.m.

It had been a bad weekend. I didn’t want to think about it. I buried my face in a book; the Thomas Hardy I’d picked up at the Granary Market book exchange. I was trying to get into that zone where nothing could distract me, but the other kids in Homeroom were being particularly noisy.

No one was talking to me; I’d been liberal with the black and white warpaint that morning, plus I’d put on an extra spiky collar and had even considered some satanic chains; except that Patience always freaked when I wore those. I thought I might get some facial piercings. Most people wouldn’t even look at your face for any length of time if you had piercings there. That could be useful.

There was a new kid in class. I didn’t look at her but I knew it was a girl and figured she must be pretty because Gabe was using his manly, friendly, I’ll show you the ropes voice, and Cassie was being a bitch. Despite my best efforts to shut them out, I could hear them talking about their gifts – covertly, of course, but the four of us in the room who were in on the gifted thing knew what it was about. Gabe joked with Cassie to “call off the dogs,” and then Ms Deering and Gabe had some oh-so-witty repartee about how talent is often accompanied by ego.

I couldn’t deny that. Gabe was evidence of it. But I was pissed off at how blasé Ms Deering was being about it all … as usual. She never tried to check him, or any of the others, when they experimented with their gifts. After what I’d seen on the weekend, I knew with more certainty than ever that these gifts were not to be played with. In fact, I didn’t even think they were gifts anymore. I had started to think of them as curses. I hated that Ms Deering was always encouraging them – us – to use them.

Normally I stayed quiet when they made sneaky comments about their gifts in front of the other kids at school. I tried to take the high road. But because of my weekend, I was feeling raw. I couldn’t resist throwing a spanner into their self-satisfied little chat. Without consciously deciding to do it, and without even lifting my head, I suggested Gabe and Ms Deering should consider that sometimes there was ego even when there was no talent. I didn’t seem to get a rise out of either of them, but Cassie bit, asking me what the hell I meant in that shrieky voice she reserves for me. I pride myself on being able to push Cassie’s buttons – mind you, just about anyone can push Cassie’s buttons.

“Maybe there are some people at Etherall Valley that think they have talent but are actually just royally lame or garden-variety screwed up?” I said. God, that was satisfying.

I hoped Ms Deering was listening. She didn’t like it. She made one of her typical positive values remarks that meant nothing and inevitably got ignored. She didn’t understand that teenagers don’t give a shit about being reminded to use “respectful” language or “show accountability.”

Gabe was quiet. I wanted to catch a look at his face to see if I’d got at him, but when I looked up my eyes didn’t make it past the new girl.

Oh, my god. It’s her.

There she was; the girl whose face had haunted me since I saw it a year or so ago. The perfect fair skin; the dark, almost black hair spilling over her shoulders; and the serious mouth – a mouth that shouldn’t be serious. A mouth so red and soft I’d been fantasising about kissing it and making it smile since I first saw it. Her grey eyes regarded me solemnly as I fought my reaction; tried to hide it. I had to pretend I was neutral – pretend I wasn’t interested in her – and not let her become in the least interested in me. I had to be nothing to her. The battle inside me was physically painful. All I wanted to do was take a long drink at the sight of this living, breathing girl looking back into my eyes across the ordinary classroom desks; and what I knew I had to do was not look, not betray what I was thinking and feeling; not connect.

I dragged my eyes off her and stared down at my book, the words swimming on the page. Meanwhile her heavenly face seared itself across my heart like a branding iron on a bullock’s tender hide.

 

Author Bio:

 

S.D. Wasley was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia.

She has been composing literary works since before she could write – at five years of age she announced her first poem in the kitchen, improv-style. Today, she lives in the Swan Valley wine region with her two daughters, surrounded by dogs, cats and chickens.

 

The Seventh is S.D. Wasley’s debut novel.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Guest Post with author Medeia Sharif featuring 52 Likes w/a $25 GC giveaway!

Guest Post with author Medeia Sharif featuring 52 Likes w/a $25 GC giveaway!


52likes cover52 LIKES

Medeia Sharif

YA Paranormal/Evernight Teen/@ 47K

*Editor’s Pick*

 

 

 

After a brutal rape and near-murder, Valerie wants to get past feelings of victimhood from both the assault and her history of being bullied. Not knowing the identity of her masked rapist and dealing with the nasty rumors about that night are two things that plague her daily. 

Valerie will have to follow ghostly entities, past victims of the rapist-murderer, contacting her through a social media site. Why do all of their eerie photos have 52 likes under them? Their messages are leading her to the mystery man, although he’ll put up a fight to remain hidden.

 

14+ due to adult situations

 

 

 

 

Buy Links: Evernight Teen / Amazon / Omni Lit / BookStrand

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt:

With the girls closest to me, I see their Picomatic profile page, which is a reminder that I have a direct message on there. “Did you DM me on Picomatic?” I whisper to Cookie.

She shakes her head, briefly looking up from her notebook. I should be writing too, but can’t concentrate on the five questions Ms. Garland wrote on the board. She’s seated behind her desk as a student approaches her to ask a question. The student is blocking her face, so she can’t see me at all. During times like these, when teachers are busy, I whip out my phone.

I slide my phone out of my pocket and into my lap. It used to be a wonderful distraction that entertained me during boring lectures and educational videos. Seeing others on Picomatic, I’m now dying to know what the DM is about. Even if it’s an inappropriate or harassing one, I need to see it. If it upsets me, I’ll report it as spam. If it’s extremely bad, pertaining to that night, I have to tell someone, even though last year the school didn’t do much in the way of protecting me from the trio, which was the quartet back then since Hector would play their vicious games.

I open my Picomatic page. Selfies abound, some from a few seconds ago. Most pictures are from P.E. or some other class where teachers don’t supervise as much. Some people are taking pictures of work that has been graded, bragging about A’s or criticizing teachers who gave them F’s. I tap the corner, where the direct messages are. If it’s a graphic with THOT or some other message on it, I need to know that’s not who I am. I never was. Be brave, I urge myself.

There’s a DM from someone named 2beautiful. I can’t recall any friends who use that handle. Where the profile pic should be, there’s a close-up of an eye. The eye is lined, with heavy mascara and purple and blue eye shadow. It’s an attractive picture, although eye pics can be deceiving. Sometimes the rest of the person isn’t as pretty. I don’t recognize this eye, although anyone’s eye can be transformed like this with the right makeup.

I scroll down to see the picture message she sent me. I frown, unsure of what this is, who this is. It’s almost pornographic, but not really since it’s just a sliver of skin, although there’s a hint of the girl’s V between her legs.

The picture is of a slender, yet curvaceous naked hip. The bone protrudes slightly and I can tell the girl is pear-shaped. I’m also pear-shaped, which is especially noticeable around Christmas time when I gain five pounds from eating too much during winter break.

This photo of a girl’s hip has 52 likes. I gasp. Is it a photo of me? Did someone take a picture of me at home or in the shower? Then I think back to the rape, of the flashes of light…I thought it was lightning, but I could be wrong. He had pulled me down to the floor and knocked me around. The room was dark. Maybe I didn’t notice every single thing he had done to me. Had the rapist photographed me?

guestpost

Writing about Rape

 

My latest YA release, 52 LIKES, begins with a rape scene. It’s a strong chapter, and I’m glad that early readers told me that it’s not too graphic or off-putting—no one has yet told me that they had to put the book down because the chapter revolted them. The scene was necessary, because after the rape the main character, Valerie, is on a quest to find out who her rapist is.

 

I had to research about police procedures, rape investigations, STD prevention, and other issues that affected rape victims. Some of these things I had already learned about from reading articles or watching TV shows and films from long ago, while other material was quite new to me. I read accounts from women and visited message boards to gain understanding about the emotional landscape of rape victims, as well as their healing process. Valerie, as broken as she is, does heal with time.

 

Even though I drafted the book in two weeks and the story poured out of me because I had a detailed outline and had done my research before I sat down to write it, this book was not easy writing. It was emotionally heavy and dark. The light was the ending of the book…although I won’t say too much about that to ruin the book for those who haven’t read it.

 

 

 

Author Bio:

 

I’m a Kurdish-American author who was born in New York City, and I presently call Miami my home. I received my master’s degree in psychology from Florida Atlantic University. After becoming a voracious reader in high school and a relentless writer dabbling in many genres in college, I found my niche writing for young people. Today I’m a MG and YA writer published through various presses. In addition to being a writer, I’m a middle school English teacher. My memberships include MensaALAN, and SCBWI.

 

Website: http://www.medeiasharif.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sharifwrites

Instagram: http://instagram.com/sharifwrites

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4086531.Medeia_Sharif

 

 

Giveaway: $25 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

52 Likes tour banner

Series Spotlight:  The Star Trilogy by Arianne Richmonde w/a print book giveaway!

Series Spotlight: The Star Trilogy by Arianne Richmonde w/a print book giveaway!


 

 

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Sex.
Lies.
Two “reformed” Hollywood stars.
And one hell of a war of wills.
Movie director Jake Wild lives up to his name. A dangerously sexy playboy, he’s used to getting any woman he wants when he wants. Until he meets his nemesis: the beautiful, equally notorious Star Davis.
Ready to leave behind her party-girl ways and set to play the lead in his new film, Star doesn’t expect to fall for the charms of her director. And the last thing Jake wants—or needs—is for his life to spiral out of control.
Two beautiful misfits have met their match.
A match that lights a bonfire…
From the Hollywood Hills to the grasslands of Africa, the epic Star Trilogy takes you on a thrilling journey shrouded in secrets, masked by betrayal, and with unforeseen twists and turns that will make you question whose side you’re on.
Lights . . .
Camera . . .
Action . . .
Strap up your seat belt . . . you’re in for a bumpy ride.
#1 Shooting Star
#2 Falling Star
#3 Shining Star
~Excerpt~
I looked out of the open window as Los Angeles crawled past in the traffic and exhaled a sigh of momentary defeat. This town was doing my head in. Making me lose sight of reality. The palm trees towering into the azure sky like skinny skyscrapers reaching as high as they could go—everyone reaching beyond their means. Grabbing, aspiring, grasping, taking. Even the trees, goddammit. And the houses on Sunset with their manicured lawns, making you believe that life could be controlled, clipped, neatened. Like my father. A control freak who’d move a pencil one inch to the left if he felt it was out of place. Not on set, no. In his own freaking home! A pencil. And I tried to be like him. Organized. Sharp. On the ball. Controlled. A colonel-in-the-army type.
But that wasn’t me and never had been. I secretly welcomed madness with relish. Unintentionally courted it. Nurtured dysfunction as if it were a breastfeeding baby, willing chaos into my life the way some people attract money or women. Right now my mind was rattling with a sort of hectic glee. Star Davis represented turmoil and for some unknown reason it excited me—my curiosity piqued.
“I wanted an unknown for the role of Skye,” I told Brian, willing my thoughts back to safer waters. A nice, new actress with no baggage, no ego and no “history”—that’s what I need. “I’ve been auditioning at drama schools all over the world. I’ve seen sixty-two actresses. I’d narrowed it down to eight. And now you tell me I’ve basically wasted my time?”
“You tell the press that very same thing. ‘I saw sixty-two actresses and, you know what? None of them hold a candle to Star Davis.’ ”
“A candle that’s going to start a fire.”
“You’ll figure it out, Jake. I mean, let’s face it, she’s met her match—match, haha, no pun intended, Get it? She can set you alight.”
I didn’t laugh at his joke. “What’s that supposed to mean, ‘met her match’?”
“Bad boy Jake Wild—you’ve had some good times on the casting couch yourself, my friend. You can’t deny you’ve clocked up quite a reputation over the years.”
“The couch has been reupholstered, Brian. The past is the past. I don’t take advantage of starry-eyed actresses these days. I’m a professional. I get the job done and don’t screw around with the talent anymore. Ever. Well, as of last week. It’s my number one rule.”
“Well leave Star in peace, you know what I’m saying? She’s vulnerable. She’s fresh out of rehab and needs to be looked after.” He fixed his piggy gaze on me, a bushy eyebrow twitching ironically.
“Oh no! Don’t look at me, mate. There’s no way I’ll be her fucking nanny!”
“You’re the only one, Jake, who can keep her on the straight and narrow. We can’t have her going AWOL in the middle of a shoot. She’ll need to be watched like a hawk.”
“What about her sea of bodyguards? her PA, her father, for that matter?”
“None of them can be trusted. She’s too manipulative. Besides, they’re all on her payroll.”
“Her father too?”
“He’s her unofficial manager.”
“Great ‘manager,’ ” I murmured.
“Star’s been supporting her entire family ever since she did that diaper commercial when she was two years old. She has a strange perspective on life. She has never been told ‘no.’ So she’s used to being boss, and getting what she wants.”
“Well she’s not bloody bossing me.” I said that with bravado, yet here I was being ‘bossed’ by the system. Brian. The executive producers, the producers, the moneymen, the money women . . . the goddam accountants. The suits whose faces I’d never even seen. And indirectly, Star herself. She’d slithered her way into winning the part of Skye with her wily ways, by offering herself practically free. Clever girl. She’d probably sucked someone’s dick to get the part. She had me in a corner and I hadn’t even met her yet.
“And one more thing,” Brian added. “Apparently her house is about to be remodeled and she was planning to move into a hotel for a while. But I don’t trust the idea of Star Davis running around loose in a hotel, you know? Too many distractions—too much booze on tap.”
“What’s your point?” I said, meeting his eyes with a stony glare.
“I thought until every shot is in the can it would be a good idea if she stayed in your home—you can make sure there’re no temptations—no drugs or liquor anywhere near her.”
I stared at him incredulously as he smoothly took a bend, the Porsche revving with a quiet growl. He went on, “We can hire our own bodyguard— someone who can’t be bribed by her to slip her anything— he could live in your guest house—the one in your garden? And she could stay in one of your guest bedrooms. So, you know, she’ll be under your roof.” He was serious when he said this.
“No. Brian, you’re really pushing your luck. I have limits. I don’t want some wayward teenager telling me to fuck off in my own house. I’m not her father. I’m a film director. I have work to do. Storyboards to prepare, scenes to plan out. I have to stay on top of the shooting schedule, liaise with my assistant director, my lighting cameraman—Jesus, what the fuck? I don’t have time to deal with some drug-addicted, attention-seeking, Cristaldrinking brat!”
Buy Links:    Amazon US   Amazon UK   Barnes & Noble   iBooks   Google Play    Kobo 
~About the Author~

ARIANNE RICHMONDE IS THE USA TODAY bestselling author of STOLEN GRACE and the Pearl Series books: Shades of Pearl, Shadows of Pearl, Shimmers of Pearl, Pearl, and Belle Pearl – all full length novels. The first three books in the series are also available in one trilogy bundle/box set as The Pearl Trilogy. She has also written Glass- a provocative short story and most recently, the highly acclaimed suspense novel, Stolen Grace.

She lives with her husband and coterie of animals in France. She loves to travel and meet people and is thrilled that her books have touched readers from all parts of the globe.

Author Links:   Website   Facebook   Twitter    tsu    Goodreads   Newsletter sign up

~Giveaway~



Arianne Richmonde is giving away one print set of the Star Trilogy to one lucky winner during the tour. Enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win,

Top Ten List w/Melissa Frost featuring The Dating Tutor:  Matt’s Story w/a $10 GC rafflecopter giveaway!

Top Ten List w/Melissa Frost featuring The Dating Tutor: Matt’s Story w/a $10 GC rafflecopter giveaway!


TDT_matts_story

The Dating Tutor: Matt’s Story

Melissa Frost

Contemporary Romance, @30k

 

The Dating Tutor, 3

Matt Wendell is perfectly content in his single life. That is until Sasha walks into it. Being the cousin of his best friend Alec, Sasha is off limits. She’s the one girl he can’t have, and the only one he wants. Even if he wasn’t restrained by the ‘friends only’ stipulation, Sasha has put up a wall around her heart that is going to be hard to tear down. 



Alec introduces the two under the strict instructions that Matt is to learn how to become friends with a woman. This task proves difficult, as Matt’s only interaction with the opposite sex has been of a romantic nature. As time goes on and their friendship strengthens, things get more and more challenging, because the more he learns about Sasha, the deeper his feelings for her become. 



Can this non-committal guy change his ways? And can he convince Sasha that he’s in this for the long haul? 

14+ for sexuality and adult situations

 

Buy Links:

Evernight Teen / Amazon / AllRomance eBooks / Bookstrand

 

 

Excerpt:

“You’re telling me you just walked right out?” Alec’s voice held confusion and disbelief as he repeatedly tossed a hockey puck into the air, catching it each time it returned to hand level.

“I’m telling you, I walked out. No hassle. No fuss.” Matt leaned back against the wall of their dorm room. His hockey stick was in his hands, and he balanced a puck on the blade.

“And you’re okay with that?”

Something in Alec’s tone put him on edge. Shoulders tensing, Matt gave his best friend a dirty look. “Not all of us are looking to meet Mrs. Right at eighteen. I’m just having a little bit of fun. That’s what college is about.”

Alec shook his head with an expression of amusement. “She used you man, plain and simple.”

“Maybe I liked being used.”

“You liked being used?” Alec gave a snort. “No one likes being used.”

Running a hand through his unruly hair, Matt shot Alec a look of frustration. “What would you like me to do? I’m not like you. I didn’t live next door to the love of my life. Meeting the right girl isn’t going to just happen, not like it did for you.”

“Ever wonder why that is?” Alec shot him a pointed look, pausing in his casual game of catch.

“No. But I’m sure you’re about to tell me.”

Alec shot him a crooked grin. “I am.” Clutching the puck tightly against his palm, he pointed his index finger at Matt. “You go after the absolute worst girls. The dumb, giggly, annoying types. Your problem is that you don’t know how to be friends with women. Therefore, you pick the ones least likely to engage you in real conversation.”

“Friends?” Matt couldn’t keep the skepticism out of his voice. “You want me to enter the friend zone?” He shook his head. “You’re delusional.”

“I was friends with Ellie before we hooked up.”

“That’s different!” Matt waved this off. “You grew up together. And honestly, I feel like you two defied the odds. You guys are weird freaks of nature who shouldn’t exist.”

Alec only grinned at this. “Thanks.” His expression grew solemn. “I’m serious though, Matty. I think you just don’t know how to be friends with a woman. I think it’s keeping you from meeting the right type of girl. If you’d only just try it…”

Matt threw up his hands in exasperation. “I just don’t know how, Alec! I wouldn’t even know where to start. I’m used to hockey, and fist fights, and all that stupid shit girls hate. The minute they start talking about lip gloss, I zone out.”

Alec rolled his eyes. “They don’t actually hold many discussions about lip gloss, you know? Not that I’ve seen.” He waved this irrelevant comment off. Then he set Matt with a determined and meddling look. “If I found a girl for you to befriend, would you give it a shot?” He held up a hand before Matt could protest. “I’m not talking about a date. I’m talking about forming a friendship. Just take her to dinner, hang out, and learn to socialize and talk with girls without any pressure to make out at the end of the evening.”

“And where are you going to find a girl willing to waste an evening out with a guy there’s no chance of hooking up with? Seems like a waste of time.”

Alec grinned. “My cousin Sasha goes to school here. She’s a sophomore. She owes me a few favors. Maybe I’ll cash in and make her hang out with you for an evening or two.”

“You’re going to blackmail a chick into hanging out with me?”

“Sure am,” Alec said with a cheeky grin.

The thought was so absurd, Matt nearly laughed. He’d never had any trouble finding himself dates. Girls tended to hang onto his every word, and hang onto his arm too. Having to blackmail a woman into spending time with him was downright ridiculous. But what could it hurt? It was only one evening.

“Fine. You win,” Matt said with a huff. “I’ll hang out with your cousin.”

Alec’s lips spread into a slow grin. “Game on, my friend. Game on.”

mattsstorybanner-1-

 

 

 

Top ten things you don’t know about me:

1. Cotton or Silk? Cotton

 

 

  1. Champagne/beer/wine? None. I’m not much of a drinker. If I have something, it’s a Mike’s Hard Lemonade. That or a Rum and Coke.

 

 

  1. Plotter/pantser? I’m a total pantser. More interesting things happen that way. I have a basic idea of the end of a book, but I don’t know how I’m going to get there.

 

 

  1. Describe your workspace. My workspace depends on the day. Many days, I drop my son off at preschool and sit in the parking lot on my laptop. So my workspace is my car. When I write at home, my computer is in my living room. I have a shelf above it with Pop! characters from my favorite shows. I’ve got Agent Coulson from Shield, The Governor from Walking Dead, Jaime Lannister from Game of Thrones, Daryl from Walking Dead, Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory, and Loki. They give me some oversee all of my work. Haha.

 

  1. Sports fan or just tolerate it? I’m a total sports fan. The Dating Tutor series actually revolves around sports. Matt is a hockey thug and Sasha is a soccer player. I played softball growing up. I was a first baseman. My younger brother played baseball. He was a pitcher. He also played football, so I spent much of my time watching him play as well. My son now plays soccer and hockey. We’re all big sports nuts.

 

  1. Who is your biggest influence on writing? My biggest influence was Colleen O’Shaughnessy Mckenna. I won a writing competition in fifth grade and got to participate in a workshop with her. It was an amazing experience.

 

  1. Favorite food – I only get to pick one? That’s hard. I might have to say tacos. I love tacos.
  2. When did you start writing? I wrote my first short story in the second grade. I was hooked. Then when I got to participate in the writing workshop with Colleen, I knew writing was what I wanted to do.

 

  1. If money were no object, where would you like to live? Somewhere much warmer than Pennsylvania! I am so tired of winter right now! My husband and I were discussing where we would like to go with a better climate. He kindly rules each place out to make me feel better. Texas is too hot. Kansas has too many tornados. Georgia is overrun with zombies…

 

  1. What’s next for you? Next, I plan to work on Sasha’s Story. We saw their courtship through Matty’s point of view. It’s time we heard from Sasha. We’ll get to see more of her family connections – Alec and Jerich. We’ll get to see more of her involvement with soccer. I think it will be a lot of fun.

Author Bio:

Melissa Frost grew up loving young adult novels and continues to immerse herself in the current authors on the market. In the fifth grade, she won a writing competition to work with children’s author Colleen O’Shaughnessy Mckenna, and it inspired her to write stories of her own. She never looked back.

 the-dating-tutor-banner-2

thedatingtutoralec-sstorybanner

 

 

Giveaway:  $10 Evernight Teen Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TDT Matt's Story Tour Banner

Top Ten List with C. Lee McKenzie featuring Sudden Secrets w/a rafflecopter giveaway!

Top Ten List with C. Lee McKenzie featuring Sudden Secrets w/a rafflecopter giveaway!


suddensecretsSudden Secrets by Lee McKenzie

YA Romantic Suspense, 62k words

Released Dec. 19, Evernight Teen

 

 

One Secret 

 

Cleo has struggled to heal after her baby sister’s death, but the flashbacks to the accident won’t go away. With the move, she vows to keep her tragedy a secret and avoid pitying looks.

 

 

One Mystery 

 

Something’s strange about the abandoned house across the street—flashes of light late at night and small flickers of movement that only someone looking for them would see.

Everyone says the house is deserted, but Cleo is sure it isn’t, and she’s sure whoever is inside is watching her.

 

Another Secret 

 

In one night, Belleza’s life changes forever. So famous, her only choice is to hide her secret from the world so she can silence small town bigotry.

Then Cleo happens.

 

14+ due to adult situations

 

Buy Links:     Evernight Teen    Amazon   Buy in Print

 

Excerpt:

It had been a terrible and very long journey from that tragic Christmas to now, and I couldn’t think about losing another one of us. We’d each done all we could to live without Aziza.

Dad went as far away as possible from where the accident happened. Mom sold our    house and moved us to a new town. Still, we weren’t over that December day.

Mom buried herself in her work for long hours.

Grandpa pulled into himself, wearing that glazed look he’d adopted before the funeral.

I was almost sure he’d wear that look for the rest of his life. He loved Aziza. And what wasn’t there to love? Beautiful golden girl, my mom called her, forever poking her four-year-old nose around the corner daring any of us to chase her. Teasing, begging for attention, which we gave because we couldn’t resist her…

Grandpa loved my sister a lot. I was afraid he loved me very little now.

I wasn’t so fond of myself, either. I shut out all of my Buena Vista friends and started running alone.

From the window over the kitchen sink I watched Nefertiti as she sat on the step, preening in a sunny spot around the back of the house. I went out to sit with her, stroking her fur and surveying the weedy backyard that Mom hadn’t had time to think about. She kept saying she planned to hire a gardener, but there was always something that derailed that plan. In September, it was the new show at the museum that she had to set up by October. She was in charge of staging the Egyptian pieces coming on loan, but she was shorthanded and putting in extra time to make up for only having two assistants. It was going to be a while before the toilet and other debris disappeared.

It was all too depressing to look at, so I walked around to the front and for a minute glanced at the windows of the house across the street. I almost expected to see someone staring out at me. I couldn’t shake the creeped out feeling I got every time I looked at that place.

I knelt to check my laces, and then I was racing down the street, hoping to shed old fears, old thoughts . . . at least for a while. I was at the end of the block, deciding which way to turn, when I spotted Grandpa. I went in the opposite direction, so neither one of us had to pretend that everything was all right since that letter from Dad.

The high school was only four blocks away––one of the reasons, Mom said, she chose this location. It also had one of the best academic ratings in the valley. Another reason she told me she zeroed in on our cozy cul-de-sac.

When I reached the school, I stared up at the two-storied building where I’d spend my last two years of high school. Then what? Junior college, or a job at K-Mart? I worried that I’d bomb on my SAT’s.  I’d bombed on almost everything, hadn’t I? My grades, my friends––being a sister.

I walked up the stone path, leading to the main doors, imagining that first day here, my stomach balling up with worry just on the edge of dread. That first day was going to be the worst.

Off to my right, a thick oak sheltered tables with benches, so I jogged across the lawn and sat on the wooden slats and thought about how it was going to be when school started. Everything new. Everything different. The stares all newbies get. Nobody would know who I was or why I was here. They wouldn’t know my mom was famous for her books on Egypt, or that my dad was an archeologist—the one people called when they dug up important ancientanything in the Middle East. But they’d know something was different about me the minute they heard my name. Cleopatra wasn’t on any baby name list they’d ever read. Neither was Aziza, but she was too little for her name to embarrass her. She’d only just learned what it meant. Precious. And she was that. She was.

A breeze brushed my cheek and I shivered. I thought I’d gotten over feeling that chill, but the healing process wasn’t just slow, it was uneven, too. Sometimes Aziza was only a whisper inside me, and then her image would spring from around the corner just like she used to, full of mischief and giggles. Then there would be that moment when the memory of the chilled air of our old entryway blasted across my face.

Stop it.

I jumped to my feet and jogged to the track behind the high school as fast as I could. I didn’t have a devil at my back, but I had a tiny ghost that shadowed me when I stayed still for very long.

 TOP TEN THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT ME:

 

1.  Cotton or Silk? I cotton to silk. That’s mid-western/southern for “silk” is my thing.

 

 

  1. Champagne/beer/wine? Wine, most definitely. Champagne makes me giggle. Beer makes me burp, and since I try to be dignified whenever possible, I go with wine because it mellows me out and makes me feel smarter than I really am.

 

 

  1. Plotter/pantser Very simple. I’m an out-of-the-closet pantser! Yay! Let’s see where these characters take me.

 

 

  1. Describe your workspace I have a wall of windows in my office. I love to see the forest outside while I write. I love to watch the sun or the rain or the wind while I try to find the words I need, and then, of course, I love to daydream while staring out those windows. My big desk takes up most of one wall and is always a mess.

 

  1. Sports fan or just tolerate it? My grandfather made me into a baseball fan. I also like hockey and now Lacrosse because my nephew plays it . Soccer yes. Football not so much. Tennis, absolutely.

 

  1. Who is your biggest influence on writing? I guess that’s the hardest question here. S. E. Hinton (love her gritty characters). F. Scott Fitzgerald (love the sound of his prose). I adored Faulkner, but struggled to understand him, still do. Dr. Seuss. He made me understand just how much fun books should be.

 

  1. Favorite food – Shrimp, deep fried.
  2. When did you start writing? I don’t know. Maybe when I was ten?

 

  1. If money were no object, where would you like to live? Exactly where I do now. It’s perfect.

 

  1. What’s next for you? On the personal side, I’m off to do some more traveling this year. Santorini, Tibet and Ireland. Writing-wise. Working on an idea for a young adult that’s been in the back of my brain for a while. It has a title. It has four characters in search of a story. Now I have to find that story.

 

Loved your questions. They made me think a bit and I liked that. Thanks so much, Pink.

 

suddensecretsbanner-1-doublenegativebanner

 

 

 

About the Author:

Lee McKenzie is a native Californian who grew up in a lot of different places; then landed in the Santa Cruz Mountains where she lives with her family and miscellaneous pets—usually strays that find her rather than the other way around. She writes most of the time, gardens and hikes and does yoga a lot, and then travels whenever she can. Her favorite destinations are Turkey and Nicaragua, but because she had family in England, Switzerland, and Spain she goes there when she can. 

She takes on modern issues that today’s teens face in their daily lives. Her first young adult novel, Sliding on the Edge, which dealt with cutting and suicide was published in 2009. Her second, titled The Princess of Las Pulgas, dealing with a family who loses everything and must rebuild their lives came out in 2010. She just published her first middle grade novel titled Alligators Overhead.

WEBSITE

 

 

 

 

 

Giveaway:

$10 Evernight Teen Gift Card

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Sudden Secrets Tour Banner

Review and Giveaway of Stolen Time by Angela Rae Harris

Review and Giveaway of Stolen Time by Angela Rae Harris


Stolen Time Banner

Genre: New Adult Paranormal

Publisher: Tri Destiny Publishing

Blurb:

Tragedy has made Keaira wise beyond her twenty years. Forced to work for the General, a commanding man who blackmailed his way into her life, she was ordered to study self-defense and master knife throwing. In the hidden community of Shifters, falcons are considered weak, a fact which may ultimately save her life. To escape his cruelty, she will need to call upon her quick-witted falcon side, but the General has other plans – ones which involve his only son, Carson.

When unexpected feelings form between Keaira and Carson, the General quickly moves his pieces into place, launching his quest to take over the world. If she wants to survive, Keaira must stay one step ahead in the General’s deadly game and discover his weaknesses. Even if it means risking her life and the lives of those she cares about most.

With war on the horizon, sides are being drawn.  Deadly secrets must be exposed. Time is running out for Keaira and all of mankind.

Excerpt:

Keaira jumped when her desk phone rang. Cursing, she picked up the phone.

“Mr. Scott’s office.”

“Hey, it’s Carson.”

Keaira felt her face light up.

“Oh. Hi. How did you get my work number?” Keaira shook her head at her own stupid question. “Ugh, I think I already knew the answer to that.”

“Sorry. I talked to my dad this morning. Just thought I’d warn you that he was asking questions about us.” He sounded a little unsure of himself.

“It’s not a big deal. So, what’s up?”

Keaira twirled her chair around to stare at the boring white wall behind her.

“I was just going to tell you I’d really like to see you again. How does tomorrow night sound?”

Keaira pushed her foot lightly against the floor to turn the chair the way around and rested her elbows on her desk. The deep sound of his voice made her feel a little light headed.

“I’m free.” Keaira caught herself before she giggled. I will not act like a giddy little school-girl over a guy, even Carson.

“Dinner and bowling with my friends all right with you?” He sounded nervous, not at all like the confident, easy-going Carson of the night before.

“Sounds like fun.”

“Last time you shot down my idea, so I just wanted to make sure. I’ll pick you up after work.” Now he was back to the cocky Carson she had been with last night.

“See ya then. Bye.”

Keaira turned back around to hang up, but the cord wouldn’t reach the cradle. She untangled it from around the chair and freed the finger that was all wrapped up in the cord from twisting it while she was talking to Carson. Gah, I am acting like a school-girl. Who doesn’t use cordless phones these days anyways.

Keaira was so distracted she didn’t see Mr. Scott come into her office. She nearly fell out of her chair when she looked up. She could understand not hearing or seeing him enter, but surely she should have smelled his cologne when he came into the room. I hate that cologne.

He tried to smile. To Keaira it just looked like a sneer. She’d love to be the one who wiped it from his face one day.

He said, “Sorry, did I interrupt something?”

She narrowed her eyes at him. He knew damn well she had just been on the phone with Carson.

“Not interrupting, no.”

He set a handful of papers on her desk. “New membership information.”

Keaira took the papers and started looking through them. Despite her obvious attempt to ignore him, the General didn’t leave. She avoided his gaze as she started transferring bank accounts and phone numbers to the computer. He pulled up a chair to the front of the desk.

“So how are things going with Carson?”

He unbuttoned his navy-blue suit jacket as he sat down, exposing the crisp white dress shirt underneath.

Keaira didn’t look at him.

“Considering you are my boss and he is your son, there are two strikes against you. I guess the fact that you hold my life in your hands is the third reason why I will not talk to you about anything having to do with me and Carson.”

The General chuckled. “I knew I could trust you to keep secrets.”

Keaira tried not to let him affect her, but the tremor, which ran up her spine, couldn’t be stopped. Her fingers clenched into fists, and she figured that while he was in a good mood she would broach the subject that had been nagging at her all day.

“Speaking of secrets, why are you keeping your, um, plans from your family?”

She held her breath, hoping she would not regret acting on her curiosity. She peered at him out of the corner of her eye.

The General sighed and looked at her oddly. Funny, he thinks he can trust me. Keaira inwardly laughed. She met his brown eyes as he stared at her. A minute passed with neither of them moving. He finally leaned back in his chair and closed the door. Keaira relaxed a bit, allowing herself to breathe.

“I don’t want to put them in harm’s way any more than I already have. Those who deny the rise of the higher class may try to get information out of them.”

He spoke quickly. Keaira had the feeling he wasn’t telling her the whole reason.

Not being the best at holding her tongue, Keaira whispered, “You don’t want them to try to stop you.”

The General suddenly stood and then returned the chair to its place in the corner. He turned back toward Keaira, and she slumped into her chair as his brown eyes bore into hers.

“I love my family. I will not let anything hurt them.” He gave her one last hard glance as he opened the office door and left.

Keaira sat there, mouth wide open and watched him leave.

She believed the General loved his family but on selfish terms. This man was insane, and he held her life and the lives of many others in his hands. If it were not for the collateral the General had over Keaira, she would want nothing to do with his scheme to rule over the humans. She swallowed the lump in her throat as she reminded herself he had the ability to take any life he wanted. She wasn’t the only one in danger. Right now she was just thankful her big mouth didn’t get her into even bigger trouble.

authorinterview

Top ten things you don’t know about me:

1. Cotton or Silk?

Silk sheets, cotton clothes.

2.  Champagne/beer/wine?

I’m not a drinker but I do love my Coca Cola.

3.  Plotter/pantser

I don’t like to call myself a plotter even though I write an outline for each of my books. I still let the characters talk to me and if something changes I don’t hesitate to listen to what they have to say.

4.  Describe your workspace

Most days it is sitting on the couch in the living room with my five-year-old running around and my three-year-old seeing the laptop as competition as he tries to climb on my lap. One day I might have an office but for right now I’ll take what I can get. J

5.  Sports fan or just tolerate it?

I grew up watching football and basketball with my dad all weekend every weekend. In high school I had to explain to the boys what was happening on the field. I’m a Colts fan but I love Manning so I root for the Broncos too.

6.  Who is your biggest influence on writing?

I would have to say J.K. Rowling because Harry Potter gave me the reading bug and I wouldn’t be writing today if I hadn’t discovered J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world.

7.  Favorite food –

Ice Cream – Any kind of ice cream. J
8.  When did you start writing?

About two years ago. I started reading more and my imagination began to create its own stories. I started writing them down when these stories started interrupting my sleep schedule.

9.  If money were no object, where would you like to live?

New Zealand. They have two of my favorite things in one place: the ocean and the mountains.
10.  What’s next for you?

I’m working on the next book in The Time Series getting it ready for a spring release.

Thank you for having me! I hope your readers enjoy Stolen Time.

bookreview

Pink here…I loved this book and hated it at the same time.  What I loved about it was that even though it was New Adult, it didn’t have the angst that I’m beginning to hate in all New Adult books.  I mean really…no one and I mean NO ONE is that broken, emotional crippled, etc. that they can’t find their way out without the help of a girlfriend/boyfriend.  Ugh.  No thanks.  What’s the difference in Stolen Time?  The characters and they way that Ms. Harris wrote them.  Yes, Keiara had problems.  Losing her boyfriend in a horrific car wreck when everything was going so well.  But she pulled up her boot straps and got on with living.

Okay, so the life wasn’t all that great but she wasn’t dependent on another man to bring her happiness in and out of her bed.  In fact, that is another great thing about the book.  There is no sex at all.  A little kissing and maybe some petting (as Harlie says) but nothing that your grandmother can’t read.  The crux of the story is how Keiara came under the somewhat misguidance of the General and how that all played out.

What I didn’t like was this…ITS A PREQUEL and now I have to wait for the next book.  Grrr….  The ending was surprising and left me on pins and needles.  I don’t have a clue when the next book will be out but trust me, I will be buying it and reading it.  I loved Keiara, the General’s son Carson and what’s with the family that can’t leave?  Too many unanswered questions but at the same time, questions were answered.

Again, Grrrr but AWESOMESAUCE, too.  I’m picky about my PNR but I will definitely be looking for the next book from Ms. Harris.

Totally stole...again!  Harlie's NOT happy!

Totally stole…again! Harlie’s NOT happy!

5harlies

About the author:Angela Rae Harris Author Picutre

Angela Rae Harris:  Stories of Hope ~ Creating Dreams

Angela is an author, a wife, mother of two, and a part-time assistant office manager. She loves nights when her husband cooks. Her two kids keep her hopping and help her tap into her well of creativity and imagination.

At thirteen, Angela read Harry Potter and was reacquainted with books. She reads everything from Steven King to Will Hobbs. She started writing after her youngest was born. The characters started to visit and wouldn’t let her sleep until she wrote down their stories.

She’d love for people to get lost in her books.

Website/Blog / Facebook Fan Page / Twitter / Goodreads

Book Links:

Amazon / Amazon U.K. / Barnes & Noble / Smashwords / Goodreads

giveaway

Ebooks of Stolen Time
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,801 other followers

%d bloggers like this: