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John Wayne

Life's hard. It's even harder when you're stupid.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Great Event and Giveaway: Authors in the OC book signing

$10 ticket for the Authors in the OC book signing and Meet & Greet afterwards. Event benefits the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer via the Fifty Shades of Pink team.

October 4th, 2014
Embassy Suites Anaheim - North
1-4pm Book Signing
5-'Till we can't hang Meet & Greet

Tickets ** Blog ** Facebook ** Facebook Group

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Excerpt and Giveaway: The Legacy by Necole Ryse

Published: June 14th, 2014

Description:

Nineteen-year-old Raevyn Jones has never worn a designer gown. She's never had access to unlimited champagne or chauffeured limo rides.

But when she is dropped in the midst of the Black Ivy League--against her will--she has to pretend that everything is normal, as if she belongs.

When her new friends start to question her sketchy past and her shaky legacy at Benjamin Wallace Fitzgerald University, Raevyn realizes she will have to rely on her street smarts more than ever before.
Raevyn starts to receive cryptic text messages and emails from an anonymous sender and she soon discovers that not only does someone want her to leave B.W.Fitz--someone also wants to end her life.

I had a feeling from the cover on the left which is the ebook cover I had, that this book was going to have a creepy feel to it and OMG it did. The Legacy by Necole Ryse was an amazing and suspenseful read that leaves readers as you turn the last page and if you were like me re-read the last few pages twice wanting more and now holding your breath in anxious wait for book #2 . Goodreads

EXCERPT

I turned around when I saw someone standing there.
Watching.
I froze, too scared to move. Heavy puffs of smoke expelled from the person’s lungs. I watched it dissipate into the air. The person was dressed head to toe in black. A ski mask covered most of his or her face.
B?
And just when I thought things couldn’t possibly get any worse, they did.--
About the author:
Necole Ryse graduated from Towson University with Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications.
Bored with life as an adult, Necole decided to follow her dreams to write fiction and she hasn’t looked back. She joined theWinslet Press family to release her first novel, THE LEGACY.

She enjoys chocolate covered pretzels, Criminal Minds marathons, and all things Harry Potter.


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Guest Post and Giveaway: My Tethered Soul (Reaper's Rite #2) by Dorothy Dreyer

Published: August 19th, 2014

Description:

It’s been months since Zadie faced her sister’s Reaper, months during which she’s been under her mentor’s magical protection. But now that she’s turning seventeen, that protection is about to run out.

When dark forces lure Zadie to wander at night, she’s manipulated into committing unspeakable acts. With her friends and family at risk, Zadie must try to use her powers to break free from the Reaper’s grasp, or surrender to the Reaper’s Rite, which can only lead to death.

GUEST POST
The Reaper Fascination – How the image of reapers changed


The modern image of the Grim Reaper isn’t much different from how Death was depicted earlier on. In the bible’s Book of Revelation, Death is described as having a skeletal face framed by a black cloak. In the days of the Plague, artists often depicted death and dying with images of a skeleton or corpse. The black cloak is said to be tied in with wearing black to funerals, and the scythe is the Grim Reaper’s weapon to harvest souls.

Those images pretty much remained the same throughout time, though some works of art and depictions on television and in the movies have interpreted Death to be more human. Think Brad Pitt in Meet Joe Black, or the Reapers from Supernatural.

Still, it’s the more ghostly and eerie portrayals of the Grim Reaper that make my skin crawl. One could even suggest that the Dementors from Harry Potter were Reaper-esque in image. In the image of a human or not, I’d like to avoid Reapers of any type, if I can help it.

About the author:
Author Dorothy Dreyer I'm a Philippine-born American living in Germany with my husband and two teens. I write young adult books that usually have some element of magic or the supernatural in them. I also like to read those kinds of books. Aside from reading, I like movies, chocolate, take-out, coffee, traveling, and having fun with my friends and family. I've also been known to make a pretty sweet cupcake. I tend to sing sometimes, too, so keep me away from your Karaoke bars.

Website ** Goodreads ** Twitter ** Facebook
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New Release Giveaway: Beast, Part I (Beast #1) by Ella James

Release Date: August 22nd, 2014

Description: 18++

FROM HOLLYWOOD ROYALTY
At twenty-one years old, third-generation movie star Cal Hammond was on top of the world. He had more money than God and more women than any man could need. But when a night of debauchery ends in tragedy, he forfeits a life of luxury for a ten-year prison sentence at La Rosa, California’s most violent prison.

TO A BRUTAL BEAST
Eight years later, a ruthless, cunning man runs La Rosa from the inside. He is known simply as BEAST. All the wardens fear him. All the gangs obey him. He speaks to no one but his inner council. What he says is law.

NOW ONLY SHE CAN SAVE HIM
Annabelle Mitchell’s father is the warden at La Rosa. He deals as dirty as his trustees, and after years of smooth relations with Beast and the gangs he runs, Holt lands on the powerful prisoner’s hit list. That very afternoon, Annabelle pays a surprise visit to her father’s work, hoping to use her new counseling license at a place she thinks she could make a difference. When she catches Beast’s eye, he releases the warden and grabs the daughter. The price for the warden’s error is not death. It’s his precious Belle.

This is an erotic fairy tale inspired by Beauty and the Beast. 

About the author:
Ella James is a Colorado author who writes teen and adult romance. She is happily married to a man who knows how to wield a red pen, and together they are raising a feisty two-year-old who will probably grow up believing everyone’s parents go to war over the placement of a comma.

Ella’s books have been listed on numerous Amazon bestseller lists, including the Movers & Shakers list and the Amazon Top 100; two were listed among Amazon’s Top 100 Young Adult Ebooks of 2012.

To find out more about Ella’s projects and get dates on upcoming releases, find her on Facebook and follow her blog. Questions or comments? Tweet her  or e-mail her at ella_f_james@ymail.com.

Website ** Goodreads ** Facebook ** Twitter
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Interview and Giveaway: Eyes Wide Open (Healing Hearts #2) by Renee Dyer

Description:

Adriana Monroe had her life planned out. She was going to marry Alex, have a house full of kids, and spend as much time as possible with their friends. But, life had other plans. Life stole Alex from her and Adriana grieved his loss so badly, when she had the chance to love again with Tucker Stavros, she couldn’t do it. She was broken and felt her love for Alex would break Tucker, too. So, she walked away.

Now, her heart is shattered and she’s mourning the loss of both men.

Tucker Stavros has lived his life looking for love. After losing his mom at a young age and being abandoned by his dad, the only love he’s known is from his Grams. His relationships have been disasters. He’s never felt that spark… until he met Adriana Monroe. Everything changed for him the second he saw her smile. He didn’t care that she was grieving. He didn’t care that she was broken. He saw himself in her lost eyes. He would have done anything to make her his. Just when he thought they were becoming something special, she walked out of his life, crushing his heart.

Now, he’s alone, afraid he’ll never find anyone that makes him feel the way he felt for her.

Tragedy strikes and Tucker and Adriana find themselves thrown together once more. Will she continue to protect him by staying away, or will she find that her heart will take what it wants? Will Tucker shy away from her, or will he run to her and show her why they belong together? Will they hide from each other, or will they walk into the unknown with their Eyes Wide Open knowing that in order to heal, you have to first be broken?

MB's INTERVIEW
Thank you, Mrs. Dyer
From poetry through short stories to the full length novel. How it was the “journey” and what advantages it brought to your writing? 
Starting off writing poetry helped me to be able to put all my emotions onto paper first. My happiness, pain, sorrow, joy, tears and laughter went into those lines. When you can expose yourself so personally from the beginning, it only leaves room for growth. I knew I wanted to write stories for others to enjoy from a young age, but I needed to build the confidence. Writing the poetry for me helped me to gain the strength I needed to get to the short stories that eventually became full length novels.

What a good romance should have? 
A great story line with a full range of emotions. I want to feel like I’ve been transported into the book and like I’m one of the characters, going through the emotions, laughing, crying, fighting with them. Obviously, I want the sappy, make me swoon moments, but I love the angsty- will they-won’t they moments too. I love a book that picks me up and rings me out, leaving me feeling used up at the end of it.

How important is the “male perspective” for your romance stories plot and what do you do when you gain your husband’s eye rolling? 
For the Healing Hearts Series the “male perspective” is just as important as the female. To many of my readers it may be more important. They’ve fallen in love with Tucker so far and wanted to lynch me at the end of Waking Up. Although, that book was more Adri’s book, he took the hearts of my readers. I can’t blame them, when he talks to me (yes he talks to me-he’s in my head all the time), he says the sweetest things. When I tell my husband things like that, I definitely gain eye rolling from him. I gained eye rolling from him the night I was crying hysterically, yelling, “OMG, I’m so mean. I broke Tucker,” after writing a really sad scene. Luckily for me, he really does love me. I just smile sweetly and tell him I can’t help the things that come from my head when he looks at me like I’m losing it.

What it is your opinion about happy endings and cliffhangers in a romance and how much a writer should “torture” the readers? 
I love them both and here’s why… I’m a sucker for couples riding off into the sunset in love and getting that fairytale ending. It’s gives me the warm and fuzzies, makes me feel all is right in the world… as long as it fits the story. Love it when it’s a standalone or it’s ending a series. But, I personally love cliffhangers (please don’t throw things at me). My reason is, it makes my mind go crazy thinking of the possibilities. I’m the same way at the end of a tv series. I will follow an author’s page for months and months, picking up any little scrap they toss out. I get and stay so excited. I don’t always have time to go back and read that last book before the next one comes out, but what I do is skim it or read the last couple chapters to refresh my mind and BOOM-the excitement comes back full force. Cliffhangers wind me right up. Love them! I’ve never felt tortured by an author, but I know readers have. I hope to never put my readers in that scenario.

What Healing Hearts tell us about love? 
No matter how broken or damaged your heart is, it can always heal and find the person who compliments it.

For Adriana Monroe life couldn’t get any better. She has great friends, her photography business is booming and she married Alex, her childhood best friend. Life is perfect. It’s a fairy tale really. 

But one night changes everything for her. 
Suddenly she’s alone. She’s afraid to trust and afraid to love. Most of all she’s afraid she’s broken beyond repair. Nightmares torment and haunt her every time she closes her eyes. 

Will she ever be the same? 
For Tucker Stavros it looks to the outside world like things come easy for him. He’s gorgeous, rich, famous, has a hot girlfriend. Hell, he’s a movie star. If women aren’t trying to get with him then men are wishing they are him. What they don’t see is the broken child hiding behind the smiles he fakes for the cameras. They don’t see the man who wakes up drenched in sweat from his nightmares from a past he can’t escape. 

Betrayal sends him running. 
A chance encounter throws Tucker and Adriana together. They try to fight their attraction for each other. They feel they’re too broken for the other. 

Will they continue to suffer in the hell of dreamland separately or will they find that Waking Up to real life together can be so much sweeter?
About the author:
From a young age Renee Dyer had a love of writing, starting with a doodle pad at age four that soon turned into journals and later computer documents.  Poetry became short stories and short stories became a novel.  Although she's surrounded by males all day having three sons, a husband and a hyperactive chocolate lab, she still finds time to be all woman when she escapes into the fantasy of reading and writing romance.  That is, until she needs male perspective and garners eye rolling from her husband.

She's a true New Englander.  You'll find her screaming profanity at her TV while the Pats play and cuddling under blankets during the cold seasons (which is most of them) reading a good book.  To her snow is not a reason to shut things down, only a reason to slow down and admire the beauty.  Ask her questions and she'll answer them.  She's an open book, pun fully intended.

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Giveaway Finding Midnight: A Hellhound Tail (A Hellhound Tail Series Book 1) by T. Lynne Tolles

Published: August 6, 2014
Cover Artist: Jennifer Meyer

Description: 

Life raising a hellhound is no easy task. Unforeseen problems can and will arise at every turn. If things weren't crazy enough juggling a job, a blind dating a vampire and being stalked by a demon, then life in Paradise is about to get a whole lot worse for Summer when her landlord demands she unearth the RAT or the BROOM will have her head.

What does that even mean? Is the landlord insane? Summer's best friend Tori thinks so. Top it off with a visit from a fallen angel, a dragon, and Summer's got herself a whopper of a mystery to solve.

There was a smidgen of romance (I look for more in the next book!), a sprinkling of suspense, a pinch of humor, and a dash of action. Mostly there was just a plot that will grab your attention from the start and not let go until the last word. - Goodreads
About the author:
T. Lynne Tolles can be found most days, juggling one of two cat muses and a laptop, tripping over an ancient Newfoundland dog and washing a never-ending pile of laundry. When life doesn’t get in the way, she writes paranormal romances for new adults. 

Her passion for witches, ghosts, and vampires together with a light-hearted wit are reflected in her loveable characters and the adventures of mystery they unravel to find their happily ever after. 


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Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway: Bayou Blues by M.M. Shelley

Cover Artist: Michelle Marquez

Description:

Sixteen year old orphan, Ava Lopez, has returned to New Orleans, Louisiana, just as a dark entity has taken residence in the bayou.

Not only does Ava have to discover who or what is taking its victims from the Quarter, and leaving their remains in the Bayou. She will also have to maneuver her way around a new school and deal with a new bodyguard.

Ava will have to uncover the mystery before she becomes its next victim. 

GUEST POST

As I started working on my series A New Orleans Mystery series I knew that I’d combine the story with Martial Arts. I have been studying Tai Shing Pek Kwar for almost eight years and before that I’ve studied San Soo Kung Fu. My first day of class, I knew absolutely nothing about fighting; I didn’t even know how to make a proper fist, I was awful! I did a lot of falling that day, the one good thing was that at least I learned the proper way to land without hurting myself. There is a technique to it, you see, if you are pushed and knocked down you’d thrust your arms out and keep your head up and try to relax as you fall. By having your arms extended out you slap your palms against the ground thereby preventing your head from knocking into the ground. 

Spending so many years around Martial Artist I discovered that the really great ones are the most humble. In fact you wouldn’t know they were grandmasters or masters, as they present such a demeanor you’d think they knew nothing of Martial Arts, but the moment you’d see them move you’d know that they have spent years training and dedicating themselves to their art. If you were to watch them do a demo you would see that their movements would be made with such ease and with such precision that you’d stand in awe. 

I have had two Kung Fu teachers, the first one was Richard Ramirez who I learned San Soo, in La Puente, California. He’s now retired. And Tai Shing Pek Kwar from Grandmaster Jim Muse Furtado, in Whittier, California. These are two very unique styles and I have used them both in scenes for both Murder on Mars and Bayou Blues. In fact I plan to use them in all four books in this series. 

Thank you so much for hosting me on this tour for Bayou Blues A New Orleans Mystery!

EXCERPT



TOUR SCHEDULE

Prologue

It had been at least three years since he had left New Orleans, Louisiana and Auguste Cheval still wasn’t sure if he had made the right decision in returning. It didn’t feel right, yet he no longer had the option to stay away. His father had skipped out on him again leaving him no choice but to live with his uncle Prosper Cheval. 

Uncle Prosper was absolutely crazy. He refused to live in town preferring instead to live out in the Bayou. Auguste had to make the long trek from town to his uncle’s shack each and every day, to and from his high school. Auguste attended Ben Franklin, in part thanks to his social worker, who for some reason or another seemed focused on making sure he stayed the course. His social worker Phillips believed that Auguste had the grades and the drive to excel at school; a school where nearly everyone excelled at one thing or another. 

The only issue Auguste had was that a normal life could never be in the cards for him, but he wasn’t about to tell his social worker Phillips just why that was. How could he even begin to explain it?

As Auguste headed deeper into the Bayou he ventured down a narrow pathway that was nearly completely covered over with knee high marshway cordgrass. Auguste had taken the long way home as he was in no hurry to return. His uncle Prosper probably wouldn’t be there, more than likely he was out checking on his traps. 

A slight sound came from his left. Something heavy was pushing through the marshway cordgrass, but Auguste couldn’t see what it was. So he waited. He didn’t want to move any further until he could see it clearly. In the light of the fading sun, Auguste held his breath as he waited to identify what moved in the cordgrass. In spite of the fact that the sun had reached the horizon, the air remained hot and humid enough to cause his clothes to stick to his body. 

A man in his early forties rolled out of the cordgrass falling right in Auguste’s pathway. The man rolled until he was on his hands and knees, he lifted his head high up in the air, his chin tilted skyward and his eyes closed. He smelled the dry stillness in the air. His eyes opened and he quickly shifted toward Auguste. His eyes locked in on Auguste and his head made a rather sharp movement almost like a wolf finding the scent of his prey. 

As the man’s eyes focused sharply on Auguste, a deep low growl escaped his throat. The eerie sound was so disturbing that it caused Auguste to feel ill. As the man leaned onto his back legs ready to pounce on Auguste, a wolf jumped out of the marshway cordgrass and latched onto the man’s throat, dragging him onto the ground and ripping at his flesh. 

He tried to fight back, sinking his teeth into the wolf’s coat, but to no avail as the wolf tore fiercely away at him. The man screamed out in pain against the assault. Sudden silence signaled that the man had given up the fight. His body grew limp as his life began to ebb, leaving him unable to endure anymore.

The wolf turned and shifted toward Auguste, it took a step towards him with a giant paw. The wolf had an unearthly presence as its paws were large and sunk into the earth with each heavy step. Its head was slightly larger than the rest of the body giving it a disproportionate appearance. The wolf’s green eyes looked like they had seen centuries of war and chaos and were filled with a sadness that tore at Auguste’s heart. In spite of his feelings, Auguste found the hint of darkness lurking beneath the wolf’s demeanor disturbing. It was a darkness that wouldn’t think twice about attacking Auguste and harming him, just as it had killed the man without hesitation.

Auguste held out his arm as if to prevent it from coming any closer. As he did so, the fading sunlight illuminated the scar that ran from the outside of Auguste’s elbow to the inside of his middle forearm. The wolf sniffed at him before taking another step; then, as quickly as it had appeared, it turned and ran back into the cordgrass leaving behind the lifeless body of the man it had just killed for sport. 




About the author:

M.M. Shelley is a storyteller, wordsmith and dreamer. She has traveled the world extensively in search of the magic which is often overlooked in everyday life. M.M. Shelley is a native of southern California, and a student of mythology from which she gets much inspiration.


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Kids Moments: Giveaway Karmack by J.C. Whyte

Description: 7+

A strange little creature enters the lives of three tough guys at Higgins Elementary. And from that point on, pranks come back like boomerangs, smacking the bullies right in their fifth grade butts! 

Sully, the leader of the gang, is the only one who can see this creature, which he names Karmack. 

Sully learns that the creature’s job is to balance all the bad pranks the bullies have pulled over the years. Karmack warns that if this fails, “dreadful, awful doom” awaits them all. Sully soon realizes that he must save not only himself but his friends, who have no idea why they keep getting boomeranged by Karmack!

"Karmack" won First Place in the 2014 Purple Dragonfly Writing contest, a national contest for children's book authors, in the category of chapter books (e-Books).

The Buzz About the Book

"Karmack is a well-written, middle grade book tackling the difficult topic of bullying from the perspective of the bully. The character development is absolutely brilliant as the reader witnesses the transformation of Sully from an aggressive, angry bully to a positive role model and respected leader among his peers. While the concept of karma is not for everyone, I found myself agreeing with the main message of how our actions have consequences, intended or otherwise. I would recommend this book to middle grade classrooms as a great book to generate discussion around bullying." ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

"A wonderful story about growing up and treating others with respect, Karmack is well paced, funny, and manages to teach important lessons without coming off preachy." ~ Jess W., Amazon

"A fun read with important lessons for us all about Karma, and why bullies have more to balance than most people. Great for ages 9 up, child centered, non-preachy, action packed, great classroom read aloud." ~ Carolyn W., Amazon

"What an AMAZINGLY FUN story! EVERYONE needs to read it! Full of FUN, FANTASY, and FANTASTIC REVENGE on a bully! Fun for ALL ages!" ~ Shauna W., Amazon

"Karmack is a captivating pre-teen fantasy and author J.C. Whyte has created a strong cast of characters that are well developed and quite likable. As the story progresses, the suspense builds to a delightful outcome that is sure to keep readers anticipating Whyte's next round of literary treasures. We look forward to seeing more from this author." ~ Literary Classics Book Review, Amazon

About the author:
When J.C. Whyte was eleven, her 6th grade teacher gave a class assignment to write a poem about a sport. Realizing her classmates would probably choose popular American sports like baseball or football, J.C. decided to write about something different: golf. And to her complete surprise, the teacher found it comical; she was thereby encouraged to keep writing. 

Then over summer break, students were told to choose 26 books from a reading list and write a book report on each. J.C. was horrified! She wanted to enjoy her summer, not spend it reading! You see, J.C. was a very slow reader and didn’t much enjoy the experience. Plus, kids back then didn’t have all the fun books to choose from today. But that same teacher who had assigned the sports poem told J.C.’s mother she could write 26 stories instead of reading them. That was absolute genius! Although she didn’t actually write 26 stories (perhaps six?), J.C. submitted one which made her teacher laugh out loud in class. And she got an “A” on her summer reading assignment. J.C. has never forgotten that wise teacher who let her play to her strengths. 
So from the age of eleven, J.C. knew she wanted to be a writer. Yet by the time she reached college, she understood that writing stories seldom paid the bills. So she got her degrees in Journalism and Communications Management. Then for many years she channeled her creative energies in the field of Public Relations. Marriage, kids, and several more degrees and occupations later (including stints as a travel agent and paralegal), J.C. entered law school – mostly for the challenge of writing creative arguments for the court. But while in law school, she became a columnist for the student newsletter, writing humorous pieces on the strange and quirky life of a law student. She was absolutely thrilled when one of these articles was chosen for publication in The National Jurist, a magazine distributed to law students throughout the US. 

But after graduating and passing the Bar, J.C. realized within a few years that creative writing was still what made her heart sing. So now, as a grandma, she’s returned to writing. And with publication of her middle grade novel Karmack, she’s come full circle, back to where her writing journey began.

Book Blast Giveaway
Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash prize Contest ends: September 18, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. One winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If a winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, J.C. Whyte and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guest Post and Giveaway: Double Negative by C. Lee McKenzie

Published: July 25th, 2014

Description:

“My life was going, going, gone, and I hadn’t been laid yet. I couldn’t go into the slammer before that happened.” Hutch McQueen.

Sixteen-year-old Hutchinson McQueen is trapped between an abusive mother and an absentee father. Shackled by poor vision and poor reading skills, he squeaks through classes with his talent for eavesdropping and memorizing what he hears. After another suspension from school and suffering through one of his mother’s violent attacks, he escapes to a friend’s house that turns out to be a meth lab. The lab is raided and Hutch lands in juvenile detention. 

When the court sentences him to six months in a new juvenile program, he meets a teacher with Alzheimer’s who will change his life and hers.

GUEST POST
What is Realistic Fiction? 

The simple answer is it’s an oxymoron. 

All the while I’m creating characters and stories that are supposed to reveal or be “real” life, I’m really working to disguise what I’m doing. 

Sounds strange, doesn’t it? But as a writer of realistic fiction, I have to use language to generate the idea in readers’ minds that what I’ve created is indeed real. But it’s not. Not in the least. 

Actually, writing stories about fairies, zombies, witches and angels is more straight forward. No one thinks for a minute these are anything except artifice. These are worlds that don’t exist, but serve to enchant, entertain and give another perspective on real life. 

So what are some of the ways I use to disguise what I do as a realistic writer? One has been the First Person point of view. I can give direct access to my characters’ thoughts, feelings and motivations using this convention. Readers feel an immediate connection with my characters. They enter with me into what I guess Spock would call a “Mind Meld,” and they are more likely to say, “ Yes. This is how it really is. I know. I’ve been there. I’ve felt that.” Because we have a shared history of this convention, they forget they’re inside a fiction. Sometimes I forget as well. 

I use “real” or “near-real” everyday items. One problem I’ve had is technology. I no sooner write this fantastic realistic scene with a character flipping his phone closed than the flip phone is the dinosaur of cells. Okay. I change all those scenes to iPhones 3, the iPhones 4 enter and the only teen caught dead with an iPhone 3 is a kid who can’t afford a new phone. I make a note that maybe using outdated equipment is a great way to reveal who my character is. 

I build my worlds as carefully as sci-fi and fantasy writers do. These worlds must, after all, appear real. That doesn’t mean I describe real cities or towns. No, it means that once again I go to that commonly shared code about what is real—the code that says, towns have districts—rich and poor, cluttered and spacious. Cities have garbage trucks that rumble through the streets in dim daylight on a specific day of the week. Those are my kind of details. Those are what I use to create the illusion of reality. 

I love realistic fiction, but that’s evident because it’s mostly what I write. I think it’s important for kids to read about characters who deal with real life problems. I believe it helps them if they see how those characters handle problems and how they feel while they do. The more I can trick readers into believing the story is real, the better the result.

About the author:
In my other life--the one before I began writing for teens and younger readers--I was a teacher and administrator at California State University, San Jose. My field of Linguistics and Inter-cultural Communication has carried me to a lot of places in the world to explore different cultures and languages. I can say, “Where’s the toilet?” and “I’m lost!” in at least five languages and two dialects. Go ahead. Pat me on the back.

My idea of a perfect day is one or all of the following: starting a new novel, finishing writing a blockbuster novel, hiking on a misty morning trail in the Santa Cruz Mountains, saying Namaste after a great yoga practice, sipping a cappuccino topped at a bustling café, reading in front of a fire with snow outside, swimming in an ocean someplace. 

I've just set out my perfect life. Day after day after day.


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Cover Reveal Fate's Love (Fate's Love #1) by L.A. Cotton

Release Date: September 30th, 2014

Description:

When you meet that one person in the world meant for you... you should hold onto them.

Olivia Bannon walked away.
Twice.

When 17-year-old Livy meets Ethan, she can’t deny their inexplicable connection. Lost in his dark, intense eyes and smile-to-die-for, Livy never thought she would feel like this. It almost makes her want to break her childhood vow, but Livy knows happily ever after is just an illusion, and despite her heart wanting Ethan, her head is telling her to stick with the plan. The one that doesn’t include falling in love. Period.

Eight years later, Livy finds herself back in her hometown. After the way she left things, the last time they were together, Livy is anxious about seeing Ethan again. It shouldn’t come as shock to discover he has finally moved on—but it hurts. A lot. Accepting that she will never get the chance to put things right isn’t easy, but it’s not until life comes crashing down around her that Livy realizes what she could’ve had. Left broken, alone, and depressed, only one person can pull her out—the guy she thought she'd pushed away one too many times.

Livy has finally realized that you can’t fight fate… Some things are just meant to be. Is this finally her time to get it right, or has Livy missed her last chance with Ethan?

Excerpt:

     “Liv, what’s going on? Is she okay? Keefer told me what went down.”
      I moved away from the door and met Ethan halfway. “No, she isn’t okay.” It came out bitter.
     “Can I do anything? I could come-”
      I shook my head. “We’re fine, thanks.” Without realizing I stepped back and Ethan’s face paled.
    “And us?”
     My eyes dropped to the floor.
    “Liv, look at me. What. About. Us?”
     I forced myself to look at him. My head and heart were at war. My heart wanted him to wrap me in his arms and tell me everything was going to be okay. That Amber would heal. That Sharn would meet her Prince Charming. That we really did have something. But my head knew better. My head would always know better.
    “There is no us. I’m sorry, Ethan. Goodbye.” I turned from him and fled back to the limo.
    “You’re running from me, Liv. Don’t use this as an excuse to run,” he called out.
     Once in the safety of the limo, I slammed the door behind me, ignoring Sharn’s questioning glare.
   “How is she?”
   “A mess. This will leave scars.” Sharn answered.
    I leaned my head onto the backrest and pressed a finger to my lips, trying to remember what kissing Ethan felt like. Was it even real? It didn’t feel real. Not now. It felt like a dream—the really good kind, until you wake up and realize it was just that.
    A dream.
   Because in the harsh light of day, life wasn’t like that. It was hard—full of hurt and people who let you down.
  No, life wasn't like a dream at all.

About the author:
L. A. Cotton has a busy mind in need of constant stimulation. A youth worker from the Midlands, UK, if L. A isn’t immersed in a book, she’s figuring out what course to study next. With an imagination that refuses to stay quiet, early this year, L. A finally decided to put finger to keyboard and start typing. Her first novel, Fate’s Love is due for release September 30th.

When she’s not busy reading, writing, and plotting future books, L. A. is mum to two gorgeous children, and their hyper terrier, Rocky.


Cover Reveal organized by Book Enthusiast Promotions

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: FOLLOW (Social Media #1) by J.A. Huss

Publication Date: August 27th, 2014

Description: 18++

#Women.
I f... them. I use them. I pay them off. I find another. My demands are never denied. My contracts are always signed. They submit to me. Willingly. Completely. Temporarily. This is how it’s always been.

Until I saw that filthy tweet.

@VaughnAsher [...]. #ThingsIThinkAboutToGetOff

“FilthyBlueBird” thinks she can tease me with hashtags and then hide behind a Twitter handle? She thinks I wouldn’t be more than happy to #RockHerFilthyWorld? She’s wrong.

Her online fantasy is about to collide with her public reality, and it’s about to happen… now.

Goodreads ** Preorder Amazon
About the author:
J. A. Huss likes to write new adult books that make you think and keep you guessing. Her favorite genre to read is space opera, but since practically no one reads those books, she writes new adult science fiction, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and books about Junco (who refuses to be saddled with a label). 

She has an undergraduate degree in horses, (yes, really–Thank you, Colorado State University) and a master’s degree in forensic toxicology from the University of Florida. She used to have a job driving around Colorado doing pretty much nothing but shooting the breeze with farmers, but now she just writes, runs the New Adult Addiction and Clean Teen Reads Book Blogs, and runs an online science classroom for homeschoolers.

Author's Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Cover Reveal by Xpresso Book Tours

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Excerpt and Giveaway: The Keeper (D.I. Sean Corrigan #2) by Luke Delaney

Published: July 29th, 2014


Description:

The second novel in the DI Sean Corrigan series – authentic and terrifying crime fiction with a psychological edge, by an ex-Met detective. Perfect for fans of Mark Billingham, Peter James and Stuart MacBride.

DI Sean Corrigan is different to most cops. He’s no psychic, but his own dark past has given him the ability to step into a crime scene and see it through the eyes of the offender. He understands what drives a person to commit murder, rape, arson – but sometimes his gift seems more like a burden.

When the brutally murdered body of a young woman is found in the woods, Corrigan and his team are on the case. But this is not the act of a one-time offender. They’re on the trail of someone who has been taking women from their homes and keeping them captive before disposing of their bodies.

This killer is looking for the perfect woman – and when he finds her, he’s going to keep her. Whether she likes it or not…

The book is all about victims and how different people react to being one. Even the bad guy in The Keeper is a victim, which in truth is how it really works out to be. Truly evil men are few and far between and I just wanted to show that most killers are created by their own tragic pasts. It was a reaction to constantly seeing the mob calling for murderers and paedophiles to be publically hung or electrocuted. All that stuff leaves me cold.

EXCERPT



CHAPTER 1

Thomas Keller walked along the quiet suburban street in Anerley, southeast London, an area that provided affordable housing to those attracted to the capital who discovered that they could only afford to live on its edges, financially excluded from the very things they had come to London for in the first place. He knew Oakfield Road well, having walked its length several times over the previous few weeks, and he knew in which house Louise Russell lived.

Keller was cautious. Although confident he would draw little attention in his Post Office uniform, this was not his normal route. Someone might realize he shouldn’t be there and that the mail had already been delivered earlier that morning, but he couldn’t wait any longer—he needed Louise Russell today.

As he approached number 22, he made sure to drop post through the letter boxes of neighboring houses, just in case some bored resident had nothing to do other than spy on the street where nothing happened anyway. As he posted junk mail his eyes flicked at the windows and doors of the street’s ugly new brick houses, built for practicality with no thought of individuality or warmth. Their design provided excellent privacy, however, and that had made Louise Russell even more attractive to him.

His excitement and fear were rising to levels he could barely control, the blood pumping through his arteries and veins so fast it hurt his head and blurred his vision. He quickly checked inside his postal delivery sack, shuffling the contents around, moving the junk mail aside, touching the items he had brought with him for reassurance—the electric stun gun he’d bought on one of his rare holidays outside of Britain, the dishwashing-liquid bottle that contained chloroform, a clean flannel, a roll of heavy-duty tape, and a thin blanket. He would need them all soon, very soon.

Only a few steps to the front door now and he could sense the woman inside, could taste and smell her. The architecture of the soulless house meant that once he had reached the front door he could not be seen from the street and nor could Louise Russell’s red Ford Fiesta. He held his hand up to ring the doorbell, but paused to steady himself before pressing the button attached to the door frame, in case he needed to persuade her to open the door to him.

After what felt like hours he finally pressed it and waited, until a jerky shadow moved from the bowels of the house toward the front door. He stared at the opaque glass window in the door as the shadow took on color and the door began to open without hesitation or caution. He hadn’t had to speak after all.

Now at last she was standing in front of him with nothing between the two of them, nothing that could keep them apart any longer.

He stood silently, in awe of her. It felt as if her clear, shinning green eyes were pulling him forward, toward her glowing skin, her pretty feminine face. She was only a little smaller than he, about five foot six and slim, with straight brown hair cut into what was nearly a bob. She was about the same age as he was, twenty-eight years old. He began to tremble, but not with fear any more, with joy. She smiled and spoke to him. “Hi. Do you have something for me?”

“I’ve come to take you home, Sam,” he told her. “Just like I promised I would.”

Louise Russell smiled through her confusion. “I’m sorry,” she said, “I don’t think I understand.”

She saw his arm moving quickly toward her and tried to step back, away from the threatening-looking black box he held in his hand, but he stepped forward to match her stride. When the box touched her chest it felt as if she’d been hit by a wrecking ball. Her feet left the ground as she catapulted backward and landed hard on the hallway floor. For a few blissful moments she remembered nothing as her world turned to black, but unconsciousness spared her from reality all too briefly. When her eyes opened again she somehow knew she hadn’t been out for long and that she was still unable to command her own movements as her body remained in spasm, her teeth clenched together, preventing her from screaming or begging.

But her eyes were her own and they could see everything as the man dressed like a postman busied himself around her prone body. His stained, buckled teeth repulsed her, as did the odor of his unwashed body. As his head passed close to her face she could see and smell his short, unkempt brown hair, strands of which had stuck to his forehead with sweat. His skin was pale and unhealthy and appeared quite gray, marked with acne and chicken-pox scars. His hands were bony and ugly, too long and thin, the skin almost transparent like an old person’s. Long dirty fingernails fidgeted at things he was taking from his post bag.

Everything about him made her want to turn from him, to push him away, but she was trapped in the unrelenting grip of whatever he’d touched her with, unable to do anything but watch the nightmare she was at the center of. And all the time he spoke to her using the name of another as the pictures adorning the walls she knew so well stared down at her—happy photographs of her with her husband, her family, her friends. How many times had she passed the pictures and not taken time to look? Now, paralyzed on the floor of her own home, her sanctuary, the same pictures mocked her from above. This couldn’t be happening, not here—not in her home.

“It’ll be all right, Sam,” he promised. “We’ll get you home as soon as we can, OK? I’ll get you in the car and then it’s only a short trip. Please don’t be scared. There’s no need to be scared. I’m here to look after you now.”





books (o,5, 0.6, 1, 3) in series


About the author:
Luke Delaney joined the Metropolitan Police Service in the late 1980s, and his first posting was to an inner-city area of South East London notorious for high levels of crime and extreme violence. He later joined the Criminal Investigations Department, where he investigated murders ranging from those committed by fledgling serial killers to gangland assassinations.

Author's Giveaway
Three hard copies of The Keeper

Excerpt Hostile Takeover (Rafe and Kama #2) by K.S. Ferguson


Description:

Rafe McTavish, security expert and new CEO at interplanetary mega-corp EcoMech, and his undercover ally Kama Bhatia, hacker and corporate spy, continue their pursuit of a ruthless blackmailer in the sequel to Calculated Risk.

When Rafe's arrival on EcoMech's frontier colony world ruins their adversary's plan for supremacy, events take a deadly turn. As tensions amongst the workers rise and unrest turns to violence, Rafe and Kama must race to unmask a killer before Rafe and his family fall victims to a murderous hostile takeover.

EXCERPT

The lights went out. Kama started and checked her nanocom. Curfew. Of all the stupid— She fumbled in her bag for her work light. A quick flash around the room showed she was alone. With the lights out, she'd lost her network connection. 

Enough was enough. Why sit in the dark and heat when she could be comfortably ensconced in her workroom at her school chasing the same leads she chased here? She had a hidden account on the EcoMech network now. She could monitor remotely for the hacker and continue her investigation from a safe place. 

Besides, McTavish said he was leaving. Why should she stay if he didn't? Why hadn't there been a report of his resignation? Had she missed it? Maybe the board wanted to name a replacement first. She stashed her light, grabbed her duffel, and left. 

Ahead, dim lights shone in the lobby, and quiet voices floated to her. She connected to the network, contacted the shuttleport, and booked a seat on the first flight out. 

Kama passed the vacant front desk, ignoring the stares of the dozen men and woman grouped in a knot near the front door. She'd catch a few winks in her room, and then she'd start again looking for the hacker. She pushed through the stairwell door and climbed, cursing Harvest and her own foolishness for coming here with every labored step. 

The second-floor stairwell light was out, as were the lights on the next several landings. Dim illumination from much higher lit the darkness enough for her to continue. When she reached the third floor, the ground-floor door scraped open and clunked closed behind her. Footsteps scuffed on the treads as someone jogged upward. No, more than one person. 

Who the hell runs up stairs in this heat and gravity? Another cold shiver lanced through her. She peered down into the gloom, but whoever was coming stuck to the wall out of her sight. She shrugged her bag higher on her shoulder, gritted her teeth, and bolted up the stairs.

About the author:
K S Ferguson has published three novels, Calculated Risk, Hostile Takeover, and Touching Madness, and one critically-acclaimed novella, Puncher's Chance (co-written with James Grayson,) which appeared in the June 2006 edition of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, America's longest-running science fiction magazine. She enjoys writing suspense and murder mysteries in futuristic and fantasy settings, and also writes fiction in the guise of technical manuals for unfinished software—otherwise known as help documentation.