Friday, July 3, 2015

'Catchpenny (Part 1: Wicked Lover)' by Sarah Wathen

Check out the first book in this serial novel, including an excerpt below! And then stay tuned for more!


Have you ever wondered about that girl at the edge of the crowd? The one who has dark, bushy hair that hides her eyes while she's reading, but tight shirts that don't even try to hide the size of her breasts? You've heard the rumors, you know the rude nicknames, and you wonder what she really does when she's not in school. She never comes to parties and she lives in a neighborhood where nice girls never venture. Everyone tries to ignore her...but there is something about her that's impossible to ignore. Especially for the star quarterback, apparently. Because he just asked her to the Homecoming dance, after dumping the head cheerleader.

Catchpenny tells the story from the eyes of "that girl," and Wicked Lover is just the beginning of this coming of age serial novel. The small town minds of Shirley County have underestimated Meg Shannon for too long. She’s even more fun than she is trouble…but maybe she has finally met her match.

Read an excerpt:

I opened up Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, the pages blue after letting my closed eyes bake in the sun. I thumbed a few pages forward to see where the chapter ended, not really in the mood for reading, but always more comfortable to have a book in hand at lunchtime.
He was standing just behind me, his head cocked to one side, looking over my shoulder at the Tolstoy. I gasped—I couldn’t help it.
“Hi, I’m Tristan.”
He was squinting into the sun, and it was hard to tell if he was smiling or frowning.
“Yeah, I know who you are.”
He shaded his eyes and laughed. Didn’t everyone know who he was? He was on the billboard in front of the football field, for god’s sake, his arm cocked back to throw a winning pass. Go Bobcatts!
“What are you reading?” His voice was soft and curious, with the hint of a Southern drawl that you didn’t hear in my neighborhood. High-class molasses. He squinted to read the pages I held open in my lap.
“Uh…” I faltered. The sun shone through his light irises like glass, shocking against his dark hair. His black polo shirt was gathered loosely around one hip, the hand in his pocket pushing it up casually over the waistband of his jeans. A slice of flesh was made visible. He stood in perfect contrapposto, bookbag slung over his shoulder like Michelangelo’s David holding the slingshot. I closed my book and tossed it onto the table, pretending not to notice how his jeans hung, low and delicious on slender hips. “Just something for English Lit.”
“How can you read out here? It’s so bright.”
Because I’d rather read a book than sit alone with no one talking to me. “I heard that people with light eyes have a harder time adjusting to bright light.”
He stepped closer to me, shifting his weight and putting his back to the sunlight. The color of his eyes reminded me of Halls Mentho-Lyptus cough drops after I’d sucked on one for a while and the zing got too strong to keep it in my mouth—icy blue and transparent.
“I don’t want to bother you or anything,” he said, dropping his voice lower, since we were face to face then. He smelled like soap and clean laundry, with something gritty underneath. Something undeniably male.
“No, I—” I cleared my throat. He was even better looking up close. “I’m not busy.”
He glanced back over his shoulder and the group of girls who had been watching suddenly picked up their conversation again, all of them talking at once and fumbling with their lunches. I was waiting with as much anticipation as they had been—why on earth was he talking to me?
“I’ll let you get back to your book, but I just wanted to ask you something.”
“Sure. What’s up?” Those eyes.
“Would you be my date for Homecoming this weekend?”
“Cough drop—” I spluttered.
I slapped my chest and choked out a cough. “I mean…uh, the dance?”
“Yeah, the dance.”
“Wait. Don’t you have a girlfriend?” I wasn’t exactly buddies with anyone in the popular crowd at Andrew Jackson, nowhere close. But everyone knew that the star quarterback and the head cheerleader had been together since freshman year. Sugary sweet.
“No. I don’t have a girlfriend.” That smile again, but with an undercurrent in his voice.
The neighboring table had gone silent once more, the bombshell news of Tristan’s single status freezing them all mid-prattle.
“Absolutely.” I grinned over his shoulder—a present for our shocked audience.
“Absolutely, you’ll go with me?”
Did he really think I would say no? The curiosity itself was enough for me to agree.
“Sure. Why not?” I shrugged, like it was nothing to me. Yeah, right.
“Great. Okay, lemme just get your number...” He handed me his phone and I punched my number in, wondering what kind of psychedelic rabbit hole I had accidentally wandered through. Had somebody drugged my orange juice that morning? He took his phone back and saved, whispering, “Meg…Shannon,” as he typed. “Okay. Well, I’ll see you around, then?”
“Yeah, see ya.” I resisted the urge to bite down on my knuckles.
He winked at me and waved over his shoulder as he turned back to the courtyard entrance. His jeans looked even nicer from behind, snug around his well-shaped glutes and muscular thighs. “Bye, Meg.”
I picked my book up again, refusing to gaze at his retreating form in concert with the other females. A wink, though. What did that mean? Maybe it was just the bright light on his Mentho-Lyptus eyes. I opened Anna Karenina again and pretended to concentrate for the rest of lunch. But I couldn’t read another word.

Author Bio

Sarah Wathen is an artist and an author. A painter at heart, she says, “Writing a book was my obvious next step, once I realized I’d been trying to tell stories with pictures for years. Painting with words is even more fun than painting with oil.” In 2012, she founded the independent publishing house, LayerCake Productions, specializing in the fun part of creative writing, like original artwork, video trailers, and musical soundtracks. She lives in Florida with her husband, son, and at least a dozen imaginary friends from her novels. Her characters are derived from the people and places that have influenced her own life, but the stories they live will take you places you have never imagined and won’t want to leave.


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Thursday, June 25, 2015

'Prince Charming Must Die (The Grimm Chronicles)' by Ken Brosky & Isabella Fontaine


Grimm's Fairy Tales come to life in this exciting Young Adult adventure series! 18-year-old Alice Goodenough must use her magic pen to vanquish the evil before it threatens the world!

Snag the rest of the series here.

Author Bio: 

Ken Brosky received his MFA in writing from the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

'The Atlanteens Trilogy: Veritas (Book #1)' by AMI Noone

The truth will set you free...

Hundreds of years in the future, on a war torn Earth, a group of beings, only referred to as, the Watchers, came from the Heavens and built a paradise for the last remaining humans to live in. They called this paradise Edin.

Sixteen year old Maya has lived in Edin, since the day she was born under the watchful eye of Edin's creators - The Watchers. Every year the Ascension Ceremony takes place in Edin and those who are chosen can ascend to the Anzu, the watchers Heaven. This is their reward for living a just and honest life in Edin. The day of the ascension is a happy an joyous occasion that is celebrated by everyone. But before this Ascension Ceremony begins, Maya will learn a terrifying truth and will face the hardest choice of her life - will she continue to live the way she has always done or will she fight for her friends, her family and her future.

Today Maya is in paradise, but tomorrow she will learn that she is an Atlanteen and the truth will set her free.

See all books by this author here.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Read an exclusive excerpt from 'Detached (A Rewind Agency Novel)' by Jill Cooper

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DetachedWhat you do tomorrow, you'll pay for today.

Life was easier in the cage, now Lara Crane’s life is under a microscope.

She thought she was out, ready for a normal life, but with the Feds endless questions and tests, Lara realizes she might never be free.

Things would be worse if not for Donovan. They promise to ride it out together as Lara is fitted with a time travel restraint, designed to not only stop her, but to save her life as her mind spirals out of control. No more second chances. No more time travel to revert everything back the way it was once before.

As the danger increases, so does Lara’s headaches and nightmares. Her brain is desperate to be free, loose, and as the future begins to flash all around her, Lara is terrified the end might be near.

And maybe she doesn’t have a future at all.

Read an excerpt:
I turn up the walkway and the door opens. Donovan steps down and I fall into his arms. “Don’t scare me like that again.” He whispers and kisses my cheek. 
Promising I won’t, my arms tighten around his waist as he takes my face in his hands and kisses me. I was a fool to believe I could live without him, do all of this without him. I got scared. I almost gave up. 
But I don’t give up. I’m a Crane and a Montgomery. A little bit sass and a lot of determination. I just need to find an answer. 
Donovan takes my hand and we go inside. His dad is off at his job, I guess and the home is empty. The living room is cramped and there’s a newspaper on the sofa. Donovan doesn’t bother to fold it as he tosses it onto the coffee table. 
I sit beside him and he holds my hand. Our knees knock together and he leans in to kiss me. I have a lot of explaining to do, but his kisses are a source of comfort. A way to recharge my strength. It’s nice to know that through all of this he still loves me. 
“Nothing’s been easy.” Donovan says it in a way that it doesn’t sound like a hardship. It sounds like a challenge. A bet. Like he’s daring life to throw something else our way. 
I wish he wouldn’t. 
“We’ll get through it.” I touch the back of his head. 
“It makes me sick to think how my family has gotten you involved in all this.” Donovan shakes his head and I stare at him. 
How can he feel like that? I feel like that. 
“My mom? I don’t know when I’ll stop feeling so guilty. When I saw you on CSPAN. The news…” Donovan sighs. “She’s been in jail for almost a year so when will I feel better?” 
Never seems like the wrong answer. Sometimes I forget with all the time travel drama that Donovan is going through something too. His transition is hard. 
“I guess you don’t have an answer, huh?” Donovan smiles and its part sad. Part happy. 
“I wish I did.” I shrug. “I’m glad we have each other. Does that count for something?” 
“It counts for a lot.” Donovan runs his hands behind his head. “Dad lost his job again.” 
He pauses as he waits for me to say something. My brow furrows. “I’m sorry.” 
“He’ll find something else. He always does.” The stigma of being a James, of what Rewind did, carries on and it seems to follow Donovan’s dad around wherever he goes. 
“I don’t think we’ll lose the house. But I think I’ll need to sell the Porsche. Dad needs the money more than I need that car.” He gazes off into space and can’t look at me. 
“Oh Don,” I put my hand on his cheek. “You really think that car is important to me like you are?” 
He leans his head against mine. “And what will everyone say? You know what a big deal I used to make about getting that car. About everything. Being bigger and badder than all the other guys at school. Now look at me.” Donovan wipes at his mouth and there’s disgust in his eyes. 
“Who cares what they’ll say?” 
“I care.” Donovan sighs and stands up, his hands on his hips. “We had so much. I thought I had everything. The money. The giant house. Nothing could ever go wrong for me because I was a James. The best girlfriend. We had a real future. Any future we wanted.” 
He leans against the wall, pulls back the curtain and studies something outside. I go to him and wrap my arms around his waist, resting my head on his back. “You still have me, Don.” 
“And thank God for that.” Don faces me and I stroke his forehead. We lean on each other and tenderly he kisses me. He makes me his again, just like he always does when we’re close. 
“I’m glad to be your girl and we’ll find a way out.” 
“An hour ago and you tried to get rid of me.” Donovan’s face falls when he says the words. 
“Because I love you. Because I’m scared. You know I can’t say things like that easy. I hate…We’ll just do it, okay? We’ll find a way out of all this. Because anything else…” I shake my head and we come together like lovers. 
But we’re as trapped as mice in a cage. The cage might be bigger, prettier, but I can’t think of a way out. I can’t say that. I probably shouldn’t even be thinking it. Donovan needs me to be strong and that’s exactly what it is I’m going to do.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Read an exclusive excerpt from 'Scales' by Pauline Creeden

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ScalesVerona is a bottom feeder. She is the one mer in her clan who is considered the ugliest and least intelligent. Growing up with the constant bullying and abuse wasn’t the worst of what her kind had in store for her. At seventeen years old, she must now endure “The Reckoning.”

The scales will measure her worth to her clan. Will she endure thirty days as a land-walker to gather information and knowledge to appease her clan and return a valued member? Will she wait three years, until she is twenty, and find a mer of her kind to accept her and marry her? Or will she suffer exile for the rest of her life?

Genre: YA

Read an exclusive excerpt:
Because I am the bottom feeder, it is my job to survive the Reckoning and prove that I am worthy to stay with the clan. If they find out that he helped me, they’ll send him out on the Reckoning, too.

Suddenly I stop and yank my arm from his grasp. “You can’t do this. You can’t help me.”

He sneers. “A Mer with half a brain would say thank you.”

He snatches my wrist again and drags me along with him. I follow reluctantly.

“Where are we going?”

“Shut up and swim faster. We need to get salve on your wounds so they will clot. I’ve got some hidden this way.”

We swim in silence toward the shallows until we find another reef, round and in hues of purple and orange in the bright sunlight. A buzz on the current signals that the sharks are finished with the marlin and are following again, or perhaps it’s another set of sharks...there are only two.

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Pauline CreedenPauline Creeden

Pauline Creeden is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy. In her fiction, she creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.

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Saturday, May 30, 2015

'Between the Lines' by Quevina Scarver


Two years after exchange student Ailbe O'Rourke arrives, the friendship he and Isla formed takes a turn, but admitting that she has developed stronger feelings for him could not only jeopardize the friendship they share, but his ability to remain with the family.

Rejection is not something 18-year-old Isla is ready to chance, but denying her feelings will leave her wondering about what could have been.

Carrying such a heavy burden already, Isla's dilemma becomes even more complicated by a secret no one would have imagined to be true.

Read an excerpt:
I went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. I laughed hysterically at myself. My face was covered in paint and blood from my hands. Why this was funny? It was funny because if I couldn't laugh right now then I was afraid I would cry. I may not have spoken words, but I poured my heart out to my canvas and now my heart was aching from not being closed up in a little box. Through my laughter tears flowed and blood dried up on my hands and I stood there belted over in laughter. 
“Are you okay?” I heard a voice through the door. It was Ailbe. Of course it would be him, Grayson slept with headphones on most of the time. 
“Yes.” I said through the door, but it had come out shaky from the crying. I had stopped laughing but I hadn’t stopped crying. 
“Can I come in?” 
“I said I was fine.” I tried to snap, but it came out strained. 
“Then open the door and let me see for myself.” I unlocked the door and he stepped back. 
“You don’t look fine.” 
Tears dripped down my face and my clothes were a mess and my hair was all over the place. “Well I am.” 
He looked at my bleeding hand. “You’re bleeding.” 
“I know. Glass is stuck in my hand.” Now that he was looking at me I didn't feel weak, I was able to stop crying and my voice was strong again. 
He stepped forward and reached for my hand and I pulled it away. “Let me look at it.” Hesitantly I gave him my hand. “How did you get glass in your hand?” 
“Does it matter? Why did you come over here?” I said drily. 
“Well I heard someone laughing at three in the morning, so I was concerned.” I didn't realize it was so late; I had been down in the basement since about eleven when I got home. Grayson and I didn't stay there talking to Andrew until then, but I wanted to drive around a little while and just think in silence. 
“Well I’m fine.” 
He picked a tiny piece of glass out of my hand. “No you’re not. Have you seen yourself? You have blood and paint all over your face. Your hand probably has hundreds of pieces of glass stuck in it. You are not okay.” 
“Please don't act like it matters to you.”

About the author:

Quevina Scarver was born and raised in Long Island, New York. For a few years a young age she moved back and forth between Florida and New York by choice to be with each of her parents. Around the age of 11 she began to write poetry as a way to express her feelings. For years she would only write poetry until 2009. After the birth of her son, Quevina, took to reading more and more, until one day sentences and ideas started to randomly come to her. The only way to get them out was to write. It wasn't until 2011, after moving back to New York again, that she decided writing was what she wanted to do with her life. In 2014 she graduated with a Bachelor's Degree for Creative Writing. Ever since she has started writing she realized it was a true passion of hers and took it upon herself to attend school to try to learn more of the process.

Friday, May 29, 2015

'Extraordinary (Light vs. Dark)' by Janene Murphy


In Book 1 of the Light vs. Dark fantasy series...

Alina Nichols thinks she’s just a regular teen until she’s forced back into a world she can’t remember. Is she a Light Warrior? Can she help The Light defeat The Dark? No one is sure. If only there was more time. There isn’t. The Dark is on the move and heading straight toward them. Its fiercest soldier, Darryn, has power like no other and he’s bent on total destruction.

So who is Alina? No one wants to know more than she does. She keeps looking to others. But soon she discovers some questions in life can only be answered from within.

Read an excerpt:

Darryn was born with a head full of hair, black as the bottom of a well. His nose? Not the cute button seen on newborns but a long one with an upturn at the end. As for his chin, it was already angular with a cleft poised to deepen later. None of his features resembled that of a baby. Darryn had the look of a man. 
Most striking of his features were his emerald eyes. Large and deep, they had a penetrating gaze. The doctor said his eyes could pierce a person’s soul. 
That gave his parents the first clue. 
In the hospital, soon after Darryn’s birth, the nurse presented him to his parents. Nestling the blanketed bundle in her arms, his mom brushed a soft finger over his cheek. Darryn responded by opening his eyes. He gave her a long, meaningful stare. 
“We’ve been chosen,” she said. 
“He’s been chosen,” his father replied. 
They knew the infant’s purpose. Darryn knew it, too. For the next sixteen years he studied, trained…calculated. 
This story, however, isn’t about Darryn. Not yet. It’s about Alina. She was born a few minutes before Darryn in a town not too close, but not too far, away. Her eyes were not green but brown, like the bark of a tree. They seemed to hold no magic. In fact, nothing about Alina seemed special at all, inside as well as out. She was just a baby, with simple baby thoughts. She knew nothing of Darryn or his purpose. In fact, she knew nothing for a very long time. 
And that, unfortunately, put Alina at a dangerous disadvantage.

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Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, Janene Murphy currently lives in Iowa with her husband and three kids. Her website, Moms are from Mars, reaches readers in over 160 countries.