Wednesday, August 29, 2012

'The Color of Snow' Twitter Party on August 30th

The Color of Snow

We'd like to invite you to the blog tour wrap-up Twitter party for The Color of Snow.

It is taking place Thursday, August 30th at 12 noon Eastern on Twitter - http://www.twitter.com

The hashtag is #TheColorOfSnow - and can be easily followed using the Twitter app found at http://www.tweetchat.com

Author Brenda Stanley (@MyAuthorLife) will answer your questions for 90 minutes.

We're also giving away a $50 cash prize to the person who has a receipt confirming an ebook purchase of The Color of Snow and tweets at least once during the Twitter Party. To purchase the ebook now, click here.

*** To RSVP to #TheColorOfSnow Twitter party, click here.

Read my review of the book here.

Monday, August 27, 2012

'Be the Star You Are! For Teens' Review

Be the Star You Are! For Teens is the latest collection from teen empowerment expert and life success coach, Cynthia Brian. It is a collection of 74 stories designed to empower and inspire teens. At least half of the stories are penned by Brian herself. Others are written by other motivational speakers and writers, as well as several teenagers. It is endorsed by teen celebrities.

Each story is designed to demonstrate how to achieve a particular goal, be it achievement, communication, imagination, serendipity, volunteerism, etc. Following each installment is a page of exercises that can be done to achieve each goal, as well as an inspirational quote. It is extremely bubbly and happy, almost sugary sweet, which is designed to elicit a positive response in the reader.

The book is not meant to be read in one sitting. It should be attacked one concept at a time, then digested to allow for understanding and reflection. It may help for readers to maintain a journal while making their way through the book, so that they can chart their own successes and track what still needs to change.

Teenagers who want to find meaning in their lives are going to be more likely to pick up this book and read through it. Others aren't going to want to let anyone know that they are reading a self-help book. For these teens, casually place the book in a basket of reading material in the bathroom or other out-of-the-way place. In the utmost privacy, they may just page through it and pick up some tips here and there. Don't call attention to the reluctant teen reading it, as that will guarantee it is set aside and not touched again.

Parents, teachers, and other mentors to teenagers can read through the book to choose stories to share to elicit conversation with their own children or in groups. It could be used in clubs, sports, or youth groups as a conversation tool.

Adults can also find some benefits by reading through the entries. It is never too late to start making positive changes in your life.

Cynthia Brian is a motivational speaker who can be heard on the radio on a weekly basis. Proceeds from the sale of this book will benefit her charity Be the Star You Are! which promotes literacy in people of all ages.

Visit her website at www.bethestaryouare.com and the charity at www.bethestaryouare.org.


Purchase in paperback


Purchase for Kindle

Sunday, August 26, 2012

'The Last Wish of Summer' Book Review and Giveaway

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Young Adult Contemporary
Title:Last Wish of Summer
Author: Phillip Overton

Date Published: 1/18/12

Synopsis:

As the sun prepares to rise on the last day of summer, three friends find themselves totally unprepared for the events that are about to take place around them. For Tanya it is a chance to find peace three years after losing her parents in an auto accident. Deciding she simply can’t continue blaming God for her loss, she places a heartfelt poem in a bottle and throws it into the sea on the eve of her birthday, granting her birthday wish to whoever finds it.

Early the next morning, her best friend Anton and his buddy Johnno find the bottle washed up on the shore and set about putting it to the test. When Johnno falls for the new waitress at the café where Tanya works, it stirs up feelings of jealousy in Tanya. Surely Johnno couldn’t be the man that God had in mind for her? Suddenly, strange wishes are beginning to come true, but is it all a coincidence? Or is God about to change people’s lives for the better?

Welcome to Kings Beach, where the forecast for the last day of summer promises to be hot, hot, hot, with a definite change in the air.


Read an excerpt:
Excerpt 1:

Johnno grabbed the bottle and turned it upside down. The letter caught in its neck. Then with a bit of prying using his car key, he was able to gently pull the letter from the bottle and let it fall onto the table. It lay there wrapped only with a small hair ribbon tied in the centre. Anton reached across to untie it as Johnno stood the now empty bottle back in the centre of the table.

“Well here goes.” Anton said as he uncurled the two pages and held them up for his friend to see.

The pages were cream in color, decorated with a border of flowers entwined along the edge of each page in black ink. At the top of the first page before the letter began, was a small turquoise colored love heart someone had painted, again in what appeared to be nail polish. It left a slightly oily stain around the edges which only added to the letter’s charm. Around them, the air filled with the scent of women’s perfume that wafted up from the page. With their curiosity now firmly aroused, Anton and Johnno huddled in closely and began to read.

To whoever finds this,
If I’ve washed up on your distant shore,
From a land far over the sea.
Please tread carefully on the morning sand,
And know you’ve set me free.
Wrapped in my mother’s ribbon,
This letter is but a token.
A plead to let her see the world,
From a young heart torn and broken.
A turquoise heart that was my Aunt,
Left footprints in the sand.
Her magic just a memory,
You now hold in your hand.
So I light a candle for my Dad,
But this gift I give to you.
He always told me to make a wish,
So today may all yours come true.
It’s time to live, to find true love.
Before the winter’s scorn.
Somewhere it’s always summer,
May my true love’s arms be warm.

P.S. Please return me to the sea at sunset.

**My thoughts**

I enjoyed reading this book. It is a story about faith and friendship. I think the most important lesson is to be careful what you wish for. So often we think we want something and don't realize how it can negatively impact other people. Each character makes at least one wish that causes problems for other people, despite giving them what they think they want. This may be an exaggerated way to get this point across, as this wouldn't really happen in real life. Or maybe it could? You never know what all of those little life coincidences really are.

I was surprised to see this listed as a YA book. It's not that the story has anything raunchy in it. In fact, it is quite clean for a change. YA readers need to hear its message just as much as adults. I just thought that a YA book would have younger characters. I hope adults still feel compelled to pick this up to read, because its message is applicable to all.




Author Bio

Phillip Overton's writing has been compared to none other than Nicholas Sparks (http://www.readerviews.com/ReviewOvertonAWalkBeforeSunrise.html), and his latest novel Last Wish of Summer offers readers the perfect book to sepnd a summer’s day reading at the beach. In a book that reminds us to be careful what we wish for, it manages to weave the wholesome, virginal qualities of the main character Tanya with her band of misfit friends in their pursuit of being able to reason why a washed up message in a bottle is somehow granting their every wish come true. Often in a manner that is both coincidental and strangely bizarre.

Just as a movie adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel will appeal to people of all ages, so too will this story that follows the adventures of a group of twenty-something’s on the last day of summer. The book not only manages to cut through any pre-conceived ideas we hold on morals, body-image and social status, but delights in helping us discover what may already be right under our nose to begin with.

Website http://sbpra.com/phillipoverton/

Twitter: @phillipoverton

Links to Buy (currently paperback only) Amazon | Barnes and Noble

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of
this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading
Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was
no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not
necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure
is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of
Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

Guest Post from Phillip Overton, Author of 'The Last Wish of Summer'

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Today's guest post comes from Phillip Overton, author of several books, including The Last Wish of Summer, which I will soon review. Here he shares with us why you shouldn't yet give up on your physical books in favor of ebooks.

10 reasons a paperback is still better than an eBook

With all the fuss being made over the eBooks’ superior attributes when it comes to discussing the latest e-readers and tablets available on the market, it's about time someone rode to the rescue of the humble paperback novel. So as a humble author of one, I give you ten reasons why a paperback is still better than an eBook...

10 - Your bookshelf will look bare with only your Kindle on it.

9 - You can still read a book on a camping trip long after the batteries have gone flat on your iPad.

8 - You still have a use for that handmade bookmark your daughter gave you for Father's Day.

7 - With an eBook, the saying "throw the book at him" would prove way too expensive to be taken literally.

6 - Replacing a school library full of books with a single e-reader would be taking away the make-out place of thousands of teenagers.

5 - You can stand on a stack of books to reach something high up. Try doing that on your Nook or Sony e-reader.

4 - How do you gift wrap an eBook to put it under the Christmas tree anyway?

3 - Second hand bookstores will eventually go out of business.

2 - A printed copy of a book will always be a physical souvenir of an emotional experience.

1 - A printed copy is still easier for authors to sign!

I hope you enjoyed reading this, even if you did read it on your tablet.




Author Bio

Phillip Overton's writing has been compared to none other than Nicholas Sparks (http://www.readerviews.com/ReviewOvertonAWalkBeforeSunrise.html), and his latest novel Last Wish of Summer offers readers the perfect book to sepnd a summer’s day reading at the beach. In a book that reminds us to be careful what we wish for, it manages to weave the wholesome, virginal qualities of the main character Tanya with her band of misfit friends in their pursuit of being able to reason why a washed up message in a bottle is somehow granting their every wish come true. Often in a manner that is both coincidental and strangely bizarre.

Just as a movie adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel will appeal to people of all ages, so too will this story that follows the adventures of a group of twenty-something’s on the last day of summer. The book not only manages to cut through any pre-conceived ideas we hold on morals, body-image and social status, but delights in helping us discover what may already be right under our nose to begin with.

Website http://sbpra.com/phillipoverton/

Twitter: @phillipoverton

Links to Buy (currently paperback only) Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Young Adult Contemporary
Title:Last Wish of Summer
Author: Phillip Overton

Date Published: 1/18/12

Synopsis:

As the sun prepares to rise on the last day of summer, three friends find themselves totally unprepared for the events that are about to take place around them. For Tanya it is a chance to find peace three years after losing her parents in an auto accident. Deciding she simply can’t continue blaming God for her loss, she places a heartfelt poem in a bottle and throws it into the sea on the eve of her birthday, granting her birthday wish to whoever finds it.

Early the next morning, her best friend Anton and his buddy Johnno find the bottle washed up on the shore and set about putting it to the test. When Johnno falls for the new waitress at the café where Tanya works, it stirs up feelings of jealousy in Tanya. Surely Johnno couldn’t be the man that God had in mind for her? Suddenly, strange wishes are beginning to come true, but is it all a coincidence? Or is God about to change people’s lives for the better?

Welcome to Kings Beach, where the forecast for the last day of summer promises to be hot, hot, hot, with a definite change in the air.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 25, 2012

An Interview with Phillip Overton, Author of 'The Last Wish of Summer'

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Today I am featuring an interview with author Phillip Overton, author of The Last Wish of Summer, which I will review tomorrow.

INTERVIEWER: What led you to sit down and write what would eventually become your first novel, The Long Way Home

PHILLIP: It’s said that everyone has at least one story inside them waiting to be told. It’s often more interesting to hear the circumstances that draw these stories out. When I look back, my first novel in 2005 was probably the result of a mid-life crisis. It was a time I found myself reminiscing on those golden childhood dreams I sensed the sun had long since set on, one of which had been to write a book. Setting the story in my childhood home town of Gosford in New South Wales, Australia enabled me to revisit a time I realized I would never get back. Shortly after I set out to write my book, I seriously injured my shoulder on vacation while racing against my daughter in the swimming pool and had to take three month’s leave from work. It’s funny how an unfortunate event can ultimately provide an unexpected opportunity. I spent the majority of that time typing left-handed with my other arm in a sling. If I hadn’t vowed to have something to show for those three months, I probably would never have finished writing what became my first book.


INTERVIEWER: Your passion and drive to write is obviously strong. How has allowing yourself to fulfill that passion changed or enhanced your life?

PHILLIP: I guess it all comes down to wanting both a creative outlet and a sense of personal achievement. I wanted something to show for my time here on earth that was more than simply holding down a 9 to 5 job. I used to run, my times were never going to catch the attention of national selectors but I was good enough to pick up some prize money in local fun runs, and a training regime of up to a hundred kilometres a week gave me a great sense of mental discipline. I can look back and say I finished two marathons. It helped later in having the mental discipline to see through a project as demanding as writing a novel. Writing provides me with not only a creative outlet, but also with a feeling of being able to escape the ordinary and believe that I can achieve something greater. It is a line of thinking that has spilled over into my way of life. I don't know if I would have found the courage to quit my job, sell our house and move my family away from the city to start a new life close to the ocean if I hadn't believed I could do it.

INTERVIEWER: What is the biggest obstacle you face when writing? 

PHILLIP: I love reminding myself that life is a cruel arm wrestle of time and money. If you have the time you don’t have the money, and if you have the money chances are you don’t have the time. I’m not the only writer who tries to balance his or her writing with being a full-time parent and having to work a job of some kind to pay the bills. But after years of juggling all three I think I finally have them evenly balanced. But I always think that some more time to put the way of my writing would be nice.


INTERVIEWER: What process do you use when gearing up to write that allows that heartfelt connection to flow from the mind into words?

PHILLIP: I have to be in the groove so to speak when I sit down to write. I like to surround my thoughts in what I feel is a positive environment. Creating that environment can be as simple as playing the right music in the background to match the mood I'm wanting to capture, going for a nice, long walk along the beach with my wife to clear my mind or watching a favourite movie or TV show the night before you plan to have a day writing. Once I'm in that groove, heart, mind and fingers all seem to work as one.

INTERVIEWER: The Long Way Home had a celestial feel to the book despite it not being considered a Christian novel. Where did the idea of a guardian Angel working to reunite a father and son separated through a divorce come from? 

PHILLIP: I was a big fan of the television series the X-Files. I loved the line in the opening credits that simply said ‘I want to believe’. I thought the idea of having Angels at work in people’s lives, intervening in a timely manner when circumstances became too big for people to handle on their own was a great idea. The more I researched, the more I discovered documented cases of people having encountered Angels, appearing both suddenly and miraculously in the form of ordinary people before disappearing just as quickly and leaving them wondering if perhaps they had imagined the whole incident. The idea was to thread a story of hope in an otherwise hopeless situation and challenge the reader to question what they believed to be real. When people ask if The Long Way Home is in any way based on experiences from my own life, I tell them I have encountered enough moments in life that border on the unexplainable to be able to say ‘I want to believe’.


INTERVIEWER: With each of your books so far you have adopted a very different approach in writing them. Can you tell the readers more? 

PHILLIP: I guess the way a writer approaches each book is a reflection of where they are at that moment in life. With The Long Way Home I approached the book in a reflective manner, reminiscent of an era gone by and with the story told over a long period of time. A Walk Before Sunrise however was set in a present day context. I introduced the character and then bang! Something happens that shakes his world to the core and sends him off in pursuit of a new beginning. You could say I was influenced at the time of writing it by a lifestyle change where my wife and young family decided to leave the city behind for a change of scenery by the sea. Last Wish of Summer I guess is the culmination of that sea change. That fact that it is such a fun and fast paced book reflects the enjoyment I had in immersing myself in my new beach side lifestyle.


INTERVIEWER: Do you prefer setting your novels in a fictitious location, or the pressure that comes your way as a writer trying to get all the details right when using a real location? 

PHILLIP: I think a great story will grab a reader’s attention no matter where a book is set. Setting a fictitious story in an actual setting can enhance the believability factor in the reader’s mind, but I guess the novels where this works the best are the ones that hop around the world, using common landmarks as reference points for the reader. I can speak from personal experience as I am currently re-writing my second novel A Walk Before Sunrise to make it more friendly for the US market. There was a lot of detail written into setting the story in Byron Bay, Australia that in hindsight was probably lost on readers who don’t even know where it is. I felt most comfortable when writing Last Wish of Summer set in the fictional town of Kings Beach. Although Kings Beach is the main life guard patrolled surf beach in Caloundra, the town where I live, I really enjoyed the freedom of being able to perfect the setting without being 100% true to the geographical details.

INTERVIEWER: Are we likely to see more novels set in Australia from you in the near future? 

PHILLIP: Definitely. I am currently working on my fourth novel which is set between Australia and Alaska at the height of the Gold-Rush era. I’m fascinated by the history of that era and how easily we accept the version we are taught of it based on the writings of a visiting reporter of the day and a sketchy black and white photograph of an emerging town or city. Ultimately it was an era that defined both American and Australian history. Both countries had a lot of similarities at the time as towns sprung up overnight only to disappear just as quickly when the gold ran out. But the wealth that each Gold-Rush left behind would ultimately develop two uniquely different national identities.


INTERVIEWER: Are there enough ideas in the think tank to keep your writing career fueled for another ten years?

PHILLIP: I can’t see myself ever running out of ideas. I’m sure it will reach a point one day where I’ll say, you know what? I’ll never get the time to write a novel for each great story I’m sitting on. That will probably be the moment you’ll see me come out with a collection of short stories to clear some room in the memory bank. For now however, the secret is to know when an idea is ready to be activated from the thought process and into writing mode. The novel I am currently writing for example spent eight years being developed before I even typed the first word.

INTERVIEWER: What advice do you have for a budding writer wanting to follow in your footsteps?

PHILLIP: Think big, but start small. It is important to see some results for your work. So try some short story contests, write some book reviews and try to understand as early as possible what writing style you want to be known for. Start a blog. It is an easy way to begin building your presence as a writer. And if you have an idea for a brilliant 200,000 word epic novel, sit on it for a while. A publisher is more likely to take a chance on a first time novelist with a well written 70,000 word novel.


Author Bio

Phillip Overton's writing has been compared to none other than Nicholas Sparks (http://www.readerviews.com/ReviewOvertonAWalkBeforeSunrise.html), and his latest novel Last Wish of Summer offers readers the perfect book to sepnd a summer’s day reading at the beach. In a book that reminds us to be careful what we wish for, it manages to weave the wholesome, virginal qualities of the main character Tanya with her band of misfit friends in their pursuit of being able to reason why a washed up message in a bottle is somehow granting their every wish come true. Often in a manner that is both coincidental and strangely bizarre.

Just as a movie adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel will appeal to people of all ages, so too will this story that follows the adventures of a group of twenty-something’s on the last day of summer. The book not only manages to cut through any pre-conceived ideas we hold on morals, body-image and social status, but delights in helping us discover what may already be right under our nose to begin with.

Website http://sbpra.com/phillipoverton/

Twitter: @phillipoverton

Links to Buy (currently paperback only) Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Young Adult Contemporary
Title:Last Wish of Summer
Author: Phillip Overton

Date Published: 1/18/12

Synopsis:

As the sun prepares to rise on the last day of summer, three friends find themselves totally unprepared for the events that are about to take place around them. For Tanya it is a chance to find peace three years after losing her parents in an auto accident. Deciding she simply can’t continue blaming God for her loss, she places a heartfelt poem in a bottle and throws it into the sea on the eve of her birthday, granting her birthday wish to whoever finds it.

Early the next morning, her best friend Anton and his buddy Johnno find the bottle washed up on the shore and set about putting it to the test. When Johnno falls for the new waitress at the café where Tanya works, it stirs up feelings of jealousy in Tanya. Surely Johnno couldn’t be the man that God had in mind for her? Suddenly, strange wishes are beginning to come true, but is it all a coincidence? Or is God about to change people’s lives for the better?

Welcome to Kings Beach, where the forecast for the last day of summer promises to be hot, hot, hot, with a definite change in the air.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

'The Star of Eldon' Promo and Guest Post by Author M. L. Hamilton with Giveaway


Today's guest post comes from M.L. Hamilton, author of the World of Samar series of books. In honor of her third book, The Star of Eldon being released, she has stopped by to share some insights with you.

How to make your books stand out in the competitive world of indie book publishing or in the overall genre 

What a great question and I wish I had a crystal ball to find the answer. I spend a lot of time networking with readers to have my books stand out. I offer giveaways and meet readers at book events. I also have both a Facebook account and promote on Twitter, but mostly, it's building your readership. If you don't have a strong novel to start with, no one will come back for more. I know a lot of writers who turn out two or three books in a few months. I'm always amazed at that because the writing takes me at least six months and then I spend a long time editing, having it edited, and rewriting until it's the best I think it can be. The fact that I have return readers makes me feel honored and I sure don't want to lose them.
 
About the Book:-

The Star of Eldon is the book #3 in the World of Samar series, so lets get to know the 1st two below first:

The First Novel in the World of Samar Series - #1 Emerald

In one terrible instant, Kai is thrown from his comfortable life and plunged into a conflict that began before he was born. Worse yet, he learns that the one man who can help him is his enemy.

Kiameron is the crown prince of DiNolfol. He is torn between two destinies -- taking the crown upon his father's death or answering the call of his non-Human-like traits, traits associated with the mysterious Stravad.

The decision is made with the destruction of everything he holds dear. Armed with his strange powers and a mysterious talisman he doesn't know how to use, Kai decides to attack Gava, the despot who destroyed his life.

Crippled by self-doubt and fear, he falters in his quest, until he meets a man who forces him to take action. However, his new ally is hiding secrets, secrets that will rob Kai of everything he held sacred.
 
The Second Novel in the World of Samar Series - #2 The Heirs of Eldon


Tav and Tash might have been born twins, but they both want something different from life. Tav would love to study with the great scholars in Voltarian, while Tash wants to follow in his father’s footsteps, becoming a hero. Neither is prepared for what fate has in store for them.

With Loden once more facing war, an upstart king decides he has the answer. Unite the seven protectorates under one flag. Can he accomplish his dream? Can the sons of Kiameron keep him alive long enough to find out?


Finally the book of our interest-




The Third Novel in the World of Samar Series - #3 The Star of Eldon


The Seven Protectorates have enjoyed years of peace under Tav’s leadership, but a growing worry has surfaced. What about the land beyond Loden’s border? Where once there had been overtures of trade, now there is nothing. Tav decides to send a diplomatic expedition to re-establish contact, but who should go?

Adventure runs in the blood of Tash’s children, especially in his head-strong daughter, Shara. Shara wants nothing more than to be part of the expedition to Nevaisser, but her father will never agree. He fears for her safety, but a rash decision on his part takes the choice out of his hands and sets up a chain of events that will have far reaching consequences.

Nevaisser is a land teeming with conflict and at the heart of it is a mysterious stranger, hiding secrets that will test the alliance of the Seven Protectorates. A journey begun to protect Loden may result in tearing it apart.

Continue the adventure with the third installment in the World of Samar series.
 
 
 
About The Author:-


ML Hamilton has been teaching high school English and journalism in Central California for the last 20 years. Teaching students to appreciate literature has made her career rewarding; however, she always dreamed of publishing her own novel.


That dream came true. Her first novel, Emerald, was published by Wild Wolf Publishing in 2010. The sequel to Emerald, The Heirs of Eldon, followed in 2011. Now with the publication of the third novel in the series, The Star of Eldon, the world of Samar seems like home.

In addition to teaching and writing, she has three sons, three dogs, and two cats. If she isn’t writing, you can find her at a band concert or a baseball game.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

'My Merlin' Book 3 Cover Reveal!

Cover Reveal for the "My Merlin Series" Ever My Merlin coming this Fall!

My Boyfriend Merlin

He was a little older than he was letting on. By a few eons…
In this modern day teen Arthurian, 17 year-old Boston high schooler Arriane, aka Ryan, DuLac just found out the guy she's been crushing on, hot biker Matt, is a little older than he was letting on. In fact, he is really Merlinthe Merlin, King Arthur's Merlin, the greatest wizard who ever lived. Frozen in a cave for over fifteen hundred years, he's woken for a purpose. But Ryan's not impressed. Tired of being a relationship loser, she'd rather kick his legendary behind.
Sure, the world has been crazy ever since the sword and the stone fell out of the sky like a meteor. But despite gruesome gargoyles, a deadly new world of magic, and the guy driving her crazy, Ryan knows that family is everything. Will Merlin sacrifice hers to save the world? Will she be able to stop him?
Purchase on Amazon / Barnes and Noble

My Merlin Awakening, Book 2, My Merlin Series

If you haven't broken the rules, have you really lived?
Two wizard brothers. One sword. One chance to make a difference.
In this modern day teen Arthurian, Excalibur has been pulled from the stone, but what does it mean? 17 year-old Arriane (aka Ryan) DuLac has bigger problems—as student president, she's got to put on the Prom. While the Wizard Council debates their next move, she leaves the craziness behind and heads home. But she can't hide forever. Sooner than she'd like Merlin (aka Matt) has her chasing mermaids on the trail of the Fisher King. The wounded king defeated by Merlin's brother, Vane, in the past holds the key to save the future.
At a time of shifting alliances, she must decide whose side she's on—the brother who struggles to do right or the brother who dares to break the rules? And Ryan must decide who she is—a regular girl or a champion? One wrong decision and her family falls apart. One wrong decision and the world falls apart. No pressure.
Purchase of Amazon / Barnes and Noble


Coming This Fall!



Priya Ardis loves books of all kinds—but especially the gooey ones that make your nose leak and let your latte go cold. She started her first book at sixteen, writing in notebooks on long train rides during a hot summer vacation in India. Her favorite Arthurian piece is the poem The Lady of Shalott by Lord Alfred Tennyson. A hopeless romantic, she's a longtime member of the Romance Writer's of America. When not living in her characters' world, she might be found at the local coffee shop—her nose buried in a book.



Priya Ardis is giving away a prize pack of the first two books (signed) to one lucky winner!

Enter on the form below to enter (Open US/ Can for print or Int for eBOOK)
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Thursday, August 23, 2012

'The Vampire Hunter's Daughter: Complete Collection' Review and Giveaway





The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter: The Complete Collection

By Jennifer Malone Wright

Genre:YA paranormal
ISBN: 978-0615650081
ASIN: B008ASVXR8

Number of pages: 217 paperback
Word Count: 78,734

Amazon

The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter: Part 1 available for free at Amazon | B&N

Book Description:

This special edition of The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter contains parts I-VI, the complete collection.

Fourteen-year-old Chloe witnesses her mother’s murder at the hands of a vampire. Before the vampire can kidnap her, there is an unexpected rescue by a group of vampire hunters.

Overwhelmed by the feeling of safety, Chloe passes out and they whisk her away to their small community. When Chloe wakes, she comes face to face with the only other living relative, besides her mother, whom she has ever met: her grandfather. Chloe’s mother kept her hidden from the family; now, Chloe tries to unveil the family secrets.

Through her grandfather, she learns her mother was a vampire hunter. In fact, her entire family is descended from the powerful bloodlines of vampire hunters. Chloe agrees to join the family she has never known for one reason only: Chloe vows to kill the vampire responsible for her mother’s murder. With vengeance in her soul, Chloe is even more determined to follow through on her vow when she discovers
the true identity of her enemy and how he is connected to her.

Experience the world of vampires hunter’s, vampires and mythology with Chloe in this exciting series.

Excerpt 1:
Drew let me be until snowflakes began to drift down from the sky. “Come on, Chloe. We have to go now."

With tears still staining my cheeks, I gave my mother‟s grave one last caress and then stood. “All right, I'm ready.”

Drew took my hand again and led me between the plots as best as we could manage. The air outside had chilled even more than when we arrived. It was cold. Really cold. When we approached the gates, warmth suddenly filled my stomach and spread through my body.

“Oh, my… what the heck?” I clutched my stomach as the tingling spread all the way into my fingertips.

“Are you okay?” Drew asked. “What‟s wrong?”

“I don‟t know.” I shook my head. Tears threatened to surface again. “I don‟t know.”

“It‟s your senses, Chloe, telling you something is off.”

Drew and I both spun around and Drew whipped his gun out from underneath his jacket.

“Who are you?” Drew yelled.

There, sitting atop one of the gravestones, bathed in the green glow of florescent lights, was a woman. Even though it was freezing, she barely wore anything, and what she did have on looked like leather wrapped around her body and a halter top with crude lacing holding it together. Snowflakes drifted down and passed through her tanned skin, dissolving into nowhere.

“How do you know me?” I shouted. “Who are you?”

My stomach was still flooded with warmth, and it made me feel like I had to pee. I wished I had brought my gun.

She clicked her tongue and tossed a wave of dark brown hair over her shoulder. “You do not need your weapons, my children. I do not come to harm.”

She slid off the gravestone, and I watched her bare feet sink into the snow. They left no footprints.

“Who are you?” Drew demanded again.

She moved forward slowly. “I am your mother, many times over.”

This chick scared me. Was she a ghost? I moved backward a few steps as she approached, using Drew as a shield, since he had the gun.

She smiled, her dark eyes intently focusing on Drew. “Andrew, lower your weapon. You cannot harm me.”

As if under a spell, Drew lowered his arms and his gun came to rest by his side. “What do you want?”

“I am here to help, Chloe.” She nodded at me and smiled. “You need the help of your ancestors. Your mother cannot help you, so I have come to give you guidance.”

The warmth in my stomach turned into fire in my heart. I can‟t explain it, but I felt the connection with this apparition. I moved out from behind Drew.

“Who are you?” I whispered.

She lifted her chin arrogantly. “I am Sostrate, the daughter of Artemis, and as I have told you already, your mother, many times over.”

“Why are you here?”

“I have come to give you the guidance your mother cannot give you. It is my duty.”

“Are you a ghost?”

She only shook her head and gave me a crooked grin. “I am a demi-goddess. I gained immortality from my mother. I do not come as an apparition, because I cannot die.”

“Holy shit.” Drew actually dropped his gun in the snow.

I moved forward, not afraid anymore. I knew she was who she said she was. As we approached each other, I stretched out my hand, wanting to touch her. She also extended her hand and as my gloved fingers connected with the solid fingertips of hers, I gasped. “You‟re real.”

She nodded. “Of course.”

“Sostrate,” I pulled my hand from hers, “How can you help me?”

“Chloe, it is time that you think with a clear head. Revenge has taken over your heart and your soul, taken over so much of you that you cannot possibly win this battle. It takes more than thinking with your brain. You must fight with love,” she pressed her fist against her heart “not only hatred.”

“I don‟t understand,” I told her.

“Wars are not won because of hatred for the enemy; they are won because of love for what is being defended.”
**My thoughts**

I have never been a fan of vampire books. I managed to avoid the True Blood and Twilight crazes. Jennifer Malone Wright and I have been friends on Facebook for a few years. She was always talking about this story she was working on. I remember when she was trying to name characters and making twists in her plots. She regularly advertised the first installment as being free. I decided to give in and download it, figuring I would roll my eyes all the way through it. But then, I could say I had read it and be done with it.

I was out with a friend who was going to take a long time trying on a zillion pairs of shoes to find the right pair for street hockey. I figured this was my chance to finally read this book to kill some time. I became completely engrossed in the plot and couldn't wait to get home to purchase the next installment. 

At that point, only four installments were out. I eagerly awaited the last two installments and was never disappointed. I had been converted. I seek to convert others.

Chloe has an attitude that is typical of teens, but amplified by her passion to avenge her mother's death. Jenn has a good command of the angst and attitude of teenagers, so Chloe's voice rings true and believable. The story draws you in, with plenty of little cliffhangers and twists to keep the pages turning. Then there is also a little problem with a bunch of other hottie vampire hunters. Poor girl. So many men, so little time.

This book is the introduction to an entire series known as Arcadia Falls. It provides the foundation for future stories. I am eagerly awaiting those coming out, also!  

Author Bio:

Jennifer Malone Wright resides in the beautiful mountains of northern Idaho with her husband and five children. Between the craziness of taking care of her children, whose ages range from fourteen all the way down to six months, and being a homemaker, Jennifer has little time left for herself. The time she does have left, usually leading far into the night, is spent working on freelance work or her beloved fiction.

When she grew up, Jennifer always had her nose in a book. She has been writing stories and poems since grade school. This love of the written word and her strong interest in the paranormal is what has led to her first novel “The Birth of Jaiden.”

In addition to being a mother and homemaker, Jennifer is also a very proud military wife. Moving around the country for the last ten years has made her a bit of a nomad and she finds it difficult to be in one place for too long.

Jennifer is also the author of The Birth of Jaiden, a paranormal novel filled with action, suspense, and even a love story.

Website: www.jenniferwrightauthor.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thevampirehuntersdaughter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jennichad217

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4824985.Jennifer_Malone_Wright

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Malone-Wright/e/B00508KU4I/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cover Reveal! 'Children of the Gods Book 2: Uprising' by Jessica Therrien

Many readers have been drawn into the Children of the Gods series by Jessica Therrien. Book 1 is called Oppression. I reviewed it a few months ago, and Jessica Therrien was kind enough to do a guest blog post for me a couple of weeks ago.

Many of us have been anxiously awaiting news of the next installment in the series. It's called Uprising and is due out in February 2013. To hold us over during the wait, or to further taunt us, Jessica has finally revealed the cover of the new book!


Release Date: February 19, 2013
Publisher: ZOVA Books
Paperback & Ebook

Read a teaser:
We left everything but the weapons. Clothes, food, toothpaste. There wasn’t time for things that weren’t essential to escape. The five of us went on foot in a direction that was meaningless to me. I had never seen what was outside of the edges of the safe haven, not since I’d been here.

When Mac stopped abruptly after our fifteen-minute trek into the woods, we all froze at once, bodies poised and ready to attack, eyes searching for threats.

“We’re here,” Mac announced. “What should we expect Marcus?”

I had never heard Dr. Nickel called by his first name, and it made me realize he wasn’t as untouchable as I had imagined. Just because he was here, didn’t mean we were safe.

            “I don’t know,” he answered. “Maybe an army, maybe nothing. Depends on where they are.”

            “Everyone best get down on the ground just in case,” Mac decided with a nod. “Weapons ready.”

            As I lay belly down in the dirt, I noticed Dr. Nickel pull a gun from his belt, and my stomach gave a heave.

“When I remove the haven walls, there will be a van. Everyone get in back. If anything goes wrong…” Mac paused, uncomfortable at the thought. “It’s been nice knowin’ ya.”

Book Links: 
 
 
 
BOOK ONE BLURB & COVER:
Elyse knows what it means to keep a secret. She's been keeping secrets her whole life. Two, actually. First, that she ages five times slower than the average person, so that while she looks eighteen years old, she's closer to eighty. Second, that her blood has a mysterious power to heal. For Elyse, these things don't make her special. They make life dangerous. After the death of her parents, she's been careful to keep her secret as closely guarded as possible. Now, only one other person in the world knows about her age and ability. Or so she thinks. Elyse is not the only one keeping secrets. There are others like her all over the world, descendants of the very people the Greeks considered gods. She is one of them, and they have been waiting for her for a long time. Among so many of her kind, she should not be very remarkable--except for the prophecy. Some believe she will put an end to traditions, safeguarded by violence, which have oppressed her people for centuries. Others are determined to keep her from doing just that. But for Elyse, the game is just beginning--and she's not entirely willing to play by their rules.
 Book 1: Kindle | Paperback

Read my review of Oppression


AUTHOR BIO:
 
Jessica Therrien is the author of the young adult paranormal fiction series Children of the Gods. Book one in the series, Oppression, was published by ZOVA Books in February of 2012 and became a Barnes & Noble best-seller shortly after its release. The second book in the series, Uprising, will be available in February of 2013.

Aside from her Children of the Gods series, Jessica’s work can also be found in a published collection of flash fiction stories called Campaigner Challenges 2011.Out of over 350 submissions her story, The Soulless, won first place for people’s choice and fourth place in the judging round of Rachael Harrie’s Writing Campaign Challenge. Her story, Savedis also available as part of the anthology.

Jessica spent most of her life in the small town of Chilcoot, California, high up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In this town of nearly 100 residents, with no street lights or grocery stores, there was little to do but find ways to be creative. Her mother, the local English teacher, inspired her to do all things artistic, and ultimately instilled in her a love for language.

In 2003, Jessica attended California State University Long Beach where her passion for language found her studying Chinese, and in 2005 she moved to Taiwan to study abroad. From 2005 to 2006 Jessica was fully immersed in the Chinese language as she attended National Taiwan University, and in 2008 she graduated from San Diego State University magna cum laude.

Jessica currently lives in Chula Vista with her husband and is working on book three in her Children of the Gods series.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

'The Fall' Book Tour Promo Blitz

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Young Adult Dystopian

Title:
The Fall

Author: David Dawson

Date Published:
1/28/12

Synopsis:

Living in a crumbling shopping mall in a future crawling with gods, human/cat hybrids and cults is bad enough for a fourteen year old boy.

How much worse can it get? Well, you could fall in love with your best friend's brother and get sucked into a conspiracy to kill the gods, that's all. Oh...

Buy link: Amazon


Author Bio

David L Dawson is a writer from Sheffield, England. He has two cats and is addicted to Pepsi Max. He's currently writing the sequel to The Fall, as well as a novel called The Girl from Tomorrow, a vampire book.

GOODREADS

TWITTER

Thursday, August 16, 2012

'Flight' Release Day Blitz!


Flight

By Alyssa Rose Ivy

The Crescent Chronicles, Book 1

Genre: Mature YA/New Adult Paranormal Romance

Number of pages: 250

Book Description:

Sometimes you just have to take flight.

A summer in New Orleans is exactly what Allie needs before starting college. Accepting her dad’s invitation to work at his hotel offers an escape from her ex-boyfriend and the chance to spend the summer with her best friend. Meeting a guy is the last thing on her mind—until she sees Levi.

Unable to resist the infuriating yet alluring Levi, Allie finds herself at the center of a supernatural society and forced to decide between following the path she has always trusted or saving a city that might just save her.


Author Bio: 

Alyssa Rose Ivy lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write.

http://www.alyssaroseivy.com/ 

http://twitter.com/#!/alyssaroseivy 
 
https://www.facebook.com/AlyssaRoseIvy

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5047249.Alyssa_Rose_Ivy

 

Twitter Party for 'Witch Way to Turn' by Karen Y. Bynum 8-17

Please join Bewitching Book Tours as they host a Twitter Party for Witch Way to Turn by Karen Y. Bynum on Friday, August 17th from 12-1 pm EST. Log in to your Twitter account and follow the hashtag #witchway. You can win an ebook or a $15 Amazon gift card!

Want to know more about the book and author?

Witch Way to Turn

Can you give one guy your heart and another your soul?
The last thing eighteen-year-old Breena Cross needs in her life is more complications. It’s all she can do to balance studying, working, trying to keep her foster-sister safe and drooling over the new guy at work. But things go from complicated to crazy when a fit of rage ignites the dark magic inside her and she finds herself fending off the supernatural underworld.
Myles, Breena’s drool-worthy coworker and vampire convict, is carrying a load of secrets--one of which is that he’s fang-over-lip in love with Breena and in danger of violating the terms of his sentence.
Orin is a soul-hungry assassin sent to kill Breena. However, he takes one look into her eyes and sees his own lost humanity. For once thinking of someone other than himself, he chooses not to end her life, even though it means risking his own.
Despite a convict and an assassin fighting over her, all Breena wants is custody of her sister. But to do this, she will need help from both Myles and Orin. And if Breena doesn’t learn to control the darkness within, she could lose her sister…forever. 

About the author:

Karen Y. Bynum is an author of young adult paranormal fantasy.  Her novel Witch Way to Turn is published through Lyrical Press.  She grew up in Hickory, North Carolina where mountains and magic surrounded her.  Even as a child, she wrote her own faery tales and prattled incessantly to her imaginary friends.

After graduating from UNC Charlotte with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media Communications, she went on to become certified in culinary arts from The Art Institute of Charlotte.  But it wasn’t until her aerospace engineer husband accepted a job in Virginia and they relocated that she knew what she wanted to be when she grew up.

With the support of family and friends, Karen embarked on a journey with the voices in her head.  They wouldn’t stop talking (yes, she does answer back) and their stories took shape.

Karen currently lives in coastal Virginia and enjoys reading, tweeting, writing and spending time with her husband and their spoiled rotten Vizsla named Rusty. 







 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

'Desert Rice' Book Tour and Giveaway

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Meet Angela Scott and her new book Desert Rice. I have included my thoughts and there is a giveaway at the bottom of the post. Be sure to let us know what you think!

Synopsis:

Samantha Jean Haggert is a beautiful twelve-year-old girl—but no one knows it. All they see is an awkward boy in a baseball cap and baggy pants. Sam’s not thrilled with the idea of hiding her identity, but it’s all part of her older brother’s plan to keep Sam safe from male attention and hidden from the law. Fifteen-year-old Jacob will stop at nothing to protect his sister, including concealing the death of the one person who should have protected them in the first place—their mother.

Sam and Jacob try to outrun their past by stealing the family car and traveling from West Virginia to Arizona, but the adult world proves mighty difficult to navigate, especially for two kids on their own. Trusting adults has never been an option; no adult has ever given them a good reason. But when Sam meets “Jesus”—who smells an awful  lot like a horse—in the park, life takes a different turn. He saved her once, and may be willing to save Sam and her brother again, if only they admit what took place that fateful day in West Virginia. The
problem? Sam doesn’t remember, and Jacob isn’t talking.

Excerpt 1:
I was mighty grateful that he covered her up, especially when he said that death made a person look frightful, and that I shouldn't even attempt to look.

Yeah, no problem there.

"Just do it or I'll clock you upside your head." He bent down and placed his hands under her arms to get a good grip. "Grab 'er feet, and when I say lift, you'd better lift, or else."

I wanted to tell him to leave me alone, and that just because he was older than me didn’t give him the right to tell me what to do, but his warning look kept me from saying a word. I bent over to take hold of her feet and accidently breathed in the acidic smell of decay, alcohol, and cheap perfume permeating from the sheet.

Bile burned in my throat, and my eyes stung and began watering. I rolled my shoulders forward when my stomach lurched, but despite my body's mad attempt to force me to puke my guts out, only dry heaves followed, over and over. It took a while for the waves of nausea to settle, but my head swam in dizziness and my body ached—boy, did I hurt. My legs wobbled and my insides twisted and cramped, but I didn't throw up. Once the dry heaving stopped, I swiped the back of my hand over my mouth to remove a fine thread of spittle from my lips.

"I'm sorry." Jacob's face softened, though he continued to hold onto Mama's shoulders, letting me know we still needed to move a dead body. "I really am."

"Whatever." I gave in, bending and grabbing my dead mama's ankles. "Let's do this."
Excerpt 2:
We stopped in a remote town outside of Kansas City, and while Jacob added a few dollars of gas to the car, I went inside the convenience store to use the restroom. Nothing appeared out of the ordinary, but when I returned to the car, Jacob kept glancing around, and his hands shook even though the sun hung high in the midday sky.

"We need to go. Get in the car."

His jitteriness made me nervous. I couldn't see anything around that should, but I climbed into the car as he'd told me to. He reached across and locked my door, and I tensed and sat rigid in my seat.

"What's going on?"

"Not now." He started the car and we pulled onto the highway.

He kept looking into the rearview mirror every few seconds, so I turned in my seat and glanced behind us, too. I didn't see a thing. No one followed us.

"Is it the police?"

He didn't say anything, but pressed on the gas to make the car go faster. I continued to watch behind us, but after awhile I gave up and turned back around in my seat. I'd no idea why he acted the way he did.

"You're scaring me." I watched my brother's profile. "What's going on?"

"We're going to have to cut your hair."

That took me by surprise, and I struggled to understand what one thing had to do with the other. "What are you talking about?"

"Didn't you see how those guys back there looked at you?" He turned and glanced at me before staring ahead again.

"What guys?" I had no idea what he was talking about.

"The ones sitting outside the gas station. They watched you the whole time."

"You mean the guys with the motorcycles?" A couple of bikers parked outside the convenience store hadn't appeared to be doing much of anything, just sitting there. I'd hardly noticed them at all.

He nodded. "They watched everything you did."

"I didn't see them watching me."

He sneered. "That doesn't surprise me. You don't notice anything."

"So what," I argued. "So they were watching me. What's the big deal? Why do I have to cut my hair?"

Jacob breathed deeply and then released it. "Because you didn't see the way they looked at you." He kept driving onward. "Sam, don't you have any better clothes than this?" He tugged on my tank shirt. "You've got to get rid of this and those cutoff shorts too. You're attracting the wrong kind of attention."

"I'm not trying to attract any attention. I'm not doing anything—"

"It's not you, Sam," he interrupted. "It's those perverts that I'm worried about. You're growing up and men are starting to look."

Why would men be looking at a twelve-year-old girl? A chill ran down my spine, and I shivered while looking back out the rear window again. No one followed behind us.

I slumped back down in my seat. "So, why do I have to cut my hair?"

He stared at me and then looked away. "Because, Sam, the best way to keep you safe is to make you look like you're my brother."
**My thoughts**

This book affected me deeply. It is one of the best reads I have had this summer. Samantha and Jacob's story is a sad one. No one wants them. Their father is estranged. Their mama is dead. They only have each other. They're way underage, but determined to stay together. Jacob is extremely overprotective of Sam, but he has good reason. He just hasn't shared that with her, yet, so she hasn't yet shared it with us. 

They fumble around, trying to make ends meet, while simultaneously fearing getting caught. Sam wants to trust people who are kind to her, but Jacob is still extremely wary of adults. Neither one knows how to handle any kindnesses given to them. It is heartbreaking. I was reading while holed up in a booth at my local bar and grill and had to duck to hide the tears in my eyes. I made sure I left when I got toward the end where all of the secrets are revealed, because I didn't want to cry in public.

The love between these siblings is intense. It's not something you witness every day. The secrets that they hide are absolutely horrible. You think you know what really happened to them, until you find out the truth. The twists will keep you on your toes.

At the end of my review copy was a chapter from an upcoming book called Desert Flower. It is a continuation of their story. I need to get my hands on that one. Well done, Angela Scott.
  
Buy links: Kindle | Paperback | Nook


Author Bio

I hear voices. Tiny fictional people sit on my shoulders and whisper their stories in my ear. Instead of medicating myself, I decided to pick up a pen, write down everything those voices tell me, and turn it into a book. I’m not crazy. I’m an author. For the most part, I write contemporary Young Adult novels.

However, through a writing exercise that spiraled out of control, I found myself writing about zombies terrorizing the Wild Wild West—and loving it. My zombies don’t sparkle, and they definitely don’t cuddle. At least, I wouldn’t suggest it.

I live on the benches of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains with two lovely children, one teenager, and a very patient husband. I graduated from Utah State University with a B.A. degree in English, not because of my love for the written word, but because it was the only major that didn’t require math. I can’t spell, and grammar is my arch nemesis. But they gave me the degree, and there are no take backs.

As a child, I never sucked on a pacifier; I chewed on a pencil. I’ve been writing that long. It has only been the past few years that I’ve pursued it professionally, forged relationships with other like-minded individuals, and determined to make a career out of it.

You can find me at my website, where I blog obsessively about my writing process and post updates on my current works. I’m also on Twitter and Facebook, but be forewarned, I tweet and post more than a normal person.

Contact

Blog

Twitter - @whimsywriting

Facebook

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

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