Blog Tour Stop and Art Reveal for The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse

Magic can do a lot―give you flight, show you mermaids, help you taste the stars, and… solve the budget crisis? That's what the grown-ups will do with it if they ever make it to Neverland to steal its magic and bring their children home.

However, Gwen doesn't know this. She's just a sixteen-year-old girl with a place on the debate team and a powerful crush on Jay, the soon-to-be homecoming king. She doesn't know her little sister could actually run away with Peter Pan, or that she might have to chase after her to bring her home safe. Gwen will find out though―and when she does, she'll discover she's in the middle of a looming war between Neverland and reality.

She'll be out of place as a teenager in Neverland, but she won't be the only one. Peter Pan's constant treks back to the mainland have slowly aged him into adolescence as well. Soon, Gwen will have to decide whether she's going to join impish, playful Peter in his fight for eternal youth… or if she's going to scramble back to reality in time for the homecoming dance.

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Peter was still in the air, playing up his arrival with dramatic flourish and narcissistic pleasure. As he dove down, soaring within an arm’s reach of the ground, zesty red poppies sprang up, trailing after him. He landed at last, laughing. As he struck a victorious pose, he was swarmed by the giggling children. Gwen watched in awe, but her little sister wandered to her side.

“How long has he been gone?” Gwen asked. From the looks of it, the children had not seen him in weeks.

“Just since yesterday,” Rosemary said. “We only left to get you.”

Two shirtless boys danced around him, making as much of a ruckus as they could. Two girls tugged on his arms, and a third nestled herself at his feet, wrapping herself around one of his legs. Hollyhock hovered, never straying far from Peter, but bouncing off each child’s head.

“I have returned!” he triumphantly announced. “And I have brought Rosemary’s storyteller!”

When he looked to Gwen, all wide eyes fell on her. The excitable faces of the children glowed with new enthusiasm as they surveyed her. In a second’s time, they had all run to her. Deserting Peter, they approached her with a slightly more skeptical delight.

“It doesn’t look much like a storyteller,” the taller of the boys announced. Several of the children pointed and laughed at Gwen.

“How would you know what a storyteller looks like?” a boy with buck teeth asked him.

What kind of stories does it tell, Sal?” a startlingly blond boy asked, leaning in much too close in order to stare at Gwen, unblinkingly, in the eye.

“Why don’t you ask it, Newt?” Sal replied.

Gwen looked at the short, blond boy and tried not to be intimidated by the sheer intensity of his vivid blue eyes. “What’s your name?”

“I’m Newt, and this is Sal.”

“Newt’s not a name for a boy,” Gwen replied.

“It’s short for Newton.”

“Oh.”

“And mine’s short for Salamander.”

“What?”

Taking Sal’s advice, the eldest of the girls, a pudgy-faced child, no older than twelve, asked, “Excuse me, but what kind of stories do you tell?”

Rosemary piped up, eager to endorse her older sister. “The best stories, Bard! She tells fantastic stories about princesses and stars and race car drivers.”

Sal and Newt exchanged glances before bursting into laughter. There was nothing inherently funny about this, but Gwen was fast learning that laughter was an adequate response to anything in Neverland.

“Then that settles it,” Peter proclaimed. “She shall tell us a story tonight—the best and most fantastic story.”

Gwen felt she was being unfairly put on the spot. “I don’t know that—”

The children cheered, but a pigtailed girl asked, “And if she doesn’t?”

“If she doesn’t?” Peter echoed, as if it were a wholly irrational thought. “If she doesn’t tell the most fantastic story we’ve ever heard, we’ll tie her to a stake in the jungle and leave her!”

“Or walk her off the cliffs!”

“Or feed her to the lions!”

“Or dump her in the lagoon!”

The children were as happy to dream up punishments for Gwen as they were to meet her, and Gwen could not say she liked the way things were going. She shot Rosemary a mean glance, but her little sister did not seem to realize what she had committed her older sister to.

A third, dark girl had been far from quiet, but had not yet spoken. She had a drum at her side, secured by a strap around her shoulder. She began beating on it, chanting in a gibberish that her comrades were happy to join in on. Clapping, stomping, and dancing, they formed an untouching conga line around Gwen. Utterly out of her element, Gwen looked to Peter, but all he said was, “A story, Gwen-Dollie, or it’s off the cliffs and into the cove!”

As Peter pulled out a homemade flute and began playing a whimsical tune for the Lost Brigade to march to, Gwen leaned over and whispered to Rosemary. “They won’t really throw me off a cliff, will they?”

Rosemary, stoically looking at her sister, informed Gwen, “You’d better just tell them a good story.”

Audrey Greathouse is a lost child in a perpetual and footloose quest for her own post-adolescent Neverland. Originally from Seattle, she earned her English B.A. from Southern New Hampshire University's online program while backpacking around the west coast and pretending to be a student at Stanford. A pianist, circus artist, fire-eater, street mime, swing dancer, and novelist, Audrey wears many hats wherever she is. She has grand hopes for the future which include publishing more books and owning a crockpot.

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Blog Tour Stop for Bloodthorn by Tamara Grantham

Crimson Tree Publishing is proud to present Bloodthorn, Olive Kennedy Fairy World MD Book 3, by Tamara Grantham!

Olive Kennedy doesn’t believe in fairy tales.

In a desperate attempt to earn income, fairy world therapist Olive Kennedy resorts to finding clients at the Texas Renaissance Festival. When she discovers the corpse of her client’s husband discarded in her booth, she realizes that earning her next paycheck is the least of her worries.

As more of Olive’s clients fall prey to the killer, the fairy prince and princess arrive from Faythander with troubling news. The starstone—the fairies’ source of magic—has been stolen, and the thief is hiding on Earth. The bloodthorn, a mythical beast born of fairy legends, is rumored to be responsible, but no one is certain if the creature exists.

Of course, the fairy royalty do not travel alone. Their protector happens to be the one man Olive never wanted to see again. Her ex—Kull.

Following a trail of clues, she learns that the killer may be a shape shifter. Worse, she learns the identity of his next target—her.

After months with no contact from Faythander, Olive hoped the magical drama was over, yet it seems she’ll never escape the beings who haunt her nightmares… or be free from the man who took away her happily ever after.

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As it happens, I wasn’t alone when I was injured. In fact, I was fighting alongside some guy wielding a huge broadsword—one that he claims can defeat anything, except, I suppose, four-foot- tall wood sprites with sharp, pointy rocks tied to sticks.” His eyes narrowed. “It was dark, and we were ambushed.” “When did that ever matter? You’re supposed to be able to fight anything. You killed a jagamoor with your hands tied up. Your tears can cure any ailment. You’re a freaking Asgardian god for goodness’ sake. Since when did a little ambush in the dark matter?” He flexed his jaw. I was getting under his skin. Good. I was feeling better already. Maybe I should do this more often.

As it happens, I wasn’t alone when I was injured. In fact, I was fighting alongside some guy wielding a huge broadsword—one that he claims can defeat anything, except, I suppose, four-foot- tall wood sprites with sharp, pointy rocks tied to sticks.”

His eyes narrowed. “It was dark, and we were ambushed.”

“When did that ever matter? You’re supposed to be able to fight anything. You killed a jagamoor with your hands tied up. Your tears can cure any ailment. You’re a freaking Asgardian god for goodness’ sake. Since when did a little ambush in the dark matter?”

He flexed his jaw.

I was getting under his skin. Good. I was feeling better already. Maybe I should do this more often.

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Dreamthief, Book 1

Visiting Faythander is a nasty business. Forget the fairies and unicorns, most people come back with lost memories and mental problems. Olive Kennedy knows. She's the therapist who treats patients suffering from Faythander's side effects. Despite her empty bank account, she takes pride in her job as Houston’s only Fairy World medical doctor. She's never failed to cure a client—until now. Traveling back to Faythander wasn't on Olive's to-do list. But she has no choice. The fate of both Earth and Fairy depends on her ability to stop an ancient being called the Dreamthief. To complicate matters, she may be losing her heart to someone who can’t love her in return. Saving the world, she can handle. Falling in love—not so much. As if battling the forces of evil wasn't difficult enough…

Visiting Faythander is a nasty business. Forget the fairies and unicorns, most people come back with lost memories and mental problems. Olive Kennedy knows. She's the therapist who treats patients suffering from Faythander's side effects. Despite her empty bank account, she takes pride in her job as Houston’s only Fairy World medical doctor. She's never failed to cure a client—until now.

Traveling back to Faythander wasn't on Olive's to-do list. But she has no choice. The fate of both Earth and Fairy depends on her ability to stop an ancient being called the Dreamthief. To complicate matters, she may be losing her heart to someone who can’t love her in return. Saving the world, she can handle. Falling in love—not so much.

As if battling the forces of evil wasn't difficult enough…

Spellweaver Book 2

Olive's to-do list: Feed the cat. Pay the rent. Save Faythander. Again. 

After Olive's last trip through Faythander, she wants nothing more than a nice vacation. But there's never time for relaxation when goblin treachery is afoot. When Geth, a goblin Spellweaver, destroys the Everblossom—a tree containing Faythander's pure magic—the fairy-world utopia begins to die.

The bloom of the Everblossom is all that remains of pure magic. Now Olive must travel through Earth and Faythander to find a place where it will flourish. 

As a psychiatrist, her skills are top notch. However, her abilities to handle patients with abnormal mental behaviors will be put to the test when she confronts Geth. Nothing has prepared her for what he reveals to her about goblins and elves. As Olive's quest takes her from her home in Houston through the most dangerous places in Faythander, she learns that history is a muddled subject, especially when elves are involved. 

Her only comfort comes from Kull, her Viking warrior sidekick—who somehow negates her bad fortune. Yet how long can their relationship last when his past is brought to light? Olive will be tested beyond anything she has endured so far, as the secrets of Faythander's sordid and bloody past are exposed—one that could irrevocably alter the future and destroy the lives of everyone she loves.

Tamara Grantham was born and raised in Southeast Texas. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English from Lamar University. After marrying her husband David, she followed him through his training to become a burn surgeon, which consisted of moving from Vidor, Texas to Galveston, Texas, then to Tulsa, Oklahoma, back to Galveston, and they finally settled in Wichita, Kansas. Tamara and David have five active, sweet, and almost always well-mannered children, ages zero to ten years. Their two pets, June—the Jack Russell Terrier, and Chester—a black cat, help to keep the house lively (in addition to the children.)When Tamara isn’t writing or tending her children, she enjoys taking walks through the woods, eating chocolate, and very infrequently, she enjoys a good night’s sleep. Check out Tamara's website at: WWW.TAMARAGRANTHAM.COM

Tamara Grantham was born and raised in Southeast Texas. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English from Lamar University. After marrying her husband David, she followed him through his training to become a burn surgeon, which consisted of moving from Vidor, Texas to Galveston, Texas, then to Tulsa, Oklahoma, back to Galveston, and they finally settled in Wichita, Kansas. Tamara and David have five active, sweet, and almost always well-mannered children, ages zero to ten years. Their two pets, June—the Jack Russell Terrier, and Chester—a black cat, help to keep the house lively (in addition to the children.)When Tamara isn’t writing or tending her children, she enjoys taking walks through the woods, eating chocolate, and very infrequently, she enjoys a good night’s sleep. Check out Tamara's website at: WWW.TAMARAGRANTHAM.COM

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Release Day Blitz for The Neverland Wars by Audrey Greathouse

The Neverland Wars
Audrey Greathouse
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: May 9th 2016
Genres: Fairy Tales, Retelling, Young Adult

Magic can do a lot—give you flight, show you mermaids, help you taste the stars, and… solve the budget crisis? That’s what the grown-ups will do with it if they ever make it to Neverland to steal its magic and bring their children home.

However, Gwen doesn’t know this. She’s just a sixteen-year-old girl with a place on the debate team and a powerful crush on Jay, the soon-to-be homecoming king. She doesn’t know her little sister could actually run away with Peter Pan, or that she might have to chase after her to bring her home safe. Gwen will find out though—and when she does, she’ll discover she’s in the middle of a looming war between Neverland and reality.

She’ll be out of place as a teenager in Neverland, but she won’t be the only one. Peter Pan’s constant treks back to the mainland have slowly aged him into adolescence as well. Soon, Gwen will have to decide whether she’s going to join impish, playful Peter in his fight for eternal youth… or if she’s going to scramble back to reality in time for the homecoming dance.

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EXCERPT:

A flash of lightning electrified the sky, shooting light through the forest with a jarring pang. The boom of thunder followed immediately after. The sky was grey and the clouds shifted like a swarm of dark fish in a pond. Gwen feared she would be caught in a storm, but not a drop of rain had fallen yet.

All at once, Gwen found herself in a meadow. She had never been here before; she knew that. Wildflowers cropped up in sporadic clumps, and the long, green grasses were uncut at her calves. The tree line had suddenly broken. One minute, she was racing through the forest, the next, she was floating here. Pausing to catch her breath, she ironically felt safer in this open area than in the claustrophobic security of the forest. She landed gently, unthinkingly. Turning her head to the sky, she saw the faint grey clouds blowing and rolling away. Darker clouds seemed to be coming to take their place.

On the other side of the meadow, Peter burst into the clearing. Bramble was leading him, guiding the boy to poor, lost Gwen. If Gwen had understood the fairy language, she would have already known that.

“Gwenny!”

“Peter?” Gwen shouted. She ran to him, and between her bounding strides and his quick flight, they met in the middle of the meadow, cornflowers and lilacs growing up around them. Perhaps if he had been on the ground initially, she would have hugged him. Peter lingered in the air for just a moment though, and by the time he landed, the impulse to hug each other had melted away into urgent discussion. “What are you doing out here?” His voice carried the sort of anger that only accompanied concern.

“I got lost in the woods; I was trying to come back. Is something wrong, Peter?”

Bramble flitted back and forth, pacing in the air, objecting to Peter and Gwen having this conversation now, rather than when they were safely underground.

“The opposition, they’ve launched an attack. We’ve got to get to cover.”

“What? No, it’s just a storm.” Gwen didn’t understand what Peter was telling her, but she had already made up her mind that she didn’t believe it.
“Gwen-dollie, we’ve got to go. There’s—”

The sky was suddenly drained of light. The thin, grey clouds that had blocked the sun were eclipsed by darker, brooding storm clouds, and as the daylight faded, small, grey flecks began to rain down. As they drifted softly, Gwen knew it wasn’t rain. Her attention was as captivated as Peter’s was, but she did not understand what it was the way he did. “Snow?” she asked quizzically, looking at the grey and dirty powder as it started to fall around her.

Peter held out his hand and caught a flake of it, crushing it in his hand. It left a smoky residue on his palm. “Ash.”

The winds picked up, and more of the ash furiously fluttered down. It became larger, and Gwen could hardly comprehend the charred flecks of paper that were plummeting down. Peter zipped up into the air, jumping more than flying, to grab a large square of it. He came back down immediately, a look of horror on his face.

“Peter, what is it?” Gwen pled, hoping that her fear was born of her unknowing, that if she only had answers she wouldn’t be afraid, but from the look on his face, she knew that answers would only bring more fear.

The invisible hand of the wind grabbed the paper from out of Peter’s hold. It blew straight to Gwen. Catching it, she realized it was a page from out of a newspaper; the title read—ISIS ATTACK ON ERBIL; HUNDREDS DEAD.

She had seen newspaper headlines before, but this news did not belong here. Not in Neverland. It was too dark, too terrifying of a thing to read amid the lilacs and cornflowers. Again, she begged, “What is this, Peter?”

The page was torn out of her hand by the vindictive wind. Peter answered her, with a word she had never feared so greatly. “Reality.”


Author Bio:

Audrey Greathouse is a lost child in a perpetual and footloose quest for her own post-adolescent Neverland. Originally from Seattle, she earned her English B.A. from Southern New Hampshire University's online program while backpacking around the west coast and pretending to be a student at Stanford. A pianist, circus artist, fire-eater, street mime, swing dancer, and novelist, Audrey wears many hats wherever she is. She has grand hopes for the future which include publishing more books and owning a crockpot. You can find her at audreygreathouse.com

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Cover Reveal for Tainted by Ginna Moran

Today is the cover reveal for Tainted by Ginna Moran. This cover reveal is organized by Lola's Blog Tours.

TaintedTainted (Demon Within #1)
By Ginna Moran
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: June 2016

Blurb:
Seventeen-year-old Cami Anders uses one word to describe her life: purgatory. What she doesn’t know is she’s closer to Hell than she thinks.

On the run from the demon that killed her parents, Cami struggles to find her place on the fringes of the Veiled Realm, the part of the world where demons and other creatures lurk in the shadows. Striving to find a normal life in the care of a former demon hunter, who would punch even an angel to protect her, is harder than Cami ever imagined. There’s nothing ordinary about sipping holy water like it’s her beverage of choice, having stare-downs with animalistic demons, and relying on a hunter with enough secrets to fill an ocean to keep her soul safe.

When the demon from Cami’s past arrives to collect her soul, which he believes is rightfully his, she must unravel the secrets her protector has spent the last three years keeping from her. She finds herself questioning her existence and learns that running isn’t the answer. The only way to find normalcy is if she fights for it. But is it worth the risk of losing everything, including her soul, in the end?


You can find Tainted on Goodreads

Ginna MoranAbout the Author:
Ginna Moran is the author of the Destined for Dreams and Finding Nate series. She lives in Austin, Texas but is originally from Southern California.

When she realized her love of writing was her life’s passion, she studied literature and writing at Mira Costa College in Northern San Diego. Besides writing novels, she was the senior editor, content manager, and image coordinator for Crescent House Publishing Inc. for four years.

Aside from Ginna's professional life, she enjoys binge watching television shows, playing pretend with her daughter, and cuddling with her dogs. Some of her favorite things include chocolate, anything that glitters, digital design work, and organizing her bookshelves.

You can find and contact Ginna here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Amazon
- Instagram
- Pinterest
- Snapchat: @GinnaMoran

There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of Tainted. One winner will win a 10$ amazon gift card.

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April Blog Tour Post for New World Ashes by Jennifer Wilson

After Phoenix, a 17-year-old orphan rogue, sacrifices herself for her loved ones, her world again takes an unexpected turn. She may have forgotten her past, but it hasn’t forgotten her. A war is coming and her role in it will be pivotal.

That is... if she survives.


“The much-anticipated sequel to New World: Rising.”

Goodreads | Amazon Pre-order

Since witnessing her parents' murders at the age of eleven, Phoenix's only purpose in life has been to uphold her mother's dying words- to be strong and survive. But surviving outside of The Walls- outside of The Sanctuary- is more like a drawn-out death sentence. A cruel and ruthless city, Tartarus is run by the Tribes whose motto is simple, "Join or die." 

Refusing to join and determined to live, Phoenix fights to survive in this savage world. But who can she trust, when no one can be trusted? Not even herself

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Jennifer Wilson is the author of New World: Rising, the first book in the dark, dystopian New World trilogy. An Illinois native, she now resides in Denver, Colorado. When Jennifer is not writing, she is enjoying life rock climbing, camping, reading, exploring new foods, playing with her golden retriever, Duke, and sharing her life with her wonderful husband.

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Blossom and the Beast by R.S. McCoy Cover Reveal



Title: Blossom and the Beast
Author: RS McCoy
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Fairytale Reimaging
Cover Designer: Kit Foster Design
Pre­Order Available: May 1, 2016
Release Date: May 31, 2016



Blurb: 

Blossom Frane is only weeks away from her transformation. On her eighteenth birthday, she’ll find out her future branch of society and her totem, the animal form she’ll be able to take at will for the rest of her life. Like her brothers, she’ll be a brown bear of the religious branch known as Terra. Probably. 

In the Alderwood forests, Blossom’s bear blood is a valuable asset. Any day now, a rival clan leader will step forward and offer her father a hefty bounty in exchange for her hand in marriage. Blossom can do nothing more than sit back and wait to be traded to the highest bidder.

Determined spend her last weeks exploring the Alderwood, Blossom sneaks away and manages to find Kaide Landel, a rising political star of the Pyro branch. Known for their violence and disregard for the religious teachings of the Terra branch, he’s all wrong for the bear clan’s prized daughter. But when the politician uses his wealth and influence to secure her hand, Blossom has no choice but to leave her family and marry him. If she lives that long.


Author Bio: 

Rachel McCoy is a Texan living in New Jersey. Between binge watching MTV reality shows and baking gluten free treats, she writes paranormal fantasy and science fiction novels. She is the self­published author of the Sparks Saga trilogy as well as numerous short stories, some of which now reside in anthologies. Back when she lived in the real world, Rachel earned a degree in marine biology, which contributed to her die­hard love of manta rays.

Links: 

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Book Blitz for Rarity D.A. Roach

Rarity

by D.A. Roach

Release Date: June 5th 2015

Limitless Publishing

Jay Wilken won’t let his past define him... A dead mother and an alcoholic father brought Jay to Stanton, but he doesn’t want pity. His good looks, charisma, and friendly nature quickly win over the whole student body, but he has his eye on one girl...Brogen. Brogen can’t believe anyone could be so genuinely nice. It has to be an act, right? But when Jay literally saves her from deadly jaws, she has to admit he’s exactly what he appears, and he’s worth risking the potential emotional upheaval. “Drama” might as well be Becca Grant’s middle name... Another newcomer to Stanton, Becca’s blonde beauty and abundant attitude shoots her straight to the top of the popularity charts—and she believes Jay belongs right there beside her. Accustomed to getting exactly what she wants, she launches a relentless mean-girl campaign to shake up Brogen and claim Jay for her own. Everything changes with a devastating diagnosis... When Jay learns he has a rare and potentially fatal disorder, he keeps it secret and begins to push Brogen away to spare her future pain—which is exactly the sort of opening Becca is waiting for. As Jay’s well-meaning deception unravels, Brogen realizes there is much more than her heart at stake...

But how far is she willing to go to fight for someone she loves?

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Things always looked different the next day. Skies seemed bluer, the grass was greener. The worries of yesterday were magically reduced to a manageable size, and brand new ideas and thoughts were born. Oddly enough, Mom’s words were like seeds planted in the night, now growing and blossoming inside me. Jay was very much alive. He was healthy, a bit fragile, but more alive than many kids my age who lived life mindlessly. If anything, this stupid disorder made him more alive. Made me more alive. I wanted to make memories with Jay— live each day to the fullest, laugh until my belly hurt, cry at sad movies with him, and watch the sunrise and the sunset whenever I could. Life was a gift, not to be taken for granted. It could be here one day and gone the next, or it could go on for a very long time

.D.A. Roach has been telling stories since she was a young girl in the suburbs of Chicago. In college she met the man of her dreams, her happily ever after, and married him 2 weeks after graduating. They have 3 kids together and a pet cockatiel named Gimli. D.A. did not find a love for books until after college. Her parents were immigrants from Lithuania and found tv and radio easier ways to hear stories so they did not do much rea ding or encourage it. But once she finished college and D.A. had free time, she discovered how amazing it was to get lost in a story.

D.A. is a full time mom and wife. When she is not doing domestic things (laundry, bills, etc) she is writing, reading, creating mixed media art, and helping beautify her kids’ school landscape.

Oh, and she is ALWAYS listening to music. Her favorite authors include Rebecca Donovan, Richelle Mead, Larissa Ione, Stephanie Meyer, E.L. James, and Sylvia Day. Reading great works from authors like these has motivated D.A. to write her own stories. She hopes to make positive changes in the world with her art and writing.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”

― George Bernard Shaw

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Book Blitz for Canvas Bound by Laura M Kolar

Canvas Bound by Laura M. Kolar
(Captive Art #1) 
Publication date: July 3rd 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

Sixteen-year-old Libby Tanner’s art comes to life. Her painted skies turn from day to night, leaves rustle on trees, and sometimes, a mystery boy appears.

While attending England’s Aldridge Art Academy, Libby meets charming Brent Henderson, a performing arts student who showers her with attention. But his rival, gorgeous Dean James, is the one who occupies her mind, even though he’s very much attached to his current girlfriend.

Libby soon learns there’s more to both Brent and Dean than she ever imagined. In order to save her future and the boy who’s captured her heart, she must unlock the secrets behind her art by entering the most dangerous place of all… the world within her paintings.

But once she steps into the canvas, she risks being trapped forever.

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How Not to Start a Novel

In the beginning

It was a dark and stormy night

Long ago and far away

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

Call me Ishmael

You get the idea.   

A question I get asked a lot when I tell someone I write, is how do I start the story? How do I know what words to put first on the page?  This isn’t easy for me to answer because every story is different. Normally, I write linearly, as in page one to ‘The End’, but the last two stories I’ve written as the scenes have come to me and the beginning wasn’t the first thing I wrote.

I have found it helpful to figure out who the key characters are in the story and what I want the reader to know about them right away as opposed to something I want the reader to find out as the story unfolds.  For example, if your main character is a mechanic, you could start the story with them staring at a pan of dirty oil and remembering or noticing something intriguing that gives the reader some insight into the character’s personality. But later you find out they’re not really a mechanic, they’re in a witness protection program and only know about cars because they were some mobster’s driver.

One thing I’ve never done is start a story with dialog, though other authors like this format. I personally feel it’s a bit too abrupt to start with people talking and not even know who they are in order to get a feel for how the dialog should be read, happy, mad, psychotic. A couple I started with what’s considered a ‘cliché’, the girl woke up from a dream, the boy stood in front of a mirror (they’ve since been changed). I’m not saying that’s right or wrong (I’m not saying any of this is right or wrong), but I’ve heard that agents and publishers shy away from these types of beginnings. I think mostly because they’re not very original ideas.

Some writers like to introduce secondary characters right away and some like to hold off a few pages or even a chapter. Also, if you’re writing from two points of view, deciding which character to start with is a whole other dilemma because you kind of have to start two separate stories.

Then, once you’ve gotten through all of that, you have to actually sit down and write the first words. Are they funny? Are they thought provoking? Do they make any sense at all to anyone but you? The very first book I wrote started, My name is Charlie Murphy and I just got dumped. Is it good? Is it bad? I suppose that depends on how much you want to know about Charlie. (By the way, he’s a super sweet guy. The kind every mother wants for her daughter.) At any rate, if you haven’t figured it out already, the first words are quite possibly the hardest to write.

Then again, Once upon a time has a nice ring to it.

Laura M. Kolar lives with her husband and daughter in a one-stop-light town in northern-lower Michigan. Though she didn't discover her love of books until she turned thirty, as a self-declared hopeless romantic, she has spent the past few years reading and writing stories with mostly happy endings. If not at her day-job or with her family, you will find her sipping a cup of chai latte while sitting in her favorite rocking chair, hunched over her laptop writing or spending entirely too much time on Twitter.

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Book Blitz for Deadly Secrets by Kat Nichols

Deadly Secrets by Kat Nichols
(The Secret Societies Collection, #2) 
Publication date: August 18th 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Sophia Morganthal is in over her head. Her struggles with trying to run a corporation and lead her coven cause havoc in Sophia’s personal life — mostly with her boyfriend, Connor.

Amidst the chaos, a neighboring coven is attacked, pushing Sophia to assume her place on the local council. On the brink of a supernatural war, Sophia must take action as some of the coven leaders seem to have their own agenda.

Running out of options, Sophia seeks help from the last group the council wants to involve. Will the risk be worth the reward or will she lose everything she fought so hard to attain?

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

I glanced around for a doorbell, but my eye fell on a hideous door knocker instead. It looked like an angry gargoyle and some superstitious part of me didn’t want to touch it, worried that it would come to life and bite me. I slowly extended my hand to grasp it and the stone was cool to the touch. I laughed at myself before knocking on the door twice. The knocker was heavy, and the thuds echoed in the silence.

Minutes passed. The tiny hairs on the back of my neck stiffened and I whirled around, positive someone was standing behind me. But no one was. When I turned back to face the door, it was cracked open just a tiny bit. “Hello? Is anyone there?” I asked, leaning closer, trying to peek through the open door and into the hallway beyond.

Something slammed into me from behind, knocking me into the house. Arms wrapped around me, like steel bands and I opened my mouth to scream. One of the arms snaked up to cover my mouth, the fingers icy cold on my face, bruising my jaw. I struggled and kicked at my attacker, trying to free my hand to cast a spell and he laughed. “You picked the wrong house, human.”

I tried to scream that I wasn’t human, to plead for my life, but no words made it past my lips. His arm tightened around my chest, constricting my lungs, and my vision started to go gray. His head moved to my neck and I squeezed my eyes shut. Was this how it was going to end?

“Michael! What the hell is wrong with you?”

The sound came from far away and as my attacker jerked, a piercing pain sliced my neck. My eyes flew open. The smell of my blood filled the air and he growled at the woman as she approached, defending his prize. I froze, not wanting to make any sudden moves, so scared I thought I might vomit.

She held her hands up as she walked closer, but her fangs were out, the smell of my blood making her hungry too. “Damn it, Michael. She’s not human. She’s a witch.”

Kat Nichols was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. The youngest of four children, she'd been known to play for hours with only a cardboard box for entertainment. Her imaginary friends had friends... and family... and even little cities to play in. As she grew older, she began to put some of these stories down on paper, rather than keeping them in her head. 

Writing a novel had always been a dream for her, perhaps an item on her bucket list, but it wasn't until she joined a writing group with other aspiring writers that she finally got to work.When not writing, Kat is reading or driving her son to and from practices and wishing she was reading.It depends on the day. 

Kat still lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her wonderful husband, their hilarious son and their sometimes adorable and sometimes annoying cat.

To learn more about the author, please go to www.katnichols.com.

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Cover Reveal for In Too Deep by Sherry Ficklin

TROUBLE IS ONLY A KEYSTROKE AWAY...

I'm very excited to reveal the cover for book 2 in the #HACKER series,

IN TOO DEEP.

ebook - in too deep  

About the book:

One talented hacker.

One dead body.

One explosive secret.

When one reckless night leads Farris Barnett to the dead body of a classmate, she’s as willing as everyone else to write it off as a suicide. That is, until cryptic messages start coming in from someone who knows the truth, and they want Ferris on the case. Putting her hacker skills to work, she begins to unravel the life of a victim who might just have been the guiltiest of them all.

Her personal life in turmoil, Farris turns to the only person she can trust to help her get to the bottom of things—a friend on the verge of becoming much more. Together, they confront a killer with a secret not even she could have decoded.

The biggest bombs, the ones that do the most damage, are the ones you never see coming.

You can find the first chapter of IN TOO DEEP inside the first book of the #HACKER series, PLAYING WITH FIRE releasing October 27th!

Grab your copy of Playing With Fire HERE

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About the author:

Sherry is a full time writer from Colorado and the author of over a dozen novels for teens and young adults including the best selling Stolen Empire series. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she's on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs. Sherry also writes New Adult fiction under the pen name Ranae Glass and is a contributing writer for fangirlish.com. You can find her at her official website, www.sherryficklin.com, or stalk her on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/sherry.ficklin.

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Book Blitz for The Keepsake by Suzy Vitello

The Keepsake (The Empress Chronicles #2)

by Suzy Vitello

Release Date: October 1st 2015

In this second Empress Chronicles book, Liz and Sisi continue their intertwined journey through time. On the heels of discovering a magical locket in the empress diary, Liz comes to understand its very special power: the wearer must speak the truth.

Not only that, but it turns out that there are three lockets, each with their own magic and power.

Meanwhile, Sisi realizes that she’s communicating with a girl who lives 150 years in the future.

A girl who knows what awaits her if she marries the emperor: lack of personal freedom and a legacy that will refer to her as the "reluctant empress."

With the world's future hanging in the balance, the two heroines must work together to thwart Lola, whose ambition to rule the Habsburg Empire will rewrite history, and lead to a terrifying new version of reality.

Goodreads

When I open the locket, there’s a bolt of sadness that stabs me, then clings to my skin, making me feel like I’ve trespassed somewhere I shouldn’t have. If there really is some sort of power coming from this thing, we should return it. Only, with Dr. Greta over in Germany, and having stolen the diary a whole month ago, we’d both be in crazy trouble. Especially Cory, given that he’s already got two strikes against him with the juvenile authorities and MIPs and stuff like that.

The diary is hidden under a loose board behind my bookcase. Once we found out that my shrink had been summoned to return it to the authorities, Cory suggested that we stash it. It’s been a couple of days since I checked it, and now, with our new suspicions about the locket, I want to revisit that passage about the keepsake’s magic. Only, I need Cory to translate Sisi’s German.

The bookcase scrapes the floor a little when I shove it forward. The entire wall is made of wood—not one sheet of drywall in this old place—and Cory had pried loose a short panel of fir where it meets the baseboard molding. That’s where I find the empress journal pages crammed into one the binding of my last shrink-sponsored food diary.

My heartbeat competes with the storm as I wiggle it free and tiptoe across the hall. I find Cory already asleep, buried in his sleeping bag in the screened-in summer porch. The diary and locket feel heavy in my hands; my nerves are jangling as I approach his burrito- wrapped body. “Cory,” I loud-whisper.

He snorts and turns over, facing away from me.

“Wake up!”

Cory pops his face out. “Dude, you’re totally interrupting my amazing dream.”

For Cory, an amazing dream probably has to do with his mouth over a bong, or some girl- related activity, and I don’t want the details. I hold out the journal, “We need to get to the bottom of this.”

Cory sits up and rubs his eyes. Another crack of thunder, this one right over us. I settle in close to him. I seem to be shivering, all of a sudden.

“What, you’re scared of a little storm, Lizzie?”

“Don’t call me that.”

He holds his arm out, his chin gestures toward his shoulder, “Come here.”

I scootch in closer, his warm body heating me instantly, taking the shiver away. His arm settles around my shoulder and I open the diary, the loose pages of ancient text shift away from the decoy cover, and I hold them tight to keep them from blowing away as another gust of wind swoops in.

As I page through it, looking for that place where Cory had translated Sisi’s entries about love and visions and magic, the image of Alika gets clearer. Alika and Cory, together on that bridge. I keep turning the worn, yellowed pages, trying to ignore the intrusion of thoughts of Cory close to another girl, but the vision is very strong. Overpowering.

Rain spits at us. Wind blows and whistles through the screen. I toss the locket to the far end of the sleeping bag, down near where the rain has trickled and pooled on the floor. And just as I hear the clink of the keepsake sliding to the floor, Cory shouts, “Liz, look at this!”

Suzy Vitello is a proud founding member of a critique group recently dubbed The Hottest Writing Group in Portland, and her short stories have won fellowships and prizes (including the Atlantic Monthly Student Writing Award, and an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship).

Suzy's young adult novels, THE MOMENT BEFORE and THE EMPRESS CHRONICLES are available wherever books and ebooks are sold.

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Book Blitz for The Summer Marked by Rebekah L. Purdy

The Summer Marked by Rebekah L. Purdy
(The Winter People #2) 
Published by: Entangled: Teen
Publication date: September 22nd 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

The sequel to the chilling Winter People returns to the world of Faerie, and is a romantic and enchanting follow-up.

Salome left humankind behind to be with her boyfriend, Gareth, in the Kingdom of Summer. But now forces of darkness are rising. Her happily-ever-after is coming apart, and the Kingdom is on the brink of war.

Newly-single Kadie Byers is on her way home for Thanksgiving, imagining a visit filled with hot chocolate, a hot guy for a little rebound action, and some girl time with her bestie, Salome. Except she receives a message from Salome with two important words: PLEASE HURRY.

When Kadie rushes to help Salome, she’s ripped from the human world and pulled into the kingdoms of Faerie, where she’s shocked to learn that Salome’s monsters are real, and that she’s now at the mercy of one extremely vengeful Winter Queen…

Now both Salome and Kadie must find a way to survive the deadly chaos…or lose themselves to Winter’s deadly, icy grasp.

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Bubbles and foam rose from the river floor as if there was an eruption below. Water sprayed my left cheek. A gurgled snort sounded beside us as a great black horse rose from the depths, river-weed tangled in its mane. This was no ordinary horse. It was a Kelpie. It turned to face me, eyes blazing like hot coals. The beast’s lips peeled back to reveal blood covered teeth. Crap. If I could reach the saddlebags, then maybe I could pull out the sword Gareth had gotten for me. I leaned to the side, reaching for the buckles. Moving at this pace and bouncing around, I couldn’t get hold of it.

Come on. 

Adaba jerked to the side in an attempt to get to the shore. But it was too late. In one swift movement, the Kelpie latched onto my arm.

“No!” Pain shot through me like a bullet. I fought to stay in the saddle. My horse kicked out his hind legs, catching the Kelpie in the side. Still the creature wouldn’t release me. 

Instead, it tugged harder ripping me halfway off my saddle. My knees tightened around Adaba’s sides, my fingers loosened as water slickened what grip I had. The Kelpie’s teeth sunk deeper into my arm. My hands slipped; my hold lost. Horror washed over me when I plunged into the dark, icy depths of the river. The coldness stung my skin. The creature dragged me deeper, and I kicked my legs, thrashing to free myself from it. Above me, all I saw were the distorted images of the sky as it faded from sight.

Rebekah was born and raised in Michigan where she spent many late nights armed with a good book and a flashlight. She’s lived in Michigan most of her life other than the few years she spent in the U.S. Army. At which time she got a chance to experience Missouri, Kansas, South Carolina, and California. Rebekah has a business degree from University of Phoenix and currently works full time for the court system. In her free time she writes YA stories, anything from YA Fantasy to YA Contemporary Romance. Rebekah also has a big family (6 kids) she likes to consider her family as the modern day Brady Bunch complete with crazy road trips and game nights. When not hiding at her computer, Rebekah enjoys reading, singing, soccer, swimming, football, camping, playing video games, traveling, and hanging out with her family and gazillion pets.

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Release Day Blitz for Lost Princess by by Dani-Lyn Alexander

Lost Princess

(Kingdom of Cymmera #2)

by Dani-Lyn Alexander

Release Date: 10/13/15

Lyrical Press

Ryleigh Donnovan’s life changed forever the day she met Jackson Maynard, a Death Dealer, and followed him home to the kingdom of Cymmera. Now she is trying to care for her sister while saving a realm she knows nothing about...

Jackson has reluctantly accepted the throne of Cymmera, in place of his father. But his world is in turmoil, the kingdom under constant threat of attack.

Worse still, Jackson suspects there is a traitor among his court. A powerful prophet has suggested a way to protect the realm, but that solution may drive Jackson and Ryleigh apart forever...

When a magic relic goes missing, Ryleigh has no choice but to journey in search of it. When Jackson discovers Ryleigh is missing, he must make a choice that will either claim their destiny, or bring an end to the only home he’s ever known.

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Book One Links

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The soft brush of something against the carpet outside Ryleigh’s bedroom door intruded on her restless sleep. Her eyes shot open. Her heart drummed wildly in her chest. Blood rushing in her ears drowned out whatever sound had woken her. With the Kingdom of Cymmera at war, even though she was in her own realm, human traitors or monsters could attack from anywhere at any moment. Goose bumps rushed across her skin, prickling her nerves. The memory of savages invading her home taunted her.

Wait. There it was again. The slightest whisper of something brushing against...something. She slid quietly from the bed, got caught up in the blankets, and almost lost her footing. She bit back a curse, untangled her foot, and grabbed the baseball bat from beneath the bed. Although she had her choice of weapons now—sword, bow and arrow, flail, axe— the bat still felt the most comfortable in her hand, the most familiar. She switched off the small bedside lamp. No sense backlighting herself when she opened the door. She’d be an easy enough target if something waited out there.

She tiptoed across the bedroom, pressed her ear against the door, and held her breath. The rhythmic pounding of her heart slamming against her ribs masked any sound that might come from the hallway. She blew her breath out slowly, careful not to make any noise, and gripped the doorknob.

No good. Her hand was too slippery. She wiped her sweaty palm on her pajama pants and tried again. Turning the knob as soundlessly as possible, bat held at the ready, she eased the door open, just a crack at first, and peered into the dark hallway.

Dani-Lyn Alexander lives on Long Island with her husband, three kids and three dogs. She loves spending time with her family, at the beach, the playground, or just about anywhere. In her spare time, which is rare, she enjoys reading and shopping--especially in book stores. Some of her favorite things include; Bernese Mountain Dogs, musicals, bubble baths and soft blankets. She's an incurable insomniac and has an addiction to chocolate.

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Release Day Blitz for Phoenix Awakens by Eliza Nolan

Phoenix Awakens

by Eliza Nolan

Release Date: 10/12/15

Paranormal debut about a high school senior who finds herself in a fight with a secret society for control of ancient magic.

Julia never believed in magic.

Julia Long is starting her senior year with an extra dose of crazy. The dreams of cultish, bloody rituals are weird enough, but the victim in her lifelike dreams is her new classmate, Southern charmer Graham.

Graham admits he was part of the Phoenixes — a centuries old secret society — but swears he left it all behind. As Julia works with Graham to figure out why she is dreaming about his past, she's discovering she has other abilities. She heals Graham’s migraines with a touch, and there’s her superhuman strength that comes and goes. Julia doesn’t know where her new talents come from, but there’s no denying that when Graham is near, her powers kick into overdrive.

But the Phoenixes want Graham back. They need his blood to awaken the magic they seek, and they'll do whatever it takes to get it.

In a mundane world where magic does not exist, Julia is the only one with a shot at stopping them. Will Julia learn to control her new abilities in time to stop the Phoenixes from harnessing this powerful magic?

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Our eyes met, and that was all it took for me to become lost in his heavy-lidded, crystal-blue eyes.

He turned to Clara and his face brightened. "Hey, Sis."

His voice was raspy like a smooth low buzz that set my insides humming.

"Graham, this is, Julia," Clara said.

His lips turned up into a crooked grin, making heat rush to my cheeks. "Julia." He nodded, reaching out to shake my hand and, although it was something Dad would do, I didn't care. His Southern drawl was borderline hypnotic and sucked me in. As he took my hand, my fingers tingled. Not the stomach dropping, sweaty, tongue-tied sensation you get from being around hot guys. Graham was definitely that hot. But no, this was different - a subtle prickling, like carbonated soda on the tongue. It tickled. We both looked down at our hands, eyes wide. The prickles crept up my arm, giving me goose bumps.

It was as if a current moved through us. My vision blurred and my legs weakened. Passing out became a serious possibility.

Was he doing something?

Then the sensation faded, replaced by a subtle wave of euphoria. Graham's expression relaxed, and I finally remembered to let go.

Eliza Nolan was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

She lived in Charleston, South Carolina, for a few years, after which she returned to icy Minnesota - where she now lives with her two cats in a house smaller than your closet.

She is an avid reader and writer of YA. She has ghostwritten a novel or two, but also writes her own stuff, and is FINALLY getting ready (to get ready) to publish her debut young adult urban fantasy novel, Phoenix Awakens.

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Book Blitz for The Infected by Michelle K. Pickett



The Infected (PODs #2)
Release Date: October 12th 2015

Summary from Goodreads:


From the author of the award winning Unspeakable, and the best selling PODs, comes the highly anticipated sequel to PODs. A world where death stalks the unsuspecting, and this time even the PODs might not save them. 

A virus nearly wiped out humankind...

Months have passed since a human infection has been reported. Survivors of the deadly pandemic have finally started to build a life in a world left devastated by plague. 

Ironically, for nineteen-year-old Eva, life made more sense when she battled the deadly Infected than it does in the serenity of her new home in Rosewood. Separated from fiancé and former POD-mate, David, after an impossible ultimatum, Eva finds her life a little lonely and a lot confusing. 

But as troubled as Eva’s life is, it's about to take a turn for the worse as untold dangers watch and wait for the right moment to attack...

The virus refuses to die quietly.

Book One
(click on image for link)



About the Author

I can’t write without a hoodie. Yeah, I live it Texas. We all have our quirks.

I majored in accounting in college. I was required to declare a major, but I had no clue what I wanted to do, so I picked accounting because it was the first thing listed in the booklet the counselor gave me. Surprisingly, I graduated with a 4.0 GPA. Go figure.

Forget coffee. Hand over the Red Bull or Monster Khaos and no one gets hurt. Seriously, just set it down and step away. I will turn into a normal human after I guzzle my can of caffeine.

Ihate to cook, but love to watch cooking shows on television.

I paint my nails weird colors just to see my husband roll his eyes and make my 9 year-old twin girls giggle. Oh, and mortify my 13 year-old son.

I’m a hopeful romantic and love swoon-worthy endings that keep the butterflies going for days, but I don’t believe a HEA always ends with the boy getting the girl. Sometimes a HEA is an ending we don’t see coming, but is still best for the characters.

I write across genres in the young adult and new adult age groups while eating way too many peanut butter M&Ms (but we’ll keep that second part just between us).

I was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, but now live in a suburb of Houston, TX with my very supportive family, a 125lb rescue “puppy” and a 12lb attack cat, also a rescue animal.

And last, (but certainly not least), I love my family with everything in me. Everything I am, is theirs. There are no words in any language known to man to describe my love for them. They are my center.

I’d love to hear from you. So drop me an email! Let’s chat. You tell me what you like in books, what you’d like to see happen in the writing community, what type of books you like to see more of...less of—I want to hear it all! So tell me, please. Because the one thing I wish I could put on my list, but I still haven’t figured out how to do, is mind-reading. But don’t tell my kids. I still have them fooled. :)
 



Author Links:
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Book Blitz for End of Day by Summer Lane

End of Day by Summer Lane
(The Zero Trilogy #3) 
Publication date: October 9th 2015
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult

The end has come.

Elle Costas and her dog, Bravo, have survived the dangers of Hollywood and escaped the clutches of Slaver Territory. The apocalypse has been cruel, and the wasteland of California has forced them to seek shelter in a civilian refugee camp at a place called Bear Mountain.

Here, they meet Cheng, a mysterious boy with the skills of a samurai, and Luli, a steampunk warrior with a thirst for vengeance. But friends cannot always be trusted. When a horrific tragedy befalls Bear Mountain, Elle and Bravo come face to face with their most dangerous enemy yet. 

Betrayal and heartbreak threaten to destroy the bonds of friendship. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Run, or be caught.
Kill, or be killed.
Fight, or be forced to surrender.

The end of the day will change everything.
Will Elle and Bravo survive?

The explosive, thrilling conclusion to the #1 Bestselling Zero Trilogy by Summer Lane.

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Girl and Dog Versus the World 

By Summer Lane 

Interestingly, the most popular character of all of my books and stories has been Bravo, the German Shepherd bomb dog from The Zero Trilogy. His undying love and loyalty to fifteen-year-old Elle Costas is a wonderful example of true friendship. I think everyone loves dogs – or at least, they should! – and Bravo embodies the selfless nature of an animal. 

When I was creating the character of Bravo, I knew exactly who he was going to be and what he was going to be like. There was no question. Bravo has been a friend to me just as he has been a friend to Elle. 

Many people have commented on the dialogue between hardened Elle and Bravo. Is Elle imagining that the dog is talking? Is the dog actually talking? The answer is that I look into the eyes of dogs and cats all the time, and the more time you spend with them, the more you can read their thoughts – just like people! 

The dialogue between girl and dog came about naturally. I wanted to write about the dog as the real presence that he was. I didn’t want the narrative to be childish, because this story is about the raw, gritty battle for day-to-day survival. Bravo’s voice emerged from the story in a truly organic way. His voice is uniquely his own. 

His bond with Elle is so special. I love that Elle’s best friend and real love is a dog, because what could possibly be more wonderful than that?

Summer Lane is the #1 Bestselling author of The Collapse Series and the compelling tie-in novella books of The Zero Trilogy, as well as the upcoming Bravo Saga (releasing March 2016). She is also the author of Collapse: The Illustrated Guide, a #1 Bestselling graphic companion to her phenomenal original series.
 
She is the owner of WB Publishing and Writing Belle, an online magazine. Summer is also an accomplished journalist and creative writing teacher. 
 
Summer lives in the Central Valley of California, where she spends her days writing, teaching, and writing some more. When she is not writing, she enjoys leisurely visits with friends at coffee shops, movie dates, reading and spending the day at the beach or mountains.

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Book Blitz for Always Second Best by Elodie Nowodazkij

Always Second Best by Elodie Nowodazkij
(Broken Dreams, #2) 
Publication date: October 13th 2015 
Genres: Romance, Young Adult

Sometimes being first isn’t what you expected.

Seventeen-year-old ballerina Emilia Moretti is tired of always being second best. And she’s going to prove the world she deserves to be first. In her upcoming School of the Performing Arts showcase. In the eyes of her birth parents. And in the heart of the guy she loves. She spends hours rehearsing, hours dreaming about becoming number one, hours imagining how her entire life is about to change. But when nothing goes the way she planned, she’ll need to realize what it really means to be first.

Eighteen-year-old Nick Grawski doesn’t want to follow Daddy Dearest’s rules any longer. He’s going to prove he’s meant to be a dancer—not a lawyer—and he is not going to stay away from Em just because his father demands it. He needs to show Em that—this time around—he’s there to stay and that he won’t break her heart again. Even when her world goes down to shit, even when he finds out his dad may have been trying to protect him all along, even if being there for one another is harder than falling in love.

ALWAYS SECOND BEST is a novel of hope and heartbreak and broken dreams. It’s a novel about falling in love and discovering that being first isn’t always what matters.

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Em steps back and tilts her head, looking at me carefully like she does when she’s trying to assess me. “If it’s important, if you need someone to talk to, I’ll always be there for you. 

But…” She takes a deep breath, almost like she wants to ground herself. “I don’t want to be the one you use. That’s all.”

“I’ve never used you.”

“Whatever,” she replies and I know the conversation is over. 

I turn the music on. Em stretches, letting her body fall on the leg she has propped up against the mirror. I get the spot next to hers and do the same. We switch legs. We look at each other in the mirror.

“Tomorrow, they want you to show them your technique—which is perfect—but also the emotions.” I grab the remote control and change the music to Sleeping Beauty.

I stand next to her. And pull her to me. “We know your technique is amazing. Show me how you fall in love.” 

“W-what do you mean?”

“Aurora…at first she falls in love.”

Em gulps but then she stares at me, raising an eyebrow that says, Two can play this game, my friend. “Yes.” Her voice is breathy. And she may be winning the game I didn’t even know we started just by looking at me.

“You need to let those emotions loose, your movements need to be full of passion, and your eyes need to have that passion in them too.”

Em positions herself, with one arm up and the other behind her back. She angles her foot and then starts dancing. Her movements surround me, she surrounds me. One pirouette, one jump, one pas de deux… She’s looking at me, like I’m her anchor point, like I’m the only thing that makes sense, like she’s in love with me.

I want to grab her hand. I want to pull her to me.  I want…so much. 

But I know if I move she’ll disappear back into that hole inside of herself. 

So, instead I dance alongside her. An answer to her unspoken questions. A promise to her unspoken demand. 

And when we stop, both out of breath, she kisses my cheek before turning away.

It may not be much, but it’s a first step.

Want to read bonus scenes? Sign up for my newsletter (http://bit.ly/1Ddrft5) to get them! 

You can also join my Facebook fan group (http://on.fb.me/1J2SYl1) for early excerpts of my upcoming books, giveaways or to just hang out with me :)

Elodie Nowodazkij was raised in a tiny village in France, where she could always be found a book in hand. At nineteen, she moved to the US, where she learned she'd never lose her French accent. Now she lives in Maryland with her husband, their dog and their cat. 

She's also a serial smiley user

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Book Blitz for Quanta by Lola Dodge

Quanta by Lola Dodge
(The Shadow Ravens #2) 
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: October 13th 2015
Genres: Futuristic, Romance, Young Adult

Just because Quanta can see the future doesn’t mean she can change it. She’s spent most of her life imprisoned, feeding her captors information to keep herself alive, but she’s finally reached the endgame and her death creeps closer by the moment.

The son of two senators, Altair Orpheus leads a life of privilege that provides the perfect cover for his side job: working with the rebel Shadow Ravens to undermine the ruling Seligo government. Everything is running like clockwork until he crosses paths with Quanta. As he watches her deftly maneuver through life in a perverse prison, his plastic heart melts. A jailbreak would be suicide, but Tair is willing to sacrifice everything to give her a chance at happiness.

Now Quanta senses a terrifying new future brewing. She and Tair are bound together, but every image of them kissing, snuggling, and acting knee-weakeningly happy is balanced by a much darker possibility. They’ll be picture perfect together, but only until time rips them apart. How can she follow her heart when she’s seen how their love plays out?

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Mother smiled like a cat, full of ambition and smugness. “Someone wants to meet you.” 

Someone? Suddenly, I knew where this was going. “Mother—” 

“There are the Astors.” Mother gave a demure wave and started gliding toward a trio standing near an ice sculpture. Her fingers clamped my arm, dragging me along. Father walked on my other side, sandwiching me in place. 

No way to run without making a scene. Senator Astor and her husband stood waiting with their daughter.

A set-up. 

My free hand bunched into a fist, but I tucked it into my pocket. I couldn’t make a mistake in front of this audience. 

Mother exchanged greetings, then made a sweeping gesture. “This is my son, Altair. Altair, this is Layla Astor.” 

Layla’s blonde hair tumbled in artful curls and braids. She wore tasteful neutral makeup that emphasized her full lips and emerald green eyes, but a hint of darker eyeliner smudged like a leftover from some previous night’s debauchery; that was half of what I needed to know to escape the conversation. 

And I would escape. I had no interest in these shallow romances meant to gain my family position. 

“It’s so nice to meet you, Altair. I knew your sister at academy.” And that was why Cass had been invited. Some common bond to me to a potential future mate. Good thing Cass had stayed home. She’d hate the situation as much as I did. 

The girl extended her arm, flashing her Green Helix and I couldn’t avoid the handshake. “Likewise.” Layla’s rough fingertips gave me the last clue I needed. 

Calluses from playing an instrument. Between that and the eyeliner, I had an excellent guess at how to get rid of her. Rather than sell her out in front of her parents, I offered her an arm. “I was just about to admire the ice sculptures. Would you care to join me?” 

“I’d love to.” She smiled and placed delicate fingertips on my arm. 

Our parents grinned conspiratorial smiles as we strolled away. No doubt they’d already picked a wedding date. I waited until we were out of modified earshot to speak. “How upset would your family be if I mentioned that you play in a band?” 

“Very.” Layla tensed, and her expression and tone shifted from vapid politeness to shrewd consideration. “Not that you should know.” 

I shrugged. “I won’t say a thing as long as you don’t press an engagement.” 

“Thank God.” Layla shuddered. “Our mothers schemed this one. I thought you were in on it.” 

I grinned. I didn’t often stumble onto others faking their way through Helix life, but every so often an ally dropped in my lap. “Should we small talk for a few minutes and then pretend to offend each other?” 

Layla pressed her lips together, eying me up and down. “If you’re up to it, I have a better suggestion.” 

“Oh?” I handed her a drink taken from a passing tray. Our parents still watched from across the room. 

“Let’s meet for coffee. We could draw this out for months.” 

“A faux courtship?” It had promise, although there were certainly risks. 

“You’re the first guy they’ve set me up with who’s not a self-centered ass.” 

Layla’s mischievous smile made her eyes sparkle. “My girlfriend would love you.”

Her voice was clear of subterfuge and I found myself smiling back. “Next week? 

I’m sure our parents already exchanged our contact information.” And faking a relationship would save me getting blindsided at every event.

“Call me.” She finger-waved and then headed for a crowd of friends, who proceeded to glance my way, slipping a few quickly smothered cackles. I nodded before heading off to work the crowd. 

Despite my parents’ efforts, the night was going better than expected.

Lola Dodge is a compulsive traveler, baker, and procrastinator. She earned her BA in English from Stonehill College and MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University--and hasn't stopped moving since. When she's not on the road, Lola spends her time indoors where the sunlight can't melt her, writing or bingeing on anime and cherry soda. She can be summoned in a ritual involving curry, Hello Kitty idols, and a solid chocolate pentagram.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

Trailer Release for Break the Spell by A.M Bostwick


Break the Spell
Release Date: September 2015
Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC

Summary from Goodreads:
Alone. On the run. Until she came along.

When Allison Evans walks out of high school the last day of her senior year, she has no idea that her carefully guarded life is about to unravel.

Ethan Knight is on the run. Accused of dealing drugs and armed with nothing but a bad reputation and his motorcycle, he takes refuge for the weekend inside the old high school. Thinking no one will find him and no one does.

Until Allison. Panicked and left with no other choice, Ethan takes her captive. It should be a nightmare, but together, both of their lives take an unexpected turn. It’s time for them both to stop running from their problems. 





About the Author
A.M. Bostwick writes Middle Grade and Young Adult novels. Her debut middle grade novel, The Great Cat Nap, earned the 2014 Tofte/Wright Children's Literature Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers. An early draft of her young adult novel, "Break the Spell," was a finalist in the 2013 Wisconsin Romance Writers of America Fab 5 Contest. She took third place in the 2014 Rochester Writers’ Summer Writing Contest for her flash fiction piece, “Paint the Stars.” She holds degrees in both art and earth science. Her young adult novel, "Break the Spell," is forthcoming in September 2015 from Fiery Seas Publishing. A.M. Bostwick lives in northern Wisconsin with her husband, dog and thrill-seeking cat.

Author Links:
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Book Blitz for Fandemonium by Rick Schindler

Book TitleFandemonium
Author : Rick Schindler
Book Genre: Adult fiction, fantasy, satire
Publisher: Wattle Publishing


Ray Sirico used to have it all. Once, he was the brilliant and outrageous Clown Prince of Comics, who reinvented the venerable superhero Skylord, and ranted and rollicked everywhere from TV talk shows to Hollywood premieres. But that was in the ’70s and ’80s. Now it’s 1993, and Sirico is a drunken has-been. His wife has left him, his movie flopped, and his comics’ publisher is doing so poorly that its new corporate parent has come up with a radical marketing stunt: the Death of Skylord. Still, Sirico has one last chance to recapture the limelight: Fandemonium, the nation’s biggest fantasy convention. But others are coming to the con too: Harmony Storm, the sex-crazed actress who broke up Ray’s marriage; his former collaborator Tad Carlyle, who now has his own company, and a troubled relationship; Fred D’Auria, a fanboy fleeing adolescent traumas, and corporate conspirators who are plotting to sacrifice Sirico’s greatest creation for motives deeper than even his fevered imagination could conceive. Together, antihero Sirico and his superhero Skylord stand at the crossroads of comics and commerce, where quirky creators, fervent fans, conniving businessmen and preening celebrities converge. Deal- making, drug-dealing, lovemaking and truth-telling all collide at the riotous climax of a fateful weekend that leaves no one unchanged.
Fandemonium uses the colourful world of comics and fantasy as a microcosm and metaphor for media consolidation and the excesses of global mass culture. It is at once a hilarious satire of business and society, a portrait of an artist no longer young, and a sometimes poignant look at a universal challenge: to grow up, face the world, and put away childish things.
Paperback Purchase Links
Rick Schindler is an award-winning journalist and a lifelong comics fan and collector. He is an editor, writer and producer for NBC News Digital. He lives in White Plains, N.Y. Fandemonium is his first novel.


Wattle Publishing
Wattle Publishing is an independent publisher. We publish fiction, non-fiction and poetry. www.wattlepublishing.com




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