Guest Post: Books That Stuck with Me by Author Katherine Fleet

the secret to letting go katherine fleet

Top Ten (I mean…Eight) Books that Stuck with Me

Katherine FleetHi everyone! I’m Katherine Fleet, author of THE SECRET TO LETTING GO. It’s a YA contemporary packed with secrets, emotions, family drama and first love. It’s also my debut novel.

I was asked to write about my top ten favorite books of all time, but I’m going to change it up a bit. My kids are always asking me, “What’s your favorite movie, favorite song, favorite TV show, etc.,” and I hate the pressure of having to pick “a favorite” because my brain doesn’t seem to work that way. So instead I’m picking books that have stuck with me, books that I still remember even if it’s been years since I read them. It’s an eclectic list (and in no particular order) and I stopped at my top eight (because I was getting long-winded):

·         Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen): I love that fact that after 200 years, this book is still a page-turner. The romance still sucks you in and doesn’t let you go until the very last page.

·         The Help (Kathryn Stockett): I stayed up until 2 am finishing this book. I was so invested in the characters. It addressed a period in American history through the eyes of an amazing, diverse and fascinating group of women.

·         Outlander (Diana Gabaldon): I read this book when it originally came out and the idea of “time-slip” was new to me. The love story between Claire and Jamie was not typical – a married heroine involved with a sexy, younger Scotsman. I was so excited when this book finally made it to TV! I am now obsessed with the show.

·         Harry Potter (the series by J.K. Rowling): The first book came out when I was in my late 20s, and it introduced me to the idea that, as an adult, I could still get lost in a world created for children. I’d never been a big reader of fantasy or science fiction, but I loved J.K. Rowling’s world building.

·         Twilight (the series by Stephenie Meyer): Admitting you liked Twilight has somehow become the equivalent of admitting you have a criminal record…seriously. I discovered the series late. I was not reading YA and had no particular interest in writing YA. With the exception of Harry Potter, I was firmly entrenched in the world of adult fiction. Another mom loaned me the first book, and I was hooked. These books made me realize how much I’d missed reading about first love and the intensity of all the things you feel as a teenager!

·         The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown): As a writer, I loved the way Dan Brown wove historical facts into his own version of historical events to come up with a book that rocked the world. We visited Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland this summer, and the guide explained how this book literally saved the chapel. It was in disrepair with few visitors and little funding. Since the book came out, it’s a highly-visited site with the money needed to maintain it!

·         Eleanor & Park (Rainbow Rowell): I loved this novel. It’s set in 1986, when I was sixteen, so I could relate to so many things. The writing is beautiful, and the characters! Wow! I just fell in love with them and their story.

·         Malory series (by Johanna Lindsey): Growing up, I was in love with these historical romances. Whenever I needed an escape, I pulled out these books. She is a master at witty banter, romantic adventure, sexy heroes and spunky heroines. What is there n
ot to love about these books!

So that’s my list of books that stuck with me. My greatest wish as an author is that my book will stick with readers. Whether you love it or hate it, I hope you remember it. Thanks for reading!

giveaway

Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card (US / Canada)

Click Here to Enter:  a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Secret to Letting Go by Katherine Fleet     Genre: YA Contemporary

TSTLG_1600One summer can change everything…

Haunted with guilt after his girlfriend’s death, Daniel Hudson has no interest in committing to anyone. At the end of the summer, he’ll be leaving Florida for a new start in college. If only he could avoid the mysterious new girl in town, who seems every bit as naive and eccentric as she looks. Trouble is, she’s hard to ignore, with her beautiful piercing eyes, pitiful-looking dog, and unsettling tendency of finding trouble.

Clover Scott lived her whole life off the grid and arrives on the Gulf coast in search of her grandparents. She never expected to nearly drown, or get caught in a hurricane, or fall in love with the boy who rescues her. Now, she has a chance to rewrite her life’s story, to finally fit in somewhere, but Daniel wants answers about her past. When the police start asking questions about the disappearance of her parents, she must make a choice: go to jail or confess her secrets—even if they might destroy her chance at a happily-ever-after.

Published by Entangled Teen   Released February 1st, 2016

Goodreads Book Link      Entangled Page

buy

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     iTunes     Kobo 

Amazon.co.uk     Amazon.ca

author

Katherine Fleet

Originally from Newfoundland, Katherine Fleet gave up the cold winters of Eastern Canada for the year round warmth of the Caribbean. The slower pace of island life has given her time to pursue a long-time goal—becoming an author. When she’s not writing, she spends her time baking, chauffeuring her three amazing, talented kids around, and having sun-filled adventures with her husband and wonderful friends in Curaçao. She is also a very thankful breast cancer survivor. In 2007, she joined RWA and has enjoyed the support and camaraderie of the YARWA and OIRWA writing communities. She’s participated in NaNoWriMo since 2012 and is an active supporter of the associated Young Writers Program. She is represented by super-agent Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency. The Secret to Letting Go is her debut novel. You can connect with her at www.KatherineFleet.com.

Author Website: www.KatherineFleet.com

Author Twitter: @KatherineFleet

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKatherineFleet/

Author Instagram: @katherine_fleet

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14439407.Katherine_Fleet

Newsletter: www.KatherineFleet.com

King of Bad by Kai Strand

king of bad kai strand

2 ed KoBKing of Bad (Super Villain Academy Book 1) by Kai Strand

Genre: YA Fantasy

Jeff Mean would rather set fires than follow rules or observe curfew. He wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie; that is until he learns he has superpowers and is recruited by Super Villain Academy – where you learn to be good at being bad. In a school where one kid can evaporate all the water from your body and the girl you hang around with can perform psychic sex in your head, bad takes on a whole new meaning. Jeff wonders if he’s bad enough for SVA.

He may never find out. Classmates vilify him when he develops good manners. Then he’s kidnapped by those closest to him and left to wonder who is good and who is bad. His rescue is the climactic episode that balances good and evil in the super world. The catalyst – the girl he’s crushing on. A girlfriend and balancing the Supers is good, right? Or is it…bad?

buy

Amazon     B&N     iTunes     Whiskey Creek Press

Get the Box Set!
3 book bundle
giveaway
IMG_3110Win a $15 Amazon gift card plus a signed bookmark and
a pack of King of Bad playing cards (see photo); open US only

Click Here to Enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway

excerpt
An alarm blasted, startling the occupants of the room into silence. The double doors burst open, slamming against the walls with an alarming crack. A swarm of people, clad in black from head to toe, poured through the door. Blue flames erupted from those on the outer edge of the group. The flames weren’t directed at the kids in the room, but acted more like a battering ram to clear the way.
“Blue flame?” Oceanus whispered.
Jeff stepped between her and the melee. He saw a panicked look on Source’s face and wished the intruders didn’t separate them. Jeff knew Source’s lack of skill left him vulnerable.
Oceanus stepped around Jeff. “What do you think you’re doing?”
With her eyes sparking, Oceanus didn’t look as helpless as Jeff would like to think she was. Regardless, the need to protect her was strong and he again stepped in front of her. Hoping to distract her, he said, “Uh…you’re more experienced than me and you can help me fight if we need to. Stay back.”
Oceanus glared at him.
“Uh…for now.” He nodded to give his feeble statement strength.
“But I want to see.” Oceanus stepped sideways. “I’ve never seen blue fire before, Polar. What is it?”
“I don’t know, but it looks like they have more tricks up their sleeve.”
The tight knot advanced militarily to the center of the room. Then they unfurled like a flower bud, revealing a deadly stamen. A small woman, with ebony skin and violet eyes, stood in the center, seeming seven feet tall with the importance she emanated.
She spoke in a smoky, low voice to a ferret-like kid. “¿Dónde está, el?”
The ferret pointed and she raised her long nailed hands above her head. Nets, conjured from thin air, shot up and sailed across the room landing over her surprised target.
“No!” Jeff yelled. He lunged forward, his hands instantly aflame, but when he tried to shoot his fire it balled back on him, burning his own hands. He blew ice onto his hands to squelch the burn. Seeing the frost gave him a thought. “Oci, water!”
He pointed to the floor and indicated that he wanted it to snake across the room.
Oceanus pulled water from the overhead sprinklers and dropped it onto the floor. Jeff drew a deep, deep breath and breathed across the surface of the water. It iced over, immediately sending half the blue flame people to the floor. Jeff blew again, refreezing the water over their hands and trapping them.
“It won’t last forever, let’s move.” He grabbed Oceanus’ arm and they ran. They were halfway across the room when roots burst through the floor and wrapped around their ankles. They sprawled face first on the floor. Another kid fell, knee first, onto Jeff’s back, knocking the wind out of him. Jeff squirmed around until he sat up and grew a small controlled fire in his palm. He showered sparks onto the roots that had snaked up around his calves. The roots shrank away from the fire, loosening their hold and Jeff tore free of their viney grip. He did the same for Oceanus and they scrambled to their feet again.
The intruders hefted their squirming captive toward the door.
Jeff anchored his feet firmly on the ground and gathered all the gravity he could feel around him. As quickly as he could, he bound the feet of those carrying the hostage.
“See if water will work on that blue fire, Oci. Before they get to us.”
Oceanus swung around and saw four of the blue flames approaching. She pulled water from the drinking fountains and doused the flames. But instead of putting it out it seemed to increase it. “No good. I think it’s feeding on it!”
Jeff felt light headed from having to split the gravity in so many directions. He imagined his feet were buried in the ground, giving him a deeper contact with the source, and his head cleared a bit.
“Can you smother it somehow?” Jeff yelled.
“No, I don’t have anything. And the others are getting free.
Sure enough the blue flamers who’d been temporarily frozen were up and re-igniting their fire.
One of the intruders with the blue fire yelled, “¡Detenganlo!” and pointed toward Jeff.
Teachers had joined the fight. In the midst of pelting milk cartons, lightning strikes, and lashing ropes, Jeff was struck by one strange fact. His fellow students seemed to be fighting for the sake of fighting. No one appeared intent on retrieving the hostage. As a matter of fact, Jeff watched a kid blast one of the captors and turn away from the hostage.
Jeff roared. He had to get over there, but if he moved, he’d release the gravitational hold he had on the captors. Experimentally, he slid a foot forward without lifting it from the ground. He felt the hold weaken, but it didn’t break. Concentrating all his efforts on maintaining control, Jeff slid his feet across the floor. The going was agonizingly slow. He felt some of the captors struggle against the gravity that locked them in place, hoping to break free. Someone’s psych ability nudged around his head looking for a way in. With all his efforts focused, he continued to slide across the room.
A blast of steam and heat hit Jeff, knocking him sideways. He slid a couple of feet across the ground and came to a rest in a heap. Dazed, he shook his head and sat up. Then he remembered what he’d been doing. He leapt to his feet and searched the room for the group of captors. Too late. The doors swung closed behind them. Source was gone.
author

Kai Strand

When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults. Learn more about Kai and her books on her website, www.kaistrand.com.

Review & Giveaway: The Bride Wore Starlight by Lizbeth Selvig

TheBrideWoreStarlightOnce comfortable on stage in front of thousands, Joely Crockett is now mortified at the thought of walking—or rolling—down the aisle at her sisters’ wedding. Scarred and wheelchair-bound, the former beauty queen has lost more than the ability to walk—she’s lost her fire. But when one handsome, arrogant guest accuses her of milking her injuries and ignites her ire, Joely finally starts to feel truly alive again, and soon it’s impossible for her to resist her heart’s desire.

Alec Morrissey knows a little something about loss. A famous rodeo cowboy before he was injured in Iraq, he’s managed to create something of a normal life, even if it’s not the one he always imagined. Encountering stunning but damaged Joely, he sees a kindred spirit who can learn from his mistakes.

As these two healing souls begin to fall in love under the Wyoming stars, they must discover if they are willing to give in to the tragedies of life or fight for a future together.

giveaway

Won one eBook copy of THE BRIDE WORE DENIM and THE BRIDE WORE RED BOOTS, the first two books in the series.  Click Here to Enter: A Rafflecopter Giveaway

review1

The Bride Wore Starlight is a funny, sweet, romantic and emotional look at life, love, and humility.

It is easy to root for Alec and Joely as their mutual friendship grows into  something more.  Alec’s approach to Joely’s recovery is equal parts “tough love” and “been there, done that.”  When he’s not getting under her skin, he’s about to.  As she understands he means well, she challenges him on some areas in his life – and together they chip away at walls and learn to trust again.

I loved the dialogue, plot, setting, and fast pacing of the story.  Both main characters are survivors (of more than one event) and must overcome additional forces to move on from the past.  I liked how the author wove family dynamics and professional goals in with personal obstacles.  It is often the case that when we are down, the hits keep coming.  And often family members mean well, but their kindness can be both enabling and suffocating.  The plot is realistic and the struggles are genuine, but this contemporary romance is a great read full of laughter and levity.  LOVED the sweet stuff too!

 I had not previously read other titles in the “Seven Brides for Seven Cowboys” series, but after enjoying this book so much, I will certainly be adding them to my TBR!  You do not need to read the previous installments of the series to understand this title; it is a stand alone book.

excerpt

“Warm enough?” he asked. “Your back’s okay?”

“I’m plenty warm. And my back aches. It’ll be fine in the morning.”

“What would make it fine now?”

“Sven the masseur?”

He chuckled. “Your version of the cabana boy fantasy, huh? Fine, I can do Sven.” She’d been joking; he was not. “Come on. Stretch out on your stomach.”

She started to turn and changed her mind. “What about you?”

“I’m fantastic. I have a beautiful woman about to let me touch her wherever I want to.”

“Wait, I never said that.”

She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him, long and deep, taking the lead, pushing him onto his back instead of following his directive. When he groaned and pulled her to lie on top of him, she broke the kiss. She’d done it now, and her nerves almost got the better of her. Instead she closed her eyes and took a brave breath.

“Your leg has to be killing you,” she said. “I’m worried about it. I have no idea how to ask you about it because you never say anything, so I’m just blurting it out.”

“My leg is okay,” he said.

“You haven’t taken off the prosthetic in two days.”

“I have. Didn’t you wonder what the heck took a guy so long in the woods at night?” He took his turn kissing her, and she reveled, not just in his kiss but in the breadth of him beneath her. And in the swift, undeniable swell that proved what power her mouth had over him. Thrills pooled low in her pelvis.

The next words hung in her throat for a long time. If she said them, she’d have to be willing to offer the same in return. Her greatest fear rose in front of her.

“I want to know all of you. I want you to . . . trust me.”

“I haven’t wanted to weird you out.” Continue reading

Interview with Author Lizbeth Selvig

interview_edited-1Hi Lizbeth, Thanks for joining us! To get started, why don’t you give readers an introduction into the Seven Brides for Seven Cowboys series, and The Bride Wore Starlight?

  1. TheBrideWoreStarlightYou have a passion for horses and horseback riding. How did that influence the themes and settings around your books?

Pictures of horses adorned my bedroom walls from the time I was five, when I was a little city girl in Minneapolis. I collected all the stories about horses I could and had my first book boyfriend crush on Alec Ramsay in The Black Stallion series. I got my first horse as a graduation from college present from my husband, and I was hooked for life, even getting my daughter her her first pony when she was six years old so we could ride together. She went on to become an equine veterinarian, and I still help her care for all the horses she’s collected since that first pony! I still have a horse of my own, so you can see I’m obsessed and have a hard time imagining a world without horses in it!

 

All my books have included horses to some extent. I’m not even stuck on one type of horse, or riding or rider—my first series of books revolved around English riding, dressage and eventing. My current series “Seven Brides for Seven Cowboys” takes place on a Wyoming ranch so I get to spend a lot of time with horses in these books. In my stories, I’ve used horses as therapy animals, as challenges for my characters, and as comforting best friends. I love sharing the beauty and versatility and healing power of horses with my readers.

2. What is it about your two main characters, Alec and Joely, that have made them so strong after going through such traumatic experiences?

I think what’s amazing about Alec and Joely is that neither of them has any idea when their story starts just where their real strengths lie. Joely was a beauty queen several times, and even though she isn’t vain she has always believed that what she has to offer the world revolves around her physical looks. What she discovers after her physical body is broken and scarred is that she doesn’t need to trade on outer beauty—her talents of kindness, understanding, and the ability to love despite peoples’ flaws are her truest assets—and they (along with Alec’s help) are what make her strong in the end.

Alec completely believes what makes him strong is the ability to bury things that remind him of pain and could make him bitter. He has a major physical disability, but he ignores it and gets on with life—and he even has the sunny disposition to go along with it. But what he doesn’t know is that burying his past and his anger really is a weakness. When he learns (with Joely’s help) to embrace what he sees as weaknesses and truly face his fears—he grows into the truly strong and resilient man he wants to be.

3. How long have you been writing and who influenced you?

I started making up stories and telling them to myself at night in bed as far back as when I was four and five years old. Later, when other kids were reading themselves to sleep, I started writing down these stories. I guess it was what would now be called fan fiction—I had lots of fun affairs and adventures with my favorite pop stars from Paul McCartney to Bobby Sherman! Eventually I started writing “real” short stories and then novels. In the 80s and 90s I fell in love with the romances of LaVyrle Spencer. To this day she’s my ideal when it comes to telling a love story and I don’t try to copy her, but I do try to live up to her example.

51+Q58jIshL._SX300_BO1,204,203,200_4. Do you have a favorite romance? Tell us!

I mentioned LaVyrle Spencer, and whenever I’m asked this question I have to go back to her. Sadly, most younger romance readers today don’t know her work, but she was known for her beautiful lyrical writing and her warm, identifiable characters. My favorite romance is a book by her called “Hummingbird.” It’s an American historical about a “spinster” who takes in a wounded train robber. Their love affair was so tender, and LaVyrle wrote such a memorable first-attempt at sex scene that I’ll never forget it. Suffice it to say the first try at lovemaking was awkward at best—but so realistic. Naturally, she made up for it later—and it was totally worth the wait!

5. Where is your favorite place to write?

I mostly write in my office at home. Lest you think that sounds hoity toity, however, it’s also my sewing room and storage for my granddaughter’s “grandma’s house toys,” so it’s very far from tidy and it’s not all that private. Still, it’s my clutter and filled with things I love, and during the day it’s very quiet. I have two windows so I can always see outside—perfect for daydreaming-ah, brainstorming!

6. What’s on your bucket list for this year?

I’m already planning to attend Romance Writers of America’s annual meeting in San Diego as well as the Romantic Times Reader Convention in Las Vegas. My “bucket list” addition is that I want my hubby to come meet me at both of them since I’ve never been to either city. I’d like to see Cirque du Soleil’s “Beatles Love” performance in Vegas, and I want to visit the zoo in San Diego because I love zoos. I’d also love to go back to Alaska and visit my dear friends—those I made when I lived in Anchorage from 2006-2009!

51Pq6HvzDFL._SX308_BO1,204,203,200_7. One of your books, Rescued by a Stranger was a *RWA RITA® Award Finalist. What was that like for you?

Oh my goodness, I look back on that and I still can’t believe it happened! I was so flattered and honored because it’s a peer award, and to have made the cut with some of my absolute idols (Nora Roberts, Jill Shalvis) was a dream come true. I swear it’s also true that it was an honor just to be a finalist. I mean, with all the stellar fellow finalists—it didn’t matter in the least that I didn’t win. It was extremely special to be wined and dined and treated like a queen for a week at the convention—a very meaningful sure wouldn’t mind bringing home one of those gorgeous, golden RITA ladies!

8. Can you tell us anything about your upcoming works?

I’m super excited about the last four books of the “Seven Brides for Seven Cowboys” series. The next three books will belong to the triplets, Grace, Kelly, and Raquel who were named for their father’s favorite two movie stars! Grace comes next and she meets the small-time poker player who thinks he has a generation’s-old claim to Paradise Ranch (and a very precocious five-year-old daughter).  Kelly falls in love with a secondary character from “The Bride Wore Red Boots” – one of the veterans suffering from PTSD who has become a hotshot firefighter. It may or may not be the best choice for either of them. Raquel falls for a doctor who is a total science geek to her active tomboy personality. It’s hard to see how sparks can fly when one’s never seen Star Wars and the other won’t go out if it means missing Dr. Who. The last book of the series will introduce a surprise character: Cami Colarusso—a cousin to the Crockett sisters whom nobody knew existed. To end the series we need a little fun:  how about dinosaurs on the ranch?!

In addition to the Brides books, I’m working on a proposal for a completely new book in a slightly different genre—women’s fiction. More on that to come! And I have a cross-over story coming out in May as part of a Kindle Worlds series set in Sapphire Falls—the world created by bestselling author Erin Nicholas. One of the characters from the Brides series is going to make his way to Sapphire Falls. I’m so excited, so watch for that, too!

YA Fantasy: At Water’s Edge by S. McPherson

at waters edge blog tour banner

At Waters EdgeAt Water’s Edge by S. McPherson

Genre: YA fantasy/romance

Published November 10th, 2015

Published by S McPherson Books

Goodreads     Amazon

When 17-year-old, Dezaray Storm drunkenly stumbles across a portal one night, her downtrodden life begins to change, mainly because she starts living someone else’s life.

Accidently trading places with the most powerful sorceress of the realm, Coldivor, Dezaray finds herself assuming the identity of her magical lookalike, having to convince everyone in the realm that she is the real deal.

Aside from a few minor hiccups along the way, like the fact that she is not magical nor does she know even the simplest cards trick; Dezaray soon finds herself settling in. Particularly in the arms of Milo; a blue-eyed jokester with the ability to teleport.

However, it doesn’t take long for Dezaray to realise that life on the other side is far from glitz and glamour and that creatures unimaginable are hunting her. A war is brewing between the seven empires of Coldivor and those that long to take over. Dezaray’s enchanted double is their only hope; their secret weapon, set to be unleashed on her eighteenth birthday when she is bequeathed with the powers of her forefathers.

But for the enchantress to return, Dezaray has to leave, and the thought of going back to Islon fills Dezaray with dread, for more reasons than one. Torn between a reality she can’t stand and a fantasy she can’t keep, Dezaray is struggling to see how any choice she makes will lead to a happy ending.

giveaway
10 print copies of At Water’s Edge by S. McPherson open to the UK, US, and CAN.

Click Here to Enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway

authorS. McPherson

S. McPherson is a young British expat living in Dubai and working as a kindergarten teacher. When she is not at work immersed in a world of imagination and fantasy created by the children, she is immersed in her own worlds of imagination and fantasy at home, dreaming up tales and writing them down. At Water’s Edge is S. McPherson’s début novel and the first in the romantic, fantasy series, The Water Rushes.
Goodreads    Twitter   Website      Facebook
The Book Trailer:

Enthrall by M.R. Reed

Enthrall by MR Reed
Blog Tour
February 1-12th, 2016

After years of being a helpless witness to his alcoholic father’s abuse towards his family, seventeen-year-old Miles Boswell has just about reached his breaking point. He dreams of the day where he can leave everything behind and begin a new life on his own — that is, until he discovers that he has the ability to control people’s minds. Suddenly, the odds are overwhelmingly in his favor.

 But what begins as the answer to all of his problems soon causes him to question his every thought when he captures the attention of August Sylvan, who seems to be the girl of his dreams. As someone who has limited experience with girls, Miles can’t help but wonder — where do his powers end, and where does reality begin?
At the same time, he finds himself at constant odds with his morals and his potentially warped sense of justice…and soon discovers that nothing is as simple as it seems.
This book contains strong language, violent scenes, and some sexual content.
Our formative years are the ones that stick with us the most–you know, those tirelessly frustrating yet unforgettably magical moments that shape us into the people that we will become. The music that I liked as a teenager, the books that I read, the relationships that I created (and destroyed)…those are the things that I think truly formed the adult that I am today. I still love those things. I still think about those things. I still harbor a lot of anger in relation to the events that I experienced as a teenager, and it does nothing but fuel my creative spirit.
And that’s what I like to write about: Teenagers, and all of their idiosyncrasies, and concerns, and that whole unintentionally egocentric view that they have about their worlds. I find it fascinating. I’m thankful every day that I’m no longer a teenager, but I have to admit that it’s a interesting time to look back on. Miles and August encompass a lot of me, and my experiences, and my observations. The music, books, and beliefs that I held at that time inspired me to write about the events that take place in Enthrall. My intense hope is that somebody reads it and is able to relate, or get through a difficult time, and just know that somebody understands what he/she is going through (at least a little bit.) That’s what music and books did for me. I hope to pay it forward.

Cover Reveal, Excerpt & Giveaway: Avalee and the Dragon by Patricia Hamill

Avalee and the DragonAvalee and the Dragon
By Patricia Hamill
Genre: Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: February 14, 2016

You can find Avalee and the Dragon on Goodreads

Blurb:
Every ten years, a maiden must be sacrificed to the dragon to ensure the safety of the village for the next ten. This year, Avalee has been selected.

But unlike those before her, she has no intention of submitting to her fate. No, she intends to fight, and not just fight, win. If everything goes as planned, the dragon will never trouble her village again.

Then again, things seldom go as planned. . .

giveaway

Winner’s Choice:

a paperback copy of one of Patricia Hamill’s books (US Only) or

a 10$ Amazon gift card (INT)

Click here to enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway

excerpt

Chapter 1

Avalee sat on the stone step of her house. Her legs were folded beneath her with her elbows on her knees, cradling her chin in her palms. This time of the year, early fall, the leaves turning but not yet falling, the sun haloed nearby Dragon’s Mount well into the day before finally breaking past its jagged form to cast light upon the village. Avalee considered the mountain and the beast who lived within it.

Today was year ten. Next year the count would begin again. Peace would resume. Her village would be safe and secure in the mountain’s shadow. In the dragon’s shadow. But not this year. Never the tenth year.

There was a good chance that Avalee would be chosen to ensure that peace this year. She was the right age, and there weren’t many girls who were this time around. Her younger sister, Anna, was too young, only twelve. Her brothers Abe and Alex were safe, being boys. No, the dragon preferred young women. Not children, but not yet of age. Avalee dreaded it, but, as she considered the mountain, her face darkened with a deeper emotion. Not fear, anger.

And from the anger sparked a decision. “I will not let it take me, not without a fight.” She spoke the words in a whisper, but they were spoken and she would not take them back. If she was chosen, she would fight. She would make the dragon pay for the price of blood it expected from her.

If she was chosen.

Avalee stood with a sigh, if she was chosen. What made her think she would succeed at such a thing? Ten years since the last girl had given herself over to the beast. Twenty since the first. Before that, her people had fought and lost, crops were burned, and livestock and unwary villagers were taken. Those who trekked to the mountain to challenge the dragon never returned, and the dragon was never long in making its displeasure known following such a quest. Continue reading

New Release! 1980: You Shook Me All Night Long by Casey L. Bond

Title: 1980: You Shook Me All Night Long
Author: Casey L. Bond
Genre: 80’s New Adult
Blurb:
My name is Tina. I’m a freshman at USC, a good student and friend…
And I’m a victim.
Hot guys make my brain turn to mush. So, the fact that I was arrested then survived a massive earthquake only to be shackled to the fox next to me can all be overlooked, right?
Okay, so I was arrested before I met Luke. A tremor that caused a blackout at the LAPD precinct where we were being held. Although technically, I wasn’t shackled to him, I was handcuffed, but still. Any and all lapses in my usual—totally sane, I might add—judgments, are his fault. Totally.
I wouldn’t typically do the things I did. I’m no outlaw. I’m a college student.
**********
1980: You Shook Me All Night Long is the first of ten contemporary romance, new adult, stand-alone stories set in the 1980s. Written by award-winning and bestselling authors, the novellas will be released each month January – October in 2016.

Award-winning author Casey L. Bond resides in Milton, West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. When she’s not busy being a domestic goddess and chasing her baby girls, she loves to write young adult and new adult fiction.You can find more information about Bond’s books via the following links:
Website:

www.authorcaseybond.com
Facebook: 
www.facebook.com/authorcaseybond
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/AuthorCaseyBond

Buy Links:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1nShkY1



Advice for New Writers by Author T.H. Hernandez

Advice for New Writers

You can’t write in a vacuum. Every aspiring author is told they need to share their writing with others, that they need feedback. It’s advice that’s easily discarded. I mean, my writing sucks, right? Why would I want anyone else to read it? Well, because it probably doesn’t suck anywhere nearly as bad as I think it does and I need to know what I’m doing wrong.

TH Hernandez

Author TH Hernandez

It’s the same as working out. Form is everything. If my form is wrong, whatever I’m doing isn’t providing the benefits I’m after, and writing is no different. I don’t want to write an entire story where I name every emotion my characters are feeling, because that’s a heck of a lot of rewriting. A good critique partner can point out where I’m telling instead of showing in just a couple of chapters. I can rework those chapters and send them back, understanding what changes I made and why. Then going forward, I should be ready to write a better rest of my first draft.

No matter how long I’ve been writing, it’s difficult to see my own errors. I need input from someone else. Another writer. Yes, I need reader input as well to make sure my plot works, my characters are likeable, and my pacing doesn’t bore them, but if I want to write well, I need to share my writing with someone who understands how to write, not just how to read.

So where do you go about find critique partners? Everywhere. If you’re the type of writer who wants face-to-face feedback, you can join a local writing group. Nearly every city in every state in the U.S. has one and I’m sure that’s not unique to America. If you’re a more reclusive writer, or find it difficult to get away for a few hours once a month, online critique partners are easy to find through a variety of writing sites, organizations, even Goodreads.

I’m not going to lie, getting the harsh truth is painful. Yes, I knew going in my writing wasn’t good enough, but it’s still tough to hear the parts I thought were beautifully crafted were actually the problem. I ached to defend my work, argue why it needed to be the way I wrote it, but there’s no point in seeking feedback if I didn’t really want to hear it. I took a deep breath, listened, took it all in, mulled it over, and decided some of it was valid. Particularly when I got the same feedback from multiple critique partners.

The best advice I can offer an amateur writer is to find a group of critique partners you click with and learn as much as you can from one another. They will become some of your biggest champions, and if you’re anything like me, some of your closest friends.

Learn more about TH Hernandez on her website

Sit, Stay, Love by J.J. Howard

sit stay love jj howard(1)

Howard - Sit Stay LoveSit, Stay, Love by J.J. Howard

Published January 26, 2016

Published by Scholastic

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25786942-sit-stay-love

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sit-stay-love-jj-howard/1122205253

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sit-Stay-Love-Wish-Novel/dp/0545861578

IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780545861571

ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sit-stay-love/id1012129233?mt=11

Cecilia Murray has been wishing for a dog for as long as she can remember. But when a cute little pug is brought in to Orphan Paws, the shelter where she volunteers, she knows Potato is the dog she’s been waiting for.

There’s just one problem—Eric Chung (class president, captain of the basketball team, and all around Mr. Perfect) has already adopted Potato. And what’s worse, he plans to turn her precious little tater into a show dog. Cecilia vows to rescue the little guy from a life of sparkly collars and snobby judges. First, she has to “help” Eric train Potato. The trouble is, the more time she spends with Eric, the harder it is to remember her mission. For Cecilia, it’s puppy love for sure…but maybe Potato’s not the only one who’s stolen her heart.

giveaway

(2) two signed copies of Sit, Stay, Love – along with bookmarks and pug stickers. Open to US and Canada

Click Here to Enter:  a Rafflecopter giveaway

author

JJ Howard headshot

If you’re looking for J. J. Howard, you’ll probably find her in Central Florida, but she wishes you’d find her in New York City. NYC, along with books, TV, music, coffee, and her mini-dachshund Willow are on top of her list of favorite things.

By day she teaches English and Humanities at a small private high school, and by night she writes, edits, or Netflixes.

Howard’s debut YA, That Time I Joined the Circus, tells the story of Lexi, who accidentally joins the circus (and falls in love) while searching for her missing mother. Her second YA, Tracers, follows Cam, a NYC bike messenger who meets a beautiful stranger named Nikki who pulls him into the world of parkour. Her debut MG, Sit, Stay, Love is coming from Scholastic on January 26, 2016.

Website: http://jjhowardbooks.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JJHowardBooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jjhowardbooks
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js