Monday, October 20, 2014

Book Blast: The Secret Diamond Sisters (The Secret Diamond Sisters #1) by Michelle Madow


The Secret Diamond Sisters (The Secret Diamond Sisters #1)
Release Date: 02/25/13
Harlequin Teen
381 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
Savannah. Courtney. Peyton.

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite.

Suddenly the Strip's most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.

Buy Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | Book Depository | iBookstore

Praise:
"Sexy and often electrifying ... Gossip Girl meets The Princess Diaries in a city that never sleeps." 
--Booklist

"This quick and entertaining read is filled with glitz and glamour ... get ready for one crazy and fabulous ride." 
--RT Book Reviews

Book Two:
(cover linked to Goodreads)
The Secret Diamond Sisters post card photo Courtney_zpsc5d5674c.jpg
Courtney is sixteen years old, and is the middle Diamond sister. She’s the responsible one—she studies hard, does well in school, is a student tutor, and works after school and on weekends to help out her family. Her main goal is to keep up her grades and do well on her SATs so she can get into Stanford, her dream school. She wants to major in English and someday get a career in publishing. She’s competitive with herself and always strives to do her best. Courtney’s closest friends are her sisters—with all the time she spends on school and work, she doesn’t have time for anyone else. She’s never had a boyfriend and is fine with waiting to date until college. (She doesn’t need any distractions right now!) She’s not into the high school party scene, and whenever she has time in her busy schedule, her favorite thing to do is read novels. She also loves listening to Broadway music (Phantom of the Opera and Wicked are her favorites) and would love to see a live show someday. She’s a natural early bird, and is always awake before her sisters. She could happily wear jeans, t-shirts, and flip-flops every day, and always goes natural with her makeup. Her favorite drink is chai tea. She’s quiet and reserved while first meeting someone, but she will do anything for the people she loves. She would love to travel the world to see historic sites and well-known museums, but it’s always felt more like a dream than a possible reality.

 
(Available for Pre-Order)


About the Author
Michelle Madow was inspired to write The Secret Diamond Sisters series while walking through her favorite hotel in Las Vegas. The next book in the series, Diamonds in the Rough, launches in October. Prior to The Secret Diamond Sisters, she successfully self-published The Transcend Time Saga. A tireless promoter of her work, Michelle is active on social media networks and has toured across America to promote her books and encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. A graduate of Rollins College, Michelle lives in Florida ... but she loves going to Vegas.

To chat with Michelle and other fans about her books, joinMichelle Madow's Street Team on Facebook!


Author Links:
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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #40

 photo STSmall_thumb2_zps82241b59.pngStacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!



Here's what I got this week!
Freebies from Amazon:
Make It Last photo 16095092_zpsac86b594.jpgI Choose You photo 16155467_zps39d4ef1e.jpg

That's about it on this end.
How about you?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Blog Tour: Ben Fox Zombie Squirrel Specialist at Your Service by Daisy Whitney @SpencerHillP @DaisyWhitney @parthalan

Ben Fox Squirrel Zombie Specialist at Your Service photo 22002169_zps3a906546.jpgTen-year-old Ben Fox has good friends, a great dog, and a lightning-fast little sister who drives him a bit batty. The only thing in the fifth grader's life that's truly annoying--well, besides having to wear braces on his feet every day--is the family's wily Siamese cat, Percy.

Ben has always suspected something was off about Percy, who has never shown him or his beloved dog, Captain Sparkles, much affection. But now he's sure something is off--Percy has raised an army of squirrel zombies in the backyard and they're ready to take on the dog.

It'll be up to Ben to figure out how to stop the dastardly cat before the dog falls prey to the feline's nefarious plans, especially since Percy and his newly reanimated squirrel friends are gunning for nothing less than a full-scale Animal Zombie Apocalypse--when all the dogs start to behave like cats.

If only Ben could enlist his mom's help in the undead animal war. But his mom is petrified of things that go bump in the night, so Ben's only hope is to team up with his little sister. The battle won't be easy though, because squirrel zombies are the most dangerous of all...





Today we welcome Daisy to the blog for an interview. Great to have you with us today, Daisy!

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to 

be something else? 

When I was in high school I wanted to be a Broadway star. One three things got in the way of that dream. 1, I can't sing. 2, I can't act. 3, I can't dance.

Good thing I love writing!


How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
That completely depends on the book, but usually one month to four months at the most.


How do you come up with themes for your stories?
Great question! I think themes stem from the story and the characters. As I write, I focus on the plot and the characters and from there the theme often emerges.

Do you have a schedule of when you write? 
As much as I can each day!

What elements do you think make a great story line? 
A deep, emotional connection to the characters, clever dialogue, and ample twists and turns.

What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
Knowing when to let it go.

How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite? 
I write under a pen name as well, and have written more than 20 novels total. Under this name, I have published six. My favorite, of course, is Ben Fox!!

Do you have a favorite character?
I'm quite fond of Ben Fox and his menagerie of pets.


Where do you write? 
Wherever I am! I usually write at home, but I've been known to write at the park, on airplanes, in cafes, at conferences, at fencing tournaments and more!

Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What 
do they think?
My kids are very excited about Ben Fox since it's for middle schoolers! 

What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
I like to spend time with my family and my dogs, watch movies, and find interesting, quirky coffee shops to check out.

What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to 
start writing? 
Write, revise, edit. Do it again and again and again.

What is your favorite book? favorite author? 

Harry Potter is genius and my favorite book ever.

Are you working on anything now?
I have a number of new books in the works. Stay tuned!

Thanks so much for joining us. It was fun getting to know you better!

Daisy Whitney photo 3081700_zps89d35f5f.jpgBy day, Daisy Whitney is a reporter and ghostwriter. At night, she writes novels for teens and is the author of THE MOCKINGBIRDS and its sequel THE RIVALS (Little, Brown). Her third novel WHEN YOU WERE HERE releases in June 2013 (Little, Brown), and her fourth novel STARRY NIGHTS (Bloomsbury) hits shelves in September 2013. When Daisy's not inventing fictional high school worlds, she can be found somewhere north of San Francisco walking her adorable dog, watching online TV with her fabulous husband or playing with her fantastic kids.  A graduate of Brown University, she believes in shoes, chocolate chip cookies and karma.  You can follow her writing blog and new media adventures at DaisyWhitney.com


For more about Daisy, visit her at http://daisywhitney.blogspot.com/blog
Twitter @DaisyWhitney
Facebook Author page https://www.facebook.com/mockingbirdsbook?fref=ts

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Blog Tour: Sweet Food and Love by H.A. Enri @ha_enri

Street Food and Love banner photo StreetFoodandLoveTourBanner_zps185fac13.png

Welcome to The Cover Contessa's stop on the Street Food and Love blog tour!
 photo StreetFood_zps102e43b9.jpgStreet Food and Love by H.A. Enri 
Published by: Martin Sisters Publishing
Publication date: Summer 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Synopsis:
Sole Eaby, seventeen, has a few complaints he’d like to lodge against life, the main one being that his dad, Cedro, has recently quit his job and withdrawn his entire life savings, which included Sole’s college fund. Why? To launch a food truck business he knows nothing about.
To cope, Sole uses his knifelike wit to moonlight as a stand-up comedian, and so far, it’s paying off. He’s not only replenishing his college treasury, he’s making people laugh; but it’s one person in particular he performs for. Her name is Ava. When the fated bond of humor joins the two, and they begin a sort of quasi-romance, things begin to seem somewhat bearable. Of course, that’s when an ill-timed event decides to put another spin on things. Just when Sole is ready to move on with his own life and disconnect himself from his father and the family business, he suddenly finds himself in charge of the food truck he desperately loathes. Here is where Sole must realize that the answers to love and life are not to be found apart but, rather, are more like a savory recipe: only by combining the ingredients will the wonderful flavors reveal themselves. When comedy isn’t enough, the future seems ever bleak, and a fledgling love has barely had a chance to bloom, where will Sole turn?

Welcome to the blog! So great to have you here!

Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I've actually known I've wanted to be a writer since I was twelve. The brief excerpt of that mini epiphany is on my website’s FAQ's. As for YA, I didn’t know I actually wanted to write for young adults until about eight years ago. This book made it through the publication portal, but there are other predecessors on my hard drive, many young adults megabyte format wondering why they never got to graduate from being mere Word docs to full blown, bound, edited and printed books. 

If you were a dish on a food truck, what would you be called?

I would be a patty of thick, ground, kobe beef, topped with cheese, caramelized onion, tomato, guacamole and a special sauce, all between buttered and toasted, thick sourdough. I’m simple, like a burger, but I am also not just your regular driver through or diner burger either (does this sound like some dating site profile? Ha!). In any case, it would be called the Soul Melt because more than deeply satisfying the palate, it would penetrate the soul of anyone who ate it. P.S. I really am into the world “soul” and all it connotates.

Novelists who inspired you?

The list is long. In YA we have Sarah Dessen, Gary Schmidt, Caroline Cooney, Ned Vizzini, I will add that not many people mention Vizzini—God rest his talented soul, and it’s shocking. He’s been considered a pioneer of the modern YA lit genre, and I agree. Hopefully, I see him on the other side and we can collaborate.

Talk about YA Lit.  

It is summarily different than it used to be even twelve years ago. And pre 2000’s—forget it. That was like reading Homer. Seriously, I mean you have to practice writing effective scenes during commercials (do don’t delete them, you aspiring YA writers, from your DVR. They may prove to be useful yet) in order to match the pace of the current ideal YA. Secondly, don’t forget the lingo the characters used in your favorite sitcom right before the commercial. It should be transposed to your novel. Remember they used to teach, “Don’t write how you speak”? Not so anymore. Those teachers, apparently, were wrong. And no, I haven’t perfectly mastered the art of copy-matching-and-pacing at commercial speed in my writing style. you remember reading with a dictionary handy? Hey, with apps now, it should be easier, except that rarely do YA books require readers to have to use one anymore. Remember when you read something and went WTF? Even after three reads! And it wasn’t because you checked out. Sometimes it was like the writer just wrote and invited you to his house but said, “There’s the fridge and stove. If you’re hungry, do your best.” I’m not saying I don’t appreciate what is happening now and don’t get it, I do and am not against it. But something in my writing approach still doesn’t mind if readers are expected to sort of work through certain language tones and aspects.

Love and romance aren’t depicted the way the YA genre seems to be going in your novel. Why? 

Have you been around a high school aged lately? Till death do us part, mad love isn’t en vogue. Most young adults aren’t really sure where love fits into their lives, and to begin to truly to answer that is scary enough for many people, let alone young people. I wanted Sole to reflect a kid who didn’t just zero in on one girl and know she was the one. That’s usually not how it works anyway, at least not when your age still has “teen” as a suffix. As for Ava, many young girls with allure have older guys after them, and that’s why I wanted to show that in the first chapters. That’s reality for many young adult girls of her capacity. Sometimes, too, they chose those guys. I don’t think this makes my book not YA. Upper YA? Sure. But still YA definitely.

I sense an intentional avenue in your book carved out, specifically referring to your focus of a father and son conflict. Explain that.

Well, it’s got nothing to do with my own relationship with my father. We have an outstanding and close one. But you’re correct about the father and son aspect. Many fathers take a backseat in literature or are two dimensional caricatures who are hands off and don’t really permeate the minds of the young adult protagonist. Really? That is most dads? Huh... Anyway, I wanted to write not for guys, but so that guys could related to the literature as easily as girls could and do. Let’s face it: girl readers vastly outnumber young males, and I sort of wanted both to equally relate here. I can say I’ll probably continue to develop that in other novels. 

You have a lot of comedy in your book.  What’s the best joke (keep u clean) that you’ve ever heard?

I heard Dennis Miller onstage and, though I’m not saying this is my favorite, I’ll mention it because it just came to mind: he was speaking of the past and with subtlety, in his verbal memoir, he said, “It was hot back then...” and he paused. It was all about the way he said it. The audience slowly got it. Then he said, “The sun was still hot then, right?” He was comparing it to the way people think the past happened in black and white. The genius was, he didn’t even have to say that part to get audience in on it. Brilliant.

Are any of the characters in the book based off of someone you know?

Most characters are concoctions of many people in various forms—those we know, those we’ve heard about, those we’d like to know and those we knew. Once you put all that together, my answer, like a writer, would technically be kind of but not really. Not very technical, is it...

Thanks so much for stopping by today. It was great having you with us!

 photo HAAuthor_zpsbcf223a4.jpgH.A.'s love for all things caffeinated is what keeps him awake and alert so he can pursue that glorious tyrant called Nostalgia. And after all, isn't that what provokes most adult authors to write stories about the teenage years they long ago left behind (referring to Nostalgia, not the caffeine...he hopes)? When he isn't writing, H.A. can be found quaffing coffee (Yes, he might be addicted--don't judge) reading, riding his bike, snapping photos, making music, working on his theory of everything, and, on rare occasions, attempting to discover the elusive, and maybe impossible, secret to time travel. H.A. lives in So Cal. Street Food and Love is H.A.'s first novel.

Author links:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Blog Tour: Burying Water by K.A. Tucker @InkSlingerPR @KathleenATucker

Burying Water banner photo BWBTBanner_zpscbd564be.jpg

Welcome to The Cover Contessa's stop on the Burying Water blog tour!

Burying Water photo BuryingWaterfinal_zps5e7f147c.jpgThe top-selling, beloved indie author of Ten Tiny Breaths returns with a new romance about a young woman who loses her memory—and the man who knows that the only way to protect her is to stay away.

Left for dead in the fields of rural Oregon, a young woman defies all odds and survives—but she awakens with no idea who she is, or what happened to her. Refusing to answer to “Jane Doe” for another day, the woman renames herself “Water” for the tiny, hidden marking on her body—the only clue to her past. Taken in by old Ginny Fitzgerald, a crotchety but kind lady living on a nearby horse farm, Water slowly begins building a new life. But as she attempts to piece together the fleeting slivers of her memory, more questions emerge: Who is the next-door neighbor, quietly toiling under the hood of his Barracuda? Why won’t Ginny let him step foot on her property? And why does Water feel she recognizes him?

Twenty-four-year-old Jesse Welles doesn’t know how long it will be before Water gets her memory back. For her sake, Jesse hopes the answer is never. He knows that she’ll stay so much safer—and happier—that way. And that’s why, as hard as it is, he needs to keep his distance. Because getting too close could flood her with realities better left buried.

The trouble is, water always seems to find its way to the surface.




Excerpt:
Jane Doe
Now

I close my eyes as a tear slips out from the corner of one eye, the salt from it burning my sensitive skin. Why did this happen to me? Who could have done such a thing?
Raped . . . STDs . . . “What about . . . I mean, could I be pregnant?” The question slips out unbidden.
True to her promise, Dr. Alwood quickly readjusts my gown and covers. Peeling off her gloves, she tosses them in the trash bin and then takes a seat on the edge of my bed. “We can certainly rule that out from the rape.” She pauses. “Because you were already pregnant when you were brought in.”
The air sails from my lungs as she delivers yet another harsh punch of news. My gaze drifts to my flat abdomen. I have a baby in there?
“You were about ten weeks along.”
Were. Past tense.
“Do you not recall any of this?” Dr. Alwood’s brows draw together as she watches me closely.
A soft “no” slips out and I can’t help but feel that she doesn’t believe me.
“Well, given your extensive injuries, it is not at all surprising that you miscarried. You’re lucky to be alive, as it is.” She hesitates before she adds, “I don’t think that whoever did this to you intended for you to survive.”
A strange cold sweeps through my limbs as I take in the ruined body lying on this bed before me. I’ve been lucid for all of five minutes—the long hand on the clock ahead tells me that—and in that short time, this doctor has informed me that I was beaten, raped, . . . and left for dead.
And I lost a baby I don’t ever remember carrying, or making.
I don’t know who the father was.
I don’t even know who I am.
“I’m going to send you for another CT scan and MRI.” I feel the weight of her gaze on me. “Are you sure there isn’t someone or something that you remember? A husband? Or a boyfriend? Or a sibling? A parent? Maybe a city where you grew up? The hospital would like to find your family for you.”
Her barrage of questions only makes my heart rate spike and the annoying EKG ramp up again. I can’t answer a single one of them. Is anyone missing me right now? Are they searching for me? Am I from Bend, Oregon or do I live somewhere else?
Dr. Alwood sits quietly, waiting, as I focus on a small yellow splotch on the ceiling. That’s water damage. How can I recognize that and not my own name?
“Even a tiny detail?” she presses, the urgency in her voice soft and pleading.
“No.” There’s nothing.
I remember nothing at all.

K.A. Tucker photo _MG_9315-Editcrop1_zps97c080b9.jpgBorn in small-town Ontario, K.A. Tucker published her first book at the age of six  with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She is a voracious reader, and currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls,  and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

Links:
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Blog Tour: Prophecy by Julie Anne Lindsey @juliealindsey @lyricalpress @NereydaG1003

Prophecy banner photo Prophecytourbanner_zps01d57e1d.jpg

Welcome to The Cover Contessa's stop on the Prophecy blog tour!

Prophecy photo prophecyjulie_zps4b11ca27.jpgProphecy (Calypso, #1)

Release Date: 10/06/14
Kensington Books

Summary from Goodreads:
On the other side of death, is destiny.


Callie Ingram is spending her senior year focused on one thing: swimming. Her skill as a competitive swimmer is going to secure a scholarship and her future, or so she hopes. She has big plans, and Liam Hale, her gorgeous new neighbor, isn’t going to affect them. But when Callie sees Liam beheading someone, she learns his family has a secret that will change everything. The Hales are Vikings, demi-gods who’ve been charged by The Fates to find their new destined leader.

Callie’s caught in the middle of a budding Norse apocalypse, in love with Liam Hale and desperate to protect her best friend…who the Hales believe is marked for transformation. Putting the clues together as fast as she can, can discovers she has the power to rewrite destiny, for herself and all humankind.






Prophecy: Character Spotlight

Character: Callie
First & last: Calypso Ingram
Age: 18 years old
Hometown: Zoar, Ohio
Quirk: She wanders the local cemetery to think and unwind



~ A little secret ~
Callie has long avoided the haunted manor next door, but her curiosity and one peculiar new resident has her reconsidering the position.

Likes:
·      Swimming. Callie’s a gifted swimmer with her sights set on a scholarship
·      Feminism because women are amazing
·      Chester, her floppy, softy sheep dog
·      Cowboys
·      Liam, the secretive green-eyed boy who moved in next door.
·      Her rural Midwestern life

Dislikes:
·      Cheating cheaters who cheat. If you’re done with someone, dump them BEFORE moving on. What’s so hard about that?
·      Secrets.
·      Confrontation. She’s a struggling pacifist.
·      Her ex-boyfriend who taunts her endlessly for his entertainment
·      Jogging. Jogging is hard. 
Julie Anne Lindsey photo julieannelindsey_zps941d7e92.jpgAbout Julie:

Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She’s a self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun. Julie lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Today, she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world.



Find Julie online:
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