Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Book Blitz: Skin Hunter by Tania Hutley


Skin Hunter
Tania Hutley
Publication date: June 18th 2019
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
She didn’t want to do it… But she was desperate.
Trying to escape the dangerous streets of Old Triton, the buried city, Milla takes the ultimate risk
Could a dead girl’s identity be her way out? A ticket to a richer, brighter world high above the muck and gloom of her old life?
Now she’s part of a high tech contest, with a prize beyond money, fame and everything she has ever known. A chance to become something… new.
But if anyone finds out who Milla really is, she’s dead.
The other competitors come from privilege, their faces and bodies tweaked to perfection. Rich and handsome Cale could be the most dangerous of all. Why is he so interested in a scarred, ugly “sinker” like Milla?
To survive, she needs to be brave.
To win, she needs to evolve.
Just try and stop her.
Skin Hunter is an upper YA science fiction novel – a futuristic, dystopian thrill-ride with a spark of romance.


Author Bio:
Tania Hutley is a USA Today bestselling author who loves sci fi movies and wishes she lived in the Whedon-verse.
Tania also writes sexy contemporary romance using a top-secret pen name. She could tell you what that pen name is, but then she'd have to turn you into a chicken.

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Monday, June 17, 2019

Blog Tour: The Monster of Selkirk by C.E. Clayton


The Duality of Nature
C.E. Clayton
(The Monster of Selkirk, #1)
Publication date: April 18th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Monsters come in many forms, and not everyone knows a monster when they see one. After three hundred years of monstrous, feral elves plaguing the island nation of Selkirk, everyone believes they know what a monster is. Humans have learned to live with their savage neighbors, enacting a Clearing every four years to push the elves back from their borders. The system has worked for centuries, until after one such purge, a babe was found in the forest.
As Tallis grows, she discovers she isn’t like everyone else. There is something a little different that makes people leery in her presence, and she only ever makes a handful of friends.
But when the elves gather their forces and emerge from the forests literally hissing Tallis’s name like a battle mantra, making friends is the least of her troubles. Tallis and her companions find themselves on an unwilling journey to not only clear her name, but to stop the elves from ravaging her homeland.
--

The Heart of the Forest
C.E. Clayton
(The Monster of Selkirk, #2)
Publication date: October 17th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Tallis is learning how to deal with loss and violence as she and her friends traverse the forests of Selkirk trying to find the reason behind the elven uprising. Not to mention why they keep hissing her name. But the further into the forests they go, Tallis is finding that the elves’ depravity can still surprise her, and thoroughly test the bonds of friendship, family, and love.
Tallis’s journey eventually leads to answers they’re not prepared for. Now Tallis begins to wonder just who she really is, and if she’s the evil that will end up destroying Selkirk. But she cannot stop to process these revelations, as an unforeseen betrayal lands those she loves at the feet of the very monster responsible for all the hurt, and heartbreak.
Coming face to face with her foe, Tallis discovers all too late she has no idea how to deal with this level of pain, and death. One way or another, the monster’s path ends here, and all Tallis can hope to do is bring those she loves safely out of the heart of the forest.

“How did you find information about the military part of your book vs the prison part of your book while doing your research? What are the biggest differences/similarities you found between these two institutions while doing so?”  

This is an interesting question because throughout the book Logan was desperate to avoid prison but at certain points wondered if his life at Wallingford was any different than prison would be. To him, they both removed all his freedom.

As far as researching these institutions, I have a lot of family and friends with a military background, so that part was fairly easy. Granted, they were all enlisted as adults, rather than enrolled at a military boarding school as teens. Still, they were able to give me a good idea of what the customs and courtesies at a school would be, help me with terminology, and fill in some background information for my characters’ families. I also watched movies like Taps and a Few Good Men to get in the right mindset. For the more nuanced details at Wallingford Academy, I used information I found online for a Naval boarding school. They had a very detailed handbook, which helped immensely.

The criminal part was a bit harder since I don’t have any close friends or family who have been accused of a serious crime and/or incarcerated. I do, however, have friends who are lawyers and paralegals and I relied on them throughout the writing process. I also have limited courtroom knowledge from being a foster and adoptive parent, so I was able to draw on those experiences to some degree.

It’s not surprising Logan sometimes felt like Wallingford was prison, since both have detailed routines, standard-issued clothing, limited food choices, strict rules, and a hierarchical system. However, the purpose of this structure differs between Wallingford and prison. In prison, it’s mainly used to remove freedoms as retribution and deterrence. At Wallingford it’s used to help students develop strong time management skills, proper respect for others, a sense of responsibility, and a sense of honor, all of which help them excel in the real world after graduation. For cadets who know and appreciate this, the structure is acceptable and even welcomed, especially with the weekend breaks to be a “normal” teen. For those who don’t, like Logan, every single day can feel like prison. Of course, Wallingford has a way of growing on even the most disillusioned cadet. 


Author Bio:
C. E. Clayton was born and raised in the greater Los Angeles area, where she attended the University of Southern California (Fight On!) for both her Bachelors and Masters, and then worked in the advertising industry for several years on accounts ranging from fast food, to cars, and video games (her personal favorite). After going the traditional career route and becoming restless, she went back to her first love–writing–and hasn’t stopped. She is now the author of “The Monster of Selkirk” series and her horror short stories have appeared in anthologies across the country. When she’s not writing you can find her treating her fur-babies like humans, constantly drinking tea, and trying to convince her husband to go to more concerts. And reading. She does read quite a bit. More about C.E. Clayton, including her blog, book reviews, social media presence, and newsletter, can be found on her website: https://www.ceclayton.com/

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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Blog Tour: The Monster of Selkirk by C.E. Clayton


The Duality of Nature
C.E. Clayton
(The Monster of Selkirk, #1)
Publication date: April 18th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Monsters come in many forms, and not everyone knows a monster when they see one. After three hundred years of monstrous, feral elves plaguing the island nation of Selkirk, everyone believes they know what a monster is. Humans have learned to live with their savage neighbors, enacting a Clearing every four years to push the elves back from their borders. The system has worked for centuries, until after one such purge, a babe was found in the forest.
As Tallis grows, she discovers she isn’t like everyone else. There is something a little different that makes people leery in her presence, and she only ever makes a handful of friends.
But when the elves gather their forces and emerge from the forests literally hissing Tallis’s name like a battle mantra, making friends is the least of her troubles. Tallis and her companions find themselves on an unwilling journey to not only clear her name, but to stop the elves from ravaging her homeland.
--

The Heart of the Forest
C.E. Clayton
(The Monster of Selkirk, #2)
Publication date: October 17th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Tallis is learning how to deal with loss and violence as she and her friends traverse the forests of Selkirk trying to find the reason behind the elven uprising. Not to mention why they keep hissing her name. But the further into the forests they go, Tallis is finding that the elves’ depravity can still surprise her, and thoroughly test the bonds of friendship, family, and love.
Tallis’s journey eventually leads to answers they’re not prepared for. Now Tallis begins to wonder just who she really is, and if she’s the evil that will end up destroying Selkirk. But she cannot stop to process these revelations, as an unforeseen betrayal lands those she loves at the feet of the very monster responsible for all the hurt, and heartbreak.
Coming face to face with her foe, Tallis discovers all too late she has no idea how to deal with this level of pain, and death. One way or another, the monster’s path ends here, and all Tallis can hope to do is bring those she loves safely out of the heart of the forest.

1.    Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else? 
I kind of always knew I’d end up as a writer even if I tried to deny it for a very long time. Writing was always something I did and enjoyed and never thought much about, even when teachers would enter my essays into contests and they would win awards. It just wasn’t something I considered to be a career option until after I did the normal 9-5 job for a while after college. But eventually I went back to my first, true love of writing and decided to literally put my all into it. When I told my family and friends this, they weren’t at all surprised and most said: “It’s about time!”
2.   How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
 Usually about 2 years. That includes all the research and world building I do before I even write the first word, as well as all the months I spend editing and revising after beta readers and editors have gone through my books with big red pens!
3.   How do you come up with themes for your stories?
Usually through a type of “wouldn’t it be cool if” game once I’m inspired by something I enjoy. So, for The Monster of Selkirk I really liked how the video game Dragon Age set up their world and elves, so I looked at that and thought “wouldn’t it be cool if the elves were monsters?” and things dove-tailed from there!
4.   Do you have a schedule of when you write?
I do try to keep to a schedule because it helps me feel productive even if I’m not in a writing phase of my project. I have so many other aspects of the book I have to manage (like promoting it) that it’s easy for me to get distracted and bounce around from one thing to another without finishing, that things get overly hectic and my writing comes to a standstill. So I try to write for at least 4 hours a day spread out in manageable chunks so I don’t get burnt out on any one thing.
5.   How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?.
I’m not that great at balancing things. I work from home so it’s really easy to work all the time, whether that’s reading for the book reviews other indie authors ask me for, managing my website and newsletter list, my social media accounts… It drives my husband crazy! So I try very hard to make sure that the weekends are spent out of the house so that temptation to get more stuff done is eliminated as much as possible. It’s the only way I can avoid getting seriously burnt out, which leads to a kind of depression for me. It’s no fun!

6.   What elements do you think make a great story line? 
Realism. Even in fantasy books, having them grounded in something that is tangible makes for great story lines. Whether that’s a character trying to deal with grief or their anxiety over responsibility, having those emotions or even topics that transcend genre and are grounded in the real world make for really strong and fantastic stories in my opinion.
7.   What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
For me, the hardest thing is always letting it go. Knowing when I need to stop tinkering or editing just small stuff and giving my book over to others to read—whether as beta readers, editors, or even for publishing. I never feel like things are ever good enough which really slows down how quickly I can get work out.
8.   How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite? 
I have 6 books out with my publisher DevilDog Press but I have written another 2 outside of that series. It’s so hard to pick a favorite because each story has something in it I love that no other book I’ve written has. My characters grow and change just like I do. So something I loved a few years ago isn’t the same as it is today. My work evolves as I learn and read more. So I want to say they are all my favorite for different reasons. If I don’t genuinely love something, I delete it!
9.   Do you have a favorite character?
I love my main character Tallis because she is a reflection of the person I am, and wish I could be. But Rosslyn will always have a special place in my heart because her wit and snarky attitude makes her a ton of fun to write!
10.                 Where do you write?  
I write at my desk in my home office. It’s really the only place I feel comfortable writing because I have limited distractions and have access to everything I need.
11.When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took? 
I knew I didn’t want to self-publish. Not that there is anything wrong with that option; it’s great if you have the passion, the resources, and the ability to do everything on your own. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do all that effectively so I wanted a publisher to help me with marketing, finding a cover designer, getting a professional editor etc. and alleviate that upfront cost of publishing a book. I used to work in advertising, so I was comfortable doing some of that on my own, and I also didn’t want to lose control over the story I wanted to tell, which meant a smaller press publisher was the best option. So I researched, and I queried, and landed with my current publisher!
12.                  Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?
Most of my family aren’t big readers. My parents are very proud of me, but they haven’t read the novels, though they do buy them for their friends! The only family members who have read all the books I have out so far are my sister (who adores Tallis and Tomas together) and my father-in-law (who enjoys watching the characters grow, and especially loved Cookie ;) ).
13.                  What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
I love traveling! But if I can’t do that, I like gardening as a stress reliever because it has nothing to do with books, and I love going to see live music.
14.                 What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing? 
Outside of just start writing, I’d say to be patient. Writing takes a long time, and it’s never perfect the first time around. But all that is fixable if you sit down to do it, and are patient. Let the words come in their own pace and don’t compare your speed to someone else’s. Take your time to make sure you are happy with your words, then put it aside and come back to it months later to see if everything still reads the same and you still love your story. This is a slow industry, it takes a while for books to get published, so be patient with it and yourself and you’ll be great!
15.                  What is your favorite book? favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write? 
My favorite book series of all time has been The Dragon Riders of Pern pretty consistently, but my favorite author changes almost monthly as I read and discover new books and the incredible authors who pen them. Those authors who have beautiful writing and robust, creative worlds tend to inspire me the most and keep me motivated to write more.
16.                  Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such? 
I do! And a few of them are authors themselves so it definitely helps as we all go through the same struggles together and can also pick up on the little details that my friends and family wouldn’t normally catch. Tyffany Hacket (author of Imber) and becky Moynihan (author of Adaptive) have been huge helps, as have Kat, Theresa, Grace, and Hannah, who have written books that will hopefully come out soon!
17.                  Are you working on anything now? 
Yes! I am shopping a new contemporary family saga out to literary agents right now and am revising a cyberpunk fantasy series. I am also starting to research for my next contemporary and hope to start that in the next few months.
18.                  Tell us 5 things that make you smile
My dog, Dobby.
Playing video games with my husband
Seeing my favorite bands in concert
Happy hour with my big sister and best friends
Having readers share how much they enjoyed my books
19.                  Tell us 5 things that make you sad
My imposter syndrome
When friends cancel plans last minute
Running out of snacks unexpectedly
That in-between phase where I finish a book or project and don’t know where to start on the next thing
Rejection letters
20.                 If you could travel anywhere in the world to visit a place so you could use it as a background for a book, where would it be?
Well, since Selkirk is based pretty heavily on Scotland, I won’t say that lol! But probably somewhere hard to get to, like remote areas of Egypt, Africa, or India just because those places are so vibrant but so hard to capture unless you can see them with your own eyes.


Author Bio:
C. E. Clayton was born and raised in the greater Los Angeles area, where she attended the University of Southern California (Fight On!) for both her Bachelors and Masters, and then worked in the advertising industry for several years on accounts ranging from fast food, to cars, and video games (her personal favorite). After going the traditional career route and becoming restless, she went back to her first love–writing–and hasn’t stopped. She is now the author of “The Monster of Selkirk” series and her horror short stories have appeared in anthologies across the country. When she’s not writing you can find her treating her fur-babies like humans, constantly drinking tea, and trying to convince her husband to go to more concerts. And reading. She does read quite a bit. More about C.E. Clayton, including her blog, book reviews, social media presence, and newsletter, can be found on her website: https://www.ceclayton.com/

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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Blog Tour: Lunar Court by Aileen Erin @aileen_erin


Lunar Court
Aileen Erin
(Alpha Girl #8)
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: June 11th 2019
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
From USA Today Bestselling Author Aileen Erin
Chris is the guy Cosette always wanted.
Fun. Funny. Lighthearted and sweet. Chris always manages to find beauty and laughter, even when fighting a chapel full of demons. He’s exactly what she needs. Except he’s a werewolf and she’s a member of the Lunar Court — the only fey court that holds sway over the werewolves. Even on his best day, Chris isn’t strong enough to last a few hours in the Lunar Court without becoming a slave. No matter how much Cosette’s heart wants him, she knows she has to let him go.
But when Chris goes missing, Cosette realizes how much she has to lose if the worst happens. Except her mother — the Queen of the Lunar Court — won’t let her go after Chris. Being forced to stay at court is dangerous for Cosette. Assassins keep coming after her, and unless she accepts a mate, it’s only a matter of time before one of them kills her.
Cosette is the girl Chris has always dreamed of.
Chris sees through the tough facade to the girl exhausted from a lifetime of fighting off assassins and court politics. She needs a true friend, someone who she can be herself around, and craves solitude. The same solitude that Chris craves. But he knows he’ll never be enough to survive in her world. So, when Eli — a mysterious archon — requests his help, he figures why not? The guy might be a little shady, but he needs every distraction he can get.
But when Eli says that Cosette’s in trouble, Chris is more than ready to play by Eli’s rules. At least until Eli takes him to the Court of Gales. Chris knows he’s about to play a very dangerous game. Bargaining with the fey is something only a desperate person would do. But what wouldn’t Chris give up to save Cosette’s life?
“These books go by so very quickly, with the pacing making me think I just started reading. I could gobble up a dozen of these novels!” – Carrie Reads a Lot
“Aileen Erin: You did a great job as usual and I’m so excited for Invocation and Lunar Court.” – Lenniland

I used to love to blog, but I’ve gotten so busy since having Isabella, that I haven’t had time to blog. So, I’m taking the author’s choice topic for my guest post to do one of my old Top Five posts. It’s not a top five of something, just five things that I’m digging right now.

1.    Sound Baths – I know you’re probably thinking what kind of hippie nonsense is this, but it’s actually really neat. My mood has always been very affected by the music I’m listening to, and a few years ago, I went into a rabbit hole of healing sound frequencies. Of course, I had to use it in a book! The alien Aunare in my YA Space Opera series use it (Off Planet is book 1!), and since I’m currently writing Off Balance – the second book in the series—I thought I’d try one out.

They’re legit intense. There usually are a mix of crystal singing bowls and bronze Tibetan singing bowls. But what’s weird is that the sound feels like it’s coming from inside your head. If you have a chance to go to one, it’s definitely worth it! Check out a clip here: https://youtu.be/oCPoG3EGwVw

2.    Podcasts – Lately I’ve been a guest on a few podcasts, with more records coming up in June. I’m such an introvert that I rarely leave the house these days, but I’ve found guest hosting on podcasts to be really fun. I’ve even thought about starting my own podcast—either on writing or publishing or maybe a bit of both. You can check out some of my guest spots here and here!

3.    Writing – This seems like a silly thing to put on a top five list, but I’m really into my writing. After a stressful and difficult pregnancy, I had a tough time getting back into the groove of writing. I released books slower as I took time to learn how to be a new mom and take a hold of my mental health. But both those things are going great, and I’m finally out of the weeds with my deadlines. I fought long and hard to keep going in those early months of motherhood, but right now—I’m back! Writing has always been my love and passion, and I’m in a place where I’m hitting my groove daily. That’s something that I’m excited about and proud of. I’ve also been dedicating some time to improving the craft, and I’m loving seeing it pay off on the page.

4.    Above & Beyond – Okay, so this isn’t new for me, but I love their Group Therapy podcast. It comes out every Friday, and I look forward to it every week. If you’re into EDM at all, it’s worth a listen.

5.    The Magicians – I’m a season behind. I was behind on my deadlines, which meant that everything in my life that wasn’t essential got pushed back. So, the final season of The Magicians came out early this year, but I’m finally watching. I heard that there is some uproar with how it ends, but I’ve managed to stay spoiler free up until now. Fingers crossed. But if you’re reading this and haven’t watched the show, think very dark, adult Harry Potter. Worth the watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CPCoqF1F0U


Author Bio:
Aileen Erin is half-Irish, half-Mexican, and 100% nerd–from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.

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Friday, May 3, 2019

Book Blast: Forgiven are the Starry-eyed @cdoremiller


Forgiven Are the Starry-Eyed
Christine Doré Miller
Published by: Evernight Teen
Publication date: April 26th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Naïve sixteen-year-old Andrea Cavanaugh is elated when Josh, a charismatic, bright-eyed piano prodigy, becomes her first boyfriend. But the closer she gets to him, the more she realizes that he is not the boy she first fell for. In its poignancy and emotional darkness, Forgiven Are the Starry-Eyed takes you deep into the delicate and devastating web of shame that spirals from the depths of dating violence when dreamy teenage love turns dark. Andrea must find not only an escape, but a belief that she is even worthy of freedom.
EXCERPT:
My eyelids closed as if they were being drawn down by sluggish, unhurried weights. When I forced them open after several seemingly endless moments, nothing had changed. I could still make out a blurry image of Josh standing nearby, Mr. Thompson’s hands clenched firmly on Josh’s shoulders from behind. There was a crowd, I think, and muffled voices. The steel school locker felt cold against my back and I recognized the familiar feeling that lately seemed to just dwell and ache in my bones. Fear, I think it was, mixed with just enough madness to keep the blood racing through my veins … fast. Too fast.
“Why did you do that, Andrea?” Josh shouted in my direction.
My eyes fell closed again. I don’t remember what else he said. I just remember the feeling of each overly pronounced syllable piercing the air while he said it. I stared through the darkness that danced behind my heavy eyelids. What had I done?
I tried to pry open my hazy eyes to examine the faces of the expanding crowd as they stood, mouths agape. I only recognized a few. There were hardcover music books sprawled open on the tile floor at my feet. Confused, I looked to Josh, but the heavy silence of the room deafened any words he may have been saying. I gripped the ends of my soft, thin hair between my slender fingers and waited. Each thought sunk deeper than the last.
There was a poster taped sloppily against the locker behind me. I turned my head to face it and focused. The ends were curled up and there were ripples in the masking tape adorned to the edges. “Oakwood High School Invitational—TONIGHT” it read in handwritten purple block letters. There was a pixelated saxophone image pasted underneath the words, “Brought to you by Mr. Thompson and the Oakwood High Jazz Band.” I brought my hand up to trace the edges. The poster board felt crisp and thick under my fingertips. I could smell the aftermath of the permanent marker. The loud reverberating voice behind me got softer until it resembled a deep echo I could easily ignore. I started to pick at the tape from the bottom left corner of the poster until I felt the sticky residue ball up underneath my fingernail.
Suddenly the life reentered my body in one abrupt breath when I felt a strong tug on my arm. I turned and saw Ethan Marks. Everyone else was gone. Had it been minutes this time? Hours?
“Andrea! Come on,” he barked at me, interlacing my arm, tucking it quickly under his. He jerked me to a standing position and pulled me down the hall, speeding up his gate as I stumbled to catch up.
“Where’s Josh?” I asked worriedly, but he didn’t answer. We were silent as we walked through the empty hallway. I lifted my gaze, trying to catch Ethan’s eye, trying to read his thoughts. His light blue eyes, usually sparkling with laughter, were steely and somber as he charged forward, dragging me with him, away from the wreckage I’d caused.
He stopped short and took a deep breath. His eyes were unyielding and dismal as they studied me, and slowly his frustration melted into a deep sadness.
“What happened, Andrea? What was that back there?”
“I don’t know…” My voice began breaking. My thoughts were muddled beyond recognition and I couldn’t form the right words, or any words, to explain.
Ethan wrapped himself around me in a gentle, firm embrace. It felt kind. And warm. And wonderfully different. My muscles unclenched for the first time in months, and I didn’t know I was crying until I tasted the salt as it stained my face. I buried my head into Ethan’s chest as he tightened his hold on me. I wanted him to say something, to tell me everything would be all right, but we both knew better. So we just stood there, Ethan supporting me as I clasped the back of his cotton t-shirt between my fingers.
After a few minutes, I fully returned to my body as my breathing calmed. I steadied my stance and took a step backward, shakily holding Ethan’s forearms as I regained my balance. Wiping smudged mascara from my pale face, I met Ethan’s eyes and quickly looked down, fixating on a crack in the tile below me.
“Hey,” he started, “Andrea … it’s…”
“I’m okay. Ethan, I’m sorry. I’m sorry you had to … I’m sorry I … ugh your shirt.” I motioned to the tear stains on his light green tee that crept from his chest to his shoulder.
“Oh God, don’t worry about that. Andie, I just…”
“It’s fine.” I wiped my face and took a deep breath. “Thanks,” I said, squeezing Ethan’s hand and looking in his eyes sincerely, so he knew I meant it. “I should go. But thanks.” I shook my head and turned around to walk back into the havoc and face what I had done. I felt Ethan staring at me as I left. He was just another person whose life would’ve been better if he hadn’t met me. I swallowed, took a breath, and kept walking.
It was over for now, that latest incident, and there was no way to tell when there would be another one … but there would definitely be another one. I was too broken for it to be any other way.


Author Bio:
Christine lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband and their two children. She works full-time as a senior marketing manager for a large media company and holds a Bachelor's of Business Administration degree from Western Michigan University where she studied marketing. Growing up in the chilly midwest, she developed a deep passion for dramatic writing and alternative music at an early age, which still peaks through in her adult-corporate-mom life today. Forgiven Are the Starry-Eyed is Christine's debut novel.
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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Book Blast: North to Nara by Amanda Marin @AMarinWrites


North to Nara
Amanda Marin
(Crimson Sash, #1)
Published by: Inkspell Publishing
Publication date: March 20th 2019
Genres: Dystopian, Romance, Young Adult
Neve Hall has always admired the good works of the civil servants who brought prosperity back to the Nation. She especially respects the Sufferers—empaths who, with the help of technology, anonymously bear others’ troubles for them. But when her assigned empath is abruptly retired, she uncovers certain secrets. Like the identity of her new Sufferer, Micah Ward… and the fact that behind his kind smile is a life filled with loneliness and pain.
The closer Neve grows to Micah, the more desperate she becomes to protect him from a cruel and gruesome fate. But in a world where only a few are allowed the luxury of love, saving Micah comes with a price: Neve must choose between her loyalty to the Nation or her heart—a decision that will take them both on a race for their freedom, and their lives.
EXCERPT:
“It’s you,” he murmurs, studying my face. “I thought it was you—on the trolley, when you looked at me.”
A wave of panic begins to drown me. He must think I’m stalking him—that I’m strange, maybe even dangerous. I bite my lip and struggle for words. Then, I decide to claim innocence. It’s my only defense at this point.
“I don’t understand,” I say. “What do you mean?”
“You’re Neve.”
He says my name, and I can only gape in disbelief. It’s not just me knowing his identity after all—somehow, Micah Ward also knows mine. He grasps my arm, gently but firmly, and he pulls me aside, out of the view of passersby and into a quiet corner behind a founder’s statue. I follow him willingly, without question—I’d follow him just about anywhere, I find myself thinking.
“You know who I am, don’t you?” he asks. “And I recognize you from your pain. I saw you—just in an abstract—but I saw you when you transferred your sadness about what happened to Levi at the Center.”
I squirm uncomfortably. He knows everything. He knows how I feel about him—that I admire him and am attracted to him. I’ve heard before that abstract images sometimes transfer, along with the feelings, while Suffering. They’re said to be like reflections of our self-image, buried in our thoughts. But I never expected the scenes to be clear enough that my Sufferer might recognize me.
“Yes, it’s me—I’m one of your Sieves,” I admit. “You don’t have to worry about the anonymity laws, though—I’m on my way to tell Isla that I broke the rules and need to be reassigned again.”
But Micah’s eyes flash with sudden urgency and desperation. “No, please don’t tell Isla—not yet, at least.”


Author Bio:
When Amanda was a child, her father traveled frequently for business, always bringing her back a book as a present. Whether she was getting lost in the pages of a tale about far-away knights, girls with supernatural powers, or kindly giants, she was quickly hooked on stories.
Over the years, Amanda has followed her own yellow brick road of reading and writing, and although her adventures haven't involved sword fights or saving the planet from certain annihilation, they have involved jobs in scholarly publishing and marketing, a modest amount of travel, and a lifelong love of novels.
Amanda holds degrees in English from Salve Regina University and Boston College. She lives in southern New Hampshire with her family and pet poodle, Snickers. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and several of its subchapters.

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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Blog Tour: The Devil's Own by K.A. Fox


The Devil’s Own
K.A. Fox
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: April 20th 2019
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Delaney Murphy has always known she’s the Devil’s daughter. And although the title itself is a burden, she never expects to inherit all her father’s infernal abilities. When her newfound magic begins to poison the people closest to her, Laney must make a choice. To protect the world from the worst she can do, she leaves everyone she loves behind and builds a new life for herself, alone, in a place where she can control the urge to give in to the magic living within her.

But when she recognizes a familiar pattern in a string of murders, Laney leaves her peaceful, isolated life behind and goes on the hunt, unleashing a threat she never dreamed possible. Confronting this menacing specter could mean giving in to temptation and becoming the one thing she fears most. Will she use her magic to do the right thing, even if it means hurting the ones she loves?

Welcome K.A. Fox for an interview today!

1.      Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else? 
I always wanted to write. Being an author was a dream of mine. Along with performing on Broadway.
2.     How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
The first draft of The Devil’s Own took me about six months to write. It was my first book and I’ve learned so much since then. I write faster now.
3.     How do you come up with themes for your stories?
I get ideas constantly, usually when I’m driving and not able to write them down. I’ve gotten ideas because of things people have said to me or something I saw in passing. I’ve learned inspiration is everywhere, if we’re paying attention.
4.     Do you have a schedule of when you write? 
If I’m able to, I try to write for at least an hour on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights. On weekends, I allow for 3 hours of writing on Saturday and Sunday. Sometimes I’m able to get more time in and that’s a huge win!
5.     How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
When I decided I was going to write The Devil’s Own, I sat down with my family and told them what I wanted to accomplish. I explained the time commitment that would be required and gave them permission to remind me when I needed to be writing. They loved being a part of the process and have kept me on task since then. I’ve also had to learn the important task of being wherever I am when I’m there. If I’m writing, I’m 100% writing in that time. Same with my day job. Same with being the baseball mom for my boys. Focus and discipline are the reason I can hold The Devil’s Own in my hands now.
6.     What elements do you think make a great story line? 
A great story needs a character people can like and connect with. It needs tension, something worth fighting for. And an ending that makes sense.
7.     What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
For me, the hardest part was overcoming my doubts. I was afraid that I wasn’t a good enough writer to do this story justice. When you focus on the fear, it gets in the way of creation. Once I was able to shove that aside, I was able to write a story I believe the characters would be proud of.
8.    How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite? 
The Devil’s Own is my first novel. And it is absolutely my favorite!
9.     Do you have a favorite character?
Delaney Murphy is my favorite character. I love strong young women who are willing to make tough choices. Her father, Angus (aka the Devil), is a close second. He’s a protective dad with a snarky sense of humor.
10.Where do you write?  
I usually write at home, in my little writing nook set up by my husband. But when needed, I’ve written on busses, at restaurants, and even sitting at the baseball field while my kids are warming up for games. My laptop is indispensable but I’ve been known to scribble ideas or scenes on napkins during my lunchtime if needed.
11.  When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took? 
Keeping the rights to my story was my first consideration. Timing was my second. Because of the path I chose, I was able to work with a strong, supportive publishing team that encouraged me, guided me through every part of the process and answered every question I had. If I hadn’t gone this route, I don’t believe The Devil’s Own would’ve been ready for publication this quickly.
12. Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?
My kids love it and my husband is almost as proud of this book as I am. My sister was reader the first draft and raved to me about it. My parents and my in-laws are crazy excited. It’s wonderful to have everyone’s support and encouragement.
13. What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
I love family movie nights where we all sit down together and eat homemade brownies with ice cream. I’ve been known to indulge in karaoke when I’m in the mood and I’m a huge reader. I’ve also got a book in some form with me, no matter where I am.
14. What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing? 
Do it. Ignore the mental gremlins that tell you that you can’t do this, you’re not good enough, it’s a not good idea, because I promise you, the gremlins are wrong. Push aside the doubt and just start writing. Find your people, the ones that build you up and encourage you, and turn to them when you question yourself. And always, keep writing.
15. What is your favorite book? favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write? 
I love everything by Lilith St. Crow and Kim Harrison. When I was younger, I got hooked on The Shannara series by Terry Brooks and The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey. The worlds are so real to me that the second I open them, it’s like I’ve never left.
16. Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such? 
I have a great group of writer friends who have such diverse talents. Some are able to talk me through the developmental process when I get stuck on something and know the perfect questions to ask so the ideas start rolling again. Others are amazing editors who catch things I missed. I’m blessed to have the very best cheerleaders encouraging me the whole way.
17. Are you working on anything now? 
I am. Judas Kiss, Book 2 in the Murphy’s Law series, is due to the editor soon!
18.Tell us 5 things that make you smile
My family. My dog. Music. My friends. And Deadpool. Because he’s just funny.
19. Tell us 5 things that make you sad
Jealousy. Hate. Prejudice. Giving up. And seeing others in pain.
20.                       If you could travel anywhere in the world to visit a place so you could use it as a background for a book, where would it be?
Ireland, Scotland. Australia and New Zealand. And I want to go back to Turkey someday, to refresh my memories of that amazing country and its people.


Author Bio:
K.A. Fox is a proud military brat who has lived all over the world but now calls the Midwest home. She uses her psychological training to facilitate successful negotiations at work and to convince her husband and three sons that she’s always right. When not writing, she can usually be found hiding somewhere with a book and a bit of chocolate, or chasing after her own adorable Hell Hound.

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