Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Cover Reveal: The Life and Death Parade by Eliza Wass @lovefaithmagic


Today Eliza Wass and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover for THE LIFE AND DEATH PARADE, which releases June 26, 2018! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to win an ARC!

On to the reveal! 



Title: THE LIFE AND DEATH PARADE
Author: Eliza Wass
Pub. Date: June 26, 2018
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 256
Find it: AmazonB&NTBDGoodreads

One year ago, Kitty's boyfriend Nikki Bramley visited a psychic who told him he had no future. Now, he's dead.

With the Bramley family grieving in separate corners of their home, Kitty sets out to find the psychic who read Nikki his fate. Instead she finds Roan, an enigmatic boy posing as a medium who belongs to the Life and Death Parade--a group of supposed charlatans that explore, and exploit, the thin veil between this world and the next. A group whose members include the psychic... and Kitty's late mother.

Desperate to learn more about the group and their connection to Nikki, Kitty convinces Roan to return to the Bramley house with her and secures a position for him within the household. Roan quickly ingratiates himself with the Bramleys, and soon enough it seems like everyone is ready to move on. Kitty, however, increasingly suspects Roan knows more about Nikki than he's letting on. And when they finally locate the Life and Death Parade, and the psychic who made that fateful prophecy to Nikki, Kitty uncovers a secret about Roan that changes everything.

From rising star Eliza Wass comes a sophisticated, mesmerizing meditation on the depths of grief and the magic of faith. After all, it only works if you believe it.


About Eliza:

Eliza Wass is an author, journalist and the wife of the late musician Alan Wass. Her debut novel, The Cresswell Plot, was published in 2016 to critical acclaim by Disney-Hyperion. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, Grazia, NME, Shortlist and THE FALL.

Her second book with Disney-Hyperion, The Life and Death Parade, will be published in June 2018.
Website | @lovefaithmagic  | Instagram | Goodreads










Giveaway Details:


2 winners will receive a finished copy of THE LIFE AND DEATH PARADE (when they become available), US Only.

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Book Blast: The Talisman of El Al Stone

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Cover Reveal: Dear Rachel Maddow by Adrienne Kisner @adriennekisner



Today Adrienne Kisner and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover and an exclusive excerpt for DEAR RACHEL MADDOW, which releases June 5, 2018! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to win an ARC!

On to the reveal! 



Title: DEAR RACHEL MADDOW
Author: Adrienne Kisner
Pub. Date: June 5, 2018
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 400
Find it: AmazonB&NTBDGoodreads

Sixteen-year-old Brynn Harper’s life has one steadying force—Rachel Maddow. She watches her daily, and after writing to Rachel for a school project—and actually getting a response—Brynn starts drafting emails to Rachel but never sending them. It’s an outlet; Brynn tells Rachel about breaking up with Sarah, her first serious girlfriend, about her beloved brother Nick’s death, her passive mother and even worse stepfather, about how she’s stuck in remedial courses at school and is considering dropping out. 

But then Brynn is confronted with a moral dilemma. She learns that one student representative will be allowed to have a voice among teachers and administrators in the selection of a new school superintendent. Sarah, along with Brynn’s arch-nemesis John, believe only honors students worthy of the selection committee seat. Brynn knows they are more interested in power and perks. Brynn feels all students deserve a voice. When she runs for the position the knives are out and her brother’s memory and her new crush Michaela are shamed. Brynn asks herself: What would Rachel Maddow do? 


Exclusive Excerpt!
Folder:  Sent
To: egrimm@westing.pa.edu
Date:  September 10
Subject:  School Assignment

Dear Rachel Maddow,
I am writing to you because of a school assignment.  It’s a totally lame reason to be writing, but I don’t think you’ll actually read it anyway.  This kind of thing is so sixth grade.  I am a junior in high school and I’ve been forced to write to a “celebrity hero” by the Applied Language Arts teacher.  (Hey Mr. Grimm!  How’s it hanging, buddy?)  I wasn’t going to do it, because my ex-girlfriend worships you and, hello, school assignment.  But I turned on your show and Mom totally freaked out to see me watching you.  Apparently your liberal and leftist views don’t sit well with her.  Mom spat out the words like she was talking about my dad, so I knew she meant it.  That made you my celebrity hero.
You were talking about some guys running for congress.  But then you said one of them was “freaking amazing.”  I don’t think news people are supposed to say things like that.  And isn’t that biased?  News people aren’t supposed to be biased.  I know this because Mr. Grimm made us watch this video about newswriting.  Though no one else knows this about me, Rachel Maddow, I have a near photographic memory for stuff people say.  Their words just stick in my brain.  So I remember what a reporter is supposed to do. 
Anyway, thanks for pissing off my Mom.
Sincerely,
Brynn Harper

Folder:  Sent
From: Egrimm@westing.pa.edu
Date:  September 11
Subject:  RE: School Assignment

Dear Rachel Maddow,
I am writing to you because of a school assignment.  It’s a totally lame reason to be writing, but I don’t think you actually read them anyway.  This kind of thing is so sixth grade.  [Brynn, this is good, honest writing.  Can you try to put a positive spin on it?]  I am a junior in high school and I’ve been forced [asked] to write to a “celebrity hero” by the Applied Language Arts teacher.  (Hey Mr. Grimm!  How’s it hanging, buddy?)  [I’m doing well, thanks.  But you can take this out.] I wasn’t going to do it, because my ex-girlfriend worships you and, hello, school assignment. And Mom totally freaked out to see me watching you.  Apparently your liberal and leftist views still don’t sit well with her.  Mom spat out the words like she was talking about my Dad, so I knew she meant it.  So that made you my celebrity hero.  [Again, great personal touch.  But maybe too intimate for this correspondence?]
You were talking about the people running for congress.  But then you said one of them was “freaking amazing.”  And I don’t think news people are supposed to say things like that.  And isn’t that biased?  News people aren’t supposed to be biased.  I know this because Mr. Grimm, my English teacher, made us watch this video about newswriting.  Though no one else knows this about me, Rachel Maddow, I have a photographic memory for stuff people say.  Their words just stick in my brain.  So I remember what a reporter is supposed to be. [You are right, Brynn!  I didn’t know that about you.  Shouldn’t you remember your assignments, then?]
Anyway, thanks for pissing off my Mom. [There is a list of questions I asked you to include.  Maybe you could end with that instead.]
Sincerely,
Brynn Harper
Folder:  Sent
Date:  September 12
Subject:  School Assignment Again

Dear Rachel Maddow,
                I learned an important lesson about rough drafts.  If you really want to send someone a letter, you should just send it.  Do not turn it in to your English teacher first.  But Mr. Grimm (said English teacher) is the only person I know who doesn’t think I’m hopeless, so I am trying this again for his sake.  Though I’m sending it to you too, to avoid further editing. 
                My name is Brynn Harper and I am sixteen years old.  I live with my mother and stepfather in Westing, Pennsylvania.  I have a brother, too.  Or, I had one, anyway.
                I first watched your show a couple of times in high school because my best friend (well, okay, my girlfriend) loved you, so she kind of dragged me along with her.  She’s not my girlfriend anymore.  And she said she didn’t have time to watch television anymore either, even for you.  So she dumped us both.  That gives us something in common.
                I had a list of questions that I was supposed to ask you, but I got most of the answers online already.  Mr. Grimm suggested I think of new ones.  So here you go:
1.      When you look at the papers on your desk and circle something, are you really reading from them?  Don’t you read from a teleprompter?  When you go to commercial, you shuffle those papers, too.  Seriously, is there anything even written on them?
2.      How much does a person have to know to be considered a “wonk?”
3.      At least one person laughs in the background while you are talking.  Is this on purpose?  Who is that? 
4.      Why don’t you run for political office?
5.      Is there ever a staff meeting when you think to yourself, “Huh, there really isn’t a lot going on in the news today.”
6.      How many pairs of shoes do you actually own?

About Adrienne: 

I have lived my entire “adult” life in a college dormitory working in both Residence Life and college chaplaincy.  I like the term "dormitory" better than "residence hall."  I went to school for a long time so that now I get to swoop around in a fancy robe and silly hat (like at Hogwarts).  I have an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts (a place like Hogwarts).  I play both the viola and tennis with more heart than skill.  I love my current home in Boston but will always be a Pennsylvanian at heart. 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Giveaway Details:

2 winners will receive an ARC of DEAR RACHEL MADDOW, US Only.


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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Blog Tour: Eight Days on Planet Earth by Cat Jordan @catjordanbooks


Eight Days on Planet Earth

by Cat Jordan
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Release date: November 7th 2017
HarperTeen

Summary from Goodreads:


A heart-wrenching romance full of twists that are sure to bring tears to readers’ eyes, from Cat Jordan, author of The Leaving Season.

How long does it take to travel twenty light years to Earth?

How long does it take to fall in love?

To the universe, eight days is a mere blip, but to Matty Jones, it may be just enough time to change his life.

On the hot summer day Matty’s dad leaves for good, a strange girl suddenly appears in the empty field next to the Jones farm—the very field in rural Pennsylvania where a spaceship supposedly landed fifty years ago. She is uniquely beautiful, sweet, and smart, and she tells Matty she’s waiting for herspaceship to pick her up and return her to her home planet. Of course she is.

Matty has heard a million impossible UFO stories for each of his seventeen years: the conspiracy theories, the wild rumors, the crazy belief in life beyond the stars. When he was a kid, he and his dad searched the skies and studied the constellations. But all of that is behind him. Dad’s gone—but now there’s Priya. She must be crazy…right?

As Matty unravels the mystery of the girl in the field, he realizes there is far more to her than he first imagined. And if he can learn to believe in what he can’t see: the universe, aliens…love…then maybe the impossible is possible, after all.



The 5 Things I Ask Myself Before Starting a Writing Project

1. What’s the opening scene?

In my earliest novels, I would start things off with a bang, often in the middle of action or even dialogue. It can be disorienting to a reader to not know what is going on or who is speaking. Some stories need this but most stories prefer a clever/beautiful/interesting opening line. I want to draw the reader into my world and I don’t want them to start off confused (unless that’s my goal!).

Now when I begin a project, I try to place myself in the new world as if I were my reader. What do I want to see? Is that interesting? Is that character compelling? Is the voice something I want to hear for three hundred pages?

2. What is the ending?

Again, as a newbie writer, I would imagine my books with a bang of an ending too. With all of these “bangs,” you’d think I was writing thrillers! However, what I discovered – both as a reader and a writer – was that I needed to know what happens after the climax of the story. Back in high school, I learned this was a “denouement” but I didn’t know how to apply it until I became a novelist.

It isn’t enough to simply end a story. I need to imagine how all the storylines connect, or don’t connect; how characters continue with their lives. Even if I don’t write it all out for the reader, I need to know what those things are.

3. Where does the story take place?

For me, place is a character. Specificity of location is critical. I might plan to fictionalize a town, as I did with Eight Days on Planet Earth, but I need to know what the exact place is that I’m fictionalizing. If I use an actual city, as I did with The Leaving Season, I need to research as much as possible if I don’t know it personally. I need to have a visual image of what the houses look like and the trees and roads. How close is the next town? Is there a body of water? And since this is a work of fiction, what isn’t there that I can fictionalize?

4. What’s the title?

I have been known to change a title ten or more times before, during and after the process of writing. However, I absolutely must have a decent working title before I even start. The title – a good one – will define the story quickly, giving it a theme without me having to force one on it. It will also stick in my head so I can be thinking and working when I’m not actually in front of a computer writing it.

5. Is it a book?

This is the most difficult question to answer. Sometimes you have an idea that seems like it’s really cool and fun or eerie or important but it’s just a character or a situation or maybe it’s just a scene or two. A book, especially a YA novel, is over 60K words! Your story idea must be sustained over the course of a lot of pages.

Also, if I haven’t written something in a while or if I’ve started and abandoned ideas for various reasons, I might be anxious to get going on a new book. No matter how excited I am to start, though, I have to live with it for a while. This is actually something I learned from Stephen King’s On Writing.

Only write the story when you can’t let it go, when you can’t stop thinking about the characters, when you can’t get the narrative voice out of your head.

Only write the story when you can’t not write it. 

About the Author

When I was a teenager, the very first book I ever tried to write was pretentious and stilted and set in a future where there was no paper. Obviously, I fancied myself another Ray Bradbury (who I was thrilled to meet not once but twice!). The book had an awesome title and no plot but I had the most fun creating the characters and the world they lived in. That to me is the most enjoyable part of writing a novel: envisioning a world and populating it with all kinds of people and dogs. Gotta have a dog.

The worlds I create now as an adult are based on my travels from coast to coast in the US, to Europe and Mexico and Canada, and on the people I have met and loved and admired and feared. And dogs.

Currently I live in Los Angeles. With my dog.
Author Links:



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Book Blast: Marked by Fate Collection


Marked by Fate: A Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction Collection
Publication date: October 24th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Marked by Fate is now enhanced with Augmented Reality! Read, Watch, Listen. The new ultimate reading experience!
Step into adventure with Marked By Fate; the ultimate reading experience. Be immersed in twenty-six fantasy & science fiction worlds with state of the art Augmented Reality technology. Read, listen, and watch bonus content inside to bring the characters and story to life around you.
Enjoy the added features of this special edition, which allow you to enjoy bonus content right from your reading device. See character artwork. Listen to your story’s soundtrack. Watch book trailers and bonus videos. Experience behind the scenes like never before, thanks to Augmented Reality technology. Immersive Fantasy™; bringing fantasy worlds to life.
25 COMPLETE SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY NOVELS BY 26 BESTSELLING AUTHORS. PLUS, A SPECIAL BONUS NOVELLA.
Embark on fantastic journeys through magical realms, dystopian lands, and faraway galaxies in this exciting collection of fantasy & science fiction novels brought to you by some of today’s hottest authors. Encounter werewolves, robots, angels, time travelers, shifters, and more in this action-packed box set that will leave you breathless.
Authors:
Kristin D. Van Risseghem
Rhonda Sermon
Kelly St. Clare
Raye Wagner
Ednah Walters
Erin Hayes
Siobhan Davis
Jamie Thornton
Debra Kristi
Sarah K. L. Wilson
Hilary Thompson
Ingrid Seymour
Jeanne Bannon
Melle Amade
Lena Mae Hill
C.J. Anaya
Jackson Dean Chase
D. L. Armillei
Emily Martha Sorensen
Amalie Jahn
Dionne Lister
J.L. Weil
Alisha Klapheke
Angela Fristoe
Meg Cowley
Brandon Barr
99¢ for a limited time only!
Welcome to Marked By Fate:
An interactive Immersive Fantasy™reading experience!

The authors of Marked By Fate are thrilled to share this ground-breaking novel with you!
Think Harry Potter and Kindle in Motion. Moving, singing books,and all the excitement of a truly enriched reading experience.
We call it Immersive Fantasy™, because that’s what it does. It draws you into our stories and brings our worlds to life!
The titles in Marked By Fate use this revolutionary technology to bring you the best reading experience of your life.
How does Immersive Fantasy™ work?
Immersive Fantasy™ utilizes what’s known as Augmented Reality (AR). Using a smart phone/device, you can scan secret cues in the stories, and extra AR content will pop up on your device, streamed direct from the cloud (internet connection required).
See amazing, exclusive character artwork. Watch video content.Listen to the soundtrack whilst you read. Discover behind the scenes with the authors in bonus content.
Would you like to try it?
Then keep reading! You have already downloaded the Immersive Fantasy edition of Marked By Fate, and you just need to bring the magic to life.
The simple instructions overleaf will help you easily access this astonishing new world of fantasy that will delight your every sense.
Start your Immersive Fantasy™ adventure today!
Immersive Fantasy™ Instructions
Getting set up
These three steps are crucial to ensure you can access the AR content.
1.On your smart phone or tablet, download the Aurasma app from your app store.
2.Login to the app, and register your account.
3.Search for the user ‘MarkedByFate’, and click follow.
Accessing the Immersive Fantasy™ Augmented Reality content
Follow these steps carefully to access the AR content. Additional help can be found on the Aurasma help desk.
1.Read and enjoy the story, and watch for clues to the AR content. These will appear in the form of images with a symbol next to them, denoting the type of AR content. Content viewable includes images (camera icon), videos (movie clip icon), or music (music icon).
2.You will need one device/format to read on, and a smart device to access the AR content.
3.When you spot an Immersive Fantasy™ clue, open the Aurasma app on your smart device.(Navigate to the viewfinder screen if the app does not automatically do this.)
4.Centre your viewfinder on the trigger image. Make sure to include all of the trigger image in the screen. You can view the content vertically/in portrait or horizontally/in landscape.
5.The app will display the AR content in the form of an image overlay, video overlay,or music overlay, as denoted by the symbol next to the image.
6.Enjoy!You can zoom in and out and tilt your camera to fully explore each piece of content. Make sure you have your sound turned on so you can listen to the video and audio content! You will have to continue focusing on the content to keep listening to music/watching videos/viewing images.
7.It might take a little practice – don’t worry if you struggle on your first try.
Troubleshooting
What to try if it won’t work.
1.No AR content is popping up: have you registered an Aurasma account,and followed ‘MarkedByFate’? You must do this to access the content.
2.No AR content is popping up: have you made sure all of the trigger image is in your viewfinder?
3.No AR content is popping up on my kindle/e-ink device: please adjust your device screen brightness. If the screen is too bright or too dim, the image cannot be recognised by the app.
4.I can’t hear any sound: check the icon. Only video/music AR content has sound.
5.I can’t hear any sound, and it should be playing some: please ensure your volume is not muted,and turned up.
6.The content keeps disappearing: ensure you keep the viewfinder focused on the trigger image so that the AR content will remain overlaid on your screen.If you move too far away from the trigger image, the AR content will disappear.Activate it again by re-scanning the trigger image.
7.Can I access the eBook and the AR content on the same device? No. Aurasma uses your device camera, so you will have to read the book on a difference device to the device you are using Aurasma with.
8.It’s just not working – I’ve tried everything: Please refer to the Aurasma help files,and contact their help desk if you are still having issues. Whilst extensive testing has been performed to ensure maximum device compatibility, regrettably not all devices may be compatible. Best compatibility will be found on pixel based screens with good brightness levels.

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Monday, October 23, 2017

Book Blast: Joined by Mara Gan


Joined
Mara Gan
(Joined #1)
Published by: Inkspell Publishing
Publication date: September 12th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Duty and prophecy get in the way of everything.
All I ever wanted to do was read my books, play my sports, and help people. Life and prophecy had other things in mind.
Helping people is what I do; as an empath and semi-frequent telepath, I can easily sense and understand people’s needs and emotions. Sometimes even before they do. Being able to read everyone’s thoughts and feelings all the time can drive me crazy with anxiety, but that moment when I can finally make someone’s life better makes everything worth it.
Unfortunately, I’m also the next in line to rule the galaxy, I’m the only diplomat most planets will listen to, assassins try to kill me on an annoyingly regular basis, and a much-vaunted Prophecy has decreed that I’m going to die. Oh, and someone blew up my home planet.
Kind of a lot to deal with, right?
Too bad I just got another problem: a big, irritating, overbearing bodyguard with serious anger management issues.
And I think I’m falling for him.
EXCERPT:
“Great, Clee,” I said. “Job’s all yours. I’m going to bed.”
Kenzi covered a snicker as Synie rolled her eyes. “Princess, you know the Yurilians will only talk to you.”
I leaned back in my chair and stretched my neck. “Yeah, yeah.”
Kenzi tilted his head at Synie. “Why will they only talk to the princess?”
Synie shifted uncomfortably. “King Cepheus was….” She paused, searching for the right word.
“A jerk,” Clee supplied unhelpfully.
“Clee!” Synie barked. “That’s practically treason.”
Clee shrugged. “Yep. But I already told him that to his face. He agreed with me.”
Cepheus had a weak spot for Clee, as did we all; her tendency to tell the truth and lighten the mood at the same time was curiously refreshing. And she was right: Cepheus was a terrible diplomat.
With another reproachful glare at Clee, who was no longer paying attention, Synie continued, “King Cepheus was less than sympathetic toward their grain dispute with us. Andromeda smoothed things over and managed to talk them down from outright war.”
Kenzi’s eyes bugged. “They were going to declare war on us, just for some grain?”
“Food is a common reason people go to war,” I said. “Or, rather, lack of it. When people starve, they feel they have nothing left to lose.” Perseus’s words came back to me: people who have nothing to lose, fear nothing.
That was true on a global scale as well as a personal one, I supposed.
Kenzi’s dark eyes turned to me and he gave me an awed smile. I really hated being an object of awe. I liked doing my job—a lot—and I loved helping people, but at heart, I was an introvert who wanted as little attention as possible.
Just my luck, I got the most high-profile job in the galaxy.


Author Bio:
A Pacific Northwesterner by birth and disposition, Mara has lived in Washington DC, Oregon, Japan, and most recently the beautiful Pacific Grove, California, before returning to her roots in Seattle. By day she teaches history to unsuspecting teenagers, and by night she writes books and travels to far-flung places. She loves to be with animals, read, play sports, and drink more London Fogs than is likely good for her.

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Friday, October 20, 2017

Cover Reveal: Right Gift Wrong Day by Natalie Decker @AuthorNatDecker


Right Gift. Wrong Day
Natalie Decker
(Offsides, #1.5)
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: November 24th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Tyler Richardson is freaking out! Not only did he invite his new girlfriend to meet his entire family, this is also the day they will exchange gifts. But what do you get a girl after dating for only two weeks? Should he listen to his friends and just give her a card, or should he ask for a second opinion?
Layla can’t believe she agreed to have dinner with Tyler and his family. What if they don’t like her? To make matter’s worse, they agreed to exchange Christmas gifts. The boy already has everything. And what if she gets him something that’s nicer than what he gets her? That would be really awkward. Asking him what he would like is completely out of the question. Maybe she should ask his friends for help.
After a rocky start, Tyler and Layla’s relationship is everybody’s relationship goals. But can Tyler and Layla survive the holidays without losing their cool?
RIGHT GIFT WRONG DAY is a hilarious companion novella to RIGHT TEXT WRONG NUMBER from Natalie Decker.


Author Bio:
Natalie Decker is the author of RIVAL LOVE series and the Scandalous Boys series. She loves oceans, sunsets, sand between her toes, and carefree days. Her imagination is always going, which some find odd. But she believes in seeing the world in a different light at all times. Her first passion for writing started at age twelve when she had to write a poem for English class. However, seventh grade wasn't her favorite time and books were her source of comfort. She took all college prep classes in High school, and attended the University of Akron. Although she studied Mathematics she never lost her passion for writing or her comfort in books. She's a mean cook in the kitchen, loves her family and friends and her awesome dog infinity times infinity. If she's not writing, reading, traveling, hanging out with her family and friends, then she's off having an adventure. Because Natalie believes in a saying: Your life is your own journey, so make it amazing!
Find out more visit: www.authornataliedecker.com

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Book Blast: The Canary Club by Sherry D. Ficklin @Sherry_Ficklin


The Canary Club
Sherry D. Ficklin
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: October 16th 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult
“Bad Luck” Benny is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Recently released from jail, he has vowed to keep his head down and stay out of trouble. But he also needs to care for his ailing sister and the rest of his struggling family, and he’ll do anything to make that happen—even if it means taking a position with a notorious crime boss. He soon finds himself in over his head—and worse still—falling for the one dame on earth he should be staying away from.
Masie is the daughter of a wealthy gangster with the voice of an angel and gun smoke in her veins. Strong-willed but trapped in a life she never wanted, she dreams of flying free from the politics and manipulation of her father. A pawn in her family’s fight for control of the city, and with a killer hot on her heels, she turns to the one person who just might be able to spring her from her gilded cage. But Masie is no angel, and her own dark secrets may come back to burn them both.
Two worlds collide in this compelling story of star-crossed lovers in gritty prohibition-era New York.
Perfect for fans of Beatriz Williams’ A CERTAIN AGE or Libba Bray’s THE DIVINERS, THE CANARY CLUB by Sherry D. Ficklin will entice Historical Romance fans of all ages. This Gatsby-era tale filled with dazzling speakeasies, vicious shoot-outs, gritty gangsters, and iridescent ingenues has also been compared to the television series Z: THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING and BOARDWALK EMPIRE.
Glitter and Gold (A Canary Club Prequel) is currently FREE!
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo
EXCERPT:
Lepke.
I roll the name around in my head like a curse.
Glancing back over my shoulder toward my room, toward June, I know what I have to do.
For the most part, it suits me just fine to let people think I’m just some silly girl, some empty-headed dame. Because what it means is that they never see me coming, never suspect me of being capable of doing terrible things.
But I am my father’s daughter.
I was born to violence like a fish is born to water. It’s part of me, part of who I am. All my life I’ve watched the people around me suffer—the women most of all. It’s a fact of this life that more often than not, shots are fired, grievances aired, and warnings sent through the women around the powerful men. They are soft targets. Disposable, but cared for enough to make a point.
In this business, women are nothing more than weaknesses to be guarded and fodder to be thrown when needed. Pawns in a game we aren’t even allowed to play. It’s one of the reasons I was so glad when Mother had sent me off to private school upstate. For a few months, I’d felt normal. Safe.
Being called back to the life after losing her was like suddenly having an axe hanging over my head again. For one dark, dark moment I’d considered running away—and I might have too. But soon enough I realized that this is where I belong, even if I might wish otherwise. I have to do what I can to protect my family, what family I have left. I know my part and I can play it as well as any Hollywood starlet. I know I should be appalled, bereaved that things like this come so easily to me now. But I let that grief, and the dreams of being anything other than what I am, go a long time ago. And so I stay. Cursed to walk the fine line between hero and villain, between vengeance and redemption.
But Lepke isn’t going to get away with this. Not this time.
I drag my hand through the water, mixing in the salts, cementing my plan in my head.
As soon as I deposit June in the tub I steal away to the den to make a call.
“Hello?” Vincent Coll’s groggy answer reverberates through the receiver.
My heart stutters at the sound of his voice. “It’s Masie. I need a favor.”
“What’s up, doll?”
I hesitate, biting my bottom lip. It’s then that I notice the smear of blood on my dress.
“I have blood on me, Vinny,” I say, more to myself than him, but his tone heightens.
“Are you alright?” He’s awake now, alert and sharp.
“It’s not my blood,” I clarify. “It’s the blood of someone I care about, though.”
He calms again, “What do you need?”
“Lepke Brewer,” I spit the name, unable to quite put into words how I want him to suffer. How much I want him to hurt.
On the other end of the line there’s a deep sigh, followed by the sound of a lighter flicking and Vinny taking a long drag. Despite being someone I once cared about greatly, Vinny is a dangerously unstable man on a good day. I know he’ll do what I’m about to ask without breathing a word of it to anyone—not out of loyalty to me or sympathy for June and what had happened to her, but for the sheer opportunity to level some brutality on a rival. Most people call him Mad Dog, thanks to his reputation for being about as well tempered as a rabid animal. But to me, he’s just Vinny, the young boy who’d come to stay with us after being expelled from the Catholic Reform School his mother had abandoned him to. We’d spent our formative years together, thick as thieves and practically family, until he took up the roll as Daddy’s enforcer and hit man. He’d changed after that.
Hell, we’d both changed. And neither of us for the better.
I roll the memory of him around in my head, biting the inside of my cheek as I decide what to say next. We haven’t been close in a very long time, and that’s the way it has to be. It might have been something more once, or maybe I just wanted there to be something there that never was. He’d kissed me exactly once, and it had been enough to sear itself into my memory, only to be buried beneath piles of disappointment and choices neither of us can take back. He has to be hard to do what he does, with no weaknesses for our enemies to exploit. And if I’m being honest, it’s the darkness in him that terrifies me. Not because I don’t understand it, but because I do. I know exactly how easy it would be to allow myself to be consumed by the violence of this life—and how good I would be at it.
But that’s not the person I want to be.
Even so, here I am, about to ask him to do the dirty work for me, just so I can keep my hands just a little bit clean.
“You want him taken care of?” he asks finally.
I suck in a breath before answering. Yes, I want him dead. I want him wiped from the face of the earth so he can’t ever hurt anyone ever again. I imagine myself saying yes. I imagine myself throwing a fistful of dirt onto Lepke’s coffin as it’s lowered into the ground. And then I imagine trying to look myself in the mirror every day after that.
“I want him to hurt,” I say after a moment. “I want him to be broken to the core of him. But leave him breathing.”
Leave it to Vinny to echo my own fears back to me. “You sure about this, Mas?” he asks, taking another drag and exhaling it slowly. “It’s not going to keep you up at night?”
It’s a barb from an accusation I’d leveled at him the last time we spoke, when I’d asked how he slept at night, after all he’d done. His answer had been crude and aimed to hurt me. Mine would be much kinder.
“I suppose I will have to find a way to live with myself,” I answer, keeping my tone indifferent.
He hangs up without even saying goodbye.
I hold the receiver in my hand for a few heartbeats before returning it to its cradle. JD is being groomed to take over the family business and –despite daddy’s constant berating that he’s too soft-hearted or slow-witted or whatever insult he feels like hurling in the moment for the job—I’ve never stepped in and asked for a place in the business. I’m just the girl, after all, to be coddled and protected and mollified. I’d been surprised that he let me worm my way into the club as it’s headline singer rather than being shipped off to wherever. Now, I can’t help but wonder, if Daddy had seen me tonight, if he might rethink the line of ascension.
And I can’t help but wonder what life would be like for me if he did.


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

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Blog Tour: Hunter's Moon by Tess Grant @tessgrantwrites


Hunter's Moon

by Tess Grant
Genre: YA Paranormal
Release Date: January 17th 2017
Books We Love Ltd.

Summary from Goodreads:


Kitty Irish has heard all the rumors swirling around Daniel Phinney. Most of them involve a gun, a flask, and a temper. One chance encounter with the WWII veteran over a grisly find in the woods pulls the cover off the dark secrets of their small town, and Kitty is drawn into an unlikely partnership.

Armed with an antique rifle and a handful of homemade silver bullets, the two form an efficient team. Unfortunately, their game is werewolf hunting, and disaster is only a bite away.


Buy Links: Available now at your favorite digital store!


Excerpt From Hunter’s Moon:

The tang of old pennies hung in the air. Kitty was smart enough to know she hadn’t stumbled on some stash of long-buried loot. No self-respecting pirate would be caught dead in the middle of the Michigan woods.
That coppery smell was blood.
Maddie had the scent too. The golden retriever pressed forward, nose scuffling through the mulch. Her fluffy tail hung inactive. A wiggly rear end might divert too much energy from her nose.
Somewhere high above, a cloud ghosted over the sun, and the forest light grew dark green and cool. Kitty moved forward slowly. It would be just perfect to step into the middle of something completely nasty. Her shoes still looked mostly decent after a winter indoors. A big smear of muck across the toes would really round out her look.
Maddie suddenly growled, stopping dead. One paw hung suspended in the air and her body tensed.
“Maddie? What’s the problem?”
The retriever lowered her head to the ground, slowly pacing a circle. Kitty leaned over the spot that had thrown the dog off. Maybe it was a coyote. Maddie hated them.
A paw had indented the soft ground right where the aging dog had spooked. Kitty nodded—positive it was a coyote—and crouched down next to it to get a better look. Maddie circled around her, chest rumbling. Kitty knew a little about prints. Her dad had been pointing them out to her since she could walk. Deer and rabbit marks were everywhere, but this didn’t belong to one of the gentle guys. It had the four toes and pads of a predator, and it was big. Laying her hand over top of it, she could spread her fingers and barely cover it. Deep claw marks dug into the leaf mold ahead of the pads. Cats sheathed their claws when they walked; this was some sort of huge canine.
If this was a coyote, it was mutant. What sort of a thing made a print like that?
Kitty moved forward into the deep shadows under the trees. Something dead was in there. Flies buzzed and whirled under the trees. Maddie stayed where she was, guarding the print.
The carcass lay half-hidden under some ferns at the base of a broad oak. It was a deer, or what was left of one anyway. Its soft tan hide lay torn; its white stomach stained brown with dried blood. Great gashes ran the length of it, shoulder to haunches. Kitty’s stomach churned. This was about killing to kill; not one bite was missing. Sickened, she turned to leave, halting at the sight of the head. She had assumed it was at the end of the neck tucked away unseen under the bracken. She was wrong.
Completely detached, it lay under the next tree.

Whatever had done this was no dog.

About the Author

After nearly ten years as a forensic anthropologist, Tess Grant semi-retired to a farmette in the backwoods of Michigan. She lives at the edge of the Manistee National Forest with her husband, children, and a number of strange critters, none of whom are  werewolves.


Author Links:


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