Thursday, January 31, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: A WORLD APART by David Brown


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. David will be awarding a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tours. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.



Demetrius makes his first mistake when he lets his best friend Halcyon marry Eleyna, the love of his life, without saying a word. On the day of the wedding, he walks away from the Elencheran town of Dove's Meadow and joins the army.

He makes his second mistake when the pirate Black Iris tricks him into letting dozens of men, women and children die in a fire. Demetrius is imprisoned in grief and disgrace.

But he can atone. The Black Iris is dead. The Ivory Rose has risen to the top of the pirates and is leading brutal raids on the coast. If Demetrius can capture and kill her, he'll win his pardon.

And then Demetrius discovers the Ivory Rose is Eleyna. He must decide which will be his third mistake: losing his last chance at a pardon or destroying the one woman he's ever loved.

I have to admit to being a sucker for epic fantasy. I love being able to delve into a book that takes me to another land. David Brown's A World Apart does just that.

The world building in this novel is fantastic. It's obvious that David knows this fantasy land intimately, and he does a good job at sharing that world with his readers. He is not content to give you broad strokes of the land--the key is in the details he shares--tiny, almost insignificant details in the scheme of things, but these details add a richness to the book.

This isn't a book that can be read quickly or scanned through. If you try, you will miss a lot of the story--and it might make it hard for you to keep all the characters in mind.

David Brown could be considered a fantasy fanatic, especially since he has spent the last 10 years developing a 47,000-year history for his fictional world of Elenchera. When converting his obsession into literary form, David commits himself to a rigorous writing and editing process before his work can meet his approval. Combined with the critical eye of his wife and a BA Hons in History and English, David's dedication leads him to his goal of inspiring readers through heartfelt stories and characters.

Although David is inspired primarily by fantasy fiction, he also finds his muse in the form of anime, world cinema, history, and biographies. His own books, Fezariu's Epiphany and A World Apart, and the in-progress Ansel's Remorse and The Stars Beneath the Parapets combine aspects from worlds both old and new into compelling tales of a world not soon forgotten. David himself certainly does not lack a spirit of adventure; in fact, he left his job in 2007 in order to spend a month travelling. Second only to meeting and marrying his wife, David counts this as one of the most amazing experiences of his life.

Find the author online at

Website – http://elenchera.com Blog – http://tweeding.com Twitter - @elenchera Facebook - davidmbrownauthor Goodreads - http://bit.ly/Nhagx3 Amazon US - http://amzn.to/TT7Afh Amazon UK - http://amzn.to/SbbQBD Smashwords - http://bit.ly/R7VitO I'm looking forward to more books in this series.

About the Author:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

GUEST BLOG and Giveaway: BARB HAN


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Barb will be awarding a $10 BN.com or Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
*****


Hello and thanks for having me on Welcome to My World of Dreams.

Before writing books full time, I held pretty much every writing position I could find. Literally. I’ve done everything from write for my college newspaper to hock products as a freelance marketing writer. I feel like the luckiest person in the world for being able to follow my dream of writing fiction. When I’m not writing, researching, or otherwise getting lost in a story, I love to volunteer at my children’s school. I also love to cook and try new recipes, so I can be found in the kitchen where few meals make it on the table twice. (Some dishes work out nicely, others not so much). About the only other place you’ll find me these days is a basketball court. I love to play, and two of my children are on teams. Being able to stay home and write has been a dream come true for me—something I’ve wished for as long I can remember.

About the Author:
Barb Han lives in North Texas with her husband, has three beautiful children, a spunky Golden Retriever/Standard Poodle mix, and too many books to count.

When she’s not writing, researching, or otherwise getting lost in a story, she volunteers at her children’s school, is in the kitchen ‘creating’ dinner, or can be found on or around a basketball court.

Writing contemporary romance and romantic suspense has been a dream come true for Barb—something she’s wanted to do for as long as she can remember. She left her corporate job, at her husband’s urging, and has been happily playing with her imaginary friends ever since.

In her down time, she plays video games and loves reading with her children. She also enjoys traveling with her family. Many of the places she visits end up in her books.

Find Barb online at

http://www.barbhan.com
Facebook
Twitter @BarbHanAuthor

Avery McAdams believes in order to truly be herself she needs to keep her head down, her guard up and her focus on her career. Until she’s hired by sexy, charismatic Ryker Li to pull off the event of the century, and he shows up personally to convince her to handle his next party. When she meets him face-to-face, she realizes a piece of her wants him to see her as attractive, which goes against everything she’s convinced herself she believes.

Rich, powerful Ryker has made an art form of getting what he wants, when he wants it, and then moving on. But something about Avery makes him want to stick around. When he finds everything he never dreamed to look for in a woman, can the billionaire playboy commit to the biggest deal of all?

Or will a lifetime of mistrust and suspicion turn them forever into rivals?
Avery figured one word from Ryker was all it usually took to get heads nodding and feet scrambling. And yet, there she stood, watching him as though he were about to make off with her family’s silver.

His lips curled into that arrogant but devastating trademark smile. “Let me know when you’re ready to play anything besides this cat and mouse game. You can start by telling me who you really are.”

“My family name? Well that's none of your business. Or anyone else’s for that matter.” She heard her own voice rise and quiver toward the end of her sentence defensively. She took a lot of pride in her accomplishments, especially because she hadn't used her family name to get them. She’d worked for them. Hard. And no one had the right to dig into her past or question her history.

“Covering tracks are you?” he asked. “The hallmark of a good thief.”

She froze as his gaze landed hard on hers. He was trying to rattle her. Fine. She’d be damned if she’d bite. Instead, she leaned back and folded her arms. “You had me investigated. Why don’t you tell me who I am?”

Cold, calculating anger scored his brown eyes. “As a general rule I like to know who I’m doing business with beforehand. The only reason for the investigation.” Ryker’s gaze narrowed to slits. “What I’d like to know is why you’re so determined to refuse my job.”

EXCERPT TOUR: Rebel Bride by Morgan Wyatt


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Morgan will be awarding a $5 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter at every stop. Click on the banner to see the other stops on the tour.



Eileen Sewell sparks plenty of gossip by spiteful matrons and their horse-faced daughters that she’d find herself alone due to her picky ways. Of course, she didn’t believe them. Then again, she also didn’t expect to be a mail order bride either. It wasn’t easy snagging a husband who hadn’t heard about her willful nature. Eileen finally gave up hope of finding love, and decided to settle for whatever she’d find out west. If that wasn’t lowering enough, she’d just witnessed the first train robbery. Unfortunately, the outlaws saw her too. Enter Marshal Colt Sheppard, who excels at extracting information from reticent witnesses. His crooked smile and broad shoulders shouldn’t charm her. She’d played this game before, only she never had a worthy adversary. Talk about bad timing.

Read an excerpt:

The annoying veil on her head fluttered against her skin, reminding her of flies crawling on her face, making further sleep impossible. Most of the passengers disembarked at Louisville, Kentucky the last large city. Only a few snorers remained in the car, along with other quietly sleeping passengers. She might as well lift the veil since no one would notice the act.

The night didn’t offer much in the way of distraction. The air drifting through a half-opened window had the scent of autumn with a nip of frost. Thank goodness, the peddler with the cigar got off at the last stop.

Her full bladder required a return trip to the necessary room. Her first experience with trying to squat over a fixed chamber pot on a moving train was memorable, in a bad way. She heard talk some men relieved themselves off the caboose, probably the real reason women weren’t allowed to go back there.

She moved cautiously up the aisle by placing a hand on the back of each seat to counteract the sway of the train and heard men’s voices calling out to one another. Apparently, she wasn’t the only one awake. They sounded close. A quick perusal of the car yielded no talkers or even any awake passengers. A horse whinnied, and another answered it.

The sounds came from outside. Was someone trying to ride along with the train? Eileen collapsed into an empty seat near an open window to get a better look, pressing bladder forgotten. A few cars ahead, two men on horseback raced beside the train, leading two saddled horses, yelling at someone on the train.

“Throw out the safe, John. We need to be gone,” the first man on horseback yelled.

A large block- shaped object flew out of the train and bounced, followed by a man, then another. They both rolled to their feet. One turned and looked at the train as they passed. Eileen felt he looked right at her and slid low in the seat, hoping the moon didn’t highlight her white face or red hair. Maybe the black hat did its job and helped her to fade into the night. Best she kept her veil down. She reached for the veil only to discover she’d lost her hat.

About the Author:
Morgan as a child had to suffer through movies with clueless heroines rescued by smart men. Her mother dutifully read her stories where princesses waited for princes to jumpstart their lives. There were no proactive female role models in the media at that time, with the exception of Wonder Woman. It is for this reason, and that it is fun, Morgan writes about strong women going after what they want.

She has a blog about dating after forty on www.datingafterfortyeight.blogspot.com
Morgan pinches pennies on her blog: http://thefrugaldivatellsall.blogspot.com/
She also reviews book for Novelspot and blogs about writing at: www.novelspot.net
You can find Morgan at www.morgankwyatt.com
On Twitter and FaceBook at: morgankwyatt

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: BIRD BRAIN BOOKS by Emlyn Chand

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Emlyn will be awarding a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour and a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Emlyn Chand has created a series of children's books with various birds as the main characters. The characters (Courtney the Penguin, Davey the Crow, Poppy the Peacock, Tommy the Woodpecker, and Honey the Parakeet) have many adventures and get into a scrape or two.

The illustrations are beautiful and capture the essence of the words perfectly. As a children's librarian, this is one of the first things I look at when choosing books. Picture books can be either read as written or can be shared just by talking about the images--and these books are a perfect example of that.

My favorite of the books is Honey the Hero--I loved how Honey tried to help, but consistently caused problems instead. I also enjoyed seeing the different animals she encountered in Australia.

My second favorite is Davey the Detective. I enjoyed the mystery of what happened to the missing paperclip...and the issues both Davey and Sarah face and how they resolve the problem.

The strength in these books, besides the lovely illustrations, are how they show the kids that even being small, they can still make a difference.

I was glad to discover that these are available in print. I plan to buy them for the library--I think the parents and kids we serve will enjoy them.



Honey, an inquisitive young parakeet living in the Australian Outback, decides to become a superhero after she spies a human family watching Superman. Since she already has the power of flight, all she needs to do is create a costume to conceal her true identity and then fly off in search of animals that need rescuing.

Unfortunately, every time she tries to help, Honey only ends up making matters worse. She spoils Kangaroo’s game of hide-and-go-seek by revealing his hiding place to Wallaby; Mr. Anteater must go hungry when she alerts the ants to his presence, and Mrs. Koala is made a laughingstock among bears when Honey pretends to be her Joey. Finally realizing that she’s not as heroic as she’d like, Honey gives up her day-saving efforts.

But what happens when someone actually needs Honey’s help? Will she rise to the challenge?


Davey dubs himself the luckiest crow in the entire world when he finds a wonderful, shiny object. It even has a fantastic name: “paperclip.” Wow!

One dark and dreary day, Davey’s treasure goes missing, and he is beside himself with grief. Luckily, he knows just how he can find out which of the forest animals is to blame for the theft. Inspired by the torn pages of a Sherlock Holmes story that were used to fashion his nest, Davey calls on the help of Sarah the sparrow to investigate the mystery and, hopefully, retrieve his prize.

Together the two birds begin to collect clues. Their trail leads them straight to Mr. Bushtail, a greedy squirrel who keeps a giant store of objects in a hollowed-out tree trunk. When Mr. Bushtail refuses to cooperate, the two birds have no choice but to break into his tree house in search of the truth.

Justice will prevail and treasure will be found in this intriguing tale of mystery.


Poppy is the prettiest peacock in the entire garden, but one day his privileged existence is upset when an all-white peacock is born and promptly named the most beautiful by a smitten flock. Intensely jealous, Poppy no longer knows where he fits in and decides to reclaim his title as the fairest bird in all the land, no matter what it takes.

In a desperate attempt to regain the admiration of his peers, Poppy steals items from the humans that visit his park. He wraps himself in a beautiful silk scarf, wears a series of ornate bangles around his neck, and even tries to dye his feathers with colored dust from a festive Holi celebration. Unfortunately, each of these attempts not only fails to improve his appearance, they actually make it worse. What’s a poor bird to do?

In this compelling tale of self-esteem, pride, and learning what makes each of us special, Poppy the peacock discovers that true beauty lies beneath the feathers.


Tommy is a mischievous little woodpecker who loves to fly to the edge of the forest and watch the people in the nearby suburb. One evening, something strange and exciting happens—people emerge from their houses wearing costumes and carrying colorful buckets with smiling faces on them. What’s even crazier is that they shout a special codeword while standing outside of each house, and are given delicious-looking candy.

Tommy simply must join in the fun. He and his friend, Michael the raccoon, fashion their own costumes and head off to join in the festivities. Thanks to Tommy’s knock-knocking beak and Michael’s quick paws, the duo is able to heist many a candy bar from the unsuspecting homeowners and children.

But are they missing out on the true spirit of Halloween?


Courtney is a peppy young penguin who just loves exploring, and is overjoyed when she receives a compass from Santa on Christmas morning. She’s so grateful for the gift, in fact, that she just needs to give Santa a great big hug and say “Thank you!” in person. The only problem is she lives in the South Pole, and Santa is all the way on the other side of the globe!

With the aid of her new compass, Courtney sets off on a journey that takes her almost an entire year. By the time she reaches Santa’s workshop, the elves are in a flurry preparing for the upcoming holiday. Unfortunately, Rudolph is feeling very sick—too sick to guide the sleigh. If Courtney can’t find a way to help, Christmas will be ruined and all the children of the world will be devastated. What’s a little penguin to do?
About the Author:
Emlyn Chand emerged from the womb with a fountain pen clutched in her left hand (true story). When she's not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm Novel Publicity. Best known for her Young Adult novels, she is also developing a small, but devoted, following to her children's book series and is beginning to dapple in other genres as well. Emlyn enjoys connecting with readers and is available via almost every social media site in existence. Visit EmlynChand.com for more info. Don't forget to say "hi" to her sun conure Ducky!

Website & Blog: www.EmlynChand.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/emlynchand
Twitter: www.twitter.com/emlynchand
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/emlynchand

SUPER BOOK BLAST: REVENGE OF THE MAD SCIENTIST by Lara Nance


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lara will be awarding an autographed original map of Arabella's steampunk world to a randomly drawn commenter at each stop, and a $50 Amazon gift card and an original steampunk necklace to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Also a steampunk necklace will be awarded to a randomly drawn host.

If people sign up for her newsletter on her website from Jan 29 - Feb 3, they will be entered for an autographed copy of her book as well as an original steampunk necklace.



When Lady Arabella Trunkett’s father, the High Lord Minister of Urbannia is kidnapped, all clues point to the mysterious country of Gandiss and the world is thrown into political upheaval.

Arabella is convinced the more sinister nation of Carabarras is to blame, urged on by a mad scientist seeking revenge. So, she sets out on a perilous airship journey across a variety of exotic locales to save him, and halt the potential world war.

But airship pirates, secret assassins and slave traders aren’t her only trials. The fickle hand of fate has made the captain of the only airship available for charter, the man who left her at the altar. For eight years she's wished him dead. Now he's her only hope.

Read an excerpt

“Benji I have to go after him. I have to find my father. The authorities are off on a wild goose chase and I can’t get to Her Majesty to explain for three days. Time is running out. By the time I get in to see the queen and convince her of the truth, the trail will be cold.”

Benji straightened his collar and cravat. “Then we have no t, t, time to lose.”

Belle stood. “Benji, I can’t take you with me. It wouldn’t be fair to put you in danger. Besides, I’m not really your legal guardian.”

“Blast it all, Belle. I’m seventeen. In a y, y, year I won’t even need a guardian.” He crossed his arms over his chest. “Besides, you c, c, care more about me than my bloody family ever did. You’re going to need my help and I won’t let you g, g, go without me.”

“No need to curse, Benji.” She eyed the stubborn tilt of his chin and the mulish look about his eyes and knew he was right. His fountain of knowledge would be indispensable on this trip. Look how much he had already helped. It might have taken her days to figure out the meaning behind that stickpin. She also knew he would stow away or even follow her if need be. So she might as well keep him with her where she could watch out for him.

She sighed. “Very well. Pack your bags and call us a hack. We’re going to Carabarras.”

About the Author:
Lara Nance grew up and lived in many cites throughout the South. She loves to write in a variety of genres, but the basis of all of her stories is a great tale that will take you on an adventure of imagination.

If you want to escape and lose yourself in a novel, you've come to the right place. Choose your genre and settle in to be entertained. From thrilling mysteries and steampunk tales, to paranormal romance and adventure, she's willing to explore a variety of compelling stories full of danger and suspense, along with a touch of romance.

Having been on the fencing team in college and now living on a sailboat convinces her that she was a pirate in another life, or possibly kin to Errol Flynn… However, due to the unfortunate demise of the romantic pirates of the past, she lives out her fantasies, thrills and adventures in her stories. Lara loves to weave interesting true historical tidbits into her fiction which invite the reader to explore further after the novel is finished.

Currently docked in Norfolk, Virginia (until the wind changes) Lara enjoys living on her sailboat and spends time reading, of course writing, indulging a variety of artistic endeavors, cooking and sailing with her husband, Joe and their Yorkie, Rio.

Find Lara online at

www.LaraNance.com
Twitter
Facebook

Monday, January 28, 2013

INTERVIEW: MICHEL PRINCE


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Michel will be awarding a butterfly gift basket to one randomly drawn commenter and a butterfly necklace to a second randomly drawn commenter. Click on the banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Help me welcome Michel Prince who is here as part of her virtual book tour. Join us as she answers a few questions:

What environment do you like to write in? Do you use a pen and paper, laptop? Quiet room, music or what? Dog at your feet? Cat on the desk? Must have snack?

Writing can happen anywhere with me which is why I usually have my laptop along. It was a big thing when it came to my son’s games, but when inspiration hits I need to get it out. I have learned to type on my phone so I don’t have to always have my computer with. Obviously if my muse is with me there can be a game going on, with a crowd cheering and I won’t even hear it…now editing’s another story. Initially I need music going and to be sitting at my table…dog probably ends up at my feet, the cat likes to sit on my shoulders. There will always and I mean always be Dr. Pepper.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Wow, what didn’t I want to be? An astronaut, teacher, lawyer, astrophysicist, violin player, actress…yeah…hmm…I love writing if for no other reason than I can be everything and nothing all at the same time.

Do you ever write under a pseudonym?

Yes, I do have a pseudonym that I write erotica under. If I write more toward middle grade, which I have another work in progress pending that would more than likely also be published under a pseudo.

What books have you published so far?

So far I’ve had two books in the Chrysalis Series published with a third under contract, as well as an adult paranormal romance called The Frozen which is the first in another series, and finally a contemporary romance called The Guardian’s Heart. Around Valentine’s Day I’m part of an anthology called Love on the Lakes where I have a short story called "Her Stranger".

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Tenses….writing and talking are two vastly different realms. I’ve always been good at storytelling, but writing is more than just talking to a friend to tell a tale. I’ve started to delve into third person and that makes it easier to work with grammar I’ve found.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Sherrilyn Kenyon with her tons of books with deep worlds crossing between series is amazing. I liked reading her books in general, but then when I read her story about how she became published and all she’s accomplished I really respected her as a writer.

If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?

Professional psych patient that way I could keep talking to my characters.

Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Have you ever wondered if there was a demon screwing things up? You think everything is going good and bam out of nowhere what you thought was a good idea turns your life down another track. Then how would you get revenge and would you be strong enough to fight back?

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

In this book yes there are some real life exaggerations. The racial slurs have all been slung at me. The Southern phrases also seem to come at me from every direction at home. In the second book of the series, I think there are more issues that I’ve dealt with personally than in the first book. It is nice that Ellie can respond in ways I couldn’t.

What was your favorite chapter to write and why?

Chapter…I don’t know, but Ellie and Oscar’s first kiss I spent forever on trying to get it right. I love that scene. In the second book The Beam the chapter set in calculus was also a favorite of mine.

Did you have any say in the title / cover of your book?

Yes, I did. My publisher let me go through some stock photos and choose a few different designs then our cover artist goes from there. The title I picked-- the only thing was I had to make sure there weren’t any other books with that name published in the last 2 years. Ironically once I started to market my book for the prelaunch about 6 books came out with the same title. Very weird, but at that point I couldn’t change and I think mine stands out from the rest especially with my cover. My publisher and I went back and forth and she determined it would be better to keep the name Chrysalis.

Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?

In the final book of the series there’s a character called Cassie that I’ve been toying with a spin off or the demon that’s going after Ellie is an interesting character and it might be fun to write from his perspective.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?

The biggest complaint I get is that the paranormal aspect comes too late in the book. I thought I had left subtle hints, but I was obviously too subtle so I would do a prolog with the demons or angels talking or some other paranormal events. I had tried to put some elements early on and they always seemed forced.

When you started your book, did you plan on writing it as a series, or did it just grow into one?

It grew. Much like it was going to be an adult book with a little flashback to high school when Oscar and Ellie met. I have a prolog originally written for the beginning of Chrysalis that shows up in the third book because my flashback lasted too long. This is why my book is a cross-over series that follows Oscar and Ellie into adulthood; it was never meant to be a YA series, but the aspect of how they came together is so much fun and important to the series.

Do you manage to write every day? Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?

Yes and yes. I might not be writing everyday, but I will be editing or rewriting everyday which is my way to still feel productive when I have writer’s block. Luckily for me I have about 20 stories in some stage of being written so there is always research etc that needs to be done.

What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?

I write in paranormal and contemporary romance for both young adults and adults. I do have some other books started in a few other genres, but even in mysteries, thrillers, middle grade etc there’s always romance so I’m glad I have that as my background.

Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?

Rejections are a natural process of writing. I think if a writer hasn’t been rejected they are being set up for a fall. There hasn’t been a successful writer that hasn’t had many rejections and that’s how I keep myself motivated. Stephen King didn’t get published for over twenty years. Sherrilyn Kenyon was rejected from a creative writing program because they only “took people with talent.” Jack London had over four hundred rejections from publishers.

It’s painful, but a necessary process. People compare writing a book to giving birth and even with the strongest drugs there’s going to be pain, but in the end it’s worth it because rejections lead to rewrites which catches errors and enhances your story.

About the Author:
Michel Prince is an author who graduated with a bachelor degree in History and Political Science. Michel writes young adult and adult paranormal romance as well as contemporary romance.

With characters yelling "It's my turn damn it!!!" She tries to explain to them that alas, she can only type a hundred and twenty words a minute and they will have wait their turn. She knows eventually they find their way out of her head and to her fingertips and she looks forward to sharing them with you.

When Michel can suppress the voices in her head she can be found at a scouting event or cheering for her son in a variety of sports. She would like to thank her family for always being in her corner and especially her husband for supporting her every dream and never letting her give up.

Michel is a member of RWA Pro and Midwest Fiction Writers. She lives in the Twin Cities with her husband, son, cat and new puppy.

Find Michel online at

www.michelprincebooks.com
http://www.facebook.com/MichelPrinceBooks?fref=ts
https://twitter.com/MichelPrince1
http://www.youtube.com/user/Michelprincebooks?feature=guide

In the annals of dysfunctional families, the Chisholm’s are working their way to the top. Drug abuse, an unwed mother with multiple fathers, and the questionable cash flow for the 'pretty one'. All this from a seemingly normal, two parent middle class family. But were the choices truly made of their free will?

Bad choices are a Chisholm family trait, one that confounds the youngest child, Ellie, who's trying to separate herself by making smart decisions. And falling for Oscar Jeffreys, the hottest guy at school, would be number one on the list of Chisholm family disasters. Yet the crazy part is it’s not a one sided attraction. Somehow Ellie has caught Oscar Jeffreys’ eye. Sure she could see the barriers between them. Race, age, popularity. They were at opposite ends of the spectrum. But a demon set to destroy her family? She can't see that.

Oscar provides security and acceptance Ellie never imagined she deserved. As the passion of first love grows, Ellie honestly believes she has a chance to beat the odds and live a happy, normal life. Then her world collapses around her. With the help of a guardian angel, Ellie learns of a world that has unknowingly surrounded her for years. And she'll have to find strength buried deep inside to save not only her future, but flush out and stop the demon in her midst.

And Ellie will have to learn that sometimes the hardest lesson about growing up is accepting that you're worth more.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Book Review: Shameless by Cheryl Douglas


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Cheryl will be awarding: two(2) - $20 Amazon Gift Cards to randomly drawn commenters during the tour, and one(1) - $20 Gift Card to a randomly drawn host. Also, Cheryl will be awarding ten(10) trading card/cover flat packs to randomly drawn commenters during the tour (US/Canada), ten (10)digital books from the Nashville Nights series (winner's choice) to randomly drawn commenters during the tour and two(2) Swarovski crystal necklaces to randomly drawn commenters during the tour (US/Canada). Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.



Trey Turner may be topping the country music charts, but his life has been going downhill since his wife left him five years ago. He's desperate to make amends for the mistakes he's made and convince Sierra their love deserves a second chance.

Sierra Brooks is happy for the first time since her divorce. She has a career she loves, and a man who loves her. Unfortunately, the man she intends to marry isn't the only one professing his love for her. He may be able to offer her safety and security, but will she decide to risk everything for another chance with the man who broke her heart?

REVIEW:

Sierra and Trey have had their problems in the past--and their problem in the present is that they are still in love. But... is that love enough to overcome the difficulties between them?

From affairs on one side and a major secret on the other--along with the obligatory-in-romance spanners thrown into the mix when it looks like everything will work out, and you have a book to hold your attention.

The characters are well-drawn and mostly likable. With the exception of small consistency issue early in the book, there were no editing issues that took me out of the book (the downside of being a former editor!).

If you are a contemporary romance fan, I encourage you to take a look at this book. And, there are other characters in the book I expect to see featured soon in another of Cheryl Douglas' Nashville Nights book.

About the Author:
Cheryl began her professional career as a nutritionist, but her love of books started at an early age. She studied writing for many years before she decided to pursue her passion as a full-time career. After receiving constructive criticism from several well-known authors, Cheryl finally had the confidence to write her first romance novel.

The first book in the Nashville Nights series, Shameless, was a book that had been dwelling in Cheryl’s subconscious for years. For her, the surprise came when the manuscript began taking on a life of it’s own. Characters came to life, secondary characters became more prominent, outlines were forgotten, and a single title evolved into an eight book series, and another eight book spin-off series entitled Nashville Nights, Next Generation.

One word would aptly describe Cheryl: workaholic. She lives and breathes her writing, when she’s sleeping, watching TV, driving, reading… it’s always in the periphery of her mind. Her imagination rarely takes a holiday, even when she escapes to a sandy beach with her husband and son, she’s planning, plotting, outlining, and daydreaming.

Cheryl feels blessed to be able to get up every day and do something she loves. The thousands of fans who have embraced the Nashville Nights have made that possible. She writes for the readers who ask for more, she writes to satisfy the muse residing inside of her, but most of all, she writes because she couldn’t imagine doing anything else with her life. It took her thirty-seven years to decide what she wanted to be when she grew up, but now that she knows, she’s convinced she’s found her purpose.

www.CherylDouglasBooks.com

Thursday, January 24, 2013

VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR: NIGHT CORRIDOR by Joan Hall Hovey


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Joan will be awarding a piece of Micmac jewelry - silver dreamcatcher earrings (her main character learns she is of Micmac ancestry) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour (USA ONLY). Please click on the banner to see the other stops on the tour.



A suspense novel interwoven with threads of romance and paranormal.

Imagine discovering everything you believe about yourself to be a lie. And that the truth could stir a killer from his lair.

Following the death of the woman she believed to be her mother, 28-year-old Naomi Waters learns from a malicious aunt that she is not only adopted, but the product of a brutal rape that left her birth mother, Mary Rose Francis, a teenager of Micmac ancestry, in a coma for 8 months.

Dealing with a sense of betrayal and loss, but with new purpose in her life, Naomi vows to track down Mary Rose's attackers and bring them to justice. She places her story in the local paper, asking for information from residents who might remember something of the case that has been cold for nearly three decades.

She is about to lose hope that her efforts will bear fruit, when she gets an anonymous phone call. Naomi has attracted the attention of one who remembers the case well.

But someone else has also read the article in the paper. The man whose DNA she carries.

And he has Naomi in his sights.

Review quotes:

"…Ms. Hovey's talent in creating characters is so real, you feel their emotions and their fears. You want to yell at them to warn of the danger . . . and you do! Your shouts fall on deaf ears . . . and you cry! The best suspense writer I've ever read!
Beth Anderson, Author of Raven Talks back

"...Alfred Hitchcock and Stephen King come to mind, but JOAN HALL HOVEY is in a Class by herself!…"
J.D. Michael Phelps, Author of My Fugitive, David Janssen

"…CANADIAN MISTRESS OF SUSPENSE…The author has a remarkable ability to turn up the heat on the suspense… great characterizations and dialogue…"
James Anderson, author of Deadline



At 17, Caroline Hill was torn from the boy she loved by her tyranical father. Then they took her child. Finally, her grasp on reality.

Now, after nine years in Bayshore mental institution, once called The Lunatic Asylum, Caroline is being released.

There will be no one to meet her. Her parents who brought her here are dead.

They have found her a room in a rooming house, a job washing dishes in a restaurant. She will do fine, they said. But no one told her that women in St. Simeon are already dying at the hands of a vicious predator. One, an actress who lived previously in her building.

Others.

And now, as Caroline struggles to survive on the outside, she realizes someone is stalking her.

But who will believe her? She's a crazy woman after all.

Then, one cold winter's night on her way home from her job, a man follows and is about to assault her when a stranger intercedes.

A stranger who hides his face and whispers her name.

Review Quotes: "…another winner. I highly recommend it to any lover of suspense, mystery, romance, or thriller. You’ll not only race through this book, but clamor for more works by this talented and polished author. Aaron Paul Lazar, author of Healey's Cave

"...The mystery and suspense in this novel is outstanding, truly top notch, in the vein of Mary Higgins Clark, but—dare I say—even better? - In the Library

"…intricately plotted and the ending will surprise even the most devoted mystery and susense reader. Gripping suspense. – Sandy Heptinstall - Whispering Winds Reviews

About the Author:
In addition to her critically aclaimed novels, Joan Hall Hovey's articles and short stories have appeared in such diverse publications as The Toronto Star, Atlantic Advocate, Seek, Home Life Magazine, Mystery Scene, The New Brunswick Reader, Fredericton Gleaner, New Freeman and Kings County Record. Her short story Dark Reunion was selected for the anthology investigating Women, Published by Simon & Pierre.

Ms. Hovey has held workshops and given talks at various schools and libraries in her area, including New Brunswick Community College, and taught a course in creative writing at the University of New Brunswick. For a number of years, she has been a tutor with Winghill School, a distance education school in Ottawa for aspiring writers.

She is a member of the Writer's Federation of New Brunswick, past regional Vice-President of Crime Writers of Canada, Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Website: www.JoanHallHovey.com

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: THE ANGRY WOMAN SUITE by Lee Fullbright


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lee will be giving away a $100 Amazon gift certificate to one randomly drawn commenter at the end of the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.



Raised in a crumbling New England mansion by four women with personalities as split as a cracked mirror, young Francis Grayson has an obsessive need to fix them all. There’s his mother, distant and beautiful Magdalene; his disfigured, suffocating Aunt Stella; his odious grandmother; and the bane of his existence, his abusive and delusional Aunt Lothian.

For years, Francis plays a tricky game of duck and cover with the women, turning to music to stay sane. He finds a friend and mentor in Aidan Madsen, schoolmaster, local Revolutionary War historian, musician and keeper of the Grayson women’s darkest secrets. In a skillful move by Fullbright, those secrets are revealed through the viewpoints of three different people–Aidan, Francis and Francis’stepdaughter, Elyse–adding layers of eloquent complexity to a story as powerful as it is troubling.

While Francis realizes his dream of forming his own big band in the 1940s, his success is tempered by the inner monster of his childhood, one that roars to life when he marries Elyse’s mother. Elyse becomes her stepfather’s favorite target, and her bitterness becomes entwined with a desire to know the real Francis Grayson.

For Aidan’s part, his involvement with the Grayson family only deepens, and secrets carried for a lifetime begin to coalesce as he seeks to enlighten Francis–and subsequently Elyse–of why the events of so many years ago matter now. The ugliness of deceit, betrayal and resentment permeates the narrative, yet there are shining moments of hope, especially in the relationship between Elyse and her grandfather.

Ultimately, as more of the past filters into the present, the question becomes: What is the truth, and whose version of the truth is correct? Fullbright never untangles this conundrum, and it only adds to the richness of this exemplary novel.—Kirkus Reviews


This book is a powerful, multi-layered, multi-generational book. Dark, rich, and intriguing like a sauce you want to go back and savor again and again. Those of you who know me know that I'm not that reader that rereads many books-- Gone with the Wind, Tolkien, Austen, and Gabaldon-- but that's about it. This book may have made it onto that list. I know I'll go back and reread it at least once. Now that I've read the ending, I want to go back and see what I might have missed.

The book has three POV characters... Aidan, Francis, and Elyse. None blood-related, but all intimately intwined in the mystery that is The Angry Woman Suite.

It's similar to a Southern Gothic--family secrets build up and build up until the reader discovers the truth. I pride myself on normally figuring out mysteries, but this time--I have to admit that Lee Fullbright kept me guessing. Kudos to the author for an intriguing debut novel. I'm anxious to see what she's going to do next.

About the Author:
Lee Fullbright, a medical practice consultant in her non-writing life, lives on San Diego’s beautiful peninsula with her writing partner, Baby Rae, a 12-year-old rescued Australian cattle dog with attitude.

The Angry Woman Suite, a Kirkus Critics’ pick, 5-starred Readers Favorite, and a Discovery Aware winner, is her first published novel.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Writer's View: Andrea Stein


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Andrea will be awarding a $50 GC, winner's choice of Starbucks, Amazon or Walmart, to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a $50 GC, winner's choice of Starbucks, Amazon or Walmart, to a randomly drawn host. Click on the banner to see the other stops on the tour.

*****


For awhile I was a writing nomad – I would write on the couch, in bed, at a coffee shop, but a few years ago we moved to a place with a barn. And not one with animals – at least not in many years. Nope, this barn had heat finished floors and a door that locks. I have a family and while I love them dearly having them around while I write is a fool’s mission. When I go to the barn, the kids kinda forget I’m around. Ha. So right now I spend most of my time writing in my office in the barn.

I would like to say I fixed it up, that it’s got cool toys, a great white board and artfully styled stuff. But it doesn’t. And it’s got critters. I haven’t actually seen any of them, but I still hear them, sometimes, and let me tell you there’s nothing like the skittering of squirrels to put you off writing a love scene.

So headphones are essential. As is tunnel vision. Focus on the screen, and not the blur of something over in the corner of the room. I will actually only write in the barn during daylight hours. Somehow the skittering is why more noticeable once the moon is out. If I write at night, you will usually find me at the kitchen table, next to the gas fireplace -- the warmest spot in the house come wintertime.

However there is one constant, no matter where in the house or barn that I write. I always looked over by a mountain. I live in New Jersey, so it’s not much of a mountain…but it does have an interesting name…Hell Mountain…yes, I write from the bottom of hell…

Someday, soon, I promise myself I will give those squirrels the old heave ho and truly claim my space – my room of my own to paraphrase Virginia Woolf. But for now I make do – and focuse on what’s important – sitting down and writing wherever I can – no excused about not having the tight space. Give me a set of headphones and I can write through a Hannah Montanna marathon like you wouldn’t believe.

Of course, I’m not holding my breath on the whole squirrels moving out of the barn thing – after all, they were there first.

Thanks so much for having me drop by - Andrea

About the Author:
Hi, I'm Andrea Stein an author, mother, wife and blogger and a certified mom-chauffeur. I have been scribbling stories for as long as I can remember, including my first adventure story, inspired by an obsession with Out of Africa (book, movie and biography) about a young girl stranded in Kenya. It was serial fiction handwritten, given to my sister, who couldn’t read my handwriting. That story dies after one installment, but the next year I got a word processor (not a computer, but an ACTUAL WORD PROCESSOR) that showed about twenty lines of text at a time. This was before laptops were widely available and this allowed me to be able to type to my heart’s content in the privacy of my own room. Which I did. I think I spent the time writing stories about my “frenemies” to amuse myself. I also listened to a lot of the Cure and New Wave music. I have since moved on to a happier place.

Even though I read lots of different types of books, I write romance novels with a twist. More like contemporary romance than romantic suspense (I don’t write about serial killers or FBI agents) but I usually like to include a puzzle or mystery for my hero and heroine to solve.

Rough Harbor is my second novel, set in a small New England town. Coming soon is Ivy Cottage, also set in a small New England town on a river.

Other than writing I spend most of my time reading, watching TV, cooking, cleaning, taking care of kids, trying to keep the house clean and folding laundry. I love Twizzlers, chocolate and shows on the WB. For me, reading has always been an escape, a way to escape the ordinary and dive into a world that feels real – but with all of the ‘boring’ parts edited out.

As for the rest of my life, I grew up on Long Island, spent a lot of vacations in small New England towns, went to college in New York City, married by high school sweetheart, worked, had kids, stopped working, and kept on writing. Now I live in rural New Jersey (yes, there is such a thing), and though I don’t own any horses, I do have a barn, which I share with squirrels.

There’s something successful writers always tell new writers about their secret to success. Just do it…Bum Glue…write 1ooo words a day…write for two hours a day….Keep writing. And they’re right. I got more successful with my writing when I started to do it consistently. I don’t write every day, but I shoot for five days a week. This means that the words and pages pile up — and I have stories to shape, make and mold…and share.

I hope you enjoy my books, currently available at Amazon.

Find the author online at

www.AndreaSteinBooks.com
http://www.facebook.com/AndreaSteinBooks
https://twitter.com/andreasteinbook



After a bitter break up and professional set back in London, twenty seven year old Caitlyn has returned to Queensbay to work for Maxwell Randall, an old family friend, at his financial management firm. So far, bit by bit, Caitlyn’s been rebuilding all she lost after Michael St. John broke her heart …and tried to ruin her professional reputation.

But her past comes back to haunt her when Maxwell unexpectedly turns up dead. Not only does Caitlyn find her career in jeopardy but her heart is too, when Noah Randall, Maxwell’s son, and her first love, returns to Queensbay. Once, ten years ago, Caitlyn was sure Noah was the one for her…but the tragedy of her grandfather’s suicide and Noah’s decision to leave town left her bereft…and determined never to trust him again.

Over the past decade, she’s managed to do her best to forget about Noah Randall and the lingering questions surrounding her grandfather’s suicide. But now that’s he back in town – rich and more handsome than ever, and she can’t help wondering what if? What if Noah really was the one?

Noah Randall left home ten years ago to seek his fortune – vowing never to return until he’d made a success of himself – and show Caitlyn Montgomery just what she’d given up. He returns to find that Caitlyn Montgomery has only grown more alluring with time. Noah’s always wanted he couldn’t have…and now he wants Caitlyn again. But she’s determined not to make the same mistake twice.

While Noah and Caitlyn are revisiting old ground – and forging a new relationship, there’s trouble brewing in Queensbay. Old secrets and new lead Caitlyn to believe that perhaps her grandfather didn’t kill himself – and that Maxwell’s death was no accident. But just how far will someone go to keep her – and Noah – from finding out the truth…and will Queesbay prove to have troubled waters after all?

Monday, January 21, 2013

THE WRITER'S VIEW: SHERRI LACKEY


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sherri will be awarding a $25 GC from Amazon to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a $15 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host. Click on the banner to see the other stops on the tour.

~~~~~


Most of the time, I write while sitting in my cozy little corner of my sectional sofa, typing away on my laptop. Directly in front of me is my oversized coffee table and beyond that is a dark brown wall with niches cut out to hold a few favorite knickknacks and a large clock letting me know what time it is.

To my left is a table where I keep a cup of coffee or a glass of water close by. It also holds my favorite dictionaries such as, The Bibliophile’s Dictionary by Miles Westley. On the shelf underneath you will see my jewelry findings catalog, seed catalogs, and a few favorite magazines like Mary Janes Farm. I keep my Nook close by for times when I feel like reading instead of writing, and I’m currently reading the late Michael Crichton’s novel Micro. To my right is my dog, Raymond, whom everybody loves…except for the cat who hates him passionately. He barked at her when she was a kitten and she has never forgiven him for that. He likes to nap beside me while I write.

Behind me is a large picture window which offers a panoramic view of the town. We live in the business district, next door to the courthouse, perched on a hill. While the businesses directly across the street are uninspiring, the broader view of the town can be pretty when the sun is going down, casting blue shadows below the hills while vividly shining on the hilltops.

I think of my house on the hill as an island, the street out front is a sea separating us from the mainland. In the summer it is an oasis with flower beds in bloom and lots of trees all around. We have a hidden patio out back when we want to eat outside. In the winter the house is cozy and warm. Our wood burning stove heats the main floor and it’s nice to sit by the fire in my rocking chair. On an especially chilly day, I take my laptop to that corner of the house to write. Raymond doesn’t like that though because he can’t sit next to me. If he is chilly, he’ll lay on the hearth, dreaming about his next meal time.

About the Author:
Sherri Lackey, born in Carlsbad, New Mexico, now lives in Montana where the cold northern climate inspires her to write. She writes science fiction and fantasy with dashes of speculative fiction, a pinch of steampunk, and a touch of urban fantasy. She lives with her husband, Paul, and their three children. She also has a faithful dog named Raymond who likes to sit by her side while she writes.

http://sherrilackey.com
https://twitter.com/sherrijots


Keeva lives her life on the run, changing identities and personas. She is running from monsters she has never seen - vrykolakes, vampire creatures her father, Sandor, has told her stories about all her life. She had almost convinced herself that these monsters had all died in a volcano eruption on the island of Strongili long ago.

But when a vrykolakas named Severin kills Mandy, her best friend, she discovers the vrykolakes are alive and well. Keeva knows about Severin from her father’s stories, and her first impulse is to kill him and rid the world of the evil vrykolakas. She feels drawn to him however, and takes him prisoner. She hopes to better understand the vrykolakes and perhaps better understand herself. She is over two thousand years old. She doesn't know who or what she is, but she wants to find out. In order to do that, she has to discover her past. Severin might be the place to start looking for a connection to the past. Or, he could be the worst mistake Keeva has ever made.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Author's View: Natalie Wright


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Natalie will award an autographed copy of "Emily's House", a handmade Celtic-inspired armlet, similar to one worn by Emily in the books and book swag to one randomly drawn commenter (US only -- an eBook of "Emily's House" will be substituted as the prize for an international winner). Click the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

My inner world is filled with mythic gods and goddesses, emerald hills and dimensions of shadow and mist, alien creatures and teenage girls finding their heart and power. This is a glimpse of the outer world I live in while I create my stories.

When I write, I surround myself with things that inspire me. I have a particular totem that I have nearby when writing the Akasha Chronicles stories – a beautiful, winged faerie of the wood that I named Nissa. See that little bottle in front of her? It’s a spell bottle made for me by a wonderful woman in Ireland. It’s full of Irish herbs, flowers and positive energy. This is my little ‘shrine’ to Emily Adams that helps fuel my imagination while writing the Akasha Chronicles.

This particular totem and the spell bottle are fitting for the Akasha Chronicles. Both Emily’s House (Book 1) and Emily’s Trial (Book 2) deal with Celtic myth, legend and Irish lore.

Speaking of inspiration and beauty, this is my view outside of my office window.

Blue skies and mountains! Okay, the roofs of the houses aren’t very inspirational, but you get the idea. I look over the roofs toward the majesty of the peaks when I need a pick-me-up. When I’m writing new material, I try to get outside for a walk every day. Is there anything more inspirational than God’s beauty?

I create vision boards from time to time, little inspirational pick-me-ups that help remind me of what’s important. My current vision board reminds me of why I write in the first place. That’s right – FUN!

Believe it or not, this is something that most writers need reminded of from time-to-time. Sure, writing can be fun. But a lot of the time, it feels more like this:


Even with mountains, blue sky, totems and vision boards, writing is damned hard.

Most of the time, I write on my laptop. I have a larger screen that I can hook it up to, but I like the intimacy of the words being closer to me when I write. And I’ve GOT to have music – always – when I write. Most of the time I listen to music without words when I’m writing – don’t want to start writing a story that steals lyrics from Moves Like Jagger! But I create a playlist ‘soundtrack’ for each book that I write. I play my soundtrack before I write to help get me into the right frame of mind.

But sometimes, I write with pen to paper. I’m picky about my writing tools. I only write new material for a book on Moleskine notebooks with a Dr. Grip pen. I know – high maintenance! I’ll take notes on lesser notebooks, but for inspirational words to flow, I need the smooth writing surface of a Moleskine. (Notice my ever-present Diet Coke – my must-have drink at around 3:00 p.m. each day!)

I’ve been using pen to paper more often lately. My creativity seems enhanced by the action of the pen to paper. I’ll probably write most of my next novel in a Moleskine. Can you say hand cramps?!

There you have it. A small peak into my writing world.

Happy reading :-)

About the Author:
Natalie is the author of The Akasha Chronicles, a young adult fantasy trilogy. When not writing, blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting, Wattpadding or eating chocolate, Natalie nurtures her young daughter, feeds her dog too many treats, and can’t resist watching Ancient Aliens, no matter how absurd the show becomes.

Natalie enjoys travel, good wine, and excellent food shared with family and friends. She was raised an Ohio farm girl, now lives in the desert Southwest, and dreams of living in a high rise in a big city.

“Books are my friends, ideas my passion.”

Natalie enjoys chatting with readers, so stop by and say hi:

Blog: http://www.NatalieWrightsYA.blogspot.com
Twitter: @NatalieWright_
Facebook: NatalieWright.Author
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/468945.Natalie_Wright
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/WritesKidsBooks
Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/NatalieWright_
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/natwrites/



Two years ago, Emily’s journey began. She learned the ancient magic of her Celtic ancestors,and became a modern Celtic Priestess. The golden torc, forged by faerie hands, is still wound around her arm, fused to her soul. She was entrusted with powerful magic – secret knowledge.

But even a Priestess can feel desire – temptation – and the quest for love. Will passion entice Emily to use her sacred magic in a forbidden way? Can new love take root in a world of nightmares? And will her friendships survive Emily’s Trial?

The Journey Continues . . .