Archive for the ‘Blog Tour’ Category:

Release Day Blitz: Never by Younger, a charity anthology


BANNER

Join me in being excited about some great authors writing Shakespeare retellings for charity! Some of these authors are friends of mine and I know they work very hard on their writing and are quite talented. Check it out!

Written by nine authors, Never Be Younger is a Young Adult collection of Shakespeare retellings. From Othello to Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet to The Winter’s Tale, each story has been crafted with a new spin.

nbyFrom the halls of a high school to hip night clubs to the depths of space, Never Be Younger gives Shakespeare’s classic plays and sonnets a fresh spin for a new audience. Nine authors pay tribute to the Bard by taking his timeless tales to new heights, entrancing readers all over again. A Shakespeare story by any other name still reads as sweet.

All proceeds from the sales of Never Be Younger go to United Through Reading, a charity dedicated to uniting military families through reading.

Goodreads

About the Authors

Rachel Bateman: Editor
Rachel Bateman is a writer and editor who spends too much time rachelthinking she can out bake the Cake Boss. (Spoiler: She can’t.) She lives in the middle of Montana, but dreams of the South. Rachel is the owner of Metamorphosis Books, an author services company offering formatting and interior layout for independent authors. When not writing, editing, or reading books, she can be found playing with her husband, young son, and small zoo of pets. You can find Rachel on Twitter, and her website.

 

S.M. Johnston: Star Crossed Lovers & A Gargoyle’s Prom Nightmare
sharonS.M. Johnston is a writer of weird fiction and soulful contemporaries from sunny Queensland, Australia. Her family includes a husband, two sons and a number of fur babies of the feline and cavy variety. You can find Sharon on Twitter, and her website.

 

Jessica L Pierce: A Day of Errors
jessicaJessica is a somewhat crazy – yet loving – blond. She lives in Green Bay, WI, hates the cold, and loves her completely awesome camo coat. She is passionate about football, baseball, photography and writing, and won’t go near cooked peas. (Raw peapods are fine.)

She is a student at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, and will graduate in December 2015 with a degree in Communication with emphasis in Journalism. She is a sports photographer and her work can be found at: www.studio52photos.com You can also find Jessica on Twitter.

Cortney Pearson: The Undreamed Shores

CORTNEY Cortney Pearson is the author of Phobic and Such a Secret Place, a mother, musician, and a lover of pink and sparkles. You can find Cortney on Twitter, and her website.

 

E.L. Wicker: Star Crossed Lovers & A Gargoyle’s Prom Nightmare

EmE.L. Wicker lives in Hampshire, England with her husband and two children. Fueled by the bossy voices in her head, she writes New Adult fiction with a side of romance. You can find E.L. on Twitter, and her website.

 

Nicole Zoltack: Any Way the Wind Blows

NICOLE
Nicole Zoltack loves to write in many genres, especially romance, whether fantasy, paranromal, or regency. When she’s not writing about knights, superheroes or zombies, she loves to spend time with her loving husband and three energetic young boys, with another little one on the way. She enjoyes horse riding (pretending they’re unicorns, of course!) and going to the PA Renaissance Faire, dressed in garb. She’ll also read anything she can get her hands on. Her current favorite TV show is The Walking Dead. You can find Nicole on Twitter, and her website.

Olivia Hinebaugh: Mark The Music

oliviaOlivia Hinebaugh spends her free time writing. Obviously. The rest of her time is spent playing and reading with her two young children. She also loves: watching Sia’s music videos, quoting Mean Girls, and folding laundry. She actually really does. You can find Olivia on Twitter, and her website.

 

 

Adrianne James: A Witch’s Life

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Growing up Adrianne James couldn’t get her hands on enough books to satisfy her need for the make believe. If she finished a novel and didn’t have a new one ready and waiting for her, she began to create her own tales of magic and wonder. Now, as an adult, books still make up the majority of her free time, and now her tales get written down to be shared with the world.

During the day, Adrianne uses her camera to capture life’s stories for clients of all ages and at night, after her two children are tucked up in bed; she devotes herself to her written work. Adrianne is living the life she always wanted, surrounded by art and beauty, the written word and a loving family.

As a New Adult Paranormal (and sometimes contemporary) author, Adrianne James writes strong women, powerful magic, and love that lasts a lifetime. You can find Adrianne on Twitter, and her website.

Christina June: The Scarf

christinaChristina June writes young adult contemporary fiction when she’s not writing college recommendation letters during her day job as a school counselor. She loves the little moments in life that help someone discover who they’re meant to become – whether it’s her students or her characters. Christina is a voracious reader, loves to travel, eats too many cupcakes, and hopes to one day be bicoastal – the east coast of the US and the east coast of Scotland. She lives just outside Washington DC with her husband and the world’s most rambunctious four-year-old. You can find Christina on Twitter, and her website.

2014 Debut Authors Bash Featuring Laura Wettersten


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Featuring Laura Wettersten and her book, My Faire Lady

So, I love Renaissance Faires. In fact, I just went to my local one yesterday. I may or may not have a costume as well, or have little trinkets bought from faires at my work desk. I just might be saving up for some of the more elaborate crafts that I really would like…like a crazy wooden throne with geos and other details that make it look like a fairy throne. All that said, a story about a girl working in the Renaissance Faire is definitely fun! Laura Wettersten’s book, My Faire Lady, is just that! She visits us today with a guest post.

Make sure to check out My Faire Lady!

myfaireladyMy Faire Lady by Laura Wettersten

Published June 3rd 2014 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Hardcover or ebook, 352 pages
ISBN13: 9781442489332

Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Rowena Duncan is a thoroughly modern girl with big plans for her summer—until she catches her boyfriend making out with another girl. Heartbroken, she applies to an out-of-town job posting and finds herself somewhere she never expected: the Renaissance Faire.

As a face-painter doubling as a serving wench, Ro is thrown headfirst into a vibrant community of artists and performers. She feels like a fish out of water until Will, a quick-witted whip cracker, takes her under his wing. Then there’s Christian, a blue-eyed stunt jouster who makes Ro weak in the knees. Soon, it’s not just her gown that’s tripping her up.

Trading in the internet and electricity for stars and campfires was supposed to make life simpler, but Ro is finding that love is the ultimate complication. Can she let the past make way for her future?

And now I pass it over to Laura!

People sometimes ask me, “Who is your favorite character in MY FAIRE LADY?” and my answer always surprises them. “King Geoffrey’s Faire,” I say. They raise their eyebrows, or feel the need to explain to the poor, clueless author what a character is, and I just smile. Settings can be characters too, or at least, a setting can behave like a character.

The Renaissance fair in my book is such a setting. It pushes the plot along, provides conflict, and is just as quirky, fun, and witty as a John Green character. It’s because of the fair that Ro finds love and finds herself.

To pull that off, I had to immerse myself in a Renaissance fair, so I visited the Ohio Renaissance Festival before I started to write the book. I took an extraverted friend with me to counteract my shyness, and we spent all day at the fair, watching events, shopping, eating (so much eating), and most importantly, talking to the workers.

We met a surly artisan who would provide a good basis for Ramon, Ro’s grumpy boss. We shopped at a clothing store, where I not only found inspiring clothes for Ro, Christian, and Will, but also met a sweet and wise seamstress who could easily have been Lindy. We sampled (ok, 4 cups can’t really be called “sampling”) mead, turkey legs, sweet pastries and a lot of fried things that probably shouldn’t have been fried. We saw acrobats, a joust, bowed to Queen Elizabeth, explored a tower of torture meant to look like the Tower of London, and even found a graveyard where we jumped into open caskets and took pictures of ourselves acting like zombies. The most enlightening part of the day, however, was when we sat in the facepainting booth and watched a woman named Robbie (who would become the teacup painter in my book) work her magic on kids of all ages. We learned all about her life, including what she does in the “off season”, how she became a “lifer” in this particular fair, and how she studied art for years. What was most fascinating to me was how fast she was. A child would walk in and ask for something so intricate that I was sure it would take an hour, like a butterfly princess. But in five minutes, the child would leave smiling and totally transformed, her entire face full of color, glitter, and jewels. Robbie knew exactly how to work with each child’s features to make the designs beautiful, and how to layer and blend colors to create shadowing and contour. That was what I wanted to get across most with Ro’s facepainting; that with each special creation, each child felt special, too.

Here are a few pictures from that day:

Zombie! Guard your brain!

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A hand-carved troll:

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A cape perfect for Christian:

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The facepainting booth setup (with bonus Robbie arm):

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The food staples – Turkey leg and mead:

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About Laura:

Laura Wettersten lives in Ohio with her wonderful husband, their adorable baby son, and their two neurotic dogs. She has degrees in both music education and library science, and when she’s not writing or teaching she enjoys directing middle school musicals, dancing awkwardly around her kitchen, and watching WIPEOUT and 30 ROCK reruns. Her debut novel, MY FAIRE LADY, releases from Simon & Schuster BFYR in 2014.

What great fun! I highly recommend that you both check out her book as well as your local Renaissance Faire!

Click on the banner for the 2014 Debut Authors tour schedule. The event runs the whole month of September! There’s going to be awesome posts and giveaways!

debut author

2014 Debut Authors Bash Featuring Jocelyn Adams!


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I am so excited to have Jocelyn Adams here today to discuss her exciting book, Darkside Sun, the first in the Mortal Machine series! I asked her to perform a tough task, but I am very excited to share it with you!

If you haven’t checked out Darkside Sun, you definitely should!

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Darkside Sun by Jocelyn Adams

Published March 10th 2014 by Entangled Publishing (Embrace)
ebook, 291 pages
ISBN13: 9781622663392

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The dead have been waiting for her…

Addison Beckett tries hard to pretend she’s normal, but she’s far from it. Since she was six years old, she’s seen the world around her unraveling, as if someone is pulling a thread from a sweater and it’s all slowly coming undone. When she ignores it, it goes away, so that’s what she does.

Enter her arrogant-but-hot professor Asher Green. He knows all about her special brand of crazy. In fact, he might be just as nuts as she is. Asher insists that the dead from a parallel dimension are trying to possess the living in this one. And since Addison seems to be the only one who can see these “wraiths,” she just might be the key to saving the world.

Addison wants nothing to do with Asher or his secret society, The Mortal Machine. But as their animosity grows, she finds it harder and harder to ignore the chemistry between them. And when she discovers that Machine laws forbid her from touching him, she realizes that’s all she wants to do.

Stop the wraiths. Break the rules. Save the world. All in a day’s work.

Normal was overrated, anyway.

So I asked Ms. Adams to cast the characters in Darkside Sun and also come up with what their theme song would be! So now I hand it over to Ms. Adams!

Thanks for hosting me today, Michelle. Wow, you really stretched my brain on this one. My characters are alive in my head, but I never imagined who might play them in a movie version of Darkside Sun before now. It was great fun. Here’s what I’ve come up with.

Asher:

Actor: Ian Somerhalder. This was a hard one for me to choose, as most of the images I found for inspiration weren’t actors, and I couldn’t find their names. There are certain “looks” Ian pulls off that totally remind me of Asher Green, like the one below. Add his brilliant sentinel eyes, and… *sigh* Yeah, Ian could make a believable broody Asher.

asher

Theme Song: Strange and beautiful, Aqua Lung
Excerpt from the lyrics that totally makes this right for Asher:
I’ve been watching your world from afar,
I’ve been trying to be where you are,
And I’ve been secretly falling apart,
I’ll see.
To me, you’re strange and you’re beautiful,
You’d be so perfect with me but you just can’t see,
You turn every head but you don’t see me.

Addison:

Actress: Mila Kunis. This one was also hard, because the actress would have to be able to pull off Addison’s quirky voice, look the part, and also had to be strong when things heat up. Mila kept coming to mind because of her That Seventies Show days, and also her seriousness in The Book of Eli.

addison

Theme Song: Amy Winehouse — Some Unholy War. I’ve shared some lyrics that hit Addison at her heart and soul, and not just for Asher, but for everyone she loves:
If my man was fighting
Some unholy war
I would be behind him
Straight shook up beside him
With strength he didn’t know
It’s you I’m fighting for
He can’t lose with me in tow
I refuse to let him go
At his side and drunk on pride
We wait for the blow

Sophia:

Actress: Hilary Duff. This actress needs to be able to pull off meek and fierce, depending on her surroundings. She’s sweet through and through, and Hilary could totally pull off Sophia’s wild hair.

sophia

Theme Song: Firework, Katy Perry (There’s a spark in you / You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine) This is more relevant to Sophia in Midnight Dawn than Darkside Sun, but I won’t spoil it for those who will read it. 😉

Remy:

Actor: Jason Mamoa. I searched high and low for a good Remy, and his are hard shoes to fill. I watched videos and did research on Hawaiian warriors, which led me to Jason Mamoa and his many different looks. Shave his head, give half of his body tribal tattoos,and oh yeah. We had a winner.

remy

Theme Song: Go With The Flow, Queens Of The Stone Age. The title sums up Remy perfectly. He’s a gentle giant who moves at whatever speed life is travelling without complaint.

jocelynAbout Jocelyn:

Jocelyn is an office grunt by day and creator of romance and adventure by night. Born a farmer’s daughter with a vivid imagination, she spent her childhood dreaming up stories that remained untold until 2010.

With no formal training, she relied on the honest feedback of her writing group to take her from that first short story all the way to THE END of her first novel. She now has eight published novels and has recently signed a 3-book deal with Entangled Publishing.

When she isn’t slinging words, you can find her shooting her bow or enjoying the serenity of family life in her little house in the woods.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Blog | Facebook

What a good looking cast! Thank you so much Jocelyn for taking on that task–what a great look at what you might find in Darkside Sun!

Click on the banner for the 2014 Debut Authors tour schedule. The event runs the whole month of September! There’s going to be awesome posts and giveaways!

debut author

Release Day Launch! Jennifer L. Armentrout’s LUX Beginnings and Consequences


So I just finished reading Obsidian (finally) and I love it. I totally plan on reading the rest of the books in the series, and just in time, the books are being released in these awesome combination editions. Lux: Beginnings contains the first two books in the series and Lux: Consequences has the following two books. And if you happen to see the books side by side, you’ll see how cool the covers match! Definitely check it out–I will!

It’s here! Today is the day you can get the beautiful new bindups of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s LUX Series! Are you as excited as we are?

LUX Special edition RDL Banner

Doesn’t it look amazing? You don’t want to miss these or the bonus content included in each bindup! We have all the information for you below, and a fabulous giveaway for you. Make sure you check it all out and enter for your chance to win!

LUX: Beginnings

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble

LUX: Consequences

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble

Lux Series

ABOUT LUX: Beginnings:

Now available together for the first time, don’t miss Obsidian and Onyx, the first two books in Jennifer L. Armentrout’s bestselling Lux series. Also includes bonus content exclusive to the print edition! “A thrilling ride from start to finish,” says RT Book Reviews.

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

ABOUT LUX: Consequences:

Now available together for the first time, don’t miss Opal and Origin, the third and fourth books in Jennifer L. Armentrout’s bestselling Lux series. Also includes bonus content exclusive to the print edition! “A thrilling ride from start to finish,” says RT Book Reviews.

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well… There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different… And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger…and they know it.

Opposition

OPPOSITION Comes out August 5th! Pre-Order It Now!

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble

Author-photoAbout

Jennifer L. Armentrout:

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Find Jennifer L. Armentrout

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Goodreads

Add the LUX Series on Goodreads!

LUX: Beginnings Goodreads ** LUX: Consequences Goodreads ** Opposition

Find Entangled Publishing

Entangled Website ** Entangled Twitter ** Entangled Facebook

Giveaway!

Make sure to check out this giveaway  for the hardcover bindings of Beginnings and Consequences! Rafflecopter giveaway

Guest Post: Sunset Rising by S.M. McEachern


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Sunset Rising by S.M. McEachernsunset2-3

Series: Sunset Rising #1
Publication date: November 12th 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Buy It: Amazon

Synopsis:

February 2024: Desperate to find refuge from the nuclear storm, a group of civilians discover a secret government bio-dome. Greeted by a hail of bullets and told to turn back, the frantic refugees stand their ground and are grudgingly permitted entry. But the price of admission is high.

283 years later… Life as a slave in the Pit had never been easy, but for seventeen-year-old Sunny O’Donnell it was quickly careening out of control. Her mother was killed in the annual spring Cull, leaving her alone with a father who decided to give up on life.  It’s not that she blamed him for grieving, but if they didn’t earn enough credits to keep their place inside the Pit, they would be kicked out into a world still teeming with radiation. That left her to earn the credits for both of them.  It didn’t help that her boyfriend, Reyes Crowe, was pressuring her to get married and abandon her father.

Sunny didn’t think life could get any worse, until she was forced upstairs to the Dome to serve and entertain the elite at a bachelor party. That’s where she met Leisel Holt, the president’s daughter, and her fiancé, Jack Kenner. Now Sunny is wanted for treason. If they catch her, she’ll be executed.

She thought Leisel’s betrayal was the end for her…but it turns out it was just the beginning.

Guest Post: Internet Etiquette: My Mother had a Point

My mother always told me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” In fact, she used to say it repeatedly because I had four sisters and we tended to…um…disagree a lot. There were times the pure-sheer frustration of not being able to speak my mind—to right the injustices caused by my sisters or some kid at school—made me feel like I was going to self-implode. My mother obviously didn’t understand or else she’d let me have my say…because if she would do that, she would see that I was right and the other person was, quite simply, wrong. But she wouldn’t let me speak when I didn’t have anything nice to say.

Instead of self-imploding, I’d write. I’d pick up a pencil, have an eraser handy, and write a long letter to whoever was the object of my anger, explaining why I was sooo right and they were sooo completely wrong. The letter was often punctuated with angry words—words I wasn’t allowed to say at home. I would empty my rage onto that piece of paper, and by the end I felt like I finally had my say. I was vindicated. It felt good. All that was left to do was get it to the person I wrote it for.

I’d never give a letter to one of my sisters. They’d just give it to our mom and I’d get smacked upside the head. If it was meant for someone at school, I could mail it…but I’d have to ask my mom for a stamp and she’d want to know why I needed a stamp and then she’d find out about the letter and I’d get smacked upside the head. That left me with only one option; to physically hand the envelope containing my personal brand of justice to the person it was meant for. This, of course, would require me to look that person in the eye and take personal responsibility for every word I wrote. I always chickened out. Besides, she’d just go home and give the letter to her mother, and her mother would call my mother, and I’d get smacked upside the head. So in the end, any letter I wrote in anger died along with my rage.

But that was then. Now I have a computer and an iPhone, both equipped with this convenient little “Send” button. I don’t have to worry about finding a stamp to snail mail my anger, and I certainly don’t have to put myself through the discomfort of looking someone in the eye when I tell them off. Heck, I don’t even need to take the time out to write a long letter explaining in detail why I’m mad—I can just send a few expletives in seconds! Anytime. Anywhere. No need for me to endure minutes, perhaps even hours, of pointless frustration. I can instantly vindicate myself.

The question is, should I?

That simple rule my mother drilled into my head has trained me to do one important thing: don’t act in anger. Whatever I write and post online is not a reflection of the person who caused my ire—it’s a reflection of me. So I walk away. Scream into a pillow. Write a letter I’ll never send.

When I read about how many reputations—how many lives—have been ruined online, I realize how privileged I was to have grown up during the pre-Internet era. I learned the easy way that if I don’t have anything nice to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all.

Author Page 2About the Author:

S.M. McEachern (also known as Susan) comes from the rocky shores of Canada’s East Coast.  As a resident of Halifax during her early adult years, she attended Dalhousie University and earned an Honors Degree in International Development Studies with a focus on ocean development.  Throughout her academic studies and early career, Susan had the privilege to work with many developing countries on resource management projects.

Becoming an author has been a lifelong dream for Susan. “Sunset Rising” is her debut novel and the first of many she plans to write.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway:

Open internationally, you can win a $30 Amazon gift card. Just enter by going to this rafflecopter. Good luck!

April Lindner’s Guest Post & New Cover for Catherine


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Almost a year ago, I went to a local author event where I got the opportunity to meet April Lindner. Now, Catherine is receiving a new cover in advance of the paperback release this summer! New covers are always fun. :)

Catherine-Cover-Comparison

Catherine by April Lindner

Published: August 2014 for paperback, originally published in January 2013 by Poppy
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Synopsis:

Catherine is tired of struggling musicians befriending her just so they can get a gig at her Dad’s famous Manhattan club, The Underground. Then she meets mysterious Hence, an unbelievably passionate and talented musician on the brink of success. As their relationship grows, both are swept away in a fiery romance. But when their love is tested by a cruel whim of fate, will pride keep them apart?

Chelsea has always believed that her mom died of a sudden illness, until she finds a letter her dad has kept from her for years — a letter from her mom, Catherine, who didn’t die: She disappeared. Driven by unanswered questions, Chelsea sets out to look for her — starting with the return address on the letter: The Underground.

Told in two voices, twenty years apart, Catherine delivers a fresh retelling of the Emily Brontë classic Wuthering Heights, interweaving a timeless forbidden romance with a captivating modern mystery.

high res author photoAbout the Author:

April Lindner is the author of three novels: Catherine, a modernization of Wuthering Heights; Jane, an update of Jane Eyre; and Love, Lucy, due out in January, 2015. She also has published two poetry collections, Skin and This Bed Our Bodies Shaped. She plays acoustic guitar badly, sees more rock concerts than she’d care to admit, travels whenever she can, cooks Italian food, and lavishes attention on her pets—two Labrador retriever mixes and two excitable guinea pigs. A professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University, April lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons.

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Guest Post: Promises, Promises: Judging a Book by Its Cover By April Lindner

We’ve all been told that you can’t judge a book by its cover. And yet some of us book lovers can’t help ourselves; there’s nothing like a gorgeous cover to lure us in. More often than not, an enticing cover is the main thing that moves me to pick up a book I’ve never heard of, to start paging through it, giving the first few paragraphs a chance to seal the deal—or not.

So for me the most exciting moment in the whole bookmaking occurs when a book’s future cover appears in my inbox. I click on the thumbnail, and wait breathlessly as the image blooms onto my computer screen. Only then can I imagine my manuscript as a book—on a shelf, or, better still, in the hands of a reader. I know the cover will set the book’s tone. And it will make promises—hopefully the right ones.

All of this explains why I’m so thrilled by the new cover of Catherine’s paperback edition, due out in August. Don’t get me wrong: I love the original Catherine cover. Lush and dramatic, it makes certain promises—ones I believe the book keeps. The elegant model in her kickass stance promises a strong female protagonist. (Actually, the book has two alternating strong female narrators—Catherine and her daughter Chelsea.) And the background, with the iconic Flatiron Building rising up through the mist, promises the book’s Lower Manhattan setting will be as important as its characters. The title typeface—bold and purple—promises a confident, free-spirited heroine—exactly how I see Catherine herself.

But the new paperback cover—already available to readers who download the Ebook– makes a different set of promises. On it, a boy and a girl hold each other in the shadows of a graffiti-covered underpass. They gaze at each other in rapt wonder, their shoulders, neck and heads echoing the shape of a heart. Secret romance, this cover says. It promises love against the odds. The scene is gritty—less glamorous than the cityscape on the original—but this grittiness befits the book’s main setting, a post punk night club on the Bowery. The title’s typeface is still bold, but its peachy color underscores the sweet and optimistic innocence of this couple’s embrace.

Inspired by the classic romance Wuthering Heights, Catherine is a story of star-crossed love interwoven with mystery. Its soundtrack is the post-punk music played by Catherine’s boyfriend, Hence. And the new paperback cover captures that complex mood exactly, I think. In fact, when it popped up on my computer screen for the first time, I almost swooned. There it was, in front of me: almost exactly the picture I saw in my imagination as I wrote the book.

An author can hope for nothing more than that.

Giveaway:

A $15 Amazon eGift Card to ONE winner; ends March 25

To enter, head on over to this rafflecopter! Good luck!

Rocktour Book Tours

Book Blitz: White Hart by Sarah Dalton


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WhiteHartWhite Hart by Sarah Dalton

Published: March 5, 2014
Series: White Hart #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Synopsis:

Mae never asked to be craft-born. She never wanted that burden.

The realm needs magic again, and the the King of Aegunlund has been waiting for the first craft-born girl to marry his son, Prince Casimir.

In Mae’s town of Halts-Walden, the ambitious miller claims his daughter Ellen is craft-born. Mae knows this is a load of hogwash, but she’s glad Ellen will have the unfortunate pleasure of becoming queen instead of her. All she has to do is sit back and wait until Casimir and Ellen are married, then she will finally be free of the threat of her fate. But on that day an event so shocking and terrible occurs that Mae finds herself entering the neighbouring cursed forest on a quest she never thought she’d have to follow.

Join Mae as she rides her white stag through the Waerg Woods with a pampered prince at her heels. She’s out for revenge and nothing, no one, will get in her way.

Meet the Characters:

Mae Waylander – She lives in the village of Halts-Walden, in the fictional world – Aegunlund. It’s an idyllic village, a place where settlers came to escape many wars ravaging the realm, a place to live in peace. Mae lives with her father, Robert Waylander, a poor man who has been hurt felling trees for wood. Mae’s mother died birthing her, but on the day she was born, a white stag appeared at the window of the hut. That white stag has followed her ever since, becoming her faithful friend.

Next to Halts-Walden stretches out the Waerg Woods, a mystical forest of darkness, where remnants of the Ancient magic has twisted the land into a dangerous, monster-infested place. Mae’s mother came from the Waerg Woods. Mae and her father are the only people from the village who are brave enough to enter. But their bravery is construed as wickedness by the other villagers. Mae is shunned, called cursed, and treated badly by those around her.

But she has a powerful secret. Mae is craft-born. The blood of the Ancient Ones runs through her veins. The magic lives inside her, and she is special.

Prince Casimir – The crown prince of Aegunlund comes to Halts-Walden by the order of King Aldrych. He is to marry the craft-born so that the two of them can reignite the magic in the realm.

Casimir is nervous but excited about meeting his future bride. He hopes that she is beautiful and graceful. He hopes that he can impress her with his skills as a hunter and a swordsman. Most of all, he hopes that she will not prefer his brutish younger brother, like his father does.

Casimir finds more than he expected in Halts-Walden. He finds freedom. But that freedom comes with a cost. Casimir will have to grow up very quickly if he is to survive the Waerg Woods.

Ellen Miller – All her life her father has told her that she is meant for greatness. She is the most beautiful girl in Halts-Walden, with snow white skin and black hair. One day she discovers an amulet. It seems like a regular trinket. But soon she discovers that she can perform small magical actions, like darkening the leaves of an ivy plant with her touch.

The miller sees his daughter perform magic and spreads word through Aegunlund that his daughter is the craft-born. Before she knows it, Ellen is being introduced to her future husband – Prince Casimir.

Ellen swallows her doubts about what she has done. But before she has time to come to terms with her new future, she is kidnapped and taken into the Waerg Woods by men the locals call ‘Wanderers’, men who steal from the people at Halts-Walden. Bullies who frighten the children and rough up the tavern goers.

Ellen has to remain where she is, completely helpless, until someone can rescue her. She can’t let the others know the truth. They can’t find out that she is not the craft-born after all.

About the Author:SarahDalton

Sarah grew up in the middle of nowhere in the countryside of Derbyshire and as a result has an over-active imagination. She has been an avid reader for most of her life, taking inspiration from the stories she read as a child, and the novels she devoured as an adult.

She is the author of the popular YA dystopia series ‘Blemished’ and the gothic novella ‘My Daylight Monsters’. Her latest series is called White Hart – a YA fantasy about a girl who hides magical powers from everyone around her.

Website | Twitter

Giveaway

This giveaway is open internationally! The prizes are:

-Signed copy of White Hart + Charcoal drawing
-Ebook copies of White Hart & other Sarah Dalton books
-10$ Amazon gift card
To enter, head on over to the rafflecopter! Good luck!

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Ellison


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Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery EllisonOfSeaandStone

Published: February 2014
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis:

All her life, clever Aemi has been a slave in the Village of the Rocks, a place where the sea and sky meet. She’s heard the stories about the fabled People of the Sea, a people who possess unimaginable technology who live below the waves in the dark, secret places of the ocean. But she never dreamed those stories were true.

When a ship emerges from the ocean and men burn her village, Aemi is captured, and enslaved below the waves in Itlantis, a world filled with ancient cities of glass and metal, floating gardens, and wondrous devices that seem to work magic. To make matters worse, her village nemesis, the stuck-up mayor’s son Nol, was captured with her, and they are made servants in the same household beneath the sea.

Desperate to be free, Aemi plots her escape, even going so far as to work with Nol. But the sea holds more secrets than she realizes, and escape might not be as simple as leaving…

Interview with the Author:

Describe Of Sea and Stone in six words.
Atlantis, steampunk, sunlight, seawater, secrets, romance.

What books have you read and loved lately?
I am almost finished with Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, and it’s an absolute delight. Witty, immersive, and utterly compelling fantasy that reminds me very much of my beloved Megan Whalen Turner books.

Ice cream or cake?
Ice cream cake, of course! It’s the best of both worlds.

What authors have influenced your writing style the most?
I grew up on a pretty steady diet of mystery, actually, so I feel like classic mystery authors like Agatha Christie had a strong influence on me. When I was a teenager, I started reading fantasy by authors like Robin McKinley, Gail Carson Levine, and Sherwood Smith. The Blue Sword, Ella Enchanted, Crown Duel…I loved those books. I also had a huge love of historical fiction, so Ann Rinaldi, Elizabeth George Speare, and Eloise Jarvis McGraw influenced me a lot as well. As far as more recently-written books that I didn’t grow up reading, I continue to be an awe of fantasy authors Megan Whalen Turner (The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, etc.) and Melina Marchetta (Finnikin of the Rock), dystopian author Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games), and contemporary young adult authors Lucy Christopher (Stolen) and John Green (A Fault in Our Stars).

If you had to pick a shoe that represented your writing style, what would it be?
Have you seen those canvas shoes where an artist has drawn original artwork on the front and sides and is selling them online? I think my books are like that—in some ways they feel familiar, but they have their own surprises and twists that make them unique.

Who has been the most supportive person in your writing career?
My husband. About two years into trying to get published, I was ready to give up on my stories and get a job doing something tremendously ill-suited for me, like being a secretary (I am a very bad secretary. Very disorganized). He convinced me to give it more time, and he is probably the sole reason I am published today. He is my first reader, my strongest encourager, and my most reliable critic.

Are you working on anything else currently?
Yes! I’m currently hard at work on the second book in the Secrets of Itlantis series, and I’m also working on a few secret projects on the side—one is a more traditional fantasy, another is a post-apocalyptic novel. I hope to have more details about them for my readers very soon.

KateAbout the Author:

I live in Georgia with my wonderful husband and two spoiled cats. When I’m not writing, I’m usually catching up on my extensive Netflix queue, reading a book, giggling at something funny online, or trying to convince my husband to give me just ONE bite of whatever he’s eating.

Learn more about my writing and books at my blog (http://thesouthernscrawl.blogspot.com/), find teasers for upcoming works on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/kateaveryellison), and subscribe to my new releases newsletter to be notified of new novels as soon as they hit stores (https://tinyletter.com/kateaveryellison)!

Giveaway

There’s a $50 Amazon gift card up for grabs internationally! To enter, head on over to this rafflecopter! Good luck!

 

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Shattered Worlds Box Set


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Two years ago, I went on a big post-apocalyptic binge read. I think it’s time I went on another, and the Shattered Worlds box set could definitely be just the vehicle for it!

SWCoverShattered Worlds Box Set

Published: February 26, 2014
Genre: Young adult dystopia
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

Synopsis:

Read these bestselling tales of survival against the odds, dark worlds, dystopian regimes and heroic rebels.

Shattered Worlds features six full-length novels from bestselling authors. Immerse yourself in post-apocalyptic civilizations and bleak near-futures where hope still lives.

Featured authors and books are:

Elle Casey: Apocalypsis
Shalini Boland: Outside
Zoe Cannon: The Torturer’s Daughter
Scott Cramer: Night of the Purple Moon
Sarah Dalton: The Blemished
Katie French: The Breeders

Excerpt from The Breeders by Katie French

When the dust cloud appears, we know they are coming.

My mama and I spy the cloud churning up the road at the same time. Her potato peeler clatters to the porch floor, sending goose flesh over my arms. I stare at the cloud kicked up by dozens of approaching tires and then back to my mother. There’s no mistaking it. The fear is written on her face.

She grips my shoulder, hand already shaking. “Get in the cellar.” Her face tightens. “Now.”

Her rocking chair scrapes against the porch floorboards. She yanks open the screen door and runs into the house, yelling for my brother.

I stand up, my own hands trembling now. The advance of the dust cloud has me riveted, like an animal caught in headlights. It’s what we’ve drilled for, prepared for, whispered about at night. And now they’re coming.

My mama’s frantic screams pierce my thoughts. “Riley, the storm cellar! Hurry!”

I shake myself out of my stupor and force my jellied legs to move. Running into the house, I spy my stepfather, Arn, at the pitted kitchen table. He slips round after round into his hunting rifle, his calloused fingers fumbling for more in the box that holds too few. He drops one. It hits on the floor and rolls under the table.

“Gawddammit!” he swears. His leathery forehead wrinkles as he searches frantically.

I run over, grab it and hand it to him. The bullet feels cold against my hot palm.

His eyes latch onto mine and a sadness creeps over his face. This frightens me more than anything. He grabs our pistol off the table and thrusts it forward. “You’ll need this.” His eyes say one gun won’t be enough.

The revolver is heavy and solid in my trembling hand. I curl my fingers over the wooden grip, worn smooth with use. I let my index finger stray to the trigger, place my other hand under the grip like he taught me and aim at the dust cloud. I look up at him, unable to ask what I need to know.

In this moment Arn looks old. His sun-beaten face is carved by wrinkles and his forehead is dotted with sweat. The patched overalls sag on his too-thin body. Before this he was out milking the cow or mucking out the barn, mundane, boring tasks that I wish he could go back to now. Arn grabs both my shoulders and fixes me with frightened blue eyes. “You ‘member what I taught you?”

“Is it the Breeders? It is, isn’t it?” My voice breaks with the terror that’s sticking to my insides and knotting my stomach. Arn says nothing. He doesn’t have to. His face tells me everything I need to know.

“I can fight.” The gun trembles, but I lock my elbows and grit my teeth. I want this chance to face the people who’ve been hunting us our whole lives.

Arn shakes his head, the lines around his mouth deepening. “Soon’s they see you, they’d kill the men and take the women. Get in the cellar. I’ll handle this.” His weathered hand squeezes mine. It’s the most affection he’s shown me in months. I savor the roughness of his palm. Then, quick as it came, he drops my hand and goes back to slipping bullets into his rifle, his eyes marking the approach of our enemies.

From behind me: “Riley?!” My mama is near hysterics.

“Coming!” I sprint through the old farmhouse, the boards moaning beneath my feet. I skid to a stop at our bedroom and scan it for my brother. Both beds lay empty. Ethan’s boots lie on their sides under his bed. His comic book is forgotten on the floor. He’d never leave it there on a normal day. But this isn’t a normal day. Angry motors growl closer. How soon before they get here? Minutes? Seconds?

I burst through the back door. The storm cellar sits fifteen paces from the house, dug deep in the ground. When we moved in six months ago, my mama showed us the cellar that, when shut, folds neatly into the dusty landscape. We’ve taken pains to camouflage the doors, but will it be enough?

The cellar doors yawn wide, revealing the dark earthen hole. My mama crouches at the cellar’s mouth, her hand-sewn cotton dress gathering around her knees. My little brother, Ethan, descends the ladder. His hand clutches her scarred one for a moment before he disappears into shadow. He’s gone. An urge to sob washes over me. I bite it back and run over.

My mama turns, searching for me. From this angle she is breathtaking in her loveliness. Her shoulder-length black hair shines in the hazy sunlight, and her left cheek is supple and pink. She’s a beauty queen, a ten as Auntie says. It’s the other side of her face that marks the horrors she’s seen. Red angry burn scars travel her neck and face. Her skin bunches and grooves like a pitted dirt road. Her left ear is only a ragged, red hole. Yet, I rarely notice her burned face. This is the way she’s looked as long as I can remember.

I step to the edge of the cellar and peer at my brother. From the bottom of the hole, his eyes are wide as a jackrabbit’s caught in my snare. His lower lip trembles. He looks five instead of eight. “It’s okay,” I lie.

My mother grips my shoulder and presses down. “Get in.” Her voice is a choked whisper. She glances back at the dust plume. The gray cloud hangs huge, blocking out the horizon, a tornado set to tear our world apart.

Giveaway

The authors of this box set are being very generous and offering THREE prizes that are open to winners internationally. The prizes are:

  • $60 Amazon gift card & ebooks from all the authors
  • eBooks from all the authors
  • Sequels of the books featured in Shattered Worlds

To enter, go to this rafflecopter! Good luck!

Blitz: Cornerstone by Kelly Walker


CornerstoneCornerstone by Kelly Walker

Series: Souls of the Stones #1
Publication date: November 30th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis:

Epic Fantasy combines with Young Adult romance in this stunning new adventure set in a richly developed medieval world. Second Stone and Broken Stone are now available! Also be sure to look for Jaded Stone, the thrilling prequel to the Souls of the Stones series.

When Emariya Warren learns enemy forces have captured her father, she’ll do anything to save him. Anything. Even marry a mysterious prince she knows nothing about in order to rally the strength to arrange a rescue. During her journey to Torian’s foreign castle, Emariya comes face to face with her mother’s killers–and a deadly secret.

Not only does Emariya possess a powerful but unexpected magical gift passed down through each of her families, the prince she’s promised to marry possesses a third, and an ominous prophecy has warned the three gifts must never be combined.

If she breaks her promise to marry Torian, she won’t be able to save her father and if she keeps it, she may bring a curse upon everything she holds dear. Determining which choice is best won’t be easy, but when she meets the gorgeous prince who may desire more than just her heart, she realizes she will have to fight just to have a choice at all.

Her heart wants him desperately. Her head begs her to run. If she doesn’t want to share her mother’s fate, she’ll have to find a way to untangle the truth from the lies in time to save herself.

Discover the heartbreaking betrayals, fascinating magic and fated love of Cornerstone.

Excerpt:

Strong arms scooped her up off of the cold ground. The warmth of his body radiated through her. She’d been lying on the ground for so long that the wet had infiltrated every layer of her clothing. She was so cold, and he was so warm. Emariya snuggled in against him without thinking about it, and then opened her eyes.

Looking down at her worriedly were the purest gray eyes she had ever seen. If someone had told her they were made of the snow and stone that surrounded them, she would have believed them. Then he smiled at her. Her breath caught in her chest.

His dark hair curled wickedly every which way, despite his attempts to brush it back. She couldn’t help thinking that he could have been carved out of rock. He had high cheekbones and an angled chin, which added to the carven look. Several days’ worth of stubble decorated his jawline, but instead of making him look unkempt it only punctuated his deeply handsome dark looks.

“Are you all right, my Lady?” His voice was tense, worried, but strangely lyrical. She smiled reassuringly at him. She was instantly rewarded with his returned smile.

She had thought for sure she heard Garith’s voice, but she didn’t see him. “Garith?” she inquired, trying to lift her head to look around for him. The man’s smile dimmed, although it was no less captivating. He turned her so she could see the other side of the camp. She saw Garith off to the side, working to put out the fire. This handsome, kind stranger must have helped Garith rescue her.

“Who?” she managed to croak out. Her throat was raw and the words ached as they passed through her dry lips. What had happened? She’d been running for Raina when…she remembered then. She’d gotten the oil of the Hellebore on her when Leil touched her. She shuddered involuntarily, remembering the things the hypnotic herb had made her envision while she was under its spell. But that didn’t matter anymore.

The smile was back, although it was more guarded now. “Allow me to introduce myself, my Lady. My name is Torian Ahlen.”

About the Author:Kellly

Kelly Walker is a YA and NA author of several romantic titles, including the Souls of the Stones series. She has an unhealthy appreciation for chocolate, and a soft spot for rescued animals. Her best lessons on writing came from a lifetime of reading. She loves the fantastical, and the magical, and believes a captivating romance can be the most realistic magic of all. Kelly, her husband and her two children share their Virginia home with three dogs who walk her, and two cats who permit her to occasionally share their couch.

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