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Saturday, December 22, 2012

ATONE by Sara M. Ross

ATONE is now Available!!! 
Sarah M. Ross, author of Awaken and Avenge, has released the third book in this series, ATONE. This novella is available at Amazon, and Smashwords.  (Will be available on Barnes and Noble shortly). 

About the Book: 
Book Synopsis: 
Before there was Awaken, before there was “Lucy and Max”, there was just Max. And he had some issues.
A lot of issues.
Max Kensington ‘s death haunted him for years. The guilt of his sins tormented him. Unable to let go, he was sure he’d never be able to atone for all of them. But that didn’t stop him from trying.
When his reason for being is suddenly thrust back into his life, he vows to protect her at all costs. He’ll do whatever it takes to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself. And this time, he’ll fight to the bitter end to capture the one thing that has alluded him—happiness.

My fingers finally got the knob to turn. I opened the door and stepped inside, holding my breath. I pulled the curtain back, but kept my eyes closed for a moment longer. I could hear a hiss of air being pushed and knew she was probably on a ventilator. The knowledge made my heart clench, but hearing the steady beep of her heart monitor—knowing it was strong and constant—helped ease it a little.
I took a deep breath. Bitter iodine and antiseptic swirled in my nose, but underneath it was another scent. Soft lilac emanated around me, and though it was faint, it overtook everything else. It was her. The beautiful, flowery aroma somehow clung to her and caressed my senses, making my heart pound in my chest.
I opened my eyes and took my first look at her. If I had a thousand books filled with a thousand pages each, it would still not be enough to describe how beautiful she was. I knew that she was broken, bloody, and bruised, but I didn’t see any of that. All I saw was perfection. I took a few steps forward and reached my hand forward. My fingertips gently grazed her soft, creamy skin as I brushed her hair out of her face.
As my fingers grazed her skin, a sizzle of electricity passed between us. Her monitors beeped like crazy, letting me know that even in this state, she was just as affected by me as I was by her. I pulled back, double checking that she was alright and I wasn’t inadvertently hurting her. After all, she was in a very precarious state right now and I couldn’t risk anything happening to her. After a few moments, the monitors resumed their steady rhythm and I tried again, this time taking her tiny, delicate fingers in my own.
Her eyes fluttered behind their closed lids. I hoped she was having good dreams. I pulled up a chair and sat down next to her, leaning in to whisper in her ear. “I can’t believe I found you. I didn’t even know I’d lost you, and yet here you are. But I promise you this, I’m never leaving you again. So just rest now; let your body heal. We’ll be together very soon.” I brushed my lips against her temple, inhaling her sweet lilac smell as I did.
A quiet knock at the door drew my eyes away from her, but not my hands. They refused to let her go. “You guys can come in,” I whispered. I wasn’t sure why I was whispering; I knew it wouldn’t wake her, but it just seemed like I should.
James pulled back the curtain, allowing access for Cassie and Adam to slip in around him. James crossed the room, carrying a thick three-ring binder in his hands.  That binder held the key to unlocking the mystery of who this woman was—I still didn’t even know her name, but I yearned to know everything about her. What was she like? Where was she from? What happened to her? I wanted to know it all.

$1.99 for ebook
Paperbacks will not be available for this novella

About the Author:
I started my obsession with reading at an early age, getting in trouble for sneaking BabySitter Club and Nancy Drew books into math class in elementary school. I would read any fiction book I could get my hands on. I knew it was an addiction when instead of grounding me from TV or music, my mom would take away my books as punishment (The Horror!). My love of all things paranormal was inspired by my good friend Laurie, who convinced me that books with vampires, witches, and all things shifter were amazing. After a little reluctance, I gave it a shot with the Sookie Stackhouse books, realized she was right, and the rest was history.
I grew up in Pittsburgh, graduated from The University of Pittsburgh with my degree in English, and taught 8th graders to love reading as much as I do for several years. I will always be a proud member of the Steelers Nation, but I couldn't take the cold and moved my frozen tush to Florida where I now live with my family and two cats. You will find me now with my trusty Kindle in hand and toes in the sand!

Please feel free to contact me!


Friday, December 21, 2012

Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop

Welcome to my stop on the Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop.  Up for grabs is a YA book(s) of your choice up to $12.  This means you can pick a book from Amazon, or The Book Depository (the giveaway is open Internationally if you live in a country where TBD ships), or you can pick multiple e-books up to $12 through the provider of your choice.  What's not to love about that?

There are only a few entries so hopefully you'll be able to hop right along to the next stop on the hop.  Thanks for coming by!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sweeter than puppies?

What could be sweeter than these adorable puppies?
 How about this e-mail I got following my recent Skype chat with a middle school class in Tennessee?

Hello Mrs. Jessie,

My students were so excited about talking with you!  Some said that it was one of the "coolest experiences of their lives" and that you were their "inspiration" for their own writing.  In addition, all of them were impressed with your dedication, the hard work that went in to creating Destined, and the perseverance you showed through taking care of a family, working full-time as a lawyer, and trying to find time to pursue your dream of becoming an author.  Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with my students.  You'll never know how much it meant to them and to me!

I will continue to keep in touch.  You'll be receiving some projects and letters from the students who chose to read Destined that I think you will very much enjoy.

Thanks for everything,

Yep - that's definitely sweeter!  It makes me want to hug everyone in sight.  So here are some virtual ((HUGS)) just for you.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

INDIE ReCon is coming!

Hi guys!

Do I have a surprise for you! :)

A small group of indie writers has pulled together and is hosting a FREE online conference on everything INDIE in Feb 2013!

Welcome to the first INDIE ReCon - Make Indie Publishing a Mission Possible

Are you curious about Indie publishing, but don't know where to start?  Or, are you already a published Indie author looking to boost your sales or expand your reach?  Then you'll want to attend a new, exciting online conference happening in 2013 - INDIE Revolution Conference.  Or as we like to call it, INDIE ReCon.

INDIE ReCon is happening online from February 12-14, 2013.

INDIE ReCon is a FREE, ONLINE conference that is modeled after the awesome annual WriteOnCon. It is designed to help any writer or author who is curious about the ins and outs of Indie publishing. 

However, INDIE ReCon is not just for Indie authors -- any author can attend because we cover topics all of you may want to know more about (marketing, etc).

We will cover everything from the pros and cons of Indie publishing, essential aspects in creating a high-quality book, successful online marketing, and expanding into International markets. 

We will feature over 30 guests that include industry experts as well as some of the bestselling adult and young adult authors in the publishing industry today including: Bob Mayer, Hugh Howey, M. Leighton, and Samantha Young (just to name a few).  

For three days, INDIE ReCon will highlight new topics every hour (sometimes every half hour) for 8 hours a day which will include interviews, blog posts, vlogs, and live online chats.  You'll receive advice from authors, bloggers, marketing partners, cover designers, editors, and more.  You can check out our line up of topics and guests on our website.

Did we mention it's FREE and ONLINE? Well, there's more. Tons of Giveaways! There will be awesome giveaways from each and every speaker and partner. This will include books as well as services like free book designs, free editing, book development services, marketing prizes, and more. 

So mark your calendars for Feb 12-14th!

But, more importantly, sign up now with your email and we'll be sure to send you updates, news, and reminders as the conference gets closer so you won't forget. 

You won't find this much information (or excitement) about Indie publishing anywhere else. The hosts, partners, and presenters are all giving their time and knowledge for free for one simple reason: they're excited about being Indie and they want to help you decide if it's right for you too.  

You can already sign up on the home page to receive updates and news.

We hope you join us at INDIE ReCon - where we'll help you make Indie publishing a mission possible!

See you there!


Special thanks to our partners:

Friday, November 30, 2012

DUST by Devon Ashley

Just finished this book last night - DUST by Devon Ashley - and it kept me up way too late reading several nights in a row.  If you enjoy dark paranormal with a smidgen on romance, this is a book you don't want to miss.
Goodreads review.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Passion Blue Blog Tour - fun author interview!

Thanks for dropping by today to read about PASSION BLUE and meet the author, Victoria Strauss.  I'm sure you'll enjoy her insights into the past as much as I did.
SUMMARY:Be sure you know your true heart’s desire, or you may find yourself surprised by what you receive.

This is the warning the Astrologer-Sorcerer gives Giulia when she pays him to create a magical talisman for her. The scorned illegitimate daughter of a Milanese nobleman, Giulia is determined to defy the dire fate predicted by her horoscope, and use the talisman to claim what she believes is her heart’s desire: true love and a place where she belongs–not likely prospects for a girl about to be packed off to the cloistered world of a convent.

But the convent of Santa Marta is full of surprises. There are strict rules, long hours of work, and spiteful rivalries…but there’s also friendship, and the biggest surprise of all: a workshop of female artists who produce paintings of astonishing beauty, using a luminous blue mixed from a secret formula: Passion blue. Yet even as Giulia begins to learn the mysteries of the painter’s craft, the magic of the talisman is at work, and a forbidden romance beckons her down a path of uncertainty and danger. She is haunted by the sorcerer’s warning, and by a question: does she really know the true compass of her heart?

Set in Renaissance Italy, this richly imagined novel about a girl’s daring journey towards self-discovery transports readers into a fascinating, exotic world where love, faith, and art inspire passion–of many different hues.


If you could go back to Renaissance Italy:

What would you like to try?

The food! There's a dinner party in Passion Blue, and I did some research on Italian Renaissance recipes. They sound awesome. Italy was unusual in Renaissance Europe for the variety of its food, and for its abundance of fruits and vegetables. 

What would you like to see?

Venice. I visited it when I was a teenager, and fell in love with its exotic, mysterious beauty. The alleys and the squares, the palaces, the Piazza San Marco, the soft light, the constant presence of's just a place like no other. You can feel the past—there are so many places you can go in Venice and it's as if you've stepped back a hundred, two hundred, even five hundred years. I'd love to go back for real and see Venice at the height of its power and wealth in the 15th and 16th centuries, when it was considered one of the wonders of the world.

Who would you want to talk to?

This will probably sound like a cliché answer, for someone who loves Renaissance art as much as I do...Leonardo da Vinci. His exquisite paintings and drawings were just the beginning of his incredible creativity. For such a famous man, not very much is known about his life. I'd like to learn more.

What would you avoid like the plague (other than the plague)?

Florence, while Girolamo Savonarola was in power there (late 1400s). He was a charismatic preacher and prophet who waged a campaign against the "vice" of the city and whipped the inhabitants into a puritanical frenzy. He and his followers instituted new laws, organized bonfires of the vanities in which thousands of books and artworks were destroyed, and recruited gangs of youths to patrol the streets looking for immodest dress and behavior. It must have been a terrifying place to be. (On the other hand, I'd love to set a book there.)

So now that you're all in the spirit of Renaissance Italy, you can pick up your copy of PASSION BLUE or learn more on Victoria's website:


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

BROKEN Trailer

My dear friend and Oasis Sister, A.E. Rought, has her debut YA novel, BROKEN, coming out from Strange Chemistry in January.  But right now, she has the trailer all ready for your viewing pleasure.  Sit back, make sure your volume is on for the mood music, and enjoy.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Jingle All the YA

Don't you just love that title?  I think it's adorable and I couldn't be more proud to be included in this sampler, featuring 13 HOT YA authors (plus me).

But here's the really cool part of this sampler:
1. It's FREE
2. If you read it and find the secret code by December 31st, you can enter to win a Kindle Fire HD or any other e-reader up to a $200 value.

Here is the description of contest

WIN A KINDLE FIRE HD (199$) or ereader of your choice up to value of 200$

It's easy to enter!

1) Download the free ebook, 
2) find the secret phrase (hintL there is one character in each book bolded)
3) Enter secret phrase (14 characters) into the contest link embedded in the ebook.

Contest ends on Dec 31st. Winner announced on Jan 7th

Book description

Curl up this holiday season and sample 14 bestselling young adult books. 

14 YA authors compiled this special gift for their readers. The holiday sampler includes excerpts from YA's bestselling books - all wrapped up in one neat little package. 

Whether you like paranormal, romance, mythology, or thrillers, "Jingle all the YA" gives you a taste of it all.

This sampler includes:

Chelsea M. Cameron - Nocturnal (When seventeen-year-old Ava-Claire Sullivan meets a mysterious boy in a cemetery who isn't human, she'll have to decide whether a relationship with him is worth the risk to her own mortality.)

GP Ching - Grounded (A modest seventeen-year-old girl discovers she's the product of a government experiment, when her father's illness causes her to leave her isolated community.)

Shelly Crane - Significance (Because you are my significant, my soul mate, and I'm yours.)

Chelsea Fine - Anew (Sometimes love is meant to be, but is the death of you.)

Jessie Harrell - Destined (When Psyche destroys the one relationship she can't live without, she must journey alone through ancient Greece and face the wrath of the gods if she wants to reclaim an immortal love.

Ella James - Here

S.R. Johannes - Untraceable (When Grace's forest ranger father goes, missing, she fights officials and nature to find out what happened, uncovering a conspiracy that changes her small town forever.)

Tiffany King - Forever Changed

M. Leighton - Fragile (Her heart, as delicate as glass. His love, as strong as steel. Can either survive life and death?)

Addison Moore - Ethereal (An entire faction of earthbound angels wants 16 y/o Skyla Messenger dead, at least she still has Logan, a boy who shares her gift of telepathy, or does she?)

Jessica Sorenson - Ember (What if you knew when someone was going to die?)

Raine Thomas - Becoming (When Amber Hopkins discovers that ancient gods, avenging angels and other beings of myth and legend all exist, she doesn't realize that her life is only going to get more complicated from there.)

RaShelle Workman - Exiled (Worlds divided them. Chance brought them together. Only love will save them.)

Samantha Young - Smokeless Fire (One girl's fiery battle with ancient deadly creatures, epic family drama and heart-wrenching romantic entanglements.)

And if you want to enter the contest, you can do it right here!  So go download your sampler, find the hidden letter in each story, and enter.
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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Destined's Birthday, Your Presents!

I CANNOT believe that it's been a year since I let my book baby - Destined - lose into the world.  I had no idea the amount of support I would get for the novel or the number of new friends I would make.  365 days ago, I would have been ecstatic to think I could sell even 5,000 copies.  You've helped me almost double that number.  I'm awed and humbled by all of you who've thought enough of me and my book to spend your time reading, reviewing or blogging about it.
I TRULY CANNOT THANK YOU ENOUGH.  But I'm going to try.  I have loads of birthday presents for you!

You can check out the rafflecopter forms below and enter as many of the raffles as you would like.  This celebration will continue for a week before I pick the winners.  Since this is my way of thanking you, there won't be any tasks or hoops to jump through.  Just free entries (of course, if you want to tweet or share about the contest, I'd love you dearly).
Seeing as how this is about me being THANKFUL for all of you, I'm going to go ahead and count this for INDIE-giving too.  Why not?

And that's it.  I'm passing around the virtual cupcakes.  Go forth and celebrate!

(Oh, did I mention that Destined is still only $.99? Talk about a great Christmas present... just saying.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I totally dropped the ball because I didn't tell you yesterday that my friend and Oasis Sister, J.A. Souders, was celebrating the release of her debut YA novel, RENEGADE!
You simply must read it.  I participated in the blog tour, so you probably read my review there.  But if not, here's the short summary: It's awesome.  Go get a copy.

Here's the summary ~
Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie.

Her memories have been altered.

Her mind and body aren’t under her own control.

And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb... and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.

To celebrate with Jess, here are some simple steps:

* Add RENEGADE to your TBR list on Goodreads.
* Read the first chapters and order a copy on Amazon.
* Like Jess (J.A.) on Facebook.

No go!  You don't want to wait to get your copy!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Indie Author Spotlight: Cindy Hogan

Hi!  Thanks for joining me today as I shine the Indie author spotlight on CINDY HOGAN!
Names of Books:  Watched series: Watched, Protected and Created

Synopsis for Created: Despite her lack of advanced training, the director of Bresen Academy convinces Ari she would be the best fit for a mission that surfaces in Prague with a group calling themselves Division 57. Uncertain, but wanting to please, she agrees. She quickly discovers there is nothing easy about being a spy and finds her very life on the line. 

Who will love it: young adults and adult women, although several men have reviewed it on Ama

What's next for you: The first book in my next series is with my agent. Crossing my fingers for an amazing deal to come my way. Working on Book 2 and 3 in that series as well as a new series that secretly I'm more excited about than the one my agent has. :) 

Favorite part of being an author: There is nothing better than having fans come up to you at signings, giggling, squealing, and shaking while telling you they can't believe they are meeting you.

Favorite song right now: Avril Lavigne-Smile

Last book you read for fun: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

So there you have it ~ if you're interested in learning more about Cindy and her books, check out her blog.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Debut YA Book Birthday

While there are quite a few book birthdays this week, not many of them are from debut authors.  Personally, I'm excited about getting my hands on Days of Blood and Starlight (sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone).

But here's the interesting debut book of the week ~

COLIN FISHER by Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz


Colin Fischer cannot stand to be touched. He does not like the color blue. He needs index cards to recognize facial expressions.

But when a gun is found in the school cafeteria, interrupting a female classmate's birthday celebration, Colin is the only one for the investigation. It's up to him to prove that Wayne Connelly, the school bully and Colin's frequent tormenter, didn't bring the gun to school. After all, Wayne didn't have frosting on his hands, and there was white chocolate frosting found on the grip of the smoking gun...

Colin Fischer is a modern-day Sherlock Holmes, and his story--as told by the screenwriters of X-Men: First Class and Thor--is perfect for readers who have graduated from Encyclopedia Brown and who are ready to consider the greatest mystery of all: what other people are thinking and feeling.

"Colin Fischer is like an alien anthropologist stranded on Earth, with no choice but to master the local social codes and try to pass as human, or perish." --Lev Grossman, New York Times bestselling author of The Magicians
“Evok[es] Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time . . . Readers will be drawn into the mystery and intrigued by Colin’s vision of the world.” --PW

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

TOUCHING THE SURFACE by Kimberly Sabatini

Way back when being an author seemed like an impossible dream (January 2009), I ventured to NYC to attend the winter SCBWI conference.  My first day there I participated in the novel intensive, where we were seated at tables of about 9 authors with 1 agent or publisher.  As we each took turns reading our first few pages aloud, one opening took my breath away.  The writing was beautiful; the story compelling.  I admit I was a little jealous.  But mostly, I was in awe because I knew I was meeting a person who would undoubtedly be published one day.  To my great delight, this author was as sweet as she was talented, and she went out of her way to befriend me and invite me out with her group that evening.  This author was none other than Kimberly Sabatini.
(That's us there in the middle.)
When I went back home, Kimberly served as my very first critique partner.  She let me bounce ideas off of her and answered my late-night e-mails.  She was a champion for Destined when I decided to self-publish it, even taking a copy to her dance studio and making sure everyone knew about it.  So I couldn't be happier to tell you that her debut novel, TOUCHING THE SURFACE, celebrates it's book birthday TODAY.

So without further ado, I give you, TOUCHING THE SURFACE!
Experience the afterlife in this lyrical, paranormal debut novel that will send your heart soaring.When Elliot finds herself dead for the third time, she knows she must have messed up, big-time. She doesn’t remember how she landed in the afterlife again, but she knows this is her last chance to get things right.

Elliot just wants to move on, but first she will be forced to face her past and delve into the painful memories she’d rather keep buried. Memories of people she’s hurt, people she’s betrayed…and people she’s killed.

As she pieces together the secrets and mistakes of her past, Elliot must find a way to earn the forgiveness of the person she’s hurt most, and reveal the truth about herself to the two boys she loves…even if it means losing them both forever.

Kimberly was nice enough to answer a few short questions for me too - even though Simon Pulse has her loaded to the gills with pre-launch activities, I'm sure!

Name three reasons readers are going to love Elliot. #1 She's a little snarky and less than perfect. #2 She loves pizza--yum! And #3 she learns that there is a difference between flying away and taking flight. <3 span="span">

If you could pick an actress to play Elliot, who would it be? I'd totally pick Ellen Page. If you want a sneak peek, here is my TOUCHING THE SURFACE Pinterest Board.

I know it's hard to compartmentalize your story, but the synopsis says it's paranormal.  When I read it (long ago), it felt more like a contemporary.  How do you feel the story reads? I consider SURFACE an accidental paranormal LOL! In my mind it's a contemporary, that by circumstance, has a little zing. 

Readers who loved _______________ will love Touching the Surface. IF I STAY by Gayle Forman and BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver.
 What song best represents Touching the Surface? LITTLE BIRD by Annie Lennox

What's the last book you read for fun? I just got done with MIND GAMES by Kiersten White--it was fabulous!

I just re-read Touching the Surface again and I loved it SO MUCH.  I hope you'll check it out too. But before you go, tell me why you want to read TTS in the comments (with your e-mail addy) to be entered to WIN an awesome swag pack.  (Similar to this, but minus the book - you'll have to get your own copy because I'm not sharing mine!)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

RENEGADE by J.A. Souders (review + contest)

Seriously, I couldn't be more excited to be participating in this blog tour today.  Not only is Jessica (J.A.) a friend and an Oasis sister, but RENEGADE was freaking amazing.  She allowed me to get an advance peek at the novel and I devoured it.

Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.

But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie. Her memories have been altered. Her mind and body aren’t under her own control. And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.

Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb... and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.

From the very first pages, Evie's world is palpably real.  You can easily imagine living in the darkness of the seas, surrounded by water, never having experienced sunshine or the outside world.  Evie herself is an instantly likable character, and although she is "perfect," you know right away that she's been brainwashed.  Perfection is a forced perception and that perception is slowly shattered.

Which is another thing I loved about the story.  There's not one cataclysmic event that turns Evie's world upside down.  There is a slow building of little events - the clicking in of little puzzle pieces - that leads up to a very dramatic conclusion.  You get to figure out what's happening right along with Evie (and a very delicious Gavin) and live the nightmare right along with her.  And because (as the description tells you), Evie's memories have been altered, the realization of what really happened in Evie's past and what Mother has planned for the future, are just as shocking to Evie as they will be to you.

To sum this story up, it was like a futuristic, underwater Nazi Germany, where a perfect race is being cultivated and anyone who stands in the way meets death at the hands of a crazed dictator.  Only in this case, the dictator is known as Mother.  How creepy is that???

Trust me when I tell you that this book is AMAZING.  There was never a moment when I felt bored.  Instead, I turned the pages as quickly as I could and loved every minute of it.  I'm so happy and proud for my friend, Jessica, and can't wait to see what the next book in the series has in store for Evie and Gavin!

Jessica was awesome enough to share a few of her favorite quotes from the novel. I think the second is my FAVORITE!!  :)

"How can you even know who you are, if you can’t remember who you’ve been?”

"A woman’s best weapon is her smile, unless there’s a loaded Beretta 9mm nearby."

"So many memories. So much lost. So much to regain . . . again."

"No matter what cataclysmic event you’re facing, please be sure to double- check the seals on all of your samples and the tamper- proof container before reporting to your designated evacuation area."

J.A. Souders lives in Florida with her husband and their two children and is an active member of RWA, DFRW, YARWA, SCBWI, and SFWA. RENEGADE is her first novel.

To get your hands on a copy of RENEGADE or to follow Jessica, check out these links:


Oh, and you want to win something, right?  Here's the Rafflecopter.  :)  (Sorry, open to U.S. Residents only for swag and RENEGADE pre-order copies)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 26, 2012

YA Mythology Giveaway Hop (US only)

Hello fellow mythology lovers and welcome!  If you already know me, then you know I LOVE mythology.  Enough to major in Classics in undergrad.  Enough to write a novel based on Greek myth and a short story based on Egyptian mythology.

Yes, I love mythology THAT MUCH.

To share my love of mythology with you, I'm offering the winner her choice between two prizes. The winner (US only, sorry) can pick from either:
1.  An autographed copy of Destined (my Greek myth novel) or
2.  An e-book copy of Two and Twenty Dark Tales (the anthology containing my Egyptian myth short story)

Just fill out the Rafflecopter and hop on over to the next blog.  Very simple, very easy.  But before you go, scroll down to the last blog entry for a chance to win some more spooky stories from C. Lee McKenzie.  Happy Halloween!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ghost Story Anyone? (+ giveaway!)

Guest post by author C. Lee McKenzie ~
You’re seated around the campfire, light flickering over the faces of those huddled there with you, and one of your friends is telling a story--not just a story--a ghost story.

That prickling at the back of your neck, the way your breathing grows shallow and you wrap your arms around yourself bumps your heart up to high. It’s a cool night, but tiny beads of sweat collect at your hairline. 

It’s fear time, baby, and your body’s reacting to that familiar emotion, the one you experience whenever you’re scared by something and you’d like to pull the covers over your head or--better yet--run!

And you’re thrilled, right? Fear heightens awareness and cancels all the mundane concerns. For this moment you’re transported, you’re “alive” and “tingly.” This is one reason everyone loves a good ghost story. Another is that ghost stories try to demystify death, that one inescapable universal. This is why Halloween with its seasonal creepiness has such appeal and why this ancient Celtic celebration, steeped in ghostly myths, has continued in some form into the present day. 

A few literary facts: 
  • + The thirteen stories nominated for the Booker Prize in 2011 were about death. Here’s an interesting link on how to get published by writing about death.
  • + Some of the best known and loved classics in literature are ghost stories: The Raven [Poe], A Christmas Carol [Dickens], The Turn of the Screw [James]. 
  • + Today ghost stories are among the favorites of young readers. Dead Connection, The Body Finder, The Ghost Sitter, Stonewords: A Ghost Story and on and on. 
  • + No Pulitizer for fiction this year, but Train Dreams was a finalist and it was an excellent ghost story.
So I’ve written some ghostly tales. Some have been published in magazines, some are still on my C drive waiting for a publisher to find them :-), and some are still in my head. But this time of year I’m stirred to read and write about ghosts who walk in the night, about restless spirits seeking revenge, about pumpkin-evil stuff. 

And you? Do you love to read ghost stories? Do you love to write them? What are your favorite ones? Want to give us a sample of a ghostly scene? That would be fun and it might help you win some SWAG. Here’s what’s up for grabs while I’m visiting Jessie’s super blog.

2 pdf of my ghostly short stories
2 eBooks of Alligators Overhead (Witch alert here!)
1 signed hardcopy of The Princess of Las Pulgas (It has some small ghostly moments.)
1 signed hardcopy of Sliding on the Edge (This ghost is more like a monster, but haunting in its own way.)
** hard copies are available for U.S. only **

Thanks, Lee! That's so generous of you to offer up so many great prizes! And because Lee is as cool as she is generous, she doesn't even want you to have to work that hard to win.  You don't have to follow her (although you should). You don't have to buy her books (although you should do that too).  All you have to do is tell us a ghost story.  It can be real or made up.  
1.  Leave the story or a link in the comments.
2.  Also include your e-mail address in the comments so we can notify you if you win.
3.  Let us know if you're US or International so we know what contest to enter you for.
4.  Get your stories in by midnight on All Hallows Eve.  When the witching hour arrives, your chance to win will disappear.
And that's it!  Of course, if you win, pretty please with cherries on top review the story somewhere.  It's one of the nicest things you can do for an author.

And before you go, please stalk find Lee on line.  She's an amazing person and author!  And don't forget to check out her new creepy tale, Alligators Overhead. The links are below.

B & N

Friday, October 19, 2012

Cover Reveal for THE SECOND SIGN + ARC tour sign-up

The Second Sign by Elizabeth Arroyo
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Genre: Young Adult Dark Fantasy/ Paranormal Romance
Release Date: February 07, 2013
Bred to believe in the war between angels and demons, Gabby has come to the conclusion that love is responsible for war, jealousy, and all the other deadly sins she can think of. So when she’s exiled to the middle of nowhere for getting kicked out of her fifth school for fighting, she doesn't expect to meet Jake. Much less fall in love. But Jake is quickly drawn to the eerie beauty of her violet eyes while Gabby is unsettled by their undeniable connection.

When a demon guardian comes to collect her soul, she refuses to give it up. She’s not a demon. She can’t be. Her father and twin brother are angels. The demon gives Gabby twenty-four hours to decide her allegiance, and then starts killing her short list of friends, leaving a message behind: She is the Second Sign.

As Gabby and Jake begin to unravel the mystery behind the Second Sign, she learns Jake may be the key to saving her soul. But it means a sacrifice has to be made that will change their lives forever.

Check out Elizabeth:

Interested in reading the ARC?  Here are the details:

Anita Saxena is hosting an ARC Tour of The Second Sign. We would like as many people as possible to read THE SECOND SIGN before the release in February and we'd like the participants to blog about the book after they've read it. 

So the blogger commits to:

1. Reading the book fast
2. Blogging about it
3. Paying to ship the book via priority mail (which typically costs $4.95) at post office. All post offices supply free envelopes so that way the reader doesn't have to pay for envelope/packing material

In addition, you're encouraged to write in the book, not only to sign it, but on any page where you think something is good/cool/whatever. Smiley faces and hearts are always welcome! Due to postage, this is only for US residents. If you are interested, please contact Anita at so that she can put you on the list!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Karen Amanda Hooper, author of Tangled Tides and Grasping at Eternity, is sharing her newest cover today. The sequel to Grasping at Eternity, book 2 of The Kindrily series, is titled Taking Back Forever. 

Karen and her cover designer, Alexandra Shostak, have worked side by side to create the Taking Back Forever cover. After lots of hard work (and a lot of love) here it is…
Want to know more? Here’s a summary of Taking Back Forever. 

Forever is worth the fight. 

Maryah erased all memory of her past lives, but she couldn’t erase her soul mate Nathan, or his undying love. Now, Maryah and Nathan have a second chance at a future together, but first Maryah must remember the person she used to be and embrace her supernatural gifts—more than one kindrily member’s life depends on it. 

Maryah’s power is Harmony’s best hope of finding her kidnapped soul mate, Gregory. But Harmony isn’t big on asking anyone for help, and she’s tired of waiting, so she’s taking matters into her own hands. Heaven help anyone who stands in her way. 

To celebrate, Karen and Alexandra are giving away signed paperbacks of Grasping at Eternity. (Signed by Karen AND Alexandra!) 
Contest is open internationally!

Alexandra Shostak is a writer of dark and fantastical things, mostly meant for teenagers. She is a freelance cover designer, and is available to do covers and interior artwork directly for authors. She is also a former Irish dancer, a guitar player, and the person who can get you through the zombie apocalypse without getting bitten.
If you’re especially worried about the zombie apocalypse, you can find her in one of these places:
or on Twitter as @a_shostak

Karen was born and bred in Baltimore, frolicked and froze in Colorado for a couple of years, and is currently sunning and splashing around Florida with her two beloved dogs. She's addicted to coffee, chocolate, and complicated happily-ever-afters. Due to her strong Disney upbringing, she still believes in fairytales and will forever sprinkle magic throughout all of her novels.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Two and Twenty Dark Tales is Here!

If you haven't heard about the awesome anthology from Month 9 Books, called Two and Twenty Dark Tales, it's time to check it out.  Remember as a kid, that chill you got from things that went bump in the night?  Well, here's the grown up version!

In this anthology, 20 authors explore the dark and hidden meanings behind some of the most beloved Mother Goose nursery rhymes through short story retellings. The dark twists on classic tales range from exploring whether Jack truly fell or if Jill pushed him instead to why Humpty Dumpty, fragile and alone, sat atop so high of a wall. The authors include Nina Berry, Sarwat Chadda, Leigh Fallon, Gretchen McNeil, and Suzanne Young.

Now, I'm particularly partial to this anthology because one of my stories is in it.  My nursery rhyme?  Hey Diddle, Diddle.  If you've ever wondered why that dog was laughing, the cat was playing a fiddle, and a cow jumped over the moon -- well, all shall be explained in "I Come Bearing Souls."  For more clues and to see some of my inspiration images, check out my Pinterest Board.

In the meantime, please consider picking up your copy now.  These spooky tales are perfect to get you in the Halloween spirit - PLUS, proceeds from the first 5,000 will be donated to charity.  So let's make sure those first 5,000 copies FLY off the shelves, okay?

What was your favorite Mother Goose rhyme?  If you could write your own dark retelling, which rhyme would you choose?