Blog Tour Review: Bluff + Giveaway!

“To the medical world, I was a host body, surviving only to bring a new life into the world. And while I wanted to die more than anything in the world, I never wanted this. No, I never wanted to cease to exist. This was the worst death of all.”

Jude Black lives in that in-between, twilight place teetering on death but clinging to life in order to bring her baby into this world. Only she knows the circumstances surrounding her mysterious fall off the bluff that landed her in the hospital being kept alive by medical intervention. Only she knows who the father of her baby is. In this poignantly crafted literary novel, the mystery unfolds and the suspense builds as the consequences of Jude’s decisions threaten to reveal everyone’s deceptions, even her own. Bluff offers a sensitive look at essential questions such as the value of human life, the consciousness of those in a coma and the morality of terminating life support. At the core is the story of a tragically misunderstood woman who finds peace, acceptance, understanding and even love on her deathbed.

REVIEW:
This is not my favorite genre so when I started reading the book I was not prepared for the effect it will have on me. It’s not a pleasant book, not at all. It’s gritty, honest and raw. It talks about things that we tend to not talk about and sometimes I felt uncomfortable, sad, depressed but I was also intrigued and engaged with the story. I was captivated and just couldn’t put the book down. 

I wanted to know what really happened to Jude, how did she end up falling from the bluff, who was the father of the baby? All these questions made me turn page after page. 


The characters are all so real. The depth that the author has given each character is applause worthy. I’m truly impressed with the writing because to treat all these issues in a single book is not an easy task. But the author has excelled because I felt connected to all the characters. I didn’t necessarily agree with all of them but I understood them. Their dilemmas, problems, secrets and issues. 


I form opinions quite easily and this book is like a slap in the face. It talks about how sometimes we assume things about people without even knowing them. Every character in the book is in some way misunderstood especially Jude. We should give everyone the benefit of doubt and not judge people.

The most shocking thing was the revelation of the baby’s father. I feel sick and I really want to kill him. Hearing his thoughts made me furious. 


I recommend this book to everyone. Yes, it’s serious and there aren’t many chances when you will laugh but it talks about issues that are important and need to be talked about and it’s written well with the author showing empathy and respect to the characters.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lenore Skomal wants you to eat her books. Her passionate desire is to touch your heart, inspire you, and luxuriate in the world of the written word. She is an award-winning author with the single goal of resonating with others. Winner of multiple awards for blogging, literature, biography and humor, her catalogue spans many genres. With 30 years of writing experience, 18 books published, a daily blog and weekly newspaper column, the consistent themes in her work are the big issues of the human experience and adding depth and voice to the intricacies involved in living a multi-dimensional existence. She has won many Society of Professional Journalist awards, the Whidbey Island Writer’s Conference honorable mention for best fiction, Writer’s Digest 73rd Annual Fiction Contest, New York Public Library’s Best Books for Teens 2003, and most recently, the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Award for humor for “Burnt Toast.,” her first anthology of her award winning humor columns. From journalism, to literary fiction, to humor and biography, her writing is consistent, if not in genre, then in message. 
Connect with Lenore on her Website, Facebook, GoodReads, or Twitter.

Wanna win a $50 gift card or an autographed copy of Bluff?
  1. Leave a comment on my blog. One random commenter during this tour will win a $50 gift card. For the full list of participating blogs, visit the official Bluff tour page.
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest! I’ve posted the contest form below, or you can enter on the tour page linked above.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour Review + Giveaway!: Embers in a Dark Frost

Author: Kelly Keaton  
The Fire Breathers have come. The Underworld calls. A choice must be made…


With her feared half blood and flame-colored hair, DEIRA D’ANU is a constant reminder of human betrayal and the war that claimed the light from Innis Fail. Now, darkness and frost creep across the land, strengthening the Lord of the Underworld. War is imminent—an allegiance with the Fire Breathers is vital. When their champion, Balen, sees Deira, he believes she is the key to finding the light and stopping the dark frost…. 

But the Underworld calls to Deira, tempting her to turn her back on a world that never cared and betray the champion willing to sacrifice everything to keep her safe and save his world from darkness.

REVIEW:
I really liked this book. The story kept me captivated and the world building is truly amazing but what I liked best of all is the writing. It sets the tone of the book. Kelly has created a great world and stayed true to it through and through.  
I could imagine the places, the creatures, everything has been described with such detail and I loved that. This is my first book by the author and now I am a fan. I’m gonna read all her books.

Deira was always looked down upon because she has human blood in her veins and humans are responsible for taking light from Innis Fail. She was never given a choice in her life. People decided for her, told her to hide behind a veil, her grandfather decided to trade her to the Sydhr, the fire breathers in exchange of protection from Nox. She was treated as a thing and not a person. But the King of Sydhr, Balen, has different intentions. He knows of a prophecy told by his mother that a halfling could bring back the light to their world but Balen would die in that process. 

Diera is confused and isn’t really sure if she wants to go on this journey to retrieve the light. She doesn’t believe in fate, and does not want to put all her faith in a prediction. I understand her dilemma and I think she is strong and feisty  She also has a good heart though she doesn’t give herself enough credit for that. 

“Don’t you see? I’m tired. I walk these halls like a shadow. I want to live, to feel, to take my life in my hands and do what I will with it. I have that right.”


Balen is honorable, loyal and a great leader. He doesn’t want to die but is willing to sacrifice his life for his people and his land. 

“I would rather die trying, than to grow old and watch my land, my people, those I love perish. I would lay down my life this very moment if it meant turning back the frost.”


He is also this alpha male, the warrior, tough, handsome, rugged that I couldn’t help but swoon over. I did feel that somehow he resigned himself to his fate quite easily. I wanted a little more fight. Also I wan’t happy with the secret he kept from Diera. I think he should have told her.  It was her choice to make and I was a little disappointed with him for taking it away.

Balen and Diera have great chemistry. I was rooting for them and wishing for Balen to survive. Their conversations was funny and cute. The bathing scene (yes, I am calling it that) was steamy. 

Balen ended the kiss by pulling my bottom lip into his mouth and between his teeth, biting it gently before letting go and kissing me softly. His lips spread into a grin as he moved a strand of wet hair from my neck and licked the place where it had been.

There are some interesting secondary characters as well. My favorite would be Ferryn. 

“It’s all right,” he said with a shrug. “I make females speechless all the time.”


Nox is the lord of the underworld. He gains power from the darkness. Nox is a complex character. He wages wars and kill innocents but he has also been wronged in the past. He has not been treated fairly. He has reasons, of course that cannot justify his acts but they do make you not hate him. I love such characters, that confuse you, make you question the whole black and white thing. The kind of character that you can’t make your mind about and even though I hated the things he did I don’t really hate him. Does that make sense?
It’s a great tale and I was totally enamored by the world created. The pace is good and there is action. Waiting for the next book in the series. The ending was E-V-I-L. How can you end it like that? I need to know what happend next, NOW. 
I recommend it to all fantasy lover but it is for older teens.  Keep that in mind. :p

|| Amazon || Goodreads ||

||GIVEAWAY||

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Betwixt Book Tour: Review + Giveaway!

Beautiful, wild-child Nicole Tepper is hit by a car and left for dead. But when she wakes the next morning, Nicole finds herself in bed without a scratch. Perhaps she was more intoxicated than usual, as her mother is giving her the silent treatment and her friends are ignoring her as well. 


Things take a turn for the weird when Nicole soon discovers she is actually hovering between life and death. Her body is lying in the forest while her spirit is searching for anyone who can hear her. Unfortunately the only person who can is Dale Finnigan, the guy she publicly humiliated with a sharp-tongued insult that has left him branded.

Desperate, Nicole has no choice but to haunt Dale and convince the freaked-out senior to help her. Will he find her body before it’s too late? Or will the guy who tried to kill her with his car, beat him there and finish her off before anyone finds out?

REVIEW: 
There are a lot of things that I loved about this book. It made me cry quite a few times. It’s a book about second chances, how sometimes when things are at the lowest possible point, we are given a chance to change things, to make a decision, to make it all better. I am an optimist and I love such stories. So it made me happy.

The characters are very well developed. Even the secondary characters have depth and I so love it when an author puts effort into the characters. That’s one thing that can make or break a book or me. 
Nicki’s boyfriend abandoned her on an isolated road when she refused to have sex with him(what a jerk, right?).  Later she gets hit by a car and is lying injured and alone in a dark place. Her soul (I think) is free from her body (though she is not dead, yet) and hovers around but nobody can see or hear her. She sees how broken her parents are, how her friends don’t really care and assume that she has run away. No one is looking for her. But this guy Dale, with whom she was nothing but mean, can actually hear her and he wants to help her. So they start a search to find Nicki’s body and find out what happened to her. 
Nicki is an incredibly likeable character. Yes, she was mean to people, she partied, slept around and didn’t let anyone in before the accident but she wasn’t always like that. Things happened that changed her. She had reasons and I could understand her. This was her way of coping. It broke my heart that she thought she didn’t deserve to live. She is not whiny (even though she has every right to be), she made me smile and was just so strong. 
Dale is amazing. I freakin’ love him. He was just so sweet and nice and loyal and the list can go on. I was totally swooning over him. He is just genuinely a really nice guy. Dale is one of those characters that make a book better just by being there. He never gave up on Nicki and saw the good in her. 
It did bother me a little that he accepted that he could hear Nicki so easily. I would have run in opposite direction shouting, if I were in his situation but maybe Dale is just that good a guy and would help anyone who asked. 

“I want to catch you when you fall.” He grins.

“And I want to kiss you every day, but not just because I’m saying goodbye.”

The plot isn’t really new. It’s been explored in some movies and books already. But the characters are real and you can empathize with them. Even the boy who caused the accident, you feel pity for him. It’s actually applause worthy that every character is so distinct from others. The romance is sweet and progresses well. It has a pretty good pace and you will be rooting for them to end up together and for Nicki’s survival. It’s emotional, it’s well written with great characters.  What else can I say? Go and read it.
Also, for every copy of Betwixt sold $1 will be donated to Love146, it gives children, who are caught up difficult situation, a second chance. Now that is just plain awesome.

“I don’t know what you think you’ve done to have the right to talk like that, but whether you like it or not, I’m finding you.”

“Sometimes we just have to accept the fact we can’t explain everything. Life happens, whether we want it to or not and we don’t always have a reason why. Our job is to try and make some good come out of it.”

BUY: || Amazon || Barnes and Noble || Goodreads ||

|| GIVEAWAY ||

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Unresisting Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway!

Author: Shane Morgan
Seventeen year old Natasha Johnson is having a rough year. Her twin brother, Sean, died last summer after a car crash, and her parents decided to pack up and leave the only home she’d known all her life. It’s a lot to take in, and Nat has decidedly given up on the world, until moving to Stetson Valley and meeting high school ‘outcast’, Chace Owens.


Chace’s dark and mysterious aura is not exactly seen as ‘normal’, but Nat already knows that not a lot of things are of the norm when it comes to her life. She soon finds herself unable to resist Chace’s strange pull on her heart, unleashing a sudden attraction to the unnatural forces that have always been burning within her. But with uncovering her true self brings forth great danger, as Nat learns that her brother’s death had a lot more to do with the side she’s unable to resist.


Can Natasha calm the blazing flames and withstand the threat of danger, or will this new found power destroy her?

REVIEW:
Natasha has just lost her twin brother Sean. Everyone believes it to be a car crash but she knows different. The death was mysterious. He burned before her very eyes. Now she has nightmares and wakes up with burned sheets but she can’t tell anyone about it. Nobody will believe her and she will end up in an asylum. 

Her parents decide to move to her mother’s home town. They think it will help. But danger follows Nat everywhere. Somebody is trying to kill her and she has no control on her power. 

Natasha is a likeable but I couldn’t connect emotionally with her. It’s just that losing your twin brother is a big deal and I understand that she has a lot of things going on but you can’t just move on from something like that. I also felt that she was not fair to her parents. Though she is brave and cares about others. But then she would forget about everything when she was with Chace and I don’t really like such people. Maybe it’s just me and it won’t bother anyone else.

Chace is the hot mysterious boy who won’t stop staring at Nat. He is a loner and doesn’t talk to anyone. Edward, much? I liked Chace but I wasn’t really swooning over him. The romance between Chace and Nat progressed too fast. I couldn’t make sense of it at all. They should have gotten to know each other better, talked a little more.  I just don’t like insta love. 

But because she is the new girl and in books the “new girl” never gets only one guy so Jesse comes in the picture. I actually like him though he was weird at times. He was genuine and really cared about Nat.  She did not give him a fair chance and her feelings for him are really not clear to me. But I wanted to see more of Jesse, maybe in the next book.

The plot is different. The whole Ledarians concept and how Thorus became hungry for power is interesting. He was a monster in the true sense of the word. There were things that surprised me in the book. People I thought were good turned out to be different. I liked Tate and Jilli.  There are some chapters that are told from the POV of Thorus and I really liked those chapters. I like complex characters.  The ending is evil. I want to know what happens next. It’s the kind of book that you want to complete in one sitting.
All in all it’s a good book with some things that could have been better.
BUY: || Amazon || Goodreads ||
||GIVEAWAY||

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour Excerpt + Giveaway!: Stalk Me

                                     Author Name: Jillian Dodd 
                              Title:Stalk Me (Keatyn Chronicles, #1)

Gossip girl meets Hollywood in this new series by That Boy author, Jillian Dodd.
Keatyn has everything she ever dreamed of. Her life is following the script she wrote for the perfect high school experience. She’s popular, goes to the best parties, dates the hottest guy, and sits at the most coveted lunch table.  

She’s just not sure she wants it anymore.

Because really, things aren’t all that perfect.

Her best friend is threatening to tell everyone her perfect relationship is a scam. 

Her perfect boyfriend gets drunk at every party they go to. 

It’s exhausting always trying to look and act perfect.

And deep down, she isn’t sure if she has any true friends. 

To add to the drama, her movie star mom’s long-time fan has turned stalker.

An older man is flirting with her and telling her they should make a movie together. 

And she’s crushing on an adorable surfer. Dating a guy like him would mean committing social suicide.

So she writes a new script. One where all the pieces of her life will come together in perfect harmony. 

But little does she know, there’s someone who will do anything to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Book #2, KISS ME will be released Nov. 28, 2012. Also, STALK ME will be on sale for .99 the week of the tour then return to its normal price of $2.99 on Dec. 2.

EXCERPT:

Cush says, “Wait up,” from behind me. Then he starts laughing. “Not that I couldn’t catch you in those shoes. Or boots. What are they anyway?”
Keep it together, Keatyn. Don’t have a breakdown in the middle of school.
“I don’t know what they’re called, but my feet are killing me.”
Cush picks me up off the ground and carries me down the hall.
Who knew he was so strong?
We pass a pretty cheerleader named Mandy, who sometimes comes to Cush’s parties. She gasps at the sight of him carrying me down the hall. From the look on her face, you’d have thought she’d seen us having sex.
Cush nods his head at her and says, “S’up,” as he carries me into the boys’ locker room. He sets me down on a bench between rows of bright blue lockers.
“Take them off,” he commands.
I don’t.
Instead, I lay back on the bench and scream, “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”
“What the hell is going on?” Coach Kline yells at Cush. Then he says to me, “And why are you in the boys’ locker room?”
“She’s having a meltdown, sir,” Cush says. “It’s the shoes. They’re slowly trying to kill her.”
Coach looks at my shoes, grimaces, and nods his head in agreement. “That’s understandable.” Then he walks back into his office and shuts the door.
Cush kneels down and starts unbuckling my shoe.
“Sometimes I can’t figure you out. Why are you friends with her? Why do you put up with it?”
“I could ask you the same question. Why do you let her invite so many people to your parties? Why do you put up with it?” 
“She told me she’d ruin my reputation if I didn’t.”
“How could she do that? You’ve been with plenty of girls.”
“Yeah, I know, but she’s your friend, so I went along with it.”
“She wanted Sander. She thought they would be the school’s perfect couple.”
“But you got Sander instead.”
“I didn’t try to, though. It just happened. He was new, and we had a lot in common.”
He slides one of my shoes off and starts unbuckling the six buckles running up my other leg.
I wiggle and stretch my toes. They already feel so much better. I’m pretty sure if my toes had lips, they’d be kissing Cush right now in thanks.
|| website || pinterest || Facebook || Twitter ||

GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Buy your book:
|| Amazon || B&N || Kobo ||
(Also available through iTunes) 

Fear Blog Tour: Author Interview with Tom Gillespie + Giveaway!

Welcome to my stop on the Fear Blog Tour! hosted by Carmen@Book Me!

60 Authors
Two Incredible Volumes
One Terrifying Ride!

                      

Fear: A Modern Anthology of Horror and Terror brings together, for the first time, tales of murder, monsters and madness, by sixty of the world’s best indie horror authors. 
Discover what lurks in the water at the end of the garden, learn of the unforgiving loyalty of a loving toy and meet a writer, just itching to finish his latest horror story.
Every author in the Anthology has generously contributed their work for free. All royalties from sales will go directly to the international charities, Barnardo’s and Médecins Sans Frontières.
Fear, with forewords by international bestselling authors, Peter James and Sherri Browning Erwin, is released in Paperback and on Kindle, October 3rd 2012.

Today I get to interview Tom Gillespie, we talk about his work, writing process, favorite authors and also discuss the Apocalypse. There is a giveaway in the end. Don’t forget to enter!!


INTERVIEW
Without going all spoilery on us, can you tell us a little about your short story, The Sculptor? What was the inspiration behind this story?

When I was a student, my flatmate was a sculptor, and he would often return from his studio with half completed clay heads or twisted, disfigured limbs sticking out of an old, battered and broken suitcase. I don’t know how he survived the underground ride back to the flat without getting arrested.And also Hammer House of Horror, the fabulously scary and slightly camp British TV series from 1980. I wanted to try and capture the feel of the show.

How did you become involved in the FEAR anthology?

My novel, Painting by Numbers is published by Crooked Cat, and I spotted their call for submissions. Many of my short stories veer off into psychological scariness, so I thought I’d give it a whirl. I also wanted to support the two nominated charities, and the brilliant, lifesaving /changing work that they do.


Describe your protagonist in three words.

Damaged, deranged and disfigured


What is your favorite part of the writing process?

 I love that existential feeling of disconnecting from the outside world and disappearing into the world that is forming in the front of my mind. But I also love carving, shaping and sculpting the story until it makes sense and I am happy with it (or as happy as I’ll ever be with it)


Who is your favorite author? And  why?

I don’t have a single favourite author. And my favourites change continuously. But if I had to name one writer that has changed the way I think about writing, it would have to be Raymond Carver.  Carver creates landscapes of back and forward story around disarmingly simple, precise situations and ordinariness of setting.  He somehow manages to convey whole worlds of meaning using a style that is stripped down, austere and elegant. He is the master of ambiguity.


Did anyone ever tell you not to quit your day job? If so, is there a special message you’d like to send them now that you’re a published author?

No one has ever said that to me. Everyone I know desperately wants to quit their day job, so they wouldn’t want to jinx any possibility.


If you could have dinner with any one of your characters who would it be? And what on earth would you say?


I would love to have dinner with Jacob Boyce, the central character in my novel Painting by Numbers.  Jacob is an obsessive, egotistical alcoholic who doesn’t care for people all that much. So dinner with him would be an interesting experience.


If you could choose just one book to leave for future generations, what would it be?

 Lanark by Alasdair Gray


Is FEAR your writing debut? If not, can you tell us a little about your previous work?
What can we expect from you in the future?

Fear is not my debut. PBN is out in the world now . . . roaming the streets looking for homes to haunt.  I’ve also been writing shorts stories and flash fiction for quite some time. Flash fiction (stories under 1000 words) is really interesting because you have to work on a very tight narrative arc, and try and find a way to drop the reader right into the middle of a moment.  I’m working on a second novel. Another tale about an obsessive weirdo, and I’m also putting together a compilation of dark, surreal short stories


And finally, the Apocalypse is here. The world has been overrun with Zombies or Vampires or some other freakish thing that wants to chow down on humanity. Before the human race is completely eradicated you get to save two literary legends (don’t ask me why you can only save bookish people, I don’t make the rules) who do you save?  

All my literary heroes are dead  . . . so they would be zombies . . . oh wait  . . . Alasdair Gray is still breathing. But I’m pretty sure he would save me. Zombies would run a mile from him. His brilliant brain would eat them alive  . . . or dead.

Tom Gillespie:

Tom Gillespie grew up in a small town just outside Glasgow. After completing a Masters in English at Glasgow University, he spent the next ten years pursuing a musical career as a singer/songwriter, playing, recording and touring the UK and Europe with his band. He now lives in Bath with his wife, daughter and hyper-neurotic cat, where he works at the University as an academic English lecturer. Tom writes long and short fiction. A number of his stories are published by East Of The Web  He is also a regular contributor to Friday FlashTom’s writing has been described as terse, minimalist, hyper-realistic and ambiguous, where layers of meaning are conveyed using a concise and economical style. He is currently working on a second novel and a collection of short stories. His debut novel Painting by Numbers, a dark, psychological drama that explores the surreal complexities of the human mind, is out now, published by Crooked Cat.

Connect With Tom: || Website || Twitter ||

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Gravity: Blog Tour Review and Giveaway!

              Welcome to my stop on the Gravity Blog Tour hosted by Shane @Itching for Books.


SYNOPSIS:
In the future, only one rule will matter:
Don’t. Ever. Peek 
Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die. Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war. 


REVIEW:


I was a little confused in the beginning. There were too many details but not enough explanation but don’t give up on the book. Read on, it does get better. Once the story picks up there is no looking back. I got the book quite late for the tour and wasn’t really sure that I could do a review but once I started reading I was hooked. I needed to know what happened next and I need the next book in the series NOW!. Ahh……the ending. I have so many questions. Please Melissa, if you could send me the next book too I will be forever in your debt. I can’t stand not knowing!!! Okay, enough with my drama. 

Let’s talk about the characters. I loved Ari. She is smart, self-less, caring, kickass, so in short, she’s awesome. I am a little picky when it comes to female protagonists. I generally hate them and the whole “damsel in distress” stuff just gets on my nerve. So it’s refreshing to read about girls that can fight for themselves. Ari cared about people, even strangers. She risked her life to save them. How can you not like her? 
I thought that she made a brave choice when she decided to help Jackson and go against everything she believed in order to avoid a war that will just lead to destruction and loss of lives. I was really angry at Ari’s dad and Cybil. They were so arrogant that they refused to see reason.   They are complex characters and hopefully in the next book we will see a softer side to them. 

Jackson is an ancient. Humans are not allowed to see ancients but Ari sees him and it turns out that he needs her help to save humanity but for that she has to tell him secrets and lie to her father. Jackson was sweet, cute and totally swoon worthy. I think I have a crush on him. 
He genuinely cared about Ari and I am a little ashamed to say that I doubted him a little but I guess that just proves how invested I was in the story. 
I liked Lawrence too. He was a great friend and so was Gretchen. All the characters are well developed. I am excited to learn more about Zeus, who is the leader of the Ancients. I think he will quite a complex and interesting character. 

The plot is different and unique. Though I did feel that the romance was rushed. Ari fell for Jackson too soon. I liked the story, the characters and the writing. I definitely recommend it. READ IT!!

FAVORITE QUOTES:


“I am absolutely, mind-bendingly 

in love with you. In every way. Every ounce of my body. My entire being…it belongs to you.”

He cradles my face with his hands and kisses me with such passion it takes my breath away. He pulls away and looks into my eyes. “ I’ve never been happier in my life than I am right now, here, with you.”

 “There is a lot of gray between life and death. Life isn’t worth living if you aren’t with the ones you love.”

EXCERPT:


Coach Sanders, our seven-foot, balding instructor, is standing beside the aerial mat. Aerial boxing is the one form of training in which size has no bearing. It’s all about speed and balance. Those who can control their bodies, win. Those who can’t, face plant on the mat. I’ve been in both positions.
“You know your order,” Coach says. “File into line with your opponent.”
I scan the crowd to find Jackson sitting on the ground. As the two top seeds, we’ll fight until the Engineers feel one of us is superior to the other. He spots me and winks. Fury lights up inside me, and I almost rush over and demand that he answer my questions. Instead, I stand my ground. It’s like I’m hunting an animal and have to be still so I won’t startle it. If only I didn’t have to wait until tonight to get answers. 
He leaps up and struts over to me. “Ready to eat mat, Alexander?”
What’s up with guys only using people’s last names? I roll my eyes. “Hmph, we’ll see.”
He smiles back, and my heart hits against my chest. He’s too tempting to be an Ancient. But maybe that’s how they all look—attractive yet lethal. My palms clam up. Then I hear my dad in my mind telling me to stop being stupid, to focus, to be what he raised me to be. Jackson leans down to put himself at my eye level, a sly smile on his face. “Don’t worry, I’ll let you win.”
“Alexander and Locke,” Coach yells before I can respond. “You’re up.”
I glare at Jackson before walking off. Gretchen grabs my arm as I go and whispers, “He’s tough. Fake a knockout if you have to.”
I shoot her an annoyed look. I may be small, but I’m strong. “ I’ve got this, Gretch,” I say


Now the giveaway! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: Maybe Too Good To Be True!


Welcome to my stop on “Maybe Too Good To be True” Blog Tour hosted by Goddess Fish.
Today, I have the author  with a guest post.  Read on and don’t forget to comment as Christy will be awarding a digital copy of Maybe Too Good To Be True to a randomly drawn commenter at every stop and a $30 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour [Contest Closed: Winner: J Q Rose Follow the tour here


Qualities of a swoon worthy hero.
Let’s begin with a six foot four inch nicely filled out thirty something male who exudes confidence and swagger. His muscle groups, from his abs to his biceps all rate a 10 plus. All the women at the party watch him hoping he will look their way, but he pays them no mind because his ice blue eyes are fixed on me—after all I am the heroine in this story.
The hero is Colby McQueen and I think I’m already falling in love with him. My four year old daughter, Ella, wants him to be her daddy, but we are keeping that a secret between the two of us. We don’t want to scare the man off after a month of dating. I was so nervous the first time he came over to the house for dinner and to meet Stella. She and I had changed our outfits three times before finding the right one. When Colby came to the front door, he had a bouquet of flowers for me and a smaller nosegay for Stella. As if he understood that his size could intimidate a four year old, Colby crouched down until he was eye to eye with Stella. She walked into his arms like she belonged there.
As life would have it, I know a little about imperfect heroes. For now, these are some of the qualities, I think a perfect hero must have. First, a hero shouldbe strong mentally and physically—these qualities are non-negotiable. No matter where Stella and I go with Colby, we feel perfectly safe with him at our back.
I know the world is changing and along with it many social pleasantries have fallen by the way side, but show me a man who opens doors for women or helps them on with her coat, like my Colby, and I’ll bet his mama taught him everything about being a gentlemaneven if he only uses twenty-five per cent of what he knows. At least if we are ever invited to the White House for dinner, Colby will probably know which silverware to use with each course.
It is as important for our heroes to listen as it is for them to speak. Men often run rough shod over women; interrupting so they can voice their opinion which they feel is more important. Colby hasn’t always been a good listener, but he listens attentively now and asks me thought provoking questions. Everyone likes to feel that what they say is important. Getting my hero’s respect makes me feel worthy and valuable.
Heroes know they must make a commitment to help the environment. Whether it’s putting home heating and cooling systems on timers, or recycling bottles, glass and plastic, or driving a smart car, heroes will carry through and inspire others to do the same. Colby does all of these things except for the smart car.
  
Probably the most important quality a hero must possess is honor. If a man is honorable, he is a man you can trust. If he makes a promise to you, he will keep it. Knowing that if I need him, that Colby will always be there for me has given me the courage to try new things and take risks of my own. 
Kindness is important in our lives today. We all need to experience the gift of human kindness; it needn’t be anything more than a small gesture, but even a simple gesture can have a meaningful impact on the recipient.  There is nothing that warms me more than seeing a man walking down busy Michigan Avenue, who comes across an elderly female who needs assistance. When I see him tuck her hand over his arm and walk her across the street, I know I’ve seen my first “kindness” of the day. More than likely my hero will score a few more before day’s end.
There are many more qualities that could make the “swoon worthy” list, but for now I’ll stick with these and my hero, Colby.
·         Kind    
·         Honorable 
·         Listen
·         Polite
·         Mentally strong
·         Physically strong
·         Sensitive to other’s feelings
·         Help the environment
BLURB:
Gabrielle March is summoned to an oceanfront estate in Massachusetts by the matriarch of Atlantic-Hastings International where she is presented with a hefty block of shares as amends for a crime committed against her family. The stock—worth several million dollars—can give her the means to make her dream come true if only she can muster the courage to break free from her past and believe in her unique creative talent.
Pierce Hastings, son of Gabrielle’s benefactress, grudgingly agrees to take her under his wing and acclimate her to Atlantic-Hastings.  Never one to mix business with pleasure, Pierce stuns himself when he ignores his own self imposed rule. Gabrielle’s complete lack of artifice, unvarnished honesty and quirky sense of humor are intoxicating to him―and he’s rapidly becoming addicted. He’s blindsided when Gabrielle confesses that, in spite of her growing feelings for him, she will never fit into his world of power and privilege and has no desire to try.


  
Connect with the author: || website || Blog || Twitter ||
Buy the book: Amazon

Teaser: Under The Desert Moon

Welcome to my stop of Under The Desert Moon’s Blog tour hosted by Young Adult Novel Reader

Blurb:

17 year old Erin Harris spends her time daydreaming, hoping to escape her small town life in Copperfield, Arizona. When a movie crew arrives unexpectedly to shoot a vampire film over the summer, Erin’s small town world changes forever.
Erin is positive she has seen the star, James Linkin before in a thirty year old TV show. He hasn’t aged a day. How is this possible?
Erin is determined to find out, but how will James handle the scrutiny of an all too intelligent teenage girl?
**Teaser**
James heard every word of the conversation as he strode away.  Excellent hearing; it was a perk.  He had asked Erinat the launch party if she felt unnerved by him. That was funny, since he was the one who was feeling extremely unnerved now. Why?  Because he was feeling. That hadn’t happened in awhile, years in fact.       
Erin.”  He enjoyed the sound of her name on his tongue. It tasted sweet, like her. And dangerous. James 
never got too close to anyone. He wasn’t a good guy, and girls only ever got hurt around him. This girl 
seemed different. She saw through him, but did she know the truth yet?
She had been spot-on about his eyes. There was indeed something ‘wrong’ with him. James knew he should 
leave town immediately, get out of Dodge and clean up this mess. If he turned back now, it could all be over 
with her in a matter of seconds. He even stopped walking in the middle of the road.
Her scent was still on him. Sweet apples on his lips and clothes. Fists clenched, James forced himself to keep 
moving, towards the darkness of his trailer, and away from temptation.
About Emma Meade
Emma Meade lives in rainy Ireland. She has a BA in English and History from University College Cork and an MA in Literature and Publishing from NUI Galway.When she’s not reading or writing, she can be found at the cinema checking out the latest movie releases or sipping rosé or drinking Barry’s tea in her backyard with family and friends. Books, DVDS & TV show boxsets take up lots of space in her home, and she collects all the Point Horror books she can get her hands on. Writing supernatural stories and watching marathon reruns of Buffy are some of her favorite ways of escaping reality.

Publisher: Soul Fire Press   

She Wulf: Guest Post

Please enjoy this guest post by Sheryl Steines, author of the action-packed urban fantasy, She Wulf. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of She Wulf, and 5 copies of its companion, The Day of First Sun.   

Time Travel? Yes, I think so!

A guest post by Sheryl Steines

If you could go anywhere, meet any person, in any period of time, where would you go, what would you do, who would you meet? I know this is all hypothetical, but hey, I write in the pretend–in the fantasy. So suspend your disbelief, and come play with me for a moment. Not such an easy question to answer, is it? One option would be to go and meet someone long dead–perhaps Elvis circa 1959 makes your heart swoon. Would you take the opportunity to meet a favorite entertainer, or maybe you want your trip to count for something meaningful? 

But what if you made a change, saved a life, corrected a wrong, how would your alterations affect the future? An interesting notion, don’t you think? As I wrote She Wulf, my time travel adventure, I developed the idea of changing the past and how that might lead to the future you are trying to change. Maybe our interference might just be a self-fulfilling prophecy. That’s when The Terminator movie struck me as so relevant and important in how I shaped my ideas of time travel. For those who don’t know, The Terminator is a science fiction adventure where machines take over the world. The machines are human like cyborgs, ruled by an artificial intelligence program called Skynet, whose sole mission is to annihilate humanity. In opposition, the resistance was created by John Connor and they are winning the war. In an effort to prevent the resistance from being founded, the cyborgs send back one of their own, to murder John’s mother Sarah, before he’s born. To protect her and ensure he is even conceived, he sends back one of his soldiers (his father), to protect her. Got all that. So finally to my point, and I realize this all imaginary and takes place on celluloid but really, had the cyborgs never sent back the terminator, John Connor never would have sent back his father and he wouldn’t have been born. But what can you expect from a bunch of cyborgs anyway? For me, in She Wulf, you couldn’t just decide one day to go to the past unless you found yourself there when the past was actually the present. Huh? Picture it this way. It’s 2012 and you want to go to the past, let’s say to the year 1900. You can’t go unless during the year 1900, you actually showed up. I know, it’s all theory, but that’s how it happened when Annie Pearce finds herself falling through a time portal, back to eleventh century England. She understands the concept of time travel, of altering the past and how it can affect the future which makes her reluctant to get involved. But she realizes that she had already been there, in the year 1075, had already altered time and whatever she touched or changed or created, was meant to be touched, changed or created. So still think time travel is cool?
I know sometimes we’d like a do-over, the ability to change a decision, to not have to live through pain and despair. But sometimes, these things make us who we are. Each experience shapes us, each tear, each laugh, adds to our self. We gain something. All those things that I’ve experienced, including the loss of a child, made me who I am. Without that, could I have written She Wulf? So time travel–can you see it? What if it was real and I could look at it from a purely joyful perspective, without those darned consequences hanging over my head. Maybe an afternoon with Elvis would be fun.

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the She Wulf eBook edition is just 99 cents this week–and so is the price of its companion, The Day of First Sun. What’s more, by purchasing either of these fantastic books at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of the book. All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win! To win the prizes:

  1. Purchase your copy of She Wulf for just 99 cents
  2. Purchase your copy of Day of First Sun for just 99 cents
  3. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity
  4. Visit today’s featured social media event

About She Wulf: Annie is sent through an ancient time portal with only a prophecy to guide her; she struggles with a new destiny as she tries to figure out a way to destroy an un-killable demon and return home. Get it on Amazon. About The Day of First Sun: A vampire, a rogue wizard and an army of soulless zombies are par for the course for Annie Pearce and Bobby “Cham” Chamsky of the Wizard’s Guard. But when the non-magical princess, Amelie of Amborix, is murdered by magical means, a deeper plot unfolds. Get it on Amazon.
About the author: Behind the wheel of her ’66 Mustang Convertible, Sheryl is a constant surprise, using her sense of humor and relatable style make her books something everyone can enjoy. Visit Sheryl on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.


a Rafflecopter giveaway