Monthly Archives: February 2013

Guest Post and FREE BOOK!


Today we have Michael Estrin, author of Murder and Other Distractions, with a great guest post. His book is also FREE for 3 days so go grab your copy!

Why I write in public (sometimes)

Michael Estrin

I’m a loathsome cliché. Really, there’s no other way to look at it.

Hipster glasses? Check.

Beard? Check.

Silver Macbook Pro? Check.

Seriously, you can’t throw a rock at Los Angeles coffee house without hitting a dude like me and giving another one of my clones material for a screenplay. That’s why I prefer writing at home, where the coffee is cheap and I don’t have to worry about some dirtball running off with my computer (and pages!) when I duck into the bathroom.

But occasionally the risk of computer theft, overpriced coffee, and the fear of being labeled a cliché are worth writing in public. I mean, where else would you get this kind of material?

Middle-aged man: I love wrong numbers.

Slightly younger woman: Why?

Middle-aged man: You never know what’s going to happen. Last week, this guy called and asked if I wanted to have sex with his wife.

Slightly younger woman: What?! Seriously? You can’t be serious.

Middle-aged man: He realized it was the wrong number, but we got to talking, and he asked if I would have sex with his wife while he watched.

Slightly younger woman: No! What did you say?

Middle-aged man: I said it depends on what his wife looks like and how involved he is in this whole situation.

This conversation actually happened within earshot of me at my local coffee house. I don’t normally take notes while eavesdropping, but then again, I usually don’t have a Word Doc open while some guy is talking about swingers with sloppy phone dialing skills.

That’s the beauty of writing in public. Strangers say the most amazing things. Every conversation is a gem. But no matter how memorable the dialogue, people never follow a script, not really.

Instead of wrapping up this strange anecdote, the two people next to me just changed the topic. The woman told the man she thought his interest in the wrong number swinger was a sign he was suffering from a mid-life crisis. He thought about that and smiled, she sipped her coffee, then they began talking about an old friend who had foolishly moved to Austin to open a sushi bar.

So what happened with the middle-aged man, the wrong number dialer, and his wife? I have no idea. It sounds like the start of a great short story, though. But figuring out how the man and the wrong number dialer “got to talking”—or whether you even need to explain that— is a lot easier without distractions, which is why I (mostly) write at home.

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Follow me on Twitter

Here’s a link to my book, Murder and Other Distractions

Author Bio:

Michael Estrin grew up in Los Angeles, fled, and returned.

He has written for a broad range of publications, including American Way, Nerve, Bitter Lawyer, AskMen, Draft, California Lawyer, and Penthouse (yes, they have articles, too).

Murder and Other Distractions is his first novel.

Murder and Other Distractions Cover

FREE TODAY!

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Review/Giveaway of Fallen Angel


REVIEW BY DELIA REMINGTON

Fallen Angel by John McCuaig

 

Maggie Maguire is a no-nonsense inspector with the Croydon police department. When several priests become victims in a series of gruesome murders in churches throughout the area, Inspector Maguire is stumped by the evidence. The medical examiner insists that the evidence leads to impossible conclusions. Another priest, Lucas, an envoy to the Archbishop, insists that there is nothing less than the fate of mankind hanging in the balance and that he must be allowed to help her. Maggie must face the real possibility that the killer is not a human being at all, but something supernaturally sinister. In order to stop the murders, Maggie’s faith will be tested, and she will have to learn to believe in things beyond empirical proof and be willing to break all the rules if she hopes to save the day.

 

What an exciting supernatural thriller! In some ways it reminded me of Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons in the tight way the storyline was written and the compelling nature of the mystery as it played out. I was sucked into the story from page one, and I could not put it down. Maggie is a very believably drawn, and I found myself very drawn to her in every scene. There were twists and turns I didn’t expect, and I have the feeling that this is not the end of her story. The ending leaves it very much open to a sequel, which I am certain I will want to read. I give Fallen Angel 5 stars!

 

Quotes from the Book

* * *

Trust me, Maggie, no single man is capable of this. No way.”

* * *

“Do you believe in God, in the teachings of the bible? It’s a simple question. That’s all I’m asking you, Inspector.”

* * *

“I don’t mind saying it’s nothing short of impossible. Sorry, but I can’t give you any answers, Maggie, just some more questions.”

Author Bio

***

Bio- John McCuaig is a 40 something engineer who loves to write every chance he can get. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland he now lives in London, England with his far better half, Pamela. At present he has 5 novels published along with around twenty short stories. News about past, present and future projects can be found on his blog- http://johnmccuaig.blogspot.co.uk/

Fallen cover

Buy Links

***

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00AX8VLTI

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AX8VLTI

GIVEAWAY

***

JOHN HAS OFFERED A PAPERBACK OF FALLEN ANGEL FOR GIVEAWAY! TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY, ASK JOHN A QUESTION. IT CAN BE ABOUT THIS REVIEW, BOOKS, WRITING…

ENDS 2/22

 

 

REVIEW/GIVEAWAY OF ‘WANDER HOME’


REVIEW BY MARLENA FEIN

Synopsis of Wander Home by Karen Wyle-
Death is what you make it. . . 

Eleanor never wanted to leave the daughter she loved so much. The overpowering urge to wander — to search, without knowing what she sought — drove her away. She left little Cassidy in her family’s loving care. But Cassidy and the others died in an accident before Eleanor could find her way home.

Now, they are all reunited, in an afterlife where nothing is truly lost. Places once loved may be revisited; one may be any age suitable to the mood and moment; memories may be relived and even shared. Surely this is a place where they can understand and heal. And yet, the restlessness that shaped Eleanor’s life still haunts her in death. Somehow, she must solve the mystery of her life — or none of them will be at peace.

My Review-

Have you ever wondered what life after death would be like? I know I have. This is one glimpse into someone’s imagination as to what happens when our living days on earth are over. What if we are able to be reunited with our loved ones and have a chance to make up our past wrongs? Would we grasp at that chance or lose it? Here is Eleanor’s chance to find herself with her family there to support her. I enjoyed this book even though it strayed out of my normal genre of reads. The afterworld she created sounded amazing and sucked me in to find out more. I wanted to know what they could do and how they could do it. The twist in the book is hard to explain without giving too much away. Basically, Eleanor never felt peace in her human life. She always feels unsettled and never able to be happy with one person. She left her daughter behind with her parents and grandma to help find the cause of her unrest. They all passed away (although we never find out how) and go to their afterlife. Eleanor follows not too long after. Once in her afterlife she starts having flashes and dreams of things that do not make any sense. She continues to delve into them until the mystery is clear.

What I LOVED-

I loved the idea of her world when we move on from our earthly form. If only we knew that it would be that way, I think it would take the fear out of passing on for most people.

What I LIKED-

Her writing style. It flowed very nicely and was edited amazingly well for a self-published book.

What I didn’t LIKE so much-

We never learned how the accident that caused Eleanor to lose all her loved ones in one moment occurred.  Some were quite young, so I think if that had been cleared up, it would have appeased my curiosity.

Favorite Quotes-
“For now, she would be with the people she loved, and enjoy the day, until she had to dream again”

“He could stand like this forever, and never ask for anything better or more”

“She’d thought she believed it before, but now she felt the difference. This was the woman who had wanted her, wanted her to live; wanted it so badly that she had left the man she loved. left her own mother and father, left behind her memory and even her face in the mirror”

Overall Rating: 4 Stars.

I feel this book could be made into a Novella without sacrificing the story and make it a little more enjoyable read.

Would I purchase this book?

Probably not since it isn’t my normal genre

Did I enjoy it?

Yes

Would I recommend it to a friend?

Probably if they enjoy this genre

AUTHOR BIO:

Karen A. Wyle was born a Connecticut Yankee, but moved every few years throughout her childhood and adolescence.  After college in California, law school in Massachusetts, and a mercifully short stint in a large San Francisco law firm, she moved to Los Angeles, where she met her now-husband, who hates L.A.  They eventually settled in Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University.

Wyle’s childhood ambition was to be the youngest ever published novelist.  While writing her first novel at age ten, she was mortified to learn that some British upstart had beaten her to the goal at age nine.

Wyle has been a voracious and compulsive reader as long as she can remember.  Do not strand this woman on a plane without reading matter!  Wyle was an English and American Literature major at Stanford University, which suited her, although she has in recent years developed some doubts about whether studying literature is, for most people, a good preparation for enjoying it.  Her most useful preparation for writing novels, besides reading them, has been the practice of appellate law — in other words, writing large quantities of persuasive prose, on deadline, year after year. 

Wyle and her husband have two intensely creative daughters, the older of whom introduced Wyle to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), for which she will be forever grateful.

Wander Home ebook cover - small for Spotlights-etc

BUY LINKS: 

Amazon (Kindle): http://amzn.to/WeIrf9

bn.com (Nook): http://bit.ly/TymtxO

Smashwords (various ebook formats): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/239628

Amazon (paperback): http://amzn.to/Z8fFj0

bn.com (paperback): http://bit.ly/TkulFu

GIVEAWAY:

KAREN HAS OFFERED TWO  BOOKS FOR GIVEAWAY! TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY, ASK KAREN A QUESTION. IT CAN BE ABOUT THIS REVIEW, BOOKS, WRITING…

FOR AN EXTRA ENTRY, PLEASE FOLLOW HER ON FACEBOOKMAKE SURE THAT YOU TELL ME THAT YOU DID. 

ENDS 2/22

Giveaway and Guest Post from Barbara Morgenroth


WHEN HOLLYWOOD COMES CALLING:

The Book Was So Much Better!

 

Barbara Morgenroth

 

We’ve all read a book, then enthusiastically sat down to see the movie play out.  Two hours later, we’re disappointed.  “The book was so much better!”

I’ll try to explain why this happens so you know what to expect when (rise of dramatic music) Hollywood comes calling on you.

Years ago, I wrote a YA titled Will the Real Renie Lake Please Stand Up.  A producer contacted my publisher, Atheneum, and expressed an interest in optioning this book.  An option is a small sum of money, or none, to take your book out of play.  While they sit on it, you can’t make a deal with anyone else.  It was pitched as a possible ABC Afterschool Special. 

I said yes, but wanted to do the script.  The producer insisted authors are too close to the project.  If I held to my demand, it was a deal-breaker.  I gave in.  I had plenty of other things to do and thought it wouldn’t ultimately make any difference to me.  It didn’t.

They made the movie and titled it Tough Girl.  I went on to work in daytime television.  There I met a producer whose background was theater.  He saw the movie on ABC and said to me “They missed every dramatic set-up in the book.”

How did they go so wrong?  Easy.  I was to find out when I was asked to turn a book by Francine Pascal (Sweet Valley High creator) into a script.  Between the demands from her agent and all those involved, I couldn’t accommodate everyone and do justice to her story.

What is so hard about turning a book into a movie?

It’s like nailing jello to the wall in some ways.  A book is long and complicated and a movie is short and simple.  With a book, if you don’t remember something, or get confused, you can go back and reread the last few pages.  Movies don’t stop.  They have to be simple so the audience can understand the story at speed.

In this process of simplification, details the reader may consider crucial and explanatory are lost.  There isn’t time for much exposition.  As they say in Hollywood “These are MOVING pictures.”

What is difficult and takes enormous skill and wisdom to do, is to know what can’t be left out.  This is a chief reason why we often find these books-to-films dissatisfying.  The screenwriter might not have been able to get a grip on what the essence of the story was.  The action and plot were understood, but not the theme.

Don’t rush to blame the screenwriter who must please everyone in the production company, studio and network.  Everyone has input and perhaps some decision makers lacked understanding and storytelling skill. 

If some elements are missed, those in Hollywood are satisfied to “Give them the sizzle, not the steak.”

Our goal as novelists is different.  We want to give our audience the sizzle and the steak.

The movie is not your book, just based on it and won’t be a perfect representation.  Take their money and run.  If you can be involved in the process–good; you’ll have the opportunity for fight for your baby.  If not, remember what Barth Gimble of Fernwood 2-Night said about show business.  “Dignity is when the check clears.”   

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Barbara Morgenroth Bio

Barbara was born in New York City and but now lives somewhere else.  Starting her career by writing tweens and YA books, she wound up in television writing soap operas for some years.  Barbara then wrote a couple cookbooks and a nonfiction book on knitting.  She returned to fiction and wrote romantic comedies.

When digital publishing became a possibility, Barbara leaped at the opportunity and has never looked back.  In addition to the 15 traditionally published books she wrote, in digital format Barbara has something to appeal to almost every reader from Mature YAs like the Bad Apple series and the Flash series, to contemporary romances like Love in the Air published by Amazon/Montlake, and Unspeakably Desirable, Nothing Serious and Almost Breathing.

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EBooks Available by Barbara Morgenroth

YOUNG ADULT/MATURE YA

Bad Apple 1 (Mature YA)

Burning Daylight–Bad Apple 2 (Mature YA)

Rise–Bad Apple 3 (Mature YA)

Flash–Kip Chanin 1 (Mature YA)

Flash of Light–Kip Chanin 2 (Mature YA)

Mounted–Bittersweet Farm 1 (Mature YA)

Pass or Fail (Mature YA)

Unheard (Mature YA)

Just Kate–YA

Blue Raja–YA

ADULT

In Under My Head

Almost Breathing

Not Low Maintenance–The Miller Sisters 1

Unspeakably Desirable–The Miller Sisters 2

Fly Away With Me–The Miller Sisters’ Cousin

Nothing Serious (Romantic Comedy)

Murder Is Exhausting (Cozy Mystery)

AUTHOR LINKS:

http://barbaramorgenroth.blogspot.com
http://facebook.com/barbara.morgenroth.5

GIVEAWAY

BARBARA HAS OFFERED TWO  BOOKS FOR GIVEAWAY! TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY, ASK BARBARA A QUESTION. IT CAN BE ABOUT THIS GUEST POST, BOOKS, WRITING…

FOR AN EXTRA ENTRY, PLEASE FOLLOW HER ON GOODREADS. MAKE SURE THAT YOU TELL ME THAT YOU DID. 

ENDS 2/21

Guest Post and Giveaway from Irving Podolsky


Today we have Irving Podolsky, author of the Irv’s Odyssey Trilogy. Book One: Lost in the Looking Glass: Book Two: To the Light and Beyond: Book Three: Seeking the Way Home. Two lucky winners will walk away with the whole E-Book Trilogy! I, for one, can’t wait to delve into Irv’s world. Even though these books are not my usual type of read, the covers drew me in and the author himself snagged me the rest of the way.

Review Snippets:

“A perfect introduction to this coming-of-age trilogy of one young Jewish man in the midst of the era of sex, drugs and rock and roll.”

“My plan was to take Lost in a Looking Glass with me so I could read it on our cruise. But I finished it before we even left. What a page turner “
Gregor Wossilus – film critic, content producer and story analyst for the Bavarian Broadcasting Network

“The story had me laughing and groaning, with a distinct voice and a somewhat naïve approach to life and sex, Irv’s immersion into the world of porn films was penned in a conversational first person style, that often felt very much like a series of screen shots  of a day in the life.”

AUTHOR BIO:

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Irving H. Podolsky resides in the mind of this writer, and within the trilogy, Irv’s Odyssey.  As your host, I wish to remain in your hearts as that forever-young YOU seeking love, joy, wisdom and adventure. 

To learn more about Irv and his books, go to IrvsOdyssey.com or www.irvingsjourney.com

THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

 Dear Readers,

Cynthia gave me absolutely no restrictions regarding what I should write about.

Well…there was one. She reminded me of that Golden Rule of Blogging. Write unto Others as you would have them write unto you, but not over 650 words.

A very important rule, ‘cause on the internet most of us don’t read more than 300 words about anything.

I break that rule. A lot. I have this crazy idea that you’ll stay with me for five minutes, reading my stuff to the end.

But I may be delusional. I could be boring and no one is telling me….out of KINDNESS.

There’s a lot of kindness out there and we’re all awarding it. Here’s an example.

*****

I’m visiting my folks now, and last night they invited me to the Acropolis Restaurant and there we met Dave and Estelle, my parent’s best buddies and the other half of our small gathering. I’ve known Dave and Estelle for eight years. Estelle is engaging. David is not.

Three of us chose the garlic “House” dressing and that kicked Dave into reciting a yarn about a very old man who ate those stinky cloves everyday. The set up: Why did the garlic let grandpa live to be one hundred? The punch line: Because every time the Angel of Death came to visit, the old man would say, (Dave continued with a breathy exhale) “Whoooo are you?” You guessed it. The old codger’s garlicky breath chased the angel away.

Joke delivered, Dave laughed, our cue to join him.

I darted a quick glance at Estelle, who I’m sure had heard this yawn a thousand times. She grinned with a hint of a giggle. Mom and Dad politely chimed in next. I followed with a feigned smile and an approving nod.

Dave was boring and we were his enablers. No one wanted that job, but who was gonna tell the man his humor sucked, even for the second grade? Okay, his wife. But that wasn’t happening. She was kind.

From that point on my opinion of Dave locked in. The guy was not reading the room, and clueless about the difference between funny and stupid, which I assumed would apply to anything else he might say.

So when he related another story about early booster rockets, I didn’t believe him when he emphatically stated that the Jupiter C never put a man into space. I thought it did and he curtly corrected me.

When I got home I looked it up. Guess what? David was right. The Jupiter C tested various nose cones, (Who knew?) and the Redstone M lifted the Mercury astronauts into orbit.

And I got to thinking. Telling a bad joke can bust your credibility, and yet how many friends advise us to can the gags? They don’t. They pretend we’re funny. They’re being kind.

This kindness sets up bad novels too. When you write your best and give it out for review, how many people tell you it’s crap? (Agents not included.) Okay, maybe it’s not crap, but maybe your style is rough, or you’re overly wordy, or your tension isn’t working. Do your readers tell you you’re not the writer you think you are? And that your breath stinks, you slump and you’re conceited?

They don’t? Humm. Could it be…dare I say it…that you really, deep down inside DON’T WANT TO KNOW?

Because if you don’t want the truth, that leaves the one thing you DO want – validation. And consequently friends and strangers, out of kindness, will give you just that – PRAISE (the kiss of death to any writer if it’s not justified).

“Oh, that’s not me,” you say, “I can handle criticism.”

Me too. So when I gave out my first drafts of Irv’s Odyssey, I insisted on brutal honesty. Sure, that first editing pass was deadly unpleasant. But it made me a better writer (after Mr. Ego settled down). I then developed my style and found a “voice” – Irv’s voice; and then another  – this voice. I strive to keep it frank, open and honest.

Still, I can’t stop being kind to lame jokesters.

-IRVING

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Buy Links:

AMAZON

BARNES AND NOBLE

THE GIVEAWAY

IRVING HAS OFFERED TWO E-BOOK TRILOGY SETS FOR GIVEAWAY! TO ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY, ASK IRVING A QUESTION. IT CAN BE ABOUT HIS GUEST POST, BOOKS, WRITING…

FOR AN EXTRA ENTRY, PLEASE FOLLOW OR FRIEND HIM ON GOODREADS. MAKE SURE THAT YOU TELL ME THAT YOU DID. 

ENDS 2/15

GOODREADS LINK

VALENTINE’S DAY GIVEAWAY!!!


Happy-Valentines-Day2I just wanted to take a minute and say “Happy Valentine’s Day”! I am going to have a giveaway of 3 Valentine’s Day themed books (1 winner for each book). This is going to be a simple entry. I want you to tell me in a comment below…

YOUR FAVORITE VALENTINE’S DAY MEMORY.

It can be sweet, funny, embarrassing, loving, romantic…

Any memory that means something to you.

I will pick my favorites and announce the winners on February 15th.

Prizes will be gifted through Amazon.com so you must have an account.

You also must be a fan of my facebook page. (LINK)

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Good Luck & Have Fun!

The Immortal Companion’s Blog Tour


(Better Version of the Information at the bottome MEDIA_KIT)

Hello Everyone!

 

I wanted to take a minute out of my Immortal Companion Blog Tour 2013 and introduce you to a few of my WIP (works in progress). I hope you enjoy the previews!

 

Thirty Days in May

www.Facebook.com/ThirtyDaysInMay

 

The thunder rattled the windows like an alarm clock unexpectedly breaking the silence of the night. Beth’s eyes sprang open allowing her to witness the repetitive flashes of light as the lightning lit up her bedroom. She momentarily laid still and allowed the vibrations of the storm to bring back her long lost memories.  Not a single storm could pass – morning, noon, or night – without Beth paying it notice. The storms were like some sort of a hypnotic routine that somehow kept her functioning for the last seven years.

Slowly she sat up, making sure that her eyes would focus, and placed her feet into the slippers that were partially hidden under her bed. She grabbed her silk robe and swung it over her lightweight pajamas, each arm pushing through the sleeves as she headed toward the stairs. Beth took the stairs quickly, letting only the balls of her feet touch each step as she descended.

Once downstairs, she headed for the kitchen and paused briefly at the light switch where she, after a minor debate, decided that she’d rather remain in the dark with the lightning casting shadows upon the floor. The coffee maker beeped to life as she placed a ceramic cup under the spout and waited impatiently for it to fill.

                The thunder crashed, proving that the storm was moving closer.

Once ready, Beth grabbed the coffee and opened the door that led to the back of her covered porch. She stepped outside and immediately felt the rush of the wind passing through. She closed her eyes and listened to the anger of the storm. It always seemed as if the storms that passed new exactly the emotion that she needed to release at that point and time. Anger, sorrow, joy, love, hate, satisfaction, or misery – they all came to her upon the storm.

                She cupped her hands around her coffee, warming them, as she leaned against the porch’s support and slowly sipped at her drink. A smile came to her lips as she allowed her mind to slip back to the past.

Most people would like to move on from their past; consider it a lesson learned in time and be glad that it had come and gone, but not Beth. No, she relished in the past and she would dare any person to say that there would ever be a more powerful moment in her life than what she had already had the pleasure of experiencing.

Beth had been in love… and she was still in love, no matter how much she wanted to deny it.

 

 

Laloo, the Dream Weaver

www.Facebook.com/LalooTheDreamWeaver

 

“Laloo! Laloo! Are we going to play today?” Ava yelled into her closet.

Within a minute Ava was eye to eye with a fuzzy creature. He stood four feet tall, yellow fur, big silly eyes, and a smile that reminded her of a teddy bear.

                “Of course!” Laloo answered. “Where should we be off to today?” he asked.

                Ava thought for a minute. She had to be careful where she asked to go. There was only one rule that surrounded her relationship with Laloo. She may only go to places that she’d seen in her dreams.

                Laloo was a dream weaver. He spent the evenings in her room watching her sleep, guarding over her dreams. Before the light of the morning, he would go back to his home through her closet and place all that he had seen from her dreams in a special book. The only difference between Ava’s dreams and his stories, were that he always had to add the endings to complete the stories. Ava’s dreams always seemed to wake her up before they were finished.

“I’d like to be a princess. Like the dream I had last week!” Ava asked excitedly. “The one with the castle and the moat and the grand ball!”

                Laloo smiled, “Oh, I added a great ending to that dream! Are you up for the challenge?”

“Yes, oh yes!” Ava jumped up and down.

Laloo had a wild imagination, which caused Ava to never know where the days’ adventures would take them. For you see, Ava had the ability to travel with Laloo to the worlds that he created from her dreams. The only twist was that the adventures always posed some sort of challenge for her to get back home to her family.

                                Ava knew that every time she traveled into one of her dreams that she may not be able to return home nor would she be able to return to the same dream twice. But every dream left her with some special gift that she was able to take back with her in remembrance of her journeys. In fact, Ava had an entire shelf of the treasures that she had been given.

Laloo took her hand and guided her to the closet.

                “Are you ready to travel?” he asked.

                “Sure am!” she replied.

                The two stepped in, closed the closet door, and counted to 5.

                “1…2…3…4…5…” they whispered together.

                They jumped three times, spun twice, and said the magic words – “La-li-loo-la!”

                The darkness of the closet was replaced with the beauty of the sun sparkling upon a large castle made of sand. It twinkled like tiny diamonds as the sun’s rays struck the walls. The water surrounding the castle was dark green from the creatures that swam in the moat. Waves splashed as their long green tales broke the surface of the water.

Ava looked down at her hands, flipping them over, back and forth. She was no longer ten, but had aged and grown to the teenage years of sixteen. She ran her hands down the front of her dress, which had turned into a large, yellow flowing ball gown.

Her eyes widened as she remembered the necklace that she had worn in her dreams. It was real! Diamonds and gold cascaded down from around her neck to the top of her dress. Her hair was lifted off of her shoulders and placed into a loose-fitting crown.

                She smiled as she looked down at her traveling companion.

                “Thank you, Laloo! I always wanted to know what it was like to be a princess.”

                “You’re welcome,” he grinned.

                She looked down at her delicate, golden-colored shoes and noticed the cobblestone street. It was everything she remembered from her dream. She knew how the next few hours were going to go. It was time to head to the castle to prepare for the evening’s ball. Laloo accompanied the princess on her walk.

As she circled around to the front of the castle through the village’s streets, the creatures in the moat seemed to follow the rhythm of her footsteps. They swam around the circular moat, happily wagging their tales above the water.

The streets were lined with small shops and stores where friendly people bowed and waved to the princess. Many offered her gifts of fine gloves, scarves, foods, and jewelry, but Princess Ava never accepted the fine goods. Instead, she complimented their beauty and handled the store’s clerk a few pieces of silver for their hard work.

The princess was loved by all of the villagers. Many came just to bear witness to her beauty. She had light brown hair with strands of gold, green eyes that were etched in blue, and an endearing smile that warmed the darkest soul.

Within minutes, they had reached the castle’s bridge that crossed over the moat. She let her voice travel softly on the breeze to the guardsmen watching over the drawbridge.

“Sir. Kind Sir, won’t you let us in?” she called.

The drawbridge slowly lowered down to the bridge. As they entered, the princess’s maid joined her near the castle gate.

“Your highness, have you been exploring the kingdom with Laloo again? You know you should be getting ready for the ball!”

                 Ava laughed, setting the worried maid at ease. “There is plenty of time to prepare me,” she smiled. “Let us go.”

                Ava waved as she separated from Laloo. It would be a long time before she was properly dressed and decorated for the evening’s ball. Besides, Laloo had some getting ready to do himself.

                The maid rang the bedroom’s chimes for the rest of the princess’s staff to join them in her chambers. Ava turned to watch as lines of people entered her room. There were men and women smiling as they paraded by the princess carrying some of the countries finest jewels, dresses, perfumes, and make-up. Ava nodded, smiled, and selected her attire for the evening thrilled at the ability to select from a sea of colors.

She wore a beautiful purple gown, white gloves, light purple shoes, silver and diamond jewels, and a silver evening crown. Shortly after she was prepared, word was sent from the King, her father, to prepare for the presentation of the royal family.

                She ran on her tiptoes from her room to the top of the stairs that would descend into the ballroom. Her father stood at the top of the stairs behind closed doors as he held tightly onto the queen’s arm. Ava’s little brother stepped forward and looped his arm through his sister’s to assist her down the marble stairs.

                Laloo emerged from a room nearby and stood behind the Princess. His fur was freshly fluffed and a black tuxedo covered his small body.

                “Are you ready for the ending? It’s a doozy!” he laughed.

                “Is it time for the dream to end already?” Ava asked.

                “Enjoy your dancing, Ava. The dream will switch to my story in about five minutes.”

The trumpets sounded and introduced the royal party as they slowly walked down the stairs to the ballroom floor. The music loudly filled the room and off they went dancing and twirling about, initiating the beginning of the ball.

A handsome young prince caught Ava’s eye as she spun about the floor with her brother. He was dressed in a white tuxedo with long tails, a gold crown, and a purple sash that matched the princess’s dress.

The prince made his way over to the edge of the dance floor and waited patiently for the opportunity to dance with princess. Once the royal family’s dance ended, he met the princess as she exited the floor. He bowed and introduced himself as Prince James of Davidson, a nearby kingdom to Huntington.

Princess Ava curtsied, blushed, and extended her gloved hand. He kissed the top of her hand and led her onto the dance floor. The music played softly as they glided around the room.

Laloo, dancing around by himself, winked at the princess. She knew this meant that her dream had ended. She nervously looked around the room trying to find the treasure that would get her back home. She wanted to find the treasure before the story changed, but without warning, the prince suddenly disappeared in a puff of black smoke. A sorcerer stood in his place wearing a long black robe, dark eyes, and an evil grin. He tilted his head back and cackled loudly, silencing the room. He snatched the crown from the princess’s head and disappeared into the night.

Ava looked at Laloo.

“Is that all you’ve got? An evil sorcerer? I should be home by lunch time!”

Laloo laughed at Ava.

“It’s not that he is a sorcerer or the fact that he can shape-shift, it’s that he’s hidden the crown in a cave protected by a dragon. Oh, and the crown is the treasure for your shelf; the way you get back home.”

Ava looked down as her dress melted away. Bright shiny metal took its place. A helmet suddenly appeared and slammed shut, hiding her face. She had two small eyeholes that barely allowed her to see in front of her. Her arms became heavy as a shield formed in one hand and a sword formed in the other.

Laloo smiled.

“What a fine looking knight you are.”

Ava knew there was danger every time she traveled with Laloo. She had two choices, to follow through with his stories, which in the end would get her home or she could refuse to follow his story and stay in her dream forever, leaving her family behind.

Ava lifted the mask on her helmet and knelt down to look Laloo in the eye.

“Challenge accepted,” she grinned.

Thanks for the opportunity to share!

 

K. B. Lever

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THE IMMORTAL COMPANION TOUR 2013
 
Book 1 – Manipulating the List (2012)
ISBN-10: 1478190027
 
Book 2 – Executing the List (2012)
ISBN-10: 1480122149
 
Book 3 – Legacy of the List (TBR 2013)
ISBN-10: 1481183656
 
 
 
The Immortal Companion is a YA Paranormal Fantasy series that consists of three novels: Manipulating the List (2012), Executing the List (2012), and Legacy of the List (TBR July 2013).
 
This series follows a young girl, Katherine, who finds herself in an unlikely relationship with an entity similar to the Grim Reaper. The two meet for the first time at Katherine’s tender age of six, when she unknowingly watches him collect the soul of her aunt at a local park.
 
The Collector then begins to make it like a bedtime routine to show up just before Katherine’s fallen asleep and fills her in on the life and times of his next victims – like a series of mini biographies – told only to her, each night.
 
Upon turning twenty-two, Katherine quickly finds that her name is on the Collector’s list and that she has been marked to be collected. A deadly race ensues where the two must work together to manipulate the list so that she can bypass her scheduled death.
 
Join our characters as they begin an adventurous and thrilling challenge that involves breaking the law, traveling to exotic locations, murder, romance, and a constant game of cat and mouse that doesn’t stop from beginning to end. This series has an ever-changing storyline that guarantees you won’t be able to put it down.
Author
 
K. B. Lever
 
 
 
 
 
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 
I grew up in Simpsonville, South Carolina and moved to Charlotte, North Carolina at the age of twelve. Until then, my life simply revolved around softball, writing, and cheering on the N.C. State Wolfpack by my father’s side.
 
A true desire to write began once I reached my high school years. Poems and Short stories filled my notebooks for Science, History, and Math. But by graduation, a second passion would prove to be far too great for me to ignore – the desire to help people.
 
My career path led me into the field of emergency services. I became a professional firefighter, which after a few years led to the promotion of Fire Lieutenant. Concurrently, I expanded my studies to become an Emergency Medical Technician. I have since resigned from the fire department and chose to advance my career in the medical field to become a Paramedic Crew Chief. It has thus far been a rewarding career that has brought me a life full of happiness, constant rewards, and getting to help the public in a most drastic time of need.
 
After the birth of Ava, my daughter, I decided that I needed to write her story. For the first time in years, I picked up a pen and began writing. It was a small, leather bound journal that allowed me to write all of her accomplishments, life experiences, and memories that wouldn’t be able to fit into a baby album. It unknowingly lit a fire within me that I wouldn’t be able to shake.
 
From that point on, I spent every minute of my free time writing; sometimes staying up into the wee hours of the next morning. The Immortal Companion series is the result of my relit desire.
 
Welcome to the world of my imagination.
I hope you enjoy the tales.
Author’s web site
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Author’s blog
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Author’s Twitter
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Friend the Author
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The Immortal Companion Series on Facebook
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Laloo, the Dream Weaver Series on Facebook
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Thirty Days in May on Facebook
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Amazon reviews (27) for Manipulating the List – 4.6 out of 5 stars:
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Amazon review (1) for Executing the List – 5 out of 5 stars:
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Barnes and Noble reviews (24) for Manipulating the List – 4.5 out of 5 stars:
 
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Barnes and Noble reviews (2) for Executing the List – 5 out of 5 stars:
 
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Goodreads reviews (17) and ratings (24) – 4.62 out of 5 stars:
 
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Available for Purchase at the Following Locations –
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Autographed copies of Manipulating the List and Executing the List in Paperback – www.KBLever.com (at the store page)
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*Note – Both Barnes and Noble and Amazon provide sample chapters or inside looks at the books.
**Author is currently available for interviews and book signings.
 
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K. B. Lever
The Immortal Companion Series

Review of Kiss Me (BK 2) & Giveaway of Stalk Me (BK 1) by Jillian Dodd


REVIEW BY CASSIE HOFFMAN

‘Kiss Me’ Book 2 by Jillian Dodd

This is the 2nd book in a series. The first book is up for giveaway at the bottom (USA ONLY). Be aware, this review might contain spoilers if you have not read ‘Stalk Me’.

Being stalked, almost kidnapped, leaving everything and everyone you know behind, and never knowing if you will be able to go back to that life you left, making out with some serious hotties, and clothes any girl would kill to have. Yup, this is the life of Keatyn

In ‘Kiss Me’ you pick right up where you left off in ‘Stalk Me’. Keatyn is trying to figure out where she belongs in the new boarding school she is at. Coming from her old school where she was a part of the in-crowd, she doesn’t know if that is the road she wants to take. Maybe at this school she can join some clubs, join the dance team, and who knows… maybe run for Class President.

Learning her way around, meeting new friends and some potential make out partners, she meets the “God of all Hotties” Aiden, who has the reputation of being a total player, but with that being known, Aiden still does something to her and she can’t help but feel the pull.

Making both Varsity soccer and the dance team, things are looking up and she has met a few more friends, but has gained an enemy in Whitney, the ex-girlfriend of Dawson, a total sex God. Wanting to get his ex back and take her to homecoming, Dawson asks Keatyn to help make Whitney jealous. Not needing anymore problems, she will just flirt with Dawson….If only that was the case, Keatyn and Dawson start hooking up and having a bit of fun together.

All these boys and so little time what is a girl to do???

With making her new life and self at her new school, Keatyn still has to worry about Vincent, her stalker. They can’t catch him, and he has been showing up at places he shouldn’t be. Will she ever get her old life back and will they ever be able to catch him? She starts to wonder if leaving her old life was a mistake since he is still after her.

Life at Keatyn’s new school is going great, she has a great group of friends: both guy’s and girls, and her and Dawson are getting to know each other in more way’s then one. Having fun with Dawson, still Keatyn can’t help but feel the pull towards Aiden.

Being the “God of all Hottie’s” French tutor so she can get into the school’s Social committee isn’t as easy as she thought. With his sexy mega-watt smile, the body of a God, it starts becoming a chore to tutor him. With things getting a bit serious with Dawson and Aiden constant anger towards, her sometimes she wants to call off boys all together……who is she kidding, that will never happen 🙂

Being the new girl, boy troubles, a stalker on the loose, and a black credit card what is a girl to do??

First off, this book should be named ‘Read Me’! Holy cow did I get sucked right own in and loved every second of it. Kiss Me is a book that will suck you in and will have you fanning yourself off. It’s a fun, upbeat, funny read. Keatyn grows a bit in the story and is learning how to live on her own without her parents around, finding out who she really is, and learning to be independent as well as trying to have a bit of fun too. I loved all the new characters; they keep the book going and make it even funnier. I enjoyed her interaction with her guy friends and she has a lot of them. I could feel myself slipping into the book and being Keatyn, that is just how Jillian Dodd’s writes and I LOVE that. Throw in the fashion, a LOT of hot guys, a stalker, and steamy make-out scenes and you have a killer book that you won’t be able to put down! The book ended and I wasn’t prepared for it to be done; now I’m going to be biting my nails waiting for ‘Date Me’! And for all the girls let me just say three words…AIDEN AND DAWSON! I still have no clue what team I’m on…It’s hard to choose. I’ll stay on the dividing line and say Team Hotties 🙂 I GIVE ‘KISS ME’ 5 STARS!

I think my favorite quote out of this book/series is “Life is a divine chaos.”

Yep. That’s what I’m gonna call you. A combination of cutie and Keatyn. You’re my little Keatie.”-Dawson

“You make me feel like a superhero, Keatie. In bed. I feel like I could fly, kick the Hulk’s ass, bust Superman’s chops, all before lunch.”-Dawson

“Too bad I’m not a vampire. I’d bite you. Make you mine.”-Aiden

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STALK ME: BOOK ONE (GIVEAWAY)

KISS ME: BOOK TWO (REVIEW)

THE KEATYN CHRONICLES

AMAZON BUY LINKS:

 Stalk me. (The Keatyn Chronicles)

Kiss Me (The Keatyn Chronicles)

GIVEAWAY!

Jillian is offering up one paperback (USA ONLY) of ‘Stalk Me’ the first book in The Keatyn Chronicles. To win this book, leave a comment below saying why you want to read it and give Jillian’s facebook page a like. If you have already liked it, let me know that as well. Contest ends 2/8 at 5 PM with winner announced shortly after.

JILLIAN DODD FACEBOOK

TALES OF ARADIA: THE LAST WITCH: VOLUME ONE (REVIEW AND FREE BOOK)


REVIEW BY CASSIE HOFFMAN

AUTHOR: L.A. JONES

Witches, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh my! A secret world, which only the Hidden knows about and a young girl trying to figure out what she is and grow into her own.

Aradia Preston looks just like your normal teenager, but she is anything but normal. Being rescued and found in a cave as an infant by her parents, Ross and Liza, had to be from a higher power. While Ross and Liza were on their way back home from a fertility clinic in Salem, Massachusetts, Liza asked for a sign and not that long after they spotted a bright flash of light. With their truck messing up and wanting to find out what that light was, they happen upon a whimpering baby in a cave.


How could that be, who would leave a baby all alone in a cave? What they don’t know is that Aradia is the last of her kind, while all the other like her were
being killed for treason and extinguished, the Seer of the Salem coven escaped and with her magic sent Aradia to safety. All that took place almost four-hundred
years ago. How is this possible that she is now found as a baby?

Having to move to Salem, Massachusetts for her father Ross’s new job as the assassinate District Attorney and working on finding a killer going around that is known as the “Vampire Murderer” since whoever is killing is draining the victims of their blood. Aradia is trying to take everything in stride. She’s never been popular or the most liked where she came from, since she was kind of different, her and her parents knew this from the moment they found her. Rai has powers, and they will do anything to keep them a secret.

Rai notices that some of the students at her new school are always staring at her, like they are fascinated with her. It isn’t just because she is the new girl there is something different about it. Rai notices how some of the kids are a bit too beautiful to be real, and those are the ones who she would catch
gazing at her. Why are they acting so weird?

In gym, Rai meets a new friend, Roy. Roy and Aradia would soon become good friends after they find out each other’s secrets. What is Roy’s secret? He is not completely human. And something that happened between them might end up changing her life. What is it?

Aradia learned that there were werewolves, vampires, fairies, shape shifters, and much more, not only in Salem, but all over the world. They are called The Hidden. They don’t let anyone know what they are, they have to keep secret and that’s how they like it. Learning that other creatures live in Salem, now she knows why some were looking at her like they do, but now she just needs to figure out what she is.

Aradia isn’t the only one who would like to find out what she is. Some of the Hidden want to know as well. They have never smelled anyone like her before.

Soon weird things start to happen to Aradia. She is getting hurt at school, getting tripped down the stars, her hand gashed open and when this starts to happen, Roy and his brothers help protect Rai.

While making her new friends in Salem, Rai discovers about the murder of a werewolf and she wants to help find the killer. Now that a werewolf is murdered and drained like a vampire did it, The Hidden communities are at odds. Rai will use her powers to help find the killer, but will it put her and her family at risk?

With trying to help find the Vampire Murderer, Rai starts dating a vampire named Dax, but could he be getting closer to Rai for only one reason, that reason being trying to figure out what she is, or could he really like her?

Aradia just doesn’t have to worry about the murderer, Dax, and finding out what she is… there is something bigger going on behind the scenes, there are others that are trying to track Aradia down, they are the ones that let her get away and now they want to fix that problem. Using her powers more and more, and having
them get stronger, she is sending out a “beacon” for them to find her.

Can Aradia help The Hidden community not attack each other, or will it backfire in her face? Will she be able to find out what she is and where she came from and can she trust the ones around her? Aradia will soon find all that out and much more in Tales of Aradia: The Last Witch.

Tales of Aradia was a fast read, with lots of action, secrets, and mystery. It keeps you entertained throughout the whole book. I’m excited to read the next book and find out what happens with Aradia and how she grows into who she is. Everything intertwined well, and the story flowed just right. I enjoyed how there was a multitude of paranormal in one book. A good book to put on your to-be read list. I give Tales of Aradia 4 stars!

“It is done. She has been sent to where she can be happy until the time comes to avenge her people! She will destroy you! You and your Sovereign!”-Seer

“I’m not your puppy, Rai, and I’m certainly not a Twilight fan!”- Roy

“You are suggesting I betray her trust, trick her!”- Dax

“Yes, Aradia. Not only are you a witch, but you are also the last of your kind. You, Aradia, are the last witch.”- Mr. Dayton

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