Monday, July 27, 2015

Blog Tour | Hunter by Renee Donne

Release Date: 11/14/14
Anaiah Press

Summary from Goodreads: 

  Moving across the country isn’t Hunter’s ideal start to her Junior year of high school. She has no friends to hang out with, no beaches to lounge on, and she’s living just a few miles from the secluded hiking trail where her father died when she was a baby. Living in Wyoming isn’t all bad, though, thanks to Logan, the handsome veterinary assistant at the animal clinic where she lands an after school job. And he seems just as interested in her as she is in him. As Hunter begins to settle into her new home, she learns more about the circumstances surrounding her father’s tragic death, and it may not have been the accident everyone believes. Something dangerous lurks in the woods, and Hunter might be the next victim.  

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  Buy Links: Amazon

  About the Author Renee Donne is a native Floridian with a penchant for writing books with a western theme. In her head, she's a world traveler and an amateur chef. In real life, she's a hometown girl with an affinity for fine wine and good friends. Her favorite place to write is sitting on her veranda, overlooking the beach.  

  Author Links: WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Drowning in Books

I just came across another Kindle freebie from a YA author I like, Ashelyn Drake. Of course, I immediately clicked on the link and downloaded the free book, like I always do. Then my brain said, "Wow! Another book! Now we have, like, a million books to read! Yay!"

And the scary part is, it's probably not too far off. But I can't help it! The more books I see, the more I want! I tell myself, "Catch up on the ones you already have, then add more." So, to help myself, I stopped receiving the emails that tell you what books are free on a daily or weekly basis. But sometimes I still see them, like this book on my FB News Feed today.

So, my question is, is it possible to have too many books? Do I need to discipline myself to stop clicking on all the free books? What do you think?

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Blog Tour | Anya and the Shy Guy by Suze Winegardner

Anya and the Shy Guy (Backstage Pass #4)
Release Date: 07/14/15
Entangled Crush

 Summary from Goodreads:

  Anya Anderson doesn’t just need a big break, she needs any break. Living on the streets doesn’t leave a girl many options, so when she scores a gig reporting on the Seconds to Juliet tour, she jumps at the chance to earn enough money to sleep somewhere safe. And the paycheck will get bigger—and keep her off the streets for good—if she can dig up dirt on Will Fray, the irritatingly hot “shy guy” of the band.   Problem is, Will Fray isn't who everyone thinks he is. In fact, he’s not Will at all. Matt, Will's identical twin, is actually the guy onstage, reluctantly covering for his brother while he’s in rehab. To make matters worse, Matt’s being shadowed by a cute reporter with troubled eyes determined to get the scoop. On him. And he's having trouble finding the willpower to keep his distance…   But if the secret gets out, it won't just be his head on a platter—it’ll be the whole band’s.

This Entangled Teen Crush book contains steamy make out scenes, graphic language, and a love story so hot your copy may spontaneously burst into flames. You’ve been warned.

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  Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CABarnes & NobleKobo BooksGoogleplay  

About the Author Suze Winegardner is an ex-pat Brit who quells her homesickness with Cadbury Flakes and Fray Bentos pies. She thinks her life is chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny. And if you get that reference, well, she already considers you kin. She is represented by Laura Bradford, of the Laura Bradford Literary Agency,and writes for Entangled Publishing‘s Crush imprint. She’s lived in LondonParis and New York, and has settled, for the time being, in North Carolina.   When not writing, Suze loves to travel with her military husband, and take long walks with their Lab.

  Author Links: WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook  

  GIVEAWAY: a Rafflecopter giveaway      

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Blog Tour | Dragonfriend by Marc Secchia

Dragonfriend (Dragonfriend #1)
Release Date: 04/11/15
420 pages

Summary from Goodreads: Stabbed. Burned by a dragon. Abandoned for the windrocs to pick over. The traitor Ra’aba tried to silence Hualiama forever. But he reckoned without the strength of a dragonet’s paw, and the courage of a girl who refused to die. Only an extraordinary friendship will save Hualiama’s beloved kingdom of Fra’anior and restore the King to the Onyx Throne. Flicker, the valiant dragonet. Hualiama, a foundling, adopted into the royal family. The power of a friendship which paid the ultimate price. This is the tale of Hualiama Dragonfriend, and a love which became legend. *Series Note* Dragonfriend is a stand-alone YA fantasy novel which is set in the same world as the bestselling dragon adventure series Shapeshifter Dragons and Shapeshifter Dragon Legends. It can be read in any order alongside Aranya, Shadow Dragon and The Pygmy Dragon.


  Excerpt The Roc lifted her five feet and two inches frame with ease. As he manhandled her toward the safety railing which lined the gantry beneath the Dragonship’s hundred-and-fifty-foot hydrogen balloon, Lia saw the unmistakable profile of Ha’athior Island’s double volcanic cone abaft their starboard beam. Ahead and several miles below lay a tiny side-volcano, nestled against its parent like a Dragon hatchling taking comfort against an enormous mother’s flank. After that? Crimson-tinged Cloudlands lapped unbroken from the Islands to the horizon’s skirts, a deathly carpet clothed in immeasurable, brooding majesty. Strange. She had always wanted to experience Dragon flight. The touch of cool metal against her back provoked a sudden, final outpouring of strength. Reaching behind her, Hualiama caught her long braid in her fingertips. “Any birthday wishes, little Lia?” chuckled Captain Ra’aba. “Rot in–” she inhaled sharply, choking on blood “–a Cloudlands hell.” Reaching up, Lia jabbed her three-inch long, razor-sharp hairpin into his windpipe, several inches below his left jawbone. He wheezed, “You …” As Ra’aba recoiled, the flailing of his arms tumbled her over the edge. Lia screamed endlessly as she fell through the ruddy beams of a perfect Fra’aniorian suns-set.

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Buy Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo BooksiBooks  

About the Author 
Marc is the bestselling author of 12 fantasy novels. Aranya and The Pygmy Dragon are full of dragons, battles and romance, and are set in a unique island-world above the toxic cloudlands. He's also the author of a bestselling African historical fantasy series set in ancient Ethiopia. Current projects: Dragonlove, the sequel to Dragonfriend, and the sequel to The Pygmy Dragon are being drafted. Marc was born Cape Town but now lives and works in Ethiopia with his wife and 4 children, 2 dogs, and a variable number of marabou storks that roost on the acacia trees out back. On a good night there are also hyenas prowling along the back fence. When he’s not writing about Africa or dreaming about dragons flying across the moon, Marc can be found travelling to remote locations. He thinks there’s nothing better than standing on a mountaintop wondering what lies over the next horizon.

  1. Tell me about the books you’ve written?
My books can be broadly split into two categories – epic fantasy and African historical fantasy. I’ve written 12 fantasy novels – 5 African fantasy novels for Middle Grades readers which are set in ancient Ethiopia, 4 dragon fantasy novels (and counting), one ocean fantasy, and two standalone epic fantasy works. A number of these are bestsellers on Amazon. I love writing and try to produce a new work every 3-4 months or so. My work in progress is Dragonlove which I hope to release by the end of July 2015.  
  1. What’s your writing schedule like?
I aim to complete 2,000 words per day. Usually I get up at 5am and write until 8am, every morning. Once every 10 days or so I write through the night. My record (while completing The Pygmy Dragon) was 25,000 words in one night. Productive! I will edit a book multiple times while I’m writing it, and then do at least 3 complete run-through’s of editing before releasing a book to my Beta Readers.  
  1. Give me your secret playlist for writing fantasy books?
No big secrets here. Dragonfriend was written primarily to three soundtracks: Tron Legacy – moody, beautiful, brilliant Hammerfall – for when I feel the need to write a battle scene, no, I’m not a metalhead, but there’s just something about this band I gel with when I’m throwing fireballs about the page and blowing things up. Queen – It's a Kind of Magic – when I’m about to pull a crazy plot twist on my readers …  
  1. What would you say are your top fantasy/sci-fi writer or series influences?
My early influences were hard science fiction writers such as Isaac Asimov, Ben Bova, Carl Sagan and Piers Anthony, combined with my love of historical fiction, particularly James A. Mitchener. But my true love has always been fantasy. Anne McCaffrey’s Dragons of Pern has always inspired me with the courage of her characters, sometimes in the face of great odds – she’s my all-time favourite writer, and a master world-builder who I aspire to emulate. LOTR is the motherlode, setting the standard for rich background and historical detail, world building and a great storyline that pitches good against evil in an epic battle. In epic fantasy, Terry Brooks is awesome. I fell in love with his Sword of Shannara series and I think he’s a writer of great craft. I enjoy Robert Jordan for the enormous sweep of his tales and the meticulous crafting that goes into his work. These are all ‘classic’ influences. I should mention George R.R. Martin, James Maxwell, Terry Goodkind, and Robin Hobb, and I have been known to spend hours chortling over a Terry Pratchett Discworld novel. There are some great novels out there and not enough hours in the day to enjoy them all!  
  1. Where do you get your ideas?
A number of my stories have started with a dream, such as Aranya and The Legend of El Shashi. I write down a synopsis of the dream the following morning. Similarly, for story ideas, I now write down a synopsis or jot down ideas in mindmap format, exploring related ideas or themes or characters I wish to use. I keep a file of all my ideas for stories and mine it periodically for inspiration. The Shioni of Sheba series was inspired by a visit to the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia, and The Girl who Sang with Whales found inspiration in the song ‘Indescribable’ by Chris Tomlin. I never quite know when the next idea is going to strike … and I’ve far more ideas than I could possibly turn into novels at this point.  
  1. You’ve started lots of series. When are you going to finish them?
Yes, and it’s my own fault. Thankfully, I can produce quickly when I get my head down. I am currently finishing Dragonlove, the sequel to Dragonfriend, which I hope to have ready within the next six weeks or so. I’ve also started drafting Dragon Thief and the sequel to The Pygmy Dragon. In all, I have the following novels planned: Aranya and Shadow Dragon, part #3 planned for late 2015 The Pygmy Dragon, part #2 planned for autumn 2015 The Girl who Sang with Whales, part #2 planned for 2016 Dragonfriend (the sequel will be Dragonlove, planned for end of July 2015) Dragon Thief (work in progress) – planned for August 2015

  Author Links: WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

International Author's Day Blog Hop Winner

Thank you so much to all who visited and commented on my blog during the hop. Using, I have calculated the winner: Congratulations to Lynn Thompson! You have won your choice of any one of my ebooks on mobi or epub. Enjoy!


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Beverly Hills Notable Dining Experiences

Beverly Hills is well known for its luxurious hotels and fancy boutiques. But in between stores, you can stop at some fabulous restaurants for fine dining. Here are five notable dining experiences in Beverly Hills.

Image via Flickr by lindseywb


Infamous chef Wolfgang Puck offers nine-courses on his "California Tasting Menu” at Spago. Choose this dining site for authentic California cuisine, fine wine pairings, and renovated design. Spago has received the AAA Four Diamond Award and two stars in The Michelin Guide - Los Angeles edition. It's one of only three restaurants in the city to win this coveted recognition. It's close to The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica, so if you're booking your room here, you can dine there as often as you like.


Chef Curtis Stone takes a unique dining experience with his restaurant, Maude. He named the restaurant after his grandmother, whom he credits as his culinary inspiration. The menu at Maude changes month-to-month, with a menu-only tasting highlighting one seasonal ingredient in each of its nine innovative courses. Pomegranate, winter squash, truffles, and asparagus have been highlighted on the monthly menus in the past. This is one of the smallest restaurants in Beverly Hills and the toughest to get into, so be sure to make your reservations early.

Scratch Bar

Chef Lee is known to be a comic in the kitchen. So how great would it be to sit in the kitchen at Scratch Bar and partake in his delightful culinary style? You can reserve "The Chef's Counter" for your dinner at one of two sittings every night. Watch Chef Lee prepare your meal at arm's length while you enjoy his unique cooking style and the entertainment that comes with it. You can choose from several delicious menu items, which may include honey-fried stuffed olives or potted king crab, or enjoy new dishes prepared with seasonally fresh ingredients.

Nozawa Bar

If you're looking for a different style restaurant, check out Nozawa Bar, Beverly Hills première Japanese restaurant. An authentic Japanese-style Omakase menu is served during dinner hours. It features a multi-course menu created each morning by Chef Nozawa and Master Chef Fujita after they visit the fish markets, where they hand select each piece the restaurant will serve that day. The Omakase menu is served by reservation only, so be sure to book yours early. Add Nozawa Bar to your list of can't-miss sites in Beverly Hills.

Bedford and Burns

Join the Burns Family as they welcome you to their fresh take on the American Bistro. At Bedford and Burns, you can enjoy a menu of personal favorites in a warm residential setting. Meals are prepared with the abundant ingredients available in Southern California, including fresh oysters, seasonal vegetables, and fish. Take your pick from gourmet pizza, fresh salads, burgers, and even a NY strip. Soups and sandwiches are also available on their lunch menu.
These five notable Beverly Hills restaurants make great dining choices for your trip. You'll create unforgettable memories and find dishes you've only dreamed of.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Cover Reveal | The Lemorian Crest by Hannah Clark

The Lemorian Crest (Cobbogoth #2)
Release Date: July 2015
Summary from Goodreads:
After being raised from infancy in Boston, Mass., Noria (a.k.a Norah Lukens) has no idea what to expect upon entering New Cobbogoth, where she never would have guessed that paths of light can make you vanish; doors can lead to realms both near and far; myths and legends are actual history; a mere kiss can seal two souls as one; and, of course, a stone is never “just a stone.” Her Uncle Jack’s stories never could have prepared her for the magical and dangerous place her native realm is turning out to be.
When the Gihara’s promises begin to crumble, her best friend and soul-mate Jamus (a.k.a. James Riley) is in more danger than ever. Then when his father Lylend abandons her to search for an ancient relic called The Lemorian Crest and she is taken captive by the very people she’s risked everything to save, Noria begins to lose faith in the Cobbogothian gods and the mission they sent her home to accomplish.
Only when a series of new friendships and loyalties are forged in the most peculiar of places, does Noria dare hope again. Hope for Jamus’ safety, for their future together, and for the survival of the entire Cobbogothian race.
Book 1: Uncovering Cobbogoth was published in 2014 by Cedar Fort Publishing.
First book in the series:
(Cover linked to Goodreads)
About the Author
Hannah L. Clark lives with her husband and two children in the Rocky Mountains. She has always known she would be a storyteller. In 2006 she graduated from Utah Valley University with a bachelor's degree in English and immediately began writing her first novel.Uncovering Cobbogoth was Clark's first book in the seven book Cobbogoth series based on her mythological brain-child, The Legend of the Cobbogothians. It was released in May 2014 through Cedar Fort Publishing. Book 2 in the series, The Lemorian Crest will be released in Summer 2015.Clark loves running, mythology, singing while playing the guitar, herbal tea, escaping into imaginary worlds, and being with her peeps. Like her heroine Norah, she also kind of believes that trees might have souls, but must clarify that she has never actually hugged a tree. The closest she has ever come to that kind of bizarre behavior was the time she hugged the pillars outside Harry Potter Land. Which, all things considered, is not bizarre at all if you take into account how exquisitely happy she was to finally be there. ;-)
Author Links:
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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

International Author's Day Blog Hop

I love to read YA fantasy as much as I love to write it. One of my favorite YA fantasy series is The Shapeshifter Chronicles by Natasha Brown.  This series touched me in a very personal way. Natasha's inspiration for the series and its heroine, Ana Hughes, is her daughter, who was born with heart defects. When I read Ana's story, I felt like Natasha could see through my soul. As my readers know, I was born with a heart defect as well. Finally  having a heroine I could really connect with was wonderful. Ana's story went far beyond anything I could have imagined through the series when I read the first book, Fledgling. By the time I read Ascension, which was released this past spring, I was amazed to see where the story and the characters ended up. It was a beautiful story of love, understanding, growing, and coming into your own. I highly recommend the series to all of my readers.

Natasha has also written a middle-grade series: The Novel Adventures of Nimrod Vale. I thoroughly enjoyed joining Nimrod and his companion on their adventures in An Unfortunate Beginning and am looking forward to reading the second book in the series, which Natasha is currently working on.
I highly recommend Natasha Brown's books to my readers. I know you're going to love them, and her!

I'd like to thank Debdatta Dasgupta Sahay for hosting this wonderful event. Deb's blog B00kish R3vi3ews is a wonderful site for readers to learn about new books and discuss them with other readers. I have been fortunate to be featured on Deb's blog throughout the years, and have enjoyed working with her.
b00k r3vi3ws
Before you move on to the next blog in the hop, I'd like to offer a giveaway. Leave a comment below telling me about your favorite book series. I will select a winner at the end of the hop on July 18, and post the winner on July 19. Please leave your email address so I can contact the winner. The prize you ask? Choose one of these, on mobi or epub:

Now, enjoy the rest of the hop!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Sample Seattle's Fine-Dining Experience

Seattle has a diverse dining scene that sets it apart from other cities. You'll find an abundance of seafood restaurants since it's a coastal town, but you'll also find several restaurants that draw on cuisine from Mexico, Latin America, France, and Italy. Here are five great Seattle restaurants you’ll want to check out on your visit.

Ray’s Boathouse

Image via Flickr by moohaha
Ray’s Boathouse features seafood from the Pacific Northwest waters. It's been hailed as one of the country’s best seafood restaurants, and with its postcard view of the Olympic Mountains rising over Puget Sound, it’s also one of the most romantic. The chefs handpick fresh, local seafood and prepare it in simple, delicate recipes. Combine that with the restaurant's 700+ wine list selections, and you have the makings of a perfect Seattle evening.

The Pink Door

When you walk into the Pink Door, you’ll find a delightful mix of Italian-American cuisine, flowing conversation, live entertainment, and a respite from the ordinary world. Trapeze artists fly over guests’ heads as they dine on family recipes crafted from fine ingredients, including Pacific Northwest salmon, organic extra virgin olive oil direct from Sicily, and Leporati prosciutto from Parma. You can also dine on the patio and take in the beautiful view of Elliott Bay. Stay at the nearby Warwick Seattle Hotel and enjoy a delicious Italian meal anytime during your vacation.

Café Campagne

Located at the Pike Place Market, Café Campagne offers an exceptional dining experience, as well as comfortable ambiance and service. Regional French cooking and beverages are served for lunch and dinner, and they're perfect for leisure, business, or special occasions. The café also serves a summer breakfast during the week and brunch on the weekends. Choose from delicious options like escargot, steak frites, roasted chicken, and lamb burgers. Finish with a delectable dessert like creme brulee, chocolate cognac mousse, or sorbet.

The Grill From Ipanema

If you’re looking for a grill with a twist, try the Grill From Ipanema. Located in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood, the restaurant is all about Rodizio, a Brazilian style of enjoying dinner surrounded by friends and family. A wide variety of grilled meats are offered and slowly roasted in specially designed charcoal grills.  Choose from New York strip, flank steak, spicy sausage, or pork chops. Pasta and seafood meals are available for those who don’t eat meat, and there are plenty of salads and soups, too. Be sure to start with the Brazilian tapas and wash it all down with a delicious Brazilian-style mixed drink.


Enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine at Poquitos, where meals are made with local meats and produce, as well as unique items directly sourced from Mexico. Special features include handmade tortillas pressed from fresh masa, made-to-order guacamole from fresh avocados, and dishes inspired by Mexico City's cuisine. If you love Mexican food, you have to add Poquitos to your Lesser Known Seattle Attractions list.
These five restaurants will give you a unique blend of Seattle's fabulous cuisine. Try one or all of them on your next trip to Seattle.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Kindle App

I was creating this new ad for my books this morning, and as I was working on it, I kept thinking just how wonderful it really is. How amazing is it that we can take our favorite books with us everywhere we go? And we don't have to carry a bulky backpack to do it! We can keep all of our favorite books right on our Smartphones, and have access to them 24/7! That's amazing!

I have so many books on my Kindle App that I will probably take years to read them all, but still, I keep adding new ones as they come out. Some by authors I have to auto buy, some that were recommended, some that just sounded so good and I had to read it, and some that were review requests. Tons of books, all in one safe place.

Have you discovered the Kindle App for your Smartphone? If not, what are you waiting for?!

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