Thursday, June 30, 2016

Blog Tour | Welcome to Sortilege Falls by Libby Heily


Welcome to Sortilege Falls
Genre: YA Magical Mystery
Release Date: June 12th 2016
Fire & Ice Young Adult Books


Summary from Goodreads:


Sixteen-year-old Grape Merriweather has just moved to Sortilege Falls and already she knows something isn't right. A small pack of teenage models, too beautiful for words, holds the town in their sway. The models have no plans on making Grape's life easy. But no matter how cruel they are to Grape and the other “Normals”, no one can stay angry with them for long.

Grape's life changes for the better, or so she thinks, when Mandy, the only “nice” model, befriends her. But that’s when the trouble truly begins. Mandy's friendship places Grape smack in the middle of a medical mystery that has the entire town on edge. One by one, the models fall ill from an incurable disease. Grape quickly realizes that the models' parents are hiding a secret, even as they watch their children die. To save her only friend, Grape will have to find the truth–and that means putting her life in danger.

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GRAPE IS SERENADED BY GRAESON:
Grape is in her backyard at night.  Her brother, Brad, has just gone off into the woods to collect plants–Brad is a huge botany nut.  Grape is staring into the distance, trying to see into the woods when she hears something behind her:


       “Fancy meeting you here.”
Grape screamed.
“Calm down,” the vamp kid from school said, his hands raised in the air like a victim. He had switched his purple shirt for a black one and slicked his curly hair back as well. “It’s cool. It’s just me,” he said and reached out to grab her shoulder.
Grape pushed him hard in the chest, making him stumble backward. “Don’t touch me. What are you doing here?”
He regained his balance and rubbed his chest where she’d shoved him. “I wanted to see where you lived. That really hurt.”
She slit her eyes at him. “I’m glad it hurt. It was supposed to.”
“That’s not very nice.”
Grape grabbed the lawn chair and held it above her head. “Are you a stalker?”
“No.”
“You’re sneaking around my house at night wearing all black.” She readied herself to swing the lawn chair. It was pretty light and wouldn’t do much damage so she decided to aim for a vulnerable spot—his face.
“No. I just thought... I don’t know. I thought you looked nice.”
“Do I look nice now?” She gave the chair a swing, missing his nose by inches. She hopped back a little and held the chair up high again. He got one warning shot, that was it. The next swing would break his nose.
“I’m sorry. I thought this would be romantic.” He reached into his baggy pants pocket and pulled out an iPod with a little set of speakers attached. “I was going to play a song for you.”
“Totally creepy!”
“No. Really, listen.”
He pressed play and an unholy mix of instruments blasted out in a tinny blare. He shut it off quickly. “Wrong song. One second.”
“Leave.”
He looked up at her with heartbreak in his eyes. “I just need one second.”
“Shoo! Go! Off with you!” She shoved the chair at his chest, driving him backward.

He gave her one last dejected look and walked around the corner of the house toward the street.

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I Wish I Were A Shark

Let me start with a confession: I am terrible at job interviews.  Some people say that but what they mean is that they get nervous or they feel weird about selling themselves.  I mean neither of those things.  I have actually said these words during a job interview, “It’s okay if you don’t give me the job.”  Why?  Because I wasn’t feeling great in the interview and, hey, why not be honest?  Oh, because I have bills to pay, that’s why. Ugh.

One of my absolute worst moments in an interview did, at least, lead to an “aha” moment.  It wasn’t quite an epiphany, but we’re not entitled to too many of those in one life time.  Picture it, me with my theater degree and background in customer service and film work, sitting at a table with three lab technicians interviewing to be a...lab technician.  I had recently discovered a love of science and a deep need to not deal with the general public anymore.  The two led me to a corporation who shall remain nameless but let’s say that I would have been dealing with blood, urine, and fecal samples.  Sounds gross but, at the time, I thought lab work would be amazing.

The interview had seemed to go well.  I’d been engaging and forthright and had spoken of my desire to switch careers and do meaningful work.  I thought I really had a chance.  Then they hit me with the last question:

IF YOU COULD BE ANY ANIMAL, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?

I stared at them dumfounded.  This was something you asked your friends as a joke or to loosen people up at a dinner party, not something a hiring committee used to find a new potential employee.  Why not ask me what books I would take to a deserted island?  Sheesh.

I sighed heavily, knowing that this was not meant to be.  “I know I should say something like I want to be a work horse, but honestly, I want to be a shark.”

The three ladies looked at me, their smiles sliding slowly into disapproving frowns.  I had just admitted that I wanted to be a predator, and not just any predator, but the one most feared by humans.  Who doesn’t step into the ocean and, at least for a brief second, think they’re going to be eaten?  Who doesn’t read the summer shark-bite articles with enthusiasm, thinking they themselves had escaped such a fate?  If you’ve seen JAWS, you fear sharks.

The ladies thanked me for my time and I was released back out into the world, jobless and a bit disappointed.


But, I’d meant it.  Being a shark would be so cool.  Sharks don’t sleep.  They’re always on the move.  They live in the ocean and travel miles and miles.  I like all those things.  I don’t want to fly or swing from branches, I want to swim and swim and swim.  Okay, I’m not super interested in eating raw fish all the time, but I’d adjust.  I like sushi.  Plus, sharks are mysterious.  We really don’t know much about them.  Except that they cost us jobs.  We know that much.

About the Author
I was born during a blizzard. I’m told it was pretty cool, but I have no memory of that time. I grew up in two tiny towns in Virginia and spent most of my twenties moving around the US. I’ve lived in Virginia, Florida, Missouri, and Washington. I’ve settled down, for now, in Raleigh, North Carolina.

I’m a writer and improviser. I studied acting in college but spent more time rewriting lines than memorizing them. My first play, Fourth Wall, was produced my junior year. Since then, I’ve written several full length plays, one acts, and screenplays. I started writing fiction in my late twenties. Now, I focus mainly on novels but still dabble in theater.

Fun facts about me: There are none. I’m sorry to disappoint you so soon. But, I do love to read, write, and run. My hubby is my favorite person on earth. Dogs are my second favorite. All dogs. Know that. I love orange juice, especially when it’s mixed with club soda. Carbonation is better than alcohol. Jaws is my favorite movie. Everything I’ve said so far is true. 

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Friday, June 24, 2016

Blog Tour | If You're Gone by Brittany Goodwin


If You're Gone
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: June 20th 2016
Edge of 22 Publishing


Summary:

If You’re Gone traces a trying summer for rising high school senior Lillian White as she struggles to cope with the sudden disappearance of her boyfriend, Brad Lee - reported missing the morning after his graduation ceremony. When law enforcement dismisses the case and classifies Brad as voluntarily missing, Lillian becomes desperate to prove that he couldn’t have just walked away. Not from his friends. Not from his family. Not from her.

Launching her own investigation into the darker side of her small North Carolina town, Lillian begins to uncover secrets from Brad’s past that force her to question everything she thought she knew about him and their relationship.

"Soul-stirring... Truly one of the most innovative voices to come along in a while. Goodwin has weaved an engaging web of deceit and intrigue that embodies not only her storytelling prowess but highlights her visionary filmmaking abilities in novel form." (Justin Price, creator of 'Future' SVOD channel)

If You're Gone will be available June 20th, 2016 from Edge of 22 Publishing.

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if you’re gone
pre- reading excerpt


He didn’t come home last night.

My heart pounded as I replayed the message a second time. After waking up to my buzzing phone signaling four missed calls and a voicemail marked urgent, I expected to hear juicy gossip from Jason Hamilton’s graduation party. Instead, I learned that my boyfriend was nowhere to be found.

“Brad said the two of you had plans after the ceremony, was he headed somewhere after he dropped you off at home? I know it’s early, but call me back as soon as you get this.”

“He isn’t with me,” I assured Brad’s mom when I returned her calls. “But please let me know when you hear from him.”

“I will,” Mrs. Lee promised before hanging up. “And you do the same.”

She wasn’t as frantic as her message had let on, but there was an unsettling tone in her voice. We both knew it wasn’t typical of Brad to stay out all night without telling anyone. Not anymore, anyway.

My mind wandered back to the Lions Port High graduation ceremony the night before- squished next to my best friend, Anna Redmond, in the packed football stadium watching Brad accept his diploma. It had been a perfect North Carolina evening; complete with a romantic, lakeside picnic that Brad and I shared once he was able to shed his cap and gown.

I snatched my cell phone off my lap and dialed the number that had lived at the top of my ‘favorite contacts’ list for the past six months. Please Lord, I prayed silently, let him answer.

“Hi.” I heard the deep voice on the other end and opened my mouth to speak. “You’ve reached Brad Lee. Leave a message.”
His outbound greeting sounded cold and unfriendly, which made me realize I had never gotten his voicemail; he always answered the phone when I called.

“Hey babe, it’s Lillian,” I said after the tone, clutching his silver class ring that hung on a chain around my neck.  “Your mom has been calling me trying to find you. Is everything all right? Let me know where you are, okay?”

Suddenly, I remembered a detail from the night before and felt a rush of panic. I pictured Brad tapping on my bedroom window and saying those three little words for the first time. The words I had been dying to hear. Does he regret his decision to profess his love to me? Could that explain the radio silence?

I unlocked the screen of my phone again, this time dialing Anna. My thumb drummed anxiously against the back of the plastic case as it rang.

“Hello?” Anna’s usually chipper voice sounded muffled over the line, assumedly lying in her bed with the phone sandwiched between her head and her leopard-print pillow.

“Sorry, were you asleep?”

“It’s the first day of summer and it’s only nine am,” she groaned. 

“Do I need to remind you how to send a text?”

“I’m sorry,” I lied. “But you’re the one who sleeps with your cell.”

“Yeah, yeah,” she spoke clearer this time, although her tone dripped with sarcasm. “I didn't need my beauty sleep anyway.”

I scoffed, but I knew she had expected me to laugh. Anna, arguably the most beautiful girl in our junior class, could look runway ready after cramming all night for a test and skipping a shower.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

Anna was a true best friend- she could read my emotions even through a subtle grunt.

“Maybe…” I sighed. “Can you come over?”

 “Will there be coffee?”

“I’m sure I can scrounge something up.”

“You owe me,” she laughed.

“I know. Bye.” I pressed end and clutched the warm phone in my hand as I attempted to sort through my thoughts, reliving every detail from the previous night. The ceremony. The picnic. The lake. The window.  



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About the Author

Brittany Goodwin is an author, screenwriter and director, best known for the internationally distributed faith-based feature films, Secrets in the Snow and Secrets in the Fall, which have both been awarded the highest honor of five Doves from the Dove Foundation.

Brittany lives outside Nashville, TN with her husband and every growing number of rescue pets. She enjoys traveling with her husband and dogs, DIY projects, quoting John Hughes films, playing (and winning!) movie trivia games, and binge-watching Investigation Discovery Channel. A self-proclaimed armchair detective, Brittany is an active member of many Missing Persons blogs and Facebook pages, which inspired the topic of her debut YA novel, If You're Gone.
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Monday, June 20, 2016

Blog Tour | Beyond the Rising Tide by Sarah Beard


Beyond the Rising Tide

Genre: YA Speculative Romance
Release Date: June 14th 2016
Sweetwater Books


Summary from Goodreads:


Kai met Avery only once--in the moment he died saving her life. Now when he's not using his new healing powers to help people, he watches helplessly as Avery's life is unraveled by his death. To help her, he risks everything by breaking the rules, dangerously blurring the barriers between life and death. 

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EXCERPT: (Avery's point-of-view):

My mind retraces the past few months, all the conversations Tyler and I have had, the words we’ve said and haven’t said, all stemming from one incident, one day. And then I’m thrown back to that afternoon, back into the ocean and the cold, roiling waves. I feel them around me, tossing me this way and that, pounding over my head like a stampede of wild horses. I feel the salt stinging my eyes and see the abyss below me in the moment I dove under to find the boy. I saw him there, motionless and suspended in the deep, just out of reach.
            Just out of reach.
            My face feels hot, and I can’t breathe. But I keep my panic cloaked beneath my skin. A violent earthquake rattles my insides, but I tense my muscles, holding it in, restraining it, refusing to let it show. I dig my nails into my arm, anchoring them there, anchoring me into stillness, and I focus all my attention on the present physical pain in my arm.

            Kai’s hand reaches for mine. His touch stills my insides, draws out the tremors as though they’re water and he’s a sponge.  

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Praise for the Book:

“Vividly imagined, this novel is the perfect mix of modern love story and literary fiction. One brimming with genuine emotion that had me re-reading passages simply because they were too beautifully written to experience just once.” --Julie N. Ford, author of With No Regrets

“This book is not only an engaging and satisfying supernatural romance, but also a beautiful story about life, death, and the gray places in between.” --E.B. Wheeler, author of The Haunting of Springett Hall

"This is one of those stories that stays with you long after the closing scene. It was beautifully imagined and vividly written and I absolutely loved it!” --Teresa Richards, author of Emerald Bound


Guest Post: Facing my Fears in the Name of Book Research

I’m going to tell you something about myself: I love the ocean. And I’m terrified of it. I love strolling along the beach, watching and listening to the waves roll in. I love the feel of the water as it washes over my feet and then drags me, inch by inch, out to sea. I love stepping into the waves and then moving deeper, feeling the tug and pull of that majestic and powerful thing that is the sea. But as soon as I can’t feel the sand beneath my feet, I panic. My imagination offers up all kinds of terrifying suggestions of what creatures are lurking beneath me, or how far the sea floor is from my feet.

Despite this fear, I knew that if I was going to write a book about a surfer, I needed to try surfing. So one December afternoon when I was on vacation near Avila beach, I squeezed into a wetsuit (the Pacific is COLD in December), and carried my borrowed surfboard into the waves. I’d watched a bunch of YouTube surfing lessons beforehand and practiced “popping up” on the sand, so in theory, I knew the basics.

As I paddled out past the breakers though, I wasn’t thinking about how to choose the right wave or where to put my feet or how fun this would be. All I could think about was where the shark might be. Every time I dipped my arm in the water, I practically expected it to get chomped off by a three-foot-wide mouth full of razor-sharp teeth. Sure, there was only a 1 in 3.7 million chance that I’d be attacked, but the sharks would smell my fear and single me out, right?

Well, I finally made it past the breakers, and that’s when I paused for a minute and told myself to chill out. I’d made it this far, and I was going to surf, and I was going to have fun. And if I got eaten by a shark, at least I would die knowing that I was brave enough to face my fears. I looked out to sea at the set of waves that was moving toward me. I studied their shape and paddled over to where the swell would be the fullest. Then I turned my board shoreward while recalling all those surfing tips. When I felt the wave begin to swell beneath me, I paddled as hard as I could, then popped up to my feet.

I was standing! I was SURFING!


And then a few seconds later I biffed it and learned what it was like to have my sinuses cleaned out with saltwater. But I didn’t care, because I had surfed. I knew what it felt like now, and it was AMAZING. But even more amazing was knowing that I’d overcome a fear so that I could experience something new.

About the Author
Sarah Beard is the author of YA novels PORCELAIN KEYS and BEYOND THE RISING TIDE. She earned a degree in communications from the University of Utah and is currently pursuing an MFA in creative writing from VCFA. When she's not writing, she referees wrestling matches between her three boys and listens to audiobooks while folding self-replicating piles of laundry. She is a breast cancer survivor, a baker of sweets, a seeker of good love stories, a composer of melancholy music, and a traveler who wishes her travel budget was much bigger. She lives with her husband and children in the shadow of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains. You can follow Sarah on twitter at @authorsarahb, or atfacebook.com/authorsarahbeard.

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Blog Tour | Blood Orchid by Claire Warner


Blood Orchid (Night Flower #2)

Genre: Historical Fiction/Paranormal/Romance
Release Date: June 2016

Summary from Goodreads: 

Tied to Justin with bonds stronger than blood, Melissa De Vire heads into her new life with fear and anger. Anger at Emily, at Katherine and most of all, anger at Justin, fuels her resolve to find a cure for the curse. From the English court in 1752 to the fires of the French Revolution, Melissa struggles to survive her new existence and find forgiveness for Justin as clues to a cure begin to surface.

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Excerpt:
Melissa tore her eyes away from Montjoy and back to Justin on the other side of the room. Blood ran from his nose as he struggled with the tall, uncompromising frame of John. As she rushed forward to help, John managed to land a lucky blow on Justin, dazing him for long enough to slip a knife from his pocket and jab it between his ribs. Melissa and Marcus rushed across the room as John rummaged through the pockets in Justin's coat. Justin began to heal yet John rammed the knife deeper into his body. Marcus lunged forward, poker held high. With what could only be called annoyance, John seized hold of the lapels of Justin's coat and shoved him into Marcus' path, sending them both sprawling to the ground. Melissa scrabbled for the poker as it rolled across the floor.
"Amateur,” He commented as he reached once more into Justin's coat and drew forth a slender tome. Removing the knife from Justin's side, he turned and looked at Marcus. "It would appear that I need to hand out more object lessons,” He kicked Justin's body out of the way and held the knife to Marcus' throat. "What do you say?"
"Get away from him,” Melissa's voice shook as she advanced, poker held in a shaking grip.   "And get out,” John barely glanced at her as he drew the edge of the blade delicately across Marcus' skin.  "I said to get away from him.”
"Or?" He glanced over at her, amusement in his cold gaze.

"I'll stop you,” She whispered, holding the poker in what she hoped was a menacing gesture

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About the Author
When I was a child, I made up games and characters when my sister and I played with dolls. As I grew older, I would make up scenarios and scenes, fully intending to write them down but never finding the time. In my late teens, I discovered the world of role playing and settled into an avid ‘geeky’ life of D&D, comics, sci-fi and fantasy fiction. Years passed and I finally gave voice to the stories in my head. I write romance, fantasy, action and adventure. I love tales of steampunk and history, tales of magical powers and dark curses lurking in the shadows. Though The Black Lotus is not my first attempt at a novel, it is the first I have finished.




And some fun facts about me:

I sew.
My favourite Disney film is Atlantis.
I’ve been a film extra and stood 5 feet away from Sam Rockwell.
Babylon 5 is my fave sci-fi show.
I cried at the end of Toy Story 3.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Book Release | Delivered by Angels by Emerald Barnes

Delivered by Angels
by Emerald Barnes

Determined to escape her abusive father and drunken mother, Lexi Johnson turns to the blade to numb her pain, but it isn’t enough to end her misery. She’s convinced that not even God could save her now.

Roxy Taylor is the new girl in town, and Lexi doesn’t trust her, especially when she teams up with DJ Tucker to try and break down the barriers that Lexi has put in place.

Little does Lexi know, there are greater forces battling for her life, and as Lexi begins to open up to both Roxy and DJ, she’ll see that she isn’t alone in this world.

In the heart-pounding sequel to Entertaining Angels, everyone’s favorite angel, Zach Taylor, is back, and he’s there to make sure that Madison and Chase Sanders are on the path that God has chosen for them, a path that could deliver Lexi from the demons who want her soul.

Purchase Delivered by Angels on Amazon today, available through Kindle Unlimited as well! 

From Emerald

As teens, it’s easy to feel alone and unloved, and so often, that can lead down dangerous paths. It’s easy to want to fit in, to make sure that you’re popular or whatever. But the best advice I can give you is to be yourself. Be true to who you are as a person. And if you do feel unloved and alone, know that you aren’t alone and that you are loved!

I wrote a book, Delivered by Angels, to show others that God loves them and that He would do anything to show others that love. And that’s what I hope you know. That even when you feel at your lowest, there is always someone who loves you.

As a teen, I know that I felt unloved. I felt like such a loser. I had friends, and I was semi-popular, but I wasn’t blind to the mocking of my peers behind my back. I was never good enough for the people I went to school with, and I have lived with that to this day. (I’m about to turn 29.) It’s hard, especially as a kid, and there are people who deal with similar pain, bullying, and more, such as abuse, on a daily basis. There are kids who have to live with things they shouldn’t have to, and it’s not easy on them. They don’t know how to escape their pain.

I’m not saying I have the magical cure. I don’t. Even as a Christian, I know that life isn’t all rainbows, but I do know that I don’t want people hurting. I encourage anyone going through difficult times to talk to someone, even if it’s finding a support group or counselor. You don’t have to do this alone. There are people who will be happy to talk to you.

Take it from me, I bottled in most of my emotions. I didn’t like talking about the things that bothered me, and it wasn’t good. I should have talked more, opened up, trusted more people because I wasn’t alone. I had family who loved me, and they would have done anything to help me. There are people who feel that way about you, even when you don’t think that’s true.

You are not alone. Whatever you’re going through, know that God loves you, and He is there for you no matter what.

If you need to talk about something, or just want prayer, you can message me through the prayer request page on my website.



About Emerald Barnes:

Emerald Barnes graduated with a B.A. in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing at Mississippi University for Women. She resides in a small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it. She’s an auntie, a Whovian, a little bit of a nerd, a reader, a writer, and a family-oriented person. God is number one in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor.

Connect with Emerald online:

Twitter: @emeraldbarnes
Pinterest: Emerald Barnes


Email: emerald_barnes@yahoo.com