Friday, July 25, 2014

Blog Tour: Evolution: HEX by S.A. Huchton - Review & Giveaway



Evolution: HEX
The Evolution Series #3

S.A. Huchton

Superhero Romance
July 6, 2014

Amazon



A lie is a prison without bars.

A captive of the enemy, Candace is forced to confront mistakes and regrets from both sides of the battlefield, including her own. Nothing is simple, and lines in the sand that were once clear have become blurred and indistinguishable. Even the unlikely love she found teeters on the edge of uncertainty.

The truth is not always what it seems, and can be a prison of its own.

Alone, she must decide where she stands. Alone, she must decide who to trust.

When the smoke clears, what's left might not be much…

But it might be enough.


My Review: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

My measure of how much I like a book or series is usually centered around how much I think about the characters after I've finished reading. I absolutely loved books one and two in The Evolution Series, loved the characters, the plot, everything. Frankly I was a little nervous starting book three after the climactic cliffhanger in book two. So many authors have taken that plot line in a direction I didn't like.

I'm so happy to say, I loved Evolution: HEX! Wow, talk about going through the emotional wringer. Candace has been there and somehow manages to still be quite awesome. I think what I like the most about Candace is her integrity. She will always stand up for what she believes in. As a reader, I can count on that.

I really hope this third book isn't the end. There's still so much more Ms. Huchton could write about. Lots of unanswered questions... where do we go from here? sort of things. My only complaint, and this is really minor, is I think this could have been stretched out into two books. Seventy-five percent of the way in, I was sure we were in for another cliffhanger. Maybe it's just me and my reluctance to let go of these characters, but this whole book felt rushed. I guess I just want more.

So did I mention that I LOVED this book? Yeah, I know, you don't hear me screaming from the rooftops often, but it's true. My plea to the author... please continue the series. I'm not ready to part ways with this set of characters quite yet.

About the Author

A geek of all trades, Starla Huchton has been crafting stories in various genres since 2007. Her first novel, The Dreamer’s Thread was released as a full cast audiobook podcast, becoming a double-nominee and finalist for the 2010 Parsec Awards. After releasing short fiction of steampunk, noir fantasy, and other varieties, she released the first three books of the Sci-Fi Romance Endure series in 2013. All three books of the Evolution series will be released in 2014, as well as a Steampunk Fantasy novel, Master of Myth (the Antigone’s Wrath series, book 1), which was the first place winner of the Crested Butte Writers’ contest, The Sandy, in 2012.

When not writing, Starla trains three Minions, a black lab, and a military husband whilst designing book covers for independent authors and publishers at Designed by Starla.

Author Links


Tour-Wide Giveaway

Open to Domestic US only due to shipping
Paperback copies of the entire Evolution series, 
a Captain America hat, 
an Avengers USB drive filled with eBooks (the entire Evolution series AND the Endure series), 
an Evolution: ANGEL mini-book necklace, 
Arch Nemesis Wanted necklace from Surlyramics, 
Captain America wristlet, 
a set of Avengers earrings, 
Models Own Sticky Fingers nail polish (black) with comic book decals, 
temporary tattoos, 
and superhero lip balm +pin sets
all in an X-Men tote bag
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Book Blast: Son of War, Daughter of Chaos by Janette Rallison - Giveaway

Son of War Son of War, Daughter of Chaos

Janette Rallison

Aislynn is accustomed to watching for the enemy. Her parents instructed her from the time she was young to look for the signs: people with greater than normal strength, eyes that can glow green, and have the ability to jump long distances. Over the years, Aislynn has come to view her parents’ fears as quirks—things that get in the way of having a normal high school life. When Aislynn’s mother dies under suspicious conditions, her father doubles his restrictions. But all his precautions can’t stop the boy with glowing green eyes from finding Aislynn. She realizes too late she’s been drafted into an ancient Egyptian war, whether she’s prepared or not.
 





Son of War Daughter of Chaos Blog Tour


Janette RallisonAuthor Janette Rallison

Janette Rallison is old. Don’t ask how old, because it isn’t polite. Let’s just say she’s older than she’d like to be and leave it at that. Janette lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, five children and enough cats to classify her as “an eccentric cat lady.” She did not do this on purpose. (The cats, that is; she had the children on purpose.) Every single one of the felines showed up on its own and refuses to leave. Not even the family’s fearless little Westie dog can drive them off. Since Janette has five children and deadlines to write books, she doesn’t have much time left over for hobbies. But since this is the internet and you can’t actually check up to see if anything on this site is true, let’s just say she enjoys dancing, scuba diving, horse back riding and long talks with Orlando Bloom. (Well, I never said he answers back.)



book blast buttonBlast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 8/17/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Blog Tour: Backward Compatible by Sarah Daltry & Pete Clark - Excerpt, Guest Post & Giveaway




Backward Compatible

Sarah Daltry & Pete Clark

Geek Romance


Amazon   AmazonUK   Apple 
BN   Kobo   Smashwords   ARe

Not too long ago, in a town that, depending on your current location, is either not super far or actually quite close... (insert Star Wars theme music here...)

It is a time of chaotic hormones.

Two nerdy gents home for winter break have discovered a female gamer at a midnight release.

During the break, the gamer trio manages to reveal the game's secret boss, a hidden enemy with enough power to destroy anything in its path.

Pursued by other gamers who want to be the first to beat this boss, George and Katie race to level up, and, in so doing, restore decency and sexual activity to their personal galaxy...


Guest Post

Nerd Culture

At no point did either of us imagine that this book would speak to all people who identify as nerds or geeks. It was never intended that way, as that’s just as simplistic as labeling someone those things in derision. However, we did want to embrace the things we love – and we know many others do.

Pete: I don’t label myself as a nerd or geek. I just like the things I like and many of those things are considered nerdy or geeky. As a general rule, labeling is pretty stupid. Isn’t it ironic that I just labeled the label? Anyway. I’ve gotten a great deal of feedback for this book. A lot of people have said they love the references and that we are connected to nerd culture, which is great. Some people say the characters are fake, posers, stereotypes, etc. Also that there is no mention of Doctor Who. By default, these comments reflect on us as the authors. So I would say it’s difficult for me to be a poser when I don’t know what I am supposed to be posing as. What I wanted to do was write a fun and entertaining book that included the things I love and a number of “Easter eggs” for fans of similar things, because I love finding those myself when I’m reading. I love feeling like, “Ah ha – I get that and I bet other people won’t.” As far as the lack of Doctor Who, I just started watching it six months ago, so I would have actually been a poser had I included it in the book. Since I was not yet watching it. However, having now watched the first six seasons, I’m quite a fan and will be cramming Doctor Who into something with much glee.

Sarah: Personally, that’s what annoys me most when someone says that it’s indicative of all geeks or fake geeks. In my experience, being a nerd was never cool. It was not something you could embrace when I was a kid and in school. I used to have to turn over my papers and tests and pretend I failed if I didn’t want to be harassed by other kids. I was embarrassed that my parents were at every event and that my teachers all liked me. I had no friends. But I had games and books and movies. I never knew how to be normal or to fit in because I wasn’t welcome and that led me to being a lot like Katie. I couldn’t identify with others, so I was able to embrace what I loved honestly. Now, being nerdy is cool. That’s both good and bad, I guess. It’s nice being able to find more people who love what you do, but it’s also resulted in this kind of hipster, “I was a nerd first” philosophy. That’s dumb. Having been the loser, I don’t know why I would ostracize anyone who likes what I like. Yay. That’s just someone else I can talk to about Firefly.  

Pete: I think it’s strange this “I’m cooler than you because I’m nerdier than you” idea that crops up, as it is contrast to, well, history. It also reminds me of a similar situation to my college experience. You were only cool if you could name thirty bands no one else had ever heard of and that’s kind of like the fandom fights. If I can’t speak Dothraki, I’m a loser. This never made sense to me. If you know of something that’s really awesome, and I haven’t heard of it, instead of looking down on me for not knowing about it, how about you tell me about it – and we can enjoy it together?

Sarah: Exactly. Nothing makes me happier than finding out someone has read a book I love that is maybe not popular or has seen a movie or something I watch on repeat. I’m one of those people who feels like I want to spread the love of something, not limit it to only select people. There are so many great lessons in Harry Potter and Doctor Who and Star Wars and Final Fantasy and all these things – why would I feel entitled to keep them locked away from people? 




Excerpt

“These graphics suck,” George says and I look back at the screen. We’re standing in the middle of the Estate, colorful orbs quivering ahead of us. We each have to choose our starting advantage. Waterfalls shimmer in the distance and the sunlight streams over multicolored stones in the courtyard.
“Amateurs,” Lanyon concurs. “I mean, they couldn’t have five waterfalls?”
“Your ironic wit is mind blowing, but choose your damn orbs,” I tell them. I consider. Magic, defense, offense, stealth, and charisma. I always go for magic as a black mage, but I wonder if a druid needs something else. Screw it. I need charisma in real life, too.
“Charisma?” Lanyon asks. “No one ever picks charisma.”
“We’re a party of a thief, druid, and a bard. We’re screwed regardless.”
“You two underestimate the mighty power of my lute,” George argues.
“Did you start with charisma?” Lanyon asks.
“Hell, no. I have charisma in spades. I started with stealth.”
“Great. A stealthy bard,” I sigh.
“She’s right,” Lanyon concedes. “We’re screwed.”
However, it actually isn’t bad at all at first. We power through the Estate and make it to the Yobanaria Dale with no resurrections and all at level ten. I’m impressed. George hasn’t actually fought anything, but he has some pretty awe-inspiring charm mastery already. I think I might have a serious crush. He seals the deal when he buffs my hailstorm spell without even being asked.
“Can you guys watch El Thiefelo? My mom wants me to eat supper,” Lanyon says.
“Yeah, we’ve got it,” I tell him. “The first boss is in the elven ruins anyway, so we should grind a bit. I think he’s a twelve.”
George and I explore the Dale, taking out bats and Joba spores. It’s fairly quiet, except for when we combo with his charms and my spells and he yells out, “Eat lute, bitch,” but it’s nice. We work well, almost inherently understanding each other. I’ve never been able to play this effectively with anyone. I try not to think about his eyes. Stupid boys, being cute and stuff.
By the time Lanyon comes back, we’re all at level 12, although Lanyon leveled up just by standing by a door while we played. Still, we are ready to take on Balsa the Proud. As a black mage, it took me about nine seconds. Trees don’t like fire. However, druids don’t have the same level of black magic and all elemental magic is weakened by the need to draw from the elements nearby. Sadly, trees seem to avoid storing fire runes in their villages. I expect this to be a little more challenging. It might even take fifteen seconds.
“First boss. Also known as the freebie bitch to sucker the young folks into a false sense of security,” Lanyon announces as he runs into the center of Balsa’s lair. The cinema plays and then, in a moment of pure absurdity, El Thiefelo is squished as Balsa steps on him.
“Can someone revive me?” Lanyon whines. 

About the Authors

Sarah Daltry:

Sarah Daltry writes about the regular people who populate our lives. She's written works in various genres - romance, erotica, fantasy, horror. Genre isn't as important as telling a story about people and how their lives unfold. Sarah tends to focus on YA/NA characters but she's been known to shake it up. Most of her stories are about relationships - romantic, familial, friendly - because love and empathy are the foundation of life. It doesn't matter if the story is set in contemporary NY, historical Britain, or a fantasy world in the future - human beings are most interesting in the ways they interact with others. This is the principle behind all of Sarah's stories.

Sarah has spent most of her life in school, from her BA and MA in English and writing to teaching both at the high school and college level. She also loves studying art history and really anything because learning is fun.

When Sarah isn't writing, she tends to waste a lot of time checking Facebook for pictures of cats, shooting virtual zombies, and simply staring out the window.

She has written several books, most notably Bitter Fruits, an urban fantasy in the Eden’s Fall series, and the six-part New Adult contemporary Flowering series. Her most recent release is Primordial Dust, a YA fantasy.

Pete Clark:

Pete Clark likes writing, animals, potato chips, and cheese. Midnight Riders was his first published novel, although he can also proudly say he finally finished Helix Crashing, the fantasy novel he has been working on for over a decade. In addition, he has written Across the Barren Landscape, a collection of linked Western short stories, and Tales from Midnight’s Graveyard, a collection of non-linked horror, science fiction, and fantasy stories. He also writes plays, both dramatic and comedic.

When he is not writing, Pete tends to ignore everyone around him and obsess over sports.

Sarah’s Website: http://sarahdaltry.com
Sarah’s Twitter: http://twitter.com/SarahDaltry


Tour-Wide Giveaway
1 $25 Amazon gift card 
2 signed paperbacks of the book (by both authors) 
1 Ebook copy 
1 Signed paperback of Midnight Riders by Pete Clark 
1 Ebook of any of Sarah Daltry's titles 
1 Backward Compatible packet

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Book Review: Alec Kerley and the Roar of the Dinosaur by Douglas Tanner

Alec Kerley and the Roar of the Dinosaur
Book 3: The Monster Hunters

Douglas Tanner

Middle Grade/YA Urban Fantasy
July 14, 2014

Amazon



Goodreads Synopsis:

"Alec Kerley and the Roar of the Dinosaur" is an upper middle grade/young adult inspirational horror story for ages 12 and up. 27 chapters, 60,000 words. It is a legitimately scary story. Parental guidance is suggested.

* DELUXE EDITION, with 11 color and 8 black and white illustrations! *

They're alive!

When the floor of a cave collapses, taking 12-year-old Alec Kerley and his friends with it, the outside world thinks they are as good as dead. But what those on the surface don't know is that they are alive and exploring a fantastical underground world never before seen.

Following a subterranean river through a series of caverns in their search for a way back home, Alec and his friends discover a gigantic cave filled with prehistoric life - dinosaurs! In their desperate struggle for survival, can they find their way out before becoming the meal for a Tyrannosaurus rex? And what other malevolence lurks deep underground, watching, waiting?

Join Alec Kerley and the Monster Hunters as they enter a land filled with the Roar of the Dinosaur!


My Review: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Having read and enjoyed another in the Monster Hunter series, I was curious to see how it would fair with the target audience. I think this series would be very appealing to middle-school-age boys. Since my son has been away for a couple weeks visiting relatives in sunny CA, I decided to Skype read with him. We didn't read the whole book together, since that would've taken hours. But what we did read together he loved. I'm happy to say that I know to get him books one and two for his birthday.

Alec Kerley and the Roar of the Dinosaur starts out with a bang... literally. It picks up at the cliffhanger from the last book in the series. I spent a bit of time explaining the characters to my son, so I highly suggest you read the first two books prior to picking up this one. High-stakes action, gritty drama, and real characters make this book hard to put down. I will advise parents that there are some scenes that may be too intense for younger readers. If you child is okay with PG-13 movies, then there shouldn't be a problem.

So far Alec has learned that Bigfoot, vampires, and werewolves exist... so why not dinosaurs? After a cave-in, Alec and his companions find themselves trapped in a cave with very limited supplies. Though I think all boys dream of adventure, this may be a bit more than these kids can handle. Alec can be one cool twelve-year-old under pressure. I was impressed with his ingenuity and moxie more than once.

I really enjoyed the story, found it quite imaginative. The descriptions are so vivid, it's very easy to picture this amazing world in the mind's eye. I can't imagine what the group must have felt when they first saw the dinosaurs. The dinosaur images are fun--just in case you can't remember what a particular dinosaur referenced looked like, there's a little picture to remind you. The ending was great, providing closure while still leaving things open just enough for the next book in the series.

About the Author

Douglas Tanner is the author of Alec Kerley and the Terror of Bigfoot (Book One of the Monster Hunters),Alec Kerley and the Wrath of the Vampire (Book Two of the Monster Hunters), and Alec Kerley and the Roar of the Dinosaur (Book Three of the Monster Hunters), which are middle grade/young adult inspirational horror stories. He lives in rural Missouri with his wife, three children, and a wise old schnoodle named Snuffleupagus - Snuffy for short.

Douglas used to sing in rock bands and work as a disc jockey for various radio stations, and he once got a really bad sunburn from driving a motorcycle all day in only a pair of gym shorts (bad idea). His love of monsters began after watching old scary movies on TV with his grandfather on Saturday nights.

He loves reading old comics and snorkeling in the ocean, whenever he can find an ocean to swim in; which, as it turns out, doesn't happen very often in Missouri. Though he's still holding out hope.

Visit his Facebook author page at facebook.com/DouglasTannerAuthor.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Release Day Blitz: The Scarring by D.E.L. Connor - Excerpt & Giveaway

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The Scarring (Spirit Warriors #2)
by D.E.L. Connor
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Booktrope
Published: July 21, 2014
Length: 244 pages

Blurb:
“One of us would finally end what had been started by the machayiwiw so many years ago. I would have to kill him. It was just that simple. I never thought I would want to kill anybody or anything, but maybe I never had anything worth killing for before.”
-Emmeline Rima Belrose, The Scarring (Spirit Warriors, Book 2)

Spirit Warriors The Scarring In the majestic beauty of a Montana summer, Emme and her friends celebrate her near-drowning survival and their defeat of the powerful evil spirit, the machayiwiw. But even as they rejoice, things are amiss. Emme watches helplessly as her family divides, and her friends struggle to hold their relationship together. Worse yet, the love-of-her life, Charlie, announces that he will move back to the reservation, without Emme. Different nightmares take over and Emme realizes she must fight and kill—or watch those she loves be killed. Friends from the reservation reach out to Emme and show her what evil can steal from her. Emme believes that evil can never break her bond with the Spirit Warriors or the love she shares with Charlie. Or can it?

Although this is the second book in the Spirit Warriors series, it can be read as a stand alone novel.




Excerpt

Ron looked over at me. I stared back at him. "Do you understand what I have told you, child?" Ron asked me.

I nodded. "Charlie is a spirit mover."

Ron nodded. "Among other things." Ron went on, “Charlie is having more and more speaking times with the warriors. There is a sense of urgency now that Charlie learns how to shift spirit warriors into human bodies. He has been practicing with Ryan and Hawke. He is making some progress, but it is taking a long time. Charlie is weakening with the increasing talking times. He does not know when they will come and he has been injured many times. Our people now make sure he is never alone. We cannot risk his injuring himself, or the machayiwiw finding him undefended. He has much to learn. You have much to learn. You must learn hand-to-hand combat. Hawke is our best warrior, both with a knife and a spear. He can cut the wings off a fly in flight with his knife. He will be training you.” Ron looked at me.

“NO, I don’t think so.” I told Ron. “First, Hawke doesn’t like me and I can’t see him training me. Second, I’m not sure I could kill someone, even if it was the machayiwiw. In anger, I think I can, but I’m not sure.”

Ron looked at me. “What if that person was trying to kill Charlie, or your friends, or Eros your bird?”

I shook my head. “I just don’t think I can do this.”

Ron lowered his gaze. “If you don’t, you will die, along with Charlie, your friends, your animals, and your family. I will die, as will our people. He will finally destroy the one person who stands against him. The one person who has the power to destroy him. There will never be another you. Our people have waited many, many years for you. Golden Flower has waited many years for you.”

“I don’t want the responsibility!” I yelled at Ron as I stood up. “I might fail!” I jumped up and ran down the side of the creek. I ran as fast as I could and the sharp prairie grass cut my legs. I didn’t feel it. I felt angry and sad at the same time. “Why me? Why not someone else?” I thought to myself. I rounded a bend of the river and I ran right into Hawke. The force of our collision knocked us both to the ground. I lay on the ground with the wind knocked out of me. Hawke stood up and looked down at me.

I stood up and brushed off my shirt. Hawke stared at me. I looked at him and asked, “Why do you hate me?”

Hawke glared at me. “Charlie is my cousin and my best friend. You have brought him nothing but heartache and loss. I suspect you will do something stupid and Charlie will be killed because of you. I really don’t care anything about you and I’m sure as hell not sold on your ‘savior’ complex. I think you are full of shit and if something happens to Charlie, I will hunt you down and kill you myself.”

I was horrified. “I didn’t want this! I just want to be with Charlie. No matter what you think, I love him. I have always loved him and I will never stop loving him.” Hawke stands with his arms crossed. “We’ll see about that.” Hawke brushed past me and walked back up the creek towards Ron and Charlie.

I walked back to the jeep. I climbed in the back with Charlie and it was quiet as Ron drove us back to the cluster of buildings. When we pulled up, Irene came running up to the jeep. “Come on, Emme, we are getting ready to eat.” Irene grabbed my hand and pulled me in the building. Ollie and Jack were with Ryan. Jack motioned us over. Charlie brought me a plate of food. Irene squeezed her small body between Charlie and me. Charlie looked down at her. “Hey, Squirt, why don’t you sit on the other side of Emme?”

Irene looked at me. “Are you in love with Charlie?”

I glanced at her small face as she slid her arm through my arm. “Yes,” I whispered to her. Irene wrinkled up her face.

“YUCK! Boys are messy and yucky and stinky! Even Charlie.” We all laughed as Charlie grabbed her and rolled her on the ground and tickled her until Irene begged for mercy.

After lunch, Charlie and I walked hand in hand down to the creek. We sat on the bank and stared at the water. I leaned over and put my head on Charlie’s shoulder. Charlie wrapped his arm around me and pulled me close to him. We sat there quietly. I looked across the creek and saw Hawke staring at us. He had his arms folded across his chest. I looked at Charlie. “Can’t we even be alone? Does he have to watch us?”

Charlie nodded. “He is just protecting me.”

“From me?” I say sarcastically. Charlie shook his head.

“No, not from you.” Hawke stared at me. I stood up and stared back at him. He reached in his waistband and pulled out his knife. I stared him down as he prepared to throw his knife in my direction. I was not scared of him. Something deep inside of me assured me that he would not kill me with his knife. I stood perfectly still as he pulled back his arm. In slow motion I saw the knife hurling through the air, handle over blade as Charlie screamed my name. I felt the knife come right by my head and I felt a sharp pain by my ear and the drip of blood on my neck. My face never changed as I stared back at Hawke. My friend, that red hot feeling that meant I could be something stronger than I was, overcame me and I felt myself soaring above the creek.

I heard Charlie calling my name. I looked around as I called out, determining where every living thing was around me. I felt the rattlesnake’s presence before I saw them. I singled them out and waved my hands. Within minutes they were hissing in a circle around Hawke. Hawke was trying to back away, but he was backing into another snake. Charlie was screaming at Hawke to stand still. Charlie was yelling at me. “Emme, NO, stop it! Hurting him would only hurt me. Do you really want to hurt me?” My attention wavered from the snakes and I focused on Charlie. Instantly I was back in my body and looking at Charlie.

Charlie had me by the arm. “Stay here, Em, I’ll be right back.” Charlie waded into the water and ran to Hawke. The snakes were gone. Hawke was sitting in the dirt by the bank with his head in his hands. Hawke was visibly shaking as Charlie helped him up. I stood up and glared at Hawke. They waded back across the bank.

Charlie walked up to me. “Hawke is here to protect me and by protecting me, he is protecting you. Hawke has the skills to help you, to teach you what you need.” Charlie looked over at Hawke. “Emme is not the enemy. Do you finally see what she is? Do you see the gifts she has? She is our people’s last hope. She belongs with us.”

Hawke nodded and walked over to me. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a piece of cloth. He reached up and wiped the blood off of my neck. “I’m sorry,” he told me.

I grabbed his hands and held them between mine. “Me too.” Hawke turned on his heel and walked back the path to the main building.

Charlie looked at me. “What the hell did you just do?”

I looked back at him. “I finally figured out that Golden Flower gifted me with the ability to talk to and control animals.” I smiled questioningly at Charlie.

Charlie didn’t smile back. “What else have you done?” I told Charlie about Ollie and the church and the birds. Charlie paced around me. “This is not good. The machayiwiw will notice a display like the one you did in town. You must not ever do it again in a public place where others can see you. Do you understand me?” I nodded with my head down. Charlie leaned forward and grabbed my face between his warm hands. “I have to admit that it was an awesome thing to do for Ollie, but we have to be more careful.”

I laid my hands over his by my face. I leaned into this chest as he slowly lowered us to the ground. We laid on the ground facing each other. I stared into his eyes lost in his world. Charlie stared back at me and as the beautiful empty world and the warm wind eavesdropped on us, we talked. I told him about Bets, and Mom and Ben, and how hurt Ollie was at the church. I told him about Jack and the preserve and Rose and the baby. We talked laying down and facing each other with our fingers intertwined until the sun started its slow climb to the edge of darkness. The sky was an incredible shade of deep purple with shades of violet blue. Even in the beauty of the sunset, I felt the desperation creep over me. I started to shake. I didn’t want to leave Charlie. I never wanted to leave Charlie. Charlie leaned closer. I could feel his breath on my cheek. He laid his gentle brown hands on my cheeks. I closed my eyes. “Let me take the pain away,” he whispered. We stood up.

Charlie closed his eyes and he chanted in a low voice. I listened to his voice. I closed my eyes and leaned into Charlie. I laid my head on his chest and listened to his heartbeat. I felt the desperation leave me and I was filled with a sense of peace and serenity. My breathing slowed, and my mind was filled with the beautiful times that Charlie and I had shared. We were like one in my mind, our thoughts joined and our spirits connected. It was the most incredible intense feeling. It was what I imagined making love would be like. I felt dizzy and my body felt it was on fire from the inside out. My legs gave way and I dropped to my knees. Charlie grabbed me and slowly lowered me down to the ground. “What did you do?” I asked Charlie. He stared back at me. “I showed you our love. I showed you what is worth fighting and dying for.”

As Charlie stood up, he staggered. I reached out and held his arm. “Are you okay?” Charlie put his hand over mine that rested on his arm. “Just tired. You wear me out.” He grinned broadly as I swatted his arm. “Poor me,” I told him. We held hands as we headed back to the main buildings.

Ollie and Jack were standing outside of the meeting room talking to Ryan and Hawke. Ryan looked up as we approached. “Hey, Em, can you come back next week? I want to run in the hills with you, and Hawke needs to start working with you on knife and lance throwing.” “Sure thing,” I told him. Hawke looked at Charlie and then at me. Charlie was leaning on the car while he talked to Jack. Charlie’s face was pale. Hawke walked the short distance to me and whispered in my ear. “Every time Charlie carries your pain, he gets weaker. Every time you feel better in Charlie’s presence, he pays the price for it. Is that what you want for him?” I shook my head “No.” I looked at my feet as Hawke said, “Don’t come back here. Walk away. His burden is too big to carry.” I shook my head. “I’m sorry I can’t do that. I just can’t. I love him too much.” Hawke shook his head and walked away.

We all walked to the car. I held Charlie’s hand as long as I could. I climbed in the back seat and Jack and Ollie sat down in the Mustang. As we drove off, I turned around and stared back at Charlie. He stood there watching us drive off.


An Interview with Author D.E.L. Connor

What was your favorite book growing up?

When I was old enough to read it was the Little House on the Prairie series. I must have read and reread each of them a hundred times. I honestly thought I was Laura Ingalls Wilder. Most girls my age were into dolls and while I liked dolls and playing house, my version of playing house always had a log house and a covered wagon. They are still my favorite books to read to children. Can't you just picture yourself on a hot summer day bouncing along in the back of the covered wagon?

Who is your favorite author (living or dead)?

I have more than one. Obviously I love Laura Ingalls Wilder, but I am also a huge fan of Larry McMurray. I grew up admiring strong women writers like Margaret Mitchell and Harper Lee and more recently J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyers.

What inspired you to write the Spirit Warriors series?

Actually is has been a long time coming. I wrote the short story that the Spirt Warriors evolved from in college may years ago. The professor asked me to stay after class and he told me how good it was, but unfortunately, it was too dark to be a children's story. I put it away and went on with my career as a nurse. Finally J.K Rowling and Stephenie Meyers came out with new dark tales and the young adult market was born. The time was finally right! I finished Book 1 in two weeks. The struggle to get it published took more time, but here I am with two books in the story completed.

What character do you most identify with in Spirit Warriors: The Scarring?

Probably Lilly, I tend to be kind to a fault, and love my friends and family unconditionally. I think as a child I wished I could have been more like Bets and Emme. They are headstrong, brave and willing to fight for anything or anyone they cared about. I was shy when I was young, although no one believes that today! LOL

Can you tell us about your next project?

Why of course. I am about half way through book 3 in the series The Burning. There will be 6 books total in the series. Book 4 will be The Lamenting, Book 5 The Ensouling and then a Prequel to be named later. In between those books or after them I'm not sure which, I plan to write a new adult romance novel about loss and finding the chance to love again.

The Concealing (Spirit Warriors #1)
by D.E.L. Connor
Release Date: November 24, 2013
Length: 191 pages
Publisher: Booktrope
 
Spirit Warriors - The Concealing webready

Blurb: Sixteen-year-old Emme Belrose has it all: four best friends, a horse of her own, a hidden tepee hangout, and a blossoming romance with tall and handsome Charlie. These friends also have a secret. They can move their spirits into animal bodies: an osprey, a mustang, a grizzly, a mountain lion and a coyote.   But when Charlie, who has a gift for seeing the future, has a vision of Emme drowning in the icy Yellowstone River, the Spirit Warriors must train their animal bodies to kill an enemy they know is coming… but know nothing about. Suspenseful, romantic, and awash in Native American magic, Spirit Warriors captures the tragic enchantment of the American West—and confirms the power of friendship.


DEL ConnorAbout the Author
Della was born in South Dakota and raised in the vastness and beauty of Montana on a farm. When she longed for the big city life, she moved to Texas where she attended college and received a PhD in nursing. When not nursing people back to health you can find Della huddled over her Mac writing the stories that have occupied her mind for so many years, or traveling with her best friends, the NOLA’s, riding bikes across the Golden Gate bridge or exploring botanical gardens. She is the proud mother of a champion triathlete, two aging dogs and 1 grand-cat. Della has admittedly confessed to her coffee addiction and swears that her two hour coffee crawl while on vacation in Seattle –was the best two hours of her life!
Facebook Release Day Party - July 21st at 7pm - 9pm CST

Book Blitz: Kiss Me Dead by Dale Ibitz - Excerpt & Giveaway


IFB is hosting the promo tour for Dale Ibitz fantasy, Kiss Me Dead. See details below:


22381900Release date: May 28th 2014
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:


One curse…

Christian, a nineteen-year-old reaper-human hybrid enslaved to the Other World to harvest souls, earns his freedom by making a bargain with the Goddess of Death. As part of the bargain, he’s been cursed with the kiss of death. 

One kiss…

The only way Christian can break his curse is for an angel to kiss him. Willingly. He finds Brooke, an nineteen-year-old descendant of a Naphil whose destiny is to hunt rogue reapers. But she’s hiding, suffocating in a semi-agoraphobic cocoon since witnessing a reaper steal her brother’s soul. 

Two destinies…

Christian has found the angel who can break his curse, and the seduction begins. To break her phobia’s hold, Brooke embraces her angelic role and makes it her mission to kill rogue reapers, trying to avenge her brother’s murder. Christian can break his curse by kissing Brooke dead ... but will she figure out his game and kill him first?

About the Author
Dale Ibitz was born in Oxford, Connecticut, grew up in the state of Washington, and then re-located back to Connecticut as an adult. Always a lover of books, she spent much of her childhood reading, visiting the library (her best friend’s mother was a librarian…how convenient), and writing. She majored in English at Central Connecticut State University, and while Dale holds a full-time day job where she’s immersed in the dry life of writing contracts, she’s been writing young adult fantasy and mid-grade contemporary for seventeen years (on the side, of course). 

If you were to visit Dale’s house, you'd meet her husband, 2 kids, their dog Lea (most people simply refer to her as The Beast...and for good reason), their kitten Luna (affectionately known as Loony Luna), a gaggle of ducks, and a flock of hens ruled by a tyrannical rooster they call The Stump, or Stumpy. How he got his name is a long story...maybe she’ll tell you sometime.

authordaleibitz.weebly.com| facebook.com/DaleIbitzAuthor | twitter.com/daleibitz


==EXCERPT==

Christian watched the dying girl and did nothing. 

He longed to do something—anything—to save her, but it wasn’t his place, his calling, or his duty. His duty was to wait for her death, then act.

Giltine, Goddess of Death, had branded the girl for death, the mark on her cheek glowing like slick silver while wet moonlight clung to her breasts. Her flailing arms and flooded gasps forced Christian’s eyes to close and his hands to clamp over his ears.

Nothing could stop the sound of death.

He could taste the girl’s fear; blood-metallic, like pennies. Even though he yearned to run, he wouldn’t. He would stay. He’d wait for her death then reap as he was bound to do.

Inhaling, he closed his eyes, scenting Giltine’s addictive poison, a sweet nectar reapers craved. He was a slave to her and to his addiction, just as the girl was a slave to death. Neither could escape their fate.

But no matter how many times he tried to abstain and break his addiction, no matter how fervently he wished for death to claim him, to awake and find Giltine’s mark glowing silver on his cheek, he would continue to exist, if only to hunt for death.

The girl’s hands slapped the water. She slid deeper into the shadowy lake. Pulse in his neck throbbing, he swallowed, trying to remain detached and unemotional as a proper reaper should. Unfortunately, he was also human. His humanity made him suffer.

As he edged closer to the water, sweat formed along his hairline. The mark on the girl’s cheek shone brighter, sweeter. He licked his lips. It was almost time.

Trembling with need, he rubbed his thumbs along his pants’ seams. He’d gone too long without a soul-hit, and cold rotted him from the inside. The longing for poison that tightened his stomach also made his lips twist in disgust. Not wanting to watch this beautiful girl die with hungry anticipation, he turned his head away. 

Water covered the girl’s mouth, sucking out one last, drowning breath before consuming her nose and fear-glassed eyes. She sank below the surface.

Christian sighed. It was done. The silence, however comforting, didn’t dispel the echoes of the girl’s dying breath lingering inside his head. He shuddered. 

The girl’s stillness revived the nocturnal silence: the grinding cheeps of tree frogs, an owl’s chirruping hoot. Wooden docks stretched into the water like skeletal fingers. A red fox’s tail flashed. Not willing to enter the water, he waited on the shore for the girl’s soul to emerge. The spring lake water was snow-melt frigid, and he detested both the water and the cold, as all his kind did. 

Moments later, like dust motes in a sunbeam, the girl’s soul appeared. Her skin shone with an ethereal glow, a result of Giltine’s poison, and her hair hung in damp ringlets. He could almost taste the sweet poison, so saccharine as to make his teeth ache.

He studied the drop of water that tickled the girl’s neck and trailed between her breasts. To him, her soul appeared as alive as her living form had been. He knew that once she crossed to the other side, the embodiment of her physical being would dissipate and he’d no longer be able to see her, feel her, smell her. Until then, however, she was real to him.

Realizing he was staring, he bit his lip and focused on the ground. The girl might be dead, might no longer care about decency or modesty, but he believed in dying with dignity. He scooped up her dress.

“Put it on.” His voice squeaked like an adolescent boy’s.

The girl hesitated then took the dress. He averted his gaze until she slipped it over her head. The dress was old, with a frayed hem and torn collar. Most of the buttons were missing, and it barely covered her nakedness. The loose flapper-style made her seem like a young girl, but he’d seen her nude, and her figure suggested she was one or two years older than him; maybe twenty-one. 

Unable to stop himself, he slid a fingertip along her cheek, the silver mark sweet and sticky like icing on a hot bun. When he licked his finger, Giltine’s poison shot like bathtub gin down his throat and seared his lungs. His sigh bordered on a groan.

“Who are you?” She was pretty, with cat-green eyes and hair he was sure would lighten like honey when it dried. 

“Christian.”

He held still, watching her while sweat collected along his back. Despite the aching need, and despite the small taste he’d just sampled, he couldn’t take her soul completely. He had to wait until he took her to the Void, and for her to make the decision to cross to the Other World. If he didn’t follow the rules, there would be punishment.

Lines wrinkled her forehead. Her pain leaked fragile ribbons that looped around his chest. His Other World senses allowed him just enough information to lure her there, and he could taste the earthy flavor of her confusion. Some might consider such knowledge cheating; Christian considered it a means to an end.




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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Book Blitz: Challenging Destiny by Cherie Colyer - Excerpt & Giveaway


Challenging Destiny
Release Date: 03/27/14

Summary from Goodreads:

Logan Ragsdale and his younger sister, Ariana, have been marked, chosen to be unwilling participants in a war between angels and demons.

Logan can sense something's not quite right. Like an unexpected chill on a summer's day, he can feel the unseen closing in. He's had these feelings before and, each time, someone close to him died. He's afraid this time it might just be Ariana.

Logan's fears are soon confirmed when he discovers their new friends aren't human, but rather representatives from Heaven and Hell sent to Earth to ensure he and Ariana accept their roles in an ancient prophecy. Demons want Logan to open the gates of Hell. Ariana has the power to stop them, but if she chooses to side with Heaven to spare the lives of thousands of innocent people, she'll damn her brother for eternity.

Together, they must derail the biblical event if they hope to save themselves and the future of mankind...but what price are they willing to pay to keep the other safe?


Excerpt

Ariana’s point-of-view

He held my hand as we walked to the car. The breeze brushed past, mingling Ben’s musk cologne with the dried leaves and mums that dotted the landscaping. I used my free hand to hold my jacket shut and block out the cold.

“Who was that?” I asked.

“My mom.”

“You call your mom by her first name?”

We reached his car. Ben wrapped an arm around my back, twirling me in a semicircle until we faced each other.

“She likes to pretend she’s too young to have children. How about a hot chocolate for the game?”

He was so close, if I were to have tilted my head up and forward ever so slightly, our lips would have met.

“Hot chocolate would be great,” I managed to reply. “They sell it at the game.”

“Perfect!”

My heart raced in anticipation of his mouth covering mine. The sounds of traffic on the main road disappeared, as did the parked cars around us. It was just Ben and me and the prospect of our first kiss.

Available from:
Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo Books

About the Author
A little about myself: I write young adult and middle grade novels. I love finding new stories that keep me up late reading. While my favorite genre is fantasy, if the book is beautifully written with characters that come alive I’m all over it.
My debut novel EMBRACE is now available from Omnific Publishing.




Author Links:
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GIVEAWAY:
$20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card (INT)
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