Ten Things You Wouldn’t Know About Laney McMann – Guest Blog and Giveaway

torn-button-7This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the author.  Laney is giving away signed paperbacks of TIED (Book 1) &TORN (Book 2) to ONE winner, and E-book copies of TIED & TORN to ONE winner and 5 signed bookmarks via Rafflecopter.

Ten Things You Wouldn’t Know About Laney McMann

 

Ten things you would never guess about me. Hm … I’ll have to think about this one.

10. I have a thing for papermate pens. Only papermate.

 

9. I love coffee ice cream, iced coffee, and mocha frappuccinos, but I don’t like hot coffee.

 

  1. I own around 15 pairs of flip flops and will only wear tennis shoes when I’m running, otherwise, hate them. And socks. Hate them too. Unless it’s freezing.

 

  1. Speaking of freezing, winter is a dreaded month for me. Once Christmas is over, I’m ready for summer again.

 

  1. I love it when it rains on the way home from the beach.

 

  1. I have THE BEST beta readers in the world. Love them.

 

  1. I’ve wanted to write novels for a living since I was nine years old, but I believed only ‘real writers’ wrote novels, so I didn’t follow that dream until much, much later, and even then, I was terrified to try.

 

  1. Besides writing, music is one of my first loves. So is dancing.

 

  1. I’m an introvert.

 

1. If I had the space, I would own lots of dogs. Lots. I have three. ;)

Torn, Book #2

TORN (Book #2)Find Max.

That’s all Layla cares about. Not healing from the Fomore attack. Not finding answers to how she survived a fall that nearly killed her. Nothing will stop her. She will find him. She’ll even pair up with an overbearing Fallen Angel who’s hell bent on making everything harder than it needs to be if she has to.

Protect Layla.

For Max, nothing else matters. Not the bruises covering his body. Not the pain radiating from his broken bones. Not even his hands tied behind his back. He will find a way to save Layla, and the Fomore will pay if they’ve hurt her.

Every. Single. One of them.

In the second installment of The Fire Born trilogy, a new breed of villain looms—one Layla and Max will never suspect, and this killer has nothing to lose. Better yet, with Max and Layla’s deaths, victory is in the grip of the enemy.

Will Max and Layla find each other in time, or is it already too late for them both?

For more info: J Taylor Publishing

Target Audience: Young Adult

Key Words: Urban Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Mystery, Mythology

TIED, Book #1

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Normal people don’t believe their nightmares stalk them. They don’t fall in love with boys who don’t exist, either.

Seventeen-year-old Layla Labelle, though, is far from normal. Her delusions walk the earth. Her hallucinations hunt her, and her skin heats to a burn every time her anger flares.

Or is that all in her head?

Layla doesn’t know what to believe any more because if none of that’s true, Max MacLarnon must be an illusion, and her heart must still be broken.

No matter how much she wants to believe Max is real, doing so would mean everything else is, too. How, then, is that possible?

The answers lie in an age-old legend the supernatural aren’t prepared to reveal, and with a curse that could tear Layla and Max apart forever—if it doesn’t kill them both first.

In TIED, book one in the Fire Born trilogy, learning the truth will mean fighting an arsenal of demons, and being with Max will put Layla on a path toward her own destruction.

Just how far will Layla go to protect the one she loves?

The answer may never be far enough … away.

539450_509065072469365_10911403_nAUTHOR:

With a passion for the supernatural and all things magical, Laney developed a voracious appetite for reading fantasy at a young age. A vivid imagination helped set the stage for creating her own worlds and placed her onto the writing path.

By the time she reached her teens, she’d accumulated notebooks full of poems, which led to short stories and finally novels. Young adult dark fantasy, paranormal romance, and mythology are among her favorite genres.

A former classical dancer and chef, she grew up in sultry Florida where she still resides with her family.

 

You can find her on:

Twitter.

goodreads.

Facebook Profile

Facebook Author Page

Pinterest.

Tumblr

Her new website: Laney McMann

And by email at: laneymcmannyaauthor(at)gmail(dot)com

 

GIVEAWAY!

Signed paperbacks of TIED (Book 1) &TORN (Book 2) to ONE winner, and E-book copies of TIED & TORN to ONE winner and 5 signed bookmarks.

Enter Rafflecopter:

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BUY LINKS:

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GOODREADS:

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Balancing Life and Writing by Susan Soares – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Susan will be awarding a Life is all Good LOVE Tote to a randomly drawn winner (http://www.zappos.com/life-is-good-all-good-tote-soft-purple), a multi-heart turquoise charm bracelet (http://www.zappos.com/m-f-western-multi-heart-charm-turquoise-bracelet-silver) to another randomly drawn winner, a signed copy of Heart on a String to one more randomly drawn winner and finally, a signed bookmark of Heart on a String to three randomly drawn winners. All prizes will be awarded via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Balancing life and writing

This is a tough question, but one I think every writer faces especially if you’re not at the point where you can up and quit your paying job for a life of writing. For me it’s all about schedules and blocks of time. By nature I’m an all or nothing personality. I don’t like the feeling of a large task looming above my head. It makes me feel stressed. Yes, writing can make you stress! So I love the idea of block writing. Or even frenzy writing if you will. I learned about Nanowrimo a few years back and felt that it was the perfect vessel for me. You write a rough draft of a novel in a month. Minimum 50k words. This was what I was looking for. In addition to my all or nothingness I’m also very goal oriented. My quirks and Nanowrimo just seemed to fit hand in hand. Nano is held each November, but I create my own Nanos when I want to work on a rough draft. I set a goal and do my best to adhere to it. For a 50K draft to be done in a month this requires me to write about an hour to two hours a day. Balancing a family, work, and writing can be mind boggling. But once I found setting myself up for the 50K challenge I was able to better work it into place. I knew how much time I needed and I knew that the time set aside to write needed to be just for that- WRITING. Now that’s not say that maybe twenty to thirty minutes of that time is me procrastinating, but once I start banging those words out I don’t stop until the time’s done. My kids know that I’m working and unless someone is sick or bleeding they tend to leave me alone. It’s all about choices. Making the commitment and if you do that you’ll succeed.

The only thing harder than lying about your life? Facing it.

Marissa tells lies.

To herself, about the fact that her brother abandoned her.

To her grandmother, when she says “everything’s fine.”

To the world when she pretends her mother is at home or working late. When she doesn’t tell them her mother is dead.

She doesn’t even question the wisdom of living in a world built on lies anymore—until she meets Brandon. Unlike Marissa, Brandon faces his grief head-on. As their relationship sweetens, Marissa realizes the value of letting someone in and not letting her grief destroy her. But when her past filled with denial catches up with her, Marissa is forced to tell Brandon her darkest secrets, or risk losing him.

The only thing harder than lying about her life? Facing it.

Enjoy an excerpt:

I held my breath as I ran past the cemetery. Stupid, I know. Regardless, it’s one of those idiotic things that stick with you from your childhood. Like fragments of your being that imprint themselves on your chemical makeup. It was my older brother, Marc, who had told me that once when we were in the backseat of Mom’s old hatchback and were driving past the Sacred Path Cemetery.

Marc poked me in my side. “Quick, hold your breath,” he said before taking in a puff of air and holding it in.

“What? Why?” I looked around from side to side.

He didn’t answer me. Instead he just kept motioning with his hands, pointing out the window, putting his hands around his neck like he was choking or something. Finally, when we turned left onto Harper Street he let out a big exhale.

“Oh man, now you’re toast.” He pointed at me and laughed. That maniacal laugh only older brothers know how to do. I was seven at the time, and Marc was ten. “You probably have a ghost inside you now.” He grinned like a devious villain.

“A ghost?” I said.

“You didn’t hold your breath while we drove past the cemetery. Again I state — you’re toast.” He began drumming on his lap with his hands.

I didn’t comprehend what he was telling me, but I knew I didn’t like it. Tears started forming in my eyes, and I knew I had to rely on my failsafe. “Mooommm,” I cried out, and immediately I felt Marc’s sweaty hand over my mouth.

“Yes, Marissa?” Mom’s sweet voice carried from the front of the car to the backseat.

“She’s fine, Mom. I got it.” Marc’s tone was of the dutiful son. He unclamped his hand from my face. “Listen,” he began, talking kind of slow. “You’ve got to remember this. I’m going to give you a life lesson here. Are you ready?”

His green eyes were sparkling, and I nodded my head in agreement.

“Okay.” He crouched down a bit so he was eye-level with me. “You must always, and I mean always, hold your breath when you drive past a cemetery. And if you’re walking past one, you must run — run and hold your breath until you’re clear. Otherwise, the spirits of the undead could invade your body. And you don’t want that to happen. Do you?” I almost couldn’t tell if the last part was a question or a statement.

“But I didn’t hold my breath back there, and all the times before. What if one’s in me right now?” I began pawing at my body.

Marc threw his head back and laughed. “Nah, you’re fine. Just be careful. Now that you know you have to do it, always do it. Understand?”

Again I shook my head. Marc gave me a thumbs-up, and I begged Mom to take Chester Street instead of Maple because I knew there was a big cemetery on Maple. Luckily she agreed.

So now, here I was ten years later, holding my breath as I ran past Sacred Path Cemetery. While I ran, my new sneakers — the ones I had to work double shifts on Saturdays for three weeks to get — started rubbing the back of my left heel, and I knew I’d have a blister the size of a quarter later on. It’s hard to keep your pace when you’re holding your breath. Luckily Sacred Path Cemetery isn’t that big. Just big enough. It’s just big enough. That’s what my grandmother said anyway. I was almost halfway through when I heard the clicking of the tips of my shoelace on the ground. My thoughts concentrated on what those tip things were called, anything to get my mind off the cemetery. Aglets, I remembered! My aglets were hitting the pavement, and I knew if I didn’t stop and retie that lace, then I would land flat on my face. Grace has never been a character trait of mine. My mother, yes, but not me. Marissa No-Grace McDonald should have been my legal name. How my mother came up with Scranton for my middle name I’ll never know.

The last thing I wanted to happen was to fall face first in front of the cemetery. Complete body invasion for sure then. I couldn’t hold my breath that long. So I did what I had to do. I stopped, turned my face the opposite direction of the cemetery, and took one big breath in and held it. Next, I bent down and furiously retied that lace. Why is it that whenever you try doing something in a rush it never comes out right? Somehow I tied my finger into the knot. Then, I couldn’t get the loops to line up right. Just as I was finally conquering the over-under shoelace tying technique that Marc had taught me when I was five, I heard muffled sounds coming from inside the cemetery. I searched for the source of the sounds. As I looked near the line of big oak trees that lined the right-hand side of the cemetery, I saw the profiles of a family. What I assumed was a family, anyway. There was a woman, about my mom’s age, a guy about my age, and a younger boy, maybe six or seven. The little boy was holding a metallic balloon, which was red and in the shape of a heart. Bright sun caught the corner of it, creating a glare that momentarily impaired my vision. When my eyes refocused, I was suddenly aware of my body and extremely aware of the fact that I was watching this family’s private moment, in the cemetery, in this cemetery. My heart beat frantically, and I became aware that my forehead was covered in perspiration. I stood up, held my breath again, and ran the next half a block without stopping, my aglets clicking against the pavement all the way.

When I crossed over onto Brenton Street, I finally slowed down. I felt like I could breathe again. My pace was back to a more conservative speed, and after one more break to retie that shoelace-triple-knot, I was able to refocus. The spring air felt good on my skin. As the sun poured down on me, my face embraced its warmth. Lilacs were in full bloom everywhere, and I made a special detour down Hazel Street to run past the six lilac bushes Mr. Brockwell planted a few years ago. He said it was just because he wanted to add some color to his front yard, but I knew better. I knew they were for my mom.

Turning down Hazel Street, I inhaled the heavy floral scent of the freshly-bloomed lilac bushes, and I could picture my mom smiling. As I ran past the last bush, the little blue house finally came into view. I saw Mr. Brockwell picking up his newspaper from his front step. In that moment I wished I had magical powers to turn myself invisible.

“Marissa? Hey Marissa!” he shouted while making his way over to the fence.

Oh great. “Oh, hey, Mr. Brockwell.” I slowed down and began jogging in place, hoping the gesture would let him know I couldn’t stay to chat.

“It’s been a long time since you’ve run this route, hasn’t it?” He cinched his blue terrycloth robe a little tighter.

Trying to remain active, I kept jogging in place. “Yeah, I guess. I wanted to run past the lilacs.” I wasn’t sure if it was the sun or my nerves, but I felt like my body was going into heat shock or something.

Mr. Brockwell stared at me, and then I saw his eyes get glassy. He began to speak but then ran his hand over his mouth like he was muffling down what he wanted to say. His hands fumbled with his paper, and he cleared his throat.

“It’s good to see—” he paused; it was like the words were getting caught in his throat like tuna inside a fisherman’s net.

I realized I was standing still. My legs began to spasm. He caught my eye one more time, but just for a moment before he had to look away. I knew why. It was the reason I never ran past his house anymore. The reason why we couldn’t have a conversation anymore. Everyone used to tell me I was so lucky to look so much like my mom. She was gorgeous. High cheekbones, perfect heart-shaped mouth, sparkling blue eyes that sat perfectly on her oval face. Besides her hair being a stunning ash blond and mine being mouse brown, we did look quite similar. Except that while her features seemed to make her look like Grace Kelly, mine seemed to make me look like, well, not Grace Kelly.

But it was moments like this — Mr. Brockwell unable to look at me for more than a minute without having to look away — that I wished I looked less like her. I felt like my face was betraying him. Like my cheekbones and lips were baiting him with memories of him and my mom together. Although now, each memory was served with a side of sorrow instead of a side of joy.

I’ll never forget when I saw him two days after the funeral. We bumped into each other at Have Another Cup Coffee Shop on Main Street. First he hugged me and asked how I was doing; then he had to look away, and he told me why.

“It hurts to look at you, Marissa. You look so much like her.” I knew how much he loved my mom, and Marc and I enjoyed having him around, but after that moment I made sure to keep my distance. So he went from being Hank to back to being Mr. Brockwell.

Now, I stood there — uncomfortable from sweat that covered me head to toe — wondering how much longer I needed to stand there while he avoided my face. “So, I gotta go or my pace is gonna be all messed up.”

Hank, I mean, Mr. Brockwell took one final look at me. “Sure, sure.” He started to walk backward then stopped. “Marissa, just so you know. Any time you want to see the lilacs you can.”

The lump in my throat held back any words I could have gotten out, so I just waved and made a beeline for the next street so I could start my way back home. Seeing Mr. Brockwell had put me into a fog. My brain wasn’t able to concentrate on my pace or on my footing, and I began to get a shin splint pain on my left-hand side. Unfortunately, this was the same side as the blister. My run was only six miles, but my body was starting to feel like I was at mile thirteen. I couldn’t relax my breathing, and the back of my throat felt like it was on fire every time I inhaled. In my fog, I didn’t realize I forgot to cross Parker Street, and now the only way to get back was to take Fletcher Street again. And run past Sacred Path Cemetery, again. Now, I ran past that cemetery every day on my jog, but only once. Once was all I needed to let me get it out of my system. And it’s not like my mom’s grave is right where I run past. She’s way on the other side, the Cranville Street side. I never run that side. But now, in all the confusion, I have to go past it again. My hand scratched an itch at the back of my neck as the street sign came into view. Like always, I stopped for a moment, took a few deep breaths in and out, then grabbed one big breath of air and held it as I started my way past the cemetery.

My focus was way up ahead to the stop sign at the other end. I kept my eyes on that sign and kept my feet stepping under me, quick and steady. I wasn’t even halfway across when I caught sight of some sort of string frantically whipping in the wind, and I was running straight toward it. My gaze moved to follow the line of the string, trying to see what it was attached to, and that’s when I saw it, caught in the big tree right by the fence. The red, heart-shaped metallic balloon, and my heart hit the ground.

About the Author:

Susan Soares grew up in a small town in Massachusetts, always dreaming of one day being an author. After numerous short stories, poems and plays, those dreams finally became a reality when her first book, My Zombie Ex-Boyfriends was published. (Featherweight Press, 2013) Her second book Heart on a String was just released in June 2014 by Astraea Press.

Susan received her MA in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University, and will be pursuing teaching soon. When she isn’t writing Susan spends her time reading, experimenting with photography, planning her next Disney World vacation and chasing after her kids.

Susan loves to read YA fiction. Maybe it’s because her inner sixteen-year-old still wants to be prom queen.

Twitter ~ YouTube ~ Website ~ Blog ~ Goodreads ~ Wattpad

Buy the book at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ten Things Most People Don’t Know About Rin Chupeco – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Welcome to Rin Chupeco as she visits with us as part of her virtual book tour organized by the publisher promoting her debut novel The Girl from the Well, a retelling of the legend that inspired The Ring, told from the point of view of the murdered spirit. Leave a comment for a chance to win a print copy of the book (US/Canada only)

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10 things most people don’t know about you
1. I have the weirdest fandoms. I’m a huge Phil Harris / Cornelia Marie fangirl, for instance. (bonus points if you know which fandom this is). I have an odd fascination with Louis XV of France, and I’m not sure why. And despite the popularity of the books, I’m having trouble finding a fellow Discworld fan (short anecdote: one of my friends from the UK wanted to meet up for teatime, and I said “It’s pronounced ‘teah-ti-meh’.” and giggled for a solid five minutes while everyone stared). Even harder to find: Dirk Gently fans. Mike Wolf and Frank Fritz fans. (I watch The Pickers all the time.) James Spader fans. Night Vale podcast fans. And is there an Anthony Bourdain or Gordon Ramsay fanclub that I can join? I like my fandoms eclectic, it seems.

2. I never had a Barbie doll. I had Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, G.I. Joe, and Ghostbusters action figures instead. My love was so great that I had the Ectomobile, my very own lifesize photon pack, and a huge turtle lair. I was naturally upset when my parents bought me a dollhouse for staying on the honor roll back in elementary. (My sister, on the other hand, was thrilled – until I started moving my G. I. Joe dolls into the house and informed her that Flint and Shipwreck had declared martial law).

3. I can fold my hands length-wise, and it has grossed out a lot of people in the past, husband included. (Let’s just say that diving into the shallow end of community swimming pools is a Very Bad Idea.)

4. Recently, whenever I feel the need for inspiration, I take a break and play Cards Against Humanity for an hour or so.

5. I am an avid gamer. How avid? My three-month-old son is named after a fictional assassin from a ridiculously popular game. (It’s worth mentioning that hubby is also a gamer.) We go on gaming dates, because that is how we roll.

6. My first childhood memory was watching Remington Steele at two years old. My dad says I used to point at the TV screen whenever Pierce Brosnan was in a scene and screech, “THAT’S MY BOYFRIEND!” Even as a kid, I had pretty good taste.

7. In a lot of ways, TV was my babysitter growing up. I was fortunate to have a television set in my room, and I would wait until the house was quiet before sneakily turning it on and watching my favorite shows, which were for some reason always shown past my bedtime. I remember watching David Letterman and Conan O’Brien and not always getting their jokes given my age then, but those two eventually helped develop my sense of humor. And then there was the MTV Oddities series, back when MTV actually thought about the kind of programs they had instead of the crappy reality shows they’ve got on now. My love for the very weird started with Oddities, particularly Aeon Flux, The Head and The Maxx.

8. Several people have asked if I’d had any experience with the supernatural, given the subject matter I write. I can honestly say that despite my fascination with ghosts I’ve never actually believed in them, or seen any evidence for them – it’s just something I love to read about. That said, I’ve had a workmate who claimed that she’d seen a woman dressed in black looking over my shoulder once (it was early morning and I was the only one in the office when she’d arrived). She assumed it was another co-worker, until she saw said co-worker only just entering the premises. She was a bit more freaked out about this than I was, especially since I didn’t feel anything strange at that time. I’m happy to report though, that the alleged ghost never bothered me at that job aside from that incident.

9. I am also an avid crime junkie. I love Forensic Detectives and the Crime Investigation channel. I have a million books about serial killers, notable crimes, Mafia books, and the like. I have a large collection of detective fiction, from Doyle to Chandler to Akunin to Christie to Rankin. It’s a weird interest for a kid, but I think my main enjoyment was reading about how these criminals and get caught
– if I didn’t want to be a writer I would probably have seriously considered being a cop / homicide detective.

10. There are three kinds of food that I can’t turn down: crab, fresh raw salmon, and truffles. I once ate three plates of truffle-oil pasta once because I couldn’t bear to see it going to waste. My mother also claims my love for crab stems from her own craving for it when she was pregnant with me – it was about the only thing she ate.

Watch the book video:

About the Author:9_17 rin Despite uncanny resemblances to Japanese revenants, Rin Chupeco has always maintained her sense of humor. Raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. She’s been a technical writer and travel blogger, but now makes things up for a living. The Girl from the Well is her debut novel. Connect with Rin at http://www.rinchupeco.com.

9_12 book coverThe Ring meets The Exorcist in this haunting and lyrical reimagining of the Japanese fable.

Okiku has wandered the world for hundreds of years, setting free the spirits of murdered children. Wherever there’s a monster hurting a child, her spirit is there to deliver punishment. Such is her existence, until the day she discovers a troubled American teenager named Tark and the dangerous demon that writhes beneath his skin, trapped by a series of intricate tattoos. Tark needs to be freed, but there is one problem—if the demon dies, so does its host.

With the vigilante spirit Okiku as his guide, Tark is drawn deep into a dark world of sinister doll rituals and Shinto exorcisms that will take him far from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Japan. Can Okiku protect him from the demon within or will her presence bring more harm? The answer lies in the depths of a long-forgotten well.

Writing as a Coping Skill by Lisa M. Cronkhite – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour promoting Lisa M. Cronkhite‘s Deep in the Meadow. Enter to win a $10 Barnes and Noble gift card, an ebook of Deep in the Meadow, and signed swag.

Writing as a Coping Skill

Confession. I only write to cope with my real life issues. Sure I love to write, but I mainly do it to live a healthy lifestyle. With so much crap in the world today, all you want to do is retreat in your mind and think of nicer, calmer things. Anything to get your mind off of what’s bothering you most, or that you’re bored and restless and want to escape just to pass the time. I think everyone can relate to that, at least. Writing can do that for you.

My first Bipolar episode started with a “do not enter” sign in my mind. Yet I was always ready to go through the EXIT ONLY doors. I still want to escape through those doors sometimes. We all have doors/walls we put up to defend ourselves from getting hurt.

But what if you keep hurting yourself over and over again just to NOT inflict pain on others? What if you were so picked on, hurt, called names that you didn’t like, chased down all the way home and had to fight no matter what? I got into a lot of fist fights when I was young. I had to, I was always being confronted.

I kept running though. I keep running from “her,” but in a different way. I write her down and chase after her like a dog with a bone, growling in her face, there! I’d give her a name like Katrina. I’d talk like her too, pretending I was someone else. I would really get into character!

Anyway, I was pushed and pulled into a million different directions in life. Writing is where I can twist the truth and change all the voices in my head and put all of them to good use. Writing a story can be amazingly fun if you put your mind to it. Write those feelings out into a story or poem or whatever you form it to be.

And you know what the coolest part is? You can go back and revise, add and subtract all you want, keep building it, make it go to the darkest alleys of New York, or the highest towers of whatever city you make it. It’s an underworld city? Oooohhh, now there’s a book to write!

Can you write about the facts and twist them into something it’s not? Sure! That’s what fiction is all about. Ideas are everywhere. Turn those ideas into something else, a story…or poem…or journal down one girl’s journey. I assure you, it will be worth it.

9_15 Meadows_final_webBianca “Bee” Thompson’s brother, Jimmy has been dead for ten months, yet she still feels his presence lingering. And one question haunts her: Was Jimmy’s death an accident?

Probing into the events on the night of Jimmy’s death, Bee hears strange voices. The voices lead her to a blood-splattered room, a terrifying threat, and a deadly trap. Is Bee on the trail of her brother’s murderer, or is she entangled in a totally different and much more diabolical plot?

About the Author:9_15 Lisa-CronkhiteMidwest Author Lisa M. Cronkhite’s love for writing started when she was a teen, journaling of her torrid romance with her first boyfriend then and now husband of over two decades. She picked up writing again after her first bipolar episode and psychotic break when her doctor recommended it as a coping skill. Once again, with pencil in hand, Lisa dove herself into crafting poetry. Through the years, Lisa has published her poems in print and online magazines such as Poetry Repairs, Grey Sparrow Press, Sacramento Poetry Center, Poetry Salzburg Review and many more. Lisa also has short stories in magazines like Suspense Magazine and YA Fiction magazine Suddenly Lost in Words.

Her novels include Dreaming a Reality, Demon Girl and Deep in the Meadows. Disconnected is her fourth novel. Lisa is currently working on her next novel, Purple Haze.

Blog ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

Buy the book at Amazon or Leap Books.

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Release Day and Giveaway: Torn by Laney McMann

TORN, the second installment of the Fire Born Novels by Laney McMann, has launched.

PLUS, there’s a Giveaway!

TORN (Book #2)Find Max.

That’s all Layla cares about. Not healing from the Fomore attack. Not finding answers to how she survived a fall that nearly killed her. Nothing will stop her. She will find him. She’ll even pair up with an overbearing Fallen Angel who’s hell bent on making everything harder than it needs to be if she has to.

Protect Layla.

For Max, nothing else matters. Not the bruises covering his body. Not the pain radiating from his broken bones. Not even his hands tied behind his back. He will find a way to save Layla, and the Fomore will pay if they’ve hurt her.

Every. Single. One of them.

In the second installment of The Fire Born trilogy, a new breed of villain looms—one Layla and Max will never suspect, and this killer has nothing to lose. Better yet, with Max and Layla’s deaths, victory is in the grip of the enemy.

Will Max and Layla find each other in time, or is it already too late for them both?

Releasing September 8, 2014

For more info: J Taylor Publishing

Target Audience: Young Adult

Key Words: Urban Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Mystery, Mythology

TIED, Book #1

perf5.250x8.000.inddBLURB:

Normal people don’t believe their nightmares stalk them. They don’t fall in love with boys who don’t exist, either.

Seventeen-year-old Layla Labelle, though, is far from normal. Her delusions walk the earth. Her hallucinations hunt her, and her skin heats to a burn every time her anger flares.

Or is that all in her head?

Layla doesn’t know what to believe any more because if none of that’s true, Max MacLarnon must be an illusion, and her heart must still be broken.

No matter how much she wants to believe Max is real, doing so would mean everything else is, too. How, then, is that possible?

The answers lie in an age-old legend the supernatural aren’t prepared to reveal, and with a curse that could tear Layla and Max apart forever—if it doesn’t kill them both first.

In TIED, book one in the Fire Born trilogy, learning the truth will mean fighting an arsenal of demons, and being with Max will put Layla on a path toward her own destruction.

Just how far will Layla go to protect the one she loves?

The answer may never be far enough … away.

539450_509065072469365_10911403_nAUTHOR:

With a passion for the supernatural and all things magical, Laney developed a voracious appetite for reading fantasy at a young age. A vivid imagination helped set the stage for creating her own worlds and placed her onto the writing path.

By the time she reached her teens, she’d accumulated notebooks full of poems, which led to short stories and finally novels. Young adult dark fantasy, paranormal romance, and mythology are among her favorite genres.

A former classical dancer and chef, she grew up in sultry Florida where she still resides with her family.

 

You can find her on:

Twitter.

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Pinterest.

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Her new website: Laney McMann

And by email at: laneymcmannyaauthor(at)gmail(dot)com

 

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GIVEAWAY!

Signed paperbacks of TIED (Book 1) &TORN (Book 2) to ONE winner, and E-book copies of TIED & TORN to ONE winner.

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And until September 15th, TIED will be on sale in honor of TORN’s launch.

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EXTENSION BY L.V. PIRES – Spotlight and Giveaway



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $20 Amazon Gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

After having been cryogenically suspended for eighteen years, Oliver Conroy is brought back to life and given a second opportunity to live out his dreams. Velcron Technologies assures Oliver there’s nothing wrong with the procedure. Excited to find his family and finish his senior year at Sierra Vista High, Oliver ventures out into the new and very different world.

Across town, Colby Patterson, Sierra Vista’s star student, has just experienced his soul torn from his body and returned to its original owner, Oliver, leaving him empty, void of emotion, a psychopath, who is now determined to get his soul back using any means necessary.

When Oliver comes to realize he’s being pursued by Colby he must decide what to do. Can he defend himself against this soulless psychopath? Will he be able to bring himself to murder? And, if so, what will happen to his soul?

It’s a battle for the ultimate prize – ownership of the soul.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Oliver Conroy found himself in a black tunnel, surrounded by grey fog, pulled backwards through a cluster of bright stars folding in upon themselves. A man’s calm voice soothed his rigid body and kept him from convulsing all over the operating table. He opened his eyes to see this man hovering over him.

“There, there, Oliver, not so fast. You are only eighty-five percent dethawed.”

He felt a needle in his arm and then a cool serum work its way through his veins. In a matter of moments another sensation overcame him.

“Water,” he mouthed.

“Nurse Sanders, give him more of the liquefied gas and a cup of water.”

“Yes, doctor,” she said, rushing to grab an additional bag of blue liquid.

Oliver watched as she changed out the empty bag for the full one, then sat him up and helped him to drink.

“Alright, another successful revitalization,” the doctor said, snapping off his plastic gloves and tossing them into a waste bin. He picked up a transparent clipboard at the end of the operating table, flicked through it and then turned to Oliver.

“Welcome back, Mr. Conroy. I’m Dr. John Parker and you are officially our tenth patient to be revitalized.” He turned to the nurse. “Not bad for being frozen at negative one hundred and ninety-six degrees for the last eighteen years, huh?”

About the Author:

Young Adult author L.V. Pires lives near Baltimore, Maryland.

She graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Master’s in Education and the University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor’s in English. She is currently working towards her MFA in Creative Writing at Spalding University.

Her work includes “The Portrait” (Gypsy Shadow Publishing), “Summer of Winged Creatures” (Saturday’s Child Press) and EXTENSION (6/15/14, Crescent Moon Press).

Follow her at lisavpires.com.
Twitter at @lisavpires
www.facebook.com/lisavpires

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LASR Anniversary: Malia Ann Haberman – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a $100 Amazon/BN GC and more!

Leave a comment on THIS POST for a chance to win an additional prize – For 2 winners:
Digital copies (Kindle mobi or ePub) of the first 3 books in the “Chase Tinker Series”
Chase Tinker and the House of Magic (The Chase Tinker Series, Book 1)
Chase Tinker and the House of Secrets (The Chase Tinker Series, Book 2)
Chase Tinker and the House of Destiny (The Chase Tinker Series, Book 3)

Songs of Summer in Story

 

I stand in the Summer Sun and twirl with my arms wide open. Summer’s Here! Hey Summer! It’s finally Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer I’ve been waiting for all year.

 

Giggling, I stumble to a stop and turn my face to the sky as the Summer Sunshine kisses my Summer Fevered skin. Summer Means Fun and I feel like singing a Summer Serenade to the beautiful Happy Summertime day. No Summertime Blues for me. No Siree! I’m going to have Hot Fun in the Summertime. I’ll laugh and play On the Beach in the Summertime along with all the other beautiful Girls in Their Summer Clothes and the interesting Boys of Summer.

 

I smile as the Summer Wind catches my hair and brushes it across my face, tickling my nose. The wind brings with it a welcome Blast of Summer. It’s like Summer Paradise as the playful wind performs an entertaining Summer Dance in the golden Summer Sand.

 

Wrapping my arms around my waist, I stare out across the gloriously blue ocean that basks in the Summer Sunshine. My heart fills with Summer Feeling while my mind drifts away to Summer Dreaming. The Summer Days and Summer Nights will surly be filled with Summer Magic, won’t they? I touch my lips. Maybe I’ll experience my first Summer Kiss underneath a silvery Summer Moon, and maybe I’ll have a lovely Summer Romance that will last All Summer Long. I stomp my foot. I refuse to have another Cruel Summer or sad Summer in the City while I cry through too many Lonely Summer Nights. I swear it’ll be a good-time Flipflop Summer of Long Hot Summer excitement.

 

I close my eyes and imagine meeting my Summer Love while on a delicious Picnic in the Summertime. It will be instant Sweet Summer Lovin’ and Summer Madness will become our Feel Good Hit of the Summer. Of course, we’ll run, laughing in the Summer Rain as Summer Lightning flashes. We’ll fall into each other’s arms and he’ll tell me, “You Have the Summer in Your Smile. I hope this isn’t just another Summer Illusion like I had Suddenly Last Summer.”

 

malia sunset 10-4-12 003 (2)We’ll spend our Summer Days and Endless Summer Nights enjoying Summer’s Fiesta while wishing it was Always Summer. I shiver with anticipation as I picture us cruising Summer Roads in his red convertible while loving the Summer Side of Life. Then at the end of each day we’ll watch the perfect Summer Sunset as we listen to a Song for a Summer Night.

 

I know our sweet Summer Voyage must come to end, but as The Green Leaves of Summer turn autumn orange and red, I’ll wish again for The First Day of Summer as my Summer Holiday and the Summer Heat drift away. So as I say Farewell My Summer Love I’ll hold my Summer Souvenirs close to my heart because I know I’ll always remember my first Summer of Love.

malia House of Magic cover (2)In this fun, thrilling middle-grade/tween adventure 13-year-old Chase Tinker and his younger brother Andy learn the truth about their family’s magical heritage from a grandfather they thought to be long dead. This grandfather soon invites them to come visit him in his gigantic, magical house on a remote island in Puget Sound – a house where every room has its own unique power.

When there, the boys also learn that their family has been battling a Dark Enemy for generations, always fighting to preserve the mysterious “Relic” that holds the key to all the Tinker magic. This terrifying enemy is bound and determined to get their hands on this powerful Relic, and the incredibly magical house. Chase can’t believe their dad has been keeping so much from them. Now Chase must find a way to stop these evil beings, while at the same time seeking the truth about what has happened to his missing dad, unraveling even more secrets and lies, and not letting on that he has his own secret crush on the housekeeper’s beautiful daughter.

Not only is this book filled with people characters, and a mischievous ferret, but the house itself is also an exciting, important character.

About the Author: Author of “The Chase Tinker Series” Malia loves reading, writing, dancing, sunsets, ladybugs, Seahawks football, playing video games on her iPad, watching TV, pizza and chocolate. She also has terrible motion sickness and hates onions. She’s always wanted to have the ability to teleport and the power to move things with her mind. She lives in the Seattle area with her three wild and crazy ferrets.

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LASR Anniversary: C. Lee McKenzie – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a $100 Amazon/BN GC and more!

Leave a comment on THIS POST for a chance to win an additional prize – An eBook version of any one of the author’s books: Princess of Las Pulgas, Sliding on the Edge, Double Negative (when available.)

Being a California native, I’ve always had to take trips to experience “weather” in the sense of really hot and humid (Southeast Asia) or really cold (Alaska). Most of the weather we get in our state is of the medium variety (50-70 degrees) with a rare freeze and sometimes a few days in the hundreds during August. And boy do we complain when those days happen. I think we’re weather sissies.

When the chance came to write a summer themed blog post I immediately thought I’d like to write about how summer weather affects my writing, I had to scratch my brain a bit to come up with something. Then I went to my journal and thumbed through a few entries. What I found is I become more prolific on either really steamy days (usually about day three of a heat wave when I could use a cool breeze) or on gently toasted, but sparkly days. And I know this because I have pages that remark on exactly these weather conditions.

mackenzie file1981291126750 (2)I discovered that what I write about during those summery times has a lot of description about glistening foreheads, scenes with overhead fans whirring and characters seeking out large cool bodies of water to submerge themselves in. There are several summer notes that involve warm park benches with fountains playing in the background.

Since I like to write in different locations, I often roam with a clipboard. I do this roaming after I put in a morning (between 4 and 8 is my usual stint) at my desk. Then that sun shines in the window and I head to the garden or on a hike with my journal tucked into my backpack. I can always spot entries I’ve made outside in the summer; they’re smudged with dirt and sometimes, when I flip a page, a leaf falls out–a small token of a day I’ve lived and written about.

One other thing I discovered, thanks to this great idea for a post, is that I’ve made so many notes about the sounds, the textures and smells of what I’m surrounded by on these outdoor days, that I have tons of summer weather to include in almost any book I write that takes place above ground level between June and September.

mackenzie Princess of Las Pulgas-1 (2)Carlie Edmund has everything: a loving family, good friends, a perfect home and wealth and status; then in her junior year of high school the worst happens. Her dad dies and her life is turned upside down as she becomes The Princess of Las Pulgas.

About the Author:A native Californian, I’ve always loved to write. But I’ve also been a university lecturer and administrator. I used to publish articles on linguistics and intercultural communication, but then I started writing fiction and nonfiction for young readers. I was fortunate to have several of my short stories and non-fiction pieces for young readers in Stories for Children and Crow Toes Quarterly. My young adult novels are Sliding on the Edge and The Princess of Las Pulgas. Evernight Teen will soon publish Double Negative, my third piece of fiction for young adult readers. When I’m not writing, I hike in the mountains where I live.

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LASR Anniversary: Ann Herrick – Guest Post and Giveaway

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Leave a comment on THIS POST for a chance to win an additional prize -A PDF copy of my ebook How to Survive a Summer Romance (Or Two)

 Summer Then, Summer Now

             When I was a kid, I just loved summer. It was a time of freedom. Freedom from school, freedom from heavy winter clothes, freedom to read just for fun, with no book report looming. On the last day of school summer stretched ahead like an endless horizon.Ann&Cats

I would wake up and think, “What should I do today? Who should I play with?” I lived in a neighborhood with plenty of kids. One was and still is my Best Friend Forever, though back then we would simply say, “best friend.” Others kids met certain interests. I would play “horses” with one friend. Hunt for rocks and arrowheads with another. Play softball with a group. Sometimes we would just flop on the ground and watch the clouds, imagining them to be everything from horses to giants. Or we’d curl up on a front porch and read. Reading for pleasure was always part of summer.

While I had some chores (clean my room, help my mother hang laundry, iron my father’s handkerchiefs), most of the summer days were for pure fun. I would ride my bike, roller skate, climb trees, make crafts, put on a “show,” for neighbors (and charge a nickel!), build a fort. I could walk down to the end of the street and watch boats in the harbor, or catch a few small crabs to sell to the fisherman and take my money to the little bait store that also sold candy and soda and get myself a treat.

When I was bit older I could walk to the town beach every day to swim, sunbathe, play cards and listen to the radio with my friends. I would stop at the library and pick out books to read. One year a friend and I got into a competition to see who could read the most Black Stallion books (in order of publication!).

My older brother might take me for a ride in the convertible he was working on or the new motorcycle he just bought.

But once I grew up, summer lost a bit of its glow for me. For one thing, I had to work through the summer. There were days when I would look out at a clear blue sky and just ache to be outdoors. But, of course, I had to stay inside and stick to my tasks.

The heat of summer began to bother me. I couldn’t just run through a sprinkler or go to the beach on a hot day. I had to go to and from a job, or do yard work, or raise my daughter—or write books. Now I grumble when the temperature gets to be over 75! And lying in the sun to get a tan lost its appeal once the news was out about the kinds of harm it could do to one’s skin. But reading for pleasure is still a summer delight. Although I read all year, there’s still something special about sitting in the shade with a book and reading just for the pure enjoyment of it.

So even though summer is no longer the carefree season it once was for me, a warm day with a soft breeze, the sound of birds chirping in the back yard, memories of the cherished days of my childhood, and reading a special book still make summer a wonderful season.

Herrick-MyFakeSummerBoyfriend200x300
Sun, surf, sand and Alex–Katie was swept away!

Katie eagerly agrees to pretend she is Alex’s girlfriend for the summer in order to protect his job. Amid sundrenched waves, they develop a friendship that is on the verge of turning romantic, when who should arrive but Nicole, Alex’s old girlfriend. In three days, Nicole ruins Katie’s relationship with Alex. So Katie gets involved with Logan, Nicole’s handsome older brother, though Alex is the one for her.

Soon enough Katie learns that fake romances can get out of hand and lead to complications she never imagined.

Ann Herrick is the award-winning author of several books and short stories for kids and teens. Included in the awards her books have won are the ALA Recommended Book for Reluctant Readers, IRA/CBC Children’s Choice and EPIC Best YA Novel Finalist.
Ann grew up in Connecticut, where she graduated from The Morgan School and Quinnipiac University. She now lives in Oregon with her husband, who was her high-school sweetheart. Their wonderful daughter is grown, married and gainfully employed, and has given Ann her only grand-dog, Puff, a bloodhound-rottweiller-beagle mix and six grand-kitties. While she misses the East Coast, especially houses built before 1900, she enjoys the green valleys, fresh air and low humidity in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Ann loves cats, walking, the Oregon Ducks and working in her back yard. In addition to stories and books for children and young adults, Ann also writes copy for humorous and conventional greeting cards.

http://annherrickauthor.com

http://annherrick.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/ann.herrick

https://twitter.com/ann_herrick

http://amzn.com/B00KAOD562

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LASR Anniversary: Cathy Hird – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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I love a soft summer rain. (Hint: because it gets me out of work!)

Don’t get me wrong. I love to soak in the hot sun of summer. On a sultry day, it is wonderful to cool off in the lake. When sun sparkles on warm water, there is nothing better than kayaking among water lilies. Brilliant red sunsets seen from the back of our farm are not to be missed.

But because I live on a farm, summer sun means work. We “make hay while the sun shines,” so a day with blue sky is also a day with the haybine roaring or the baler running hard. It’s a day when after the bales have been rolled into the barn, I spend an hour weeding the garden, or picking peas and freezing them.

When it rains, all that is put on hold. When rain falls warm and soft, I can curl up on the couch with a good book. To be sure, a wind-driven rain brings worry. I run out to chase the sheep in and get the barn door lashed closed. But if gentle drops run down the window, I can pick up my laptop and write another 1000 words on the story that is itching to get out of my head. I can read twitter posts and wander people’s fascinating websites without feeling like I should be outside working.

When it rains, I can make the long delayed trip into town, have a leisurely coffee with a friend. I can stock up on groceries and take my time trying on clothes at the new shop on main street. I can browse the book store, pick up something new for that evening when it is still too damp to get out into the garden.

cathy hird flowers in the rain (566x800) (2)And when I do get outside, the world is refreshed. The world that had been drained of colour by the baking sun, is sparkling and bright. Flowers burst red and yellow, and plants are green and strong.

I love the summer sun because it bakes the cold of winter from my bones. But a gentle soft rain restores life.

cathy hird cover for emailing (2)Thalassai, pampered princess of ancient Tiryns, wakes from a dream and discovers she has been kidnapped. Fear grows to terror when she realizes her kidnappers will use her as a pawn to gain Poseidon’s aid for their valley. The mother goddess who in the past sustained the valley calls a bloodred harvest moon into the spring sky. She will challenge Poseidon for the allegiance of her people and assist the princess.

Thalassai’s brother Melanion rides north to rescue her, and he finds allies among the servants of the goddess. Slowed by bandits, Melanion is forced to take a tunnel under the mountains even though earthquakes have rendered it hazardous. He skirts the edge of Hades’ kingdom as he races to reach his sister in time. Caught between the mother goddess and the rising power of Olympus, will Thalassai break under the strain or find the strength she needs to stand up to her captors?

Set in the days of Helen of Troy and the great heroes of Greece, this story takes the reader on a fast paced journey across the sun-drenched landscape of Homer and deep into darkness.

About the Author:Cathy Hird is a minister and a mother, a weaver and a shepherd living in rural Ontario. She is a story teller who weaves ancient threads into tales that touch modern questions.

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