The House of Chalice by T.T. Escurel – Book Blast and Giveaway

 

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen commenter will receive a $20 Amazon gift card, an autographed copy of AURONIA, and an autographed copy of THE HOUSE OF CHALICE. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Vartan is lost. His fiancé has just run off with his mortal enemy and now his mother, the Queen of the House of Rose, has disappeared. Venturing into a land with no magic, no army and no fiancé, will he be able to survive?

Lia is in trouble. Clashpeak has a new king who requires a bride, one who has eyes for the young baker’s daughter. During a violent coup, Lia seizes her chance to escape. With every soldier in the kingdom looking for her, nowhere is safe.

An ancient curse lingers in the air, still working its magic. Madness has seized the blood of the royals of the House of Chalice. A battle for power, the likes of nothing Auronia has ever seen, is about to begin…

Enjoy an excerpt:

Cries of alarm race through the camp as the order to fight goes out. Serena approaches, leading her snow-white mare. She is decked out in leather battle gear with a white fur mantle. A silver dagger hangs from one hip with a swirling purple jewel in the hilt. On the other hip, a rapier.

“You aren’t seriously considering riding to war, Serena,” I growl.

“You couldn’t stop me if you wanted to, Vartan,” she counters, mounting up. “This is my army. I will ride with my men.”

“This is no army, as you stated earlier. These are simple farmers going up against trained soldiers. Without magic, there is little chance we will survive this,” I say, stepping up on my horse.

“My love,” she says, moving her mare to stand beside me, “That is precisely why I must ride with you.” She runs her hand down the fur at her shoulders. “When you ride with me, magic rides with you.”

I frown. “I don’t understand.”

“Feel,” she says, grabbing my hand and running it down the soft fur. I feel a buzz, but I am not really sure if it is from the fur or from the girl. “It is the pelt of an ancient fox, laced with magic older and more powerful than even that of the fairies.”

“Where did you find it?” I ask.

“I killed the fox,” she says, urging her horse forward.

About the Author:

Science Fiction/Fantasy writer in Southern California where the sun shines, the waves roll in and the roads become a backdrop for an apocalypse movie every time the word “precipitation” is mentioned.

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?

I grew up on a sailboat. That did something odd to my imagination, I think. There is a certain type of surreal serenity that comes with living aboard a boat. That undercurrent seems to run through all my books, even though most of my characters have far more conventional backgrounds. Growing up on a boat helped teach me a stable world evolves not from your environment as much as from your perspective. My books are full of strange worlds and even stranger people, but all my main characters seem to have that grip on reality despite being dropped in the heart of chaos.

Website ~ Amazon ~ iTunes ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Smashwords

Buy the book at Amazon.

Young at Heart – from Rural to YA by Fiona Palmer — Guest Blog and Giveaway

Leave a comment for a chance to win a digital copy of The Recruit. Congratulations to Bec Brown
Young at Heart – from Rural to YA
By Fiona Palmer
Some might think it’s strange for someone who lives in the country and writes rural novels to turn their pen and start writing a young adult series. But if you got to know me, you would realise that I adore both. Sure, I love living in rural Western Australia, miles from the nearest small town, and I enjoy sharing this lifestyle with my readers. Sunrises, dusty paddocks and sexy farmers. I’m passionate about it, hence why I still live here.

But when I want a break from this life, something different for a change – I love to read YA. It’s my escape. Even the shows I love to watch are Vampire Diaries, Star Crossed, Arrow, Veronica Mars…I could go on. My favourite books are Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series, anything by Katie McGarry, I love Harry Potter, Brigid Kemmerer and also authors like Abbi Glines, (The Vincent Boys was divine!), etc.

I’m a kid at heart, I love reading about seventeen-year-olds because I still feel that age in my mind. I promise you I’m not, I’m at 35 with an 11yr old and 9yr old, and I can feel pretty darn old at times. But who doesn’t want to remember their youthfulness? – A time when the world offered up so many possibilities and first loves were found. (Okay, so my high school years weren’t that great, I wasn’t popular at all. Maybe that’s why I live vicariously through these stories.)

Anyway, so that’s how I came to write The Recruit about Jasmine and her friends. Even though my other books are set in the country side, they still have something in common with my YA and that’s a strong female lead character. I love writing about determined women who know what they want and they go get it. And Jaz is that and more. She’s like my dream girl. She knows how to fight, and I mean really fight. She’s not perfect either, she skips school and dislikes material things. Maybe she is someone I wish I could be in another life. So in a way I guess I get to live through my characters, and I savour every minute of it. And Ryan? Well what’s a book without a heartthrob who’s a little dangerous (swoon). I really hope I can keep writing both genres, because no one should put a limit on what we love.

About the Author:4_8 Fiona_PalmerFiona Palmer has been writing bestselling rural stories for years and is now indulging in her love of YA. It’s not a big change considering she already writes about strong women who fight for what they want. She is a full-time writer and mum from rural Western Australia. Her two kids remind her often that she’s not seventeen anymore but writing at least lets her relive it.

Goodreads Link — Author Site — Author Facebook

 

 

4_8 book coverJasmine Thomas may not be completely normal, but she’s a pretty typical seventeen-year-old girl. She hates the rich mean kids, loves her best friends, and can’t wait to get out of school each day. Her spare time is spent at The Ring — a boxing gym where she practically grew up — learning karate, boxing and street fighting. So, yeah, Jaz can kick some major butt.

Life seems pretty normal until the day Ryan Fletcher enters her gym…mysterious and hot with heaps of bad boy charm. Sure, she checks him out. Who wouldn’t? But what doesn’t show on his gorgeous abs are secrets and lies that dominate his very grown-up world. Now Jaz has to figure out just how far she is willing to go to know more. Could Ryan really be offering the life-fulfilling life path she’s always dreamed of?

My Favorite Children’s Books-Then and Now by Aldred Chase

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Aldred will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

My Favorite Children’s Books – Then and Now

As a child, my favorite books were Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’. The feeling of having such a richly imagined new world open up inside my head was exhilarating. I also loved all of Roald Dahl’s children’s books especially ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. My favorite series was the ‘Just William’ books by Richmal Crompton. I liked the way that William, with the best intentions in the world, always managed to get himself into trouble and I think a little of that rubbed off onto my hero Keth in the ‘Nobody’s Fool Quartet’.

Tolkien turned me on to the fantasy genre and during my teenage years among my reading highlights were ‘The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant’ by Stephen Donaldson and the ‘Gormenghast Trilogy’ by Mervyn Peake.

I’ve remained an avid reader of fantasy fiction, including children’s and teenage fantasy. The ability to shift dimensions from the mundane to the magical is a special power not to be sniffed at for example when you’re crammed into a bus with hordes of other commuters or waiting for a delayed flight.

When I read fantasy fiction now, if I like a book, I will read it twice. The first reading is purely for personal pleasure, while the second reading is more for professional interest. I want to learn how other writers weave their enchantments that suck me so completely into their stories.

Some of my favorite characters from recent reading include Artemis Fowl, Percy Jackson, Coraline and Bartimaeus. Looking back across a substantial gap of years, I think my younger self would have enjoyed meeting these characters too, and they would have taken their places alongside Bilbo, Willy Wonka and William Brown in my library of happy childhood memories.

Many things have changed for children since I was one. The technological landscape has changed beyond recognition. I remember computers being vast humming beasts in air-conditioned cages that took up the floor of a building, and now we can access one thousand times their power on a mobile phone as dainty as a purse. I don’t think stories have changed in the same way, even though they are now read on Kindles and Nooks as well as on paper.

When I think of my favorite stories as a child and the children’s stories that I’ve enjoyed reading now, I think they have more similarities than differences. Each story exists in its own perfect self-contained world, and any child at any time can visit it just by opening a book. The stories are inventive, humorous and playful, while at the same time the characters face the challenges of taking responsibility for their actions, making difficult choices and understanding their world.

The best children’s stories have a timeless quality and they stay as fresh and wonderful as an everlasting gobstopper.

MEDIA KIT Cover_Dragons_FoolKeth has become the most powerful person in the city of Russett. He is both Prince Dawyn’s fool and his most trusted adviser. The secret of Keth’s success is listening to the tart, sour comments that the turnip on the end of his fool’s stick pours into his mind, which no one else can hear.

When an earthquake strikes Russett, it is only the first in a series of disasters to devastate the city. Superstitious folk say that these are signs that a dragon is coming and only the golden prince of legend can save them. Keth’s turnip tells him that these are only natural events and dragons don’t exist, but he can use peoples’ fears to his own advantage.

In the ruined city, Keth has to decide who he will trust and what he will believe. The fate of his friends and the survival of the land depend on the choices he makes.

Dragon’s Fool is book four in the Nobody’s Fool Quartet, the gripping climax to a tale of comedy and adventure.

About the Author: Aldred Chase’s first experience of fantasy fiction was reading ‘The Hobbit’ at school, and he has been hooked on the genre ever since. His favorite places for writing are cafes and park benches, but he does most of his work sitting at his desk. His best ideas come to him when he is travelling by train or walking by the sea.

Aldred has just released Dragon’s Fool, the final installment of the Nobody’s Fool Quartet, a tale of adventure and comedy with some scary bits, aimed at children age 9 to 12. He vacated his desk to give his brain and keyboard a rest, but during a recent train ride the idea for his next novel arrived, and the desk is calling him back.

Website ~~ Facebook

Dragon’s Fool can be purchased at: iTunes

The Time to Write: It’s Up to You by Pete Prown – Guest Blog and Giveaway

The Time to Write: It’s Up to You
By Pete Prown
  See our five star review of Thimble Down here.
Leave a comment to be entered to win a kindle copy of the book!
I must admit, I get a tad irked when people, upon learning that I’m an author, say how nice it must be to have the leisure time to write. I scratch my head. “I have time to write?,” I think. Why, I wrote my first two novels when holding down a full-time job as a magazine editor, writing regular columns for a magazine, blogging every day, and helping manage my own rather large family. I’m not trying to pat myself on the back here, but rather make a point—you don’t necessarily need leisure time to write. Instead, you make the time to write.

This begs the next question: How, when you lead a busy life, does one find time to write? Again, you force the issue and carve the time out of your busy schedule. I used to commute to work on a train ride that took roughly 35 minutes each way; thus, armed with a laptop, I potentially had an hour or so of writing time per day. Where other commuters were texting, napping, or playing games on their smartphones, I was writing.

Here’s another example: If you work somewhere that allows you a lunch hour, there is more found time. You could go to the lunch room and eat your ham ‘n’ cheese sandwich … or you could knock out another chapter! Also think about your daily schedule—if you’re an early bird or a night owl, those are potential blocks for creativity. Or create time on weekends, or when sitting with the family as they watch TV.

Now, let’s talk about writing equipment. I cannot tell you how much having an “ultrabook” laptop (i.e. a laptop with an internal flash drive, weighing under 3lbs.) has enabled my writing opportunities. With my portable ultrabook, I can take my main writing tool with me to many places. For example, if I’m taking my young daughter to ballet class, I can drop her off and then go write at the nearby library or at a coffee shop. If the weather is nice, I can find a nice bench and write there. And this is not just for laptopians—you will have the same fortune if you write on a paper pad … or an iPad! However, if you like to write to a desktop computer (which I sometimes do), your opportunities will fewer since you can’t drag it with you. It’s definitely something to consider.

No matter what your writing tool is, you should also have a Dropbox.com or other similar cloud-based file backup system on the Internet. The beauty here is that you have secure access to your files no matter where you are. If you are without laptop or pad, but can use an office computer on off-hours or sign one out at a public library, then you can get to your word-processing files and dash off a few pages of copy. Email your book to your main email address or a backup, too. An entire book is rarely larger than 1MB or two, so they’re easy to send. It’s just another backup. Print it out when you feel it’s appropriate, too.

As I write, I find that it’s helpful to set a pace for myself. Considering that a typical paperback might be around 75,000 to 90,000 words, I want to churn out no less than 1,000 words per session, which might take me an hour or an hour-and-a-half. This helps me advance the book along, while also helping me keep my available time in mind—again, a lunch hour or commuter-train ride is just about perfect for that target. As I write this guest blog entry, for example, it’s a Saturday afternoon. I ate lunch, took a quick nap, and am now writing this entry in about 30 minutes. Then I’ll go do some chores around the house, review the blog later, and send to the editor later tonight. Voila—done!

You also have to be frank with yourself about your writing goals and your ability to finish things. I’m a project-driven person by nature, so it’s important for me to finish anything I start. You may or may not have that sensibility, but it’s a vital piece of info to know about yourself. Think about about your own writing traits and mull them over. If you feel like you need more time to write, then follow a few of the guidelines above and prioritize your life to make it happen. A book doesn’t happen by itself—you have to carve out time for time, do the work, and bring it to a satisfying conclusion, both in plot and in your own mind.

If you want it enough, trust me, you will find the time.

About the Author:3_27 Pete headshotPete Prown is a noted American writer of Young Adult fantasy books, as well as a magazine and book editor, and journalist. He’s written both fiction and non-fiction books, including THIMBLE DOWN and a series of instructional titles about guitars. Also a talented musician and recording artist, his Guitar Garden music is available on CDBaby.com and iTunes. For more information, go to http://peteprown.com/

3_27 Thimble Down book coverThimble Down, by Pete Prown, is a fantasy adventure novel, written to challenge and engage young adults ages 10 to 18. The book is recommended for readers who enjoy The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, The Wind in the Willows, Redwall, Artemis Fowl, and other timeless tales set in landscapes and cultures that bring to mind England, Ireland, Scotland, and the British Isles.

Thimble Down is a country village where death and malice lurk the quiet lanes. When the vile, drunken Bing Rumple acquires a gem-laden treasure, violence begins to follow him everywhere. Where did Bing find such a precious jewel, and worse, is someone willing to kill to possess it? In this fast-paced adventure, the village bookmaster, Mr. Dorro, and his young companions Wyll Underfoot and Cheeryup Tunbridge are in a desperate race to find the answer—before death comes to Thimble Down.

Thimble Down is the first book in the Chronicles of Dorro young adult mystery series, which follows Dorro, Wyll, and Cheeryup, on their exciting, but dangerous, mystery adventures.

Buy the book at Amazon, iTunes, or Barnes and Noble.

Memories by Shawn Martin — guest blog and giveaway

Memories
by
Shawn Martin
We are nothing without our memories. Memories tether us to the person who we have become, to the reality within which we swim. Without memories we would float aimlessly in the currents of life, our next action neither tied nor relevant to the action which preceded it. Every person we’d ever meet would be new—true—but irrelevant in the bigger scheme of things. We would essentially be like goldfish obliviously darting from one side of the aquarium to the next.

Memories are the islands in the vast sea of life. And when we look back upon our lives, we don’t remember the choppy water. We remember the islands, some filled with treasure, others filled with sharp stones. Those islands (those memories) map out who we have been, who we are, and even who we are likely to become. Most every conscious moment is spent either planning for the future or thinking about the past. And even when we plan for the future, it is with the utmost consideration of the past. Of our memories.

Jane Austen wrote in Mansfield Park “If any one faculty of our nature may be called more wonderful than the rest, I do think it is our memory.” She got that one right. Our memories are the wonderful foundation in which our lives are built.

I often wondered what amnesia would be like. Not the sitcom type of amnesia, where Gilligan knocks the Skipper in the head and the old captain forgets everything. The real amnesia. The kind brought on by a traumatic event, sometimes physical but often emotional. What happens when a person is severed from the lines which have anchored her to her life? She can’t help but drift away, relying on the stars and her moral compass to direct her. But she does drift away, time passes, and on her new path, her life is forever changed.

That’s what happens to Aileen in Forget Me Not. (Ironically while doing a little research for this posting, I found the title for that episode of Gilligan’s Island was also called “Forget Me Not.” Small world.) Without giving away too much, Aileen finds herself with all memories of Addison, her one true love, vanquished from her mind. She doesn’t recognize him when walks into her life for what seems like the first time. His touch and his kiss are foreign concepts, and the lightning in a bottle which had sparked their romance is nothing, not even a memory.

Yes, I wonder what kind of nightmare it would be to forget the moments, the memories which have brought me to where I am. Granted, some memories I would like to forget. Those embarrassing gaffs I had made during my formative years, the words I wished I could forget (or simply take back). I’d give anything to forget the pain, the betrayal, the vicious look in another’s eyes when a part of my life had been destroyed. But other memories are treasures. Love at first sight, for example. I remember every cloud in the sky, the cool whip of the wind, the fragile smile on the delicate face, and the lilt in the voice.

If I lost my memories, sure, I would lose the bad ones. But I’d also lose the good ones, the great ones. Assuming I was given the chance to do it all over again, I doubt the stars would ever line up the way in which they had when magic happened the first time, when I tried to capture lightning in a bottle. And I would drift away from the life I had been destined to live. And so does Aileen’s, the voice who tells you all my secrets and most of my memories.

About the Author3_31 author photoShawn Martin calls Springfield, Missouri, home. After graduating from Missouri State University with majors in Economics and Political Science, he bounced around the Midwest only to end up right where he started.

His day (and night) job is being a firefighter. Aside from rescuing cats in trees and removing burnt pot roasts from ovens, he spends his time finding the hardest way to do the simplest of things. The rest of his time is spent weaving words into another installment in the Shadowflesh Series.

Website ~ @martiniaff152 ~ Facebook ~ Blog

3_31 ForgetMeNot 200x300Fortune has smiled on seventeen year old Aileen McCormick ever since Addison came back into her life, giving her the love she has so desperately longed for. That is, until a mysterious man slithers across her path and slips a spellbinding cameo around her neck. The cameo holds more than just the image of an enchantress who hungers for souls. It possesses a curse that strangles away every memory Aileen has of Addison.

Addison, a three hundred year old fugitive from the netherworld, recognizes the wretched woman inside the cameo and the curse she has cast on his unsuspecting love. The enchanted cameo has but one purpose: to torment Aileen with hints of love she can no longer recall.

Nothing more than a stranger to Aileen, Addison insists that she knows him, that she has felt his lips on hers. Thinking the handsome young man in his leather jacket and dark Wayfarers is playing some cruel game, she pushes him away and runs into the arms of Geoff, the one person who could ever rival Addison.

Geoff has waited oh, so long for Aileen. Before the opportunity slips away, he sweeps her off her feet at the Christmas masquerade ball. But fate thrusts Aileen into Addison’s waiting arms. One passionate kiss later, she knows beyond a shadow of doubt that she loves the icy stranger with smoky blue eyes.

Her newfound love is overshadowed by tantalizing hints of the first love she shared with Addison, just beyond her memory’s reach. And remembering comes at too high a price. Aileen cannot escape the deadly cameo. She runs for her life with the curse only a breath away. If she truly wants her memory back, the enchantress is all too willing to restore it. It will cost her, though. Cost her everything.

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Where Do Writing Ideas Come From? by Cathi Shaw

3_19 VBT Five Corners Banner copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn commenter will receive a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Where Do Writing Ideas Come From?
This is a question that intrigues me. I’m under no illusion that ideas come from my own little head. I think it’s the peak of self-interest for a writer to assume that they have created the ideas in their books.

I’ve always believed this but it really came into focus for me when I started writing Five Corners. I had an idea for this story and I thought I knew exactly how the story would go and then it took a right turn and went in an entirely different direction. I remember saying to my writing pal, Rochelle Dionne, that I just had no idea where the ideas were coming from.

Without getting too academic or philosophical about it, I do believe that everything we are exposed to in our lives probably influences a lot of creative endeavors. Ideas pop into my head as a writer and then evolve as they take on a life of their own. Where do those ideas come from? I have no idea. Perhaps there is a greater power in the universe guiding us. But, as humans, I think we have an inherent desire to explain everything in our lives and some if it defies explanation.

Instead of figuring out where writing ideas come from, I think it’s more important to be open to the new ideas. Let them flow through yourself as a writer onto the screen or page. And then be thankful that you were able to experience such an amazing thing as the development of a story.

About the Author:View More: http://beccamcneilphotography.pass.us/cathi-shawCathi Shaw lives in Summerland, BC with her husband and three children. She is often found wandering around her home, muttering in a seemingly incoherent manner, particularly when her characters have embarked on new adventure. In addition to writing fiction, she teaches rhetoric and professional writing in the Department of Communications at Okanagan College and is the co-author of the textbook Writing Today.

CathiShaw ~ Facebook ~ Tumblr

3_19 MEDIA KIT CoverGrowing up in a sleepy village untouched by distant wars and political conflicts, it was easy for Thia, Mina and Kiara to forget such horrors existed in the Five Corners. That is until the dead child is found; a child that bears the same strange birthmark that all three sisters possess. A Mark their mother had always told them was unique to the girls.

Kiara’s suspicions grow as their Inn is soon overrun with outsiders from all walks of life. Strangers, soldiers and Elders who all seem to know more about what is happening than the girls do.

After Mina barely survives an attack in the forest, the sisters are faced with a shattering secret their mother has kept from them for years. As danger closes in around them, the sisters are forced from their home and must put their trust in the hands of strangers. With more questions than answers, Kiara finds herself separated from everyone she loves and reliant on an Outlander who has spent too much time in army. She doesn’t trust Caedmon but she needs him if she has any hope of being reunited with her sisters and learning what the Mark might mean.

Buy the book at the publisher, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.

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Book Blast: Apocalypticon by Clayton Smith – giveaway

 

 
This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Clayton will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Three years have passed since the Jamaicans caused the apocalypse, and things in post-Armageddon Chicago have settled into a new kind of normal. Unfortunately, that “normal” includes collapsing skyscrapers, bands of bloodthirsty maniacs, and a dwindling cache of survival supplies. After watching his family, friends, and most of the non-sadistic elements of society crumble around him, Patrick decides it’s time to cross one last item off his bucket list.

He’s going to Disney World.

This hilarious, heartfelt, gut-wrenching odyssey through post-apocalyptic America is a pilgrimage peppered with peril, as fellow survivors Patrick and Ben encounter a slew of odd characters, from zombie politicians and deranged survivalists to a milky-eyed oracle who doesn’t have a lot of good news. Plus, it looks like Patrick may be hiding the real reason for their mission to the Magic Kingdom…

Enjoy an excerpt:

They stood on the trestles and waved as the train pulled slowly away. Horace blew the whistle in two short bursts and saluted from the engine. When the train had cleared the highway, Ben turned to Patrick and said, “Please tell me you remembered to pack an elevator.”

“Yeah, I did pack it, originally, but then there wasn’t any room for my Little Orphan Annie decoder ring, so I took it out. But fear not, young traveler, for I have the next best thing. Rope!” He pulled the nylon rope from his bag triumphantly and let it uncoil over the side of the bridge. It dangled just over the edge of the tracks.

“Brilliant. You brought a really useful three-foot rope.”

“Well, I’m going to find a use for it somewhere,” Patrick said, hurriedly stuffing it back into the bag. “You just wait.”

“You think we could jump it?”

“Sure. It’s only twenty feet or so.”

“Are you being sarcastic right now, or serious? I can never tell.”

“This time, I’m being serious, mostly. Twenty feet isn’t that many feet. It’ll probably hurt like hell, but we’ll live. Probably.”

“Words every man wants to hear in a world without doctors,” Ben muttered.

“There are doctors somewhere,” Patrick reminded him. “They’re just not you or me.”

About the Author:

Clayton Smith is a sometimes-writer, sometimes-napper based in Chicago, where he uses neither his bachelor’s in journalism nor his master’s in arts management. He is often calamitous, and good at bacon. He lives with his impressively tolerant wife.

Clayton’s previous works include Pants on Fire: A Collection of Lies and the comedic play Death and McCootie, which debuted at the 2013 New York International Fringe Festival.

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Amazon Author Page.

Buy the book at Amazon for Kindle or in Paperback.

Two Degrees from Zero by M.J. Stewart – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

3_14 Cover_Two Degrees From ZeroThirteen-year-old Derek’s cool snowboard adventure does a dangerous rewind, because his Burton Hero board holds the key to an unsolved crime.

Two Degrees From Zero is a story that opens up the world of snowboarding and surviving hazardous winter conditions in Keystone, Colorado.

Derek, his mom, and teen friend Janae (The Clan) are invited on a snowboarding vacation by his mom’s new romance Thomas. A blizzard hits during a sleigh ride and dinner at an isolated yurt miles from Keystone. The Clan accepts an offer from two arrogant snowmobilers for a way home. But to The Clan’s dismay instead of going home, they are abandoned in a creepy backwoods cabin.

Derek and Janae sneak out of the old cabin and make a dangerous trek across a white wilderness to find help while the snowmobilers are on the loose. Just as the teens find temporary shelter in an old car, another blizzard rages all night, leaving them hopelessly stranded. And their adventure has only begun.

Derek and Janae must escape the frozen ravages of the blizzard. Derek’s determination to save The Clan while outwitting the thieves is unstoppable. And the thieves are just as determined to find Derek’s snowboard because of the valuable information hidden on the board.

Enjoy this excerpt:

Shelter for the evening appeared in the form of an abandoned car hunkered in the deep snow.

“What the heck?” As he got a better look, the form reminded him of his family’s old car—the Pontiac his dad owned as a young man. And the same metallic blue gleamed in the setting sun.

Derek did an awkward happy dance on one foot. “Looky-look. Maybe our luck is changing. The miracle we needed.” Shelter from the biting wind, relief for his swollen ankle, and a place to rest his aching muscles.

Janae burst out in shrill laughter. “If we can get the doors open, we can drive home.”

But the more Derek checked out the car, the more his heart sank. I can’t do this, I can’t. Suddenly, his feeling of relief turned to anger, and emotions overtook his tired, weak mind. He stepped backward and turned from the car.

“What’s wrong now?” Janae asked.

“I can’t do this.”

“Can’t do what?” Janae asked.

“That car. It’s just like my dad’s old car. I can’t get in,” Derek said. He froze in his tracks like a marble statue a few feet away.

“I don’t understand. What is your problem. We’re kinda desperate, and we don’t have a choice. We’ll be in trouble tonight if we don’t have shelter,” Janae reminded him.

“You can sleep inside, but I’m not. I’ll have nightmares about him again. I can’t,” Derek said.

About the Author: 3_14 AuthorPicM.J. Stewart is a Colorado author and lives in Colorado Springs. Her love for the outdoors has provided many exciting adventures and include downhill skiing, biking, hiking, camping, and nature photography.

Twitter ~ Facebook

Buy the book at Amazon.

A Pair of Docks by Jennifer Ellis – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jennifer will be awarding a Print copy of A Pair of Docks to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US ONLY), and a Mobi or epub version of A Pair of Docks will be awarded to a randomly drawn commenter at each stop. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MEDIA KIT Book CoverFourteen-year-old Abbey Sinclair likes to spend her afternoons in the physics lab learning about momentum and gravitational pull. But her practical scientific mind is put to the test when her older brother, Simon, discovers a mysterious path of stones that allows them, along with Abbey’s twin, Caleb, to travel back and forth between their world and what appears to be…the future.

Unfortunately, they’re not the only ones who know about the stones, and they soon realize their lives are in danger from a man known only as Mantis. Abbey, Caleb, and Simon must follow a twisting trail of clues that will lead them from their autistic neighbor, Mark, to a strange professor who claims to know the rules of the stones, and to multiple futures—some of whose inhabitants don’t want to stay put.

It will take all of Abbey’s analytical skills to unravel the secrets of the stones, uncover the threads that tie the futures together, thwart Mantis’s plan, and, most importantly, keep her family alive—now and in the future.

/A Pair of Docks/ explores Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, the meaning of time, the potential for parallel universes, and the boundary between science and witchcraft.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Abbey wanted to shake him. She expected this from Caleb, but not from Simon. “Oh yeah, let’s get on board the ship of someone who might be trying to deal with Sinclair.” She slashed quotation marks in the air around ‘deal with’. “Did you miss the lecture from Mom about not accepting rides from strangers? This is like the ultimate stranger danger. Has your adrenaline replaced your brains? You’ve spent too much time playing World of Warcraft. What about the fact that we have no idea how to fix his computer?” Even while she said all of this, a small part of her was feeling like she would hate herself forever if she bolted back to the stones and forced her brothers to come with her. A small part of her wanted to go on board. It was actually a rather large part of her, she decided, but her rational mind had it in a firm and unassailable stranglehold. Of course they’d all watched and read The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings, although she rather suspected that Caleb hadn’t made it through The Return of the King. Of course they’d all imagined being in one of those books, or at least she expected her brothers had, and judging from the twitchy animation of their faces, she was correct. But actually committing to the absolute, and likely unsafe, unknown—which she suspected wasn’t populated with elves as handsome as Orlando Bloom—when they had a clear and easy path to their safe, and not unpleasant, home was another thing altogether.

About the Author:MEDIA KIT Jenphoto-couchJennifer Ellis is the author of A Pair of Docks, and In the Shadows of the Mosquito Constellation (forthcoming). She writes contemporary action-adventure fiction with a dystopic edge for both adults and children. She lives in a small ski town in Canada with her husband and two boys where she skis, does ballet, cooks, joins too many book clubs and works as environmental researcher. She blogs randomly but regularly at www.jenniferellis.ca and can be found on Twitter at @jenniferlellis. A Pair of Docks can be purchased on Amazon.com.

What Drives June Pace to Write Books for Kids? – Guest Blog and Giveaway

NBtM Benjamin McTisk Tour Banner copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. June will be awarding an ebook copy of Benjamin McTish to two (2) randomly drawn commenters during the tour and one (1) randomly drawn commenter will receive an autographed print copy of the book (international) during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What drives you to write books for kids and teenagers?
This is a great question because I am very passionate about the work that I do and I truly wish for it to reach young adults and teens in a deeper more personal way than simply entertainment.

Kids, young people, have always been drawn to me, as I them. I’ve always treated them like they understood things, so I speak to them as a peer in a way, not mincing words I mean. My sister used to call me all the time when her kids were coming into that pre-teen area of life. She would say, hey I need your help, so and so has an issue with..insert issue, because she knew they would confide in me. So I would come in and sit down with them and ask the important questions, no matter how shocking, or personal, or to the point, and I always got the answers because they totally trusted me and my motives, which were always about helping them to achieve their highest good and to be happy people. I was able to help them see a deeper insight or meaning, I always told them the truth, and this set them free.

I remember one time I was goofing around with my nephew and we were at my parents’ house, and we were crawling around on the floor on all fours, just making a huge ruckus. Finally my mother couldn’t take the racket anymore and she yelled from her chair, “Would you kids knock it off already!” and she looked over and I was sitting under the dinning room table with my little nephew…and she looked at me and just laughed her head off…we both did. I was thirty something. So yeah, I have a special place in my heart for kids. I’ve always had a rough time of it when I see a child mistreated or crying, they just break my little heart.

This story that I’ve written is intended to show kids that the things they think, the feelings they have about who they are, are not so different from others. Or maybe they are different, but it’s okay, that they still have a voice in the world. This story is about finding the courage to be yourself no matter what. It’s about loyalty and friendship and accountability, and its all wrapped up in the world of fantasy and magic…it’s entertaining and fun, thought provoking, not preaching. I believe strongly in accepting the consequences to your actions, and to do so with conviction. Walk your talk is my motto.

When you’re an outsider, or you don’t fit in with the “norm” it sets you up for a load of insecurities, self esteem and worthiness issues. This story shows that someone as unusual as Benjamin, who is imbued with a powerful sixth sense, and some tough family issues is still important in the world. They are still worthy of love and respect. In the end you find out that you’re maybe not so alone after all…that there are others like you, and that you can behave with confidence and stand up tall..you get to live your truth. Living your Truth…that’s a big one.

I hope I’ve written a series that allows the reader, young and old, to feel a bit more free, to understand a bit more about the world around them and to take a bit of the magic into their daily lives.

About the Author: MEDIA KIT junes author photoJune lives with her husband and best friend Ray, her step-son and their two dogs, five chickens and two ducks, in Santa Cruz Ca. Her two older step-kids live respectively in LA and San Francisco.

June spends her days writing and sometimes painting her well known series of Rock n Roll icons. June and Ray own Madrona Rust, a line of unique, hand-made rustic furniture.

This series of work, the McTish characters, are a part of June in every sense of the word. “This work brings a deep sense of joy and passion for me in a very profound way, like nothing else that I do.”

Blog

MEDIA KIT book cover front copyThe McTish Series is an explosive adventure through a dimensional Gateway into another world, a world of beauty and magic, Coranim…a land of insight, thought and possibilities, that sits beneath the enchanted Gilley Forest.

There is local legend in the small town of Grandlochcheshire that has been passed down for a 100 years about the mysterious disappearance of the Chickering family, that trails on the coat tails of the equally shocking abduction of the Skeffington Union Rails heirs. The circumstances that follow this notorious tale enter into the modern world of Benjamin and his two best mates.

One day Benjamin watches as a mysterious little woman steps out of a taxi and in one synchronistic moment their eyes lock and a series of visual snippets of unfamiliar events unfold in his mind’s vision. His razor sharp sixth sense allows him the freedom to explore the extrasensory messages coming at him like a derailed freight train. And when Benjamin finds a peculiar relic of a key in his grandmother’s garden shed, he could never know his world was about to change forever.

Annabel and Mathilda, two sisters who have come from America, have become more than mere friends to Benjamin, they have all become the three Muskydeers (Mathilda’s mispronounced version of Musketeers, which was a huge laugh and of course it stuck), as they are plunged head first into this curious journey.

In the Gilley Forest they discover that the path they have chosen is inundated with many obstacles as well as intrigue. Alliances are made with the Forest clan of Gnomes and with the aid of the Vila sisters, Sethina and Morel, as well as some surprising and unexpected allegiances, the three friends take on the test that is the Grandfather Tree. They must stay on the pre ordained Path of Prophecy, whose ancestry comes from the home of the oldest living beings on the planet, the Elves of the Darmon. However, this is no easy task for the Muskydeers as they have the foulest of sorcery hunting their every move, the powerful dark beauty, Tar Vigorn.

This ruthless Queen is not without humor however and loves a good game of cat and mouse, as long as she’s the cat. With her biting sense of sarcasm and calculated taunting, she knows just how to unnerve Benjamin. Her phantom army, the Blunt, are searching for a way into the Grand Tree and will stop at nothing to infiltrate the pristine world beneath his giant roots.

Once in Coranim the children make the acquaintance of the greatest Medicine Elder alive, Esmerelda Fet. A most powerful Light Sorceress with a brazen in your face attitude, who guides the trio on their Path of destiny. However, a Path can change in the blink of an eye…what could alter the overpowering trajectory Benjamin has followed to Coranim? How will it change his life?

Find out as our three heroes delve into the mystic, as well as their own inner character, as you watch from the edge of your seat.

Book Two, Benjamin Mctish and the Wizards of Coranim, coming beginning of 2014.

Buy the book at Amazon or a href=”https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/359349″>Smashwords.