Thursday, September 29, 2016

Book Trailer for Catalyst and Happy Release Day Circuits & Slippers!

Many of you may have already seen the book trailer for Catalyst circulating around social media, but in case you missed it, here it is!


Also, my publisher is currently doing a Goodreads giveaway. If you'd like a chance to win a FREE ARC (Advanced Reader's Copy) of Catalyst, you can enter HERE. But there's only a couple more days left, so hurry if you want to enter!

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Catalyst releases in less than 2 months! Can you believe it?? If you don't want to miss any of the latest news, giveaways, parties, etc., be sure to sign up for my newsletter. You can do so HERE.

And if you haven't already done so, be sure to add Catalyst to Goodreads HERE. Thank you! 

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Now, it's time for me to share something I'm super excited about. Circuits and Slippers releases today which is the anthology book that features PRINA AND THE PEA, the short story written by my amazing critique partner, Leandra Wallace. And guys, let me tell you, this story is SO GOOD!


Blurb:

A collection of retold fairy tales with a science fiction twist.

Rapunzel is a soldier, the last remaining member of the human race, locked in a zoological tower on an alien planet. Doctor Belle must remain in quarantine with a powerful politician who has contracted a beastly disease. Jack sells his arm for a chance up the Stalk, the space elevator he hopes will take him to his fortune.

These twenty stories will take you across the galaxy, exploring new technology alongside aliens and cyborgs, princes and evil stepmothers, and telling your favorite classic tales like you've never seen them before.


Add to Goodreads


About the Author:

Bio: Leandra Wallace lives in the Midwest with her husband and son (both of whom she thinks are adorable). She writes MG & YA speculative fiction, and has short stories included in Brave New Girls: Tales of Girls and GadgetsCircuits & Slippers, and the 2017 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide. She loves ampersand collecting, old buildings, and curling up on the couch with a good book, especially when there's no housework hanging over her head. 












Huge congrats to Leandra and all the other authors in this amazing anthology!! Here are some pics to help celebrate the release of Circuits and Slippers, but more specifically, Prina and the Pea!

Isn't this adorable?


Doesn't this cake look too good to eat?


I absolutely love this! So unique and cute. Perfect for a Prina and the Pea party!

Green pea juice! Love it.

The infamous pea!


Sugar pea cake pops—cute!

Congrats again, Leandra! Be sure to check out her own release party over on her blog HERE!

Interested in purchasing a copy? You can find Circuits and Slippers HERE. I already bought mine. It should be coming on Monday! :)

Happy Thursday!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Book Review: The Last Messenger of Zitol

Before I get to the book review, if you're here to see the cover reveal for my amazing critique partner's debut MG novel, then you've come to the right place. I overbooked my blog this week, but you can find the cover reveal for S.A. Larsen's Motley Education HERE. Thanks! :)

I haven't done a book review in a while, mostly because life is a little too crazy, but when I had the opportunity to read and review Chelsea Dyreng's YA novel, The Last Messenger of Zitol, I jumped at the chance. Last year I read her debut novel, The Cenote, and I was captivated by her writing. I knew I would love her latest book, and I was right!


Publisher's Blurb:

When Rishi is kidnapped and taken to Zitól, she faces an unthinkable future: she is to be sacrificed to appease the gods. To survive in this place, where greed, lust, and fear eclipse compassion, Rishi befriends the selfish and ignorant king, only to discover that he may not have the power to save her after all.

My Review:

All I can say after reading The Last Messenger of Zitol is WOW! Chelsea creates such a vivid description of a time, place, and culture that is foreign to me. She has a knack for drawing the reader so far into the world she's created that we can feel the sea spray on our faces and taste the juicy sweetness of the indigenous fruits. And when Rishi is languishing in the tower, waiting to die, we feel her hunger.

Chelsea expertly weaves underlying messages throughout the story, like hidden gems among the words. There were several times where I silently applauded Dyreng for her ability to create such a masterful tale with such exquisite language and the perfect amount of humor.

The story of Rishi and her friends centers around virtue, and the polished white beads the girls wear to show that they are pure, holy, untainted, and unspoiled. The moment a girl loses her virginity, her white bead is taken away and replaced by one of the appropriate color. If you're married you get a blue bead, if you're a concubine, you receive a purple one. When Rishi and her friends are kidnapped by savages, all I want is for the girls to retain their virtue. And when one of the girls has her virtue stolen from her, the reader mourns for her loss.

The kidnapped girls are taken to Zitol where every spring a virgin maiden is sacrificed as a prayer to the gods. The wickedness of this city was eye-opening. The people of Zitol are carnal and lustful, and the gods they worship are cruel and demanding. It is only through the power and virtue of one girl—Rishi—that people begin to recognize truths that have been kept from them for years by evil leaders.

Here is one of my favorite lines from the book (Rishi says this to the king, also known as the Anointed One):

"The gods are not sending rain to reward your obedience. They are weeping over your mistakes."

And of course, there's a wonderful love story that is equally matched by the underlying theme of a magnificent change of heart. The narrator is a selfish king who is merely a puppet for the Speakers around him. But the moment he meets Rishi, in the months before her sacrifice, everything changes. She sees in him the good that no one else does. She inspires him to be better, to seek truth, and to honor her virtue. And when they fall in love, it is sweet and beautiful.

So you're probably wondering what happens to Rishi. Does she live? Does she die in the annual sacrifice? Well, you'll just have to read the book to find out! :)

I give this book 2 thumbs up, 5 glowing stars, and 10 painted toenails. :) I absolutely loved it!


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Motley Education by S.A. Larsen

Today is an especially exciting day because I get to share with you the cover reveal for my critique partner's debut MG novel, MOTLEY EDUCATION! Not only is Sheri a fantastic writer, but she's a wonderful friend as well. I can't tell you how many times I've emailed Sheri with a question and she's always super quick to respond and help me figure things out. If you don't know Sheri (aka S.A. Larsen), you should! And now, on to her reveal! But first, this really cool banner!



AND NOW FOR THE REVEAL!!! DRUMROLL, PLEASE!

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Title: Motley Education (Book One: The URD Saga)
Author: S.A. Larsen
Release Date: October 10, 2016


Forget having a lively after school social life, Ebony Charmed is fighting to keep the entire Afterlife alive.

Ebony’s less-than-average spirit tracking abilities are ruining more than sixth grade at Motley Junior High: School for the Psychically & Celestially gifted. Her parents argue so much her dad moved out. And, even though he’s scared of his own shadow and insists on bringing his slimy, legless lizard everywhere they go, Ebony wouldn’t survive without her best friend, Fleishman.

When Ebony’s Deadly Creatures & Relics’ project goes missing, she learns her missing project is one of the keys to saving the spirit world. Now Ebony and Fleishman must battle beasts from Norse Mythology to retrieve her project before spirits are lost, the Well of Urd dries up, and Ebony loses all hope of reuniting her family. But someone lies in wait, and he has other plans...including creating a new world of spirits without them in it.


Motley Education has been aligned with Core Standards for grades 4-7. A guide will be available on the author’s website to download for FREE after the book’s release date.

About S.A. Larsen

S.A. LARSEN is the author of Motley Education, the first book in a middle grade fantasy-adventure series. Her work has appeared in numerous local publications and young adult anthologies Gears of Brass and Under A Brass Moon by Curiosity Quills Press. Look for her debut young adult novel, Marked Beauty, set for release in 2017. Find her in the land of lobsters, snowy winters, and the occasional Eh’ya with her husband of over twenty years, four children, a playful pooch, and two kittens.

You can visit her online at www.salarsenbooks.com.

Follow her on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram and connect with her on her Website & Blog.


Rafflecopter Giveaway Code
Five lucky winners will each receive a signed bookmark and assorted swag! Contest runs from 09/15/16 to 09/23/16. Winners will be chosen by random.com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct link to giveaway: http://bit.ly/2bZyLVj


SUPER BIG CONGRATS TO SHERI!! I ABSOLUTELY ADORE THE COVER!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Cover Reveal: Timeless by Crystal Collier

Today I'm happy to show off the gorgeous new cover for the 3rd book in Crystal Collier's Maiden of Time series. I've been waiting for this book, so I'm glad to know we won't have to wait too much longer!

Are you ready for the reveal???

Can I get a drumroll?

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TIMELESS (#3 Maiden of Time) by Crystal Collier #CoverReveal



Book Title: TIMELESS (Maiden of Time #3)
Author: Crystal Collier
Genre: YA Paranormal Historical
Release Date: November 1, 2016



TIME IS THE ENEMY

In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her Blog, FacebookGoodreads, or follow her on Twitter.

Want the first chapter free? Sign up HERE.




Congrats to Crystal! I love it! :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

IWSG September: Finding Time & A Few Good Things

Hi everyone! It's time for another group posting of the IWSG! A huge thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for creating this group, and to all the co-hosts for this month. If you'd like to join our little group, it's never too late, and you can find all the information about it here.




Before I get to the question this month, I'd like to share a few (good) things that have happened lately: 

1) Catalyst was nominated for a Whitney Award.


2) A publishing company in Turkey is interested in obtaining translation rights for Catalyst. Which, by the way, has anyone dealt with foreign rights, specifically those in Turkey? Just wondering if I should be wary...

3) I registered for the RT Atlanta Convention, which is May 2-7, and I made it into the Giant Book Fair! I'll be signing books with 600 other authors, many of them NYT Bestselling authors. I'm really excited about this opportunity to connect with so many readers!

Anyone else going to RT Atlanta this year??

September’s question of the month - How do you find the time to write in your busy day?

This is actually something I'm struggling with right now. My kids went back to school last week, and one might think I'd have MORE time to write and revise, but I actually have less. My schedule is so choppy with taking and picking up from preschool and then soon after dropping everything to pick up from middle school. And writing after the kids get home from school? No way, forget about it! Once they get home, there's homework and after school activities and piano and Scouts and soccer, etc.

It makes me tired just thinking about it! Lol.

I keep telling myself that once we settle into a routine, it will be better. Here's hoping that's true!

How do you find time to write? Are you a morning writer or a night writer? (Lol. Night writer reminds of that TV show back in the day. Night Rider. Hahaha!)


Monday, August 29, 2016

Author Interview with Nicky Peacock

Today I have YA author Nicky Peacock here to answer some fun questions. And check this out—today I'm over on HER blog answering some of her questions. So be sure to stop by and say "hi"! You can find me HERE. Now on to the interview!
Welcome, Nicky! :)


What are you currently working on?
I'm doubling my writing efforts at the moment and working on the last in the Battle of the Undead series, Bad Karma and also the next book in The Twisted and the Brave series, The Assassin of Oz. I'm also still promoting the first in this series, Lost in Wonderland. So it's all go!


What is your favorite go-to snack when you’re writing?
I enjoy a good ol' slice of cake, but to be honest I'm not all that fussy when it comes to snacking. Chips, sandwiches, fruit, anything smothered in chocolate and I'm happy :)


If you could be anyone other than yourself for a day, who would you be?
If it's just for a day, I wouldn't want to be another person as a day isn't long enough to appreciate who they are and what you can learn from them. I'd rather be an animal, like a wolf in the wild. I'm a bit of a wimp, so a day would be perfect to experience what it's like to hunt and run free with the pack.


Name five favorite movies. Why are they your favorite?
Only five? Hmm. I guess all time top 5 would have to be:


Aliens - my older brother and I bonded over this movie, and it was such a great idea for a sci-fi/horror - I watched it again recently, and it's still not dated.
Sinister - best horror movie I've seen in a long, long time. Atmospheric and original concept. Some of the images in it are truly terrifying!
We are the Night - German vampire movie that depicts female vampires at their best, without them being overtly over the top and degradingly lusty.
Big Business - my favorite Bette Midler comedy. Every time I'm home ill; I watch this movie, and it still makes me laugh.
Ant-Man - The best Marvel movie out there right now. Not just superhero antics but a super-powered heist movie too.

As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?
It was always an author with a teacher being a close second. I grew up in a working-class family, and although I tried to go to college to study to become a teacher, unfortunately, I couldn't afford to stay for more than a year. I'm now finishing my degree through distance learning. It's taking a while, but will be worth it in the end.


Tell us something you hate doing. Why?
Exercise. I know it is good for you and pretty necessary if you want to live beyond 50, but I hate it. Everyone tells you that endorphins take effect when you exercise, and I've waited for them, but they are noticeably absent every time I get on that treadmill! I also get frustrated, as I'll use the time to think through scenes or plot devices and inevitably have to get off the machine to write stuff down.


If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
To have boundless energy and be completely motivated all the time! Wow, what a life I'd lead then...I'd be unstoppable!


If you could plan your ultimate vacation, where would you go?
I'd do a three location themed hop: New Orleans for Mardi Gras, Mexico for the Day of the Dead and Venice for their carnival. Lots of tasty food, music, dancing and cool costumes. I'd also like a stop at Loch Ness to do some monster hunting.


If you had the opportunity to live one year of your life over again, what year would you choose and why?
I never lie in interviews, so I have to tell a hard truth on this one...2002. I met a great guy that year, but the timing wasn't right, and I didn't give him the chance he deserved. I'd go back to that year to change this. Nothing might have come of it, but it is one of my biggest regrets. Great guys are hard to find.


Please share with us your favorite quote (or one you find inspiring).
"I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion." Muhammad Ali


What books would we find in your TBR pile?
Oh, far too many. The ones that are to be read next are Tremors by Bonnie S Calhoun, Autonomy by Jude Houghton, Much ado about the shrew by Elizabeth May and The Diabolical Ms. Hyde by Viola Carr.


Listener or talker? Beach or mountains? Sweet or salty?


Listener
Beach
Sweet




 Thank you, Nicky! It was great to get to know you! :)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Book Release: Between Two Fires by Mark Noce

I've been waiting for this release for a while now, and I'm so excited to share Mark's book with you! Super BIG congrats to Mark on the release of his debut novel, Between Two Fires. If you haven't picked up your copy yet, you should!

 
And now here's a little about the book and its author. 

Praise from Bestselling Authors for Between Two Fires


“A spirited ride through a turbulent slice of Welsh history!” – Paula Brackston, NYT Bestselling author of The Witch’s Daughter
“A fast-paced read that has a wonderfully visual style and some memorable characters. Mark Noce combines Welsh history with a touch of folkloric magic in this promising debut novel. Lady Branwen is a strong and engaging narrator and the turbulent setting of early medieval Wales makes a fine backdrop for an action-packed story.” – Juliet Marillier, Bestselling author of Daughter of the Forest and Wolfskin


Synopsis of Between Two Fires
Saxon barbarians threaten to destroy medieval Wales. Lady Branwen becomes Wales’ last hope to unite their divided kingdoms when her father betroths her to a powerful Welsh warlord, the Hammer King.
But this fledgling alliance is fraught with enemies from within and without as Branwen herself becomes the target of assassinations and courtly intrigue. A young woman in a world of fierce warriors, she seeks to assert her own authority and preserve Wales against the barbarians. But when she falls for a young hedge knight named Artagan her world threatens to tear itself apart. Caught between her duty to her people and her love of a man she cannot have, Branwen must choose whether to preserve her royal marriage or to follow her heart. Somehow she must save her people and remain true to herself, before Saxon invaders and a mysterious traitor try to destroy her.


Places to Order Between Two Fires
Release Date: August 23, 2016


Bio
Mark Noce writes historical fiction with a passion, and eagerly reads everything from fantasy to literature. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, he’s an avid traveler and backpacker, particularly in Europe and North America. He earned his BA and MA from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he also met his beautiful wife. By day, he works as a Technical Writer, having spent much of his career at places like Google and Facebook. In addition to writing novels, he also writes short fiction online. When not reading or writing, he’s probably listening to U2, sailing his dad’s boat, or gardening with his family.
His debut novel, Between Two Fires, is being published by Thomas Dunne Books (an imprint of St. Martin's Press and Macmillan). It is the first in a series of historical fiction novels set in medieval Wales.


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