Monday, April 27, 2015

Book Blitz: Wash Me Away by Wendy Owens

I'm a sucker for good book excerpts, and this one from Wash Me Away by Wendy Owens is no exception. It's sweet and touching, and if you like it, you're in for a treat! One lucky commenter will win a FREE eBook copy of Wash Me Away! So be sure to leave me a comment to be entered for the drawing!

AND you can enter to win a $25 AMAZON gift card! Doesn't that sound awesome! Don't forget to enter the Giveaway!

Wash Me Away by Wendy Owens
Publication date: April 27th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult


Monsters have a way of following you.

Immersed in a new world at boarding school, Addy Buckley learns she’s not the only one with secrets. While trying to navigate the minefield of painful lies that seem to be rattling around her family’s past, she meets soft on the eyes and heavy on the heart, Napoleon Blake.

When faced with the darkness, Addy must decide to cling to her new life and friends or let the monster carry her away. The choice is hers, sink or swim.



YA is published under Wendy L Owens
Adult and NA is published under Wendy Owens

Wendy Owens is a writer, born in the small college town, Oxford Ohio. After attending Miami University, Wendy went onto a career in the visual arts. After several years of creating and selling her own artwork she gave her first love, writing, a try. It’s become a passion ever since. Wendy now happily spends her days writing the stories her characters guide her to tell, admitting even she doesn’t always know where that might lead. Her first series, The Guardians, is a YA fantasy series about angel and human hybrids.

Since then she has branched into NA Contemporary Romance and released titles to include Stubborn Love, Only In Dreams, and Do Anything. Her next romance, The Luckiest is scheduled to be released in July 2014.
When she’s not writing, this dog lover can be found spending time with her tech geek husband, their three amazing kids, and two pups. She loves to cook and is a film fanatic.

Author Links:

Excerpt from Wash Me Away
I smile at the sincerity in his voice. “Thank you.”
“No, thank you for keeping the ghosts away.” He’s no longer looking at me. Instead he watches our friends leap into the air, laughing and screaming as they chase the fluttering glow bugs.
I think about his words. That’s exactly what he has done for me … keep the ghosts away.
I lay down in the tall grass, my head tilted to the night sky, the moon full over our heads.
“Alrighty,” he says, filling the void next to me. “What are we doing?”
“For?” he asks.
His hand seeks mine through the blades of grass, our palms flat against one another’s. My heart starts to race. I’m listening to the song of the crickets mixed with our friend’s laughter, and in that moment I want nothing more than to crash into Leo and make the world stop turning. Instead, I settle for the moment, touching a friend’s hand, quietly keeping the ghosts at bay for one another.
“Do you think he’s there?” he asks.
“Who?” I forget what we’re talking about, distracted by his touch.
He doesn’t move his hand away. “God.”
I swallow. I’ve wondered that a lot, especially as a little girl, on those nights that Daddy would visit my room. “I don’t know,” I answer in barely a whisper.
“It’s a nice thought.”
“What is?”
“The whole heaven thing. That people are waiting for us,” he says.
“I guess.”
“What? You don’t believe in heaven?”
“I don’t know,” I say again honestly. “If that’s all real, it just seems hard to swallow.”
“What does?”
“Suffering,” I reply.
He’s quiet, and I wish I hadn’t rained on the moment. “Yeah, it is.”
I want to tell him I hope there’s a heaven because he deserves to see his brother again. I want to tell him that I hope hell exists because people like my father deserve to go there. I want to tell him that through all the bull, I still have hope it’s all real and this being is out there, loving me with all the blemishes others have placed onto me. But instead I lay there, content with the touch of his hand.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Do You Wanna Join a Book Club?

*Cue the Frozen music*

I recently joined a Book Club and last week was my turn to host! For my book, I chose The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. In preparation for the meeting at my house, I started thinking of how I could decorate. Most of you know how much I LOVE to decorate, so this was no exception.

I immediately started thinking of how I could make a red tent. Lol. Needless to say, I quickly scratched that idea and decided to go for simplicity. Here's how things turned out...

My CP sent me a pic months ago of a really cool book pages runner, so I tried to recreate that. (Yes, I did have to tear apart a book, but in my defense, I had two of the same book. And no, I'm not gonna tell you which one it was!) :)

I LOVE old books and have quite a few (some that even date back to 1891!) in our library. I added some flowers from our yard and voila!

We had light refreshments and just plain old water to drink. Nothing fancy there. Although I did put the water in a cute carafe. :)

The cake turned out super yummy and we even had leftovers (which my boys loved!)

The story of Dinah is only a few verses in the Bible, and yet, Anita Diamant was able to create an entire work of fiction based on those verses and the extenuating circumstances of that time period and culture. Truly brilliant.

Her writing is beautiful and heartfelt. When Dinah found her beloved Shalem murdered, my heart broke for her. When she found love again in Belia, I rejoiced with her. It was truly a touching story.

Now, with that being said, there were aspects of it that I didn't connect with. The beginning of the novel was a little too crude for my liking, and I didn't like how she portrayed some of the prophets of old. But that's just my personal opinion.

All in all, The Red Tent is a great book that will sweep you back to a long, forgotten time period, and give voice to a woman who begs to share her story.

In other news, this is my week to host on Unicorn Bell, and you want to be sure to stop by! On UB I'm featuring authors and their "How I Got an Agent" stories. I love reading those stories! Definitely inspires me to keep trying and not to give up! Today, Beth Ellyn Summer is at UB sharing her story, and it's a great one! 

Wednesday, Beth Fred will be posting on Unicorn Bell, and Friday, we get to hear from Mark Noce and how he signed with his agent Rena Rossner. So be sure to stop by!

Oh, and one last thing! You only have one more day to sign up to win a FREE eBook copy of The 
Ark by Laura Liddell Nolen. You can sign up HERE. 

Sorry! Just thought of something else. This is the last thing, I promise. :) A BIG thank you to ninja captain Alex Cavanaugh for featuring me on his blog last week for the letter K in the A to Z Challenge. It was such a wonderful mention. You can find it HERE. 

Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Book Blitz & Giveaway! The Ark by Laura Liddell Nolen

I'm super excited to share this Book Blitz with you! I haven't read this YA novel yet, but after reading the excerpt, I am HOOKED! I can't wait to read more.

And don't forget to enter the Giveaway for a chance to win a FREE eBook copy of The Ark!

The Ark by Laura Liddell Nolen 
Published by: HarperVoyager
Publication date: March 26th 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

There’s a meteor headed for Earth, and there is only one way to survive.

With her criminal record, sixteen-year-old Char is never going to get a place on an Ark, one of the five massive bioships designed to protect Earth’s survivors. The Arks are reserved for the real goody-goodies, like Char’s mom, dad, and brother, all of whom have long since turned their backs on her.

With Earth on the brink of destruction, Char must use all her tricks of the trade to swindle her way into outer space, where she hopes to reunite with her family, regardless of whether they want to see her or not.

Once she arrives on the North American Ark, Char discovers that the remnants of humanity haven’t achieved the egalitarian utopia they’d planned for. For starters, the “Officers of the Peace” are anything but peaceful, especially since stealing a spot on an Ark is a crime punishable by death…


Laura grew up in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where she spent an excellent childhood playing make-believe with her two younger brothers. The Ark is the direct result of those stories and a lifelong devotion to space-themed television. It received a Work in Progress Grant from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Laura has a degree in French and a license to practice law, but both are frozen in carbonite at present. She lives in Texas with her family.

Author links:


On the last day of Earth, I couldn’t find my hairbrush. That probably seems like a silly thing to worry about, what with the imminent destruction of, well, everything, but my mom was always after me about my usual ratty ponytail. Normally, I’d ignore her. Or, if I were having a really bad day, I’d tell her what she could do with her hairbrush. But like I said, it was the last day of Earth. And I figured, since it was the last time she’d ever see me, I wanted it to go smoothly. I wanted her to remember me, if not fondly, then at least without anger.
A girl can dream.
I slipped out of my cell as soon as the door swung open. I’d done the same every day for the past month, and my family had yet to show up. Their OPT—Off-Planet Transport—took off in eighteen hours, so they still had time. Barely. I couldn’t blame them if they didn’t come. It wasn’t hard to imagine that they’d rather escape to the stars without so much as a backward glance at me, their big disappointment. Even my father’s influence couldn’t persuade the government to give me a spot on an OPT.
Turns out, when humankind is deciding which of its children to save, the last place it looks is in prison.
But I was pretty sure they’d come. West had said as much in his last transmission. The thought of my younger brother actually halted me mid-step, like one of those punches in the gut where you can’t breathe for a few seconds.
“Looking for something?” The lazy drawl floated out of the nearest cell.
Against my better instincts, I turned to see Cassa lying on her bunk, her arm draped across Kip. My Kip. Or at least, my ex-Kip. Whatever. In twenty-two hours, I wouldn’t have to think about him anymore.
See? Silver lining. And they called me a perpetual pessimist at my last psych workup.
They barely fit next to each other on the flimsy mattress, but that wasn’t the weird part. The guys’ ward was separated by a substantial metal wall. We were kept apart during evening hours, for obvious reasons. Not that anyone cared anymore. The med staff had been the first to go, followed by the cleaning crew, followed by the kitchen crew. To show you where girls like me fell on the government’s list of priorities, there was still a skeleton crew of guards lurking around, despite the fact that I hadn’t had a real meal for going on a week. The guards would be gone soon, too, and then there’d be no one in here but us chickens.
I figured either Kip had a key, or the guards had left already. A key could be useful. My curiosity got the best of me. “How’d he get in here before the first bell?”
He cocked an eyebrow. “I got some tricks you ain’t seen, babe. Why don’t you join us? End of the world and all.”
The guards were gone, then. I felt a small trill of anxiety deep in my chest. If the guards were gone, my family was even less likely to show. But it was never smart to show fear. “The Pinball could be headed straight for this building, and I still wouldn’t be desperate enough to touch you. Oh, wait. Guess you don’t have to take my word for it.”
I turned to leave, but he continued. “Now is that any way to treat your dear ole partners? Be nice or I won’t give you back your stuff.”
“Ugh, you were in my room?” I flexed my shoulder blades, making sure my gun was still tightly secured between them.
“Don’t worry, Char. I didn’t handle the merchandise. Didn’t want to wake you up. Just lifted me a few keepsakes.” He pronounced my name the way I like: Char, as in charred. Something that got burned.
I wasn’t sure what Kip and Cassa were planning, but I knew I wouldn’t like it. They were thieves and liars. I would know. I used to be one of them. That was before the last job, when Cassa had attacked an elderly man in the home we were robbing. She’d kicked him until he stopped fighting back. Kip had called her off after a few licks, but I just stood there, staring. The old man looked at me, like right at me, while we made our getaway, and my stomach twisted into a knot so tight that I tasted bile. That was the moment I knew I wanted out.
But by then, no one believed me. Or, if they did, no one cared. Except for Kip and Cassa, of course. They’d taken the news pretty hard, to put it lightly.
If I lunged for the box, I could probably grab my hairbrush and get out of there. I wouldn’t have time for more than that. Then again, I’d be doing exactly what they expected, and I didn’t have time for delays. My family could be in the commissary any second now.
“Ahem. Seeing as it’s your last day of life, I might let you have one thing back,” said Kip.
“In exchange for what?”
“I’m hurt. All our time together, and you still don’t believe in my inherent generosity. But now that you mention it, I’ve got a hankering for some peanut butter crackers.”
“Sorry, Kip. I’m fresh out of food. Kinda like everyone else.”
“Nice try, Charrr.” He drew my name out, as though tasting it. “I saw them yesterday. Figured you were hiding them under your pillow when I couldn’t find them last night.”
“You figured wrong.”
All I could think about was my brother’s face. And how I had this one last chance to apologize to my parents, for everything. I shrugged and turned to leave.
That was probably a mistake.


And now, for the Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So, what do you think? Does THE ARK sound like something you'd want to read?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

In the Arms of an Angel

Thanks to everyone who entered my Giveaway for the $10 Amazon gift card. The raffle has ended and the winner is....

Magen Corrie.

Congratulations, Magen!

That was so much fun that I may have to do more Giveaways!

On to a heavier note...

A couple weeks ago, tragedy hit our little rural North Carolina town. A twelve-year-old boy from my son's school took his own life. As the shock wears off and the questions roll in, I think every parent is asking themselves, "How could this happen?" And "What can I do to prevent this from happening to one of my children?"

When I first learned of the tragic news, I just wanted to hold my boys close and never let go. I wanted to tell them a million and one times how much I loved them. In those first few days after the death of this sweet boy, I couldn't hug my children enough. And tears flowed freely whether I wanted them to or not.

I think it hit me hard because the young boy was so close to my own son's age, and the family lives right down the street in an affluent neighborhood. This is a family who only wanted the best for their children. A family who seemed to have it all. And all of a sudden I wondered, "How well do I know my own son? Has he ever felt that lonely, overwhelmed? What kind of pressure am I putting on my own children?" My heart ached not only for the family and friends this child left behind, but also for the pain this boy must have felt. Enough pain that he decided to take his life because of it. Obviously none of us know all the details leading up to his decision to take his life, but what a tragic, tragic accident.

This tragedy occurred at a time when I was writing a story about a troubled boy. And even though I will never be able to capture that kind of pain, I did try to draw on the sorrow I felt in the aftermath of such a tragedy. I only hope I did the story justice.

So, hug your children tight and never forget to tell them how much you love them. And even more importantly, how proud you are of all they've accomplished. You never know, that might be the one thing they need to hear more than anything else in this world. And please, say a prayer for this family as they try to pick up the pieces of their life.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

IWSG April and a Giveaway!

It's time for another group posting of the IWSG. Hosted by the amazing ninja himself—Alex Cavanaugh—the IWSG is a monthly blog hop where writers can air their insecurities, fears, triumphs, etc. It's never too late to join the IWSG, and if you're interested, you can go HERE.

A little over a year ago, I began blogging, and soon after, I heard about this group of writers who do a monthly blog hop. I decided to join, and I quickly realized what an incredibly supportive community of writers the IWSG is. I sometimes don't know what to write for my IWSG post, because let's face it, I don't want to be a downer just because some of my dreams have yet to be fulfilled. I want to remain positive, and that's why I look forward to visiting your blogs and reading your comments on my own posts. This past year, all of you IWSGers have uplifted, encouraged, supported, and inspired me. So, thank you.

And to show my appreciation, I've decided to do a GIVEAWAY! I believe this is the first giveaway I've done on my own personal blog (I hosted some on Unicorn Bell a while back and obviously I do giveaways for other writers), so I'm super excited!

But first, I think it's only appropriate to share some writing funnies with you. These kinds of things always crack me up! So, here goes:

Medical Bloopers from Medical Charts (Source)

  • The baby was delivered, the cord clamped and cut, and handed to the pediatrician, who breathed and cried immediately.
  • Exam of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized.
  • She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life until 1989 when she got a divorce.
  • Whilst in Casualty she was examined, X-rated and sent home.
  • The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.
  • Discharge status: Alive but without permission.
  • Healthy-appearing, decrepit 69 year old male, mentally alert but forgetful.
  • The patient has no past history of suicides.

Hehe. Did you laugh like I did? :)

And now, for the GIVEAWAY! Please enter below for a chance to win a $10 AMAZON gift card! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Wednesday! And good luck to all of you A to Zers. I'm taking it easy this year. :)