Notice:


As of June 9, 2012 I will no longer be accepting e-books for review. This is due to the overwhelming
demand of reviews, work and night classes taking up a lot of my spare time. It
is taking me several months to read and post reviews therefore until “my to be
reviewed list” is smaller I will no longer accept any more e-books for review.
I am extremely sorry.


April 29, 2012

2nd Annual Break Cassay out of Tax Jail–Cheat Sheet

I’ve decided to make a cheat sheet for all the giveaways this month.

Grand Prize: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare + $10.00 USD Amazon Gift card Come back daily for more entries.

Comments so far = 41 – close to a 3rd book being added!

ADDDED = All Spell Breaks Loose by Lisa Shearin
50 comments = A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink
100 comments = Insurgent by Veronica Ross !!!
200 comments = 2nd winner

April 3 – *signed* paperback copy of Devil. May. Care Jolene Ballard Gutiérrez (US/Canada) Comment on the post for +1 Bonus entry for the grand prize/ Int’l friends +2 bonus entry

April 4 – 5 e-copies of The Tomb by Dave Ferraro Comment on the post for +1 bonus entry for the grand prize. FIRST 5 COMMENTORS will get +2 bonus entries

April 5 – 1 e-copy of Fire Baptized and Incubus Hunter by Kenya Wright (18+). Those under 18 comment for 2 bonus entries for the grand prize. FIRST 5 COMMENTORS will get +2 bonus entries.

April 10 – 1 e-copy of Evanescence by Alexandra Pelaez. Comment on the post for +1 bonus entry for the grand prize. FIRST 5 COMMENTORS will get +2 bonus entries.

April 11 – 2 e-copies of the first 2 books in the Midnight Fire series by Kaitlyn Davis. Comment for +1 entry for the grand prize. FIRST 5 COMMENTORS will get +2 bonus entries.

April 12 – 1 e-copy of Feyland by Anthea Sharp. Comment on the post for + 1 bonus entry for the grand prize. FIRST 5 COMMENTORS will get +2 bonus entries. 

April 14 – 1 e-copy of Darkride by Laura Rede. Leave a comment for +1 bonus entry for the grand prize. FIRST 5 COMMENTORS will get +2 bonus entries.

April 17 – 2 e-copie prize packs of Dean Murray’s novels. Leave a comment for +1 bonus entry for the grand prize. FIRST 5 COMMENTORS will get +2 bonus entries.

April 18 – 2 e-copies of Taryn Browning’s novel. Leave a comment for +1 bonus entry for the grand prize. FIRST 5 COMMENTORS will get +2 bonus entries.

April 19 – 2 e-copies of G.L. Breedon’s novels. Leave a comment for +1 bonus entry for the grand prize. FIRST 5 COMMENTORS will get +2 bonus entries.

April – 21 – 3 ecopies of Song to Wake to by J.D. Field. Leave a comment for +1 bonus entry for the grand prize. FIRST 5 COMMENTORS will get +2 bonus entries.

April 24 – 1 print copy of Spiritus by Dana Michelle Burnett. Leave a comment for +1 bonus entry for the grand prize. FIRST 5 COMMENTORS will get +2 bonus entries. (International)

April 25 – Winners choice of Dark Heart Matter or From out of Chaos. Leave a comment for +1 bonus entry for the grand prize. FIRST 5 COMMENTORS will get +2 bonus entries.

April 26 – Guest Post – P.T. Michelle Comment for a bonus entry for the grand prize. 

IF YOU COMMENT ON ALL THE POSTS THIS MONTH, YOU WILL RECEIVED 10 BONUS ENTRIES FOR THE GRAND PRIZE!

Cassay Sig

April 26, 2012

Guest Post–Author P.T Michelle

Today I have author P.T Michelle to share an excerpt from BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS.

Check out my review here.


According to Wikipedia, ANTICIPATION is: an emotion involving pleasure, excitement, and sometimes anxiety in considering some expected or longed-for good event.


Imagine if you dreamed your entire next day every night when you fell asleep. If everything was a repeat and nothing was ever a surprise, how do you think that would impact your daily life? But what if you met someone who never starred in your dreams, even though you interacted with him every day? Someone was had more layers than you could've imagined possible? Ahhh, with this person, you could actually experience anticipation--that kind of strong emotion involving pleasure, excitement, and sometimes anxiety in considering some expected or longed-for good event, right? :)


Meet Nara and Ethan from my book BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS. In the excerpt below, I thought I'd share a scene of anticipation. I hope you enjoy!

EXCERPT from BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS by P.T. Michelle

At one point, Ethan stopped and just stood there staring me down. Crouched and waiting, I locked my gaze on him, my adrenaline pumping. I got tired of waiting for him to decide which way he’d kick the soccer ball, so I took a small step to the left, then dove to the right, saving the ball he’d quickly kicked in the opposite direction I’d stepped.

I stood up with a wide grin. “Psyched you!”

Ethan nodded. “You’ll be playing goalie full-time again soon.”

His reminder that I could be riding the bench half the time rubbed salt in the wound, so I threw the ball his way and asked, “Why did you give up soccer?”

Stopping the ball in the air with his cleat, his gaze followed it to the ground. He stared at it for a couple of seconds, his jaw tense. Glancing up, he said in a gruff tone, “I quit playing when I was fifteen,” right before he hammered the ball at me.

I tried to stop it, but the dew-coated ball shot past my gloves into my chest. The impact threw me back and pain splintered as I collapsed on the ground, coughing and wheezing.

I must’ve zoned out for a second, because when I opened my eyes, Ethan sat beside me. His arm was wrapped around my shoulders as he held me off the ground. “Nara, talk to me. Are you okay?”

I coughed once more. “Ugh, not the best way to find out you’ve been holding back on me.”

Ethan’s brows pushed together. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to kick the ball that hard.”

I gave a wobbly smile. He had a few freckles on his nose and a chicken pox scar next to his left eyebrow, both things I’d never noticed. “I’ve never caught air like that before, but I’ll live.”

“Jumping back to soften the blow was pretty smart.”

I didn’t jump back, I wanted to tell him, but the gentle sweeping brush of his thumb across the hollow of my throat distracted me. Tiny shivers shot through me when I realized his palm was resting on my chest. Holding my breath, I glanced down and saw the dark edge of a tattoo on his arm where his shirt’s sleeve had ridden up slightly. Curved and intricately designed, it looked like some kind of tail that curled all the way around his forearm.

Lainey’s comment about his scary drawings came back to me, along with that horror image I’d seen in the hall. Secrets swirled in Ethan’s eyes, making me shudder with conflicting emotions of hesitation and curiosity.


Now to keep you anticipating! I'm offering an eBook copy of BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS to one lucky winner. All you have to do to be entered in the giveaway is follow Cassay's instructions on how to enter. Best of luck to you! :)

BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS is now available.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Coming Spring 2012: LUCID (BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS, Book 2)!

 

 attachment-612252865ABOUT P.T. MICHELLE
P.T. Michelle is the young adult pseudonym of Patrice Michelle, author of fifteen romance novels and novellas. When P.T. isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading or taking pictures of landscapes, sunsets and anything beautiful or odd in nature.

LINKS:
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Thank you P.T. This was one of my fav scenes between Lainey and Ethan.

Make sure you leave a meaningful comment for the grand prize!

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April 25, 2012

Guest Post from Author Nathan Wrann

 

Today I have author Nathan Wrann here to discribe the making of the book trailer for Dark Matter Heart. I want to send out a HUGE thank you to Nathan for taking time out of his busy day to stop by the blog and for donating an e-copy of his novel.

Haven’t heard of Dark Matter Heart? Be sure to check out my review here.


Trapped Between Two Worlds

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In February I, with a handful of people, spent two days shooting a book trailer for my first novel, “Dark Matter Heart.” I was reluctant to go back into film production, but I found that maybe I missed it more than I thought.

First a brief history. Before I wrote my first novel I was an independent filmmaker. I had been writing scripts for about a decade prior to taking the plunge in 2005. With a $5,000 investment of my own money and a handful of volunteers, I made my first feature film: a brutal camping, slasher ultra-low budget horror flick titled“Hunting Season”. After a brief period of self-distribution “Hunting Season” was picked up by Gravitas for streaming and VOD distribution. In 2007 I followed that up with a strange, surreal, mind-trip of a revenge film called “Burning Inside”. In 2009 my second film was distributed by Channel Midnight Releasing and ultimately gained more critical acclaim than actual copies sold. Following this, I attempted to raise money for a short-film adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher”. It didn’t take long to see the writing on the wall. Independent film financing and distribution were in shambles. Something had changed between the early 2000’s and the end of the decade. Maybe people didn’t discover independent films the way they used to. Or maybe there are too many films being made. Or maybe there is no truly effective means of self-distribution (no video stores, Netflix doesn’t pay, barriers to VOD). Regardless, it didn’t seem responsible for me to continue spending tens of thousands of dollars on independent film production, only to be unable to find an audience. I figured it was the perfect time to go on hiatus for a few years until the indie film market worked itself out.

Writing costs nothing. There is no coordinating, no scheduling, no traveling, no equipment, no cast, no crew and no collaborating. No collaborating. That’s actually the hard part of writing. That’s also the part of filmmaking I didn’t think I would miss. One of the greatest challenges (for me) of filmmaking is working with other people to attain my vision. As I sat down to write my first novel (or even short stories) I thought that I would now be free from having to collaborate with someone else (cast, crew, etc). Free from having to explain my vision over and over again until they did, what I originally wanted them to do. Every word I write in my novel would be all mine. Every word was mine. Turns out that’s the hard part. I was responsible for every description, every facial twitch, every setting. I couldn’t defer to someone else or cut corners in the writing and capture it in production.

In a script I could write a setting as “a beautiful field.” Then I find a field that somewhat matches what I see in my head, set the camera up and, boom, within seconds “a beautiful field” is conveyed to the audience. Yes, a picture is worth 1,000 (or more) words. Which means that now I had to find 1,000 words to describe that field. The same is true of every movement, every bit of speech, every hair out of place. Suddenly, where I previously could let an actor bring a character to life on film, I now had to bring them to life on the page. Maybe collaborating wasn’t so bad.

Since embarking on this novel-writing adventure, I’ve written and published two and a half books. In February my wife, convinced me to shoot a “book trailer” for my first book,“Dark Matter Heart”. I was excited to have a book trailer but reluctant for all of those production reasons above. I had become comfortable in my solitude. I like when it’s just me and my laptop typing away creating characters and worlds. Now I would have to work with schedules, and casting and actors and a cinematographer and locations, and meals, and costumes, and props. But I relented.

First we contacted Bart Mastronardi, a talented filmmaker, a friend, and an exceptional cinematographer. We told him what we wanted to do and he was on-board immediately. Since we would be shooting in New York City, and that’s his stomping grounds, I relied heavily on him for locations and casting.“Collaborating” had instantly reared its head, but this time, with my reluctance for the project, I embraced it.

The day before traveling to Queens, NY to shoot the trailer I was a bundle of nerves. I felt completely unprepared for the shoot. With only a brief sketch of scenes that I felt were crucial to convey in the trailer, and no overall “vision” of the project I knew that success would come through improvisation and off-the-cuff shooting. I’m a planner. I prefer to plan all of my shots, know exactly what I need and work toward getting it. Improvising and winging it are not my favorite ways to work. In addition to being out of my element, I was out of practice having been tucked away for a few years in my solitude.

Once everyone arrived on set I was still freaking out internally. I met all the actors they got in their costumes and we went to the first location to shoot the first shot: the main character, Cor Griffin, sitting at a piano in a classroom when Caitlyn Dupris catches him playing a song. The set, of course, wasn’t exactly how I had pictured it in my head, or even how I had written it in the book. The piano was stuffed in a back stairwell, rather than a classroom, but that’s the way of independent filming, you shoot with what you have, not what you want. The knots in my stomach were tying tighter and tighter as the actors were getting in place and Bart was setting up the camera and lights. It all looked to be set, Bart’s lighting and framing had made lemonade out of the location’s lemons, and I called “Action!”

Immediately my nerves calmed as Will Seefried transformed into Cor before my very eyes. His fingers played across the piano keys and then he paused, looked over to Haley Turner, beautifully portraying Caitlyn, and gave a bit of a hesitant crooked smile. It was perfect. And that’s when I knew I was trapped between two worlds.

I love writing. I love telling stories and creating characters and giving them challenges that they may, or may not overcome. I love being able to write when I want, where I want without relying on dozens of other people just to get my work to an audience. I love that I can write and publish at least 2 books and a handful of short stories per year (recently on twitter I noticed many independent filmmakers were still talking about the movies they were working on two years ago. In that time I’ve already published 3 novels and 3 short stories) But…

I love filmmaking. I love the collaboration that comes when someone, who knows the material and their character, makes suggestions or does something that is perfectly fitting that I would have never seen (both Will and Haley, in an ultimate display of professionalism had purchased Dark Matter Heart and read it before showing up for their auditions. Knowing their characters inside and out added immensely to the project.). I love it when a great cinematographer has a feeling for how the scene should be and how the lighting will make the picture tell 10,000 words instead of 1,000.

As soon as I called “Cut!” on that first shot the filmmaking bug had infected me. I wanted to take the next week off of work and just turn Dark Matter Heart into a bigger project right there. I wanted to make it into a movie or a TV show or something. With the talent we had gathered it seemed like a book trailer wasn’t enough to contain it. But alas, the two days passed quickly, we had fun, captured far more than the necessary shots and went our separate ways.

Since then I’ve returned to my solitary creative existence, writing the third book in the Dark Matter Heart Trilogy. I’ve also spent the last few weeks editing the trailer. Video editing is another solitary endeavor, just me in front of the computer putting it together, each 2-second clip at a time. The difference though, is that those individual pieces, each shard of the mosaic, was made possible only through the collective efforts of a handful of incredibly talented, hard-working collaborators. And every 2-second clip makes me want to work with them again to create something bigger. Maybe this summer? Who knows? All I know is that my filmmaking hiatus may not last as long as I thought.

Nathan Wrann is an author, publisher and filmmaker living in Connecticut with a Chihuahua, a cat and a wife. “Dark Matter Heart” and “From Out Of Chaos”, the first two books in The Dark Matter Heart trilogy are now available at www.daltongangpress.com. The trailer for “Dark Matter Heart” will be out in the beginning of April and Book 3 of the Dark Matter Heart trilogy is set to come out by summer. He also sometimes writes under the pen name “Nicholas Faraday”


Leave a meaningful comment with your name/alias and email for your chance to win an e-copy of Dark Matter Heart or From out of Chaos (winners choice). Your comment will count towards the grand prize entry. Make sure you check the official rules here.

 

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April 24, 2012

Guest Post–Author Dana Michelle Burnett

Today I have author Dana Michelle Burnett to talk about the paranormal romance genre. Which you all know I love so much! Huge thanks to Dana for taking time out of her busy day to stop buy and donate a print copy of Spiritus!


First off, thanks for having me by today and allowing me to post on your blog. This novel has become my baby and like any proud mommy, I love showing it off to new people.

I’m often asked just what it was that drew me to the paranormal romance genre. I can’t help it. While I’ve got nothing against traditional romance novels, for me there’s nothing better than a romance with a few supernatural creatures thrown in! My Kindle actually looks like a who’s who of Transylvania.

To me, there’s nothing better than a vampire longing for love, a werewolf looking for understanding, or a ghost searching for everlasting love. How can you beat that?

Actually, that exactly what I ended up writing about in Spiritus. Spiritus is about a ghost that comes back for the girl that he believes is his wife reincarnated a century after her death. I loved the idea of a love that went beyond time and death.

I love the way that paranormal romance allows the characters to connect on so many levels. A vampire is drawn to a girl because her blood excites him…A werewolf imprints on some unsuspecting female…A ghost haunts his reincarnated spouse…Yep, that’s a good story.

What do you love about paranormal romance?


Answer Dana’s question in the comments with your name/alias and email for your chance to win a copy Spiritus. This one is open international. Your comment will count towards the grand prize entry. Make sure you check the official rules here.

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April 21, 2012

Guest Post – Author JD Field

Today I have author JD Field who novels Song to Wake to is an interesting twist on the King Author legend. I enjoyed it and I can’t wait for you all to read my review in May.

Thank you JD for stopping by and donating 3 e-copies of Song to Wake to


Aged thirteen I would spend Sunday evening sitting at the little desk in my bedroom, facing stacks of textbooks and notepads and five different kinds of homework... ...with a copy of the Lord of the Rings open on my lap, so that if my Dad stuck his head around the door he wouldn't be able to see it, much like kids today sitting in class sending each other text messages. I would read away madly, following the fellowship through Moria and Lorien with the constant nagging guilt of my homework at the back of my mind...

Now, however many years later, not much has changed. On the final page of my YA paranormal romance, Rock Anthem I wrote that the sequel would be released in February. Insane optimism. What was I thinking saying something like that? It took me until March to decide on a TITLE. I have a full time job, I'm trying to stay fit, the weather has been really bad...

The last is a valid excuse, I think. One of my key ways to write is to get up early in the morning and do it. But when it's dark and cold outside that's reeeeaaaallly difficult. Other times to write are lunch breaks at work, and by ignoring my friends at the weekend. However, just like my history homework when I was thirteen, they're all under threat.

From myself.

I set myself a target of finishing chapter twelve, and then spend half an hour watching clips from Dirty Dancing and reading about the history of Mali on Wikipedia. In my defence, there is now a Dirty Dancing scene in Lullaby of Lies, and Mali will feature heavily in book six or seven (if I ever get there). Still, though, what is wrong with me? I enjoy writing, I really do, and the sense of achievement when you look back at a scene of a paragraph you're pleased with is quite blinding. So why, instead, do I look through the holiday photo albums of Facebook friends I barely know?

 

Answers in a distracting Wikipedia article please...


Leave a meaningful comment with your name/alias and email for your chance to win 1 of 3 e-copies of Song to Wake to. Your comment will count towards the grand prize entry. Make sure you check the official rules here.

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April 20, 2012

Review: The Wizard of Time by G.L Breedon

 

Gabriel Salvador has dreams about the future and his dreams always come true. When he dreams one night that he will drown, he knows upon waking it is only a matter of time before his dream becomes reality.

Plucked from the timeline of history at the moment of his death, Gabriel becomes an apprentice time mage and part of an elite team of wizards who travel throughout history to fight the War of Time and Magic.

Victorian London, the Aztec temples of 1487, the Greek island of Samos in 320 BCE, Scotland in the Middle Ages, and the battle fields of Alexander the Great are only some of the adventures in time that await thirteen-year-old Gabriel Salvador as he learns to become a time mage and joins the battle to protect the timeline of history in The Wizard of Time. Excerpt from G.L Breedon’s website.

The Wizard of Time was a fantastic read. It was filled with suspense that kept you on the edge of your seat. The historical aspect of the novel wasn’t boring and was quite interesting learning about the different places that Gabriel traveled through time. I liked learning about the other mages and their background as well as their talents. I think if I had to pick a favorite character from the group I would pick Teresa she made me laughed and kind of reminded me of myself. I’m still trying to decide between which of the Malignancy Mages on who is truly evil and who isn’t. Some I have decided but others I haven’t, I shall have to see what book 2 brings to the table.

The Rating:

4.5 out of 5

Read a sample chapter here: The Wizard of Time (Book 1)

Available now as an ebook at:

Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

iBook

Available in print from:

Createspace

Amazon.com

April 19, 2012

Guest Post–Author G.L. Breedon

Today I have author G.L. Breedon to talk about his inspiration behind THE WIZARD OF TIME and THE YOUNG SORCERERS GUILD series.

Stay tuned tomorrow for my review of THE WIZARD OF TIME.


Where Do Stories Come From?


I've always wondered what part of our minds are responsible for creating story ideas. Fortunately, I've never been someone who had to struggle to come up with stories I wanted to tell. My problem has always been the opposite. I have far more story ideas that I have time to tell them. Which means I need to pick the ones that speak to me the loudest.
Some ideas come from news articles I read, some from reacting to stories in books or film or TV, some from real life incidents, and some from the more nebulous reaches of my mind. The idea for THE WIZARD OF TIME came from a dream I had.


In my dream, I was in a bookstore where some kids were checking out a series of books, so I wandered over and looked at the covers. To my surprise, I saw that I was the author of the books. They were about time travel and magic. When I awoke, I was intrigued by the idea of combining time travel and magic. I also figured a dream of that nature was a good omen.
I spent a few weeks daydreaming into existence the story of a young time mage, Gabriel Salvador, who ends up at the center of a war of magic fought throughout the timeline of history.


I spend a lot of time daydreaming. The idea for The Dark Shadow of Spring (The Young Sorcerers Guild series) came from day dreaming and remembering several stories about groups of odd kids having wild adventures. Stories like The Goonies and The Mad Scientists Club. After about an hour of daydreaming, the town and the kids and the story had congealed in my mind. The story was so clear, I started to plot it out immediately. A few hours later, I knew I need to drop the project I had planned to write (one that had taken months of note writing to plot) and tell the story of the Young Sorcerers Guild.


The interesting thing is how these stories evolve over time. I had a vague idea and a title for the sequel to The Dark Shadow of Spring, but it was fascinating to see the metamorphosis of the story and the characters as a new novel arose out of the events of the old. I've just begun writing the sequel to The Wizard of Time and it is extraordinary fun to see how this dream I had five years ago has transformed into a reality of fiction - a story brought to life that others can live through reading.


G.L. Breedon Bio:
After a childhood spent whizzing through the galaxy in super sleek starships and defeating treacherously evil monsters in long forgotten kingdoms, I grew up to write science fiction and fantasy novels. I live with my wife in Brooklyn, NY.


Links:

The Wizard of Time (Book 1) Amazon.com

The Dark Shadow of Spring (The Young Sorcerers Guild - Book 1) Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble

Blog:
http://kosmosaicbooks.com/


Thank you G.L. Breedon for donating a e-copy of The Wizard of Time and The Dark Shadow of Spring. There will be 2 winners. Available formats are EPUB and MOBI.

Leave a meaningful comment with your name/alias and email for your chance to win The Tomb. Your comment will count towards the grand prize entry. Make sure you check the official rules here.

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April 18, 2012

Guest Post–Taryn Browning

Today I have author Taryn Browning to discuss her 2 novels Dark Seeker and Whispering Hills.

Thanks to Taryn for taking time out of her busy schedule to stop by the blog and donate an e-copy of her novels!


clip_image002She's the Seeker. He's the hunted. What's at stake could kill them both...
For 17-year-old Seeker, Janie Grey, ridding the Baltimore streets of the undead is an inherited duty passed down from her Cherokee ancestors. Seeker Training Lesson #1: Never trust the undead. After her father’s tragic death, Janie creates her own life lesson: Love isn’t worth the risk. Both lessons are easy to follow until she encounters the flawed Kai Sterdam. At first, she believes he is the hybrid she is trained to hunt. But, when he has human traits, she determines she doesn’t know what he is. As Janie’s intrigue over who Kai is pushes her deeper into his mysterious past, she discovers a shocking truth that is even more harrowing than the evil they are up against. It’s a secret Kai wants to keep hidden, especially from Janie.

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For as long as she can remember, 17-year-old Alexis Forbes can hear the thoughts of others. Most recently, she is disturbed by the dark, unfamiliar voice of a frightening killer: callous, cunning, charismatic…and dead.
She hears his every sinister thought. But she can’t tell anyone. No one would believe her. Alexis is suddenly being haunted by a terrifying past she doesn’t remember, and a ghost with a serious score to settle. Even Chance, the gorgeous new guy she’s falling for, has his own ghostly secret. He’s definitely not like any guy she’s ever met. Alexis soon discovers she has a connection to the dead and it runs much deeper than she could ever imagine. And if the sociopathic entity has his way, she’ll finally be sentenced to the fate she escaped thirteen years ago.

Both Dark Seeker and Whispering Hills are dear to my heart. I love both heroines. Janie (Dark Seeker) and Alexis (Whispering Hills) are strong teenagers dealing with the obstacles of being part of the paranormal world while taking on the more mundane responsibilities of being high school students. Janie was born into a life of hunting vampires, while Alexis was thrust into it by events beyond her control. Plus, both girls find themselves attracted to guys with complicated pasts and dark secrets.

Alexis wasn't born with her ability to hear the random decisions others make, so she struggles with her "gift," doing her best to fit in when the only people who seem to relate to her have their own otherworldly abilities. Janie, on the other hand, knows exactly what kind of monster she's dealing with. She's been through years of training and has no trouble kicking butt -- until she's faced with a new type of hybrid vampire with dangerous characteristics and abilities unlike the "traditional" vampire she was born to hunt.

Dark Seeker is set in the city of Baltimore, where the high crime rate masks the deaths of countless humans at the hands of the deadly demon-vampire hybrid known as Daychildren. Janie patrols the Baltimore streets, hunting down Daychildren and protecting the citizens of Baltimore, until the threat leaves the city and her suburban high school becomes the target. Janie is forced to enlist the support of an inner-city vampire gang and an incredibly hot "Daychild" with human traits, to stop the Daychildren from following through with their plan.

Whispering Hills takes place in the suburban town of Whispering Hills, Virginia. The crime rate is pretty non-existent until a high school student goes missing. Alexis can hear the killers every decision, including the decision to throw the girl's dead body in Whispering Lake. Unable to tell anyone what she knows, she is forced to rely on the school outcast to find out who committed the murder and stop him from harming anyone else. She comes to realize the killer is untouchable, a ghost back to settle an old score. Even the new guy she's falling for has his own ghostly secret. Alexis has a connection to the dead that runs deeper than she could ever imagine. There is so much more going on in the small town of Whispering Hills than murder. The truth may explain why she can hear people's thoughts, but the truth could also get her killed.


Here is your chance to win a copy of Dark Seeker or Whispering Hills.

There will be 2 winners, one for each novel!

Leave a meaningful comment with your name/alias and email for your chances to win. Your comment will count towards the grand prize entry. Make sure you check the official rules here.

Cassay Sig

April 17, 2012

Guest Post–Author Dean Murray

Today I have author Dean Murray who talks about how mood rings inspired him.

Dean has been kind enough to offer 2 e-book prize packs consisting of Broken, Torn, and Splintered.


Your favorite characters as a mood ring:

I suspect that most guys could care less about mood rings, but for whatever reason I went through a phase where I was fascinated by them. There is just something neat about the idea of something that changes color more or less on its own. I think chameleons are pretty neat too, and they are a bit more manly, but really this is about mood rings J.

To be fair though it’s not just about mood rings, it’s also about a quote I heard or read at some point in the past by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I can’t quote it verbatim, but she talked about how she like to illustrate the point with her books that when you are talking about any given series of events there was usually ‘your version, my version, and the truth’.

For whatever reason, that concept really stuck with me. I’d noticed sometimes that you run into people who tend to spin any given set of circumstances in a way that they come off sounding like nothing was their fault. This seemed to be the next level of insight into that, and I loved the idea of playing with different perceptions of the same events as a way of making characters more three dimensional and given some of the conflict in a plot more credibility.

I suspect at some level this is part of what caused me to decide to write Broken and Torn as a double novel, more or less the same series of events, but with one narrated by Adri, the other by Alec. I learned a lot about writing through that process, and realized that my characters were much more defined in my head than maybe I’d realized. Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately depending on your point of view, I couldn’t leave things alone.

Some of my favorite authors take their characters and really run them ragged. I’m talking about big extremes with regard the situations the characters find themselves in. The best authors do that and as readers we get a chance to see sides of our favorite characters that we never even knew existed. It’s truly amazing to read something where you see a beloved character do something completely unexpected and then after the fact you realized that they couldn’t have done anything else and still remain true to the way they’d been written up to that point.

Ultimately I think so much of conflict is about seeing what the characters will do. When you get right down to it, I guess I’m still that kid with the mood ring, watching to see whether the character stays blue when we take him for a run or if they show an interesting shade of purple that we haven’t run across before.

Author’s Note:

I’ve had a few people ask me why I’m writing my Dark Reflections stories which are essentially an alternate universe featuring the same characters as Broken and Torn. If I had to boil it down to its simplest form I’d say it’s because I can’t do my characters justice in just one universe. In order to really appreciate just how good someone is, you sometimes have to understand how incredibly bad they could have been. In order to mourn the passing of a villain sometimes you have to appreciate the tiny choices that could have sent them down another path. Time will tell whether or not I’m able to execute on the concept, but ultimately it’s the only way I can think of with this particular set of characters to really take them through the full scope of who they are and could be.


Thanks Dean!

Leave a meaningful comment with your name/alias and email for your chance to win 1 of the 2 prize packs. Your comment will count towards the grand prize entry. Make sure you check the official rules here.

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April 14, 2012

Excerpts – Darkride by Laura Bradley Rede

Today I have 2 excerpt from Darkride written by Laura Bradley Rede. I’m really looking forward to reading Darkride in May. My May is looking like it has some awesome reads!


Excerpt from Darkride:

Ander seems to feel better, too. He jogs a little ways ahead of me, then doubles back, high-fiving the trees as he comes. “So,” he says, “Your birthday. What are you doing to celebrate?”

I shrug. “You know, helicopter ride, movie premier, champagne toast at sunrise. The usual.”

His eyes are full of sympathy. “Mom working, huh?”

“For the caterers tonight, then she has a wedding to do tomorrow, so I’m sure she’ll be busy. But she might make a cake.”

“Oh,” he sighs, “your mom’s cake! Damn, that’s good.”

“She’s a pro,” I say.

“So,” he says, “What are you going to wish for?”

I’m suddenly glad for the shadowy darkness. It hides my blush. “Same thing I wished for last year.”

“And you haven’t gotten it yet?”

“No,” I say, “Not yet.”

“Well,” he says, “Maybe this is your year.”

Right now all I wish for is to be able to see the expression on his face, but the shadows hide it. Does he know I wished for him? Is there some hidden promise in his words? There can’t be. I mean, if he felt the same, why wouldn’t he just tell me? If he felt the same, why didn’t he kiss me back there, when his arms were already around me? He can’t feel the same. I put a little extra stomp in my boots, trying to crush out any spark of hope before it has the chance to catch. This is how I get hurt.

We walk for a while in silence. What is he thinking, I wonder? His face is unreadable in the half-light. Trying to see him makes my eyes hurt, and trying to understand him makes my brain hurt. Being best friends with Ander is like doing long division in your head all day. It’s like trying to follow a foreign film without the subtitles. How can Zoe say he’s straightforward when I feel like everything he says is in secret code?

The woods have begun to thin. Up ahead, through the trees, I can just see Ander’s house, as dark and elongated as the shadows around us. It’s the only house around, shielded by trees on every side. Ander used to joke that I was the “girl next door,” because my mom’s trailer is the next closest place, and we’re on the other side of the woods. Only the long gravel drive connects Ander’s house to County 13 and the rest of the world. Its gray paint is peeling and the porch sags, but there are yellow marigolds in the window boxes and a welcome mat by the front door.

I wonder who that welcome is meant for. I’ve never been invited in.

Without saying a word about it, we both stop a respectful distance from the yard, like there’s an invisible line I can’t cross. “Well,” Ander says, “I guess I should go in.” He looks up at the sky, then glances at the house. There’s a light on in the kitchen window. His uncle is home.

“Yeah,” I say, “I guess you should.” But neither of us goes anywhere. Ander takes a little swig of Gatorade. I take a deep breath. I almost hate to ask him, because I know he’ll have to say no. His uncle never lets him go out.

But I promised myself I’d ask him. It’s a new year and I’m starting it right.

Now or never, Cicely.

“Do you want to go out tonight?”


Excerpt from Darkride:

The wind shifts.

The smell hits me: Bitter. Burning. Metallic as blood.

Vamp.

Before the thought can even register, I’m reacting. My muscles tense and the hairs on the back of my neck rise. The color seems to bleed out of the leaves around me as my eyes shift to the black and white vision of the wolf, my color vision dialing down while my other senses go hyper. The woods around me seem to shift like a dream going lucid as I become suddenly aware of every twig snap, every rustle. My mind divides: the part of me that is still human is fumbling for my bottle, tearing off the cap, chugging one dose, two doses, three—as if I could drown it, swallow down the animal that is rising up inside me.

The other half of my mind is thinking only one thing: vamp, vamp, vamp, vamp. I’m fighting instinct and I know I’m going to lose. The scent is strong, fresh. I am used to Michael’s scent; horrible though it was for me at first, I can ignore it now. But this? This isn’t Michael. This is a vampire I don’t know—at least one, maybe more.

And they’re on my territory.

I make a last, lame attempt at trying to breathe the way Michael showed me. I grasp for the stupid mantra he gave me, saying it over and over in my mind: Human is as human does, human is as human does…but it’s no use. The change is rising over me like water over a drowning man and fighting it only drives me deeper so I can’t breathe. A sudden shock of pain unzips my spine, bending me double. My hands hit the dirty forest floor. My mind latches on to a mantra of its own—please no please no please no—but it’s too late.

I’m changing.


Leave a meaningful comment with your name/alias and email for your chance to win an e-copy of Darkride. Your comment will count towards the grand prize entry. Make sure you check the official rules here.

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April 12, 2012

Excerpt from Feyland: The Dark Court by Anthea Sharp

 

Today I have an excerpt of Feyland: The Dark Court by Anthea Sharp. This novel reminds me of World of Warcraft and I can’t wait to read it next month. Anthea has been kind enough to donate an e-copy of Feyland to 1 lucky winner.  

Thank you Anthea!!!


FEYLAND: THE DARK COURT by ANTHEA SHARP

PROLOGUE

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Jennet faced the Dark Queen, her mage staff at the ready. Excitement fizzed through her blood like it was carbonated. This was it. She’d completed the quests, mastered each level of the game, and made it here. The final boss fight.

“Fair Jennet.” The queen’s voice was laced with stars and shadow. “You think to best me in battle?” A faint smile crossed her pitiless, beautiful face. Her dress swirled around her like tatters of midnight mist.

“I plan on it,” Jennet said. She tucked a strand of blond hair behind her ear, then shook off the sudden anxiety that settled on her shoulders, cold as snow.

She had no idea what this particular fight held. Feyland was the hardest sim she’d ever played, full of weird twists and turns. She thought about it all the time. The game filtered into her dreams, shaded the edge of her days. Sometimes the computer-generated world felt more real than her ordinary life.

“Very well,” the queen said. “I accept your challenge.”

Jennet couldn’t see any weapons on her opponent, and that dress was no substitute for armor. Safe bet that this was going to be a magical duel, spell-caster against spell-caster. Jennet flexed her fingers around the smooth wood of her staff. Anticipation spiked through her, tightening her breath.

Fantastical creatures watched from the edges of the clearing: feral-faced women with gossamer wings, dark riders with red-eyed hounds at their heels. The sound of drums and pipes wove through the shadows. Overhead, a sliver of moon tangled in the black branches of the trees. Then, between one heartbeat and the next, silence fell.

A dark figure stepped forward, forbidding in midnight armor and a wicked helm, and Jennet’s stomach clenched. The Black Knight. She’d barely beaten him in an earlier quest. If he got involved in this fight, she was in severe trouble.

He held his gauntleted fist high and grated out a single word. “Begin.”

It echoed eerily through the glade, and the fey-folk let out a rough cheer. There was no one to cheer for Jennet.

Without hesitation, she tipped her staff and shot a bolt of fiery white light at the queen. A sphere of shadow appeared, blocking her attack and swallowing the fire into its dark depths. More spheres materialized and began floating toward her, called by the Dark Queen. Jennet ducked and wove, avoiding their deadly touch.

Lightning crackled from her staff, illuminating the clearing with shocking white light, but the queen evaded her bolts. Still, Jennet kept pressing the attack. The dark spheres were multiplying now, bobbing in the air on all sides. A low, menacing hum surrounded her as she tried to find a clear shot.

She couldn’t afford any mistakes - but the fight was pushing her to her limits. Worry started to nibble at the edges of her concentration. She just had to watch for an opening… there. She took aim and sent another bolt crackling through the air.

White fire sizzled and Jennet heard the queen gasp. Yes! She could do it. She could beat this game. The first player ever to claim victory over Feyland.

**(could end excerpt here if you need something shorter)**

A dark sphere brushed against her shoulder. Ice stabbed into her skin, sent numbness down her arm until she could barely hold onto her staff. She stumbled back, trying to regain the rhythm of the battle. Keep breathing. Keep fighting. But where was the queen? The place where her opponent had stood was now filled with twisting shadows.

Everything rippled, as though the clearing was made of cloth billowing in a sudden gust. Jennet heard high, chiming laughter as she fell backward...

And landed in an ornate chair set before a feasting table. What? She jumped up, heart racing, and knocked the edge of the table. A goblet sitting in front of her shook, sending a drop of deep red liquid to stain the white tablecloth.

“Sit down, Fair Jennet,” the queen said from her place across the table. “This is the next stage of our battle.”

Pale candles in thorny candelabra illuminated the feast. Their silver flames reflected in the queen’s fathomless eyes.

“You changed the rules! You can’t do that.” Jennet’s legs felt shaky as she edged back into her chair. She was so not prepared for this.

The queen laughed. It was the sound of ice shattering on a black lake. “Of course I can. This is my court. My realm. You are but a visitor. Please - drink.” She waved one delicate hand at the goblet.

“No thanks.”

Jennet’s mouth said the words, but her hand reached out anyway and lifted the heavy silver goblet. A sweet, thick smell drifted from the cup. Roses and burnt sugar. The edge of metal touched her lips.

No. She was not going to do this. The queen might try to control their battle, but she could still fight back. Fingers trembling from effort, Jennet forced the goblet away. The air around her was sticky and nearly solid, like dough. She pushed against it, her breath coming in gasps, until at last the cup touched the table.

“Very well.” The queen’s voice was edged with frost. “If you disdain my hospitality, then you must answer a riddle.”


Totally sounds awesome. What do you all think?

Make sure you check out the giveaway rules here.

Leave a meaningful comment along with your name/alias and email to be entered to win an e-copy of Feyland! Your comment will also count towards the grand prize giveaway!

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April 11, 2012

Excerpt–Simmer by Kaitlyn Davis

Today I have  an excerpt of Simmer book 2 in the Midnight Fire Series by Kaitlyn Davis.

I would like to thank Kaitlyn for donating 2 e-copies of Ignite and Simmer to 2 lucky winners!

You can find my review of Ignite here.


Excerpt of Simmer:

Simmer cover

"I hate packing," Kira whined and collapsed onto the heap of clothes piled high on her bed. She didn't want to move another muscle.

"Just pick out some outfits," Tristan chuckled, not looking up from the pad of paper he was scribbling on.

Kira arched her head, glancing in his direction. He sat with one leg outstretched and one knee bent, leaning against her headboard in relaxed concentration. With squinted eyes, he focused on rubbing-in the graphite pencil marks he'd just made with his already blackened fingers. If she weren't so tired, Kira would have crawled a little closer to see what he was drawing, but instead she dropped her head with a sigh.

"Easy for you to say. You just have to sit on my bed looking all artistic and mysterious while I run around like a crazy person trying to get ready for two months at conduit boot camp."

"Then my plan is working perfectly," he smirked and finally put the sketchbook down. Kira peeked over at the pages, wondering what image of her he was crafting, but saw the last thing she ever expected: a self-portrait. Fighting her exhaustion, Kira jumped up in curiosity.

"What are you doing?" She spun the image to look at it closer, noting the strong cheekbones and crystal eyes he'd drawn perfectly. The hairs that always threatened to fall over his eyes seemed just ready to spill and Kira saw the faint outline of her own features. She realized he'd been sketching both of them.

"Just something for you to take to Sonnyville, to carry around and show everyone, especially any guys ages eighteen to twenty-two..."

Kira rolled her eyes. "You know I don't date men who are younger than a hundred. I can't stand the immaturity level."

Tristan grabbed her hand and pulled her against his chest, making her giggle. With her arms wrapped around his waist, she let her breath slow to the pace of his heartbeat. Tristan's strong arms encircled her, hugging her as tightly against his body as he could, and he sighed.

"I'm going to miss you," he whispered and Kira's mouth widened into a smile. She rested her chin on his chest so she could look into his face, taking in each hair on his head and memorizing the features she already knew better than her own.

"I'm going to miss you, too." She leaned up and kissed him quickly, her thoughts already wandering to what lay ahead.

A few weeks had passed since Kira had awoken from the coma. Luke had convinced the Council to let her recuperate before forcing her to go to Sonnyville, and they'd all agreed that the day after graduation would be, what Kira liked to call, doomsday. Just this morning, she and her friends had all donned their robes and received their diplomas. And before she knew it, time had all but slipped away. But more than anything Kira dreaded saying goodbye to Tristan. Luke had promised to sneak him into Sonnyville at least once, but Kira wasn't sure if it would even be a good idea to bring Tristan around so many conduits. Tomorrow morning they would have to say goodbye, and, even though Kira knew it wasn't for forever, two months was starting to seem like an impossibly long time apart.

"It's going to be fine," Tristan said and kissed her forehead. "And you'll be safe there, which is the most important thing."

"I know. I just wish it wasn't for so long. Do you think you'll be able to find Diana soon?" Kira questioned, bringing up the topic they'd skirted around for the past few weeks. Tristan knew Diana was still a threat. She'd come back to Charleston multiple times while Kira had still been in a coma. She'd managed to evade Tristan, but he still sensed her presence and both of them knew she was planning something. But, neither Kira nor Tristan had known what, until about a week ago when a pack of vampires came to Charleston after hearing a rumor that a mixed breed conduit was alive and in the neighborhood. Tristan managed to persuade them, forcefully, to leave but more would come. And the safest place for Kira was with the conduits, not her vampire boyfriend, especially since Tristan would be off hunting Diana down while Kira was away.

"I know where to look. She can only run for so long." Tristan tried to reassure Kira. He ran his hand along her arm in a soothing motion. Kira relaxed into his touch.

"And you'll find out about my mother?"

"I'll try," Tristan said, but he wouldn't look her in the eye. They'd had this conversation before, with Luke too, and Kira was the only one with hope that her mother was still alive. Luke and Tristan agreed that Diana had used it as a dirty trick to shock Kira, giving her the chance to escape, but Kira felt something deep inside, a gut instinct urging her to believe that her mother was living and breathing somewhere on this earth.

Kira opened her mouth to say so, but decided against it. She was too comfortable resting in his arms to bother fighting and the last thing Kira wanted was to argue with Tristan on their last night together. Instead, she inched up his chest, noting the glint in his eye and leaned in for a kiss.

He slid his hand up her back to cup the base of her neck, pulling her face into his and letting her know he was thinking the same thing. After a teasing moment of stillness, Kira leaned the extra centimeter forward and their lips met.

Instantly her pulse quickened and her heart began to race as she lost herself in the sensation. The butterflies flying in her stomach seemed specifically tuned to Tristan, appearing every time he touched her. A warm feeling spread from her fingers to her toes, creating a titillating contrast as his cool fingers brushed over her skin.

With heavy breaths, Tristan grabbed her around the waist, easily flipping her over and pressing her body down into the soft bed as he took charge. A familiar twinge of excitement ran up Kira's spine, but she felt something else too, almost like a hint of anger was stirring distantly in her mind. And then she heard a cough in the doorway.

"Sorry to interrupt," Luke said with a smile on his face and a steely look aimed at Tristan. Kira sighed and pulled back, trying to scoot out from underneath Tristan. Tristan, Kira noted wryly, made no move to help her escape and instead let his weight hold her down. After a few seconds, which seemed like a few hours, Kira freed herself from Tristan's arms.

"Hi Luke," she smiled and sat up, trying to fix her hair. Yes, she was happy to see her friend, but who wouldn't be slightly annoyed at the interruption and very annoyed at his obviously smug face? Yup, Kira mused, the coma hadn't really changed a thing. Their mutual fear for her health had allowed Luke and Tristan to stand in the same room once in a while, but they were a long way away from friendship.

 


I’m so excited for Simmer!!! Thank you Kaitlyn!

Leave a meaningful comment with your name/alias and email for your chance to win Ignite and Simmer . There will be 2 winners. Your comment will count towards the grand prize entry. Make sure you check the official rules here.

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April 10, 2012

Guest Post – Author Alexandra Pelaez

Today I have author Alexandra author of Evanescence talking about some vampire mythology.

Thank you Alexandra for taking the time out of your day to stop by the blog and donating an e-copy of Evanescence.

 


Vampires with Mesoamerican Roots

It’s understandable that the infamous bloodsuckers that permeate our fiction are given European origins 99 times out of 100. Though tales of blood drinking demons date back way before the 18th century, it was during that time in Europe where the “vampire craze” began. Despite the period of Enlightenment, rumors of corpses rising from their graves to drink the blood of the living spread like a wildfire. Out of paranoia, many people carried stakes and garlic to protect themselves from these monsters. They were thought to be nothing more than selfish, arrogant gluttons who cared only about themselves and had no qualms with taking innocent life. John Polidori’s 1819 novella The Vampyre gave rise to the charismatic, sophisticated vampire in the character of Lord Ruthven, but the personality traits of selfishness, callousness, and arrogance remained constant.

I have a lot of respect for the ancient vampire myths, and made sure to do thorough research on them while writing my self-published ebook series Evanescence. These vampires are weakened by the sun, garlic, and silver. Though they are capable of honor, compassion, and selflessness, they have to fight hard to maintain these traits thanks to the violent, selfish instincts that are natural to their race. However, I did take one major liberty with their origins. The earliest vampires in Evanescence originated not in Europe but from ancient Mesoamerican cultures such as the Toltecs and the Aztecs. I thought it would be a unique twist on vampire mythology, and according to my research on these cultures it would make a lot of sense.

The Aztecs’ chief god was Huitzilopochtli, also known as the Hummingbird Wizard. They believed Huitzilopochtli constantly warred with the other gods in order to keep the Aztecs safe. He needed constant nourishment in order to keep fighting and his preferred choice of food was—human blood. To keep him fed the Aztecs waged war constantly and sacrificed tens of thousands of people every year, mostly prisoners of war. The preferred method of sacrifice was cutting out the heart, which Huitzilopochtli was said to have favored as much as blood. Even earlier than the Aztecs were the Toltecs who sacrificed countless people, including children, to placate the god Tezcatlipoca. Tezcatlipoca is the primary villain in Evanescence and the father of the vampire race. According to the myths, he too has a great thirst for human blood and is the ruler of the night. When conducting religious rituals for the gods, the Aztec priests adorned their bodies with black paint, matted their hair with the sacrificial victim’s blood, and also filed their teeth to sharp points. Vampire much?

As far as attitude goes, the Aztecs and the Toltecs were said to have been extremely arrogant. The Aztecs believed that they were the gods’ chosen people and took great pleasure in oppressing ‘inferiors’ such as the Mayans. In fact, the surrounding cultures’ hatred of the Aztecs and their oppression/sense of superiority was the reason why the Spaniards were able to gain allies so quickly in their war against the Aztecs. Also, don’t forget that most of the sacrificial victims of the Aztecs were prisoners of war, whom they didn’t see as actual people due to their ‘inferiority.’ Vampire much?

In vampire fiction, the humans who are turned into vampires unwillingly, by accident, or even willingly are often genuinely good people that get stripped of any compassion they possessed before their transformation. They get it back through hard work and a deep desire to be better than the monstrous urges that drive them to violence. But what if those monstrous urges and selfishness were already present to begin with? Well, you’d have some real villains on your hands for starters. Creatures like that would subjugate the world and humans would literally become blood bags. Fortunately, that isn’t the world’s fate in Evanescence thanks to forces stronger and far more moral than the vampires. I won’t go into core detail to avoid major spoilers. But be sure to check out my books!


Thank you Alexandra!

Leave a meaningful comment along with your name/alias and email to be entered to win an e-copy of Evanescence! Your comment will also count towards the grand prize giveaway!

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April 5, 2012

Guest Post - Character Zulu from Fire Baptized by Kenya Wright

Today I have a very special guest with us. Zulu from Fire Baptized written by author Kenya Wright!

Thank you Kenya and Zulu for stopping by the blog today and for donating an ecopy of Fire Baptized and Incubus Hunter 

 


zulu

Top Three Ways To Kill a Were-cheetah

Hello! I’m Zulu from the novel Fire Baptized. The love of my life is Lanore Vesta. She is perfect in every way, except for one thing . . . her ex-boyfriend MeShack. He’s a Were-cheetah and is always around us! When I’m alone, sitting at my desk, I dream of interesting ways to kill him. Don’t tell Lanore, but here are my top three ways to kill a Were-cheetah.

1- The Distraction Method

I would nail a long sturdy cord to the ceiling, open the window, and let the cord wave back and forth with the wind. The Were-cheetah will walk into the room, see the dangling cord, and instantly be distracted. While the Were-cheetah is batting and playing with the cord like a moron, push him out the window!

Hopefully you’re on the sixth floor. Most Shapeshifters can survive a fall, but not at an impossible height. The best part about this method is that your girlfriend would think it was all an accident.

2- The Ostrich Sandwich Surprise

Like most Shapeshifters from the Were-cat family, MeShack loves raw ostrich meat. I would make him an ostrich meat sub stacked with mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, and poison. MeShack’s nose is by far the best in our supernatural caged city so I would have to get a talented Earth Witch to do an odorless poison.

I couldn’t give him the sandwich because he would be suspicious. I would just leave it at his door, knock, and race away. The only problem with this method is that Lanore would want to investigate who put the poison in the sandwich and I would be her number one suspect.

3- Don’t Do Drugs

I’m against drug usage due to the problems I’ve had with drugs in my teen years. However, MeShack smokes a lot of marijuana. I would get a bouquet of Baby’s Breath flowers. These flowers are toxic to Shapeshifters and have been known to cause instant death.

I would dry the flowers, pound them into a powder, sprinkle the stuff into one of his joints, and wait for him to smoke it. I’m sure Lanore would be suspicious. MeShack grows his own marijuana so there would be no reason to assume that he’d die from his own stuff.

Regardless, this is just how I like to past the time, dreaming of MeShack’s demise. We all have dreams. Mine are just a bit homicidal.


Now is your chance to win an ecopy of Fire Baptized and Incubus Hunter

***Note: you must be at least 18 years old in order to win Incubus Hunter (erotica novel) and Fire Baptized (contains scenes of graphic violence and sexual content) ***

Leave a meaningful comment with your name/alias and email for your chance to win either Fire Baptized or Incubus Hunter. There will be 2 winners one for each novel. Your comment will count towards the grand prize entry. Make sure you check the official rules here.

Those under 18 may still comment for the grand prize entry. Just put in the comments that you wish not to be entered in the comments.

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April 4, 2012

Excerpt from The Tomb by David Ferraro

Today I am so excited to have Dave with us to describe a little bit about The Tomb which is the prequel to the Hunters of the Dark series and I have an excerpt of the novel to share with you.

If you recall I named Her Dark Destiny my FAVORITE book of 2012 and you can find my review here.

 


The Tomb is a YA horror novel that I wrote to explore the history of one of my favorite characters from the Hunters of the Dark series, Rachel Thyme. I'm a huge fan of horror stories, and grew up watching way too many horror movies for my own good, so I have quite a fondness for the genre. I really wanted to tell a straight horror tale, and this was the perfect opportunity to do just that. While The Tomb is a prequel to the paranormal fantasy series Hunters of the Dark, it stands alone completely. There are a few things I've hinted at about Rachel's past in the series that certainly reward fans, but I wanted The Tomb to be accessible to everyone, and I'm really proud of the pacing and atmosphere that I managed to convey here. It's one of my personal favorite works, if not my favorite.

Synopsis: 18-year-old Rachel Thyme has been handed the opportunity of a lifetime when she joins an archaeological dig off the coast of Australia. Eager to have some experience under her belt, she doesn’t question the rumors the locals tell of the previous archaeology crews and the haunting disappearances. She ignores the first signs that something is wrong when her crewmates begin to do strange things, that propel them deeper into the bowels of Black Forest Island. But she can hardly write off discovery after discovery that lead her to confront a long-hidden tomb that makes her question what she thinks she knows about the supernatural.


Rachel wants nothing more than to prove herself on this excursion, especially as it was her daddy’s money that helped her land this job, and as she makes friends, and even sees a little romance, she discovers horrors she can hardly imagine, from evil slowly awakening around her, to the hidden demons locked in her past.

Excerpt:

Only a little further, she told herself. A little bit further and you’ll be out there. Where monsters don’t exist.

When they reached the final stretch of tunnel, Rachel felt her lungs burning from the exertion. Every bend in the tunnel she expected would be the last, but it seemed to keep going.

Concentrating so hard on what was ahead of her, Rachel lost her footing on the uneven ground and tripped, crashing to the floor and reopening the scrape on the same elbow as before.

She looked up to see Cyrena and Rick continue without her and panicked for a minute, looking back down the tunnel with wide eyes, expecting the creature to overtake her at any moment.

It didn’t however, and she got up on shaky legs before continuing down the tunnel where her friends had disappeared.

She was surprised when she saw them ahead in the tunnel, and was immediately impressed that they’d waited for her, despite their terror, and felt a warm glow in her chest. It was a short-lived feeling however, as she realized the reason that they’d given pause.

They were standing in front of the doors. And they were closed.

“What…?” Rachel began, but she was drowned out by Rick, who began to yell fiercely.

“What are you doing? Let us out!” he cried. “We’re in here! Let us out now, there’s something in here with us!”

He stopped for a moment, and then Rachel heard it.

The sound of dirt hitting dirt.

Her mouth dropped open. “Is that…?” She swallowed hard. “No.”

Cyrena looked back at her as Rick began screaming again, in vain.

Someone was burying the doors. And them with it.

Rachel looked back down the tunnel, utterly petrified.

“Give me your axe,” Rick demanded.

Turning to look at him, Rachel blinked, suddenly realizing she no longer had her weapon. “I must have dropped it while we were running.”

“Damn it!” he yelled. He threw down his machete, and grabbed Cyrena’s spade without asking. He handled it like a spear, shoving it into the doors with all of his might, muscles straining, grunting with effort.

The doors lifted an inch before shutting again, letting in a trickle of dirt. He tried again, but couldn’t even produce that result. But he kept at it anyway, making gouge marks, Rachel thought, much like the archaeologist with the pickaxe had done years earlier.

Cyrena began to cry, and after another minute, Rick gave up and threw the spade aside, staring at the doors as if they would produce a solution if he waited long enough.

“We’re trapped,” Rachel said in a detached voice. “We’re trapped down here with a monster.”


Thanks Dave!

Dave has donated 5 e-copies of The Tomb for 5 lucky winners!

Leave a meaningful comment with your name/alias and email for your chance to win The Tomb. Your comment will count towards the grand prize entry. Make sure you check the official rules here.

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April 3, 2012

Guest Post–Author Jolene Ballard Gutiérrez

Today I have author Jolene Ballard Gutiérrez who wrote the awesome angel story Devil. May. Care


Writing for Reluctant Readers

by Jolene Ballard Gutiérrez

Although my first love is writing, my day job is that of a teacher-librarian at a school for students with learning differences. My degree is in library science and information literacy, not learning differences, but I’ve been the librarian at this school for over 17 years, and my time working with students who learn differently has informed my writing in countless ways.

I truly believe that we all have learning differences—there are some things we do well and other things that are more of a challenge. That being said, I also believe that authors should be aware of the ways some of their readers may struggle with the printed word. Your response to this thought might be along the lines of, “Why should I care about reluctant readers? They’ll probably never even read my book!” I would argue that if your book is well-crafted, both avid readers and reluctant readers will be drawn to it.

Here are a few things to think about when writing (and if you consider yourself a reader rather than a writer, I’d love to hear how these categories influence your reading):

*Help readers visualize! Many of my students struggle with visualizing things. They often visit the library asking for books that correspond to movies they’ve seen because the movies “give” them the pictures they struggle to form in their own minds. These readers may love graphic novels as well because of the visual support they provide. If you’re talented enough to write a graphic novel, by all means, do it! If not, being specific with some of your descriptions can be extremely helpful for your readers who have a difficult time with visualization.

*Larger font and extra white space! Lots of readers struggle with font size. Small, crowded fonts can literally be painful for readers’ eyes. If you have any control over your print book’s layout, consider your readers’ visual comfort.

*Short, quick-paced books! Many readers are intimidated by thick tomes. As a writer, if you have a huge manuscript, think about what it might look like divided into a few smaller books. Thinking in terms of trilogies or series might be good marketing for you, and it keeps readers wanting more. If your book is action-packed and quick-paced, that’ll keep your readers hooked, too.

*Characters are crucial! For most readers, characters are vital to the story. If you’re writing middle grade or young adult novels, think about bumping your main character’s age up a bit. Many readers are frustrated and embarrassed when they find books at a great reading level for them but with characters much younger than they are. While we’re on the topic of characters, write your main character as a male if possible, because your book will then be “readable” by both sexes. Although this trend is changing as more and more strong female characters enter the scene, studies have shown that girls are much more likely than boys to read opposite-gender main character books. Lastly, when you name your characters, try to make sure that each name is unique and, if possible, starts with a different letter. Readers are sometimes confused by character names, and this confusion stands in the way of them losing themselves in the story.

So, as writers and/or readers, what have you noticed that appeals to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


I have to say I love short and quick-paced books. It makes me love them even more than books that are slow and boring. I have a very small attention span and I get bored fairly easy.

To win a *SIGNED* Paperback copy of Devil. May. Care. Answer Jolene’s question in the comments, leave your name/alias and email. Your comment will count towards the grand prize giveaway. As an extra bonus every comment that is made on this post will raise $1.00 for the Alberta Special Olympics!

This contest is open to US/Canadain residents only. Sorry International friends but shipping is expensive :(. But if you are an international follower state so in the comments and you will get a bonus entry for the grand prize!

Cassay Sig

April 1, 2012

2nd Annual Break Cassay out of Tax Jail–Kick Off!

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Hey Everyone! How's it going??? Well its that time of year again…..the dreadful tax season… I am super crazy because I’m actually kinda looking forward to it. Why would I be looking forward to working 13 hr days I have no freaking idea! I barely get any reading done and I’m always tired lol. Anyways we did this event last year and I had a few bloggers help break me out of jail!

This year I have a bunch of authors helping to break me out of tax jail. Each of these authors have also donated a copy (or copies) of their novel. Lots of these novels I have reviewed and some are on my list to review in May. I’m excited for this event and I hope you are as well.

Here are the official rules for all the giveaways. Note that some giveaways may have an age limit or shipping restrictions so make sure you double check each days special rules.

General Rules:

- must be 13 years or older

- Most giveaways are international

- Leave your alias and email in the comments (don’t use your full/real name, post your address or any of personal information)

- ALL giveaways end on May 1 at midnight MST

- Winners will be picked by random.org

- Winners will be chosen the 1st or 2nd week of May

 

Along with the giveaways with each authors post there will be a grand prize! You will get 1 entry daily so make sure you come back each day of April! That is 30 entries!!! Also, each time you post on one of the events post you get a bonus post!

So what does the grand prize consists of….

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

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and a $10.00 US gift card to Amazon to buy some of the novels by the authors participating in the event.

I will also add in additional books for the following comment milestones

For 25 comments received I will add a copy of…

All Spells Break Loose by Lisa Shearin

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For 50 comments I will add a copy of….

A Temptation Angels by Michelle Zink

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For 100 comments I will add a copy of….

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

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For 200 comments I will add a 2nd winner who can choose either 1 book from above and a $10.00US gift card or 2 of the books from above.

For your daily entries please use the FORM HERE!

For your comment entries just leave a comment and I will manually add them up and add them to your count.  I’m crazy like that and LOOOOVE math lol.

You can win up to 4 books! So make sure you comment lots and show your support to the amazing authors that have taking time out of there busy day to stop by the blog.

Good Luck and I will see you all in May!

EDIT: APRIL 1 @1:16PM

E-books that are awarded to the winner CAN NOT BE RESOLD AND ARE NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION! Anyone caught illegally selling or distributing a copy of the novel will be BANNED from all future giveaways on my blog. These authors have spent countless hours working on their stories and  deserve to be compensated for their work. They have also been kind enough to donate a copy(ies) for the giveaway. 

 

Cassay Sig