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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Book Review Tour: Of Sea and Stone

Description


Of Sea and Stone
by Kate Avery Ellison
Release Date: February 2nd 2014

Summary from Goodreads:

All her life, clever Aemi has been a slave in the Village of the Rocks, a place where the sea and sky meet. She’s heard the stories about the fabled People of the Sea, a people who possess unimaginable technology who live below the waves in the dark, secret places of the ocean. But she never dreamed those stories were true.

When a ship emerges from the ocean and men burn her village, Aemi is captured, and enslaved below the waves in Itlantis, a world filled with ancient cities of glass and metal, floating gardens, and wondrous devices that seem to work magic. To make matters worse, her village nemesis, the stuck-up mayor’s son Nol, was captured with her, and they are made servants in the same household beneath the sea.

Desperate to be free, Aemi plots her escape, even going so far as to work with Nol. But the sea holds more secrets than she realizes, and escape might not be as simple as leaving...



About the Author


I've been making up stories since I was five years old, and now I'm thrilled to be able to do it as a full-time job. I have an obsession with dark fantasy, dystopian futures, and Pride and Prejudice-style love stories full of witty banter and sizzling, unspoken feelings. When I'm not writing, I'm creating digital art, reading funny blogs, or watching my favorite shows (which include TVD and BSG). I live with my geeky husband and our two bad cats in Atlanta, GA.



Review


Aemi’s life as a slave sucks.  Her only comforts are her friend Kit and her dreams of freeing herself and traveling to the mysterious and wonderful place her mother once called home.  But before Aemi has a chance to change her life, her village is raided by the sea people and she and many young men from the village are kidnapped and enslaved in the undersea world of Itlantis.  There, she finds that enemies might just be friends and there is an injustice that goes deeper than the one committed against her. 

Of Sea and Stone was fantastic.  It grabbed and held on to my attention through the entire story, as Aemi experiences all the ups and downs of a slave in a technological, undersea world.  Her relationship with one of the other slaves from her hometown and the mystery underlying her capture and history kept me intrigued until the very end. 

Aemi was a nice woman.  She always wanted to know more and used every opportunity to do so.  She usually had a decent attitude, despite everything that happened to her.  One thing I did not understand is why Aemi was determined to escape Itlantis, even when good things were happening to her.  Her life became much better than it ever had been in her village.  I suppose it is because of the injustice done to her—that she had no choice but was forced to go there.

I loved the world it was set in.  I had expected Itlantis to be a mermaid type of civilization, or maybe a version of the original Atlantians.  Instead, it was more like the modern-day civilization and technology, forced to go underwater because of some disaster a thousand years before.  The technology was slightly more advanced than it is today, instead of a primitive kind of society, like Aemi’s Village of the Rocks. 

I found it interesting that Itlantis had slavery.  If it was an advanced society from earth, what happened to reverse the no-slave policy?  I suppose they were not exactly slaves: Criminals were forced into indentured servitude until they can pay off the debt they gained from their crimes.  But still, not everyone was actually guilty…

Overall, Of Sea and Stone was very interesting.  There were different facets to the story that made it interesting as the mysteries were solved.  I am excited to read the next book and bought it after I finished this one.  I would definitely recommend it anyone who likes dystopian.  

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for and honest review.  

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Book Tour: Return Once More


Description


Return Once More (The Historians #1)
Release Date: 09/29/15
Bloomsbury Spark

Summary from Goodreads:
If you could learn the identity of your one true love—even though you will never meet— would you?

Years have passed since refugees from a ruined earth took to space, eventually settling a new system of planets. Science has not only made the leaps necessary to allow time travel, but the process engineered a strange side effect—predicting your one true love.

If you could save your one true love from an untimely death, would you be able to resist?

Sixteen-year-old Kaia Vespasian is an apprentice to the Historians—a group charged with using time travel to document the triumphs and failures of the past—and she can’t resist a peek at her long-dead soul mate in Ancient Egypt. Before she knows it, she’s broken every rule in the book, and the consequences of getting caught could destroy more than just her new romance.

Or would you have the strength to watch him die?

But when Kaia notices a fellow classmate snooping around in a time where he doesn’t belong, she suspects he has a secret of his own—and the conspiracy she uncovers could threaten the entire universe. If her experience has taught her anything, to changing history means facing the consequences. The Historians trained her to observe and record the past, but Kaia never guessed she might have to protect it— in a race across time to save her only chance at a future.


Buy Links:
Kindle | Nook | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play 


About the Author



Trisha Leigh is a product of the Midwest, which means it’s pop, not soda, garage sales, not tag sales, and you guys as opposed to y’all. Most of the time. She’s been writing seriously for five years now, and has published 4 young adult novels and 4 new adult novels (under her pen name Lyla Payne). Her favorite things, in no particular order, include: reading, Game of Thrones, Hershey’s kisses, reading, her dogs (Yoda and Jilly), summer, movies,  reading, Jude Law, coffee, and rewatching WB series from the 90’s-00’s.

Her family is made up of farmers and/or almost rock stars from Iowa, people who numerous, loud, full of love, and the kind of people that make the world better. Trisha tries her best to honor them, and the lessons they’ve taught, through characters and stories—made up, of course, but true enough in their way.

Author Links:


Review


Kaia Vespasian is a student in a futuristic time travel organization.  On her seventeenth birthday, she will find out who her one true love is, out of all the people who have ever lived or ever will.  Most people never meet their true love, but through time travel, Kaia can.  But the rules of the organization forbid such interactions.  As Kaia delves deeper into history, she finds rules in her society that do not add up and wonders if there is more going on with them than meets the eye.

Return Once More by Trisha Leigh was captivating.  It held my attention throughout, distracting me from more important things.  Because it was a time travel story, it took place in two very opposite main settings, one hundreds of years into the future on a different planet, since Earth had been destroyed, the other in ancient Egypt in the first century BC.  There was also an air of mystery as Kaia began investigating the actions of her mysterious classmate. 

The historical details of Return Once More were fascinating.  I had never heard of Kaia’s true love, although he was the son of a two famous historical figures.  That was perhaps because he died young, before he had a chance to make a name for himself.  It was fascinating learning about him.  His sense of duty and honor seemed very accurate to the worldview he would have lived in.

When Kaia and her classmates time traveled, they experienced events that had pivotal effects on human history.  Their goal was to study and discover the events that led their society to leaving earth in an attempt to keep from repeating them.  Time travel sounds fun, but it was gratifying to see that the time travel described in this book had a purpose greater than exploring history for the fun of it.

The romance was intriguing.  Once I accepted the idea of two people perfect for each other in every possible way, it was easier to see their immediate attraction, trust, and understanding of each other as possible and beautiful.  I held on to the hope that Kaia would find some way to keep her true love from dying tragically, changing the true history.

The book did not end the way I expected. I cannot say much more without giving it away, but it was both happy and sad.  I long to read the second book in the series.

Overall, Return Once More was captivating, beautiful, and fascinating.  I intend to read the rest of the series and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a sci-fi or dystopian romance.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Giveaway



Book Tour Organized by:


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Blog Tour: The Libby Garrett Intervention


Description


The Libby Garrett Intervention (Science Squad)
by Kelly Oram 
Release Date: 10/24/15
Bluefields Publishing

Summary from Goodreads:
Libby Garrett is addicted to Owen Jackson's hot lovin'. But the sexy, popular college basketball player doesn't appreciate all of Libby's awesomeness. He refuses to be exclusive or even admit to people that they're dating. The relationship is ruining Libby and she's the only one who can't see it.

When Libby's behavior spirals completely out of control, her best friend Avery Shaw and the rest of the Science Squad stage an intervention hoping to cure Libby of her harmful Owen addiction. They put her through her very own Twelve Step program—Owen's Anonymous—and recruit the help of a sexy, broody, hard as nails coffee man to be her official sponsor...

Adam Koepp has watched Libby Garrett for years. How could he not notice the sassy girl with the purple skateboard and helmet plastered with cat stickers? But in all the years he's crushed on her, Libby has failed to take notice of him. Why would she when he was just a nobody high school drop out who served her apple cider several times a week? Especially when she was hooking up with a guy like Owen Jackson—a guy with a college scholarship and more abs than Kyle Hamilton.

Adam finally gets the chance to meet Libby when his co-worker Avery Shaw recruits him to take Libby on the journey of a lifetime. With his ability to play Bad Cop and his experience with the Twelve Step program he's the perfect candidate to be Libby's sponsor. But will he be able to keep his personal feelings out of the matter and really help her the way she needs? And will Libby hate him when he forces her to take an honest look at herself?

This follow-up companion novel to The Avery Shaw Experiment can be read as a stand alone. (But where's the fun in that?) ;)


Buy Links:


About the Author


Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen–a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and loves to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and four children.

Author Links:




Meet the Stars of The Libby Garrett Intervention!


I don’t do very extensive character profiles before I begin writing a book because my characters often tend to evolve with the story. But I do start out with a basic idea of who they are to me and what they look like. Here are the character reference photos and basic profiles I used for my leads in The Libby Garrett Intervention.


Name: Elizabeth Ruby Garrett
Nickname: Libby
Birthday: November 11th
Age: 18
Science Squad Position: Secretary
Scientific Focus: Astronomy
Wants to be when she grows up: Yet to be determined, but it will be awesome
Favorite color: Purple
Favorite TV show: Bizarre ER
Favorite music: Elvis Presley, ABBA,
Hobbies: Snowboarding, freeboarding, skateboarding, reading, stargazing, tutoring, cats, learning about rare freaky diseases, romantic comedies 


Name: Adam Koepp
Nickname: Coffee Man (Only Libby calls him that.)
Birthday: June 26th
Age: 19
Science Squad Position: Unofficial member recruited to sponsor Libby through an Owens Anonymous program.
Scientific Focus: None. (Other than the occasional anatomy & physiology lesson from Libby)
Current Job: Manager at Joe’s Cup o’ Jo
Dream Job: Pro Skater
Favorite color: Gray
Favorite TV show: NCIS
Favorite music: Nothing in particular.
Hobbies: Skateboarding, taking care of his little sister, crime novels, action, suspense, and horror movies

These two were an unlikely paring that came together perfectly. I loved how they ended up being so different and yet so similar in a lot of ways. And I loved their chemistry together! I never had a problem with the flow of a scene between these two. They both have very dominating personalities and practically wrote their own scenes for me. It was so much fun. Here’s a little clip of their chemistry:


“Cute,” I teased, pointing at the picture of a toothless Libby with pigtails on the fireplace mantle. 

Libby looked at the portrait and snorted. “Whatever. I rocked the pigtails.”

“You did,” I agreed. “Very hot.”

She mock glared at me. “Don’t tease. I’m sure even a hottie like you went through an awkward adolescent phase at some point.”

Yeah, I was still going through it. But I wasn’t going to try and talk her out of thinking I was sexy, so I grinned. “Nope. Totally skipped that part and went straight from adorable little boy to dangerously hot man.”

Libby raked her eyes over me from head to toe, and I stood there letting her look her fill. In truth, I’m not anything special to look at, but I learned a long time ago that confidence goes a long way with girls. It works that way with them, too. That’s why I’d always been so drawn to Libby. If she only knew how irresistible she’d been when she didn’t give a damn what the world thought about her, she never would have let Owen ruin her. If she hadn’t given in to his put-downs, he’d have eventually accepted her, despite his reservations. She’s just that kind of girl.


“Dangerously hot is an accurate assessment,” she finally declared. “That eyebrow ring…mmm.” Even though she was teasing, the noise that came from her throat stirred something in me. I cracked my neck and gripped the back of the loveseat next to me as I wrestled with my need for her.

Giveaway



Book Tour Organized by:


Friday, October 16, 2015

The World's Best Story



2015 CONTEST!
Writers submit your Story
Enter for a chance to join the House of transmedia stories company



What is World's Best Story?

"This is not just a literary contest, we're looking for stories that will be consumed in multiple media formats – from books to the big screen and beyond," says Vincent Salera, founder of World's Best Story. "Our goal is to revolutionize the traditional literary contest and identify a story with blockbuster appeal. We're looking for a story that audiences will love and help authors turn that story into trans-media franchises, which is why we're empowering readers to judge the contest."

How does it work?

Readers will vote for stories and awarded judges will declare the final Top 10 winners.

2015 Judges: Warren Adler, Victor Malarek, Tamarra Kennelly, Brooke Burgess, Samreen Ashan, Alistair Cross, Rhonda Hayter

Timeline:

Entry Period Closes/Public Voting ends. (November 8)

Top 10 Winners Announced! (November 8)

Professional Review/Voting (November 8 - December 8)

Winner and Top 10 Ranking Announced (December 8)


What are the prizes?

The top 3 winners will receive a full publishing package by FriesenPress, trademark protection in the U.S. and Canada by IP agency Benoit & Cote, a virtual book tour by Laura Fabiani of iRead Book Tours as well as consulting/marketing services with book expert Anne Chaconas of BadAss Marketing. Busbud and YoDough will be providing lots of goodies for both writers and readers.

How do I submit my story?

To learn more about World's Best Story, including how to enter, please visit World's Best Story.

World’s Best Story : info@worldsbeststory.com

See what's buzzing at World's Best Story:

How to Get Readers Buzzing About Your Book: Secrets from the World of Book Blogging

Viral campaign with famous characters:

What if Oscar Wilde wrote Sex and the City? (series of posts)

What if Lady Gaga wrote Gone With the Wind? (series of posts)

The Current Top 10 Most Voted Stories

Connect with World's Best Story:

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Pinterest



Enter your story today!




Thursday, October 15, 2015

Book Blitz: The Keepsake

UPDATE: Lilly of the Valley Cover Reveal


Due to an error in the original blog posts about Faith's cover reveal, the entry for the giveaway has been extended more than one full day! You have until noon Central time on Friday, October 16th to enter the giveaway. If you tried to email the cover before, please do so again, this time with the following, CORRECT email address: faith.blum.author[at]gmail.com. Thank you!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Cover Reveal: The Sound of Emeralds

Rachelle Rea, author of the Steadfast Love Series, is revealing the cover for her next novel, the third in the series: The Sound of Emeralds. Are you excited? I know I am! I enjoyed the series and think this is quite the loveliest cover yet. Ready? For your viewing pleasure, I present The Sound of Emeralds:


Description



What once was blazing hatred has turned to lasting love, but could the union of a wild heart with that of a lady ever result in more than heartache?

With the help of an old friend with uncertain loyalties, Dirk inches ever closer to clearing his name. Gwyneth throws her faith into good tidings and the promise of a future as a family. But an old evil comes to call, just as tragedy rips apart a fledgling truce. Enemies from the past and grief for the future threaten to tear asunder what God had brought together…

As the date of Dirk’s trial approaches, his fate and his family hang in the balance. Will he be proven innocent of Gwyneth’s parents’ murders—or separated from her forever? How much pain
does it take to erode a love steadfast?

Barnes & Noble: coming Feb. 15
Amazon Paperback: http://goo.gl/24vmFx
Books a Million: coming Feb. 15
Goodreads: http://is.gd/zRI9dg

About the Author


Rachelle Rea plots her novels while driving around the little town she’s lived in all her life in her dream car, a pick-up truck. As a freelance editor, she enjoys mentoring fellow authors in the craft. A homeschool graduate and retired gymnast, she wrote the Sound of Silver the summer after her junior year of college.

Instagram: @RachelleDianeRea

Other Books in the Series


The Sound of Diamonds
Steadfast Love Series #1
Release Date: June 15, 2015

The Sound of Silver
Steadfast Love Series #2
Release Date: October 15, 2015

Cover Reveal: Lily of the Valley


Happy Wednesday! Today we have a blog post with a cover reveal. But, there’s a catch. The author, Faith Blum, has split her cover into 15 different pieces! In order to enter her giveaway, you need to put it together and email her your cover. Or, if you don’t want to enter the giveaway, but you’d still like to see the cover, stop by her blog on Thursday.

The Prize


The winner will have to be patient, but the prize for this cover reveal is a signed paperback copy of Lily of the Valley. Unfortunately, due to the high cost of shipping internationally, Faith won’t be sending a paperback outside of the U.S. If you are international and would like to participate and win, you will receive an ebook copy of any TWO of my published books including Lily of the Valley. To help you a little with putting together the cover, here is the description:
Howdy, Teacher! You don’t know me, but my kids talk bout you a lot. I been lookin fer a wife and mother fer a few years and was wonderin iffen we cood meet and get to no each other a bit. I’ll come after school to git yer answer. Grover Miller Unruly schoolchildren, three suitors, and too many things to do. When Ruth Brookings rejects one of the suitors, he refuses to accept no for an answer. To make matters worse, when she prays for guidance, she’s answered with a challenge instead: To encourage her friend to find a wife—whether he wants one or not. Will she lose her friend just when she needs a friend the most? Will she be able to weather the storms she’s about to face?

Details

  • Stop by each blog listed below to get their piece of the cover.
  • Use a program like this website to put the cover together: https://www.befunky.com/features/collage-maker/. If you get a little extra space between each piece, your cover will still count toward the prize. It doesn’t have to be perfect as long is each piece is in the correct place.
  • Email your completed cover to Faith at faith[dot]blum[dot]@gmail[dot]com NO LATER THAN October 14th at 9:00 PM Central time. (If you have problems with time zones, shoot Faith an email and she’ll help you out).
  • Stop by Faith’s blog to see the cover and who won.


Piece of the Cover #11

LotV11

About the Author


Faith with Rikki-croppedFaith Blum is a 24 year old home school graduate who enjoys doing many right-brained activities such as reading, crafting, writing, and playing piano. Her favorite genre to read and write is Historical Fiction, more specifically, Westerns. In the Hymns of the West series, she has endeavored to create clean, fun, and challenging Western stories for the whole family. She currently has three novels and three novellas published.

You can find her in various places online:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | New Releases Newsletter | Amazon  

Bloggers


Find the other pieces of the cover on these blogs. If you are coming in late and would like direct links to each of the blog posts about the cover reveal, please go to Faith’s website link here. She will update each link to go directly to the blog post about the cover reveal. October 12 The Overactive Imagination Rebekah Lyn Books—with Author Interview Morgan Elizabeth Huneke All Things Literary and Political Hello Precious Bliss October 13 With a Joyful Noise Ruth’s Real Life Flights from Aerie Jaye L. Knight Rachel Rossano’s Words—with Author Interview October 14 Zerina Blossom’s Books God's Peculiar Treasure Rae Wildflower Acres A Brighter Destiny Writing Dreams October 15 Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections—with full cover and winner announcement  

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Book Tour: Cinderella's Shoes


Even before meeting Shonna Slayton last year at a book signing, I knew I must read Cinderella's Dress.  I did, and enjoyed it immensely.  I learned a new skill--tatting--because of the book and the book signing.  So, I jumped at the chance to be a part of the blog tour.  I hope you will read the book an enjoy it as much as I have.

Description


Cinderella's Shoes
Release Date: 10/06/15
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:
The war may be over, but Kate Allen’s life is still in upheaval. Not only has she discovered that Cinderella was real, but now she's been made Keeper of the Wardrobe, her sole responsibility to protect Cinderella’s magical dresses from the greed of the evil stepsisters’ modern descendants. 

But Cinderella’s dresses are just the beginning. It turns out that the priceless glass slippers might actually exist, too, and they could hold the power to reunite lost loved ones like her father—missing in action since World War II ended. As Kate and her boyfriend, Johnny, embark on an adventure from New York to Italy and Poland in search of the mysterious slippers, they will be tested in ways they never imagined.

Because when you harness Cinderella's magic, danger and evil are sure to follow...



First book in the series:

About the Author



Shonna Slayton is the author of the YA novels Cinderella's Dress, (Summer 2014) and Cinderella's Shoes (Fall 2015) published by Entangled Teen. She finds inspiration in reading vintage diaries written by teens, who despite using different slang, sound a lot like teenagers today. When not writing, Shonna enjoys amaretto lattes and spending time with her husband and children in Arizona.

Author Links:


Review



World War II has been over for a couple years and Kate’s father has been declared missing in action and then deceased.  Why, then, isn’t Kate able to accept his death?  Although the descendants of Cinderella’s stepsisters are horrible, but perhaps there is some truth to their insinuation that the missing glass slippers might be able to be used in finding people.  Perhaps there is some hope for Kate’s dad after all. Now, if only she could make it to Italy and Poland…

Shonna Slayton’s Cinderella’s Shoes is the continuing story of Kate as she grows up, falls in love, and searches out the mysteries behind her family history and the treasures of the Polish Cinderella.  Kate, her boyfriend Jonny, and the owners of the dresses travel to post-WWII Europe to spend the summer.  As they battle the evil stepsisters’ descendants, they grow as individuals and as friends.  It was beautiful to see.  

One thing that surprised me when I read the first book, Cinderella’s Dress, and that continued into this book, was that the story does not solely focus on the dresses or the shoes.  Instead, a major part of the book was spent in daily experiences with only hints as to the importance of the treasures.  You watch Kate and her friends grow up and live their lives in and around WWII—letters to soldiers, fashion trends, refugees, and the like.

After reading the book, I could tell the author did her research into the time period.  The aftermath of WWII in Europe was clearly evident when Kate visited.  Although the war was over, the people had much struggle to do in order to make peace against prejudice and to rebuild their lives after the war decimated their homes and families.  Reading in such a manner about people who hid illegal refugees in their barns or who had survived the labor camps was not something I will soon forget.

Lidka is a character that will stick in my mind for a while to come.  The young woman worked in the black market during the war and was later forced into the horrible labor camps.  Although her experiences and motivations made her hard to like, I feel she exemplified some of the people surviving WWII.  Not only that, but Lidka, as hard as she was inside, was still a young woman in need of love and compassion, and the author did a good job of showing the facets of her character through the story.  

As for the shoes, they were an important part of the story.  The novel is focused on them because they provide the key to finding Kate’s lost father, or at least, that’s what she believes.  But the characters learn that shoes are not the most important thing.  Rather, it is people and the peace between them.  

Overall, the novel quite enchanted me.  The rich historical details brought the story to life and taught the characters lessons and the dresses and shoes added the bit of magic necessary to make it truly a tale of Cinderella.  But let us not forget the fairy god-mother.

I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Giveaway


U.S. Only. A paperback of Cinderella’s Dress and a CD of the Disney Cinderella (2015) Soundtrack

Book Tour Organized by:


Book Tour: The Hunter Awakens

 photo The-Hunter-Awakens-Banner.png

 photo The-Hunter-Awakens.jpg

Description


The Hunter Awakens
The Morus Chronicles Book 1
J.R. Roper
Publication Date: July 6th, 2014
Publisher: Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
Genre: Middle Grade Action/Fantasy

Awards:
2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner
Winner Best Children’s Novel 2014: Preditors & Editors Readers Poll
Literary Classics Seal of Approval: Highly recommended for home and school libraries.

Synopsis:
When thirteen-year-old Ethan Morus is forced to stay on his grandparents’ old farm, he expects to find weathered barns, rusty tools, and a creaky house in need of fresh paint. What he doesn’t expect is to hear a legend placing his family at the center of an ancient treasure hunt. Or find burial chambers protected by poltergeists, or a secret lair guarded by an ancient beast. And least of all, Ethan doesn’t suspect that powerful sorcerers are watching his every move.

They’ve found Ethan and believe he is from a line of treasure hunters who possess a rare instinct to locate powerful artifacts. Whether he has the instinct or not, Ethan is faced with a choice–search the Morus property and find what they want or lose yet another family member.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodRead 

Be sure to grab your copy of The Hunter Awakens for the special tour price of only 99 cents!

 photo The Hunter Awakens Poster.jpg

 photo Joe-Roper.jpgAbout the Author


J.R. Roper is the author of The Morus Chronicles, a fantasy series for middle grade readers. The first two books, The Hunter Awakens and The Spirit of Steel are now available along with a collection of short stories titled Mel & the Black Rider. Roper’s work has appeared in ChildGood Magazine, Families First Monthly, and in anthologies by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing, Horrified Press, and Thirteen O’Clock Press.


Interview


How do you develop your plots and your characters? 

I like to start with a setting and allow the characters and plot to grow from there. I certainly get a lot of plot ideas that I keep in a list and let simmer over time. I think every character comes from somewhere inside of the author. I’m not sure if they already exist or if we create them ourselves.

Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?

Thank you for taking the time to read my stories. I write them to be consumed quickly and believe that ending books (and a series) well is extremely important. Thank you!

What do you do when you are not writing?

I chase my boys and try to keep them alive and safe. I plan lessons and grade lots of papers since I am an educator. I love being involved in athletics and often run scoreboard during the fall and winter and coach track in the spring. Reading, listening to podcasts about writing, and watching TV/movies fill up the remaining slots of non writing time.

Do you write an outline before starting a book or just write?

I write a few page outline for novels and before I write each chapter, I write an outline for the scenes involved. I have never kept perfectly to my outline but can’t imagine starting without a plan of action. 

Is there an author or book that influenced you or your writing in any way growing up or as an adult?

Harry Potter made me love reading and turned me into a writer. The Last Apprentice series by Joseph Delaney is a close second. 

How do you market your book(s)?

I wish better :) I try to offer sales occasionally and use promotion sites like The Midlist, Ereader News, and Bookbub. I am always looking to boost reviews and enter book award contests. In fact, I recently won gold in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards and The Hunter Awakens was recommended to Wind Dancer Films for TV or movie production. Hopefully that goes somewhere!

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

I stopped counting rejections at 50. I had many requests from agents over the years and got valuable feedback from some which really improved my writing and storytelling. I finally decided to query small and medium sized publishers that did not require an agent and got lots of request rather quickly. I signed with CHBB Publishing in January 2014 and now have two novels published.  

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I never liked to write until after college and have always been a sports nut. I feel like most writers always loved reading and writing and that certainly was not the case for me.

Do you come from a large or small family? Is it a blessing or a curse? For instance…..

I come from a family of five. It was a blessing to be between sisters because I feel it made me more sensitive. For instance, most of my male family members are in the woods hunting all fall while I am drinking coffee and reading or writing. I’m not a man’s man (whatever that means) and I am okay with that. 

What are your favorite TV shows?

I LOVE Downton Abbey and Outlander. When I need background noise, I enjoy Pawn Stars and true crime shows.

What songs are most played on your Ipod?

Albums by Breaking Benjamin, Disturbed, and soundtrack music by Two Steps from Hell.


Excerpt from The Hunter Awakens by J.R. Roper


Mel closed her eyes and drew in long breaths as he passed. A hint of the sorcerer was all she smelled. He was alone.

She waited for him to near the summit, and when he was close she dropped to the ground and approached from well within the forest. When she reached the top, it was clear he’d already begun his conjuring.

The sorcerer stood in the middle of the hilltop, held his staff in front of him and spoke softly in the old tongue. He lifted the staff and slammed it into the ground. The earth groaned.

He looked to the sky. “Reveal.”

Mel followed his gaze. A faint shadow swooped through the clouds and she retreated behind a thick tree. It was the thunderbird—the harbinger of conjured storms.

From his messenger bag, a red orb rose into the air and wisps of wood fastened it to the top of his staff.

Mel glanced above and readied her throwers. She’d put out the thunderbird’s eye if it attacked.

The sorcerer gripped his staff with both hands and pointed the end toward the setting sun, the direction of Roseville. He lowered it slowly and spun, drawing a wide circle where grass shriveled. The smell of scorched earth forced Mel to hold her breath. She hated the smell of anything burnt and the old rock beneath the grass smelled like the burning of ancient bones.

Within moments, clouds rolled overhead. The orb’s red light pierced the early dark. The sorcerer grasped for the sky with his left hand and spoke an incantation that the wind swept away.

The last sliver of sunlight winked out, as if a shawl had been drawn over the sky. A fog chased up the hill like a tidal wave and clouded Mel’s view. The fog moved upward and the sky rippled with a surge of power. All heavenly lights darkened and Mel aimed a thrower in the direction of the sorcerer.

If he knew she was here and came looking for her, it’d be his last act on Earth. She feared no one. She was Hellish Mel.


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Giveaway Details


There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • $25 Amazon gift card
  • 5 Kindle copies of The Hunter Awakens
Giveaway is International.
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