Friday, November 30, 2012

Guest Post & Giveaway: Chase Tinker and the House of Magic by Malia Ann Haberman

Today we have a guest post from Malia Ann Haberman, author of Chase Tinker and the House of Magic. Malia is talking about her favorite super powers and which she'd like to have if she could choose. Malia is also offering an ecopy of Chase Tinker and the House of Magic to one lucky winner along with 5 songs of their choice from Amazon, so scroll to the bottom to enter! Here's a synopsis of Chase Tinker:

In Chase Tinker's world, magic, lies and secrets can be a lethal combination...

Thirteen-year-old Chase Tinker can't understand why he has the power to move things with his mind. Besides that, his dad has been missing for over a year, causing his mom to be too upset to pay much attention to her sons, so now he's been busted for shoplifting. As if this isn't enough to worry about, his younger brother Andy suddenly has the ability to stop time. Can things get any crazier? Chase thinks.

Then, a grandfather they thought to be long dead arrives at their door. He wants Chase and Andy to come visit him for the summer so they can learn about their supernatural heritage and why they have magical powers in the first place.

The boys soon find out that Grandfather, along with their cousin Janie, lives on a remote island in the middle of Puget Sound in an out-of-this-world house where fantastic magic can be found in practically every room, stairway and corridor. Chase can't believe their dad has been keeping so much from them.

It's an even bigger shock when Chase learns that all their magic is controlled by a very powerful and mysterious Relic in the attic, and if anything happens to this relic, every bit of Tinker magic will be lost forever. He's even more disturbed when he learns his family has a dark and powerful enemy that is determined to steal all their magic, their house and their relic.

Now Chase must find a way to stop these evil beings, while at the same time figuring out what has happened to his dad, unraveling even more Tinker lies and secrets and not letting on that he has a huge crush on the housekeeper's daughter.

What's The Best Magic Power? by Malia Ann Haberman:

You know, there are so many great magical powers. One of my favorites is teleportation. I love the thought of being able to travel long distances in just a few moments with only a quick thought. Telekinesis is also a fun one. It would be cool to have the ability to move things with my mind. Then I could vacuum and mop the floor while sitting at my computer and writing.

Invisibility, flying, stopping time, shape-shifting, the ability to make objects come to life and super strength are all terrific powers too. In my book, I have several goofy ones, like the ability to conjure almost anything you want from your nose, the ability to turn into a puddle of goo and the power to grow and shrink hair.

But, since I can have only one magical power, I think I'll choose the power to turn either myself or others into any animal. I would definitely use this power for good. Dressed as a mild-mannered librarian I would seek out bullies and people that hurt other people and turn them into hamsters since the world can always use more cute animals and less creeps. :)

About the Author:

Author of "Chase Tinker and the House of Magic (The Chase Tinker Series, Book 1)," Malia loves dancing, reading, writing, sunsets, ladybugs, playing video games on her iPod, watching TV, and chocolate. She also has terrible motion sickness and hates onions. She's always wanted to have the ability to teleport and the power to move things with her mind. She lives in the Seattle area with her four wild and crazy ferrets.

Giveaway:

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For more about Chase Tinker and the House of Magic check out these sites!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Blog Tour Author Interview & Excerpt: Reckoning by Molly Hall


Today we're excited to have Molly Hall stopping by to answer our questions and share an excerpt with us. There's also a giveaway so make sure to scroll to the bottom to enter to win a signed copy of reckoning! Here's a synopsis of her book Reckoning:

They say the truth can set you free. I found out it can kill you."


Seventeen-year-old Kat Matheson has never revealed the dark secret that sets her apart from everyone else: She can see and hear the dead. Until now, she has been able to ignore the strange apparitions and whispering voices. But it may not be that simple anymore. Haunted by eerie visions and increasingly frightening nightmares, Kat begins to fear she may be the target of a dark and ominous force from beyond the grave. Complicating matters is the arrival of her new neighbor, a young man she instinctively distrusts but is inexplicably drawn to. Gorgeous and mysterious, he seems to hold a disturbing knowledge of her long-held secrets.


As she desperately tries to maintain control, events take an unexpected and violent turn. Discovering that nothing is what it seems and that her psychic abilities may involve far more than just communing with the dead, Kat may be forced to confront her worst fears and the powerful curse that controls her destiny.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve spent most of my life in Colorado and currently live just outside of Denver. I write my books on a laptop perched atop a rather creaky desk, surrounded by two crazy and loving cats. I love to travel and have visited 27 of the 50 states, as well as Canada, Ireland and England.

I spent entirely too many years in the gray dullness of the corporate world, imagining exciting adventures as I punched numbers on a keyboard. During that time, I worked on a degree in English Literature, and wrote for pleasure sporadically. Two years ago, I finally decided to really make the effort and Reckoning was born.

Music is a huge part of my life and plays a big role in the creation of my books. Although I listen to everything from Johann Sebastian Bach and Dvorak, to Glen Miller and Bobby Darin, to Rihanna and Nox Arcana, as well as movie and video game soundtracks, there are two bands whose music is practically my lifeblood: Daughtry and Linkin Park. I will listen to or see them live anytime, anywhere.

I’m a fan of British television, Doctor Who (favorite doctor? David Tennant. Let the debate begin!), The Vampire Diaries, Japanese animé, Ghost Hunters, MI-5 and Eureka. And anything featuring James McAvoy.

When I’m not reading and writing, you can find me listening to music, practicing yoga, working on my very inadequate French, playing piano, enjoying a lovely glass of red wine or champagne, or looking for inspiring landscapes to photograph.

What inspired you to write Reckoning?

Reckoning is the result of a lot of the things that I'm interested in, specifically, the paranormal and fantasy. I just had the idea of taking a young woman and putting her in a place where these things are very real, then taking her on a journey of discovery about not only herself, but also the alternate worlds that surround her. Throw in some action/adventure, a little romance, along with joy and heartbreak, and it makes for a very exciting tale.

What do you find to be the most rewarding part of writing?

For me, the most rewarding part of writing is receiving feedback from readers, and those moments when you realize you've really connected with someone. Every character I write is essentially a part of me, and I am living the story as I write it. To have someone else get swept up in that story as well is an awesome feeling.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Read, read and read! And then read some more. Nothing can help you write better than reading. And reading a variety of different things and genres (fiction, non-fiction, biography, travelogue, newspapers, etc., etc.). And keep writing, every day. Writing is like a muscle - the more you use it, the stronger it gets. Perseverance is key. Believe in yourself and don't give up.

What's your favorite line from Reckoning and why?

I need you to understand. You and I are connected in a way far more powerful than you can imagine.
(Sorry. That's actually two lines.)

I really like this line because, in many ways, it brings the whole story together and sets up what is to come in future books.

Excerpt from Reckoning:

I step into the pool of light beneath the streetlamp, anxious to leave the darkness behind. Suddenly, the light flickers, an odd sizzling sound emanating from the globes. I stop and stare, watching as several sparks shoot out the sides. The bird, the largest crow I have ever seen, swoops down from the trees, one shining, jet black eye looking directly at me. Sound disappears and time seems to fold in on itself, slowing to half-speed. The same weightless feeling I’d experienced at school creeps over me, and I tense, fighting off the panic. 
I stare at the bird, watching it descend lower and lower. It’s wings beat once, moving slowly down and back up again. Sparks continue to jet from the streetlamp, each brightly pointed flash of light spewing out in a torpid, glowing trail, before dropping slowly and silently to the ground. The bird is nearly on top of me. It sweeps past, close enough that I can feel the rush of air beneath its wings, gently lifting my hair. Then it arcs upward, higher and higher, before turning and diving back toward me again, it’s beak open in a silent cry.

About the Author:

I’ve spent most of my life in Colorado and currently live just outside of Denver. I write my books on a laptop perched atop a rather creaky desk, surrounded by two crazy and loving cats. I love to travel and have visited 27 of the 50 states, as well as Canada, Ireland and England. And there are still a lot of places I want to go.

I spent entirely too many years in the gray dullness of the corporate world, imagining something more exciting as I punched numbers on a keyboard. During that time, I worked on a degree in English Literature, but never quite managed to complete it. Mostly because I was too busy reading and creating fantasy worlds in my head. It’s actually my love of reading and imagining that led me to take up writing full time. I thought I should finally give all the characters in my head a voice.

Music is a huge part of my life and plays a big role in the creation of my books. Although I listen to everything from Johann Sebastian Bach and Dvorak, to Glen Miller and Bobby Darin, to Rihanna and Nox Arcana, as well as movie and video game soundtracks, there are two bands whose music is practically my lifeblood: Daughtry and Linkin Park. I will listen to or see them live anytime, anywhere.

I’m a fan of British television, Doctor Who (favorite doctor? David Tennant. Let the debate begin!), The Vampire Diaries, Japanese animé, Ghost Hunters, MI-5 and Eureka. And anything featuring James McAvoy. And I probably would never be able to unwind without That 70′s Show.

When I’m not reading and writing, you'll probably find me listening to music, practicing yoga, working on my very inadequate French, playing piano, enjoying a lovely glass of red wine or champagne, or looking for inspiring landscapes to photograph.


Giveaway!

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For more about Reckoning check out these sites!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Author Interview & Giveaway: Barbara Morgenroth, author of Bad Apple

Today we have an interview with Barbara Morgenroth, author of the mature YA contemporary Bad Apple. Barbara is also kindly giving away of an ebook copy of Bad Apple just for our readers, so make sure to scroll to the bottom to enter to WIN! Here's a synopsis of Bad Apple:

When 15 year old Neal Marchal finds her neighbor murdered, she knows who did it. The why is the secret the family has been keeping forever. While Paul took an interest in Neal’s musical education and taught her how to play the fiddle, he took her fatherless stepbrother, Joe, under his wing and all that implies. Joe’s rage has always been barely beneath the surface and years ago, he pushed Neal under a tractor as a warning. The reminder to never reveal the secret is her limp.

While Joe was gone for five years, Neal made music a private and central part of her life. Now she has an opportunity to sing and perform but the threat remains even if Joe is a thousand miles away. Neal finds refuge in the family of the young man who wants her to join his band. It’s like a dream to live with people who love each other. Neal blossoms. She has everything to live for—music, performing and a growing affection for the young man who pulled her to safety.

Then Joe comes home. Neal knows it’s just a matter of time because she told. Joe’s going to finish what he started 8 years ago. But this time Neal vows the outcome will be different. ~ Courtesy of Goodreads

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m intrigued by people--why they behave the way they do. I learned more about people from my horse, Spark, than any human. I have two dogs who are great teachers. Photography is endlessly fascinating and I think whether with writing or photography, it’s all about seeing and understanding what you're seeing. You can compare the way the camera sees the world to the way the human eye does and it’s rarely the same, although often close. The camera is able to pick up detail we miss. In my life, I don’t want the details to get by me. Focus is important.

Describe Bad Apple in one sentence.

Like a bottle of spilled ink, one act of evil can spread through years and lifetimes, impacting many people as the darkness leaches outward in an ever widening pool but repair is very possible.

What made you decide to become a writer?

I decided that?

I guess I did. I always knew I would begin serious writing once I had all my adventures out of the way. After being a photography major in college, I had a stable and was teaching horseback riding when the owner decided he wanted to use the property for something else. With nothing else to do, my timeline was massively compressed. What I thought I would do later in life, became what I would do right then.

I know that Bad Apple is loosely based on an event in your life. Why do you feel that it's important, as an author, to share the truth with your readers, even when that truth might be unpleasant?

Great hurt, pain and violence are things any of us can be confronted by at any time. The lesson to be learned from experiences so disturbing is to keep living. The main character in the Bad Apple series, Neal Marchal, was not only abused physically but emotionally. By finding her true self, not the label or facade of “Damaged Girl”, her talents, her kindness and the affection possible for those around her, are revealed and encouraged to grow. It’s not that life is ever the same again or that it’s easy, but fighting back is more sensible than giving in. Finding joy in life is the greatest antidote to pain.

What is your favorite line from Bad Apple and why?

My favorite line is actually the last one but that would give away the ending!

So I’ll go with a line from a song Neal is coerced into singing. There’s a repeating motif regarding what Neal and Truly sing and whether or not it’s about them. Tru brings her the song “Distant Fires” and she doesn’t want to do it. Neal doesn’t believe she has a good enough voice for it and she does believe, thematically, it is about them. Tru persuades her that their careers will be stalled if she avoids confronting songs that get too close to her emotionally and Neal decides to sing it.
With smoke from distant fires filling my eyes
The farther you go, the smaller we get.
These lines reflect Neal’s fear of further loss. The distant fires represent the ever-present threat she lives with and Neal knows that her relationship with Truly has become the crucial element in her life. Their present and future depends on each other. Should they grow farther apart, the smaller they will become. It’s now obvious to Neal that the closer they grow, the more vital and more powerful they become. For Neal, the potential for loss is enormous and in the face of that fear, she presses forward. Very brave. A triumph of the human spirit.

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more about Bad Apple check out these sites!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Blog Tour Review & Author Interview: Any Other Night by Anne Pfeffer

Title: Any Other Night
Author: Anne Pfeffer
Publisher: Bold Print Press
Publish Date: May 19th, 2012
Rating:


Any other night, Ryan Mills would have driven his best friend, Michael, to Emily's sweet sixteen party at the Breakers Club. Instead, determined to win over the birthday girl, he goes to the party early and alone, setting off a chain of events that ends with a car accident in which Michael dies.

Ryan blames himself for what happened to Michael. As far as he's concerned, he doesn't deserve to have love or ever be happy again. Then he learns Michael left a secret behind. Ryan feels compelled to take on his friend's unfinished business, and in the process, changes his life forever and becomes a man. ~ Courtesy of Goodreads


Any Other Night by Anne Pfeffer is so much more than a love story. It's a story of first love, heartache, and guilt. Ryan has been in love with Emily ever since he saw her dog giving her big, wet puppy smooches in front of the school while he was waiting for a ride. As he says,
I would trust a dog's judgement. This girl had to be excellent. {Any Other Night, Chapter 2}
I knew right from that moment that I would enjoy this book. Who doesn't love a guy who develops a crush based on the girl's dog? That's seriously cute.

Ryan broke my heart, while at the same time making me fall in love with him. After a tragic accident, he feels guilty for loving Emily, for wanting to talk to her. But it's his love for Emily and his own moral code (even if he doesn't realize it) that helps him overcome his grief and set him on a road of healing.

Emily has that adorable girl-next-door kind of vibe to her. Sometimes in books told from a guy's point of view, the love interest can come off shallow. "She's so pretty" or "She's so perfect." But Emily doesn't come off that way. Emily is smart and cute and her relationship with Ryan actually brought tears to my eyes at times. She could get on my nerves on occasion (Give Ryan a break, girl!), but nothing that made me dislike her.


Any Other Night was a roller coaster from start to finish, making me feel like an emotional mess. Right off the bat it drags you in with a terribly realistic turn of fate that sets off a chain of events that will leave you rooting for love to save the day. There are scenes containing sex and drugs in this novel, so it's not for the younger set, but it doesn't detract from the novel at all. I'd recommend this for readers who enjoyed books like Beautiful Disaster and Easy.


Now, I'm excited to have author Anne Pfeffer here with us, answering a few questions!

Tell us a little about yourself.

I live in Los Angeles and have written two books, Any Other Night and The Wedding Cake Girl. Over the years, I’ve managed to have more careers than just about anybody, e.g. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom, a writer, a bank vice president, and an attorney. But except for being a mom, I’ve liked my career as a writer the most.

My writing began about eight years ago. I wanted to be the next Dr. Seuss and would write these long convoluted poem-stories about our pet rabbits, Peri and Winkle. Luckily for everyone, I eventually realized this was not a good idea.

I switched to YA novels, where I (along with everybody else) am happier. I’ve been doing that for about five years now.

What inspired you to write Any Other Night?

It started as an homage to my favorite teen movie, the 1969 film, Say Anything. You could use use the same description for both:

The main character is a quirky, good-natured, but low achieving teenage boy who falls in love with the beautiful class brain, who plans to study in England. They lose their virginity together. The girl has a difficult father who dislikes the main character and interferes with their relationship. There’s a dark subplot that threatens to tear their relationship apart.

That being said, my book’s completely different from the movie in its tone and message and story line. Most people would probably not recognize a connection to Say Anything. But it’s there, down deep!

What do you find to be the most rewarding part of writing?

Working at home in my pajamas, for one thing. Also creating stories and characters that I love. And getting letters from readers, who say the nicest things about my books. It’s so heartwarming and means a great deal.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Write the best possible book you can. Work on your craft, get professional advice on your story, take classes. When you think your manuscript is perfect, set it aside for six weeks, then come back to it. You will probably see a lot of ways to make it better. And enjoy the journey!

What's your favorite line from Any Other Night and why?

Again, you’re making me choose between my children! The favorite line that readers cite is this one by Ryan, the romantic:
If girls were flames, most girls would be a single match, a mere Bic lighter. Emily, on the other hand, would be an inferno—a raging, thousand-acre forest fire.

For more about Any Other Night check out these sites!


Cover Reveal: The Midnight Spell by Rhiannon Frater & Kody Boye

Today we have a cover reveal of The Midnight Spell by Rhiannon Frater and Kody Boye, which is set to release February 2013! Check out the synopsis:

Best friends since kindergarten, Adam and Christy have always been the perpetual outsiders in their small town in Texas. The other kids call Adam gay and Christy a witch.

On both counts the bullies are right.


Their junior year in high school seems destined to be the same old same old until Christy decides to cast a love spell for Adam at the midnight hour. The next day an alluring and mysterious boy enrolls at school and sets hearts a flutter, including Adam’s. Meanwhile, Christy’s mad crush on the handsome football player Ian seems to be going nowhere fast and her witch puberty is making her life miserable.


When a great evil arrives in town that threatens everything they hold dear, the best friends realize that finding a boyfriend is the least of their worries. Soon Adam and Christy will have to battle a force of darkness that has killed in their town before, and will again.


Isn't the cover just so fitting? I love the way Adam and Christy look on the cover and can't wait to see how this story plays out!

What do you think about the cover?

About Rhiannon Frater:

Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the As the World Dies trilogy (The First Days, Fighting to Survive, Siege,) and the author of three other books: the vampire novels Pretty When She Dies and The Tale of the Vampire Bride and the young-adult zombie novel The Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters. Inspired to independently produce her work from the urging of her fans, she published The First Days in late 2008 and quickly gathered a cult following. She won the Dead Letter Award back-to-back for both The First Days and Fighting to Survive, the former of which the Harrisburg Book Examiner called ‘one of the best zombie books of the decade.’ Rhiannon is currently represented by Hannah Gordon of the Foundry + Literary Media agency. You may contact her by sending an email to rhiannonfrater@gmail.com.


About Kody Boye:

Kody Boye was born and raised in Southeastern Idaho. Since his initial publication in the Yellow Mama Webzine in 2007, he has gone on to sell nearly three-dozen stories to various markets. He is the author of the short story collection Amorous Things, the novella The Diary of Dakota Hammell, the zombie novel Sunrise and the dark fantasy novel Blood. His fiction has been described as ‘Surreal, beautiful and harrowing’ (Fantastic Horror,) while he himself has been heralded as a writer beyond his years(Bitten by Books.) He currently lives and writes in the Austin, Texas area.

For more about The Midnight Spell check out these sites!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Guest Post: Writing Prophecy Girl by Faith McKay

We're excited to have Faith McKay here today, talking about writing her novel, Prophecy Girl, and all of the ups and downs that went along with it! Check out the synopsis:

Ever since Samantha Winthrop's mother moved them to Lacuna Valley, supposedly in search of better weather, the list of strange questions she has no answers for has been growing out of control.

Does her little sister, Violet, have the ability to make things happen just by "praying" for them? Are Sam's dreams really predicting the future? Is she destined to marry the boy she just met, and what is the mysterious orb that he's guarding? Why does she get the impression that there are dangerous creatures watching from the woods?

While Sam should be focusing on answering those questions, there is one other that makes them seem almost irrelevant: Is her mother planning on killing her and Violet?

Writing Prophecy Girl by Faith McKay:

Prophecy Girl wasn't always called Prophecy Girl. Writing a novel is a journey, and there were plenty of ups and downs while writing, and then revising, Prophecy Girl. First! Some facts.

-- Prophecy Girl wasn't titled Prophecy Girl until the novel was already completely done. My husband named it, actually.

-- It was going to be a standalone novel. That novel sucked. (Yeah, it's a fact!)

-- Both the beginning and the ending had four completely different versions. Fourth times a charm, like they say. (Or something like that)

-- I wrote several very specific scenes and then built the rest of the story around them. (They're in Chapters 8, 9, and 14)

-- The first draft was 70,000 words. The final draft was 91,000+. I actually cut out a ton. Prophecy Girl changed a lot.

I really wanted to write a standalone novel. It was at around 40,000 words into my novel that I realized this was impossible. I knew what my ultimate ending was going to be, and getting there in one novel didn't make sense. It made my characters grow way too far too fast, and the plot had to whiz by without any explanation. It was like trying to watch a movie on fast forward. I struggled over the decision whether to make it a series for a very long time, but eventually I had to give up. The book wants what it wants!

Once I realized Prophecy Girl was going to be a series, I knew exactly how Prophecy Girl (Lacuna Valley #1), would end. So I wrote the last 500 words. And then, I wrote four different versions leading up to that ultimate ending. You wouldn't think you could come up with so many different ways to reach the same place, but I assure you, I outlined ideas for other versions as well. I think endings are really important, and I couldn't be happier with the ending to Prophecy Girl. The ending it wound up with had my favorite jokes in it, too. "Magical GPS" is probably one of my favorite parts of the novel.

There is always more that I could tell you about the journey I went on while writing Prophecy Girl. There is that Hemmingway quote about how writing a novel is easy, you just sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. I felt that throughout this whole journey. When editing, I would pull out a scene and tell my husband "This one is WRONG!" And the only reason I had for why it needed to be changed was that it didn't have enough blood, not enough guts, not enough feeling.

Prophecy Girl deals with some pretty emotional and dark themes. Destiny, love, marriage, bullying, family, control, and child abuse. As a survivor of child abuse, I closed my eyes and went to the dark and twisty place, and wrote and rewrote until I felt like my darkest and most raw feelings were out on the page. Which is a thrilling and terrifying feeling at the same time.

And then the next day, I had to shake those feelings off like a good little writer, play "When U Love Somebody" by The Fruit Bats on repeat, and write about the squishy and complicated feelings of first love under some very complicated circumstances (although really, isn't love always under complicated circumstances? Isn't that the rule?). I swear, writing the cute and wonderful happy scenes were just as hard as writing about being bullied at school, or being abused by your mother.

I wrote, read, rewrote, read, rewrote, read, and rewrote most of the scenes in Prophecy Girl until the scenes had feeling, felt right, and I could read them say, "Yes, I opened a vein there."

Between rewriting to get the feel of the scenes right, and all of the other adjustments I made while writing this story, I definitely feel like Prophecy Girl has taken me on quite the journey. I don't know that you're ever really done with a book as an author. I stop editing it, I send it out into the world... but I keep thinking about it. I still go to Lacuna Valley in my head, and not just because I'm working on the other books in the series. After spending so much time creating real characters, I don't know if there is anyway to get them out of my head really. I'm good with that.

About the Author:

Faith McKay writes stories about characters with real world struggles in otherworldly settings. She is the author of PROPHECY GIRL, a story where characters struggle with the idea of having a destiny. In comparison, she feels really lucky that her destiny was to struggle with comma placement and be that awkward lady who points out puns at parties.

Other things to know about Faith… She wears two different colored shoes. She is a survivor of child abuse. She has lived with chronic illness for over a decade. A lot of people don't like her because she laughs too much. It's also the reason a lot of other people do like her, so go figure. She listens to more music than people are probably supposed to. She's a nomad. The word sounds really cool, so a lot of people say it, but she actually lives in an RV with her husband and their pet bunny rabbit, Dorian Gray.

If you'd like to know more about Faith McKay, visit her at:

For more about Prophecy Girl check out these sites!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Shuffle Saturday (11): Bad Wings

Every Saturday I'll be posting a random song off of my iPod. This week's song is:


Bad Wings by The Glitch Mob


I love the beginning of this song. It's so cool! It reminds me of the credits of Twilight for some reason... That's a different song though :)

What are you listening to?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Christmas Gift Ideas For Book Lovers!

I love Etsy. It's like my favorite thing in the world and I could spend hours on that site. But Etsy is also probably my favorite place to shop for Christmas gifts, so I wanted to put up a few links to items I've found that might make really cool presents for book lovers! There were a ton of other ones, but these were some of my favorites!


There are a lot of these out there, but I like this one best. And, c'mon, it's so true. We all like big books, don't we?



I adore this! It's cute and totally true!



I love any and all bookmarks, but this one! How gorgeous is it? NEED! 


How cool are these? A case made out of a used book cover? Best. Case. Ever.



Oh, Will and Tessa LOVE! I love the little Tale of Two Cities pendant!



This is probably the coolest thing I've ever seen. I hate when people fold pages in books, but this is fantastic. I wish I knew how to do this!

Have you guys found any interesting book lover gifts for this Christmas?

*I haven't personally purchased any of these items so I don't know anything about their quality, I just thought they were cool. All pictures are courtesy of Etsy.*

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Character Interview: Austin Girl from The Adventures of Austin Girl and the Legend of Diablo

Today we're excited to have a character interview with Austin Girl, main character of The Adventures of Austin Girl and the Legend of Diablo by Carrie Crain! Check out the synopsis:

Austin Girl, a dispirited teenager, discovers a magic Samurai sword, leading her on a journey to Planet Disco to save her kidnapped Grandpa from the nefarious Diablo, and return to Earth before she becomes a permanent guest.

Character Interview:

Please state your name:
Austin Girl
Age:
13 going on 20
Height:
5”5
Weight:
102
Hair /Eye Color:
Hazel
Job:
I work at my Grandpa Lucky’s antique store in Checkered Past, Texas.
Vehicle:
A pink Schwinn bicycle with white daisy basket.
Favorite food:
Breakfast tacos with lots of cheese and a Dr. Pepper
Describe yourself in three words:
Uncoordinated, naïve, stubborn
Wardrobe/Personal Style:
White Go-Go boots, orange and white mod dress and black trim Candy eyewear. I HEART vintage and thrift store.
Where do you live? Are any other people living with you? Who are they?
I live in Checkered Past, Texas with my Grandpa and my cat named Alley in a 2-story brick home sitting on 5 acres. I have the entire upstairs to myself. I never knew my dad and my mom left when I was a young whippersnapper to chase a dream in Hollywood.
How do you feel about your author?
She’s completely lost her marbles.
Favorite Pastime:
Helping Grandpa find antiques and unusual items for the store. I love to bargain and negotiate.
Without giving too much away, what was one of your favorite moments with the character you spend the most time with?
When Skinny taught me the proper way to hold Samurai sword. It was fun practicing. For the first time, I felt like a warrior who could conquer anything I set my mind to.
What makes you happy?
Seeing my Grandpa happy. Oh… and, the Samurai sword, of course.
What is your greatest fear?
Dancing. I have vertigo, so dancing scares me.
What would you change about yourself if you could?
My insecurities stemming from not having parents like my peers do. I would learn to relax.
What is it that you have never told anyone?
I record the Pawn Stars and watch all the reruns late at night.
What's the worst thing you've ever done? Why?
I called these mean bullies “fatheads” and meant it.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Owning Grandpa Lucky’s Antique Store.

For more about The Adventures of Austin Girl check out these websites!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Blog Tour Guest Post: Heroines of Paranormal Decoded!

Today I am super excited to share a guest post by Shannon Morton and Amber Lynn Natusch, the authors of Tempted by Evil, as part of the Tempted by Evil Blog Tour! The post is a hilarious look at the different kinds of heroines that grace the paranormal genre and what makes us love them and hate them. Or love to hate them! Here's a synopsis of Tempted by Evil:

A sheltered girl.

The perfect boy.

A mysterious stranger.

Random messages delivering a sobering prophecy plague Aspen's existence. With every curious encounter, her sanity wavers further. Before long, Aspen finds herself balancing the fate of humanity on her shoulders, until a single act turns her world upside down. She finds herself alone, isolated from those she thought she could trust.

Alone to damn the world.

Heroines of Paranormal Decoded!

I initially wrote this blog as a joke, reflecting on the various types of female leads within the paranormal genre. It then took on a life of its own.

This is my “Heroines decoded” breakdown. It made me laugh. I hope it does the same for you!

1) The Only-Human-Chick-in-the-Crazy-Ass-World-of-Supernatural Heroine:
Queen of the inside scoop, this leading lady is the only one in creation who gets to be let in on all the finer points about things that go "bump" in the night. Often smart, but unpopular, this brainy loner easily accepts her newfound reality, if for no other reason than to escape her old one. She's driven primarily by external forces, exercising her own will as little as possible, especially if it puts her in mortal danger. Why do we love her still? She gets the hotties, plain and simple. And secretly, we kinda want to be her, too (don't lie, you know you do).
2) The Clueless Wonder/Damsel in Distress Protagonist:
Now, before I start, I should explain that I have an inexplicable soft spot for these girls. Their "wandering into chaos" M.O. just does it for me even though it should annoy the piss out of me. The Clueless Wonder is the master of never knowing what's going on, even if it's blatantly apparent (like the building is on fire and she can't quite figure out why everyone is running out of it), which then leads to her other namesake: Damsel in Distress. She's completely incapable of lifting a finger to save her own ass, but, luckily for her, someone is always willing to do the job for her.
Maybe I'm just a sucker for being rescued. By a hot guy. With great abs. And tousled hair. Who's undoubtedly well endowed...
3) The Badass Without a Cause Heroine:
Probably my least favorite of all the heroine species, she's dangerous, but not in a good way. She's got all the right credentials: immortal/hard to kill, super strength, shady colleagues, looks killer in leather, and is always packing something illegal in her waistband. The problem arises when her lack of judgment leads to more problems than solutions. Throw shotguns and hand grenades into that equation and the death toll rises quickly. If she were capable of packing as much brain power as she did ammo, she'd truly be a force to be reckoned with.
4) The Help Me, But Don't Help Me Heroine:
She's the Fickle Fanny of the bunch who just can't seem to decide if she wants to bear her burden alone or not. She's a glory hog who can't acknowledge her team of minions (think Martha Stewart), who helped her get to the end of the journey. It's ALWAYS about her. This character tends to make me insane because everything has to be on her terms. She has an undying need to appear self-sufficient, but clearly lacks the tools to be. She wants/needs the assistance of those more knowledgeable than her...right up until she doesn't.
Generally, this is the protagonist that I find myself wanting to punch in the face the most, but...when she gives into her moments of breakdown/weakness, I find myself begrudgingly cheering her on. Until I want to slap her again.
5) The Bed Hopping Heroine:
Really...this one shouldn't require a whole lot of explanation. She's the character that EVERYONE wants to sleep with, including, but not limited to: hot vampires, rugged werewolves, dark mages, sketchy sorcerers, questionable fae. your mailman, the creepy guy you always see at the coffee shop, and your Uncle Franklin. ALL of them want to sleep with her because she's apparently the only woman in the world--and lucky for them, she's more than happy to oblige. Don't get me wrong, there's always a reason involved as to why she needs to have sex with various sinister immortals. In fact, the world's very existence may well be dependent on her ability to so. We should really send her a fruit basket to thank her. 
Maybe a candygram?
6) The Too-Torn-to-Function Heroine:
This girl (and yes, I mean girl), is the one who would get hit by a train as she straddled the track, trying to figure out which amazingly hot guy flanking her she should pick. Her indecisiveness is all but paralyzing. What I really want to point out to her (being older and far more wise), is that she can't make a wrong choice. Both boys are always stunningly beautiful, madly in love with her, AND willing to die for her. Where's the problem here? I'm happy if my guy is willing to unclog the toilet for me.
7) The Cannon Fodder Protagonist:
Unlike her cousin, The Clueless Wonder, Cannon Fodder takes a slightly different path. Where CW seems to just happen upon chaos (and by happen, I mean land right in the middle of it), CF seems to genuinely try to NOT be what she is. She often thinks she's doing everything right, only to find out that she's once again tightened the noose around her own neck. I happen to really enjoy CF because her intentions are generally good or helpful, and she (usually) learns from her near death experiences. The poor girl just can't catch a break.
8) The Dances With the Dark Protagonist:
Girl gone wild in all the wrong ways. She's the one that you find yourself yelling out loud at in public places while you read because her "Warning: This man is likely to eat you" alarm is clearly broken. She frolics in ominous alleys, willingly sleeps in creepy basements, and frequents nefarious establishments. Why? Because she's thinking with her heart (or not thinking at all). She always falls for the baddest boy, or demon, in town. The nice thing about D with the D is that she's redeemable, though it's usually a 50/50 split on that outcome. I'll give her one thing...she always keeps it interesting.
9 ) The Mercenary:
There's nothing heroine or protagonist about her. She's an unbalanced cocktail of psychosis, rage, and vengeance, packaged up into one undoubtedly hot supernatural ticket. She knows no rules but her own, and we all adore her for it. Willing to win at any cost, she mows down her adversaries without even breaking a sweat. Bad guys and good guys alike need to beware. If you see the Mercenary coming, do yourself a favor and run.
10) The Girl I Wish I Was Heroine:
The perfect blend of flawed and fabulous, this leading lady knows how to milk emotion out of a reader, good or bad. She's by far the most relatable character going, and one of the most interesting to watch grow over a novel or series. Believable, but fallible, she's the perfect blend of all the other heroines. 
The boys all love her, but don't want to do dirty things to her like the Bed Hopper. She has moments of Clueless Wonder behavior, but tends to pull it together when the chips are down. Though equipped with an inner Badass in one way or another, she's far too aware of her shortcomings and wouldn't dream of wandering the streets with a sawed off, looking for trouble. She'd probably shoot herself in the leg anyways. 
She knows that she can't always go it alone, even if she dreams that she can, and though the sea of men that often surround her cause a temporary dilemma, she always manages to pick a team and stick to it. Unlike D with the D, if her libido drives her to flirt with the dark side, her inner wisdom shines through...eventually. CF is probably her greatest tendency, which usually reads as more endearing than annoying. As for her inner mercenary... I think if you push ANY woman far enough, you'll see that crazy bitch pop out. And you don't want none of that :)
No matter your favorite, these ladies bring a certain charm and entertainment to the page that keep us all wanting more. I look forward to a day when my schedule is far more balanced, allowing me to reacquaint myself with the heroines that made me love the genre to start with.

For more about Tempted by Evil check out these sites!


Spotlight: Prophecy Girl by Faith McKay

Today is the release day for Prophecy Girl by Faith McKay! It's an urban fantasy about two sisters with otherworldly abilities who might not live long enough to fulfil their fate. We're excited to be spotlighting Prophecy Girl and posting an excerpt from the book! Here's a synopsis:

Ever since Samantha Winthrop's mother moved them to Lacuna Valley, supposedly in search of better weather, the list of strange questions she has no answers for has been growing out of control.

Does her little sister, Violet, have the ability to make things happen just by "praying" for them? Are Sam's dreams really predicting the future? Is she destined to marry the boy she just met, and what is the mysterious orb that he's guarding? Why does she get the impression that there are dangerous creatures watching from the woods?

While Sam should be focusing on answering those questions, there is one other that makes them seem almost irrelevant: Is her mother planning on killing her and Violet?

Excerpt from Prophecy Girl:

She scanned the hallway again, and there he was. Her breath caught in her throat. Down at the other end of the hallway, half hidden behind a pillar, he nodded and half waved to her. His hair was its usual spiky mess, he wore his favorite plain black wayfarer sunglasses and obligatory black t-shirt, and yet he looked very different somehow. Distant. He felt like someone she'd known years ago; he felt like someone she had always known; he felt like someone who was tied to her straight through the earth, even if he were all the way on the other side. She wasn't surprised to see him, he was always going to be there. She wasn't sure why she was so sure of that, but she was, and it gave her both peace and heartache at the same time. She raised her hand and didn't exactly wave, but moved it slightly to acknowledge his presence at the other end of that string that tied them together. Head down, she walked away and tried not to think about how much that string had cost her.

About the Author:

Faith McKay writes stories about characters with real world struggles in otherworldly settings. She is the author of PROPHECY GIRL, a story where characters struggle with the idea of having a destiny. In comparison, she feels really lucky that her destiny was to struggle with comma placement and be that awkward lady who points out puns at parties.

Other things to know about Faith… She wears two different colored shoes. She is a survivor of child abuse. She has lived with chronic illness for over a decade. A lot of people don't like her because she laughs too much. It's also the reason a lot of other people do like her, so go figure. She listens to more music than people are probably supposed to. She's a nomad. The word sounds really cool, so a lot of people say it, but she actually lives in an RV with her husband and their pet bunny rabbit, Dorian Gray.

If you'd like to know more about Faith McKay, visit her at:

For more about Prophecy Girl check out these sites!


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