Friday, February 17, 2017

COVER REVEAL: THE SPLASH OF LADY HARRIETT by Rachael Anderson

Coming August 2017 from USA Today bestselling author Rachael Anderson

 
The Splash of Lady Harriett
When wills clash and hearts collide, who will come away victorious?

Rachael 

Author Rachael Anderson A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.
  amazon or paypal

 $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway Ends 3/15/17 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Monday, February 13, 2017

INTERVIEW with GREG PINCUS, author of THE HOMEWORK STRIKE

THE HOMEWORK STRIKE
Gregory Pincus
Scholastic, Inc.
Ages 8 - 12



Gregory K. has too much homework.

Middle school is hard work, and Gregory tries to be a good student. He participates in class, he studies for his tests -- he and his friends even help each other with their assignments. But no matter what he does, there's never enough time to finish all his homework. It just isn't fair.

So Gregory goes on a total, complete homework strike. No worksheets, no essays, no projects. His friends think he's crazy. His parents are worried about his grades. And his principal just wants him to stop making trouble. Can Gregory rally his fellow students, make his voice heard, and still pass seventh grade?

INTERVIEW w/ the AUTHOR:


1. Hi Greg. So, tell us about The Homework Strike. What's it about?
The short version: It's about standing up for what you believe. The longer version: The Homework Strike is about Gregory K., a seventh grader who spends too much time - nearly three hours a day - on homework and not enough on the things he's passionate about. He's also frustrated that no one seems to listen to him or his friends when they talk about the homework problem. Guided and prodded and often seemingly opposed by his history teacher, Gregory embarks on a mission to have his voice be heard: he goes on a homework strike, trying to bring back an old law that made homework illegal. Now, I'm not gonna tell you how the strike goes or if others join him or if it hits the news or how it all turns out, cuz that'd be no fun. But to go back to the short version: it's a story about standing up for what we believe.

2.  What inspired you to write it?

A few things, really. Homework today is a real problem for lots of kids, and to top it off, the research shows that for the most part (and particularly in elementary school)... it doesn't help. So I wanted to explore that. I also have always been fascinated by obscure old laws, and the fact that homework was actually illegal in California for years (it was!) was another inspiration. Plus, I love stories about underdogs, and kids fighting against homework seemed like that type of story to me. One day, I saw a way to combine those threads along with humor... and voila! The Homework Strike!

3.  What is the last really great book you read?

NeuroTribes by Steve Silberman - a great piece of non-fiction. And for fiction... I loved Mike Jung's Unidentified Suburban Object.

4.  If you could spend a day inside any book, which would it be and why?

Oooh. Just one? Today my answer is that I would go back to a childhood favorite and go inside Furman Bisher's Strange But True Baseball Stories. To be able to see all those real-life stories firsthand would be amazing and a realization of a childhood fantasy. Plus I'd eat lots of ballpark food. But I bet if I answered this another day, I'd give you another book!

5. Describe your most embarrassing moment.

The one that pops into mind is saying "hi, cutie!" over the phone to my then girlfriend's boss rather than my girlfriend. Hey - her boss never answered the phone, okay??? There may have been more embarrassing things, but if so, I've blocked them :-)

6. Any more books in the works?

I hope so! I'm working on two middle grade novels as well as a few picture books. As you well know, how and where and if they see the light of day is more of an adventure.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY by Charlie Jane Anders

*  Pre-order my new novel, Petals!
*  Book Review: Monsters by Dan Wells
*  Books I Plan to Read in 2017

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ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY
Charlie Jane Anders
Tom Doherty Associates
Adult Science Fiction

Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn't expect to see each other again, after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during middle school. After all, the development of magical powers and the invention of a two-second time machine could hardly fail to alarm one's peers and families.

But now they're both adults, living in the hipster mecca San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them. Laurence is an engineering genius who's working with a group that aims to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world's magically gifted, and works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world's every-growing ailments. Little do they realize that something bigger than either of them, something begun years ago in their youth, is determined to bring them together—to either save the world, or plunge it into a new dark ages.

MY REVIEW:

I picked up this book in my favorite genre book store, Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego, CA. Each year I visit this store looking for the most recent, deserving spec fiction books to read. I read the first chapter in-store and thought this might be it.

Well, yes and no. All the Birds in the Sky is definitely different. The author, former editor-in-chief of io9.com, has intentionally blended science fiction and fantasy into a single story, something that you don't see every day. Laurence is a computer/science geek. Patricia is a witch with magic. Their story is essentially a love story, but it is also an examination of our current society and the dire circumstances in which we might find ourselves if something doesn't change--and fast.

Overall, I'd say Anders book is bold and quirky. An experiment of sorts. It's main weakness, I felt, was that the story felt a little too cerebral for my tastes. It took too much thinking for me to actually enjoy the book. I plowed through it more so in the hopes that something really magnificent was coming than because I felt compelled to turn pages. I actually didn't feel compelled, but instead did so out of commitment and sheer determination to finish what I had started.

But don't misunderstand me. Just because this wasn't my favorite book of the year doesn't mean it might not be yours. There is definitely something about All the Birds in the Sky that is striking and ingenious. And I honestly believe many readers will absolutely love it. It might be you.



CONTENT RATING:

Sexuality:  High
Profanity:  High
Violence:  High

Friday, February 3, 2017

NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER: MY NEW NOVEL, PETALS!

I'm so excited to announce that my newest YA novel, PETALS, is now available for Kindle pre-order. Both the digital and print editions will officially go on sale March 15th. In the meantime, please enjoy this sneak peek!



PETALS
Laurisa White Reyes
Skyrocket Press
Ages 14 & up

On Christmas Eve, a horrific car accident leaves Carly Perez without a mom. After a year of surgeries and counseling, Carly’s life is nearly back to normal—except for the monsters—vague, twisted images from the accident that plague her dreams. When her father insists on spending their first Christmas alone in Guatemala with a slew of relatives Carly has never met, she is far from thrilled, but she reluctantly boards the plane anyway.

That’s where she first spots the man with the scarred face. She could swear she has seen him before. But when? Where?

In Reu, the Guatemalan town where her father grew up, Carly meets Miguel, her attractive step-cousin, and thinks maybe vacation won’t be a total waste after all. Though she is drawn to him, Carly’s past holds her back—memories that refuse to be forgotten, and a secret about the accident that remains buried in her subconscious. And everywhere she turns, the man with the scarred face is there, driving that unwelcome secret to the surface.


SNEAK PEEK INTO PETALS:

In sixty seconds, Mom would be dead.
We’re driving down Telegraph Highway, the two of us, a wrapped gift box on my lap. It is rectangular, maybe fifteen inches tall, in red foil paper with a white bow on top. We were lucky to find the drug store still open on Christmas Eve.
Mom is pleased. She’s humming along with the radio, which is playing a lively fifties holiday song. Her thumbs tap out the tune on the steering wheel. Her car keys sway in the ignition, jingling like bells.
Outside, the sky is dark. Through the storm, the road ahead looks like a long tunnel.
Snow is falling.
It happens so fast there is no time to react. Bright lights hurtle toward us on our side of the road. Mom’s arms brace against the wheel. She thrusts her foot against the brake, but the road is slick with ice. The car swerves.
I hear a car horn blaring. I hear the crunch of metal, the pop of glass shattering. A powerful force shoves me against the car door as everything suddenly whirls in the wrong direction. I feel pain. I scream.
And then it’s over.
When I blink open my eyes, everything is white.
Snow is falling.


CHAPTER ONE
 

His was the sort of face you couldn’t forget—yet somehow, I had.
I was slumped in a chair, blocking out the airport racket with my music and a pair of ear buds, when I first spotted him slipping quarters into a vending machine. His faded gray coveralls looked completely out of place amid the crowd of holiday travelers, and I wondered if he was an airport janitor or some kind of repairman. But it was his face that sent the jolt of recognition through me. His brown skin was disfigured with long, deep scars, as though shriveled by the sun like a raisin. I knew this man, the way I’d know a song by hearing the first notes of a melody. But where had I met him? I couldn’t remember.
“Are you all right, Carly?” Dad closed his Grisham novel and patted my hand. He was a handsome man, with cocoa-colored eyes and short black hair, completely at home in khaki Dockers and a polo tee.
 “I’m fine,” I said. But I didn’t feel fine. A wave of hot prickles crawled under my skin, like they did whenever I was somewhere I didn’t want to be. Dad meant well, but the truth was that I was still angry at him for guilting me into this trip.
The loudspeaker in our terminal crackled, and a woman’s nasally voice called our flight. I rolled up the magazine I hadn’t read and tucked it into my jacket pocket along with my phone. Then Dad and I got in line. Once on board, I slipped my art box (my only carry-on) into the overhead compartment and shut the cover. Dad settled in at the window, so I dropped into the aisle seat.
The other passengers continued to board. They moved slowly, a trail of human ants doped up on Dramamine, waiting for the inevitable deep sleep of late night air travel. I tried to imagine what secret lives they might be living, like mail carrier by day, stripper by night or something.
Then he got on.
My stomach lurched. Go to the back of the plane, I thought, as if summoning some latent power deep within my psyche. I read this e-book once on mental magic, about how our thoughts influence the world around us. I tried to move a paperclip just by thinking about it. It didn’t work, but that didn’t stop me from trying to will Raisin Face into sitting as far from me as possible. Instead, he took the seat directly across the aisle from me.
Dad and I sat in silence while the plane taxied down the runway. I leaned over Dad to look out the window. As the plane nosed its way into the midnight sky, I stared, mesmerized as the lights of Los Angeles spread out below me. The city from this vantage point was astoundingly beautiful, like a giant Christmas tree. My town, three hours north of Los Angeles, didn’t even have a regular traffic signal. It was snowing there when we had left that afternoon. I couldn’t believe I’d missed our first real snow day of the season.
After a few minutes in the air, the lights disappeared, blocked by cloud cover. It was so dark outside I could see my face in the glass. I squinted at the reflection staring back at me, narrow bronze features framed by long, brown hair topped by a white halo.
“You can take off your hat now,” Dad joked. “The sun went down hours ago.”
The hat, cotton canvas with a floppy brim, had been a gift from my mom.
“I like my hat,” I replied, tugging it tighter onto my head.
“Reminds me of Gilligan’s Island. You know. That old TV show?” Dad hummed the show’s theme song and took a pitiful stab at the lyrics. “A three-hour tour. A three-hour tour.” He looked pleadingly at me as though expecting me to chime in.
I settled back into my seat.
“Never mind,” he said, giving up.
It was well past midnight by the time the plane reached cruising altitude. The flight attendant came by, offering drinks. I accepted a plastic cup filled with Coke and ice.
“Peanuts?” she asked with a pasted-on smile. There was a swath of red lipstick on her teeth, and I wondered if I should do the polite thing and point it out to her. I curled back my lips like an orangutan, but her expression didn’t change. So, I pointed to my teeth. The skin between the attendant’s eyebrows creased. A possible sign of intelligence?
Dad sipped his drink. “This trip won’t be so bad,” he said.
“I already told you, I don’t want to talk about it,” I replied, and I didn’t. What I wanted was to spend the next three weeks in my own house sleeping in my own bed. Why did I agree to come on this trip? I could have chained myself to the tree in our front yard in protest, but then Dad would either have cancelled the trip and spent our entire vacation making me feel guilty about it, or I would have starved to death like a neglected Rottweiler. In either case, I really didn’t have much of a choice.
“I know you were mad,” Dad continued, “but you’re over it now, aren’t you?”
No, Dad. I am not over it.
I scratched at my front tooth. The attendant blinked twice.
“Peanuts?” she asked again.
Dad accepted a bag. Then she turned to me, expectantly. I gave her an exaggerated grin. If she wouldn’t get the hint about the lipstick, couldn’t she at least wipe that mannequin-esque smile off her face? I was not normally so critical of people, but this whole situation had set me on edge.
“No thanks,” I told the attendant. “Peanuts give me the runs.”
That did it. Her smile morphed into a slightly unpleasant expression.
Dad choked on his drink. “Carly!”
“What?” I said as the attendant moved on to the next passenger. “I’m allergic.”
“Since when?”
“Since you dragged me onto this plane and ruined my plans for winter break, that’s when.”
Dad opened his nuts, picked one out, and rolled it around his tongue to suck off the salt. Then he crushed it between his front teeth.
“Trust me, Carly. You’ll love Guatemala,” he said. He was relentless. “It won’t be so bad, spending Christmas there.” He poured the rest of the nuts into his mouth and chewed.
Personally, I had serious doubts about spending nearly a month in a third world country where half the people lived in mud huts.
“It’s a great place,” Dad continued. “Lush jungles, ancient ruins, coconuts—”
Malaria, sauna-like heat, amoebas—
“All I ask is that you give it a chance, Carly. Give them a chance.”
Them. The so-called family I never knew. For all my seventeen years, they had been nothing more than pictures on the mantle. Dad rarely spoke of them, so why he chose our first Christmas without Mom to change the status quo was beyond me.
“Why did I have to come?” I asked, my frustration piquing. “I’m old enough to man the house while you’re away. I can take care of myself.”
“We already went over this, Carly. They want to meet you. It’s important to me that they do.”
“If they’re so important, then why haven’t you seen them in two decades?” I didn’t expect an answer. I just wanted to get Dad off my back. But instead, he shrugged his shoulders and gave me an apologetic grin.
“Let’s just say we had our differences,” he said.
The flight attendant returned, this time offering a pillow. She was still smiling. At least the red mark on her teeth was gone.
I took the pillow and arranged it behind my neck. Dad took one as well, tucking it behind his head. I should have been glad to finally have some quiet time to myself, but curiosity got the better of me. I leaned over and whispered.
“What differences?”
“Go to sleep,” said Dad.
“What differences?” I asked again.
“Carly, it’s almost one in the morning. Even if you’re not tired, I am. Let me get some sleep. Okay?”
I looked around and realized that most of the other passengers had already dozed off.
“Do you need your pills?” Dad asked.
I shook my head. “If I take them now, I’ll be a zombie when we arrive.”
Although, maybe Guatemala won’t seem so bad if I’m in a drugged-out stupor.
“Night, Carly,” said Dad. Five minutes later, he was snoring.
Across the aisle, Raisin Face had a magazine open on his lap. He licked his thumb before turning each page. I didn’t realize I was staring until he turned abruptly to look at me. Our eyes locked, and in that sliver of a moment, my heart threatened to explode right out of my ribcage. I broke away from his gaze and jerked opened my own magazine, pretending to be absorbed in it.
When my heart returned to its normal rhythm, I set the magazine aside, turned on my music, and leaned back against the pillow. I closed my eyes, but thoughts kept racing through my head. I wanted to look at him again, to study his face and give my brain time to place him.
Is he watching me? I wondered. Does he recognize me too?
After a while, I started to relax. Oblivion was calling, but I desperately clung to consciousness, like a mountain climber gripping a rock by her fingernails while dangling above a precipice. The fall was inevitable, but I strained to hold on. It wasn’t that I had trouble sleeping, but the pills kept the monsters at bay.
Finally, unable to fight it any longer, I surrendered. Falling into sleep, I struggled to recall just where I had seen that man’s face before.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

ANNOUNCING WINNERS & NEW GIVEAWAY

Congratulations to bn100 for winning my $10 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway! Prize has already been sent. Whoo hoo!

Also, another big congrats to MARK BAKER for stopping by my table at the SCV Celebration of Local Authors and winning a signed copy of my novel CONTACT!!!

Want more chances to win??? Check out Inspired Kathy's DREAMING OF CASH GIVEAWAY, which runs Tuesday 1/16/17 through 1/30/17. One very lucky entrant will win $250 CASH!!!  Scroll down for more info.

Finally, don't forget to sign up for my free e-newsletter HERE.

Good luck to everyone! Dreaming of Cash
Dreaming of Cash $250 Giveaway
January 16th to 30th

Enter for your chance to win a $250 Amazon Gift Code or $250 in Paypal Cash!! 

Thanks to this awesome group of bloggers and authors who have joined with me to bring you one fabulous prize!! Sponsor List I Am A Reader Lori's Reading Corner Carol Ross Melanie McFarlane Books Sapphyria's Book Reviews Author Inger Iversen T. Hammond Mia Siegert Inspy Books Rockin' Book Reviews Diana's Book Reviews Author Cindy C Bennett Krysten Lindsay Hager A. Gardner - Author Laurie Here - Cont Fiction and MORE Konstanz Silverbow Helen Smith Maureen's Musings Laurie Treacy, author Aubrey Wynne: Timeless Love Glistering: B's Blog Laurisa White Reyes, Author Jennifer Faye, Romance Author Author Felicia Starr Author Alecia Stone Kelsey Ketch Magical Cool Cat Mysteries Talia Jager A Leisure Moment

Giveaway Details $250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 Amazon.com eGift Card Ends 1/30/17 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Amazon.com. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

$10 AMAZON GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY!!!

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I'm so excited to be one of fifty authors participating in this year's celebration, which will be held at the Old Town Newhall Library in Santa Clarita, California on Saturday, January 14th.

All of us will be on hand to discuss and autograph our books. For those who attend the event, I will be holding a drawing for a FREE autographed copy of my YA thriller, CONTACT!

Go HERE for more details about the event, including a complete list of participating authors and panel discussion.

If you can't make it or live out of town, don't worry. I have something for you, too!

To encourage all my readers to celebrate, I invite you to enter my rafflecopter drawing this week for a:

 $10 AMAZON GIFT CARD!!! 

All you have to do is join my mailing list. If you're already subscribed, bravo for you! You can earn extra points if you follow this blog or visit my Facebook page.

Hurry to enter! The fun ends at midnight on Saturday, January 14th. Winner will be announced on Sunday, January 15th.   (Must be 18 or over to enter.)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Announcing Rachel Anderson's THE RISE OF MISS NOTLEY & $25 GIVEAWAY!

the-rise-of-miss-notley-gr 
 The Rise of Miss Notley by Rachael Anderson To escape an undesirable match, Miss Notley must give up her riches for rags. When Miss Coralynn Notley’s father barters her off to the first titled gentleman to come along, she realizes she must flee her home or be forced to wed a despicable man. Driven by desperation, she applies for the position of housekeeper at Tanglewood Manor, the home of the handsome Mr. Jonathan Ludlow. The moment Jonathan sees Miss Notley, he is intrigued. She is far too young and inexperienced for the position, yet there is something about her that that inspires a certain hope within him. Does he dare offer her the position of housekeeper or will doing so result in catastrophe? The Rise of Miss Notley is the delightful tale of a mysterious gentleman and a determined young woman, caught together in a web so tangled it begs the question: Will they ever get out? 

Coming February 2017

add to goodreads   RachaelAuthor Rachael Anderson A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

  amazon or paypal  
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway Ends 1/25/17 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.