Wednesday, February 3, 2016

ROMANCE IS IN THE AIR GIVEAWAY HOP

romance is in the air hop 2016 

Welcome to ROMANCE IS IN THE AIR BLOG HOP hosted by Book Hounds.
What am I giving away?

$15 Amazon Gift Card
To be eligible to win, just fill out the rafflecopter form below. Must be 18 or older to enter. Open internationally. Ends February 14th. Prize will be delivered electronically via email.

Be sure to visit all the other participating blogs on Book Hounds for more chances to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

GIVEAWAY WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Congratulations to NICOLE S. for winning NIGHTMARES! THE SLEEPWALKER TONIC by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller during the Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop.

Also, congratulations to Teresa Dell, Judith Folio, Michelle Catallo, Lynne Green, and Erinn Hill for winning copies of THE STORYTELLERS via my Goodreads giveaway. Books will be shipped to all the winners within the next week.

Monday, January 25, 2016

BOOK BLAST: THE PROVING by Ken Brosky

The Proving (1)



It's been 100 years since the Specters invaded Earth. Like ghosts they haunt the planet, devouring any human being foolish enough to venture outside of the last remaining protected cities. For some humans, venturing out isn't a choice--it's an opportunity to prove yourself to your clan. But when a coterie of New Adults undertaking a mission deep in Specter territory discover a terrible secret, they quickly find that everything they've learned may be wrong ... and Earth is in grave danger.

Proving Ken

amazon get it
Excerpt

Skye took a deep breath, held it, then forced it out quickly between her pursed lips. The loud whistle seemed ear-splitting, jolting her nerves — too late to change her mind now, she twisted her body, her boots digging into the gravel as she fell back and faced the farming contraptions. She lifted her rifle, seeing the Specter’s strange glow change, move, and then without warning its crocodile face emerged from the body of the large machine. Its mouth opened. Cleo fell back, screaming. A claw phased through, reaching out for Skye. She fired her rifle. The blue proton bullet tore through the creature’s arm, sending yellow sparks fluttering like butterflies into the air. The Specter’s mouth opened wide, revealing sharp, finger-length teeth, so close that Skye could see their serrated edges.
add to goodreads

  50_Amazon_Paypal  

BookBlast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/15/16 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.  

Thursday, January 21, 2016

BLOG TOUR: NARINE OF NOE by Danika Dinsmore



I am so pleased to present Danika Dinsmore's Fairy Tales from the White Forest series, and especilly the newest release, NARINE OF NOE, book 4. She joins us with a guest post on Supporters Vs. Saviors.

Book Summary:
Narine of Noe should have had her whole life to train to take her father's place as High Sage. But when a mysterious force falls from the skies, sending the world into elemental chaos, the fate of every living being lands on her shoulders . . . even that of the Eternal Dragon. Without the Dragon to maintain the Balance of All Things, an elaborate plan to save Faweh must be hatched, and Narine is forced to take charge in a world gone mad. Before the White Forest was born, before the Great World Cry, the story that started it all ...

 
On Supporters vs. Saviors

Have you ever known someone who is always borrowing money and never paying it back? Whose friends are always bailing him out financially and otherwise? Have you ever known a mother who coddles her children so much they barely have their own opinions? I met a parent who typed all her son’s essays out as he dictated them to her. He couldn’t type fast enough, she told me and claimed she didn’t change anything he said; she just made it “sound better.” 

Have you ever enabled anyone, taking care of things for them in such a way that they didn’t learn to take care of those things themselves? Did you ever then resent them for not being responsible for themselves?

I was reading a fantasy book recently in which supporting characters often solved the protagonist’s problem for him, or the problem would simply resolve itself. This is one of my pet peeves as a reader. I much prefer an “active hero in conflict” – meaning the hero takes the action; the hero figures it out.
If a sorceress suddenly appears and hands a character the exact weapon needed to defeat his foe and then explains what it does and how to use it, it’s like cheating to me. I prefer to follow clever protagonists. I prefer when protagonists are given the pieces to solve a puzzle, the tools to get the job done, but still figure it out for themselves. If they are handed magic in the form of an item or knowledge, we journey with them in their quest to figure out how to put it to use.

I believe supportive characters should give our MCs compassion and tools rather than salvation and all the answers. This support could come in the form of supplies, lessons, magical items, wisdom, food, shelter, etc. But the protagonist is still the one who saves the day. 

This isn’t to say our protagonists shouldn’t ever be rescued in the telling of a story. You might rescue them for: 

humour: Your MC is a ninja and is saved by an 8 year old girl.

suspense: In Narine of Noe, Narine is saved by a giant, but she doesn’t realize she’s being saved by the giant. She thinks he’s attacking her and, hopefully, the readers do, too.

character building:  Your MC hates to be rescued and has to thank someone she despises for rescuing her.

Throughout my fantasy series, I attempt to enlist allies to support Brigitta (and Narine in Book 4) who give her camaraderie, strength, wisdom, protection, and information. If she is gifted with magic, it’s up to her to figure out how to use it, and sometimes the magic is stronger than she is ready for. She accrues these bits of knowledge and employs them in more and more successful ways along her journey. I always keep in mind that it’s her story, and she needs to be the one who is ultimately master of her fate.

Anyone interested in writing a review for any of the White Forest books may contact Danika at danika.dinsmore@gmail.com for free ebook copies. Mention you saw this posted on Laurisa’s site.

YOUR WRITING WORKOUT
1)  Set a timer for 5-7 minutes. Using the start line below, write without stopping and without editing. If you get stuck, just write about being stuck (gosh, I’m stuck, my mind feels like a piece of cheese…) OR just keep writing the start line over with a different response each time.

Start line: My protagonist earns the trust of his/her allies by . . .

2)  Set your timer for 5-7 minutes. Using one of the start lines below, write without stopping and without editing.

Start line: The first ally my protagonist makes along her journey gifts her with . . .

3)  Set your timer for 7-10 minutes. Using one of the start lines below, write without stopping and without editing.

Start line: The wisdom gained through my protagonist’s ally allows my protagonist to face . . .


Happy Writing!


Danika Dinsmore an author, performance artist, and educator. She currently works and plays in speculative fiction with an emphasis on juvenile and young adult literature. She blogs about the messiness of life and gives accompanying writing exercises at danikadinsmore.com. She is author of children’s fantasy novels Brigitta of the White Forest, The Ruins of Noe, Ondelle of Grioth, and Narine of Noe. On Twitter: @danika_dinsmore



Links:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/authordanikadinsmore
Facebook Fantasy Series Page: https://www.facebook.com/whiteforestrealm

Amazon Author Page: http://bit.ly/danikadinsmore-author-amazon
GoodReads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/617200.Danika_Dinsmore
 
 

Friday, January 15, 2016

DREAMING OF BOOKS GIVEAWAY HOP

Dreaming of Books 1.16-28

Welcome to the DREAMING OF BOOKS GIVEAWAY HOP sponsored by BookHounds. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I am giving away actor/author JASON SEGEL'S 2nd book, NIGHTMARES! THE SLEEPWALKER TONIC

Nightmares! The Sleepwalker Tonic

Charlie Laird has a dream life.

1) He has a weirdo stepmom who runs an herbarium.
2) He lives in a purple mansion with a portal to the Netherworld.
3) Since they escaped from the Netherworld, he and his best friends have been sleeping like babies.

But Charlie can’t shake the feeling that something strange is afoot. Charlotte’s herbarium used to be one of the busiest stores in Cypress Creek. Now her loyal following is heading to Orville Falls for their herbal potions. Weirder, though, Orville Falls is suddenly filled with . . . zombies? At least, they sure look like the walking dead. Rumor has it that no one’s sleeping in Orville Falls. And Charlie knows what that means. Things are getting freaky again. 


To be eligible to win, all you need to do is sign up for my free newsletter. Just be sure to mark that you've done that on the rafflecopter form below. The newsletter is produced by Skyrocket Press, and goes out about once a month, so it won't clutter your inbox. Be sure to stop by the other participating blogs for more chances to win. 
 
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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

COVER REVEAL: CONTACT by Laurisa White Reyes

I'm so excited to reveal the cover of my young adult novel, CONTACT. Some of you  may know that the book was originally published in 2014 with Hallowed Ink Press. Unfortunately, one year later, HIP closed its doors leaving my book an orphan.

A good samaritan author emailed me and suggested I submit it to her publisher, Evernight Teen. With nothing to lose, I took her advice and sent it in. I was beyond thrilled when Evernight Teen offered me a publishing contract. The book will come out sometime in 2016 (the date has yet to be determined). In the meantime, I would like to introduce to you the cover of the new CONTACT!!!

BOOK SUMMARY:

Mira wants to die. She’s attempted suicide twice already and failed. Every time she comes in contact with another person, skin to skin, that person’s psyche uploads into hers. While her psychologist considers this a gift, for Mira it’s a curse from which she cannot escape.

To make matters worse, Mira’s father is being investigated for the deaths of several volunteer test subjects of the miracle drug Gaudium. Shortly after Mira’s mother starts asking questions, she ends up in a coma. Although her father claims it was an accident, thanks to her “condition” Mira knows the truth, but proving it just might get her killed.





EXCERPT: 


I’m alive?
Yes. Still alive.
…Again.
A tube runs from an IV bag into my arm, the plastic needle burrows under my skin like a tick. Thank God I was unconscious when they put that in. I cringe at the thought of being deluged with so many psyches at once—paramedics, nurses, doctors, all of them touching me.
Where are my clothes? They must have taken them off when I was out. This flimsy gown can’t protect me. I want to tear off the tape securing the IV tube to my skin; rip it off like a band-aid. I want out of here, but then I see Mama sleeping beside me, her body sloped in a plastic chair. I shouldn’t have done this to her again. But I had to try.
A plastic clamp pinches my finger, connecting me to a heart monitor. Three inches further up, my wrist is wrapped in gauze. Two months ago I would never have had the courage to do this—or any reason to. But now, feeling the staples beneath the bandage, I wonder how deep someone has to cut in order to die?
The curtain jerks back, the metal rings dragging across the ceiling rail. Mama snaps to attention. I half expect her to stand and salute.
            “Miranda Ortiz?” says a woman in a beige linen suit and crisp white blouse.  She is thin, stiff, and colorless. She reeks of Gardenias.
            “I’m Dr. Walsh from Mental Health,” she continues. The plastic laminated nametag hanging from her neck confirms this.
            Dr. Walsh extends her hand, but instead of taking it, I grasp the edge of my sheet and pull it up to my chin. Other than this stupid hospital gown, it’s the only barrier I’ve got right now.
Mama stands up and reaches over the bed to shake the doctor’s hand. “I’m Mira’s mother, Ana,” she says wearily. She starts to sit back down, but Dr. Walsh interrupts.
            “It’s a pleasure to meet you in person, Mrs. Ortiz.  However, I’d like to speak to your daughter alone, if that’s all right.”
            Dr. Walsh is insistent, in a polite sort of way. Mama leans toward me, and for a split second I think she’s going to kiss me goodbye. Though deep down I almost wish she would, instead she offers me her gentle smile and tucks the sheet under my shoulder.
            “Please don’t go,” I whisper.
            “It’ll only be a few minutes,” she says. “I’ll be just outside, all right?”
            Mama brushes a strand of hair from my eyes with her manicured fingernails, careful to avoid contact with my skin. She smiles at me, but her eyes are wistful. As she walks out, my insides tighten up and I suddenly realize how much I’ve missed her touch. My instinct is to cling to her like when I was small, but instead I press my arms stiffly to my sides like a corpse.
A security guard opens the door and accompanies Mama out into the hall. Dr. Walsh takes Mama’s empty chair, crosses one leg over the other and lays a clipboard on her knee.  “So,” she begins, “you cut yourself last night. Is that right?”
            Her voice is casual and smooth, as if she’s just asked me what I ate for dinner. She waits for me to respond. When I don’t, she glances down at her clipboard.  “I understand it’s not your first attempt. You were just here a couple of weeks ago, I see. Overdose, but no permanent damage done.”
            She glances up at me, pausing in case I have something to say.
I don’t.
“Miranda—”
            “It’s Mira.”
            “Mira, what happened that made you want to die?”
Her perfume hangs heavy around her. I rub the sheet against my nose, trying to block out the overpowering smell. The silence between us feels awkward. It’s obvious she’s going to sit there for as long as it takes. I want her gone, so I might as well talk.
            “My boyfriend wants to dump me,” I tell her, and it’s true. Sort of.
            “I see,” she says. Her eyebrows lift a little. “Things aren’t going well between the two of you?”
            “Something like that.”
            Her eyes narrow as she looks at her clipboard again. She thinks she’s got me all figured out. She’s met a hundred kids like me, maybe more. In her eyes, I’m just like all the rest.
Only I’m not.   
“Mira, do you mind if I ask you some questions?” She looks up at me, a trace of a smile on her lips. “Your answers will help me understand what’s happening with you, all right?”
            She begins with the same questions Dr. Jansen asked me the last time I was here: Do you have trouble sleeping? How’s your appetite? Do you feel anxious or sad more often than usual?
            She’s so pale with her white skin and bleached hair. Craig’s skin is light like hers. I used to relish his touch and let his lips linger on mine as long as he wanted. My skin tingles just thinking about him, but I shove the memories back, burying them down deep inside me where they belong.
            Dr. Walsh shifts in her chair, drawing my mind back to the present. “Mira,” she continues, “do you believe you have special powers?”
            Beneath the sheet my arm jerks, and the clip on my finger pops off. The monitor lets out a loud, piercing beep. I pat around the mattress, but I can’t find the clip. Then I see it dangling over the side of the bed. I reach for it, but Dr. Walsh gets to it before I do.
            “Here,” she says, smiling.  “Let me help you.”
            “No, don’t!” I say, grabbing for the clip.
            Too late.
Oh God. Please God, not again.
I squeeze my eyelids shut, bracing for impact as she grasps my wrist in one hand and replaces the clip with the other. It takes only half a second, like those commercials where a crash test dummy rockets forward at high speed and slams into a wall. In that instant every thought in Emma Lynn Walsh’s head collides with mine—every thought, memory, hope, disappointment and dream. They come at me like a hailstorm, assaulting me at random. I see her as a child falling off her bike and scraping her knee, and her father scolding her for forgetting to brake. I see the wedding ring slide onto her finger—her yanking it off and flushing it down the toilet. I feel despair at her mother’s funeral and relief at her father’s. She masks so much pain with poise and self-assurance, but beneath it all she’s a mess.
            “Mira? Mira.”
            I open my eyes to see Dr. Walsh peering at me, a puzzled expression on her face.
            “Let—go—of—me,” I order though clenched teeth.
Dr. Walsh releases my wrist. I turn on my side, rolling up in the sheet, attempting to disappear into my cocoon. I hear the chair legs scrape against the floor as Dr. Walsh slides it closer to my bed.
I stare at the bottom of my IV bag, watching clear drops form, preparing to fall into the tube. One by one they hang there for a moment suspended in time, and then plop!
I glance over my shoulder and look at Dr. Walsh. Her smile is gone. Both feet are on the floor, and she’s holding the clipboard up now, like a shield. There’s a yellow Sponge Bob sticker on the back, staring at me with a goofy, wide-mouthed grin.
“Okay, Mira. Why don’t we get back to your boyfriend? You said he wants to break up with you. Why?” Dr. Walsh’s tone has changed. It’s softer now, more sympathetic, but what can I tell her that won’t sound crazy?
            “I won’t let him touch me anymore.”
“So he told you he wants to break up with you?”
            “No. He hasn’t said anything—yet.”
            “Hasn’t said anything.” Her voice holds a note of confusion. “Then, how do you know?”
            She dangles the question in front of me like the proverbial carrot, hoping to draw me out. I don’t want to talk anymore, but something inside me needs to. Maybe part of me believes there is a chance, no matter how slight, that this woman might be able to help. That’s how desperate I’ve become.
I open my mouth to say something, but I can’t. Instead, I just lay there wrapped up like a mummy, someone who’s dead inside. Only I’m not dead. I’m alive. Too much alive.
            Just then a nurse comes into the room to check my IV. “Are you comfortable, Ms. Ortiz?” she asks. “Your father called a bit ago. I assured him that if you needed anything, anything at all, I’d see to it myself.”
            The nurse, a plump middle-aged woman wearing purple scrubs, glances at Dr. Walsh and reacts as if the good doctor had just magically appeared there.
            “Oh my, I’m sorry, Dr. Walsh. I didn’t mean to intrude.”
            “Not a problem. We’re finished here,” says Dr. Walsh offering a nod.
I hear the snap of the clipboard’s metal clasp as she tucks her pen into it. Walking around the side of my bed, she gives me a conciliatory smile. “All right, Mira,” she says. “I’m going to have a word with your mother about getting you admitted. I need you to be somewhere safe, where we can keep an eye on you for a few days.”
            As Dr. Walsh turns to leave, I find my voice again. “If you hate them so much, why smell like them?”
            “Pardon?” She turns, pausing at the door.
            “Gardenias. You hate gardenias.”
 Her lips turn pale as she presses them together. I don’t want to do this, but I need her to believe me. My voice chokes when I say it. “It’s your mother’s perfume.”
            Dr. Walsh’s eyes glisten; hurt and confusion fills her face. Without a word, she turns and walks through the door, taking the invisible gardenia cloud with her.