The Things They’ve Taken by Katie McElhenney – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher to celebrate the release of The Things They’ve Taken. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a road trip snack pack.

All Lo Campbell wants is to be a normal teenager—to go to one high school, live in one place, and have one real friend. Instead, she travels the country with her mother, chasing the unknown, the “what else” that’s out there…

Until one day, the “what else” chases back.

Determined to rescue her mom from whatever supernatural being took her, Lo will need more help than a badly dressed demon obsessed with country music. She’s going to need a Tracker—and lucky for her, she finds one. Shaw is strong, good-looking, possibly available, and utterly infuriating. Sure, he may have secrets, and his help costs more than a brand-new car, but she’ll have to deal with him if she wants to find her mother—and get her home alive.

 

About the Author:

Katie McElhenney was born in Philadelphia into a big family of curious kids and patient adults. A voracious reader and unapologetic daydreamer, she knew she wanted to become a writer someday. With the support of an amazing family, great friends, and some truly spectacular teachers she has written short stories, poems, and novels. A solar-powered human, she now lives in Los Angeles and uses the great weather for year-round trips to the beach and long runs (where the best inspiration happens).

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Remember Me Forever by Sara Wolf – Spotlight and Giveaway

 

This post is part of a virtual book book tour to celebrate the release of Remember me Forever, the third book in the Lovely Vicious series, by Sara Wolf. Enter the giveaway for a chance to win an Ultimate College Survival Kit.

 

“What a rush! Brilliantly crafted, sharply written, and completely unpredictable–the perfect ending to an all-time favorite series! Sara Wolf is a fresh voice in YA, and her characters never fail to make me laugh and think. If you’re in the mood for an edgy, witty, one-of-a-kind romance, this is definitely for you!” —Rachel Harris, NYT bestselling author

 

Isis Blake hasn’t fallen in love in three years, forty-three weeks, and two days. Or so she thinks.

The boy she maybe-sort-of-definitely loved and sort-of-maybe-definitely hated has dropped off the face of the planet in the face of tragedy, leaving a Jack Hunter–shaped hole. Determined to be happy, Isis fills it in with lies and puts on a brave smile for her new life at Ohio State University.

But the smile lasts only until he shows up. The menace from her past—her darkest secret, Nameless—is attending OSU right alongside her. And he’s whispering that he has something Isis wants—something she needs to see to move forward. To move on.

Isis has always been able to pretend everything is okay. But not anymore.

Isis Blake might be good at putting herself back together.

But Jack Hunter is better.

 

 

 

About the Author: Sara Wolf is a twenty-something author who adores baking, screaming at her cats, and screaming at herself while she types hilarious things. When she was a kid, she was too busy eating dirt to write her first terrible book. Twenty years later, she picked up a keyboard and started mashing her fists on it and created the monster known as the Lovely Vicious series. She lives in San Diego with two cats, a crippling-yet-refreshing sense of self-doubt, and not enough fruit tarts ever.

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Top Five Strange Things by L.S. O’Dea – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a Kindle Paperwhite to a randomly drawn winner (International winner) during the tour. Click on the tour banner to seen the other stops on the tour.

Top Five Strangest Things

Over the years, I’ve had many strange things happen but here are my top five.

Number 1: One morning, I walked off our porch into our backyard. I was standing under one of the palm trees when something fell – splat – onto my head. I immediately raised my hand to brush it away but I heard a coo-coo and then it was gone. It took me a minute to realize that a dove had fallen from the tree right onto my head. Talk about being in the right (or perhaps wrong) place at the right time.

Number 2: This also has to do with birds (maybe they’re out to get me). My sister and I were walking out of Winn-Dixie (it’s a grocery store in Florida). We both had cans of Coke open in our hands. Seagulls were flying overhead, waiting for a handout, when the Coke can vibrated in my hand at the same time something hit my arm. I looked down and there was a little bird poop on my arm and just a tiny, tiny bit on the can right next to the opening where I HAD been drinking. That darn bird had pooped right into the can. If it hadn’t splattered on my arm, I may have drunk bird poop. Yuck!!! Double, triple YUCK!!

Number 3: I bought my house in August of 2004. If you lived in Florida at that time, you know that was not a very good summer to purchase a house. The weekend I was supposed to move in, Hurricane Charlie ran through Central Florida. I waited another week and a half before moving in because the power was out.

I’d just moved in and Hurricane Frances came along. Being a stubborn fool, I decided to stay and wait out the storm. I remember standing in my house as the aluminum shingles were torn from my pole barn. They’d fly through the yard (they’re 8 feet long) making this weird sound – kind of twangy and hollow and I wish I could explain it better. Later, I watched my front porch collapse onto itself in somewhat slow motion as first one corner bent and then it slowly collapsed as if too tired to stand any longer.

Number 4: I live in the woods. The community where I live has a five acre minimum. Needless to say, there’s a lot of wildlife. I have a lot of dogs – big dogs. One day, my youngest dog at the time, Jack, was out back barking which wasn’t unusual for him but I went and called him in. As soon as he came in, two of my other dogs Sassy (a hound mix) and Buddy (a rottweiler) wanted out. I let them out back.

Usually, Jack would’ve gone right back outside with them, but that night he just stood in the living room staring at me. I asked if he wanted to go and although he didn’t shake his head “no” he might as well have because he made it clear that he WAS NOT going back outside. I closed the door and went to sit down on the couch when I heard Buddy and Sassy thunder up the stairs to the back door. They’d barely been out there a minute. I opened the door and they shoved past me, racing inside. Sassy’s tail was tucked tight between her legs. If Buddy had a tail, it would’ve been too. Something was outside. Something big enough or mean enough to scare a 70 and a 90 pound dog. I stepped onto the back porch, asking my dogs if anyone wanted to come with me. They all stared at me like I was nuts (I probably was). I shone the flashlight around the yard, but didn’t see anything. I wasn’t crazy enough to go off the porch though.

I’m still not sure what had been out there. I’d guess a panther or bear, maybe gator. Whatever it was, it’d been big, not hungry and mean enough to not back down from two large dogs.

Number 5: The strangest thing that has ever happened to me was when I was a junior in high school. I’d gone to K-mart with my father and my two year old niece. I worked at the St. John K-mart in Indiana. I was going to check my schedule. As we were walking into the store a gunman shot a guy across the street and then headed toward K-mart. We had to hide while he went through the store shooting the place up. He ended up killing three people before the police killed him. It was surreal and to this day, I get nervous remember the events.

A rebellion is brewing in the world of the Lake of Sins while Hugh Truent sits in prison days away from his execution.

After taking his findings about the genetic similarities between the classes to the Supreme Almighty and the Council, Hugh had been arrested for treason and all his evidence had vanished as if made from smoke.

To protect his family, he cut off all contact with the outside world while he sat in prison for over four years waiting for his execution. He has no idea that some of his reports were leaked to the other classes and that civil war looms on the horizon.

Trinity and her friends have no hope of winning the war unless they can unite the classes. In order to do that, they need someone everyone will follow. They need the one person all the classes trust and believe in. They need Hugh.

That means they have to break him out of a maximum security prison and convince him to lead their army, but that won’t be easy because Hugh wants revenge and he’s not going to let anything get in his way especially mouthy, attractive, know-it-all Trinity.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Hugh

Trinity didn’t reply, but her back was straighter than before. He was getting on her nerves. Good because she sure got on his. She was nothing but trouble, an attractive know-it-all who refused to listen to anyone. His hand met the end of the rope. It was still a long way to the ground.

Jackson waited alongside the building with Tim. They were both flat against the wall, trying not to be seen.

“Drop. You’ll be fine.” Her voice was soft, no longer acidic and mocking.

He couldn’t deal with her being kind to him. They’d done so well bickering. The trip had been fast and he hadn’t thought much about the danger. “I’m an Almighty. My kind doesn’t always land on their feet.”

“Let go,” she said, a hint of anger in her voice.

“I will.” His hands tightened on the rope. A fall like this could break something.

“Now,” she snapped. “Or I’ll kick you in the face and say a prayer that you land on your head.”

Her foot waved above his head. He wouldn’t put it past her to do what she threatened. She’d probably enjoy it. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, pushed back with his feet and let go. He was free. It was glorious. No chains. No cell. Just the air and the sky and…the ground. He hit hard, his legs taking the brunt of the fall. He rolled onto his back as Jackson’s hand grabbed his and pulled him to his feet. He touched his face, the impact of his landing still rattled through his teeth. Trinity dropped gracefully next to him. He hated House Servants, every last one of them.

About the Author:L. S. O’Dea grew up the youngest of seven in a family that uses teasing and tricks as an indication of love (or at least that’s what she tells herself). Being five years younger than her closest sibling often made her the unwilling entertainment for her brothers and sisters.

Before she started kindergarten her brothers taught her how to spell her first and middle name—Linda Sue. She was so proud she ran into the kitchen to tell her mother. She stood tall and recited the letters of her name: L-E-M-O-N H-E-A-D.

She’s pretty sure she has her siblings to thank for the demons that lurk in her mind, whispering dark and demented stories.

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Lake of Sins: Hangman’s Army is the third book in the series and the series should be read in order. The first two books in the series are free.

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Back in Time for a Date: Writing for Young Adults by Tony Lee Moral

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Tony Lee Moral who is visiting with us to talk about his newest book Ghost Maven.

Back In Time for A Date: Writing for Young Adults
by Tony Lee Moral

Imagine you could go back in time and date someone from another century? That’s an experience sixteen-year-old Alice Parker finds herself in when she meets Henry Raphael, a 100-year-old ghost in the body of a seventeen-year-old sailor in my novel Ghost Maven. I’ve written three books on Alfred Hitchcock, the Maestro of Suspense, so I adapted his principles of mystery and suspense when writing for young adults.

Believe it or not, there was a time before the internet, before cell phones, before emails, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. There was a time of old-fashioned dating. Guys and girls use to write each other love letters – yes love letters! And this wasn’t like 100 years ago, but as late as 30 years ago.

Hitchcock was great at using locations to their best advantage and allowing them to advance the plot, such as the town of Santa Rosa becoming an important character when concealing a murderer in Shadow of A Doubt. Similarly in Ghost Maven, Monterey and Pacific Grove provide the perfect setting for this step back in time, as they are among the oldest towns in California and the whole of the West Coast. The past is evoked everywhere, from the white Victorian clapboard houses, to the tin canneries, the churches and the oldest store building in the state.

Both Alice and Henry have a shared appreciation of nature, and see tremendous beauty in the ocean, but also realize its power and danger. I was sure to choose locations to help form the setting for the development of their relationship. When they go to the Monterey Aquarium, they marvel at the moon jellies, and go searching among the Asilomar rock pools for sea creatures during low tide. Subliminally they also have other things in common, including favourite colours like purple and the same tastes in mid 19th Century literature. When Henry writes Alice a love letter it is on old-fashioned scented lilac paper. They embark on a romantic courtship, involving ballroom dances, first kisses, coffee dates, writing love letters, walks along the beach, and having picnics.

The Monterey Peninsula is also rich in supernatural folklore. As well as my own personal experiences of the bay’s beauty, I was lucky to have a built in backdrop of ghosts and strange sightings to draw upon. Point Pinos is also the oldest operating lighthouse on the west coast, and is actually thought to be haunted. Like Vertigo’s bell tower, it seemed the perfect place for the novel’s climax and for pivotal scenes in the book.

A romantic novel should also maintain the mystery and suspense about a character, particularly the love interest, and mirror real life when you are getting to know someone for the first time. Think of the two couples falling in love in Vertigo and Marnie. The central mystery of the book for Alice and the reader is who is Henry and where does he come from? Anything that doesn’t advance the plot or reveal character should probably be cut. In early drafts I had scenes of Alice in the outdoor markets of Monterey, but these were indulgent and were the first to go. Strive for more immediate scenes and less narrative summary.

You don’t always have to wrap everything up in a neat bundle at the end of your story. Sometimes it’s better to leave things unresolved, which Alfred Hitchcock called the ‘Ice box syndrome’, referring to the moment when a couple discusses the plot or something troubling them, and they reach into the ‘ice box’ or refrigerator. At the end of Ghost Maven, the mystery is what happens to the central characters and are they still in danger?

Ghost Maven is the first in a Young Adult series by Tony Lee Moral published by Saturn’s Moons Press, an imprint of Cactus Moon Publications.

Alice’s mother passes away and with her father and little sister, Sophie, she moves to Pacific Grove in California. Alice is deathly afraid of the water despite living in a community surrounded by it. In order to push through her phobia, she joins the Kayaking club in high school.

During a routine kayaking drill, a fog rolls in and Alice becomes disoriented, losing all sense of direction. A large wave turns the kayak over, dumping Alice into the icy-cold pacific. She nearly drowns when a young man dives in after her. . .Henry Raphael.

After Henry’s rescue, Alice gains more than her life. Henry is a beautiful seventeen-year-old or more accurately, one-hundred-seventeen years. The relationship between them takes Alice on a journey for which no one could prepare her.

Long distance relationships are difficult – how can Alice bridge a divide between planes? Henry died over a century ago but lives on in the fourth plane of existence waiting for an opportunity to atone for past deeds that caused the death of his ship’s entire crew. Their vengeance still hanging over his head, Henry and Alice learn their love will be tested by more than the passage of time and living in different dimensions.

About the Author:
Tony Lee Moral is a mystery and suspense author who has written three books on Alfred Hitchcock.

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Where do Ideas Come From? by Alex C. Vick – Guest Blog and Giveaway

 

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Alex C Vick will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Where do ideas come from?

Before I begin, thank you very much to Long and Short Reviews for inviting me to write a guest post today!

I loved this suggested topic as soon as I saw it. Just one deceptively simple question calls to mind all that is amazing, yet terrifying about writing. Everything must inevitably begin with an idea. My own experience is obviously unique to me, but that basic challenge is the same for every writer.

Some days it’s a challenge that I barely glance at before I dive into my story and begin typing the next scene. Other days it lurks on my shoulder like a kind of small, spiteful monster, with a smirk that only gets bigger when I can’t come up with a single sentence.

Therefore, the question of where ideas come from (and more importantly how to find them when they refuse to show up!) is a very interesting one.

Before I start a new book, there has to be something that grabs my attention. A hook to get me excited about writing it. It might be a question that I really want to know the answer to. Then, a character might turn up in my head with a line or two of dialogue that I find intriguing. Finally, there might be a scene in the middle or end of the story that I can already picture.
Then, I write the book. I am not a planner, which means that I figure out the rest of my ideas as I go along. With or without the monster on my shoulder!

But where do they come from? The attention grabbers, unfortunately, are outside of any conscious control. I just make them up. They arrive in my head at a time of their choosing. If I actively search for them, they are nowhere to be found. In fact, the harder I look, the better they hide.

Stephen King described it perfectly:

“Let’s get one thing clear right now, shall we? There is no Idea Dump, no Story Central, no Island of the Buried Bestsellers; good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky.”

However, I try to do what I can to help the process along. I read a lot. I pay attention to the world around me. I notice similarities and differences. I visit new places and meet new people, at work and outside of work. I take a lot of photographs and play around with perspective. I actively research historical subjects that interest me. As long as I keep my eyes wide open, and take an interest in life and living, I hope there will be enough going on inside my head to produce an idea when I need one.

The rest is just persistence. Keep writing. Keep going. As Neil Gaiman says:

“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard.”

The great thing about writing fiction is that there’s no right or wrong answer. I am in awe of the amazing creativity shown by my favorite authors. As a reader, I enjoy discovering new worlds and stories, but I also love reading a new take on characters and situations that already exist. How would you describe your reading choices? Do you have a favorite kind of story?

Thank you for reading, and thank you again to Long and Short Reviews for featuring my post!

Shannon thought there was no such thing as real magic. Until that day. The day that changed everything.

Put yourself in her shoes. Would you open your eyes, if you were the one that heard them? Two magic-takers from another world, arguing about whether they can collect what they came for before you wake up. It sounds like a crazy dream, or a practical joke.

But what if the air around you started to vibrate with an invisible force field? What if, all at once, it felt scary, yet familiar too? You would have no way of knowing that this discovery would set you on a path no-one from our world has taken for centuries. Towards a deadly enemy, and a fight you will almost certainly lose.

All you know is that your heart is beating so fast you’re worried they will hear it, and your brain is starting to buzz as the force field reaches it. Would you open your eyes?

Join Jax and Shannon as they live through the most exciting and terrifying ten days of their lives!

Read an Excerpt:

Jax reacted first, grabbing Shannon and Darius by the arms and pulling them backwards towards the bookshelves. They ran deep into one of the sections, as far as they could go, not stopping until they reached the end. Staring anxiously at each other, hearts pounding with fear, they waited to hear who had come through the door.

There was no sound at first. Whoever had entered the room had done so with silent footsteps. Then there was an exclamation of discovery, and a man’s voice could be heard calling “Dorian? Can you come in here for a moment?”

Apparently Dorian was the Custodian who had been sitting outside. A short conversation then took place, but the voices were too quiet for Jax, Shannon and Darius to hear what was being discussed. It was soon clear what had happened however.

The same man’s voice was raised to say “You might as well show yourself, I know there is someone in here. And I also know you are not permitted. I can recognise that the Treaty has been read just a few moments ago, but Dorian tells me he has seen no-one gain entry this night.”

There was a pause, and then the voice continued, becoming angrier.

“Come now, this is a waste of my time and yours. I will find you, and you will not enjoy the methods I will use.”

Jax had gone completely white. He recognised the voice as belonging to Marcus. For a few seconds he tried to think frantically of a way that they could escape, but almost straight away he realised that it was impossible.

About the Author:

Alex writes contemporary fantasy books for a middle grade audience and older. There are three (self-contained) stories in the Legacy of Androva series so far, with a fourth on the way. You can contact Alex, and find more information about Androva, including a character interview, at her website.

Alex lives in the South of England with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not working, or writing about magic, she also loves reading and photography.

Buy the book for only $0.99 at Amazon or Amazon UK.

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The Journey to Writing My First Novel by Alex Lyttle – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews YA welcomes Alex Lyttle who is celebrating the release of his debut novel, From Ant to Eagle. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a $100 bookstore or PayPal gift card.

The Journey to Writing My First Novel by Alex Lyttle, author of From Ant to Eagle
When I was in my first year of medical school I had the difficult decision as to how I was going to spend my summer. In order to get into a good residency training program I needed to do something that looked good on a resume. Most people do research. It looks good on a resume AND helps you get to know the doctors in the area you are applying for.

But I didn’t want to do research. I’d already done a summer of research before medical school and most of that was spent asleep on a microscope. And I mean literally asleep. I would go into the dark room, place my eyes against the microscope and nap. I wasn’t a very good researcher.

So, I decided to take up painting! I knew that it wouldn’t be as appealing on a resume as research but hey, at least it would be a conversation starter in my interviews. I bought canvas, paints and watched one Bob Ross video on how to paint. My one and only painting was of a mountain that more closely resembled a spaceship. And not a very good spaceship. In fact, it was terrible. And not only that, I didn’t enjoy painting.

But I still needed to do something productive with my summer. So I decided to take up writing. About what? I wasn’t sure. I had some vague thoughts about writing about my brother. I’d tormented him when we were little, inventing a “game” whereupon I made him do horrible things to gain a “level” and I guess I harboured some guilt over that. I wanted to show people that despite the outward cruelty, there was a deep-seeded love that existed between us. So I started to write. And I loved it. But the book didn’t have any direction.

I continued to aimlessly pound away at the keyboard until third year medical school when we left the classroom and began rotating through the hospitals. One of my first rotations was in pediatric oncology and it was devastating. I’ll come out and say this: I’m a sensitive person. I cry in almost every movie, including Finding Dory, and sitting in on meetings with families being told their child has cancer was overwhelming. It would resonate with me long after I left the hospital. I didn’t sleep well. I kept thinking about those children and their families. Often, I would think about their siblings. The children brought to the hospitals day-in and day-out while their brothers or sisters underwent treatment. Since the focus of the caregivers is, rightfully so, on the children who are sick, the siblings are often left out. They are the forgotten ones and I decided to write a story from their perspective. I wanted to show young readers what these children go through. I wanted them to be able to empathize.

So I started the book again. And seven years later (pediatric residency does not leave much time for writing), it is finished. It is called From Ant To Eagle and will be available in stores April 1st, 2017. I hope that you read it. I hope that you like it. But mostly, I hope that it opens your eyes to the difficulties of children like Sammy and Calvin.

My name is Calvin Sinclair, I’m eleven years old and I have a confession… I killed my brother.

It’s the summer before grade six and Calvin Sinclair is bored to tears. He’s recently moved from a big city to a small town and there’s nothing to do. It’s hot, he has no friends and the only kid around is his six-year-old brother, Sammy, who can barely throw a basketball as high as the hoop. Cal occupies his time by getting his brother to do almost anything: from collecting ants to doing Calvin’s chores. And Sammy is all too eager – as long as it means getting a “Level” and moving one step closer to his brother’s Eagle status.

When Calvin meets Aleta Alvarado, a new girl who shares his love for Goosebumps books and adventure, Sammy is pushed aside. Cal feels guilty but not enough to change. At least not until a diagnosis causes things at home to fall apart and he’s left wondering whether Sammy will ever complete his own journey…

From Ant to Eagle.

About the Author:Alex Lyttle is a pediatrician living in Calgary, Alberta with his wife and three children. He was raised in London, Ontario – the setting of his first novel, From Ant to Eagle, which he wrote based on his experiences working in the Pediatric Oncology unit. When he is not working, writing or playing basketball, he enjoys learning new magic tricks to perform for his young patients.

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Buried Dolls by Lynn Hones – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lynn Hones will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Jody had the misfortune of breaking her ankle. The only available apartment to convalesce in is a derelict mansion just outside of town. The tenants prefer to keep to themselves except when sneaking strange dolls into her rooms. Suffering from loss of memory after a horrific event destroyed her biological family, Jody clutches at straws trying to find out who she is and why some people in the house leave her clues to get out or get murdered. Find out if Jody regains her memory, what happened to her family and who, among her friends, is actually her enemy, working to see her killed.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Not only that, but her jaw hung open when what met her eyes not only astounded her but made her feel faint. There in black and white were the two little girls from her dream. And their names were Lucy and Alice. My God, how can this be? Talking to herself, she shook her head. “There is not a living soul who will believe me. How can this possibly be happening to me?” A thump from her bedroom brought her out of her trancelike state and her head turned. Holding the book, she kept her glance on the hallway leading to her room. Silence. Once again a thump, louder this time, hit her ears. She closed the book, placed it in her lap, and slowly wheeled toward her bedroom. A small current of electricity coursed through her bones as she turned the corner into the hall. A few feet later she entered her bedroom, the one she simply could not sleep in, and noticed there, lying on the floor was a doll. She wheeled closer and picked it up. Jody dropped the doll onto the ground as quickly as she had picked it up with an instinctual impulse to rid oneself of something dreadful. It fell, face up, its blonde hair splayed out, its mouth open in a grotesque grimace with half a tongue cut out. Staring deeply at the doll Jody caught her breath. There was something about the doll that confused then frightened her. The doll, its left foot askew, looked just like her, down to the broken ankle.

About the Author:Lynn Hones has been married for 28 years and is mother to two lovely daughters. She has two rescued cats and two dogs who are so big she calls them livestock. She lives in a large, drafty old home on the shores of Lake Erie and loves nothing better than grabbing an armful of books and heading to the beach. She combs the beaches for beach glass and makes jewelry out of it. Living in a historic harbor town, she has lots of inspiration for her books. She loves to write and chew massive amounts of bubblegum; preferably at the same time. She’s an expert bubble blower.

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Elektra Chaos by Deanna Roy – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Deanna Roy will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Elektra never wanted to be the good guy.

She’s a troublemaker and a clever Loki magic thief. Nobody gets in her way. All she has to do is zap people with her electric-magnetic power, and they forget where they are or what they are doing.

But a few days ago in the desert, a magnetic sandstorm did more than blow everyone backward. It switched the polarity of the magic world. The good guys turned bad. And the bad guys like Elektra, well, now their magic only works if they are doing good in the world.

Now the Vor are out to steal more power, making the thieves look like chumps. Elektra will have to fight every bad guy code she’s ever stood for to take down the good guys and save the day.

Elektra Chaos is the final book in the Magic Mayhem trilogy.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Elektra’s classmates always backed away when they saw her in the halls.

This didn’t bother her in the least.

She knew why they did it. People who annoyed her sometimes got blinding headaches. Or felt confused, like their thoughts were scrambled. Every once in a while, they lost all memory of the last few minutes.

Elektra could do these things to them.

And she often did.

Today was no different. Everyone moved aside as she passed. Even the eighth graders got out of her way, intimidated by a short, blond ten-year-old. She had to laugh.

Nobody was the boss of her.

Elektra twirled the pink feather fastened in her hair as she walked by the door to her math class. The bell would ring any second, but she didn’t care about being late.

If the hall monitor stopped her, Elektra would simply make the woman forget what she was doing until Elektra was out of sight. Of all the magical kids in school, Elektra was sure she had the best powers.

And now she had a new one.

About the Author:

Deanna Roy is the six-time USA Today bestselling author of middle grade books, women’s fiction, and college romance. She wrote Elektra Chaos for her daughter Elizabeth, who was diagnosed with epilepsy at age six.

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If I’d Never Heard of Me Would I Read My Book? by Teymour Shahabi – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Teymour Shahabi will be awarding a print copy of “The Secret Billionaire” with a personal message (International Giveaway) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

If I’d Never Heard of Me Would I Read my Book?

I studied both comparative literature and math in college—please forgive me if I seem to start on the wrong side here. One of the mathematical concepts that have inspired me the most (by which I mean, outside the realm of homework) is proof by induction. It’s used to prove that a certain statement holds true for all natural numbers. You start by proving that, if the statement is true for a given value n, then it’s true for the next natural number, n + 1. Then you prove that the statement is true for the number 1. Based on the first proof, if the statement is true for 1, then it must also be true for the number 2. Which means it must also be true for the number 3. And so on and so on, showing that the statement is true for all the natural numbers. (Aren’t you picturing glass dominoes knocking one another down into infinity? If only life were as clean as math…)

This principle of proof by induction perfectly encapsulates, in my mind, what a book should do. (And I promise I’m not just trying to justify my college degree as more than randomness and indecision.) In a good book, if you pick up the story on any given page—let’s call it page n—you should feel compelled to turn over to page n + 1. Different authors may compel you with different tricks: with a gripping mystery, with snappy dialogue, with a mesmerizing character, with the beauty of the writing… What matters is that any page you read will make you want to read another. Now, ideally, this statement holds true for page 1 of the book—or even page 0: anyone who sees the book cover and the description on the back should feel the urge to turn open the first page.

Therefore, I measure my own book by the answer to this question: if someone sees the book, glances at the book cover (designed by the brilliant Kelly Ellis), and reads the description, would that person then want to start reading—and go all the way to the end? Success, for me, would be to answer the question with a confident yes.

And so, if I’ve done my job correctly, then, if I’d never heard of me, I wholeheartedly wish to believe that I’d still read The Secret Billionaire.

March 24. Billionaire Lyndon Surway takes off in his private plane and never returns.

His will leaves the entirety of his wealth—one of the largest fortunes in history—to his “dear friend Lucian Baker.” Only there is no trace of anyone by that name. And the fortune itself is nowhere to be found.

Andrew Day knows nothing of wealth and privilege, but he won a scholarship to study at the most exclusive school in the country, in the town where the mystery, decades later, remains unsolved. There he discovers friendship and danger with the aristocratic Cameron and the beautiful Olivia. But watchful eyes follow him everywhere… Until, one night, he comes across a secret that will change his life. As he begins to unravel what really happened to the Surway fortune, the question remains: who is Lucian Baker?

Winner: Northern California Book Festival, Best Young Adult Book, 2016
Winner: Great Midwest Book Festival, Best Young Adult Book, 2016
Winner: Florida Book Festival, Best Young Adult Book, 2016

Enjoy an Excerpt

THE METROPOLITAN TIMES
June 24, 196…

At nine o’clock yesterday morning, following ninety days of fruitless searching, billionaire industrialist and businessman Lyndon Surway was officially pronounced dead. Mr. Surway was last seen by members of his staff departing from the main airplane hangar of his estate a few minutes past eight in the morning, flying alone aboard one of his aircraft. His last recorded words to the command center crew of his hangar were: “Clear skies and mild winds. Perfect visibility, or as perfect as I could hope, for as long as I can tell. Gentlemen, I wish you a thorough enjoyment of this fine day.” Nothing unusual was noted in his language or behavior.

The late Mr. Surway often took his plane out with no stated destination. But this time, he failed to return at the customary hour of six in the evening. As no word had been received from him, the kitchens were advised that he would likely dine outside.

At ten o’clock on the following morning, when there was still no news of Mr. Surway or his aircraft, the Steward of the House alerted the municipal, state, and federal authorities, and a search began for the missing magnate. But no airport, hotel, hospital or inn within fuel’s range of the estate could provide any information. Dozens of interviews bore no result. Countless journalists and detectives rushed in from every corner of the country, but none of them could unearth a single clue regarding Mr. Surway’s whereabouts. Not even the Steward could guess where Mr. Surway had gone. On the morning of his disappearance, Mr. Surway had only told him: “My day is free and so am I.”

Fifteen infantry troops were dispatched, with over a hundred hound dogs, across more than two hundred miles of hills and valleys surrounding the town of Spring Forge, where Mr. Surway lived. The infantry and the dogs found nothing. The Air Force then loaned eighteen jet-powered aircraft to continue the search. The Navy joined the effort with five ships, sixteen helicopters, and four submarines to scour the coastal regions, islands, and ocean floor within flying range of the Eastern Seaboard. Again nothing was found. Finally then, a large-scale search was conducted through the grounds and the buildings of Surway House itself, led by seven hundred volunteers from Spring Forge and other towns throughout the valley. Still they found nothing. Yesterday marked three months since Mr. Surway’s disappearance. The aircraft was legally declared lost, and its owner deceased. Mr. Surway, estimated for each of the past twelve years to be the wealthiest man in the Western Hemisphere, leaves behind no known relatives.

About the Author: Teymour Shahabi was born in Paris of Persian parents in 1985. He moved to the United States to study Comparative Literature and Mathematics at Harvard University. He lives in New York City where he’s spent the last few years among serious professionals, many of whom probably prefer to read nonfiction. The Secret Billionaire is his first published book.

You can watch him try to figure out writing and life at Facebook.

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Into Shadow by T.D. Shields – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding the first book (ebook) in three YA series: Into Shadow by TD Shields; Awaken by Michelle Bryan; and The Other Inheritance by Rebecca Jaycox to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

She’s nineteen. The President’s daughter. They want her dead.

Poppy’s father may be the President of the North American Alliance, but that just makes her a target for those wishing to topple the regime.

Barely escaping with her life, she must travel across a country ravaged by war and climate change to seek safety amongst a people who only recently opposed her. There she must use every skill learned from her military upbringing to survive terrifying beasts, deadly plant life, and lawless gangs before finally finding a group willing to accept her.

But her peace soon proves to be illusory. It’s not only the government that wants her dead now.

Enjoy an Excerpt:
We sped through the streets, taking turns recklessly fast as we tried to lose the bikes on our tails. As we flew around yet another corner, one of the bikes caught up to me and slapped into the back of my bike. It wasn’t a particularly hard collision, but it popped my bike loose from the mag-lev rail, and I went skidding sideways across the pavement. When the base of the bike hit the curb at the edge of the road, I was flung over the handlebars to land in a crumpled heap on the cracked sidewalk.

All I could do was lie there, staring blankly at a weed growing inches from my nose as I tried to catch my breath. From the corner of my eye I saw Sharra slow and look back, trying to decide if she could help me. Then she leaned low over the handlebars and shot off into the dark streets, leaving me behind.

A million small aches and pains made themselves known as I rolled slowly to my knees. I didn’t bother to get up any further than that. I was completely surrounded, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to move fast enough to break loose from all of these people and retrieve my downed bike. Instead, I waited in silence to see what would happen next and watched for an opportunity to escape.

About the Author:

After writing stories in her head for the last 30+ years, Tara finally decided to take a stab at writing them down to share them with others.

Tara has a husband, 4 kids, and 5 cats to care for along with a full-time job and contract work on the side, so finding time to write is the biggest challenge. Since her most productive hours are from 12-5 a.m. anyway, Tara usually gives up sleep in favor of writing.

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