Friday, August 28, 2015

BLOG TOUR [Playlists + Giveaway] Aurelious Forty; Volume One by Dianna Beirne





Aurelious Forty; Volume One
Release Date: 12/20/14
252 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
Aurelious Forty has led a lonely, troubled life. He stays disconnected from the world around him with no family and no friends. He lives merely to exist…to survive.

Aurelious’ life changes in an instant when an impulsive decision forces him to abandon everything he has ever known. Choosing to follow strangers into a new world, he discovers he was born with a gift so strong, so unique; it could give him the power to change humanity.

But the shadows of his childhood are long and dark and run through every fiber of his soul. Can Aurelious break the chains of his past and use his gift for good? Or will the nightmare of his tormentors set him on a path of revenge so fierce it could destroy us all?



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Playlist inspired by Aurelious Forty; Volume One

I think the thing that stands out for me most with Aurelious Forty is how emotional it is. The characters and, as a result, the readers go on an emotional journey that can be pretty extreme at times. Much like our own lives, there are highs and lows for each person that we meet on the pages.

I listen to music all the time. I mean all the time. Driving, cooking, doing laundry, taking a walk, daydreaming, you name it and I’ll have music on while I’m doing it…even if I’m doing nothing. Don’t get me wrong, I love silence, I think best when there is no noise at all and I can’t write with music on but I often use music to get into the mind or soul of a character.

When I was writing the last two chapters of Aurelious Forty; Volume One I listened to It Will Rain by Bruno Mars about a million times simply because, to me, it sounded like the intensely emotional scene that I was writing. So anytime that I wasn’t actively writing that scene on the day I wrote it, I was playing that song so I could stay in the mindset of my characters. I’m pretty sure my son thought I was nuts, but the process worked for me, it’s an intense scene to say the least!

So, that song is on my playlist inspired by Aurelious Forty; Volume One along with a whole host of others. The songs are either representative of a particular character or situation they are in and they all evoke some emotion, well for me they do and maybe they will for you too. And in case you were wondering, I listened to a lot of Mumford and Sons while writing Volume Two!

A Simple Man by Shinedown
If I Tremble by Front Porch Step
Too Close by Alex Clare
Sail by Awolnation
Drowning by Banks
Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked by Cage the Elephant
Pompeii by Bastille
It Will Rain by Bruno Mars
Now and Forever by Drake
Jar of Hearts by Christina Perry
More Than Words by Extreme
Round Here by Counting Crows
Centuries by Fall Out Boy
Handlebars by Flobot
Lightning Crashes by Live
The Wolf by Mumford and Sons
Where Are You Now by Mumford and Sons
Timshel by Mumford and Sons
Plain Sailing Weather by Frank Turner
Say Something by A Great Big World
Stay by Rhianna ft. Mikky Ekko
Headstrong by Trapt
Outside by Staind
Just Breathe by Pearl Jam
Uprising by Muse

About the Author

Dianna Beirne lives in a fantasy world. Okay not really, but part of her wishes she did and, since that’s technically impossible, she writes about fantasy worlds instead. Her first Young Adult novel entitled Aurelious Forty; Volume One quickly turned into her first Young Adult series with the addition of Aurelious Forty; Volume Two and, Aurelious Forty; Volume Three.

When not writing, she’s generally daydreaming which morphs into wondering if that last daydream could turn into a book. She has also recently discovered podcasts but doesn’t exactly understand what they are or why they’re different from regular radio shows. So it’s safe to assume that her next book won’t be about a podcast. Instead she’ll just keep listening to the ones that she finds that hilarious because laughing is one of her favorite pastimes and she finds way too many things funny!

Prior to dedicating her time to writing, Dianna taught undergraduate and graduate courses about using literacy in the elementary, middle, and high school classroom. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a Master’s degree in Literacy and a Doctorate in Education specializing in Curriculum and Teaching.

Dianna lives in New York and is the grateful mother of a son whom she misses terribly when he is away at college.

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COVER REVEAL!! Cursed by Christina Bauer (Beholder, #1)




Cursed by Christina Bauer 
(Beholder, #1) 
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: March 29th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult


Synopsis:

Although Elea’s the most powerful necromancer in history, she’s spent most of her nineteen years imprisoned in the Midnight Cloisters. Enchanted manacles keep her unique brand of soul magick in check. While the guards and initiates seem contented to torment her, the Cloister’s Mother Superior is obsessed with finding a safe way to destroy Elea, both body and soul.
Escape seems impossible until a handsome hunter named Asher offers to help. Elea takes a chance and soon develops feelings for the mysterious stranger. However, Asher may not be who he claims. Then again, Elea may not be, either…
Pre-orders are now live at AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks, and Kobo.






AUTHOR BIO:
Christina graduated from Syracuse University's Newhouse School with BA's in English as well as Television, Radio, and Film Production. Her day job is in marketing for companies like Microsoft, Cisco, and Brainshark. Back in the go-go 90′s, she founded her own software start-up, Mindful Technologies. Christina believes that, upon close examination of Tolkien's text, it's entirely possible that the Balrog was wearing fuzzy bunny slippers.


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BLOG TOUR [Chapter One] Spinner by Michael J. Bowler


Spinner
Michael J. Bowler

Genre: teen horror/mystery

Publisher: YoungDudes Publishing

Date of Publication: August 5, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9946675-1-9

Number of pages: 464
Word Count: 138K

Cover Artist: Louis C. Harris

Book Description:

Fifteen-year-old Alex is a “spinner.” His friends are “dummies.” Two clandestine groups of humans want his power. And an ancient evil is stalking him. If people weren’t being murdered, Alex might laugh at how his life turned into a horror movie overnight.

In a wheelchair since birth, his freakish ability has gotten him kicked out of ten foster homes since the age of four. Now saddled with a sadistic housemother who uses his spinning to heal the kids she physically abuses, Alex and his misfit group of learning disabled classmates are the only ones who can solve the mystery of his birth before more people meet a gruesome end.

They need to find out who murdered their beloved teacher, and why the hot young substitute acts like she’s flirting with them. Then there’s the mysterious medallion that seems to have unleashed something malevolent, and an ancient prophecy suggesting Alex has the power to destroy humanity.

The boys break into homes, dig up graves, elude kidnappers, fight for their lives against feral cats, and ultimately confront an evil as old as humankind. Friendships are tested, secrets uncovered, love spoken, and destiny revealed.

The kid who’s always been a loner will finally learn the value of friends, family, and loyalty.

If he survives…

Available at Amazon






Chapter One
What Are You?

Alex felt uneasy as he lay in his bed and listened to the wind outside. It had been an okay day at school – he’d only been called “Roller Boy” twice, which was almost a world record. After school, he’d kicked it at Roy’s house and they cranked some Hawthorne Heights tunes and chilled. Even Jane hadn’t bitched at him. So why can’t I sleep? He didn’t know the answer. His eyes returned to the dancing shadows that flitted across his floor from the window. His drapes were closed, but the wind whistled through the trees, and the shadows mesmerized him. The patterns of light and dark pulled on his eyelids, dragging him slowly under. A dream loomed at the edges of his consciousness. One of those dreams. Sleep overcame him, and the dream began….

Ms. Ashley trudged down a flight of stairs from her second floor apartment to street level, carrying several overflowing bags of trash. The traffic sounds were omnipresent, but otherwise the night was calm and clear.
A slight breeze ruffled her long brown hair as she slunk quickly to the rear of the complex. Rounding the building, she passed alongside a sloping hill of ivy-covered ground toward the row of trashcans in the far corner.
Looking chilled and unsettled, Ms. Ashley lifted one lid and struggled to get all her bags in without spilling anything.
A rustling noise startled her and she whipped her head around to the left. 
The ivy-covered hill ascended upward into darkness, but there was no movement. Only a creepy silence.
She quickly tossed her bags into the can and dropped the lid back in place with a hollow clang.
Suddenly, a large cat dropped onto the top of the can from somewhere above. She uttered a startled cry and leaped back a few steps.
The cat meowed and she chuckled, extending one slightly trembling hand. The animal snuggled against it, wanting to be stroked. She ran her fingers through the fur around the cat’s neck and under its chin.
More rustling leaves drew her attention to the ivy.
The darkness in this corner was deep and penetrating, making the vines and leaves snaking their way up the slope barely visible. Another cat materialized from beneath the thick cover of ivy. Then another. And another.
 In seconds, the hillside crackled and seethed with cats of all shapes and sizes. Their glowing eyes shone like eerie beacons in the night.  The cat beneath Ms. Ashley’s fingers hissed and swiped its claws at her, raking the top of her hand and drawing copious amounts of blood.
Startled, she cried out and yanked her hand back, gazing in shock at the dark liquid gushing forth and spilling onto the concrete at her feet.
Terror etched her face.
She cautiously backed away.
The cats crouched on the hillside, poised and threatening.
The huge one she’d been petting wailed into the night, and then they were on her, leaping and clawing at her face and hair. Hundreds of cats streamed down the hillside and flung themselves at her while the big one sat and watched like a general commanding his troops.
Ms. Ashley screamed, but loud traffic sounds drowned out her cries. Flailing wildly, she turned and stumbled along the side of the building toward the street, desperately crying out for help.
Claws dug into her back and raked across her neck.
Teeth sunk into her arm.
She shrieked in agony as they yanked out chunks of her hair and raked at her legs, shredding her sweat pants and digging viciously into her soft flesh.
Blood spilled from everywhere on her body.
The street loomed just ahead. She tossed one cat off in a frantic attempt to save herself, only to have three more replace it. She clearly didn’t have much time before she’d topple beneath a tidal wave of claws and fur.
A large truck roared along Lincoln Boulevard as Ms. Ashley staggered toward the curb. The headlights were bright and blinding. The biggest cat now flew from the retaining wall at her face and gouged a chunk of flesh out of her cheek, exposing the bone. She wailed in agony.
Her knees buckled, but Ms. Ashley managed to stay on her feet while stumbling headlong into the street at a frantic pace.
Suddenly aware that the truck was almost on her, she clutched at the nearest light post in desperation. One bloodied hand caught the post and slowed her momentum as the cats ceased their brutal attack. She gesticulated frantically with her free hand, hoping to attract the attention of the driver. With her urgent gaze fixed on the truck, she didn’t see the figure in black leap from behind the retaining wall right at her.
Strong hands pressed hard into her back and propelled her forward.
The truck mowed her down in a splatter of blood and gore, flinging her broken body to the pavement and then crushing it beneath massive tires.
As the truck screeched to an ear-piercing halt near the corner, the figure in black melted into the darkness. Several cats sniffed the dead woman's remains before they, too, disappeared into the shadows. The first cat was the last to depart, watching as the horrified driver jumped from the truck cab and pelted toward Ms. Ashley’s broken body.
The cat seemed to grin before vanishing into the night….

Alex screamed and bolted upright in bed, sweating profusely, his young face etched with horror, hair plastered to his sweat-sheened forehead. Heart thumping with urgent terror, he scanned his darkened room. The door leading outside was closed, but the ominous shadows still crept through the window. His desk was messy as usual, and the door to his bathroom stood ajar, but he’d left it that way. Everything looked like it had before he fell asleep.
Dropping onto his pillow, Alex fought to control his breathing and calm his pounding heart. A dream. That’s all it had been. He’d known one was coming, and he’d been right. God, he hated those dreams!  Poor Ms. Ashley. He lay there, sweat making his t-shirt cling uncomfortably to his chest as his heart rate slowly drew down. Could this dream be like the one about his parents? He hadn’t had one like that in years. It seemed so real!
He lay in bed worrying about the morning, and what he’d find when he got to school, even though there was nothing he could do to change anything.
Gradually, he calmed down; the tree branches outside tapping against the house lulled him to sleep. The last image to assail him before he went under was that ugly-ass cat grinning at him before running off into the dark.




About the Author:

Michael J. Bowler is an award-winning author of eight novels––A Boy and His Dragon, A Matter of Time (Silver Medalist from Reader’s Favorite), and The Knight Cycle, comprised of five books: Children of the Knight (Gold Award Winner in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards), Running Through A Dark Place, There Is No Fear, And The Children Shall Lead, Once Upon A Time In America, and Spinner.

His horror screenplay, “Healer,” was a Semi-Finalist, and his urban fantasy script, “Like A Hero,” was a Finalist in the Shriekfest Film Festival and Screenplay Competition.

He grew up in San Rafael, California, and majored in English and Theatre at Santa Clara University. He went on to earn a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University, a teaching credential in English from LMU, and another master's in Special Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills.

He partnered with two friends as producer, writer, and/or director on several ultra-low-budget horror films, including “Fatal Images,” “Club Dead,” and “Things II,” the reviews of which are much more fun than the actual movies.

He taught high school in Hawthorne, California for twenty-five years, both in general education and to students with learning disabilities, in subjects ranging from English and Strength Training to Algebra, Biology, and Yearbook.

He has also been a volunteer Big Brother to eight different boys with the Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a thirty-year volunteer within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles.

He has been honored as Probation Volunteer of the Year, YMCA Volunteer of the Year, California Big Brother of the Year, and 2000 National Big Brother of the Year. The “National” honor allowed him and three of his Little Brothers to visit the White House and meet the president in the Oval Office.

He is currently working on a sequel to Spinner.

His goal as a YA author is for teens to experience empowerment and hope; to see themselves in his diverse characters; to read about kids who face real-life challenges; and to see how kids like them can remain decent people in an indecent world.











Wednesday, August 26, 2015

BOOK BLITZ [Excerpt] Shadow in the Sea by Sheila A. Nielson



Shadow in the Sea 
by Sheila A. Nielson 
Publication date: July 15th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult



Synopsis:
When sixteen-year-old Sadelyn Hanson washes up on the shores of Windwaithe Island, her beauty and the strange marks on her wrist make superstitious locals suspect she is a mermaid. Feigning amnesia, Sade hides a far worse secret: she was sailing to her own murder trial when she was thrown overboard by the real killer, the cunning and cruel Captain Westwood.
Sade’s quiet effort to rebuild her life on the island is threatened when she meets an actual young merman. Unable to speak his language, Sade still longs for the warm companionship he offers, despite the locals’ dire legends about merfolk and their dark magic. But her confused feelings for the impossible boy become the least of her problems when Captain Westwood’s ship docks at Windwaithe. With nowhere to escape, Sade must trust in the one person who doesn’t fear the merfolk. A woman who had dealings with them herself—years ago.







I forced myself to lift my head and look around. The Bonny Mary was adrift, the towline having fallen into the water when I dropped it. I was now a full twenty yards from shore and drifting farther every second.

“No, no, no, no!” the horrified words were wrung from me as I looked madly about for the oars. I caught sight of them bobbing on the waves far ahead of the boat. I looked helplessly about me. Only the sound of the ocean filled my ears. How was I supposed to get back to shore? The ocean pulled at the Bonny Mary as if she were a piece of driftwood.

Clawing at the water like a panicked dog, I vainly tried to propel the boat towards shore with my bare hands. It was useless.

“Help! Someone help me!” I shouted at the deserted beach.

The whole boat jerked suddenly beneath me. I was thrown forward and clutched at the gunwale for balance. The boat stopped drifting. I could see the water rushing beneath its bow as if it moved against the tide under its own power. Like a needle of a compass, the boat’s nose turned slowly in a circle until she once again faced the Rumbles in the same direction we just came from.

“What in heaven’s name…” I said under my breath.

Out of the water just in front of the bow of the Bonny Mary emerged the top of someone’s head. My mouth gaping, I stared into a pair of dark eyes, fringed by a full head of wet, corn silk colored hair. It was a boy—at least I thought it was. His nose and mouth were still hidden beneath the shimmering surface of the sea. He blinked. I caught my breath. Something wasn’t right. His slightly slanted eyes, his pointed ears, they did not look quite—human.

The boy’s head and shoulders rose from the sea, in one smooth movement. I gasped aloud as I finally got a good look at him. He was without a doubt the most incredibly handsome creature I had ever laid eyes upon.

The apparition looked like he was almost a man, eighteen or nineteen perhaps, with skin the color of fine porcelain and fair hair that shone with the same warm luster as cream colored pearls.

Though they were dripping wet, I could see his clothes were made of the finest material. A long sleeved, loose fitting white shirt clung wetly against his powerful arms. Over the shirt he wore a vest of the strangest cloth. In some lights it looked gold, in others a shimmering green like the scales of a fish.

“Who are you?” I whispered in awe.

As if in answer, the young man lifted his hand from the water. Wound tight around his wrist was the lead line of the Bonny Mary. He pulled back on it. The muscles along his arms flexed and grew taut as the boat surged back toward shore. I clutched at the gunwale, bracing myself against the sudden movement.

He’d come to save me.

The young man heaved himself backward against the towline. A large, supremely golden fish tail broke the surface of the water for a moment, stroking powerfully against the force of the
tide. It took me all of five heartbeats to realize it belonged to my strange aquatic rescuer.

James had been right about the existence of mermaids after all.



AUTHOR BIO:

Sheila never did figure out what she wanted to be when she grew up. She graduated from college with a BFA in illustration, has worked as a children's librarian for over eighteen years, and would eventually like to be a full-time author. Why pick one career when you can have many? Sheila lives with her two pets, a goffin cockatoo and a tiny toy poodle. She was born and raised in California but has come to also love her adopted home in Utah where she currently resides.






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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

BOOK BLITZ [Excerpt + Giveaway] Cage of Deceit by Jennifer Anne Davis (Reign of Secrets #1)



Cage of Deceit 
by Jennifer Anne Davis
(Reign of Secrets #1)

Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: August 25th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult



Synopsis:
Jennifer Anne Davis’ best-selling True Reign series captivated readers from the very first page. Now, get ready to become entangled in the follow-up series, Reign of Secrets. In this new series, follow Allyssa, the daughter of the beloved Emperor Darmik and Empress Rema— and find out what happens after happily ever after.
Seventeen-year-old Allyssa appears to be the ideal princess of Emperion—she’s beautiful, elegant, and refined. She spends her days locked in a suffocating cage, otherwise known as royal court. But at night, Allyssa uses her secret persona—that of a vigilante—to hunt down criminals and help her people firsthand.
Unfortunately, her nightly escapades will have to wait because the citizens of Emperion may need saving from something much bigger than common criminals. War is encroaching on their country and in order to protect her people, Allyssa may have to sacrifice her heart. Forced to entertain an alliance through marriage with a handsome prince from a neighboring kingdom, she finds herself feeling even more stifled than before. To make matters worse, the prince has stuck his nosy squire, Jarvik, to watch her every move.

Jarvik is infuriating, bossy and unfortunately, the only person she can turn to when she unveils a heinous plot. Together, the unlikely pair will have to work together to stop an enemy that everyone thought was long gone, one with the power to destroy her family and the people of Emperion. Now the cage Allyssa so longed to break free from might just be the one thing she has to fight to keep intact. In order to save her kingdom, she will have to sacrifice her freedom, her heart, and maybe even her life.




Allyssa despised sparring in a dress. However, that was the way her father had taught her to fight. He said if someone attacked her, she would be in a gown, so she had to be able to maneuver in heavy fabric.
  “Faster,” Marek instructed. “You’re not focusing.”
  She wanted to growl because he was right, she was too distracted. Putting all thoughts of the pretty prince out of her mind, she gave Marek her full attention. He swung his sword, hitting hers near the hilt, making her drop it. Not intending to lose their match so easily, she twisted and came in close to him. When he went to grab her, she rammed her elbow into his stomach. He hunched over and she yanked him down, slamming her knee into his face.
  He dropped his sword.
  “I win,” she declared.
  Catching his breath, he wiped his forehead. “You seem to have gained a few new moves.” Not a question.
  “Perhaps,” was all she said in reply. The training room was lined with her personal guards. She knew her father didn’t want her practicing—he’d rather she prepare for the ball. But in order to make it through dinner and dancing, she had to release her anger and frustration.
  Marek took their wooden swords and put them back on the rack.
  “I’m not ready to return to my rooms.” She still felt off balance and unsettled.
  He glanced to the door where Mayra and Madelin were waiting for her. “I need to go over some security details with my father,” Marek stated.
  “Then go.” She waved him away. “I’ll only be a few more minutes.”
  He briefly spoke with the guards before he said, “Your Highness,” and left.
  As soon as he was gone, she put leather gloves on and went to the hay figure secured to the wall. Taking a deep breath, she started punching it, imagining the dummy was the prince. Smiling, she started hitting it harder and faster, allowing all of her aggression to evaporate.
  Someone started clapping, and she spun around about to yell at whoever had interrupted her.
  Prince Odar stood there with a smirk.
  “What are you doing here?” she demanded, wiping the sweat off her forehead with her arm. He was accompanied by two of his soldiers and the squire she noticed earlier in the Throne Room.
  He clicked his tongue. “A testy remark from someone so delicate and lovely.”
  Her eyes narrowed. She was dirty, smelly, and certainly not the picture of a princess at the moment. The squire clasped his hands behind his back, staring daggers at her. He must not approve of a woman who could take care of herself, knew how to fight, and who dared to sweat. She hated him almost as much as she hated the prince.
  “I’m sorry, Your Highness,” she said, trying to keep the detest from her voice. “Please excuse me, I must prepare for this evening.”
  Mayra rushed forward and placed a cloak upon Allyssa’s shoulders. The princess yanked the hood up, concealing herself so no one from the court would see her all sweaty. She swept out of the room, not looking back. She could have sworn she heard the prince chuckling as she hurried down the corridor.
  “Why didn’t you use the opportunity to speak with the prince?” Mayra asked, trying to keep up. “He obviously sought you out.”
  Allyssa’s eyes sliced over to her lady-in-waiting. “Because,” she snapped, “I don’t want to talk to someone who flatters with pointless words.”
  Mayra laughed. “He is rather charming.”
  “He appears to be exactly as a prince should,” Allyssa said. “And I have no interest in princes.”
  “Aiming a bit higher?”
  “No,” Allyssa replied. “I’m aiming for someone a bit more real.”


AUTHOR BIO:

Jennifer graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in English and a teaching credential. Afterwards, she married her best friend and high school sweetheart. Jennifer is currently a full-time writer and mother of three young children. Her days are spent living in imaginary worlds and fueling her own kids’ creativity.










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