Friday, November 29, 2013

Giveaway & Spotlight: Highland Protector by Catherine Bybee

HIGHLAND PROTECTOR
The MacCoinnich Time Travel Series, Book Five
by Catherine Bybee

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publishing Date: November 19, 2013


About the Book:

From New York Times Bestselling Author Catherine Bybee comes the long awaited next installment in her MacCoinnich Time Travel Series.

No ordinary hero can save Amber from death…it will take a Highland Protector. 


Amber MacCoinnich’s survival depends on her traveling to the twenty first century, or so her mother’s premonition told her. Death taunts Amber and offers peace in her endless pain. Without the mysterious savior her mother spoke of, Amber prepares for death only to wake with a handsome, dark stranger in her bed. 

Gavin Kincaid spends his life shifting time in order to preserve and protect the MacCoinnich family and their line even though he’s never met one living MacCoinnich. A haunting portrait of a beautiful woman captures his attention and he embarks on a quest to put a name to the picture. When a colleague vanishes, the time-stream forces Kincaid to the twenty first century where he finds his mystifying woman close to death. His Druid gift can save her, but at what price? And when they both find themselves emotionally linked, the truth behind Kincaid’s heritage just might kill them both.

Excerpt:
1686, MacCoinnich Keep Scotland 

Fighting with a sword ranked up there with having sex without an orgasm. Holding the damn thing took too much energy and the end-result was anticlimactic and messy. 
Kincaid’s free hand itched to pull any one of his hidden weapons from the pockets of his modified seventeenth century clothes and finish off his opponent. The man’s death was inevitable. He had no earthly prayer of taking Kincaid. Even without the use of Kincaid’s gift, the kilted Scot had two fatal flaws working against him. One, he underestimated his opponent, never a good thing in battle. Two, Kincaid’s Druid gift would prevent any fatal blow from reaching his skin. He was damn near immortal. 
Kincaid missed being skewered by the Scot’s blade by lunging to his right and placing one foot on the edge of the Keep’s massive stairs. Above him, other men fought, some with powers, a few without. Preventing the ancient Keep from falling into any hands that didn’t belong to descendants of the original owners, wasn’t going to happen. These missions were planned and orchestrated with extreme caution and precision. 
The Scot advanced again—sweat falling from his brow with the effort of the fight. 
“Kincaid!” He heard his name from the floor above, but didn’t make the mistake of looking up. 
“I’m busy.” He blocked his opponent’s sword again, locked the man’s free arm, and attempted to pull it behind his back. 
Kincaid was rewarded by taking an elbow in the ribs and having the wind knocked from his lungs. 
“Finish him already. We need to move on.” 
Moving on was his queue that their time was nearly up. 
“I guess…” He shoved the Scot a foot away and lifted his sword high. “That means we’re done here.” 
“Your confidence will be your downfall,” the Scot said. 
Kincaid motioned the man forward. …said the spider to the fly… 
The Scot advanced with a surge of strength and determination. 
Kincaid held his ground, threw up his Druid shield, and watched as shock filled the man’s gaze when his sword bounced off the shield and opened him up for Kincaid’s final blow. 
Killing never sat well with him. But he was a warrior and killing was part of his soul. 
Damn shame that. 
Kincaid heard his name called again, and he took the familiar stairs two at a time to reach the others. From the corner of his eye, his gaze met a painting on the wall, one he’d not seen before. His steps faltered as he connected with the haunting gaze of the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen. Didn’t matter that the painting was one dimensional, or that the woman was most likely dead…even in this century. He did a quick inventory of the other images on the walls and recognized only one. The same painting hung in that very space on the wall, so many years in the future. But this one…the picture of the woman with her long dark hair and pained focus as she attempted to smile, beckoned him. This painting he’d never seen. 
“Kincaid! Dammit man, get your ass up here!” 
Kincaid shook away the woman’s soulful gaze, bounded up the stairs, and trailed his band of men up the spiral staircase of the turret. As they moved to the privacy of the bricked room, he noticed the small face of one of the Keep’s youngest occupants watching from behind an adjacent door. 
Rory moved to close the door when Kincaid motioned toward their witness. The child, a girl not more than ten years old watched with wide eyes. She didn’t appear frightened in the least. 
“Is she…” 
Rory lifted his hand, palm up, and from it, a small ball of fire swirled from nothing and hung suspended. 
The girl’s wide eyes lifted and a small smile inched at the side of her lips. She lifted her hand and a sputtering of fire sprang from her fingertips. 
Kincaid felt his pulse dip as he lifted his finger to his lips “Shh,” he whispered with what he hoped looked like a friendly smile. 
Noise from the long staircase met their ears. Rory ushered them inside and closed the door. Before the noise from below became another battle, Kincaid closed his eyes, lifted his shield, and spread it over his small party…then he began to chant and time slid away.

Amazon | Kindle | iBooks | Smashwords 


About the Author: 

New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee was raised in Washington State, but after graduating high school, she moved to Southern California in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned novels Wife by Wednesday, Married by Monday, and Not Quite Dating. Bybee lives with her husband and two teenage sons in Southern California.

The giveaway is for 1-$50, 1-$25, 1-$10, and 3-$5 gift cards.
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Author Contacts:

Website | email | Blog | Twitter | Facebook 


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Book Spotlight and Giveaway: Ever After by Kim Harrison

Ever After

Series: Hollows (Book 11)
by Kim Harrison

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Publication Date:  October 29, 2013

Tour Giveaway: Kim's publisher is giving away FIVE paperback editions of EVER AFTER (US residents only)   a Rafflecopter giveaway
Witch-turned-daywalking-demon Rachel Morgan needs to save the demonic realm of the Ever After in the eleventh entry in the New York Times bestselling Hollows series from supernatural adventure master Kim Harrison.
When Rachel sets off a chain of events that could lead to the end of the world—demonic and human—she must use her gifts to save those closest to her while preventing an apocalypse.

Satisfying and sexy, a visit to the Hollows will take readers on a wild journey that will capture their imagination. Fans of Charlaine Harris and Stephenie Meyer won't be able to resist Kim Harrison's alternative universe—urban fantasy Cincinnati complete with vampires, witches, and other enchanting creatures—where spine-tingling adventures and fast-paced action are the norm.


About the Book:
The ever after, the demonic realm that parallels our own, is shrinking, and if it disappears, so does all magic in our own. It’s up to witch-turned-daywalking-demon Rachel Morgan to fix this, before life utterly changes for the worse.

Of course, there’s also the small fact that she caused the ley line to rip in the first place, and her life is forfeit unless she can fix it. And that the most powerful demon in the ever after--one who eats souls--has vowed to destroy Rachel, and kidnapped her friend and goddaughter as leverage. If Rachel doesn’t give herself up, they will die.

Rachel must team up with elven tycoon Trent Kalamack--a prospect both thrilling and dismaying--to return to the ever after and rescue the hostages, then keep both worlds from being destroyed.

Excerpt:
Twisting, Nick shoved me off, a nasty snarl on his face. “You could have loved me, too.”
He jumped at me, and I rolled, my back crashing into one of the machines. I shook my head to get the 
hair from my eyes. Nick was still coming right at me, and I braced myself. We went sprawling again. Nick 
hauled me into a sitting position, slamming my back up against the machine. “This is for bringing that 
putrid witch of yours into my apartment.”
My eyes widened and I gasped in pain as his open hand met my cheek in a slap that sent stars through 
my vision. Trent was yelling, the babies were crying, and my eye felt like it was going to explode.
“And this is for the hell of it!” Nick whispered.
I put a hand up to stop him, and he grabbed it. His other hand was coming at me, and I struggled, trying 
to get him off!
But before his hand could connect, he was yanked backward and up. Knees going to my chest, I tossed 
the hair from my eyes at the sodden thunk of fist meeting flesh. Nick reeled into the counter, his feet 
slipping on the tile floor until he went down. Trent stood between us, his back hunched and shaking the 
pain from a bleeding hand.
“Son of a bitch.”

HarperCollins | Amazon | BN | BooksAMillion | IndieBound

About the Author:
New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison was born and raised in the upper Midwest. Her bestselling Hollows novels include Dead Witch Walking, The Good, The Bad, and The Undead, Every Which Way But Dead, A Fistful of Charms, For a Few Demons More, The Outlaw Demon Wails, White Witch, Black Curse, Black Magic Sanction, Pale Demon, A Perfect Blood, plus the short story collection Into the Woods and The Hollows Insider. She
also writes the bestselling Madison Avery YA series.


Author Contacts:
Twitter | Facebook | Website | Blog


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Spotlight: Jolt by K.D. McLean

Jolt
The Paranormal and Dystopian
Book One
by K.D. McLean
 
Genre: Dystopia, Paranormal
Publisher: Monarch MomentsDate of Publication: November 25 2013
Number of pages:183
Cover Artist: Derek Chiodo
 
About the Book:     

What if it cost you NOTHING to put gas in your car? What if you paid nothing to heat your home or cool it in summer? What if your electric bill was only for new light bulbs? How would that change your life? A real pipe dream, right?

Joel Heath, PhD has dedicated his career to making this pipe dream a reality. He’s obsessed with unlocking the secret of cold fusion energy. He’s come so close, but the final piece of the puzzle eludes him.

Which is a good thing, for Joel actually. You see, Phil Devlin’s energy conglomerate earns billions in profits with things just the way they are. He’s been keeping tabs on Joel. Phil was ruthless in attaining his stature of wealth and influence, and he’d protect his position with ferocity. He can crush Professor Joel Heath with a text message.

Neither man knows the planet is 90 days away from global slaughter, triggered by an oil war. One man does know. He has been cursed with prescient visions. These visions have shattered his life, plummeting him from an established career to begging on the street.

Joel’s simple gesture of compassion to this homeless derelict is rewarded with a dazzling insight. He has the key! This jolt of clarity begins with a touch, a touch that can send the world spinning out of control.

Because Phil Devlin sends that text message.

Amazon

Excerpt:
He kept his head down. Like blinders on a horse his stringy hair kept the faces of the people ignoring him from his peripheral vision. He had been out on the street begging all day and now deep into the night. With each step his feet ached from the cold. He placed them as softly as he could, every pace agony.
He was muttering to himself, arguing with the unseen tormentors of schizophrenics everywhere.
“No, no, no! I won’t! You can’t make me!” repeated over and over again.
The rank stench of too many clothes and too few baths surrounded him, an unseen barrier between him and the shoppers and diners rushing home.
He paused for a moment. “Okay! Okay!” he muttered as he approached the entrance to Odessa’s. He brushed the hair from the side of his face and peered in the window. Brown teeth peeked out from behind his salt and pepper beard when he grimaced. He sidled backwards until his back rested on a telephone pole. He wasn’t even forty years old and was worn out.
He jingled the coffee cup at passersby. “Gotta quarter? Gotta dollar? It’s cold out here. Gotta quarter? Gotta dollar? It’s cold out here.” He remained as unseen as always.
He waited.     

**********

Joel came out of the restaurant entrance. He looked to his right. Cathy’s home and store were only four blocks away. He knew he should feel guilty for what he said to her, but he was only telling her the truth. She had always been jealous of his accomplishments when they were kids. She never recognized the work and drudgery of studying every night. She had been too busy with her nose buried in some novel or glued to the television. He had worked damn hard. She had everything handed to her on a silver platter.
He turned to his left. His own home was only four blocks away.
“Gotta quarter, gotta dollar, it’s cold out.” The wretched panhandler was at the edge of the sidewalk, leaning against a telephone pole shaking the coffee cup at him.
Joel took another quick step towards a shower and bed and stopped. He turned. Oh man, that guy smelled. His hand went into his pocket and fingered the change. He peered at the guy. They were probably close in age. What kind of dreams did this guy have when he was 16? And Christmas is coming, right? Cathy had made it all too clear he was a heartless bastard—emotional misfit? He pulled all the change out of his pocket. Up yours Cathy. He bent over to drop the coins into the cup.
The beggar’s hand shot forward like an arrow, fingers clutching Joel’s bare hand.
“You are the light.” The beggar’s black eyes opened wide, stabbing him with their intensity.
“What…” Joel’s hand splayed open from the force shooting up his arm. His feet were rooted to the sidewalk. An avalanche of fire invaded every cell in his body—fire without pain. Time slowed. He could hear the crackling of snowflakes crushed by the falling coins.  Microscopic particles of snow glared, iridescent and coursed through his optic nerves. He squeezed his eyes shut. It was too much. He pulled his arm but the beggar wouldn’t let go. He was so strong!
He shut his eyes from the intensity. He saw a brilliance he had never experienced before. Colors cascaded through the spectrum before him. Violet to blue, to green, then yellow. Each one subsuming the other. Then orange, then red.
His entire consciousness was flooded in white. Not a glaring white, a peaceful and total whiteness overwhelmed him.  Oh God, it was beautiful. All was one! One was all! Through his clenched eyes a single tear trickled down his face. Oh!
And then gone. He was released. The suddenness almost caused him to fall backward. Stumbling for a second, he regained his footing and watched as the beggar fell to his knees, scrambling with bare fingers to claim the coins.
“Mine! Get away. Go see her! You’ll know why. Well, fuck yourself.” The beggar shot him a quick look before resuming his search.
What the hell? Every hair on his body was standing at attention, tingling. He leaned over to touch the beggar’s shoulder, to help him to his feet. What the hell just happened? “See who? Cathy?”
The beggar’s arm swept upward, knocking Joel’s hand away. “LEAVE ME ALONE!” The homeless man stood up, scowled at him and lurched up the street.
He took a step back. Easy Joel, this guy might have a knife. What just happened? He couldn’t chase that guy if he even wanted to. His feet were one with the Earth. What the hell did that mean? It meant something joyful. He closed his eyes again and turned his face to where he knew the stars were watching. He arched his back, his arms stretching out. The single tear joined by others. He opened his arms to embrace the stars and galaxies. They were one with him and he with them. He held the universe in his heart and cried silently. He opened his hands and felt the stardust in the snowflakes as they landed and melted.
It was all clear now. And it was so simple. How could he have missed it? Yes!
His eyes snapped open. “Yes!”
He straightened up. He looked at the few passersby who eyed him curiously.
“It’s okay, just had a moment here,” he said. He smiled at them. One nodded back. They all left.
He turned and started walking. Then walked briskly. The hell with it, he started to jog. He didn’t feel his feet slide on the patches of snow. Move it. He began to run back to the lab. Ribsey would have to eat the dry kibble he set out every morning. Sorry buddy.

About the Author:

Katie lives in Canada near Lake Ontario with her partner Desmond. They are living the life that they’ve always dreamed about--writing, editing and collaborating on books. Both are alumni of Queen’s University in Kingston and are frequent visitors to the Tyendinaga reservation, where the novel JOLT is set. She has published a series of adult romance books as well as a romantic comedy, recently released – Funny Business.
For relaxation (what is that?) she and Desmond enjoy walking their neurotic pug, trying different recipes together (Des cooks, Katie helps) and watching HBO movies, followed by immersion in their hot tub. There’s almost nothing better than star gazing in the frigid air while being toasty warm…Well maybe skiing at Mont St. Anne is a close second.
In taking on an epic of the scale of JOLT, Katie has been inspired by the words of Goethe. “Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”

Author Contacts:
Website | Facebook | Goodreads 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Giveaway & Spotlight: Catch a Wolf by A. Katie Rose

Catch a Wolf
Saga of the Black Wolf
Book 2
by A. Katie Rose

 
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Publisher: Untreed Reads Publishing
 
Book Description:
 Raine, Ly’Tana and the others escape Brutal’s trap, but with dire consequences. Kel’Ratan has been grievously injured, and Rygel must take him to safety to save his life. Yet, they are not out of danger. A monstrous storm called the Wrath of Usa’a’mah has halted their flight from Khalid and they must seek shelter within a remote monastery or die under the storm’s power.
 But High King Brutal has allied himself with the deadly assassins, the Shekinah Tongu. The secretive clan has sworn out a Blood Oath against Rygel in retaliation for his leaving their brothers in the forest to die. With their hellish hounds and Brutal’s dark wizard, Ja’Teel, they track Raine and Ly’Tana through the devastation left by the storm. Raine leads them into the west, toward Ly’Tana’s home of Kel’Halla, with Brutal’s menace confronting them at every turn.
 As he finds himself falling in love with the exotic Ly’Tana, Raine is plagued by a mysterious voice in his head. Is he going crazy? In Raine, Ly’Tana discovers the one man she cannot live without. However, an evil entity has targeted Ly’Tana, bent on her destruction. How can Raine, Rygel, Kel’Ratan and her griffin bodyguard, Bar, keep her safe from its vast, unseen power?
 Hunted by Brutal and his evil allies, Raine, Ly’Tana and their friends discover a new, and very strange, force dogging their trail  – a pack of enormous, cunning wolves. Mysterious wolves who call to Raine in the night, and bring alive the secret he’s kept hidden, even from himself. Taunted by nightmarish visions, Raine is forced to confront his own dark demon – the beast within himself.

About the Author:
A. Katie Rose is a Colorado native, and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado. She enjoys riding, teaching and learning from horses, likes camping, reading novels, watching movies and, of course, lives to write fantasy books. She currently works as a photographer in San Antonio, Texas, and is a slave to her six cats and four horses.  “In a Wolf’s Eyes” is her first novel.

Author Contacts: 
Website | Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter
Tour Giveaway: 
2 prize packs containing $25.00 gift card to Amazon.com, a mouse pad, a notepad, a coozie and a coffee mug.
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Monday, November 25, 2013

Spotlight: Christmas Anthologies with Danica Winters and Cary Morgan Frates

Christmas Romance
A Christmas Anthology

Authors: 
Danica Winters, Jennifer Conner, 
Sharon Kleve and Casey Dawes.
Publisher: BooksToGoNow

Amazon

About the Stories:
Four sweet Christmas stories from your favorite romance authors to warm your heart for the holidays.
Christmas Wishes-Danica Winters: For most, Christmas is a time for family, love, life, dreams, and wishes—but not for Lee Llewellyn, a mother who has recently lost her son to an accident and her husband to the resentment it caused.
In a chance encounter, she is given the gift of company on Christmas, but is she ready to move forward and start living again?
Central Bark at Christmas-Jennifer Conner: When Tennyson’s boyfriend left her for her best friend from high-school, all Tennyson received in the break up was her dog. She’s sworn off men and now is rebuilding her life. The only thing Par does is work. He barely has time to do anything he wants for himself other than take his dog to the dog park. When Par and Tennyson find an abandoned dog at the park named Duke. Will they find room in their hearts to take him in?
And can this Christmas season weave some special magic for the two of them?
Halo’s Wish-Sharon Kleve: Halo Ann Carlyle wishes for a home, family, and a boat-load of pets. What she gets is a bruised hip, a lump on the head, a broken ankle, and her new yellow Honda Civic is demolished.
Rich McFarland, a sexy veterinarian, keeps showing up in the most unexpected places, promising everything she’s ever wanted.Halo believes she only has time to pursue her career as a pet detective and must ignore her growing attraction to achieve her dreams.
Will Halo trust her heart, and find a way to get both before Christmas?
Christmas Hope-Casey Dawes: Clara Misowski is convinced Sam Richards’ cheese making operation would be a perfect stop for her culinary tour group.
He’s adamantly opposed to anything to do with a group of women on his farm.
Author Links:

Christmas is in the Air
A Christmas Anthology

Authors: Cary Morgan Frates, Danielle Lee Zwissler, 
Jennifer Conner, and Karen Hall.
Publisher: BooksToGoNow


About the Books:
Christmas is in the Air is a collection of four wonderful, sweet romances that will pull at your heartstrings and leave you with the need to hang Christmas lights! Get ready to read four stories by Cary Morgan Frates, Danielle Lee Zwissler, Jennifer Conner, and Karen Hall.
Red Soles at Night Christmas Delight by Cary Morgan Frates: An unknown dog has just launched Audrey Wells’s expensive Louboutin shoes into the lake, her girlfriends have bailed on attending the Christmas Ship Parade aboard her boat, and now she’s all alone for the holiday – can there possibly be an upside to all this misery?
Yuletide Bride by Danielle Lee ZwisslerEvery couple that gets married at the “Magic of Christmas” festival is a perfect match. The whole town believes that it is fate, but reporter, Mary Simms, is out to debunk the fraud.  Will Mary uncover the sham, or will she learn that having a little faith is exactly what she needs? Join Mary and James this Christmas as they discover a new tradition.
Christmas Gift that Keeps Wagging by Jennifer ConnerJulian Barrows has his hands full working and being a single dad to his kindergarten, special needs son, Gabe. Julian is introduced to seizure dog trainer Hanna. Does Santa and a four-legged ‘elf’ have love in their plan for this family?
One Horse Open Sleigh Race by Karen HallA traditional earl and an outspoken clergyman’s twin sister find the way to true love with the help of a Christmas sleigh race and a match-making Scottie.
Author Links:

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Book Spotlight: Eternal Flame by Valerie Twombly

ETERNAL FLAME
Immortal Guardians, #1
by Valerie Twombly




About the Book:

A woman he cannot have, a man who is only a dream.

When guardian Marcus Dagotto, discovers the Gods have gifted him with a mate, he is raging mad. He has no room for love and even less for a human who has no idea he exists.

Cassandra Jensen, has a shattered heart and has given up on men. Only one man can set her body on fire, but he is a fantasy that haunts her sleep.

Two worlds, one desire. When the two collide, fate will rip them apart and test their resolve. Will darkness and evil prevail? Or, will love conquer all?


About the Author:

As a child, Valerie would often get into trouble for peeking at her mother’s favorite TV show, Dark Shadows. She can still hear her mother saying “It will give you nightmares.” She was right of course, but that did not stop Valerie from watching. As an adult, her love of the fanged creatures never waned. She would watch any vampire movie she could find.
Being a true romantic, Valerie was thrilled when she discovered the genre of paranormal romance. Her first read was one of Lara Adrian’s, Midnight Breed Series and from there she was hooked.
Today, Valerie has decided to take her darker, sensual side and put it to paper. When she is not busy creating a world full of steamy, hot men and strong, seductive women, she juggles her time between a full-time job, hubby and her two German shepherd dogs, in Northern IL.

Author Contacts:

TOUR GIVEAWAY:
$10 Amazon gift card and 1 e-copy of Eternal Flame to 1 winner.
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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Release Day Blitz & Interview: Deadly to Promise by Mia Hoddell

Deadly to Promise
Elemental Killers Series
by Mia Hoddell


About the Book:
A broken promise is all it takes.
Becoming an E.K isn’t a choice for Serena – it’s a necessity to survive. To destroy the Elementals she has to leave her old life behind. She has to train and follow a strict regime but with time against her, she has only a few weeks to master the skills Kai spent his whole life perfecting.
The knowledge passed down from her ancestors is crucial to the Elementals demise. However, the path they must follow is lined with riddles, each more confusing than the next. It doesn’t matter how close to succeeding they get, it’s never enough. The Elementals are one step ahead at every revelation and that can only mean one thing – the E.Ks have a traitor among them.


Our Interview with Mia Hoddell:
Where are you from and from where/who did your love for writing come from?
I come from Hereford which is a small city in the UK which is famous for its cows, cider, crisps, chicken factory and the SAS (all good things right?).  I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember and still have poems from when I was 4 years old. My writing just progressed and grew with me. I managed to get three poems published in separate anthologies between the ages of 12 and 16 and then I moved on to short stories in my high school English classes (it was the only homework I enjoyed). However, I hated the restrictive word limit of short stories so at 14, I began writing my first novel. Since then I’ve just continued writing as it’s something I love and am passionate about. I’ve always been taught to follow something you love and it’ll bring happiness – so far that advice hasn’t been wrong!
Can you say that your journey to publication was difficult? If so, what were the hardest moments to get through?
It definitely takes a lot of work. Writing a book isn’t easy and it only gets worse after you’ve finished it! The hardest part for me is the editing and marketing. Because I am self-published, getting my work on Amazon isn’t the problem; the problem is getting noticed. I have to dedicate hours every day to marketing and promotion to make sure I keep an active online presence as without that, you just slip away into the vast numbers of authors. I’m still learning though and everything I do is an experience so I’m just taking each day as it comes.
How do you overcome i-suck-at-this, that little voice in your head that tells you your writing isn’t good enough?
I don’t think I have. There are still days where I question my ability but when I re-read some of the four and five star reviews Deadly to Love is receiving it tends to help squash that little voice. I think there will always be doubts, especially when new books are being released but that’s part of writing and being an author (well unless you’re J.K Rowling). People telling me they love my work is the best solution though as it’s a great incentive and nice to hear.
What is your dream vacation?
Being from the UK means there is a lot of rain and not much of a summer so I’ll be happy as long as there is constant sun and a beach nearby. I would love to go back to the Bahamas one day though as it was beautiful there.
What movies are you currently excited to see?
Catching Fire – I’m trying to persuade some people to take me for my birthday tomorrow. Also, I can’t wait to see what they have done with Divergent.
What are you currently reading?
I have been so busy with the release of Deadly to Promise, that I haven’t had a chance to read for the last two weeks. The next book on my tbr pile though is Impostor by Susanne Winnacker which I got as an ARC through NetGalley.
If you weren’t a writer, what other careers would you pursue?
I love acting so if I couldn’t write (something that I can’t imagine honestly), I would love to pursue a career in acting. It’s another form of escapism for me as well.
What are two of your pet-peeves?
There are a few but these are my two biggest that relate to writing.
The first is something that has been annoying me recently and that is: American authors creating British characters. Now I’m not saying all of them do this, but I’ve noticed it in a lot of books recently and that is that they make us all sound like we are out of the movie Mary Poppins. Generally, they take the stereotypical British accent and the characters go around talking like they are from Victorian Britain which is really unrealistic and irritating. I’ll stop myself there though, or else I’ll be ranting for a while.
The second is when people rearrange my books on my shelf. I’m not really a tidy person, however my books are organised in a specific way and I hate it if they get switched around. I also like them to be straight and neat so they look nice - something I pay the price for when I have to add new ones and rearrange my entire collection.
To you, what makes a good story?
For me a book has to have plenty of action and a fast-pace. Also, I prefer reading speech to long description so that has to flow naturally. Generally, if a book hasn’t hooked me by the time I get to 50% I won’t finish it.
What usually turns you off about a story?
The major thing is a slow pace and overly descriptive writing. I hate it when authors go into specifics about unnecessary objects that only add to the word count rather than the narrative. Also, if the speech is stiff, I find it hard to connect with characters.
If you could collaborate with any author, who would you choose, and why?
Oh that’s hard. There are two authors that come to mind: Rachel Vincent and Derek Landy. I love all of their books and their writing style. Rachel as a gritty, edgy style and Derek is one of the funniest writers I have read so I would love to collaborate and learn from them.
What is on your nightstand?
Um…right now there is: a notepad for ideas that come to me when dreaming and my iPod for researching, writing and reading when I can’t sleep.

What is your favorite book?
I can’t pick just one as there are too many! My favourite authors are: Rachel Vincent, Julia Golding and Derek Landy so anything by them is something I will re-read.





Deadly to Love
Elemental Killers #1
by Mia Hoddell

Genre: YA/Romance/Paranormal/Fantasy

About the Book:
The world is dangerous – but love will kill you.
Little did Serena Jackson know that one simple, flirty remark to an anonymous guy online would lead to her world being changed forever.
She doesn’t know him, but inexplicably, is drawn. She knows it is wrong but she agrees to meet.
His real name is Kai. He is beautiful. And immediately Serena feels herself blindly falling for him even though she senses a lie. She knows he is hiding something and it terrifies her.
What she doesn’t realise is that her entire life has been built on secrets and lies. The people she loved left her in the dark for a reason.
She trusted them. She trusts Kai. But as he pulls her straight into the heart of the danger the lies and deadly secrets are revealed. They overwhelm her, and the person she once was no longer exists as she is thrown into a ruthless world of elemental forces. The price of truth is her life—and now the world wants her dead.

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Praise:
“I couldn't put it down. So I finished it last night and all I can say is WOW! This book was amazing and different.” Brianna (Book Blogger)
I loved how the author took a different approach to writing a love story in modern times with the paranormal element present. I thought it was absolutely wonderful and refreshing. Marvelous!” Kathy H (Amazon Reviewer)
In the end I had fallen in love with this story…completely untraditional it was a very original idea, not to mention modern. This story had such a good plot and the story structure was sound. Kacii – The Kooky Bookworm (Book Blogger)

About the Author
Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading and loves anything paranormal. Mia always had a love of writing but never reading. She was more interested in sports and hated sitting still - despite getting three poems published before the age of sixteen. Finally though, she found some novels that captured her interest and developed a love of reading which is now one of her favourite hobbies.
Mia began with poems before moving on to short stories. Although she enjoyed this, Mia found she had too much to tell with too little space, so later on she created her first series 'The Wanderer Trilogy' and from there other ideas have emerged. With a total of nine books planned at this moment, she is busy working on her second series 'Elemental Killers' before moving onto the next idea on her ever growing list.

Goodreads Giveaway: One paperback copy of Deadly to Love


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Giveaway & Book Review: Six of One by JoAnn Spears

Six of One, a Tudor Riff
by JoAnn Spears
 
Genre:  Historical fiction, satire, women's fiction, 

chick lit, alternative history, historical fantasy.
Number of pages:  304 

Our Review of Six of One:



My head is exploding with rockets of awe and reverence and delight. As soon as I read the book blurb my fingers were so firmly crossed I worried circulation would be cut off. Could she pull it off, this JoAnn Spears? I mean, I LOVE Tudor history. I’ve read and studied those crazy folk all of my life, and it was my dearest hope…
The answer is YES! In spades YES! This story is a tour de force (farce??).
Now, I adore my Kindle, and through it books come and go, and once in a while, memories remain. But when I come across a book that literally (almost) blows my mind, I get online and buy the physical version, for I must have it with me, like a very dear friend, for the rest of my life. I wasn’t half way through Six of One before I had a paperback winging its way to my door.
Some of you may recall O Brother Where Art Thou?, a comedic re-telling of The Odyssey by Homer, in which Odysseus spends ten years trying to get back home after the Trojan War. George Clooney gives the movie some added eye-candy interest, but the point is that the retelling honors, and yet is so brilliantly original, admirers of the Homer’s version could but stand up and cheer. And that is where I find myself with Six of One.
While not strictly a paranormal story, Six is certainly extra-normal, since Dolly, the heroine, travels to another plane, where she has extended conversations with most of the Tudor, and Tudor-affiliated women. The interviews begin with Henry VIII’s grand-mum Margaret, and go on to include many characters, including both of his female children, and, yikes, each of his wives.
Six of One is funny, insightful, thought provoking and absolutely brilliant. Thank you, JoAnn Spears! Extremely well done.
-Cary Morgan Frates

Excerpt:
Chapter Twenty-Four:   Wherein the Wives Determine “Who’s On First?”
Katharine of Aragon had a surprising voice for a woman of what the French call “d’un certain ├óge.” Her voice was definitely not the source of her air of authority; that came from her carriage, her facial expression, the directness of her gaze, and her tightly controlled movements. Her voice was surprisingly soft and lilting, with none of the reediness of that of the very old Margaret Beaufort or the gravelly, menopausal tones of
Bess of Shrewsbury. Her slight Spanish accent added to its charm.
“Dolly, I welcome you to our distaff court on my own behalf and on that of my five successors. Out of respect for my being the first and the longest wed of the six of us, I have been elected as spokeswoman for our little band.”
That sounded fair to me. Anne of Cleves nodded approvingly at Katharine of Aragon.
“As you have seen,” Katharine continued, “emotions are prone to erupt. It is inevitable, with so many queens in such close quarters and with our imperative to find eternal rest confounded for so very long a time. We are weary of it, Dolly: weary of the fighting and weary of the waiting.”
“We’re bored, too!” chimed in Catherine Howard.
“We’re frumpy, as well,” complained Ann Boleyn. “Can you imagine it, Dolly? Four hundred years behind in the styles!”
“I’m getting dumpy,” Anne of Cleves added. “Not much room to exercise around here.”
“Don’t forget cranky! Hard not to be, in such close quarters,” joined Katherine Parr.
“There isn’t a day I don’t need a hankie! Some days, I cry for no reason at all!” confessed Jane Seymour.
It was probably indelicate of me to say the next thing I said, but I had to know.
“Tell me,” I began, “is this place like a girls’ school or a convent? You know…ladies only…in close quarters…four hundred years together…do you…do you all get your periods at the same time?”
“Yes, we do!” they belted in unison.
Over four hundred years of synced-up periods—and I was willing to bet that this place did not have a single tampon dispenser. Between that and the dearth of panties they suffered from, I could only think these poor things trebly cursed.
“You girls need to get out of here,” I said quietly, sobered by the magnitude of their problem.
“You don’t have to tell us that, Dolly,” said Anne of Cleves briskly. “We have spent the last few decades organizing ourselves and brainstorming new ideas for getting ourselves out of this place. Our plan of action for tonight is a departure from our usual routine and has been devised in your honor. Katharine of Aragon, as duly elected queen-in-charge, will explain.”
“Quite simply, Dolly,” took over Katharine, “we have heretofore defaulted to the expedient of simply telling our guests our story. Our story, that is, as history has handed it down. Our guests are usually only cursorily familiar with our history, so they always have questions about it, and we have always allowed them to ask as many as they like. We have always answered the questions in the context of our story as traditionally told. But, you see, Dolly, we consider your advent as an opportunity for a paradigm shift.” Katharine was growing visibly excited. “We have heretofore always held that the traditional story of our lives should be gut-wrenching and thought-provoking enough on its own to lead our guests in the correct decisional direction. But we came to realize recently that we have been wrong, and so we started to discuss the wisdom of
disclosing the full truth to our guests.”
“So,” I recapped, “you’ve been telling them the truth and nothing but the truth—but not the whole truth? You’ve been holding something back?”
“Precisely, Dolly. We have been holding back. It has been our experience that our guests have a hard enough time absorbing our story, even in its bare-bones version, in the compressed time frame of a single night. The shock of finding themselves here, the raw emotion that accompanies a first hearing of our story…we do not fault our guests for their inability to comprehend. Generally, they are very intelligent women.” She
paused. “But you, Dolly, are different.”
I winced, and Katharine of Aragon patted my cheek kindly. “I put that badly, Dolly. You are different because you are the first of our guests already intimately acquainted with the story of Henry VIII’s six wives as history paints us. Telling our fully unvarnished tales to you will be a whole new experience for us!”
“I won’t have to spend hours explaining the history of the Protestant Reformation, because you already know it, Dolly. What a relief!” sighed Katherine Parr.
“And the ins and outs of Henry VIII’s children and all the succession disputes—yesterday’s news to you, Dolly!” said Jane Seymour admiringly.
“You won’t get bogged down in which of the two Anns is which; not to mention the three Katherines! How much simpler that makes things!” gushed Ann Boleyn.
 “I feel so loved!” I exclaimed happily. “But tell me: between now and when I get back to my wedding venue, what does this all mean in practical terms?”
“It means, Dolly, that tonight, we turn the tables. Tonight, just for you—and for the first time on any stage—we shall each reveal a part of our story that history does not know.”
“I feel both loved and honored,” I replied, with equal parts sincerity and excitement.
“We will turn the tables in another way, as well, Dolly: We have permitted our past guests to question us ad lib, and we have answered them to our exhaustion. Still, they have proven maddeningly maladroit at drawing the desired conclusions on their own. This time, it will be different in that you will ask us no questions at all tonight, Dolly, and we will not have to be bothered with answering. Tonight, we shall do the asking, each
leaving you with a single question to guide you. You will come away from this night with six questions total.”
“If I find a question incriminating, can I plead the Fifth?” I inquired.
“That’s not a contingency we had anticipated, but…Catherine Howard, as the fifth wife, will you entertain Dolly’s objections if she does not like one of our questions?”
“Stop, please!” I said. “I was only teasing. I have nothing to hide.”
“The questions will be rhetorical; believe me, you need the answers to them more than we do,” mused Katharine. Then she got back to business. “Each of the six of us will draw lots for the order in which we will address you and present you with our questions. That is a departure from our usual practice, as well; we usually address our visitors in marital sequence. Whether one through six or six through one, though, it is
always the same two that get to go first or have the last word. We have decided to give the middle wives a chance at these important female prerogatives for a change. Fate shall determine the advantages—if there be advantages.”
“We didn’t all decide to change sequence; it was Ann Boleyn, mostly,” said Catherine Howard. “I like being in the middle. I hope it does not fall to my lot to be the first to ask Dolly a question.”
“Ladies, Catherine Howard is anxious lest she be first. May I allow her to be the first of us to draw her lot and know her numerical fate? There is nothing worse than suspense and anxiety, and there is no reason not to spare her that,” said Katharine, glancing at Anne of Cleves for approval.
Anne immediately nodded her agreement and seated herself more erectly in her chair. She was watching the other wives intently but made no attempt to micromanage.
Jane Seymour, after a brief, murmured conflab with Ann Boleyn and Katherine Parr, gave the joint thumbs-up from the remaining three wives.
“You may proceed,” Jane said to Katharine of Aragon, “as you suggest. Let Catherine Howard draw her lot first.”


Giveaway: 10 Print Copies (US only)

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About the Book:
Six of One is the ultimate ‘girls’ night in’…with the six wives of Henry VIII. It’s the most fun you can have with your nightdress on!  Join Dolly, the Tudor-obsessed heroine of “Six of One”, on a Yellow Brick Road journey to the alternate reality of an all-girl Tudor court. It all begins when Dolly loses consciousness on the eve of her marriage to the six-times- divorced Harry.  She awakens in the company of the Tudor women she’s studied all her life. They have a mission to accomplish, and Dolly may be just the girl who can help them do it. As a warm-up to her life-changing interview with the six wives of Henry VIII, Dolly gets to dish with lots of the other fascinating females of the Tudor era. She learns things she never guessed about the Princes in the Tower from their sister, Elizabeth of York…Henry VIII’s mom.  She talks sex with Henry’s sisters and scholarship with his daughters. She even gossips with the help, since Kat Ashley and Bess of Hardwicke are among the ladies on hand. Of course the heart of the story is in Dolly’s interview with the six wives of Henry VIII. It turns out there’s something to each of the wives’ stories that’s been held back all this time.  You won’t believe what really happened…or will you?“Six of One” offers no tragedy, no excuses, and no apologies. It does have lots of broad humor, not to mention tons of puns. And—for a change—a happy ending.
Amazon

 About the Author: 
JoAnn Spears spent a lot of time trying to figure out whether she wanted to major in English or History in college.  Life stepped in, and she wound up with a Master’s Degree in Nursing instead.  A twenty-five year nursing career didn’t extinguish that early interest in books and history. It did however stoke a decidedly gallows sense of humor. The story of the six wives of Henry VIII was JoAnn’s favorite piece of history.  She read the classic variations and the feminist variations, the tragic spins and the vindicating spins.  She witnessed the success of the pop culture, soft-core Tudor offerings of recent vintage. It occurred to her that the one thing that hadn’t been brought to a full length novel about the Tudors was a gallows sense of humor. The Tudors certainly qualified for it, and JoAnn had plenty to spare. The first ‘real’ book JoAnn ever read was “The Wizard of Oz”.  She returned to the Yellow Brick Road for inspiration for a new kind of Tudor novel, and “Six of One” was born. “Six of One” was begun in JoAnn’s native New Jersey. It was wrapped up in her new Smoky Mountain home in northeast Tennessee, where she is pursuing a second career as a writer. She has, however, obtained a Tennessee nursing license because a) you never stop being a nurse and b) her son Bill thinks she should be sensible and not quit her day job. While “Six of One” is a different kind of historical fiction novel, JoAnn is a downright stereotypical lady author.  She admits to all of the cats, flower beds, needlework, and obsessive devotion to Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott that you’d expect.

Author Contacts:

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