December 11, 2017

Forgotten Violets Blog Tour: Spotlight

Forgotten Violets
Author: Martin Niewood 
Genre: YA Fantasy 
Release Date: November 2017


Description:

Sometimes things are not as they seem…

DEBUT FANTASY YA NOVEL TACKLES DECEIT, BETRAYAL AND AN UNCONVENTIONAL LOOK AT THE AFTERLIFE


What would you do if you suddenly realized everything in your life was a complete lie? That is just what protagonist Meadow Noone is facing in the thrilling new Y.A. fantasy novel, Forgotten Violets [November 2017], by standout debut author Martin Niewood.

The book opens just as Meadow is being released from her captor’s cellar. But she soon realizes that this isn’t the end of her problems, but only the beginning as she is quickly arrested for a crime she didn’t commit. Feigning amnesia, she is determined to hide her secret at all costs – one too terrible to reveal.

In a place where nothing is as it appears, her trial in Thornbridge is unnerving, as the formidable interrogator, Quinn Cerpen, knows more than he is letting on. Pursued by real and legendary demons, Meadow’s enemies are closer than she could imagine.
 
With no one to turn to, she relies upon her friends, Parker and Elizabeth, to retain her sanity. Overwhelmed by anxiety, she succumbs to Elsyn, a mysterious and addictive fruit. She wonders if the Elsyn is powerful enough to free her from the past that haunts her. Before long, she realizes that there is more to this sinister plot than her abduction and that the Elsyn is part of the puzzle.

Forgotten Violets is the story of Meadow’s journey through a psychological landscape of deceit and betrayal that causes her to question her relationships and beliefs. She knows that she is changing, but changing into what?

“Things are not always as they appear at face value, especially for young adults these days with the added pressure of social media,” Niewood says. “Sometimes in an effort to fit in or to make ourselves seem more important, we buy into the lie that everything must be perfect. But we can all benefit from learning how to look past facades to ascertain what is truly happening in someone’s life.” 


MARTIN NIEWOOD lives just outside of Philadelphia where he is a full-time writer. He attended Johnson & Wales University before moving to Los Angeles to work in the talent industry. An avid sports fan, Niewood loves all Philadelphia teams but especially the Eagles. His writing partner is his dog, Mattie.


Forgotten Violets is Niewood’s debut novel and the first book in a three-part series. He has two additional novels releasing in 2018 as well.

Connect with Niewood on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and at www.martinniewood.com.

Forgotten Violets will be available on Amazon and in select brick-and-mortar retailers as of November 2017.




Book Blitz + Giveaway: Beauty and Beastly by Melanie Karsak


 

Beauty and Beastly: Steampunk Beauty and the Beast (Steampunk Fairy Tales)
Author: Melanie Karsak

Genre: Adult Fairy Tale/Steampunk
Publication Date: December 6, 2017

Description:

In this tale as old as time, Isabelle Hawking must tinker a solution to a heartbreaking mystery.

When Isabelle Hawking and her papa set out from London on a sea voyage, Isabelle is thrilled. Visiting foreign courts, learning from master tinkers, and studying mechanicals is her dream. And it doesn’t hurt that the trip also offers Isabelle an escape from her overbearing and unwanted suitor, Gerard LeBoeuf.

But Isabelle never arrives. Swept up in a tempest, her ship is lost.

Isabelle survives the storm only to be shipwrecked on a seemingly-deserted island. The magical place, dotted with standing stones, faerie mounds, and a crumbling castle, hints of an ancient past. Isabelle may be an unwilling guest, but her arrival marks a new beginning for the beastly residents of this forgotten land.

See how NY Times bestselling author Melanie Karsak puts a steampunk spin on the classic Beauty and the Beast fairy tale.


“Hello? Is anyone there?”

The sky overhead darkened, and in the distance, I heard the rumble of thunder.

Oh no. No, no, no.

I looked up at the sky. My head swam.

I needed to find shelter.

I turned to go back to the path, but when I did so, I didn’t see the path, nor the ring of mushrooms, nor anything else vaguely familiar.

Once more, the sky rumbled.

I felt the first of the raindrops on my head, but luckily, the thick leaves overhead sheltered 
me somewhat. As the storm rolled in, the forest grew dark.

I cast a glance around.

It didn’t matter which direction I went. Eventually I would find the shore once more.

Turning to head out, however, I spotted a bluish colored light in the distance. A house? A fire? A lantern? A…something.

“Hello?”

No reply.

Turning, I followed the bluish glow. I headed deeper into the forest, chasing after the light, but soon found its source. It was a mushroom. The glowing mushroom had been sitting on a rise. It had played a trick on my mind. Then I spotted another glowing fungus, then another, and another, all of which held an incandescent blue light. They grew in a straight line. 

Without a better recourse, and feeling half suspicious of the supernatural, I followed the glow of the blue mushrooms as the rain pattered overhead, the sky rumbling. I followed the blue lights deep into the ancient woods, aware that I was passing other sacred rings. I walked past a mound of earth, a barrow, the final resting place of some ancient person—and some said a passageway to the Otherworld—as I hurried deeper into the woods. Surely I would find the shoreline soon.

Lightning cracked overhead.

Then, on the horizon, I saw golden light. A fire? I squinted my eyes, trying to make out the shape through the trees, but my head ached miserably. Leaning heavily against my staff, I moved toward the golden colored light.

The forest thinned. The glowing mushrooms led me onward toward the glow of the yellow light in the distance. Praying to find someone—anyone—I followed along, well aware that my quick exertion had my stomach rolling. Black spots wriggled before my eyes. The line of mushrooms ended. To my shock, I’d blundered to the center of the island and found myself standing outside the gates of a castle.

I gazed up at the enormous structure. It towered over me, a black silhouette on the horizon. Light glowed through one of the windows in the upper floors. It was raining in earnest now. Not waiting a moment longer, I pushed the gate. It swung open with a creak.

It was pouring.

I leaned my walking staff against a metal bench in the perfectly manicured garden, then grabbing my skirts, I ran for the castle door. As I rushed, lightning flashed. It created an odd illusion on the bushes and flowers around me. For a moment, they all seemed to glimmer like metal under the bright light.

My temples pounded. My stomach rolled. I raced through the heavy rain to the castle door.

Hoping whoever was at home would forgive me for letting myself in, I pushed open the castle door and crept inside.

The place was eerily silent.

“Hello?” I called. “Is anyone here?”

Breathing deeply and quickly, I realized the moment I stopped that I was not well.

I cast a glance toward a roaring fireplace nearby. A chair was seated before the hearth, a glass of something dark sitting beside the seat. I heard a strange clicking sound.

“Hello?” I called again, but this time, my head began to spin. I put my hands on my hips, trying to catch my breath. I closed my eyes. Everything was twirling.

Footsteps approached.

“I-I’m sorry I let myself in but…” I began then opened my eyes.

Standing before me was a massive automaton, its silver eyes staring coldly at me.

A nauseous feeling swept over me, and my head swam. Black spots danced before my eyes.

“Pardon me. I think I’m about to—”

Faint.

But the word was lost.

And so was I.
 
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Melanie Karsak is the author of The Airship Racing Chronicles, The Harvesting Series, The Burnt Earth Series, The Celtic Blood Series and Steampunk Fairy Tales. A steampunk connoisseur, zombie whisperer, and heir to the iron throne, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.




 
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Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Alien Minds by Christina Bauer


 

Alien Minds (Dimension Drift #1)
Author: Christina Bauer

Genre: YA Science Fiction
Publication Date: November 27, 2018

 Publisher: Monster House Books

 

Description:

Meimi Archer is living the perfect life. Too bad it isn’t hers.

On my seventeenth birthday, I wake up in the hospital to find I just survived a sketchy but terrible accident. My parents stand by my bedside—both are beautiful, wealthy, and super-nice. They tell me that once I leave the hospital, I’ll attend the prestigious ECHO Academy, where I’ll churn out equations for the government along with my mega-smart peers.

So, I’m living the perfect life.

Then why does everything feel all wrong?

My parents, my house and even ECHO Academy…none of it fits. Plus, what’s up with Thorne, my brooding yet yummy classmate who keeps telling me I need to remember my true past, which seems to have included a lot of us kissing? That’s one thing I’d really like to remember, except for the fact that I’m pretty sure Thorne is hiding a ton of nasty secrets of his own, including the fact that he may not be from this world. But considering how my own past seems alien to me, it’s not like I can judge. Plus, Thorne has dimples. That’s a problem.

And worst of all, why does it feel so yucky to work on these calculations for the government? It’s all supposed to be part of ECHO, but my heart tells me that I’m helping something truly terrible come to pass. Thorne seems to think that kissing him again will release my real memories.

Maybe it’s time to pucker up.


Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers.

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Stalk Christina on Social Media – She Loves It!




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12 Days of Clean Romance + Giveaway: Author Taylor Dean

     
The Sound of Silence Series is a three book series.

Book One: Stone Silence, Spencer’s Story Release date: Nov. 1, 2017
Book Two: Jailbird, Mia’s Story Release date: Dec. 1, 2017
Book Three: Hothouse Flower, Shay’s Story Release date: Jan. 1, 2018

Each book has a happy ending and there are no cliffhangers. They are not standalones and should be read in order.
 
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Praise for Stone Silence:

Oh. My. Gosh! I absolutely LOVE Stone Silence! Talk about swoony! This book is AMAZING! I was sucked in from the very beginning and found myself lost in the journey of Spencer and Stony. I laughed out loud, got teary eyed, let out little dreamy sighs and refused to put this book down until I finished it! I devoured it! -KJ's Book Nook 

Oh man. I will always read everything Taylor Dean writes with no hesitation. I LOVE Taylor Dean books. If you have never read anything by her, you really must. -Aimee, Getting Your Read On  
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From Jailbird:

SHOWTIME, MIA. AND you know what they say about a show that’s about to start—it must go on. 

Of course, they also tell the actors to break a leg and I’d much prefer that to what I’m about to do. 

I turn down the paved road and see a large fenced-in property in the distance. My GPS tells me I’ve reached my destination. 

It’s a beautiful and sunny September day with hardly a cloud in the sky. The weather certainly doesn’t match my emotions. If it did, it would be stormy. A raging storm, to include crazy lightning and booming thunder. 

I don’t want to do this. I’d rather go to the dentist and have five teeth pulled. While I’m awake. Heck, I’d rather have my toenails removed. All of them. Without anesthesia. 

But this is something I have to do, something I need to do. Not just for Stony. I need to do it for me. 

Especially for me. 

I can’t move forward with my life until I gain closure from the past. I’d like to place my past in a box, tie a pretty little bow on it, and place it on a shelf and forget about it. 

Instead it sits on my kitchen counter begging to be put away every time I see it. 

It’s time to put it away. 

There’s only one way to do that. 

Face Stony. 

The last time I saw him was a little over a year ago, the moment I arrived home and stepped out of my brother’s car after being released from jail. He was there. Waiting for me. 

Stony smiled at me. He smiled! Not just a little smile either. Stony never smiles and I mean never. Ever. 

I thought it meant all was forgiven between us. I thought it meant we were starting over. I thought it meant so many things. 

I was wrong. So very wrong. 

I was told he’d had a girl with him that day, a pretty blond California girl. I didn’t notice her, but then, I was preoccupied. I was told they’d been seeing each other for a while. 

I’d been kept in the dark about their relationship. 

“Mia,” my mom had said, “You and Stony gave it your best shot. It didn’t work out. It’s for the best.” 

Mom had her heart set on Stony and me getting married. If Stony had a fan club, she’d be president. Her change of tune threw me for a loop.   

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Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it’s paranormal, contemporary, or suspense—you’ll find all sub-genres of clean romance in her line-up.  

 
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Also by Taylor Dean:

 
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Giveaway Details:
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway
Ends 12/23/17
 
 
 
 
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 






 

December 10, 2017

Rules of Rain Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway



Rules of Rain
Author: Leah Scheier
Release Date: December 5, 2017
ISBN: 9781492654261

Description:

How far would you go to protect the ones you love?

Rain has taken care of Ethan all of their lives. Before she even knew what autism meant, she was her twin brother’s connection to the world around him. Each day with Ethan is unvarying and predictable, and Rain takes comfort in being the one who holds their family together. It’s nice to be needed—to be the center of someone’s world. If only her longtime crush, Liam, would notice her too...

Then one night, her life is upended by a mistake she can’t undo. Suddenly Rain’s new romance begins to unravel along with her carefully constructed rules. Rain isn’t used to asking for help—and certainly not from Ethan. But the brother she’s always protected is the only one who can help her. And letting go of the past may be the only way for Rain to hold onto her relationships that matter most.

“I made a batch of Tums muffins.”

Liam blinks at me. “What’s a Tums muffin?”

“It’s one of my gluten- free experiments for Ethan. If you crush an antacid in the dough, it makes it fluffier and less rocklike. Ethan calls them Tums muffins. Except for him, I haven’t been able to get anyone to try them.”

“Yeah, you might want to rethink that name. You got some cold cuts or something? That’s what I usually have after school.”

I laugh and shake my head. “You mean like salami? God, no. My mom is terrified of processed meats.” “Really?”

I nod. “I think hot dogs may have caused my parents’ divorce.”

“That would make a great title for a talk show or something.” He grins at me. “How did that happen?”

I pull some organic cheddar and portobello mushrooms from the crisper and close the fridge. “My last memory of them together has to do with hot dogs. My mom was holding a pack of frozen Oscar Mayers in her hands, and my dad was scowling at her in the corner. And she was yelling, ‘This is what did it! This is why he’s like that. Because you keep feeding them this poison!’ And then she threw the package at him, and it hit him on the head.”

“Oh, wow.”

“Yup.”

“Sorry I asked.”

“No worries. If you want, I can make you some algae flour pizza.”

“Algae what?” Hope’s warning pops into my head, and I shake it away. Isn’t the best advice to “be yourself?” Well, this is the way I flirt (I think), with the coolest, top- secret food tips I’ve gathered from years of research. “I have a small packet of algae flour I got at a trade show a while back. It’s pretty new— and kind of scandalous.”

My offer is the foodie equivalent of front row tickets to the Super Bowl. Seriously. No one has this stuff yet, and those who do certainly aren’t sharing. Probably because the company that was using it had to recall some of its products last year. But I’ve tested it in my own recipes with no problems at all. Still, I’m not surprised he doesn’t seem impressed.

“I’m sorry… Algae?”

“Yeah, I know it sounds weird, but you wouldn’t even know it’s there. And the dough comes out amazing! Algae is basically a substitute for everything— eggs, wheat, dairy…”

His lips twitch, and his brows come down. “You want me to try your pond scum pizza.”

I shut the refrigerator. “Oh, no, please don’t call it that. Just forget I mentioned it.”

“But I don’t want to forget.” He seems to be choking on suppressed laughter. “No one has ever offered me algae before. This is a special moment.”

“Never mind. Offer withdrawn.”

“I’m not making fun! I swear. I’ll eat the entire pizza. And no matter what it looks like, I promise I won’t post it on Instagram.”

I sink down on the kitchen stool and toss the package of mushrooms on the counter. “You saw the sperm pudding pic.”

“Everyone saw the sperm pudding pic.”

“That thing has ruined my reputation,” I mutter. “I was trying to find a way to make it look less…gross. Mike just caught it in the sperm stage. I’ve made improvements to the recipe since then. Like anyone cares.”

He smiles and clears his throat. “Well, I basically live on pasta and bologna sandwiches. So I’ll be happy to try your sperm pudding.” He chuckles quietly. “Hah. There’s a phrase I never thought I’d say.”

I get up from the stool and fetch a covered bowl from the counter. “You’re the first person to taste this since I’ve fixed it. It looks kind of like tapioca now.”

He lifts the spoon and sniffs, his eyes wary. “Holy crap,” he says after the first swallow. 

“Rain, this is actually…good.”

“Just good? Could you be more specific? Since that photo went viral I don’t get very many volunteers to taste my recipes.”

His shocked expression is the best compliment I’ve ever gotten. “It’s fantastic. Like a cross between butterscotch and— ”

“Cashew cream. Yeah. And that’s raspberry syrup in the topping.”

“You should put this picture up,” he insists, scooping a giant spoonful into his mouth. “Like a ‘before and after’ piece. Show how far you’ve come.”

I feel my face getting warm. “I can post it to my blog. With the title ‘How You Like Me Now, Haters?’” And there goes Hope’s last piece of advice. I’m discussing my blog with my crush. 

And he hasn’t run away. (Take that, traditional flirters.)
Leah Scheier works as a pediatrician and pens stories of romance and adventure. Her latest novel, Your Voice Is All I Hear, received a Starred Review from Booklist. She lives in Maryland. Learn more at leahscheier.com.

(2) copies of Rules of Rain