Friday, May 27, 2016

{Book Blitz + Giveaway} Play Your Heart Out - By Crystal Kaswell


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Play Your Heart Out - By Crystal Kaswell
(Sinful Serenade #4)
Release Date: 5/24/2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance

He parties like a rockstar.
She’s there to make sure no one finds out… 
Jess James has her eye on the prize. She is finding the money to pay for law school. Period. She is starting a new life on her own. Period. And she’s absolutely staying in Los Angeles, three thousand miles away from the people who expect her to lie for them. It doesn’t matter how lonely she gets on her own, how exhausted she is from working overtime as a cocktail waitress, or how deep the knife wound in her back cuts. She is going to be a lawyer, whatever it takes. 
Only she doesn’t have what it takes. She can barely afford to pay her rent. 
Sinful Serenade bassist Pete Steele has enough to pay Jess’s rent and buy her a small island in the Caribbean. The famous, talented rock star has everything… except the one thing his manager wants. Pete rose to fame as a devoted boyfriend. Doesn’t matter that his ex slept with his best friend, he needs to stop screwing his way through Los Angeles to keep his reputation clean. Pete works hard, and parties harder… and the sweet, blond waitress is exactly the girl he needs on his arm if he wants to keep the record company happy. 
Their arrangement is simple: he pays her tuition, she plays his girlfriend. They’ll lie to the world, but not to each other. Especially not when they’re alone, in his bed, him figuring out exactly which buttons to push to get her moaning his name. 
Jess is good at keeping up appearances. She can play the enigmatic rock star’s girlfriend. But Pete shouldn’t play games with a girl who’s been broken before…
Previous books in the series:

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EXCERPT


My eyes find Pete’s. There’s an earnestness to his expression. I feel like I can trust him. Like I can talk to him.

That might be worth lying to everyone else.

His hand slides under my skirt. My thoughts fade away. My shoulders and back relax. I want to feel the way I did at the park, like there’s nothing in the world but the two of us.

Sex first. Decision second.

I lean in to whisper. “Do we have to stay to talk?”

“Have to clear something with Aiden but I can do it after.”

Mmm. After. I nod. “Yes please.”

“Yes please, what?”

I can hear the smile in his voice. “Yes, please… will you… Do I have to say it?”

He chuckles. “I’ll get you there.”

His fingertips skim my thighs as he pulls his hand back to his lap. He pulls back enough he can stare into my eyes. I still can’t figure out what the expression in his deep brown eyes means, but damn if I don’t like staring into them.

They’re gorgeous eyes.

That vulnerability returns. He blinks and it’s gone. I shift backwards, breaking his touch. But it’s too loud to think.

Pete stands and pulls me to my feet. He nods goodbye to his friends then leads me to the back of the VIP area. There’s a roped off area with a NO ENTRANCE sign. He scans the room. A cocktail waitress has her eyes on us. More likely, she has her eyes on him. She licks her lips hungrily.

He could easily take her home. But he looks at her with apathy. He doesn’t want her. He doesn’t want any of the gorgeous models in this place.

He wants me.

Pete leans in to whisper. “Wait for me on the balcony. I’ll lose her.” He motions to the closed door in the corner of the roped off area.

He wants to do this on a balcony? Damn. First the bar bathroom then this. He has a thing for public sex.

I should say no. I’m going to be a lawyer. I can’t get caught having sex in public.

I try to force the word to my lips but it refuses. “What if we get caught?”

“This is private property. They’ll ask to leave. That will be it.” His eyes meet mine. “We can hold off till we get back to your place.”

I shake my head. I don’t want to hold off. I want him. Now.

I trust his assessment of the situation.

“No. Let’s do now,” I say.

He nods.

I wait for him to grab the waitress’s attention and I sneak past the velvet rope. The door to the balcony is frosted glass. You can’t see in or out. I turn the handle and check my footing. All good.

We’re overlooking the alley. No one can see us, not from the street, not from the club.

No one is going to catch us. Not on camera—it’s too dark for that.

Thoughts swirl around my brain. I like Pete. Find him interesting. Hell, find him fascinating.
Can I play his girlfriend without falling in love with him?

I press my hands into the smooth metal railing. It’s the only cold thing here. The sounds of the street—conversations and cars—flow into my ears, competing with the music coming from the club.

There’s only one thing I know: I can’t leave without being with him.

Period.

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About the Author 
 
Crystal Kaswell writes steamy new adult and erotic romance books. She loves when flawed characters fall head over heels for each other. Especially if they fall into bed first. She loves police procedurals, tea, and The Hunger Games series. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband. 
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Thursday, May 26, 2016

{Blog Tour: Review + KINDLE FIRE Giveaway} Memories of Ash - Intisar Khanani





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Author: Intisar Khanani  
Website 
Release Date: 5/30/2016 
Purchase Info: Amazon ~ B&N  
In the year since she cast her sunbolt, Hitomi has recovered only a handful of memories. But the truths of the past have a tendency to come calling, and an isolated mountain fastness can offer only so much shelter. When the High Council of Mages summons Brigit Stormwind to stand trial for treason, Hitomi knows her mentor won’t return—not with Arch Mage Blackflame behind the charges. Armed only with her magic and her wits, Hitomi vows to free her mentor from unjust imprisonment. She must traverse spell-cursed lands and barren deserts, facing powerful ancient enchantments and navigating bitter enmities, as she races to reach the High Council. There, she reunites with old friends, planning a rescue equal parts magic and trickery. If she succeeds, Hitomi will be hunted the rest of her life. If she fails, she’ll face the ultimate punishment: enslavement to the High Council, her magic slowly drained until she dies.

There were just too many aspects about this book that I fell in love with to name!



When signing up for this tour I was afraid that I would fall behind because I hadn't read book #1, but the author was gracious enough to supply me with the first book in this series as well! Immediately after finishing Sunbolt I dove head first into Memories of Ash.

Following Hitomi's journey into book two was absolutely thrilling, she isn't sure who to trust or what will happen to her next, but she does know that she has to keep moving forward. Everything she thought she knew is distributed, and it's truly thrilling to see her story unfold. I LOVE the new characters that were introduced into Hitomi's life, especially the one who's traveling with her now....eep!!

I don't want to give away too many details, or spoilers, but I will say this....in book #3 I would love to see a little more romance....that's all!

If the series continues to go in the same direction as Memories of Ash did then we're all in store for some BIG thrills!! 


4/5



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About the Author




Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters.

Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy.  Intisar's current projects include a companion trilogy to Thorn, following the heroine introduced in her free short story The Bone Knife, and The Sunbolt Chronicles, an epic series following a street thief with a propensity to play hero when people need saving, and her nemesis, a dark mage intent on taking over the Eleven Kingdoms.





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GIVEAWAY


 Kindle Fire (or $50 GC for international winners)

{Cover Reveal} Heroes of Arcania Trilogy - By Liz Long

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SuperNova (HoA #1), Fortune’s Favor (HoA #2), Unbreakable (HoA #3)
Heroes of Arcania Trilogy

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HOA_FINAL-ebooksm
The streets of Arcania are overrun with crime, deteriorating as a madman named Fortune makes himself at home. He shows no mercy, striking down anyone in his path – including Nova Benson’s little sister. Devastated, Nova vows to seek justice for her family, but aside from her freak strength and impenetrable skin, how is she supposed to stop a monster like Fortune?  

Cole Warner wants to help people. Entrusted to keep his family’s secret, he’s also frustrated at having to hide his gift. He knows he could do more to help in the fight against Fortune. If he could convince his sister Penelope to join him, they might even have a chance at beating him. When Cole meets Nova, he realizes his whole world is about to change. And he’s going to welcome it with open arms.

Falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan.

Then again, neither was becoming a superhero.


Fortunes Favor_FINAL-ebooksm

Nova will learn it takes more than sheer strength to be a superhero. Her world implodes when Fortune strikes back for all the trouble she’s caused. His dangerous games put everyone around her at risk, especially when he decides to turn Arcania against its precious Heroes. Nova wants to protect Arcania, but how does she save a city that doesn’t want her help?

Cole has no idea how to deal with his sister Penelope, especially now that she’s learned the truth about their family secret. Thanks to Fortune, she’s headed down a dark path, one with no return. Torn between helping Nova and protecting his sister, Cole will be forced to make a choice. Tensions rise as Cole and Nova discover war will come to Arcania if they don’t get Fortune off the streets…or preferably six feet under.

Nova and Cole might have each other, but will they lose everything else in their mission to save Arcania?



Unbreakable_FINAL-ebooks,

Nova started the fight against Fortune for simple revenge, but now it’s turned into something much bigger. Arcania’s criminals are at each other’s throats, putting the city right in the middle of a warzone. She’ll have to work with a few unlikely allies to end Fortune’s games once and for all. Nova thought she understood what it meant to be a superhero, but will she have to lose herself to truly defeat Fortune?

Fortune has given Cole a choice, one with unbearable consequences. When Cole takes matters into his own hands to save his sister Penelope, he realizes too late he’s another pawn in Fortune’s games. Fortune will use Cole’s gift against his enemies…including Nova. Cole will have to become the hero he always wanted to be if he’s going to protect the love of his life.

Nova and Cole could finally save Arcania from Fortune’s deadly games, but are they willing to sacrifice each other?



About the Author


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Liz Long is a proud graduate of Longwood University. Her inspiration comes from action and thriller genres and she spends entirely too much time watching superhero movies. Her day job includes writing for a magazine publisher in Roanoke, VA.



The Donovan Circus series has best been described as "X-Men meets the circus." Adult horror story Witch Hearts tells the tale of a serial killer hunting witches for their powers. New Adult PNR A Reaper Made is about a teen Reaper who gets caught between falling in love or saving her sister's soul. All titles are available for paperback or ebook on Amazon.


To learn more about Liz (including more information on her books, plus writing, marketing, and social media tips), visit her website: http://lizclong.com.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

{Review Blitz} Witch of the Cards - By Catherine Stine





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Author: Catherine Stine 
Website 
Release Date: 3/3/2016  
Purchase Info: Amazon ~ B&N  
Fiera was born a sea witch with no inkling of her power. And now it might be too late. 

Witch of the Cards is historical, supernatural romantic suspense set in 1932 on the Jersey shore. Twenty-two year-old Fiera has recently left the Brooklyn orphanage where she was raised, and works in Manhattan as a nanny. She gets a lucky break when her boss pays for her short vacation in Asbury Park. One evening, Fiera and her new friend Dulcie wander down the boardwalk and into Peter Dune’s Tarot & Séance, where they attend a card reading. 


Fiera has always had an unsettling ability to know things before they happen and sense people’s hidden agendas. She longs to either find out the origin of her powers or else banish them because as is, they make her feel crazy. When, during the reading, her energies somehow bond with Peter Dune’s and form an undeniable ethereal force, a chain of revelations and dangerous events begin to unspool. For one, Fiera finds out she is a witch from a powerful sea clan, but that someone is out to stop her blossoming power forever. And though she is falling in love with Peter, he also has a secret side. He’s no card reader, but a private detective working to expose mediums. Despite this terrible betrayal, Fiera must make the choice to save Peter from a tragic Morro Cruise boat fire, or let him perish with his fellow investigators. Told in alternating viewpoints, we hear Fiera and Peter each struggle against their deep attraction. Secrets, lies, even murder, lace this dark fantasy.


THIS RIGHT HERE!




Not only was Witch of the Cards magical, it had depth, character development and AMAZING chemistry! 


Set in a time when things that are different are frowned upon, I felt that the author did a phenomenal job of balance each aspect of this book. Fiera is by far one of my favorite female leads ever....she killed it on every level in this book. Her confidence grew as the plot thickened, but she never let the unsettling fact that her abilities were growing cause her nerves to sway. Fiera knows what she's destine to be, who she's destine to be, and that's why I love her determination to figure out every single surrounding her.

I want so badly to just spew my feelings all over the pages of my blog, but there isn't enough time, and we'd be here all.day.long.....so just take my word for it, this book NEEDS to be in your life!!


4/5




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About the Author






Catherine Stine’s novels span the range from futuristic fantasy to paranormal to contemporary. Her futuristic thriller companion novels Fireseed One and Ruby’s Fire are both indie award winners. Her paranormal-horror YA, Dorianna won Best Horror Book in the Kindle Hub Awards. Her YA contemporary Heart in a Box is an Amazon Top 100 in Teen.

She also writes new adult fiction as Kitsy Clare (see her separate GR Kitsy Clare page for 18+). Her Art of Love series featuring artist Sienna Karr, includes Model Position and Private Internship. 


She suspects her love of dark fantasy came from her father reading Edgar Allen Poe to her when she was a child. Learn more at www.catherinestine.blogspot.com,www.catherinestine.com, and on her Catherine Stine and Kitsy Clare FB author pages.

{Release Blitz + Giveaway} Shining Sea - By Mimi Cross


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Shining Sea - By Mimi Cross
Published By: Skyscape
Publication Date: 5/24/2016

Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

Seventeen-year-old Arion Rush has always played the obedient sidekick to her older sister’s flashy femme fatale—until a mysterious boating accident leaves Lilah a silent, traumatized stranger. As her sister awaits medical treatment with their mother, Arion and their father head to his hometown in Maine to prepare a new life for them all. Surrounded by the vast Atlantic, songwriting is Arion’s only solace, her solid ground. 
Unexpectedly, Arion blossoms in the tiny coastal town. Friends flock to her, and Logan Delaine, a volatile heartthrob, seems downright smitten. But it’s Bo Summers—a solitary surfer, as alluring as he is aloof—that Arion can’t shake. Meanwhile, Lilah’s worsening condition, a string of local fatalities, and Arion’s own recent brushes with death seem ominously linked…to Bo’s otherworldly family. 
As Arion’s feelings for Bo intensify and his affections turn possessive, she must make a choice. How will Arion learn to listen to her own voice when Bo’s siren song won’t stop ringing in her ears?

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EXCERPT


GOODBYE

Tuneless humming is coming from the bedroom next to mine. I’ve always been the better singer, no secret. Even before I could talk, I sang. To me, singing feels like . . . flying.

As a little kid I sang in the church choir, later on in the choruses at school, and about six months ago I started writing songs—not that I’d call myself a songwriter yet. My first gig was last week, down in the Mission District. Standing on the spotlit stage of the black box performance space, I played one long set—twelve tunes total—while hipsters watched with crossed arms.

Performing in front of an audience is a good way to tell if your songs are finished.

Or not.

The song I’m trying to capture now definitely falls into the not category.

I give the guitar a soft strum—a ghost of a chord slips out. Playing the haunting notes a little louder, I listen for the melody. It’ll come, eventually, but we’re leaving any minute.

Not just leaving . . . moving.

“Do you know,” I whisper sing, “where lost things go?”

In the next room Lilah falls silent. The lyrics tangle in my throat.

My fingers fumble, then jerk—playing a rhythmic pattern atop a single minor chord: one and two, one and two. Words tumble out of me. “Saint Anthony, can you come around? There’s something lost, and it can’t be found.”

Saint Anthony—is he the one?

A quick Google search on the laptop perched at the end of my bed tells me he is. Saint Anthony is invoked as the finder of lost things. Pulling my guitar closer, I play the line over and over.

“Arion? You up there?”
Dad. After shoving the laptop into my backpack, I shut the guitar in its case and head into the hall. Hands full, I stand in my sister’s doorway.

She doesn’t see me.

Even as thin as she is, even with the ever-present dark shadows beneath her eyes, Lilah is beautiful. Her features are regular and in proportion. Mine . . . are slightly exaggerated. Nose longer, lips fuller. Now, without music to distract me, the tears I’d vowed not to cry fill my eyes. Brown eyes. On a good day, they’re hazel. Maybe.

There’s no mistaking the color of my sister’s eyes. Bright blue. Her hair is black and shiny, cut straight across her forehead and blunt at her shoulders in a way that has always made me think of Cleopatra, but especially since the accident, when she became a mystery to me. Lilah no longer tells me her every thought. She can’t.

My sister blinks her bellflower eyes now, and for a split second— seems to focus on me.
But the illusion vanishes just as quickly. I swallow around the lump in my throat, wondering for the millionth time if she has any idea what’s going on.

Her bed is up against the window. In the distance—over a nearly invisible San Francisco Bay—the Golden Gate Bridge hovers in fog. Sitting down beside her on the bed, I lay a hand on one of her legs—feel bones, atrophied muscles. A raw feeling spreads through me, like a dull blade is scraping the underside of my skin.

“So . . . guess it’s time for goodbye.” I take a deep breath in, let it out slowly—which doesn’t help at all. “I’ll see you in Rock Hook Harbor. Dad’s one-horse hometown . . . Sounds happening, huh?” My attempt at lightheartedness fails completely. The words drop like bricks.

Leaning in, I kiss her cheek.

She turns away, as if looking toward the ghostly water. Or, is she looking at the water? Or just staring blankly?

I so want it to be the former. The doctors say it’s the latter.

In my chest, a hairline fissure I’ve fused together with lyrics and chords pops open.
“I love you,” I choke out.

She doesn’t answer. Of course she doesn’t.

Biting down hard on my lip, I stand up, trying not to feel like I’m leaving my best friend stranded. But I am. She is. Stranded. She’s been stranded, for a year.

Swiping at my eyes, I take a few steps down the hall—then turn suddenly into my parents’ room, which is mostly Mom’s room now. Dad spends the nights he’s here on the living room couch, where, after dinner—usually something complicated he’s cooked up involving lots of pots and pans—he falls asleep with the TV on. Blue screen to white noise; maybe the sound helps him. Music works better for me. Or, it used to. I used to lie in bed at night and sing. Lately, all I want to do is sleep.

Like the rest of the house, my parents’ bedroom is crowded with canvases. Filled with slashes of color and geometric shapes, each paint- ing has the name “Cici” scrawled in large letters down in the right-hand corner. Mom’s pictures pulse with unfamiliar energy, and my nostrils flare at the scent of paint fumes as I move a half-finished piece—an abstract portrait of a girl, I think—that’s leaning up against the glass door. Slipping out onto the balcony, I clutch the cold railing and eye a moldering stack of Psychology Today magazines. Therapy is Mom’s religion.

A pair of paint-splattered jeans hangs off a chair. A handful of paintbrushes soak in a bucket. There’s no sign of Dad.

My parents are like a couple of unmoored boats. Drifting. One of the few things they agreed on this past year? The accident was Dad’s fault. A pretty stupid conclusion, really, considering he hadn’t even been on the boat. But he’s a ship’s captain. Lilah and I inherited our love of the water from him.
Water. I hate it now. Because of the water, I’m on this balcony almost every day, drawn out here as if for a long-standing appointment, some prearranged meeting between me and my broken heart. I cry here; sometimes I yell. Sometimes I write, and one day, I nearly threw my guitar over the railing.
Splintered wood, snapped strings, I’m interested in broken things. The circling song lyrics fade at the sound of Mom’s strained voice. “Arion, have you finished saying goodbye to Delilah? Your dad’s ready to go.”

I stay another second, then scoop up a stray guitar pick from the terracotta tiles and head inside, not paying any attention to the paint- ings now, just intent on leaving before I get any more upset.
But then I’m passing Lilah’s room—and I see it.

The slim black notebook I’ve searched for probably a hundred times over the past year.
Oh, I’ve seen the palm-size Moleskine with its curled cover, seen it clutched in Lilah’s fist, watched as she whisked the small black book beneath her quilt, or shoved it between her sheets. I just haven’t been able to get my hands on it, and I’ve wanted to, desperately.

So many times I’ve seen her slip the notebook between the over- size pages of the art books that Mom insists on bringing home from the library. She’ll hug the book close then—her treasure safe inside— but she’ll never actually look at the glossy pages. Not like she looks at that notebook. She looks at that black book like it’s the only thing she recognizes.

It’s definitely some kind of diary. Not that I ever see her writing in it, not since before. But she’s always got it on her.

Only, she doesn’t have it on her now.

Now, there it is, on the floor next to her bed. And Lilah, there she is, still looking but not looking out the window. Transfixed, it would seem, by the gray bay. As I watch, she lifts one hand, bringing her fingertips to the glass—as if there’s something out there she wants to touch.

It’s kind of amazing how I do it, how I steal her most precious pos- session without breaking my stride. How I silently sweep into the room and, bending low, snatch it up—then keep on walking like nothing’s happened. Like I’m ten-year-old Lilah herself, that time at the rock and gem shop down near the beach, trying on one sterling silver ring, then another. I’ll never forget it, how she smiled at the shopkeeper—maybe even said thank you—then practically skipped out the door, still wear- ing at least one of the rings. Once outside, she tossed a half-dozen more rings onto the pebbles that served as the shop’s front yard, so that she could retrieve them that night when the gem shop was closed, so that we could retrieve them.

Eight-year-old me, I’d held the flashlight for her. She’d given me one of the rings as my reward, but only one.

I feel bad taking the book; if I could read it and leave it, I would. But there’s no time. Through the hall window I can see Dad standing down in the driveway by the old green Jeep Cherokee, the car that will be mine once we get to Maine.

So I slide the notebook into the pocket of my backpack where it burns a hole so big I think it will surely fall out—pages fluttering like fiery wings—and slap the floor with a sound so sharp, Lilah will shud- der to life. She’ll spring up and shout at me, her old self at last.

But nothing like this happens.

Leaving Lilah. Taking the notebook. My skin ripples with guilt. But we have to go on ahead. School’s starting in a few weeks, plus Dad’s new job—they won’t hold it any longer.

And really, I have to take the book. I need to know what happened.

Out in the driveway, I crane my neck, trying to see if Lilah’s still at the window.

“Hold on,” Mom shouts from the house, “I almost forgot!”

Time seems suspended as Dad and I wait by the car, the limbo of the long ride already upon us . . .
Mom reappears holding a square box wrapped in gold paper and a purple ribbon. Balanced on top is a fat cupcake with pink frosting.

“Happy birthday, Arion.” Her flinty blue eyes soften. She hands me the awkward duo and gives me an equally awkward hug. “From both of us.”

Dad smiles, shakes his head. “Seventeen.” He’s always been a man of few words.

“Thanks, Mom. Dad.” Swallowing hard, I climb into the car with the gifts on my lap. Mom pecks Dad on the cheek, and he gets behind the wheel. As we pull away, she blows me a kiss.

Twisting in my seat, I wave—then look up at the second story. No Lilah.

My chest hurts so much—I actually glance down. But there’s nothing except a smear of pink icing on my shirt, where I’d leaned into the cupcake.

We’ll fly back close to Thanksgiving, when Lilah is scheduled for the operation that my parents have finally decided is her best bet: a surgical procedure to implant a device in her brain.

It’s not as sci-fi as it sounds. The battery-operated device is kind of like a pacemaker, only for your brain instead of your heart. This kind of surgery is used to treat a variety of disabling neurological symptoms, although I think whoever came up with DBS—deep brain stimulation—was thinking of people with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, not, well, whatever’s wrong with Lilah. Her case is—entirely different. I’m not going to pretend: I’m scared. But the plan is, we’ll all be together in Maine by Christmas, so that’s what I’m trying to focus on. I’ll miss Lilah. Mom too. But I’m glad to be leaving San Francisco.

My life here . . . is on hold—except for my music. The rest is a waiting game.

We’ve all been waiting for Lilah to find what she lost. As if she can look for it.

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About the Author 

Mimi Cross was born in Toronto, Canada. She received a master's degree from New York University and a bachelor's degree in music from Ithaca College. She has been a performer, a music educator, and a yoga instructor. During the course of her musical career, she's shared the bill with artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, and Sting. She resides in New Jersey.


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GIVEAWAY

5 print copies of Shining Sea


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Friday, May 20, 2016

{Release Blitz: Excerpt + #Giveaway} The Lunam Ceremony - By Nicole Loufas


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The Lunam Ceremony - By Nicole Loufas
Release Date: 5/20/2016
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy


Born from a curse that allows her kind to shift from human to wolf, Kalysia won the genetic lottery. She is the offspring of an original, born to lead and bound by her duty to produce an heir to continue their bloodline she must leave the only life she has ever known to take part in The Lunam Ceremony. This ancient ritual will solidify her place in the pack and determine who she will love for the rest of her life. There’s just one problem – Kalysia doesn’t believe in love. 
That changes when she falls into the hands of Dillan Dukes. The attraction is undeniable. The connection unbreakable. He is everything love at first site is supposed to be, suddenly her future doesn’t look that bad. 
Unwilling to give up hope on going to college and having the life her and Dillan fantasize about outside the pack, she reluctantly takes on the role as pack leader. When an unexpected proposal is made that will grant both Dillan and Kalysia their freedom she is willing to put her ego, and her heart aside, to make her dream come true. 
One night. 
One act of selflessness. 
For the life she’s always dreamt about. 
Only things are not what they seem. 
Can Kalysia and Dillan find happily ever after with the consequences of that night haunting them forever? 
Will one fateful night destroy Kalysia’s future along with the future of the pack?


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EXCERPT

A loud boom rattles the windows in the building and I hit the floor. It sounds like a bomb has gone off, but I hear laughing and the music comes back on. It was just fireworks. I make my way back downstairs and out the back door. I’ll hide in the woods. By the time the ceremony starts and Layla notices I’m missing, it will be too late to find me.

I see Bonnie and Jessie carrying out the white garments. It’s almost time. I move towards the woods and I spot Cassie looking for me. I flatten myself against the wall and slide across it until I reach the end of the building. I round the corner and take off in a full sprint towards the woods. I make it three steps and then I trip.

That hurt. I spit dirt from my mouth as I push myself up to a sitting position. I look down at my knee and hear someone laughing. When I turn my head, I see Dillan Dukes leaning against the wall.
“Slow down there, speedy,” he quips.

In moments like this, there is nothing you can say. All you can do is laugh. I burst into an uncontrollable fit of laughter. Dillan joins me on the ground.

“Are you laughing with me or at me?” I finally ask.

“A little of both.” His voice is deep and sexy. He smells like sage and cigarettes. “I’m Dillan, by the way.” He holds his hand out to me and I shake it.

“I know who you are. I’m Kalysia.”

“I know who you are.” He smiles and turns my hand over. “Don’t worry about this.” He swipes his fingers across the scrapes on my palm. “After Lunam, you’ll be all healed.”

“So I’ve heard,” I say as Dillan springs off the ground and helps me up.

We stand face to face in silence. I feel his heart beating between us and suddenly something sparks inside of me. This time the burning begins in my chest. My breathing becomes erratic. I taste his breath on my tongue, and I want to kiss him. I edge forward until we are chest to chest. He steps back. I reach for his hand, and he pulls away.

“Kalysia, we can’t,” he whispers into the space between us. “Lunam is beginning.” He brushes his lips across my hand and walks away.

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About the Author

Nicole was born and raised in California. She claims to be a San Francisco native, however she’s lived in both Northern and Southern California. She credits her creativity to the fact that she attended 12 schools between kindergarten and her senior year in high school. Her nomadic childhood allowed her to reinvent herself often. Some might say she was a liar. While others see the stories she told as a coping mechanism. Twelve schools, in six cities, in twelve years – give her a break. Today she channels her storytelling ability into writing novels. Long story short – kids that lie become writers. 
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{Q & A + Giveaway} Forestial - By Christopher D. Morgan


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Forestial - By Christopher D. Morgan
(Portallas #1)
Release Date: February 28th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult


Joshua’s life is on the line, as he attempts to navigate through the magical world of Forestium to find the truth about his father. He and his companions will need to use all their cunning to stay alive and avoid the dark forces of the Goat. Will he find the magical orbs and open the Portallas, a magical gateway to other worlds, before he’s killed? 
Joshua sets out to learn the truth about his father. Along the way, he finds friends, enemies, adventure, romance and himself.






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Q&A with Christopher D. Morgan



When did you first discover your love for writing? 
Actually, not until quite late in life. In fact, I was never very good at English when I was in school and writing was always a chore to be avoided at all costs. Being blessed with unintelligible handwriting wasn’t helpful either. Later in life, however, articulating myself through the written word became something I really started to enjoy.


Do you have a favourite place to write?
Not really, but it does have to be in a quiet environment. I’m very easily distracted. When I’m in the zone, I tend to quietly slip off to a cosy spot and get my nose down into the keyboard. I wrote Forestium: The Mirror Never Lies entirely from the family home. Often on the sofa, but sometimes on the bed or at the computer desk. I haven’t tried going to a writer’s retreat yet. Perhaps I’ll reserve that for a special occasion.


Do you have a writing routine or process that you adhere to? 
Oh yes. Typically, I’ll kick off a chapter with brief one-liners that describe the events to come sequentially. There could be anywhere up to 50 or more of these for a given chapter. I do this to map out the scene or chapter and then convert each one in turn into a paragraph or two. This process is repeated until all the one-liners are gone. That’s actually the hardest part, I think. I’ll then scour what’s written repeatedly, fixing and adjusting. Of course, that last part is never truly finished – ever.


Where did you come up with the name Portallas? 
Initially, it started quite literally from the word PORTAL. This quickly led to the word Portallas and the idea of having some sort of portal that would link worlds together. An interesting aside is that Portallas actually started out life as Portallus. Unfortunately, portallus.com was already taken, but portallas.com was still available, so a hasty name change took place. Despite the master plan I have in my mind, I wrote Forestium: The Mirror Never Lies deliberately to stand on its own merits as a standalone book.


Do you have a favourite amongst all your characters?
I have a real soft spot for Sarah, as do many others. She embodies many of the characteristics I’d wish for in my own daughter. She’s a strong, independent, resourceful and brilliant young woman – not to mention absolutely beautiful. Of course, she has her flaws. She tend to ramble on a bit (much to the annoyance of Andrew).


Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors? 
I’m still learning as I go but there are some things that I can advise others that may wish to follow in the path: - Go for it. Really, just do it. You may be pleasantly surprised. Even if you fail, it’s better to have tried and failed than to wonder for the rest of your life whether you could have done it or not. - If you are going to publish a book on a budget, don’t scrimp on the editing or the book cover – at least, make those your primary focus. Everything else is expendable when push comes to shove. - Don’t get conned. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done, as there will always be people looking to take advantage of someone with a need.

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About the Author 
 
Christopher Morgan is an author, blogger, IT Manager, graphics artist, businessman, volunteer and family man living in Melbourne, Australia. Much of his time is spent volunteering for his local community. He creates visual learning resources for primary school children, which are marketed through his company Bounce Learning Kids. He is also involved in local civics and sits on various community & council committees. 
Christopher was born in the UK and grew up in England’s South East. At age 20, he moved to The Netherlands, where he married Sandy, his wife of 28 years. Christopher quickly learned Dutch and the couple spent 8 years living in the far South of that country before they moved to Florida in 1996. After spending 7 years in Florida, Christopher and Sandy sold their home and spent the next 2 years backpacking around the world. Christopher has visited around 40 countries to date. 
Whilst circumnavigating the globe, Christopher wrote extensively, churning out travel journals. He and Sandy settled back in the UK at the end of their world tour, where their two children were both born. In 2009, the family moved to Melbourne, Australia, where they now live. 
FORESTIUM is Christopher’s debut novel and is the first in the PORTALLAS series. 
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