Spotlight On: Emerald Bound by Teresa Richards

 

 

Emerald Bound
Teresa Richards
Fantasy, Romance, Suspense
Editor’s Pick
A princess, a pea, and a tower of mattresses. This is the sliver that survives of a story more nightmare than fairytale…
 Maggie Rhodes, high school junior and semi-reformed stalker, learns the tale’s true roots after a spying attempt goes awry and her best friend Kate ends up as the victim of an ancient curse. At the center of the curse lies an enchanted emerald that has been residing quietly in a museum for the past fifty years. Admirers of the gem have no idea that it feeds on life. Or that it’s found its next victim in Kate. 
 Enter Lindy, a school acquaintance who knows more than she’s letting on, and Garon, a handsome stranger claiming he knows how to help, and Maggie is left wondering who to trust and how to save her best friend before it’s too late.
 If only Maggie knew her connection to the fairy tale was rooted far deeper than an endangered best friend. 
Buy Links:   Evernight Teen    Amazon  Smashwords    B&N    

Follow along with the tour HERE

 

Excerpt: 
A part of me died long ago.
It was the part of me that feels, and it was Calista’s fault.
What happened tonight was nothing new—innocent victims welcomed into our home, not knowing they would never leave. I learned long ago I could not help them, so I stopped trying.
But this time something was different. This time I was awake, burning with a gut-wrenching guilt, as the next victims slept downstairs. This time I knew the victims. And they didn’t deserve what was coming.
It had always been hard for me to make friends. I’d been called loner, loser, outcast, and freak. Even still, I remembered Maggie offering to show me around when I first transferred to their school. Through her, I met Kate and Piper. The three of them were always nice to me, while other kids kept their distance and spread rumors behind my back. I told myself I didn’t care—I wasn’t like them.
But being a loner was lonely.
So tonight when I saw Maggie and her friends here, something inside me snapped. Or, perhaps it was the dead piece of me coming back to life. Now I cared desperately about what was happening in the room below mine.
But there was still nothing I could do.
Calista usually lured in victims from out of town to avoid arousing suspicion. Pregnant ones were a particular favorite—easy prey, she called them. But Maggie and her friends came here all on their own. The opportunity was too good for Calista to pass up.
Everyone thought Calista was my mother, but she wasn’t.
Back in my day, almost four centuries ago, Calista had an alternate method of luring in victims. She and her husband, Theodore, advertised for hired help with their inn. The number of parents willing to sell their daughters into a life of servitude in exchange for a forgiven debt or a clean slate was staggering.
My father was one of them.
By the time my mother found out what he’d done, it was too late. There was no escape. I was bound.
My story was well known in this land, whispered as a bedtime tale to ease children into sleep. But, just like any other story passed down through time by rumors and idle gossip, the fragment that survived was woefully incomplete. It began something like this:
There is rumored to have been (once upon a time, of course) a princess, a pea, and a tower of mattresses.
That much was true, though in actuality it was only one mattress, not twenty. The pea was also real, though most would call it a precious stone—an emerald, to be precise.
The gem that sealed my fate was now in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. Calista was furious when she found it missing. She thought I’d stolen it until she remembered my limits. The identity of the true thief remains unknown.
Even though the emerald is no longer in our possession, we are still bound to it, as it is bound to us. Admirers of the opulent necklace where it rests don’t understand it. Like me, the gem is a prisoner, struggling against its fate.
Even now, centuries later, I don’t understand all the details of what happened to me that night. But it began with a troubled slumber on a bed of enchanted emeralds.
 
About the Author:
Teresa Richards writes YA, but loves anything that can be given a unique twist. Her zombie stories ‘Are You My Mombie?’ and ‘The Zombie Code’ can be found in Z Tales: Stories from the Zombieverse by The Fairfield Scribes.
When Teresa’s not writing, she can be found either chasing after one of her five kids, or hiding someplace in the house with a treat her children overlooked. Emerald Bound is her debut novel.
You can connect with her on twitter @BYUtm33 or atauthorteresarichards.com.
Giveaway:  Signed Copy of Emerald Bound

 

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Waiting on Wednesday: Crumbled by Jennifer Snyder

Crumbled by Jennifer Snyder
Series: A Paper Thin Novel
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Publication: December 29th, 2015

Dealing with the loss of his fiancée, Emma, and the confusion of his troubled relationship with her sister, Dawson Phillips decides to leave his hometown of Parish Cove behind.

As he battles between denial and depression, Dawson travels the states placing distance between himself and his painful memories of Emma’s death. With each rolling mile behind him, he gains new hope that he will eventually be able to repair his tattered heart.

The problem: He never thought he’d heal while igniting feelings for someone else.

Strengths will be tested. Boundaries will be blurred. And hope will mend the hearts of those fearing they would stay forever crumbled.

_________________________
 
Book #1
Paper Thin by Jennifer Snyder
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Available September 29th, 2015

Fate has always seemed to mock Charlotte Montgomery, continuously dangling the man of her dreams just out of reach. It isn’t until Charlotte receives word her older sister Emma is getting engaged that she feels fate’s teasing has hit a new high.

Once she begrudgingly decides to return home to the tiny town of Parish Cove, curious to find out who has captured her sister’s heart, fate suddenly seems as though it may have tossed her a bone.

The problem: Charlotte forgot one simple thing…Fate has never been her friend.

Emotions run high. Happiness will be shattered. And tragedy will strike, leaving everyone feeling paper thin.

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Release Day Blitz: Dead Jed 3: Return of the Jed by Scott Craven with Giveaway

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Happy Release Day to

Dead Jed 3: Return of the Jed by Scott Craven!!

Join us in celebrating this release from Month9Books!

Enter the giveaway found at the end of the post.

Happy Book Birthday, Scott!

 

DeadJed3Cover

With seventh grade behind him, Jed jumps at the opportunity to spend the summer in Mexico with his dad. But there’s just one catch: Luke and Tread get to tag along.

In Mexico, fitting inmight be easier than Jed imagined, with Holidays such as Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Here, a rising 8th grade zombie boy and his zombie dog won’t draw that much attention.

But then Tread unwittingly sets off Mexico’s Chupacabra Defense Network and Jed accidentally collides with a bus. So much for blending in. The unusual pair catch the eye of a professional wrestler, who challenges Jed to a fight!

Their antics manage to capture the attention of a doctor whose knowledge of the undead causes Jed to question his very existence. Is this the answer Jed’s been hoping for since his parents sat him down for the “you’re a zombie” talk? Jed may have finally found a way to be normal, but at what cost?

Dead Jed: Return of the Jed is book 3 in Scott Craven’s humorous and heartwarming series about surviving middle school, fitting in, and embracing one’s differences – even if you are a zombie.

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Dead Jed 3: Return of the Jed by Scott Craven Publication Date: December 15, 2015 Publisher: Month9Books

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

 

excerpt

 

I trusted Luke with my life. But with my arm, I wasn’t so sure.

“Dude, if you drop it, there goes my career as a professional basketball player,” I whispered. Luke strained against the bars, holding my left arm in his right hand, my disembodied fingertips just inches short of its goal.

“First, you don’t have a chance at becoming a professional anything involving sports because you suck at almost everything athletic, especially basketball,” Luke said. “Second, if you had a little more muscle, your arm would be a lot easier to hang onto. Now shut up and let me do this.”

Luke angled his body slightly and shoved his shoulder farther into the narrow gap between the bars. My fingers—which at this point were about eight feet away from me, so it was odd thinking of them as “my” fingers—closed in on the target.

Two inches away. One inch. A half-inch. So close.

Yet so far, because my middle finger was still a quarter-inch from the small metallic ring that held our prize.

We were lucky to get this far through a combination of inside information, a dad who was a very deep sleeper, and an unlocked window.

When Luke and I spotted what we were looking for in this small room at the end of the hall, we were shocked. The door was unlocked, as I’d been told, but swung open to reveal rusty iron bars, the kind you see in pirate movies when the hero is trying to pop an ancient padlock.

And yes, there it was, a huge rusty padlock locking it securely. Electronic locks with keycards were probably more secure, but nothing says “impenetrable” like iron bars and padlocks.

Past that gate, seven, maybe eight feet in and dangling on a nail on the opposite wall, was what we were looking for—a ring of keys, one of which would unlock the cell holding my best friend.

 

 

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About-the-Author2

Scott-Craven

Proud graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, have one son who will turn 18 in March 2013, now a features writer for The Arizona Republic.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter

 

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Cover Reveal: The Coupling (The Letting #2) by Cathrine Goldstein

 

The Coupling (The Letting #2)
Release Date: February 15th 2016
 
Summary:
 
In Ronnie Billings’ dystopian world, surviving the Letting and breaking free of a corrupt government is less of a surprise than falling in love with Phoenix Day, the leader of the Peaceful Revolution…
When the government sentences Ronnie to a Coupling under the guise of producing a coveted blood type, Ronnie discovers the one she’s slated to Couple with expects even more.
Prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to save those she loves most, Ronnie devastates Phoenix with her impossible decision. Whisked away from her rebel life to another world ravaged by despair, Ronnie meets her greatest nemesis…her biological father.
Steeling her nerves against the dangers of escape, she embarks on the perilous journey back. She is convinced she belongs with Phoenix and his revolution, but will her friends, and especially Phoenix, be ready to accept her when she returns? Because this time, evil is in her blood…
Book One (click on image for Goodreads link):
Trailer:

About the Author

Given my love for cities and all that is gritty, my new obsession with trees really has me stumped. (Sorry.) Maybe it’s because trees are the inspiration behind my new YA/NA novel, THE LETTING.
Whatever the reason for my new infatuation, some things remain constant — like my love for: coffee (although sadly, it’s now decaf); yoga; Luna bars (I am petitioning for them to bring back Chocolate Raspberry!); running in my neighborhood; Hemingway; Bukowski… and, above all, my husband and my girls.
I am the author of the bestselling novel, Sleeping With Mortals: The Story of a New York Mistress, and I’m also a playwright. I have my B.A. in English and my M.A. in Theatre.
Author Links:
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Cover Reveal: Tackling the Tight End, by Tara Lain

Tackling The Tight End
(Long Pass Chronicles Series, #3)
By Tara Lain
 
Blurb:
Everyone wants the best for SCU student and tight end, Raven Nez—and they know exactly what that is. Enter the NFL draft, become a big football hero, promote his tribe’s casino, and make a lot of money to help people on the reservation. Just one problem. Raven really wants to work with gay kids, and while he loves his tribe and likes football, his visions for the future don’t mesh with theirs. Then the casino board hires a talented student filmmaker to create ads for the tribal business and asks Raven to work with him. But the filmmaker is Dennis Hascomb, a guy with so much to hide and a life so ugly it’s beyond Raven’s understanding. Still he’s drawn to Dennis’s pain and incredible ability to survive. Captivated by Raven’s stories of the two-spirited and by the amazing joy of finally having a friend, Dennis knows he has to break free from everything he’s ever been taught was good—but that’s a struggle that could kill him and Raven, too. Is there a chance for “the great red hope” and the “whitest guy on earth”? A future for the serpent and the raven?
Release Date: 
January 15,  2016
You can pre-order your copy at

Also available for pre-order in paperback from Dreamspinner Press

Excerpt
Dennis’s heart kept pounding in his throat as he crawled out of Walt’s car in the parking lot of the burger place and watched Raven’s long legs emerge from the front seat onto the pavement beside him. Jesus, he was about to go eat with this guy who looked like a god. Man, that was some kind of new milestone. He leaned over and peered in the front seat. “Thanks for driving, Walt. And for including me. Good to meet you.”
“Yeah. Same here.” Walt gave a wave to Raven. “See you later, lover.” After Raven slammed the door, Walt drove off.
“He seems like a great guy.”
Raven nodded as he walked toward the door of the diner. “Yeah, he’s the best. Been my friend since we were kids.” All those strong planes in his face seemed to soften. “Sometimes I’m not sure how I’d get through a day without Walt.” He pulled his jacket tighter and seemed to shudder against the breeze. Weird that Dennis wanted to wrap his arms around Raven to keep him warm. Weirder since he probably couldn’t get his arms halfway around the guy’s chest.
“But Walt’s not your boyfriend?” He swallowed hard.”
Raven seemed to take a breath. “Uh, no. Just friends.”
“I heard he was your guy.”
He shrugged. “We exaggerate our friendship a little to keep our families from trying to hook us up. I’d appreciate it if you kept it to yourself.”
“Sure. No big.” Why did he want to laugh? Maybe just because Raven Nez trusted him with a secret.
They got inside and were given a booth in the back. Walking behind Raven, Dennis got to watch people stare. Women’s lips parted and stayed open like they couldn’t catch their breath. A few people nudged each other, probably recognizing him from TV or the newspapers. The height, the hair, the overall gorgeousness. Hell, who wouldn’t stare? They slid onto the bench seats opposite each other and ordered burgers with fries and Cokes.
Raven smiled. “I really enjoyed getting to see that film in a new light. You were right. I’d never noticed the complete lack of law in the film—except for the law of the crooks. But the nihilism thing. I don’t know. The film is so exuberant and full of fun. I don’t think it says that God or meaning is dead, you know?”
Dennis grinned. Wow, Raven got it. The waitress brought their food, and Dennis dug in. So great getting to eat something his mother hadn’t cooked, and with another person—kind of like a friend. Of course, Raven wouldn’t be anything like a friend if he knew who Dennis was and what he did. He fought a shudder.
Raven took a huge bite, chewed, then tried to talk around his swallow which was kind of cute. “Butch and Jules get away, don’t they? I mean, it seemed like they both found something.”
“Yeah, interesting observation. I mean, it’s like one found God.”
Raven nodded. “And the other found love.”
Together they said, “Same thing.” Raven laughed and spit some bread on the table. It was fun to see him a little less than cool.
Dennis wiped his mouth with his napkin. “You ever been in love?”
“Not yet.”
“Is, uh, falling in love with a guy the same as falling in love with a girl?” He snorted. “Sorry. Dumb question. You just said you’ve never been in love.”
“And I’ve never been with a girl.”
“No kidding? Not even in high school or anything?”
“No. I knew I was gay when I was little. My grandfather raised me to accept the idea that some people are two-spirited, so I was actually excited when I realized I was. I rushed to tell my folks.” He shook his head. “As you can imagine, they weren’t quite so thrilled.”
“That must have been tough.”
He shrugged, but he didn’t look casual. “My grandfather intervened and told them stories of the old ways.” He shoved a couple of fries in his mouth.
“So your grandfather brought your parents around?”
“Not really. They accept my being gay, but they don’t like it.”
“Hell. Accepting is huge compared to some people I know.” Dennis shuddered. “So Indians, I mean, Native Americans accepted, uh, homosexuality?”
“Some tribes. It’s not the Native way to deny something out of existence or make laws against stuff that happens in nature. In some communities the two-spirited were actually revered and considered closer to spirit. Of course, often they were more like what we might call transgender. Not just guys who love guys.”
“Hell, that seems a lot better than being told you’re bad by your church for something you can’t change.” Jesus, he should change the subject. This one made him want to cry.
Raven shoved back his empty plate and sipped his Coke. “Yeah. I volunteer at the Gay Youth Shelter and, man, between their parents throwing them out and their churches calling them perverts, a lot of those kids barely escape suicide.” He stared at the dark liquid in his glass. “Some of them don’t escape.”

“That’s crazy.” So crazy he totally got it.

 

The Long Pass Chronicles Series

 

 

About the Author
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 23. Her best­selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul­mate husband and her soul­mate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!
You can find Tara at
               
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Holiday Giveaway!

Prizes

First Prize – Available USA Only

  • Six great indie novels of fantasy and magic, shape-shifters and mermaids, fandom and love.
  • Swag, including a tote bag, bookmarks, pins, stickers, a keychain and magnets.
  • A $25 Amazon gift card

 

Second Prize – Available Internationally

  • A $25 Amazon gift card
 
Giveaway ends January 4th
 

 

——————–About The Prizes——————

Skye Malone’s AWAKEN

Running away from home was never Chloe Kowalski’s plan. Neither was ending up the target of killers, or having her body change in unusual ways. She only wanted a vacation, someplace far from her crazy parents and their irrational fear of water. She only wanted to do something normal for once, and maybe get to know her best friend’s hot stepbrother a bit better at the same time.
But the first day she goes out on the ocean, strange things start to happen. Dangerous things that should be impossible. Things to which ‘normal’ doesn’t even begin to apply.
Now madmen are hunting her. A mysterious guy with glowing blue eyes is following her. And her best friend’s stepbrother seems to be hiding secrets all his own.
It was supposed to be a vacation. It’s turning out to be a whole lot more.

About Skye Malone

Skye Malone is a fantasy and paranormal romance author, which means she spends most of her time not-quite-convinced that the things she imagines couldn’t actually exist.
A Midwestern girl who migrated to the Pacific Northwest, she dreams of traveling the world — though in the meantime she’ll take any story that whisks her off to a place where the fantastic lives inside the everyday. She loves strong and passionate characters, complex villains, and satisfying endings that stay with you long after the book is closed. An inveterate writer, she can’t go a day without getting her hands on a keyboard, and can usually be found typing away while she listens to all the adventures unfolding in her head.

Connect with Skye Malone

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Dean Murray’s BROKEN

Adri Paige’s arrival in Sanctuary thrusts her into a dangerous, shadowy world most people don’t believe exists, and places her in the middle of a war between darkly handsome Alec Graves and charismatic Brandon Worthingfield that threatens to consume the entire town.
On the surface, both Alec and Brandon are nothing more than average high-school guys, but as Adri is pulled ever more deeply into their conflict she realizes that one of them wants to kill her. Adri needs to decide who to trust before her time runs out once and for all.

About Dean Murray

Dean Murray is a prolific author with dozens of titles across multiple pen names and more than half a million copies of his work currently in circulation.
Dean started reading seriously in the second grade due to a competition and has spent most of the subsequent three decades lost in other people’s worlds.
Things worsened, or improved depending on your point of view, when he first started experimenting with writing while finishing up his accounting degree. These days Dean has a wonderful wife and two lovely daughters to keep him rather more grounded, but the idea of bringing others along with him as he meets interesting new people in universes nobody else has ever seen tends to drag him back to his computer on a fairly regular basis.

Connect with Dean Murray

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JC Lillis’ HOW TO REPAIR A MECHANICAL HEART

The summer after high school graduation, two cute and snarky boys hit the road in an RV. Their mission: follow the traveling fan convention for Castaway Planet, the cult sci-fi show they’re both obsessed with.
BRANDON irons his t-shirts, loves the dapper and reserved Castaway android Sim, and hides his pesky Catholic guilt from his out-and-proud roadtrip partner, Abel.
ABEL collects funny belt buckles, loves Castaway‘s brave and dashing Captain Cadmus, has a hot boyfriend with a phoenix tattoo, and has nothing to hide—except his epic crush on Brandon.
During their six-week cross-country adventure, Brandon and Abel post new entries on their Castaway Planet fan vlog, spar with an online community of slash fiction writers, meet their TV idols, play with their action figures, uncover big secrets, and maybe possibly fall in love. Can two fanboys face down their obstacles and write themselves a real-life romance—or is fiction the only thing bringing them together?

About JC Lillis

So about me. I am a veteran of eight tempestuous Internet fandoms, three Catholic schools, and countless crushes on fictional characters. I live in Baltimore with my awesome and patient family and a ragtag band of tropical fish, some of which will probably be dead by the time you read this. I obsess over thrift store art, homemade dollhouses, second-tier 80s sitcoms, koi ponds, retrofuturism, Game of Thrones, Edward Gorey, and peanut butter and banana sandwiches.
My mom still has my first batch of homemade books. I wrote them when I was six or seven, on stapled pieces of construction paper. They were about a family of talking silverware, a gray shoe who lost her mate, and my father’s grim adventures at his office and in “Giantland” (vastly different locales, though in both places he was shouted at by the disembodied head of his boss). I’ve been trying to top the Giantland story ever since. Maybe this will be my year.

Connect with JC Lillis

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LJK Oliva’s A WORLD APART

Private investigator Jesper MacMillian was sure he’d seen it all. After all, in a city like San Francisco, strange is what’s for breakfast. Following a long recovery after a horrific accident, his life is finally the way he wants it- or at least, close enough. The only monsters on his radar are the ones that keep him awake at night.
All that changes the day he meets Lena Alan.
Before MacMillian has a chance to brace for impact, Lena drags him into a world where monsters aren’t just real, they’re hiding in plain sight. Suddenly, everything he knows is suspect, starting with his current case. For Lena, a psychic medium since childhood, it’s just another day at the office.
For MacMillian, it’s the beginning of the end of everything he thinks he knows.

About LJK Oliva

L.J.K. Oliva is the devil-may-care alter-ego of noir romance novelist Laura Oliva. She likes her whiskey strong, her chocolate dark, and her steak bloody. L.J.K. likes monsters… and knows the darkest ones don’t live in closets.

Connect with LJK Oliva

Twitter: https://twitter.com/writermama

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Kayti Nika Raet’s NIKO

One can live for several weeks without food but only a few days without water, a fact seventeen year old Niko is only too aware of as she struggles to provide for her two younger brothers in a post-apocalyptic landscape where the rain burns like acid, food grows increasingly scarce and any Slither that crosses her path is laid low before it can sink its teeth into her.
Then one night everything she’d ever worked for and loved is consumed by a raging fire, leaving her with one brother missing, the other dead and herself gravely injured.
She’s rescued by the Rose Circle, a rogue group of Slither hunters. They sneak her into Amaryllis City, a decadent metropolis where those able to pay the exorbitant entrance fee live a life of relative ease.
But for Niko, Amaryllis City is not the haven she grew up believing it would be and her unique abilities as a Slither hunter make her a particularly visible target to a city with hopes of experimentation, replication and other nasty bits.
All Niko ever wanted to do was find her baby brother, but that’s proving to be harder than expected.

About Kayti Nika Raet

Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Kayti Nika Raet moved down South when she was 11, where she was bitten by the writing bug, as well as other, less friendly insects.
She is the author of the Outsider Chronicles, a five book series starting with NIKO and set in a world where the rain burns like acid and flesh eating monsters roam.
She’s also a reviewer for Readers’ Favorite and has her own Youtube Channel: Kayti Edition.
When she is not hard at work on her fourth book she has fun reading, listening to K-pop, and photography.
Kayti lives in Milledgeville, Georgia.

Connect Kayti Nika Raet

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KNRwrites

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Madhuri Blaylock’s THE GIRL

The Sanctum, an all-powerful governing body founded by ten families, entrusted to maintain the peace amongst Magicals and ensure the ignorance of humans, has been corrupted by greed and savagery for generations, but is all Wyatt Clayworth has ever known.
A descendant of one of the Founding Families and Class A Warrior, Wyatt has always believed in the ways of The Sanctum, having grown up in the system and thrived under their leadership. A golden boy, renowned for his prowess and skill in battle, Wyatt has never questioned a mission or kill order until the night he crosses paths with a brutally injured and mysterious girl.
Scouring Central Park with his best friend and fellow Class A Warrior, Ryker Morrison, for the hybrid demon prophesied to bring an end to The Sanctum and destroy the world for Magicals and humans alike, Wyatt instead finds Dev and his whole life turns upside down. Told he was hunting a killing machine, hellbent on wreaking havoc and destruction upon all it encounters, Wyatt instead sees nothing more than a broken girl with haunted eyes and a bit of a death wish.
All Dev wants is for Wyatt to either kill her or leave her alone. When he refuses to do either, she finds herself being pulled into his life while being hunted by warriors everywhere she turns. Drawn to one another for reasons they cannot begin to explain to themselves, much less anyone else, Wyatt is determined to protect Dev and help her realize her mission to avenge the deaths of her family at the hands of The Sanctum. His abdication of his duties and his outright rejection of his responsibilities to The Sanctum create a maelstrom of events beyond anyone’s imagination.

About Madhuri Blaylock

I’m that Indian girl everyone thinks is Black, or Spanish, or Black and Spanish. I’m from down South, have lived in the New York City area for more than twenty years, and am proof that you can take the girl out of the South, but you can’t take the South out of the girl.
I love Old Scout bourbon, tattoos, french fries, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, my mom’s Indian food, all kinds of  naughty, sexy things, Friday Night Lights, coffee, and Martha’s Vineyard. I can wiggle my ears, flare my nostrils, and curl my tongue.
I am an introvert who can fool people into thinking I’m an extrovert, all the while wishing I was home alone, not having to speak to a soul, lost in a fantastical world of my own creation.
As the great Charles Bukowski said, I write because it comes bursting out of me. I cannot stop it, nor do I want to.
I do other things to pay the bills.

Connect with Madhuri Blaylock

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MadhuriBlaylock

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Spotlight On: Key Change, by Barbara Valentin


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KEY Change
(Assignment: Romance #3)
Barbara Valentin
Romantic Comedy, 236 pgs

The first thing Sara Cleff, a hard-edged, shower-singing rock music critic, wants to do after following a band on tour is crawl into her nice comfy bed in her well-appointed, optimally located vintage apartment. But before making it home, she learns her roommate-slash-boyfriend has apparently broken up with her while she was away on assignment and sublet their apartment out from underneath her. Ouch! When her key no longer fits in the lock, the last person she expects to find on the other side of the door is Andrew Benet, a wickedly gorgeous music director from a nearby church.

Something about the brash music critic strikes a chord with Andrew, and he offers her the chance to stay on one condition—she has to join the choir at his church. While Andrew may hold the lease on Sara’s apartment, does he have the key to unlock her heart?

 
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Excerpt:
Up as usual at the crack of dawn, Andrew trudged to the bathroom, almost forgetting to close the door behind him before he spotted Sara’s bangles on the counter next to the sink. Reaching over, he shut the door and locked it.
Fifteen minutes later, he was showered, clean-shaven, and ready to go, except he didn’t have to be at the church until four-thirty that afternoon. Unplugging his phone from an outlet in his room, he brought it with him into the kitchen, transferred Sara’s clothes that she had washed the night before into the dryer and poured himself some coffee. He sat on a barstool, debated throwing a sweatshirt on over his plain, blue, short-sleeved T- shirt to ward off the chill, but started scrolling through his email instead.
His eyes, however, kept drifting over to Sara, out like a light on the sofa sleeper.
While most of her was wrapped in the blankets like a human burrito, with the sun starting to break through the bare branches of the ancient oak tree blocking the expansive bay window, he could see her face quite plainly.
Without all that the heavy dark makeup, he noted, she looked younger.
And kinda sweet, actually.
But then again, she wasn’t talking.
Still, he was glad he invited her to stay the night before.
But what about tonight? And tomorrow night? And the night after that?
While he mulled the possibilities, she rolled over and stretched, arching her back and groaning as she did. Resuming her curled-up burrito pose, she opened her eyes and mumbled, “How long have you been sitting there?”
Looking at his watch, he admitted, “About a minute. Or five. Maybe ten.” His cheeks suddenly felt a lot warmer.
With a loud yawn, she sat up. “I slept so good.” Patting the thin mattress with her hand, she added, “So comfy.”
The words hung in the air between them.
Sarcasm before coffee. Great.
Still, the sight of her in his pajama top seemed to lobotomize him. All he could do by way of a reply was nod.
With a shrug, she added, “Seriously, on a sleeper sofa—who knew?”
Snap out of it.
With no small amount of effort, he turned and glanced at the dryer. “Your clothes should be ready in about twenty minutes.”
At that, Sara took a deep breath and yanked the covers back, revealing two impossibly long bare legs as she flung her feet to the floor.
Knowing full well that the sudden blast of heat he felt was not delivered by way of the gilded vents along the floorboards, Andrew got up to check the thermostat on the wall next to the upright piano anyway, mumbling, “Gotta love old buildings.”

About the Author:

Barbara is an award-winning novelist and second-generation journalist. After spending a decade in maternity clothes, she has five boys to show for it and much fodder for her column, The Plate Spinner Chronicles, a long-running feature in the Chicago Tribune. A member of RWA’s Windy City chapter, she still dreams of the day when her to-do list includes “Send NY Times book critic thank you note” and “Accept Godiva’s request to be a taste-tester.”
Website   
Giveaway: $25 Amazon gift card

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Spotlight On: The Height of Perpetual Love, by Monica F. Hudson

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The Height of Perpetual LoveThy love is ageless, it penetrates the depth of time and encircles the face of your abiding love. In the shelter of the storm it shines it majestic power, giving soothing tranquility to the stormy seas.

Know thy flames can never be extinguished or humanity hold its essence in the palm of their hands, for it is the power of the Holy Spirit that radiates its light and gives strength to the weary. It flows as music on air its notes give harmony and feeds the heart compassion.

Buy on Hudson Publishers

 

 

About the author

monica hudsonMonica F. Hudson has given her writing ministry a visionary depiction of boldness and creative awareness through her covers that leads you down a path inside the pages of not just truth, but a praise dance that any saint would give up a rejoicing word for. She is after all a spiritual writer, who has a genre that includes Christian discipleship, empowerment, and spiritual inspirations, leading her to a string of book, journals, and articles that look like a hymnal turned inside out.

She is the author/publisher of Hudson Publishers, a company that markets Christian books for those who want a deeper meaning in their walk with Jesus Christ. She is a member of Allen Temple A.M. E. Church in Pine Bluff, AR. She is a member of the American Christian Writers, Spiritual Writers Association, Association of Writers and Writers Programs just to name of few. Find out more about this writing ministry at
www.2cdivineanswers.com.

Find Monica here:

Twitter | LinkedIn | Goodreads | Youtube

 

Spotlight On: The King’s Ransom and Guinevere, by Cheryl Carpinello

Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast for the middle grade books, based on Arthurian Legend, “Young Knights of the Round Table” and “Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend” by Cheryl Carpinello.

Arthurian Legend Collage

 

About the Books

The King's Ransom by Cheryl CarpinelloTitle: Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom | Author: Cheryl Carpinello | Cover Art: Kaytalin Platt | Publication Date: May, 2012 | Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing | Pages: 120 | Recommended Ages: 7 to 12

Book Description:

Answer the hero’s call to Adventure with the Young Knights of the Round Table on their Quest.

Three friends. Three quests. Three mysterious predictions.

In medieval Wales, eleven-year-old Prince Gavin, thirteen-year-old orphan Philip, and fifteen-year-old blacksmith’s apprentice Bryan are brought together in friendship by one they call the Wild Man. When an advisor to the king is killed and a jewelled medallion is stolen from the king’s treasury, the Wild Man is accused of the theft and murder. Filled with disbelief at the arrest of the Wild Man, the three friends embark upon a knight’s quest to save their friend’s life. To succeed, the three must confront their fears and insecurities, and one of them will have to disclose the biggest secret of all. Join Gavin, Philip, and Bryan on their quest and share the adventures that await them in the land of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Smashwords

iTunes * MuseItUp * Goodreads

Awards

2014 Gold Award Winner for Juvenile Fiction from Global eBook Awards.
2013 EVVY Finalist & EVVY Merit Award for Juvenile/Young Adult, Colorado Independent Publishers Assoc.
2013 Ariana Cover Finalist
2012 Silver Award Recipient for YA Fiction, Children’s Literary Classics & CLC’s 2012 Seal of Approval
2012 Finalist E-Book Children from USA 2012 Best Book Awards

 

 

Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend by Cheryl CarpinelloTitle: Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend | Author: Cheryl Carpinello | Cover Art: Kaytalin Platt; Rita Toews | Publication Date: March, 2009 | Publisher: Beyond Today Educator | Pages: 122 | Recommended Age: 7 to 12

Book Description:

Finalist Pre-Teen Literature: Dan Poynter’s 2011 Global Ebook Awards

At the dawn of Camelot, one young girl is about to take her place beside the greatest king in England’s history.

She is a mere child of twelve. But in these medieval days, this is the age when childish things must be put away and greater responsibilities accepted–all in preparation for a betrothal of marriage. For young Lady Guinevere, on the advent of her thirteenth Birth Day, the whole idea is quite unbearable. After all, what could be better than spending her youth playing with her best friend Cedwyn, roaming the grounds around the castle looking for mythical creatures or hunting rabbits? However, the wizard Merlyn–her teacher and friend–knows that destiny has a way of catching up with a person. His arrival sets in motion a series of events that will lead Guinevere to her destiny whether she is ready for it or not.

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Excerpts From Reviews

The King’s Ransom:

“Cheryl Carpinello’s middle grade adventure novel, featuring a visit from King Arthur and a few of his knights, is a wonderful introduction ~ to King Arthur, and to the lives of knights and others in a castle.”

“I do wish the story had been a little longer, but as this book is aimed at a younger reader with a shorter attention span, I can understand why it was not.”

“It’s a great story about loyalty, friendship and overcoming obstacles.”

“This was a delightful rollercoaster of a read, taking us on a journey with each of the characters. There were moments of great sadness, where I felt so wholeheartedly for the characters and their situations.”

Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend:

I read this book to my son and daughter and they both loved it. It was a fast-paced book with a lot of excitement.”

“Will appeal to middle school aged readers, especially girls but boys too, who can relate to the idea of wanting independence yet struggling with the obligations that come with it.”

“Wizards, unicorns, and dragons are a few of the mythical creatures you will encounter in this enchanting book.”

“It is interesting and filled with enough Arthurian legend to keep young readers entertained. The questions at the end are great for comprehension and give the readers a chance to discuss their own take on the story.”

 

About the Author: Cheryl Carpinello

Cheryl Carpinello AuthorI am a retired high school English teacher. A devourer of books growing up, my profession introduced me to writings and authors from times long past. Through my studies and teaching, I fell in love with the Ancient and Medieval Worlds. Now, I hope to inspire young readers and those Young-at-Heart to read more through my Quest Books set in these worlds.

Also please visit my other sites: Carpinello’s Writing Pages where I interview children’s/MG/Tween/YA authors; my home website Beyond Today Educator, and The Quest Books where I’ve teamed up with Fiona Ingram from South Africa and Wendy Leighton-Porter of Abu Dhabi to enable readers to find our Ancient and Medieval quest books in one place.

Beyond the Educator * Carpinello’s Writing Pages

Facebook * Goodreads * Twitter * Pinterest * Google+

 

** Book Blast Giveaway **

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice

Giveaway ends: December 24, 11:59 pm, 2015

Open to: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by Cheryl Carpinello and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send an email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Spotlight On: Just a Few Inches by Tara St. Pierre

Excerpt

I looked up at Todd’s chin, which had always fit securely atop my head. It was a special part of our relationship, and that night, I’d have done anything to keep our relationship.

“Why don’t you tell me what’s wrong?”

“Let’s go to your place, like we had planned.”

Before long, we were in his living room eating a pizza we had grabbed on the way there. I wasn’t hungry, and I nibbled on one slice while he wolfed down five. As I sat back and sank into the high sofa, my feet didn’t touch the ground—a sensation I wasn’t accustomed to yet.

When he finished eating, he dimmed the lights. If I had been thinking clearly, I would have realized he was setting a certain mood.

He put his arm around me. “Aren’t you gonna tell me what’s wrong?”

“I’m shrinking.” I leaned against his shoulder. “I’m seeing a specialist tomorrow.”

“Why didn’t you tell me before?”

I knew I had to say something, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to start from the beginning. If I told him I took the pills to fit in a dress because I suspected Janelle was trying to steal him away from me, he’d probably think I was crazy. And then even crazier if he knew I tried to cover it up while hoping it was only a temporary thing. But the reason that spilled out of my mouth was that I was afraid he wouldn’t like me anymore.

“Why wouldn’t I?”

I stood up. “Look at me!”

He squinted. “What?”

“These are my little stepsister’s clothes.”

He stood and looked down at me. “You look great.”

“You’re, like, more than a foot taller than me now. Talk about lopsided.”

He shrugged. “So?”

“But I can’t be your custom-sized chin rest.”

“You think I’d dump you for that?” He reached over to put his arm around me but gently set it atop my head. “Besides, now you can be my custom-sized arm rest, Shorter-Stuff.”

I knew he was only trying to make a joke, but it wasn’t funny. I turned away and folded my arms, but he wrapped his arms around me from behind and held me close to him. “Will this make you feel better?”

When his chin touched down atop my head, I giggled, imagining him hunched over behind me. “A little,” I replied.

“You look kinda cute shorter.” He squeezed me a little tighter. “Like you need someone big and strong like me to protect you.”

I laughed out loud, perhaps the first time I had since I discovered what was happening to me. Todd was great. I didn’t want to let go of him.

He turned me to face him and then bent down further to kiss me. I strained my neck in the process, but it was worth it. It was our first real kiss since the dance, and his lips felt drastically different. They were bigger—well, mine were smaller—and they surrounded mine, but I enjoyed the sensation.

Just a Few Inches
by Tara St. Pierre
Release Date: May 31st 2015

Summary from Goodreads:

All Carrie Roberts wants is to be a little bit smaller.

To fit into the perfect dress for the Valentine’s Day Dance. To look beautiful for her boyfriend, the school’s star basketball player. To keep his jealous ex-girlfriend, a rival cheerleader, away from him. And to be noticed by her classmates.

Exercising and dieting don’t work, but an advertisement for weight loss pills promises a quicker solution to her problem. As time runs out, she takes more than the recommended dose until she’s just a few inches slimmer. Heads turn when she arrives at the dance, and the wonderful night with her boyfriend is beyond what she dreamed it would be.

Days later, Carrie discovers that her body is changing in ways that should be impossible. While her doctor searches for a cure, she desperately turns to her friends and family for support. Everyone is noticing her now whether she likes it or not, and even the media is intrigued by her incredible story. Getting everything she once wanted has created new problems—problems that are growing more terrifying every day.

Because Carrie Roberts is shrinking.
– – – – – 
“Just a Few Inches” is a Young Adult novel that deals with issues of body image, self-esteem, and teenage relationships. It is intended for readers age 13 and up.

 

Buy Links:

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About the Author
 
Tara St. Pierre has been writing for over two decades, but her muse only sporadically provides inspiration. Her laptop is filled with incomplete manuscripts and other plot outlines, and she feels blessed when one finally pushes its way through to completion–no matter how long it takes!

She enjoys classic science fiction movies and television shows. When driving, she sings along with the radio loudly and off key. She prefers tea over coffee, spring over autumn, vanilla ice cream over chocolate, and caramel over hot fudge. Though she lives by herself, one of her two cats enjoys cuddling with her.
 
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