Friday, September 26, 2014

4 for Friday Blitz – Presented by Month9Books with Giveaway


Welcome to the 4 for Friday Blitz for Crown of Ice by Vicki L. Weavil, Fire in the Woods by Jennifer M. Eaton, Avian by Nicole Conway, and Branded by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki, presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post.

Thyra Winther’s seventeen, the Snow Queen, and immortal, but if she can’t reassemble a shattered enchanted mirror by her eighteenth birthday she’s doomed to spend eternity as a wraith.
Armed with magic granted by a ruthless wizard, Thyra schemes to survive with her mind and body intact. Unencumbered by kindness, she kidnaps local boy Kai Thorsen, whose mathematical skills rival her own. Two logical minds, Thyra calculates, are better than one. With time rapidly melting away she needs all the help she can steal.
A cruel lie ensnares Kai in her plan, but three missing mirror shards and Kai’s childhood friend, Gerda, present more formidable obstacles. Thyra’s willing to do anything – venture into uncharted lands, outwit sorcerers, or battle enchanted beasts — to reconstruct the mirror, yet her most dangerous adversary lies within her breast. Touched by the warmth of a wolf pup’s devotion and the fire of a young man’s desire, the thawing of Thyra’s frozen heart could be her ultimate undoing.
CROWN OF ICE is a YA Fantasy that reinvents Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” from the perspective of a young woman who discovers that the greatest threat to her survival may be her own humanity.

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Vicki Weavil 11
Vicki Lemp Weavil was raised in a farming community in Virginia, where her life was shaped by a wonderful family, the culture of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and an obsession with reading. Since obtaining her undergraduate degree in Theatre from the University of Virginia, she’s gone on to acquire two masters degrees, living in places as diverse as New York City and rural North Carolina. She’s currently the library director for a performing an visual arts university. Vicki loves good writing in any genre, and has been known to read seven books in as many days. She enjoys travel, gardening, and the arts. Vicki lives in North Carolina with her husband, son, and some very spoiled cats.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Tumbler

When a plane crashes in the woods near Jess’s home, the boy of her dreams falls out of the sky—literally. But David’s not here to find a girlfriend. He’s from another planet, and if Jess can’t help him get back to his ship, he’ll be stuck on Earth with nothing to look forward to but the pointy end of a dissection scalpel.
But her father runs their house like an army barracks, and with an alien on the loose, Major Dad isn’t too keen on the idea of Jess going anywhere. Ever. So how the heck is she supposed to help the sweetest, strangest, and cutest guy she’s ever met?
Hiding him in her room probably isn’t the best idea. Especially since her Dad is in charge of the squadron searching for David. That doesn’t mean she won’t do it. It just means she can’t get caught.
Helping David get home while protecting her heart—that’s gonna be the hard part. After all, she can’t really fall for a guy who’s not exactly from here.
As they race through the woods with Major Dad and most of the U.S. military one breath behind them, Jess and David grow closer than either of them anticipated. But all is not what it seems. David has a genocide-sized secret, and one betrayal later, they are both in handcuffs as alien warships are positioning themselves around the globe. Time is ticking down to Armageddon, and Jess must think fast if she’s to save the boy she cares about without sacrificing Earth—and everyone on it.

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Jennifer M. Eaton
Corporate Team Leader by day, and Ranting Writer by night. Jennifer M. Eaton calls the East Coast of the USA home, where she lives with her husband, three energetic boys, and a pepped up poodle.
Jennifer hosts an informational blog “A Reference of Writing Rants for Writers (or Learn from My Mistakes)” aimed at helping all writers be the best they can be.
Beyond writing and motivating others, she also enjoys teaching her dog to jump through hoops—literally.
Jennifer’s perfect day includes long hikes in the woods, bicycling, swimming, snorkeling, and snuggling up by the fire with a great book; but her greatest joy is using her over-active imagination constructively… creating new worlds for everyone to enjoy.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

What kind of power is lurking inside him?
After a year of training to become a dragonrider, Jaevid Broadfeather has been sent home to rest during a three-month interlude. But when he returns to find the king drake has chosen Beckah Derrick as his new rider, Jaevid realizes something big is about to happen. Every fiber of his being is pushed to the breaking point as Jaevid battles through his avian year, preparing for the final graduation test of the battle scenario. But there is more standing in his way than a few pushups and fancy sword moves.
Jaevid must face a new fear as he is tormented by a gruesome nightmare of a mysterious gray elf warrior murdering the royal family of Maldobar. It seems obvious to him that this is some kind of message about how the war started long ago—until Felix assures him the king is very much alive. With his strange powers growing stronger by the day, and that violent dream replaying in his mind every night, Jaevid no longer wonders if he will pass his avian year or not . . . he wonders if he will even survive it.
The truth will soon be set loose.

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Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. She has completed the first two books in the series, and is now working on the third and final book.
Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.
She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.
Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Fifty years ago The Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society.
To punish the guilty, he created the Hole, a place where sinners are branded according to their sins. Sinners are forced to live a less than human existence in deplorable conditions, under the watchful eye of guards who are ready to kill anyone who steps out of line.
Now, LUST wraps around my neck like thick, blue fingers, threatening to choke the life out of me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit, and the Hole is my new home.
Constant darkness.
Brutal and savage violence.
Excruciating pain.
Every day is a fight for survival.
But I won’t let them win. I will not die in the Hole.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter. My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.

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Abi and Missy met in the summer of 1999 at college orientation and have been best friends ever since. After college, they added jobs, husbands and kids to their lives, but they still found time for their friendship. Instead of hanging out on weekends, they went to dinner once a month and reviewed books. What started out as an enjoyable hobby has now become an incredible adventure.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumbler

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Emisary book tour~ Tips on Hiding Your Shay Power by Main Character Nolan Trividar

~Hello and Welcome to The Emissary Blog Tour~
Enter the giveaway and read on down the page to learn more about
The Emissary!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tips for hiding your Shay
by Nolan Trividar

 The easiest way to hide your Shay power, is by the simple art of deception.  With Accuracy, I simply aim for the wrong location, so I give the impression of being  normal and inaccurate. From even simple things, like my writing, I have to be careful and makes mistakes. A few extra ink spots tossed in. Anything to give the deception of imperfection.

However this technique has some complications.  First and foremost, you must learn to hide your eyes from glowing. When you are aiming, incorrectly even, your Shay still responds and makes itself known. Luckily I hide frequently in my room when writing. Out in public, I have to be more careful.

The technique I learned to hide the light, is to sit and stare into a mirror. Experiment at what intensity of your power does the light emerge. Feel it inside you and practice restraint and control.  Hold back before it takes form.

You can sense the light when it illuminates. Recognize it so you know when it shows. You can’t stop using your Shay; it’s impossible. The key to hiding it is to push it down, so you are in control of it instead of it controlling you.

 It takes a lot of patience to reach this level of skill. Luckily for me, Accuracy glows blue. My blue eyes made my early mistakes easier to disguise.  Also, Accuracy is one of the easier ones to conceal.  Shay powers, such as Strength and Speed, would be more difficult. Red glowing eyes and smashing tables or doors would be hard to explain.  So would yellow eyes and zipping off across a room.

If you end up having one of the more predominant Shays, well … good luck with that one.  My suggestion would be to find a nice cave, where no one can see your mistakes. Be well-prepared before you emerge in public.

Hopefully these tips will help you conceal your Shay.

Oh, and one more thing: Remember, that if you slip up, you’ll be dead.

It’s illegal to hide your Shay.

Title: The Emissary
Publication date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Kristal Shaff
For hundreds of years, dark clouds covered the skies of Adamah, and an ageless king ruled. Those who emerged with one of six extraordinary Shay powers were forced into the king’s army, an unmatched force with inhuman Strength, Speed, Accuracy, Perception, Empathy, and Healing. With the army behind him, the king—a man who wields all six abilities—was invincible and unquestioned in his rule. To most, serving the king was an honor. But for others, it was a fate worse than death.
When seventeen-year-old Nolan Trividar witnesses the transformation of his brother from kind to cruel after entering the king’s army, he vows never to follow the same path.
So when his own power—the Shay of Accuracy—comes upon him at the Tournament of Awakening, Nolan conceals his emergence instead of joining the king’s ranks. For years, he traitorously hides his power, pretending to be only a gifted scribe. But when Nolan comes face -to-face with a deserter, the man discovers his secret.
To evade detection and a death sentence, Nolan escapes with the deserter and flees into a night filled with dark creatures who steal both powers and souls. He joins a resistance, a village hidden deep in the forest, filled with others who secretly wield a Shay. But his peace is short-lived when they discover that the dark clouds, undead creatures, their own decreasing powers, and even the king, are all connected.

Kristal Shaff grew up with books (and used to drive her mom crazy when she wouldn’t leave the library); her first job was even shelving books at the library. She loves anything creative, and you can often find her exploring strange and fantastical worlds in her choices of movies and fantasy fiction. Kristal resides in Iowa with her farmer husband, numerous pets, and 3 awesome  kids (plus one more on the way though the journey of adoption). When she isn’t writing, she is a professional face painter who enjoys making children smile.

Author Links:  Website  | Twitter Facebook | Goodreads


Monday, September 22, 2014

Are you an Action Hero? (i.e. advice for writing action scenes)

I'm probably the last person you should look to for advice on how to write action scenes, so I've asked my wonderful daughter to help illustrate what little I know. (Actually she doesn't know I'm using these pics. Haha!)
True fight scenes are a specials nemesis of mine. I've written them in my fantasy stories, but not so much in my contemporary work. This is how I look at the thought of writing them:

I do recall one piece of good advice I once read on writing action - focus on the details. If a character throws a punch, how does it feel? What does it sound like? A book is not (usually) a movie, so take some time and describe the sensory details that aren't necessarily visual, such as smells, sounds, textures, and tastes.

Tastes are especially good.

Now, while you're describing all that sensory detail, beware of bogging the action down. Short, choppy sentences can give a scene a sense of urgency or speed. How much speed you want or need will depend on the genre you're writing, of course. A thriller will require a much more "Dan Brown" active approach than a cozy mystery would.

Bah! I hate writing rules. Just write! Be the action hero! You can always fix it later. That's my motto - just write.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Cover Reveal: I Heart Robot by Suzanne van Rooyen and Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals


Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

I Heart Robot by Suzanne van Rooyen

presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

I HEART ROBOT Cover Art from Suzanne van Rooyen
I'm not the most artistically inclined. While I do love art and have been known to bust out the pencils and paints myself, it's not an area where I'd consider myself particularly talented. In short, I knew that cover design was something best left to the professional and I had every confidence in Month9Books.
I am so grateful to Georgia McBride for allowing me to have the amount of input I did when it came to cover creation for I Heart Robot. This is a novel that is as much about a civil rights struggle in a futuristic, post-war city as it is about romance, and we wanted a cover that reflected both elements. Finding the right balance between romance and science fiction was a tall order, but Month9Books delivered in spades by presenting me with two stylistically different covers. I loved elements of both, and by working closely with the cover artist and with Georgia we managed to combine all the best parts of both original covers into what we have today: a cover that reflects the gritty world my characters live in while emphasizing the fact that this is above all, a love story.

I Heart Robot

Sixteen-year-old Tyri wants to be a musician and wants to be with someone who won't belittle her musical aspirations.
Q-I-99 aka 'Quinn' lives in a scrap metal sanctuary with other rogue droids. While some use violence to make their voices heard, demanding equal rights for AI enhanced robots, Quinn just wants a moment on stage with his violin to show the humans that androids like him have more to offer than their processing power.
Tyri and Quinn's worlds collide when they're accepted by the Baldur Junior Philharmonic Orchestra. As the rift between robots and humans deepens, Tyri and Quinn's love of music brings them closer together, making Tyri question where her loyalties lie and Quinn question his place in the world. With the city on the brink of civil war, Tyri and Quinn make a shocking discovery that turns their world inside out. Will their passion for music be enough to hold them together while everything else crumbles down around them, or will the truth of who they are tear them apart?

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Title: I Heart Robot
Publication date: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Suzanne van Rooyen



Suzanne is a tattooed storyteller from South Africa. She currently lives in Finland and finds the cold, dark forests nothing if not inspiring. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When not writing, she teaches dance and music to middle schoolers and entertains her shiba inu, Lego. Suzanne is represented by Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Agency.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


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(Winners will receive their book on release day)


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Destiny Road by Melissa Wray

What sparked the idea to write Destiny Road?
Recently Melissa Wray was asked this question by Uncommon YA. Here is her very personal response.
We moved to North Queensland when I was 14. After a year or so Mum could see that something about Townsville and I did not mix. Strangely enough it was her suggestion to ring my dad and ask if I could move back south.

So I did. Then I packed my bags and moved 3,000km away to live with him. This decision is what sparked the idea for Destiny Road.

Now I never set out to write this story, let alone have it published. It just kind of happened. It came about because one night I was lying in bed and couldn’t sleep. There was an unspoken conversation going on in my mind. It was a conversation that I regret not having and has played on my mind over the years. This particular night it got the better of me so I got up and began to write. It wasn’t until after I read through those mad ramblings a couple of weeks later that I thought hmmm … I could create a story from this. So I began writing. I passed my 10,000 word milestone. Then 20 then 30 then before I knew it 50,000 words had been typed.

You see I think about that one phone call I made all those years ago sometimes. I have often thought about how that decision, that one pivotal moment that is talked about in Destiny Road, really did change the course of my life. I’m sure as you're reading this you can look back over your life, and pinpoint one moment that has shaped it in a big way. I truly believe that Dad saying yes when I asked was a determining factor in how things have turned out for me.

One afternoon I was sitting with him. He got to talking about his philosophy on life and death. Dad had been fighting a battle against cancer for a while at this point and I was kneeling next to him as he sat on his reclining chair. He was holding my hand as he shared these ideas on life and death. He said to me "It’s cool. Whatever happens, it’s cool." My dad used cool a lot when he spoke. He was pretty cool. He was also a big believer in God. So that afternoon he said "It’s cool if I die because I get to meet my maker." ‘Then he said "But it’s cool if I live because I get to be with the ones I love." This was his philosophy. Either way was cool with him.

I remember kneeling there, holding his hand and wishing I could say thankyou to him. Thanks for saying yes all those years ago. Thanks for that pivotal moment in my life. I wanted him to know how much that meant. But I couldn’t. I just couldn’t get those words out.

That night he passed away.
I never did get to tell him and have regretted that for the past 10 years. So you see once the spark to write Destiny Road was lit, it had to finished. It was my tribute, my thankyou and I am beyond thrilled it was published.

Now I’m not going to bore you with my views on life and death but I can’t help but wonder something, because anyone who knew my dad, Rod Morris, and anyone who knew his sense of humour ... well I can’t help but wonder if there wasn’t a helping hand when Morris Publishing (no relation) chose to publish Destiny Road. I like to think so.

It's hard to believe two years has passed since the launch of Destiny Road. To celebrate there is a chance to win 2 x $20 Gift Cards, ENTER NOW!

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To connect with Melissa;

Friday, September 12, 2014

Cover Reveal: Where the Staircase Ends by Stacy Stokes and Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals


Welcome to the Cover Reveal for
Where the Staircase Ends by Stacy Stokes
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Where the Staircase Ends

After her best friend orchestrates the lie that destroys her reputation, Taylor wants more than anything to disappear from her life. But when an accident turns this unspoken wish into reality, instead of an angel-filled afterlife, Taylor must climb a seemingly endless staircase into the sky.
Instead of going up, the journey plunges her into the past. As she unravels the mystery behind her friend’s betrayal, she must face the truth about life and find the strength to forgive the unforgivable -- unless the staircase breaks her first.

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Title: Where the Staircase Ends
Publication date: April 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Stacy Stokes


Stacy Stokes attended the University of Texas at Austin and The Wharton School of Business. She grew up in Dallas, TX, and currently lives in San Francisco with her husband. WHERE THE STAIRCASE ENDS is her first novel.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
(Winners will receive their book on release day)


Monday, September 8, 2014

I truly believe #LifeisGood :)

I didn't personally know Tina, but I do believe in her motto #LifeisGood and I love sunflowers too, so I'm joining the Sunflower Blogfest in her honor. This bad boy is standing out in my garden right now, probably twelve feet tall. We may not know how much time we have in this world, but I hope we can all find time to savor the little joys that find us each day.

Like a nice bath..

Or a nice writing buddy...
~Wishing you Peace and Sunflowers my friends ~ this day and always~

Monday, September 1, 2014

Creating Suspense~

A friend called me the other day and said she was reading my book, but she needed to know if the ending was sad. She was worried it would make her cry. That’s when I knew I had her in suspense, that deliciously awful feeling you get when you don’t know what will happen, but you know it could be really bad.

How did I do it? I don’t know exactly. Foreshadowing, maybe? But you know what I think it all comes down to? Character.

You can drop all the little hints of impending doom you want, but if nobody cares about your character, then they won’t care if something happens to that character.

I’ve read books where all sorts of disasters befall the hero, but I find the character’s personality so grating, I wasn’t that worried about him. In one instance, I was actually hoping the character would get hurt or die, just for some excitement. There were no stakes. He tackled every problem head on and solved it without the slightest bit of mental anguish and hardly any physical exertion. Everything was easy for him. I had no fear, no suspense, no concern for him whatsoever.

So I guess the rule is simple. 1) Make a character I can sympathize with, someone I can admire, or at least like and then, 2) put that person in the fight of their life. Make it so I can’t even tell who’s gonna make it out alive. Then I’ll be in suspense and you’ll have a great story.