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REBECCA ETHINGTON ~ Monsters are real… Through Glass

RASHELLE WORKMAN ~ Alice is half demon and tough as nails! Blood and Snow 10.1 ~ The Dark Moth Society

CINDY M. HOGAN ~ Some secrets are better left dead and buried. Kate Unmasked

ELLE STRAUSS ~ Time traveling is wonky enough… and this time it’s worse than ever. Counter Clockwise

CHRISTINE KERSEY ~ College is murder… Witness

JULI ALEXANDER ~ Solving mysteries is in her blood, but it might just get her killed. Paxton Private Investigations

AMBER ARGYLE ~ A storm is raging and not everyone will survive. Of Ice And Snow

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Guest Post: Margo Bond Collins about her book Fairy, Texas

FairyTexasCover Character Name: Josh Bevington
Book Title: Fairy, Texas
Release Date: February 1, 2014

Today Josh Bevington, a character in Fairy, Texas, stops by to chat!

Thank you for coming to chat with us today. Why do you think Margo Bond Collins chose you to represent her?
Margo was driving across Texas and saw the cut-off sign for Fairy, Texas—it made her wonder why anyone would name a place “Fairy.” And then she got the idea for a race of people who might have inspired the name. I’m one of the guys Laney Harris meets when she moves to town and starts a new school.

Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a student at Fairy High School. I’m friends—and sometimes rivals—with Mason Collier. Mason’s probably more outgoing, but I like to think I’m a little steadier. My eyes are probably my best feature; they’re a sort of blue/green/silver color.

How old are you?
I’m sixteen.

Where do you live?
Fairy, Texas. I’ve lived here all my life. I like it. I’d like to move away someday, but I don’t think it will happen. I have too many ties here, too much responsibility.

What’s your favorite music?
I listen to whatever the other kids are listening to. I like music okay, but I’m not really into it.

What’s your biggest turn on?
Right now? Laney Harris. She just moved to Fairy. She doesn’t know what she’s in for . . .

What your favorite ice cream flavor, chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry?
Vanilla. I like my ice cream straightforward.

Do you feel the cover accurately represents you?
I think it’s a pretty good representation of the People of Fairy.

_____________________________________________

Check out the excerpt below for a sneak peek of Laney’s first meeting with Josh’s rival Mason in Fairy, Texas:

Excerpt:

I was partnered with Mason Collier, the infamous football-playing, cute, but possibly black-magicky friend-of-Bartlef I’d heard about at lunch. I looked around and saw a guy waving at me from across the room. He was looking at me kind of like he was hungry and maybe I was breakfast. It worried me.
Still, at least I hadn’t been paired up with Kayla. It could have been much worse.
“Okay,” Carlson said. “Go ahead and meet with your partner and plan your strategy.”
Mason and I stood up at the same time and walked toward each other. I was so busy making sure I didn’t trip over any desks that I didn’t see Kayla headed toward me until she was right in front of me. And then she leaned in close to my face and hissed at me. “Don’t get too cozy. He’s way out of your league.”
I rolled my eyes and moved around her without responding. Three days. Three days I’d been in Fairy, and already I had an enemy. And I lived in her house. My life kept getting better and better.
Mason and I met in the middle of the room. Kayla and her friends huddled nearby, watching us.
“Hey,” Mason said.
“Hey.” Nice, neutral word, hey. Can mean almost anything. Or nothing.
“So,” he said, “where do you want to start?”
He was asking me? Where I wanted to start was away from here, where there weren’t any dead boys to trip over.
So much for that option.

_____________________________________________

Fairy, Texas Blurb:

Fairy, Texas. A small town like any other.

Laney Harris didn’t want to live there. When her mother remarried and moved them to a town where a date meant hanging out at the Sonic, Laney figured that “boring” would have a whole new meaning. A new stepsister who despised her and a high school where she was the only topic of gossip were bad enough. But when she met the school counselor (and his terminal bad breath), she grew suspicious. Especially since he had wings that only she could see. And then there were Josh and Mason, two gorgeous glimmering-eyed classmates whose interest in her might not be for the reasons she hoped. Not to mention that dead guy she nearly tripped over in gym class.

She was right. Boring took on an entirely new dimension in Fairy, Texas.

_____________________________________________

Buy Fairy, Texas

Amazon (Kindle): Fairy, Texas
_____________________________________________

About the Author

MargMargoBondCollinso Bond Collins lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, several spoiled cats, and a ridiculous turtle. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters. Fairy, Texas is her second novel. Her first novel, Waking Up Dead, came out with Solstice Shadows Publishing in October 2013. Her third novel, Legally Undead, is an urban fantasy forthcoming in 2014 from World Weaver Press.

_____________________________________________

Connect with Margo
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/margobondcollins
Email: MargoBondCollins@gmail.com
Website: http://www.MargoBondCollins.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin
Google+: https://plus.google.com/116484555448104519902
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/vampirarchy
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MargoBondCollins
Facebook Novel Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Waking-Up-Dead/502076076537575
Tumblr: http://vampirarchybooks.tumblr.com/
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mbondcollins/

Be sure to add Waking Up Dead to your Goodreads bookshelves: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18428064-waking-up-dead

Be sure to add Fairy, Texas to your Goodreads bookshelves: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19502285-fairy-texas

_____________________________________________

Book Review: The Sun Trail by Erin Hunter (Book One of new Warrior Cats series)

My fourteen-year-old niece submitted the following review. Well done, Olivia!

[simpleazon-image align=”left” asin=”0062063464″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51cqhXnq0kL._SL160_.jpg” width=”106″]Erin Hunter is at it again with a new book called [simpleazon-link asin=”0062063464″ locale=”us”]Warriors: Dawn of the Clans #1: The Sun Trail[/simpleazon-link]. The Sun Trail is a prequel to Warriors, Warriors: The New Prophecy, Warriors: Power Of The Three and Warriors: Omen Of The Stars. This book can be read by itself, but BE WARNED: It ends with a cliff hanger as all of her other books do!
Erin Hunter’s The Sun Trail is about a cat named Gray Wing and his unexpected journey to find a new home alongside his tribe mates, while encountering new animals and discovering that some things that they thought were not possible actually are possible.
The Sun Trail kept me on my toes trying to guess what would happen next especially during the particularly well-written battle scenes. This book was irresistible to read, and I couldn’t stop. It made me laugh and it made me cry, especially when my favorite character, Gray Wing, struggled with leaving everything he once knew behind.
I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars and recommend this book for pre and early teen readers.

[simpleazon-image align=”left” asin=”0062102583″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HZ7hlozYL._SL160_.jpg” width=”106″]See the book trailer for another Erin Hunter series: Survivors.

Giveaway: Kindle Fire

Kindle Summer

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1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire 7″ HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (International).

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Sponsor a future Kindle Fire Giveaway by signing up HERE.

Ends 8/15/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 

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Blog Tour and Giveaway: Thaddeus Nowak’s Mother’s Curse & Daughter’s Justice

[simpleazon-image align=”left” asin=”0985285109″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/414cZHjmaIL._SL160_.jpg” width=”104″][simpleazon-image align=”left” asin=”0985285133″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ZNaPmYZcL._SL160_.jpg” width=”104″]Please enjoy this excerpt from the exciting and beautifully written YA fantasy, [simpleazon-link asin=”0985285109″ locale=”us”]Mother’s Curse (Volume 1)[/simpleazon-link], by Thaddeus Nowak. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including a Kindle Fire, $450 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of each book.

Feeling slightly better for having a bit of light to keep with her, she continued down the street, occasionally looking through a window to see the remains of a room. After the third storefront she passed, she wondered at the reason all of the furniture and even drapes, carpets, and accessories had been left behind. Even in the desperate flight from Antar, people were still taking their belongings. They removed their drapes, even ones far less decorative then what Stephenie suspected were here. Why would everyone desert a city and yet leave almost everything behind as if they were simply going across town to visit a friend? She was hesitant to consider an answer. This city had been deserted and abandoned for a long time. Antar castle and city above had been there for as long as memory could recall and the original castle even before then. Had any of those above known about a city deep in the rocks under their feet, there would have been stories.

Stephenie used her stolen crystal to look into a shop that reminded her of a bakery, with a large oven in the back wall and the remains of shelves still partially attached to a side wall. The sparkle of something shiny and shaped like a pendant caught her eye. Looking closer at a mass on the floor, she paused and then stepped quickly away from the window as a shiver of fear rolled down her spine.

She closed her eyes, but the unmistakable image of a human skull laying on the floor would not leave her sight. She shivered again and looked up and down the street. Perhaps they didn’t leave.

Mustering her courage, Stephenie slowly approached the window again. She forced herself to look at the mass on the floor. Wiping away some of the dirt on the window, she could make out the arms and runners of a rocking chair mixed with what was likely clothing and the decayed bones of the person who’s head had rolled several feet away after the chair had collapsed. Bits of hair and desiccated skin clung to the skull, which was fortunately staring away from the window. The person died sitting in a chair and no one came to remove or bury the body?

Stephenie sniffed the air and thought about the strange odor she had been noticing since she had entered the city. It was a musty sweet smell. “Is this a plague city?” She felt her throat tightening with each breath and again quickly retreated from the window. She turned toward the way she had entered the city, ready to run back to the large doors and flee, but the dryness of her throat and the sound of water stopped her. If this is a plague city, then I am as good as dead and I might as well die after I’ve had something to drink.

Slowly, she turned around and continued down the street, no longer bothering to look into the store fronts. The rot and death they held did not interest her anymore.

She passed several side streets, but continued following the slowly turning main street because the sound of water was getting louder in the direction it was heading. After a short time, the street opened into another large plaza at least a hundred feet in diameter. Several streets exited the round plaza, but at the very center, lit with several points of glowing light was a fountain. Its water pushed up from a center mound and cascaded down several stone statues into a series of white marble bowls. The fountain was a dozen feet high and thirty feet across.

Drawn by thirst, Stephenie quickly reached the edge of the fountain and could feel a cool mist splashing over her. Knowing she would die slowly and painfully from whatever disease had killed the residents of this city, she did not care if the water was poison as long as it tasted fresh. Taking a small sip, she tested the flavor and found it cleaner than what she was used to in the castle. Scooping up more water with her hands, she drank deeply before noticing how dirty her hands had become. After quickly rubbing away the dirt, she moved a couple feet away and continued to drink until her stomach felt full.

Relieved of her thirst, she sat down next to the fountain and buried her face in her wet hands. She sobbed with frustration and relief in one confused wail. While she would not die of thirst, how was she going to get out and warn her father and Joshua about her mother’s betrayal? She cradled her cut arm in her lap and leaned back with her eyes closed. I’ve got light and some water, but what good would warning everyone do if I bring a plague to them? She shook her head. Damn it, why do the gods hate me so? Fundamentally, she knew her tie with Elrin, even if a result of her mother’s doing, was her real damnation. She could not bring herself to worship the demon god and she dared not seek out the other gods for fear the priests would sense her connection to Elrin.

Opening her eyes, she stared at her foot prints along the cobbled street. A lone trail to remind her that she had to do whatever it was she was going to do on her own. There was no one to help her.

She sat silently staring into the distance for some time. Then she blinked her eyes, uncertain that she was not imagining it, but after a moment, there was definitely a strange luminescence moving down the street. As it grew closer, she scrambled to her feet, recognizing the dim outlines of a human form. The apparition was moving in her direction. She quickly moved away from the fountain, but as it closed on the fountain, it appeared not to notice Stephenie at all. Instead, it held its, or her, hands as if carrying something. When it reached the fountain, it leaned over as if scooping up water.

 

Mother's Curse BadgeAs part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Mother’s Curse and Daughter’s Justice eBook editions are just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing either or both of these fantastic books at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.

The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $450 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of each book.

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Mother’s Curse is a coming of age story about the youngest Princess of Cothel and her efforts to save her father and brother from her mother’s schemes, while at the same time, coming to terms with what it means to be a witch. Get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes.

Daughter’s Justice continues Stephenie’s journey of discovery, where she must overcome national opposition to her being a witch as well as lead her friends and protectors on a mission to stabilize her countries finances. Get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iTunes.

Thaddeus Nowak is a writer of fantasy novels who enjoys hiking, photography, and the outdoors. Visit Ted on his website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

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Please enjoy this guest post by Thaddeus NowakThaddeus Nowak.

Why This Male Reader Loves Strong Female Characters

A Guest Post by Thaddeus Nowak

 

I’ve mentioned it before, but my formative childhood years were spent with the neighborhood girls. My family had the only boys for many blocks and with my closest brother being four years younger than me, the only people my age to play with were girls. I learned all about Barbie and Ken and playing house. I’m not complaining, we also romped around the woods, got covered in mud, had snowball fights, and played ball just like any group of kids would. To me, they were just my friends. There were no boys versus girls attitudes between us (that concept came later when we went to different schools and I had to make new friends). And even when faced with that concept, I always preferred to be on the girls’ team, because that’s where the girls were.

Due to those early years–to this day–I always think of women as equals, and probably superior in many cases. So when it comes to reading novels or watching movies, I have no trouble identifying with a female lead. In fact, I think female leads actually make stronger characters than their male counterparts.

What is a strong character?

To me, a strong character is one who’s personality can be felt. They may have inner fears and concerns, but they make the hard decisions and are decisive when it counts. They know what they want and actively make plans to get it. A strong character is a leader, someone the other characters look to for guidance. That is not to say they are hard-headed and stubborn; they have to be smart enough to know when they need to ask for advice and be willing to admit when they are not able to do something themselves. Delegation does not have to be a weakness–when done right it is a strength.

It may seem counter intuitive, but physical strength and prowess do not make a character strong. In fact, it can make them weaker in the long run. A bully lashing out and attacking may be able to overpower and intimidate others, but they still lack the strength of character that someone standing up to them possesses.

For male characters, physical strength and skill in combat (especially in fantasy novels) is a socially expected norm. A male character, who is not stoic in the face of danger can’t overcome his foes and has to rely upon others, is perceived as weak. The problem is, being a stoic loner often overshadows some of the character’s personality and limits how dynamic the character can be.

Whereas a female lead, while she may be physically adept, is not expected to use brute strength to overpower her foes. Society accepts the fact that she can have doubts (which are perfectly human, regardless of sex) and allows her to use her mind and intelligence to overcome obstacles. She has to decide to stand up to the stronger bully. I personally feel it makes the character richer and more balanced–more human and more like the girls I grew up with.

It’s not what’s on the outside that counts

The other reason I prefer stories with strong female protagonists is that they do not usually feature the females as window dressing–on the cover or in the story. While I have my share of traditional fantasy art hanging on my walls, my childhood influences don’t align with the concept of the half-naked damsel in distress unable to do anything for herself. Too many of the stories with male protagonists tend to have the main woman of the stories hopping along on the man’s coattails, doting on his every action. The girls I grew up with definitely did not dote; they knew what they wanted and knew how to get it. So when I read a story, I want to enjoy a little nostalgia and see women as I know they are.

Please enjoy this interview with Thaddeus Nowak.

1. Stephenie surely defies stereotypes. Born a princess, but a tomboy. Cursed as a witch, but a likable relatable character all the same. How did you go about creating her character?

Stephenie was born in my imagination many years ago. It was during a time I was struggling with another story. To help “get my creative juices flowing,” I started to write random scenes with random characters. One scene I wrote was about a young girl who was alone in a public house where a conflict broke out, and she had to fight her way out.

Well, I kind of fell in love with the character and had to find out who she was, where she was going, and why she was alone in the world. In making that discovery, I crafted the current story arch that is the Heirs of Cothel Series. It took some time to work out her past and what her life would be like growing up as a witch and how the damaged relationship she has with her mother would affect her. Based on those factors, her break from what would be typical for a princess seemed natural.

Which then led me to think of the girls I had grown up with and the women I know today; many of them are tomboys and are not afraid of getting dirty and running about the woods. So it just seemed natural that Stephenie would be that way as well: a strong young lady who has her own motivations and agenda, but is compassionate and can sympathize with others, even if she cannot fix all of their problems.

As a bit of trivia, many aspects of that original scene are in Mother’s Curse.

2. Did you face any special challenges writing a female lead character, given that you are a male author?

Yes and no. I grew up surrounded by girls. My family had the only boys in the neighborhood for many years, so all my friends were female and that does give me something to draw from.

When writing Stephenie, I try to get into her head and see the world through her eyes. Occasionally, I need to refocus and make sure she would really react in a particular way. The good thing is I have had her in my head for so long that I usually have a pretty good idea of what to write for her. My bigger challenges come with some of the other female characters and making sure I am true to them.

3. The tension between Stephenie and Sergeant Henton is one of my favorite parts of the book. How did you develop their relationship using such subtlety and not hitting us over the head with cliché romantic dialogue?

I am glad the subtlety of their relationship is being noticed. I had one reader tell me they were worried that I might fall into one of the overused traps they see in so many YA novels. Once they realized I had not done that, they were ecstatic.

I can say this approach in the story is very much me. I am something of a romantic, but I don’t care for most of the stories dubbed as “romance”. Do people act in stupid ways when they are trying to attract other people? Of course, but too many stories seem to force stupid decisions upon the characters to ratchet up the tension. Too many times, that is done through obvious misunderstandings that could be resolved with half a minute of conversation that the characters work very hard to avoid.

My goal is to never have a character deliberately sabotage their relationships for stupid reasons (at least not a character I respect). If things work or don’t work, I want there to be more substance to the reasons. I want the investment in the relationship to be greater, and so the emotions stronger. Perhaps I’ve watched too many classic movies, but there is something very powerful about what is never said aloud between people.

4. The Kingdom of Cothel is at war. Could you tell us more about the front lines Stephenie is so desperately trying to escape to?

At the opening of Mother’s Curse, Cothel, and most of the other countries to the west, are fighting against an invading army that sailed in from the Endless Sea. These invaders have many witches and warlocks in their ranks and are overwhelming the holy warriors and soldiers of the people who live around the Sea of Tet. These Senzar invaders have killed royal families and left countries without rulers. Stephenie’s father was quick to join the battle because his oldest daughter was married to the crown prince of Esland and one of the first to be killed.

The Senzar spent most of their focus driving toward a prominent mountain range in the middle of the land between the Sea of Tet and the Endless Sea to the west. Their main forces have yet to cross over Cothel’s boarders. However, they are on the doorstep of the country and Cothel’s forces are low on supplies and reinforcements. Stephenie’s desperation is to reach her father and brother, the King and Crown Prince, because she fears her mother is plotting something that could put them and the people of Cothel at risk.

5. Although firmly rooted in the fantasy genre, Mother’s Curse and Daughter’s Justice remain quick-paced engaging reads not mired in the details of exotic lands or creatures. Why did you decide to depart from the genre with regards to this important aspect of storytelling?

While some fantasy novels feature lengthy descriptions and details about the various inhabitants, to me Mother’s Curse, Daughter’s Justice, and the subsequent books that will be in the series, are foremost about the main characters: Stephenie, Henton, and Kas. The backdrop of the world, while important, really is a backdrop and I have tried to embrace the idea of less being more.

I am proud of the world I have created, but I am also willing to let the nuances soak in over time as they become relevant to the story. For those who like to find out more about the lands Stephenie has to explore and the history I have created for those lands, I try to put some extra information up on my website. I’ve been adding to it slowly, but have had requests for more information and will work to increase the frequency of the postings.

6. Which authors, film makers, and other sorts of storytellers serve as your primary influences in crafting this book series?

This is a good question. In all my reading, I cannot recall consciously thinking I would like to expand on a specific idea in my own stories. I am certain all the things I have read have had significant subconscious influences. I grew up with a mixture of the classics (Isaac Asimov, Tolkien, Ursula Le Guin, and Arthur C. Clarke) and contemporary writers such as Joel Rosenberg, Barbara Hambly, Jane Lindskold, and Kate Forsyth. There are, of course, many more I did not list.

From TV and movies, I would tend to pull more influences from the scifi realm. For conscious influences, I would say I really liked the whit and humor of Farscape and how the characters got along. The only thing I can say I remember the actual spark of the idea was from the movie High Spirits. That movie lent me the idea that over many years ghosts would fall into a trance and continually relive an aspect of their lives, no longer aware of the world around them until something disturbed their environment.

7. How did you write the interactions between Stephenie and her mother without wanting to strangle the latter? And how did you craft such a formidable villain despite her maternal relation to our loveable hero?

Well, first off, I love my own mother, so no parental issues there. I do know she got a few questions when other people first saw the title and read Mother’s Curse, but having been an early reviewer of the story, she’s also a strong supporter.

For Stephenie and her mother, I wanted the interaction between the two of them to be very toxic and antagonistic. Years of mutual hate meant they knew how to push each other’s buttons and get under the other person’s skin.

Some of it I think I may have pulled from my experiences working in sales and dealing with difficult customers, but mostly it came from the number of years I worked in what was effectively the advanced support team of a crisis management center. Our job was to help people recover large computer systems that were in real trouble. It was high pressure work and not everyone could handle the customers who were themselves under incredible stress. A big part of the role was simply human psychology, empathizing with the customer and helping to make sure they knew you had their best interests at heart. It was really more managing the people than actually working to repair and troubleshoot the databases.

A natural side effect of learning how to help reassure people in a crisis is an insight into how one could hurt people. Hopefully, I’ve managed to put those years of experience to good use in making believable villains.

8. Have any experiences, personal quirks, or people you know worked themselves into your writing? If so, how and where?

Well, not so much in Mother’s Curse or Daughter’s Justice. There is a lot of me in the characters, especially when it comes to the pragmatic nature of several of them, but I did not really draw from any other people. As a kid, I spent a fair amount of time gaming with my friends and that has lent me the ability to quickly imagine another person, craft some personality traits, and put on a different hat to play that part.

However, the next book, tentatively titled Daughter’s Revenge, will feature someone close to me in the pages. I’ve had numerous requests to include a character for our horse, Dollar (original show name was Silver Dollar due to a white mark on his withers about the size of a silver dollar). So, in book three, look for Stephenie and others to spend some time on horseback, and Dollar to be along for the journey.

9. When not writing, what do you like to do with your free time? Tell us something whacky and cool!

Free time? I don’t quite understand the question. 🙂

I have had to narrow down my list of hobbies and “want-to-dos” considerably over the years. There is just not enough time in the day. However, the primary activities I keep up with include:

Hiking. Though we lack any mountains to make it challenging, I try to spend time on a couple local trails. It is excellent time for working out specific plot details in my head. This year I have two different vacations planned, both of them involve a week of hiking with my wife. One will be in North Carolina, and the other will be on the west coast.

I often mix photography in with the hiking. My wife and I are generally landscape photographers who want trees and mountains in almost every shot, though I do like shooting soft water. I’ll definitely post a few shots of my vacations online after each of those trips.

I also try to keep fit at the gym, but that unfortunately slips from time to time. However, I need to get back into proper condition to hike 15+ miles a day in the mountains with about 35 pounds of gear (cameras, lenses, and a tripod gets heavy).

And of course, I read a lot of novels when I can. Though lately that has also been hit and miss. I always feel guilty reading something else when I can be working on my own novels. But sometimes I just have to take a day or so of solid reading and knock out a book simply for the joy of it.

10. What’s next for the Heirs of Cothel Series, and when can we expect book three?

Book 3 is tentatively titled Daughter’s Revenge. I will let the title imply what it will. As I have already alluded to, Stephenie and others will be going on another road trip, this time using horses. She will learn more about herself and continue to grow as a person. There will be a couple of new characters introduced, but aside from that, I don’t want to give too much away.

Regarding the release date, the first two books have released in the first quarter of the year. I am am aiming to move that up some, but a lot of things have to come together with the proper timing to make that happen. I will definitely keep everyone posted about when to expect book 3 on my website as things get closer.

Guest Post: Let it Be by Chad Gayle from Bracket Books

[simpleazon-image align=”left” asin=”0988661004″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51BwofJUSWL._SL160_.jpg” width=”105″] Content provided by Bracket Books as a guest post. I added the book link and the YouTube video.

LET IT BE is a novel with a soundtrack, a story that is intimately linked to the music of the Beatles.

When Michelle Jansen moves to Amarillo to get away from her abusive husband, she struggles to meet the emotional needs of her two children as she continues to rebuff the demands of her overbearing ex, but she finds love and support in the arms of a coworker who is as much of a Beatles fan as she is, and she begins to gain the confidence and the strength that she needs to stand on her own. Michelle’s ex can’t bear to see her happy, however, and she’s blindsided by an unexpected betrayal as her ex turns her very own son against her. As a family that has already been split down the middle is thrown into chaos, it’s up to Michelle to find a path toward healing and forgiveness, a way to right the wrongs that have hurt them all.

With chapters named for and influenced by songs that appear on the Beatles final album, LET IT BE is a mesmerizing story filled with true-to-life characters, a touching tale of loss, longing, and forgiveness that chronicles the breakup of a marriage, the destruction of a family, and the struggle to come together in the aftermath of what remains.

AUTHOR’S BIO:chad_gayle_author_portrait_3

Chad Gayle has written for literary journals, trade publications, and newspapers; he has a Masters in English from Texas A&M University, and he taught English at Meredith College in North Carolina and worked at Poetry Magazine in Chicago before he moved to New York, where he lives with his wife and his two children. LET IT BE is his debut novel.

LINKS:

Amazon
[simpleazon-link asin=”0988661004″ locale=”us”]Let It Be[/simpleazon-link]
Goodreads
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17840777-let-it-be

Shelfari
http://www.shelfari.com/books/36080840/Let-It-Be

Chad Gayle’s web site
http://chadgayle.com/

Our Facebook page for Let It Be
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Let-It-Be-A-Novel-by-Chad-Gayle/311188812319640

Scribd hosted excerpt (first ten pages)

Our web site
http://bracketbooks.com

Inspired Kathy is Giving Away a Kindle Fire to Promote Her New Site

Inspired Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer has launched a new site aimed at bringing you the best Kindle Ebook Deals and Steals.

 

Each day on feedyourreader.com you’ll find a new list of available ebook deals (most for under $3).

And of course there will be lots of  Featured Freebies too!

To celebrate the launch of the new site she is giving away a Kindle Fire, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash.


Win a 7″ Kindle Fire (US only)



Or $100 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)


Or $100 in Paypal Cash (International)





Giveaway Details 

1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire 7″ (US Only), $100 Amazon Gift Card or $100 in Paypal Cash (International).

Ends 5/5/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Prize value $100-$159 US.

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Guest Post and Giveaway by Young Adult Author Anna Staniszewski

[simpleazon-image align=”left” asin=”1402279302″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51uk%2Bd262nL._SL160_.jpg” width=”112″] [simpleazon-image align=”left” asin=”1402259468″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514PvjErBRL._SL160_.jpg” width=”112″]

The Timelessness of Fairy Tales

by Anna Staniszewski Anna Staniszewski
During my school visits, I talk a lot about fairy tale retellings. I ask the students why they think we keep reimagining and twisting familiar tales. One of the biggest answers I get is: “We retell fairy tales so that they won’t be boring.” While this answer might feel overly simplistic, I think it’s actually spot on.

 

Now, I’m not saying fairy tales are boring. I grew up loving all sorts of tales, and they’ve obviously had a big impact on my writing. But there’s something to be said for taking stories we know (i.e. boring ones) and giving them our own personal twist (i.e. making them into exciting ones).

 

I think the opportunity for newness is what makes us keep coming back to fairy tales. Before fairy tales were ever written down, they were told and retold around the fire. They were simple out of necessity (so they’d be easy to remember) but that simplicity also left a lot of room for the storyteller to add his or her own touch.

 

That’s what I personally love about reimagining fairy tales: you can work in your own sense of humor or view of the world, and do it all through a story that’s both familiar and unfamiliar.

 

In [simpleazon-link asin=”1402279302″ locale=”us”]My Epic Fairy Tale Fail (My Very UnFairy Tale Life)[/simpleazon-link], for example, I made Sleeping Beauty a narcoleptic, and I exaggerated the concept of a brave knight until he was so brave that he would save everyone from everything (including stray bits of dust). I had fun putting in these twists because I was able to take the characters’ original traits and expand them until they felt new again.

 

Ultimately, I think fairy tales are timeless because they feel familiar and comfortable, and yet there’s plenty of room for them to grow and evolve into something new and unexpected.

 

Bio:

Born in Poland and raised in the United States, Anna Staniszewski grew up loving stories in both Polish and English. She was named the 2006-2007 Writer-in-Residence at the Boston Public Library and a winner of the 2009 PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award. Currently, Anna lives outside of Boston, Mass. with her husband and their adopted black Labrador, Emma. When she’s not writing, Anna spends her time teaching, reading, and challenging unicorns to games of hopscotch. You can visit her at www.annastan.com.

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AnnaStaniszewskiAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/annastanisz

 

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Giveaway: Chief Complaint Brain Tumor Cosmic Blast

CCBTBlastBan

Chief Complaint Brain TumorChief Complaint: Brain Tumor

At 57 years old, I thought I was the poster child for fifty-year old healthiness: I competed in triathlons, rode in 100 mile biking events and ate a healthy diet chock full of organic vegetables. Then I discovered that I had a brain tumor the size of my wife’s fist.

My memoir chronicles the first year I spent addressing tumor-related health issues: preparing for my first operation, discovering a dangerous skull infection, having the infected portion of my skull surgically removed, learning about my substantial vision and cognitive losses, undergoing rehab and radiation treatments, and learning to live with my “new normal.” And, as best I can tell, the phrase “new normal” is the medical community’s code words for “You’re alive, so quit bitchin’.”

As my health changed, so did my sense of humor. My humor started out superficially light-hearted prior to the first operation; transmogrified into gallows humor after several subsequent operations; and leveled out as somewhat wry-ish after radiation and rehab.

Topics I write about in the book include:

  • How not to tell everybody you have a brain tumor
  • Why it’s a lot of work to die in this country
  • Why I had difficulties in naming my tumor
  • How I negotiated bathroom visits with “Nurse Don’t-Bother-Me”
  • Why I could prove that I was the “dumbest guy in the room”
  • Why someone compared the back of my head to a diseased goat
  • How I flunked a job interview with myself

This is a book for anybody interested in memoirs about people dealing with personal crises, for patients trudging through rehab, for caretakers helping victims of serious illnesses, or for anybody looking for an unexpected chuckle from an unlikely subject.

Purchase Chief Complaint: Brain Tumor at Amazon.com

About John Kerastas

John KerastasI’ve worked at a global advertising agency, at several technology start-up companies and as a free-lance writer. Currently I spend most of my time blogging, speaking and writing about brain health, brain tumors and rehab. I speak to hospital rehab groups, stroke and aphasia groups, and last summer spoke at the American Brain Tumor Association’s annual “Patient and Caregiver” conference.

My charity and non-profit efforts includes work through the Taproot Foundation on behalf of Apna Ghar (a Chicago-based non-profit providing domestic violence services to immigrant communities). I also go on Appalachia Service project trips through my church, participate in Early Response Teams that follow first responders into disaster areas, and teach and certify Early Response Teams through the United Methodist Committee on Relief (e.g.UMCOR).

Follow John Kerastas

Website | Facebook | GoodReads

 

Giveaway

The author is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card.

Open to US & Can residents only

Fill out the form below to enter!

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Kindle Fire Giveaway March 2013

Kindle Fire HD Giveaway!

 

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7″ Kindle Fire HD (US Only)

Or $199 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)

Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International)

Sponsoring Authors

The Stone Guardian by Theresa McClinton

Blood Oath (Gabby Girls Adventure, #2)Return of the Dragon Riders: Book Two of the Dragon Stone Saga (Dragon Stone Saga, #2)Hidden HeartA Tale of the Other Kind (Therian, #1)AuraPrison NationFamily Magic (Hayle Coven, #1)The Conduit (Gryphon, #1)Shifting PrideFire Within (Guardian Witch #2)Fall of Sky CityReflectionThe Light of Asteria: Kailmeyra's Last Hope (Kailmeyra, #1)Kiss Me, I'm Irish (Time For Love #1)Grace DollThe Stone GuardianLegend UnleashedInnovera Yakov: The Journey of A Thousand EyesThe GiftedFor What It's WorthForbidden Temptation of a VampireOwlet (Society of Feathers, #1)Cascade Brides: The Complete SeriesTwenty-Five Years Ago TodayAlexander Drake's Extraordinary Pursuit
Giveaway Details

1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (International).

Ends: 3/31/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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