Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Author Spotlight: Alison DeLuca (COVER REVEAL)

The Author Spotlight has moved once again from it's normal Thursday slot, but with good reason!! I have been waiting (AND WAITING) for this book to come out. I can't even tell you for how long (well I can tell you, because this time last year, I was stuck in the dark thanks to Hurricane Sandy. My friend Alison DeLuca had given me a copy of her novel, Night Watchman Express, a YA Steampunk novel. I thought, Steampunk? What's that? With the wind howling outside, the setting seemed perfect, so I grabbed my flashlight and started reading, and I was HOOKED. When the power came back on, I purchased and devoured the next books in the Crown Phoenix series, only to discover, the series wasn't over - Ack! So I've been waiting a full year... aren't you glad you asked?) - Read my review of her books HERE.

And here it is!! Well sort of - the book isn't officially released just yet (but I'm told will be in just days) But the cover is ready for its GRAND REVEAL!!

Here are a few words from the lovely Alison DeLuca:

"For the last volume of the Crown Phoenix series, Lisa Daly was kind enough to design another cover for me. The book is The South Sea Bubble, and here is the blurb:

An Edwardian hospital hides many secrets:

A mysterious patient lurks in the cellar...
A secret passage leads to danger...
Coded messages reveal new riddles...
Visions of danger haunt the people of Grimstead Manor…

Lizzie and Miriam find horror, adventure, and romance surrounding the strange vessel known as The South Sea Bubble."


And now.... ARE YOU READY???

Here it is....

Cue the cheering!!!

Oh and just in case you didn't get a good look at Simon's eyes....



Monday, October 28, 2013

I Don't Want To Jinx Anything But ....

Do you remember where you were this time last year? What about two years ago? I do - both times - maybe not EXACTLY where I was, but I remember GENERALLY where I was, and it was very different from where I am right now. You know what they say ... don't say you'll jinx it. But I'm saying it. So if you're one of those superstitious types, close this blog post. Otherwise, keep reading.

photo credit: taivasalla via photopin cc
Two years ago, we were sadly saying goodbye to my grandmother who was in her mid-90's and had passed away. The crazy part of it all, was that it was in the middle of a BLIZZARD and a POWER OUTAGE. She was a remarkable woman. I'm pretty sure was in cahoots with Mother Nature so as to make her exit a memorable one, and it certainly was. Miss you and love you, Grandma! xoxoxo

But the strangeness of October weather doesn't end there. As if a BLIZZARD in October wasn't enough, last year at this time we had to deal with a HURRICANE! Hurricane Sandy to be exact. We got lucky with only a tiny bit of damage to a fence, but we did lose power for ten long days. I know many are still dealing with the aftermath and breathing a sigh of relief that hurricane season seems to have spared us this year (there I go jinxing us again - I'm sorry!!)

photo credit: The Uprooted Photographer via photopin cc

But seriously - I'm grateful for this calm, fall like-weather, and hoping that whatever we did to upset Mother Nature has been forgiven.

Dear Mother Nature -  Since you are being kind and all - - I'd appreciate a nice mild winter, also. Too much? Okay. I'm going now....

Friday, October 25, 2013

Author Spotlight - Halloween Edition: Lucian Barnes

Hey Everyone. Yes - I know I'm a day late on the Author Spotlight and yes, I know it's not Halloween yet, but my pal Lucian Barnes asked me to help him out with a cover reveal today and you know how much I LOVE cover reveals... you also know I'm a big WIMP (well maybe you don't know that part, but I am). I have to admit right up front that Lucian's books are SCARY and perfect for HALLOWEEN.  So ... I'm going to be brave and post his very cool cover here....

Pretty awesome (and creepy!)

Here's more about Destined for Darkness:

Frank Mancini had suffered with his abusive mother for many years, until the day that he snapped. After telling his friend, Johnny, about the incident, his friend encouraged him to leave Misty Hollows. Taking his advice, Frank journeyed across the country to California hoping for a fresh start.

Shortly after his arrival, he met a beautiful woman. He was determined to hide his dark past from her, especially after finding out that she was a psychic, able to see both the past and the future of anyone she came into contact with. He managed to hide his secrets from her until several years after they'd gotten married and started a family. Fearing that she would turn him in to the police, he killed her. Not realizing that his son, George, witnessed this act, Frank decided to take him back to Misty Hollows.

How would the memory of his mother's death effect young George? Would he follow in his father's footsteps? Journey through the years, from infancy to adulthood, with George to see if he can resist the inner darkness!

And an Excerpt: (Don't mind me, I'm going to keep my eyes shut for this part...)

"Where exactly is ..." Frank's question trailed off unfinished as he noticed the small stone structure. The man was standing by a sturdy-looking wooden door. As Frank approached, he could see an intricate carving—which almost seemed to be burned into the wood—depicting a strange symbol he'd never seen. It was a five-pointed star with the image of what appeared to be the head of a goat inside. Two circles surrounded this odd emblem, one touching the points of the star, the other was larger. There were more markings between the two circles, each one near a point of the star.
The man pulled the heavy door open and beckoned Frank to come inside. The interior of the building was dimly lit by two iron candelabras hanging from the vaulted ceiling by long chains, giving the chamber an ancient feel as if it belonged somewhere in the middle ages. When the man closed the door to the outside it added to this effect.
"This way, please," he said as he went to a nearly solid metal gate. It creaked open and revealed a stone staircase leading into the ground. Torches flickered at intervals along the way, casting their shadows in a way that made them look like they belonged to something inhuman.
Frank wondered where he was being led. This didn't seem like a place Candice was likely to hang out, and the further down the stairs he went the more he had the urge to turn around and run. Their footfalls continued to echo eerily in the passage until they finally reached a large chamber at the bottom.
Torches blazed all around the outer edge of the enormous room. Hanging on the far wall was another rendition of the symbol from the door leading outside, only this one was much bigger. So large, in fact, that it took up almost the entire wall. In front of the huge tapestry bearing this emblem was a bald man wearing a black robe, standing behind what appeared to be some sort of church-like altar draped with a blood red cloth.
As the two of them crossed the chamber, the bald man regarded them with furrowed brows. "Brother. Who is the outsider you have brought here?" he asked in a booming voice.
"I didn't catch his name, but I found him in the woods. He was asking about your daughter."

Connect with Lucian Online:

Thanks Lucian! Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Day Facebook Died

8:26 a.m. The last of my three kids were on the school bus. I opened my laptop, ready to start my day with a killer Facebook status and typed in the following:

"Dishes done (mostly), laundry folded (mostly), and kids on bus (definitely). Time to take off mom hat and put on writer hat."

I clicked "post" and got ...

  WHAT? I tried again ... and again ... Then I tried to post it from my phone because clearly my laptop was just acting up and guess what I got...

EXCUSE ME? But how would I let the world know what I was up to? Even more important - how would I know what the rest of the world was up to?? I immediately went to my news feed. As I suspected, my last bit of "news" was over an hour ago. The cold sweat began to take over, followed by the tremors. I began to google: "Can't post on Facebook" followed by "Facebook broken". Nothing recent came up.

Could it be? Was Facebook .... DEAD? How would I get through my day? HOW? Just then I did something unheard of. I clicked on the little "x" in the corner. Yes, folks, I shut down Facebook. Not only that - I finished folding the laundry (*GASP*) Then, I returned to my computer and cleaned up a chapter I had started writing over the weekend for my next Nate Rocks book involving aliens and the Statue of Liberty (yes - you read that correctly). I even caught up on some old emails.

What I'm trying to say is, I actually got some productive work done!!!

I did eventually log back on, and I'm happy to report, everything is back in working order in Facebook land. However, it seems that I was not the only one who noticed the little snafu this morning...

Here are some of the posts in my feed:

"The ever-fickle FB won't let me comment or like anyone's posts.... "

"Facebook checked out on all of us this morning and we are trying to hobble along as best as we can."

"I get an error every time I try to like a status. Thanks Facebook!"

...and the list (or status updates) goes on ...

I can only imagine what the world will be like if Facebook ever really does die! I mean - how will I tell the world what I'm eating for lunch?


Kindle: http://bit.ly/CIamazon  Nook: http://bit.ly/CInook

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Author Spotlight: J.R. Simmons - Teen Read Week Blog Hop

This week, I'm thrilled to bring you an Author Spotlight that is also part of the Global Teen Read Week - Inspiring Teens Blog Hop. Authors Vickie Johnstone & Greta Burroughs have set up an AMAZING week of authors and giveaways and writing challenges to get your teens reading!! You can get the full schedule of events here and today, I'm excited to introduce you to J.R. Simmons, author of Ragesong, who not only has an interview for you, but also a GIVEAWAY down below.

Welcome J.R.! Why do you think Teen Read Week is important?

Encouraging kids to read and expand their minds prepares them for the future. It shows them that anything is possible and helps train their minds to think outside of the box.

How do you think we could encourage youngsters to read more?

Get them easier access to books. More effective advertising. A lot of our time is spent advertising in places where kids usually don't frequent. Most children I know spend their time online looking for toys, videogames, or other things that appeal to them, so though advertising in blogs and Goodreads might reach a few, it won't reach many. If we are able to show them cool books in schools or other places that they frequent, then we might spark their interest a little more.

When you were a teenager what books did you like to read and did you have an all-time favorite character?

I loved fantasy. I was especially partial to David Eddings. I also enjoyed reading John Grisham.

Were you writing as a teenager? If so, what were you writing and what inspired you? Did a person inspire you to write?

No, I didn't start taking writing seriously until I was an adult.

Do you think today’s teens are in a better position if they want to be a writer than you were all those years ago?

Yes, the internet and Youtube provide countless tutorials and guides to help with the writing process.

What advice would you give a youngster who enjoys writing?

Do not get overwhelmed by the process. Break each bigger step into smaller steps and work your way through to the end. Do not give up!

What is your latest book about?

It is book two in the Ragesong series. It continues Jake and Sam's adventures in Fermicia as they attempt to start an uprising to combat Brael's growing power.

Are you working on anything new at the moment?

I am about to take on a writing project with other local authors. We will be creating a series of novellas about some mythological Guardians of Atlantis. I will be writing the part of the antagonist.

What do you love about being an author?

Seeing how my mind continues to expand as I constantly come up with new ideas. Reading the positive feedback that comes from people who sincerely enjoy reading what I write.


When the peaceful kingdom of Fermicia is enslaved by a power-hungry renegade, its only hope lies in a band of unlikely heroes: two children whose musical abilities allow them to harness the power of Ragesong, and their shape-changing guides.

Jake starts his first day of junior high completely oblivious to the fact that he has been chosen for something incredible. That same afternoon, he learns that he has been marked as one with the power to save an entire kingdom. Through the course of his journey, Jake discovers that his advanced musical abilities are peculiarly connected to a mysterious power known as Ragesong. Joined by a shy, young girl with similar musical talents and two Changelings that hold a fierce loyalty to their homeland and king, Jake must learn to harness this ability in order to survive the dangers of a hostile new world.

Amazon US - http://www.amazon.com/Ragesong-Awakening-Series-Book-ebook/dp/B00EN86LR6

Amazon UK - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ragesong-Awakening-The-Series-Book/dp/0988622424/

Barnes and Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ragesong-jr-simmons/1116549014?ean=2940148742289

iTunes (through iBook App)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Delivery of all prizes is the sole responsibility of author JR Simmons and not Karen Pokras Toz)


JR Simmons lives in Northern Utah with his wife and 4 boys. He loves spending time with his family and coaching his kids in all their different sports. He is an avid gamer and is very excited that his boys are picking up on his hobby. JR was recently introduced to triathlons and has since found that he loves the sport. Most nights he can be found either sitting down with a good game or hunched over his iPad writing.

Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18361383-ragesong
Twitter - @jrsimmons_3
Facebook – https://facebook.com/RagesongBook
Website – http://jrsimmons3.wordpress.com




Thursday, October 10, 2013

Author Spotlight: Elizabeth Kirke

Hey Everyone - I think I have found a new addiction ... COVER REVEALS!!! Yup - I'm back for another one - third week in a row!! This one is kind of special because it's a cover RE-REVEAL. It's for my friend Elizabeth Kirke's book Semester Aboard from her best selling series More than Magic...

Here's some more info curtesy of Elizabeth and there's a giveaway at the end too! Thanks for stopping by Elizabeth!!

Semester Aboard, the first book in the YA urban fantasy series More than Magic series has a brand new cover! If you haven't read Semester Aboard yet, here's a quick summary and a little peek for you!
College student Jen Maddox is a few days into her summer study abroad program and has loved every moment. She just left Mexico and is back on her cruise ship campus, ready to sail to Panama. Everyone tells her that the experience will change her life, but none of them realize just how right they really are.
One night Jen goes out on deck and encounters five other students. She knows Charlie from one of her classes and he's a funny, friendly, regular guy. Picture-perfect Dani and his gorgeous wife Mariana live right down the hall from Jen. And she has seen TS, who's built like a truck, around the ship and recognizes the cute, but quiet Thomas as well.
Then Jen sees something that isn't humanly possible. Jen would have thought that it was all a dream, if not for the fact that Charlie, Dani, Mariana, TS, and Thomas are making every effort to cover it up. Suddenly, the five of them are everything but normal and Jen is determined to figure out what they're hiding.
When she does, her life really does change. Jen expected to spend her summer studying the cultures of Latin America, she never dreamed she'd learn about a magical culture instead.
But Jen's childhood fantasy come true is about to turn into a nightmare; there's something on the ship. Something dangerous. Suddenly, everyone on board is threatened by a creature that Jen never even believed existed. Jen and her new friends might be the only people who can stop it! Now Jen has to learn everything she can about her new world before it kills her. And her friends. And maybe everyone on the entire ship!

The More than Magic series is written by Elizabeth Kirke.

Sneak Peek:
  It started raining early in the afternoon and was a bad storm by the time I went to bed.  I woke up in the middle of the night and stumbled over to our bathroom, feeling awful.  A bit of quality time bent over the toilet didn’t help at all and I decided to try for some fresh air.  I pulled a sweater on over my pajamas, hung my ID card strap around my neck, and slipped out of the room.  I made my way down the corridor to the door that led outside.  For the first time since getting on the ship I had to keep one hand on the railing.  The halls were well lit, even though it was the middle of the night, and it was almost disconcerting to step outside into the darkness.  But the moment the cool, damp wind hit my face I felt better.  I hadn’t been seasick since our first night, but sometimes I felt nauseous if I stayed in our room too long.  Being out on the deck always helped.
    I had assumed that I’d be the only one crazy enough to go out in the rain in the middle of the night, but to my surprise I wasn’t.  There were people on the other side of the deck.  It was too dark to see them well, but the lights from the deck above us illuminated them a little.  One of them was Charlie.  He was standing under the overhang where Deck Five extended out above Deck Four.  He was just wearing a t-shirt and jeans and I shivered in sympathy.  A guy I recognized, not surprising since we all lived on a ship, was sitting on the bottom steps of the outdoor stairway that led to Deck Five.  He was probably a football player back home or something.  He had shaggy, dark brown hair and a fairly large nose.  I’d heard a few girls giggling about him, but I didn’t think he was that good looking.  I wasn’t sure what his name was.  Another guy was sitting in a chair, probably pilfered from Deck Five, with his back to me and his feet up on the rails.  Mariana was near him, wearing only a bikini top and a short skirt.  I couldn't believe she wasn't cold.
    "I didn’t scream!" she said.
    "You totally did!  You freaked out!" Dani laughed.
    It had been too dark to notice Dani until he spoke.  My jaw dropped in shock.  Dani was sitting on the railing of the ship.  Messing around on the rails was one of the first things they’d told us not to do when we got on board.  Even sitting on them in the middle of a calm day was suicidal at best.  But to sit there in the middle of a stormy night was nothing short of a death wish.
    "I was not!" Mariana cried.
    "You were all like, 'Oh, Danio, save me Danio!'"
    "Well, I...I-don’t be such a jerk!"
    As Mariana spoke she spun to face Dani and shoved him hard.  Dani’s laugh turned into a yell of surprise and he tumbled backward off of the railing!  I gasped in horror.  Every second now was critical.  If someone went overboard we were supposed to immediately throw them a life preserver and then run and tell a crew member.  But not a single one of them did anything!  The one in the chair uncrossed his legs and recrossed them with a different one on top.  The guy on the stairs threw back his head and laughed!  Charlie quickly stuck his head over the railing and then pulled back and shivered.  It was as if Dani hadn't gone overboard at all.
    "Oh my god!" I gasped.  They must have been in shock.  That was the only reason they weren't rushing to save Dani.  I ran across the deck, at the very least, I could throw the life preserver in and hope he was still alive to use it.
    They all jerked around to look at me.  They acted more surprised to see me than they were about Dani falling overboard.  Mariana gasped and backed against the rail.  Charlie stepped to the edge of the overhang and Football Guy jumped off of the stairs to his feet.  The guy in the chair was on his feet in an instant.  I hardly even saw him move; one second he was sitting and the next he was up.  He stepped in front of the others, almost protectively.
    "That's Jennifer."  Charlie spoke softly like he didn't want me to hear, but the wind carried his words right to me.  "She's in one of my classes."
    The guy in front smiled.  "You're up late."
    They were acting like nothing had happened!  This was insane!
    "What's the matter with you?" I cried.  "We have to do something!"
    "Do something?"  He almost looked genuinely confused.  "About what?"
    "She just..." I gestured to Mariana.  "She just pushed Dani overboard!"
    He had the audacity to laugh.  "It's raining, you know.  And dark.  You're mistaken."
Hungry for more? Find the first four chapters on Elizabeth's blog...
And now, what you came for, the new cover!
In addition to the new cover, courtesy of the amazing Strong Image Editing, a bonus chapter, from a different POV as been added to Semester Aboard, along with a glossary! It has also been edited one more time, just for good measure! It's available from Amazon and Smashwords!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Author Spotlight & Cover Reveal: Emily Fogle

Hey everyone - I had so much fun doing last week's cover reveal, I decided to do another one and a day early this week! This time it's for my good friend, Emily Fogle. She has a new YA book coming out called Chasing Flames. (By the way - if you haven't read her middle grade book DRAGON WARS, I highly recommend it - check out my review on AMAZON ) .... Now on to the cover reveal!

Title: Chasing Flames
Author : Emily Fogle
Genre: YA Paranormal
Audience: 13 and up
Paperback and E-book
Anchor Group
By: Robert Immings
Pages: 169 pages
Date of Publishing:      Oct 31, 2013

About Chasing Flames-
Aydah Bell was happy in her normalcy; she was never the class clown or the sports
hero, never the beauty queen or little Ms. Honor Student. One day, after a
pointless family mini-vacation, Aydah returns to school and finds that her
sheltered little world has turned upside-down. Besides the fact that she is
beginning to crave raw meat, people are also disappearing.

Suddenly, an alarming disappearance in the quiet and serene city she calls home puts the
whole town into high-alert. One of Aydah’s schoolmates vanishes during the
weekend and is conveniently replaced by a newcomer. To Aydah’s surprise, the
new boy is the completely beautiful and oh-so mysterious Liam Bailey.
Aydah finds herself drawn to Liam. He consumes her thoughts and she aches to be with
him. In the mix of passion, jealousy, and hatred that follows, Aydah is too distracted to see the horrible fate headed straight for her.

Book Links-

About the Author –
Emily Fogle was born and raised in Southern
California. Her dream and ultimate goal was to get her Masters degree in English and become a teacher with enough time to write, as well. However, she soon found out that the best dreams often come true when they aren’t planned.
Instead of fulfilling her teaching goal, real life took over and she married the man of her dreams. She now has an amazing 7 year old son and another beautiful baby boy on the way.

She dedicates the majority of her time taking
care of her family, volunteering at her son’s school, and being a Cub Scout Den leader. And though she loves every minute of it, the thought of being a writer still tugs at her heart. So, after the busy days are done and everyone is finally sleeping quietly, she squeezes in time for all the other loves in her life: the characters running wild inside her head.
     Now, incredibly, her writing dream is also coming true.  Emily feels sincerely blessed to have been given so much in life and can’t wait to start the next chapter.

Media Links –


Kindle: http://bit.ly/CIamazon  Nook: http://bit.ly/CInook

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