Archive | October 2012

Once Upon a Twisted Time Anthology Release

Today is the official release day of Once Upon a Twisted Time, the first anthology from Moon Rose Publishing!  A collection of dark adult fairytales, these stories will turn your idea of what a fairytale should be on its head!  From steampunk to fantasy, there is something for everyone in this fantastic collection of four novellas.  The novellas are based on The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Snow White and Beauty and the Beast- see if you can work out which one is which!  It is now available on the Moon Rose Publishing site, and from Amazon!

Blurb

Think you know your fairytales? Think again. These aren’t your normal happily-ever-after. Within these pages, a murderous Little Mermaid gets her revenge, the Cinderella doesn’t really want to wear the slipper, Snow White is up to her eyes in industrial experiments, and the Beauty is in fact the Beast.

This collection of four novellas will surprise you, make you gasp in horror, sigh with relief, and sit on the edge of your seat. And most of all…they will make you rethink everything you think you know about dark fairytales…

Song of the Abyss

Princess Nerissa had envisioned a perfect wedding to a handsome prince. Instead, she fell into a nightmare. When her new husband tries to murder her just hours after pledging his life to her, she must flee towards the sea. Caught in transition from woman to selkie, she is trapped by the dark waters she hoped would be her salvation. Now her destiny becomes that of luring young men to their death…until one comes along that reignites the spark of love inside her. However to ensure her future, she must first face her past. Revenge must be taken…for both her life, and the life of the young man she now loves.

Miss Cavendish and the Spark of Salvation

In a city toiling under the iron fist of the Spiegel Syndicate and its monopoly on coal, Miss Georgina “George” Cavendish is on the brink of a breakthrough that could change the world forever. There’s just one thing standing in her way, her aunt – Xenobia Cavendish. Threatened by her efforts, the Syndicate procures the services of a notorious assassin with a past tied to her own, known as The Huntsman, to dispatch the brilliant scientist. But once he gets a glimpse of the headstrong beauty, will he be able to do the job, or will Georgina sway him to The Cause? And will George find the breakthrough she needs in time, or is New London Town doomed to forever lie under the dark shadow of her aunt’s factories?

Hawke and the Beast

Some curses last forever, and some can be broken with the whisper of three little words. Isabella Rose Woodward fell in love with a witch’s son over a century ago. Her punishment for breaking the young man’s heart was a beastly one. Every month she turns into a different creature, aging on the full moon when her curse allows for a brief return to her human form. Her only salvation is to find a man that will love her as she is…be it adorned in feathers, fur or scales. Has she found this love with the handsome Jasper Hawke? Or will a mysteriously determined Hunter find her first, and snuff out the life she so desperately seeks? A life of normalcy, where she loves and is loved in return… just as she is.

Reborn City

Nyx has one mission in life; bring down the brainwashing of New Omsk’s citizens, and release them from their mundane lives of toil. The year is 2355, and the world is a new place. A Governor is in charge of every city in the world, and humanity is attempting to rebuild itself after recovering from a war that nearly killed it. But this Governor has set his eyes on the intrepid little hacker, Nyx, and he will stop at nothing to get her. But perhaps he needs her more than he ever dreamed he would… as do his citizens.

Trailer

Stalker Links:

Lindsay Avalon Facebook Author page https://www.facebook.com/author.lindsay.avalon

Lindsay Avalon Amazon Author page (Not available yet, but I will let you know if she sets one up nearer the date)

Lindsay Avalon Moon Rose Publishing page http://www.moonrosepublishing.com/#!lindsay-avalon/cjvn

Tara Stogner Wood Facebook Author page https://www.facebook.com/twoodwriter Tara Stogner Wood Amazon Author page http://www.amazon.com/Tara-Wood/e/B007PK4W1Q/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Tara Stogner Wood Moon Rose Publishing page http://www.moonrosepublishing.com/#!tara-stogner-wood/cfb

 

Trish Marie Dawson Facebook Author page https://www.facebook.com/WriterTrishMarieDawson Trish Marie Dawson Amazon Author page http://www.amazon.com/Trish-Marie-Dawson/e/B008CQGASU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1350309121&sr=1-1

Trish Marie Dawson Moon Rose Publishing Page http://www.moonrosepublishing.com/#!trish-marie-dawson/ce48

 

Miranda Stork Facebook Author Page https://www.facebook.com/authormirandastork Miranda Stork Amazon Author page http://www.amazon.com/Miranda-Stork/e/B0082YW92S/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1350309008&sr=8-1

Miranda Stork Moon Rose Publishing Page http://www.moonrosepublishing.com/#!miranda-stork/c17yy

Buy Links:

(US) http://www.amazon.com/Once-Upon-Twisted-Time-ebook/dp/B009YW6PLS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351616580&sr=8-1&keywords=once+upon+a+twisted+time

(UK)http://www.amazon.co.uk/Once-Upon-Twisted-Time-ebook/dp/B009YW6PLS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351616881&sr=8-1

This entry was posted on October 30, 2012. 1 Comment

Virtual Tour: We’re Done by Judy Irwin

 

BLURB:

 

What if it turns out that YOU’RE the bully – and you didn’t know it?

Up until now, life has been good for 13-year-old Luke. He’s good at sports, attractive, and he’s a big wheel at Heyworth Academy, his private school. He likes to tease, and poke fun at the other kids, but that’s just because he likes having fun. But things start to fall apart, six weeks into eighth grade, when Luke commits an act of ‘goofing around’ that ends up costing him his best friend and his beloved private school.

After he’s expelled, Luke transfers to his local school, Carlyle. Now, he’s on the outside looking in. His looks, and background (not to mention his Heyworth hoodie), make him stand out, and the tough guys zero in on him right away.

The upside-down world that Luke finds himself in at Carlyle gives him a whole new way of looking at things. Can he recover from losing his school, and his best friend, and find new friends and a way to fit in at Carlyle?

I enjoyed this book.  It was a quick read and I feel that it would be perfect for a middle school age child.  I think it is the perfect story for parents to sit and read with their kids, and then talk about the themes afterwords.  Bullying is so prevalent in todays society and I think a book like this could really help.

I enjoyed the development of the characters.  I loved that many of them were dealing with real life situations.  It was interesting to see how some friendships changed and other ones were formed.  I especially liked watching everything that Luke went through.  You will have to read to see what I am talking about!

Excerpt:

“Entrez,” said Monica. Luke pushed the door open. Kim and Monica lay sprawled on Monica’s bed, with the laptop and an open bag of potato chips between them.

“Check it,” said Monica. “She’s trying to delete the Wall entries. It’s hilarious.”

She grabbed a handful of chips, and lay back against the pillows, watching the computer screen. 

“Humiliation in realtime,” said Kim. Monica laughed sharply, and chips flew out of her mouth all over the pillow. “Ew, gross!” said Kim, laughing too.

“Did you hear from Dad?” said Luke. “I haven’t heard from him in a while.”

“No, he’s working really hard,” said Monica. “Mom said he’ll be on the road for a while. Why?”

“Oh, no reason. Hey, what did he say to you about this Facebook stuff?”

“Nothing, really. He didn’t really understand it, so he just told me to play nice. I said I would, and that was it.”

“Well, don’t you think what you’re doing now is — a bit harsh?” said Luke. “I mean, what she did wasn’t really that bad.”

“So? It’s not really about what she did. At this point it’s just funny,” said Monica. “It’s not really about her at all, now. It’s not really personal.”

“But – from her point of view – it must seem to be about her,” said Luke. “How could she see it otherwise?”

“Don’t know. Don’t care. It’s just funny, bro! Just enjoy. Take a peek, here.” She held out the laptop to Luke. 

AUTHOR Bio:

Judy Irwin writes books about kids dealing with everyday stuff, like parents and divorce, friendships and bullies, and figuring out how to handle different situations and circumstances. So far, she’s written two books: We’re Done, and What Did You Say? We’re Done is about13-year-old Luke and how he figures out what went wrong when he’s kicked out of school for a bullying incident. In What Did You Say?, 12-year-old Tash tries to figure out what life will be like following her parents’ divorce. In this book, which takes place at a trailer park up north, Tash first meets Luke, Jon and Polly.

Judy lives in Toronto, Canada, with a dog, a cat, and two hamsters, plus her husband and two children, ages 10 and 13. She studied English Literature at the University of Toronto. She always wanted to be a writer. She wrote her first book in fourth grade – it was about a boy called Japan, who lived in Japan. In addition to writing books, Judy is a freelance business writer.

 

Stalker Links:

http://www.judyirwin.com

http://www.amazon.com/author/judyirwin

The fabulous Judy Irwin will award one randomly drawn commenter from the tour a $50 Amazon Giftcard.  Will you be reading this book?  If you have kids in this age group, are you going to share it with them? What can be done to put a stop to bullying?

 

This entry was posted on October 12, 2012. 11 Comments

Virtual Book Tour: Sweetest Taboo by Eva Marquez

BLURB:

Isabel Cruz was fifteen years old when she met Tom Stevens. She was 15 when they started dating, and 16 when she lost her virginity to him. By the time she turned 18 and went to college, everything had fallen apart. This hadn’t been an ordinary love, though. Not a love between two dear friends, or even high school sweethearts. This had been the most taboo sort of love there was: a relationship between a student and her teacher. Isabel started her high school career as a normal student, but set her sights on Tom Stevens as soon as she met him, and pursued him with an intense – and sometimes reckless – fascination. When he finally approached her after swim practice and told her that he shared her feelings, it was the start of a forbidden and dangerous relationship.

When I first read the blurb about this book, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect.  As I read the book, it was definitely not what I expected!  While it is a love story, it is not your typical love story.  It is controversial and it definitely leaves you thinking.

In the story, we are introduced to sophomore student Isabel.  She is on the swim team, and her swim coach Mr. Stevens is quite the hunk.  As the year starts to progress, Isabel develops a crush on Mr. Stevens and it turns out that her crush is not one sided at all.  He is interested in her and they are about to embark on one roller coaster of a relationship.

Sweetest Taboo was a good book.  I would definitely say that it is an adult book, not YA.  It covers adult themes and there are adult scenes in it.  What I loved though is this book really got my mind going.  It made me wonder about the true definition of love.  Can it exist in any situation, between absolutely any two people?  Even though we are taught that it is wrong, can love exist when there is such a huge age difference?  I’m still not sure the answers to these questions.

Excerpt

“Tom?” I asked in a hoarse whisper, my stomach full of butterflies. It was still a little strange to call him by first name, even after all these years. Especially when everyone else at Royal Oaks High called him “Mr. Stevens.”

“Isabel,” came the familiar voice. “How are you?” His voice was gentle and deep. It soothed me instantly, the same way it had when I was fifteen. There was an edge to his voice tonight, though, and I sensed that there was something bothering him.

“Is something wrong?” I asked. I didn’t want to admit that I already knew exactly what it was; my high school graduation was coming up. It would bring an end to our current arrangement. We hadn’t talked about our future yet, but I had known that it was coming.

After a few pensive moments, Tom spoke.

“You’re my sweetheart,” he told me, his voice sad. “I can’t imagine life without you. I don’t want to have to imagine life without you.”

Tom rarely used terms of endearment with me, these days. When he did – in these rare moments when he called me his sweetheart – my heart melted. All of the turmoil, the sleepless nights, the protracted nature of our relationship, became nothing more than a passing inconvenience and very worthwhile. Tonight, though, I knew that the word came with drawbacks. They gave me the courage I needed to say the words I’d been dreading.

“My graduation won’t affect our relationship, you know that,” I told him. “Look at how much we’ve been through together. If we made it through all of that, we can make it through anything. Tom, I want to be with you always, no matter where life takes me after graduation.”

I spoke passionately, fully believing in what I said. I was absolutely devoted to this man. But somewhere deep inside, I knew I was being dishonest. Neither of us wanted our relationship to change, but it was clear that things were going to change, and soon. I had just been offered a place at a small, private liberal arts college on the East Coast. The choice had been difficult because although I wanted to stay close to Tom, I also wanted to move forward with my life. In the end, I accepted the offer. Tom hadn’t really reacted when I told him. It hadn’t affected our relationship. Now, though, the cracks were starting to show.

 “I want to believe that,” Tom answered quietly. “I loved the last letter you wrote me. Every time I read your letters, I feel like I’m sixteen again. I feel like I’ve come out of a deep sleep.” A pause, and then, “I can’t lose you, Isabel. You’re the reason I wake up in the morning; I can’t love anyone more than I love–”

Suddenly I heard a distinct click on the line. My heart plummeted.

“Did you hear that?” Tom snapped, his tone suddenly terse. “Did someone pick up the phone at your house?”

 “Hold on a minute, let me check inside.” I slipped back inside and listened, but the house was completely quiet. The kitchen phone was on the counter, my mom’s office was dark, and I was holding the only other phone in the house. 

“Who picked up the phone?” Tom repeated, worry coloring his voice.

The click had not originated on my end of the line. I should’ve been relieved, but my panic rose even more.

“Tom,” I whispered into the receiver. “It wasn’t here, everyone’s asleep…”

“I have to go,” Tom interrupted abruptly. “Danielle’s coming.”

There was another click, and the line went dead.

Interview with the fabulous Eva Marquez:

What influenced you to write this story?

EVA: I grew up as an immigrant in a lower-to-middle class Southern California suburb. So I tapped into that experience in ‘Sweetest Taboo’, which chronicles the love affair between a young Hispanic schoolgirl and her much older, married teacher. I drew from my experiences growing up to develop several plot ideas. Romantic experiences are universal. Provocative, illicit and risqué contexts do not take away from the experience of love, and that’s what this debut book sets out to communicate.

I was also intrigued by the news of one of my former teachers being convicted of [sexual] misconduct with a minor. Since I can remember, I have always been fascinated by similar stories making the news, but like many people, wondered about how these relationships originate and how they flourish under the radar. In Sweetest Taboo, I got to unravel one of these clandestine relationships, one exciting page at a time.

Is any of it based upon something you have seen in real life?

EVA: Everybody always wants to know if the book is autobiographical. Although the story is fiction, I intentionally employed the memoir approach when creating the story. To answer the question, Isabel’s character was inspired by my own awareness of what was going on around me in high school. Relationships between students and teachers were not common, but they were rumored about. As I perceived this taking place around me, I took notice. It wasn’t until a few years ago when one of my former teacher’s was charged with sexual predation and sent to federal prison that I was inspired to write Sweetest Taboo.

How did you come up with the character traits of Isabel and why did you choose Chile as her home country?

EVA: Isabel represents a combination of my tight group of friends in high school. I intentionally chose one defining characteristic of each of my three best friends in high school, and one of myself, and wove them into a single character…Isabel. Many reviewers have found Isabel to be intriguing, well beyond her years, mature, but yet very much a teen at the same time. Her dominant traits are: outgoing, stubborn, intellectually mature, and most of all…brave!

In choosing Chile as her home country, I wanted to weave in the reality of immigrant life in the United States. As an immigrant myself (I was a child when my family immigrated, so I do consider myself 100% American at this stage J), I experienced vulnerabilities all around me and I wanted to weave those into this story. Isabel’s move to Chile was a representation of what I experienced during my teen years when my family decided to return to our home country, Argentina (Chile’s neighbor). Chile was a natural choice because I am very familiar with our neighbor to the West and because Argentineans are often chided for their dislike of Chile and all things Chilean. In choosing Chile, I wanted to demonstrate, also, that not all Argentineans hold Chile in contempt.

Have you received any negative feedback for writing this book?

EVA: As ARCs were shared widely I expected to receive some negative feedback from more conservative readers about the subject matter of my debut novel. However, to date, I’ve not received a single negative response, nor have I been questioned as to my motives for writing such a book. In fact, reviewers have been very honest about feeling uneasy about reading my book, and doubting their decisions to read Sweetest Taboo. Those reviewers are the same ones that gave my book 4 and 5 stars, making statements like, “I know the subject is very controversial, and I have no doubt that there will be a lot of talk about it, so either you like it, or you don’t. But I went into this read with a very open mind and I do not regret it.” With that said, I have braced myself for some controversy!

Do you believe that true love could exist in this type of situation?

EVA: Some people may not think ‘true love’ is possible or even sustainable for any amount of time, regardless of who is involved. I, however, believe that it really depends on the individuals who are in the relationship. Things such as age, maturity, communication skills, combined with trust play a huge part in any relationship, and I suspect that maturity and communication really are the key ingredients. There have been a few stories in the news regarding student/teacher relationships that have appeared to be based on true love, as sordid as the circumstances may have been. The LeTourneau case comes to mind, a woman who was impregnated by one of her sixth grade students, went to prison for seven years, and maintained an emotional relationship with the boy until she was released from prison, only to marry him years later and have a second child!

I would imagine the problem with sustaining a relationship of this type is the secrecy involved. The teacher could never speak of it to anyone for fear of arrest and incarceration, how terrible that must feel to have a secret such as this, never to be able to share his or her love with anyone. Then there is the student who would most likely confide in someone they thought they could trust with their secret. Once that happens, and I am sure this is how most relationships of this type are exposed…the cat is out of the bag. The relationships that are exposed turn into media events where the teacher is usually prosecuted and the student is portrayed as a victim, regardless of age or circumstance. I realize these relationships are illegal and uncommon, but I do believe some could work if they are truly based on love and mutual respect.

Tell me about your writing routine.  Do you like to have any specific noises or music in the background?

EVA: I have a pretty hectic day job loaded with a lot of responsibility so my writing routine is limited to weekends and if I’m lucky a sick day or two here and there. I write (and work) best during daylight hours, as I absolutely LOVE my hours of rest. So, my typical writing day starts off after an early breakfast (I have a toddler so she wakes me up very early on the weekends). I settle her in for a while or send her off to her friend’s house across the street for a few hours, and then I sit at my beautiful study, which overlooks two different patios in my back yard, that are both adorned with potted flowers. If it’s warm out, I open the French doors and let the breeze and warmth in, as I like to feel nice and cozy when I write.

Ever since I was in school, I was fortunate to be one of those students who could concentrate and zone really well and that has helped tremendously in my writing pursuits. For example, I can start writing at 9am and be so engrossed in my work that I could write for approximately 2-3 hours and have a fully developed chapter completed. Of course, once that happens then I have to call it a day because I’m mentally exhausted. My workflow is very much driven by short spurts of concentration and generally speaking, those spurts will equate to one fully completed chapter. Once I save my work and fetch my daughter, I cease writing for the day. However, if during the course of the day an idea for the book just hits me, I jot it down on a notepad next to my computer and leave it there until I can sit down again for a 2-3 hour period and develop that idea.

What has been the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome to be an author?

EVA: The biggest obstacles I have faced in becoming an author can be divided into two distinct categories, but they are both inexplicably linked. One is time, and the other is subject matter and plot development. My debut novel, Sweetest Taboo, was written over a period of my life when I actually had more time to develop the story. Now, as a single mother with a child to raise and working 50-60 hours per week, I find that ‘time’ is an incredible asset and sometimes a luxury that escapes me. Without time, it is difficult to delve into the subjects and character development that I would like to. Although the lack of time continues to be a primary obstacle to my work as an author, I have found the necessary time to continue with my writing endeavors and will soon be releasing Book 2 of the Sweetest Taboo Saga called Tainted Love, where readers will learn more about the characters and what happens to their lives and their love as they continue their journey.

Who is your favorite author and why?

EVA: There are dozens of authors I admire, but two that have captivated me with their work are Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Julia Alvarez. Ms. Adichie is Nigerian-born and now living in London and I think I had an instant connection with her work because I lived/worked in Nigeria for two years and was able to really get to know the southern Nigerian culture and context because of my work in the communities. Her first book, Purple Hibiscus, resonated with me because of my experiences in Nigeria and her second book, Half of a Yellow Sun, was so expertly written and wove four amazing human and social stories that I fell absolutely in love with her prose and skill for telling complex stories. Ms. Adichie writes about what she knows well, Nigeria and Nigerian culture, history and society and because she does so, her books include incredibly sincere stories. Julia Alvarez is a Dominican-American who writes primarily adult fiction, although she has also written young YA fiction as well, which are characterized by fantasy-type series. My favorite all-time book from Ms. Alvarez is In the Time of the Butterflies, which is a uniquely narrated book written in the perspective of four sisters growing up in the Dominican Republic under the dictator ship of President Trujillo. It’s superbly narrated and the story just tells itself effortlessly, it seems. Another book I very much enjoyed was How the García Girls lost their Accent, which is a story about Dominican immigrants to New York and their journey into mainstream American life. What these two authors have in common is that they are strong, confident and experienced women writing fiction about their natal lands, writing about their contexts and weaving extraordinary stories of strength and love in times of adversity.

Do you have another book in the works?

EVA: Although Sweetest Taboo was intended to be a stand-alone novel, I realized that there was so much more to tell. Tainted Love is the sequel to Sweetest Taboo, which will be released on March 5, 2013. I’m busy finalizing Tainted Love, which is Book 2 of the Sweetest Taboo Saga. In a few weeks I will seek input from readers by way of polls/contests that will inform the final cover art for Tainted Love and a lucky winner will also have the privilege of naming one of the main characters in Book 2. Readers can expect to pick up where they left off and find out what happened to Isabel and Tom’s relationship. Complex and somewhat disturbing revelations, controversy, and definitely some tears are in store for readers!

Do you have any advice to authors just starting out?

EVA: Undoubtedly YES! Friends and colleagues are often stunned when they learn that I have written a full-length novel of publication quality. Many ask how a single mother working a full-time demanding job and completing her doctoral dissertation can also tag on writing and publishing a book. What I always say is, everything is possible with dedication and (most importantly) with passion and vision. For those people who have a story in their minds that they would like to develop into a book, a story, a novella, or what-be-it, I advise them to start small and begin jotting notes on paper, or on a laptop, outline app or whatever method is most suitable. The most important component of writing, I believe, it jotting down those first thoughts about a story and then reshuffling those notes into a well-thought out outline. That is probably the hardest part, but once it’s complete then a person has a concrete path to follow.

Finally, anyone who perhaps thinks that they do not have the capacity or talent to write will never truly know the true talents one harbors until they try. Aspiring writers should dedicate some time every week to jot down some key notes, plots, characters, timelines and develop well-crafted outlines and most importantly, they should never become discouraged by others who may think they are a bit ‘nutty’ for trying to write a book. Many people asked me what credentials or training I had in creative writing when they learned I was writing a book, and I would respond ‘none’ only to find quizzical and questioning faces staring back at me. Nevertheless, I knew how to write using correct grammar and I knew how to tell a story well, so in essence, we all have the potential to become excellent writers of fiction or other genres as long as we believe in our abilities and we dedicate time to our passion for writing.

 

AUTHOR Bio:

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, daughter of European immigrants, Eva Márquez has spent most of her life outside of her home country. At the age of five, Eva accompanied her parents to the United States, where the family settled permanently. After graduating from university, she went on to complete graduate studies in International Relations in Spain. Eva received her Master of International Studies degree from the University of Sydney and went on to work in the global health field in Sub Saharan Africa and South East Asia. Eva currently resides in Southern Africa.

Stalker Links:

http://www.SweetestTabooBook.com (website AND blog)

www.facebook.com/Sweetest.Taboo.YA.Book (FB Book page)

@EvaAuthor (Twitter)

http://www.goodreads.com/eva_marquez (GoodReads)

http://youtu.be/flff2TcA4AQ (Official Book Trailer on YouTube)

Eva will award a Kindle touch to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a swag pack of goodies to one commenter at each stop.  Did you hear that?  Leave a comment and you could win either a Kindle touch or some swag!!!

 

This entry was posted on October 10, 2012. 5 Comments

Virtual Book Blurb Blitz: Whisper of a Witch by Suza Kates

Blurb:

Biologist Shauni Miller, a beautiful as she is compassionate, harbors a secret that could alter her life forever. If she chooses to share it. Dr. Michael Black helps Shauni in her time of need, but sees more in the raven-haired temptress than she ever meant to reveal. He knows she’s hiding something, but then, so is he. Both Shauni and Michael have a role to play and decisions to make as a centuries-old prophecy has yet to be fulfilled. Only the fates know if they are meant to be together. Or if one of them has to die.

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt:

Willyn opened her mouth to speak, but paused and looked down at the stone floor. All of the women stilled and listened.

They sensed.

Shauni grasped Hayden’s arm just above the elbow when she felt a low but very distinctive vibration. It was more like a hum and came from the floor, the walls, possibly the ceiling. It was all around them, and judging by the others’ faces, they felt it, too. “What is that?” she whispered.

A new voice spoke gently but with the authority of one who was well acquainted with privilege and position. “What you’re all feeling is the power of the nine.”

They turned to find another had joined them. Sable brown hair fell around her shoulders and brilliant blue eyes held warmth and welcome above a serene smile. “You’ll get used to it, so that you probably won’t even notice. And it only occurs when we’re all together.” Her lips spread into a playful grin. “Just wait until we link.”

“Cool,” Kylie said. “Hey, Anna.”

Shauni remained where she was but zeroed in on the elegant woman, still very young to be so comfortable wearing the unseen but almost palpable cloak of power. “Link?”

“You know why we’re here?” Paige asked. “Because I’m ready for some…”

“Answers,” Anna finished for her. “Yes, I know.” She stepped back and swept a hand toward a door in the back of the room. An invitation. “And I have some.”

Author Bio and Links:

Suza Kates can’t remember a time when she didn’t love books, but two particular memories stay with her. “As a young girl I picked up Little Women, read it straight through, and promptly turned to page one to start all over again. The next book I did that with was Mind Hunter by John Douglas, tales about profiling serial killers.”

Thus a twisted romantic was born.

Throughout her teenage and young adult years, she read everything from horror to historical romance yet never imagined writing anything of her own.

It was during a long, cold winter in a tiny apartment in Germany that Suza picked up a pen and notebook to entertain herself. “The apartment was so tiny, my bed also served as my living room couch. Plus, I shared it with three cats.”

Missing the warmth, the hospitality, and the food of the South, she wrote about those things with a huge dose of family thrown in. She says she still has a sweet spot in her heart for her first book, Southern Moon, but to date, she hasn’t revisited it for submission to her publisher.

Suza followed her heart to Savannah, Georgia, and it was the gorgeous city with its moss-covered oaks and secrets of history that inspired her to consider paranormal romance. “I had an idea about sisters and magic, so I went to work on the first book of The Savannah Coven Series, Whisper of a Witch. The series is still going strong, and I am grateful every day that I took a chance on paranormal romance, a genre I wasn’t very familiar with and had never actually read before writing it.”

Suza has since joined RWA and can’t say enough about this organization. “The education and support are unparalleled. I am so grateful to all of my fellow writers who have offered advice.”

Suza still resides in Savannah and is currently working on her next book. She considers it a perfect day when she can sit at the keyboard with coffee in her cup and one of her cats purring in her lap.

www.suzakates.com

http://www.facebook.com/authorsuzakates

Suza Kates has been generous enough to offer up prizes to randomly drawn commenters during this tour!  Leave a comment and you could win a signed cover flat and pen, or you could win an Amazon giftcard!

 

This entry was posted on October 9, 2012. 15 Comments

Virtual tour stop of Meant to Be by Karen Stivali

Blurb:

Sometimes you’re already committed to the wrong person when fate finally brings you the right one.

When NYU professor Daniel Gardner’s career-obsessed wife convinces him to move to the suburbs, he hopes it’s a first step toward starting the family he longs to have. Instead of domestic bliss he finds his neighbor, Marienne Valeti. She loves her freelance design job, but must contend with a growing sense of isolation created by her husband’s indifference. A penchant for good books, bad movies, and Marienne’s to-die-for brownies sparks a powerful bond between them. Passion simmers, but they resist its lure, surrendering only in the seclusion of their minds. Their friendship helps them weather every hardship, from divorce to widowhood, leaving them both secretly wondering if it can survive a first kiss.

This was an amazing and heartfelt story.  In Meant to Be by Karen Stivali, we meet Daniel and Marienne.  They are both married, but they still feel a strong pull toward one another.  As they go through different things in their lives, they begin to wonder whether or not they can remain just friends.

Stivali did a great job on this book.  Their characters were very well written and you could tell she put a lot of thought into each detail.  I pick the book up to begin reading and before I knew it, hours had passed and I was close to being finished.

Excerpt:

Daniel’s hand froze on the page the moment he saw it. It looked more like a candid photo than a drawing. “That’s amazing,” he said, unable to take his eyes off it. “I can’t believe you drew this from memory.”

“I have a good memory.” She smiled.

“I’m speechless. Well, not literally speechless, as I’m babbling, but I don’t know what to say.” He turned to glance at Marienne and saw that she was blushing. “I had no idea I was this good looking.” He added, and she laughed, which was precisely what he wanted. He didn’t want her to be uncomfortable, at all, ever.

“Well,” she said. “There’s some artistic license.”

“Clearly,” he said. “And thank you, I’ve never looked better. Though I do look awfully sad. Is that how you see me?”

“I was going for introspective, not so much sad, but the night I drew that, yes, you did seem sad.”

“What night was that?” he asked.

“The night you came for dinner while I was baking all the Christmas cookies, the night you told me about your mom.”

“Then I’d say you captured that mood perfectly.” He looked back at the drawing, still amazed by how much it looked like him, only somehow better.

“But that’s not how I always see you. Turn the page.”

He laughed as the next drawing was also of him, this time with his head thrown back, eyes twinkling, mouth wide with laughter, right hand raised and woven through his hair. Once again he felt like he was looking at a photograph rather that a drawing. He looked at his own hand then at the drawing, she had captured it flawlessly. The expression, the pose, it was all unmistakably him. How did she do that without me posing for her?

“You’re amazing.” He was in awe, not only of her ability to put his image on paper with such beauty, but to see him with such clarity.

As part of this tour, Karen Stivali is doing a guest post.  I asked Stivali about her thoughts on marriage and ways to keep it exciting.  I also asked for her thoughts on whether or not there is any way to keep your spouse from wondering about a life with someone else.  Enjoy her response!

Marriages take work. There’s no denying that. They take perseverance and patience. Both partners need to remember to make time for each other and focus on the needs of their spouse. Lots of things can be done to keep marriages exciting. Planning alone time. Doing things together. Taking an interest in each other’s hobbies/jobs/lives. Keeping things passionate in the bedroom. Sometimes these acts can be enough to keep a marriage going or revive one that’s started to fail.

Other times, however, the relationship simply wasn’t meant to last. Couples can grow apart in many ways. Changes can be too great to overcome. The initial things that attracted you to your spouse might no longer be present. You may want different things out of life. One or both of you may not be willing to work on things, to compromise, or even to try at all.

The hardest thing to accept about any relationship can be that it’s run its course. This can be true of friendships as well as romantic relationships. It doesn’t mean you don’t still care about the other person. It doesn’t even mean you never should have gotten together. It just means that you’re no longer compatible. You’re not fulfilling each other’s needs. No amount of work can save a relationship that’s not meant to be.

We’ve all seen it happen either with our own relationships or with those of our friends. Couples who seemed perfect together can wind up being anything but. Other couples who seemed unlikely to last can wind up being the best, strongest marriages ever. There’s no way to tell. There are too many variables, too many factors that shape our lives.

That’s the point of Meant To Be. Daniel and Marienne both enter into their marriages as most couples do—full of hope for their futures, thinking they’ll be married forever. They both take those vows so seriously they stay loyal to their spouses way past the point of where their marriages are no longer viable. Their spouses are wrong for them. No amount of trying will save those relationships. That’s what fascinated me about these characters and led me to write this novel.

Sometimes you really are committed to the wrong person when fate finally brings you the right one. Daniel and Marienne aren’t looking for love outside their marriages. They don’t cheat on their spouses. Even after they’re both single they don’t jump into a relationship for fear that they’ll lose the friendship that’s become the most important relationship in both their lives. Their marriages unravel on their own, just as they would have had Daniel and Marienne never met. What their friendship shows each of them is what it’s like to be loved for who you are. What it’s like to have someone put your happiness above their own. What it’s like to be with the person with whom you’re truly Meant To Be.

Karen Stivali is nice enough to do a giveaway!  Karen will award the winner’s choice of a backlist ebook to one commenter!  Leave a comment below and you will be entered!! Also at the end of the tour, one randomly drawn commenter will receive a $20 Amazon giftcard!  Make sure you thank Karen for this awesomeness!

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies and fictional British men. When she’s not writing, she can be found cooking extravagant meals and serving them to family and friends. Prior to deciding to write full time Karen worked as a hand drawn animator, a clinical therapist, and held various food-related jobs ranging from waitress to specialty cake maker. Planning elaborate parties and fundraisers takes up what’s left of her time and sanity.

Karen has always been fascinated by the way people relate to one another so she favors books and movies that feature richly detailed characters and their relationships. In her own writing she likes to explore the dynamics between characters and has a tendency to craft romantic love stories filled with sarcasm and sexy details.

Karen has published three erotic romances with Ellora’s Cave: Marry Me (June 2012), Long- Distance Lovers (co-written with Karen Booth, March 2012) and Always You (Passionate Plume First Place Novella Winner, RWA 2012).

Karen’s first full-length novel, Meant To Be, will be published by Turquoise Morning Press on August 26, 2012. Its sequel, Holding On, will be released on November 26, 2012. A prequel to these novels, the short story All I Need, appears in the Foreign Affairs Anthology (Turquoise Morning Press, August 2012).

For more information about my current and upcoming projects please visit my website: http:// karenstivali.com I can also be found on: Twitter: https://twitter.com/karenstivali Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/karenstivali Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5170527.Karen_Stivali Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005KWSFGO

This entry was posted on October 2, 2012. 19 Comments

Once Upon A Twisted Time Anthology 2012

Think you know your fairytales? Think again. These aren’t your normal happily-ever-after. Within these pages, a murderous Little Mermaid gets her revenge, the Cinderella doesn’t really want to wear the slipper, Snow White is up to her eyes in industrial experiments, and the Beauty is in fact the Beast.

This collection of four novellas will surprise you, make you gasp in horror, sigh with relief, and sit on the edge of your seat. And most of all…they will make you rethink everything you think you know about dark fairytales…

This is the official cover reveal for Moon Rose Publishing’s first published anthology! Once Upon A Twisted Time is an anthology of fairytales-each with a dark twist. Cinderella goes Sci-fi, Snow White has become Steampunk, The Little Mermaid has gone Gothic, and Beauty and the Beast has switched sides altogether!

It will be available from the Moon Rose Publishing site on its release on the 31st October, as well as from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and all other Amazon sites. Do not miss out on your chance to pick up this amazing book from the 31st October 2012!

Song of the Abyss

Princess Nerissa had envisioned a perfect wedding to a handsome prince. Instead, she fell into a nightmare. When her new husband tries to murder her just hours after pledging his life to her, she must flee towards the sea. Caught in transition from woman to selkie, she is trapped by the dark waters she hoped would be her salvation. Now her destiny becomes that of luring young men to their death…until one comes along that reignites the spark of love inside her. However to ensure her future, she must first face her past. Revenge must be taken…for both her life, and the life of the young man she now loves.

 

Miss Cavendish and the Spark of Salvation

In a city toiling under the iron fist of the Spiegel Syndicate and its monopoly on coal, Miss Georgina “George” Cavendish is on the brink of a breakthrough that could change the world forever. There’s just one thing standing in her way, her aunt – Xenobia Cavendish. Threatened by her efforts, the Syndicate procures the services of a notorious assassin with a past tied to her own, known as The Huntsman, to dispatch the brilliant scientist. But once he gets a glimpse of the headstrong beauty, will he be able to do the job, or will Georgina sway him to The Cause? And will George find the breakthrough she needs in time, or is New London Town doomed to forever lie under the dark shadow of her aunt’s factories?

 

Hawke and the Beast

Some curses last forever, and some can be broken with the whisper of three little words. Isabella Rose Woodward fell in love with a witch’s son over a century ago. Her punishment for breaking the young man’s heart was a beastly one. Every month she turns into a different creature, aging on the full moon when her curse allows for a brief return to her human form. Her only salvation is to find a man that will love her as she is…be it adorned in feathers, fur or scales. Has she found this love with the handsome Jasper Hawke? Or will a mysteriously determined Hunter find her first, and snuff out the life she so desperately seeks? A life of normalcy, where she loves and is loved in return… just as she is.

 

Reborn City

Nyx has one mission in life; bring down the brainwashing of New Omsk’s citizens, and release them from their mundane lives of toil. The year is 2355, and the world is a new place. A Governor is in charge of every city in the world, and humanity is attempting to rebuild itself after recovering from a war that nearly killed it. But this Governor has set his eyes on the intrepid little hacker, Nyx, and he will stop at nothing to get her. But perhaps he needs her more than he ever dreamed he would…as do his citizens.

Links

Website www.moonrosepublishing.com

Facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/MoonRosePublishing

 

Author links

Miranda Stork https://www.facebook.com/authormirandastork

Tara S. Wood https://www.facebook.com/twoodwriter

Lindsay Avalon https://www.facebook.com/author.lindsay.avalon

Trish M. Dawson https://www.facebook.com/WriterTrishMarieDawson

This entry was posted on October 1, 2012. 2 Comments