Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, paranormal, Young Adult on January 26, 2015

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52 LIKES

by Medeia Sharif

YA Paranormal/Evernight Teen/@ 47K
*Editor’s Pick*

Synopsis

After a brutal rape and near-murder, Valerie wants to get past feelings of victimhood from both the assault and her history of being bullied. Not knowing the identity of her masked rapist and dealing with the nasty rumors about that night are two things that plague her daily. 

Valerie will have to follow ghostly entities, past victims of the rapist-murderer, contacting her through a social media site. Why do all of their eerie photos have 52 likes under them? Their messages are leading her to the mystery man, although he’ll put up a fight to remain hidden.

14+ due to adult situations

Evernight Teen / Amazon / Omni Lit / BookStrand

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Excerpt

With the girls closest to me, I see their Picomatic profile page, which is a reminder that I have a direct message on there. “Did you DM me on Picomatic?” I whisper to Cookie.

She shakes her head, briefly looking up from her notebook. I should be writing too, but can’t concentrate on the five questions Ms. Garland wrote on the board. She’s seated behind her desk as a student approaches her to ask a question. The student is blocking her face, so she can’t see me at all. During times like these, when teachers are busy, I whip out my phone.

I slide my phone out of my pocket and into my lap. It used to be a wonderful distraction that entertained me during boring lectures and educational videos. Seeing others on Picomatic, I’m now dying to know what the DM is about. Even if it’s an inappropriate or harassing one, I need to see it. If it upsets me, I’ll report it as spam. If it’s extremely bad, pertaining to that night, I have to tell someone, even though last year the school didn’t do much in the way of protecting me from the trio, which was the quartet back then since Hector would play their vicious games.

I open my Picomatic page. Selfies abound, some from a few seconds ago. Most pictures are from P.E. or some other class where teachers don’t supervise as much. Some people are taking pictures of work that has been graded, bragging about A’s or criticizing teachers who gave them F’s. I tap the corner, where the direct messages are. If it’s a graphic with THOT or some other message on it, I need to know that’s not who I am. I never was. Be brave, I urge myself.

There’s a DM from someone named 2beautiful. I can’t recall any friends who use that handle. Where the profile pic should be, there’s a close-up of an eye. The eye is lined, with heavy mascara and purple and blue eye shadow. It’s an attractive picture, although eye pics can be deceiving. Sometimes the rest of the person isn’t as pretty. I don’t recognize this eye, although anyone’s eye can be transformed like this with the right makeup.

I scroll down to see the picture message she sent me. I frown, unsure of what this is, who this is. It’s almost pornographic, but not really since it’s just a sliver of skin, although there’s a hint of the girl’s V between her legs.

The picture is of a slender, yet curvaceous naked hip. The bone protrudes slightly and I can tell the girl is pear-shaped. I’m also pear-shaped, which is especially noticeable around Christmas time when I gain five pounds from eating too much during winter break.

This photo of a girl’s hip has 52 likes. I gasp. Is it a photo of me? Did someone take a picture of me at home or in the shower? Then I think back to the rape, of the flashes of light…I thought it was lightning, but I could be wrong. He had pulled me down to the floor and knocked me around. The room was dark. Maybe I didn’t notice every single thing he had done to me. Had the rapist photographed me?

 

About the Author

I’m a Kurdish-American author who was born in New York City, and I presently call Miami my home. I received my master’s degree in psychology from Florida Atlantic University. After becoming a voracious reader in high school and a relentless writer dabbling in many genres in college, I found my niche writing for young people. Today I’m a MG and YA writer published through various presses. In addition to being a writer, I’m a middle school English teacher. My memberships include MensaALAN, and SCBWI.

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Posted in Cover Reveal, Dystopian, Young Adult on January 26, 2015

 

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PRESENTS. . .

A Cover Reveal for

Shadows Have Gone

Book 3 of End of All Things Series

by Lissa Bryan

Shadows-Have-Gone-Hi-Res-Cover

Release Date: March 26 , 2015

~~SUMMARY~~

Carly Daniels knows what it is to suffer loss. She knows what it is to sacrifice. In the two years since a pandemic virus—known only as the Infection—decimated humanity, she’s made choices she never could have imagined. She’s condoned violence in the name of peace and done the unthinkable in the name of mercy. But with Justin at her side, she’s also learned there’s nothing she can’t face and nothing she wouldn’t do to protect those she loves.

But now another threat has arrived in the form of a uniformed man driving an army truck, claiming to represent the remnant of the United States military. Someone has set their sights on their community . . . and on Justin. The struggle to defend their little homeland is far from over, and the visitors may have brought more danger with them than just their weapons.

The shadows are closing in. Carly has to find out whether she has the strength to stand on her own when all of her support has fallen away. What remains when the shadows have gone?

 

~~EXCERPT~~

“There’s other news,” Justin said. “We made contact with a man driving an army truck.”
“The army?”
“Someone with the army?”
“There’s an army?”
“Whose army?” Pete’s voice rang above the excited babble.
“That’s the right question,” Justin said. “Whose army? He might have been wearing a uniform and claiming affiliation, but I have my doubts.”
“He claimed to be from the US Army?”
Claimed,” Justin said, stressing the word hard. “And his claim had a few inconsistencies. I was in the Army, and I know. Whatever this guy is a part of, it’s not the army as we knew it.”
“What did he want?”
“Said he was out scouting and saw the smoke. He agreed to leave a message outside of Clayton if his people want to get in contact with us again. And I would imagine they will.”Shadows-Have-Gone-3D-Paperback-eReader
“Last thing we need is another fight,” Grady said. He took off his hat and wiped the sweat from his forehead. “You think they know where we are?”
“General area. We wouldn’t be that hard to find if someone was really searching for us. If they’re really army, then yes, they know exactly where we are as we speak. But as I said, I have my doubts.”
“Think it will come to a fight?” Pete asked.
Justin scratched his chin. “I really can’t say. What I can say is that we always need to be prepared for it, prepared to defend what is ours.”
“What if they really are the army? Would we be America again?”
“Wait. When did we stop being America?”
“America is dead.” This came from David, his voice as blunt as a dropped stone. “We all saw it die two years ago. I don’t know what we are now, but the Constitution sure ain’t in effect anymore. There’s no government. There’s no social contract holding us together. That’s what America was, you know—a collective agreement of the people. Now we’re just—” He sliced a hand through the air.
“If the army is still active, that would mean there is a government, which would make this still America,” Grady said. “They’d be the government’s representatives, establishing order.”
Justin shook his head. “You’re thinking way too far ahead. Even if they are US Army—and that’s a very big if—they don’t have control of the whole country. There is no centralized government, no law enforcement. They’re not coming to rescue us.”

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~~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~~

bc1e2-lissabryan2

Lissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olympic pole vault gold medalist, Iron Chef champion, and scientist who recently discovered the cure for athlete’s foot…though only in her head. Real life isn’t so interesting, which is why she spends most of her time writing.

She is the author of four other novels, Ghostwriter, The End of All Things, its sequel, The Land of the Shadows, and Under These Restless Skies.

 

 

~~OTHER TITLES IN THE SERIES~~
Ω
After a terrible virus ravages the planet, Carly Daniels, one of the few survivors, hides in her apartment in Juneau trying to survive the best she can with only occasional forays to gather food. With her is Sam, a wolf puppy she found starving on the streets. He becomes her companion and a reason to continue when giving up sometimes seems like the more attractive option. Still dazed with shock and grief, she hopes for the world to go back to normal soon.
She is discovered by Justin, an ex-soldier who is intent on making his way to Florida before the winter sets in. Justin coaxes her out of her hiding place and convinces her to join him on his journey, because a warmer climate will be their best chance against the extremes of Mother Nature.
Together, they begin a perilous journey through a nation laid to waste by the disaster. Challenges abound along the way. The weather, injury, and shortage of supplies all help to slow them down. In time, they discover that they aren’t the only survivors. Some are friendly but some have had their minds destroyed by the high fever. Then there are those who simply take what they want, leaving Carly and Justin with no choice but to defend what is theirs.
But their journey is not without joy and love. Together, they face every struggle, including an unplanned pregnancy. Despite the perils of bringing a child into a world of chaos, their baby is a new beginning for themselves and a symbol of hope for the other survivors they find along the way.
This is the story of their journey to find a place to begin a new life, and a home in each other.

 

Ω

Tales from the End Book 1.5

The Horsemen
L.A.’s mayor has declared quarantine to try to halt the spread of the Infection. Pearl sets off across the city to buy supplies, but already the world is changing. Something strange is in the air. The Horsemen are coming …
Veronica
When Veronica’s mother doesn’t come home from work and no one answers the phone when she calls for help, a nine-year-old girl is thrown into the chaos of a world coming to an end. Veronica decides it’s up to her to find her family. “Veronica” is the story of a little girl’s courage in the face of the end of all things.“I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud”
They called her Shadowfax– the mare Carly and Justin found on their travels. But before she was found by Carly, the retired dressage horse was known as Cloud. An unusual tale of the end, told through the eyes of a confused and lonely horse, left in her pasture.Birthday
(A previously-published bonus story.) Carly knows Justin has never celebrated his birthday, and after society crumbled, no one knows what date it is, anyway. But she wants to do something special for him. Celebrating the little things helps them keep hope alive, and as a blizzard rages outside, a small gesture of love warms their home.
Tales of courage, tales of survival… Tales from the End.
Ω

The Land of The Shadow Book 2

After surviving the Infection and a perilous journey through the wasteland that was once the United States, Carly and Justin have found a safe home in the isolated town of Colby.Even so, balancing the duties of survival and a growing family isn’t easy. As they emerge as leaders, they face difficult questions about justice in a lawless land, basic human rights, and freedom in a world where strength defines worth. More than ever, they have to rely on one another for strength and support during the darkest of times.

The Crisis is far from over. Their fences won’t keep the world out forever, and a new threat is emerging—a gang of predators who see the town as easy pickings. When danger looms over Colby, Carly must decide how far she’ll go to protect those she loves.

It’s a journey down the long and broken road through The Land of the Shadow.

 

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Posted in Futuristic, Giveaway, romance, Spotlight on January 25, 2015

SavageBytes_small

Savage Bytes (Hacked Investigations, Book 2)
by Sarah Mäkelä

Genre: Futuristic Romance
Publisher: Kissa Press LLC
Date of Publication: January 21, 2015

 

Synopsis

If they don’t work together, they may be torn apart…

Private investigator Hannah Franklin has a new partner, her lover and technomage, Ian Bradley. But they may be in over their heads when brought in by their friend from the hospital to quietly solve a case that baffles even the police. The victims are being murdered in a ritualistic fashion with their blood drained and organs removed.

When Ian’s attention narrows solely to their work, he’ll need to keep their relationship strong, or he could find himself repeating a painful past.

Excerpt from Savage Bytes

Hannah Franklin froze in the doorway of Ian Bradley’s weight room. Ian lay shirtless on the bench as he pressed the bar into the air over his muscular chest. With each rep he did, the muscles in his chest rippled deliciously. She licked her suddenly dry lips and cleared her throat.

His gaze caught hers, and he smiled. He rested the weight on the stand. “Hey, is everything okay?” He sat up and wiped his palms on his khaki cargo shorts.

“Yeah, we just received a call about a new case.” She still found it hard to believe how many people had wanted to hire them after going against MAX Home Security. Sometimes, they actually had to turn people away. What a feeling.

Ian raised an eyebrow at her. “Tell me more. What is it about?”

“It’s Leon. He wants to meet with us at St. Gregory’s hospital in a little over an hour. He seemed pretty stressed.” She leaned her shoulder against the doorframe, and a frown tugged at the corners of her lips.

Ian stood and then crossed the room to her. His hands cradled her neck, and he pulled her in for a warm kiss. His lips brushed hers, and she opened her mouth to him, allowing his tongue to stroke hers and fan the burning flames within her body.

Hannah gently pushed away after a moment. “I said we would be on our way.” She raked her gaze over his firm, sweat-slick torso. “Besides, I think you need a break from working out.”

Ian grinned and reached for his white towel. “I’ll go hop in the shower real quick.” He wiped off his face and hung the towel around his shoulders as he sauntered away.

Hannah’s life had been a roller coaster after reuniting with Ian, her once ex-boyfriend. Now he was her partner in their private investigation company, Hacked Investigations, which specialized in technology-related crimes. The clientele so far had kept them busy, with common requests that involved backtracking various network intrusions to their point of origin and leaving the rest to the customers. Others required mundane tasks such as verifying the authenticity of gray-market implants and other upgrades not sold in broad daylight.

Up until recently, they’d been financially stable. The last two weeks had been slower, and their bills this month were a lot higher than expected. It didn’t help that the silly gnome was as ravenous as ever.

She sighed and returned to Ian’s small home office to retrieve her jacket. The weather outside was fine, but it could change so quickly, especially this time of year.

“Hey, if you’re going out anyway, bring me back a bag of those chocolates I like! We can’t all live on coffee, pasta, and CONDOMS, you know?” An obnoxious voice came from the kitchen before she had an opportunity to see the loud-mouthed gnome it belonged to.

“Nice to see you too, Bernard. Finished with the garden so soon?” Hannah forced a smile. “We’re heading out to interview a client. Leon called, and we’re going to see if we can help him,” she said.

Bernard wore classic lederhosen and had a maniacal grin on his face. “Well, the garden can take care of itself for a while. So, why are you heading out to see that flamboyant rainbow-licking nurse? Unless, of course, he wants to trade make-up tips,” Bernard said. A devious glint lit his eyes.

Hannah sighed. She could only take so much from the gnome today. Ignoring the other foul comments, she shrugged into her jacket and walked by him. Water sounded from the shower behind the bathroom door. She’d love to join Ian, but they’d be going nowhere fast if she did.

Instead, she sat in Ian’s favorite recliner. A quick glance proved the gnome had vanished, giving her a moment’s peace.

During their struggle against MAX Home Security, Leon had played a crucial role in getting past security guards and helping them talk with Senator Kendall, who cleared their names after the police had suspected them of attacking the senator. Leon lost his boyfriend, Rich Granger, due to MAX’s overeager employee termination program, and he’d been more than willing to help them take MAX Home Security down.

The lack of background noise alerted her to the fact Ian was done in the shower and would be ready to go soon. She glanced in the mirror to reassure herself that she looked professional enough, and then she crossed the room to her safety box for her gun and a clip of ammo. The streets were more dangerous than ever now that MAX Home Security had restrictions placed on them by the legal system. Despite their corruption, MAX held low-level criminals under better control than what the police were capable of.

Ian entered the doorway, dressed in jeans and a polo shirt that revealed enough of his build to make her gaze linger over his toned body.

“Shall we?”

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About the Author

NYT & USA Today bestselling author Sarah Mäkelä loves her fiction dark, magical, and passionate. She is a paranormal romance author, but she’s written all over the romance spectrum with cyberpunk, sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy…even a sweet contemporary romance!

A life-long paranormal fan, she still sleeps with a night-light. In her spare time, she reads sexy books, watches scary movies (and Ghost Adventures), and plays computer games with her husband. When she gets the chance, she loves traveling the world too.

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The author is giving away one (1) $10 Gift Card and two (2) e-book copies of Techno Crazed

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Posted in Historical, mystery, romance, Spotlight on January 24, 2015

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Synopsis

When Bianca Maria Ledford Goretti, La Contessa de Massa, flees back to her homeland and the safety of her godmother, The Duchess of Gorham, little does she realize who’s arms she lands in.
Lord Rainer Cross, Marquis of Hathaway, is a well-known and dangerous rakehell within the ton. Little does he suspect his godmother has set him up to halt his skirt chasing days.

Over time the reason for Bianca’s return comes to light which has Rainer deeply concerned. Not sure who he can trust Rainer turns to has several of his more interesting staff. He has them use their talents to ferret out the truth.

Everything get more complicated when they learn a friend might not be who he claims to be. Not sure who to trust, except Rainer and the duchess, Bianca learns several startling facts which could protect her from harm.

Once everything is revealed the duchess steps in with a surprise, something neither could have ever seen coming.

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Posted in e-books, Giveaway, romance, Sale, Spotlight on January 23, 2015

November Blue and Thompson Sisters Boxed Sets – On Sale!

Have you checked out the Thompson Sisters? Or the November Blue Series? Both are well loved by readers, with combined thousands of reviews on Amazon and other online booksellers!

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Now is your chance to get them at a bargain price never before seen, with each boxed set priced less than the individual titles, at only $2.99 each!

Here’s what people say about these series:

November Blue

This is the series that started my love affair with all things written by Andrea Randall

Thompson Sisters

This is one of the best series I have ever read. It will build anticipation, make your heart beat so much faster, give you twists and turns you couldn’t think of, and give you the most epic ending ever. So worth the read!

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November Blue

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Thompson Sisters Boxed Set Volume 2

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Posted in Cozy, Interview, mystery, Spotlight on January 23, 2015

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Murder Is Our Mascot, Schooled in Murder Book 1

Author – Tracy D. Comstock

Cozy Mystery/Light Romantic Suspense
Gemma Halliday Publishing/65k

Synopsis

Murder is the new mascot at Ellington High…

A murdered coach and a missing counselor has thrown the school into a foreign curriculum of anger, fear, and suspicion. English teacher Emily Taylor is determined to prove that her missing friend is not a murderer. But if she’s not, then who is? And where could her friend be? Against the advice of fellow math teacher and former crush Tad, Emily and her best friend Gabby dig into the dead coach’s past. But someone doesn’t want Emily unearthing their secrets and is determined to see that she gets a failing grade in the sleuthing department. Soon, Emily finds herself scrambling for a new lesson plan to solve the murder…before the killer sets his own deadline!

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Excerpt

The clack of Emily Taylor’s high heels echoed hollowly in the deserted high school hallway. Normally, she loved the sound her heels made on the tile floor. Her obsession with high heels began when her height topped off at a gargantuan five foot one inch, and their authoritative tapping sound typically made her feel confident and in charge. But not this morning. The click-clack reverberating off the rows of metal lockers seemed ominous, a warning of some kind.

Letting herself into her classroom, she decided that the school seemed somewhat sinister because she was unused to being there that early. Her great love affair with her snooze button meant that getting to school before it was filled with a mass of hormone-fueled teenagers was a rarity for her, but she had needed to get in early today in order to prep for a special before-school meeting with a student’s mother. Stevie Davis was new to Ellington High and was really struggling in Emily’s junior-level English class.

Something about Stevie tugged at Emily. He usually hid his eyes behind his fringe of bangs, causing Emily to fight the urge to grab her scissors and hack away at his curtain of hair so that she could see what was going on behind it. The few times he had tossed his hair back with the irritated shrug that was his typical answer to any question, his eyes had seemed sad, lost, or…something. Emily wasn’t sure what that something was, but she was hoping that this meeting with his mother would shed some light on his issues.

Her cantankerous old computer whined to life as Emily flipped on her desk light. Dark, swollen clouds crowded the sky, swallowing her early morning classroom in shadows. Emily felt jumpy and spooked, as if those dark clouds were pressing down on her, enshrouding her in their gloom. Must be an allergy medicine-induced hangover making her feel strange this morning. Nothing like fall to get her sinuses going. As soon as she got her notes together for her meeting, she’d grab a cold shot of caffeine from the stash of sodas she kept in the teachers’ lounge fridge. That would help clear her head. Or at least it would if Tad, the conference-hour-sharing, next-door math teacher and fellow soda junkie, hadn’t depleted her supply.

As she pulled out samples of Stevie’s writing and wrestled her computer into spitting out a copy of his grade report, the lights flickered. Glancing out the back wall of windows, Emily watched the increasing wind whip the trees into a frenzy. Multicolored fall leaves rained down like confetti. She usually loved the electric feel in the air before a good thunderstorm, but a loss of power would ruin her day’s plans. Figuring she better make her copies before the ancient, temperamental copy machine went on the fritz, she began sorting through the piles on her desk for the paper she needed. They were organized piles, of course. Oh, who was she kidding? Trying to find the one thing she needed on her messy desk was like trying to isolate a single snowflake during a blizzard. Shuffling papers and files, Emily jumped at the first boom of thunder. The accompanying flash of lightning happened to spotlight the copy of the quiz for which she was searching. Hoping to entice Stevie into becoming more involved in class discussions, she was starting a unit on mythology since he had shown some interest in legends. Today’s quiz was over the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus, or it would be if she got her copies made in time.

Tucking all of her information for the meeting with Stevie’s mother into a stray file folder, Emily grabbed up a fresh legal pad and pen and headed out the door. Halfway there, she turned on her heel to go back for the quiz she needed to copy. Yep, she definitely needed that soda. A glance at her vintage Strawberry Shortcake watch showed she was, as usual, cutting it close on time. But first things first.

Popping the top on the last soda in the fridge, Emily silently thanked whoever was the God of caffeine for their nectar as she took her first icy sip of the sugar-laden soda. No diet drinks for her, no sir, as the extra ten pounds on her hips could attest. Tad had tried to hide the last can behind a pitcher of green tea, knowing Emily would never touch that, even if it might benefit her hips. She, however, was on to his nefarious ways. Practicing her evil victory laugh, she click-clacked her way to the copy room to get her copies started before the meeting. Another crashing boom of thunder rattled the windows as Emily threw the door wide, propping it open with those cursed hips while she flipped the light switch. Nothing. Scanning the hallway confirmed her suspicions. The power was out. She took a step backward, thinking she would head downstairs to consult with Principal Matthews. Rain began to lash the windows over the stairwell, making the darkness of the hall seem even more complete. She fumbled her way a few feet down the hallway until the lights flickered back on again. Not wanting to waste a second in case the power decided to blink off again, Emily dashed back to the partially open copy room door. Hitting the light switch again with one hand, she rushed toward the hulking machine on the far wall. That was when papers went flying and sticky, syrupy soda sprayed everything in its path. Emily went airborne. Throwing her hands out in front of her to break her fall, Emily winced as they skidded through sticky wetness. The picture of grace she was not, so finding herself flat on her face was actually not uncommon for Emily. She could trip on a completely flat surface. The lights flickered again as she clambered to her feet, worrying about getting the sticky mess cleaned up before someone else slipped. Glancing down at her hands, she was busy cursing her lost lifeline, her last caffeine hit, when she realized that the sticky substance covering her hands was not soda. It was something thicker, and redder. Finally looking back to see what she had tripped over, Emily saw what appeared to be a head protruding from behind an office chair. Taking a cautious step closer, she could see that the head was surrounded by what looked like a puddle of congealing blood and was, thankfully, attached to a body. Unfortunately, it appeared to be a dead body. And that’s when Emily began to scream and scream.

Interview with Emily Taylor

Emily Taylor has been awarded Teacher of the Month at Ellington High School. She is being interviewed by Ryann Monroe, editor of the school newspaper, The Soaring Eagle.

We know you also attended Ellington High. What is your favorite high school memory?

Oh, it would be hard to pick just one. I loved going to school here. I would say that one of my favorite memories would be when we were juniors and put on a class play. We did a murder mystery dinner theater production called A Lesson in Murder.   I got to play an elderly English teacher who actually ended up solving the murder.

Who was the murder victim in the play?

I hate to admit to it now, but it was the superintendent. We weren’t too fond of our own superintendent at the time because he had refused to let school out when the football team made it to state. It was our jab at him. I’m surprised now that we got away with it.

So you guys wrote the play yourselves?

Yep. We wrote it, held the auditions, and produced the entire thing ourselves. I was part of the creative writing group who wrote the play. Overall, besides killing off the superintendent, I’m really proud of the work I did on that play.

Are you still in touch with anyone from high school?

Oh, yes! I am still best friends with Gabrielle Moretti Spencer. We are close with Amelia Franklin now that she had returned to town to open up her own dentistry practice. And of course, Mr. Higginbotham and I are still friends, too.

When did you first know you wanted to be a teacher?

It took me awhile. I always loved learning, but I just couldn’t quite seem to settle on a career path. I’d say that it was around my sophomore year in college that I truly settled on teaching high school English.

What inspired you to go into teaching?

Besides my love of learning, I would say that my dad was my true inspiration. He taught history here at Ellington High for more than twenty-five years before he retired a couple of years ago. He has always been my go-to guy for advice. He has never steered me wrong yet. And seeing his great love for teaching all the years I was growing up finally rubbed off on me, I guess.

Where did you go to college? Any favorite memories?

I went to Missouri State. I think some of my favorite memories are from my freshman year when Gabby and I were roommates. For the first time, I felt what it was like to share a room with a sister. As an only child, I always wanted to have that experience growing up. Every Sunday we would have dinner at this little hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant. We shared a lot of memories over their cashew chicken. College was never the same for me after Gabby left to marry her husband, Greg.

Where all have you taught? Where was your favorite place to teach?

I taught at Williamton, two hours north of here, after I first graduated from college. After three years of big city living, I just missed home too badly. When an opening became available here, I applied immediately. I am now on my third year teaching here. Naturally, Ellington will always be my first and last love. Go, Eagles!

What is your favorite thing about teaching?

I love sharing my love of the written word through reading and writing. Through both reading and writing, we explore our world and our place in it. My favorite moment is when I see one of my students truly expressing themselves through writing. If I can help a student find his or her voice, I feel like I have done my job.

Is there anything you don’t enjoy about your job?

Giving grades. I sometimes feel like grades are pretty arbitrary. I wish I could just give students points for participation and progress, never labeling them with a traditional grade. But I don’t see grades disappearing anytime soon, unfortunately.

What is your best piece of advice to your students?

Don’t be afraid to try. The only way to truly fail is to never try. You need to own your voice. Make yourself heard. Find yourself through all you read and write. That is why I teach English, and why I believe my area of expertise is so important to a well-rounded education.

What is your five-year-plan?

Good question. Over the next five years, I hope to finish my Masters degree, while still teaching here at Ellington. I would like to work on my own dream of writing, also.

Any wedding bells in your future?

Not unless you know something I don’t! J I have all I need with you guys—my students!

Congratulations on being awarded Teacher of the Month, Ms. Taylor!

Thanks, Ryann. It’s truly an honor for me.

About the Author

Tracy_D_Comtock1 picTracy Comstock is a small-town girl from Missouri. She lives in a home where she is outnumbered 3:1 by the males in her life: her husband and their two extremely adorable, but terrifyingly ornery sons. She has no pets as all living things, besides humans, of course, come to her house to die, including the victims in her books. All her life Tracy devoured books. Her parents’ most effective punishment was grounding her from reading. Although she has a B.S. in Education and a Masters in Literature, she was nudged down the path to publication by encouraging (and sometimes threatening!) family, friends, professors, and students. When not working on Emily’s adventures, Tracy is an adjunct instructor for several local colleges, where she gets to teach others about her greatest passion: writing.

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Posted in Book Blast, fiction, Giveaway, women on January 23, 2015

Jeremy's Promise (1)Blog Tour Schedule

Jeremy's Promise

Jeremy’s Promise by A.R. Talley

The trip that was meant to save Annie and Jeremy’s marriage brought it to near ruin. Now Annie has returned home, frightened and confused. Jeremy, too, is frightened—and angry. What will it take to save their marriage?

It’s clear. Jeremy needs to forgive—Annie needs to forget.

A promise is made. A tragedy occurs. A second honeymoon is disrupted. A chance encounter brings David Andrews back into Annie’s life.

Annie is determined to remain faithful. She’s made a promise she intends to keep—Jeremy’s Promise.

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Praise for Jeremy’s Promise

A.R. Talley, gives you a believable look at the struggle of one couple to reconnect and heal their marriage, with dialog which sweeps you into the moment as if you were there with them, experiencing both their pain and recovery. Kudos to the author who has once again produced a book I couldn’t put down, as well as one I felt compelled to read multiple times. ~Donna Dech

Jeremy’s Promise second book in a trilogy by A.R. Talley is an awesome, emotional, romantic, highly recommended, well written story with captivating and engaging characters. ~Debbie Ballard
This is not a book I would have picked by myself! I loved it from start to finish! Eagerly waiting for the third book in the trilogy to come out!! I highly recommend this book! ~Goodreads

AprilAbout the Author

A. R. Talley lives in Ohio with her husband Doug and the last of her seven children (the rest have flown the coup.) She loves to cook, read, write, watch movies, play piano, and laugh. Her second favorite vacation involves the British Isles and a small café in Scotland.

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$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 2/15/15

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 and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Posted in Giveaway, Spotlight, suspense, Thriller on January 22, 2015

 Broken Trust

Synopsis

This is a story about three smart, successful people who were once fast friends in college and have now been thrust together again in an unlikely, multi-layered investigation with far-reaching international implications and billions of dollars at stake. One is a forensic accountant for the SEC, one beta tests hardware and software for the US Department of Defense and the UK Ministry of Defense, and the third is a wildly successful entrepreneur, software developer and venture capitalist in Silicon Valley.

They get caught up in the hunt for a corrupt Swiss banker intent on finally unloading the last of the gold stolen by his father in World War II; a violent, narcissist leader of a Mexican drug cartel making his move to take over as the head of all cartels in Central America; and the daughter of a murdered Bulgarian arms dealer making the deal that will give her mother financial stability and get them both out of the increasingly unstable arms business.

The plot unfolds as financial crimes committed by insiders put common criminal activities to shame in a world where technology has increasingly insinuated itself into our lives to good and bad effects.

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About the Author

Bonnie B and Michael T HartleyThomas Maurin is the pen name of husband and wife writing team Bonnie B. Hartley, Ph.D., and Michael T. Hartley, CFP®. They both write non-fiction books and articles regarding financial and family business topics and have delivered talks on those subjects internationally over the last thirty years.

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We are giving away 10 copies of BROKEN TRUST (Print or ebook) Open to USA & Canada.

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Posted in Cover Reveal, paranormal, romance on January 21, 2015

The Vamp of Vancouver - Liz Meldon

Title: The Vampire of Vancouver (Lovers and Liars #2)

Author: Liz Meldon
Series: Lovers and Liars
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Cover by: Humble Nation
Release Date: February 10, 2015

 

~ Synopsis ~

 

The Vampire of Vancouver (Lovers and Liars, #2)

Aphrodite, goddess of love and lust, is not impressed. After giving up her penthouse suite in trendy Manhattan to go monster hunting around the world, she finds herself in a sad hotel room in Vancouver with a decidedly distracted Loki. She hadn’t expected this job to be so serious, and her Norse partner isn’t exactly bowing to her whims these days. What was the point in coming with him if they weren’t beneath the sheets all hours of the day? It seems like such a waste of sexual compatibility. Humph.

Meanwhile, Loki, Norse trickster, is equally unimpressed. He hadn’t thought taking a beautiful partner along would make his work so difficult. Her unfocused energy grates on his nerves, and his lust for her is only surpassed by his desire for more godly power. He will complete this job, whether she likes it or not, and he’ll walk away one step closer to regaining his old abilities. Now, if only he can get his partner to focus on the task at hand, not seduction. Ridiculous woman.

Aphrodite and Loki, an unlikely team if there ever was one, find themselves in the City of Vancouver hunting vampires. The job is pretty straightforward: rescue the damsel, kill the monster. Unfortunately, even the easiest of jobs hardly ever go according to plan.

 

About the Author

About the Author: Liz is a Canadian author who grew up in the Middle East. She has a degree in Bioarchaeology from Western University, and when she isn’t writing about snarky characters of her own, she is ghostwriting romance novellas, working on her fanfiction, loitering on social media, or selling tickets at a theatre.

In the past year, she has written six romance novellas as a ghostwriter. Three have been published and are doing well. She loves writing realistic characters in fantastical settings.

 

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Posted in Blog tour, excerpt, Spotlight, women, Young Adult on January 21, 2015

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P.O.W.ER 2

 

Title: P.O.W.ER
Author: Lisa A. Kremer
Publisher: Word Hermit Press
Pages: 291
Genre: YA Speculative Feminist Fiction
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Synopsis

What would happen if women and girls joined their unique abilities together to change the world? In a world where access to the written word is reserved to men, Andra BetScrivener has been able to read and write ever since she was a little girl without anyone teaching her. She must keep her abilities a secret in the country of New North, or she could lose her hands, her eyes or her life. In fact, the only paths offered to her–and all young women–are to either marry or enter the government-run Women’s Training Program, where she’ll be taught “feminine” arts like drawing, painting, and homemaking.

On her seventeenth birthday, Andra discovers that her abilities extend beyond reading. She can write events to life. As she begins to explore her new ability, she must take care not to jeopardize her father’s job as head scrivener at the Ministry. Despite her efforts to keep her powers hidden, she comes to the attention of both the government and a rebel group, who each desire to use Andra for their own goals. At the same time, she begins to meet other gifted women who have never dared use their unique powers. With the help of her friends Brian and Lauren—who has the ability to read minds—Andra must find a way to unite the power of women to create change.

When one side manipulates Andra’s words into killing someone, and the other threatens her father’s life and her own freedom, Andra decides to use her writing to empower others to stop governmental oppression. But in a society ruled by lies, cruelty, and inequality her journey will not be easy or safe. For each book sold, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to causes that support women and children around the world.  

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Excerpt

My stomach dropped as soon as Dad entered the kitchen scowling at a thick card embossed with the government seal. My hand started to shake so much that I had to put down my mug of tea. I knew this day was coming. After all, it was my seventeenth birthday, the first day of the last year of my life.

“That’s the letter, isn’t it?”

Dad looked at me with one of his half smiles, the one that never reached his eyes. I hadn’t seen him smile with genuine happiness for years, not since Mother died. This smile made no effort to cover the sadness and defeat in his face. “Pour me some cocoa, please.” He lowered himself into his customary chair next to me, “I’ll do my civic duty and read this to you.”

“I could always read it myself,” I said. I waited for him to respond the way he always did. I hoped that provoking him a little would reawaken the Dad who let me believe I could do anything, while still protecting me from the cruelty of our society. That Dad had disappeared over recent years.

“Andra!” he said, “You know I don’t like you to say that out loud. You never know if someone might be listening. If I could let you read everywhere, I would. We can’t let your secret get out.”

“I’m sorry.” I handed Dad his cocoa and watched as he took several sips. For a moment he closed his eyes and his face relaxed. The secret to giving him those brief moments was in the cocoa. I make it just like Mother used to. She left us too soon to teach me all her cooking secrets, but she taught me a few. She was a woman who turned everything she touched into something beautiful, warm and comforting. She could make people calm even in the most terrifying circumstances. Mother and Dad both made me believe that my future wasn’t set in the same stone used to build the giant walls that separated New North from the outside world. Mother believed that somehow they would find a way to return to some of the freedoms of the past and make a better future for all women. She never got the chance to do that. She died and Dad grew afraid.

“Ah, perfect as always. Now, to do my duty.” Dad put his mug down and brought my attention back to the thick card, or the envelope of doom, as I thought of it. The government seal—the Eye of the Lord—gleamed with a hint of gold ink as it caught the light from the sun shining through the window. It sent a shiver down my spine, as if the eye was really watching me.

 

About the Author

Lisa KramerLisa A. Kramer has spent her life learning, creating, and exploring the world through theatre, writing, traveling and collaborating as an educator. She has lived in nine states and two countries (including Japan). She holds a PhD in Theatre for Youth, an MFA in Theatre Directing, and a BA in English Language & Literature and Theatre. She has published non-fiction articles in journals specializing on Theatre for Young Audiences, as well articles aimed at young people for Listen Magazine. In addition to young adult novels, she has ventured into the world of short stories, and has stories for adults in several of the Theme-Thology series published by HDWPBooks.com and available on Kindle, Nook, and Kobo. When not writing, Lisa shares her love of the arts and the power of story as co-founder of heArtful Theatre Company and as adjunct faculty at various colleges and universities. She also spends time enjoying New England with her husband, daughter, and two dogs from her home base in central Massachusetts.

Her latest book is the YA speculative feminist fiction, P.O.W.ER.

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