Posted in Book Blast, excerpt, Fantasy, Giveaway, Spotlight, Trailer, Young Adult on March 28, 2015

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Pride by Rosie Somers

Seventeen-year-old Gabriella Pierce is used to taking care of herself, but she’s about to become responsible for a whole lot more. When she gets a visit from three men claiming to be defenders of fantastical rings imbued with the powers of THE CARDINAL SINS, her life is changed irrevocably.

Gabby is the steward of PRIDE

To make matters worse, she’s falling hard for fellow steward, Grant Barnett, and he hates her guts. Now Gabby has to learn to protect Pride without letting her feelings for Grant get in the way.
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Praise for the Book

Iola’s Christian Reads: “Pride is aimed at the YA market, and is the first in a planned series (presumably one for each of the seven deadly sins). It incorporates elements of other well-known YA series such as Harry Potter and Divergent, (an orphan who is the ‘chosen one’ fighting the forces of evil). It has that fast pace and addictive quality which makes it hard to put down.”

“…it was thrilling enough to grab my attention and I can’t wait to continue Gabby’s story in the next installment. Rosie Somers has made it to my Author’s to watch for list!”

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Excerpt

Copyright © Rosie Somers

Gabby

The man didn’t make a sound. He stood stock still for the span of one sharp, inhaled breath, then he crumpled to the floor. After assuring herself there was no one behind him, Gabby flipped her flashlight on and knelt to give the unconscious heap at her feet her full attention. Oh God, she’d killed him. She just knew it.

Save for green streaks coursing through his thick, black hair, and a spot of blood near his temple, there wasn’t any color on him. His clothes were black, his skin winter-pale. Everything about his appearance was smooth, lean, handsome—no feature out of place. Full lips, chiseled jaw, and strikingly thick eyelashes. He was pretty, for a boy. It all fit, even the green hair. And he was still breathing. She wasn’t a murderer.

Suddenly, a strong hand gripped her forearm, and the heavy flashlight was ripped from her grasp. Wrenching free from the iron grip, she tried to turn around as she stood. Instead, she fell backward over Pretty Boy, landing hard on her butt with her legs draped over his torso.

Gabby scrambled to her feet. The moment she was steady, she broke into a run, but only made it as far as the back door before arms like steel bands wrapped around her from behind, pinning her to a rock-solid chest. She couldn’t breathe.

“We’re not here to hurt you, Gabriella,” a deep voice murmured into her ear. As if to prove the honesty of his words, the man relaxed his hold just enough for her to breathe normally.

“Yeah, right.” And her foster dad had only wanted to give her a kiss goodnight—with his tongue. Gabby knew what men were like, and she was not about to be fooled by this one. “How do you know my name?”

“It’s a long story, but we’ve been lookin’ for ya for some time now.” He had an Irish accent.

“Who are you?”

He turned their bodies back toward the unconscious man across the room. Now another guy stood over Pretty Boy. He wasseveral years older, thirty maybe. His pale blond hair was short and, even from across the room, it was clear he was much taller than her.

As Vice Guy half-carried her to the other men, a muffled moan floated up to meet them, and the guy on the floor took great care disentangling lanky limbs to pull himself to a kneeling position. He rubbed the side of his head with one hand while he used the other to brace himself against the wall. The look Pretty Boy raked over Gabby as he got up made her cringe.

The guy still holding her spoke. “If I let ya go, will ya promise not to run? We’re not goin’ to hurt ya. We’re here because we need your help.”

She believed him. Maybe because, even though she’d just clobbered his friend, he hadn’t hurt her. She nodded and was immediately released.

She turned, but the guy behind her wasn’t the giant with superhuman strength she’d imagined. Her captor was probably only a couple of years older than her, with dark auburn hair and a hint of a dimple on his right cheek. Despite the seriousness of the situation, his bright blue eyes sparkled with interest, and the corners of his lips were turned up in an amused smile.

He didn’t take his gaze off her, even when he took several steps away. Instead, he stood arms crossed, feet planted apart. Poised to give chase if she fled. Running had crossed her mind, but something compelled her to stay at least long enough to hear what they had to say.

“Well …?” She prompted with a wave of her hand that clearly said, get on with it.

The blond man cleared his throat. “Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Andrew. This is Lucas.” He motioned toward the man who’d grabbed her, then to the one she’d knocked out. “And Grant.”

Grant’s eyes were narrowed. She shifted under his scrutiny and diverted her gaze.

Andrew whispered something in his ear, and Grant looked down at his feet. Andrew continued, “We need to go.”

They were there to abduct her. At the realization, panic rose in Gabby’s chest, choking her breath into shallow threads. She threw her hands up defensively and backed away with slow, shaky steps. “I’m not going anywhere with you.”

Andrew sighed. “You may not want to now, but you will when you find out why.”

“Then tell me.”

He checked his watch, then squared his shoulders in determination. “Have you ever heard of the seven deadly sins?”

Gabby snorted. “Who hasn’t?”

“I assume you don’t realize how serious they are. We’ve spent our lives protecting humanity from the temptations and you laugh at the mention of them?” Grant’s voice was deep and forceful.

He looked as though he would have continued scolding her, but Lucas uttered a soft “Dude” and shook his head. Grant snapped his mouth shut and raised a hand to rub the back of his neck.

Lucas picked up where Andrew left off. “Do ya know much abou’ the history of the sins?”

She’d only ever heard an Irish brogue on TV. His lilting tone was soothing.

He raised an eyebrow.

Oh, he’d asked a question. What was it? Ah yes, history of the sins. Gabby shook her head.

“In the latter half of the fourth century, a monk fled Constantinople to a small monastery in Egypt. There, he penned a list of eight sins which he referred to as the Temptations of Man: Pride, Avarice, Acedia, Gluttony, Impurity, Anger, Sadness, and Vainglory.”

He took a few steps back and leaned against the wall, then continued, “For two centuries, almost all of those not involved with that particular monastery thought the list of Temptations was nothing more than the opinion of one monk, a suggestion of how to lead a good Christian life. Then, sometime around five-ninety A.D., Pope Gregory the First came across a collection of rings tha’ had been housed by this monastic order in utter secrecy. They considered them so powerful only the handler was permitted near them, just one specific monk who devoted his life to ensurin’ no one else came into contact with the Temptations.”

“Listen guys, much as I appreciate the history lesson, I’ve got work in …”she made a show of checking her non-existent watch, “a few hours, so I really hope you’re getting to a point.” This earned her a leveling glare from Grant.

“Pope Gregory had the rings studied and discovered they were in fact imbued with special properties. It seemed they had the power to influence people toward certain … well … temptations,” Andrew replied.

What asylum had these guys broken out of? Did they actually believe this nonsense they were spouting? “Seriously, jewelry that makes people sin? Right.” Gabby moved to her bag and gathered her clothing, making sure to keep the men in her line of sight.

Lucas reached into his shirt and pulled out a chain. He slipped it free of his neck and dangled it from the tips of two fingers. Swinging like a pendulum at the bottom of that chain was a brilliant, red ring.

“What is that?” She already knew the answer.

Lucas took several slow steps in her direction and extended his arm toward her. She clenched her fists and bit down on her tongue to keep from yelling at the men. How dare they sneak into her makeshift home, intruding into her life, practically scaring her to death. Now, they were feeding her this absurd story about sin-possessed rings and crazy monks.

The closer he got, her anger went from muted seething to barely-contained rage. The more she thought about it, the more she wished she was still in possession of her Maglite so she could hit him with it, and maybe again after that. When Lucas was little more than five feet from her, he winked and reversed direction. With each step he took away from her, the violent feelings receded.

“Anger,” Gabby answered her own question.

“Anger,” Andrew affirmed. “Lucas is the steward. I’m the steward of Pride, Grant of Envy.”

Grant’s eyes narrowed at her, while Andrew pulled a matching chain from beneath his own T-shirt and let the attached orange ring fall to rest against his chest. Something about Andrew’s ring was different though. Sure, power emanated from it, too, but she wasn’t experiencing pride. This power was different. It tingled—almost like static electricity.

After slipping the chain back over his head and tucking it under his neckline, Lucas picked up his story from where he’d left off. “Each of the rings has the ability to influence people toward a particular sin. Pope Gregory discovered which ones led to which temptation and labeled them accordingly. As a result, the original list of temptations was amended. It came to be known as the seven deadly sins.”

That was why the list Lucas spouted earlier didn’t sound right.

“The rings didn’t create the sins, of course. They just have the power to promote that particular feeling or action. Each sin has two rings and two custodians.” Lucas was matter-of-fact.

“What, like a janitor?”

He shook his head, but didn’t otherwise acknowledge her interruption. “The stewards are bound to their particular ring, can sense it, can control its influence over others.”

“How come I’ve never heard of these … stewards?”

“We exist in secret. If the world knew about us and the sins, all hell would break loose. We are not equipped to deal with that,” Grant answered in a tone that clearly said she should already know the answer.

“I still don’t understand what any of this has to do with me.” Were they ever going to get to the point?

Lucas took a tentative step toward her. “You’re the other steward of Pride, Gabriella.”

 

 

About the Author

Rosie Somers is a YA author who lives in Florida, soaking up the year round sunshine. She can often be found in her favourite spot on her favourite beach, nose-deep in a good book.

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Posted in Cover Reveal, Giveaway, romance on March 28, 2015

Coming May 1, 2015 – Saving Marilee by Annette K. Larsen

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Saving Marilee by Annette K. Larsen

Marriage wasn’t bliss—not for Marilee. Instead of finding contentment with the handsome son of a sovereign duke, she found betrayal and neglect. And fear. A fear that finally lifts when her husband dies, freeing her from his domineering hand. But freedom alone can’t give her peace, and she must battle to regain her love for life, rebuild her happiness, and reclaim the ability to trust. When her charming neighbor intrudes on her quiet life, offering his friendship (and a dog, of all things), she must determine whether his interest is genuine, whether he is a friend or foe, and whether he deserves the fragile bit of trust she has managed to scrape together.

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AnnetteAbout the Author

I was born in Utah, part of a crazy, fun family of nine. I grew up in Flagstaff, AZ and St. Louis, MO before striking out on my own college adventure in Virginia. I decided to try my hand at writing novels after I was married and living in Idaho. I write clean romance because it’s my favorite genre, but often difficult to find.

I have Charlotte Brontë to thank for the courage to write novels. After being bombarded with assigned reading about women who justified abandoning either their families or their principles in the name of love, I had the great fortune of reading Jane Eyre. And that was it: finally, a heroine who understood that being moral and making the right choice was hard, and sometimes it hurt, but it was still worth it. After rereading it several years later, I realized that if I wanted more books to exist with the kinds of heroines I admired, then I might as well write a few myself. My books are about women who face hard choices, who face pain and rejection and often have to face the reality of sacrificing what they want for what is right. The consequences are often difficult or unpleasant, but in the end, doing what’s right will always be worth it.

I believe there is no substitute for good writing or good chocolate. Fortunately, one often leads to the other.

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$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

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Posted in 5 paws, Dystopian, Review, romance on March 27, 2015

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PRE-SENTS. . .

Shadows Have Gone

Book 3 of End of All Things Series

by Lissa Bryan

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Release Date: March 26 , 2015

Genre: FICTION / Dystopian/ Romance / General

ISBN e-book: 978-1-61213-375-1

Available from: Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and TWCS PH
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~~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 mili-tary. 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 bab-ble.
“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 agree-ment 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 gov-ernment, 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.”

~~REVIEW~~

What a great conclusion to this series! I don’t normally read dystopian but this book hooked me from the first one and hasn’t let me down yet.

I enjoy reading about how they are surviving, basically going back and using basic skills from the pioneers and mixed with some current knowledge. I’m not sure if I could do all this, but if my life depended on it I would definitely give it 110%.

There is one part near the end that made me sad but there was a twist to the story, in a good way but it makes you realize that maybe all hope is not lost for this world.

I enjoyed continuing with the personal story between Carly and Justin. I know they love each other buy man are they both stubborn and hard headed….almost to their own detriment.

We give this 5 paws up

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~~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~~

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Lissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olym-pic 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.

 

 

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Praise for Shadows Have Gone

“I laughed, I cried, I was gently amused, but what could I expect? Times are tough, no one is trustworthy and yet there is a sweet innocence about some characters that hit you right between the eyes; they are always so positive and wanting to see the best in others. Once again, Lissa Bryan has taken the handoff from a previous book and run with it at breakneck speeds with barely a misstep in sight!” – Dianne

Goodreads Review

 

~~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 sto-ry of their journey to find a place to begin a new life, and a home in each oth-er.

 

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 be-fore she was found by Carly, the retired dressage horse was known as Cloud. An unu-sual 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 5 paws, Cozy, mystery, Review on March 26, 2015

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Synopsis

If these walls could talk…they’d scream murder.

Alex Jordan, owner of Finials and Facades Renovation and Restoration Services, has been living her dream of restoring Victorian-style homes in the town of Danger Cove. But her recent acquisition of the stately Marlton House has led to a showdown with the town real estate mogul, and now she needs to restore the old house and flip it before time runs out. But Alex gets more than she bargained for when a Hawaiian shirt-clad tourist with a bullet in his head turns up in the home’s bathtub. Pairing up with unlikely partner and town florist, George Fontaine, Alex vows to solve the murder before her flip becomes a flop.

As Alex worries over deadlines, she stumbles across another body on the cliffs of Danger Cove. However, this “body” is a super-sexy man with amnesia…or so he says. Throw in a stash of stolen diamonds, a matchmaking grandmother, a foulmouthed parrot, and a mysterious killer with Alex in his sights, and Alex is in a race against the clock to salvage the job, solve the murder, and save her own life.

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Review

This cozy moves along pretty quickly…from finding the dead body, to the mystery at hand to solving the crime. There is a motley group of characters and some I liked and some I didn’t like…but that is what the authors set out out to do. After all you can’t like everyone!

I’m not sure how I feel about George’s character. He is holding a lot back, but perhaps he will loosen up. I’m not sure how I feel about the relationship between him and Alex, it seemed to move rather quickly because they have known each other for awhile (Alex picks up flowers for her grandmother each week from George) it seemed to move rather quickly.

There is a funny section involving bats!

I had no clue who the killer was going to be…it was definitely NOT someone on my radar.

We give it 5 paws up

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The Danger Cove books

Secret of the Painted Lady (a Danger Cove Renovation Mystery)
Murder and Mai Tais (a Danger Cove Cocktail Mystery)
Death by Scones (a Danger Cove Bakery Mystery)
Four-Patch of Trouble (a Danger Cove Quilting Mystery)
Deadly Dye and a Soy Chai (a Danger Cove Hair Salon Mystery)
Killer Closet Case (a Danger Cove B&B Mystery)

About Danger Cove

Danger Cove is a sleepy little town in the Pacific Northwest and home to renowned mystery novelist, Elizabeth Ashby. While Elizabeth swears the stories she writes are fiction, you can find the inspiration for her murderous tales all over Danger Cove…from the intriguing cast of local characters to the places to eat, play, and explore in Danger Cove. Don’t let our name fool you—we’re the friendliest (even if deadliest) town in the Pacific Northwest!
Visit us at dangercovemysteries.com

Posted in Blog tour, fiction, Spotlight, women on March 25, 2015

About the Book

A word, a single word defines a moment for Anne. She needs to find a new one when her spouse leaves her at the age of 47, coming out of the closet literally in a closet. She finds herself back in her hometown amongst her high school friends which she left behind in her past.

An inheritance from a friend leaves her with the means to meddle and spy on the lives of some of their mutual acquaintances. In an attempt to run from her reality Anne gets engrossed in a game of “fun” and “flirtation” with her friend and fellow sufferer Connie at her side. Anne however did not read all the files and what to her is fun games turns into a deadly reality. It is no longer a game.

Life, death and not even a defining word can stop the reality of manipulation.

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Character Sketches

The characters in Defined by Others are predominantly women. They are all flawed and for the most part very superficial. Some of their flaws are surprising and others are logical. 

I chose women born in the year 1965, I did this to work with a play on Chinese Astrology.  I made them 47 years old as the book takes place in 2012, one of the characteristics of female snakes according to Chinese Astrology is that they are all very beautiful.

I wanted characters that were superficial and very worried about their physique and how others see them; thus being defined by the opinions of others.

The women have a connection as teens from growing up in the same affluent town in the American Northeast. The story is fueled by who they are at 47 and who they were at 17.

ANNE is one of the main characters and the story is told from her point of view, in her voice. She is fluent in many languages and loves words. She likes to define every moment with just one word. Her husband recently left her, and he left her broken and confused. Divorce is hard at any age, but divorce because the man you shared almost two decades with realizes he is gay must be brutal

Anne has a nice side, she is forgiving of her husband, she tries to get into his skin and appreciate that his confusion, she is still however so confused and vulnerable that when life presents her with a way to make other’s suffer as she has, she is pretty quick to grab it.

She has adolescent twins, she is however a very detached parent, as the story evolves she identifies that she continued the family pattern with which she was raised.

In the course of the story she has to make numerous life changing decisions. Anne is in a journey of self-discovery and she has likable and dark traits.

CONNIE is also a main character, she is curiously linked to Anne because her respective husbands have fallen for each other and left them. Connie has been carrying the pain and confusion longer than Anne. She is broken and lonely and in Anne she sees the possibility of a friend, ally or at the very least fellow sufferer.

Like Anne she does not blame the man who left her, and respects that as the father of her children, she needs to wish him nothing but the very best.

She loves to nurture and to cook. She goes completely against her nurturing nature as the story evolves, because she is so hurt, confused and unbalanced.

As much as Connie chooses to also manipulate those she sees as her foes, there is a very tender and likable side to Connie. She loves her children very deeply and is very lost when the main focus of her life changes; she was born to be the quintessential mom.

AMANDA is dead, during the entire story-line she manipulates with her legacy from the very grave. She was ravaged by an illness that magnified her negative traits, and if the other characters are to be believed there was nothing positive about Amanda.

As the story progresses I do give Amanda a background a reason to be so dark, I did so because otherwise the character would be too flat or cartoon like as an image of pure evil.

During her illness she devices away to be cruel and most involved with the women in her past and present. Upon her death (not a spoiler this is the opening of the book) she leaves her “game” to Anne, it is a game of manipulation and deceit through social media.

ALLISON is mean, she identified as Amanda’s mean girl side-kick but she too is a victim of the manipulation game. I have had readers contact me, and it is indeed Allison they seem to dislike the most, I did not feel a need to give her as much depth or an excuse for her nastiness, as she is a secondary character. I just wanted to show that although she is vulnerable, she is also a natural leader.

She is clever and assumes she is far cleverer than she really is. As I wrote Defined by Others I did want Allison to be a sort of live walking continuum to Amanda’s nasty side.

PETER is the only male in the story who is very present, the husbands are in the sidelines. Peter is a lawyer, he connects with Anne at the beginning of the book as Amanda’s lawyer. 

He is kind and understanding, he falls for Anne and he falls hard, he is also divorced and as such looking for a new way to fit in. He is not privy to Anne and Connie’s machinations, but he does suspect they are up to no good.

I wanted Peter to be a very easy man to love, intelligent, successful, and vulnerable. I had to make him vulnerable by having his ex drop him in a cruel and hurtful way. I made him Amanda’s reluctant lawyer so that he would be aware that Anne had inherited something odd and questionable from Amanda, I did not want to turn him into a detective, he needed some level of awareness to make him believable. 

I also had him fall in love with Anne, but fall in love with Connie’s cooking and thus forming a strong bond with both women.

MRS. G. (Anne’s mother) is a character that is as much represented by her dialogue and appearances throughout the story as she is by her “secret room”. Mrs. G. was a liberal adventuresome lady who is also defined by others, and as such she pretends to be as conservative as those who surround her world.

She has a special room, full of New Age Books and other secrets, she is as such very present throughout the story.

About the Author

M.C.V. Egan is the pen name chosen by Maria Catalina Vergara Egan the author of The Bridge of Deaths and Defined by Others. Catalina is originally from Mexico City, Mexico. She has lived in France, Sweden and various parts of the U.S.A.

She has called South Florida her home for the last twenty-five years; she is a writer, a mother a wife and a pretty good cook.

Her first book The Bridge of Deaths is available in two different versions, her book Defined by Others is the first in a series Defining Ways exploring what makes us flawed and human.

Book two Climbing Up The Family Tree; Defined by Pedigree will be released in November 2015.

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Posted in Cover Reveal, romance on March 25, 2015

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Two Princes

 

Title:  Two Princes: The Biker and The Billionaire
Author: Victoria Danann
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher:  dba7th House Publishing, Imprint of Andromeda LLC
Publication Date: June 16, 2015

Synopsis

Brigid Roan is a graduate student at the University of Texas. She had no trouble getting her thesis approved, but finding a Hill Country motorcycle club willing to give her access to their lifestyle had started to seem impossible. Then she got a lead. A friend of a friend had a cousin with ties to The Sons of Sanctuary.

What she wanted was information to prove a proposition. What she didn’t want was to fall for one of the members of the club. Especially since she had set out to prove that motorcycle clubs are organized according to the same structure as primitive tribal society.

Brash Fornight was standing in line at the H.E.B. Market when his world tipped on its axis. While waiting his turn to check out, his gaze had wandered to the magazine display and settled on the new issue of “NOW”. The image on the cover, although GQ’d up in an insanely urbane way, was… him.

After reading the article, Brash threw some stuff in a duffle and left his club, The Sons of Sanctuary, with a vague explanation about needing a couple of days away. He left his Jeep at the Austin airport and caught a plane for New York, on a mission to find the guy who was walking around with his face.

Two brothers, one a player, one a playboy, are on a collision course with destiny and a woman who thought she won a prize when she was allowed a look inside the Sons of Sanctuary MC.

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About the Author

Victoria DanannVictoria Danann is the USA TODAY Bestselling Author of The Knights of Black Swan, which has won BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE SERIES TWO YEARS IN A ROW (2013, 2014). Reviewers Choice Awards, The Paranormal Romance Guild.

Victoria writes cross-genre with uniquely fresh perspectives on paranormal creatures, characters, and themes. She is making her debut into contemporary romance with publication of the SUMMER FIRE ultimate romance collection anthology. It contains a novella intro to the Sons of Sanctuary MC series. The first full novel of the series will be released June 16, 2015.

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Posted in Dystopian, Science Fiction, Spotlight on March 24, 2015

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TitleOur Dried Voices
Author
: Greg Hickey
Publisher: Scribe Publishing Company
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
Pages: 234
ISBN: 978-1940368931
Genre: Dystopian / Science Fiction

Synopsis

In 2153, cancer was cured. In 2189, AIDS. And in 2235, the last members of the human race traveled to a far distant planet called Pearl to begin the next chapter of humanity. Several hundred years after their arrival, the remainder of humanity lives in a utopian colony in which every want is satisfied automatically, and there is no need for human labor, struggle or thought. But when the machines that regulate the colony begin to malfunction, the colonists are faced with a test for the first time in their existence. With the lives of the colonists at stake, it is left to a young man named Samuel to repair these breakdowns and save the colony. Aided by his friend Penny, Samuel rises to meet each challenge. But he soon discovers a mysterious group of people behind each of these problems, and he must somehow find and defeat these saboteurs in order to rescue his colony.

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Excerpt

I

The sound of the bells echoed across the colony. They sounded five times, and by the end of the fifth peal everyone had stopped what they were doing and started to walk toward the nearest source of the noise. The bells had a tinny, hollow sound to them. To be sure, it was unmistakably the sound of bells, but it lacked that rich, thunderous, rolling swell once heard in passing by an old church at the top of the hour. Instead, it was as though the sound of real bells had been recorded and re-recorded ad infinitum until only bell-like sounds now remained.

The bells called the people to the midday meal. All across the lush meadow, the colonists fell into a kind of reverie. Moments earlier, they had been romping through the meadow or splashing in the river with the joyful abandon of children, while others napped blissfully at the base of a modest hill or fornicated with some momentary lover in the shade of a spreading tree. But now their innocent laughter, their hushed excited voices, their intermittent shrieks of pleasure all ceased for an instant as they moved as one toward the sound of the bells. As soon as the fifth toll had faded in the air, the human noise resumed as though it had never been silenced. The colonists walked eagerly but unhurriedly, small, hairless, brown-skinned people, all barefooted and dressed in simple, cream-colored smocks.

The bell sounds came from the seven meal halls spread throughout the colony—long, tall, rectangular buildings erected from the black, craggy rock characteristic of the mountains of Pearl, now smoothed down and cut into bricks and painted a soothing off-white. Another smaller building abutted one end of each meal hall. Their wan stone façades matched those of the larger halls and there were no discernible entryways in their solid exteriors.

As the colonists entered each meal hall, they lined up along the right-hand wall to wait for their food. The walls were painted a pale sky blue, and on the far wall was a small square hole. One by one, each diner stepped forward in line, a small, red light above the hole flashed, a short clicking and whirring noise sounded and then a round, firm, dark brown cake appeared at the edge of the opening. One by one, each colonist took the proffered meal cake and carried it over to one of the many wooden tables or out into the meadow.

Near the front of the line at one hall, a male colonist turned to face the man behind him.

“Hellohoweryou?” said the first man.

“Goodthankshoweryou?” replied the second man.

“Goodthankshoweryou?”

“Goodthankshoweryou?”

The two men stared blankly at each other for a moment. Then the first man blinked and said “Goodweathertoday.”

The second bobbed his head and grinned. “Betterenyesterday.”

They continued to gaze at each other with vapid expressions until the first man turned around and stepped forward in line. The two men were right. It was Tuesday. It rained on Mondays. And thanks to the colony’s weather modification system, it had rained every Monday, and only on Monday, for hundreds of years.

***

When about half the colonists at this particular meal hall had received their food, an adult woman moved to the front of the line. A young boy, no taller than her waist, stood behind her. The woman stepped up to the wall, the red light above the hole flashed… and nothing happened. There was no clicking, no whirring, and no meal cake emerged from the hole in the milky blue wall. Some people a few places behind the first woman, by now so accustomed to the regular pace of the line, stepped forward in anticipation of her taking the food and continuing on. When the line did not move, they bumped awkwardly into the colonists in front of them, very much surprised that there should be a fleshy, breathing, human body in their path instead of empty space. Those closest to the front of the line fell silent when they saw the woman had not yet received her meal, and then the silence spread evenly and rhythmically down the line, like a row of pillowed dominoes falling to the floor. Yet all the colonists continued to wear the same insipid half-grin on their faces as they waited patiently for the food to be dispensed and the line to creep forward once more.

A long, loud, whining shriek from the young boy waiting with his mother at the front of the line broke through the stillness, and it was this sound, not the actual interruption of the food service, which seemed to have the greatest effect on those in the hall. The boy did not cry. He shed no tears, and the sound which emerged from his mouth was not a breathless and choked sobbing, or even the petulant howl of a child’s tantrum. It was a primal, animal moan that rose from the depths of his unfilled stomach, rushed up his throat with a cold and persistent ferocity and forced its way over his teeth, throwing his head back as it broke from his lips. No one tried to comfort the boy. His mother did not even turn around to look at him. Her weak smile faded, but she continued to stare at the dark hole in the wall, still waiting for her meal to appear. Then a child some dozen places back in the line picked up the boy’s howl, and then a woman farther behind did the same. Soon the entire line was wailing loudly.

Those colonists who had already received their meals hunkered over their cakes and stuffed their last bites into their mouths. One of them stood up, bumping hard into his table. The rest followed. They walked hurriedly to the door, brushing past the onlookers from outside who had gathered to see what all the noise was about. Those still in line stared dazedly at the others around them, at the now half-empty hall, an incipient question forming somewhere deep in their skulls.

A man in the middle of the line broke their unsteady ranks first. He ran, stumbling over tables and chairs bolted to the floor in his maddened dash toward the doorway. The rest of the line scattered in his wake. Out through the door they went, cracking bony limbs on the wooden furniture in their paths, pushing and trampling one another as they all tried to force their way through the doorway at once, like blood cells pumped through a clotted artery.

Those who had already finished their meals stood outside in a loose ring several meters away from the entrance of the food hall, and as the wild runners pushed their way through the door, they began to run as well, picking up the wail of the unfed as they went. They ran in no particular direction, a single mass exodus from the hall, teeming out across the gay green meadows, up and over the soft, undulating hills, and their cries rippled throughout the once-peaceful fields to fill the void left by the cessation of the bells with a sound far more vibrant than those stale chimes which had just called them to their uneaten meal.

About the Author

Greg HickeyGreg Hickey was born in Evanston, Illinois in 1985. After graduating from Pomona College in 2008, he played and coached baseball in Sweden and South Africa. He is now a forensic scientist, endurance athlete and award-winning writer. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Lindsay.

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Posted in 4 paws, chick lit, Review on March 23, 2015

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The Breakup Doctor Is Back in Session

Brook Ogden has never encountered a broken heart she couldn’t patch together. Her counseling practice as the Breakup Doctor—on call to help you shape up after a breakup—is so busy she’s expanded to offer group sessions. (Turns out there are far more than fifty ways to leave your lover.) Her radio show and advice column have made her a local celebrity, and even her personal life, after some gruesome breakups of her own, is in recovery: Ben Garrett started out as a revenge date against an ex, but has turned into so much more.

But when sizzling-hot Chip Santana, an old client she once shared a rather unprofessional midnight roll in the sand with, comes back into her life asking for her help, Brook can’t say no. Yet while she’s busy stitching up his relationship troubles, Chip reveals much more than a therapeutic interest in her.

In the standoff between her heart and her hormones, Brook’s cool, collected Wise Therapist persona begins to crack like thrown wedding china. She’s yelling at recalcitrant cheating husbands. Offering crazy advice to radio callers. She’s even hugging her clients.

When the situation goes critical, Brook’s forced into a decision she isn’t ready to make—and the Breakup Doctor has to decide what kind of casualties she’s willing to accept.

What reviewers had to say about The Breakup Doctor (#1):

“A heartwarming and funny story about friendship, romance, and the heart-wrenching reality of breakups—while busting out some spot-on dating advice along the way.” Liz Tuccillo, Executive Story Editor of HBO’s Emmy Award-Winning Series Sex and the City and coauthor of He’s Just Not That into You

“A charming and funny novel that you won’t be able to put down.”—Austin Woman magazine

“Fox doesn’t just know how to write clearly and powerfully…she has real insight into relationships…a laugh-out-loud read. Fox has a real winner here.”—Scene magazine

“The Breakup Doctor is packed with entertaining, good advice.”—Donna Barnes, relationship coach and author of Giving Up Junk-food Relationships, and founder of the Donna Barnes dating network

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Review

This is the follow up to The Breakup Doctor which came out last year. There are several return characters which rounds out the story nicely.

This book continues Brook’s new practice as the “Breakup Doctor”. She starts a support group with a motley group of individuals that add some humor to the story. Brook may be helping them but her life is a shambles and sometimes the doctor can’t fix themselves. She has to learn how to trust herself and not worry about the past. She has to figure out what she wants from her love life.

I enjoyed this continuation in the series. There are lots of funny spots, especially when you put Sasha and Stu into the situation. A girl has to have a BFF and Sasha is it. Of course Brook doesn’t want to hear about the intimate side since Stu is her brother.

The book leaves it where there needs to be another book to find out if Brook learned anything in this book. Can’t wait to see how the author resolves Brook’s love life!

We give this 4 paws up and if you read the first book (see my review here) then you need to continue the series.  If you haven’t read the first book, you need to start!

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About the Author

Phoebe Fox has been a contributor and regular columnist for a number of national, regional, and local publications; a movie, theater, and book reviewer; a screenwriter; and has even been known to help with homework revisions for nieces and nephews. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two excellent dogs.

 

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Posted in Book Blast, excerpt, Giveaway, Young Adult on March 21, 2015

 

Numbers Game

Numbers Game by Rebecca Rode

Treena is nervous for Rating Day. A single number will brand her forever—a valuable citizen, or a pathetic waste of space. Her top-Rated boyfriend is confident their scores will coincide so they can attend the academy together. But when the big day arrives, her true number shocks everyone.

To get her life—and boyfriend—back, she must go undercover and expose a military spy. Doesn’t sound too hard, except that someone wants her dead. And then there’s Vance, the mysterious soldier with a haunted past and beautiful brown eyes. Together, they discover a dark numbers conspiracy, one that shatters the nation’s future. Treena must join up with Vance if she is to survive the dangerous game of numbers—and the terrible war that rages within her heart.

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Excerpt

“Your Rating is wrong,” Vance said. “Their precious Rating system says absolutely nothing about you and what you’re capable of.”

I shook my head. “So far, everything I’ve done has proven my number absolutely correct.”

“Treena.” His tone softened. “I don’t know why you that happened to you. But I do know one thing.” He stopped on the step below me, and I whirled to face him. We were the same height now, and his expression was fierce. “You are the most loyal, the most determined, and the most fascinating girl I’ve ever met. No number could ever describe you.”

The deadness inside cracked, and the pain came flooding back. I felt like a five-year-old again. Falling, grasping for a handhold, for something to save me. “It doesn’t matter now. Tali’s dead.”

He gave me a long look. Then he sat down, right on the steps, easing me down next to him. I lay my head on his shoulder and let him pull me close. The warmth of his embrace felt completely and utterly right. For a long moment, I allowed myself to forget about the past few days. There was no empress, no punishment mode, and no mission. There was just us. The world was cool and dark, and his touch sent my heart pumping as if it had just awakened from hibernation.

“Dying isn’t the worst thing to happen to someone,” he continued thoughtfully. “Anyone coward can die. The hardest thing is being left behind, trying to make sense of a world without them.”

I tilted my head back and allowed myself to look up into Vance’s eyes. They were dark, pulling, as if absorbing all the light that entered, saving it for some future purpose. His eyebrows were choppy, untrimmed, and his lips chapped. But somehow, it worked. It was simply . . . him. No surgeries, no tallies of volunteer hours and checklists. Vance just took life one day at a time, keeping his family safe, trying to put the pieces of himself back together. I could see it, the pain in his heart. It was something we shared now.

A warm feeling spread through my chest until I thought it would burst. This was who he really was. The tumultuous battle within him seemed to have trickled away, leaving one gallant, vulnerable boy. A boy who was looking at me as if I were something precious—who looked at me, instead of at my Rating. His eyes flitted between mine, his confidence replaced with uncertainty.

“It feels good to finally choose sides, doesn’t it?”

“Whose side are you on, then?”

His chin was just above mine, and he lowered it until our eyes were level. Then his hand tilted my chin upward toward his. His fingers brushed the side of my face, cradling it gently in his firm hand. I felt his breath on my face, felt the battle within him as well as I felt it in myself. But something pulled me toward him.

“Yours,” he said. He closed the distance between us, slowly, then paused.

And our lips met.

 

Praise for the Book

“Gripping, from beginning to end . . . a tale as action-packed as Divergent yet as introspective as The Giver. . . . Sure to be an instant classic in the genre.” –R.J. Craddock, author of The Children of Cain series

“Fluent and engaging . . . brimming with fabulous characters and intrigue that will keep you flipping pages. Can’t wait to read the next book in this series!” –Adrienne Monson, author of the Blood Inheritance trilogy

“Had me hooked from the first page to the last . . . Thoroughly enjoyable. I highly recommend!” -Randy Roberts, BoredShorts TV (Kid History/Kid Snippets)

 

rebecca rAbout the Author

REBECCA RODE is an award-winning author and journalist. She is the author of the inspirational book, How to Have Peace When You’re Falling to Pieces, and writes for Deseret News, KSL.com, FamilyShare, and Provo Daily Herald. However, her true love is writing for teenagers. She enjoys playing with her four children, traveling, reading, and martial arts, and she has a ridiculous addiction to her husband’s chocolate-banana shakes.

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$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/9/15

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 4 paws, chick lit, Giveaway, Review, women on March 20, 2015

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Newbie by Jo Noelle

The housing market is crashing, and Sophie’s life is crashing with it. At twenty-four, her successful real estate career evaporates. She’s broke, can’t find a job, or pay her bills, leaving Sophie wondering how her successful lifestyle became so fragile.

At the urging of her roommate, Sophie accepts a job in her fallback career—teaching six-year-olds. She hopes it’s temporary. After all, how long can a tanking economy last anyway? The best part of the new job is Liam, another employee at Rio Grande Elementary. The worst part of the new job is, well, teaching.

Sophie has a surprise real estate closing from a contract she wrote months ago, leading her to a niche in the real estate market and to a new partner, Kevin. Sophie must choose between Liam or Kevin and between a lucrative career or recess duty.

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Excerpt

We get started a little late because of the interview/photo op in the hallway for the scrapbooking moms. Good thing I look fab. I introduce myself and write my name on the board—Miss Kanakaredes.

One girl yells, “You wrote Keslee, like my sister. See the K?” She rushes the board and jumps to point to the K. I turn her back toward her seat and begin to open my mouth, but another student quickly pipes up. “I can make a K, all by myself.” Comments popcorn from around the room.

“Is your name really Candy?”

“Our teacher last year gave us candy to be good when the principal came to our class.”

“I had Mrs. Thomas last year.”

“I didn’t go to this school last year.”

It seems every child in the room is telling a story or calling out some random thought. Is this what the first day of school is like? Are there are thirty rooms in this building all in complete mayhem? Do the children know that they could easily mutiny and take control of the school? When I did my student teaching, the children seemed cooperative for much of the day. What is going on here?

“Did you know my mom went to this school?”

“My mom is a teacher too. She says she has a bum deal this year.”

“We aren’t supposed to say ‘bum.’”

“It’s okay to say ‘bum’. That’s not the B-word.”

“The B-word is butt.”

Amazed at how quickly the conversation has gone astray, I hold up my hand and “shh” the class. “If you’re listening touch your head.” I touch my head, and a couple of students follow. “If you’re listening, touch your cheeks.” I have just about everyone now. “If you’re listening, touch your elbows.” I finally have all the students looking at me again. Oh, thank goodness that worked. We’ll have to practice the hand-raising thing.

Review

What a funny and sweet story! I think I could relate to the book because my hubby is in real estate and I have several siblings and friends that are teachers…so I understand what she was going through as a new teacher!

I liked the blog excerpts throughout the story, really added to the story and her situation. I like that the relationships with her friends were real, not everything was roses and champagne. The relationship with Liam has some rocky patches and it was actually refreshing in several spots – how he felt about intimate relationships for example. Of course you have to throw in another guy for some friction/tension in the story. I didn’t really like Kevin, seemed a little slimey!

Overall a good story and worth reading, we give it 4 paws up

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Praise for Newbie

Loved this story. I thought it was crisp and funny. Sophie has a great character arch as she goes from the Real Estate world to a classroom of 1st graders. Love Liam. He is a nice breath of fresh air. He and Sophie’s interactions kept me laughing and wanting more. I HIGHLY recommend this novel! ~ Author Sherry Gammon

In recent years I’ve become addicted to Sophie Kinsella’s books. This book reminded me of hers, only cleaner, which I appreciated! It was sweet and witty. Definitely had me laughing out loud. Loved the ending :) ~Goodreads Review

I loved this book! I especially have a tender spot for books with children in them and this story about Sophie being “forced” to teach when the real estate market does so poorly captured my heart. The characters were warm and lovable, the story was fun and I enjoyed every minute of the book. ~Phyllis

I loved NEWBIE. Sophie’s inner thoughts are a delight. She just makes me smile. Her journey as a newbie teacher is real and touching. ~Donna Weaver

 

Jo NoelleAbout the Author

Jo Noelle grew up in Colorado and Utah but also spent time in Idaho and California. She has two adult children and three small kids. She teaches teachers and students about reading and writing, grows freakishly large tomatoes, enjoys cooking especially for desserts, builds furniture, sews beautiful dresses, and likes to go hiking in the nearby mountains. Oh, and by the way, she’s two people—

Canda Mortensen and Deanna Henderson, a mother/daughter writing team.

They began writing separately several years ago but found the process much more fun when they started collaborating. They are debut authors, with Lexi’s Pathetic Fictional Love Life as their first completed work. Other titles include Newbie and Damnation.

Deanna attended college before marrying and starting her family.

Canda received a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a Reading Specialist endorsement, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Her day job focuses on teaching teachers and children about literacy.

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$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 4/6/15

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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