Posted in Book Release, excerpt, Fantasy, Giveaway, Urban, Young Adult on June 12, 2017

Title: Scythe of Darkness

Author: Dawn Husted

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Release Day: June 13, 2017

Synopsis

For Mia Hieskety, surviving high school meant focusing on exams and attending the occasional party. After breaking up with her boyfriend, who she didn’t even like, dating was off the agenda. That is, until Thanatos came along.

Mia finds herself lured by the mysterious new student with two-toned eyes. Determined to find out who Thanatos is, what he is, and why he seems so interested in her, she accompanies him to his home where a sinister world awaits.

Discovering the truth, a supernatural connection that intertwines with her past, Mia’s life is at risk—and she doesn’t know who to trust.

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Excerpt

The compulsion to find him made me slightly crazy.

My knees shook, vibrating my full-size bed; my headboard tapped the wall like Morse code. Restlessness overtook my feet. I wished my parents would leave already.

The same moment I tossed another knife, a knock jolted the door. “Mia, we’re going. Sure you don’t want to come? Fresh air,” my mom urged in her counselor voice, an unfortunate result from all the years as adviser at my little brother’s school.

I flung my third knife, whipping it next to the others. Knife throwing calmed my nerves, and mine were buzzing like phones during study hall. Adding to my angst, the anniversary of my kidnapping loomed around the corner.

I slid off the bed, and breathed in a steady breath before opening the door. She flashed a toothy grin, trying to hide the meaning behind her inquiry. I knew what she wasn’t saying: not accompanying them to the county fair was out of character. “Are you feeling okay? Is this about Trip?”

Trip and I broke up last week, but I wasn’t thinking about him in the slightest.

“Mom, really. I’ve a ton of homework … a chemistry test, never mind the essay.” Only eight months left of my junior year. I’d filled out Berkeley’s mandatory questionnaire last week, but the essay portion remained unfinished.

I avoided her eyes. She was good at telling when I was lying. I needed to move, not look her in the face. I stepped from view and plucked the scarlet handles out of the bullseye, one by one. I didn’t want her to think I was up to something. My unusual talent had left a few painted-over scars in the door.

Mom slipped her face further around the side, and squinted as if trying to read my thoughts. Thick dark-brown strands of hair slid over her bronze shoulder. My hair was cursed with no thickness whatsoever, but had instead acquired my dad’s double cowlick. “All right. Love you, Mia,” she replied, then gave me a kiss on the forehead, probably hoping I would change my mind, and left.

I heaved a sigh of relief.

If I went with my family to the fair and ran into him again, my mom would surely be watching over my shoulder, making the interaction doubly weird. She had this uncanny ability to wiggle herself into my measly social life whenever possible.

A little voice in the back of my head—not an actual voice, but something—like a mental itch I couldn’t scratch—compelled me to find Eye Guy. And what better place than at the fair, the same place I first ran into him two days ago? The day I’d smashed a basket of nachos all over his shirt by accident. Did I know him somehow?

Eye Guy wasn’t from my school; I would’ve seen him in the halls. Who was he? He had two different-colored eyes—heterochromia iridium—which was why I dubbed him, Eye Guy.

I snatched my backpack off the round chair in the corner of my room, stuffed my chem book inside, plus the binoculars and the camera Uncle Shawn had given me.

My eyes slid shut and I listened for the sound of the front door closing.

Wham.

Scurrying over to my window, I watched the three of them walk toward the street. My eight-year-old brother, Bennie, yanked back-and-forth on my parents’ hands toward a waiting car. They were catching a ride with neighbors.

With a lightness in my chest, my pulse raced. It was now or never.

I rushed down the stairs two at a time. The aroma of popcorn wafted past my nose, as I swung off the mahogany banister and darted into the kitchen for a little to-go snack, and then out into the garage to grab my bike.

Old boxes of memories lined the edges of the bay, allowing just enough space for our only vehicle. I inched in between the hood of the old van, squishing a box with my butt, me popping out the other end. The bike was important; I needed a faster mode of transportation so I could hustle home before my parents returned.

I glided down Ponderosa, the uneven pavement vibrating from my seat all the way up to my neck, and turned left onto Birmingham—a roundabout way to bypass my parents. Beneath an old bridge, homeless huddled in the dark corners; a few stragglers glared at the lights and sounds singing in the distance, blocks away.

The top of the water tower dotted the sky, beyond the overgrown trees and shingled roofs. The sun clung to life in the clouds, streams of lavender highlighting the horizon.

I peddled faster.

Ten minutes later, I arrived at the water tower. A white sign with red letters warned KEEP OUT along the fence. I looped my fingers through the chain-links and whipped my head side-to-side. People weren’t allowed on government property. But being that I was only seventeen, obtaining a mark on my record for breaking and entering wasn’t as big of a deal.

The weight of my bike became heavier the higher I lifted; the aluminum frame fumbled from my grasp, slamming the wheels to the ground on the other side.

Now it was my turn.

Plop.

I stood at the bottom, gazing up. A shoulder-width ladder looped from the concrete to a narrow balcony that rounded the center of the bulbous top. The water tower looked like an upside-down ear syringe. The red bold letters painted around the tank had begun to fade, but I could still make out the city name: Gaige, Texas.

I halted mid-step. The feeling of a hundred butterflies fluttering down my chest gathered in the pit of my stomach. I lurched forward, gripping the metal ladder for support. The butterflies metamorphosed into thundering dragonflies, their wings beating against my insides.

I squeezed the ladder, my nails digging into my palms. Why had the sudden pain erupted? I wanted it to stop!

The little voice in the back of my head told me to climb. Logically, it didn’t make sense, but somehow, I knew Eye Guy couldn’t be too far away. The right side of my brain advised me of the odds of spotting some random stranger in the chaotic mass of the fair. But I had to try.

I climbed through the pain, finding it hard to breathe.

At the top, I fell over onto the balcony.

The dragonflies in my stomach fluttered away. What was happening?

Breathing in, I shucked off my backpack and grabbed the binoculars. Immediately, I began searching the enormous, far-off crowd. Drums thundered from the streets filled with thousands, and voices clamored into the distance. Triangular tangelo flags waved. Flashes of blue lights glimmered sporadically above the sea of heads. A band’s music boomed from the stage, and the whine of guitars faded in the background.

I reached for the popcorn, remaining fixated on the hordes of people. I stuffed a handful in my mouth without looking away.

A magnetic-like pull, stronger than before, honed my focus to the outer edge of the fair.

Ten heartbeats later, I spotted him; for the first time luck was on my side.

Near the outside, behind the Pig Race tent and in front of the Mirror of Mazes, Eye Guy walked slowly through a group of girls sporting short shorts and spaghetti strap shirts. I watched him in reverence as he squeezed through. He wore a long-sleeve plaid shirt and black gloves, just like two days ago.

Why would he dress so warmly? It was September.

But, I had to admit, he pulled it off. My eyes locked on his back as he meandered through the mass. I tossed another handful of popcorn in my mouth then dropped the binoculars and snapped a few photos. My hands shook, making it hard for the camera to focus. Calm down Mia.

I grabbed the binoculars again and zeroed in. The range of vision was as if I was standing right next to him.

He halted mid-step to chat with a tall blond in a red leathery outfit, a girl as unique and pretty as him but with a body much curvier than mine. Her heels matched her flashy wardrobe, and the dark eyeliner that mapped the outside of her eyes resembled that of a rabid raccoon. My toes wiggled against my rubbery flip-flops.

It was apparent Eye Guy and she knew one another by the way they stood inches apart—he with his arms crossed. I narrowed my eyes. The girl’s hand remained poised on her hip as she scanned the crowd; her serious expression left an unpleasant taste in my mouth. Then his eyes narrowed in midst of their conversation. He unfolded his arms as a group of scrawny kids my brother’s age bounced into a trashcan, toppling it over, spilling rotten contents out next to his boots.

His attention turned back to the girl. Her lips moved too fast for me to make a measly attempt at trying to read them—especially since I lacked skills in that department. But the manner in which his lips pressed together as his square chin jutted downward, one word stood out: Mia.

Unless he said ‘me’ and not ‘Mia.’

The binoculars thudded against my chest, and I froze. Had I seen that correctly? Did he really say my name?

“Of course not.” Many words could appear to look like my name: many, milli, mile, melon if the -lon was left off. Maybe they were simply discussing dinner plans, or whatever other hundred things that I hadn’t thought about. I bet he didn’t have a clue who I was. How would he?

I raised the binoculars back up slowly.

The second I found him again, his face snapped upward—up into the shadows where I was hiding; I jerked back, my hands lost grip and the binoculars slipped from my grasp, whacking the railing.

Was I seeing things?

I grabbed the binoculars and looked again, but he was gone. The girl too. I swam over every head, every face, but he was gone.

And just like that, the magnetic pull faded.

About the Author

Dawn Husted is the author of Scythe of Darkness, a YA urban fantasy novel. She graduated with a BS from Texas A&M University. When not writing, she’s either camping or dreaming about camping. She’s a member of SCBWI, and lives in southern Texas with her husband and two kids.

Her romanticism of the supernatural is well-crafted in Scythe of Darkness. This gripping YA weaves fate and destiny in a new unsuspecting way.

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Posted in Fantasy, Sale, Young Adult on May 30, 2017

Hamelin Stoop: The Lost Princess and the Jewel of Periluna

Synopsis

Hamelin finally makes it across the footbridge only to learn that his quest to find his parents and learn his true identity will not be quickly done or easy to fulfill. The Great Eagle leads him through the dangerous Waters of Death and Life and into the Land of Gloaming, where Hamelin is thrown into the midst of a war already being waged between the evil Chimera and the mysterious Ancient One. He must help two new friends find a kidnapped princess and recover a stolen jewel, tasks for which they have special gifts that must not be misused: a scarf of sight, shoes of speed, and a sword of death. But these quests are only part of the larger story, a story including Chimera’s plan to use Hamelin—a child of two realms—to seize the kingdoms on both sides of the Atrium of the Worlds.

**This book is just $0.99 May 30th and 31st (today and tomorrow) so don’t wait on picking up your copy!  And don’t forget to get book 1 in the series, it was free yesterday and might still be today**

About the Author

Robert B. Sloan is known for his leadership in higher education, public speaking and non-fiction writings. He has been a professor, minister, Little League coach, small business owner, school board trustee and chairman, chairman of the board of an NYSE company, and a university president for over 20 years.

Robert is a native Texan, but has enjoyed living in New Jersey, England, and Germany while finishing his doctorate in Switzerland. He is married to his college sweetheart, Sue, and they have seven married children and 20 grandchildren, nine and under. They enjoy large family gatherings, which include good food and lively conversation, games, and storytelling.

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Posted in excerpt, Fantasy, Young Adult on May 29, 2017

Hamelin Stoop: The Eagle, the Cave, and the Footbridge

Synopsis

Afraid of being caught by trackers from another world, a young mother abandons her baby boy in a tomato box inside the screened porch of a children’s home. The staff at the orphanage name him HamelinStoop, but he grows up longing to learn his real name, find his parents, and thus discover his true identity.

Life is not easy for Hamelin. He belongs to everyone, though in some ways to no one fully. And the people he is closest to leave him one by one. A letter from an older friend advises Hamelin to “keep waiting and keep hoping.” Bitter experiences force Hamelin to wait, but he has to learn how to hope.

When the children’s home forgets his eighth birthday, he sneaks away at night. He soon discovers that he isn’t just running away — he is being summoned by the Ancient One. Guided by the Great Eagle through a mysterious cave, Hamelin must pass a dangerous test of courage before he can find his parents.

Hamelin’s failures, fears, and hopes become part of a larger story, a story of a great struggle between worlds and kingdoms where the old myths of magic, evil contracts, and enslaved children turn out to be real.

**this book is FREE on Amazon as part of a Memorial Day Weekend Sale.  Don’t delay on picking up your copy!**

Excerpt

There he was, right where Simon had hidden him just minutes earlier. Hard to believe he was still asleep. Simon had done his part, so now it was up to her. Johnnie headed south at a brisk pace toward a place she knew well. It was a forty-minute walk to get to the children’s home where she was raised. Though there was an easier way to approach the main house—especially in the semidarkness of the early morning, still a short time before sunup—she stuck to the wooded path she had known as a child. The two-week-old, tightly swaddled boy she carried in her arms wasn’t heavy, but he was starting to squirm.

She could hardly think about what she was soon to do. She knew what it was like to be separated—in her case, stolen—from her mother. But what else could she do? She had escaped from Ren’dal as a child of twelve, but it was too late to go back to her mother and father. Besides, Ren’dal’s spies had probably been watching her all these years. She knew she was a lot older, but she looked to be only about nineteen, and that’s what Simon thought too. Simon—her husband for so short a time, and now he too might soon be caught and taken back with her to Ren’dal’s world. But first, the baby. Not much farther to the house. There was no time to cry, and she had no choice anyway, since the trackers, if they didn’t have Simon by now, soon would.

Johnnie approached the Upton County Children’s Home from the north and paused at the edge of the woods, just short of the clearing that marked out the houses and grounds of the home. There she could see the north side of the main house. That was where the screened porch was just outside the kitchen. It got a lot of traffic, being the main spot where deliveries, especially food and milk, were made. He would be quickly found there, so that’s where she would leave her baby boy.

She could feel it pounding on her from the inside—every motherly instinct she possessed was rebelling. But she knew what she had to do. And there was no more time for second-guessing.

About the Author

Robert B. Sloan is known for his leadership in higher education, public speaking and non-fiction writings. He has been a professor, minister, Little League coach, small business owner, school board trustee and chairman, chairman of the board of an NYSE company, and a university president for over 20 years.

Robert is a native Texan, but has enjoyed living in New Jersey, England, and Germany while finishing his doctorate in Switzerland. He is married to his college sweetheart, Sue, and they have seven married children and 20 grandchildren, nine and under. They enjoy large family gatherings, which include good food and lively conversation, games, and storytelling.

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Posted in Giveaway, mystery, Young Adult on May 26, 2017

Synopsis

School’s out for the summer!

Kindergarten teacher, Fiona Quinn is looking forward to spending some quality time in her yard and with her boyfriend, Detective Nathan Landry. However, Fiona?s plans get squelched when her mother volunteers her to edit a manuscript for famous romance author, Wyla Parkes.

What’s so bad about that? The author insists Fiona must work on the manuscript at her beach cottage on Presque Isle–three hours away from her yard and Nathan. Spending six weeks in an adorable cottage on a private beach doesn’t really seem all that bad until people start turning up dead beginning with the author! Fiona’s summer of sun and sand is instantly transformed into a murder investigation. Can Fiona and

Nathan crack the case or will the murderer getaway on a wave of deceit?

Join Fiona and the gang for a hot whodunit on the sandy beaches of Presque Isle, Pennsylvania!

About the Author

For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. She was a professional dancer and choreographer. During that time she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, she writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. Now she adds the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series for her young granddaughters, and has found that so many adults love them too.

Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.

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Posted in Giveaway, Guest Post, Interview, mystery, suspense, Young Adult on April 20, 2017

EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN
By Lindsey Lane

 

  Genre: YA /  Mystery / Suspense

Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux

Date of Publication: December 16, 2015

Number of Pages: 240

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Tommy Smythe is missing.

Fact: Tommy was good at physics and less good at basic human interactions.

Fact: Tommy recorded his thoughts and observations in a notebook.

Fact: Tommy believed in the existence of parallel universes.

Fact: Tommy was adopted.

The facts are simple. The conclusions to be drawn from the facts are not simple. Did he run away to find his birth parents? Did he slip through a wormhole and enter one of the multiple universes he believed in? Did he simply wander off?

Only one thing is certain: until a possibility is proven true, all possibilities exist.

Told through multiple perspectives, here is a story about how residents of a small town seek answers to the mystery of a teen’s disappearance.

Amazon  *  BookPeople

Praise

“In her first novel for teens, Lane offers a gripping and genre bending mosaic.” – Publishers Weekly

“Complex and Rich” – Horn Book

“This is the kind of book you tuck in with and escape into, and it will stay with you long after you finish the last lines.  Haunting and beautiful.” – Jennifer Mathieu, author of The Truth About AliceDevoted, and Afterward

“The narrative jiggers between unexpected opposites—joy and fear, love and violence, grief and hope—all the while holding forth the constant idea that the world offers us credible evidence of what seems impossible if we only know where to look.”  J.L. Powers, author of Amina, This Thing Called The Future, and the forthcoming Broken Circle

“Ever look at a pearl and notice that its one color is, in fact, many colors? That’s the beauty of EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN, the stunning debut novel by Lindsey Lane.” – Conrad Wesselhoeft, author of Adios Nirvana, Dirt Bikes, Drones and Other Ways To Fly

Check out the book trailer!

 

 

A Dead End That Changed My Direction

Guest Post by Lindsey Lane

In a way, the beginning and ending of every book must be discovered.

Let me explain. For Evidence of Things Not Seen, there were a few beginnings. There was the beginning when I woke up from a dream where I saw a boy standing in a pull out by the side of the road. I wondered what that boy was doing there, so I began writing into the dream, into the place by the side of the road, into that landscape and its people.

But there was also the beginning several years before when I wrote a play called The Miracle of Washing Dishes, which was a play about the epiphanies characters had while washing dishes. The epiphanies and the dishes held the play together. I think the play was a success because people like to witness epiphanies. They like to feel their world can be shifted even if they are too afraid to do it themselves.

There was also the beginning when Alexander Calder’s mobiles touched my work and I realized that I could fracture a storyline and that all the fragments would still hold together and tell a complete story with spaces for the reader to enter in and make it their own.

These few beginnings above informed me as a writer. They brought me to the place of telling this particular story. The boy led me into the world of the pullout where everyone who came there had some sort of epiphany. The characters each had their own gossamer thread and, because the center of the story was missing (Tommy), the threads wobbled (like pieces of a mobile) as they do when some thing has gone missing from our lives. Each time we come to the pages of our manuscripts, we bring our history as well our intention to tell a true and honest story. We quarry for the best nuggets and we line them up one by one leading the reader deeper into the world we have created.

But where do we take our readers once we have them traveling the bloodlines of our stories? Where do we want them to land? What feeling do we want them to have as they step away our stories? Comfort? Despair? Promise?

My original ending had a bow on it. Luckily enough, an agent was reading my manuscript and she was quite enthused about it. She kept emailing me all the way along, saying how much she liked each chapter and how deep and finely woven each character was. When she got to the ending, she wrote, “With the tenor of this book, I don’t believe you can wrap things up so neatly. “

I took another look.

If each story line shakes the characters to their core and brings them to a revelation, could I really wrap the whole kit and caboodle in a bow?

I knew that I didn’t want to land in a place of despair. That wasn’t the essential truth in each character. Each epiphany, each revelation was meant to be positive. You see, essentially, I believe that people treat people like they want to be treated and that given a choice, we fall on the side of good. But at the same time, there is a natural anxiety in being alive. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow. We don’t know what will happen when we wake up in the morning. We can feel afraid. Or we can live with the mystery and find the promise that something good might happen. That’s where I landed the book: there is promise in the mystery.

Lindsey Lane is the author of the young adult novel Evidence of Things Not Seen (Farrar Straus Giroux) and the award-winning picture book and iTunes app Snuggle Mountain (Clarion/PicPocket Books). She is represented by Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Before she received her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2010, Lindsey was a features journalist (Austin Chronicle and Austin American Statesman) and an award-winning playwright (The Miracle of Washing Dishes). Lindsey is a featured presenter at schools and conferences and universities and also teaches writing at Austin Community College, Writers League of Texas, and the Writing Barn. She lives in Austin, Texas but loves to travel, especially to the ocean. She loves books, films, good food and her cadre of dear friends. Her idea of a perfect evening is having a dinner party at her home with friends from around the world and discussing everything under the sun while eating, drinking, and laughing.

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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR

4/12 Video Guest Post Forgotten Winds
4/13 Playlist Texas Book Lover
4/14 Review Reading By Moonlight
4/15 Excerpt Take Me Away
4/16 Author Interview Missus Gonzo
4/17 Review It’s a Jenn World
4/18 Scrapbook Books in the Garden
4/19 Review CGB Blog Tours
4/20 Guest Post StoreyBook Reviews
4/21 Review The Page Unbound

 

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Posted in excerpt, Fantasy, Young Adult on April 5, 2017

Sage Alexander and the Hall of Nightmares by Steve Copling

Synopsis

The world is darker than it seems.

Demons, vicious half-humans and evil creatures of myth and legend prowl the earth, unseen to human eyes – but not to the eyes of 14-year-old Sage Alexander. Descended from humans and angels, Sage has the power to see and fight all these creatures, and in fact he must.

The human race is in danger, controlled unknowingly by the Seven Princes of Hell, the seven deadly sins. Greed, Sloth, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Wrath and Pride all breathe their sin into weaker human ears and take those souls for their own, as they have for centuries. And now Mammon, Greed incarnate, has possessed Sage’s father and threatens to keep him forever. The Angelic Response Council, a committee of angels, archangels, guardians and half-angelic humans, has fought the forces of blackest evil for centuries, but their numbers are dwindling.

There is prophecy of a gifted warrior, who will come in the Council’s darkest hour to bring about the demise of the fallen angels cast out from heaven and all of their nefarious descendants. His name will be Sage Alexander.

Sage must face danger and death as he assembles a supernatural team and battles his way through time and Godspace in order to save his family from the grips of Greed. But he has an even bigger quest ahead of him. … This is only the beginning.

Excerpt

 

“Since the day of your birth, I have done my best to prepare you for—”

“My destiny, yes,” Sage said. “I wish that word didn’t exist.”

“Yes,” Leah said, “I am certain that is true.” Her face softened. “For your benefit, I will no longer use that term, yet the meaning still sits heavily upon your shoulders. You have resisted, at every turn, my attempts to prepare you, and you are years behind schedule.”

He’d long ago gotten used to how she often floated in front of him, her pattern of speech, and her sermons of evil beasts out to conquer mankind. Yes, he could see other angels. And demons—Darks, he called them, but he’d seen no monsters or creatures she’d preached about over the years.

Leah tapped the book in front of him. “We believe one of the Seven Princes of Hell has a special place, a kind of prison where he has taken the missing Council Members.”

Sage glanced at the book, which was invisible to anyone else, but had the same bluish glow emanating from it as all the others she’d given him. Most of the angelic books dealt with the formation and history of the Angelic Response Council, an organization created six hundred years after Noah’s flood, and comprised of angel-blooded humans like himself. The others were to teach him Adamic, the language of angels.

He hadn’t whispered a word of any of that to his family.

“We believe they are being held,” Leah continued. “That some may yet be alive. You must memorize their faces, familiarize yourself with their gifts. Learn where they came from and under what circumstances they disappeared.”

The Seven Princes of Hell? This was new. Well . . . mostly. Sure, she’d mentioned the Princes through the years: Pride, Greed, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Wrath, and Sloth. They were of the Rephaim race, one of the three evil races descended from the Watchers, the fallen angels.

Leah reached over and opened the heavy leather cover of the book. The face of a man stared back at him.

Leif Erickson, the caption read, gifted with Pathfinding, gone missing in the Year of our Lord 1000.

Despite his irritation, Sage did a double take on the name. He looked up at Leah, and she seemed to read his mind.

“Yes,” she said. “That Leif Erickson.”

Do you live in the Dallas/Ft Worth area? If yes you might want to check this out

Sage Alexander and the Hall of Nightmares

Author Steve Copling Signs Copies at the Official Launch Celebration

Sunday, April 9, 2017 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm

Barnes & Noble Stonebriar Mall

2601 Preston Road, #1204
Frisco, TX 75034

Join author Steve Copling at the official launch event for Sage Alexander and the Hall of Nightmares! Hear a reading and Q&A by the author, and try out the virtual reality experience “Jack the Ripper” based on the world created for Sage Alexander. We will also be viewing for the first time the full official book trailer for Sage Alexander and the Hall of Nightmares.

About the Author

Steve Copling has spent more than 35 years in law enforcement and corporate security. Over the years, he has worked in field training, crime prevention, SWAT, criminal investigations, narcotics and internal affairs. He has also held multiple supervisory positions at sergeant, lieutenant and captain ranks.  He currently serves as a captain in the Plano, TX police department.

Copling’s career as an author began as a favor to his sister who happened to be writing a screenplay about a murder. Because her background didn’t include police work or investigations, she asked him to take a look at it. He immediately recognized that her fictional suspect would have gotten caught within five minutes in the real world. He agreed to write the story for his sister as a manuscript that she could later convert into a screenplay.

Even though that first manuscript never saw the light of day, Copling was hooked. He went on to write two crime novels, The Listener and The Shooting Season. His professional background and knowledge of police procedurals informed his writing, and he often draws from his experiences when writing crime fiction. However, unlike most crime writers in today’s marketplace, his writing is profanity free. Appealing to a wide audience, Copling’s books are clean enough for teenage fans of police narratives yet still intriguing enough to captivate suspense readers of any age. He is working on a third crime novel titled, The Noise Before Defeat.

Sage Alexander and the Hall of Nightmares is his first foray into young adult fantasy and serves as the foundation for a seven-book series based on the seven deadly sins. It was born out of an endearing request from his grandson Sage, who asked Copling to write him a book for Christmas. His ultimate goal with this series is to simply write stories that Sage and his brother Nikhil will love reading.

Copling has three sons and five grandchildren. He and his wife of nearly 40 years live in Plano, TX.

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Posted in excerpt, Fantasy, Young Adult on February 19, 2017

Synopsis

What if you thought you could play a better god than God?

Mudmen is a story unlike anything you have ever seen before. It all starts with a half-crazed dwarf scribbling furiously on a piece of paper while the world outside his little cottage is ravaged by a great storm. There is an artifact in his possession which gives him power over all else, but that artifact is stolen by the very creatures that he gave birth to in his frustration – these creatures are what we come to know as the Mudmen.

Excerpt

And for the first time in days he dreamt. He was climbing up a hill. It was the dead of the night and moonlight was his only guide to what lay ahead. His short legs carried him up the hill at a far slower pace than he had expected to cover.

Wait! What had he expected to cover?

All of a sudden the ground beneath his feet began to shake and a grumbling sound emanated from the top of the hill. It was almost as if the great giant that rests beneath the earth had finally decided to move and he was standing directly over him.

Why were there no trees on the hill? Why was the ground so barren?

He saw a light at the top, an orange glow that seemed to be taking on a more solid form as each second passed by and every step he took brought him closer to it. It was almost as if the night sky was on fire.

Oh no! This was not a hill – it was a volcano, one that was about to spew forth molten lava and rocks.

He fell down as the earth beneath his feet shook even more violently. A black cloud of smoke blocked out the moon but he could see the world around him a lot clearer now in the light of the fire that rained from the skies above. He turned around, willing himself to run away but his feet would not obey him. And then he remembered that he had to get to the top of the volcano no matter what happened, for what waited for him at the top was the only thing that mattered.

About the Author

Shitij Sharma is a nineteen year old budding author from India.He is the author of the book – THE GIRL FROM ROSTOV. He believes that he can successfully explain the world’s current situation in this one paragraph

‘This world was a strange place to live in. It was disorderly and chaotic. Therefore, we had to find our way through this labyrinth of human emotions and actions to arrive at a place where there was some resemblance to order, order in the form of disorderly governments and a moral compass that does not always point north.’

He currently resides in New Delhi, India. He spends most of his time writing his second novel which he hopes to complete before this year is out.

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Posted in Middle Grade, Spotlight, Young Adult on February 16, 2017

Grow Up Messy!

(A Hilarious Coming of Age Series Book1)

Author  : Paromita Goswami

Genre :  Middle School, Teen and YA

Publisher :  Ficus India

 

Synopsis

Childhood is considered to be the best time of one’s life. What if you get a chance to live it once more with a five-year-old?

Misry, a naughty five-year-old girl, lives with her parents in a B.S.F border outpost near Indo-Bangladesh border. But with no schools and friends she feels very lonely. She tries to befriend some local village kids.

But they find her incompetent in their rural antics. They nickname her Messy as most of the time she messes up their plan. Can Misry really be a part of the gang?

Set in the early eighties, join Misry in the adventures of her life.

Amazon Kindle * Nook * Kobo

Fun Facts about the book & the writing journey

      1. Misry’s character in the book Grow Up Messy! is that of an innocent child who depends more on her mother for her smaller needs. The best part is she expects her mother to be know everything just like the superwoman. She believes there is nothing which her Ma cannot do or hasn’t seen. So when she requests her mother to make Pinjiri, something which she had tasted for the first time elsewhere, it never occurred to her that Ma might not know about its preparation.  This particular scene from the book is very close to my heart. Although the entire episode is very funny but it actually depicts the trust of a child in the mother. Something which no one can ever challenge. I see my son in this episode sometimes.
      1. Children enjoy being dirty. We have done it so many times in our days yet as a parent if we see our child playing in the soil we try to stop him immediately. The same thing our mothers might have also done with us while we enjoyed. Isn’t it strange, when we grow up we follow our mothers so blindly.There is an episode in the book where Misry plays in the muddy pool and ruins her fresh clothes. No doubt her mother is mad at her.
      1. Children have a very special place for animals in their heart. Whether they have pets at home or not but whenever they get a chance to pet an animal they will never stop themselves. I wish as we grow up we shouldn’t lose this emotion within us. It actually makes us more humane.In the book, Misry befriends a sacrificial  animal as her pet what follows next is very heart wrenching.
      1. As kids, our relationship with our first cousins is very interesting. Once in a year, during the school vacation we go to visit them. Whatever, time we spent together is always fun. We use to share things, study together, fight with each other and even share our little secrets. These moments are recreated when Misry visits her Dadu’s house. It is so much fun to have so many family members living under the same roof. Have you ever lived in a joint family or visited one?
      1. It will be a lie if I say I never had any difficulties in learning or rather mugging up the multiplication tables. This was one part that I always hated in Mathematics and the fact is no one said before that this multiplication table I will be using throughout my life. Yet when it comes to our kids we never fail to tell them how easy it is to learn the multiplication table. Was it really???  The book has a chapter for that too. Seriously dedicated to the Multiplication Tables.    How Misry and her family copes with it is something to watch out for.

About the Author

Paromita Goswami is a writer and storyteller by passion and a rebel by choice. She says the world is full of stories and as a writer she loves to pen them down. Her work is not genre specific. From literary fiction to children book to upcoming paranormal thriller and women fiction, Paromita Goswami‘s books offer the variety of life to her readers. Grow Up Messy! is her second book. She debuted in 2015 with Shamsuddin’s Grave, a literary fiction. Besides writing, she is also the founder of reading club that enhances book reading habit in children. She lives in central India with her family.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Young Adult on February 14, 2017

sketchy-TacosSketchy Tacos by Meg D. Gonzalez

Teenage artist Mila Gulick travels to Mexico to get away from warring influences and find herself. But life in the land of tacos is a far cry from her sheltered life back home. Mila must find the courage to step out from behind her sketchbook and get to know the people and culture around her. While her host family and the two boys vying for her interest are nothing but smiles, all may not be as it seems.

Soon Mila is questioning her choices and the beliefs she’s held dear. Her heart, her art, and even her safety are at risk as she struggles to find a balance between cultural differences, old assumptions, and strange romance. Will her trip end in disaster or will she find the strength for which she’s been searching?

amazon

Praise for the Book

“This modern coming-of-age story has it all – humor, heart, genuine characters, and spiritual depth. I highly recommend it to teen readers.” – Krista McGee, Inspy Award winning author of First Date and Starring Me

“Meg D. Gonzalez gives us a vivid look at life for an American teenager in Mexico and an even clearer picture of what happens when you decide to embrace who God made you to be. No matter what. Great first novel. Great read.” – Nancy Rue, Christy Award winning author of the Real Life series

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Excerpt

The scent of sizzling quesadillas, bubbling soups, and slow-roasting meat made my mouth water. They dripped with flavor. I couldn’t wait to taste every single one. On the cordoned-off street, strings of flags crisscrossed the blue sky. Children laughed and kicked a soccer ball through winding legs. Everywhere the colors were so vivid they almost hurt. And the music… Ecstasy filled the notes. It’s no wonder I stopped and stared.

“A group of Folkorico, filled the main stage. Women wore dresses with huge skirts, each a different color. When the dance began, they lifted their skirts high and swished until the stage blurred with scarlet, saffron, tangerine, and amethyst. Their ribbons flew and shimmered in the sun. The raw beauty froze me to the spot.” I wished to pull out my sketchbook, but I knew the skills to capture the fluid movement eluded me.

“Julia stopped with me, but she was impatient. She couldn’t see what I saw. The rest of the class went ahead. When Mrs. Danphe found us, she didn’t scold us. Instead, she watched with me.”

She whispered, “It’s magical, isn’t it?”

 

MegAbout the Author

Meg D. Gonzalez is a tea-sipping, adventure-seeking, pug-loving kind of girl. She’s crazy for God and wants to share His love with awesome young women around the globe.

She started her first novel at the age of fourteen (it will never see the light of day and that’s best for everyone), but her writing really came alive two years ago after she moved to Mexico. The crazy, wonderful people and culture she encountered inspired the story of Sketchy Tacos.

When she’s not writing, she’s learning to play video games with her husband (she’s horrible), taking hikes in beautiful parks with her pug Pascal, crocheting, and watching way too much TV.

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amazon paypalBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 3/5/17

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 Children, Fantasy, Spotlight, Young Adult on February 9, 2017

Synopsis

Math City is a place within a Math book, and the pages of the book are the streets of Math City.

In this City, Monster Number was grossly overweight and had a shaggy body, like a mammoth. In the beginning, Monster Number could not walk very well. Though he swayed a little, tottering and often falling, my father trained him to detect and to kill. In a few days, we attacked Math City.

Math City was bombarded, the doors and the walls shaking while the dark shade ofthe Monster Number came down, covering the city. Monster Number threw big stones, one after another; and like a repulsive ghoul crashed throughany barrier.

Then, after many horrible explosions, Monster Number entered the city, and we followed him. He smashed countless numbers as he plodded along.

Reviews

“I have a feeling that the author is from another planet. It is the only explanation for his knowledge.” –  One of Math City’s Readers

“Math City is uniquely written in that the book is the city and the streets are the pages within it. Readers are introduced to characters that are products of mathematical equations, but the significance of these characters is much more than mere numbers.” – Stacie Theis

“Math City is different than any story you’ve ever read. Although, it appears to be a simple story written to entertain children through the use of numbers and math, it is anything but simple. The underlying story of war, conflict, and human rights is cleverly interwoven throughout the pages. Math City is a short story, but readers should take their time and absorb all the book has to offer.”

About the Author

Ahmad lives in the Middle East. He is a graduate of the Art University in Tehran. He has worked for many newspapers in Iran and Iraq as a journalist.

His books are stories about people, society, and culture.  The books were written in a new concept and fantasy form.

He hopes that his books make you think, while you enjoy it.

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