Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Release day blog tour with trailer for The Keepers by Anoosha Lalani #ya #paranormal

Release day celebration - blog tour for The Keepers by Anoosha Lalani. Please keep scrolling after checking this out, there's a cover reveal for STARS by Madison Louise with a giveaway below.
Sixteen-year-old Isra Kalb has grown up starving in the slums of Islamabad. But hunger is only the beginning. When her father is mysteriously murdered and madness corrupts her mother's mind, she's left alone to fend for herself and her sister. Homeless and destitute, the only thing she has to remember her loving family by is a commonplace necklace--an amulet barely worth keeping.
Or so she thinks.
Swept into a web of lies, deceit and turmoil, Isra struggles to find a place for herself and Zaffirah, wondering if the strange creatures and visions she's seeing are indications of the madness that took her mother. But when Snatchers capture Zaffirah, Isra learns her amulet isn't so useless after all. Transported to Zarcane--the beastly garden where Adam and Eve were born--Isra comes face to face with her destiny. She's a Keeper, charged with protecting the borders of Zarcane and keeping the demon hordes lurking in the shadows from taking realms that are not their own. And she's not the only one; there's a second Keeper, a boy whose identity hasn't been revealed.
Now, in order to save her sister and fulfill her family's legacy as Keeper of the Amulet, she has to find the second Keeper and close the borders. Surrounded by betrayal, trapped between warring factions of angels, and desperate to save the only family she has left, Isra must decide:
Who can she trust when nothing is what it seems?
Anoosha Lalani has always had an insatiable desire to escape reality. It was a childhood trait that never seemed to fade out. If Anoosha were to make one wish, it would be to have wings to journey off the face of this planet and into the worlds of her stories.
When she’s not writing, you may find Anoosha attending high school in Singapore. Having moved around so much, she has had the wonderful opportunity to be exposed to a vibrant range of cultures, which often seem to find their way into her stories. Anoosha was born in Pakistan, the setting of her most recent novel, The Keepers.
Connect with Anoosha on her website and twitter.

Cover reveal & giveaway - STARS by @AuthorMadison Louise #fantasy #ya

It's the moment you've all been waiting for!

I'm visiting On Writing and Riding to reveal the cover of my upcoming YA standalone, STARS.

Are you ready?

Summary first, as always:

After the death of the King, Myra knows what she has to do. His son, Torren, Myra’s past best friend, will take the throne. But first, he has to marry Princess Arora, and Myra. His Mistress. Things have been like this as long as Myra can remember, there was a Mistress before her, and so on. The Queen doesn’t have the children, the Mistresses do, and then they get stars. One for marrying, one for completing the marriage, and one for bearing an heir. Myra’s known her fate from the moment she was taken into the royal family after the rebellion years ago.

After they marry, things start to change. The way the royals live is different now, less old fashioned, more modern. Myra is excited for this change, maybe things will be different, maybe she will be able to keep her future child instead of having to give it over to Arora like she should. But after a trip to Arora’s family, Myra finds out something that will ruin her forever.

She tries to hide her fate from Torren, and from Arora. And with a new rebellion rising up at the same time, it’s easy to. But when a rebel by the name of Carter says she’s the key to helping restore the former royal family back to the throne, Myra is faced with an impossible choice.

Stay with Torren and die with him and the Senile when the rebels attack, or join the rebels, and fight for a future that she never thought she’d be apart of.

Will Myra choose love, or duty?

And here's the cover. Hope did such a great job!

Enter a giveaway to win a pre-order of STARS. Open INT'L!

-Madison xoxo

Monday, September 29, 2014

Cover reveal and excerpt of Dark Carnival anthology from The Pen and Muse

Ooh, this will get you in the mood for Halloween! Check out this awesome cover reveal and excerpt below. What do you think of the cover? And then keep scrolling for an author interview with Holly Schindler - great insight to her story concept and writing process!
Cover Reveal
The Dark Carnival
A Pen & Muse Anthology

October approaches. Autumn leaves are nearly falling. The Dark Carnival is calling, calling. Will you answer its call? Will you heed the beckon?
The doors are opening.
Will you leave with your life?
Blurb: In this anthology, several authors and illustrators explore the dark and hidden dangers that lie within a carnival that has come to town. But it is no ordinary carnival. It's The Dark Carnival.
And when The Dark Carnival comes to town, there's no promise that anyone can leave...alive.
Edited by: Jolene Haley, Kristen Jett, and Jessi Shakarian
Contributors include: Kat Daemon, Kristen Strassel, Julie Hutchings, C. Elizabeth Vescio, Mark Matthews, Brian W. Taylor, Kim Culpepper, Eli Constant, Mari Wells, J. Elizabeth Hill, Nicole R. Taylor, Ashly Nagrant, Kristin Hanson, Calyn Morgan, Tawney Bland, Roselle Kaes, Ken Mooney, Emily McKeon, Bobby Salomons, Ezekiel Conrad, Sheila Hall, Michelle Davis, Lucas Hargis, Vanessa Henderson, Ryan Bartlett, Debra Kristi, Jessi Esparza, T.A. Brock, Ruth Shedwick, Brian LeTendre, Amy Trueblood, Gregory Carrico, Jamie Corrigan, Kate Michael, Tyle Anne Snell, Alicia Audrey, Meghan Schuler, Jamie Adams, Wulf Francu Godgluck, J.C. Michael, Suzy G., Kristin Rivers, and Claire C. Riley.
*Final lineup subject to change
Add it to Goodreads 
Want to show The Dark Carnival even more Goodreads love?
Add it to your shelves - horror, anthologies, and thriller are good places to start.
Did you say you have more love? Pin the shiny new cover to Pinterest, send out some tweets, and scribe it into Facebook. You never know - show The Dark Carnival enough love, and it might just let you leave.
Cover Design by the fabulous C. Elizabeth Vescio. Learn more about her and her incredible design skills here.
About Pen & Muse Press
Need writing tips? Want to learn how to market yourself as an author? Pen & Muse Press was started to give you just the tips you need. No matter how long you’ve been writing - or haven’t been, embrace your craft.
Book Blitz
And the Tunnel of Love loomed ahead of us.
I didn’t think they even made those things anymore. I hadn’t seen one at one of these fairs—well, my whole life. It was something you’d only see in a fifties movie, or some old black and white photo. And like anything classy, none of the loudmouth teenagers that frequented the fair were anywhere near it. The shadows around the Tunnel of Love were empty.
I wrapped my arms around her and headed towards the dark entryway.
The tunnel seemed even more like it was dropped out of another time as we got closer to it. Two giant cutout swans with chipping white paint formed a heart with their great necks, creating a doorway into the darkness where love was supposed to flourish. If not for the dark that invited one like me in, I would have seen the marred paint and carved in hearts with random initials on the pristine white of their feathers to be a bad sign, of something lost and something ruined.
I should have looked deeper.
-          Love Consumes Us by Julie Hutchings

Giveaway & interview with Holly Schindler, author of FERAL #ya #thriller

Today we're celebrating the release of Feral, by Holly Schindler with an author interview.

The Lovely Bones meets Black Swan in this haunting psychological thriller with twists and turns that will make you question everything you think you know.
On to my interview questions! Holly's answers are very detailed and provide a lot of insight into her writing process and the inside story of Feral. Read through, there are buy links and a giveaway below, plus the trailer.

Where / how did you come up with the idea for your story?  Did it suddenly pop into your head or were you brainstorming?

A middle school near my home has a couple of markers under some trees out front, honoring students who passed away while they were going to school there.  I was walking my dog, staring at the markers, when I got the idea for a mystery that took place at a middle school.  The first draft of FERAL was actually an MG mystery about a tween girl solving a cold case. 

The revision process began to make the book increasingly darker, though.  That’s when I realized the book needed to be bumped into the YA category.

Did you start with the main character, the world, or the overarching concept?

I started with the initial murder mystery.  The circumstances regarding Serena’s death do remain the same in the final published version.  But that’s one of the few similarities. 

My original protagonist didn’t fit anymore, once the book was a YA.  She really was thirteen.  And I needed a seventeen-year-old.  So I brainstormed a new main character—when I discovered Claire’s backstory, I knew the book needed to be a psychological thriller.

Like classic psychological thrillers, FERAL incorporates elements of other genres: mystery, horror, and paranormal, but the emphasis is on the “psychological” rather than thriller / action.  The novel features a Hitchcockian pace and focus on character development (here, we’re exploring the inner workings of the main character, Claire Cain). 

Essentially, every aspect of FERAL is used to explore Claire’s inner workings—that even includes the wintry Ozarks setting.  The water metaphor is employed frequently in psychological thrillers to represent the subconscious, and in this instance is incorporated in the form of a brutal ice storm (that represents Claire’s “frozen” inner state).  The attempt to untangle what is real from what is unreal (another frequently-used aspect of the psychological thriller) also begins to highlight the extent to which Claire was hurt in that Chicago alley.  Even the explanation of the odd occurrences in the town of Peculiar offers an exploration into and portrait of Claire’s psyche. 

Ultimately, FERAL is a book about recovering from violence—that’s not just a lengthy or hard process; it’s a terrifying process, too.  The classic psychological thriller allowed me to explore that frightening process in detail. 

So the overall process was: plotting out the murder mystery, then finding my main character, then using the world of the psychological thriller to further explore and develop the central theme.

Pantser or Plotter?  Or in between?

Plotter when writing my first drafts (though I always suspect it will change, I have to know what my initial aim is, where I want to wind up, what point I want to make).  When I revise, I’m a pantser.  I let my book and my characters talk to me, tell me what they want to be, where they need to go.  That often means I move my books into different age groups and genres.  It often means I tackle different or additional themes than I had originally planned on.  But that’s a big part of what makes revision the most exciting part of the process.
[Host comment] I think that's the combination I'm aiming for, and I love revisions too.

Are you a fan of writing contests?

Absolutely.  I entered several as I was trying to snag my first book sale.  I remember I was several years into the pursuit when I submitted to Delacorte’s First YA Novel contest.  I didn’t win, but the book was returned with a note that said, “This has potential.”  For some reason, I latched onto that, and focused the bulk of my energy on revising and submitting that book.  It turned out to be my first published novel—A BLUE SO DARK, which released in ’10.

How did you find your agent?  How many query letters did you send?

I got my agent through an old-school query letter, actually.  That’s also how I sold my first two YAs, as well—I solidified those deals before I started working with my agent.  I’m a BIG believer in the power of a good query. 

As far as how many letters it took…I know my first published book was rejected over 80 times.  But I had drafted and submitted many other books before that.  If I was averaging close to 100 rejections per book, it had to have taken somewhere around a thousand rejections (to both agents and editors) to get my first yes.

And don’t think that revision stops once you get representation or sell a few books.  It doesn’t.  It took my agent a year and a half to sell my first MG (THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY) and a year to sell FERAL.  I’ve been through it so many times, rejection has become the least of my concerns, believe it or not.

What’s the best marketing tool you’ve found so far?

The blogosphere.  Skype.  Twitter.  Travel is expensive and isn’t necessarily effective.  I thoroughly enjoy interacting with my readers and encourage them to get in touch.  You can always reach me directly through the contact page on my website, or email me at hollyschindlerbooks (at) gmail (dot) com.

What do you like best about your MC?

She’s tough.  Really tough.  A true survivor.

What do you like best about your main antagonist?

That he / she is not easy to identify.  Who IS Claire’s antagonist?  Serena’s ghost?  The spirits in the Peculiar cemetery?  The feral cats who follow her?  Or is it herself?

Anything else you like to share about your journey or launch, including links to giveaways or ways people can help spread the word?

You bet.  Here’s the Rafflectopter form for a giveaway of a signed copy of FERAL, running from Sept. 27- Oct. 13:


FERAL jacket copy:
The Lovely Bones meets Black Swan in this haunting psychological thriller with twists and turns that will make you question everything you think you know.

It’s too late for you. You’re dead. Those words continue to haunt Claire Cain months after she barely survived a brutal beating in Chicago. So when her father is offered a job in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out will offer her a way to start anew.

But when she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire feels an overwhelming sense of danger, and her fears are confirmed when she discovers the body of a popular high school student in the icy woods behind the school, surrounded by the town’s feral cats. While everyone is quick to say it was an accident, Claire knows there’s more to it, and vows to learn the truth about what happened.

But the closer she gets to uncovering the mystery, the closer she also gets to realizing a frightening reality about herself and the damage she truly sustained in that Chicago alley….

Holly Schindler’s gripping story is filled with heart-stopping twists and turns that will keep readers guessing until the very last page.
Holly Schindler Bio:
Holly Schindler is the author of the critically acclaimed A BLUE SO DARK (Booklist starred review, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year silver medal recipient, IPPY Awards gold medal recipient) as well as PLAYING HURT (both YAs). 
 Her debut MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY, also released in ’14, and became a favorite of teachers and librarians, who used the book as a read-aloud.  Kirkus Reviews called THE JUNCTION “...a heartwarming and uplifting story...[that] shines...with vibrant themes of community, self-empowerment and artistic vision delivered with a satisfying verve.” 
FERAL is Schindler’s third YA and first psychological thriller.  Publishers Weekly gave FERAL a starred review, stating, “Opening with back-to-back scenes of exquisitely imagined yet very real horror, Schindler’s third YA novel hearkens to the uncompromising demands of her debut, A BLUE SO DARK…This time, the focus is on women’s voices and the consequences they suffer for speaking…This is a story about reclaiming and healing, a process that is scary, imperfect, and carries no guarantees.”

Schindler encourages readers to get in touch.  Booksellers, teen librarians, and teachers can also contact her directly regarding Skype visits.  She can be reached at hollyschindlerbooks (at) gmail (dot) com, and can also be found at hollyschindler.com, hollyschindler.blogspot.com, @holly_schindler, Facebook.com/HollySchindlerAuthor, and hollyschindler.tumblr.com.

FERAL Trailer:

Cover reveal - Cross Me Off Your List by Nikki Godwin

Today is the cover reveal for Cross Me Off Your List (Saturn series #2) by Nikki Godwin. This cover reveal is organized by Lola's Blog Tours.

cross me of your listCross Me Off Your List (Saturn series #2)
By Nikki Godwin
Genre: contemporary
Age category: Young Adult

Spring break in Los Angeles with her BFFs has been Marisol's driving force to get through senior year. But when a falling out dents her plans, Marisol tucks the broken friendship into her back pocket with her cell phone and spring break bucket list.

Surf city Crescent Cove isn't exactly LA, but once she meets a tattooed brunette named Noah in the hotel elevator, Marisol really doesn't mind crossing off the items on her list without her friends - especially after Noah offers to help. Unaware that Noah fits the criteria for item #3 (meet a celebrity), Marisol is instantly thrown into the world of paparazzi, wild nights, and a spring break she'll never forget.

While her friends are making memories in LA, Marisol is making tabloid headlines. But after slipping a Spaceships Around Saturn secret to the media, Marisol has to fight hard to survive her fifteen minutes of fame and get back on Noah's good side before he crosses her off of his list for good.

You can find Cross Me Off Your List on Goodreads

About the Author:
Nikki Godwin is a YA/NA/LGBT author. She can't live without Mountain Dew, black eyeliner, and music by Hawthorne Heights. When not writing, she internet-stalks her favorite bands and keeps tabs on surf competitions. She adores pro surfer John John Florence and has made it her life goal to meet David Desrosiers of Simple Plan.

Author links:

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cover reveal - DeadGirl by B.C. Johnson #paranormal #romance

I'm so happy to present this cover reveal - this story sounds awesome! What do you think? And we have a double reveal today, so keep reading for Rebellion by J.A. Souders with a giveaway.
Curiosity Quills is excited to reveal the cover for urban-fantasy, paranormal-romance DeadGirl, by B.C. Johnson, which is scheduled for release November 6, 2014. The fantastic cover was designed by Andy Garcia.   Deadgirl, by BC Johnson - coverAbout DeadGirl: Dead is such a strong word …   Lucy Day, 15 years old, is murdered on her very first date. Not one to take that kind of thing lying down, she awakens a day later with a seemingly human body and more than a little confusion. Lucy tries to return to her normal life, but the afterlife keeps getting in the way. Zack, her crush-maybe-boyfriend, isn’t exactly excited that she ditched him on their first date.   Oh, and Abraham, Lucy’s personal Grim Reaper, begins hunting her, dead-set on righting the error that dropped her back into the spongy flesh of a living girl. Lucy must put her mangled life back together, escape re-death, and learn to control her burgeoning powers while staying one step ahead of Abraham.   But when she learns the devastating price of coming back from the dead, Lucy is forced to make the hardest decision of her re-life — can she really sacrifice her loved ones to stay out of the grave? Add DeadGirl to your Goodreads 'to-be-read' list.   -- B. C. Johnson - bio picAbout by B.C. Johnson: Born in Southern California, B.C. Johnson has been writing since he realized it was one of the few socially acceptable ways to tell people a bunch of stuff you just made up off the top of your head. He attended Savanna High School in Anaheim, and an undisclosed amount of college before deciding that weird odd jobs were a far greater career path.   This lead him to such exciting professions as: aluminum recovery machinist, lighting designer, construction demo, sound mixer, receptionist, theater stage hand, wedding security, high school custodian, museum events manager, webmaster, IT guy, copywriter, and one memorable night as the bouncer at a nightclub. He is trying very hard to add “vampire hunter” and “spaceship captain” to that list.   He currently lives in Garden Grove with his supernal wife Gina, his half-corgi, half-muppet dog Luna, and his new half-grayhound, half-living-tornado-of-destruction Kaylee. He also spends time with his two brothers, his parents, and his close friends, whose primary pursuit are usually healthy debates about movie minutiea. When he’s not working or writing, he’s been to known to pursue all conceivable geeky avenues of interest including but not limited to video games, the sort of TV shows/movies Benedict Cumberbatch might star in, graphic novels, podcasts, funny gifs, the whole thing.   He’s also been known to apply his special brand of hyperbole and mania to pop-culture humor essays for various websites that can be found on his homepage, bc-johnson.com. B.C. also has a high school noir short story called “The Lancer” available on Kindle.   Deadgirl is his first novel. Find by B.C. Johnson Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Cover Reveal - Rebellion by J.A. Souders #ya #fantasy

Today J.A. Souders and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover for REBELLION, book 3 in the Elysium Chronicles releasing in June 9, 2015! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to win the books!

On to the reveal! 

Author: J.A. Souders
Publisher: TOR Teen
Pub. Date: June 9, 2015
Find it: Goodreads
For more information on the Elysium Chronicles, here are links to Renegade and Revelations.

About J.A. Souders 
J.A. SOUDERS is the author of the Elysium Chronicles and lives in the land of sunshine and palm trees with her husband and two children where she spends her time writing about the monsters under the bed, day dreaming about living in an underwater colony, and failing miserably at playing video games.

Giveaway Details:
One winner will receive physical copies of RENEGADE AND REVELATIONS plus the eNovellas. And ASK AGAIN LATER by Liz Czukas. If you have J.A.s books already, she will do an amazon or book depository gift card of the same value. International.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Cover reveal - Redemption by Randi Cooley Wilson #NA #paranormal #romance

Today, we have a cover reveal from YaReads (@yaReads) Blog Tour, Redemption, the third book in the Revelation series by Randi Cooley Wilson. Please comment on what you think below!

About the Book:
Redemption (The Revelation Series, #3) by Randi Cooley Wilson
To be Released: December 15, 2014
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
For Eve Collins, darkness has descended after her love vanished into the night sky. A new protector has been appointed, one who challenges everything she’s believed to true.
In this third installment of The Revelation Series, Eve will become aware of dangers and worlds that exist only in her nightmares and bloodline secrets that will trigger a centuries old war.
You can escape anything, except your destiny.
Readers captivated by Revelation and Restraint will become enthralled with Redemption.
Pre-buy here!
 About the Author:
Randi was born and raised in Massachusetts where she attended Bridgewater State University and graduated with a degree in Communication Studies. After graduation she moved to California where she lived happily bathed in sunshine and warm weather for fifteen years.
Randi and her husband recently moved back to Massachusetts with their daughter where she was encouraged to begin writing again.
Revelation is her first novel and The Revelations Series is her first New Adult Paranormal Romance book series.
“I’ve had a love affair with books, writing and storytelling since childhood. It has been a dream of mine to introduce this world and these characters to you. I hope I’ve done them justice.”
Randi loves to hear from readers, you can reach out to her via Twitter: R_CooleyWilson and/or Facebook: authorrandicooleywilson

Weekend Warrior Monday - house hunting

My husband and I are planning to move from Colorado to Oregon. Although we love our beautiful home near Canon City with fabulous year-round weather, we also like change, challenges, and projects.
On Wednesday, we got up at 3:45am to drive to Denver International Airport. We arrive an hour early, with plenty of time to get through security and to our flight. We were even sent to the fast lane through security - didn't have to remove shoes!
Then we find out my ticket name doesn't match my driver's license. Hubby used my middle name, which I go by. So back to ticketing, talking to one person then another and finally back to security. This time we have to go the long route which takes another 15 minutes. Then we miss the train to the concourse. When we finally get to the right concourse, we have five minutes to run through the entire length to the very last gate. The only reason they let us board is because a maintenance guy is on the plane fixing a seat so they haven't closed the door. On to Portland!
The flight from Portland to Bend is fun and beautiful. Then we meet our realtor and see the first house. It's a great property and the only one we expect to look at that we can easily afford, but because this is a new area to us, we plan to look at the rest of the possibles.
Day 2, the first house we look at is even better, and we find that the owner is willing to carry, so now we can afford this one too. We looked at a couple other properties that wouldn't work and decide to make an offer on this awesome property. We don't get back to the hotel until almost 11pm, but the offer is in.
For the trip home, we decide not to fly from Bend to Portland and then sit for a three hour layover when we can drive in three hours and see the gorgeous scenery. We also stopped at a seafood restaurant. More than we'd planned on spending, but it was near the airport and almost literally on the Columbia. Excellent food. A 2 hour flight, a 2.5 hour drive and back home to wait for an answer and start planning how much stuff we need to sell.
So clearly we have no patience! When I make up my mind, I want action now. How about you? Could you buy a second house without even listing your current house yet? Scary!
And even worse, now I'll have to decide who to root for, the Broncos or the Seahawks! Luckily I've always been a closet Seahawks fan since I was born in Olympia.