Category Archives: Blogging

New Year’s Resolution Blog Hop #Giveaway @RoanePublishing

NEWYEARSBLOG HOP

Welcome to the blog. I know I haven’t been as present here as I should be, but I am hoping to make it up to you all by offering a little giveaway action. So, to that end, I have entered a Blog Hop being hosted by my publisher, Roane Publishing.

It’s a great way to meet some new authors, learn about some new stories, and hopefully nab yourself a few freebies.

For my part in the Hop, I am giving away two prizes.

The first prize — a $10 Roane Publishing Gift Certificate is open to anyone who signs up for my monthly newsletter. You can find the signup form here: http://eepurl.com/bGX7mP (OPEN INTERNATIONALLY). I will randomly select one new subscriber at the end of the Hop for this prize.

The second prize — a signed print copy of Call of the Sea to one lucky commentor. (US ONLY)

So what do I want you to say in your comment to be qualified?

Simple — Just leave a comment below telling me what your goal is for 2016. That’s it. Oh, and please leave your email address, so I can reach you should you be selected as my winner.

Giveaways are open until the end of the HOP. Winners will be selected on Jan 9th and posted here on the blog once selected.

As I mentioned, there are a bunch of other sites and authors participating in the HOP, and each one has a giveaway of their own, so please stop by and visit with the others as well.

You can reach the list of participants by clicking the image at the top of the post, or my selecting the link below.

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Happy Hopping and here’s to an amazing 2016!!!

Beach Reads Blog Hop: And the winners are… #giveaway

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Welcome back blog followers and newbies… it is time to announce the winners of my little corner of Roane Publishing’s Beach Reads Blog Hop. I’ve run all of the entries through th randomizer and here are the results…

The winner of teh Grand Prize — a signed print copy of FOR THE LOVE OF MUPRHY is:

 

Valarie Clarizio

And the winner of the runner-up prize — a eBook of their choice from my backlist is: (Since I have a limited number of titles published as Rebecca Hart and I also have been published under an erotic pen name, you can choose any title from either author’s backlist (Rebecca Hart or R. Brennan).

You can find a list of my erotic publications at https://bexbooknook.wordpress.com (right sidebar).

 

Tina B.

 

Congratulations to the winners! You will be receiving an email from me shortly, so keep an eye out for it.

A BIG thank you to all of you who participated and visited over the course of the HOP, and also to Roane Publishing for hosting such  fun event.

See you all next time!

Guest Post: Does Love Still Exist? #LoveComesLater #Romance

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Does Love Still Exist?

By Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar author of Love Comes Later

St. Valentine may be horrified by the cherubs touting candy, flowers or jewelry. The overemphasis of eros, or romantic love, may have merged out of rampant marketeering. Between Christmas and Easter, after all, is a lot of retail silence. In modern society, with women marrying later, and partners divorcing earlier – not waiting for children to grow up – does love still exist?

I had a great idea in 2009; I would write a book about how a modern person with traditional values would find love. I didn’t think this would be so difficult. After all, I’d managed to resist the pressures of my own South Asian culture until the spinsterly age of 26, when, as my father put it, “to find a good man who would make a commitment to me” even if he wasn’t Indian.

Fresh from an unlikely, whirlwind romance in the desert, I sat down to explore in fiction the difficult choices facing young Qatari men and women amongst the myriad dilemmas of love, choice, honor, and duty.

The Qatari characters were based on a meld of dozens of stories I knew of real people; but the insertion of a South Asian girl into the love triangle was all my own.

I put Abdulla, the male protagonist, and Sangita, the unexpected loved interest, in a small London apartment. And waited for sparks to fly. In a Disneyesque-romantic genre, move, they were on a countdown; three days.

But nothing was happening. There they were; young, attractive, in close proximity, and I couldn’t believe that they were falling in love. All the elements were there but the emotions were missing.

I started asking everyone: “How do people fall in love?”

My older Indian friends were surprised.

“Didn’t you have a love marriage?” They asked me, products of the arranged marriage system. “Don’t you know?”

“Seems so long ago,” I muttered, well out of earshot of my husband.

“I loved your book,” another friend said. “I’ve never known what love is…” she said, with a dreamy look in her, having been arranged to her husband.

“It’s all the same after a while,” I said to her dryly, watching our husbands on their mobile phones while we mothers ran after our children.

“But how can they fall in love,” I asked my Qatari friends, growing desperate for realism as the book entered a seemingly endless cycle of revisions.

“She has to be hot,” one of my male beta readers said, in all honesty.

Chemistry. Right. I forgot that part, somehow, settling into comfortable domesticity.

Abdulla and Sangita did eventually find their way in the story. The sequel to the book is in progress and explores an equally murky area: what happens after the spark? Are the chances for survival of ‘falling into’ love greater?

I grew up with the idea that no, falling in love did not guarantee romantic success; making allegiances between well researched partners was stacking the cards in your favor. My parents’ anti-falling in love argument was the 50% divorce rate in America.

We’ll see what happens for Abdulla and Sangita as they try to grow their spark into a fire to heat their home.

What do you think? Do you fall in and out of love? Or do you choose to love?

lovecomeslater(1)Love Comes Later
By Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar

Winner of Best Indie Book Award, Romance, 2013
Semi Finalist, Best Novel, eFestival of Words, 2013
Finalist, New Talent Award, Festival of Romance, 2013

“…a deliciously tangled plot and insight into life on the Persian Gulf.”
Kirkus Review

Blurb: When newlywed Abdulla loses his wife and unborn child in a car accident, the world seems to crumble beneath his feet. Thrust back into living in the family compound, he goes through the motions—work, eat, sleep, repeat. Blaming himself for their deaths, he decides to never marry again but knows that culturally, this is not an option. Three years later, he’s faced with an arranged marriage to his cousin Hind, whom he hasn’t seen in years. Hard-pressed to find a way out, he consents to a yearlong engagement and tries to find a way to end it. What he doesn’t count on, and is unaware of, is Hind’s own reluctance to marry.

Longing for independence, she insists on being allowed to complete a master’s degree in England, a condition Abdulla readily accepts. When she finds an unlikely friend in Indian-American Sangita, she starts down a path that will ultimately place her future in jeopardy.

The greatest success of Rajakumar’s novel is the emotional journey the reader takes via her rich characters. One cannot help but feel the pressure of the culturally mandated marriage set before Hind and Abdulla. He’s not a real Muslim man if he remains single, and she will never be allowed freedoms without the bondage of a potentially loveless marriage. It’s an impossible situation dictated by a culture that they still deeply respect.

Rajakumar pulls back the veil on life in Qatar to reveal a glimpse of Muslim life rarely seen by Westerners.

2013authorphotoAbout the Author: Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar is a South Asian American who has lived in Qatar since 2005. Moving to the Arabian Desert was fortuitous in many ways since this is where she met her husband, had a baby, and made the transition from writing as a hobby to a full time passion.  She has since published seven e-books including a mom-ior for first time mothers, Mommy But Still Me, a guide for aspiring writers, So You Want to Sell a Million Copies, a short story collection, Coloured and Other Stories, and a novel about women’s friendships, Saving Peace.

Her recent books have focused on various aspects of life in Qatar. From Dunes to Dior, named as a Best Indie book in 2013, is a collection of essays related to her experiences as a female South Asian American living in the Arabian Gulf. Love Comes Later was the winner of the Best Indie Book Award for Romance in 2013 and is a literary romance set in Qatar and London. The Dohmestics is an inside look into compound life, the day to day dynamics between housemaids and their employers.

After she joined the e-book revolution, Mohana dreams in plotlines. Learn more about her work on her website at www.mohanalakshmi.com or follow her latest on Twitter: @moha_doha.

LINKS:

Author Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Mohanalakshmi-Rajakumar/e/B002PMRI1U
Author website: http://www.mohanalakshmi.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@moha_doha
Facebook: www.facebook.com/themohadoha

Youtube:www.youtube.com/themohadoha

Pinterest:www.pinterest.com/mohadoha

Alone No More Blog Tour: Terri Rochenski’s Top Ten Romance Movies Plus a #Giveaway!

Things are really popping on the blog lately, which I love, and today is no exception. Actually, today is special in that one of my close friends and fellow authors, Terri Rochenski has stopped in today to share a bit about her newest release, ALONE NO MORE, as well as sharing her Top Ten Favorite Romance Movies with us.

I am a romantic movie junkie, so I am very curious to see what romances made Ms. Rochenski’s list and how many of them match up with my own. So, here is Terri with her list:

My top ten favorite romance movies of all time in no particular order

  1. Pride & Prejudice. While I enjoy any of the versions, the 2005 with Keira Knightly and Matthew MacFadyen is by far the best.
  2. The Notebook. I always think of my grandparents and the love they shared. This one always brings a tear or two.
  3. Sense & Sensibility, the 1995 version. Love love love.
  4. Cold Mountain. JUDE LAW on that roof top. Le sigh. Need I say more?
  5. The New World. Colin Farrell. Mmmmmm Seriously, though, even as a child I was intrigued by Pocahontas and her story. Even got to be her once in a middle school play.
  6. 17 Again – the only romantic comedy on this list! I always thought Zach Efron was a punk, but he did such a believable job in this film, and Leslie Mann was a riot. They had great chemistry and their quirky expressions just made this a great one for me.
  7. Legends of the Fall. No, it’s not really a romance movie, but it’s one of those haunting movies that sticks in the brain LONG afterwards. Longing, lost love … ugh. Hurts just thinking about it!
  8. Last of the Mohicans. Like #7, this movie is heart wrenching. That cliff scene – I cry every. Single. Time.
  9. Princess Bride. No explanation necessary IMO.
  10. Far and Away. One of the few times I’ve enjoyed Tom Cruise on the big screen.

Wow… I am shocked to see we only have two in common, but one if the two is my all time favorite, so I was glad to see LAST OF THE MOHICANS on the list. If you are wondering, the other one I would also have on my top 10 romance list is Legends of the Fall (as a matter of fact, Brad Pitt in that movie was the inspiration for my historical romance hero, Daniel O’Rourke).

What are your top 10 romance movies? Feel free to share your picks in the comments section. Love hearing from you. 🙂

Now that I have put you all off long enough and heightened anticipation, here are the details on Terri Rochenski’s release:

ANM 500ALONE NO MORE
by Terri Rochenski

Genre: Romance / Historical

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Release Date: December 18, 2013

Book Blurb:

Dismissed from her job as a scullery maid and cast aside by her lover, pregnant Cara Morland has no choice but to return to her father’s farm. While lies of widowhood keep her from disgrace, Cara is faced with a local landowner’s unwanted attentions. Without the social status to do much more than avoid the vile man, she loses hope of ever finding happiness.

A friendship based on mutual loneliness blossoms between Cara and James Elliot, a young farm hand hired by her father. He offers his protection, and one shared kiss reveals his heart, but propriety and her feigned grieving period hinders what they both desire.

When Cara’s stalker learns the truth of her circumstances, he gives her an ultimatum—submit to his possession or he’ll ruin her second chance at love with James.

Add it to your Goodreads TBR Pile today:

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Buy Links:

Will be added as soon as possible

I bet you are wondering where the giveaway is, aren’t you?  Terri is giving away a FREE ecCopy of ALONE NO MORE to a luck winner.

As promised, here is the link to the Rafflecopter giveaway

Tracey Hanlon PhotographyBio: Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with storytelling.

Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her three young children allow. When not playing toys, picking them back up, or kissing boo-boos, she can be found sprawled on the couch with a book or pencil in hand, and toothpicks propping her eyelids open.

Her Links:

Website Blog Facebook Twitter Goodreads

One More Day Blog Tour: Tens List and a #Giveaway!

Today, as part of the One More Day Blog Tour, I have contributing author, L.S Murphy stopping by to share with us her TOP TEN BOOKS SHE COULD READ MORE THAN ONCE, as well as a giveaway to share in celebration of the anthology release.

Before we get to the nitty gritty details on ONE MORE DAY, here is L.S Murphy’s TENs List.

Okay, this is really hard. There are so many great books out there, and so many I can read more than once. It was difficult, but I managed to narrow it down a bit.  🙂

1.  The Alienist by Caleb Carr

2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

3. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (actually, the entire series.)

4. Lamb by Christopher Moore

5. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

6. Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut

7. Emma by Jane Austen

8. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

9. White Cat by Holly Black

10. Unwind by Neal Shusterman

How many books have you read from this list?  Are any of these your favorites?  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments area below.

And now, without further ado or delays, here are all the juicy details on the ONE MORE DAY anthology.

OneMoreDay_Cover_blogONE MORE DAY
By L.S. Murphy, Erika BeeBe, Marissa Halvorson, Kimberly Kay,
J. Keller Ford, Danielle E. Shipley, and Anna Simpson

Back of the Book: What if today never ends?

What if everything about life—everything anyone hoped to be, to do, to experience—never happens?

Whether sitting in a chair, driving down the road, in surgery, jumping off a cliff or flying … that’s where you’d be … forever.

Unless …

In One More Day, Erika Beebe, Marissa Halvorson, Kimberly Kay, J. Keller Ford, Danielle E. Shipley and Anna Simpson join L.S. Murphy to give us their twists, surprising us with answers to two big questions, all from the perspective of characters under the age of eighteen.

How do we restart time?

How do we make everything go back to normal?

The answers, in whatever the world—human, alien, medieval, fantasy or fairytale—could, maybe, happen today.

Right now.

What would you do if this happened … to you?

Excerpt from “The 13th Month” by L.S. Murphy coming soon in ONE MORE DAY!

December 31st, 2013 4:01pm

“Stop being a douche, Jackie. This end of the world crap is nothing but a load of … well, crap. Get over it.” I snatched our shared laptop from my little brother and closed the lid, not bothering to check out the site he’d become fixated on during the last hour. Jackie’s conspiracy theories were a constant pain in my ass.

“Give it back, Nixon.” He whined, reaching across my body as I shoved the ancient computer behind my back. “This one’s real. I’m telling you; it’s gonna to happen.”

“Just like you said Rapture was real, right? Or the Mayan prophecy of December twenty-first in two-thousand twelve?” I shoved his thirteen-year-old body away from me. “Guess what, dipshit? Twenty-twelve has come and gone with the world still spinning. Get outta here so I can chat with my girl.”

Jackie stood, brushing invisible dirt of his green plaid shorts. In a few years, he’d either be modeling or coming out of the closet. I swore my brother got all the looks in the family—Mom’s California blonde hair, Dad’s bright blue eyes, and at least two inches taller than I was.

Me? I inherited Dad’s brown hair that curled if it got too long and Mom’s brown eyes the color of dry dirt. In other words, boring.

“One of these days, you’ll believe me,” Jackie said, his voice deeper than normal. His eyes sparkled like ice held up to a light bulb. “The end is coming. Everything will stop. And there’s nothing you can do to prevent it.”

“Dude, did you forget your Zoloft, or something? What’s with the voice?” I fell onto my twin bed, wishing for the millionth time I had my own room. The computer lay across my thighs, warming the denim beneath it.

Flipping me the bird, Jackie left the room and slammed our door behind him, rattling the windows from the force. The little shit must’ve started lifting weights. I glanced over to his half of the room but saw no sign that my brother had suddenly decided to add to his martial arts workout. Instead, his side was spotless, with a perfectly made bed, organized desk, laid-out clothes, and his lined-up tae kwon do ribbons. Jackie switched disciplines when he was seven, while I stuck with karate. I would’ve quit, but girls thought it was sexy. Laura included.

My shit was less than perfect. A box shoved into the closet hid my wrinkled karate ribbons. Homework and textbooks littered my desk. Even our matching blue plaid comforters were opposites—mine faded and wrinkled, his smooth and bright like the day Mom bought it.

Shaking my head, I opened the laptop and typed in the password. Laura was far more important than worrying about what was up little bro’s butt. Especially since we had big plans that night. Her parents would be out ringing in twenty-fourteen at some hotel soiree, leaving the house to us. Alone. Six years of crushing on her and six months of dating her were leading to what I hoped would be the best night of my life.

About L.S. Murphy: L.S. Murphy lives in the Greater St. Louis area where she watches Cardinals baseball, reads every book she can find, and weaves tales for teens and adults. When not doing all of the above, she tends to The Bean (aka her daughter), her husband and a menagerie of pets. She is the author of romance novellas A Reason to Stay and Neighbors. Her debut novel Reaper, a YA paranormal romance, is now available.

She is a member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the St. Louis Writer’s Guild.

Links:

Website: http://lsmurphy.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LSMurphy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LSMurphyAuthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5046440.L_S_Murphy

Tumblr: http://lsmurphybooks.tumblr.com/

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/l-s-murphy/12/218/140

I am pretty sure I promised you all a giveaway as well, didn’t I? Ever true to my word, here is the info on the Rafflecopter Giveaway. (I cant actually host Rafflecopter on a Free WordPress blog – dangit – so here is the link for the Rafflecopter Giveaway.

And the Lovestruck #Giveaway Blog Hop Winner is…

lovestruck2013

The time has come to put all the entries through the randomizer and select a winner of the eBook copy of my debut novel, Call of the Sea.

Here goes…

And the winner is:

Eva Millien!!

Congratulations. Keep an eye on your email, as I will be sending one along right away to find out what file type you prefer for your prize.

Thanks to everyone who stopped and participated in the hop. Special thanks to Under the Covers Book Blog for hosting the event.

See you next time!

Evernight Teen Summer Kick-Off Blog Hop: Spotlight on Slayer for Hire #YALit #giveaway

teen-hop

Welcome to Evernight Teen’s Summer Kick-off Blog Hop!

It’s a great opportunity to get to know Evernight Teen: Gritty Fiction for Today’s Young Adult. Our stories include fresh teen fiction that’s raw, gritty and real.

My spotlight is on Slayer for Hire by P.E. Cunningham

SFH_TEEN

Blurb:

Nineteen-year-old Billie Eshleman loves the TV show Slayer for Hire, and has a major fangirl crush on its hunky star, Dylan Garber. When the show comes to her home town to film a movie version, it’s her greatest dream come true. Unfortunately, she’s not the only fan trying to crash the set. A real vampire has fixated on the fictitious “slayer,” and is determined to make Dylan her mate—like, for the rest of eternity.

With help from Dylan’s co-star, Matt—an actor with vampire-related secrets of his own—it’s up to Billie to keep her idol from joining the ranks of the undead long enough to finish the movie. And, incidentally, keep herself alive in the process.

14+ for adult situations

Excerpt:

The guy with the cross tattoo shook himself all over like a dog. Then he grinned at me with those big prosthetic teeth. His B.O. hit me with a stench like three-week-old hamburger. “You look tasty,” he said. He started toward me.

All of a sudden my sight of those scary teeth was blocked by a shapeless wool poncho. I never heard Dina run up. She just appeared between me and Tattoo Boy. They started to circle like dogs. I backed out of reach, but didn’t run. I’d just seen this skinny guy toss Rolly like a basketball. Dina would need help. What I could do with no weapons, I had no idea. Kick, maybe? Worked on the hockey field.

That’s when I noticed Tattoo Boy’s eyes. When he’d grinned at me, they’d been blue. They were red now. I don’t mean bloodshot. I’m talking solid scarlet, with a black pit of pupil in the centers. He hadn’t had a chance to slip contacts in. My gut did a ten-story plummet. Reality had just run off the rails here.

He bared his pointy teeth at Dina and hissed.

She bared her own pointy teeth and hissed right back at him.

Okay. Totally freaked now.

In a move almost too fast to follow, Dina whipped off her poncho and flung it in Tattoo Boy’s fangy face. Under the poncho she had on a scoop-neck top, jeans, and a bandolier full of wooden stakes. She yanked one free. Once Tattoo Boy untangled himself from the poncho and flung it away, she dove in and rammed her stake into his chest.

He looked at the stake. Then he looked at her. His lips started to move. Before any words could form, lips, face and everything else cracked and crumbled and collapsed on the mall’s worn linoleum with a little puff.

I kept waiting for Rog to yell, “Cut.”

Dina calmly plucked another stake from her bandolier. She looked over at me. Her eyes were solid crimson.

“You might want to run now,” she suggested.

She left me before I could speak or scream, or do anything other than pant. I stared around at everything except that pile of ash on the floor, and realized our part of the mall was almost deserted. I glimpsed Matt, recognizable by his height, up at the other end, herding people toward the exits.

What about Dylan? Surely they’d gotten him to safety when this disaster started, right?

I ran, but not for the nearest exit. I headed for the spot where I’d last seen Dylan. Matt seemed to have his own safety under control, but I couldn’t cut out until I knew for sure Dylan was all right. What kind of fangirl would I be if I did?

But first, I detoured for the sporting goods store. I needed a weapon. I grabbed a hardwood baseball bat from the front-of-the store display. Not my first choice, but it was handy. Then I plunged toward the junkyard of abandoned cameras, dollies and cranes where Dylan had last been filming.

I didn’t see anyone around. Maybe they’d all got out. Then two shapes buzzed past me, so fast I only saw blurs, like the vampires on Slayer for Hire, just without the SFX.

Trust me, I did not like how the evidence was mounting up.

The blurs slowed enough to resolve into two of the fang-faced attackers. They grabbed two people struggling to wedge themselves out through an emergency exit. One was Rog. The captain of this flick had stuck with his sinking ship past the last minute. He had Dylan with him, at least until the leather boys yanked them apart. I hefted my bat and pelted toward them.

“Hey, I know you,” one of the Fango Brothers said to Rog. “You were on Leno. You directed RoboSoldier II. Man, that movie sucked.” He swooped in close. He looked like he was biting Rog’s neck.

The other one had hold of a struggling Dylan. “Relax, pretty boy. We’re part of your fan club. Our president wants to meet you. She sent us to pick you up, seeing as how you won’t answer her letters.”

“I don’t see her letters or emails or anything. We’ve got people who do that.” Dylan abruptly stopped struggling. He’d finally noticed the guy sucking on Rog’s neck. “What the hell?”

His captor shrugged one shoulder. “He skipped breakfast.”

“Are you friggin’ insane?” Dylan exploded. “Slayer’s not real! It’s a goddamn TV show! It isn’t real!”

The guy showed his fangs. Dylan shut up. “It’s real enough, bucko.”

“So’s this,” I quipped, and swung the bat. Go for the legs, that’s what they taught us in field hockey. Okay, no, not the coaches. Sarah McClosky, our team captain. She could trip an opposing player six different ways and make ’em all look like an accident. Her dad was a cop, so she knew what to aim for. Her tricks were also effective against grabby dates who wouldn’t listen to “no.”

I cracked the bat against the guy’s knees with all the strength I could muster. Considering the weight of the trays we have to lift at the dinner rush, that’s a lot more than you’d think.

He let go of Dylan and staggered back. He should have gone down, but he didn’t. I retreated a couple of steps. Dylan whirled toward the exit door and clawed at the unyielding bar, totally ignoring the “Push” sign.

I took another swing at Fango’s legs. I thought I was fast, but he beat me. He caught the bat on the downswing and yanked it out of my hands. He tossed it away. It clattered and rolled across the floor, too far away for me to make a dive for. Fango grinned at me, and licked his lips.

“Come to think of it,” he said, “I could do with a bite myself.”

Slayer for Hire is available here!

What’s up for grabs?

  • One lucky hopper will win a KINDLE PAPERWHITE eREADER sponsored by Evernight Teen.
  • Every book blogger/reviewer site is giving away one free eBook from Evernight Teen (winner’s choice of any eBook from Evernight Teen’s website).
  • Plus, each author offers their own unique prize! So visit each blog hop stop for a host of fabulous prizes to win.

How to enter? Leave a comment answering the question below, along with your email address to be eligible to win a prize. Copied and pasted entries will be disqualified — so make your answer unique in some way, so I know you didn’t just copy someone else’s response. (Sorry I have to do this, but you’d be surprised how many times this actually happens)

Question: What is your favorite Vampire book or movie character of all time?

Don’t forget to continue hopping to the next stop!

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Rise of the Magi Blog Tour:My #Review and a #Giveaway, too! @JocelynAdams, #UF, #LilaGray

Those of you who follow the blog regularly, know how much I have enjoyed the stories in Jocelyn Adams’ Lila Gray Urban Fantasy series. Well, today is the day I get to share my review of the last installment, RISE OF THE MAGI, which released from J. Taylor Publishing on June 4th.

It has been KILLING me to have to hold my tongue on what I thought about this final Lila Gray tale, but for all of us — the wait is finally over.

Excited, right? Yeah, me too!

Before I get to the actual review, here is a bit about the novel.

RiseOfTheMagi_Cover_500pxRise of the Magi
by Jocelyn Adams

Series: Lila Gray, book #3

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: J. Taylor Publishing

Release Date: June 4th, 2013

Keywords: fae, faeries, elves, selkies, fantasy, urban fantasy, romance, romantic, dryads, paranormal.

Blurb: In a battle of wills, who is strongest? The one who hates or the one who loves?

In a test of faith, who will fight the hardest? The one who has everything to lose or the one who believes only in herself?

For Lila Gray, the answer is both. For the Magi, the questions are pointless since they can’t lose, and they’ve been waiting since before Lila’s birth for this one moment. Lila only needs to find them to understand her entire purpose in life. This time, though, instead of protecting her people, Lila may be leading them all, including her unborn child and the man she loves, to their deaths — and not by accident.

In the ultimate trial of heart and soul, and the conclusion to the Lila Gray series, Lila will learn that the greatest weapon of war is herself, with one ultimate unknown. For which side will she fight?

Rise of the Magi on Goodreads:

Book Trailer:

 

You want it now, don’tcha? Don’t even need to read my review now. Do ya? It’s okay, you can admit it. *grins* I left the links below for you — you know, just in case I’m right.

BUY LINKS:

 Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble

For those of you who are still with me and not over at one of the above sites buying your copy…

My Review:

I’m going to start this review off by stating for the record, I consider the author, Jocelyn Adams a good friend. But, saying that, you should also understand she is one because I met her on a writing site and LOVED her stories, so started to post critiques of them on the site. We got to know each other and became friends, but I loved her stories first.

Now that we have that out of the way.

Rise of the Magi is the final installment of Ms. Adams’ Lila Gray stories, and while I have to say The Glass Man is still my favorite of the three novels in the series, Rise of the Magi comes a close second.  The series’ main character, Lila Gray has become one of my favorite literary heroines. I’m just a sucker for a tough female lead. Lila started out spunky in The Glass Man and that spirit and sarcastic determination is evident in the second book, Shadowborn. It still exists in this story.

I make it a point to not give spoilers in my review, so I won’t discuss the plot itself — as much as I want to. I will say I cried in some places, and for a book to get me that way doesn’t happen often.

I also have to say I am completely impressed by the authors ability to carry the tale through three novels and tie things up so succinctly at the end of it all. So many twists and turns, things I never saw coming, clues missed in Book #1 or Book #2 that gave me such “A-ha” moments while reading Rise of the Magi. I love when that happens.

The story is character rich and the “voice” is stellar.  I highly recommend the read, in fact, the whole Lila Gray series.

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5 Pirate Skulls from me for this wonderful, urban fantasy tale.

Oh! I almost forgot… I promised you all a giveaway. I can’t actually host the giveaway here on my free wordpress blog, so I have just given you the link below. Good luck!

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

JocelynAdams (2)Author Bio:

Jocelyn Adams grew up on a cattle farm in Lakefield and has remained a resident of Southern Ontario her entire life, most recently in Muskoka. She has worked as a computer geek, a stable hand, a secretary, and spent most of her childhood buried up to the waist in an old car or tractor engine with her mechanically inclined dad. But mostly, she’s a dreamer with a vivid imagination and a love for fantasy (and a closet romantic — shhh!). When she isn’t shooting her compound bow in competition or writing, she hangs out with her husband and young daughter at their little house in the woods.

Links:

Website  | BlogFacebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

A Little Taste of Upcoming release, EYE OF THE SOUL by Terri Rochenski (@terrirochenski) #Fantasy

Welcome back to the blog. I ralize things have been a bit quiet around here lately, but I promise, the next few weeks will be full of posts. Have a lot coming up in the ole blog schedule, so stay tuned.
Today, I have the distinct pleasure of getting the chance to share an excerpt from my friend, Terri Rochenski’s debut novel and the first in her Pool of Souls series, EYE OF THE SOUL
The novel releases in October, but today I have a bit of a tease for you. Something to get you as excited about the pending release as I am. Here are the particulars on the novel being released by J. Taylor Publishing.

EyeOfTheSoul_Cover_blogEye of the Soul (Pool of Souls #1)
by Terri Rochenski

Genre: Adult Fantasy
Release Date: October 7, 2013
Blurb: Escape.
That should be Hyla’s first thought as her people are chained and imprisoned for no imaginable reason.
Instead, Hyla finds herself traveling through a land void of Natives, with human soldiers pillaging in desperate pursuit of her, and in search of the mystical Pool of Souls—home to the one man who can save her people.
Or so she believes.
Led by her faith in the deity Fadir, Hyla is met along her journey by Jadon—a human male and fierce King’s warrior, and his childhood best friend Conlin—one of the few Natives aware of his Fadir-given Talents.
Protected by Jadon, guided by Conlin, and with an unfailing belief in the purpose of her pilgrimage, Hyla carries on.
Like her, though, another searches for the Pool, and should he gain access first, everyone she loves, and everything she knows, could be lost.
Forever.
And, as promised, here is the excerpt:
Cursing her arthritic fingers, Miri squeezed out a rag and draped it over the human man’s hot forehead.
“I’ve seen a lot more harvests than you, old goat,” she muttered, lifting his eyelids. “I’m thinking you’ll never catch up either. Doubt you last another half-moon’s phase.”
Miri pushed to her feet and stretched her hunched back. A heavy sigh slipped past her wrinkled lips as she glanced around the sick house. Keeping the night watch wasn’t too bad—she’d volunteered often since her old bones wouldn’t allow much sleep.
“Joints wasted, hearing all but gone …” Miri yanked on the long white braid lying over her shoulder. “I’m the old goat.”
She shuffled down the aisle, woolen kirtle swishing in the silence. A cool, autumn breeze rustled the crimson leaves of the magnolia and palm fronds overhead, drawing her gaze upward. Violet streaks lit the pre-dawn sky.
A dog barked, yipped, and fell silent.
Miri peered across the village green to the thatched buildings beyond. A shadow passed between two cottages. Another three hurried toward the neighboring dwelling.
“Sight fading or my mind, too?” Miri rubbed her watery eyes, blinked, and leaned forward. Light flickered through the palm trees behind the outlying homes.
Torches?
 
The flames drew closer, weaving between the trunks.
Humans from the mainland? Miri’s hand clutched at her throat. Soldiers. Fadir have mercy.
 
The men crept through the village, taking up positions at every doorway. Two brutes, more horse-like in size than human, approached the sick house. Sputtering torch held high, the first strode forward, dark eyes intent upon Miri. A green surcoat covered broad shoulders and fell to his thighs. The golden wheat sheaf of the city of Varosh adorned his chest.
Cold sweat beaded upon Miri’s brow. Breath burst from her lungs, and she moved back, clutching the door jam.
The second soldier stepped closer, chains and shackles clanking in his hand. He stopped two paces away from Miri, and a smile stretched his stubbled cheeks, revealing rotted teeth. “Good morning pointy-ears.”
Miri stared, heartbeat thundering in her ears. She’d been called worse in her eighty-three birth passings but never with such malice.
A single cry rang out across the village, and doors crashed inward. Screams rent the air.
“Don’t fight Native woman,” rotten-teeth sneered, shackles outstretched.
“W-why?” Miri whispered, taking a step backward.
A scowl narrowed his gaze, and his fist shot forward.
Bursts of light and pain exploded through Miri as she crumpled to the floor.

Add it to your Goodreads TBR pile today:  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17156372-eye-of-the-soul
 Now if you want to follow (stalk) the author, Terri Rochenski, she can be found here:

Stone Chameleon Blog Tour: Find out what author, Jocelyn Adams (@JocelynAdams) would chose as her special talent. #UF

SC Tour Button

Welcome to the blog and my stop on the STONE CHAMELEON Blog Tour. I am beyond excited to be able to share the start of  my good friend, Jocelyn Adams’ newest Urban Fantasy series about the Ironhill Jinn.

If you are a regular follower of the blog, you know how much I loved Ms. Adams first UF series, The Lila Gray novels. As a matter of fact, I am not sure I am over the end of that one yet, having just read the ARC for the final installment of that trilogy, due out in June of this year (you are going to love that one, too!).

But, today we are all about the new series, and based on the ARC I finished a few weeks ago, you are all if for another treat. If you liked Lila, wait till you meet Lou. *grins*

JocelynAdams (2)Anyway, for my stop on the tour, Ms. Adams and I wanted to do something a little different. Something fun. So I came up with a question for my author friend, that I thought fit nicely into the Urban Fantasy theme.

I got to thinking about the stories I’ve read of Jocelyn’s and her process for writing them. I considered the imagination and creativity woven into every paragraph and came up with this question for our guest author. (Which she was kind enough to answer, of course :P)

As a fantasy author, you write a lot of stories about characters with “special gifts” or unique talents. If you were given a choice, what special gift or talent would you like to have in real life? Why?

Jocelyn’s answer: 

Oh my, so much to choose from.  As I’ve been sitting here, pondering this, I keep coming back to one of my favorite cartoons/movies/comics, the X-Men.  It would be a total toss-up between Wolverine and Mystique.

Being able to heal anything, live forever, and have some kick-ass adamantium claws that slice out whenever I was ticked off would be so awesome.  Of course, I’d need Wolverine’s giant chip on his shoulder as well so the world would simply get out of my way.  🙂

Or, like Mystique, I could change myself into anybody at will.  Wouldn’t that be neat?  Go out as somebody famous or sneak into a bank as the manager and withdraw a few mil.  Not that I’d do that, of course, just saying.  Hmm, choices, choices.  Why not both? 😉

* * * * * 

That would be one kick ass mutant. *grins* I LOVED X-Men, and Wolverine is among my list of favorites. Though, I have a soft spot for Gambit, personally.

So, let’s have a look at Jocelyn’s newest release, STONE CHAMELEON

stonechameleonBlurb:

When a series of unusual murders point to Lou Hudson, Ironhill’s equal rights advocate, as the primary suspect, she has but one choice: find the real perpetrator before her trial begins or face execution.

Lou, the last of the jinn, survives by hiding her abilities after the rest of the elementals fell victim to genocide. As a preternatural pest exterminator and self-proclaimed guardian of the innocent, she’s accustomed to trudging through the dregs of society. Hunting down a pesky murderer should be easy, especially with help from the dashing and mischievous local media darling.

For Lou, though, nothing is ever simple. When she discovers the killer’s identity, to reveal it would unearth her secret and go against her strict moral code, resulting in a deadly catch twenty-two.

BUY LINKS:

Amazon.com  |  Barnes & Noble  |  MuseItUp Publishing

You can find out more about this, and all of Ms. Adams’ fiction titles here:

Website: www.joceadams.com
Blog: www.joceadams.wordpress.com

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