May 31, 2015

Book Review ~ Honest and for True by Jane Lebak

I haven't read much chick lit, let alone chick lit featuring protagonists who speak to their guardian angels, so I'm fairly certain Jane Lebak has created her own genre. And you know what? It's awesome.

Oh this cover is TOO CUTE!
Honest and for True (HAFT for short) is the first in the adventures of Lee and her guardian angel Bucky. Although Lee loves working as an auto mechanic, she has a teency problem with lying about it to the guys she dates, crafting a new story for each person she runs into. Bucky can't stand the lies and he tries to get her to come clean before it's too late.

You know it's always gonna be too late. So while as a reader, we know this little problem is going to blow up in her face, it still hurts like hell once it does. By the time the conflict comes to a head, I'm totally invested in Lee's life and her amazing relationship with the unseen angel. Lee and Bucky are both hilarious, making sarcastic jokes at the drop of a hat, and Lee's voice is really engaging and fun to read. The relationships between Lee and her roommate, mother, niece, boyfriends, and especially Bucky, come across genuine and heartfelt. I like for a book to draw me in deep, and HAFT nailed it.

There's funny parts, sad parts, tense parts, and heartwarming parts. Plus, it has the most amazing toilet-repair scene you've ever read. Essentially, if a book can get me to cry and/or genuinely FEEL for the main character, it's a 5-star. Here you go Bucky, take your stars and share 'em with Lee.

May 18, 2015

Guest Post ~ Lisa Dunn talks about GRIT and Proust's Questions



Today I've invited Lisa Dunn and her great warrior heroine, Grit of Berth and Stone, to visit and sit for a little character interview. Take it away Lisa!

Lisa-
By some feat of strength, we managed to wrangle Grit of Berth and Stone into a chair to subject her to Proust’s Questionnaire. She proved characteristically belligerent; hence, the shortened interview. Thirty-five questions was too much to ask of the girl. It’s possible some answers were omitted to avoid offending delicate ears.

  • What is your idea of perfect happiness? Not being forced to answer stupid questions.
  • What is your greatest fear? Fear, my friend, is for cowards.
  • What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? (Blank stare.) What's to deplore?
  • What is the trait you most deplore in others? Cowardice.
  • Which living person do you most admire? I admire no one.
  • What is your greatest extravagance? You must be new to Thresh if you think I've any extravagance.
  • What is your current state of mind? My head begins to throb with all your questions. Can I leave?
  • What do you consider the most overrated virtue? I've never had time for patience.
  • On what occasion do you lie? You can't seriously expect me to tell you.
  • What do you most dislike about your appearance? (Looks at arms, legs, lap in confusion) What about my appearance?
  • Which living person do you most despise? Turf of Elna and Bord.
  • What is the quality you most like in a man? Ah, he must be good with a weapon.
  • What is the quality you most like in a woman? I'll tell you when I find a woman I like.
  • Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Now that's a fool question.
  • What or who is the greatest love of your life? I... I don't understand the question.
  • When and where were you happiest? The sea. But that's between us, you understand?
  • Which talent would you most like to have? I suppose there's a certain talent in keeping one's mouth shut.
  • If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Really, I think that mouth shut thing could be useful.
  • What do you consider your greatest achievement? I don't think I'm allowed to talk about my achievements. They're all highly debatable, anyhow.
  • If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? Humph. With my luck, I'd be Brakken's chamber pot.
  • Where would you most like to live? Somewhere I can eat my breakfast in peace, without the bother of foolish questions.
  • What is your most treasured possession? My dagger.
  • What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Life in the Inner Ring, among the weak and cowardly.
  • What is your favourite occupation? Meet me in the sparring ring, and I'll show you.
  • What is your most marked characteristic? I never lose.
  • What do you most value in your friends? A good blade and an honest tongue.
  • Who are your favourite writers? I'm going to go with Pierce Brown on this, but I don't recommend him to the feint-hearted.
  • What is it that you most dislike? I'm not fond of birds, if I'm honest.
  • What is your greatest regret? Sitting in this chair.
  • How would you like to die? With my dagger in my enemy's heart.
  • What is your motto? To waver is weakness.
Laura again here! ~ Thank you Lisa and thank you Grit for visiting today and giving us an insight into Chasmaria's heroine. There's that spunk and back-talk I love about Grit, and I think everyone should waltz on over to their favorite retailer and delver further into her world.

Forever and ever, To Grit!

Blurb 

                                                                                                  
Banished for a foolish mistake, sixteen-year-old Grit of Berth and Stone scorns the loss of her home, her honor, and her only ally. Only the weak worry about such things.
But war is brewing all across Chasmaria, and as a group of rebels pulls Grit into their ranks, she begins to question what strength, courage, and honor really look like. When faced with a horrible truth about herself, Grit must either fight her way back to Thresh or live with the blood of the innocent on her hands.





About the Author

As a child, Lisa Dunn fell asleep to her father’s fanciful bedtime tales and played with her own story ideas during the daylight hours. She now resides in a small southern town with her husband, four children, and an ever-changing assortment of pets. Local librarians habitually thank her for their job security. 

Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/lisadunn
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorlisadunn
Twitter:  @ScouterWife
 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/21086727-lisa-dunn


May 13, 2015

Book Spotlight! ~ The Squire and the Slave Master by Eric Price


Mock Cover

The award winning Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud (CLC’s Best First Novel 2014) chronicled Yara, Owen, and Cedric’s quest to revive King Kendrick from a dark, magical spell. After the adventure to save King Kendrick, for Yara, everyday life has grown monotonous. The dull work of learning her father’s blacksmithing trade, and the pressure from her parents to decide what she plans on doing with her life, has her nerves so stressed she snaps at her father’s slightest teasing. Lucky for her, a surprise messenger from the castle brings the king’s request for her to join a collaborative mission between the Central and Western Domains of Wittatun to stop a recently discovered slave operation in a land to the west.

King Kendrick and Owen want her to accompany the mission as a secret weapon disguised as a squire. She has to keep secret not only her magical abilities from any possible traitors, but also her gender. The people of the Western Domain have a superstition prohibiting girls from sailing. But a chill wind carries the distinct odor of sabotage. Can one girl survive to destroy an evil rooted much deeper than mere slavery?

Excerpt: 


A woman with long, brown hair, much like Yara’s, but streaked with grey, entered the stables. She looked around and must have sensed the remaining hostility. She put her hand on the man’s shoulder. “Oh, Pavit, you didn’t try to tell Yara her place in the world again, did you?”

“Now Kamala, you know—”

“Yes he did, Mother. And do you know what’s worse? He wants to arrange my marriage. And even worse, he wants to go back to the time of slavery.” Yara tried to scowl at him, but she felt a smile break through.

“Now, I never even suggested that.”

“Yara, honey,” her mother said, smiling as well, “a messenger from the castle’s here to see you.”

“Agh! Right now?” She dripped with sweat and smelled like horse manure. “What could the castle possibly want with me? Can he come back another time?”

Her mother turned to leave. “I think you need to see what he wants.”

Yara picked up the hammer and horseshoe and placed them on the workbench, brushed some of the soot and dirt from her clothes, and took the coif from her hair. She never worried about her appearance, but her hair was uncomfortably matted to her head. When she untied it and fanned it out, it stretched nearly to her waist. It felt much better free.

Opening the door, she paused to size up the tall, well-built man, a few years younger than she, who stood outside the yard gate. His hair had grown out since she had last seen him, and it looked like he hadn’t shaved for a week. He wore gloves, but she knew underneath, the palm of the right one looked black and charred.

She sprinted and threw herself into his arms. “Owen! How are you?” She pulled away to look at him. “What’s this on your face? Dirt?” She rubbed his beard stubble.

“Yeah, it’s dirt. I thought I should match you.”

Yara's face grew warm. She couldn’t imagine how much filth must cover her. She didn’t care to take time to freshen herself for a messenger, but she would have had she known his identity. It must have something to do with their time apart—Owen and Yara used to spend almost every day together—but as the official heir to the throne, each time she saw him, he somehow looked different in her eyes. More noble. More royal.

He smiled and wiped at a smudge on her cheek. “Did I hear you say something about getting married?”

“Oh no! Father loves trying my nerves. I don’t want to talk about it. Why are you here?” And how much of the conversation did you hear?

About the Author: 

Author Photo  Eric Price lives with his wife and two sons in northwest Iowa. He began publishing in 2008 when he started writing a quarterly column for a local newspaper. Later that same year he published his first work of fiction, a spooky children’s story called Ghost Bed and Ghoul Breakfast. Since then, he has written stories for children, young adults, and adults. Three of his science fiction stories have won honorable mention from the CrossTime Annual Science Fiction Contest. His first YA fantasy novel, Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud, received the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval and the Literary Classics Award for Best First Novel. His second novel, The Squire and the Slave Master, scheduled for an August 4, 2015 release, continues the Saga of the Wizards. He is a member of SCBWI. Find Him Online: Website/Blog authorericprice.com Twitter: @AuthorEricPrice Facebook: Author Eric Price Goodreads: Eric Price and Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud

Don't Miss Unveiling the Wizards' Shroud

Literary Classics Best First NovelLiterary Classics Best First Novel[/caption] As the only son to King Kendrick, Owen despises the idea of being king one day. Magician may be the only career he’d like less. He has dreaded the days leading up to his fifteenth birthday, when his father will certainly declare Owen heir to the throne. But at the birthday celebration, his father falls ill. The only person in the kingdom that may be able to save him is a magician–the very same magician Owen holds responsible for the death of his mother. Owen and his companions will have to travel the continent of Wittatun in search of the cure for King Kendrick. On the journey, they will battle strange beasts and harsh climates, befriend extraordinary magicians, and meet a dragon before returning to Innes Castle–where much has happened in the days since he departed.      

Get your copy here: If you prefer to buy directly from the publisher:

Muse It Up Publishing

Or find the link to your favorite online bookstore

Amazon:

US; UK; CA; AU

Barnes & Nobel Smashwords OmniLit Apple iTunes

May 8, 2015

Ever wonder what trait you are?

I put together a little BuzzFeed quiz! In my book #SCHISM there's another world called Illirin. Illirin has five traits (Winged, Legged, Finned, Tailed, and Seer), and you can take the quiz to see which one YOU are!

It's fun, fast, and easy. Share with all your friends!

Which Illirin Trait Are You?

May 5, 2015

Guest Post - Integrating Real Places into a Fantasy World by Megan O'Russell

As part of the Blog Tour for Megan O'Russell's SIREN'S REALM, I've invited her here today to talk about mixing reality with fantasy. Megan, take it away!


Integrating Real Places into a Fantasy World



In 2013, my husband and I took a trip to Europe. We went over with the intent to see a little more of the world, and I came home with the inspiration for The Siren’s Realm.

On our trip we went to Paris, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre, and Rome.

One of my absolute favorite things we did was seeing the fountain and music show at the Palace of Versailles. I’m already moderately obsessed with fountains, and there were around fifty beautifully lit fountains all over the garden, providing lots of things to frolic between.

But one fountain stuck with me. It wasn’t the best or the most beautiful. But there was something in the green mist that I found entrancing. It was a simple effect. Green lasers and fog. But at night in Versailles, it was pure magic. Something so far beyond our normal world, I couldn’t stop imagining where in a magical one the mist could have come from.



Through that wondering the green mist was written into The Siren’s Realm. In fact, you can see it on the book’s cover.

The gondola on the cover comes from our time in Venice. Riding a gondola through the canals at night was the most peaceful and content I have ever felt. The sound of the gentle waves lapping against the boat, resonating between the thick stone walls. The twinkling of the stars above the glow of the city. Faint music drifting through the labyrinth of streets. It was so beautiful and perfect, it made me wish I could never leave. Just stay frozen in that wonderful peace forever.
But if you add in a little bit of magic, wanting to stay in a boat gliding through the night becomes possible and infinitely more dangerous.



Other places and people have trickled their way into The Tethering Series, becoming the world Jacob Evans and Emilia Gray must fight to protect.

The Siren's Realm


Jacob loves Emilia Gray, but things aren't always that simple in the world of Magickind...

The war has begun. 
The Dragons are gaining power, and the Gray Clan stands alone. Desperate to find a way to stop the Pendragon, Emilia is forced to seek answers from someone who hasn't been seen in seventeen years . . . Her mother. Embarking on a magical journey filled with witches, wizards, centaurs and a dangerous and powerful Siren, Jacob and Emilia must take a leap of faith to a land neither could have ever imagined . . . and hope they can then find their way home.





Book Blitz ~ Suspected by Rori Shay

Suspected banner

This is my stop during the book blitz for Suspected (#2) by Rori Shay. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 20 April till 3 May, you can view the complete blitz schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours.

So far this series contains 2 books: Elected (The Elected series #1) and Suspected (The Elected series #2). The Elected series is about the environment and environmental change and what can happen after climate change. It’s about a girl pretending to be a boy for the good of her country. Fans of Mulan will love this series.

SuspectedSuspected (The Elected series #2)
By Rori Shay

Genre: Dystopia
Age category: Young Adult

Blurb:
East Country upheld the laws. Mid destroyed them.

In the year 2185 Earth is rebuilding after a global eco-crisis. Countries maintain complete isolation so there is no warfare over scarce resources. One Elected family is chosen to lead each country for 100 years to ensure stability. Women aren't allowed to take office and must reproduce at all costs. Technology use of any kind is banned to preserve what's left of the environment.

And yet, I'm my country's Elected. I've just sanctioned technology use to ready us for war. I'm about to cross the border to spy on our neighbor. And...I'm a girl. Shhhhhh.....


You can find Suspected on Goodreads
- Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Suspected-Elected-Book-Rori-Shay-ebook/dp/B00UUIRE0Q/ 
- Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/suspected-rori-shay/1121727075 
- Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/suspected-1 
- Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/536776 
- Silence in the Library: http://www.silenceinthelibrarypublishing.com/product/suspected-by-rori-shay/ 


First book in the series:
ElectedElected (The Elected series #1)
By Rori Shay
Genre: Dystopia
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: April 8, 2014

Blurb:
It’s the year 2185, and in two weeks, Aloy will turn eighteen and take her father’s place as president of the country. But to do so, she must masquerade as a boy to avoid violating the Eco-Accords, four treaties designed to bring the world back from the brink of environmental extinction. Aloy hopes to govern like her father, but she is inheriting a different country. The long concealed Technology Faction is stepping out of the shadows, and as turmoil grows within her country, cryptic threats also arrive from beyond their borders.

As she struggles to lead, Aloy maintains her cover by marrying a woman, meanwhile battling feelings for the boy who knows her secret—the boy who is somehow connected to her country’s recent upheaval. When assassination attempts add to the turmoil, Aloy doesn’t know whom to trust. She understood leadership required sacrifice. She just didn’t realize the sacrifice might be her life.


You can find Elected on Goodreads

You can buy Elected here:
- Amazon
- Barnes & Noble
- Kobo


Rori ShayAbout the Author: Rori Shay is a strategic management consultant living in the Seattle area with her family, black lab, and cat. In the writing world, Rori is primarily know for her science fiction trilogy, The Elected Series. She enjoys running, reading, snow-shoeing, pumpkin-picking, and right now…writing the third ELECTED novel! Rori is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

You can find and contact Rori here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads


There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Suspected. This giveaway is US and Canada only. These are the prizes you can win:
- a kindle ereader and a signed copy of Elected by Rori Shay

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

May 3, 2015

Whirlwind Over?

Hi everyone!

The first week after release is winding down and the blog tour has ended. I've notified the winners of the giveaway, and I want to thank everyone who entered and spread the word about my little book out into the world. My first book signing on Saturday was a big success and I got to see a lot of people. I'm so overwhelmed and humbled by the support and love from everyone during this release.

Here's to hoping things keep going in a good way. If you read the book and love it, please rate it on Amazon and write a short review. Seriously, two sentences is enough! Every little bit helps, and I appreciate all the kind words.

For now, I'm going to collapse into a heap and get some rest. Have a great Sunday all!