Sunday, March 24, 2013

Blog tour stop: Ixeos - Guest post by Jennings Wright

 Today we have Jennings Wright on why she wrote a YA novel:

My newest book, IXEOS, is a Young Adult novel, my first in that genre. I struggle with genre, because I write the story that’s in my head without regard to the label. But at some point (ie publishing) you have to sit down and try to categorize your work. This book is Young Adult because the main characters are teens, but its underlying message appeals to all ages.

I’ve been asked a lot why I wrote a YA. My answer would be, “Why not?” and I don’t mean that in a sarcastic way. I like to read YA myself, and I like to explore the themes that are meaningful for teenagers. This is pretty easy for me -- I have kids who are 16 and 20, and I have homeschooled for thirteen years now.

Teens have a lot going on. Early teens have a lot of hormonal stuff that makes them, at times, supremely frustrating, but they are also starting to develop amazing insight into what’s going on around them. By mid-teens, I’m more surprised by a bonehead moment than I am by the mature conversations and increased responsibility I see in my kids. By late teens, 99% of the time I consider them a great joy.

But I also know the things that they struggle with, and chief among them is their place and purpose in this world. Right now, especially, with teen and recent college grad unemployment at an all-time high, many are wondering what their life is going to look like five or ten years from now. Kids who always thought they’d go to college are now looking at the cost versus the shrinking benefits and trying to approach the world in a new, out of the box, way.

And kids of all ages worry that they aren’t important. That they don’t have anything to contribute. This is the theme that IXEOS explores. The teens in IXEOS are brought to the planet for a purpose that only they can fulfill. There’s no college. There’s no “you’re too young.” Their job is to help free the humans, and if they don’t help, it won’t get done.

It’s scary when things ride on your shoulders, especially if you haven’t ever been in that position before. But I find that, in real life, my teens have always risen to the occasion and done well. Sometimes even better than I’d hoped.

This is what the teens in IXEOS find, too. They are truly capable, when given the chance. As the grown-up, I try to remember that. I think this book is also a great reminder to those of us who have been around awhile. We, too, can find and fulfill a purpose. Maybe even one no one else can do!

As a writer, I know that there are millions of other writers out there, but I know that none of them can write my stories, nor can I write theirs. No matter your profession, you can do something unique and important. I believe that for myself, and try to pass it on to my kids so that they truly believe it, as well. And if some realize this through reading IXEOS, I will be incredibly proud!

About Ixeosby Jennings Wright

The McClelland's are enjoying a lazy summer at the beach when they are lured from our world into Ixeos, an alternate Earth. Finding themselves lost in a maze of tunnels under Paris and surrounded by strangers, they discover they have been brought to Ixeos for one purpose: to take the planet back from humanoid aliens that have claimed it. With the aid of the tunnels and a mysterious man named Landon, the teens travel the world seeking the key that will allow them to free Darian, the long imprisoned rebel leader. 
The aliens aren't' the only problem on Ixeos -- the McCleland's have to deal with brutal gangs, desperate junkies, and a world without power, where all the technology is owned by aliens, and most of the population has been killed or enslaved. 
What's the worst part? There's no way home.

About Jennings Wright

Born and raised in Rockledge, Florida, Jennings spent her early years reading anything she could get her hands on, when she wasn't spending time in and on the water. She won a prize in the 6th grade for her science fiction stories.

Jennings attended the University of the South and the University of Tampa, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science, and almost enough credits for B.A.s in both English and History. She spent time over the years doing various kinds of script doctoring, business writing, editing, and teaching writing, but mostly having and raising her family, homeschooling her children, owning and running a business with her husband, and starting a non-profit to Uganda.

Thanks to a crazy idea called NaNoWriMo Jennings got back into creative writing in 2011 and hasn't stopped since. She's written four novels and a screenplay in less than a year, with more ideas on the drawing board. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, also a writer, and two children, and travels extensively.

Author links: Website, Facebook, Twitter @JenningsWright, Goodreads, Amazon
Buy your kindle copy of Ixeos today!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Coming soon! Better off Dead by H.P. Mallory

I don't know about you, but I am so excited about this book. H.P. Mallory is one of the few authors that I can honestly say I have read all of her books and I love them all! Her books are funny, sexy, exciting and they just keep you wanting more. Here's a look at her latest - Available March 26th, 2013!

                   Better off Dead by H.P. Mallory       

                                  Coming March 26, 2013!!
                      If there’s such a thing as luck, Lily Harper definitely doesn’t have it.

Killed in a car accident before it’s her time to go, Lily learns that the hereafter isn’t exactly what she hoped it might be.

First, there’s AfterLife Enterprises, the company responsible for sorting out the recently dead and sending them on their way to the Kingdom, (aka happily ever after,) or to the Underground City, (not so happily ever after.) Learning that Lily’s death was indirectly their fault (her guardian angel, Bill, was MIA during her accident and was one of their employees,) Afterlife Enterprises offers Lily the chance to live again. But, as with most things involving the afterlife, beware the small print. Most notably, Lily will have to become a soul retriever, venturing into the bowels of the Underground City to retrieve souls that were mistakenly sent there by Afterlife Enterprises during a Y2K computer glitch.

Second, there’s angel Bill. As if risking her second life in the Underground City wasn’t enough, Lily’s guide to the Underground is none other than her incompetent, alcoholic, womanizing guardian angel, Bill, the antithesis of anything wholesome. With only Dante’s Inferno and Bill to help her in her quest, Lily’s future isn’t looking bright.

Finally, there’s the legendary bladesmith, Tallis Black. As Scottish as his kilts and heavy brogue, Tallis Black is a centuries-old Celt who, for reasons only known to him, offers to train Lily and act as her escort into the depths of the Underground City. Dark, brooding and definitely dangerous, Lily knows she shouldn’t trust Tallis, but she also can’t deny her attraction to him.
~ from


                                      H.P. Mallory
                                             Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Romance Author

I started my writing career as a self-published author and was lucky enough to hit both the Amazon and the Barnes and Noble bestseller’s lists with my two series, the Jolie Wilkins series and the Dulcie O’Neil series. Most recently I hit the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists!

I’m a huge fan of anything paranormal and I always have been. I get super excited whenever they have those Twilight Zone Marathon days and anything ghost or vampire related will always attract my attention.

My interests are varied but aside from writing, I’m most excited about traveling. I’m extremely fortunate to have been able to live in England and Scotland, both places really having a profound effect on my books.

visit H.P. Mallory's website

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Mirror of the Moon by Travis Simmons

I am so excited to share with you this fantastic author and the second installment in the Revenant Saga, The Mirror of the Moon by Travis Simmons! First of all, the cover is gorgeous! I would so get this book based on that alone. But read on to find more reasons to get your copy today.

With the death of one of the companions, Grace must answer for the secrets she’s kept. The path before them is ever lengthening in their quest for Amber. There are changes they all must face, and when Joya enters her trials of sorcery, danger lurks around every corner. The power within Angelica and Jovian is strengthening and with it comes confusion. What are they? It is painfully obvious nothing like them has ever existed before. Why is it at times they seem more one person than two separate people? With all the mystery surrounding their latent power, Angelica stumbles upon a passage in a book of sorcery indicating she is evil. Could she be the Mask prophecy speaks of? Is she destined to turn against her own flesh? To make matters worse, the Well of Wyrding (a giant well that controls all sorcery) has been breached and Wyrd itself is spiraling into chaos.

So what does the author of a fantasy saga read, you ask?

TS: I am somewhat of a collector of books. Pretty hard to imagine right? Getting a new book is like Christmas for me. The issue is, I go out and buy books like Carrie Bradshaw buys shoes! I won’t even be finished with the other five I am currently reading, but I drop all of them to read the new book I have bought. The hardest thing for me is to finish a book before buying a new “must read.”
Currently I am reading many books, some of them I am reading over like The Hobbit and the Harry Potter series, while others I am reading for the first time. There are seriously probably more than ten books I am reading at the present time, and I am still buying more and downloading free books I want to read.
One of the best books I have read in a long time is Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo. The book is great, mainly because it has zombies, but other than that it has a lot of humor and characters you can really see existing. To me, characters are the driving point of the story. You have to have a good setting and a good plot, but great characters can take you through the story like a best friend showing you around their favorite city. Mark does that beautifully.
One of the hardest books for me to read, which is on my shelf, is The Knife of Never Letting Go. I really like the story. I really like the setting. It is one of those stories that pulls you in and guides you along, but there is something I don’t like about stubborn main characters. This has nothing to do with the author. I think he is doing an excellent job with the book, but the main characters inability to read, and then his being too pride to get help from someone who can read and knows he can’t kind of tires me out and even made me put the book away for a while.
The Black Gryphon by Mercedes Lackey. I am 24% through it. I have read it before, when I was younger, and I absolutely loved them when I was younger. This time I am having a harder time with it. Sometimes it is because I have already read it, other times it is the characters again. Mercedes Lackey doesn’t have an issue with her intelligent animals being attracted to humans. In fact, in one of her other books (Four and Twenty Blackbirds I think) a human and a bird creature were lovers. Her animals make sexual advances on humans at times and when a human and an animal our bonded, there seems to be a relationship going on that makes me feel kind of icky at times.
There is one book on my to read shelf that I am dying to read. Mainly I want to read it because the movie looks like it will be good. Often I am sold on a book by watching previews of the movie. I want to read the book before watching the film. Beautiful Creatures looks to be an amazing movie, and I really, really enjoy movies about witchcraft since I was a teen and saw The Craft and Practical Magic. It is a huge bonus that the previews have Florence and the Machine playing along in the background. I really love her quite a lot.
I am still buying books to read, but I am actually forcing myself to finish some of the others I have started before going on to others. Zombie Fallout will be done soon, then I am going on to Beautiful Creatures before finishing others. I do review all of the books I read on both amazon and goodreads, so if you have found any of my reviews here helpful, feel free to follow me on goodreads and check out my thoughts on the books I am finishing.

Wow. I know, right? Here's a bit more about Travis Simmons.
   I have been writing since I was 14. I began writing a book called "The Calling of the Two" and while writing that on and off I started uncovering another idea.

"Yes, this is all well and good, but what about before? What happened in the world before these characters came into it?" I always knew there was a "before" and as I started wondering about it I got ideas. At first they were little ideas but as I discovered the names for my characters a whole story about them emerged.

I started working on The Revenant Wyrd Saga several years back and I am very happy I did because hearing and documenting Jovian and Angelica's story has been one wild ride.

I live in a remote part of upstate New York and honestly just hoofing around my neck of the woods gives me a ton of inspiration for my novels. I love research, and I love speculating on different ideas and theories.
        Did I mention there's a giveaway? Oh yeah, there's a giveaway.
Author links : website, facebook, twitter, goodreads 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Author Spotlight: Sherri Hayes

Today's post is a spotlight on author Sherri Hayes and her romance novels. I know, not paranormal, but so what? A good book is a good book! Read on to find out a little about Sherri, her writing style and get a glimpse of the fabulous book covers.

Sherri Hayes
Sherri is the author of five novels, Hidden Threat, Slave (Finding Anna, Book 1), Behind Closed Doors (A Daniels Brothers Novel), Need (Finding Anna, Book 2), Red Zone (A Daniels Brothers Novel), and a short story, A Christmas Proposal. She lives in central Ohio with her husband and three cats. Her mother fostered her love for books at a young age by reading to her as a child. Stories have been floating around in her head for as long as she can remember; however, she didn't start writing them down until six years ago. It has become a creative outlet that allows her to explore a wide range of emotions while having fun taking her characters through all the twists and turns she can create. When she's not writing, she can usually be found helping her husband in his woodworking shop.

SH: Aspiring writers often ask me about my writing process. Sometimes I think they’re waiting for me to bestow some great piece of wisdom on them . . . give them a formula that will magically make a great story come to live. Unfortunately—or maybe fortunately—there isn’t one.
Last year, I attended the Ohioana Book Festival. It was my second year attending as an author, and like the first year, I learned a lot about not only writing, but also the industry itself from the other writers there. I sat with two other romance authors, and after speaking with them throughout the day, we found that our writing process couldn’t be more varied.
One is a strict planner. She lays everything out with diagrams, timelines, etc., before putting anything down on the page. Her attention to detail amazed me.
I, however, am the complete opposite. The other day I had a reader ask me if I knew the endings of my stories before I started writing them, or if they developed as I wrote. My answer was that while I usually have a vague idea how the story is going to end, I know none of the details, or how the characters will proceed on their journey to get to that ending. In a lot of ways, it’s just as exciting for me to write a story as it is for my readers to read.
The third author sitting with us at Ohioana, fell somewhere in the middle. While she did outline her stories, they tend to be more of a rough guide touching on the highlights of the novel versus detailing every plot twist and turn that would occur. She also stressed that no outline is ever set in stone if a better idea pops into her head while she’s writing.
The bottom line is that there is no one correct way to write. Every writer has to find their own path and what works for them. Write what you love—what you have a passion for. Don’t worry about whether or not what you’re doing it the ‘right’ way.
Sherri Hayes

Would you like a peek at the covers of her amazing novels? Well wait no more.

Sherri Hayes' Amazon page
Get your kindle copy of Slave, Need, Hidden Threat and Behind Closed Doors  

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Kayla's Curse by Stina Rubio cover reveal!!

Kayla's Curse by Stina Rubio
Here it is ladies and gentlemen. The amazing cover for Kayla's Curse!
Blaine and Kaya have been together since freshmen year in high school. Although it was love at first sight, it took some convincing on her part. Blaine and Kaya are complete and total opposites. Kaya is a free loving Rastafarian, who loves reggae and has thick blonde dreads. She fell for Blaine an uptight conservative, who hates music and anything other than school. Blaine has a one track mind and that mind is getting him into Harvard Medical. But with everything weighing against them, they found true love.
In a blink of an eye, everything in their life changes, Blaine’s life spirals out of control, losing the one thing he was sure he wouldn’t. When life changes in a blink of an eye, Blaine makes a choice. The question is: Is the choice he made a good or a bad one.
Love survives everything, even death……
With all magic comes a price……
    I ate my sandwich in peace, with only the birds for company. Here’s the thing about feelings: I felt like I was ok out here, I felt like no one would catch me. Somehow my feelings betrayed me, I looked up and out of the corner of my eye I saw blonde dreadlocks moving through the bleachers. She was far enough away still that I could have gotten up and left. I was just about to when she called my name.
                “Blaine,” she waved. When I looked at her I was stuck. My body froze, I was immobile. And then I did something I could have sworn was someone else. I waved at her, when she saw I was finally responding to her like a normal human, she gave me a mischievously sexy grin. My heart stopped, could she be getting prettier? Was that even possible? It was; the proof was walking toward me right now. She had her dreads tied back, but some had escaped and were floating through the air as she quickened her pace. Her shirt was red with the words Rasta written on it and Bob Marley’s face within the lettering.
                “I have been looking for you all day,” she explained as she closed in. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of vulnerability as she stood in front of me.
                “Why?” I questioned.
                “I don’t know really, I thought maybe—we could talk more,” she shrugged. When she did a stray lock fluttered in front of her face, making the sun reflect off of the golden highlights.
                “Why would you want to talk to me? It’s not like I give off the friendliest appearance,” I started gathering my things. I was going to leave like I had with all the other people who had tried to talk to me. If anything I needed to leave, she was causing me to question my sanity.
                “That’s the thing, I don’t think you’re as mean as everyone thinks you are. There is no way someone who looks like you could be that big of an asshole. You have pissed off a lot of people today; it was funny hearing all the girls complain, saying you wouldn’t give them the time of day. There was rumors spreading, everyone thinks you’re gay,” she stated seriously.
                I laughed; I laughed so hard it rattled my chest. “Gay? What would give them that impression? I swear this is the exact reason I tried not talking to anyone. Drama, it seems like they can’t live without it.”
                “Sounds a lot like high school; Oh—wait we are in high school. You just seem to have missed the memo,” she teased.
                “No, I didn’t miss anything. I just don’t want to act like a child. Why do you need drama? It’s pointless, we are in school to learn and get ready for the real world.” It was getting exhausting telling this to kids my age. It was good advice, but instead of taking it they called me names.
                “This is how you prepare for your life after high school. If you think the real world doesn’t have drama, then you are sadly mistaken my friend. If anything the ‘real world’ as you like to call it, is worse than high school,” she stated .She was getting more and more attractive as the time passed. My breathing started to hitch, I needed to get away from her.
                “Well—this,” I moved my eyes to her and then to the ground. “Was nice, but I have to go. I like to get to my classes on time,” I waved awkwardly to her and set off.
                “You can run Blaine but you can’t hide. I usually get what I want.” I didn’t know what she was talking about. All I knew was I had to get away, and as far as I could.
                I laughed to myself. She was so amazing, and she was right, she got what she wanted, me. She never gave up, she was relentless. No matter if I hid in the library or bleachers, she even found me in the bathroom a couple times. Every time she would find me she would tell me I needed to be more creative with my hiding spots. Kaya was mine now, and I was glad she didn’t give up on me.
                “You ready Blaine?” asked Mr. Juno the principle.
                “I was born ready,” I shook his rough plump hand and walked onto the stage. Kaya was sitting in the crowd with all the other kids in our graduating class, it was a sea of white hats. Standing out with her blonde dreads piled on top of her head. I smiled at her beautiful face when I spotted her. I looked to the front and there my mother and father were sitting. My mother had a sour look on her face as my father checked his watch repeatedly. My smile faltered, and as it did Kaya caught on to my worried look. She waved both her hands in the air to get my attention, and when I looked at her she flashed me. My mouth fell open, but I was only in shock for a minute. I shook my head and walked up to the podium.
                Time to give the best damn speech anyone has ever heard, “Fellow students, teachers, and family. We are here today to celebrate the ending of a chapter, and the beginning of another. My name is Blaine Macalister if you didn’t know, and I have been honored with the title of valedictorian. The last four years I have been here at Angelo Rodriguez High have been the best years of my life. I have found myself, as I am positive most the student body has. I have met some of the finest people in my life,” I looked at Kaya then at my best friend Gabriel. He was the guy who talked to me at orientation, telling me Kaya wouldn’t want anything to do with me, boy was he wrong. And that’s the reason we became friends, he was in awe at how I had her chasing me all over campus. “I am honored to call this school ‘my school’. I’m supposed to be up here telling you what we are going to have to look forward to in life. And I will, life is going to be kick ass after school,” everyone in the crowd gasped. They weren’t used to me cussing; I was after all--the chosen one. “I wanted to give you something you all would remember, something that would leave an impression on your minds for the rest of your lives. Just remember one thing, and everything else in life will be easy, it will be beautiful if you choose it to be. Love—love is what I want you all to keep in your hearts. It’s the only thing in life worth fighting for, without it we are just hollow, soulless vessels. So, if you do anything in life, something you know will be worth fighting for, love. Love your family, love your friends, and find that someone who makes you want to be a better person. Love is the reason I treasure this school the most, I have met my soul mate walking the halls of this school, or more accurately, hiding from the halls in this school,” I chuckled. “So I thank you all, and I thank the universe, as weird as it may seem. My life began at this school, and it taught me everything my mother had always been trying to tell me, love is what is important. I love you mom, and Kaya,” I found her in the crowd. “I love you with my heart and soul Goldie Locks,” I blow her a kiss, and then ripped open my shirt, where my chest was covered in words. It said, “Without your love I would have been a soulless vessel.”
                My mother was crying, and my father was looking at me like I had lost my mind, and maybe I had. He hadn’t raised me to act like a crazed love sick pup. I was raised to be reserved and strong. It seems like my mother won, she has always wanted me to open up more, and I knew by looking at her now that she was the most proud she has ever been.
Author Bio:

Stina is the mother of three energetic boys (Daniel Jr. age 8, Zion age 6, Ezra age 1) they are her everything, the Princes' of her heart. She has been with her husband Daniel for 11 yrs., and still going strong. A true California native (although she sometimes questions why she is so pale, vampire perhaps? Only kidding) Writing has always been a passion along with read. When she was a child she wrote short stories and poem, getting negative attention from teachers, asking if she was demented. Turns out she wasn't, she just has an over active imagination.
Along with Kaya's Curse, Stina has written another book that is NA paranormal The Forgotten Princess.