Monday, 29 February 2016

Spotlight! Nora & Kettle - Lauren Nicolle Taylor


Nora & Kettle
Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: February 29th 2016
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
What if Peter Pan was a homeless kid just trying to survive, and Wendy flew away for a really good reason?
Seventeen-year-old Kettle has had his share of adversity. As an orphaned Japanese American struggling to make a life in the aftermath of an event in history not often referred to—the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the removal of children from orphanages for having “one drop of Japanese blood in them”—things are finally looking up. He has his hideout in an abandoned subway tunnel, a job, and his gang of Lost Boys.
Desperate to run away, the world outside her oppressive brownstone calls to naïve, eighteen-year-old Nora—the privileged daughter of a controlling and violent civil rights lawyer who is building a compensation case for the interned Japanese Americans. But she is trapped, enduring abuse to protect her younger sister Frankie and wishing on the stars every night for things to change.
For months, they’ve lived side by side, their paths crossing yet never meeting. But when Nora is nearly killed and her sister taken away, their worlds collide as Kettle, grief stricken at the loss of a friend, angrily pulls Nora from her window.
In her honeyed eyes, Kettle sees sadness and suffering. In his, Nora sees the chance to take to the window and fly away.
Set in 1953, NORA AND KETTLE explores the collision of two teenagers facing extraordinary hardship. Their meeting is inevitable, devastating, and ultimately healing. Their stories, a collection of events, are each on their own harmless. But together, one after the other, they change the world.



EXCERPT:
I snort, push my sleeves up, and lean back on my forearms. She watches me, her eyes on my bare skin, and I wonder what she’s thinking. “Dances. Really? What’s to miss?” My experience with dances was one forced event in the camps where we watched the grownups awkwardly shift in lines to scratchy music. It didn’t look very enjoyable.
She releases the button she’s been playing with and smirks. “Says someone who’s clearly never been to one.”
“How do you know that?” I say, raising an eyebrow and touching my chest, mock offended.
She laughs. It’s starlight in a jar. I blink slowly. “Oh, I can tell just by looking at you, the way you move. You,” she says, pointing at me accusingly. “Can’t dance.”
The candlelight twinkles like it’s chuckling at me. “I can dance,” I say, not sure why I’m lying to defend myself. I’ve never danced in my life.
She stands up and beckons me with her finger, and I think there’s something wrong with my heart. It’s hurting… but the pain feels good.
She looks like a pirate’s cabin boy, shirt billowing around her small waist, ill-fitting pants rolled over at her hips to stop them from falling down. She points her bare foot at me. “Prove it!”
Shit!
I cough and stand nervously. I don’t know what to do with my hands, so I put them behind my back. She giggles. Touches me. Runs her fingers lightly down my arms until she finds my hands. She grasps my wrists and I gulp as she places one on the small dip between her hips and her ribs, extending the other out like the bow of a boat. Her hand in mine.
I follow her small steps and we wind in circles, avoiding the clumps of debris, painting patterns in the dust.
I stare at my socks and her narrow bare feet, listening to the swish of them across the dirt. “You know, this is pretty weird without music,” I mutter, looking up for a moment and suddenly losing my balance.
She exhales and brings us back to equilibrium. She starts humming softly. It’s a song I’ve heard before, but I pretend it’s the first time. Her voice is sweet, cracked and croaky, but in tune as she gazes at the ground and leads us up and down the back of the tunnel.
This moment is killing me. I don’t want it, but I do. Because I know it won’t be enough and it’s all I’ll get.
The end of the song is coming. It rises and rises and then softly peters out. We look at each other, understanding that something is changing between us, and we have to decide whether to let it. Please, let it.
She sings the last few bars. “And if you sing this melody, you’ll be pretending just like me. The world is mine. It can be yours, my friend. So why don’t you pretend?”
Her voice is like the dust of a comet’s tail. Full of a thousand things I don’t understand but want to.
She stops and starts to step away. She’s so fragile. Not on the outside. On the outside, her body is strong, tougher than it should have to be. It’s inside that’s very breakable. I’m scared to touch her, but I don’t want to avoid touching her because of what she’s been through. That seems worse.
So I do it, because I want to and I don’t think she doesn’t want me to. Her breath catches as I pull her closer. I just want to press my cheek to hers, feel her skin against mine. There is no music, just the rhythm of two barely functioning hearts trying to reach each other through miles of scar tissue.
She presses her ear to my chest and listens, then she pulls back to meet my eyes, her expression a mixture of confusion and comfort. She breathes out, her lips not wanting to close but not wanting to speak. She settles on a nervous smile and puts her arms around my neck. I inhale and look up at the ceiling, counting the stars I know are up there somewhere, and then rest my cheek in her hair.
I don’t know how she is here. I don’t know when she’ll disappear.
We sway back and forth, and it feels like we might break. That we will break if we step apart from each other.
I can’t let her go.
I think I love dancing.




Lauren Nicolle Taylor lives in the lush Adelaide Hills. The daughter of a Malaysian nuclear physicist and an Australian scientist, she was expected to follow a science career path, attending Adelaide University and completing a Health Science degree with Honours in obstetrics and gynaecology.
She then worked in health research for a short time before having her first child. Due to their extensive health issues, Lauren spent her twenties as a full-time mother/carer to her three children. When her family life settled down, she turned to writing.
She is a 2014 Kindle Book Awards Semi-finalist and a USA Best Book Awards Finalist.




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Friday, 26 February 2016

Cover Reveal! Black Water Tales: The Unwanted - JeanNicole Rivers


Black Water Tales: The Unwanted
JeanNicole Rivers
Publication date: March 31st 2016
Genres: Adult, Horror
In the remote, eastern European town of Borslav there is St. Sebastian orphanage, a place where people discard their unwanted children. For the American, Blaire Baker, it’s the perfect place to volunteer her services. Paired with a cheerful volunteer nurse, Blaire is enthusiastic about the possibilities, but is quickly discouraged when she encounters the nefarious nature of the staff and the deplorable conditions of the facility and the children.
Upon arrival, one of the children informs Blaire, “There’s something in the basement.” It isn’t long before strange things begin happening, including Blaire’s flashbacks of the accident that killed her parents. The children soon suffer injuries that Blaire, first, fears may be the deeds of the callous workers but she soon thinks the abuse may originate from a source that is less than human, something unwanted.
The unwanted is coming but in order for Blaire to fight it, she must dig into St. Sebastian and herself in search of truth. Blaire wants nothing more than to help the children, but when discovers the tragedy that happened in the basement and learns that the same evil forces are still at work, it will be Blaire who needs help…There’s something in the basement.


Author Bio:
I was born in the tiny, but lovable town of Centralia, IL which has a two screen movie theatre, one high school and still celebrates May Fete, so I had no choice, but to develop a fantastic imagination. Since childhood I have been writing everything from short stories to songs, but I have always aspired to compose a novel. Black Water Tales: The Secret Keepers is my first novel and the first book in what will be a series of thriller novels.
Philosophy was my study in college and I received a Bachelor of Arts in the subject from Florida International University. Writing is one of my most favored artistic pursuits, but my love for the arts does not stop there, I am also a vocalist and actress and participate in local theater in Houston Texas.


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Thursday, 25 February 2016

Spotlight! Meritropolis - Joel Ohman

In Meritropolis everyone is assigned a numerical Score that decides their worth to society and whether they live or die. After a young boy is killed because of a low Score, his brother plots to take down the System.

The year is AE3, 3 years after the Event. Within the walls of Meritropolis, 50,000 inhabitants live in fear, ruled by the brutal System that assigns each citizen a merit score that dictates whether they live or die. Those with the highest scores thrive, while those with the lowest are subject to the most unforgiving punishment–to be thrust outside the city gates, thrown to the terrifying hybrid creatures that exist beyond.

But for one High Score, conforming to the System just isn’t an option. Seventeen-year-old Charley has a brother to avenge. And nothing–not even a totalitarian military or dangerous science–is going to stop him.

Where humankind has pushed nature and morals to the extreme, Charley is amongst the chosen few tasked with exploring the boundaries, forcing him to look deep into his very being to discern right from wrong. But as he and his friends learn more about the frightening forces that threaten destruction both without and within the gates, Meritropolis reveals complexities they couldn’t possibly have bargained for…








Joel Ohman is the author of the Meritropolis series –“The Hunger Games meets The Village with a young Jack Reacher as a protagonist”. He lives in Tampa, FL with his wife Angela and their three kids. His writing companion is Caesar, a slightly overweight Bull Mastiff who loves to eat the tops off of strawberries.

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Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Spotlight! Revolution - Jessica Frances

I was raised in a world where humans no longer rule.
In the past, we made a terrible mistake by creating a new species we thought would serve us as our army, which led to our downfall.
There was a war, we lost, and many lives were massacred. It was the end of life as we knew it and the beginning of a hell we were now trapped in. We became enslaved to what we now called Superiors, becoming pets to them, simply there to entertain.
In a world so miserable, I managed to do the unthinkable: I fell in love. But even that was doomed, because to love a Superior was forbidden.
What the rest of the Superiors didn’t know was how deeply a human could love or how resilient we became when we were hurt.
The Superiors never could have imagined an uprising, which was why they never saw it coming.
Humans deserved to be free, and I would stop at nothing to deliver that promise.
My name is Tilly, and I am still alive with one sole purpose: to begin a revolution.

~

I had been raised to believe humans were worthless. We owned them and controlled them, and when we were done with them, we threw them away. Therefore, I never thought I would ever feel more for Tilly than disinterest. I never expected to want to save her.
It was forbidden for a Superior to love a human. No one had ever crossed that line, but I did. I fell madly in love with her, so it was no surprise how we ended up.
I was raised to be a soldier, and that was what I was always going to be. However, I was not a soldier for the Superiors, not anymore.
I became a soldier for humans, and I would stop at nothing to help them. They deserved to be free, and I would die protecting them.
My name is Johnny, and I am here with one sole purpose: to finish a revolution.






Jessica Frances enjoys reading and writing paranormal and sci-fi romance, however she will read almost anything if it is written well. Her e-reader is FULL of books and she continues to add to them daily. She's a book hoarder and that will never change. She loves entering new worlds and finding new perspectives to view life through.










This post contains an affiliate link, which means that if you click on the Amazon link and buy the book, I may receive a commission.





Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Spotlight! Messandrierre - Angela Wren


 Messandrierre
Messandrierre
Angela Wren

A Murder Mystery/Romance
Release date: December 8, 2015
119 pages

Sacrificing his job in investigation following an incident in Paris, Jacques Forêt has only a matter of weeks to solve a series of mysterious disappearances as a Gendarme in the rural French village of Messandrierre. But, as the number of missing persons rises, his difficult and hectoring boss puts obstacles in his way. Steely and determined, Jacques won’t give up and, when a new Investigating Magistrate is appointed, he becomes the go-to local policeman for all the work on the case. Will he find the perpetrators before his lover, Beth, becomes a victim? Messandrierre – the first in a new crime series featuring investigator, Jacques Forêt.



Having followed a career in Project and Business Change Management, I now work as an Actor and Director at a local theatre. I’ve been writing, in a serious way, for about 5 years. My work in project management has always involved drafting, so writing, in its various forms, has been a significant feature throughout my adult life. I particularly enjoy the challenge of plotting and planning different genres of work. My short stories vary between contemporary romance, memoir, mystery and historical. I also write comic flash-fiction and have drafted two one-act plays that have been recorded for local radio. The majority of my stories are set in France where I like to spend as much time as possible each year.


Visit Anglea Wren's website and blog.
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Monday, 22 February 2016

Spotlight! Evanescent - Gabriella Lepore

“Then it is settled,” Felix declared. “Come hell or high water, when this is all over, at least one of us here will not make it out alive.”

When Bronwen Snow is pulled from her cottage in the middle of the night, she finds herself seeking the help of three mysterious boys who reside in an abandoned castle deep in the hillside. With only a hasty handwritten note and a vague sense of dread to guide her, Bronwen is forced to put her trust in the eccentric and willful Felix Cavara and his eternal curse – immortality.

Four+ star average on Goodreads and Amazon!








Gabriella Lepore lives on the coast of Wales in the United Kingdom. She began writing at an early age and grew up with a passion for all things supernatural—especially witches! She currently has six Young Adult books in print: Evanescent, The Blackheath Witches, How I Found You, Secrets In Phoenix, and The Witches of the Glass Castle books 1 & 2.








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Friday, 19 February 2016

Spotlight! Annabeth Neverending - Leyla Kader Dahm

At first, teenager Annabeth Prescott thinks she’s found quite a deal when she talks down the price of an ankh pendant she discovers at a flea market. She soon wonders if the bauble is more than she’s bargained for when she faints and glimpses images from a past life in ancient Egypt.

The discovery coincides with another new find: Gabriel, a handsome young man who takes an interest in her. When she meets his twin brother C. J. at a Halloween party, she realizes they look exactly like two boys who figure prominently into her memories.

Does C. J. share the heroic qualities held by his past incarnation Sethe, her bodyguard when she was Princess Ana? Does Gabriel possess the same evil powers he wielded as Kha, the black sorcerer who sought her affection?

Love meets the supernatural in this gripping young adult paranormal romance. Readers with an interest in reincarnation, as well as ancient Egypt, will be drawn to its mystical mixture of history and hesitation as Annabeth sways between the two brothers.

Will her reincarnated soulmate win out? Or will Kha finally find the way to her heart?





Wisconsin native Leyla Kader Dahm popped popcorn and dreamt of a career in show business while working in a movie theater during high school. The small-town Midwestern girl opted for the practical route and studied communications at Carroll College and Cornell University. But her life changed course dramatically when a temp agency placed her in a production and development gig at Miramax/Dimension Films.

Dahm went on to work as a script consultant for numerous production companies. She appeared in the acclaimed spoken word show Sit ‘N Spin and had her comedy feature spec, Due North, optioned by Michael Levy Enterprises. She sold her pitch, Survival Instinct, to Nickelodeon Original Movies.

Dahm lives with her husband and children in Los Angeles, where she focuses on writing quality material for families and young adults.







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Thursday, 18 February 2016

Spotlight! The Girl’s Guide to the Apocalypse - Daphne Lamb

The Girl’s Guide to the Apocalypse
Daphne Lamb
Published by: Booktrope Publishing
Publication date: August 11th 2015
Genres: New AdultPost-Apocalyptic

Welcome to the Apocalypse. Your forecast includes acid rain, roving gangs and misplaced priorities, in this comedic take on the end of the world as we know it, from debut author Daphne Lamb. As a self-entitled, self-involved, and ill equipped millennial, Verdell probably wouldn’t have ranked very high on the list of those most likely to survive the end of the world, but here she is anyway. Add in travelling with her work addicted boss, her boyfriend who she has “meh” feelings for, and a handful of others who had no businesses surviving as long as they have, and things aren’t exactly going as planned. But despite threats of cannibalism, infected water supplies, and possibly even mutants, Verdell is willing to put in as little effort as she can get away with to survive.


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Daphne Lamb was raised in the wilds of Colorado and now resides in a very different wilderness known as Los Angeles. She is a comedian and award winning writer who has worked in television, film and video games. In her spare time, she enjoys collecting comic books, discussing awesomely bad movies and thinks about what it would be like to own a cat.

She loves connecting to fans and readers, so feel free to connect!










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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Spotlight! Asleep - Krystal Wade




Asleep
Krystal Wade
Published by: Blaze Publishing
Publication date: February 16th 2016
Genres: Horror, Young Adult
“To cure fear, you must use fear.”
Rose Briar claims no responsibility for the act that led to her imprisonment in an asylum. She wants to escape, until terrifying nightmares make her question her sanity and reach out to her doctor. He’s understanding and caring in ways her parents never have been, but as her walls tumble down and Rose admits fault, a fellow patient warns her to stop the medications. Phillip believes the doctor is evil and they’ll never make it out of the facility alive. Trusting him might be just the thing to save her. Or it might prove the asylum is exactly where she needs to be.




Follow the Blog Tour!
Tuesday 2/16 Wednesday 2/17 Thursday 2/18
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Case Maynard: Promo Post What A Nerd Girl Says: Interview A Thousand Books: Teaser One
Friday 2/19 Saturday 2/20 Sunday 2/21
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Chapter 1 read by author:






Author Bio:
Krystal Wade can be found in the sluglines outside Washington D.C. every morning, Monday through Friday. With coffee in hand, iPod plugged in, and strangers-who sometimes snore, smell, or have incredibly bad gas-sitting next to her, she zones out and thinks of fantastical worlds for you and me to read. How else can she cope with a fifty mile commute?
Good thing she has her husband and three kids to go home to. They keep her sane.




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Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Blitz! Revolution - Jessica Frances


Revolution
Jessica Frances
Publication date: January 26th 2016
Genres: Dystopia, New Adult
I was raised in a world where humans no longer rule.
In the past, we made a terrible mistake by creating a new species we thought would serve us as our army, which led to our downfall.
There was a war, we lost, and many lives were massacred. It was the end of life as we knew it and the beginning of a hell we were now trapped in. We became enslaved to what we now called Superiors, becoming pets to them, simply there to entertain.
In a world so miserable, I managed to do the unthinkable: I fell in love. But even that was doomed, because to love a Superior was forbidden.
What the rest of the Superiors didn’t know was how deeply a human could love or how resilient we became when we were hurt.
The Superiors never could have imagined an uprising, which was why they never saw it coming.
Humans deserved to be free, and I would stop at nothing to deliver that promise.
My name is Tilly, and I am still alive with one sole purpose: to begin a revolution.
~
I had been raised to believe humans were worthless. We owned them and controlled them, and when we were done with them, we threw them away. Therefore, I never thought I would ever feel more for Tilly than disinterest. I never expected to want to save her.
It was forbidden for a Superior to love a human. No one had ever crossed that line, but I did. I fell madly in love with her, so it was no surprise how we ended up.
I was raised to be a soldier, and that was what I was always going to be. However, I was not a soldier for the Superiors, not anymore.
I became a soldier for humans, and I would stop at nothing to help them. They deserved to be free, and I would die protecting them.
My name is Johnny, and I am here with one sole purpose: to finish a revolution.



EXCERPT:
“How can you do that to these humans? This is beyond cruel!” I demand of her, not as afraid of her as I am of Jax.
She saunters over to me, her expression one of someone feeling carefree. “Many reasons, one being I make a lot of money doing this. Another is it is great entertainment.” She shrugs. “You humans are beneath us. I think it is disgusting that you are allowed into Superiors’ homes. You deserve to be in cages and in gutters. You are genetic mistakes that I would love to completely wipe out.”
“You wouldn’t even exist without us!” I yell, angry at her words.
“You humans stupidly created a species superior to you in every way, and then you tried to exterminate us when you realized you were no longer at the top of the food chain. You failed, and now you are forever destined be our slaves, our pets, our playthings. You are weak, disgusting, disease-ridden beings who deserve every ounce of pain I give you.”
Without warning, she shoves one of the sticks at me, zapping me with an electric shock powerful enough to send pain coursing through my entire body, forcing me against the back of the cage.
I scream, shocked and scared at how painful the experience is.
She doesn’t stop, and I swear my heart gives out. But then she pulls back, her laughter slowly filtering through my ears as I begin to calm down.
“Pathetic,” she mutters to me, turning around and moving past the cages, randomly choosing humans to zap.




Author Bio:
Jessica lives in Adelaide, South Australia. When she is not writing, you can find her reading, napping or watching excessive amounts of TV. Connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads.










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Monday, 15 February 2016

Spotlight! Loving Eleanor - Susan Wittig Albert

Loving Eleanor
By Susan Wittig Albert

Publication Date: February 1, 2016
Persevero Press; Thorndike (Large Print)
Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Large Print
Genre: Historical Fiction/Biographical Fiction

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When AP political reporter Lorena Hickok—Hick—is assigned to cover Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, the wife of the 1932 Democratic presidential candidate, the two women become deeply, intimately involved. Their relationship begins with mutual romantic passion, matures through stormy periods of enforced separation and competing interests, and warms into an enduring, encompassing friendship that ends only with both women’s deaths in the 1960s—all of it documented by 3300 letters exchanged over thirty years.

Now, New York Times bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert recreates the fascinating story of Hick and Eleanor, set during the chaotic years of the Great Depression, the New Deal, and the Second World War. Loving Eleanor is Hick’s personal story, revealing Eleanor as a complex, contradictory, and entirely human woman who is pulled in many directions by her obligations to her husband and family and her role as the nation’s First Lady, as well as by a compelling need to care and be cared for. For her part, Hick is revealed as an accomplished journalist, who, at the pinnacle of her career, gives it all up for the woman she loves. Then, as Eleanor is transformed into Eleanor Everywhere, First Lady of the World, Hick must create her own independent, productive life.

Drawing on extensive research in the letters that were sealed for a decade following Hick’s death, Albert creates a compelling narrative: a dramatic love story, vividly portraying two strikingly unconventional women, neither of whom is satisfied to live according to the script society has written for her. Loving Eleanor is a profoundly moving novel that illuminates a relationship we are seldom privileged to see and celebrates the depth and durability of women’s love.

Praise

“Albert captures Hick’s spirit with energetic prose, painting a colorful picture of her fascinating life together with and apart from Eleanor. Although this memoir is fictional, the author draws upon thousands of personal letters, first-person accounts by others, and further research to present a compelling possible narrative of the relationship between Eleanor and Hick. Albert’s illuminating afterword adds important context to her narrative choices, and a comprehensive bibliography will encourage additional research. This warm, extensively researched novel will entrance readers and inspire them to look further into the lives of two extraordinary women.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Albert captures the turbulent thirties and forties with affecting detail, writing a novel notable not only for its emotional authenticity, but for its careful historicity. The nuances of Eleanor and Hick’s relationship are both moving and involving. Loving Eleanor is an intelligent love story with huge historical appeal.” —Foreword Reviews

“Susan Albert has done it again with another engaging, rich portrait, this time of women in love. Drawn from history, the love story of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and journalist Lorena Hickok is full of excitement, drama and pathos. Both women of great intelligence and deep feelings, Eleanor and Lorena move from lovers to lifelong friends in the context of the most turbulent times of the 20th Century. As same-sex relationships finally move toward full acceptance in our culture, Albert’s book reminds us that love has always been love, no matter the partners.” —Robin Gerber, author of Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way

“Loving Eleanor, Susan Wittig Albert’s novelized memoir of Lorena Hickok’s intimate relationship with Eleanor Roosevelt, is both richly nuanced and impressively detailed. Drawn from the thirty years of correspondence Hickok donated to the FDR Library toward the end of her life, “Hick’s” voice felt utterly authentic to me, always real, raw and compelling. Hick is a dichotomy—a tough, streetwise Associated Press reporter, and a tender, devoted friend and lover. This is not only an important book, but a great read. Loving Eleanor deserves to be at the top of your reading list!” —Ellen Hart, author of The Grave Soul, a Jane Lawless Mystery

“Susan Albert has, with imagination and deep knowledge of the historical record, supplied the missing pieces of the love story of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok. Here is everything we wish we knew. I couldn’t put it down.” —Leila Rupp, Professor of Feminist Studies, UC Santa Barbara

“This birds-eye view of the FDR years is engaging from the first sentence. With Eleanor Roosevelt’s long-time lover as its narrator it navigates the catastrophes of the era and the heartbreak of women loving women in an unwelcoming time.” —Rebecca Coffey, author of Hysterical: Anna Freud’s Story

About the Author

Susan Wittig Albert is the award-winning, NYT bestselling author of the forthcoming historical novel Loving Eleanor (2016), about the intimate friendship of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok; and A Wilder Rose (2014), about Rose Wilder Lane and the writing of the Little House books.

Her award-winning fiction also includes mysteries in the China Bayles series, the Darling Dahlias, the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, and a series of Victorian-Edwardian mysteries she has written with her husband, Bill Albert, under the pseudonym of Robin Paige.

She has written two memoirs: An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days and Together, Alone: A Memoir of Marriage and Place, published by the University of Texas Press.

Her nonfiction titles include What Wildness is This: Women Write About the Southwest (winner of the 2009 Willa Award for Creative Nonfiction); Writing from Life: Telling the Soul’s Story; and Work of Her Own: A Woman’s Guide to Success Off the Career Track.

She is founder and current president (2015-2017) of the Story Circle Network and a member of the Texas Institute of Letters.

For more information please visit www.susanalbert.com and www.LovingEleanor.com, or read her blog. You can also find Susan on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Pinterest. Like the Loving Eleanor page on Facebook.


Friday, 12 February 2016

Spotlight! The Renegade Queen - Eva Flynn

The Renegade Queen (Rebellious Times Book 1)
by Eva Flynn

Publication Date: December 15, 2015
Omega Press
eBook & Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction

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Two Renegades So Controversial, They Were Erased From History

Discarded by society, she led a social revolution. Disgusted by war, he sought a new world.

She was the first women to run for President, campaigning before women could vote.

He was the Hero of Vicksburg, disillusioned with the government after witnessing the devastating carnage of the Civil War.

Their social revolution attracted the unwanted who were left out of the new wealth: the freed slaves, the new immigrants, and women.

Who were they?

This is the true story of Victoria Woodhull and the love of her life, James Blood.

Adored by the poor, hated by the powerful, forced into hiding during their lifetimes and erased from history after death, the legend of their love lives on.

It’s 1869 and Victoria has a choice to make. She can stay in an abusive marriage and continue to work as a psychic, or she can take the offer of support from handsome Civil War general James Blood and set about to turn society upside down. Victoria chooses revolution.

But revolutions are expensive, and Victoria needs money. James introduces Victoria to one of the wealthiest man in America—Commodore Vanderbilt. Along with her loose and scandalous sister, Tennessee, Victoria manipulates Vanderbilt and together they conspire to crash the stock market—and profit from it. Victoria then parlays her fortune into the first female-owned brokerage firm.

When her idol Susan B. Anthony publishes scandalous rumors about Victoria’s past, Victoria enters into a fierce rivalry with Susan to control the women’s movement. James supports Victoria’s efforts despite his deep fears that she may lose more than the battle. She might lose part of herself.

Victoria starts her own newspaper, testifies to Congress, and even announces her candidacy for President. But when Victoria adopts James’s radical ideas and free love beliefs, she ignites new, bruising, battles with Susan B. Anthony and the powerful Reverend Henry Beecher. These skirmishes turn into an all-out war, with Victoria facing prejudice, prosecution, and imprisonment. Ultimately, Victoria and James face the hardest choice of all: the choice between their country and their love.

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About the Author

Eva was raised on bedtime stories of feminists (the tooth fairy even brought Susan B. Anthony dollars) and daytime lessons on American politics. On one fateful day years ago when knowledge was found on bound paper, she discovered two paragraphs about Victoria Woodhull in the WXYZ volume of the World Book Encyclopedia. When she realized that neither of her brilliant parents (a conservative political science professor and a liberal feminist) had never heard of her, it was the beginning of a lifelong fascination not only with Victoria Woodhull but in discovering the stories that the history books do not tell. Brave battles fought, new worlds sought, loves lost all in the name of some future glory have led her to spend years researching the period of Reconstruction. Her first book, The Renegade Queen , explores the forgotten trailblazer Victoria Woodhull and her rivalry with Susan B. Anthony.

Eva was born and raised in Tennessee, earned her B.A. in Political Science from DePauw in Greencastle, Indiana and still lives in Indiana. Eva enjoys reading, classic movies, and travelling. She loves to hear from readers, you may reach her at eva@rebellioustimes.com, and follow her on Goodreads and Twitter.


Thursday, 11 February 2016

Spotlight! The Beltane Escape - Ariella Moon

Lady Fenella, ever surrounded by guards, knows only responsibility and duty. She believes Merlin and the Lady of the Lake are myths, Gran’s warnings about Fairy are superstition, and Fairy was invented to make children behave.

But then Gran brands her, Lord Argonshire kidnaps her, and the Lady of the Lake makes her a pawn. The Highland heiress must betray her newly betrothed and fend for herself when she dives into a wormhole to save her cousin. She lands in a part of Fairy even fairies avoid, and joins forces with Talfryn, a half-Viking/half-Fairy.

Fenella must use her wits to find her cousin, free the Lady of the Lake, and reach the wormhole in Glastonbury by Beltane. Nine days to unshackle herself from a sorceress, prevent a war between rival clans, and decide in which realm—and with which lad—she truly belongs. Oh, and The Most Powerful Wizard stands in her way.




Ariella Moon draws upon her experiences as a shaman to create magical Young Adult fiction. Her Two Realms Trilogy is a medieval fantasy adventure series with romantic elements. The Teen Wytche Saga is a series of sweet contemporary paranormal romances.

Ariella spent her childhood searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia. Extreme math anxiety and taller students who mistook her for a leaning post, marred her youth. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. Ariella lives a nearly normal life doting on her extraordinary daughter, two shamelessly spoiled dogs, and an enormous dragon.







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Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Circulus de Potentia - Jim West


In Jim West's Circulus de Potentia, book two of the Magicae Mathematica series, we start with Archimedes and Diades, wizard and apprentice. Another of Archimedes' apprentices, Demetrius, has fallen in love with Anul, daughter of Councilman Etan and fiancé to the son of Samoht, Semlac . After a tragic turn of events, Diades and Demetrius flee, spending years in hiding, practicing their craft, plotting revenge, and creating the Circulus de Potentia—a gold band of fire and strength. When the Circulus falls into the hands of an unknown and dangerous challenger, it is up to a group of young apprentices, led by an apprentice named Alex, to seek out the Master Wizard of the Forest, Pythagoras. They are then sent to the Labryinthus de Sonim, a mathematical maze which nobody has ever come out of…and all the while Diades and Demetrius seek to stop them.

Jim West's Circulus de Potentia is , frankly, absolutely exceptional. With marvelously detailed imagery and an intelligent story line that blends fantasy and mathematics, West has delivered a literary treasure. While Circulus de Potentia is the second book of the Magicae Mathematica series, it reads easily as a standalone and I was immediately engrossed in the tale without any back-story whatsoever. The dialogue is intelligent, the plot is engaging and perfectly paced, and the characters are convincing and layered enough that I found myself somewhat empathizing with ones I would not have otherwise. It's pretty rare to come across a childrens/YA book that is laden with math and Latin, and actually find that it enhances an already riveting story. West has done this—and more—in Circulus de Potentia, which I wholeheartedly give five-stars, recommend to readers of all ages, and eagerly wait for the third installment of the Magicae Mathematica series.

This review was written by Please Pass the Books for Readers' Favorite.

FIVE STARS

Amazon Link: Circulus de Potentia (Magicae Mathematica) (Volume 2)






This post contains an affiliate link, which means that if you click on the Amazon link and buy the book, I may receive a commission.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Blitz! '80s Mix Tape Anthology (Romance Rewind #2)


’80s Mix Tape
A.J. Pine, Autumn Jones Lake, Bobbi Ruggiero, Gwen Hayes, Jenny Holiday, Karen Booth, Rachel Cowell
(Romance Rewind #2)
Publication date: February 9th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Save a Prayer by Karen Booth
Angie Dawson never wants to see Graham Whiting again, a complete impossibility living in Stourbridge,England, the town outside London where she and Graham grew up. His band, Banks Forest, is so hot in the UK they might as well be on fire. She can’t turn on the blooming radio or watch telly or look at a magazine without being confronted by the ’80s Fab Four, fronted by the sexy bloke she’d once called her boyfriend. Every girl in England wants him. Bloody bastard.
  
Desperate to escape the 24-7 Banks Forest overload, Angie takes a twoweek job working as a photographer at the Music Revolution festival in the US. Finally, she can set her mind on something other than Graham and what it was like before he started being such a wanker. Maybe she can sort out what to do with her life. If she’s lucky, she’ll meet a cracking guy who doesn’t think he’s God’s gift to women. The instant she steps off the plane, she learns how daft her plan was. Banks Forest mania practically followed her across the Atlantic. Her new job puts her in Graham’s sights and he’s dead-set on winning her back. He knows the perfect things to say, the right way to kiss her and make everything brilliant again. She wants him, she wants him to be the guy he says he can be, but he’s about to go on the road for a year. How does a reunion with her ex end up being anything more than a one-night stand? 
Need You Tonight by Gwen Hayes
Jacob Stone is on the run for a crime he didn’t commit, but when he’s stranded with the only woman he’s ever loved by chance, the girl he abandoned to protect two years ago, he can’t deny the need to possess her one last time. Mind, body, and soul.
Typical good girl Becky McDonald has loved bad boy Jacob since they were kids, but even as she gives in to the passion only he can ignite in her, she hides the truth. The one secret that would bring him back is the lie she can never reveal.
One night of passion. One night of need. That’s all they can have, but it will never be enough. 
Kickstart My Heart by Autumn Jones Lake
Russell“Chaser” Adams knows he’s destined to take over his father’s outlaw motorcycle club one day. With Chaser’s heavy metal band close to making it big, his father encourages him to pursue his music for now. Chaser straddles his Harley and heads across the country to the Sunset Strip.
Raised in a strict family with old-world traditions and their own secrets, Mallory Delov longs for glitter and glamor instead of blood and deceit. With her father serving time, it’s the perfect time to escape his domineering grasp and pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an actress.
After nailing her first audition, Mallory is offered the part of a playful vixen who torments the lead singer of the up and coming metal band, Kickstart. Her job description calls for lots of hair tossing and ass wiggling. Not quite the career she had in mind.
She didn’t plan to fall in love either. Unlike any man she’s ever known, she can’t help being drawn to the guitar player, Chaser. He’s sweet, yet dangerous. An irresistible mixture to Mallory.
On the surface they seem like complete opposites.
Little do either of them know how much they have in common. 
867-5309 by Jenny Holiday
Jenny Fields is a crusader. The editor of her college newspaper, she never met a cause she couldn’t get behind. So when the administration announces it’s tearing down the historic art building, she’s on the case. All she needs to do is get Matthew Townsend, the art department’s most talented student, on board. If she could just get the moody genius to answer his phone… 
Drummer Girl by A.J. Pine
Sam Walsh is done—done with college, done with guys, done with the whole scene. After graduation tomorrow, she’ll head home, ready to start her job as an elementary school music teacher in the fall. But her roommate coaxes her out for what she promises will be an epic last night, a night that ends up changing everything.
London Calling is the up-and-coming band playing at the local bar, and Sam can’t take her eyes off the sexy drummer. When he dedicates the drummer’s choice song to her, she knows the evening might be more epic than she’d imagined. Then one kiss turns her world upside down, making her question everything she thought she wanted out of her last night at school.
Ben McCarthy is the guy behind the drums, the would-have-been 306 valedictorian who dropped out three years ago to follow his dream. Tomorrow he and the band leave for London, but for one unforgettable night, it’s just Sam, the music, and him. Can a girl with her feet planted firmly on the ground fall for the boy who reaches for the stars when the only result is a broken heart? 
Young Teacher by Bobbi Ruggiero
Control freak Julia Powers hates surprises. With the skills of a ninja, she keeps her ad business and personal life in perfect order. That leaves zero time for fun, let alone men. But there’s nothing wrong with having a little crush on the guy she sees at lunchtime, is there? Sure, he’s a lot younger, but it’s only a crush. It’s not like she’s going to date him or anything.
Matthew Gordon wants nothing more than for his band Joyride to go national. While he waits for his big break, he spends his days working in a sandwich shop—a job he loathes—and teaching guitar on the side—a job he loves. His days get a bit more interesting when a mysterious woman comes in for lunch and hands him a list of her favorite songs. So imagine his surprise when she shows up at his door for guitar lessons.
Unfortunately, Julia can’t play guitar to save her life, and her frustration threatens to ruin any chance of her finding happiness—with herself, or in love. Will he ever be able to teach her that she’s perfect just as she is? 
Just Like Heaven by Rachel Cowell
As a premed student, college junior Sarah Lattimore’s life is a carefullycalibrated system of studying, studying, MCAT prep courses, and more studying. She didn’t have time for a social life in high school, and she definitely doesn’t have time for one now. But when she walks into the first day of anatomy lab and sees her gorgeous TA, Sarah’s brilliant mind is suddenly racing in new directions.
Grad student Josh Chapman’s mom died of ovarian cancer when he was a teenager, and his grief and rage at the experience turned his future aspirations toward cancer research. But the unbelievably cute, nerdy, and possibly insane Sarah Lattimore is in his section, and she’s… distracting. But when admiring from afar turns to up close and personal, both their academic lives begin to fall apart. Sarah cares too much about her grades to stay with Josh and she breaks things off.
But when she makes a mistake in class that results in Josh facing expulsion, will this mean the end of his dreams? Or will Sarah realize in time that being with Josh was the smartest choice she’d ever made?






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Monday, 8 February 2016

Everyone in L.A. - Terence Clarke


Leaving work in the earliest hours of the morning and catching the 1 train home, Pat Cronin is forced—as everyone else on the train is also—to listen to a female passenger talk loudly into her cell phone on the same car. Terence Clarke's Everyone in L.A. follows Pat and the female passenger, Tiffany, who is presumably talking about an ex boyfriend and his new girlfriend, all the way to New York's 72nd Street Station. While Pat has no choice but to eavesdrop on Tiffany's conversation, his imagination wanders to its subjects, Mitch and Lila, and a hilarious compilation of possible scenarios about this unknown love-triangle ensues. The writer in Pat tugs us into visions fuelled by both classic literature and New Hollywood creativity.

Terence Clarke's Everyone in L.A. is a clever, witty, and wonderful short story about chance encounters, and how even the most negligible moments can have a resonating impact on our daily lives. Despite its short length, Clarke's character's are fleshed out and well developed. His descriptions and depictions are fantastic, and his satire is as infectious as it is entertaining. Grammar and formatting is the only drawback to the short story as a whole, but is easily forgiven by the brilliant content, which is too good to be pulled out of by a rogue run-on sentence. I would recommend Terence Clarke's Everyone in L.A. to anyone looking for a quick and captivating read, and whole heartedly give it five stars for its ingenuity and humor.

Reviewed with a free ARC from Readers' Favorite.

FIVE STARS

Amazon Link: Everyone in L.A. (New York Stories)





This post contains an affiliate link, which means that if you click on the Amazon link and buy the book, I may receive a commission.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Why I Chose To Publish An eBook - GUEST POST by Jennifer Hansen, author of Making Headlines

Why I Chose To Publish An eBook
Guest post by Jennifer Hansen, author of Making Headlines


Writing a book is a bit like a pregnancy. Often you think about it for quite a while before you get on with it.

Then there’s the long gestation period, the hard work you put in trying to make it the best it can be, and finally, the long-awaited arrival of your carefully nurtured baby. With the actual birth, there can be debate about the best way for this to happen. A c-section or a natural birth? An epidural or go natural?

Likewise with publishing, there are also plenty of options. However, it’s becoming more difficult to have a book produced in hard copy – REAL PAPER – with publishers unwilling to take risks on untested authors.

With the eBook business booming, it would seem more and more established publishing houses are moving with the times and looking to the internet for success. Whether you like the book or not, E.L. James Fifty Shades of Grey made it’s incredible leap to the top of global best-seller lists – selling more than 125 million copies worldwide – starting off life as an eBook.

Of course authors have choices. If you can’t find a publisher, you can always opt to self-publish – whether it be hard-copy or online. For myself, while I’d love a hard-copy version of my own book MAKING HEADLINES – to have and to hold – it seems for the moment, I’m going to be marching forth into the world as a new author – waving the PLATFORM PILGRIM flag.

(Thanks to my ever-encouraging writer friend Lisa Bigelow for coming up with that innovative tagline!)

Yes, thanks to Harper Collins Publishing, I am about to become a Platform Pilgrim. My eBook will be launched this Thursday, February 4. And that’s because I would much prefer my book be given the tick of approval from a recognised publisher that has a wonderful heritage as Australia’s oldest and one of the most respected companies in the business, than do this on my own.

Sure, in the long run I’d love nothing more than to have a REAL book in my hands – but for the moment, I still consider my eBook to be an achievement of which to be proud.

My biggest dilemma with becoming a Platform Pilgrim was deciding whether to host a book launch or not. Would people think it was over-the-top and silly – given they couldn’t leave with a signed copy of the tome itself?

In the end, after much debate with Fletch (mu husband) and friends, I have decided to go ahead and have a party. After all, it’s the end of a VERY long and arduous road and I think I deserve to celebrate my baby’s birth.

Harper Collins have also kindly agreed to provide ‘Book Samplers’ on the night of the launch, so guests WILL leave with a couple of chapters in a small printed mini-book, as a taste of what’s to come in the novel. So yes, there will be REAL PAPER given out on the night.

It’s taken many years AND tears to finish MAKING HEADLINES and I am so delighted and relieved that it is finally making its way into the world. All up, it’s more than eight years since I started thinking about this project. Now that’s one helluva long pregnancy.

Bring on the champagne!




JENNIFER HANSEN is best known to TV audiences as the former co-host of Channel Ten’s 5pm news. These days Jennifer works in radio as part of Smooth FM’s breakfast show where she reads the news and chats with Mike Perso about all things Melbourne. In between media gigs, Jennifer went back to ‘school’ - taking up the ‘Professional Writing and Editing’ course at RMIT. That has helped her complete her first novel and two screenplays. 

Occasionally she remembers to look after her family - including husband Neighbours actor Alan Fletcher (aka Dr Karl Kennedy) and their two children, Veronica and Tom.





Making Headlines
by Jennifer Hansen

Working as a TV reporter has its challenges, but when Rachael Bentley decides to aim high and become a newsreader, she faces a whole new minefield of explosive scenarios.

Rachel's path sees her pitched against egos in the newsroom, office politics and corrupt politicians, not to mention rampant sexism, and a mystery stalker. Juggling a messy personal life doesn't help, nor does the emotional impact of reporting on life's tragedies and when it all takes a toll and Rachel starts partying too hard, she finds herself making the headlines instead of reading them.

Will she survive a world where dreams are shattered daily and will she find the man who can help her keep her soul?


 B&N   Amazon




Jennifer will be awarding an eCopy of Making Headlines to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour!