Thursday, 31 January 2013

Blog Tour: Oxford Whipsers by Marion Croslydon - Excerpt & Giveaway






Title: Oxford Whispers (The Oxford Trilogy, #1)
Author: Marion Croslydon
Release date: October 8th, 2012
Genre: New Adult,  Paranormal
Tour organized by: AToMR Tours


Description
SOOKIE STACKHOUSE GOES IVY LEAGUE!

Madison LeBon is dead set against the dead. She has vowed to ignore her Voodoo-stamped heritage and the psychic gift passed down through her Louisiana family. The world of the living is where she wants to belong.

But her resolution shatters when the tragic lovers in a painting—the subject of her first history class at Oxford—begin to haunt her. The lovers warn her against their own nemesis, a Puritan from the English Civil War.

College becomes more complicated when Madison falls hard for Rupert Vance, a troubled aristocrat and descendant of one of the characters in the painting. With the spirit of a murderer after her, she realizes that her own first love may also be doomed…

FALL IN LOVE FOR THE FIRST TIME... AGAIN

{Upper-YA/New Adult - Recommended 17+}


Buy Link


Excerpt 

Coffee and Marshmallows.
He had stopped their impromptu tour in front of an old-fashioned-looking coffee shop.“You want a coffee?” she asked.The corner of his mouth curled up. “Chocolate! Hot, sweet chocolate with lots and lots of marshmallows.”Yummy. “I’d love that.” Madison had to keep her tongue from licking her lips in anticipation.
“I know. You asked for some at the Anchor Inn, remember?” She did, but the realization he had paid attention to her order on that day rendered her all mushy inside. “This place is the best place in England. I vouch for it.”
She failed at refraining a giggle. He opened the door for her and they stepped into heaven… or the nineteenth century. Everything inside was decorated as Madison imagined a drawing room would have been under Queen Victoria’s reign. Sturdy, dark, polished wood everywhere, elegant sofas, flowery wall-paper. The warmth dispensed by the fireplace in the right corner seeped through her. Her muscles relaxed.Rupert was looking at her expectantly. “Do you like it?”“What’s not to like?”
He undid the tight knot of her scarf. “Make yourself comfortable. I’m getting the order.” He nodded towards a small couch next to the fireplace.She dropped her duffel coat and satchel on the floor and settled against the plump cushions. A mouth-watering aroma drifted towards her, a mélange of cinnamon and caramel… and fresh-baked brownies.When Rupert walked back towards her, he carried a round silver tray. He settled the bowls on the table and sat next to her. Quickly he removed his thick navy jacket and threw it on top of Madison’s coat.She cupped the porcelain bowl, all dainty and warm, and let its warmth spread through her palms.“I’ve added a hint of vanilla,” he said, his hands and overall posture mirroring that of Madison’s.“Good initiative.”Rupert lifted his bowl and tipped it toward Madison. “Cheers!”“Cheers!”They brought the hot beverage to their mouths. A couple of the mini-marshmallows slid through her lips and she let them melt on her tongue. She closed her eyes. The sensation was divine, its effect heightened by the heat of the flames in the fireplace brushing her face.Madison let herself drown into the moment, her knee against Rupert’s. She could feel him immobile next to her.When she opened her eyes again, heat spread through her cheekbones, across her nose. Rupert stared at her, just stared at her, oblivious of anything else around him.Their gazes locked. She swore she could hear both their hearts beating in sync.
“My mum used to take me here on our drives from London to Magway.” His eyes didn’t leave Madison’s. “It was a tradition… but I haven’t come back here since my last time with her.”“You became too cool for chocolate, marshmallows, and spending time with your mamma,” Madison teased him, taking another sweet sip.A shadow passed over his face. “Something like that.”Madison thought he was about to say more, but he reverted his attention to the chocolate. They remained silent for a few minutes, comfortable in each other’s close proximity.
Because it was the first of December, a string of Christmas classics had already played out since they had stepped into that sweet paradise. Tom Jones’ baritone voice was currently warning them it was cold outside. Madison knew that, and, really, she had no intention to ever step a foot outside that place.The weight of Rupert’s gaze had reverted on her. His half-smile was topped by a grin in his eyes.“What?” she asked.“You have some white foam at the corner of your mouth.” His index finger waved lightly. “May I?”Her mouth dried in anticipation. Because words failed her, she answered with a tight nod. Rupert leaned toward her, took a small napkin from the silver tray and wiped it gently over where the cream must have been.
“There, all clean now.”His thumb stayed at the corner of her mouth, shifted an inch to brush her lower lip.His eyes were moving back and forth between her own eyes and her mouth, settling there.Was he going to kiss her?He was going to kiss her.Please, God, have him kiss me.But Rupert’s cell rang, returning them to the present. Without hiding his irritation, he took the call. Madison swallowed her disappointment. Hard. 


Author Bio




In addition to being an author, I work as an entrepreneur, wife and mother-of-one but spend a good deal of time with books, DVDs and listening to my mp3 player; all for the sake of inspiration, of course.

My debut series, The Oxford Trilogy, has been a blast to write because I can indulge in my favorite types of music: Country and English rock.

My main goal as a writer is to make readers dream bigger and cause their hearts to beat a little faster.
Since my writing is all about sharing dreams and stories, I love connecting with fellow readers and authors.




Giveaway
(1) Print Copy of OXFORD WHISPER 
(8) eBook copies of OXFORD WHSIPERS
Open Internationally



Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #19 - Transparent by Natalie Whipple

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.




 Expected publication: May 1st 2013  
 Publisher: HarperTeen

Plenty of teenagers feel invisible. Fiona McClean actually is.

An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona’s own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.

After sixteen years, Fiona’s had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona’s father isn’t giving up that easily.

Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl.

I just love the cover of this! All those colours and the girl that's there, but isn't. And this sounds interesting and exciting. From the invisibility through to the crime and the father using her, this just feels like it could be epic. I can't wait to read this one. 


     What's your Waiting on Wednesday book this week?  



Tuesday, 29 January 2013

ARC Review: Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans







Title: Level 2
Author: Lenore Appelhans
Series: The Memory Chronicles,  #1
Publication Date: 15th January 2013
Publisher: Allen & Unwin 

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Angels
Source: ARC from Allen & Unwin










Description

Three levels. Two loves. One choice. Debut novelist, Lenore Appelhans has written a thrilling otherworldly young adult novel about a place that exists between our world (Level 1) and what comes after life (Level 2).

'I pause to look around the hive - all the podlike chambers are lit up as the drones shoot up on memories ... I've wanted to get out of here before, but now the tight quarters start to choke me. There has to be more to death than this.'

Felicia Ward is dead. Trapped in a stark white afterlife limbo, she spends endless days replaying memories, of her family, friends, boyfriend ... and of the guy who broke her heart. The guy who has just broken into Level 2 to find her.

Felicia learns that a rebellion is brewing, and it seems she is the key. Suspended between heaven and earth, she must make a choice. Between two worlds, two lives and two loves.



Review
I was so excited for this book. It sounded so different to everything else that has been coming out that I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Now that I've read it, well, I was hoping for so much more. This is a hard book to review without giving anything away, though I have tried my best not to include any spoilers. 

The story is told by Felicia and is set in Level 2 - the Level between Earth (Level 1) and Heaven (Level 3). We learn about Felicia through her replaying her memories. We learn about her romance with Neil and what happened between her best friend and her. Unfortunately I never connected with Felicia. I didn't (really didn't) like her relationship with her best friend, Autumn and Autumns boyfriend Julian. I don't wish to spoil the story so I wont say any more.
Julian was an interesting character as you never really knew if you could trust him or not. Besides Felicia he took up a lot of the story both in her memories and in Level 2. 
Neil was Felicia's love on Earth and we gain the story of them through Felicia's memories. The relationship between them was ok but I wasn't drawn to them. He was nice enough, but at the same time there really wasn't much there to make him appealing. 


The afterlife world was interesting. The hives and the ability to connect and relive memories - yours or renting out someone else's was intriguing. The descriptions were good and allowed you to image Felicia's surrounds well. 

First half of the story was a little slow paced. The story was interesting but not enough to hold my attention. I was quiet happy to put the book down, and wasn't really faze about picking it up again. There wasn't anything that made me not want to put it down. The second half was  quicker paced but still not a whole lot of action happening.  
The last 10% had more action but at the same time felt rushed compared to the rest of the book. One minute something was happening, the next second it happened and its all over. The end. Come again next time. I was left going - what...... I'm sorry...... who..... why.... ARGH.

I did enjoy Level 2. It is well written, easy to follow, interesting, and the afterlife world was different to what is out and coming out. I'm hoping there is a better explanation to that ending in Level 3 though, as well as to learn more about Autumn and why she did what she did. Overall its worth checking out if the premise interests you. 

★★★ 
Liked It


Author Bio

Source of Photo & Bio


Born and raised in America, Lenore Appelhans now lives in Germany with her husband, illustrator Daniel Jennewein, and their three fancy Sacred Birman cats. Lenore dabbled in creative writing throughout her schooling writing short stories for assignments, literary magazines and writing contests. Level 2 is her first novel and began only in 2010. She also works as a freelance advertising copywriter.

 Author Links




Release Day Blitz: Chosen by Kristen Day

YANR_BlogTour_Chosen_RDB

Today is the release day of the third and final instalment of the Daughters of the Sea trilogy, Chosen!

CHOSEN6

Title: Chosen (Daughters of the Sea 3) 
Author: Kristen Day 
Publisher: Self Published

Blurb 

The essence of who we are lies not in what we have, but in what we are willing to give up. Because in the end, Time and Tide wait for no one. After sacrificing all that she had, the evil princess of the Underworld is still successful in her bid to tear Finn from Stasia’s life. In the midst of her search to reclaim him, Stasia is summoned to the island nation of Cyprus to take part in an age-old ritual; unveiling the missing pieces of her ancestry and re-igniting an ancient war. As she struggles to both save Finn’s soul and free Carmen’s mind, Stasia’s bravery and determination will be pushed to its breaking point. A dark storm is forming on the horizon, and the forces who are vying to destroy her may be much closer than she thinks. Destiny weaves a sticky web of evil, betrayal, and revenge that can only be undone by the purity of love and the soul’s unyielding will to survive. In the last installment of the Daughters of the Sea trilogy, the past will collide with the present as Stasia’s future hangs in the balance. The prophecy that paved the way for her new life may indeed be the very thing that strips her of the ones she loves the most.
Prologue
A crisp, biting wind swirled through the open window; lifting the thin sheet draped over his aching body. The night surrounding his isolated room was dark and still when the roar of the ocean’s waves was interrupted by an entrancing melody. The full moon shone into his tired eyes as they cracked open at the faint singing; its silver glow pulling at his conscious. He wrapped the tattered sheet around his body and slowly made his way to the window. The night sky above glittered with the dancing of stars, while the radiance of the moon highlighted the rolling waves below.
The bubbling surf raced up the beach until its energy was spent; tugging on the sand and rocks below as it retreated once again. The cool breeze swept through his white beard as he squinted his eyes at the beach below. With each fallen wave, the glow became brighter. Hundreds of magnificent blue lights sparkled within the water, creating a magical blanket of effervescence along the water’s edge. He had only seen this phenomenon once before. Many, many years ago. It was a type of plankton that glistened a beaming blue when it became stirred up; however, he knew that it was typically found farther out in the ocean. Its unexpected arrival on land had his suddenly guarded eyes scanning the beach. That’s when he saw her.
The sheer white fabric of her flowing dress drifted in the breeze as she glided in a wide circle, dancing and spinning with a power he could feel down in the core of his tired soul. She was spellbinding and beautiful. And deadly. The captivating symphony of her voice cascaded down the stone walls of his prison and whirled around the crescent shaped beach below. Her wild, curly dark hair was accentuated by streaks of silver as it blew around her pale face. Eyes closed, her skin shimmered silver in the light of the moon above while she continued her trancelike dance. Loose silver ribbons lifted from her wrists, ankles, and hair where they were loosely secured. They created an illusion of fire; its sparkling flames shooting up into the air and around its writhing center. He shook his head and closed his eyes to snap himself out of her allure.
As the singing faded slightly, he looked on as she stopped twirling and raised her thin arms into the air with closed fists. She tilted her head back; her dark hair falling down her back, her body now fully embraced by the moonlight. She herself emanated an eerie glow. She wasn’t just dancing amongst the night; she was a part of the night. The moonlight that caressed her angelic face also shone from within. She stood perfectly still for what seemed like hours, while the ever moving world around her continued on its pace. Finally, she slowly dropped her arms and flashed open her palms. What appeared to be small crystals scattered around her onto the sand. They shimmered and flickered as they brightened further.
She raised her arms again very slowly, making the circle of crystals hover in the air around her. As they began to spin, they took on the appearance of a solid ring of light. Her arms continued to lift, taking the ring of light higher and higher. A bright flash caught him by surprise and he stumbled backwards; shielding his face. After regaining his balance, he approached the window once more; only to see the ring of light had disappeared as well as the glowing plankton. All that remained was her.
She stood rigid and silent as the surf swept over her feet and rushed back toward the waves. She began to sway gently from side to side and he realized how innocent she looked. Her small stature was a reminder of who she used to be, but he knew better. He knew what she was capable of. In a flash, she twisted her head; locking him in her chilling glare. The startling silver of her eyes chilled him to the bone and had him slowly backing away from the window. Amongst the dark shadows of his room, he stared at the long ray of light cast across the floor by the moon. He knew what her witching hour display meant. He knew it with certainty. A creeping cold slithered up his spine and squeezed his heart. They were running out of time.



Purchase


Author Bio
v1i368adqrdqni76l1n5 Kristen Day is a southern belle at heart with a crazy streak that desperately tries to escape at every opportunity. She loves all things nostalgic, rustic, and quirky. She’s been told she sees the world through rose-colored glasses, but she prefers to think of them as kaleidoscope glasses - swirling and morphing reality into something she can digest (who hasn't pretended those pasty lima beans were really kiwi strawberry jelly beans?). She is the author of the DAUGHTERS OF THE SEA trilogy, which includes FORSAKEN, AWAKEN (Oct 2012), and CHOSEN (Winter 2012). She loves all books, but really enjoys writing young adult, paranormal romances. She’s loved to write for as long as she can remember. Her first published work was her poem RED in second grade (you guessed it - it was a poem about the color red - life altering, right?) that won her 5 gold stars and a spot in her elementary school's poetry book. That's when her addiction to the written word officially began. She was the only kid in fifth grade that actually enjoyed diagramming sentences. Go ahead and laugh - its okay. When she’s not writing she’s making jewelry, painting, feeding her addiction to sweet tea, watching the Discovery Channel, or going on random adventures in the mountains of North Carolina with her amazing husband. She was born in Boone, NC and graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in Marketing in 2001. 

Author Links
Blog 


Monday, 28 January 2013

Author Interview & Giveaway: Daynight by Megan Thomason

Tour Schedule

Author Interview
I'd like to welcome Megan Thomason to the blog today, it is a pleasure to have you here. 
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
Full of competing agendas, romantic entanglements, humor, twists and turns, daynight is “sure to win over YA readers looking for a dangerous, dystopian adventure story”—Kirkus Reviews.


What inspired you to want to become a writer?
I wrote endless stories as a child, was one of the few who loved to write essays in college, and had a post-college career in the software industry where I wrote business, marketing and product plans. But it wasn’t until my husband decided to write a middle grade fantasy novel, Max Xylander and the Island of Zumuruud, that I considered writing my own book. I helped my husband with plotting and editing and loved being absorbed in the characters and story. Afterwards, I came up with an idea for a teen romantic comedy and my daughters begged me to write the story, which ended up as the trilogy: the thin veil, the thin line, and thin skin. From there, I decided to take on the much more ambitious project of daynight and have been absorbed in the world of Thera and lives of Kira, Blake and Ethan ever since.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? 


I’m targeting a summer release for the sequel to daynightarbitrate. It would be hard to give any teasers forarbitrate without giving spoilers for daynight, but suffice it to say that there will be just as many surprises, twists and turns. Readers will get to see a lot more of Thera, as well as get to know the main characters and a couple key secondary characters a whole lot better :).
In addition to the daynight series, I’m working on B*Lies, a story about a girl who makes the decision to run from her abusive father. If time permits, I’ll also do a re-write on the romantic comedy trilogy I wrote prior todaynight: the thin veil, the thin line, and thin skin. Although I love the stories and characters, I’d want to get the writing up to my current standards before publishing.
Beyond these projects, I’ll continue with the daynight series until the story is finished, and then I have lots of other stories in the mental works to follow.

If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?
How equipped is my desert island? Does it come with the basic necessities of a large pot, solar generator, tarp, lighters, Swiss army knife, medicine, fishing pole, and sleeping bags? If so, I’m bringing the ultimate entertainment package:
My family
My iPhone (thousands of books on it, games, phone to keep in touch...)
My 11” MacBook Air (I’d have a heck of a lot of downtime to write!)
If my island doesn’t come with the basics, then sigh, I’m bringing a fully fueled, top-of-the-line seaplane, pilot, and a giant waterproof box with food and water for a week. I’d vacation until the food ran out, and then have the pilot take me home. Even Gilligan got stranded with a bunch of gear ;). 
If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world.. which would it be?
As a kid, I’d have picked The Phantom Tollbooth, The Hobbit, or From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (I seriously dreamed about living in the Met for years). There are a lot of worlds I’d like to visit (worlds of Brave New World, Hunger Games, Divergent, The Unidentified, The Scorpio Races, The Night Circus, 1984, Minority Report, Ender’s Game, Chronicles of Narnia, Amber Chronicles, Feed to name a few), but to live? I’m going to have to stick with Middle Earth and live in Bilbo Baggins’ Hobbit hole. It’s fully stocked with food and has a cool, round door. I might get to journey with Gandalf, meet Gollum and steal ‘my precious’, slay a dragon, find a lot of gold, and learn to use some awesome weapons.
What is your favorite quote?
After growing up with Murphy’s Law firmly affixed to my mother’s desk, I can’t say I’m much of a quote person. But, I do love this quote from Brave New World… I disagree that happiness isn’t grand, but the opposite can be a whole lot more interesting—particularly when reading and writing! 
"Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn't nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand." —Aldous Huxley




daynight by Megan Thomason

Meet The Second Chance Institute (SCI): Earth’s benevolent non-profit by day, Thera’s totalitarian regime by night. Their motto: Because Everyone Deserves a Second Chance™. Reality: the SCI subjects Second Chancers to strict controls and politically motivated science experiments like Cleaving—forced lifetime union between two people who have sex.

Meet Kira Donovan. Fiercely loyal, overly optimistic, and ensnared by the promise of a full-ride college scholarship, Kira signs the SCI Recruit contract to escape memories of a tragedy that left her boyfriend and friends dead.

Meet Blake Sundry. Bitter about being raised in Exile and his mother’s death, Blake’s been trained to infiltrate and destroy the SCI. Current barrier to success? His Recruit partner—Miss Goody Two Shoes Kira Donovan.

Meet Ethan Darcton. Born with a defective heart and resulting inferiority complex, Ethan’s forced to do his SCI elite family’s bidding. Cleave-worthy Kira Donovan catches his eye, but the presiding powers give defect-free Blake Sundry first dibs.

Full of competing agendas, romantic entanglements, humor, twists and turns, daynight is Megan Thomason’s debut young adult dystopian novel and first in the daynight series.


Purchase

Praise

“Sure to win over YA readers looking for a dangerous, dystopian adventure story” —Kirkus Reviews
“Gripping young adult dystopian novel; compelling conflicts; high stakes; powerful narrative; surprises keep coming; strong writing; page-turner; engaging characters; Readers will be hungry for the sequels.”—BlueInk Review (starred review)

“The writing is impressive and the story is a real page-turner. So many twists and turns… I’m hooked… I can’t wait for the next installment to come out…4.5 out of 5 stars”—Self-Publishing Review

“Delicious humor, intelligence, and sparkling dialogue” —Amazon reviewer

“Strangely brilliant and imaginative”—Amazon reviewer

“Grips you from the first page and keeps you wanting more”—Amazon reviewer

“Plot twists kept me reading till late at night”—Amazon reviewer

“Every page a thrilling experience”—Amazon reviewer

“Hooked from the first chapter and could not put it down”—Amazon reviewer

“It's like a CW fantasy TV show in a book with a really interesting environment.”—Amazon reviewer

“I'm a little tired of dystopian novels, but Daynight has a unique and fresh story line that didn't have any trouble keeping my interest.”—Amazon reviewer



Author Bio




Megan Thomason lives in paradise aka San Diego, CA with her husband and five children. A former software manager, Megan vastly prefers writing twisted tales to business, product, and marketing plans. When she isn't typing away on her laptop, she's reading books on her phone—over 600 in the last year—or attending to the needs of her family. Megan’s fluent in sarcasm, could potentially benefit from a 12-step program for road rage, struggles with a Hot Tamales addiction, loves world travel & fast cars and hates paperwork & being an insomniac. Daynight is Megan's first published novel, but fourth written one.






Author Links




Blog Tour Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card
Signed copy of Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Signed copy of daynight

Ends 2/7/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.






Book Blast and Guest Post‏: Leopard Moon by Jeanette Battista








To help spread the word about the fact that Jeanette Battista's LEOPARD MOON, the first book in the Moon series, is available for free at Amazon for the Kindle until the end of the month we've invited the author to the blog to share a guest post about her experience writing the book.


Title: LEOPARD MOON (Moon Series #1)
Author: Jeanette Battista
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release date: March 7, 2012
Pages: 204
Formats: Paperback, eBook


Description

How do you disappear when you come from a family of predators?

A wereleopard, Kess is forced to flee her home and family in Miami once her brother's obsession with her turns violent. She runs from city to city, trying to stay one step ahead of the investigators her family has dispatched to bring her home. Kess ends up in the mountains of North Carolina and attracts the attention of Cormac, a young man with a secret of his own. As she attempts to live as normal a life as her were-nature allows, her brother Sek continues to hunt for her. He believes she is the key to revitalizing their weakened clan and is driven to extreme measures to ensure their continued existence. As Kess' relationship with Cormac deepens, Sek closes in, threatening Cormac's life and Kess' freedom.

When the moon rises, the hunt is on….

The Moon series consists of four books - LEOPARD MOON, JACKAL MOON, HYENA MOON and HUNTER MOON - and is a series author Melissa Marr says, "... is filled with action and romance, shape shifters and strong heroines."

Book Links

To check out all the books in the series on Goodreads, CLICK HERE


***Kindle format free at Amazon - HERE***

 Buy Links



Author Bio

Photo credit: Dimitri Williams Photography
Source: Author’s website
Jeanette Battista graduated with an English degree with a concentration in medieval literature which explains her possibly unhealthy fixation on edged weapons and cathedral architecture. She spent a summer in England and Scotland studying the historical King Arthur, which did nothing to curb her obsession. To satisfy her adrenaline cravings—since sword fighting is not widely accepted in these modern times—she rode a motorcycle at ridiculously high speeds, got some tattoos, and took kickboxing and boxing classes. She gave up the bike when her daughter came along, although she still gets pummeled at the gym on a regular basis.

When she’s not writing or working, Jeanette spends time with family, hikes, reads, makes decadent brownies, buys killer boots, and plays Pocket Frogs. She wishes there were more hours in the day so she could actually do more of these things. She lives with her daughter and their ancient, ill-tempered cat in North Carolina.





Author Links






I'll be honest--I wasn't planning to write a book like Leopard Moon. I had an entirely different story in my head at the time, but it just wasn't coming into clear focus. That's the funny way writing works though: there I am, sitting at a red light on my way to meet my friends for a birthday martini and pedicure, listening to Florence + the Machine and WHAM! The song Howl comes on and this whole lovely scene just starts unfolding in my head. There was Kess, running through the woods, ripping off of her clothes as she triggered a change into a black leopard. And there was Cormac, standing in a different part of the woods being beaten mercilessly by the villain. I didn't know Sek was going to turn out to be Kess' brother, but I did know who he was as a character and what he wanted.

It was truly a gift: the entire final fight scene just unspooled itself along with the song lyrics. Each beat of the song matched a key point in the fight. The more I listened, the more I realized that the lyrics could apply to all of the characters in the main triangle at some point in the story I suddenly wanted to tell. And I wanted that story to be more than just boy meeting girl--I wanted that story to be about girl saving boy, but more importantly about girl saving herself. The song Howl gave me Kess first and Sekhmet second, so a lot of what I tried to do with them was to show them as two halves of a whole, two sides of a coin. Howl, at least to me, wasn't a love song at all--it was a song about possession and obsession and all of those things that show up in our animal drives. that we'd like to forget exists.

So when I began to craft Kess and Sek, Howl played on a continuous loop. And though the song speaks of wolves, I knew these two had to be cats. Wolves have a more social nature and are more easily understood by us--I think it comes from them being a a precursor to our beloved dogs. Cats are an unknown quantity, strange and separate, even if they choose to share space with us. I wanted real darkness there, not just a brief bit of danger that would be easily resolved. Obsession and mental illness gave Sek that scariness, but also--I hope--a bit of sympathy. He really does love his sister and wants what is best for her and his clan. I never intended to excuse his behavior, but I did want to try and understand it.

Just like the song made me understand that narrator of that story. I can only hope I did half so well.

***
To meet Kess, Cormac and Sek in this first book in the Moon series, head over to Amazon to download the Kindle eBook for free until January 31st.

It can be found HERE!


Release Day Blitz & Excerpt: The Undesirable by S. Celi

YANR_BlogTour_Undesirable_RDB

Today is the release day of the new book The Undesirable by S. Celi!



Title: The Undesirable
Author: Sara Celi
Publisher: Lowe Interactive Media
Pages: 225
Genre: This book is Mature YA/ New Adult. It is recommended for readers 14 and over.

Book Description
What if everything you knew turned out to be a lie? Charlotte Walker knows how to live under the rule of The Party. She has managed for 18 years. She helps out her drunken mother and keeps life going at a familiar, steady pace. She doesn’t ask questions, even though she has many of them in her heart. Fostino Sanchez knows how to live under the rule of The Party, too. For 19 years, he’s worked to be the perfect Party member. He knows what must be done to keep Maxwell Cooper in power, and how find the The Undesirables that threaten to take away everything that matters. As the months go by, what matters most to Fostino is Charlotte Walker. While their love blooms, danger comes to Charlotte and Fostino’s small hometown of Harrison Corners, OH. Threats they never knew existed could take away all that they care about. And just when these two teens think they know what will come next, Charlotte learns the truth about a secret she has long suspected. What Charlotte finds out changes everything. EVERYTHING. THE UNDESIRABLE is Charlotte Walker’s story, from her point of view. It is a thrilling, suspenseful tale of love, curiosity, adversity, and maturity against the backdrop of a futuristic war. Should Charlotte trust Fostino with what she knows? Can she trust anyone? Will she find it in herself to rise up against terrible odds? What if the ultimate Undesirable is her?



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Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE


Fostino’s frown mixes with his tightened jaw. “Are you serious about this, Charlotte? Really serious? I just — I can’t believe you’re breaking up with me.” His eyebrows pull tighter than any seam I have ever sewn.“God. I’m so stupid.” His mouth sets in a hard line. My heartbeat jumps to my ears. I bite down hard on the inside of my bottom lip.
Oh, God. Did I make the right choice? Will he understand? Will he always hate me?
My breath quickens as the air constricts all around the two of us. I almost taste the awkwardness in the air. I pray my pain doesn’t show on my face.
How do people manage to stay friends after something like this?
I can’t. No, I won’t. Not this time.
I stand in this apartment and know that I failed to make this breakup painless.My words cover this small dusty room. All the muscles in my back tighten and twist from the stress. We will never be justfriends — ever.
He gets up from the couch and pulls on his worn, muddy combat boots. He seems wounded, broken, and defeated. He radiates pain. He picks up my keys to the apartment from the coffee table.Awkward. My mind flickers to the beginning. I remember the moment in the town square when The Party transformed our lives. I want to go back and change everything since then.
“I wanted to take care of you and shield you from—” He stops and gestures to the windows and the crumbling world outside this room. His soulful brown eyes glint with anger. “Everything.” Now he exhales. “I guess I’m not surprised. Not after all that happened.”His shoulders slump.
Sweat beads on the back of my neck. I swallow some of my uneasiness. My plan just might work. I taste the hollow victory in the back of my throat.
Good.
“I—I’m sorry.” I have nothing else to say, no words to make this better. In minutes, I’ll leave the apartment and flee my life because I have no other choice.
“I’ll never understand you. Or this.” Fostino shakes his head of dark waves. He fixates on the bare wall behind me.
His words hurt, but Fostino can’t know how much he affects me. I push away the urge to reach out and hold him tighter than I ever hugged anyone. Instead, I shudder a little in my shapeless black dress — the one the government issued me last month. I hate this. I am not a cold person. I don’t hurt people on purpose.
“Fostino, I—“
In a few steps, I reach his side. My shaky hand reaches out and the keys link our hands together. I smell him through all the dust in this studio apartment with the Murphy bed in the corner. I inhale just remember how he smells. I’m so afraid I will forget it. Each second ticks by worse than the last. This conversation is hard, so very hard. I bite down on the inside of my cheek to stop myself from saying something I can’t back up. If only I could tell him the truth, share my terrible secret, and find a way out of my bleak future.
If only.
“Did you ever mean anything you said? I mean, even for one second. Did you ever even like me?” He balls his hand into a fist once I raise my arm to stop him. He keeps talking anyway. “I told you I loved you right here in this room, even though you didn’t say it back. I meant it.”
My stomach twists and heart pounds while I keep up the lies. “Well — I did like you.” I emphasize my next words as my toes curl in my sandals. “I thought I loved you once. I wanted to say it, but—”
“But, I’ll always love you. I will.”
He mutters something else I can’t understand, and his words undo me. I give in and kiss him. His lips are a gentle push against mine, and the kiss is so good it hurts. His lips taste like a nectar I want to savor forever. But I can’t. This moment must stay cold and Fostino needs to know this is goodbye for good. Before the kiss intensifies, I pull away and remember my task. The black Humvee full of people waits around the corner. We all must leave soon. They gave me fifteen minutes to make sure this break-up is a clean one. Time is up.
Now.
His eyes lock mine. “Why won’t you tell me what’s really going on?”
Oh no. He can’t know the truth.
Hurt him.
They told me I must end it.Loving me will destroy him. It will destroy everything.
My teeth bite my lip hard on the inside as I search for the words. “It’s — well — we just…we aren’t right for each other. I don’t want you to come after me. We need to end this. This relationship—”
“Whatever. It’s fine. You shouldn’t make stuff up.”Fostino sounds very weary and haggard with each sentence.
I take my keys and slide them into the black wool satchel on my left shoulder. Then I take the deception a step further. “I won’t ever love you, Fostino Ahmed.” The words taste like rusted metal. “I just won’t.”
My hands open the door with purpose. A few steps will take me through an ancient hallway that links this apartment with sixteen others. I push myself through the doorframe and pull the door shut behind me. Then I take the first steps of what I know will be a lifetime of solitary strides. With each step, I sever this connection.
Once outside, I round the corner and slide into the alleyway as the armored vehicle hums a signal. The Humvee’s fat tires set off its flat black paint, tinted windows, silver chrome handles, and a large armored grill on the front and the back. This car is a fortress, made for combat and intimidation. All the cars the government owns mirror this one. I slip inside and sink into black leather.
Soon, we will all leave Harrison Corners, Ohio. This small band of rebels will take me some place. And I don’t care where. I just want to disappear, and need to more than ever. After I close the Humvee door, Thompson speaks first.
“Did he believe you?” Thompson throws the vehicle into gear and drives it down the alley. He gets irritated when I don’t answer right away and runs a thick hand through his long dreadlocks. “Well?”


Author Bio

6578895  
 New Orleans born Sara Celi has lived all over the United States. She calls the Greater Cincinnati area and the Queen City home. She's currently a TV reporter and anchor in Oklahoma City, and has spent more than a decade working in journalism. She graduated cum laude from Western Kentucky University in 2004. Celi is also a contributing author to Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Positive. The Undesirable is her debut novel. In her spare time, she likes to read, shop, write, travel, run long distances, volunteer with the Junior League, and fundraise for Cooperative for Education, a non-profit providing educational opportunities for Guatemalan kids.  








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