Wednesday, December 3, 2014

TAKEN BY STORM Blog Tour! Interview with Tamara Mataya

Hi, Everyone!

Today, I’m stoked to take part in the lovely Tamara Mataya’s TAKEN BY STORM Blog Tour! TAKEN BY STORM is available from Swoon Romance now! And don't forget to check out the Giveaway!












TAKEN BY STORM is the latest electrifying love story from bestselling author Tamara Mataya.














Leilani’s plan was simple: Return for her father’s wedding, house sit for the happy couple while they went on their honeymoon, then get the hell outta dodge. She’d thought the worst thing would be returning to the town she grew up in (and despised). She was wrong.

A flash flood hits the small town, stranding firefighter, Ryan, and a few strangers at the local bar. Worst of all, Leilani, his old high school rival – and last night’s scorching one-night-stand – is one of the people stuck in the bar. With waters rising, they need to stick together and wait for rescue.

The power grid’s knocked out, and cell phones aren’t working. When the others panic and leave, Leilani and Ryan are left alone in the dark. Fortunately, words aren’t necessary to keep the former rivals warm. But when they’re forced to leave the refuge of each other's arms, they must navigate the flood-ravaged town in order to find safe shelter.

The rising waters brought them together, but rising tempers might tear them apart.

TAKEN BY STORM is inspired by true events.




I asked Tamara a few questions, and here's what she had to say!

What was your favorite part about writing TAKEN BY STORM?

Taking an intense situation and adding romance moments of playfulness to it. It's got its erotic parts, but there's a lot of action in this book. I wanted to also celebrate the first responders, firefighters in particular, as they were the ones who rescued my co-workers and I from the library during MY flashflood experience.


What was the hardest part of writing TAKEN BY STORM?

Trying to do it justice. This was a very real thing my town went through in June 2013. Our population went from 13k to about 8500. Parts of the town were demolished because the houses were beyond repair. The water that came in didn't just go back out. Some neighbourhoods sat under 13 FEET of water for three-six weeks until the crews could pump the water out. People lost EVERYTHING. The downtown core flooded as well as many residential areas, so some people lost not only their homes and schools, but their jobs as well. Some people whose homes didn't flood ended up getting many feet of sewage backup in their basements. This wasn't a small event. The army was called in. 150 people were rescued from rooftops by helicopters that day and night. We were stranded in the library, and when someone's dad called 9-1-1, they gave us a number. I wanted to tell my town, and my, story in an engaging way while not downplaying the devastation of it. We're still recovering 17 months later.


How much of the story was based on actual events?

Every story in the book happened to people I know, or people I know of. I've tweaked things for privacy's sake, but they were all real. I don't know if anyone was stranded in a bar, but I do know of others who had similar experiences. My co-workers and I were faced with a similar choice: Stay in the library that was taking on water and completely surrounded by water, some 5 feet deep in parts, or get out? We had to break a window to get out of the library because the water was so far up the door we couldn't force it open. A patron cut his leg going out the window, and I had to bandage him up. After we were rescued, and allowed back into the town 3 weeks later, that guy showed up at the library and told my boss I'd saved his life. That was intense to hear.


Criticism will be tough, but I want everyone to know that these are peoples' lives, and this was my way of showing people that no story is forgotten.


What is Leilani’s favorite thing about Ryan? Ryan’s favorite thing about Leilani?

It's the same for both of them. They're both stubborn and drive each other crazy, but it's because they care and challenge each other. The competitive spirit they have drives them to be better people. Together, they're the best versions of themselves.


How much do you love TAKEN BY STORM’s cover?


I LOVE it. BUT. Leilani is half Polynesian, a fact I didn't think would be an issue until we started looking for cover images. We were unable to find one that completely represented the characters and the situation, so we ended up going with one that captured the feeling of what was happening. Most Polynesian women had grass skirts and were on a sunny beach. SO not the feeling I was going for.  I LOVE the end result, but gnashed my teeth over the lack of stereotypical diversity in the images.


Thanks, Tamara for your time! Love these answers and this book! 

So, who likes free stuff? Here's your chance to win some! 




Tamara Mataya is currently a librarian; she lurked there for so long recommending books to patrons and shushing people that she suspects they only hired her so it would be less creepy. Now she’s armed with a name tag, and a thin veneer of credibility. She’s also a musician with synaesthesia – which isn't an issue until someone plays a wrong note, which makes her want to squirm inside out. It makes for a good live show.






You can learn more about Tamara and her books here:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Release Day! Stacey O'Neale's FRAGILE REIGN

Fragile Reign Release Day


I'm excited to take part in Stacey O'Neale's release day launch for FRAGILE REIGN! Check out the book below and be sure to enter the amazing giveaway!



Fragile Reign by Stacey O'Neale


It’s been a week since all hell broke loose… Rumors of King Taron’s weakened powers have left the air court vulnerable. Kalin is desperate to awaken her akasha powers, except she doesn’t know how. Tension within the court is at an all-time high. Pressure is mounting for her to ascend to the throne, but a halfling has never ruled over any court. To solidify her position, the council has advised her to marry Sebastian—a high ranking air elemental she’s never met and her betrothed. Will Kalin sacrifice her relationship with Rowan to strengthen her court? Rowan and Marcus return to a fire court in turmoil. Liana’s death has fueled the fire elementals’ distrust against the air and woodland courts. The unbalanced elements have set off natural disasters all over the mortal world. Rowan takes the throne to restore balance, promising to unite the fire court. But not all elementals are happy with his leadership. Many are secretly loyal to Valac, which means Rowan needs to find allies for his cause. Can Rowan unify the court of fire before the elements destroy the world? Goodreads | Amazon



If you haven't read Stacey's Mortal Enchantment series, you can get the first book for FREE on Amazon and Barnes & Noble! The Shadow Prince won GOLD at the 2014 Readers' Favorite Book Awards in the Short Story/Novella category!

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Excerpt from FRAGILE REIGN

Rowan
After Marcus left, the lack of sleep and overuse of my power had finally caught up to me. My lids were heavy, making it hard to keep my eyes open. I laid down on the nearest bed, sinking into the softness of the vanilla scented pillows. I could rest here until tomorrow, and then meet Kalin on the beach at sundown. As I closed my eyes, I imagined her in that sexy sundress with the ocean breeze wafting through her red curls. My lips tingled remembering the raspberry taste of her kisses. With all this craziness going on, she was the one thing that made sense. The only person who could make me forget about everything for a little while. Kalin was the one I wanted. The only one I needed. I shook my head. What was wrong with me? It was too soon to be thinking about this stuff, right? It had only been a few weeks. And what did I know about real feelings, anyway? Had it not been for Marcus, I would never even know what it felt like to care for someone. Love was never part of my life. My mother thought love was a weakness—a totally worthless emotion compared to power and control. But that still didn’t explain how I was feeling. Why everything seemed better when Kalin was around. Why my fingers ached to touch her. Why her pain shattered me to the core. I put my hands over my face. Or, maybe the lack of sleep was making me delusional. With a smirk, I gave in to the darkness that was overwhelming me and fell asleep.


About the Author

Stacey O'Neale

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads

Stacey O'Neale lives in Annapolis, Maryland. When she's not writing, she spends her time fangirling over books, blogging, watching fantasy television shows, cheering for the Baltimore Ravens, and hanging out with her husband and daughter. Her career in publishing started as a blogger-turned-publicist for two successful small publishers. Stacey writes young adult paranormal romance and adult science fiction romance. Her books always include swoon-worthy heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of kissing. Stacey loves hearing from readers. Follow her on Twitter @StaceyONeale, look for her on Facebook, Pinterest, and GoodReads. You can also visit her blog at http://staceyoneale.com/.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I WISH Blog Tour! Interview with Elizabeth Langston


Hi, folks! Today, we’ve got an interview with Elizabeth Langston, author of I WISH, her new YA series. I WISH arrives today from Spencer Hill Press!



 
 What Lacey needs is a miracle. What she gets is a genie with rules.


 
Lacey Linden is hiding the truth of her life—a depressed mom, a crumbling house, and bills too big to pay. While her high school classmates see a girl with a ready smile and good grades, Lacey spends her evenings seeking ways to save her family. On a get-cash-quick trip to the flea market, Lacey stumbles over a music box that seemingly begs her to take it home. She does, only to find it is inhabited by a gorgeous "genie." He offers her a month of wishes, one per day, but there's a catch. Each wish must be humanly possible.

Grant belongs to a league of supernatural beings, dedicated to serving humans in need. After two years of fulfilling the boring wishes of conventional teens, he is one assignment away from promotion to a challenging new role with more daring cases. Yet his month with Lacey is everything that he expects and nothing like he imagines. Lacey and Grant soon discover that the most difficult task of all might be saying goodbye.
 
ISBN: 1939392233 
 
Links:
 
 
Isn’t it beautiful? Now, I had a chance to ask Elizabeth a few questions about her experience writing I WISH, and here’s what she had to say:

Did anything in particular inspire you to write I WISH?

Grant was the character who came to me first. I knew he was smart, charming, inquisitive —and completely unaware of how hot it is to be all-powerful. But I found it really difficult to create a heroine who deserved having Grant in her life. So he languished, unwritten, for a long time.

Then something happened to one of my daughter’s best friends. They were in high school—and my daughter was constantly driving her around, to work or home. I asked what was going on. Basically, when the friend’s mother fell into an alcoholic stupor, the teen girl became the head of the household. She got a job, took care of her siblings, tried to handle the housework, and managed to cling to decent grades. I had my Lacey.

 

What was your favorite part about writing Lacey? Grant?

Lacey’s story allowed me to write about so many different kinds of relationships. She doted on her brother. She mourned the loss of one friendship and enjoyed the renewal of another. She found warmth with her friend Eli and something more with Grant. Mostly, though, she gave me the chance to explore the pain, exasperation, and love that can exist between mother and daughter.

Grant’s job, as a supernatural being, is to try to understand humans. He is so logical—almost Spock-like—that it became really fun to see human emotions through his eyes.

What was the hardest part about writing I WISH?

Lacey’s mother, Crystal, is mentally ill. I would’ve liked to let Grant wave a magic wand and make her all better. But that wasn’t realistic. So I had to let her suffer, stumble, succeed, and relapse. And in her pain, Crystal was often casually cruel to Lacey. That was hard to write, but necessary.

Did you write I WISH to a playlist?

Not really, although the story does have a theme song.  “Break In” by Halestorm.

(I love this answer because I’ve found this song pretty inspirational, too!)

Did you have a favorite snack while you worked?

Fritos and ginger ale.

Thanks, Elizabeth, for giving us an insight into the making of I WISH! Remember, you can check out I WISH today!



 
About the Author:
Elizabeth Langston lives in North Carolina, halfway between the beaches and the mountains. She has two teen-ish daughters and one husband (a geek like her). When she’s not writing software or stories, Elizabeth loves to travel with her family, watch dance reality TV shows, and dream about which restaurant ought to get their business that night.
Elizabeth’s debut novel WHISPER FALLS released in November 2013. Its sequels, A WHISPER IN TIME released in April 2014 and WHISPERS FROM THE PAST released in October 2014.  Her new series begins with I WISH in November 2014. Learn more about her at www.elizabethlangston.net.
Author Links:
 


Friday, October 17, 2014

Waiting…

Waiting sucks.
 
When something excites me, I usually want it RIGHT NOW. Like when the PS4 came out. I wanted one really bad, and my brain was screaming, “GET IT NOW!” However, my sensible side said, “Wait. Let them work out any bugs. At least wait until they have game you actually want to play.”
So…I’m still waiting.
Waiting for writing things makes me twitchy. I squirm when I’m waiting for feedback, contest results, or replies to emails. Especially the last one because waiting on anything to do with publishing is torture. I obsessively refresh like everyone else when I’m dying to see a query response or edit note in my inbox.
And when my inbox remains frustratingly empty?
I mentally whine and wait some more.
If I’ve learned anything since deciding I really wanted to slog through the query trenches, it’s patience. No matter what level you’re at, there’s waiting to be done. A writer waits on an agent to scoop them up. An agent waits for an editor to say yes or no to a deal. An author waits for an editor to send them notes.  
Waiting sucks…but I understand the need for patience. All those people have other things to do. They’ve got clients and contracts and deadlines. Even CPs can be too busy sometimes. Getting flustered and raving won’t make the emails come any faster. Or if they do, you probably won’t like the answer. So we wait. When the appropriate time comes, we gently nudge, and then we work on something else while we wait some more.
Dragon Age: Inquisition comes out in November for the PS4. Definitely worth waiting for. Those other things I’m still waiting on will eventually come, too. I just have to be patient.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: A.R. Kahler's MARTYR

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly awaiting!

MARTYR photo MARTYRcover_FINAL_zps257379e3.jpg

Title: MARTYR (The Hunted: Book One)
Author: A.R. Kahler
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Expected Publication Date: October 28, 2014

Three years have passed since magic destroyed the world.

Those who remain struggle to survive the monsters roaming the streets, fighting back with steel and magic—the very weapons that birthed the Howls in the first place.
Tenn is one such Hunter, a boy with the ability to harness the elements through ancient runes. For years, the Hunters have used this magic to keep the monsters at bay, but it's never been enough to truly win the war. Humans are losing.
When Tenn falls prey to an incubus named Tomás and his terrifying Kin, Tenn learns there's more to this than a fight for survival. He's a pawn in a bigger game, one with devastating consequences. If he doesn't play his part, it could cost him his life, his lover and his world.




A.R. Kahler 2 photo AP2_small_zpsdbb7d4ce.jpgAlex is many things, but first and foremost, he’s a Sagittarius.
Born in Iowa and educated across the States, he’s taught circus in Amsterdam and Madrid, gotten madly lost in the Scottish wilderness, received his Masters in Creative Writing from Glasgow University, and drummed with Norse shamans. Sometimes he also walks about on stilts. Or sews. Or hammers tiny pieces of metal into pretty shapes.
When he’s not writing or climbing in the rafters, he’s probably drinking coffee. And seeing as he currently resides in Seattle, there’s coffee aplenty.

He is represented by Laurie McLean of Foreword Literary.
Alex's Website: http://www.arkahler.com

THE DARK CARNIVAL WELCOMES YOU

 
 
 
 
 
Step right up, folks! The show is soon to begin. But while you wait in line, enjoy your fritters and this sample of the terror to come...
 

 
 
 
And over here--yes, this way--you can see the entrance to the Tunnel of Love. Don't be shy, folks! Cozy up to your loved one and take a peek!
 
 
And the Tunnel of Love loomed ahead of us.
I didn’t think they even made those things anymore. I hadn’t seen one at one of these fairs—well, my whole life. It was something you’d only see in a fifties movie, or some old black and white photo. And like anything classy, none of the loudmouth teenagers that frequented the fair were anywhere near it. The shadows around the Tunnel of Love were empty.
I wrapped my arms around her and headed towards the dark entryway.
The tunnel seemed even more like it was dropped out of another time as we got closer to it. Two giant cutout swans with chipping white paint formed a heart with their great necks, creating a doorway into the darkness where love was supposed to flourish. If not for the dark that invited one like me in, I would have seen the marred paint and carved in hearts with random initials on the pristine white of their feathers to be a bad sign, of something lost and something ruined.
I should have looked deeper.
-          Love Consumes Us by Julie Hutchings
 
Don't shove! Have patience, friends. The DARK CARNIVAL will be coming to you soon!
 
THE DARK CARNIVAL is brought to you by PEN and MUSE.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Cover Reveal! THE DARK CARNIVAL Anthology

Hello, Ladies and Gents!
 
Everyone gather round! Closer. Even closer.
 
Can you smell it? Buttered popcorn. The gossamer perfume of cotton candy, and over there, you can just make out the calliope music from the carousel.
 
The carnival has come to town, my friends, though the thrills you seek might be altogether different from the ones you get...
 
Welcome to the great Pen and Muse's DARK CARNIVAL!
 
In this anthology, several authors and illustrators explore the dark and hidden dangers that lie within a carnival that has come to town. But it is no ordinary carnival. It's THE DARK CARNIVAL.
 
And when The Dark Carnival comes to town, there's no promise that anyone can leave...alive.
 
 
 
A round of applause for the talented authors ready to terrify you!
 
 Kat Daemon, Kristen Strassel, Julie Hutchings, C. Elizabeth Vescio, Mark Matthews, Brian W. Taylor, Kim Culpepper, Eli Constant, Mari Wells, J. Elizabeth Hill, Nicole R. Taylor, Ashly Nagrant, Kristin Hanson, Calyn Morgan, Tawney Bland, Roselle Kaes, Ken Mooney, Emily McKeon, Bobby Salomons, Ezekiel Conrad, Sheila Hall, Michelle Davis, Lucas Hargis, Vanessa Henderson, Ryan Bartlett, Debra Kristi, Jessi Esparza, T.A. Brock, Ruth Shedwick, Brian LeTendre, Amy Trueblood, Gregory Carrico, Jamie Corrigan, Kate Michael, Tyle Anne Snell, Alicia Audrey, Meghan Schuler, Jamie Adams, Wulf Francu Godgluck, J.C. Michael, Suzy G., Kristin Rivers, and Claire C. Riley.
*Final lineup subject to change
 
 
 
 
Want to show The Dark Carnival even more Goodreads love?
Add it to your shelves - horror, anthologies, and thriller are good places to start.
 
Did you say you have more love? Pin the shiny new cover to Pinterest, send out some tweets, and scribe it into Facebook. You never know - show The Dark Carnival enough love, and it might just let you leave.
 
Cover Design by the fabulous C. Elizabeth Vescio. Learn more about her and her incredible design skills here.
 
About Pen & Muse Press
Need writing tips? Want to learn how to market yourself as an author? Pen & Muse Press was started to give you just the tips you need. No matter how long you’ve been writing - or haven’t been, embrace your craft.
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Music Ramble: TRANSMISSIONS by Starset

I don't listen to the radio much. Usually about two hours a day, on the way to work and on the way home. And usually in that two hours, I hear the same five bands over and over until I want to punch someone in their Metallica...

Um, face.

Lately, though, they've been playing some new bands, and I've been pretty happy. Excited, even. One song in particular, My Demons, was sticking with me, so I decided to check out the album.

I'm freaking in love. TRANSMISSIONS by Starset is glorious symphonic rock, and I can't get enough of it. Especially the song Dark On Me. Not only does it give me major feels, but it's stirring story possibilities, and that's always fantastic. Let It Die has a total mad scientist feel, which is only boosted when I listen to the remix, and my writer brain is going nuts with it.

The whole album is beautiful, and while I have my favorites, there's not a song on it that I don't like.

So, if you like your rock with violins and symphonic epicness, check out Starset's TRANSMISSIONS.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Cover Reveal! THE GHOST OF YOU by Amanda Burckhard


Today, I’m incredibly excited to show you the cover for Amanda Burckhard’s THE GHOST OF YOU, coming 12/30/14 from Swoon Romance. But first, as always because I can, a look at what’s inside!


Emmy has everything she’s ever wanted: a hot boyfriend she adores, great friends, a promising future, and even a well-connected family. But one night rips it all away.

A car accident shatters her world, claiming the lives of her twin brother and her best friend. In the wake of the accident, her friends drift away, her family falls apart, and her boyfriend cheats.

The grief is more than she can handle, so she finds escape at the bottom of a bottle of painkillers. Taking the pills makes her brother alive again, if only in her head. Seeing and talking to her brother as if he were still alive is the only thing that keeps her going. Until Logan King moves to town.

Logan sees past the mask of pristine popularity she wears in public and he’s the only one who can tell she hasn’t moved on. His uncanny ability to read her forces her to open up and she starts to fall for him, no matter how unwilling she is to admit it. But Emmy isn’t the only one keeping secrets and when a close brush with death sparks events that bring everything to light, Emmy will have to decide what’s more important: learning how to forgive and move on, or holding onto the pills and the ghost of her past.



I can’t wait to get my hands on it! Now for the cover! 



*whips off blanket*










 Beautiful! Congrats, Amanda on a lovely cover, and I'm eager to grab my own copy of THE GHOST OF YOU!



About the Author



Amanda Burckhard grew up exploring bat caves and hunting for dinosaur bones in the Black Hills of South Dakota. When she wasn’t crossing paths with mountain lions, she was making up stories and devouring books at the library. Although, she still does that.

Amanda loves to travel and cross out things on her adrenaline packed bucket list. Some of the things she's been able to cross out include see an active volcano erupt, ride a gondola in Venice, and pet a tiger.

She currently lives in North Sioux City, South Dakota and works as a microbiologist by day. Some of her obsessions include comic book movies, hot chocolate, sushi, sunshine, and Doctor Who.

You can find out more about Amanda and her work in these lovely places:
Website       Goodreads      Twitter       Facebook



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