July 23 2016

Great Summer Countdown – The Suspect’s Daughter @donnahatch @LovingtheBook

Donna Hatch, author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” has won writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award. A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she is a sought-after workshop presenter, and juggles multiple volunteer positions and her six children. A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.

 

 

Q&A With the Author:


What is your favorite part of writing?

The first few chapters of the rough draft are the most fun. Usually that evil little voice hasn’t started talking to me yet–you know, that little voice that whispers it’s not good enough? Yeah, that one. Getting a jump on it is great for my ego. The first few chapters of a rough draft is also the point where I have not yet realized that I don’t have a very well thought-out plot. Ah, that part is bliss.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

1. Don’t listen to that evil little voice.

2. Finish the rough draft before you begin revisions.

3. Accept advice and critiques with grace and humility, even if you don’t plan to do what they suggest you do. 

 

Connect with the Author here: 

~ Facebook ~ Website ~ Twitter ~ Google+ ~

Determined to help her father with his political career, Jocelyn sets aside dreams of love. When she meets the handsome and mysterious Grant Amesbury, her dreams reawaken. But his secrets put her family in peril.

Grant goes undercover to capture conspirators avowed to murder the prime minister, but his only suspect is the father of a courageous lady who is growing increasingly hard to ignore. He can’t allow Jocelyn to distract him from the case, nor will he taint her with his war-darkened soul. She seems to see past the barriers surrounding his heart, which makes her all the more dangerous to his vow of remaining forever alone. Jocelyn will do anything to clear her father’s name, even if that means working with Grant. Time is running out. The future of England hangs in the balance…and so does their love.

 

~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK

~ Amazon Canada ~ B&N ~ Smashwords ~

 

Snippet:

“How can I thank you properly?” Jocelyn said.

Mr. Amesbury blinked as if unaccustomed to such an outpouring of gratitude. “No need. Their safety is enough. I enjoy administering a bit of justice now and again.”

The corner of his mouth twitched and an unholy gleam shimmered in the hardness of his eyes. For a fleeting moment, a vision of Grant Amesbury hunting down the criminal who’d attacked her and exacting some form of vengeance upon him flashed through her mind. He was like a rogue knight with his own code of honor and his own methods of justice.

Jocelyn studied Mr. Amesbury’s profile, fascinated with his cautious probing. He was so solemn, so intense. If only he’d smile. But no, perhaps it was best he didn’t. He’d probably be so handsome she would be rendered unable to utter an intelligent word.

When the butler opened the door to announce dinner, she said quietly, “I hope you don’t mind, Mr. Amesbury, but I’ve seated you next to me.”

He blinked as if he’d forgotten she stood next to him. “Why would I mind?”

She huffed out a self-deprecating laugh. “You seemed a bit ill at ease yesterday when you came for tea.”

His pale gray eyes passed over her. Again came that intensity. His hard edges softened. “Not because I object to your company, Miss Fairley.”

It was ridiculous, really, the warmth that wrapped around her like a blanket at his words. She probably grinned like some kind of silly schoolgirl. His crusty, protective barrier returned in his posture and his expression. How long would it take her to break open his emotional armor and find the real Grant Amesbury

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 

 

 

July 22 2016

Great Summer Countdown – Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend @ccarpinello @LovingtheBook

I am retired high school English teacher. A devourer of books growing up, my profession introduced me to writings and authors from times long past. Through my studies and teaching, I fell in love with the Ancient and Medieval Worlds. Now, I hope to inspire young readers and those Young-at-Heart to read more through my Quest Books set in these worlds.

I also conduct Medieval/Short Story Writing Workshops in Elementary/Middle School classes. Contact me if you are interested in holding a workshop for students:  ccarpinello@mac.com.

Q&A With the Author:

What is your favorite part of writing?

When I’ve finally figured out the path that my characters need to take, and I get the rewriting finished.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep plugging along even when what you envisioned isn’t working. There is a path to the solution, you just have to keep writing and thinking.

 

Connect with the Author here: 

~ Facebook ~ Website ~ Amazon ~

Parent/Educators ~ Quest Books ~ Blog 

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~ BookBuzzer ~ Pintrest ~ LinkedIn ~

 

At the dawn of Camelot, one young girl is about to take her place beside the greatest king in England’s history…. 

She is a mere child of twelve. But in these medieval days, this is the age when childish things must be put away and greater responsibilities accepted—all in preparation for a betrothal of marriage.

For young Lady Guinevere, on the advent of her thirteenth Birth Day, the whole idea is quite unbearable. After all, what could be better than spending her youth playing with her best friend Cedwyn, roaming the grounds around the castle looking for mythical creatures or hunting rabbits?

However, the wizard Merlyn—her teacher and friend—knows that destiny has a way of catching up with a person. His arrival sets in motion a series of events that will lead Guinevere to her destiny whether she is ready for it or not.

 

 

~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK

~ Amazon Canada ~ Amazon Australia ~

 

Snippet:

Guinevere stood by the door.  In between glares at Cedwyn, she kept looking out into the bailey courtyard.

            “Hurry up, Cedwyn.  Merlyn’s going to leave without us,” she whispered, not wanting to wake Brynwyn.

            “I’m comin’,” he replied, pulling on his other shoe.

            Ready at last, the two hurried toward the castle gate and Merlyn.  The sun was just starting to peek over the horizon.

            “Humph!  About time!” Merlyn said as they reached him.  “Not able to get enough sleep?  Maybe dreaming of dragons?!”  He chuckled as Cedwyn’s expression betrayed the fact that he had had a very restless night.  “Well, it’s daylight now.  Dragons sleep in the light so we should have a very uneventful trip.  All we have to do is find King Pellinore and that darn bratchet dog!  Let’s hurry up now.  We have plenty of forest to cover and who knows what we will come across,” he finished as he marched out of the castle gate and toward the forest, his long strides threatening to leave them behind.

            “Do dragons really sleep in the day?  Merlyn, how come you said we would have an unev’ntful trip when we don’t know what we will come across?” Cedwyn asked as he and Guinevere hurried after Merlyn.

            Merlyn just chuckled and motioned them to follow.  “One never knows what the forest will reveal, but at least it won’t be dragons!”

            “What does he mean, Guin’ver?”  Cedwyn asked, confused by Merlyn’s double talk.

            “I’m not sure, but let’s not let him get too far in front.”  She glanced ahead.  Merlyn was just ducking under the edge of the forest canopy.  Nervously, she looked around, mindful of the last time that she and Cedwyn had been in the forest.  Thankfully, nothing appeared to be moving in the tall grass on either side of them.

            “Do you think we’ll run into that wild pig again?  Will it remember that you were the one that shot it?”  Cedwyn asked.  He had additional questions, but Guinevere turned and put her finger to her lips.

            “If you keep talking so loud, it will find us.  So be quiet and hurry.  Merlyn’s already out of sight.”

            Cedwyn looked up the path, but Merlyn was nowhere to be seen.  He started to panic.  Once they stepped under the dark green forest canopy and out of the sunlight, Merlyn’s flowing grey robe appeared just ahead of them.  Cedwyn heard Guinevere’s sigh echo his.

            Merlyn waited until they caught up before choosing a hidden path through the scrub brush.  The trio moved in deeper in the forest, Merlyn in the lead.  Guinevere came next.  She followed somewhat hesitantly, her and Cedwyn’s run-in with the boar still vivid in her mind.  Her heart raced faster at the thought of meeting another one.

            Cedwyn came last, at times having to run to keep up with Merlyn’s pace.  Of course, it would have been easier if he hadn’t kept stopping to investigate the brown and green vegetation all around.  He wasn’t looking for the bugs, worms, or small creatures common around the castle.  No, what Cedwyn watched for was whatever Merlyn referred to when he told them that he didn’t know what the forest had in store for them.  He wanted to be ready, but for what he wasn’t sure.

            “Guin’ver?” he asked as he caught up to her where the path widened.  “What do you think Merlyn thinks might be in the forest?”

            “I don’t know,” she replied, catching herself looking around.  “Let’s just stay close.  Merlyn can take care of anything that comes near.”

            “Now, I wouldn’t be so quick to say that, Lady Guinevere,”  Merlyn said as he stopped.

 

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July 21 2016

Great Summer Countdown – A Doorway Back to Forever: Believe #ADoorwayBacktoForever @LovingtheBook

Musician, author, and avid Star Trek fan, Nanette loves anything that challenges her mind and enlightens her spirit. She got the idea for her book series from her faith and love of family. Wouldn’t it be neat to travel back and forth through time to discover hidden powers and your true potential? Nanette thought so, and thus began the Doorway series. Believe is the first of seven books designed to entertain and inspire both young and seasoned readers. She is a frequent hiker at Glacier National Park, loves her dear husband and family, and when she isn’t writing, takes her dogs on long walks.

Q&A with the Author:

What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?

I struggle most with finding time to write. There’s always something that gets in the way if you let it, and when I do make time, my mind is often flooded with other things I should be doing. I’ve learned to budget my time better and to not beat myself up if I don’t reach a daily goal. I’ve also learned that if I give back to the writing community by doing critiques or reviews, it inspires me in my personal craft, making it easier to write.

What kind of music do you listen to while you write?

I’m a musician, so music is always running through my head! But the best music for me is something epic and uplifting. It motivates me and gets the creative juices going!

 
Connect with the Author here: 
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Every great warrior begins by taking a stand.

 

Best friends share everything, right? Unless it’s a secret that could cost them their lives. Robyn and Kit are born with forbidden magic-sense, the power to see and hear beyond Earthly sight and sound. It’s a curse that haunts them, but the girls are strangely drawn to it—could there be more to this power than they’ve been told?

When they spill their secret, it opens a doorway back to Forever—a beautiful realm where magic-sense began. They learn the truth: they have been given a noble gift. It connects them to the Skyborn royalty of this new world. They’ve been summoned back by the forces for good to preserve the kingdom and revive the power where it once flourished—on Earth. It can thrive again, if Robyn and Kit are brave enough to follow.

However, the doorway awakens more than magical fairy-tales. A dark force is unleashed—one that has battled the Skyborn since time began, and it wants the girls dead, the Earth destroyed.

Beyond the doorway is where the adventure begins—trickery, kidnapping, a prison break, rescue teams, sword fights, magical gold-dust, holographic medallions, and singing orbs—but only for those who have the courage to believe.

 

 

~ Amazon ~ Goodreads
Amazon UKAmazon CA

 

Snippet:

“Good night, Kit.” Her mom’s voice echoed in a weary monotone.

“But Mom, it’s still summer vaca—”

“You need to get some sleep before our big move. Good night.”

“But—”

“You heard your mother,” her dad said. “It’s bedtime. Good night.”

Kit muttered to herself. “Sure, now that things are getting good. Always sending me to bed. Like I’m still a little kid.”

She had found an awesome hiding place—molded in the living room couch behind the stack of boxes. It was perfectly out of sight from her parents sitting in the kitchen, but not out of earshot. Listening in on their private conversations had been a game she had mastered when she was ten. At first, it had been to find out where they’d go on vacation, or what kind of punishment her little brother, McCoy, would get for trying to teach the cat to swim, but ever since she turned twelve, things had gotten serious. Last month, the conversations were less about family things and more about scary things—things she thought might have to do with their need to move so suddenly.

She wasn’t looking forward to it. If she could only listen a little longer, she might be able to figure out what was going on. She huffed again, a little louder this time. There was no use arguing when her parents banded together. Her plan was a wash, and she’d have no chance to overhear anything. She rolled her eyes and clomped down the hallway.

Kit shut her bedroom door hard enough to make her anger known, but not enough to wake her younger sister, Shirley. At least in the new house, she’d have her own room. Maybe I can still hear. She opened the door, letting in a sliver of light from the kitchen. She turned to allow for ample hearing space, tucked her hair behind her left ear, then froze in place. She could hear a few things, but not enough to make out anything juicy.

Wait—what was that? The rustling of papers from inside her room distracted her. Shirley was still asleep. The window was closed. What could have made that noise? She squinted in the darkness and brushed her hair back again. A presence entered the room—chilling, menacing—one she couldn’t see, but could feel as if it pressed against her. A tingle ran through her bones. She shuddered at the eeriness—it was overwhelming.

The unknown figure let out a dark laugh that echoed through the room and made the hair on her arms stand up. A voice followed, deep and full of vengeance.

“They thought they could banish me forever—fools, all of them. Underestimating my power and intelligence was their first mistake. Well, they’ll be sorry. I have the power now to destroy them and their precious legend.”

Kit flipped on the light. The presence she felt vanished. The room was empty except for her and her zonked-out sister. Who was that she heard speaking? She staggered, then realized she had forgotten to breathe. She put her hand to her chest and gulped for air. Am I crazy?

A feeling came over Kit like someone else had entered the room. Forces of invisible energy hovered a few feet in front of her. A single presence, then a second, then a third, whispering at first—a conversation—pensive, serious, unlike the first lone voice. They surrounded her, as though she was meant to be a part of it, to hear every word.

“My son, the Golden-Heart cannot lie. It is time.” It was a male voice, solemn, urgent, yet gentle.

“We love you, son. You know what you must do.” A female voice this time. It cracked as if she had been crying.

“Yes, Mother, Father. It all fits together. The ancient book concurs.” The answering voice was from a younger man, yet as gentle as the other two.

Who are they?

“The Legend is to be fulfilled at all costs,” said the older male. “Take this vessel and the Book of Ancient Tomorrows. Guard them faithfully.”

“I understand. I will not fail.”

These voices were so different from the first. A father, a mother, a grown son—concern, urgency. Kit scanned the room. Empty, yet she called out anyway. “Who’s there? What’s going on?” No one replied. The feeling in the room left as quickly as it had come.

Kit’s hair lay in wet strands along the back of her neck. She tried to slow her breathing, but the gasps wouldn’t stop. Shirley stirred for a moment, then turned toward the wall. Kit switched off the lights and sat down at the foot of her bed.

Eavesdropping on her parents was only a game. Hearing conversations from invisible people either meant she was crazy…

…or she had magic-sense.

Either way, she was in big trouble.

 
 
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July 20 2016

Great Summer Countdown – Rising Tide @Bella623 @LovingtheBook

Claudette Melanson writes & edits in Guelph, Ontario, with her husband Ron and four bun babies: Tegan, Pepper, Butters & Beckett. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a BA in English and an MA in Literature. She’s wished to be a Vampire since age five. She hopes to one day work full time as an author, since there are many, many books living inside her head. In her spare time she enjoys watching Japanese Anime and reading vampire stories… along with other great fiction. She is also very interested in good health and is an advocate of Ketogenic eating, using whole and natural foods. Her favorite foods are bulletproof coffee, cashew flour crust pizza and treats made with xylitol and almond, coconut or cashew flours. Future dreams include writing many more books and spending more time with her son Jacob. Her biggest dream is to make Universal Halloween Horror Nights a yearly event with hubby and son. A Rabbit Rescue fanatic, she also hopes to help rescues all over the world save many innocent lives.

Q&A With the Author:

What other hobbies do you enjoy when you are not writing?

I love rollercoasters, and try to visit nearby parks if I’m going to happen to be in a new city for a conference or something. Japanese anime is a favorite of mine, as well as video games—especially horror games like Silent Hill—but I don’t have much time for those loves of mine. I do love to bake, when I have some free time, but most of that goes to playing with my bunnies, who are my kids.

A lot of authors I have noticed have music as a way to help with their writing. Is this something that you have used as well? If not what are some things you have used? 

I love having music on while writing. I have to admit, it helps me write much more than I would otherwise. I usually have a theme song or two for each chapter and put that on repeat while I’m writing, since it sets the tone for the scene. I do have a playlist for each book and like to share them on 8 Tracks.

Connect with the Author here: 

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Could Maura’s life get any worse? …turns out it most certainly can.

 

Isolated and sheltered by her lonely mother, Maura’s never been able to make friends. She seems to drive her classmates away—except for the odd times they pay enough attention to torture her—but she doesn’t understand why. Maura considers herself to be a freak of nature, with her unusually pale skin and an aversion to the sun that renders her violently nauseous. Her belief is only worsened by the fact that almost everyone around her keeps their distance.

Even her own father deserted her before she was born, leaving Maura alone with her emotionally distant mother, Caelyn. Even though Maura is desperate for answers about her unknown parent, Caelyn remains heartbroken and her daughter can’t bring herself to reopen her mother’s wounds. Or is there a more sinister reason Caelyn refuses to utter a word about her long-lost love?

When a cruel prank nearly claims Maura’s life, one of her classmates, Ron, rushes to her rescue. Darkly handsome & mysteriously accepting, Ron doesn’t seem to want to stay away, but Maura is reluctant to get too close, since her mother has announced she’s moving the two of them to Vancouver…nearly 3,000 miles away from their hometown of Indiana, Pennsylvania.

If life wasn’t already challenging enough, Maura begins to experience bizarre, physical changes her mother seems hell bent on ignoring, compelling Maura to fear for her own life. Vicious nightmares, blood cravings, failing health and the heart-shattering loss of Ron—as well as the discovery of a tangled web of her own mother’s lies—become obstacles in Maura’s desperate quest for the unfathomable truth she was never prepared to uncover.

Awards

2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner for YA Mystery

2015 RONE Award Finalist for YA Paranormal

2015 New Apple Top Medalist for Young Adult Ebook

 

Chosen as one of 400 for the second round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for 2014!!!

 

Rising Tide will sink its fangs into you, keeping you awake into the wee hours of the night

 

 

~ Amazon ~ Google Play ~ iBooks
~ Smashwords ~ Website ~ Kobo ~
~ B & N ~ Audible ~

 

Snippet:

Maura being pursued in a dark alley

There weren’t any doorways in which to hide down this stretch of alley, and I’d realized, once I’d started toward the restaurant, it was deceptively longer than it had seemed upon first inspection. Every time I turned around, the space behind me was empty, as it had been the last five times I’d jerked my head around, certain I’d catch a glimpse of whomever I knew had to be there. I was about halfway through the narrow, dark walkway now, my skin consumed by the cold-running chill of fear.

Maybe I should call Caelyn? “No, Maura,” I stubbornly told myself, “you’ll scare her to death. You’re probably imagining it.” I could envision the near hysterics at the other end of the line and ruled that option out completely. Besides, I was almost at the other end. If anything should happen at this point, I was sure someone would hear me scream. Wow…I really didn’t want cause to scream… I rubbed my hands over my arms in an effort to calm, comfort and warm myself.

I tried to put myself at ease by telling myself anyone who smelled as good as this guy could be no homeless drug addict. And if he meant me harm, wouldn’t he have made his move before I’d gotten this close to the crowded street? As I inched through the last quarter of the alley, I took in a deep breath, just to catch one last whiff of whatever scent this guy was wearing. I tried to store it in memory, so I could try to find some to give Ron—and myself—as a Christmas present.

“You know I’m here, don’t you, Maura?”

My legs felt like cooked spaghetti, and it was all I could do to keep from collapsing in utter fear, right there on the sidewalk. Though the deep, male voice was smooth and beautiful…it still should not carry across the night in the syllables that made up my name.

My brain fumbled around inside itself for a reasonable explanation. One of the teachers must have been at the library? A far more rational part tossed out the thought that even if one of the teachers from my school was the mysterious, sweet-smelling man in the alley, he had been lurking around, not allowing me to catch a glimpse of him. And I just couldn’t propose any way that could be a good thing.

Then, my brain tossed out the oddity that this person, whoever he might turn out to be, had stalked me, frightened me, made me doubt my own perceptions, only to let me get so close to a place of safety? He’d cruelly let me believe I’d soon be in a well-lit restaurant, only to take it away when I thought I was home free. My ever-increasingly volatile temper flared white-hot, burning away most of the fear I’d felt. I irrationally whirled to face whoever he may be, infuriated by the twisted way he’d kept me rooted to the edge of the darkness at the very last moment.

He was there now. And when I saw him, my consciousness slipped, like the swirl of a kaleidoscope, and I saw the revelation that was his face no more.

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July 19 2016

Great Summer Countdown – The Matchup @llwalkerauthor @LovingtheBook

 

Having been raised in Arizona, Laura L. Walker and her husband whom she met at Northern Arizona University think it’s a great place to raise their six children. Laura and her family enjoy camping on beautiful Mt. Graham, reading, and learning history together. At the end of the day, Laura loves to curl up with a good book or write one of her own. The Matchup is her second novel.

Q&A With the Author

What is your favorite part of writing?

I have two favorites: (1) Getting into the zone where the words come at such a rapid pace that my fingers struggle to keep up with my thoughts; and (2) Rereading parts of my writing during the revision process and feeling amazed by the words that appeared on the page.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

There are limitless opportunities in the publishing world. Don’t let a rejection letter get you down. Whether you publish traditionally or independently, learn as much as you can both about writing and publishing/marketing. It will serve you well.

 

Connect with the Author here: 

~ Facebook ~ Pintrest ~ Twitter ~

The last thing Valerie wants is to work for Gage Logan. But Valerie’s husband walked out on her and her children. Now she needs a job. Gage, on the other hand, has just taken custody of his four-year-old son and is swamped trying to balance his career, be a daddy, and fix past mistakes. Together they discover that when it comes to their faith and each other, it’s all about second chances.

 

~ Amazon ~ B & N

 

Snippet:

“Are you dating Valerie or what?”

              “Or what,” Gage retorted.

              “You sure you don’t want to tell us what’s going on?” Pierce pressed. “Because we could find out from her brother just as easily.”

              Gage released a long-suffering sigh. “Are we back in high school, guys? Valerie is Zach’s babysitter, remember?”

              “Then why did you bring her?”

              Because I’m crazy about her and her kids. Because I’m trying to make a huge change in my life and I’m scared out of my wits about doing it. Because she’s been my anchor in this storm.

              “Because I love her.”

 

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July 14 2016

Great Summer Countdown – Tarragon: Key Keeper @LovingtheBook

Karlie Lucas is a preschool teacher by day and a writer/artist by night. A graduate of Southern Utah University, Karlie received a B.A. in Creative Writing, with a minor in art. She is a member of Sigma Tau Delta, The International English Honor Society, as well as ANWA, the American Night Writers Association. Karlie is interested in all things magical and mysterious, especially elves and dragons. She is an avid fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling. When not writing, Karlie can often be found drawing, baking, watching her favorite old school shows, or just spending time with her family. She currently resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband and a cat named Kally

 

Q&A with the Author:

What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?

I think the thing I struggle most with is finding the time, and sometimes motivation, to work on any project. With a lot of projects on my plate, it’s sometimes super hard to not just throw my hands up in the air and call it done. When those times happen, I take a breather, work on another project for a while, then come back with fresh eyes. Seems to work every time.

What kind of music do you listen to while you write?

The kind of music I listen to depends on what kind of story/scene I’m working on. I have specific playlists based on the general story, the type of scene, and what emotional response I want to draw from my characters as I’m writing. Those lists are constantly changing, so it’s hard to pinpoint what will be on any list at any given time. But for Tarragon, I’ve been listening to a lot of Lindsey Sterling and Imagine Dragons, with some techno and remixes mixed in.

 
Connect with the Author here: 
Facebook ~ Website ~ Amazon ~ Goodreads ~

 

For hundreds of years, the gates of Tarragon have been sealed from the outside. Prophecy speaks of the day the last Key Keeper will return and wake the dragons from their spell-cast slumber, returning them to their rightful home.

Seeking to fulfill her father’s dying wish, Anwen Porter travels to the Drakonii Mountains where she meets Tyler, a mysterious local with a secret. With his help, she learns more about her clouded past and her own abilities. But when Courtney, a lovesick mage, tries to insert herself into their plans, things begin to go horribly wrong.

With death threatening at every turn, Anwen must learn to rely on her newfound friends to survive. But how can she unravel the mystery of her heritage when everything is trying to kill her?

 
Amazon ~ Smashwords ~ B & N ~
Amazon UK ~  Amazon CA ~ Amazon AU ~

 

Snippet

“When are you going to tell her?”

Tyler opened his eyes at Courtney’s question. “Tell her what, exactly?”

Courtney didn’t meet his eyes as she rummaged in her pack for something to munch on. “About what you are.” She pulled out a packet of granola and opened it.

Tyler’s eyes went amber for a brief moment, but returned to their usual blue. “I don’t know. One thing at a time, I guess. She’s already been through a lot. I don’t want to overwhelm her.”

“A bit late for that, don’t you think,” Courtney understated with a roll of her eyes. “She’s been attacked, knocked out, drowned, and who knows what else. I’m sure hearing you’re a dragon will hardly make a dent in the bucket, if you know what I mean.”

Tyler smiled at that. “True. But what if I’m not ready to tell her?”

 
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July 13 2016

Great Summer Countdown – Academy of Secrets @outcastangels @LovingtheBook

Michael Carney has been writing professionally since he was 17, which was a long time ago in a galaxy not so far away. He began his writing career straight from high school, writing radio advertisements for a bright and shiny new radio station in the glorious South Island of New Zealand (only a few hours drive from that wonderful scenery made famous by Sir Peter Jackson in ‘Lord of the Rings’ and, latterly, ‘The Hobbit’).

In the decades since, Michael has carved out a career in advertising and marketing, as a copywriter, Media Director, Strategic Planning Director and Online Marketing specialist. These days he writes and administers online training courses covering a range of Social Media Marketing and eCommerce topics at http://NetmarketingCourses.com.

In addition to writing a towering inferno of newsletters, reports and presentations Michael is the author of “Trade Me Success Secrets” (first and second editions), the top-selling book about NZ’s online auction site Trade Me. In his spare time, Michael has also written (and mostly directed) a number of well-received stage plays over the years, some aimed at children and young adults, others produced for Christian audiences. Michael has been planning out the exploits of the OUTCAST ANGELS for many years.

Q&A with the Author:

What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?

About halfway through each project, I think “why am I doing this?” Definitely hit the pain barrier. But since (with my courses) I’ve experienced the same road bumps but usually have paying customers taking the courses, I have little option but to grit my teeth and keep on going. So now I know that’s what I have to do with my fiction writing as well.

What kind of music do you listen to while you write?

I prefer silence – I can think better. I only put music on to drown out background noise (and then it’s usually Christian music).

 

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Do You Love Epic Fantasy Tales of Angels and Demons, Laced With A Hint of Alchemy? Then Check Out ACADEMY OF SECRETS!

 

It’s the year 1610. The world is in grave danger if a long-missing artifact falls into the hands of the Academy of Secrets, a group whose members have gained unnatural powers through alchemy. And Chrymos, a young woman with a mysterious past, may hold the key.

For Chrymos, scrabbling out a wretched living on the streets of Renaissance Naples, the Academy represents a chance to gain special powers and make a difference in the world. But can she leave behind all the people that she cares about?

And what about the OUTCAST ANGELS, a ragtag group of former angels exiled from Heaven at the time of the Great Rebellion, who are desperately trying to stop the Academy? They face an uphill battle against alchemy-enhanced humans who can become invisible, cast illusions and create storms and tornadoes.

Will the Academy recover the missing artifact? What part will Chrymos play? And will the prophecies of the demon Nekhbet — that the artifact’s recovery will trigger the Lost War — come true? Find out in this fast-paced historical fantasy thriller set in Late Renaissance Italy.

ACADEMY OF SECRETS is the first novel in the LOST WAR Chronicles, part of the OUTCAST ANGELS book series by MICHAEL CARNEY.

For those who love Christian fantasy, historical fantasy adventure, epic fantasy, sword & sorcery, tales of great battles and continuing warfare between angels and demons.

 

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Snippet:

Hades, April 27 1605

i

“Tāwʾālep kāphē mēmhē tāwḥēt hērēšhē”

As it slammed its pickaxe into a thick vein of frost-crystal deep within the Ice Pits of Hades, the Outcast Angel known only as Prisoner Eleven silently chanted the phrase that could mean either freedom or eternal torment.

Eleven had overheard a demon recite the spell five hundred years earlier. Fearful of forgetting, it repeated the words to itself many times each and every day. The same agonized thought followed every repetition. What if these words are wrong?

There was only one way to find out. Get to the portal and try to use the spell to escape.

But that prospect seemed as impossible as ever.

# # #

Eleven—no Outcast Angel captives were permitted names, by order of the Darke Warriors’ leader, Lord Hurakan—was the only living prisoner on Hades. Every other prisoner had died at least once and been resurrected to suffer the eternal damnation of the netherworld.

Eleven’s appearance was indistinguishable from that of the humans around it. All heads were hairless—condemned Ice Pit workers had their heads shaved once a week as a simple identification measure. And each worker wore a tunic fashioned from the hides of helldragons. The toughened skins were a practical solution to the harsh conditions of the Ice Pits, but did little to protect the wearers from the bitterly cold environment that was Hades.

The excavation of the Ice Pits continued for hour after hour, as it did every single day. There was a brief pause during Hour 15, when one of the workers was crushed in a rockslide. “Get that body out of the pit,” snarled one of the demon guards, “and add another thousand years to its sentence for clumsiness.” Those whose bodies died on Hades were simply resurrected there—but then their new bodies had to be retrained, reducing their productivity for many weeks.

After twenty hours, Eleven’s shift was over for another day. Four hours of rest before tomorrow’s shift begins.Eleven joined the thousands of human workers swarming from the pits and making their way up the roughly-cut paths to the higher levels. Eleven was halfway to the top when most of the demons began shouting and cheering.

ii

The Darke Warrior Nekhbet, sitting alone in her palace office, allowed herself a brief smile of satisfaction.The pope has been killed. She had already sensed the resulting probability changes, minutes before the confirming mind-message had arrived from Rome. <It’s done. Congratulations, Nekhbet, we’re now one major step closer to the Lost War.>

It was the 27th of April 1605 on Earth and the new Roman Catholic Pope Leo XI, formerly Alessandro Ottaviano de’ Medici, had just died. He had served as pontiff for less than a month before unexpectedly passing away, ostensibly as the result of a cold. Nekhbet knew better. As a cousin of the Queen of France, Alessandro would have kept the peace between France and the Papal States in the coming war. That future possibility has now been wiped from existence.

Nekhbet was beginning to examine the new probability implications when she heard loud noises outside. Frowning, she strode across to the main window with its panoramic view of the city of Tartaros, home to the millions of demons that inhabited Hades. What’s happening out there?

Row after row of two-thousand-foot-high buildings stretched out as far as the eye could see. They were usually so grim and silent, but now dozens of helldragons circled over the city, their riders crying out. Furious at the disruption, Nekhbet tuned into some of the thousands of mind-messages flooding across the city, and then relaxed. They’re celebrating the killing of the pope, she realized. I suppose it’s about time. There hasn’t been much to party about lately, especially since our failure with the Spanish Armada.

Nekhbet returned to the battered stone table that served as her desk. If you think this little success is worth celebrating, she thought before turning her attention back to her calculations, wait until we win the Lost War.

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July 12 2016

Great Summer Countdown – The Wizard’s Heir @DevriWalls @LovingtheBook

Devri Walls lives in Meridian ID with her husband, two kids and the cutest must you’ve ever seen. After suffering from an abundance of creativity with not enough places to put it, she turned to writing. Which in the end, turned out to be exactly where she should have been putting it all along.

Q&A With The Author:

What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?

Self-confidence. I feel like a fraud most of the time. I don’t think it will ever truly be defeated, I’ve just had to learn to ignore it and work anyway. Messages from readers help a ton, and so do those moments when I read a passage I just edited and it rocks! I walk away going, Devri, you got this! At least for today.

What kind of music do you listen to while you write?

I bounce around a lot depending on my mood. If I am ready to go, creativity flowing, I listen to my “fun” playlist. Ella Henderson, Fall Out Boy, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and many more. If I’m struggling a little more its instrumental, 2 Cellos, Piano Guys and Lindsay Stirling, to name a few. If I’m stressed or anxious that day I will choose more classical pieces, Beethoven, Bach, Handel. Etc.

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Tybolt’s a Deviant, a hated race immune to direct magic in a world where Wizards ensure survival. But when he loses his entire family to a spell-made storm he joins an elite group of Wizard hunters, organized beneath the new non-magic wielding king.

Now eighteen, he spends his days capturing Wizards. But the nights are his, reserved to feed the starving villagers of Eriroc under cover of dark. There’s always more people in need than he can help, and one of these days he’s going to hang for theft from the royal kitchens.

Although Tybolt and his fierce partner, Auriela, have imprisoned many Wizards, the one partially responsible for the storm that killed Tybolt’s family is still out there: Alistair. When an old informant claims to have information regarding their elusive prey, everything changes.

In a cruel twist, Tybolt realizes he isn’t who he thought he was at all. How can he save himself, the people, and those he loves while keeping his secrets safe? Can he hide his true nature and allow the corrupt king to remain on the throne?

Or will he have to unveil himself and risk possible execution to save them all?

 

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Snippet:

Tybolt stepped out of the castle’s main gates and into the square. It was packed with people wearing the finest clothes they owned. For many that meant their rags had been cleaned.

Tybolt stopped at his favorite sweet bread cart. “Two, Darcia.”

Darcia’s collar bones jutted out from beneath her dress, and the hollows of her cheeks were pronounced. Although her children were some of the best fed in the village, raised on unsold sweet rolls, their mother looked like the rest of the villagers.

“Skipping breakfast at the palace again, Lord Tybolt?” Darcia pulled two steaming rolls from a large brown basket.

“The palace?” Tybolt scoffed and handed over his coin, plus a little extra. “If the castle cooks could make a sweet roll half as good as yours, they would never get me out of the kitchen.”

Darcia blushed and suppressed a nervous giggle, tucking the coin away.

Tybolt glanced through the crowd to see a little boy ducking behind Pete’s cart, the only fat man in the entire village, and begin digging through his garbage. Tybolt inwardly cringed. “I’m going to need another one of those rolls,” he told Darcia, fishing another coin from his pocket as he kept an eye on the boy. He took the sweet roll from her and darted through the crowd. He slipped behind the cart and grabbed the little boy’s wrist.

The boy looked up, startled. All eyes in his gaunt face.

Tybolt put his mouth next to the boy’s ear. “Pete doesn’t take kindly to thieves, even from his trash.”

The little boy panicked and jerked back, knocking over a crate of turnips in his haste.

Pete turned to find them both crouched between bins of vegetables. His portly cheeks and neck grew red at the sight.

Tybolt stood and pulled the boy up by his bone-thin wrist. “Pete!” He grinned and casually took a bite from his sweet roll. “I was just trying to pick a few of your finest vegetables with the help of my young friend here. It appears we’ve made a mess.”

Pete’s face began to return to its normal color, but his eyes narrowed suspiciously. “Lord Tybolt, you know I only keep my most expensive produce behind the stall.”

“I do, I do.” Tybolt handed the second roll over to the boy, who snatched it as if it might disappear at any moment. He ravenously shoved it in his mouth. “Surely you noticed Lady Auriella and I with our catch yesterday.”

Pete broke into a grin and leaned back to tuck in his shirt—and part of his oversized belly—into his pants. “I heard the commotion but didn’t realize who the lucky Hunters were. What can I get for you?”

“Surprise me,” Tybolt said, flipping him a gold coin. “A bag full of your best.”

Pete took a burlap sack and began shoving in fruits and vegetables. “Taking some food out to your family, then?”

“Of course,” Tybolt said, shouldering his sack. “One can’t be too generous with family. Happy festival.”

“Happy festival to you.” Pete pocketed the gold with a satisfied gleam in his eye.

Tybolt steered the boy out of the main square and into one of the tiny alleys between the tightly packed homes. He knelt and looked him over. The child was in worse condition than he’d originally thought—skin and bones. His eyes were too big for his face, and his shirt hung on him like it would on a scarecrow.

“Blue-eyed Hunter,” the boy whispered. His eyes grew even wider.

“Listen, if you’re going to rummage through garbage, you must steer clear of Pete. He’s sent men to prison for less, and he’ll have no mercy on boys. Do you understand?”

The boy nodded.

“Who do you belong to, anyway?”

The boy looked away and shrugged. “Ma died last week. I haven’t seen Pa in two days.”

“What’s your Pa’s name?”

“Dain.”

Anger flared inside Tybolt. “Here.” He held out the sack of food. “Take this straight home. Don’t show it to anyone. Shove it in a cupboard or under the bed, and make it last as long as you can.” He paused. “Your Pa will be home tonight, I promise.”

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 

 

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