Guest Post: Proof of Lies Playlist by Diana Rodriguez Wallach

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Some secrets are best kept hidden…

Anastasia Phoenix has always been the odd girl out, whether moving from city to international city with her scientist parents or being the black belt who speaks four languages.

And most definitely as the orphan whose sister is missing, presumed dead.

She’s the only one who believes Keira is still alive, and when new evidence surfaces, Anastasia sets out to follow the trail—and lands in the middle of a massive conspiracy. Now she isn’t sure who she can trust. At her side is Marcus, the bad boy with a sexy accent who’s as secretive as she is. He may have followed her to Rome to help, but something about him seems too good to be true.

Nothing is as it appears, and when everything she’s ever known is revealed to be a lie, Anastasia has to believe in one impossibility.

She will find her sister.

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PROOF OF LIES Playlist by Diana Rodriguez Wallach

It’s hard to make a playlist for a new book without giving away too many spoilers. Let’s face it, if you include a funeral song (“In the arms of the Angel,” Sarah McLachlan), wedding song (“At Last,” Etta James), or a just plain depressing song (“Hallelujah”, Jeff Buckley), it gives a rather large hint as to what’s to come. But as a reader, I also don’t like when playlists are too obscure (songs you’ve never heard of) or not in the order in which they would appear in the book. It’s nice to know exactly what scene is playing in an author’s mind when she hears a song.

So behold—my playlist for PROOF OF LIES equipped with the exact chapters that the songs fit. I can’t say too much beyond that, but after you read the book, take another look at this list and see how you think I did.

Epigraph

One by U2 & Mary J. Blige  

For a very long time, the bellow lyrics were the epigraph at the beginning of the PROOF OF LIES manuscript. I had to change it, because you know, U2 lyrics don’t come cheap. But in my head, these worse are still there (and they’re being song as a duet by Bono and Mary J).

“Have you come here for forgiveness

Have you come to raise the dead

Have you come here to play Jesus

To the lepers in your head

Did I ask too much

More than a lot

You gave me nothing

Now it’s all I got

We’re one

But we’re not the same”

Chapter 2: House Party Scene

Momma I’m Coming Home by Ozzy Osbourne

“I’ve seen your face a hundred times

Everyday we’ve been apart

I don’t care about the sunshine, yeah

‘Cause mama, mama, I’m coming home

I’m coming home”

Chapter 4: Talking to the Police

Unsteady by X Ambassadors

“Mama, come here

Approach, appear

Daddy, I’m alone

‘Cause this house don’t feel like home

If you love me, don’t let go

If you love me, don’t let go

Hold

Hold on

Hold on to me

‘Cause I’m a little unsteady

A little unsteady”

Chapter 20: Cortona, Italy with Luis

Demons by Imagine Dragons

“Don’t want to let you down

But I am hell bound

Though this is all for you

Don’t want to hide the truth

No matter what we breed

We still are made of greed

This is my kingdom come

This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat

Look into my eyes

It’s where my demons hide

It’s where my demons hide

Don’t get too close

It’s dark inside

It’s where my demons hide

It’s where my demons hide”

 

Chapter 26: Leaving Rome, Italy

Don’t Let Me Down by The Chainsmokers

“I need you, I need you, I need you right now

Yeah, I need you right now

So don’t let me, don’t let me, don’t let me down

I think I’m losing my mind now

It’s in my head, darling I hope

That you’ll be here, when I need you the most

So don’t let me, don’t let me, don’t let me down

D-Don’t let me down

Don’t let me down”

Chapter 30: Venice, Italy with Marcus

I Will Follow You into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie

“You and me have seen everything to see

From Bangkok to Calgary

The soles of your shoes are all worn down

The time for sleep is now

It’s nothing to cry about

Cause we’ll hold each other soon

The blackest of rooms

If Heaven and Hell decide that they both are satisfied

Illuminate the no’s on their vacancy signs

If there’s no one beside you when your soul embarks

Then I’ll follow you into the dark”

Chapter 33: Venice, Italy preparations

Hero by Family Of the Year

“So let me go

I don’t wanna be your hero

I don’t wanna be a big man

I Just wanna fight with everyone else

Your masquerade

I don’t wanna be a part of your parade

Everyone deserves a chance to

Walk with everyone else”

Chapter 34: Venice, Italy Piazza

Helena by My Chemical Romance

“Burning on just like a match you strike to incinerate

The lives of everyone you know

And what’s the worst you take (worst you take)

From every heart you break (heart you break)

And like the blade you stain (blade you stain)

Well, I’ve been holding on tonight

What’s the worst that I can say?

Things are better if I stay

So long and goodnight

So long and goodnight”

Chapter 35: Venice, Italy

Fix You by Coldplay

“When the tears come streaming down your face

When you lose something you can’t replace

When you love someone but it goes to waste

Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home

And ignite your bones

And I will try to fix you”

Exciting reading, 

Jordan

Guest Post: Any Boy But You by Julie Hammerle

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Elena Chestnut has been chatting with an anonymous boy late into the night. It’s a very You’ve Got Mail situation, and she has no idea who he is. He can’t be Oliver Prince, hot-and-bashful son of the family running the rival sporting goods store. Their fancy sales strategies are driving Elena’s family out of business. Elena’s mystery boy has teamed up with her in their latest sales strategy, an augmented reality game, to help her win the grand-prize plane tickets. Money’s so tight Elena’s going to miss senior year spring break with her friends if she can’t win this game.

The girl Oliver’s fallen head-over-heels for online had better not be Elena Chestnut. She’s his angry, vindictive Latin tutor, the daughter of his dad’s business rival, and the one girl he’d never even think of kissing. She’s definitely not his online crush, because that girl is funny, sweet, and perfect.

When Oliver asks to reveal their names at the Valentine’s Day dance, their IRL relationship will either ruin what they have online, or they’ll discover just how thin the line between love and hate really is.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains swearing, snowball fights, and sexual tension that could melt the North Pole. Read at your own risk.

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I am not a runner. At all. I have stopped and started Couch to 5K several times. I’ve deleted it and reinstalled it on my phone at least twice. This is a place where my main character, Elena, and I differ.

But one way we’re the same, is that we both love the Scissor Sisters, and I’m guessing other music that gets us moving. Here’s the playlist I, old Aunt Julie, would make for her.

“I Don’t Feel Like Dancing” by the Scissor Sisters. Nothing makes me want to dance more than this song.

“Try Everything” by Shakira. I know I’m supposed to loathe this song because the lyrics are kind of silly and it’s from an animated film (Zootopia, which is amazing), but this song pumps me up because it’s all about perseverance. And it’s just stinking catchy.

“Move Your Feet” by Junior Senior. Because it’s illegal not to move during this song. I will never not love this song.

“Technologic” by Daft Punk. Same with this song. Never gets old.

“Bling (Confessions of a King)” by The Killers. Or this one. Evergreen workout songs.

“Workout Plan” by Kanye West. This song always makes me smile through my workout. Yes, Kanye, I’d like to be able to impress “at least a dude with a car.” Please help me.

The Creed soundtrack. Rocky music with a more modern beat. It’ll have you saving America through boxing in no time.

“Shame on You” by the Indigo Girls. I saw them perform last summer for the first time in, like, eighteen years, and it put me on a real Amy and Emily kick. This song rocks AND it fits our current political climate.

“Don’t Lose My Number” by Phil Collins. I’m on a real Phil Collins kick right now. I can’t explain it. Must be something in the air tonight.

“What’s the Frequency, Kenneth” by REM. I’m also on an REM kick.

“Shiny” from the Moana soundtrack (performed by Jemaine Clement): This is a good cool down son. Really, I just wanted to include it on the list because it’s my favorite right now. “Fish are dumb, dumb, dumb.”

Happy reading,

Jordan

Interview: There’s Something About Nik by Sara Hantz

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Nik Gustafsson has a secret: He’s not really Nik Gustafsson.

He’s not a spy. He’s not crazy.

He’s just the son and heir to one of the most important families in Europe—one where duty always comes first. And his posh, too-public life is suffocating him. So when he gets the chance to attend boarding school in America, pretending to be an average exchange student is too big of a temptation to pass up.

Then he literally runs into Amber on campus. And she hates him at first sight.

It’s kind of exhilarating to be hated for who he is, not for his family name or his wealth. Maybe if he turns up the charm and turns down the aloof mask he habitually wears, he can win her over. Even though a bad past experience has made her swear off dating this year.

But the more he gets to know her, the more uncomfortable he is keeping things from her.

Because Nik Gustafsson has a secret. And it’s a big one.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a hot boy who’s the strong and silent type, a studious girl who refuses to believe in fairy-tale romance, and one epic secret that could be disastrous if it comes to light.

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Thanks Jordan for inviting me onto your blog to talk about There’s Something About Nik.

YABM: In the story Nik comes from a small principality in Europe, is this country modeled off on any real life place? Or if not, where would you compare Lutgenstadt to?

SARA: Lutgenstadt is a country that I made up. If I was to compare it with any other country it would be Monaco, which is small and very wealthy.

YABM: The storyline is similar to The Prince & Me, a romantic favorite. What would you say inspired you to write this story?

SARA: I haven’t actually read The Prince and Me. I was inspired to write the story because of my interest in the British royal family – I come from the UK and royal watching seems to be a national pastime.

YABM: In the book, Amber is in remission from Hodgkin’s lymphoma, how would you say that influenced Amber’s characterization? 

SARA: The illness definitely influenced Amber’s character. She went through a terrible experience, made even worse by the way her ex-boyfriend treated her. It made her very wary, but also made her stronger.

YABM: Sometimes cancer is presented like a dirty secret that people need to hide in order not to make others feel uncomfortable, this is addressed in the book. What made you choose that route? 

SARA: I chose to have it this way based on an experience of someone I know and how others reacted toward them.

YABM: What do you want the reader to take away from this story?

SARA: I’d like readers to take away the view that trust is one of the most important things to have in a relationship. Lack of trust can only lead to disaster.

YABM: Tell us about Amber in 5 words or less.

SARA: Amber is: strong, vulnerable, warm, unaffected and humorous.

YABM: What makes Nik special?

SARA: Nik is special because he’s loyal and always wants to do the right thing. He’s very serious about his royal duties, even though he finds them suffocating.

YABM: Friendship is huge in this story. What is your favorite TV friendship?

SARA: My favorite TV friendship is Penny and Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. I love how two people so very different can also be close friends and help each other.

YABM: You make referenced to Darcy in the story, who are some of your favorite literary couples?

SARA: My favorite literary couple is Darcy and Lizzie, from Pride and Prejudice. I also love Shakespeare’s Anthony and Cleopatra.

YABM: What are some of your book pet peeves?

SARA: I get really frustrated with books that have too much description. I also don’t like glaring logical errors.

YABM: What would you like to see more of in YA books?

SARA: I’d like to see even more darker contemporary YA books, which focus on uncomfortable, but realistic, areas of human life.

YABM: Tell me about your writing habits.

SARA: I have trouble concentrating for long periods of time, so I always try to write little and often. That way, I don’t have to keep going over what I’ve written earlier because it’s been so long since I read it. It also means that I’m okay with interruptions.

authorsara-hantzFacebook/Twitter/Website/Instagram

Sara Hantz has been a prolific reader all her life, but it wasn’t until she was an adult that she got the writing bug. She writes contemporary adult and young adult fiction and her debut book The Second Virginity of Suzy Green made the prestigious list ‘New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age’. Sara lectured for many years before deciding to devote more time to her writing and working in the family hospitality business. She has two grown-up children and when not writing, working, or online with her friends, she spends more time than most people she knows watching TV – in fact if TV watching was an Olympic sport she’d win gold.

Playful reading, 

Jordan

 

 

Guest Post: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading

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Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new young adult series of adventure mystery stories by Iain Reading. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations. 

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales, Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty’s adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada. As the plot continues to unfold, this spirited story will have readers anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada’s Yukon.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves. 

There are currently five books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (book 1), Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost (book 2), Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (book 3), and Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic (book 4), and Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (book 5). Each book can be read as a standalone.

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Is it Writer’s Block… or?

This morning as I walked through the cold and foggy pre-dawn I was thinking about writer’s block.  This is a common thinking topic of mine since I have been led to believe that Writer’s Block is something to be terrified of – at least that’s what years of television, movies and the Internet have taught me.

I should probably mention that I have accomplished very little writing over the course of the past year or more.  I have been very busy and distracted, you see.  But does that count as Writer’s Block?  Not really, according to wisdom of television, movies and the Internet, but still I wonder.

My usual writing process involves thinking and imagining the flow of the story ahead of time, then sitting down to actually write it.  But what I have learned (I think) from my being so busy over the last 18 months is that I have no time to think and imagine.  And with no thinking or imagining ahead of time, I therefore don’t sit down and write.  I still WANT to be writing, but my normal process doesn’t seem to work in these busy circumstances.

So what has that taught me?

I think it’s taught me that sometimes you just have to sit down and write and see where it takes you.  You’ll know inside if it’s going somewhere good, or if it’s just blah, or if (god forbid) it completely derails and goes off the track into the woods (which is also a good place to go sometimes too, right?).

In essence, I have learned what the wisdom of television, movies and the Internet has said all along.  Just write.  No matter what.

And maybe when I am spending those early morning walks wondering if I have Writer’s Block or not, then maybe I should spend that luxury of time thinking and imagining instead.  Right?

Right.

I think.

authoriain-readingFacebook/Twitter/Goodreads

Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations.

Iain is the author of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, The Wizards of Waterfire Series, and the dragon of the month club. To learn more, go to http://www.amazon.com/Iain-Reading/e/B00B0NGI6Q/

Adventurous reading, 

Jordan

 

Guest Post & Giveaway: Illusion by Martina Boone

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Pub. Date: October 25, 2016

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Barrie must rescue her beloved and her family from evil spirits in the masterful conclusion to the Heirs of Watson Island trilogy.

Caged by secrets all around her and haunted by mistakes that have estranged her from Eight Beaufort, Barrie Watson is desperate to break the curse that puts her family in danger—without breaking the beautiful magic that protects Watson’s Landing. To do that, she must heal the rifts that have split the families of the island apart for three hundred years, unravel the mystery of the Fire Carrier and the spirits he guards, and take control of forces so deadly and awe-inspiring they threaten to overwhelm her.

With the spirits that cursed Watson Island centuries ago awake and more dangerous than ever, she finds an unlikely ally in the haunting and enigmatic Obadiah, whose motivations and power she still can’t read—or trust. His help comes at a price, however, plunging Barrie into a deadly maze of magic and wonder, mystery and intrigue that leads through history to places she never imagined she could go.guestI like to say that the Heirs of Watson Island series contains a lot of kitchen magic. Not just the kind that sets fire to the river around Watson Island, keeps the magical garden cared for, and gives the founding families their special gifts, but also the magic of family and friendship that centers around the kitchen table.

Food is important in the South, and it’s a core part of the Heirs of Watson Island series. Not only is the tea room at Watson’s Landing a big draw for the public in the first book, but Pru and Barrie and Mary open a full scale restaurant in the later books. Cooking was also one of the rituals that was important to Barrie and Mark. From the moment that Barrie arrives at Watson Island, she is immersed in the food of the lowcountry, from cakes to pastries shrimp and grits—and of course, the amazing hot dogs at the Beach Dogs shack in town.

Here’s the recipe for the first food mentioned in COMPULSION. The amazing Jamie Arnold of Two Chicks on Books was kind enough to do a Pinterest board for the series that contains all the various recipes for anyone who’s interested!

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Peanut Butter Whoopie Pie Cake from Compulsion

INGREDIENTS:

Cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, lightly softened

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups milk or water

Frosting:

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 1/3 cups butter, softened

2 cups marshmallow fluff

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ganache:

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate

1/4 to 1/2 cup finely chopped Reeses Peanut Butter Cups — or substitute chocolate or mint chips.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  3. Combine dry ingredients: flour, cocoa, and baking powder.
  4. Combine milk and vanilla in a small, separate bowl.
  5. Cream butter in a separate large bowl, then add sugar and salt and beat on medium for five minutes or until light and fluffy.
  6. One at a time, beat eggs into the butter mixture.
  7. Beating continuously on low speed, alternate adding milk mixture and dry mixture into the creamed butter mixture until smooth. Scrape sides and remove lumps.
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans.
  9. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on cooling rack before frosting.

For Frosting

  1. Beat butter in a large bowl for 2 minutes on medium. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  2. On low speed, add vanilla and marshmallow fluff until combined and smooth.
  3. Frost cake and refrigerate until cold before pouring the ganache on top.

For Ganache

  1. On medium heat, bring whipping cream to a simmer, stirring continuously.
  2. Pour hot cream over Dutch processed chocolate in a heat-resistant bowl, cover with foil. Let sit 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Let mixture cool until lukewarm and pour over the frosted cake, letting it drip down the sides.
  4. Sprinkle chopped Reeses Peanut Butter Cups on top, or sprinkles, or chopped candy canes, or whatever you like.

Recipe adapted from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice

ABOUT COMPULSION

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synThree plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lives with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead—a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family’s twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

authormartina-2WebsiteTumblr | FacebookPinterest | Instagram | Twitter | Google+ | YouTube | Goodreads

Martina Boone was born in Prague and spoke several languages before learning English. She fell in love with words and never stopped delighting in them. She’s the author of SIBA Book Award nominated Compulsion, book one in the romantic Southern Gothic trilogy, the Heirs of Watson Island, which was an Okra Pick by the Southern Independent Bookstores Alliance, a Kansas State Reading Circle selection, a Goodreads Best Book of the Month and YA Best Book of the Month, and an RT Magazine Best of 2014 Editor’s Pick. The second book in the trilogy, Persuasion, will be published in October 2015.

She’s also the founder of AdventuresInYAPublishing.com, a three-time Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers site, the CompulsionForReading.com book drive campaign for underfunded schools and libraries, and YASeriesInsiders.com, a site devoted to the discovery and celebration of young adult literature and encouraging literacy through YA series. She is also a founder and permanent mentor at 1st5PagesWritingWorkshop.com, helping to shepherd aspiring writers into the publication process and help them find the right starting point for their novels in progress, Locally in her home state of Virginia, she is on the board of the

Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, helping to promote literacy and adult education initiatives.

She lives with her husband, children, and a lopsided cat, she enjoys writing contemporary fantasy set in the kinds of magical places she’d love to visit. When she isn’t writing, she’s addicted to travel, horses, skiing, chocolate flavored tea, and anything with Nutella on it.

giveaway2 winners will receive hardcover sets of COMPULSION, PERSUASION, & ILLUSION, US Only.

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:

10/17/2016- Just Commonly- Review-Compulsion

10/18/2016- Kayl’s Krazy Obsession- Guest Post

10/19/2016- Always Me- Review-Compulsion

10/20/2016- YA Book Madness- Guest Post

10/21/2016- The Young Folks- Review-Compulsion

Week Two:

10/24/2016- The Cover Contessa- Review-Persuasion (repost)

10/25/2016- Good Choice Reading- Guest Post

10/26/2016- Curling Up With A Good Book- Review-Persuasion

10/27/2016- Tales of the Ravenous Reader- Guest Post

10/28/2016- A Dream Within A Dream- Review-Persuasion (repost)

Week Three:

 10/31/2016- Here’s to Happy Endings- Review-Illusion

11/1/2016- Two Chicks on Books- Guest Post

11/2/2016- Bookish Lifestyle- Review-Illusion

11/3/2016- Dark Faerie Tales- Guest Post

11/4/2016- Book Briefs- Review-Illusion

Epic reading, 

Jordan

Cover Reveal, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Choosing Eternity by K.T. Webb

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The Evolved (Book 1)

Thatcher Kline has a fiery personality. His life sucks and he isn’t interested in talking to anyone, let alone helping them. Despite his thoughts on the matter, fate has another plan; Thatcher has a secret but when he meets a handful of others with similar secrets he’s catapulted into a dangerous and ancient battle.

The Evolved are the final descendants of the Old Immortals. Their super powers not only make them freaks but also make them the only people who can save the world. Together with their remaining ancestors they must discover who they are, the prophecies that guide their lives, and face a terrifying enemy.

Growing Hope (Book 2)

Tahlia is a mystery, she has no memory of her life before she joined the Old Immortals, but they begin to remember a life before her.

The legend is that she was locked away in the golden sphere with the evils of the world. When Pandora released the Maladies on an unsuspecting world, she also released Tahlia, the spirit of hope personified, and altered the course of humanity forever.

Despite their still-healing wounds, the Evolved have embraced their mission. They’ve spent the last five years cleaning up after their battle with Absalom, but now they are discovering that new enemies are stepping out of the shadows. In order for the Maladies to drown humanity in their darkness they must first snuff out the light.

Choosing Eternity (Book 3)

Nora never asked to lead an army. She never asked to risk everything to ensure the survival of the world. But, when a bloody battle is inevitable and everyone looks to her for guidance, she realizes her decision is easy.  

As they face the return of the strongest evil ever to exist, the Evolved must expose long-held secrets and forge alliances to strengthen their cause. They quickly discover this is an enemy they are not meant to fight and have to overcome the obstacles he puts in their way to keep them from bringing back the only person who can.

The final prophecies are coming to pass, death is all around them, and they face uncertainty at every turn. 

guest

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who preferred to spend her time reading a book rather than socializing with other kids. That little girl dreamed of becoming a writer. She had so many fun ideas but never decided on a story that felt like it really needed to be told, until one morning when she was twenty-two.

A crazy dream led to multiple crazier conversations with her mother. The dream eventually began to take shape into a story…..and I’m bored now.

So, that’s me in a nutshell. I was never a social person. I actually got in trouble in high school for skipping lunch to read in the library. The first book in my series, The Evolved, was inspired by a dream I had about a guy who could control mechanical devices with his mind. Oddly enough, you won’t meet any characters in these books with that particular ability.

The characters who have been talking to me for the last eight years are a quirky bunch. Many of them share personality traits with me or people I know. One of my favorite things about these characters is that they tell me how the story is supposed to go. I know, that sounds completely nuts, but it’s the truth. I can sit down and write an outline, but when I start writing, anything goes.

My books incorporate many mythological, historical and religious stories. I had a blast weaving those things together and creating an all new take on familiar figures and legends. Many of the supporting characters are representations of the gods and goddesses of every religious or mythological tradition. I have always been fascinated by the similarities found in the stories told in very different parts of the world. There has to be a common thread that ties them all together. That’s where my story began.

The Evolved sets the stage for the rest of the series by giving just enough background information to make readers wonder what’s going on. The characters discover who they are and what they’ve been tasked with. Growing Hope dives deeper into where they came from and what they’re fighting for. Choosing Eternity pulls it all together and brings them to the ending they’ve been working towards.

I made the decision to re-brand and relaunch the first two books in the series because I didn’t feel like the covers were attracting the young readers that the books were written for. I took a look at the covers that make me want to read a book and realized how very different my covers were from the ones that attracted me. I hired a fantastic cover designer and we made covers that I think really fit the feeling I was looking for!

I can’t wait to share this wild ride with new readers!

authKT Webb

KT Webb is a big city girl living in small town South Dakota. Although she was born in Michigan, most of her younger years were spent between the suburbs of Chicago. Moving to South Dakota was a big change, and she never would have guessed she’d fall in love and decide to stay. She has been married to her wonderful husband since 2006 and they have two beautiful children ages 7 and 4.

KT has been writing for as long as she can remember and always dreamed of becoming a published author. She loves to create stories that make readers look at things differently and question reality; which is probably why she tends to write paranormal or fantasy novels.

She is a firm believer in the power of redemption, second chances, and that magic surrounds us every day if we know where to look. KT is a goofy and fun-loving person and is often described as snarky, bold and brash.

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In order to enter to win the giveaway, sign up for K.T.’s newsletter. Anyone who signs up between August 2nd and August 6th will be eligible to win. The winner will be chosen randomly.

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Magical reading, 

Jordan

Guest Post, Review & Giveaway: Life After Juliet by Shannon Lee Alexander

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Becca Hanson was never able to make sense of the real world. When her best friend Charlotte died, she gave up on it altogether. Fortunately, Becca can count on her books to escape—to other times, other places, other people…                 

Until she meets Max Herrera. He’s experienced loss, too, and his gorgeous, dark eyes see Becca the way no one else in school can.

As it turns out, kissing is a lot better in real life than on a page. But love and life are a lot more complicated in the real world…and happy endings aren’t always guaranteed.

The companion novel to Love and Other Unknown Variables is an exploration of loss and regret, of kissing and love, and most importantly, a celebration of hope and discovering a life worth living again.

guestThere’s an old writing tip that says, “Write what you know.”

I always hated this tip because, growing up, the only thing I knew was that I didn’t know anything. What I’ve come to understand over the years is that you don’t have to write what you know, but what you wish to know.

While it’s true that I’m no stranger to grief, I think that the key to writing about loss or anything else is honesty. When I lost my friend Em to ovarian cancer, I was overwhelmed with so many questions, things I had no way of answering myself. I wanted to know why a person as lovely as my Em would have cancer in the first place. And how was it possible for us to clone entire animals, but still not be able to cure cancer? What was I supposed to do with all the memories I had of Em, all the silly stories that felt suddenly meaningless without her? And how was I supposed to feel whole again when I’d lost such an important piece of my heart?

There was no way for me to know any of these things. According to that adage, I was in no position to write about loss because I knew very little about it other than I hated it. 

Writing is a wonderful tool for learning about our world. I wrote about loss because it was something I needed to understand. And even after writing LOVE AND OTHER UNKNOWN VARIABLES and LIFE AFTER JULIET, I can honestly say that there is still so much about grief that I still don’t know. But that’s not going to stop me from trying to know it, and it certainly won’t stop me from writing about it.

If there is something you’re struggling with, write it. If something in your life makes you happy, write that, too. Something scaring you? Write. Confused about who you are? Write. Want to know what makes people tick? Write. Need to explore but stuck in one place?

Write.

Write and keep writing and keep writing. When you’re honest with your writing, then people will take notice. They’ll feel what you feel—loss, happiness, anger, confusion, fear—they’ll know what you know. And after all that writing, I guarantee you’ll know a few new things, too. Maybe not everything, but you’ll know enough to keep writing.

review4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Entangled

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giveawayOpen internationally, but prize packs ship only to US. International winners will receive Amazon gift cards (listed below).*

  • Grand prize: Hyperboles are the best EVER! tote bag, a 4oz. Novelly Yours Antique Books candle, Toe-meo and Juliet Shakespearean socks, Life after Juliet poison and dagger necklace, Velveteen Rabbit note card, signed Life after Juliet bookmark and bookplate*
  • 1st Runner Up: Hyperboles are the best EVER! tote bag, a 4 oz. Novelly Yours Antique Books candle, Toe-meo and Juliet Shakespearean socks, Life after Juliet dagger earrings, signed Life after Juliet bookmark and bookplate*
  • 2nd Runner Up: 2oz. Novelly Yours Antique Books candle, Life after Juliet dagger earrings, Velveteen Rabbit note card, signed Life after Juliet bookmark and bookplate*
  • 3rd Runner Up: 2oz. Novelly Yours Antique Books candle, Life after Juliet dagger earrings, signed Life after Juliet bookmark and bookplate*

*All contests are open internationally, but international winners will receive the following:

  • Grand prize: $25 Amazon gift card, signed signed Life after Juliet bookmark and bookplate
  • 1st Runner Up: $20 Amazon gift card, signed Life after Juliet bookmark and bookplate
  • 2nd runner up: $15 Amazon gift card, signed Life after Juliet bookmark and bookplate
  • 3rd runner up: $10 Amazon gift card, signed Life after Juliet bookmark and bookplate 

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Shannon Lee Alexander is a wife and mother (of two kids and one yellow terrier named Harriet Potter). She is passionate about coffee, books, and cancer research. She spent most of her time in high school hiding out in the theater with the drammies and techies. Math still makes her break out in a sweat. She currently lives in Indianapolis with her family.

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Pleasant reading, 

Jordan