Author Interviews
December 20, 2014 posted by Nichole

Lunar Passing BlogTour: Interview with Rachel Deagan

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lunar passingBook Title: Lunar Passing (Book 2 of the Caged Moon Series) by Rachel Deagan
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
As if in slow motion, the world spun. The front fender of the truck slammed into us from behind, and everything lurched forward. Bags, arms, clothes, sailed by my head. The muffled sound of screams were lost somewhere in a tumultuous roar as the van hit a pothole, and we began to roll. Cold metal crushed in on me, and the splintering sound of gunshots echoed in my ears…
Several months had passed since the murders in the old farmhouse and secrets had been revealed. Too bad a cover up in this day and age, hadn’t been exactly so easy.
About the Author:
Rachel Deagan
Rachel grew up in small town Massachusetts where she spent most of her time writing about strange paranormal creatures instead of paying attention in class. She has always been considered the ‘dreamy’ one with her head in the clouds, but it has all been worth it. Rachel, now, is YA Author of both The Caged Moon Series, and The Prophecy.
Twitter: @racheldeagan
The Giveaway:
2 paperback copies -US only, and 5 e-copies of Lunar Passing by Rachel Deagan.

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Read below for an author interview:

 

What was your favorite scene to write?

I honestly loved writing the opening two chapters and that scene that played out there. The energy was so high, and I love writing that kind of vivid suspense. It’s my favorite. It also felt very refreshing writing and reacquainting myself to all the characters on a new level there.

What was the hardest scene to edit out?

The hardest, was probably one particular kiss scene that plays out toward the end. I’m not going to give spoilers away, but I must have changed and rewritten that a million times until I decided on exactly how I wanted that to really play out. I was torn in a lot of ways.

How many books will be in this series?

As of now, unfortunately I see it closing here. This does not mean there won’t be another book down the road, but as of now, my writing and life, have taken some different turns.

Did any music inspire you while writing this book?

I always listen to music when I write, but I find most of my inspiration with epic instrumental compilations, so there isn’t really one particular title involved. I like instrumental orchestrated music themes.

What is the best book you’ve read recently?

“Death Masks,” by Jim Butcher. I’m a fantasy adventure freak, and have falling in love with this series.

What is currently in your TBR pile?

The rest of the Dresden Files is on my list at the moment. I’m far behind on the series since discovering it late, and want to finish it.

 

Book Excerpt:
“What are you doing here?” Aaron asked, standing in the doorway at the side of the room marked Staff Only. I hadn’t heard the main door open behind me, nor had I felt the cold draft of air that would have been pulled in with him. So he was already here, before me. The thought sent goose bumps down my spine. “Liam said for everyone to stay put, so we wouldn’t be seen.”
“I should be asking you the same thing,” I said, trying to front an air of self-confident bravery. “Why are you here then?”
A devious smile rose across his lips. “I don’t take orders from my brother. Apparently, you don’t either. I admire that.”
My stomach felt sick. How could he think that I would ever be on his side about anything, especially in defiance of Liam? “He loves you,” I blurted out, trying to refrain from shaking. I was so upset. “How dare you.”
“Oh, please. Don’t go getting your panties all in a bunch. You really need to learn how to relax.” He shook his head, and closed the staff door behind him. “I was teasing, Charlotte, but that aside, what are you doing out here?”
My wolf wanted to claw and scratch him. He had some nerve. “I don’t need to be telling you anything,” I said, slipping the envelope into my pocket while he closed the staff door behind him.
“Well, good then.” He smiled in a way that made me want to growl. “Then I don’t have to tell you, what I’m doing either.” He winked, moving past me to the main door leading to the curb outside. “We have a truce.”
“Wait,” I said, and he paused, lifting a brow. “What are you talking about? Why were you in the office? That’s staff only.”
“Now, come on, Charlotte. I thought we had a deal.”
“I never agreed to anything, and you don’t exactly have a great track record. Did you do something to the guy who works here? Where is he?”
Aaron shrugged, extending his arms with mocked innocence.
I sighed. “Fine, I was going to mail a letter to my parents to tell them I was okay. I didn’t want them to worry.”
“Thank you,” he said with a smile. “That’s all I wanted to know.” He turned back to the door, swinging it wide. The cool air nipped at my skin, making me shiver.
“Hey,” I said, stomping up to him, “that’s not fair. I told you what I was doing. Now you have to.”
“Why?” he asked with a chuckle. “You really are fun to mess with though,” he teased with a grin. “The look on your face is great.”
God, I hated him. I tried to stay calm.
“Did you do something to the man who works here?” I demanded through my teeth, barely containing the coiling fury building inside me.
He licked his lip and then leaned in close to me, his breath tickling my ear. “I ate him.”

Blog Tour
December 19, 2014 posted by Nichole

Insane by H.G. Lynch Book Blitz

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insaneInsane by H.G. Lynch

Genre: Dark Fantasy/ Horror Romance

Something evil is going on in the Montgomery Psychiatric Hospital; every time there is an unexplainable blackout, a patient dies.
Callie isn’t insane – she sees the ghost of her dead best friend only because he really is there. It’s just that nobody believes her.
Casey is scarred after a horrific attack during which he killed someone. Temporary insanity was his plea, and the asylum is his prison.
With fear and death lurking everywhere, and no way to escape, Callie is certain it’s only a matter of time before she or Casey, the odd boy she has an inexplicable link with, becomes the next victim of the creature in the shadows.
Trapped in the asylum with a killer on the loose, there’s plenty of reason to be afraid of the dark.

Book Link: http://www.amazon.com/Insane-H-G-Lynch-ebook/dp/B00HZW4DRC/ref=asap_B00HZ4PIM4_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1417786152&sr=1-1

About the Author:

I’m H.G. Lynch, a Scottish Paranormal Romance author, avid readers, and cat-lover. I spend most of my days writing, while wrestling my cat, Sooki, off my laptop. I believe that chocolate cake can save the world, and I am highly caffeine-addicted. I can occasionally be found rolling on the floor, laughing manically, when I’ve consumed too much caffeine. I love horse-riding, Star Trek, and snow.
My books are dark fantasy romances, usually with a bad boy and a bad girl. Sometimes with zombies, sometimes vampires, sometimes other things. Enjoy!

Twitter: @HGLynch
Read below for an excerpt from the book:

Chapter One

** Callie **

“Let me go! Let go of me! I’m not crazy! I’m not fucking crazy!” I screamed, thrashing against the guards as they half-dragged and half-carried me down the pale, sterile hallway. I bit fingers and kicked shins and scratched arms, I spat and snarled and cursed, I screamed so loud I hurt my own ears and scared the hell out of half the other patients in the building. And still, the guards thrust me into a dark little room and slammed the metal door behind me, locking me in…
Again.
It wasn’t the first time I’d tried to escape, nor the first time I’d been caught. But this time was the closest I’d gotten to freedom, and to be thrown back into the tiny, dull, lifeless room I’d been inhabiting for nearly three months, to be ten feet from fresh air and grass and a world without bars on the windows and a schedule for every moment outside my room, and then be forced back into a prison – it was maddening.
But then, that was the thing about the Montgomery Psychiatric Hospital; if you weren’t already mad when you went in, you sure would be after a few months.
I slumped onto the floor and stared at the door, not sure whether to cry or try to rip the door off its hinges. I forced my mind to go blank, because at least if I didn’t think about how painfully close I’d come to finally getting out of here, I could perhaps retain what was left of my dwindling sanity. If I thought about how I’d been close enough to see the huge, wrought iron gates at the end of the gravel driveway through the glass doors, I’d probably lose it for good, and then I’d actually deserve to be here.
For now, I was sane.
It was just that nobody believed me.
They said I was crazy. That I was a danger to myself and possibly to others. That I was delusional, paranoid, disturbed. That I heard voices.
Well. That much was true. I did hear voices. Actually, only one voice.
“Failed again, sweetheart. Nice try, though,” said the voice that nobody else could hear. It was a voice I knew all too well – a voice I’d known since I was seven years old.
I tore my gaze off the door, and turned to see him. He was sitting on the bed, looking as real as he had the day he’d died. Silky brown curls, pouty lips, and hazel eyes. Silver hoop earring in one ear, ragged jeans with holes in the knees, and a sleeveless dark blue shirt that exposed the pentagram tattoo on his left bicep. Overall, gorgeous. And absolutely, unequivocally dead as a doornail.
I sighed and grimaced at the ghost of my dead best friend. “Shut up, Chester.”
He folded his hands over his heart, pretending to be injured – which would have been a lot funnier if his heart was still beating. “Aw, don’t be like that, Cal. I’m sure you’ll make it next time.”
“You said that last time.”
“Did I?” He frowned and scratched the back of his head. “Well, I guess I was wrong then.”
I snorted. “Yeah, that’s really reassuring.”

The Giveaway
$15 Amazon Giftcard

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Blog Tour
December 17, 2014 posted by Nichole

ngeli – The Pirate, the Angel & the Irishman by Amy Vansant book blitz

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Angeli – The Pirate, the Angel & the Irishman by Amy Vansant
Publication date: June 19th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
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Synopsis:

Once a legendary pirate, Anne Bonny is a Sentinel, a soldier for mankind’s mysterious guardians, the Angeli. Anne will live 1000 years, but in return, she must hunt & neutralize Perfidia, corrupted Angeli who drain human energy to survive. Together with her fellow Sentinel, Con, and Arch Angeli Michael, Anne must face an added threat; a new breed of Perfidia possessed of untold power.

Monsters are only half Anne’s troubles; her stormy love life would make Blackbeard pack up ship and move to Kansas. After losing his corporeal body in battle, Anne’s former lover, Con Carey, visits her by possessing the bodies of humans, often with embarrassing results. In the meantime, Anne’s complicated romance with the aloof Arch Angeli Michael has intensified, but is their love spawned by the magnetic attraction of their powers? Or something deeper?

Can this unusual love triangle work together to protect the world from the cosmic horrors sworn to destroy it?

Purchase:
AUTHOR BIO:
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Amy has been writing and finding other creative ways to make no money since high school.
She is the author of the urban fantasy series “Angeli – The Pirate, the Angel & the Irishman,” romantic comedy “Slightly Stalky” (Jan 2015) and the editor and one of the 26 authors of the humor anthology “Moms are Nuts,” which has been on Amazon’s best-sellers lists since its publication in April 2014.

Amy the former East Coast Editor of SURFER Magazine and freelance writer. Long ago she wrote “The Surfer’s Guide to Florida,” which is currently out of print because the urge to drive up and down the coast interviewing surfers has long since left her.

Amy is a nerd and Labradoodle mommy.

Author links:
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TheAmyVansant
Humor/Author Blog:  http://www.amyvansant.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmyVansant
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/677817.Amy_Vansant

Chapter One

Sea Isle City, New Jersey. Present Day.

Anne Bonny sat at the outdoor café in Sea Isle City, New Jersey, staring dreamily at the mimosa tree arching above her table. The tree’s fuzzy pink flowers gave her the impression of a Dr. Seuss creation, as if Horton himself had decorated it for a summer holiday.

Anne could hear the rhythmic crashing of the surf, the soothing whoosh a soundtrack to the peaceful setting. Around the restaurant’s wrought iron table, tiny sparrows hopped across the backyard eating area, snatching up every spare crumb like little feathered vacuum cleaners. A block away, a seagull cackled its wild, agitated laugh.

With only a young couple in love cooing to each other nearby, Anne tried to enjoy her hard-earned tranquility. She had decided to take a few days from her apartment in New York City and explore the Jersey, Delaware and Maryland shores. She doodled on a folded map as she pondered her route: Should she pause in Cape May? Or should she take the ferry to Delaware? The last bit of French toast gone from her plate, Anne found herself already wondering where she should stop for lunch.

The female half of the cooing couple stood, scraping her metal chair across the stone pavers. Anne glanced over and watched the girl in the form-fitting tank dress twitch her way into the main building. Anne made brief eye contact with the young man still at the table, flashed him a polite “whoops, we made eye-contact” smile, and then returned to her thoughts.

Anne had just reached for an overlooked crumble of bacon on her plate, when her attention snapped to the sparrows. They flew away in unison, and Anne’s sharp gaze swept the area to find the cause of their unrest.

“Great little arse,” said a man’s voice in an Irish accent.

Anne sat bolt upright and turned her eyes upon the male half of the couple with whom she shared the patio.

The sandy-haired lovebird, still sitting where his girl had left him, met Anne’s curious gaze with a wicked grin. He abruptly stood and dragged his chair over to Anne’s table with a teeth-rattling screech of metal on stone.

The boy released an overly dramatic sigh of satisfaction, plopped back down into the chair now positioned beside Anne, and beckoned the waitress as she exited the café and stepped onto the patio.

“Could I get four whiskeys here?” he asked, dangling his finger over the table and swirling it as if mixing a drink.

The waitress head cocked to the side with surprise. “Uh, sure, I guess…what kind?”

The man looked at Anne, his face beaming like a child’s on Christmas morning.

“Something Irish and as expensive as possible,” he said as he put his right elbow on the table and rested his head in that hand, his gaze never leaving Anne.  “Straight.”

“You can put it on her tab. Or mine. Doesn’t matter really,” he said.

Anne looked at the waitress. “His tab,” she said. The waitress offered them an awkward smile and left to fetch the whiskey.

“Ooh, Annie, you’re still a little evil,” said the young man. “You’re going to stick this lad with my tab.”

Anne’s new table guest sat grinning, thin and pale as an untoasted wafer, but with the fiery eyes of a rebellious imp eager to be unleashed. She’d known the minute she heard the accent that the boy’s body had been appropriated by a friend of hers, Con Carey, who had lost his own corporeal body some years ago. Like a horror movie ghost, Con had a habit of borrowing other people’s bodies in order to communicate with her. Unlike a ghost, the only thing horrifying about Con was his otherworldly ability to consume whiskey.

“Hello, Con,” Anne said. “Did you ask that poor boy if you could borrow his body?”

“Hello, Annie, my love,” Con replied. “Absolutely not. They almost always say no.”

Anne noted how Con’s eyes lit up when she acknowledged him and recalled how thrilled he’d been the first time he’d found a way to use another person’s body. He’d pumped his fists and run around the room screaming with joy until he crashed over a sofa, having momentarily lost control of his borrowed legs.

“How are you? Did you miss me?” he asked.

Before she could answer, Con leapt to his feet and did a few jumping jacks. Wrapped in the young man’s bony frame, he boxed an invisible opponent for a few moments, and then clapped himself on either shoulder, pleased with his performance.

“Featherweight,” he said, flopping back into his chair.

“Featherbrain,” drawled Anne. She paused as the waitress returned to set four whiskeys on the table. Unsure of the appropriate way to dole out four Irish whiskeys between two people so early in the morning, the girl lumped them in the middle of the table.

Con took the first shot and swallowed it down before the waitress could fully release the last glass from her grasp.

“Slow down,” said Anne. “She could have lost a finger.”

“Uhhhhmmmm…” Con groaned, ignoring Anne in his ecstasy as he shot back the whiskey.

Anne watched with amusement as Con licked his lips, tilted back his head and closed his eyes. As a disembodied spirit, not having lips or a throat had cut into his quality drinking time. Anne snatched the second whiskey from the table before Con could grab it, shot it back, and slapped it back into his empty paw.

Con jerked his hand from the empty glass as if it had burned his fingertips. His jaw clenched. He pushed away Anne’s empty shot glass and deliberately clamped his fingers upon the next full shot. He trained his eyes on Anne’s, daring her to make a move for it.

He raised the third shot to his mouth.

With lightning-fast reflexes, Anne snatched the glass from Con’s paw. She put the glass against her lips, threatening to drink it.

“Harpy!” Con roared, slamming his fist to the table. The glasses jumped and clattered on the wrought iron.

Anne froze, allowing Con to hang, and then slowly handed the glass back, a smug grin on her face. Visibly relieved, Con downed the shot.

“Surely, Annie, you know better than to break my heart like that,” said Con, wiping his mouth. “You might have spilled it.”

Anne grinned, unable as always to be annoyed with Con for very long. She was happy to see him again, even if he inhabited the body of yet another innocent passerby. He hadn’t made one of his appearances in months. Still, she wasn’t sure what she was supposed to do when the blonde girl came back from the ladies’ room expecting to find her boyfriend patiently waiting for her and not chatting up a busty strawberry blonde at the next table. She hadn’t been in a cat fight in ages.

“Ireally wish you would time these visits a little better,” she said. “His girlfriend will be back here any second.”

“I’ll be quick.”

Anne nodded and took some small solace in the fact that Con had waited until the girl had left the table and that he had chosen a boy to borrow. During a past impromptu visit, Con had possessed the body of a young woman and proceeded to give Anne a sloppy kiss in front of a crowd that included the woman’s grandmother. Anne felt lucky the waitress wasn’t currently sitting in her lap.

Anne nodded to the empty whiskey glasses.  “You know what they say; Drinky, Drinky, Little Dinky,” she held up her pinky and waggled it for effect.

Con stopped in mock horror, the last shot nearly to his lips. He put the glass down, pulled out the waistband of his plaid shorts and looked inside. With a shrug, he snapped them shut.

“Sorry, Luv, but it looks as though I might as well drink.”

Anne sighed. “So why are you here, Con?”

“I’ve come to give you a warning,” said Con. “Your pal is on the move.”

“My pal?”

“Michael.”

Con turned his head to feign spitting on the floor in disgust as he said Michael’s name.

“There’s trouble. I haven’t been able to gather all the details yet, but something is afoot.”

“Is that where you’ve been the last few months? Spying on Michael?” asked Anne.

Con raised one of the empty shot glasses, smelled it, and tried to reach his tongue to the bottom to sop up any last drops.

“I said: have you been spying on Michael,” repeated Anne, taking the glass out of his hand and putting it back on the table. Con scowled and pursed his lips with disappointment.

“Among other things.”

Anne played it cool, as if Con’s news meant nothing to her, but her chest felt tight.  She opened and closed her fist several times before Con placed his hand on hers to soothe her jitters. She turned back to him and smiled, realizing what a poor actress she had been.

“You’ll be fine, you always are,” he said in a gentle tone. “I just wanted to let you know to prepare yourself.”

Without warning, Con leaned over and put his hand on the back of Anne’s head, pulling her face to his. He ravished her with a kiss, and Anne thought how strange it was that the kiss felt like Con and not like the stranger whose lips actually pressed against her own.

The smell of whiskey helped.

Anne felt herself giving in to the kiss. It was at that moment that Con left his host and she found herself lip-locked with a very confused young man.

“What are you doing?!” came a screech from across the patio.

Anne’s eyes popped open wide, her lips still pressed against the young man’s. His girlfriend had returned, and now stood, mouth agape, pointing at Anne.

The boy pulled back from Anne’s kiss, holding his arms wide, as if declaring himself safe.

“Wha…?” The boy stood up and put his fingers on the table to steady himself as the full effect of three whiskies and a recent possession took its toll on his 135 pounds of human flesh.

“Whoa,” he said.

The boy glanced down at Anne and then back at his girlfriend, hoping someone or something could explain his disorientation. He looked back at Anne’s memorable cleavage and tried to squelch the involuntary grin creeping to his lips.  He burped, putting his hand to his mouth in surprise when he tasted whiskey.

“I said what are you doing?” said the girl, her tone still a glass-breaking screech.

Anne stood.

“He agreed to test our new line of lipsticks,” she said, gathering her things and beginning to move towards the restaurant’s backdoor. “In order to get you a free sampler kit from us, which I’ll go get from the car now.”

The girl glowered with anger and confusion, torn between free makeup and an implausible explanation for what she had just witnessed. She took a step toward her equally confused boyfriend, tossing her locks with pique.

“Why do you smell like booze?”

“Whiskey flavored lipstick!” Anne called back, attempting to throw the boy a bone. “Irish Rose.”

Anne paid her tab at the register and headed out.

On the street, Anne made her way back to her car and considered what Con had said. Anytime Con noticed Michael acting suspiciously, bad things followed.

Michael was an Angelus, a race of extraordinary creatures whose sole duty was to watch over the welfare of humans. Anne was a Sentinel. She worked for the Angeli as a sort of bounty hunter, helping to track and kill Perfidia, Angeli who preyed on humans instead of protecting them. Anytime Michael called her, she knew a battle lay ahead, and while she had once relished these challenges, since a Perfidian had nearly killed her fellow Sentinel, Con, she’d felt death had become her constant companion.

In addition, Michael and Anne were involved in a complicated romance that only added stress to every exchange between them.

If what Con said was true, Anne was in danger once more. She wished she could fly away from the whole mess, but today, disappearing would be especially difficult.

Her car was missing.

The parking spot she’d been so happy to find had a new tenant and her Jaguar was nowhere to be seen.

“Blast,” Anne swore as she scanned the area.

Across the street, between two beach duplexes, she spotted her car parked on the next block.

Anne scowled. There was no way she could have parked one block over from the restaurant. Perhaps Con had moved the car as a joke before he visited her at the café. That would be like him. Or, perhaps she was going senile. She was slightly over 300 years old. A long life was one of the perks of being a Sentinel, assuming you could stay alive with Perfidia constantly trying to kill you.

Anne cut between the beach houses towards her vehicle, ducking and slipping through a small fence to enter a secluded backyard. Before she could stand upright, the figure of a man appeared directly in front of her.

Anne lacked even a moment to react.

The man raised a small pistol, and shot her directly between the eyes.

Blog Tour
December 16, 2014 posted by Nichole

Spark Rising by Kate Corcino book blitz

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Spark Rising by Kate Corcino
Publication date: December 15th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Post-Apocalyptic, Science Fiction
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Synopsis:

All that’s required to ignite a revolution is a single spark rising.

Two hundred years after the cataclysm that annihilated fossil fuels, Sparks keep electricity flowing through their control of energy-giving Dust. The Council of Nine rebuilt civilization on the backs of Sparks, offering citizens a comfortable life in a relo-city in exchange for power, particularly over the children able to fuel the future. The strongest of the boys are taken as Wards and raised to become elite agents, the Council’s enforcers and spies. Strong girls—those who could advance the rapidly-evolving matrilineal power—don’t exist. Not according to the Council.

Lena Gracey died as a child, mourned publicly by parents desperate to keep her from the Council. She was raised in hiding until she fled the relo-city for solitary freedom in the desert. Lena lives off the grid, selling her power on the black market.

Agent Alex Reyes was honed into a calculating weapon at the Ward School to do the Council’s dirty work. But Alex lives a double life. He’s leading the next generation of agents in a secret revolution to destroy those in power from within.

The life Lena built to escape her past ends the day Alex arrives looking for a renegade Spark.

Purchase:
AUTHOR BIO:
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Kate Corcino is a reformed shy girl who found her voice (and uses it…a lot). She believes in magic, coffee, Starburst candies, genre fiction, descriptive profanity, and cackling over wine with good friends. A recovering Dr. Pepper addict, she knows the only addiction worth feeding is the one that follows the “click-whooooosh” of a new story settling into her brain.

She also believes in the transformative power of screwing up and second chances. Cheers to works-in-progress of the literary and lifelong variety!

She is currently gearing up for publication of Ignition Point and Spark Rising , the first books in the Progenitor Saga, a near future dystopian adventure series with romantic elements, science, magic, and plenty of action.

Author links:

Spark Rising’s Lena Gracey does things her way, with few apologies, even as Alex Reyes uses her need for vengeance to draw her into a revolution. Frustrated, angry, and tired, all she wants is a physical release, and she turns to the one man she thinks can give her that with no strings attached. But the strong chemistry born of hard-won friendship and the electrical power that seethes in both of them guarantees they both get more than they bargained for…

 

“I know you want me.”

Alex growled and narrowed his dark eyes. “We all want you, because you’re special.”

“Then give me fifteen minutes. You want to fix it. That will. Give me that.”

“Fifteen minutes of tension relief? That’s what you’re asking for?”

This isn’t about feelings, she told herself. No feelings.

Lena lifted her chin. She wouldn’t play by anyone else’s rules. “Yes.”

“Yes?” Alex nodded. “It’s not me, then. Not personal.” He looked past her, his eyes hooded. When he brought them back to her again, she could see the decision he’d made. “Sounds like something I can live with.”

She leaned in as he reached to slide his hand up her jaw.

His palm cupped her face, fingers tangling in her hair as it slid forward. His thumb moved across her lips. Lena slid her knees up onto the seat to either side of him, straddling him as he pulled her mouth to his.

Like the first time, the contact was more than lips meeting, the electric flare deeper and brighter than it had been with Jackson. But this time, the only thing soft about his kiss was his lips.

Energy surged between them. As his tongue traced the inside of her lips, a blazing trail of shocks flared in her skin and exploded like bright lights behind her eyelids. He sucked at her lips, first one and then the other, and energy welled up from her. As he pulled and coaxed, the rising flow felt like fingers stroking deep inside. Each time he drew her lip into his mouth to suckle at the energy, those fingers of power slid up inside of her, moving toward him, leaving a quivering, electrified trail behind. He drew her power into himself.

Lena pulled away, and the electricity crackled white energy between their wet mouths. It hurt, little sparks popping against nerve endings. Alex’s eyes were glazed. He wanted more. But it was her turn.

She lowered her mouth again, pulling the energy from him this time as she darted her tongue between his lips. She framed his face with her small hands and tapped the energy deep within him to draw it up into her through his nerves, his skin, his lips, and tongue.

Alex groaned and wrapped his hands around the backs of her legs. He slid them up, cupping the curve of her bottom, fingers caressing the crease that led him to her inner thighs. He drew her to him.

She allowed it, pressing against his body. She wanted more of him. More pressure. More skin against skin. Her hands sank down from his face to slip between them, pulling on his shirt. She pulled it up and off, tearing her mouth from his for an instant to yank the shirt over his head.

He worked the buttons of her shirt, fumbling at them in his hurry. He freed the last of them, spreading her shirt open and back and pushing it off her shoulders. He sat back to look at her.

She followed his gaze to his hands. They spread wide across her ribcage, his sun-darkened brown skin stark against her pale freckles. Above his hands, her skin curved into the slight swell of paler skin and peaked nipples. He slid his hands up to palm her sensitive breasts, and she pressed into him, sliding her hands up to cover his. His thumb circled her nipple then slid away as he pulled her up.

He drew her into his mouth, the power slicking electric hot up her nerves. She arched her back, melting into him, already shuddering with the force of the energy surging through her as he licked at her. He slid his hands around her back, pulled her closer, holding tight. Everywhere their skin met, the searing flux of energy wove between them. Each time their skin parted, a white arc of heat spanned the distance and danced along their skin, joining them.

Lena sank lower, pushing her hand between his waistband and his skin. She slid her fingertips along his lower belly before dipping lower. The soft, almost delicate skin she found was a contrast to the rigid flesh it covered. She wrapped her hand around him and pulled energy along the length of him.

Alex’s hands and mouth stilled and his eyes closed.

Like that, do you?

 

Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
  • 2 gift baskets (incl. signed paperback, a gift card, a tote, and smaller swag)

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Blog Tour
December 15, 2014 posted by Nichole

Feel by Karen-Anne Stewart book blitz

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Feel by Karen-Anne Stewart
Publication date: December 2014
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance
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Synopsis:
The one whose emotions I can’t feel is the one who makes me feel the most.

I was a sensitive, at least that’s what I was told by the boy who saved me from the overwhelming emotions that consumed my soul, the boy who saved me from myself when my gift became stronger. Through the years, he was my redemption, my reason to take my next breath…then, he was gone.

Jensen always told me I was strong, but I didn’t believe him until I was forced to be strong on my own, and I kept breathing without him. I’ve taken 42 million breaths since the moment he sent me away. Now, four years later, he’s standing in front of me, and I can barely breathe.

This isn’t just a story about the abilities I possess; it’s a story about something much stronger…the love of the man who possesses every part of me.

***Disclaimer – Feel is intended for readers 18+ due to strong language, mature scenes, and some violence.

Purchase:
AUTHOR BIO
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Karen-Anne Stewart has always adored reading and has now fallen in love with writing. Her written works are The Rain Trilogy: Saving Rain, Healing Rain, and After the Rain. Her debut novel, Saving Rain: The First Novel in The Rain Trilogy, was a nominee for the Book Junkie’s Choice Awards and is a nominee for the 2013 RONE Awards.

When Karen-Anne isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, and visiting new places. She fuels her addiction of creating new stories by her only other addiction, caffeine, and listening to a myriad of musical genres. Tucked away near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Karen-Anne lives with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and their cat. She plans on writing new adult romance as long as her fingers maintain dexterity.

Long Excerpt One:

 

I’m getting ready to open the bedroom door when a shot of someone’s anger, and a heavy case of nerves, hits me right before a hand clamps over my mouth and an arm wraps around my waist, pinning me against someone hard and large. Stupidly, I try to scream even though I know it will be muffled.

“Shut-up,” a gruff voice demands, and I bite his hand in response.

“Owww, that fuckin’ hurt!” the voice barks as his arm squeezes my body tighter against his.

I elbow and twist wildly in response, trying to get a better read on his emotions while mine are drowning in fear.

“Take it easy,” he spits in between a few groans as my elbow makes contact.

I do the opposite and fight harder, giving all I’ve got. A sharp pain radiates through my right arm as he twists it behind me and pushes it up my back. My cry is stifled by his hand that he’s pressing against my mouth and nose, almost cutting off my air.

He starts dragging me out the back door and down the stairs, and I kick backwards, hitting his shin. A loud expletive leaves his mouth, and I’m rewarded with another sharp upward thrust of my arm, and I gasp in pain.

“I don’t want to hurt you,” he growls, “so stop fighting me!”

Is he out of his flippin’ mind? I scream bloody murder as I see a dark gray van. My heart is beating so hard it hurts. Using all my strength, I struggle against the creep trying to kidnap me and throw my head back against his nose in a last ditch effort of escape.

“Sonofabitch!” he yells, but his grip never relents as he pushes me inside the van.

My body hits the metal floor as the door slams shut. Raw fear spirals through me as I try to squint through the dark. My emotions are heightened, clouding his, and I try to calm my panic. I let out an ear-piercing scream as I lunge for the door, but he blocks my path. Lashing out, I curl my fist and swing as hard as I can. My knuckles explode in pain when they crash into his jaw.

“Will you stop hitting me?” he yells, grabbing my arms and pushing me into a chair.

“Let me go!” I scream, kicking savagely.

“You can scream all you want; the van’s soundproof,” he states, his voice sounding as pissed as he feels. He straddles my lap, and I let out another loud wail. Slapping his hand over my mouth, he grabs duct tape, “On second thought, shut the hell up.” He keeps his left arm pressed roughly against my chest and arms as he holds the duct tape with his right hand, ripping two long pieces off with his teeth.

My eyes begin to acclimate to the dim lighting in the van and I can make out blue eyes and dark hair. I would think he was attractive if he wasn’t currently taping my wrists to a chair, getting ready to do God knows what to me. “Let me go, please,” I switch tactics.

“I need a few answers first, then we’ll see,” he states, pulling against the duct tape to make sure it’s secure.

“Answers?” My question comes out in a rush as I try to keep from hyperventilating when my wrists won’t even budge against my restraints. “I don’t know anything. Just let me go.”

He steps closer and I push back, causing an ear-splitting screech as the metal of the chair slides against the metal floor of the van. “Don’t touch me, asshole!” I warn, my anger rioting as I feel his burning through me.

“I’m not going to hurt you,” he barks, looking like he’s about to bust a vein trying to keep from yelling at me. His eyes darken before he rakes a frustrated hand through his hair and grinds his jaw before speaking to me again, “I’m not the bad guy here.”

Glancing down at the duct tape currently pinning my wrists to the cold metal, I cut my eyes at him, flashing a sickeningly sweet sarcastic smile, “Oh, okay, I get it…so you’re supposed to be the good and cuddly kind of fucked-up, perverted bastard who likes to tie women to chairs, then.”

Whatever he’s getting ready to say is cut off when the door opens. The sun blinds me as it pours inside, and I open my mouth to scream but all air flees my lungs when I see him, the one person I ever trusted, ever loved; the one person who ever made me feel safe. For years, Jensen was my air. He was my redemption, my reason to take my next breath…then he was gone. He always told me I was strong, but I didn’t believe him until I was forced to be strong on my own, and I kept breathing without him. I’ve taken forty-two million breaths since the moment he sent me away. Now, four years later, he’s standing in front of me, and I can barely breathe. How is it possible that the one whose emotions I can’t feel is the one who makes me feel the most? That night four years ago sears my soul and the pain threatens to destroy me all over again.

Blog Tour
December 5, 2014 posted by Nichole

Life Lived Twice by Sherrie Wouters book blitz

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Life Lived Twice by Sherrie Wouters
Publication date: June 6th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Romance
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Synopsis:

Some promises are made to last forever…

What if you fell in love with a stranger…but that stranger had come from your past, a past you never knew existed until the moment your eyes met?

When Tess Winters locks eyes with a stranger at an airport bookstore, it ignites a feeling of passion somewhere deep inside her that she can’t explain.

Although the encounter is innocent and brief, the intensity of it lingers, leaving her overwhelmed by a yearning for the mystery man now consuming her every thought.

Struggling to break the powerful hold he has over her heart, Tess starts to experience strange but familiar dreams…dreams from the turn of the twentieth century of the charming Mr Addison Taylor.

As her dreams start to materialize into reality, and past and present begin to blur, Tess is forced to put the pieces of a forgotten time together, and soon discovers that love isn’t the only thing that can find you after an eternity.

Captivating, mysterious, and romantic, Life Lived Twice will leave you wondering whether love is so powerful it could last more than a lifetime.

Purchase:

AUTHOR BIO:

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Sherrie Wouters is the author of the romantic fantasy, Life Lived Twice.

A qualified Homeoeopath and Kinesiologist, Sherrie lives in country Victoria, Australia with her husband, and two daughters. She is currently working on the sequel to Life Lived Twice.

Author Links:
Read below for an excerpt:

By the time I’d examined his tanned calves, the masculinity of his

skin was lingering in the air between us. He smelt sensational, and I found

myself uncontrollably breathing in as I rose.

 

Now curious to see more, I kept going. But as I began to move, an

odd sensation of warmth radiating from him came over me; it was almost

like an invisible hand caressing my skin. My heart fluttered at the idea

of it, and suddenly blood was rushing to all the wrong places as I felt an

unexpected thrill of anticipation.

 

After tracing his body all the way up to his chest, my wandering

eyes didn’t seem to want to stop, and they were soon up to his neck and

following the stubble along his jaw, right up to his light brown hair.

 

And then he spoke. The sound of his voice jolted me from my

daydream and pulled my gaze to his.

 

Addison!” I gasped as our eyes collided.

 

From the moment the name left my lips, my eyes widened … stared

… and became lost in his. As a rush of airy weightlessness floated me

from the floor, suddenly everything felt more enhanced, more real, like

something inside me had suddenly woken up.

 

It was an intoxicating feeling and the longer I stood entranced, the

further his beautiful blue eyes reached into mine. Somehow they were

knocking on the door to my heart, stirring something so powerful it made

me want to cry and laugh at the same time and, for a brief second, there

was something in his eyes that made me feel complete.

 

Suddenly his brows squeezed then softened. “Ah … um … sorry about

the electric shock.” He smiled. “But who’s Addison?”

 

My throat tightened as warmth flushed my cheeks. Who the hell

was Addison?

 

Embarrassment pulled my eyes from his. “Oh,” I said, choking on my

words, “Um … ah … no … I don’t know anyone called Addison … I mean, um … ”

 

“Oh!” He smiled cheekily as he leaned towards me and whispered.

“You sounded so convinced I was him … I thought for a second I could

  1. I mean, if you wanted me to be.”

 

My face shot back to his, words jamming in my throat as I stared.

Who was this guy, this stranger? In just a few seconds he’d turned my soul

inside out, and now he was charming me with his words as well.

 

As his lips rose into a smile, I couldn’t help but smile back. But panic

quickly returned to my constricted throat as that name re-entered my head.

 

Suddenly aware of the warmth still creeping across my face, I managed

to pull my eyes from his again and divert my gaze. Addison, Addison, who

the hell was Addison? I couldn’t budge the name from my thoughts.

 

As I stood fidgeting, I could feel him staring, waiting for me to say

something, anything. After taking a breath, I shifted my gaze and we

locked eyes again as I spoke. “Um,” I said, swallowing hard, “I must be

mistaken … sorry.”

 

Author Interviews
December 3, 2014 posted by Nichole

After Blog Tour: Interview with Samantha Gregory

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afterAfter: (After Series Book 1) by Samantha Gregory

Genre: YA Horror

Published: May 31st, 2014

Published by J Ellington Ashton Press

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22398826-after

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/After-Series-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00KQ3IY54

The dead walked. The world fell apart. But what happened after? Jenna Deluise is just trying to survive in this broken world, but after her father’s apparent suicide she discovers that she didn’t really know him at all. How was he connected to the zombies? Why is his former boss so sure he is alive?

What else was he hiding?

About the Author:

samantha gregory

When she’s not writing, Samantha works as a journalist and in her spare time she enjoys reading, archery and is learning to play guitar. After is her second novel and is the first book in a new zombie series.

 

Website: http://www.skgregory.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6574558.S_K_Gregory

Twitter: @sam_skgregory

Blog: http://www.skgregory.com/blog/4561642134

 

Read below for an interview with the author:

 

Can you tell us about your book, After, in 20 words or less?

A young woman tries to unravel the truth about her father only to discover something unthinkable about herself. And zombies!

What was your favorite scene to edit out?

I liked the backstory for Wesley. Originally I had him tell the story of his brother’s death to Jenna, but I think the flashback worked a lot better. I think this is where you start to have sympathy for Wesley.

What was your favorite scene to write?

The scene where Jenna discovers the truth about what she is, I won’t say too much because I don’t want to give it away. But it was the moment where Jenna discovers her father had kept all this from her.

Is this going to be part of a series or a standalone?

This is part of a series. The next book will be a prequel called Before, set as the zombie virus is first released and the mayhem that follows. The third book is a follow on to After called Virus. It picks up where book one left off.

Are you currently working on anything else?

I am working in a series called Queen of Hell which is a more adult series. The opener to it can be found as a short story in Autumn Burning: Dreadtime Stories for the Wicked Soul.

 

Read below for an excerpt from the book:

 

Here is an excerpt:

The dead walked. People try to forget, to pretend it didn’t

happen. But it happened. I’ve heard the stories, the horror. I’ve even
seen some of it for myself. Lives were destroyed, families torn apart,
so many turned, and when it was over – the world was a different
place.
Now the dead are gone, turned to ash.
From the ashes of the old government rose the New Alliance, a
powerful military group who helped us rebuild and aided in creating
a vaccine to prevent another outbreak.
It came with a price, of course. The Alliance has complete
control over the country. Anyone who goes up against them is sent to
one of the many containment camps.
Maybe we were safer with the dead…
One
Jenna
I kept my head down as I walked along the C road, clutching the
bag of groceries to my chest. It wasn’t the kind of neighborhood you
wanted to linger in, and it was one of the better ones in the city. I
sidestepped a man sitting on the ground. He was wrapped in an old,
tattered blanket. He held his hands out to whoever passed him,
begging for any money they could spare. I tried not to look at him. I
didn’t have any money to give him. I barely had enough for the
groceries I just bought.
Joining the queue for the checkpoint, I tried to ignore the chill
wind blowing. Summer was definitely over. My jacket was
threadbare as it was and I couldn’t afford a new one. Winter was
going to be fun. Not.
I kept my gaze fixed on the ground as I moved closer to the front
of the line. It wasn’t a good idea to make eye contact with a lot of
the people who lived around here. I missed our old house. At least
you could walk the streets without worrying about getting mugged,
or worse.
I was jostled from behind by a woman wearing a black knit cap
and a long black coat.
“What are you looking at?” she snapped. I quickly faced front. I
wasn’t interested in a fight; I just wanted to go home.
I swiped my identity pass at the checkpoint; I was two blocks
from home. The Alliance soldier posted there scrutinized it carefully
before handing it back. Seriously, did I look like a threat?
“Reason for entering this area?” he asked, his cold blue eyes
piercing mine. He wore the standard black uniform with the red
Alliance symbol on the breast. An automatic weapon hung at his side
and I had no doubt that he knew how to use it. The New Alliance
was the ultimate law enforcement.
“I live here,” I said.
“What’s in the bag?”
“Food.”
I don’t think he liked my tone, but I didn’t have another I cared
to use. Every freaking day I had to go through this. I’m pretty sure it
was the same guard too, but the AS had a habit of making people’s
lives miserable. He took his time searching my bag, for all that was
in it. A few canned goods.
The line behind me was a long one; everyone was crowded
together, eager to get home before dark. Most of the people looked
half starved. Food wasn’t cheap in this quadrant and a lot of people
had taken to stealing it to survive. We weren’t that bad, yet.
Finally, he waved me through. I hurried away, glad to put him
behind me.
I didn’t get far before startled cries rang through the crowd. I
glanced back to see someone stagger into the road. He was dressed
in rags, his face covered in dirt. The crowd fell silent as he let out a
loud moan. I froze. It couldn’t be. My heart began to race.
A ripple went through the crowd and one word rang out clearly.
The word no one wanted to hear, the word most people were too
terrified to even utter.
Several AS ran forward, weapons already drawn. When the man
saw them coming he dropped the act and raised his hands in
surrender.
“It was a joke,” he cried as he was tackled to the ground. There
were grunts and cries from him as the AS laid into him. Idiot!
Nobody tried to help him, and I didn’t blame them. It wasn’t
something to joke about.
They hauled him to his feet and led him away. I wasn’t sticking
around any longer.
Turning into the alleyway that would take me home, I found that it
was already occupied by a street vendor, selling a variety of fruits
that were hard to come by nowadays.
“Hey sweetness,” the vendor crooned at me. I glanced at him,
taking in the ratty hair, beard and cold black eyes that were checking
me out. I used my free hand to pull my jacket tighter around me.
I sped up, hoping to get past him, but he stepped forward,
blocking my path.
“Why don’t you choose something nice for yourself, then we can
discuss payment,” he raised an eyebrow. He was standing way too
close for my liking. I could smell his rancid breath.
9
He was at least six inches taller than me and while he was no
wrestler, he still had more muscle than me. This could go wrong
very quickly. Thinking fast, I said, “Do you have a permit to sell
these goods?”
I tried to keep my voice steady. The question seemed to confuse
him, “What?”
“A permit. Under section seven of the New Alliance code, it is
illegal to sell imported goods without one.”
“Yeah? And what would you know about it, little girl?”
I pulled an ID card from my jacket pocket, “Plenty, I’m an
undercover agent for the Alliance.”
He backed away, swearing, “An agent? What are they hiring
them straight out of kindergarten now?”
I glared at him. Okay, I look slightly younger than my seventeen
years but not that young.
“I should shut you down right now,” I said.
“Come on, I’m just trying to make a living, like everyone else.”
I sighed and took a closer look at his pitch. I spied some oranges.
I hadn’t had one in years. I picked up three of them and dropped
them into my grocery bag.
The vendor watched me, but didn’t say anything. Usually where
there was one agent, another was never far behind. He was probably
used to them shaking him down. Why would they pay for things
when they could just take them?
I lifted an apple too, making a show of biting into it. It was
delicious.
“If I catch you around here again, I’ll shut you down,” I walked
away.
At the end of the alley I turned right, passing a burnt out car. A
huge black skull had been painted on the wall beside it, along with
the words CHAOS REIGNS. Yeah, it did.
The Giveaway:
The Giveaway will include a signed copy of After; A signed copy Daemon Persuasion, bookmarks and badges. Open to US residents only
giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Tour:

December 1st
Counter Culture Critic – Promo Post
All my Book finds – Promo Post
SleepsOnTables – Review
December 2nd
Cassandra M’s Place – Guest Post
Darkest Cravings – Guest Post
December 3rd
YaReads- Interview
Heather Todd | Author – Review
December 4th
Elizabeth Delana Rosa - Guest Post
SleepsOnTables – Guest Post
December 5th
Lisa Loves Literature – Guest Post
Bookworm in Barrie – Promo Post
December 6th
Book Lovers Life – Promo Post
I Feel the Need, the Need to Read – Review
December 7th
Little Miss Trainwreck – Review
Platypire Reviews – Review

Blog Tour
December 2, 2014 posted by Nichole

Wish by Grier Cooper book blitz

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Wish by Grier Cooper
(Indigo Dreams #1)
Publication date: December 2nd 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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Synopsis:

For Indigo Stevens, ballet classes at Miss Roberta’s ballet studio offer the stability and structure that are missing from her crazy home life. At almost 16, she hopes this is the year she will be accepted into the New York School of Ballet. First she must prove she’s ready, and that means ignoring Jesse Sanders – the cute boy with dimples who is definitely at the top of Miss Roberta’s List of Forbidden Things for Dancers.

But Jesse is the least of Indigo’s concerns. When she discovers her mom is an alcoholic, it simultaneously explains everything and heaps more worry on Indigo’s shoulders. As her mom’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, Indigo fights to maintain balance, protect her younger brothers from abuse, and keep her mother from going over the edge. When the violence at home escalates, Indigo realizes she can no longer dance around the issue. At the risk of losing everything, she must take matters into her own hands before it’s too late.

Purchase:
AUTHOR BIO:
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Grier began ballet lessons at age five and left home at fourteen to study at the School of American Ballet in New York. She has performed on three out of seven continents with companies such as San Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, totaling more than thirty years of experience as a dancer, teacher and performer.

Her work has been praised as “poignant and honest” with “emotional hooks that penetrate deeply.” She writes and blogs about dance in the San Francisco Bay Area and has interviewed and photographed a diverse collection dancers and performers including Clive Owen, Nicole Kidman, Glen Allen Sims and Jessica Sutta. She is the author of Build a Ballerina Body and The Daily Book of Photography.

Author links:
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
  • A dance film collection (Mao’s Last Dancer, Save The Last Dance, Center Stage)
  • 15$ iTunes gift card
  • eBook copy of Wish

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Debunking Ballet Myths

 

While many people admire ballet as art form, it’s also often criticized. Unhealthy body image is one of the most common complaints. But are these criticisms based on reality or myth? Let’s examine some of the most common ballet myths and see what’s real:

 

  1. All ballet dancers are anorexic.

The average professional ballet dancer spends anywhere from five to eight hours each day dancing their butts off; imagine how slim you would be if you exercised that much! Ballet also naturally creates longer, leaner lines in the body, unlike other athletic pursuits such as running, which create bulkier muscles. Although they are slender, most dancers are health-conscious—they have to be in order to have enough energy to get through their long, active days…although their busy schedules mean they snack throughout the day as opposed to eating huge meals (it’s hard to be light on your feet with a full belly!).

 

  1. If you want to be a professional ballet dancer you have to start taking ballet classes early, like when you are still in the womb.

Just look at ballet superstar Misty Copeland; her story will burn that myth right out of your head. Copeland didn’t begin taking ballet classes until she was thirteen, yet in 2007 she made dance history when she became the third African American female soloist (and the first in two decades) at American Ballet Theater. Another classmate of mine at the School of American Ballet didn’t begin ballet until she was twelve but later went on to dance with New York City Ballet.

 

  1. All male ballet dancers are gay. There are certainly a lot of good-looking men in ballet but just because they put on tights doesn’t mean there aren’t some hot-blooded heterosexuals in the mix. The real-life partnership between New York City Ballet principal dancers Robert Fairchild and Tiler Peck is not just one of the most romantic love stories in ballet history (teen sweethearts, drama, breakup(s) and a happy ending when Fairchild proposed in Paris), it is one of the most prominent ballet marriages today. Other well-known ballet couples include San Francisco Ballet Principal Dancers Vanessa Zahorian and Davit Karapetyan, Boston Ballet principals Carlos Molina and Erica Cornejo and Nelson Madrigal and Lorna Feijoo, Ballet West soloists Easton Smith and Haley Henderson. Still not convinced? Rent “The Turning Point” (a classic ballet film) and watch Baryshnikov make his moves.

 

  1. You have to be a twig if you want to be a ballet dancer. While this was true during the Balanchine era, perspectives on dancers’ bodies is changing dramatically and today’s dancers are more muscular and feminine. Take a look at the lineup of dancers from companies like LINES Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and Ballet Black. English National Ballet Artistic Director Tamara Rojo recently made it known that she’s not interested in employing underweight ballerinas. Ballet dancers such as Kathryn Morgan, a former New York City Ballet soloist, St. Paul Ballet dancer Brittany Adams and New York City Ballet veteran Jennifer Ringer are becoming more vocal about promoting a healthy body image. If you want to delve deeper on the issue, check out “Strength and Beauty,” a documentary about ballerinas’ personal accounts of dealing with issues like weight.

 

  1. Ballet dancers are weak, timid girlie girls who love anything pink. If that were true, why are droves of football players signing up for ballet? Headliner Steve McLendon of the Pittsburgh Steelers says, “ballet is harder than anything else I do”. Ballet dancers are not delicate little flowers, nor is ballet easy. It’s actually enormously difficult both physically AND mentally. A dancer has to remember several ballets’ worth of choreography at any given time PLUS be strong enough to leap, turn, grande battement, and relevé for (sometimes) HOURS on end.

 

  1. Pointe hurts. Stretching hurts.

It doesn’t hurt if you’re doing it right! Well, okay, pointe shoes sometimes hurt when you wear them day after day for hours at a time. But dancers build up their flexibility and foot strength over time. It’s a process where things progress slowly. Beginning pointe classes, for instance, are very brief. If things hurt, it’s time to slow down or back off and if you experience pain when you’re stretching it’s actually a clear indication that you’re pushing things too far.

 

  1. Ballet dancers naturally dance well at parties and nightclubs. Just because someone is a ballet dancer does not mean they’ll be a hit on the dance floor at your next party. Trust me; these are two very different types of dancing. In fact, ballet is so regimented and precise that it’s difficult for ballet dancers to cut loose. It’s much more likely they’ll resemble a spastic electrocuted chicken on the dance floor.

 

8.All female ballet dancers are ballerinas. Typical cocktail party conversation: “Oh, I didn’t know that you were a ballerina!” Um, I’m not. I’m a ballet dancer. Only the highest-ranking female dancers in a ballet company are ranked as ballerinas. The corps and soloist dancers in the company are not ranked as ballerinas yet.

 

  1. Since ballet terms are French all ballet dancers speak fluent French. Sadly, no ( je suis desolée). Just because ballet terms are in French does not mean that we speak French fluently, nor is there any guarantee that our pronunciation incredible…or even correct.

 

  1. Ballet dancers are not the brightest bulbs in the pack. Refer to item number 5 above, for how much dancers have to remember (A LOT). This skill also serves dancers well in school, since more dancers are choosing take college courses in the midst of their dance careers, with the blessings of top ballet companies including American Ballet Theater and New York City Ballet (who offer scholarship money to their dancers). Boston Ballet recently teamed up with Northeastern University to offer a program to help dancers earn their degrees while they are dancing. The university’s flexible schedule accommodates dancers’ routines and the company’s scholarship fund covers up to 80% of tuition…which means there are a lot of brainiacs on pointe out there.

 

As you can see, most myths don’t stand up to investigation. Whether your attitude towards ballet is “love it” or “leave it”, you can now make an educated choice.

 

 

 

Grier Cooper has performed on three out of seven continents with companies such as San

Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, totaling more than thirty years of experience as a dancer, teacher and performer.

She blogs about dance in the San Francisco Bay Area and has interviewed and photographed a diverse collection dancers and performers including Clive Owen, Nicole Kidman, Glen Allen Sims and Jessica Sutta. She is the author of Build a Ballerina Body and the new ballet-based young adult novel, WISH.  Grier can be reached through her website at http://www.griercooper.com

Author Interviews
December 1, 2014 posted by Nichole

Last House Burning Blog Tour: Interview with Katy Scott

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Last House BurningLast House Burning by Katy Scott

Genre: YA/NA urban fantasy with a touch of satire

Publication Date: October 14th, 2014

Publisher: Herringshaw Press

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Last-House-Burning-Katy-Scott-ebook/dp/B00NO94B1I

When you speak of the Devil, he probably won’t appear. But he may send one of his staff.last-house-burning-cover-webIn an old house in a deserted, burned-down village, a young woman called Verla lives alone. Year after year she stays there while the world changes around her, no one else ever stepping foot in the village, the people in the nearby towns forgetting she exists. Verla is used to it. It’s the way things have to be.Until Ben, a bored teenager visiting the area with his family, barges into her life and discovers her terrible secret. As he spirals deeper and deeper into the bureaucratic world of Heaven and Hell that Verla is part of, he realizes he has one chance to help free her from her lonely fate.But securing Verla’s freedom is going to involve more than just an appointment at the local office of the underworld. Especially when Ben encounters a charismatic American with a suspiciously broad knowledge of Hell, a mysterious elevator with deep and terrifying powers, and a pinstripe-suited demon with an evil scheme that could shake the foundations of Heaven, Hell and Earth.

And things are about to get personal.

Last House Burning is part urban fantasy, part satire and all adventure. After all, the last thing you expect on a family vacation is to discover that there are pockets of Hell here on Earth – and a rowdy crew of Heaven and Hell employees running the entire show.

 

About the Author:

Katy Scott
I write books in a couple of different genres: urban fantasy and chick lit/romance. When I’m not writing books I write for lifestyle magazines and corporate websites, and I blog about gaming over at warpkey.org.
I like movies, video games, cheese, shoes and my husband. I’m technically an adult but most of the time I feel like I’m just pretending to be one.
Read below for an interview with the author:

Can you tell us about your book, Last House Burning, in 20 words or less?

A burned down village. One house still stands. Someone still lives there, and teenager Ben is about to find out why.

What genre is Last House Burning?

It’s young adult urban fantasy with a strong dose of satire.

Is this a standalone or part of a series?

It’s supposed to be a standalone, but so many people have asked for a sequel that I might return to the characters one day.

What was your favorite scene to write?

The chapter Saturday Night at the Emerald Club. What’s not to love about politicians, starlets and mob bosses congregating together at dodgy Chicago speakeasy during Prohibition?

What was the hardest scene to edit out?

In the very first chapter where we meet Ben and his family, there was a whole scene where Ben and his little sister Tia imagine what would happen if the car breaks down and they’re forced to spend the night in a scary hotel from a horror movie. I was sad to let it go, but it slowed down the action right at the start, and I wanted to jump straight into the part where Ben discovers the ruined village.

Are you currently working on anything else?

Yes, I’ve up to writing the second book in a chick-lit trilogy. It’s a big departure from urban fantasy but it’s a lot of fun. I plan to write five chick lit books in total before I return to urban fantasy. I already have the plot outlined for my next urban fantasy book. It will have another big dose of satire as well!

What is currently in your TBR pile?

I’ve just bought Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling, so that’s next. After that I have a couple of Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett to read, and some of Roald Dahl’s stories for adult readers.

Read below for an excerpt from the book:
That night, Ben lay fully-clothed on his bed, thinking. No one else seemed fascinated with Verla and her big house, and he felt a little foolish about his persistence with finding out what her story was. But he had a sense of curiosity, not just about the house but Verla herself, and he had a strange but distinct feeling that whatever was going on in her life, he could help her.
But she hadn’t been particularly forthcoming about her circumstances, and everyone else was showing a frustrating lack of interest. What did people do when they were in this situation?
In the movies they trotted down to their local library, found a large dingy room with pools of sunlight dropping through the windows, and searched through huge, dusty tomes until they found the answer. But Ben didn’t know what he was looking for in the first place. Maybe finding out more about the town’s history would be a good start.
“Mom?” he called, jumping up from his bed. “Do you know if there’s a library around here? Would it be open now? I need to look something up!”
“It’s ten o’clock at night,” his mother’s voice floated back to him. “Can’t you just Google it?”
Right, of course. Ben rolled his eyes at himself.
His phone still wouldn’t connect to the internet, so he settled himself in front of his father’s laptop in the lounge and brought up a search page. Feeling more than a bit like a stalker, he typed in ‘Verla’ and ‘Carmenton’.
No results.
Like it was going to be that easy, he told himself – did he expect that she’d have a personal website with her full story detailed?
He searched for ‘Carmenton fire’ and scrolled through the results. Swimming carnivals from 1950 onwards. The official website for the bottle cap museum. After he’d clicked on a few dead ends, the website for the Carmenton Historical Society flashed up in front of him.
There was a page dedicated to the fire, with a few black and white photos of burned houses and a list of everyone who had died. Ben scanned through the names and felt a small pang when he saw the name ‘Diamant’ appearing a number of times. He’d had no idea his mother’s ancestors had been so involved in this little town and its big tragedy.
The photo gallery contained sepia images of large, imposing houses: the mansions before the fires ruined their grandeur. Even though the pictures were faded and marked, he could see how beautiful the town must have been. There were groups of people posing stiffly in front of the houses, with the formal faces that usually appeared in the photographs of that time.
He scrolled through a whole page of these photos, and sighed to himself. It hadn’t told him anything he didn’t know already. He’d just have to go back and pester Verla again. At least she’d said they could be friends. He closed the lid of the laptop and with nothing better to do, went to bed to read his book for a while before going to sleep.
Hours later, Ben woke with a start, and lay in bed listening to the silence of the night. Something was sitting at the back of his mind, something was trying to tell him something…
He leapt out of bed, into the lounge room and back to the laptop. He hunted through the browser history to find the historical society’s website, and clicked on the photo gallery. After scrolling past several images, he finally came to the one he was looking for. A picture of a man and a woman with three little boys and a teenage girl. Ben stared at the picture, then zoomed in impatiently. The girl’s face stared at him, unsmiling and formal. She was dressed in a high-collared dress with a long flared skirt, which reminded him of some pictures he’d seen of Amish people. He looked from her clothes to her face, the dark eyes, the black hair and the now-familiar sombre expression.
“Oh no,” Ben whispered. “Verla.”
The Giveaway:
(3) ecopies of Last House Burning by Katy Scott

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The Tour:
December 1st
YaReads - Interview
Bitches n Prose – Promo Post
December 2nd
Cassandra M’s Place – Promo Post
Little Miss Trainwreck – Review
December 3rd
Hope To Read – Promo Post
Bookworm in Barrie – Promo Post
December 4th
Archaeolibrarian – I dig good books! – Promo Post
December 5th
Mythical Books – Guest Post
December 6th
Blissful Book Reviews – Promo Post
December 7th
The Book Beacon – Interview
December 8th
The Psychotic Nerd - Review
December 9th
All My Book Finds - Review
December 10th
Darkest Cravings - Promo Post
December 11th
Elizabeth Delana Rosa – Promo Post
December 12th
The Book Lovers’ Lounge – Review
Little Miss Trainwreck – Guest Post
December 13th
Adventures in Writing – Review
Oh Slow Down - Promo Post
A Little Bit of R&R – Promo Post
December 14th
Book Lovers Life – Guest Post
Mommy Likes To Write – Review

Blog Tour
December 1, 2014 posted by Nichole

Effortless With You #1 & 2 by Lizzy Charles book blitz

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Effortless With You series by Lizzy Charles
Published by: Swoon Romance
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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Synopsis book 1 – Effortless WIth You:

School is out and Lucy is ready for the perfect summer: lazy days at the pool, invitations to the most exclusive parties, and romantic dates with her hot new boyfriend. That is, until she lands in trouble one too many times and her parents issue the ultimate punishment: a summer job. Suddenly, the summer can’t end fast enough.

To make matters worse, the job is painting houses with Justin, the most popular, egotistical guy in school. Spending all summer with Justin might be other girls’ dreams, but definitely not Lucy’s. After all, Justin is cocky, annoying, and a jerk. So what if he’s the most beautiful jerk Lucy’s ever seen? Or that his grin makes her forget she’s mad at the world? Or that maybe, just maybe, there’s more to Justin than Lucy realizes. Only one thing is certain: it won’t be the summer she wanted, but it might be exactly the one she needs

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Synopsis book 2 – Perfectly Messy:
Popularity isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. Justin Marshall knows this better than most. For the captain of the basketball team, small business owner, and son of Minnesota’s next governor, life can get pretty overwhelming. But Justin can handle anything as long as he has Lucy, the girl who fell for the man he’s trying to be.

But for Justin and Lucy, finding time together proves challenging. Stolen kisses and whispered promises just aren’t enough. That is, until scandalous photos of the couple are leaked to a press intent on creating a juicy scandal during Justin’s dad’s gubernatorial campaign. And when Lucy becomes fair play for the tabloids and gossip pages, Justin does the only thing he can to protect her: he breaks her heart.

For Lucy, junior year is everything she hoped it would be: new friends, second chances, and a boyfriend she can’t stop kissing. That is, until the boy she’s pretty sure she loves chooses the life his family wants for him, over her.

Now it’s up to Lucy to teach him what it really means to have everything. Because for Justin, being who everyone needs him to be just might cost him the one person he can’t live without

Purchase book 1:
Purchase book 2:
AUTHOR BIO:
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Lizzy Charles lives in the Twin Cities and is a graduate of the University of Minnesota. When she isn’t raising her three children or caring for premature and sick babies as a neonatal intensive care nurse, she’s seeking refuge with her laptop, sparkling water, and dark chocolate. She married her high school sweetheart, a swoon-worthy musician, so it’s no surprise she’s fallen in love with writing contemporary YA romance novels.
Author links:

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Effortless With You Excerpt #1

 

I really can wait. I have nowhere to go until the party.

I close my eyes and tilt my head back, enjoying the cooler evening sun on my face and praying it will calm my frizz. I hold my cell, waiting for it to vibrate with his response. As the minutes pass, I toy with the idea that maybe he forgot …

But he planned this. He wouldn’t do that.

A light laugh interrupts me. My eyes jolt open and I gasp. I hate how easily I startle.

“Sorry, Lady,” says a deep, smooth voice behind me. “I didn’t mean to scare you. You just look so funny all dressed up but relaxing in the sun.”

“Oh, it’s okay.” Great. I pull at the bottom of my white tank. I look funny.

He clears his throat, waiting for me to do the social thing. Interact.

Not in the mood. Not now. The dent in my phone demands study. If I turn the phone upside down, the dent looks like a cow. I shift, making sure my back faces the voice. Maybe the guy’ll take a hint? My bench creaks with newly added weight.

Nope.

“So?” he says.

I force myself to glance up. My throat closes. Marissa would freak.

Justin stares back with that fake smile. “Who are you waiting for?”

“My boyfriend, Zach Filman.” Confidence, yes.

Justin nods. “Oh, Zach.” He looks at his watch and snickers. “I bet he’s late, huh?” His eyebrow flicks up with his smile.

“No. I’m a bit early.”

“You’re lying.” He moves closer to me.

Shaking my head, I focus on the lined pavement. The lines aren’t parallel at all. I really suck at lying, but the most popular guy in school doesn’t need to know my boyfriend’s late.

“Well, then,” he continues. “I’ll just wait here with you. You don’t mind.”

I do.

He taps his finger on the bench’s armrest. “Shouldn’t be long now.” His voice is thick with sarcasm which he pairs with his flashy, stupid smile. Justin may be gorgeous, but he is super annoying. He clears his throat. “Might as well get to know one another. I’m Justin Marshall.”

No kidding.

“I’m Lucy.” He doesn’t need to know my last name.

“Well, Lucy.” He pulls out his phone. “It’s six fifty-two. When’re you going on that date?”

“For real?” The heat from the sun must’ve fried my brain-to-mouth filter.

He claps his hands together, leaning back, enjoying my outburst. “Well, I’m bored. Jennifer doesn’t get off for another twenty minutes. I need a little fun.”

“Well, in that case, I’m pleased to entertain you.” Sarcasm rolls thick off my tongue.

“Wonderful.” His hands fold behind his head and his muscles twitch. But I’m steady, not a flinch and not even close to his regularly received swoon.

“So, where’re you love birds going?” he continues.

“Romano’s.”

“Right, Italian food. How romantic. Very original, Zach.”

Blood rushes to my face. I don’t care if it is the typical place. This is my first fancy, romantic date and it’s going to be perfect. I glare back, replying with silence.

“Okay, okay.” He throws his hands up. “It’s a good place. Great food, actually.”

I ignore him, glancing back at my phone. An hour late. Maybe he got in an accident?

“Can I ask you two questions?” Justin prods.

“No.” My filter’s gone now. He’s beyond irritating. Just because everyone worships him doesn’t mean he gets to know everyone’s business. Of course, he ignores my answer.

“First, why are you being picked up for a date here?”

I answer without thinking. “Zach thinks my mom’s weird.” My tongue thickens, making it hard to speak. Crap, shouldn’t have said that.

“Oh? Should that matter if he’s dating you? I mean, shouldn’t he want to get to know her if he’s dating you?”

He looks at me with a soft expression, like the ones people use on injured puppies on those Emergency Vet shows.

I press my lips together. He doesn’t know my mom. This time he accepts my silence.

“Secondly, don’t you think you deserve someone who respects you enough to either show up on time or at least call and let you know why he’s late?”

Whoa, who is he to give me relationship advice?

“You’ve got to be kidding, right?”

“No. I’m dead serious. You deserve better.”

“You don’t even know me.”

“No, but I know Zach.”

“So do I. He’s my boyfriend.” I refuse to look at him, instead watching a group of ants pour out of a crack in the pavement. “You know you’re a real jerk, right?” I add.

Justin lets out a long whistle. “Wow. I haven’t been called a jerk since I was, like, eight?”

I don’t care how hot he is. Why Marissa wants him blows my mind.

He pulls out his phone. “Let me show you something.” He dials and flashes me his outgoing call: Zach F.

No. This is not happening.

I launch at his phone but he’s too quick. He jumps off the bench and I eat pavement.

“It doesn’t matter. He isn’t going to answ—” I say as I scramble up off the ground.

“Hello?” a familiar voice booms. Speaker phone. Crap.

“Hey Zach! It’s Justin.”

“Hey Man. What’s up?” My gut relaxes. Zach’s okay.

“Not much. Just waiting to pick up Jennifer.” Justin paces, circling the bench and me.

“Right on, man!” Zach is always so positive. His attitude is contagious. I can’t help but smile when I’m around him.

“What are you up to?”

“Disc golf with Tater.”

My chest squeezes. How can Zach be playing a game with his cousin Tater? An I-Told-You-So expression sits in triumph on Justin’s face.

Stupid face.

“Sweet. Awesome day for a game.”

“I know, huh?”

Justin drags his shoe through some sand.

“Will I see you at the party tonight?”

“Hell, yeah!”

Maybe he didn’t forget? He knows we’re going to the party together. He must have gotten the times mixed up. Assumed he had time to play disc first.

“Sweet. I’ll see you there. Got to run, Jen’s done. We’ve got a great date night planned before the party and all …”

No Justin, don’t do this. I want to die.

“Oh shit, dude. I was supposed to pick up that Lucy chick for a date too.” Zach laughs.

Three skipped heartbeats.

Zach forgot.

He forgot about me.

My nose begins to itch. Tears are inevitable. But I won’t cry in front of Justin. I focus on my cuticles, trying to hold off tears while Zach’s voice continues to boom from the phone. Justin finishes circling the bench, now standing next to me. So I can hear everything Zach says.

“Eh, she’ll understand. It’s a gorgeous day. I mean, who can remember a date when disc golf calls?”

“Well, good luck with that.” Justin taps my shoulder. I want to break his fingers.

“Right on, man.” Beep.

My eyes are heavy, probably now red and puffy too. I take a deep breath, trying to hold off the emotional impact of the moment. Justin’s moved in front of me, waiting for my reaction. He’s so rude. I glare daggers into his green eyes. Hate him.

My phone finally vibrates.

 

Zach: hey sorry work’s crazy. Meet u at party L8R.

 

My gut twists inside out. Zach lied. He forgot about me and lied. Why did he ask me out if he didn’t like me? I grab my bag. I need to get away from Justin before I break down.

“Let me guess,” Justin says, “he lied?”

Prying ass.

A ruthless fire burns inside me, made especially for him.

“Can I ask you something?” I don’t wait for an answer. “Why are you so unbearably rude?”

“Listen,” he begins, “you deserved to know.”

“No. That wasn’t your place. Do you think you’re like a god or something? ‘You deserved to know.’ Total bull. Don’t I deserve to be treated with respect?” I pause for effect. His eyes widen and he opens his mouth to speak, but he doesn’t have a word to deliver. “Right. You dish out Hallmark wisdom but don’t follow it yourself. Don’t be a hypocrite.”

The tears are rolling down my cheeks but I don’t care anymore. Now I want him to see it. Staring into his green eyes, I search to see if he understands what he’s done. But his eyes are blank. Not even a hint of remorse. The pool gate jingles and Jennifer steps out. I quickly distance myself from the bench and start the walk of rejection back home.

I don’t look back. I never want to see Justin Marshall again.