Flying Blind Blog Tour and Giveaway


Flying Blind 
Caroline A. Gill
(The Flykeeper Chronicles, #2)
Publication date: May 21st 2016
Genres: Dystopia, Paranormal, Young Adult


In a broken America, seventeen-year old Iolani Bearse encounters a world full of wonder and danger.

Lani discovers a secret: houseflies have magic.

Stealers have no mercy.

Armed with memory-draining lanterns, the stone-cold hunters relentlessly follow catastrophes, laying traps, preying on the weak.

Together with her father, Eleanor, Sam, and Mango, her beloved pinto mare, Lani rescues victims from the grasp of Memory Stealers. One by one, she saves whomever she can, looking for any path that leads to safety. When her family’s farmhouse is attacked, Lani must act quickly to save those she loves.

Can Lani unmask their powerful, hidden enemies before the flies’ magic fails and everything burns to ashes?

Will the loss of one of her greatest friends become her downfall?

Can Lani overcome the evil that is tearing her world apart, flying blind?


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Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series.

Who Knew Houseflies Could Be Heroes?

I certainly didn’t. When I started writing Iolani Bearse’s story, there was an image in my mind of a girl, orphaned by war and tragedy, staring out an upper story window, lost, adrift. And then a house fly flew past my computer, and I realized even then, Lani wouldn’t be truly alone. There is always something listening, something living near us, we just have to look. Wonder opens doors of imagination and magic.

That is what Lani needed: loyal friends. And in those tiny buzzing, pestering insects, Lani found a relationship so strange and wonderful at the same moment. And in turn, they saved her when men came in the dark of night wielding technology as a weapon, stealing memories, harvesting amino acids more precious than gold.

Lani didn’t remember it, but she was drained by those merciless hunters. Only the flymagic protected something within her, restoring her mind when everyone around her fell, emptied, dying.

There are no such things as coincidences. And Lani finds the courage to run from an enemy so powerful it would only be death to stand against it. She is weak, carrying her drained cousin, homeless, near starvation, stumbling onward toward the only person she can remember being important to her: Malcolm St. John.

Lani doesn’t even know why she cares about Mal. She hasn’t seen him for five years. And over and over, she tells herself that she is better off alone. That healing her injured cousin is all that matters. But it isn’t true.

There is more to life than just what is in front of us. There is more to be saved by courage and friendship than only your own heart. That is the journey of Lani and the houseflies.




Unusual stories attract me, ones in which the reader cannot easily see the ending or most of the journey. Visiting Rome during university studies, I found a simple truth sitting on buses, traveling all over the ancient city: the joy is in the Journey, in the people I meet, not in the destination. So, I write for you. I write for sanity. I write for chocolate and really good pizza.

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Teen Zombie Show Author Interview and Giveaway


Read before it hits the screen: Teen Zombie Show: Secret confessions of the real characters by David Santo

Teen Zombie Show Book Adaptation Tour
May 2nd-31st, 2016

Teen Zombie Show Script:


Top 10 finalist at the Cannes Film Festival in the TV category



Winner of the 2016 Gold Remi Award for TV writing



$10 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

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Teen Zombie Show: Secret confessions of the real characters (a companion guide to the TV pilot script entitled TEEN ZOMBIE SHOW)

AUTHOR: David Santo

PUBLISHED: January 2, 2016

PUBLISHER: Bad Back Productions

GENRE: Y/A fiction




This tell-all companion guide to the TEEN ZOMBIE SHOW reveals secret information and true events that helped shape and inform the creation of the TV series. It is the perfect insider’s guide on how and why the show was created. In short, by reading this, you will know things that others don’t.


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There’s nothing like a man / zombie in a military uniform to make you swoon. But, get this – he could talk! This is very different than the TV series.

In the show, Za can’t speak. Now, he did spend months unable to communicate. So, I guess the producers thought this made a better character – or they never did a follow-up on the real people I based the script on. Whatever the case; the guy / zombie I met could speak.

Now, his speech was labored like every word that came out of his mouth required great concentration. So, I dispensed with the chitchat, and got right into it. He does not really remember much before Sugar found him. But he’s certain that he was normal. He pulls out a tattered slip of paper with some kind of official college writing on it like a report card or something. There’s no logo, only a collegiate font. I ask him if he thought that he was a college student. He answers…

Yes. Freshman. I ask how he knows this, and he just shrugs his shoulders. I ask if he’s happy. He holds Sugar’s hand and enthusiastically replies…


Now, I know when a man is in love, and trust me, this dude is in love. He’s got it bad. I try to find out any information I can about his past but there’s just not much there for him to remember. And, he’s getting frustrated at my approach. So, I switch up and talk about the things he likes right now.

His favorite Food? Chocolate chips cookies.

Favorite Band? Guns and Roses (because Sugar likes them).

Favorite TV show? Steven Universe.

Then, Sugar asks me if I want to see the most amazing thing ever.


“Just read this and I have to say, I’m really excited to see this beauty on my TV screen. What’s in this lovely little book is beyond belief!”

Lyndzie P.

“This book and the pilot script, takes a close look at a small town girl named Sugar, who searches for the man of her dreams, but “happily ever after” gets tricky when her Prince Charming turns out to be a zombie.”

Parvati A.


screenwriterdave73David Santo

I have won multiple screenwriting awards. Sold 5 scripts. 3 published books. My book on how to write screenplays went to #1 on Amazon Kindle in the performing arts category. You can learn more about me at…


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When you’re not writing, what do you like to read?

I’m a screenwriter by trade, so a screenwriting book is usually my constant companion.

How do you find your inspiration?

I hate to go all Zen on you, but inspiration is everywhere and everything. I constantly find it to be an unending well to tap into.

What is your writing schedule like?

I write in short bursts every day all day. On an hour. Off an hour. That kind of thing. When I was first starting out, I’d write continuously – straight through the day or idea or assignment until it was complete. But, that’s a quick way to burn out. That’s why I adopted this on-off-on approach. It allows me to go for years and years and not get fatigued.

Are you a pantser or plotter?

Plotter. Panster = unemployment if you’re writing scripts for clients. They want to see a synopsis, treatment, step outline, etc., to insure I’m on course with their ideas.

What inspired your current story?

This book is a companion guide to my pilot script entitled TEEN ZOMBIE SHOW. So, this book was really informed by the creation of the TV concept and series script.

What authors/books influences your work?

Professor Richard Walter is the screenwriting Chairman at UCLA. His books have been most influential to me – notably – ESSENTIALS OF SCREENWRITING.

How does your story stand out from the crowd?

Zombies are ubiquitous. They’re everywhere now – like cell phones. This zombie is a shy, neat freak that likes to eat chocolate chip cookies, and helping people. He’s more of a monk than a monster.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?

Full-time. And, I got the emotional scars, and the lame bank account to prove it.

Which three words would you use to describe this book?

Fun. Fast. Fresh. Interesting. (sorry, this question is so cliché’, I am obligated to mock it).

Do you have any crazy/unusual writing habits?

Nope. I’m boring. I write my pages. Then, I write more pages. Then, I clean the toilet.

What are you working on now?

A female superhero called RAT GIRL. You can find her on the web by googling ratgirlcomic.wordpress. I had a comic book deal for her a few years back. I’m re-booting her franchise by writing a one-hour TV pilot based on the same character.

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

Screenwriters can, and do, get fired if they put their nose where it doesn’t belong, and that includes acting like a casting director. So, you’ll get nothing out of me.

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

1. Write. 2. Be prepared to suck for prolonged periods of time.

What do you think is the future of reading/writing?

I’m constantly surprised by people that still want to hold a physical book in their hands. Everything is moving to the cloud, yet people still want that kinesthetic tactile experience of holding a book and bending the pages. I do it myself.

What process did you go through to get your book published?

This is the first book that I self-published. It’s such a weird book that I didn’t even try to shop it in the conventional sense.

What makes your book stand out from the crowd?

The G rated “mom-approved zombie fun” aspect is new. And, the fact that it’s a companion guide that gives the reader a behind the scenes look at the TV pilot is pretty cool.

What is your biggest fear when writing?

Knowing failure is the inevitable result of almost everything I do, waiting to see how it unfolds can be a bit nerve racking.

If you had a superpower or ability, what would it be?

Flying. Naked. With other naked superheroes because it would be more fun with company. Then, we’d force people to listen to 80’s Euro bands like The Smith’s until all of humanity agreed they were the best band ever.

Which character are you most like?

All of them.

What would a reader be shocked to learn about you?

Nothing (other than the naked flying Smith’s thing).

If you could spend one day with a character who would it be and what would you do?

I’d spend a day with the lead character of the book, Sugar Willowick, so I could get more hip to her unique brand of sarcasm.

Which character would you want as your partner in a fight?

Sugar’s mom, Lorraine. She’s actually up for a fight.

Which character would you party with?

Grandma Willowick. She’s done things that would make Burning Man blush.

Leather gear or jeans & t-shirt?


Blades, guns or magic?

I have no clue what that means? Let me consult with my nerd friends and get back with you.

Books or Sneakers?

Again, clueless. That’ll be question #2 for my homies.

Who is your favorite character any why?

Sugar. She’s so smart and so funny. I wish I was like her.

How about favorite author?

I know this writer – you can find her on Twitter – @therobotjane. She writes great.

How many books do you expect to be in this series?

I would love to write several more – one based on each of the co-leads.

Without giving anything away, what can readers expect from future books in this series?

The depth of Sugar’s intellect will be explored. Her love relationship with a zombie looks pretty juicy to me. And, the interpersonal dynamics of a grandmother-mother-daughter relationship also looks awesome to explore.

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Shining Sea Book Blitz and Giveaway


Shining Sea by Mimi Cross 
Published by: Skyscape
Publication date: May 24th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult


Seventeen-year-old Arion Rush has always played the obedient sidekick to her older sister’s flashy femme fatale—until a mysterious boating accident leaves Lilah a silent, traumatized stranger. As her sister awaits medical treatment with their mother, Arion and their father head to his hometown in Maine to prepare a new life for them all. Surrounded by the vast Atlantic, songwriting is Arion’s only solace, her solid ground.

Unexpectedly, Arion blossoms in the tiny coastal town. Friends flock to her, and Logan Delaine, a volatile heartthrob, seems downright smitten. But it’s Bo Summers—a solitary surfer, as alluring as he is aloof—that Arion can’t shake. Meanwhile, Lilah’s worsening condition, a string of local fatalities, and Arion’s own recent brushes with death seem ominously linked…to Bo’s otherworldly family. As Arion’s feelings for Bo intensify and his affections turn possessive, she must make a choice. How will Arion learn to listen to her own voice when Bo’s siren song won’t stop ringing in her ears?



The Rock Hook Harbor public library doesn’t have that library book smell. It smells more like the inside of a guitar. Wooden beams cross high ceilings, and tall windows show the surrounding woods, making it a soothing place to study, a better place to daydream.

Whether I do those things here or in my room, each day by late afternoon I’m up on the lighthouse deck, searching for that lone surfer. So far the only sign of life I’ve seen is a flock of seagulls.

Maybe the surfer was just visiting. Maybe he’s a tourist. That would be a drag. I might never see him again.

School, however, is not a drag, not like San Francisco, and I’m glad. For most of last year I stayed home from school, unable to deal with Lilah not being there, unable to handle the continual questions from friends, classmates, teachers. My assignments were sent home along

with Lilah’s. Mine were sent back completed.

Worse, though, was toward the end of the year, when I went back to school full time. At that point, people must have decided there was no hope for Lilah—or maybe they just didn’t want to keep asking questions that had no answers. Abruptly, the inquiries stopped.

It was then that I turned invisible.

No one knows what to say to the girl whose sister is gone but not gone.

Here, I’m definitely not invisible. In fact—not to be paranoid, but—sometimes it feels like someone’s . . . watching me. And some- times, somebody is. I get that. I see Logan looking at me, or I catch some other boy at school—some boy I don’t know—checking me out from across the cafeteria. But that’s not it. I mean, watching watching. Like, a creepy kind of watching.

I don’t get that feeling when I’m busy, when I’m writing a song, or caught up in classes, so that’s good. Rock Hook Harbor High is a magnet school specializing in marine technology and science, and Early Oceanography has actually started to draw me in. The class meets three times a week, and we have to log an additional six hours every other week in the lab—or out in the field. I’m sticking to the lab, because in this case, “field” means water.

Thanks to contributions from the Ocean Zone Institute, the labs at RHHH are extremely well equipped. OZI is the largest private nonprofit oceanographic institution in the world, with main offices in Portland and a satellite facility in Rock Hook that employs half the town. It has a vested interest in supporting the school.

Yesterday in the lab I was looking at slides of water samples through a microscope. Fascinated, I watched as miniscule creatures swam to and fro. Obviously a few drops of water can’t hurt me, and a powerful lens—it provides a window into another world.

“It’s amazing how the ocean holds so many life-forms we can’t see with the naked eye,” I said to Mary. She stifled a giggle and looked sideways at Logan.

“She said naked,” he obligingly shouted, causing everyone to stop and stare.

“Mary, you shouldn’t encourage him. Logan—you’re not even in

this class.”

“Oh, but he should be,” Mary said, leaning her head on Logan’s shoulder.

I must have looked skeptical, because Logan said, “Don’t act so surprised, Rush. Mary loves me, just like every other woman who’s ever met me. Except you.”

“Yeah, well, you guys have been friends since, what? Preschool?

Maybe you’re an acquired taste.”

“Hey, you just let me know if you want a t—”

“Delaine!” bellowed Mr. Kraig. “What are you doing in this sacred space I call my classroom?”

“Leaving,” Logan replied, giving us a little wave. He grabbed the edges of two lab tables and vaulted over a chair, stopping only to pick up a book that slipped from his back pocket—I confess I craned my neck to read the title but the book was upside down—before heading out the door.

Smiling at the memory of Logan in midair, at the fact that he’s always got a book on him, I look around, like I think I’ll see him or something. But of course he’s not here—I’d totally know if he were. No, the library is practically empty. Quiet. And yet . . . I’ve got that feeling, that weird watched feeling.

I push aside a book about lighthouses. Open one on marine biology. When I was ten, Dad was hired to captain a large research vessel.

He was going to be gone for an entire month. Before he left, we spent the weekend on the boat with the group of scientists, professors, and grad students who were preparing to study the complex waves of a particular inlet in Turkey. Listening to their conversations, I desper- ately wanted to understand everything they were talking about. Over the weekend I became a mascot of sorts and decided I wanted to study oceanography.

Here in Maine the ocean is my front yard, but handling slides of salt water in the lab is the closest I’ve been to the sea . . .

When I first started seeing Dr. Harrison, he said I was suffering from depression. I didn’t want to go on medication, and he was fine with that. He told me that if I paid attention, I’d be able see a bout of depression coming, and then I could handle it appropriately.

That made sense to me; Nick Drake wrote a song calling depression the “black-eyed dog,” which definitely sounds like something you can see coming.

But Dr. Harrison also warned that “an episode” might be preceded by a loop of obsessive thinking, and that’s the thing that still trips me up sometimes. He said what I need to do is break the loop—because the loop can work like a lasso, and anxiety and depression can swing it like a couple of cowboys and catch me if I’m not careful. I’m careful, but . . . guess I’m not always quick.

Another thing Dr. Harrison said was, “Having a social life without your sister is going to be a big change.” Which is why when Logan asks me over to his house, or out to the movies, I say no. Mary told me I should go out with him, that she loves him. “Like a little brother, of course.” She’d laughed. “But still. You should go.”

At home I’d always been Lilah’s little sister. Everyone wanted to be friends with Lilah Rush. Piano prodigy, precocious child, gifted young woman. “Oh, isn’t she the one who—”

After the accident, the phone at our house literally stopped ringing. I run my hands over my face. What about him? is all I can think now. The boy that Lilah met here; did he ever call her? How am I going

to find him?

If I could just go back, ask her again—What are you writing? Can I see it? I’d snatch the book from her hands when she laughed, run off and read it and insist she tell me the boy’s name—because even though Lilah’s accident took place off San Francisco, I can’t shake the feeling that he was involved. I close my eyes. I’m so, so angry.

Lilah. The anger turns to heaviness, as if I’m weighted down everywhere.

But the reality is, she said no, so I didn’t grab the book away, I just—backed down. Lilah’s way or no way, that’s how it was with us. I was—I am—just her little sister.

Although here in Maine . . . nobody knows that. Here on Rock Hook, I’m not anyone’s little sister. I’m not anyone’s anything, and somehow that makes me feel . . . hopeful. About what, I have no idea, because after the accident, hope makes me suspicious, gives me the sensation of being on one of those floating docks, where your feet tell your brain that you’re standing on solid ground, but your body senses movement.

Thinking of the surfer, tourist or not, gives me that same hopeful feeling for some reason. But that little bit of optimism is like an atro- phied muscle. It needs exercise, fresh air. Sunshine.

Despite the fact that I arrived at the library early due to the half day at school, the leaden sky outside the expanse of windows makes it feel like five o’clock. No sunshine here, although now I sense a strange change in the light. But the clouds aren’t clearing, despite the wind that pushes the pines, the wind that sounds . . . musical.

The back of my neck prickles.

Someone is standing in the stacks to the left of me. I twist in my chair—

Surf ’s up.

The boy from the beach faces the tall bookshelves, his profile toward me. His shoulder-length hair creates a shimmering shield of gold, hid- ing his face as he concentrates on—what? Reading the title of a book? How long can that take?

I have a strange urge to stand up, to go to him and push aside the curtain of hair, as though seeing his face is of some kind of crucial importance. Luckily I can’t move.

He seems frozen too, or lost in thought; he’s holding his hand on the spine of one large book, like he’s trying to absorb the information through osmosis.

Clearing my throat, I say, “You might actually have to open it.” My voice sounds loud, startling in the silence of the library. “The book, I mean.”

He turns—

And walks away.

Whoa—so rude. Besides, that was funny, right? Or had it sounded sarcastic? Critical? No, that comment had definitely been funny. Lilah would be cracking up if she were here—and still herself. She’d be teas- ing me now. I can almost hear her: Were you trying to hit on that guy?

But no, I wasn’t trying to hit on Mr. Black Board Shorts. I just want to know who he is. Not that he’s wearing the trunks today. I looked at every inch of him. Now, behind closed eyes, I play the image like a video: jeans faded to the palest blue, broad shoulders under a black cotton surf shirt—the old-school kind with a band of tropical flowers across the chest.

But fine. I snap my eyes open. Whatever. I don’t need to know who he is—he’s obviously a jerk. What I need—is to go outside and get some air. I gather my things.

But then, I go over to the shelves where he had stood. I pull out one volume, then another—



Sliding out the biggest book—the one he’d held his hand over— I’m surprised to discover it’s mostly about yogic breathing techniques. Pranayama.

Deciding to check it out, I head toward the front desk, arms strain- ing to carry what’s become a wobbly tower—

A rush of heat warms my cheeks.

The fact that I can recognize him from behind, that the tall, broad- shouldered frame standing before the counter is already so familiar, is disturbing, makes me feel . . . kind of stalkery. Stalkerish?

I turn around, wanting to move away before he notices me, only to find a line forming behind me. I turn back, and hearing the librarian thank him, step forward—

At the same time he steps backward.

The sound of our bodies colliding is practically audible, we hit so hard. My books avalanche, my nose presses into his back—and I can’t help it. I inhale. I take a deep breath in—

That comes out almost immediately as a sigh.

A microsecond passes. Then he turns to me, a look of horror on his face, as if my sigh heralds some kind of terrible event. And before I can even make out the color of his flashing eyes—blue? Green?—he’s gone.

The bang of the books hitting the floor echoing in my ears, I stare out the double doors.

Somebody sniggers.

Another voice says, “Can you move it along, Miss? There’s a line.”

Fingers clutching one last book that threatens to join the rest down by my toes, I look around and see Pete Hill and Bobby Farley, guys from school who hang out with the Kevins.

“Oh. Hey. A little help here?” I ask.

Pete fakes a groan as he heaves the giant volume onto the counter. “Yoga.” Bobby nods sagely. “That explains a lot.” He gathers a few

of the books.

Working in the Wet Field: A Handbook for Aspiring Marine Biologists,” he reads aloud. Pete chuckles as Bobby puts an arm around my shoulders and says, “You know—I’m into that stuff.”

Removing his arm from around me, I give him a bland smile, noth- ing like the gorgeous grin on the face of the boy from the beach, who’s driving past the glass doors of the library at an unthinkable speed in a midnight-blue Mercedes. My head seems to turn of its own accord, eyes following the car.

“Seriously.” Bobby waves a hand in front of my face. “We should study together.”

Unable to stop seeing the boy’s stunning smile, I blink at Bobby uncomprehendingly.

“Hey, Farley, I’m out. You coming?” Pete strides over to the doors, pushes one open.

“In a sec.” Bobby holds up a book—the last of the ones that had fallen—as if it’s an incentive, or maybe a hostage. “So what do you think? You, me—a few books, a few beers.”

“Pardon me,” a woman with black-rimmed glasses says from behind the counter. “May I please have your library card?”

“Ah—” Reaching for the book, I shake my head. “No. Thanks.” With a shrug, Bobby relinquishes the book. “Your loss.” He follows

Pete out.

“No?” The woman behind the counter folds her lips into a sober line.

“Oh—sorry, here.” The librarian looks dubious as I hand over my card but returns it a moment later with a prim nod. She watches as I carry my awkward armful away.

Outside on the steps Pete and Bobby are talking with Alyssa. Despite the fact that she must not be able to breathe in those jeans, she looks great as usual. She gives me a wave that somehow uses her entire body, but I hardly see it. That guy. His eyes. The way he smelled, like—

“Arion! Hold up.”

Reluctantly, I turn. Pete. He’s stayed on the steps and I’m already halfway across the parking lot, so he’s pretty much shouting across the space between us.

“Hey, what did you say to Bo Summers? He looked pretty freaked out.”

Bo Summers.

A long eternity of a second goes by. Nobody else seems to notice the time warp.

“You don’t seem like a scary chick,” Pete continues. “Not to me, anyway.” He grins and takes a cigarette out of the crumpled pack in his top pocket. He lights it, and waits.

Smoke of any kind grosses me out, but in this moment, Pete’s cigarette is my savior.

“Pete, that thing in your mouth? You might want to watch it.” Barely balancing my books on one hip, I pull on a pair of sunglasses I don’t need. “It’s on fire.”

Bobby laughs. Alyssa tosses her hair and says to Pete, “When was Bo here?”

So Alyssa knows him. Makes total sense. Alyssa’s a transplanted New Yorker, same as Mom; maybe that’s why, despite her attention addiction, I find her interesting. But her big blue eyes—which ignore the line between polite eye contact and rude staring—always have some guy in their sights. Of course she knows Bo.

I head for the Jeep, lifting one hand high after hearing a couple of goodbyes behind me. Stomach flip-flopping, I get in and drive all the way to the lighthouse—with no music.

On our trip cross-country Dad had a hard time with the fact that I couldn’t drive without the radio blasting. Today, I don’t listen to any- thing, and feel like I could drive around the world.

My mystery man has a name.


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Mimi Cross was born in Toronto, Canada. She received a master’s degree from New York University and a bachelor’s degree in music from Ithaca College. She has been a performer, a music educator, and a yoga instructor. During the course of her musical career, she’s shared the bill with artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, and Sting. She resides in New Jersey.
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Happily Ever After Blog Tour and Giveaway

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Happily Ever After: The Write More Publications Fractured Fairy Tale Anthology
by Various Authors
Release Date: April 17th 2016
Write More Publications

Summary from Goodreads:

From princesses and princes, to witches, ice queens, imaginary friends, and dorks, Happily Ever After: The Write More Publications Fractured Fairy Tale Anthology has it all! Seven unforgettable stories by seven talented authors! Some stories are fractured takes on classics, while others are originals that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page!

Featured Authors: Dana Piazzi, Jordan Hancock, Kim Stevens, Elaine White, Vanessa Hancock, Michelle Feury, and Stephanie Parke

Happily Ever Afterr_Front Cover_FINAL

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About the Authors

Dana Piazzi       Jordan Hancock       Kim Stevens       Elaine White

Vanessa Hancock       Michelle Feury       Stephanie Parke


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Iris Exclusive Excerpt

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Book Summary:

I flinch. I know she’s not going to hit me, we’ve got in arguments a hundred times before and she’s raised her hand – she’s never hit me in the face. But I flinch anyway.’

I put that because whenever you pick up a book at the shop there’s always a quote on the back, and because I’m trying to put off writing the blurb. I don’t know what to put.

This is just a book about me, Iris, and the things that I do, the friends I make, well, try to make, and everything else that happens to me – good, bad and, uh, very bad.

That sounds really boring but I promise, it’s much more extraordinary. I might seem normal, (well, not normal, a bit weird really), little Iris, but there’s so much more to it than that, more than most people can even begin to understand.

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Whatever, I have more important things to talk about because this morning feels different. When I walk in everyone is gathered around Miss Paige’s desk, heckling around something like a gaggle of irritating seagulls. I walk straight past and sit down at my desk, putting my bag down in the chair next to me because no one ever sits in it anyway.

I want to stick my head in my book and try to forget all about my rubbish maths homework, but everyone is jabbering so loudly over each other. Instead I crane my head, trying to get a good look at the source of all the commotion. When I see her, this new girl, I kind of want to jump up and gaggle and jibber around her as well.

Right, I think we’ve already established that I’m the last person to ask if you want to know anything about cool, and you’d think I wouldn’t be able to recognise it, but I just can’t think of another way to describe her, she’s just so cool.  Sitting on the teacher’s desk like she owns it, she swings her legs back and forward, with these amazing chunky black boots kicking into the desk. Yes, of course she isn’t wearing a school uniform (I don’t care who wears it, no one can look cool in red dungarees), but paint spattered jeans with rips, and a black button shirt tied on her hips. The clothes are fine, but it’s the rest of her that makes her look too fierce to care. She has inked black tattoos all the way up her arm (if you look you can even see them between her shirt and her jeans), all of these striking Celtic symbols. I have to admit I usually hate long hair, especially blonde hair; it’s so princess, and makes me think of little girls at twee tea parties. But her hair is different, dyed blue of all things. The blue is pulled through the blonde so it looks like her whole head is crowned in ice, with shimmering glass beads twisted into little plaits.

She looks at me, so I look away and back down at my book. I don’t want to be the weird kid that stares, so I don’t look at her again. I keep my eyes fixed on my book, reading the same sentence over and over and over. Although, call me crazy, I get the feeling she keeps looking over at me.

For once it’s a relief when Miss Paige walks in, because at least I’ll have something else to think about, even if it’s just another stuttering explanation of why, yet again, I have ‘failed to meet the requirements of an upstanding student’ as she would (and often does) say.

All the other students scuttle to their desks, but the new girl just stays where she is, yes, just sat on Miss Paige’s desk.

I see all this out of the corner of my eye because, silly as it is, I get it in my head that I can’t look at her. Since she caught me staring I feel like such a creeper. I get the feeling the new girl could just squash me flat in a second.

“Hi, I’m Lotus, your new student.” I hear her jump down off the desk, my eyes still glued to my book, even though it annoys Miss Paige when I read during lesson time.

“Ah yes.” Miss Paige bustles in, her baggy cardigan™ drooping off her shoulders so it almost looks like a duck-egg blue cape. “Now dear I know this is your first day but we still need to wear uniform, hm?” You see Miss Paige always ends her disapproving sentences with this kind of raised question mark. I should know, I am the queen of making Miss Paige disapprove.

“Whoops,” Lotus laughs, “Sorry Miss Paige, we only arrived two days ago. I’ll get one as soon as I can yeah.”

I hear footsteps, big confident strides, and I can see Lotus out of the corner of my eye. I swear she’s looking at me, and my knee jerk reaction is to put my book in front of my face. Yes, I know, like a toddler.

“Um, where are you going Lotus, hm?”

“Sitting down so we can get started.” I swear, I can feel Lotus still looking at me.

“I like a girl that’s eager to get started,” Miss Paige says as she pauses pointedly, “But aren’t you going to introduce yourself to the class first, hm?”

“Oh I already did that Miss Paige, no worries, I’ll just sit down – here.”

I feel Lotus standing next to me, and glance out the corner of my eye to see her grinning at me. I blink and look away, frozen solid. I wonder if she wants me to move my bag. But how can she really want to sit next to me, I mean, I am obviously a bit of a loser since I can’t even look at her properly.

“Right.” Miss Paige stumbles, clearly not expecting to be completely ignored, “Well class Lotus has just moved here from London, isn’t that exciting?”

“More exciting when Lotus told us about it.” I hear Melissa mutter in the back, making her little gaggle chuckle. Then she raises her voice. “Hey Lotus, there’s a seat back here for you, come sit with us.”

Right before you ask, yes, it is pretty normal for the class to walk all over Miss Paige like this; she is a bit rubbish.

As for what I’m doing? I think you’ve already guessed, I’m still not moving, I just stay with my head stuck in my book. Waiting for Lotus to walk past me and sit with Melissa. I know in the next few days she’ll have her uniform and she’ll just morph into part of that gaggle of girls.

“No thanks,” Lotus says casually, “I’ll sit here.”

I finally look up at her to see her looking pointedly from me to my bag. I grab it and pull it onto the floor beside me, feeling even stupider now because, why (seriously, why!) did I not move it earlier? I want to apologise, but I can’t seem to make words in my head, just a kind of faint gibbering noises, so I keep my mouth shut.

Lotus just slides into the seat next to me smiling and stretching her legs out.

The class takes a cue from Melissa and just starts to talk over Miss Paige. But at our table, mine and Lotus’, we’re just silent, and despite the noise around us I can hear the silence between us. I want to fill it so much; I really want to say something interesting (and preferably really funny), but I feel so tongue tied and I don’t know what to do.

“I’m Lotus.” she says again. Great, she must think I’m an idiot if I need simple things that were announced to the whole class re-iterated specially for me.

“Yeah.” I say, shrugging my shoulders. I don’t want to explain to her that I’m not an idiot, nor do I want to pretend like I didn’t already know her name.

Silence settles on us again.

“And your name?”

“Iris.” I just about manage to blurt out. I’m thoroughly ashamed of only being able to manage mumbling agreements and my own name.

“That’s so cool, I’ve never heard that name before.”

I shrug, because she is obviously lying. My name is not cool; it belongs to an old woman who spends her days crocheting tea-cosies.

“Both of our names are flowers. That’s awesome. Lotus and Iris.” I savour her saying our names together, almost like we’re an awesome duo. “In my last school we had clubs and stuff. We’d be something like Flower Power, you know, with our names.”

I blink at her.

Girls here have faux “clubs” too of course. I’m not in any of them, and I’ve never wanted to be. They don’t do anything; they just kind of declare themselves a “club”, then someone might make a “club” badge, and that’s it. Sometimes it’s different when they want to keep secrets, then only “club members” can know. They’ll gaggle around each other and exclude anyone who isn’t in the “club”.

I’ve always hated it and thought it stupid, but I would hand-draw a million club badges to be in one with Lotus.

Why am I acting like an uncaring mute then? Well because I’m scared, I don’t know what to do. People usually make fun of what I say, and I’m scared the second I open my mouth Lotus will do the same.

I’ve left it too long.

“You’re right,” Lotus says, cool as anything even though she’s a little red. “That is a bit silly. Clubs are a bit young for us now.”

Miss Paige manages to finally get the class under her control, and we have to pull out our maths books. I slip mine out of my bag and onto the desk, not even opening it. The scribbles Waltz made are so big that Miss Paige would probably see them from the front of the class.

“Right Class, we’re going to go round the room, and give an answer each. So let’s start at the back. Patrick, what did you get for question one?”

I can feel a snake coiling in the pit of my stomach. I hate it when Miss Paige does this. Especially now, as I don’t have an answer to read out, even a wrong one.

Lotus disappears from my head as I count the number of people ahead of me. I calculate that I have to answer question nine. I crack open my exercise book just a little so I can just see inside and scan the pages. Evidently even Waltz got bored by nine. All he’s done is written the number nine, and given it an antenna and a dinosaur tail. Fantastic.

I feel like it’s that moment you get in books, where all is lost, and the villain has set up their evil trap, and it’s closing around the hero, but there’s nothing they can do about it, as they slide into quick sand or move along a conveyor belt towards a death machine. Well, I imagine that’s the same as how I feel, even though I’ve never been stuck in quick sand or a death machine. I think I would rather that than be in maths class though.

See, this is why I’m so weird; most people would have tried to work out their questions quick as a wink before their turn came round, but I just sit here rambling about villains and quick sand rather than doing something, I don’t know, useful.

But then it gets worse, when Miss Paige comes to me. She opens her mouth and looks over me, her eyes sliding on to William at the next desk. She asks him for number nine instead. I can hear this kind of ghostly giggle running through the class room.

“Miss, you forgot Iris.”

I don’t think she did it to be mean, I really don’t. I mean Lotus hasn’t been around long enough to know what an idiot I am. I really think she was trying to help. But the snickers do get louder.

Miss Paige was obviously not expecting to be called out, especially when we both know she hasn’t forgotten me; she just doesn’t want to have to deal with my answer. She blushes, giggles and apologizes, then asks me for number nine. I swear I can see a flicker in her eyes, kind of like she’s laughing, but maybe I’m just paranoid.

Everyone else is giggling openly now. I sit there sullenly, blinking at my maths book and trying to look like I’m not about to burst into tears and that I don’t care. I can’t stop myself going red though.

I take a side long glance at Lotus, who’s just looking really bewildered. To be fair, no one else has such a big song and dance made out of their question, even if they get it wrong.

“I couldn’t be bothered to do it Miss Paige.”

My voice doesn’t even crack, and it actually comes out a lot fiercer than I expected it to. It even makes everyone go quiet. I stick my chin in the air to give myself a defiant face to match the voice.

Miss Paige clearly doesn’t know how to deal with this either. That little amused flicker in her eyes is gone. I can almost see her brain cogs ticking, wondering if she can put me in my place, or whether she wants to risk another outburst.

In the end she stutter mumbles something like, “Well make sure you can ’be bothered’ next time, hm?”  She then actually does move on to William.

I can feel everyone’s eyes on me. Stunned. I’m not usually like that; usually I just roll over and stammer and make everyone laugh (not in a good way). But today, I don’t know, I’m kind of aware of Lotus beside me; I don’t want her to think of me the way everyone else does.

I glance at her out of the corner of my eye, and she gives me a thumbs up. I manage a weak smile and a little nod back. I tell myself at break time I’m going to stay behind at get to know Lotus.

About the Author:


I’m Toni, the mug on the right.

I hope you’ve already had a read of my books and games and enjoyed them, for anyone who doesn’t know I write Interactive and Middle Grade Fiction.  The Interactive is usually in the fun romance way of things. My Middle Grade Fiction is character driven stuff, usually aimed at young people.

Anyone who follows any account that I own will have probably seen my dog – Caspian (I am, like every other author in the world, a fan of C.S.Lewis). I’m also a bit of a fitness buff, I dress make, have a soft spot for board games and read (I know, an unusual hobby for a writer.)

I’m lucky enough to be able to write full time now, so taking on more projects every day. Hope you all find you love reading them as much as I enjoy working on them.

Author Links

Website | Amazon | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter




Winging It Guest Post and Giveaway


Winging It (Corrigan Falls Raiders #3)
By Cate Cameron

Release Date: May 16, 2016

presented by Entangled Teen Crush!


Book Summary

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains adult language, ice-melting kisses, and a swoon-worthy hero. This fake relationship romance will have you wishing for a hockey player of your own…

Natalie West and Toby Cooper were best friends growing up, on and off the ice. But when Toby’s hockey career took off, their friendship was left behind. Now Natalie has a crazy plan to land her crush—Toby’s biggest rival—and she needs Toby’s help to pull it off.

When Nat asks Toby to be her fake boyfriend, he can’t say no. Not when it means getting his best friend back. But Natalie is all grown up now, and spending time with her—even when it’s just playing hockey together—stirs up a lot of feelings, old and new. Suddenly pretending to be interested in her isn’t hard at all…if only she wanted him and not his enemy.

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Buy Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | | |Entangled Publishing

Guest Post

Corrigan Falls Raiders – the theme of friendship

Winging It is the third book in the Corrigan Falls Raiders YA romance series. And a fun thing about a series is that you can include not only the individual stories of each book, but also include larger themes and arcs.

One of the themes I’ve been exploring in this series is the importance of friendship. On the surface this feels kind of redundant in a YA series—is there any other time of our lives when our friends are as central to our lives as they are when we’re teenagers?

But as an adult looking back, (and as an adult who has spent a fair bit of her life working with teens) I think the nature of teen friendships is worth exploring because so many of them shouldn’t be as central as they are! The whole “peer pressure” bugaboo is powerful because kids care so much about the opinions of their friends, even when their friends’ opinions aren’t that great.

So in the Corrigan Falls series, I’ve tried to present strong, constructive (but still fun and non-preachy and real) teen friendships. In Center Ice Karen feels completely isolated in her new town until she becomes friends with Tyler, and once that shifts toward romance she develops friendships with her half-sister Miranda and with Dawn. They aren’t always kind to each other, especially at the start, but they do eventually learn to be supportive.

This theme explodes in the second book, Playing Defense, with Claudia and Karen forming the Sisterhood of Awesomeness. It’s essentially a club set up to challenge each other to be their best selves—and that’s exactly what I think friends should do for each other.

In Winging It, the theme is continued, with Toby and Natalie being ex-best- friends, not because they had a fight but because they just gradually grew apart. When Nat’s stupid idea throws them back together, it’s easy for them to fall back into old patterns of support. And Toby shows he’s a true friend when he calls Nat on her self-pity and challenges her to take charge of her life.

All of these friendships were fun to write, but my favorite by far is the friendship between the Raiders themselves. They’re a true team. Whether it’s Tyler talking up his teammates to NHL scouts or Chris trying to harass Tyler out of a bad mood and shielding Toby from his annoying cousin, the guys have each others’ backs. It was this quality that the other students tried to adopt with their Sisterhood, and it’s this quality that makes these books so much fun to write.

I hope they’re fun to read, as well!

Other Books In The Series


Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains adult language, underage drinking, sexual situations, and crazy squirrels. It may cause you to become a fan of hockey – or at least hot hockey players.

The hometown hockey hero won’t know what hit him…

Karen Webber is in small-town hell. After her mother’s death, she moved to Corrigan Falls to live with strangers—her dad and his perfect, shiny new family—and there doesn’t seem to be room for a city girl with a chip on her shoulder. The only person who makes her feel like a real human being is Tyler MacDonald.

But Karen isn’t interested in starting something with a player. And that’s all she keeps hearing about Tyler.

Corrigan Falls is a hockey town, and Tyler’s the star player. But the viselike pressure from his father and his agent are sending him dangerously close to the edge. All people see is hockey—except Karen. Now they’ve managed to find something in each other that they both desperately need. And for the first time, Tyler is playing for keeps…

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Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | | | Entangled Publishing


Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains adult language, swoon-worthy kisses, and sexy hockey players. It may cause you to watch a hockey game…or ten.

Sixteen-year-old Claudia Waring has never kissed a boy. Never been popular. Never been to a hockey game. All that’s about to change. Assigned to tutor Chris Winslow, a prank-loving, gorgeous hockey player, Claudia’s perfectly planned life immediately veers off course. And she kind of likes it. But as fun as Chris is, she knows she’ll never fit in his world.

After his latest prank lands him in hot water, Chris has to get serious about school or lose hockey. Not an easy thing for someone as carefree as the defenseman. The biggest problem, though, is how much he wants to help his cute, buttoned-up tutor loosen up a little. But while confidence has never been a problem for him, around Claudia, Chris is all nerves. Why would a girl as smart as her ever fall for a jock like him?


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Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | | | Entangled Publishing

About the Author

Cate Cameron grew up in the city but moved to the country in her mid-twenties and isn’t looking back. Most of her writing deals with people living and loving in small towns or right out in the sticks—when there aren’t entertainment options on every corner, other people get a lot more interesting!

She likes to write stories about real people struggling with real issues. YA, NA, or contemporary romance, her books are connected by their emphasis on subtle humor and characters who are trying to do the right thing, even when it would be a lot easier to do something wrong.

Author Links

The Midnight Sea Review and Giveaway


The Midnight Sea by Kat Ross 
(Fourth Element #1)
Publication date: May 10th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Rating:  4.5/5 Stars


They are the light against the darkness.

The steel against the necromancy of the Druj.

And they use demons to hunt demons….

Nazafareen lives for revenge. A girl of the isolated Four-Legs Clan, all she knows about the King’s elite Water Dogs is that they bind wicked creatures called daevas to protect the empire from the Undead. But when scouts arrive to recruit young people with the gift, she leaps at the chance to join their ranks. To hunt the monsters that killed her sister.

Scarred by grief, she’s willing to pay any price, even if it requires linking with a daeva named Darius. Human in body, he’s possessed of a terrifying power, one that Nazafareen controls. But the golden cuffs that join them have an unwanted side effect. Each experiences the other’s emotions, and human and daeva start to grow dangerously close.

As they pursue a deadly foe across the arid waste of the Great Salt Plain to the glittering capital of Persepolae, unearthing the secrets of Darius’s past along the way, Nazafareen is forced to question his slavery—and her own loyalty to the empire. But with an ancient evil stirring in the north, and a young conqueror sweeping in from the west, the fate of an entire civilization may be at stake…


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Purchase Link:


My Review:

Nazafareen is a member of the Four-Legs Clan.  They live a very nomadic life in an isolated mountainous region.  She is content with her life until her little sister is killed by a monster.  They call them Druj and they are demons and the undead.  The Water Dogs hunt and kill the Druj for the king using daevas.  Daevas are demons and considered to be wicked as well, but they can control some of the elements.  The Water Dogs bond with a daeva and then control them and their power.  One day the Water Dogs come to Nazafareen’s village  to recruit for their ranks and Nazafareen jumps at the chance to be tested.  She wants to be able to avenge her sisters death.  She passes the test and leaves her home to start on a whole new journey.  Being a Water Dog is a hard life, but that is nothing new for  Nazafareen.  She eventually makes some friends and gets bonded to her daeva, Darius.  It turns out to be nothing like she thought it would be.  She and Darius each wear a cuff.  The cuffs bind them together and through them they can feel each others emotions.  It was very hard at first, but over time Nazafareen adjusts and becomes close to her daeva.  Maybe even a little too close.  Her unit is sent on a quest to find a very dangerous foe.  Along the way everything that Nazafareen has been taught about daevas and the Water Dogs will come into question.

This book drew me in right from the first chapter.  Some books take me awhile to get into the story, but not this one.  My husband and I were going to town to have breakfast and I was waiting for him to get ready.  I decided to start reading this book.  I read the first chapter and then I had to read the next chapter and then I had to put it down, because my husband was ready to go.  At the first opportunity, I went back to reading and read almost straight to the finish.   The author is a very good story teller and I loved the characters, especially Nazafareen and Darius.  I also liked how she took a character from history and inserted him into her world along with some of the things that happened during that time period.  I was never bored reading this book.  It was like a roller coaster ride going from highs and lows with very little lag time.  I really like the world that the author has created in this book and I can’t wait to return there.

I loved this book and I’m excited for the next one, which comes out this fall.  I will definitely be reading it.  If you like stories about the supernatural and magic with a little bit of romance and history thrown in, then is book is for you.   I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.


Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She lives in Westchester with her kid and a few sleepy cats. Kat is also the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day (Skyscape, 2014), about a world where the sea levels have risen sixty meters. She loves magic, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Preferably with mutants.



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Kisses on a Paper Airplane Blog Tour and Giveaway

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Kisses on a Paper Airplane
by Sarah Vance-Tompkins
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 14th 2016
Inkspell Publishing

Summary from Goodreads:

Drama student Hannah Evans isn’t kissing any frogs on her path to find Prince Charming. She’s determined to share the perfect first kiss — with the perfect boy — in the perfect place — or she’s not kissing anyone at all. When Hannah meets a cute ginger-haired boy in first class lounge in the London airport, she knows he’s ‘The One.’

Pop star Theo Callahan is on the road to get as far away as possible from his back-stabbing best friend, and his supermodel girlfriend who broke his heart. Until one shy smile from Hannah has him rethinking all of his travel plans.

Theo is smitten, but he’s worried she’s just a groupie in search of the ultimate selfie. Can Theo learn to trust Hannah in time to share one perfect first kiss, or will Hannah be forced to kiss a frog?




I stood up stealthily and raised my iPhone over my head and snapped off a dozen rapid-fire selfies of me hanging over Theo’s sleeping body in the next cubby. You couldn’t see his face, with his arms thrown up over his head. The tips of his unruly, red hair stood out against the white of the pillow under his head, and his brightly colored tats were so distinctive, there was no mistaking who he was.

I knew it was wrong. It was as unethical as a big-game hunter taking photos next to an endangered species that he’d just poached. I shouldn’t be taking Theo’s picture while he was asleep, but I couldn’t stop myself. And I shouldn’t have to. Theo was, after all, a public figure. He should be on his guard. For all he knew, I was a crazy psychopathic fan-girl, or worse—the crazy, psychopathic friend of his biggest fan-girl. He should be more careful. Seriously.

I did have a momentary pang of regret. How would I feel if someone took pictures of me while I was sleeping?

Violated. Confused. Angry.

I justified my stalker behavior by comparing it to what Julia’s behavior would be if our roles were reversed. Julia wouldn’t take clandestine photos of sleeping Theo Callahan.

Oh, hells no!

She would be sitting on Theo’s lap, engaging him in flirty banter across the entire transatlantic crossing.

“You’re not going to ‘not get’ a selfie with Theo Callahan if he’s sleeping next to you in first class,” Julia would say with a gleam in her eye.




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Buy Links:

Amazon / Kobo

About the Author:

Sarah Vance-Tompkins was born in a small town in northern Michigan. She spent every summer exploring the sugar sand beaches near Sleeping Bear National Park. She left her heart behind when she moved to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California. She received an MFA in Film Production and went on to work in feature film development in Hollywood. She has worked as a reporter for a weekly entertainment trade publication, and been paid to write obituaries, press releases, the directions for use on personal lubricant bottles, and breathless descriptions of engagement rings for an online jewelry store. She lives in a small town north of Los Angeles with her husband and three cats.

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How to Be a Texan

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Andrea Valdez
Illustrated by Abi Daniel
Genre: Texas Customs / Social Life / Humor
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Date of Publication: May 3, 2016
# of pages: 208, 58 B&W Illustrations

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There are certain things every Texan should know how to do and say, whether your Lone Star roots reach all the way back to the 1836 Republic or you were just transplanted here yesterday. Some of these may be second nature to you, but others . . . well, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to have a few handy hints if, say, branding the herd or hosting a tamalada aren’t your usual pastimes. That’s where How to Be a Texan can help.

In a friendly, lighthearted style, Andrea Valdez offers illustrated, easy-to-follow steps for dozens of authentic Texas activities and sayings. In no time, you’ll be talking like a Texan and dressing the part; hunting, fishing, and ranching; cooking your favorite Texas dishes; and dancing cumbia and two-step. You’ll learn how to take a proper bluebonnet photo and build a Día de los Muertos altar, and you’ll have a bucket list of all the places Texans should visit in their lifetime. Not only will you know how to do all these things, you’ll finish the book with a whole new appreciation for what it means to be a Texan and even more pride in saying “I’m from Texas” anywhere you wander in the world.

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about the author

Andrea Valdez by Abi Daniel

A native Houstonian who has worked for Texas Monthly since 2006, Valdez is the editor of She has written on a wide range of subjects, including more than forty columns on activities every Texan should be able to do, which provided the inspiration for this book. She also helped Texas Monthly launch The Daily Post and TMBBQ.comFOLLOW ON TWITTER



May 3 – May 17, 2016

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Check out these other great stops on the tour!

5/3       Country Girl Bookaholic          — Promo

5/4       It’s a Jenn World         — Review

5/5       Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books — Author Interview #1

5/6       Forgotten Winds         — Review

5/7       StoreyBook Reviews    — Excerpt #1

5/8       All for the Love of the Word – Page Preview #1

5/9       Book Chase     — Review

5/10     Margie’s Must Reads  — Guest Post

5/11     My Book Fix Blog        — Author Interview #2

5/12     Books and Broomsticks           — Review

5/13     The Crazy Booksellers — Page Preview #2

5/14     The Page Unbound      — Promo

5/15     Hall Ways Blog  — Review

5/16     Byers Editing Reviews & Blog — Promo

5/17     Missus Gonzo               — Review


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The Colony Review and Giveaway

Book & Author Details:
The Colony by Kathleen Groger
(A Rasper Novel, #1)
Publication date: April 5th 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Rating: 4/5

Trust no one.

Never go out in the dark.

Always have a weapon.

Sixteen-year-old Val lives by these three rules etched on her arm. Her rules and her gun are the only things standing between her and assimilation by hordes of human-looking aliens she calls Raspers.

By day, Val gathers supplies. By night, she hides and wishes she could go back in time…before her family died…before the annihilation…before the Raspers began stalking her and demanding she join their collective.

But when the Raspers attack in broad daylight, the truth becomes startlingly clear.

They’re evolving.

A fellow survivor crashes into Val’s life. Adam’s full of charm and promises—like rumors of a safe haven—but there’s something wrong. He’s survived with no supplies, no weapons…no plans. Time is running out. With the formula for survival shifting around her, Val must decide how many rules she’s willing to break to escape the Colony.

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My Review:

The Colony is about a post-apocalyptic world where the scientist have drilled the biggest oil deposit the world has ever seen. But instead of it provided wealth and resources it unleashes a plague on the world. Many people die from this plague, other are infected. And those few that survived are hunted by Raspers. The story follows Val. She had lost her parents and is doing all she can to survive. She doesn’t trust anyone, that is until she meets Adam. When Val turns 16 she breaks into a house where she finds Adam. And Adam knows something she doesn’t. Adam knows of a place that will keep them safe. Together they set out to find the safe place. It’s non-stop action from there on end. It’s an adventure that’s filled with suspense and action. And let me tell you, those Raspers are creepy!

I think the plot of the story is truly gripping. It isn’t your average “zombie apocalypse” story. There’s so much that makes this story what it is. It’s truly enticing! And the characters wonderful. They have so much depth to them. Val is a little stuck on caution mode, while Adam is mysterious and doesn’t mind taken risks if it means he’ll survive. Together they make a formidable team, and their journey to a safe place is not easy. But together, together they pretty much rock. 🙂

The Colony is a great survival story! The world the author has created is truly fascinating. If you enjoy survival stories with great characters and an amazing plot, filled with action that’s nearly non-stop, then be sure to check out The Colony. It won’t disappoint!

About the Author:


Kathleen wrote her first story in elementary school about a pegasus named Sir Lancelot. It had no plot or conflict, but it sparked a dream. After serving a fifteen-year sentence in retail management, the bulk in big box bookstores, she turned her love of reading into a full-time career writing dark and haunting characters and stories.

She lives by the mantra that a day is not complete without tea. Lots of tea. Kathleen lives in Ohio with her husband, two boys, and two attention-demanding dogs. When not writing or editing or revising, you can find her reading, cooking, spending time with her family, or photographing abandoned buildings.

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