This Savage Song Teaser

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This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1)

by Victoria Schwab (Goodreads Author)
Synopsis(Goodreads):

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

Quote 1:
“It was a cruel trick of the universe, thought August, that he only felt human after doing something monstrous.”
Victoria Schwab, This Savage Song

Quote 2:
“I mean, most people want to escape. Get out of their heads. Out of their lives. Stories are the easiest way to do that.”
Victoria Schwab, This Savage Song

Quote 3:
“Monsters, monsters, big and small,
“They’re gonna come and eat you all.
Corsai, Corsai, tooth and claw,
Shadow and bone will eat you raw.
Malchai, Malchai, sharp and sly,
Smile and bite and drink you dry.
Sunai, Sunai, eyes like coal,
Sing you a song and steal your soul.
Monsters, monsters, big and small,
They’re gonna come and eat you all!”
Victoria Schwab, This Savage Song

Quote 4:
“But the teacher had been right about one thing: violence breeds.
Someone pulls a trigger, sets off a bomb, drives a bus full of tourists off a bridge, and what’s left in the wake isn’t just she’ll casings, wreckage, bodies. There’s something else. Something bad. An aftermath. A recoil. A reaction to all that anger and pain and death.”
Victoria Schwab, This Savage Song

Moonburner Promo and Giveaway

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Moonburner by Claire Luana

Release Date: June 14, 2016
Publisher: Soul Fire Press

Synopsis

Moonburner CoverWhen 17-year old Kai is exposed as a female sorceress—a moonburner, she knows the punishment is death. Despite the odds against her, Kai escapes her fate and undertakes a harrowing journey to a land where moonburners are revered and trained as warriors.

But the moonburner citadel is not the place of refuge and learning that Kai imagined. The ongoing war against the male sorcerers, or sunburners, has led the citadel leadership down a dark path that could spell the end of all magic. Armed with a secret from her past and a handsome but dangerous ally in the sunburner prince, Kai may be the only one able to prevent the destruction of her people.

 

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Tour Schedule

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/blog-tour-schedule-moonburner-by-claire-luana/  

Excerpts

Excerpt 1:

He stood before the small basin of water, resting on a rickety table on the other side of the cabin and unwrapped their daughter. She was so beautiful. Even red and wrinkled, he could tell she had her mother’s fine hands, delicate but strong. She had his square jawbone. He wondered whether she would be as stubborn as he was in his youth. But he was delaying.

He plunged her into the water and held her there, his own heart hammering in his chest like a wild beast desperate to be set free. He began counting. Ten. She flailed under the water, her tiny limbs no match for his strong calloused hands. Thirty. At sixty, he could let her up. And try to save her. Fifty. Relief and hope began to well in him.

And then a bright white light exploded from his daughter. He stumbled back, throwing an arm over his eyes. She illuminated the cabin, shining silver light into cobwebbed corners and dusty crevices.

After a few seconds, the light died and his daughter was herself again. Tiny, pink, floating on top of the water peacefully. He and Hanae locked eyes. She had turned over and was half sitting up on her cot. The look of helpless horror on her face was mirrored on his own.

“I knew she would be,” Hanae said softly. “A moonburner. And a strong one.”

Excerpt 2:

She started awake when the moon was at its height. She lay very still, listening. She heard movement, the slippery sound of sand shifting down the side of a dune.

Footsteps. Sniffing. An animal. She saw her stick close by and reached for it slowly. The animal was coming closer. Her heart hammered in her throat.

Kai leaped up, brandishing her stick with a shout. She promptly staggered to her knees again as her head rushed with blood and pain. She was so weak and thirsty. She could hardly stand, let alone fight. She looked up wearily at whatever had come to eat her.

Two black eyes like marbles stared back at her from a silvery white face topped with pricked ears. It was a fox! It was as large as a medium-sized dog, much bigger than any fox she had ever seen. It was covered in pure silvery white fur, the kind of fur that called out to be touched. Somehow she didn’t think the fox would appreciate that.

“Well, the battle cry was impressive, but I don’t know what you thought you were going to do with that stick.”

Kai slouched back on her heels, dumbfounded. She had gone mad. They said the desert could do it, and here was the proof. A talking silver fox.

About the Author

Claire Luana grew up in Edmonds, Washington, reading everything she could get her hands on and writing every chance she could get. Eventually, adulthood won out and she turned her writing talents to more scholarly pursuits, graduating from University of Washington School of Law and going to work as a commercial litigation attorney at a mid-sized law firm.

While continuing to practice law, Claire decided to return to her roots and try her hand once again at creative writing.

Her first novel, Moonburner, will be published in 2016 with Soul Fire Press, an imprint of Christopher Matthews Publishing. She is currently working on the sequel, Sunburner. In her (little) remaining spare time, she loves to hike, travel, run, play with her two dogs, and of course, fall into a good book.

Check her out on Facebook.

Author Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Google + | Pinterest |Goodreads

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Windrunner’s Daughter Blog Tour and Promo Post

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Windrunner’s Daughter
by Bryony Pearce
Genre: YA Sci-fi
Release Date: February 4th 2016
Xist Publishing

 

Summary from Goodreads:

A sabotaged colonization attempt leaves the last humans in the universe stranded on Mars. Braving a half-terraformed atmosphere, terrifying indigenous species, and a colony government that is openly hostile, a young girl named Wren must defy tradition to save her mother and perhaps, every human left. 

It is forbidden for women to steal the wings that allow a select group of runners to carry messages and goods between colonies. It is forbidden to cross the wastes with a sand storm on the horizon and it is certainly forbidden to share the secrets of the windrunners with those who spend their entire lives in the biospheres. 

But what choice does she have?

 

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Promo Post:

Why I love science fiction and why I write it

By Bryony Pearce

When I was growing up there were two bookcases in the spare room full of my dad’s books. He had the full PERN series by Anne Macaffrey, Harry Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat, Frank Herbert’s Dune, Asimov’s Foundation and books by Ursula Le Guin, Peter Hamilton, Robert Silverberg, Roger Zelazny, Arthur C Clarke, Philip K Dick, Robert A Heinlein, Orson Scott Card, Larry Niven and many more. It was a treasure trove.

The ideas that these authors used set my imagination on fire. This wasn’t writing in a familiar setting, somehow these writers had created entire worlds, with their own civilisations, governments, natural laws, science and nature. They had invented technology that didn’t exist yet – and it made sense. They had explored what it would be like to meet aliens, to deal with life on another planet, or in space. This wasn’t just writing stories; this was universe-building. I was awestruck by their genius.

It wasn’t just the world-building that gripped me, it was the issues that these writers were dealing with. First contact with aliens: an analogy for how Western civilisations deal with other cultures. A robot revolution: man’s relationship with technology and ‘just because we can, doesn’t mean we should’. These books dealt with politics, gender issues, religion, racism. They worked through the possible ethics of new inventions, the things that could go wrong in the case of an outbreak, what we could do to prevent war, the list goes on. These books made me think in a way that I’d never been made to think before. I was in love.

When I came to write my own novels, I started in the world I knew, but added supernatural elements (Angel’s Fury). I was still learning, I wasn’t yet brave enough to try and do what my writing heroes had done – create a whole world from nothing. Once I had learned how to write, I began to teach myself how to put a world together.

My second book, The Weight of Souls was set in London, but with elements of Ancient Egypt. Phoenix Rising was set on a post-apocalyptic earth.

Then my imagination was caught by multi-universe theory and so I wrote a book, Wavefunction,  about a boy who can jump between worlds. In that book I was able to come up with a different, earth-related, world for every jump he made. I was able to consider what the earth would be like if we had completely destroyed the ozone layer. Ask myself what if the polar ice caps had completely melted? What if Christianity had never emerged? What if world war II had never happened? What if the Cuban Missile crisis had resulted in nuclear war?

I had a lot of fun. Science fiction had gripped me, just as it had when I was growing up.

My most recent novel, Windrunner’s Daughter, is finally set wholly on a different planet: Mars. I had as much fun doing the research as I did writing the story.

I researched the planet of Mars, its terrain, gravity, light levels, orbit, moons and so on, I researched terraforming – the possibilities and ethics and I used this to create challenges for my characters.

Story remains key. Character and plot still drive my novels, but now I am writing in the way I always hoped that I would when I was a teenager and in awe of my dad’s bookshelves. I am world building.

 

bryony pearce

About the Author

I am an author of YA thrillers and science fiction.

Angel’s Fury (winner of the Leeds Book Award and the Cheshire Schools Book Award),The Weight of Souls, published in 2013, Phoenix Rising, published 2015 (shortlisted for Cheshire Schools Book Award and Wirral Paperback of the Year), Phoenix Burning,March 2016, Windrunner’s Daughter, February 2016 and Wavefunction, April 2016.

Read the first chapters here.

Author Links:

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A Kineno’s Journey Promo

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A Kineño’s Journey:
On Family, Learning, and Public Service
(Grover E. Murray Studies in the American Southwest) 
 by
Lauro F. Cavazos & Gene P. Preuss

Genre: Memoir / Education
Publisher: Texas Tech University Press
TTU Press: on Facebook on Twitter
Date of Publication: June 30, 2016
# of pages: 352

Synopsis

On September 20, 1988, the United States Senate unanimously confirmed Lauro F. Cavazos as the fourth Secretary of Education in President Ronald Reagan’s administration. A sixth-generation Texan and Kineño—a descendant of Mexican citizens who accepted work on Texas’s King Ranch in the 19th century—Cavazos was the first Hispanic appointed to a position in an American Presidential Cabinet.

The story of Cavazos’s journey leading up to his cabinet appointment is a portrait of a life devoted to the principles of education. In 1954, Cavazos married Peggy Ann Murdock; the couple had ten children, all of whom were educated in public schools. To enhance their children’s education, the Cavazoses traveled extensively, living out the principle that a holistic education includes exposure to others’ worldviews. During his service as Secretary of Education, Cavazos insisted that all children in America be educated to their fullest potential. A key tenet of Cavazos’s service was an emphasis on educating minority students—a passion Cavazos formed early on in his career, first as a faculty member at the Medical College of Virginia, then as a professor and Dean at the Tufts University School of Medicine, and later as President of Texas Tech University.

**************************************

 From the book:

My father told me when I was a young boy that he had three expectations of me. Dad said that I was expected to educate myself, serve my country, and never disgrace the Cavazos name. These three simple admonitions formed the bedrock of my future life, the foundation upon which my father told me to stand firm.

Kineno's Journey Med Res Cover

  PURCHASE FROM TEXAS TECH PRESS:

http://www.ttupress.org/ 

email: ttup@ttu.edu

phone: 800.742.2982

abouttheauthors

Cavazos_Lauro

Former Secretary of Education Lauro F. Cavazos was born on the vast King Ranch in South Texas, where his father was the foreman. He received an M.A. in zoology from Texas Tech University and holds a doctoral degree in physiology from Iowa State University. He taught at the Medical College of Virginia and at the Tufts University School of Medicine, where he was Dean for five years. Cavazos returned to Texas Tech University in 1980 to become its tenth president—the first Hispanic and first graduate of the university to hold that office. He is a professor of public health and community medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. He and his wife divide their time between Concord, Massachusetts and Port Aransas, Texas.

 

Preuss Pic

Gene B. Preuss is an associate professor of history and Special Assistant to the President at the University of Houston-Downtown. He is the author of To Get a Better School System: One Hundred Years of School Reform in Texas.

Check out the other great blogs on the tour! 

7/15    Country Girl Bookaholic – Review

7/16    The Page Unbound

7/17    Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books

7/18    Missus Gonzo – Review

7/19    Texas Book Lover

7/20    My Book Fix Blog

7/21    Forgotten Winds – Review

7/22    It’s a Jenn World

7/23    Hall Ways Blog – Review

7/24    StoreyBook Reviews

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The District Manager Author Interview

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THE DISTRICT MANAGER

by

Matt Minor

Genre: Political Suspense

Publisher: Dead Tree

Date of Publication: June 30, 2016

Number of Pages: 266

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Synopsis

“Doing the right thing means you don’t eat”

District Manager CoverSo begins the sweltering narrative of District Manager, Mason Dixon, a haunted man serving Texas House District 100. After a constituent reaches out to his office with disturbing information about twisted activities going on in district, Mason finds himself drawn into a game of cat and mouse with a malevolent entity.

While these events unfold, Mason begins dating a county judge’s assistant. Brenna is a single mother who is ready to start the next chapter of her life. Can she and the stoical Mason connect? Or will she become collateral damage to his unorthodox, occupational hazards?

Mason soon finds that the danger has reached the highest ranks of the district, and that the century-old structure where he offices is not haunted, but instead possessed by an all too real menace.

Can a man who is profoundly broken restore order when the very core of order itself has been corrupted?

“Matt Minor knows Texas politics from the inside, and he weaves a devious tale of deceit and death and even a little romance. Buckle your seat belt and hang on for the ride.”  — Bill Crider

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

AuthorInterview

How has being a Texan influenced your writing?

It has influenced me as I imagine being French or Russian would influence one. Where we are from shapes us like it or not. You cannot escape it. And if you try to it screws you up.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

People have no idea what’s happening right under their noses. I write the suspense angle so as to shed some light on things. I always throw in a romance because love is the only thing worth anything.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

Love and grit.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Moving in and out of the psychology of the narrator, Mason Dixon. He is a good guy but he’s disturbed and in a lot of pain.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Developing the soundtrack.

Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book?

Prisoners; potheads; civil servants; animal lovers; musical acts that never got their due.

Who are some of your favorite authors you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?

Graham Greene; Walker Percy; Tolstoy; D.H. Lawrence; Larry McMurtry

They each have shaped every aspect of my writing in their own way.

What literary character is most like you?

Graham Greene.

What did you find most useful in learning to write? What was least useful or most destructive?

1. Expressing my inner conflicts. 2. Expressing my inner conflicts.

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

There is no such thing as a part-time writer.

What are some day jobs that you have held? Did any impact your writing?

I worked as a house painter to help pay for school. That was wild. That experience shaped the first novel I ever wrote. I now work in government. It gives me an informed and insider perspective on the how things actually work. Scary.

What do you like to read in your free time?

Literary criticism and poetry, and a novel here and there.

What projects are you working on at the present?

A novel and a book of poems.

What book do you wish you could have written?

Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?

So many really…some not mentioned above would be…Mary Shelley; Robert Penn Warren; Toni Morrison; James Dickey; Thomas Hardy…

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

Names are their own beast. Some are thought out and others I just toss in while typing. My only suggestion is make your main characters have memorable names.

Do you use the literary device of motif in your novels?

Yes. In The Representative the motif is Shelleyian via water. In The District Manager it is canines.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Invisibility.

If you were a superhero, what would your name be? What costume would you wear?

No clue, but if I were invisible I wouldn’t need a costume.

 

about the author

554a4a20-9f19-465a-b146-3dde4eed08e8Matt Minor presently serves as a Chief of Staff in the Texas House of Representatives. He has worked as a political campaign manager and is a well-regarded public speaker.

Matt has authored official state publications, oversees syndicated editorials, and is a speechwriter and district radio legislative commentator. Prior to his life in state politics Matt was a professional musician and entertainer. Matt’s hobbies are centered on the arts, including the craft of poetry, an interest that has brought academic recognition and numerous awards.

His first novel, The Representative was an Amazon Political Fiction Bestseller the summer of 2015. It was accepted and archived into the Texas State Legislative Library. In April of 2016 The Representative won an IPPY Gold medal for Southern-Region Fiction.

Matt Minor resides with his wife Stacy on their ranch property in Wharton County, Texas. He lives in Austin during legislative session.

author links

FACEBOOK      GOODREADS

TWITTER    WEBSITE

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

7/13 Country Girl Bookaholic – Review
7/15 StoreyBook Reviews– Author Interview
7/16 Missus Gonzo – Review
7/17 Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books – Promo
7/18 Reading By Moonlight – Excerpt
7/19 It’s a Jenn World – Review
7/20 Forgotten Winds – Guest Post #2
7/21 The Crazy Booksellers – Promo
7/22 My Book Fix Blog – Review

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Rising Tides Review and Giveaway

Rating:

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Title: Rising Tides
Author: Katy Haye
Publisher: Plumshine Books
Release Date: June 24, 2016
Pages: 264
Genre: Young Adult Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian Romance

Synopsis


Rising Tides Cover LARGE EBOOKThe truth won’t stay submerged forever

City is the last civilised place left on a drowned Earth, a floating town built from metal and plastic from the Time Before. It’s the only home doctor’s daughter Libby Marchmont has ever known or wanted – until her father helps the wrong patient and she’s forced to flee.

Cosimo came to City for one reason. Then he should have vanished back to his people on the Wastes. But what about his promise to Libby’s father?

Stranded in the middle of the sea, can the two enemies learn to trust each other? And can they survive long enough to uncover the truth: City isn’t the safe haven Libby always believed it to be …

Links

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My Review

I was really quite interested to read this book since it reminded me of Waterworld by it’s description. Growing up watching it, I was excited to read a scenario of a water-filled world and the struggles it faced. It didn’t disappoint for one minute. I was immediately captured by the Liberty’s narrative as her entire life is turned upside-down. In just a short time, she loses her father, her home, her expectations of her future and must travel with a reamer; someone she despises right away. As a practical girl, the uncertainly of her fate now rests in the Cosimo’s scrawny hands.

I completely blasted through this book. The moment I started reading, I couldn’t stop and it’s likely the fastest I’ve read a book. I look forward to reading it again actually. Haye created an excellent world with intense action, drama, and well-defined characters. Cosimo (which is an awesome name by the way) and Liberty are forced to survive together despite their clashing histories.

Cosimo is a newly created nautilus man from the Wastes, a place where thieves reside and are regularly punished by the Magistrate. Liberty, or Libby, is a slightly spoiled girl with a decent home and daughter of the second (or rather first) most important person in City. What I liked most about Libby is that she knows it. She doesn’t shy from recognizing her own faults or her situation. While life on City seems quite rigid, she feels she is often too awkward to have actual friends but takes comfort in her position as apprentice to her father Dr Miracle.

Both characters learn and slowly adapt to each other. I really enjoyed their interactions from beginning to end and the maturity they both began to have. It was very real and easy to connect to people that both had flaws and had to work through them over time. Rising Tides has so much to offer and if you’d like a dystopian novel that really has a fresh outlook and amazing writing, then this is a perfect choice. I really look forward to a next installment and other works by Katy Haye.

 

About the Author


katyKaty Haye spends as much time as possible in either her own or someone else’s imaginary worlds. She has a fearsome green tea habit, a partiality for dark chocolate brazils and a fascination with the science of storytelling.

When not lost in a good book, Katy may be found on her allotment growing veg and keeping hens in order to maximize her chances of survival in the event of a zombie apocalypse or similar catastrophe (admittedly, this would not help if the entire country flooded…).

 

Author Links
Goodreads | Website  | Facebook Twitter

Giveaway

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Win a book-lover’s survival kit.

Your survival kit is as follows:
1. An Amazon voucher for £10/$15US/$20CAN, AUS, NZ. Load up your Kindle with books to read, while shops remain.
2. A solar charger so when the national grid fails you can still read your books.
3. A mirror. When you are stranded in the open sea you can signal for help by reflecting the sun’s light. Alternatively, if you have no wish to be rescued because you still have reading to do, flip the mirror over to depict the slogan, “Go away I’m reading.”
4. Ribbon bookmark. If all your books have been washed away by the rising seas, this can be rolled up and packed into the neck of a cut-open bottle and will double-up as a water filter. Note: this will not desalinate salt water, sorry.
5. A bag to put the last of your belongings into. DO NOT LEAVE THIS BEHIND.

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What Matters Most Excerpt and Giveaway

Banner What Matters Most

WHAT MATTERS MOST
(TEXAS GOLD COLLECTION BOOK #4)
by
Kellie Coates Gilbert

Genre: Contemporary Inspirational Romance / Christian
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: July 5, 2016
Number of Pages: 320

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Synopsis

Love and Politics Collide in This Emotion-Packed 

Fourth Texas Gold Novel

Kellie Coates Gilbert strikes gold once again in the latest book in the Texas Gold Collection. Readers will be drawn into the story through Gilbert’s deeply emotional writing that highlights the complexities of human relationships.

Out of her desire to care for her mother who is suffering from dementia, Leta Breckenridge drops out of college. Her next step means leaving her comfort zone. After learning that a delinquent account may force her mother into a less desirable facility, Leta takes a leap and lands a high-paying job at an Austin public relations firm. But her dream job soon turns into a nightmare when she learns that the firm she is working for is a front for a political opposition organization—and that the research she has been collecting will be used against Nathan Emerson, the handsome senator she’s swiftly falling in love with.

Nathan is a rising political star being pressured to run a bid to unseat the current governor of Texas. He’s already in a relationship with a woman much better suited to be a politician’s wife, but he’s never met anyone like Leta. Could this feisty woman hold the key to his heart—and his future?

Praise for the Texas Gold Collection

“This tale of family and faith brings to light what truly matters in life.”—RT Book Reviews, 4 stars

 “Kellie Coates Gilbert delivers emotionally gripping plots and authentic characters.”—LifeIsStory.com

“Well-drawn, sympathetic characters and graceful language make this an engaging choice for readers.”—Library Journal

 What Matters Cover

PURCHASE FROM:
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Excerpt

Chapter 1

I’m sorry. We really need someone a bit more qualified. All of the positions we currently have available require a college degree—at a minimum.”

Leta Breckenridge fixed her eyes on the woman standing behind the table lined with job application forms. “Oh—okay. Well, thank you for your time anyway.” She placed the glossy brochure back in its spot on the table, taking special care to line up the edges with dozens just like it. Her fingers lingered for just a moment before she gave the lady in the suit a weak smile and moved on.

With a sigh, Leta pulled a pen and a notebook from her bag and marked off another company name from the list.

Taking time off work to attend the job fair this afternoon was turning out to be a waste of time. She couldn’t even get her foot in the door at most of the companies she was interested in, even at an entry-level position. Not without having finished her degree.

Same story as always.

Determined not to let the situation get her down, Leta quickly glanced at her watch. She’d stay another half hour before getting ready to head back to the store. Maybe she could talk Mike into letting her make up the hours—and the lost earnings.

“Leta?”

She turned in the direction of a vaguely familiar voice just as Cassie Manning broke through the crowd, a wide smile planted on her face. “Leta, I thought that was you. Long time no see.”

She quickly tucked the notebook back in her bag before letting herself get drawn into an embrace. “Hey, how are you?” Cassie smelled . . . expensive. Like the little samples Leta had collected from the Macy’s counter last week while in the mall with Katie.

Her former classmate gave her a puzzled look. “What are you doing at the job fair?”

“I’m . . . uh . . . I’m here with a friend.” She couldn’t believe how easily the lie slipped from her tongue.

“Oh? What is your friend looking for? Maybe I can help.” Cassie pulled a small gold case engraved with her initials from the pocket of her suit jacket. “I’m the human resources director for Greater Austin Enterprises. Have your friend stop by our booth. We’re looking for candidates for our new division in Dallas, if she’s willing to relocate.”

Leta took the business card. “Uh, thanks. I’ll let her know.”

Her stylish former classmate, dressed in an impeccable plum-colored suit with matching heels, slipped the case back into her pocket. “What about you? Where did you land after graduating?”

Leta rubbed her sweaty palms against the fabric of her own skirt, one she’d been lucky to find in her generous roommate’s closet. How was she supposed to explain she’d relinquished her dream of becoming a landscape architect and instead settled for working in the floral department at Central Market? Or that she’d taken on a second job at a dive bar just to make ends meet? Yeah, let’s tell her that.

In a stroke of pure luck, her classmate’s phone rang. “Sorry, I have to get this.” Cassie turned and buried herself in a conversation, leaving Leta to ponder the best way to extricate herself before being put on the spot again.

In a quick move, Leta pulled her own phone up and pointed to the screen as if she’d just received a text. She whispered, “Gotta go. Catch you later.”

Cassie nodded. “Hold on,” she said into her phone. She smiled in Leta’s direction. “You’ve got my card. Call me for lunch sometime—okay?”

Leta nodded a little too enthusiastically. “Sure thing.” She blew a kiss and scurried off down the aisle, past all the well-dressed job seekers pitching their hard-won credentials to waiting personnel directors like Cassie.

———————————-Click here to read the rest of the chapter———————————-

about the author

Gilbert Author Pic

 Kellie Coates Gilbert is a former legal investigator and trial paralegal, as well as the author of A Woman of Fortune, Where Rivers Part, and A Reason to Stay. Gilbert crafts her emotionally charged stories about women in life-changing circumstances in Dallas, Texas, where she lives with her husband.

author links

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

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Prize 1: Box of Texas Treats & Signed Book

Prize 2: $10 Starbucks Gift Card & Signed Book

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   June 11 – July 25, 2016

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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

7/11    Margie’s Must Reads  – Review

7/12    Hall Ways Blog – Author Interview #1

7/13    The Page Unbound – Excerpt

7/14    Reading By Moonlight Review

7/15    It’s a Jenn World Promo

7/16    Country Girl Bookaholic – Guest Post #1

7/17    My Book Fix Blog Review

7/18    The Crazy Booksellers  – Author Interview #2

7/19    Chapter Break Book Blog – Guest Post #2

7/20    StoreyBook ReviewsReview

7/21    The Librarian Talks – Author Interview #3

7/22    All for the Love of the Word Promo

7/23    Byers Editing Reviews & Blog Review

7/24    A Novel Reality Promo

7/25    Missus Gonzo Review

 

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Life After Juliet Guest Post and Giveaway

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Book Title: Life After Juliet

Author: Shannon Lee Alexander

Release Date: July 5, 2016

Genre: Contemporary YA

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

 

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Excerpt:

I’m not sure how long I’ve been back in school. I don’t really do days anymore. Time is measured in pages. I’ve read 3,718 pages since Dad dropped me off on the first day. It’s been 108,023 pages since Charlotte died. I’ve read 150 pages since I stepped on the bus this morning. It’s been ten pages since I thought of Charlotte.

She’s not coming back, and I don’t know what else to do, so I keep turning the pages.

However long I’ve been back at Sandstone High, the advanced literature and composition teacher, Mrs. Jonah, informed me yesterday that I am no longer allowed to “sit like a bump on a log, reading books” in her class. I find this strange, but then, I don’t understand the real world. I’ve given up trying to make any kind of sense of it. Today in class, I am sitting like a bump on a log, staring out the window.

Sandstone is a typical high school, unlike the fancy math and science school on the other side of town that Charlie graduated from last spring. It’s the kind of building that’s been pieced together—add a wing here, convert a gym there, dump mobile units here—throughout the decades as the town’s population grew and it had to be quickly expanded. There’s no one defining style. It’s a mishmash. The kids who go here are also diverse, so it’s not hard for me to fade into the background.

Lit and Comp is a junior course. The guidance counselor signed me up for it at the end of last year. She described it as a lively class full of opportunities for personal and artistic growth. In other words, it’s my worst nightmare. I’ve decided growth is overrated.

Mrs. Jonah’s classroom is long and narrow, with a wall of windows down the side. She’s decorated the wide windowsill with spindly spider plants, stacks of books, empty vintage Coke bottles that catch the sunlight, and a bust of Sir Isaac Newton, which is strange since she’s not a science teacher.

Mrs. Jonah raps on her desk now to get our attention. She stands and brushes invisible lint off her black pencil skirt. Tall and unafraid of wearing high heels, she towers over everyone in the school, even the basketball coach. Her pixie haircut and makeup are always perfect. She’s the most with it human I’ve ever seen.

“Time’s up,” she says. “Please, pass your quizzes forward.”

I’ve been done with my quiz for what would have been about twenty pages, if reading were still allowed in Lit class. I pass my paper to the boy in front of me. He runs his hand through his choppy black hair and smiles. His lips are chapped, and the smiling pulls the raw skin too tight. It makes me wince. I instantly feel bad, because I remember this guy.

Max. He was in Mr. Bunting’s World History class with Charlotte and me last year. He was the only student at Sandstone who spoke directly to me after Charlotte died. He came right up to me in history, cleared his throat so I’d look up from my book and said, “Sorry for your loss.”

I remember I got up and left the room. It was either that or start crying.

He’s still looking at me now. I should say something, something nice, like “Thank you for your condolences.” Instead, I look out the window again.

Max sighs, soft like the riffle of book pages, as he turns around and passes our quizzes forward. I’m used to that sound. It’s the sound of my father when I refuse to put my book down and come join my mother and him. The sound of my mother when she realizes I’ve been listening to the book characters in my head instead of her. Lately, I’m really only safe lost in the pages of a book. Outside, in the real world, it’s like I’m walking around with no skin. Everything hurts.

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.ca / Entangled Publishing

Guest Post – Character Development and Outlining 

As a reader, I read stories for the characters. A good plot is a nice addition, but I’m really pulling up my comfy chair and mug of coffee for the characters. So when I began writing my own stories, I naturally gravitated to creating full and meaningful characters.

I’ve always had voices in my head. As a kid, I didn’t know this was weird. I thought everyone lived in a world where the insides of their brains were bursting with people and places and adventures. It came as a shock to me, as an adult, to learn from my husband that this isn’t true. He’s never heard voices having a funny conversation or arguing or anything else in his head before. He gave me a look like maybe he shouldn’t be leaving me alone with the children anymore, but I explained that it wasn’t like the voices talked to me. They talked amongst themselves and I just listened.

Later I discovered my husband is constantly counting and doing math equations in his head. Now that’s shocking, if you ask me!

So, I come from a world of characters and the trick for me is to listen carefully. Eventually someone (or a group of someones) gets louder than the others, and then I’ll start writing down what I’m seeing and hearing in my head. Once I understand who I’m working with, I have to actually start doing some work.

I’m not a planner when it comes to writing. But I will use the character template in Scrivener to start collecting characters for a new story. I don’t fill it out fully, but will note things like physical description, quirks and tics, favorite sayings, and most importantly, I try to sum up in one sentence what each character’s internal desire is. External goals are easy to change as I write, but it’s impossible to go back and change a character at his/her core.

Next, I start writing. I write lots of scenes, placing my characters in as many situations as I can create within their world. I’ll have them try on different emotions and explore their world through their own eyes. Most of these scenes will never make it into the final draft, but they help me understand my characters from the inside out. And if I understand them that well, then I can write them well, too.

For my latest work in progress, I actually took the time to find photos of teens online that reminded me of my characters. I printed the photos out on index cards and then on the back I filled in the following information: emotional need, desire, controlling belief, stakes, strategy, and outcome. By doing this for each character (including secondary characters), I had a quick reference to go back to whenever I needed reminding about what makes my character real.

I’m still not sure it was worth my time to make the Character Cards, but I’m always up for learning new things and improving my craft, so we’ll see how it works! What kinds of things do you all do to help you develop characters?

Thanks for having me on the blog, today! I love getting to make new bookish friends!

Shannon Lee Alexander

Shannon

About the Author:

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

Author Links:

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Newsletter sign up

Blog Tour Organized by:

Chapter By Chapter Blog Tours

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Giveaway Information:  Contest ends May 27, 2016

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

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

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

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

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Set Me Free: Author Interview and Giveaway

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Book & Author Details:
Set Me Free by London Setterby 
Publication date: July 8th 2016
Genres: Gothic, New Adult, Romance
Synopsis:

Miranda Lewis is desperate to get away from her controlling ex–so desperate she leaves him in the middle of the night. She ends up on a remote island off the Maine coast, where she befriends a bubbly shopkeeper, Claire, and becomes fascinated with Claire’s son, big, brooding Owen Larsen, a woodworker who keeps to himself. Even the friendliest locals here are secretive–and Owen is at the center of their secrets.

Still, Miranda loves the salt air, the craggy coastline, and, most of all, the work of the island’s beloved local painter, Suzanna White. Miranda wants to stay–to claim a life of her own, to paint again. But the longer she stays, the more her fascination with Owen increases. Why is there a painting of his stern, handsome face in the art gallery by the beach? And why is everyone so afraid of him?

SetMeFree

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Purchase Links:

Amazon / iBooks

Author Interview:

Tell us a little about yourself. How did you begin writing? What inspires you to write?

I started writing and illustrating “books” in first grade or so, usually about girls who were given magical ponies for their birthdays. So, as you can see, I write in part as wish fulfillment (sadly I never did get that magical pony). But mostly, writing is just how I process. Sometimes it seems like I can’t write fast enough to keep up with all of the processing I need to do.

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

Well, of course, I’m hopeful that lots of people can enjoy Set Me Free. If you like either romance or mystery, you will probably find something to like here. But Set Me Free is also a story for abuse survivors written by an abuse survivor. I wanted to write a engaging, hopeful, and fun story for us, about how strong we are, and about how we, too, can find our happily-ever-afters.  <3

How did you come up with the title of your book or series?

I’m actually super thrilled you asked me this, because the title of Set Me Free is a majorly nerdy Shakespeare reference and I’ve been dying to spill the beans about it for ages. So: this book is loosely inspired by The Tempest. And, at the very end of that play, the sorcerer Prospero breaks the third wall, turns to the audience, and asks that they set him free from the island he was stranded on through applause. (“But release me from my bands With the help of your good hands . . .  As you from crimes would pardoned be, Let your indulgence set me free.”)

Which is not to say I’m begging for your approval. 😉 The concept behind Set Me Free is that we can free each other from our burdens through trust and openness; writing the book was freeing for me, and I hope it can be freeing for some of my readers, too.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?

 The very sweet and wonderful Ida at Amygdala Designs created my cover. Since I first came up with the idea for Set Me Free, I wanted a cover with my heroine wearing a white dress and standing by the sea, as a callback to classic Gothics. I was really happy with Ida’s design, which kept that Gothic flavor but with a contemporary spin.

 Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

Gosh, you know, it feels a bit gauche to admit this, but I actually really like my heroine, Miranda. I think she’s brave as hell. If it helps, I’m not much like her. 😉

How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?

I’m not sure I have one. I tend to empathize to some degree with even my most evil and horrible characters. Which can be a little worrying.

If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be? Why?

I always try to remind myself of that quote (alternately attributed to Da Vinci or Picasso) that art is never finished, only abandoned.

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

Set Me Free is a standalone, but I have some tie-in short stories on my Wattpad profile (@elsetterby), which might eventually be made available elsewhere, too. There are scenes from Owen’s point of view, and I’m currently writing a short story/novellette about two side characters, Andy and Kaye. I’ve also been toying with the idea of writing a wedding scene, a bit like an epilogue. So readers, if that’s something you guys would like, let me know!

What other books are similar to your own? What makes them alike?

It’s pretty hard to find contemporary Gothics, which makes me sad. Certainly the book draws on the classics quite a lot, like Rebecca and Jane Eyre. A few people have told me that Set Me Free reminds them of Nicholas Sparks’ Safe Haven, but I’ve never read it, so I don’t know.

How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

You can reach me at my website anytime! londonsetterby.com You can sign up for my newsletter there. I’m also on tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, and Wattpad, and would love to chat with you.

What can we expect from you in the future?

This fall, I’m hoping to release the first book in my gritty erotic romance series (writing as L. Setterby). It’s called Breathe and is currently available on the brand-new Radish app (radishfiction.com), where it’s a trending story and one of the top Radish reads.

Meanwhile, I’m writing a new romance called Heart of Stone, which I hope to start putting on Wattpad soon. It’s a romcom about a statue that comes to life and becomes his sculptor’s couch guy.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Leaving a review would be a huge help, on whichever site you like! Telling a friend is always good, too. Word of mouth is the best advertising there is!

Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?

Well, I’m an indie author, and it’s a bit different for us. I would just say: writer, know thyself. I spent a long time agonizing over pursuing traditional publishing, but it’s just not for me. I just don’t enjoy playing someone else’s game. I want to play my own. 🙂

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Thanks so much for hosting!

And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:

 It wasn’t like we’d discussed it. Maybe he’d expected a chaste kiss and goodbye promptly after dinner. Instead, I’d unzipped my dress on his kitchen counter. We’d only just met; we’d only gone on a few dates, if you could call them dates. And yet it had all felt so right. What he’d said to me afterwards had been so sweet… I’d thought he might be falling for me. Even though I knew better.

I slid out of bed and almost stepped on my dress, which was folded neatly on the floor, on top of my shoes. My handbag sat beside the little bundle. He must have gotten my things together before he left for work, so I wouldn’t have to go hunting around his house. He was being nice. He was definitely not trying to get rid of me.

Really.

I pulled on my clothes and tiptoed across his plushy beige carpet. On the landing, I hesitated, staring at the door to the opposite room. The brass doorknob gleamed against the dark wood. Before I realized what I was doing, I’d turned the doorknob as hard as I could.

The door popped open, and I stumbled inside with a gasp. There was no way I could’ve broken it, and he was too careful to ever leave this room unlocked. I jiggled the knob, but it wouldn’t turn. It was locked…still? Again?

I shouldn’t go in. Even though he’d shown me what he kept in here, going into this room without him violated his trust. It was wrong. Beneath me.

Still, I stared into the empty room, biting my lip. The heavy curtain hid all signs of morning light. It was so cold in here I half-expected to see my breath, as if I’d opened a door to the night sky.

 

London

Author Bio:

Hello! I’m London, a writer, lawyer, and life-long New Englander. I write all flavors of romance, from surreal fantasy romances to raw gritty contemporaries. I also write across the gender and sexuality spectrums. Everything I write is a little bit funny, a little bit sad, and probably kind of strange.

You might know me from Wattpad–my Wattpad Featured Read, Set Me Free, a Gothic romance, will be released as an ebook and in print in summer 2016.

My gritty erotic romance, Breathe, is currently being serialized on Radish, a free app. It will be released in ebook/print as well sometime after Set Me Free.

Author Links:

Website / Goodreads / Twitter

Blog Tour Organized by:

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Giveaway:
Tour-wide giveaway (US/CAN)
2x signed copies of Set Me Free

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West Texas Middleweight: Author Interview and Giveaway

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WEST TEXAS MIDDLEWEIGHT
The Story of LaVern Roach
(Sport in the American West Series)
by
Frank Sikes

Genre: Biography
Publisher: Texas Tech University Press
Date of Publication: June 30, 2016
Number of Pages: 288

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Synopsis

LaVern Roach, a skinny kid from the small town of Plainview, Texas, rose from obscurity to become one of boxing’s most popular figures during the 1940s. Roach’s rise to prominence occurred during an era when boxing shared the spotlight with baseball as the nation’s top two professional sports. As a result of Roach’s death—which marked the first nationally televised fight during which a boxer died from injuries received in the ring—the sport of boxing came under closer scrutiny by the general public than ever before.

West Texas Middleweight is the story of Roach’s all too brief journey from a West Texas amateur, to enlistment in the US Marines, where he captained the nation’s most successful military boxing team, to becoming a Madison Square Garden main eventer. He received the distinction of being named The Ring Magazine’s “Rookie of the Year” for 1947 and was considered a top ten contender for the middleweight championship of the world. This book chronicles Roach’s road to his final fight—and it explains why, as noted by legendary boxing trainer Angelo Dundee, “boxing changed because of LaVern Roach.”

Med Res Cover Middleweight

PURCHASE FROM TEXAS TECH PRESS:
http://www.ttupress.org/
email: ttup@ttu.edu
phone: 800.742.2982

AuthorInterview

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing? 

I am a part-time writer wanting to be a full-time writer.  Being a part-time writer limits your total concentration and focus on writing.

 

Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured if your book? 

We all too often see sports figures as only celebrities without realizing that there may me much more to them other than their athletic achievements.  They too have personal lives that often mirror our own ups and downs in life.

 

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? 

Getting to know the main character through his letters and the interactions with his family members and friends. This happened to the point that I now feel I am part of his family.

 

From the time that you first got the idea to write this book, did you ever doubt that it would actually turn into a published book?

No, not really.  Not because of any writing skills that I may or may not have possessed (most of which were acquired while writing the book with the assistance of so many people), but because of the subject matter – it was a story that needed to be told.  I was fortunate enough to be at the right place at the right time.

 

Who would you cast to play your characters in a movie version of your book?

LaVern – Scott Eastwood if I could get Clint to direct it.  Evelyn – Emma Stone.

 

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it? 

The female mind.

 

What do your plans for future projects include?

I have a couple more sports biographies in mind then perhaps will look at fiction writing — perhaps another Catch 22 type of story.

 

What is something you want to accomplish before you die? 

Live long enough to see this book in print.

 

What do you want your tombstone to say? 

He did it his way.

 about the author

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Frank Sikes, a third-generation West Texan, grew up in Plainview, where LaVern Roach, along with Jimmy Dean, were hometown heroes.  Sikes graduated from Texas Tech in 1967, then was a US Navy Officer proudly serving aboard the USS Little Rock stationed in Gaeta, Italy from 1968-1970.  He attended the University of Houston School of Business, from 1973 to 1975, and got his master’s degree in religion from Wayland Baptist University in 2011.

Frank and his wife Nancy have been married for 50 years and have two grown children out of the house, and two Boston Terriers, Molly and Maggie (or as some suggest Boston terrorists) who rule the house. Lubbock has been home for the past 30 years with stops in Newport, RI; San Francisco, CA; Gaeta, Italy; Houston, TX; and Albuquerque, NM.  West Texas Middleweight is his first book.

Connect with the author on FACEBOOK.

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3 WINNERS:

 Each Wins a Signed Copy of the Book 

plus

2 GRAND PRIZE WINNERS: 

Each Wins a Signed Copy of the Book PLUS a $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card

(US ONLY)

   June 1 – June 10, 2016

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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

7/1       Country Girl Bookaholic  – Review

7/2       My Book Fix Blog – Author Interview #1

7/3       Forgotten Winds – Guest Post #1

7/4       Margie’s Must Reads – Review

7/5       Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books – Promo

7/6       StoreyBook Reviews  – Author Interview #2

7/7       Book Chase – Review

7/8       The Page Unbound – Author Interview #3

7/9       Missus Gonzo  – Guest Post #2

7/10    It’s a Jenn World – Review

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