Sleigh Bells Ring Author Spotlight

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SLEIGH BELLS RING 

Four Contemporary Romance Novellas

By Sandra D. Bricker, Lynette Sowell,

Barbara J. Scott, & Lenora Worth

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Gilead Publishing

Date of Publication: October 14, 2016

Number of Pages: 320

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Synopsis

cover-hi-res-sleigh-bellsSanta Claus is coming to town, and so are the Tucker sisters.

Never mind a pony. The Tucker girls have inherited their father’s horse farm for Christmas. Make that . . . a run-down horse farm. It needs some serious TLC in order to make it sell-ready. Joanna knows that by recruiting her sisters and one handsome ranch hand they can fix up the place and even celebrate one last Christmas while they’re at it. However, to Isabella, returning to their home in Kentucky bluegrass country for Christmas seems like an impossible hurdle. Can her Chicago boyfriend make life merry and bright again?

One thing’s for sure—nothing is peace on earth for Sophia as a new beau brings up old wounds. And when the fate of the horse farm is put in jeopardy because Amy accidentally fraternizes with the enemy, tensions rise. But it’s not like the land developer stole Christmas . . . just her heart.

Can the Tucker sisters have themselves a merry little Christmas?

Find Sleigh Bells Ring on Goodreads!

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abouttheauthors

Writing is usually a solitary act, but reader-favorite authors (and friends) Sandra D Bricker, Barbara J. Scott, Lynette Sowell, and Lenora Worth got a happy Christmas miracle when invited to work together on Sleigh Bells Ring

Author Spotlight: Lenora Worth


screen-shot-2016-10-22-at-2-30-33-amLenora Worth
has written over 45 books for three different publishers. With millions of books in print, Lenora continues to write for Love Inspired and Love Inspired Suspense as well as her newest publisher, Gilead Publishing. Lenora also wrote a weekly opinion column for the Shreveport Times and worked freelance for SB magazine.

She has now turned to full-time fiction writing and enjoying adventures with her retired husband, Don. Married for 36 years, they have two grown children—Kaleb and Carly. Lenora enjoys writing, reading and shopping … especially shoe shopping.

AuthorInterview

How long have you been writing?

I sold my first book in 1993, so almost twenty-four years now. Of course, I wrote short stories in grammar school and sold them on the playground. (Milk money!)

What cultural value do you see in writing/reading/storytelling/etc.?

With inspirational and spiritual writing, I find I can share my faith and my core values in a way that is universal.  We all want to be loved. It’s that simple. My stories show God’s love and they also show forgiveness and redemption. I don’t preach but I work hard to bring two lonely or hurt souls together. My characters teach me things every day and I hope my stories help others to find their way on their faith journey. I love hearing from readers who have learned forgiveness through my stories.

What literary character is most like you?

Cinderella! (Not literary but definitely a great character.) I identify with her because I grew up in a large family and sometimes I felt shoved aside and forgotten but I’ve always been optimistic and hopeful and determined. And I love shoes!

What are some day jobs that you have held?  If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.

Oh, my. I grew up on a farm so some of my early jobs included cropping tobacco, hoeing and picking peanuts and driving tractors. My daddy paid me so I could earn money for my school clothes and supplies. I went on to retail which taught me how to deal with people,  and marketing which showed me how to reach people, and I’ve also worked for a Mother’s Day Out Program (just to have spending money while I was writing.) Dealing with four-year-olds all day taught me how to handle just about any situation!

What do you want your tombstone to say?

“Okay, I’m done now!”

What’s something fun or funny that most people don’t know about you?

I once was carried across Times Square on a gurney during a bomb scare and the EMT taking care of me looked like Danny Glover. And I told him that.  (I slipped and hit my head in the hotel room, but he really did look like Danny Glover.)

author links

WEBSITE     FACEBOOK   

PINTEREST      TWITTER

Connect with the Authors on their websites!

SANDRA BRICKER   LYNETTE SOWELL

BARBARA SCOTT  LENORA WORTH

   Connect with Gilead Publishing!

TWITTER   INSTAGRAM
FACEBOOK
PINTEREST

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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

10/14 Review   Chapter Break Book Blog

10/15 Author Spotlight 1   Books and Broomsticks

10/16 Promo   Reading By Moonlight

10/17 Review   Storeybook Reviews

10/18 Spotlight 2   Margie’s Must Reads

10/19 Author Spotlight 3   Country Girl Bookaholic

10/20 Review   Momma On The Rocks

10/21 Promo   Byers Editing Reviews & Blog

10/23 Review   Kara the Redhead

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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

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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

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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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Michael Gibney Author Spotlight

 

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Welcome to this week’s Super Middle Grade Mondays
presented by Tantrum Books/Month9books!

Today, we get up close and personal with

Michael Gibney

author of The Three Thorns (The Brotherhood and the Shield #1)
from Tantrum Books.

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

Michael Gibney

 

Michael Gibney began working in restaurants at the age of sixteen and assumed his first sous chef position at twenty-two. He ascended to executive sous chef at Tavern on the Green, where he managed an eighty-person staff. He has worked in the kitchens of Morgans Hotel Group, 10 Downing in Manhattan, and Governor in Brooklyn’s DUMBO, among many others. Over the course of his career, he has had the opportunity to work alongside cooks and chefs from many of the nation’s best restaurants, including Alinea, Per Se, Eleven Madison Park, Daniel, Jean Georges, Le Bernardin, Bouley, Ducasse, Corton, wd~50, and Momofuku.

In addition to his experience in the food service industry, Gibney also holds a BFA in painting from Pratt Institute and an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Connect with the Author: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

Would You Rather With Michael Gibney

 

Would you rather never be able to speak again or always have to say everything that is on your mind?

Everything that is on my mind. I value honesty and the power of words, both written and audible. It’s not in my nature to stay silent, especially concerning injustice i.e. Animal Cruelty, etc.

 

Would you rather be able to read or be able to read minds (but be illiterate)?

I can do both. Haha. Read. I’d find reading people’s minds an invasion of their privacy, unless it was to help them.

 

Would you rather be able to speak fluently every language in the world or be the best in the world at something of your choosing?

Be the best in the world at something. Reason being I love the fact that learning another language is a feeling of achievement and an exciting challenge. I wouldn’t want that challenge made easy.

 

Would you rather read only one book over and over for the rest of your life or read as many as you want but never remember what they’re about?

Oh, tough one. Well, if you can’t remember there’s not much point. Seems like a waste of time and effort for nothing, so I’d go for reading one book and that would be J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan (aka Peter and Wendy). The best fantasy book ever written in my opinion. So simple but yet such Genius.

 

Would you rather only the first page of a book or the last page?

Last Page. I always have to find out how a story ends.

 

Would you rather read 5 pages per day or 5 books per week?

Five books a week if I could and had the time. Knowledge is power.

 

Would you rather read only one genre forever or never read the same genre more than once?

One genre forever because you’d quickly run out of genres, right? And there’s plenty of amazing books and various sub-genres to be found in the Sci-Fi and Horror genre. Not so much in the romance genre.

 

Would you rather be invisible or be able to read minds?

Invisible. Would be so much fun but not if it’s like the Predator or Hollowman/The Invisible Man. That would suck.

 

Would you rather never use the internet again or never watch TV again?

Never watch TV again. There’s too much sad news and superficial reality shows on TV these days and not to mention a cluster of commercials. Yes, give me the Internet, so I can watch the art, music, movies I want and keep in contact with those I love around the world. Much better than a one way street of TV.

 

Would you rather have one wish granted today or three granted in 10 years?

Definitely one wish granted today. Life is unpredictable and short. We’re not guaranteed anything. Also, I hate waiting. Patience is a virtue. Possess it if you can. Seldom in a woman, but never in a man.

 

Would you rather know it all or have it all?

Have it all. I’m a deep enough thinker and have a strong enough imagination as it is and that can be quite exhausting. So, knowing it all would drive me crazy. Plus, one would be viewed as pretentious and arrogant if they had the ability to know it all. And both are not good attributes. =)

 

MG_TTT_Revision4_preview

Three brothers born to a once powerful King were abandoned at birth and cast out into the old world as orphans – alone and unaware of the other’s existence or their royal heritage.

In the new world, by order of the false King, three of the most lethal assassins are sent to kill the children before they come of age and avenge their father’s throne.

But when the brothers find one another, Benjamin, Tommy and Sebastian must resist the temptation of magic and power if they are to defeat the unspeakable evil that has threatened them since birth.

The Three Thorns is book one in an exciting children’s fantasy series called The Brotherhood and the Shield from debut author Michael Gibney.

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M9B Friday Reveal: Author Spotlight – Michael Gibney with Giveaway

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Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are spotlighting

Michael Gibney

author of

The Three Thorns (The Brotherhood and the Shield #1)

a Middle Grade title from Tantrum Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Physical books or eBooks?

Both.

 

Coke or Pepsi?

Coke (I’m a sucker for the original)

 

Twitter or Facebook?

Facebook.

 

Song you can’t get out of your head right now?

The Flamingos – I Only Have Eyes For You. (It’s such a cinematic song.)

 

Sweet or salty?

Salty.

 

Coffee or tea?

Tea.

 

Write on computer or notebook paper?

Computer. I’m left handed, so my handwriting is at a disadvantage, I’ve always felt.

 

About-the-Author

Michael Gibney began working in restaurants at the age of sixteen and assumed his first sous chef position at twenty-two. He ascended to executive sous chef at Tavern on the Green, where he managed an eighty-person staff. He has worked in the kitchens of Morgans Hotel Group, 10 Downing in Manhattan, and Governor in Brooklyn’s DUMBO, among many others. Over the course of his career, he has had the opportunity to work alongside cooks and chefs from many of the nation’s best restaurants, including Alinea, Per Se, Eleven Madison Park, Daniel, Jean Georges, Le Bernardin, Bouley, Ducasse, Corton, wd~50, and Momofuku.

In addition to his experience in the food service industry, Gibney also holds a BFA in painting from Pratt Institute and an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Connect with the Author: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

Three brothers born to a once powerful King were abandoned at birth and cast out into the old world as orphans – alone and unaware of the other’s existence or their royal heritage.

In the new world, by order of the false King, three of the most lethal assassins are sent to kill the children before they come of age and avenge their father’s throne.

But when the brothers find one another, Benjamin, Tommy and Sebastian must resist the temptation of magic and power if they are to defeat the unspeakable evil that has threatened them since birth.

The Three Thorns is book one in an exciting children’s fantasy series called The Brotherhood and the Shield from debut author Michael Gibney.

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M9B Friday Reveal: Vanessa Barger

 

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Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are spotlighting

Vanessa Barger

author of

Super Freak

a Middle Grade title from Tantrum Books, coming October 2015!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Twitter or Facebook?

Can I say both? I like Twitter for instant gratification, but I like Facebook for posting fun things too!

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Favorite Superhero?

This is hard. I’m not a huge superhero person. But if I had to pick? Wonder Woman. I dressed up as Wonder Woman one year when I was little. Somewhere, I still have my golden lasso of truth!

 

Favorite TV show?

Okay, most TV shows I actually like get cancelled, but I have three. I love the first 3-4 seasons of Supernatural, I LOVE the Vicar of Dibley, and the Two Fat Ladies. If I’m having a stressful day, I pop the Two Fat Ladies in to relax. I’m weird, I know.

 

Sweet or Salty?

Sweet. But not too sweet. 🙂

 

Coke or Pepsi?

Root Beer (But def coke, Pepsi is ICK)

 

Any Phobias?

I don’t care for spiders, and anything to do with Jack the Ripper seriously freaks me out. Like, I won’t watch a TV show about it, read about it, or even read fiction about it!

 

Song you can’t get enough of right now?

There isn’t just one, but let’s go with Fight Song by Rachel Platten. The others on my playlist are a lot more….weird? Lots of instrumental music, and oddball things.

 

Who is your ultimate Book Boyfriend?

Oh, man, just one?! That’s not even fair.

 

What are you reading right now or what’s on your TBR?

I have several books in the TBR pile, but the top three are Namesless by Lili St. Crow, The City of Ember, and Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff. Oh, and I’m dying to read The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

 

Fall Movie you’re most looking forward to?

Goosebumps! I can’t wait to see that one. Jack Black as RL Stine? YES, please!

 

About-the-Author

Vanessa Barger was born in West Virginia, and through several moves ended up spending the majority of her life in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is a graduate of George Mason University and Old Dominion University, and has degrees in Graphic Design, a minor in Medieval and Renaissance Literature, and a Masters in Technology Education. She has had articles published in Altered Arts Magazine, has had some artwork displayed in galleries in Ohio and online, and currently teaches engineering, practical physics, drafting and other technological things to high school students in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She is a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), the Virginia Writer’s Club, and the Hampton Roads Writers. When not writing or teaching, she’s a bookaholic, movie fanatic, and loves to travel. She is married to a fabulous man, and has one cat, who believes Vanessa lives only to open cat food cans, and can often be found baking when she should be editing.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest |YouTube

 

Super-Freak-Cover

Thirteen-year-old Caroline is a freak. Her parents have uprooted her to a town full of Supernaturals. You’d think she’d be thrilled. But, with someone without a magical bone in her body, this daughter of tree sprites feels like even more of an outcast than she has ever before.

To make matters worse, her new home is cursed. But when Caroline takes to investigating the mysterious and strange happenings of Harridan House, her BFF goes missing. Seems someone doesn’t want Caroline sticking her non-magical nose where it most certainly does not belong. Determined to prove herself, Caroline uncovers a plot to destroy her new hometown.

Undeterred, Caroline can’t give up. But what’s a human without magical powers to do? Caroline better figure it out fast, before she loses everything she has ever loved and the whispers she’s heard all her life prove true: Caroline is a useless superfreak.

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Friday Reveal: Author Spotlight – Charles Curtis with Giveaway

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Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are spotlighting

Charles Curtis

author of

Strange Country Days

a Middle Grade title from Tantrum Books, coming August 2015!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Charles Curtis

Twitter or Facebook?
I use both, but I’m plugged into Twitter every day for eight hours (I swear, it’s for my job as a sportswriter! – http://connect.nj.com/staff/CharlesCurtis/posts.html).


Favorite Superhero?

I was hooked on Wolverine as a kid. Who doesn’t love a sarcastic hero with a murky origin tale, claws and all the best one-liners?


Favorite TV show?

Current: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. All-Time: Seinfeld. Guilty Pleasure: Food Network Star


Sweet or Salty?

I will eat something sweet like a peanut butter cup and follow it up with a salty snack. It’s a yin/yang thing I started doing as a teenager.


Coke or Pepsi?

Coke and it’s not even close.


Any Phobias?

Three words: Big hairy spiders.


Song you can’t get enough of right now?

I just discovered an artist named Jacob Collier who does these incredible, mostly a cappella arrangements of songs and I’m hooked on his take on the jazz standard “Fascinating Rhythm.” Amazing! [link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K28H04Y2IdE]


What are you reading right now or what’s on your TBR?

I just started “The Maze Runner” and plan on reading Andy Weir’s “The Martian” next.


Fall Movie you’re most looking forward to?

I’ve watched the Star Wars trailers about 80 times each and geek out. Every. Single. Time.

Charles Curtis is a writer and journalist based in New York City. He has reported and written for publications including NJ.com (where he is currently the site’s sports buzz reporter), The Daily, ESPN.com, ESPN the Magazine, Bleacher Report, TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly. Charles has covered the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, golf, tennis and NASCAR. He has also written about television, film and pop culture.
In addition, Curtis has also written, produced and was featured in videos for ESPN.com and The Daily. He has made radio appearances on stations including 92.9 The Ticket in Bangor, Maine, WLIE 540 AM in Long Island and on morning shows across Canada via the CBC.
He can be reached on Twitter: @charlescurtis82.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Strange-Country-Day-Cover

Alexander Graham Ptuiac, the son of an inventor, wants to play for the school’s football team. During tryouts, and under the watchful eye of the team’s coach, he suddenly manifests mysterious superhuman powers. Alexander makes the team, but not before the some ill-intended adults take notice, putting his life in danger.

Alex struggles to suppress and control his strange new abilities, worried about exposing his secret and being kicked off the football team. Then he befriends Dex, a diminutive classmate who can somehow jump as high as ten feet in the air. Seems Alex isn’t the only one at school with a secret.

As the school year unfolds, Alex will find himself the target of bullies, holding hands with his first crush and discovering the shocking truth about himself and his parents.

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Caroline Patti

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Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!

This week, we are spotlighting

Caroline Patti

author of the upcoming book, Into the Dark,

presented byMonth9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Caroline-Patti-225x300

Twitter or Facebook?
Twitter
Favorite Superhero?
Iron Man
Favorite TV show?
Friends
Sweet or Salty?
Sweet
Coke or Pepsi?
Cherry Coke
Any Phobias?
CLOWNS!!!
Song you can’t get enough of right now?
The Giving Tree by Plain White Tees
Who is your ultimate Book Boyfriend?
Gilbert Blythe
What are you reading right now or what’s on your TBR?
Empower by Jessica Shirvington
Fall Movie you’re most looking forward to?
Dark Places

Caroline T Patti is the author of The World Spins Madly On and Too Late To Apologize. When she’s not writing, she’s a school librarian, mother of two, wife, avid reader and Green Bay Packer fan. You can chat with her on Twitter:@carepatti or find her onFacebook.

Connect with the Author: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

IntoTheDark_eCover1800x2700

A girl’s sweet sixteen party is supposed to be among the most memorable events of her life. But on the night of hers, Mercy Clare wakes in the waiting room of a hospital with no memory of how she got there. To make matters worse, she’s wearing something she’d never be caught dead in: her best friend Lyla’s clothes.

Mercy’s nightmare is just beginning. The doctor arrives to tell her that it’s she who lies in the hospital bed waiting to die. A trip to the bathroom confirms Mercy’s fears, as Lyla’s face stares back at her and Lyla’s curvy figure pokes through her tight clothes.

But finding out what’s really going on won’t be easy. Because if Mercy wants her body back, it might just cost her Lyla’s life.

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Author Interview & Giveaway: T.A. Maclagan

TheyCallMeAlexandraGastone4

They Call Me Alexandra Gastone

By: T.A. Maclagan

Release Date: May 20, 2015

Synopsis:

When your life is a lie, how do you know what’s real?

Alexandra Gastone has a simple plan: graduate high school, get into Princeton, work for the CIA, and serve her great nation.

She was told the plan back when her name was Milena Rokva, back before the real Alexandra and her family were killed in a car crash.

Milena was trained to be a sleeper agent by Perun, a clandestine organization from her true homeland of Olissa. There, Milena learned everything she needed to infiltrate the life of CIA analyst Albert Gastone, Alexandra’s grandfather, and the ranks of America’s top intelligence agency.

For seven years, “Alexandra” has been on standby and life’s been good. Grandpa Albert loves her, and her strategically chosen boyfriend, Grant, is amazing.
But things are about to change. Perun no longer needs her at the CIA in five years’ time. They need her active now.

Between her cover as a high school girl—juggling a homecoming dance, history reports, and an increasingly suspicious boyfriend—and her mission in this high-stakes spy game, the boundaries of her two lives are beginning to blur.

Will she stay true to the country she barely remembers, or has her loyalty shattered along with her identity?

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AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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

If you’re a teen or adult who likes books with a strong female lead, twists and turns galore, compelling romance, and a believable journey of self-discovery then you’ll like They Call Me Alexandra Gastone.

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

I wanted a title that was immediately intriguing. Something that suggested spy without having ‘spy’ in the title. I think They Call Me Alexandra Gastone does that, especially when paired with the cover art. It suggests that the protagonist is actually someone other than Alexandra Gastone.

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

Fiona Jayde was the designer. I was lucky in that my publisher was very keen on me being a part of the design process and asked for my input at each stage. Given the title of the book, we all thought  a full on face shot would be good and we wanted to highlight Alexandra’s heterochromia (2 different eye colors) as it’s an integral component of the book. The red and black color scheme was chosen because it practically screams spy. If you look up spy novels on Amazon, most will have the same color scheme. It harkens back to the cold war and all the spy novels featuring the Soviets. Lastly, the rifle scope was added because as the designer zoomed in on the model’s face, her expression started to seem bland. However, once the rifle scope was added, her expression morphed from bland to defiant, which was perfect!

Q: Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

Alexandra is definitely my favorite character! I love how she’s both emotionally and physically strong but also has a sensitive side. I love that she’s willing to fight for what she believes in.

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

Least favorite is a hard one. All the characters came from me so I have a certain fondness for everyone. I guess I’d have to go with the most despicable of the characters which is Mistress, although I actually love her in all her evil glory!

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

To be honest, I wouldn’t change a thing at this point. I’m more than happy with the final manuscript. On the road to being published, my agent and editors had me do some pretty big rewrites on portions of the book and each one made it better. By the end, I think we’d collectively figured out the way the book needed to be in order to be its best possible self. That’s the version being published on May 20th!

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

In the book, Alexandra is a sleeper agent from a small country called Olissa, but in my original manuscript she was from Russia and had strong communist leanings. My agent and editors wanted less ‘boring political stuff’ since it was a YA book, so Alexandra was moved from Russia to Olissa.

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

YA Spy books tend to fall into two broad categories, ‘lighthearted adventures’ like The Gallagher Girls and Also Known As and then the ‘more serious suspense’ novels like Sekret and Code Name Verity.  Alexandra Gastone is more in keeping with the second category, although the book differs quite a lot from Sekret and Code Name Verity because of its contemporary American high school setting.

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

I love interacting with readers! Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Website: www.tamaclagan.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tamaclagan
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tamaclagan
Tumblr: tamaclagan.tumblr.com/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tamaclagan/

Q: What can we expect from you in the future?

Lots more books I hope! And a sequel to They Call Me Alexandra Gastone!

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

Tell their friends they liked it! Suggest it for book clubs. Ask the local library to buy a copy. Leave a review on Goodreads or Amazon. They say good word of mouth is one of the best ways for a novel to gain traction with the public so a lot of a book’s success has to do with readers getting the word out.

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

Don’t let a fear of failure prevent you from pursuing your goals. Don’t let criticism get you down. Learn and grow from it. As far as writing goes, there are few things I value more than constructive criticism. It helps make you better as a writer.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say?

I hope you enjoy reading They Call Me Alexandra Gastone as much as I enjoyed writing it! If you like the novel, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. I love chatting with readers!

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

“I stared at the video screen. At the girl with my eyes—one blue and one gray-green. I’d seen this video hundreds of times, so I knew it by heart. It was of Alexandra Gastone walking home. “

About T.A. Maclagan

TA Maclagan

T.A. Maclagan is a Kansas girl by birth but now lives in the bush-clad hills of Wellington, New Zealand with her Kiwi husband, son and four pampered cats. With a bachelor’s degree in biology and a Ph.D. in anthropology, she’s studied poison dart frogs in the rainforests of Costa Rica, howler monkeys in Panama and the very exotic and always elusive American farmer. It was as she was writing her ‘just the facts’ dissertation that T.A. felt the call to pursue something more imaginative and discovered a passion for creative writing. They Call Me Alexandra Gastone is her first novel.

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Ever Darkening Blitz

 

Ever Darkening
Release Date: 01/28/15
Summary from Goodreads:
Perfection. Goodness. Elimination of evil. It’s what
seventeen-year-old Kaylyn has trained her entire life to achieve. But no one is prepared for the consequences of her actually defeating all evil people on the planet. Finally successful in her mission, Kaylyn faces an unfamiliar world, full of good people doing good things, in which she no longer has purpose.
When the skies grow dark, and a stranger from another village pleads for her help, her instincts roar to life. It turns out their perfect world isn’t exactly what it seems. Kaylyn’s new quest, harder than any she’s been on before, will rip apart her friendships, her life, and her soul more than any evil man ever managed to.

Book Excerpt:

Being the one chosen to kill the entire evil population is a burden heavier than sin. Not that I know what it’s like to sin, but I imagine this is worse. Killing is never taken lightly, even when
sanctioned by our leaders, the same leaders who chose me to carry it out. I’ve lost count of how many Malryx I’ve executed for that exact reason. And now there is only one left. Only one evil being. My purpose of being is almost complete.

About the Author

Janeal Falor lives in Utah where she’s finally managed to live in the same house for more than five years without moving. In her spare time she reads books like they’re nuts covered in caramel and chocolate, cooks whatever strikes her fancy, and enjoys the outdoors. Her husband and three children try to keep up with her overactive imagination. Usually they settle for having dinner on the table, even if she’s still going on about the voices in her head.






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GIVEAWAY:

$50 Amazon Gift Card (INT)

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Book Blitz Organized by:

Laura Bingham: Dancing With Black

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We are happy to be a part of the Dancing With Black Blog Tour! For three days we will be releasing teasers, reviews, and even a giveaway (ebook copy of Dancing With Black as well as a $10 amazon gift card)!!! So be sure to check Monday’s and Tuesday’s post as well!

 

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Dancing With Black by Laura Bingham

Release Date: June 21st, 2014

Tour Dates: July 14th – August 14th

Genre: YA contemporary

Publisher: Trifecta Books

Tour Host: Silverbow Promotions

My Rating: 4/5

Every girl wants a guy who can whisk her off her feet.
Adam Black has a style that will whisk you into the air
and let your heart float for a while.

Dancing with Black is dancing with the one who sees more in you
than you could ever see in yourself.

 

Book Synopsis:

Dancing is Cami’s escape from her dark home life. It’s the only thing that gives her hope – until she meets Adam Black. A talented dancer in his own right, he asks Cami to be his partner, and she gains strength and confidence as he unlocks whole new possibilities for her. When Cami’s abusive mother overdoses and her already-broken family falls to pieces around her, dancing with Adam helps Cami pull through. But he has secrets of his own, and someone wants him found at any price. Cami gets dragged into a web of danger and deceit. Now she must make a choice between familiar darkness and uncertain light.

My thoughts on Dancing With Black:

I don’t want to say too much on the novel because we have a great review that will be posted August 12th. However I would like to mention how amazing this book is! Dancing With Black is unlike any book I have ever read! There’s dancing, a love story, dealing with family issues, and suspense/mystery. I highly recommend reading this book! And I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there’s a sequel because one book isn’t nearly enough of Adam and Cami! Laura Bingham is such a talented author! Her writing is exceptional! Don’t miss a chance to read this book!

Favorite Quote:

Now is all I have. Later can never be trusted.

― Laura Bingham, Dancing With Black

About the Author:

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Laura Bingham

Author Bio:

Nearly a native of Idaho, I was born in Iowa and moved to Idaho at age four. I graduated from Ricks College with an Associates degree and from Boise State University with a Bachelor degree in Biology as well as certification to teach all science subjects in secondary education in the state of Idaho. Alvor is my first novel and was released May, 2009 and more books are on their way. In my backyard stands a dance studio where I teach youth of all ages the lesser known, but much loved sport of clogging. I live in Boise with my husband and five young children, including my own set of boy/girl twins. Since the release of Alvor, I have had the privilege of meeting so many great people, young and old alike. They have given me hope of breaking into the world with my book and making a career out of writing. One thing I can promise is that you haven’t seen the last of me yet. Alvor is just the beginning of my journey.

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Don’t forget to check back for tomorrows Dancing With Black teaser and giveaway and also Tuesday’s book review! And be sure to add Dancing With Black to your goodreads!