Masked Book Blitz and Giveaway

Book & Author Details:
Masked 
by J.D. Wright
(Superheroes Undercover, #1)
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: August 15th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Superheroes, Young Adult
Synopsis:
Vada’s To-Do List:

– Turn 18 (check!)
– Register super name
– Order supersuit
– Attend superhero indoctrination
– Graduate high school
– Start kicking criminal tail

Vada Lawson can’t wait to be a superhero. Born into a family with special powers, she’s been training to fight criminals and villains her whole life. But her indoctrination into the underground super community is derailed when normals start breaking out in superpowers themselves.

Not trained to control their new abilities, the normals are frightened and vulnerable. Then their mutilated corpses begin turning up all over town. What the heck?

Somehow, with the help—and hindrance—of an annoying newly-minted super named Orion, Vada has to stop the chaos before it destroys her and everything she holds dear…and ruins her superhero debut.

 

 

Excerpt:

Nick couldn’t take it anymore.

The entire morning had been one shock to his system after another. The nice long weekend in his giant but silent house had made him all but forget about the weird run-in with Janet. He’d spent the entire time working on his homework and enjoying the peace and quiet.

But after only five minutes at school, he was rudely reminded that he must be losing his mind. The voices came like a whirlwind into his head, one after another. So many that he couldn’t decipher whose thoughts belonged to who. He couldn’t even separate his own thoughts from the others. There were so many, and every one of them was as loud as the other, washing over him like waves of pounding noise.

Being in class gave no relief, either. The other students may not have been talking aloud, but every one of them was thinking, loudly. Nick heard too many things that he never wanted to hear and a lot of mundane thoughts that no one cares about.

…I wonder if I forgot to lock the door this morning…

…Oh, man. I’m not sure if I’m ready to do this. What if I get pregnant? But Luke is so cute, though…

…Mrs. Yates has such nice tits…

 Nick actually agreed with that last sentiment, but he couldn’t be sure who had said it.

…Only thirty minutes left. I really need to pee…

…Nick is too good for Scarlet. What does he see in her? She’s such a bitch…

…This class is about as useless as my stepmother…

 There was just so much noise. Nick pulled his hood up, but it did nothing to block the sounds. Every single thought that crossed someone else’s mind entered his. He didn’t give a damn about someone’s new pet lizard. And while he appreciated the girl across from him’s glances and thoughts of admiration—at least, he was pretty sure those belonged to her from the way she watched him—he didn’t want to know what other people were thinking.

What had caused this? Was it some sort of mental illness? Was he imagining these things? He couldn’t be sure he was even hearing real thoughts. He considered quizzing someone, but he was almost too afraid to confirm what he suspected.

He was reading people’s minds. Hearing their thoughts. Without even trying.

And it was excruciating.

 

 

Purchase:

Amazon

 

AUTHOR BIO:
J.D. Wright is a military wife, mother of four, and author of paranormal and fantasy romance books filled with strong-willed heroines, swoon-worthy heroes, and sprinkled with humor and adventure. J.D. creates artistry in many ways, as a baker and cake artist by day and author by night. You can usually find her typing away at the computer or covered in frosting.
Since discovering she has a knack for writing, J.D. has so far written and self-published eight books of the Everealm and Songs of Everealm Series and is now venturing into the world of paranormal with her new superhero-themed series. She is an avid reader and lover of all things romance so she always includes a good love story in her paranormal and fantasy novels.
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Swept Away Book Blitz and Giveaway

 

Book & Author Details:
Swept Away 
by S. McPherson
(The Water Rushes #3)
Publication date: August 1st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Synopsis:

Elev nos senaremdos: Live on in memories

Milo is gone and Vladimir and the others plan to go after him before he gets himself killed…if it isn’t already too late. But they have no way of making the gethadrox and they are not all working as together as they think.

Secrets hushed and secrets kept are soon revealed when Dezaray gets a package that leads to her taking matters into her own hands and following a path that leads to the unimaginable.

Only Lexovia and a small band of misfits stay behind in an attempt to save the world and Lexovia soon finds herself in a position of power she never truly wanted.

Dive deeper into worlds & war in this thrilling third installment of an epic fantasy. Loved by fans of Cassandra Clare and Sarah J Maas.

 

 

Excerpt:

As I walk, I allow the woods to claim my mind. I appreciate the low hanging branches of the tall robust trees, the flutter of the wind rippling the surface of the stream and the scuttles and flurry of the wildlife.

Something shiny in the shadows strikes my eyes. Peering through the lampposts’ haze, I recognise the man I’ve dubbed Tinfoil leaning against a tree just off the path. I call him Tinfoil because that’s what he always wears: tinfoil hat, coat, and fingerless gloves. I often see him on the weekends in town, yelling out predictions and profanities at passers-by. Most people give him a wide birth – especially since he once told a man he was heading for a fall, and the next thing I knew, that same man was in a wheelchair – however, I’ve never really bothered. Tinfoil never offends me in any way and usually fails to notice my existence, keeping his head down and his crinkling hands inside his torn pockets.

I move closer, preparing to give my usual nod on the off chance he looks my way, but stop when his head twists in my direction. His eyes widen with that crazed look I’ve seen him give others, and he jumps into my path.

‘I see the light,’ he gasps, ‘shining bright. Walk through it.’

I furrow my brow.

‘I see the light!’ he cries, ‘shining bright. Walk through it.’

My heart pounds as I stumble to get around him but he keeps leaping in my way.

‘I see the light. Shining bright. Walk through it.’

Oh dear. A crazy person is telling me to walk into the light, this can’t be good. I pretend to step one way, and when he follows, quickly step another, finally getting around him. His gloved hand grips my wrist, the folded foil poking at my skin.

‘Get off!’ I exclaim.

‘Tonight free.’ Tinfoil leans close, so close I can see a spit bubble bobbing from one lip to the other as they meet. ‘Tomorrow a cage.’

I gulp, twisting my wrist, but he’s surprisingly strong for such a withered character.

‘Tonight free. Tomorrow a cage.’ His eyes leave mine and lower to the ground. ‘Tonight free. Tomorrow a cage.’

Purchase Link:

Amazon

 

 

 

Book Trailer

AUTHOR BIO:

USA Today Bestselling Author & a citizen of the world; S. McPherson was born in England, moved to Saudi Arabia when she was five then on to Dubai at the age of seven. S. McPherson briefly lived in Scotland, she is originally from Jamaica and her mind is often far, far away in lands people have never heard of.

S. McPherson has always loved writing in all its forms and at the tender age of eight, she dreamt of being a member of the next big pop group where she could sing and write songs all day. When that inexplicably fell through (how could she not be the next Beyonce??), she moved on to poems, scripts and eventually novels.

Having met many different people – imaginary and real – along her travels, S. McPherson has a vast array of characters buzzing in her head bursting to be let loose on a page or two of fantasy.

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Sink Blitz and Giveaway



Sink
M.E. Rhines
(Mermaid Royalty #1)
Publication date: July 31st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Obedience has always been a matter of survival for sixteen-year-old mermaid princess Pauline. Her mother is the tyrannical Queen Calypso, who rules the kingdom of Atargatis with an iron trident. To utter one word against her would mean banishment—or worse—so Pauline bites her tongue and minds her manners. But on the eve of her sister’s merling-shower, all of that is about to change. Confronted with the truth about what happens to the human men who are betrothed to the mermaids of Atargatis, Pauline realizes she can stay silent no more.

Determined to end the queen’s dark tradition, Pauline goes along on a search for shipwreck survivors, secretly planning to free them. But things get complicated when she finds herself inexplicably drawn to one of the men. Before she realizes what’s happening, she has kissed him—and a kiss from a mermaid is not without consequences. Now Pauline will have to risk everything if she is to save the young man and thwart the queen’s dark plans…

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EXCERPT:

My eyes widened, my heart hammering against my rib cage. A fear I didn’t understand tugged at my tailfin, like an anchor had been tied to its end. I sank against the wall of our pirated vessel and watched the chaos as it unfolded in slow motion.

Gene laughed at something my sister said just before it hit him. His smile fell in an instant as soon as the sudden deadening feeling pummeled into his chest. He

dropped the plate and held out his hand. From my experience with Beaked Sea Snake, he was seeing double the fingers.

A fogginess washed over his eyes. He reached out for Fawna for just a second before his arms fell to his sides, limp and useless. Then, his human legs gave out from under him. A loud crack sounded as his knees made impact with the hard floor of the ship.

When he finally fell backward, my sister stood over his paralyzed body with a shameless, cruel smirk that gave me the chills. My mother, hovering well above me, nodded her approval with a warm, glowing pride showing on her face.

I looked around, expecting to see the same shocked expression I wore among my clan. But not one jaw was dropped. Every one of them watched with tense, excited eyes. They looked like bloodthirsty demons from where I was sitting.

“Mother,” I whispered. “What’s going on?”

She didn’t hear me.

“My Queen,” someone shouted from below. “What are your orders?”

Mother took in a long, powerful breath and shouted, “Air him out.”

I gasped, disbelief shuddering through me. “Mother,” I screamed. “Mother, you can’t!”

My protests were drowned out by the unified battle cry that erupted from every member of our clan. Angelique dropped her guitar, dashing for Gene with two other mermaids close behind.

I rushed for him, but Mother grabbed my arm with bruising fingers.

“Let me go,” I demanded.

Even through the screeching cheers below, I could hear Mother’s teeth grinding. “Don’t make a scene.”

I stilled, having every intention to stay put and comply, as usual. But then, I caught a glimpse of Gene’s face. While his muscles were tight and immobile, his eyes were filled with a conscious terror. They pleaded with me from across the ship, begging me to save him.

Before I could stop myself, I twisted my arm out of Mother’s grasp and swam to him, hoping to talk some sense into my sister before she did something terrible.

It was no use. I couldn’t reach them. They had too much of a head start. All I could do was watch as they snatched the helpless human and dragged his lifeless body up, up, and up until…

Bubbles sprayed all around them as they held Gene’s head and neck above water, but kept their own gills safely submerged. Even if he had working legs to thrash and fight with, he would be outmatched. Our tails treaded water in a way a human’s boney appendages couldn’t come close to.

He was in our world, by no choice of his own. We brought him down here against his will, and now that he was a part of it, my mother was sending him back home to die.

The gills would not disappear. They would only struggle for a short while before giving up to the heat of the land above. Gene’s chest moved in and out, in faster but shallower spurts.

I kicked my tail harder. Just as he came into my reach, he took one final gulp of air from his own world, and the movement stopped.

Mother had killed him.

 

Author Bio:

ME Rhines a southwest Florida native currently living in North Port with her two beautiful children and a third, much larger child whom she affectionately calls husband.
She writes young adult paranormal romance to feed her belief that fairy tales are real and
nonsense is necessary.

She also writes adult romances under her edgier alter-ego, Mary Bernsen.

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Hunted Fate: Excerpt and Giveaway

Hunted Fate
Jennifer Derrick
(Threads of the Moirae, #3)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: July 24th 2017
Genres: Mythology, Romance, Young Adult

Alex and Atropos have taken refuge at an abandoned mountain resort compound. Atropos is a wanted woman in hiding, and the downtime with her soul mate is a nice change of pace. But the peace will be short-lived. The authorities are after her for her role in the attack on the city of Charlotte. Zeus has put a bounty on her head. There’s also a war to prepare for—and if she wins, the gods will be deposed once and for all. But first she needs to track down Gaia, and even that won’t be simple. Gaia resides at the bottom of the ocean, and the humans and gods are already hot on Atropos’ trail…

A heart-pounding romantic adventure where Greek mythology and modern-day life collide, Hunted Fate is the third book in the epic Threads of the Moirae series by Jennifer Derrick.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Previous books in the series:

Grab book 1 – Broken Fate – for FREE!

EXCERPT:

“We need whoever provides security around here. Or Hades. They’re bound to be the ones who can open this. If we can find them, we can drag them down here and slap their hand on this thing to get it open,” Alex says.

“We need another way,” Sara says, shaking her head. “We haven’t seen a single person since we got here. It’s too time consuming to track them down. And we’ll never get Hades.”

“Anyone know of any other ways to crack a palm plate?” I ask.

“Short of finding a valid fingerprint and going through an awful lot of steps to create a fake finger, the only other way is to break down the software controlling it,” Alex says.

“Are any of you hackers?”

Alex raises his hand.

“You can hack this?” I ask. “I didn’t know you were a hacker.”

“I’m not. But there isn’t a lot to do when you’re stuck at home with a terminal disease or trapped in a crappy boarding school. I taught myself a few things, made a few online friends who were a little shady. Depending on how sophisticated the software is, I might be able to crack it.”

“Would it be controlled from the computer out front?”

“It might be. Or it might be controlled from a central server that’s who knows where. No way to know without looking,” he says.

“That computer is password protected. If you try to force it, you may set off alarms.”

“Then I’ll have to be careful,” he says, heading back to the lobby.

We follow and gather around the desk while he works. The keys clack under his fingers as he mutters instructions to himself.

“Okay, I’m in the system,” he says. “While I’m here, I’m going to shut down those security cameras. No need for everyone to know where we are.”

The TV feed blinks and is gone.

He keeps typing and clicking and muttering. The rest of us sit down on the floor and wait. There’s nothing we can do.

“Huh. That could be tricky,” he says.

“What?” I ask, getting up and going around the desk so I can see his screen. Not that the gibberish there means squat to me.

“The system that controls the fingerprint scanners also controls the card locks. Worse, it’s not separated by floor. I’m not good enough to bring down only one piece of the system. It’s all or nothing.”

“What’s the problem?” I ask.

“It means that the only thing standing between us and whatever is behind

those cell doors is the hope that none of them try the doors. If the inmates figure out the doors are open, then security will be the least of our problems. All of them could walk right out of here.”

“Do it,” I tell him. “It’s not like we’ll be broadcasting the locks are down. No one will notice. Hopefully.”

“Okay,” he says and goes back to pounding on the keys.

After a few minutes, the computer beeps and Alex pushes away from it.

“Done,” he says.

The words are barely out of his mouth when a series of small pops echoes around the room. They sound like they’re both surrounding us and simultaneously heading away from us.

“Aw, shit,” I say. “The locks. We forgot they make noise! We are idiots. Come on,” I say, racing for the doors on the right.

We slam through the doors and pull up in front of door number four. No one is coming into the hall yet. I’m hoping the inmates think it’s a trap and are too intimidated to try their doors. Either that or they didn’t hear the locks release. Please, just let me get out of here before hell literally opens, I think.

 

Author Bio:

Jennifer is a freelance writer and novelist. As a freelancer, she writes everything from technical manuals to articles on personal finance and European-style board games. Her interest in storytelling began when she was six and her parents gave her a typewriter for Christmas and agreed to pay her $.01 per page for any stories she churned out. Such a loose payment system naturally led to a lot of story padding. Broken Fate, her first novel, earned her $2.80 from her parents.

Jennifer lives in North Carolina and, when not writing, can often be found reading, trawling the shelves at the library, playing board games, watching sports, camping, running marathons, and playing with her dog. You can visit her at her official website:www.JenniferDerrick.com.

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Chasing Evaline: Excerpt and Giveaway

I am so excited that CHASING EVELINE by Leslie Hauser is available now and that I get to share the news!
 
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Leslie Hauser, be sure to check out all the details below.
 
This blitz also includes a giveaway for a finished copy of the book and swag courtesy of Leslie and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
About The Book:
Title: CHASING
EVELINE
Author: Leslie
Hauser
Pub. Date: July 11,
2017
Publisher: Pen Name
Publishing
Pages: 300
Formats: Paperback,
eBook
Sixteen-year-old Ivy Higgins is the only student at Carmel Heights High
School who listens to cassettes. And her binder is the only one decorated with
album artwork by 80s band Chasing Eveline. Despite being broken-up since 1989,
this rock band out of Ireland means everything to Ivy. They’re a reminder of
her mom, who abandoned Ivy and her dad two years ago. Now the music of her
mom’s favorite band is the only connection she has left.

Even though Ivy wavers between anger and a yearning to reconnect, she’s
one-hundred percent certain she’s not ready to lose her mom forever. But the
only surefire way to locate her would be at a Chasing Eveline concert. So with
help from her lone friend Matt—an equally abandoned soul and indie music
enthusiast—Ivy hatches a plan to reunite the band.

The road to Ireland won’t be easy, though. And not just because there is no
road. Along the way they’ll have to win over their Lady Gaga-loving peers,
tangle with some frisky meerkats, and oh yeah, somehow find and persuade the
four members to play a reunion gig. It’s a near-impossible task, but Ivy has to
try. If she can’t let go of the past, she’ll never be able to find joy in the
present.
Excerpt:
 
They say music is the key to the soul. Or maybe it’s the heart. I can’t
remember exactly what my mom said that day she danced into my room with a new
record for me to hear. I was only in the fourth grade, but I became a believer.
I remember so vividly how the drums rattled deep within my chest and the lyrics
I didn’t even understand seemed to whisper secrets meant only for me. The song
lingered inside me for days. My mom swooned and told me that’s why music must
be shared.
So when I saw the desperate school blog post calling for a volunteer DJ
at tonight’s Back to School Dance, I jumped at the chance. The music my friend
Matt and I plan to throw into the mix is a giant master key. I just hope it
will open the teenage hearts in this musty gym and linger inside them long
after the last balloon deflates. This music is important to me.
 
I nudge Matt, whose face is glued to the computer screen at our DJ table.
A vibrating speaker to our left thumps out music, so I yell into his ear, “Is
the set list ready?”
 
He tilts his head toward me. “Geez, Ivy. I just plugged in the flash
drive.”
 
“Okay, sorry.” I step away. He sweeps his blond hair out of his eyes and
returns his focus to the computer.
 
I pace behind him, a nervous left followed by an excited right and back
again. The musical brilliance of the greatest guitarist of all time will soon
weave through these bodies and drift into every ear. My heart floats up with
the blue and yellow balloons hovering like a latex fog.
 
My hand strums on my thigh while Matt continues to fuss with the
computer. Near the gym entrance, Principal Henry stands with Narc 1 and Narc 2,
and a wave of yawns travels across them. The newbie freshmen line the walls and
cluster in groups. The scene resembles a casting call for an acne medication
ad.
 
The dull atmosphere isn’t helped by the annoyingly synthetic pop
noise blasting through the speakers. After I offered our free DJ services to
Karen, the Dance Committee Chairperson, she gave us a mix of music tracks to
play. She was grateful to have saved some precious dollars for this year’s
prom, but 
 
I’m not sure she trusted two no-name juniors to get the job
done. 
 
However, after listening to thirty minutes of her set list, I’m seriously
questioning the cool factor of the popular crowd. Karen’s mix features some of
the worst radio music of all time. Every song is a mere echo of the previous
one—peppy beats and vacuous lyrics about hook-ups and partying. I can’t even
tell if the voices belong to boys, girls, or machines. 
 
I tap Matt’s shoulder. “Are you almost finished?” I nearly have to
scream.
 
“Yeah. I’m just making sure we have the songs in the right order.” He
turns around and leans toward me. “Ivy, you really want to do this?”
 
I smile at him and hope he doesn’t see all the tiny cracks waiting to
splinter. “We’re just sharing some great music. It’ll be fine.”
About Leslie:

I am a YA writer and
middle school teacher. I have a B.A. in English from UCLA and a Master’s degree
in Educational Administration. I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently
reside in Los Angeles, California, with my dog Mr. Darcy.
When I’m not
living in fictional worlds inside my head, I run all sorts of distances,
torture my body at CrossFit, and DVR entirely too many television shows. I
dream of one day returning to the Midwest to live on a farm. Or perhaps owning
a cookie delivery service.
My debut
novel CHASING EVELINE releases in 2017 from Pen Name Publishing.
Giveaway Details:
(1) Winner
will receive a finished copy of CHASING EVELINE & Swag, US Only.
Ends on
February 9th at Midnight EST!

The Rebirth of Hope: Scrapbook

THE REBIRTH OF HOPE

My Journey from Vietnam War Child to American Citizen

By Sau Le Hudecek

  Genre: Memoir / Inspirational

Publisher: Texas Christian University Press

Date of Publication: June 15, 2017

Number of Pages: 160 

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Born in a demilitarized zone during the Vietnam War to a Vietnamese mother and American soldier, Sau Le arrived in the United States as a young woman with only twenty dollars in her pocket. Though bullied and abused since childhood, she nevertheless came to her new homeland armed with courage and determined to build a decent life for herself, her infant son, and her traumatized mother.

This is the story of how she overcame every conceivable hurdle—significant culture shock, a daunting language barrier, serious illness, heartbreak, and betrayal—to become a landlord, a successful business owner, a joyous wife and mom, and a woman blessed with generous, loyal friends. She describes an arduous journey, both physical and emotional, from a place of terror and utter despair to a life overflowing with love and prosperity.

Ultimately, this is a story of hope, something Sau Le thought she’d lost long ago in the minefields of Vietnam. Her goal is both to uplift and to remind everyone born on American soil that anything in this land is possible for those willing to put dedication, faith, and passion to work.

Praise for The Rebirth of Hope:

“Sau Le has an innate abundance of beauty, wisdom, loyalty and dignity which led her to overcome unbelievable challenges and fully realize her dream in America. Thus proving once again that adversity builds character. I couldn’t put it down.” —Dan Jenkins, bestselling author of Semi-Tough

“Sau Le lifted her head and walked through years of hard work and determination, inspiring other women along the way! Every word of her personal journey was written to remind all of us!”  —Robin Sanders, Sanders Travel Agency

“An inspiring story of a Vietnam refugee’s journey to achieve the ‘American Dream.’ This book is a lesson for everyone.”  —Martin C. Bowen, financial executive

“To have written this remarkable story is one more example of the focus and tenacity that Sau Le Hudecek has shown in achieving her previous goals. You will remember this gripping tale of resilience and courage.”  —Gail Williamson Rawl

“A truly inspirational story of a fearless person who overcame unbelievable odds to make a better life and obtain the ‘American dream.’”  —Janie Beggs

Purchase Links

TCU Press    IndieBound    Barnes & Noble    Amazon

Sau Le Hudecek owns a successful salon in Fort Worth, Texas, while still serving her own elite clientele.  In 1993, she arrived in the United States at the age of 22 and was sworn in as a citizen in 2001. She lives with her family in Granbury enjoying the sunsets from their home on the lake.

 

Connect with Texas Christian University Press:

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6/7   Author Interview   StoreyBook Review

6/8   Review    Reading by Moonlight

6/10  Review   Syd Savvy

6/11  Promo    Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books

6/12  Excerpt  Missus Gonzo

6/13  Review   Hall Ways Blog

6/14  Scrapbook 2  Texas Book Lover

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6/16  Review   Forgotten Winds

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Nowhere Near: Excerpt

NOWHERE NEAR

Stories
By Teddy Jones

  Genre: Short Stories / Literary Fiction / West Texas

Publisher: Midtown Publishing, Inc.

Date of Publication: May11, 2017

Number of Pages: 206

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Characters in the eleven stories in Nowhere Near act in ways that some might call “divinest madness.” Some of them have been pushed near their limits by years of stress. Others mourn and grieve and discover feelings they can’t admit aloud. A sense of duty drives another to believe in aliens, at least for a while. Some of their behavior is simply laughable, other flirts with death, and the rest ranges from dangerous to near heroic. These characters vary widely, yet all have in common that they live in or come from West Texas, where spaces are wider and tolerance for strangeness seems just a bit greater. Whether readers agree these characters are nowhere near crazy, they may admit they all are doing what humans do—what makes sense to them at the time.

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Praise for Nowhere Near:

“Teddy Jones writes about plainspoken people whose lives are entangled and wrought and marked by routine—routines they cherish, routines they wish to escape—and who glimpse, now and again, a sense of something beyond their ability to reason. The stories in Nowhere Near are deep, honest, and unsentimental, and they pierce you to the bone.—Robert Boswell, author of Tumbledown & The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards

There’s so much goodness in these stories, the kind of goodness that grows out of characters who endure hard lessons leading them to revelations and deep understanding. You’ll find real people here, with real heartaches and mistakes and regrets. With language as true as music, a steady and perceptive eye, and at times a blazing humor, Teddy Jones creates fully imagined and realized worlds. Subtly, she makes strangeness ordinary and the ordinary strange. You will recognize the people in this book the way you recognize your own neighbors and friends and co-workers and family: full of annoying quirks and surprises and, finally, a saving grace.”—Eleanor Morse, author of White Dog Fell From the Sky

“Teddy Jones is the real deal. With her characteristic wit and goodhearted characters, Jones draws a bead on West Texas life as it’s currently lived. Her precise ear for the rhythms of life and language guides the reader confidently from dry land farming to the double life of dreams and secrets. These stories stuck with me and left me wanting more.” –Summer Wood, author of Raising Wrecker

Excerpt from “Between Us,” a short story in Nowhere Near by Teddy Jones

Author’s note: I tend to resist writing (and reading) stories in which the protagonist is a writer. For some reason they often strike me as tales of the misery some attribute to choosing to be writers. They belong in the same category for me as victim memoirs—perhaps therapeutic for the writer, but not entertaining to me. But this woman spoke to me and said to tell her story.

One hundred seventeen. Another record! Until now, the greatest number of new emails for a single day on her Gia Caraway fan site had been sixty-nine. That was three years ago when her third book came out. The writer, subject of the fans’ interest, wasn’t the only one who kept up with the numbers. Her editor had administrative access to her website and could see the incoming mail and Jean’s responses. Occasionally the editor furnished Jean, who used the pseudonym Gia, a report that showed the number of views of her website correlated with sales of her print and e-books. Website views demonstrated a weakly positive correlation with sales. Fan e-mail numbers correlated strongly with sales.

Plus, now that Jean’s publisher supplied a person to tend to her social media presence, the reports also contained far more than she cared to know about the number of page views, likes, and followers for her author pages and/or her books on Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram, and Twitter. For all she knew, her editor, Audra Camp, could also document a running inventory of the contents of Jean’s underwear drawer. 

What Audra didn’t know was that Jean was as much a fabrication as Gia. Johnnie Lyn Berry had created Jean Barlow just as surely as she had birthed Gia Caraway. Jean dealt with the editor, signed contracts, owned a telephone and a bank account of her own, had a g-mail address and a social security number, and employed her own accountant. Gia, whose name stood in bold print on more than 400,000 copies of paperbacks and electronic books, had no time for those details. She lived an exciting life that her fans were certain was the source of the erotic, romantic escapades her heroines enjoyed.

If Johnnie Lyn hadn’t done another smart thing in her life, deciding to create Jean qualified. Johnnie Lyn thought of Jean as the buffer who represented her in the world of romance fiction. Since the amazing numbers of sales of her first book with the publisher, Jean had complied with all of Audra’s wishes, accepted all her guidance. Audra used the words “guiding your career development.” Jean thought about Trilby and Svengali.

So far, the only disagreement between her and her editor had been about having a social media person at the publishing house respond to her fan mail. Jean preferred to do that herself. …..So here she was, at nine o’clock on a perfectly beautiful Monday evening in June, 2011, sitting in her writing room, dealing with fan mail. She should be outside enjoying the West Texas sunset. The first one she opened said, “Dear Gia, I’m sixty-two this year and have read every one of your books since the first. You’ve outdone yourself with this eleventh one. I love that you’re telling MY story without our ever having met. I don’t know how you do it, but it’s clear to me that somehow you know about the adventures I had in my earlier days. I often said I should write an autobiography. Thanks to you, honey, I don’t need to. Keep up the good work. Your fan always, Carla in Ft. Worth.” 

This wasn’t the first fan who was certain she was the subject of Gia’s novels. Her template file held a response which she quickly personalized, assuring Carla in Ft. Worth that it was all fiction and congratulating her on having led such an interesting life.

The next email in the queue replaced Jean’s smile with a wrinkle between her eyebrows. Not fan mail, it was from Audra, who usually wrote to her Jean Barlow email address, or just called Jean’s phone. (Gia didn’t have a phone.) This email, here in Gia’s fan mail, was flagged High Priority—in red letters.

It didn’t even begin with Audra’s usual gushy greeting Dearest Jean, my star of stars. This one opened with Jean, This is important for both of us.

Jean scanned the first paragraph. Her publishing company had wangled a spot on the program at a romance fiction conference coming up in San Antonio in September. It was to be a huge event, bringing together fans and authors—presentations for writers on the first day, the next day open to fans, also. THINK STAR TREK CONVENTION! THINK SALES OPPORTUNITIES!! Audra had been assigned, as Editorial Director of Body Heat, the company’s line of erotic romances, to make a major presentation. 

Gia didn’t attend conferences and neither did Jean, ever.

Teddy Jones has been a nurse, nurse practitioner, university professor, college dean, and occasional farmhand. She grew up in a small north Texas town, Iowa Park, and gained college degrees in nursing at Incarnate Word and University of Texas, a Ph.D. in Education at University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. She held nursing, teaching, and administrative positions in Austin, Denver, and Lubbock and as a family nurse practitioner in Texas and New Mexico. Writing fiction was her “when I know enough and have the time” dream all those years. Now she and her husband live near Friona, in the Texas Panhandle, where her husband farms and she writes full time.

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The Unseen: Excerpt and Giveaway

The Unseen
Jacob Devlin
(Order of the Bell #2)
Published by: Blaze Publishing
Publication date: May 9th 2017
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult

Crescenzo and his friends may have survived their confounding journey to the enchanted realms of Florindale, but now they find themselves fighting for their sanity and lives while stuck on the other side of the very mirror they set out to destroy.

With their families trapped by a former ally with a crippling fear of the queen, Enzo, Rosana, and Zack must play a deadly game in Wonderland, where shadows are on the move, kings are at war, and one of them wants Rosana dead.

As darkness hovers over the world, the friends must lean on each other and stop the King of Hearts from following through on Avoria’s orders: Break them.

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Sequel to:

EXCERPT:

Zack wrinkled his brows. “Who are you? Why have I come to see you? I don’t even know you.”

“You wouldn’t know of Madame Esme. But she certainly knows of you. Lady Fortune keeps painting your name in the cosmos. It would appear there is an important role for you in the journeys of Pinocchio’s son.”

“Enzo,” Zack said quietly.

“Yes.” A chill rippled through the air, and Madame Esme cast a wary gaze around the tent. “Now, Madame Esme has very limited time to speak to you. Please listen carefully.” She lowered her voice, reached across the table, and then seized Zack’s elbow. “I have predicted the death of one of your own . . . the son of Pinocchio. Madame Esme cannot be sure of the circumstances, but it is to take place soon in the realm of wonder.”

Zack yanked his elbow out of Madame Esme’s grip. “What are you saying? Why would you tell me something like that, even if it were true? That’s . . . an evil thing to say.”

The woman edged forward, impossibly calm given the horrible news she delivered. “Madame Esme is never wrong, Son of Pan. Oh, how often she wishes she were! Avoria arrived seven days ago, and what a mess we have become! The lands of Roma are falling to ruins once more. The Grand Canyon crumbles to dust as we speak. Avoria seeks a territory in which to build her citadel, and nothing will ever be the same. But the son of Pinocchio is destined to lead us all to battle. Thus, we need you, Son of Pan. We need you all to dethrone Avoria and restore peace. But if The Carver dies, hope dies with him.”

 

Author Bio:

When Jacob Devlin was four years old, he would lounge around in Batman pajamas and make semi-autobiographical picture books about an adventurous python named Jake the Snake. Eventually, he traded his favorite blue crayon for a black pen, and he never put it down. When not reading or writing, Jacob loves practicing his Italian, watching stand-up comedy, going deaf at rock concerts, and geeking out at comic book conventions. He does most of these things in southern Arizona.

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