Jaclyn and the Beanstalk

Jaclyn and the Beanstalk
By Mary Ting
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: September 4th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Book Synopsis:

What fate awaits a girl who hears monsters at night…Sixteen-year-old Jaclyn looks up to her father. An honest man who once fought for the king, he now teaches Jaclyn how to use her wits—and her sword.

But he has a secret. And his secret may have a connection to the one thing Jaclyn is hiding from him.

Upon hearing “monsters” are terrorizing the small villages around Black Mountain, Jaclyn’s father and his friends head out to hunt them … but they don’t return.

Armed only with her sword and three magic beans—a gift from a mysterious old woman—Jaclyn sets out for Black Mountain to save her father.

On her climb, one bean drops and grows into a beanstalk, catching her when she falls.

She isn’t the only one that takes the ride. Jack, her childhood friend and secret crush, is following her.

Together, Jaclyn and Jack must battle to save not only their fathers, but the townspeople the beasts plan to lay waste to before it’s too late.

 

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About the Author
International Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.
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Garden of Thorns Blitz

Garden of Thorns (Garden of Thorns #1)
By Amber Mitchell
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Release Date: March 6th 2017
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:

After seven grueling years of captivity in the Garden—a burlesque troupe of slave girls—sixteen-year-old Rose finds an opportunity to escape during a performance for the emperor. But the hostage she randomly chose from the crowd to aid her isn’t one of the emperor’s men—not anymore. He’s the former heir to the throne, who is now leading a rebellion against it.

Rayce is a wanted man and dangerously charismatic, the worst person for Rose to get involved with, no matter what his smile promises. But he assumes Rose’s attempt to take him hostage is part of a plot to crush the rebellion, so he takes her as his hostage. Now Rose must prove where her loyalties lie, and she offers Rayce a deal—if he helps her rescue the other girls, she’ll tell him all the Garden’s secrets.

Except the one secret she’s kept for seven years that she’ll take to her grave if she must.
 
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The sequel, War of the Wilted, releases on October 1, 2018! (cover coming soon!)
 

Book Summary 

Rose will not rest until the Gardener is dead. But there are bigger battles to fight, and Rayce—leader of the rebellion and the only man Rose has ever loved—believes their best chance at winning the war is to join forces with her sworn enemy.
Saving innocent people is more important than her quest for revenge. But their new ally can’t be trusted—and he knows her darkest secret. One betrayal could leave the war and Rayce’s life hanging in the balance, and Rose will need to make the ultimate sacrifice to save them all.

 

Preorder links for the second book in the series, War of the Wilted!
 
 
About the Author
Amber Mitchell graduated from the University of South Florida with a BA in Creative Writing. She likes crazy hair styles, reading, D&D, k-dramas, good puns and great food.

When she isn’t putting words on paper, she is using cardstock to craft 3D artwork or exploring new places with her husband Brian. They live a small town in Florida with their four cats where she is still waiting for a madman in a blue box to show up on her doorstep.

Garden of Thorns is her debut novel from Entangled Teen.
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Magic Born: Guest Post and Giveaway

Magic Born
Rayanne Haines
(The Guardian Series, #2)
Publication date: June 6th 2018
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Maria Del Voscova is a powerful witch with a past. When she’s asked to become a member of the elite Guardians she knows she can’t risk sharing the truth about her messed-up family. But we don’t always get what we want. Sometimes, we don’t always know what we want.

Though Mar absolutely knows she doesn’t want Neeren, King of the Parthen. She alone sees the darkness in him and it reminds her too much of the past. She knows better than to fall for his stoic, tortured soul façade.

She’s training to be a Guardian, a shadow; tasked with keeping the balance between good and evil in the world. It’s what she wants—to be better than her family was.

But the past has a way of catching up to Mar and the future has a morbid sense of humor. On her first mission, she’s kidnapped by the enemy she’s been running from her entire life. Thankfully the guardians look after their own. As it turns out, so does Neeren.

As Mar finds herself caught between the past and the future; between blood and bond; between the light and the dark, she realizes her only chance at surviving may be in trusting a man who is the most dangerous of them all.

Goodreads / Amazon

 

From the Author:

I remember being fourteen years old and being taken through a fence by my horse, Razzle. He was a good horse. But that day something spooked him and no matter what I tried, he decided there was no way I was staying on his back. He’d had enough.

 

As puberty hit, I started feeling that way about expectation. I wanted it off my back. The idea of finishing high school to go to college to get a 9-5 job ate away at the fiber who I knew I was. I wanted to chase wild horses and wild adventures. I’m certain I was an author before I knew what the word meant.

 

My parents raised me to be tough and independent, to work hard. Living on a farm, you worked – period. To this day, my mother is the strongest woman I’ve ever met. Her strength was a benchmark for me as I a struggled through divorce, single parenting, re-educating myself, and building the career I wanted, not what society expected of me.

 

When I began writing seriously I started with poetry. A great poet can change the world with one line. I write poetry to empower women. I soon discovered I wanted to write fun stories about kick-ass women and alpha men who loved them. Along came expectation. A serious poet, a true feminist couldn’t write romance. To that, I scoff. The women in my family, the strong women I know, have never been defined by expectation. Have never allowed the judgments of others to shape our path.

 

I write romance, where happily ever after is found because of the heroine’s strength and resiliency, not despite it. Everything I write is shaped by the experiences I had growing up surrounded by strong women and by the resiliency I discovered in myself when I became a single mom. If I had to go back in time and tell my younger writer self, anything, it would be—don’t change. Follow the path whatever it looks like. Life is going to be hard. It’s going to test you. You’ll be lonely sometimes. The world will expect things of you that you don’t have to give. You know who you are. Buy some good pens—The stories will come.

Rayanne Haines

 

Author Bio:

Rayanne Haines grew up on a small horse ranch in Alberta. She spent most of her youth re-enacting scenes from Anne of Green Gables to attentive audiences that included pygmy goats and roan stallions. The horses were thrilled. Her father could never figure out why it took her three hours to clean the barn.
Her mother is an avid reader and instilled a love of literature in her at a young age. She has always been fascinated with learning people’s stories.
She has a fondness for mountains and rivers and all the creatures that live within them.
She believes in magic and the search for great love. She loves to write about strong women who will accept nothing less.

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The Soul Keeper: Excerpt Giveaway

The Soul Keepers
Devon Taylor
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: August 28th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

“A fantastic high-stakes adventure on a ghost ship sailing forever into eternity, where every soul is (literally) worth fighting for—what’s not to love? Devon Taylor weaves an endearing tale of friendship and loss with heart-stopping action and a whole lot of terrifying monsters. You’ll root for Rhett and his fellow reapers through every twist and turn!” —Rin Chupeco, author of The Bone Witch and The Girl from the Well

Full of danger, stormy otherworld seas, ghost ships, and terrifying monsters, this thrilling debut novel is perfect for fans of Taran Matharu and Neal Shusterman.

Death is just the beginning.

After dying in a terrible car accident, Rhett awakens in the afterlife and is recruited to join the crew of theHarbinger, a colossal seafaring vessel tasked with ferrying the souls of the dead. To where exactly, no one knows. But the crew must get the souls there, and along the way protect them from vicious soul-eating monsters that will stop at nothing to take the ship and all of its occupants.

Rhett and his new friends have a hard enough time fighting back the monsters that grow bolder and more ferocious every day. But then a new threat emerges, a demon who wants something that Rhett has. And if she gets it, it could mean the end of everything… for both the living and the dead.

Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, The Soul Keepers is a pulse-pounding, cinematic adventure by debut author Devon Taylor.

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Excerpt:

The light swallowed him up, and so did the ship.
Rhett waited for his eyes to adjust, but they didn’t need to. They didn’t burn or water from the brightness. He could see just fine. Nevertheless, the light was so intense that it hammered into his retinas, shining off the white metal of the walls. If he had been alive, he might have been blinded.
He stepped farther in, following the foggy shape of Basil’s shoul- ders into the brilliance. Their feet clanged on the floor. Rhett felt himself reaching out in front of him, prepared to slam into some oncoming mass.
Then he did run into something: Basil.
“Oy! Watch where you’re going,” Basil hissed. Rhett took a step back. He heard an iron screech and Basil’s voice again. “Through here.” And all at once the light was gone, replaced by an unsettled orange
glow that was constantly wrestling with the shadows. Firelight. Rhett shifted on his feet and heard the creak of wood beneath him. Whatever metal hallway they’d gone through to get inside the ship was gone. They were now standing in a large, open cavity.
There were splintered wood floors and wooden railings that went all the way around the periphery. The most curious thing was in the middle, jutting up out of the floor and connecting with the ceil- ing, almost like a support. It was a ship’s mast, complete with the worn-out, weather-beaten sail. Up at the top, where the mast met the ceiling, Rhett could see the crow’s nest, a rickety basket that leaned precariously to one side.
Rhett didn’t quite know what to make of it. And in the gloom of the torches that were leaning away from the outer walls, it was hard to say that he was still on the same boat. Had Basil performed an- other one of his party tricks and sent them somewhere else? To an- other point in time altogether? Was that even possible?
He didn’t know. He didn’t know anything about how any of this worked. Was this hell? Was this some kind of punishment?
All at once, Rhett wanted to weep. But when he imagined the pressure behind his eyes, imagined the tears falling down his face, it was only an image that floated up in his mind. His body stayed calm and still and . . . lifeless. There was no sweat on his hands, no tremble in his fingers. His body betrayed nothing of the chaos that was erupting in his head.
Desperately, he looked to Basil, who had given him that tiny bit of comfort back in the woods. But Basil was smiling, watching Rhett and allowing that internal panic to play out.
Basil said one thing, leaning in with his arms folded: “Welcome aboard the Harbinger.”

Author Bio:

Devon Taylor was born in Las Vegas, Nevada and currently lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and two daughters. His day job consists of sneaking around the house with ninja-like stealth to avoid waking up his kids. When not writing, reading, or tediously typing out text messages with all the correct spelling and punctuation, he spends his time with his family. THE SOUL KEEPERS is his debut novel.

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Project Prometheus: Promo

Project Prometheus (Assassin Fall #2)
by Aden Polydoros
Genre: YA Thriller
Release Date: August 28th 2018
Entangled Teen


Book Summary


The Academy stole everything from Hades, their perfect assassin. Angry and leaving bodies in his wake, he finds two other ex-assassins doing the exact same thing.

Tyler and Shannon once killed for The Academy. Now they’re tracking and hunting down its scientists. So why is The Academy only after Hades?

Shannon will do whatever it takes to protect Tyler, even if it means teaming up with a former rival. While she seeks answers to her past, Tyler wants to learn the truth about the mysterious white room, which no one has ever seen except him.

As for Hades? He simply wants revenge.

They all need answers, even if it means returning to the organization where it all started.

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Book One
Project Pandora (Assassin Fall #1) by Aden Polydoros
Release Date: August 1st 2017

Book Summary

Tyler Bennett trusts no one. Just another foster kid bounced from home to home, he’s learned that lesson the hard way. Cue world’s tiniest violin. But when strange things start happening—waking up with bloody knuckles and no memory of the night before or the burner phone he can’t let out of his sight— Tyler starts to wonder if he can even trust himself.

Even stranger, the girl he’s falling for has a burner phone just like his. Finding out what’s really happening only leads to more questions…questions that could get them both killed. It’s not like someone’s kidnapping teens lost in the system and brainwashing them to be assassins or anything, right? And what happens to rogue assets who defy control?

In a race against the clock, they’ll have to uncover the truth behind Project Pandora and take it down—before they’re reactivated. Good thing the program spent millions training them to kick ass… 

Project Pandora (Assassin Fall #1) on Goodreads

About the Author

Aden Polydoros grew up in Long Grove, Illinois, and now lives in Arizona. He is a writer of young adult fiction. When he isn’t writing, he enjoys reading and going on hikes in the mountains. Aden Polydoros is a 2015 Gold Medalist in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and has published two short stories in Best Arizona Teen Writing of 2015. PROJECT PANDORA (Entangled, 2017) is his debut novel.

Author Links

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Kiss of the Royal: Promo and Giveaway

Kiss of the Royal
by Lindsey Duga
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: July 3rd 2018
Entangled Teen

Summary: 

In the war against the Forces of Darkness, the Royals are losing. Princess Ivy is determined to end this centuries-long conflict once and for all, so her new battle partner must succeed where the others failed. Prince Zach’s unparalleled skill with a sword, enhanced by Ivy’s magic Kiss, should make them an unstoppable pair—but try convincing Zach of that.

Prince Zach has spent his life preparing for battle, but he would rather be branded a heretic than use his lips as nothing more than a way to transfer magic. A kiss is a symbol of love, and love is the most powerful weapon they have—but try convincing Ivy of that.

With the fate of their world on the line, the battlefield has become a testing ground, and only one of them can be right. Falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan—but try convincing their hearts of that.  

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Purchase links can be found HERE!

 

 

About the Author

Lindsey Duga developed a deep love for courageous heroes, dastardly villains, and enchanting worlds from the cartoon shows, books, and graphic novels she read as a kid. Drawing inspiration from these fantastical works of fiction, she wrote her first novel in college while she was getting her bachelor’s in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University. By day, Lindsey is an account manager at a digital marketing agency based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. By night, and the wee hours of the morning, she writes both middle grade and young adult. She has a weakness for magic, anything classical, all kinds of mythology, and falls in love with tragic heroes. Other than writing and cuddling with her morkie puppy, Delphi, Lindsey loves catching up on the latest superhero TV show, practicing yoga, and listening (and belting) to her favorite music artists and show tunes. KISS OF THE ROYAL is her YA debut novel. 

 

Author Links:

Website: https://lindseyduga.com/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lindseyduga

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/linzduga/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lduga

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15853318.Lindsey_Duga

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lindsey-Duga/e/B07BJNMRHX/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1524077289&sr=1-1

 

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Stricken: Guest Post

Stricken
By C.K. Kelly Martin
Publisher: CBD
Release Date: January 27, 2018
Genre: Middle Grade/Young Adult Dystopian Adventure/SciFi

About the Book

Naomi doesn’t expect anything unusual from her annual family trip to visit her grandparents in Ireland. What she expects is to celebrate her thirteenth birthday, hang out with her friends Ciara and Shehan, and deal with her gran’s Alzheimer’s. What she finds is a country hit by an unexpected virus that rapidly infects the majority of the Irish population over the age of twenty-one.

Amnestic-Delirium Syndrome (ADS) starts off with memory loss, but the virus soon turns its victims aggravated, blank, or violent. Naomi and her friends must survive on their own, without lucid adults, cut off from the rest of the world, until a cure is found.

But there are whispers that ADS is not terrestrial, and soon Naomi and her friends learn the frightening truth: we are not alone.

Guest Post

If I Knew Then What I Know Now About Writing.

If I knew then what know I now about writing, whoa boy, I would have had a much better understanding of just how long it takes to achieve a passable level of proficiency in writing a novel. And longer still to really be any good. Kicking around my apartment somewhere there’s an old floppy disk with a 51,000 word version of my first young adult book on it. I haven’t looked at that particular copy of the manuscript in over ten years (because who has a disc drive anymore?), but the last time I peeked at it I remember wincing.

Objectively it wasn’t the worst thing ever—it didn’t reek of egg salad left baking in the sun—but it was limp and skeletal. The most painful thing about the book was that it lacked voice, something that a character-driven novel (which it was) sorely needs. I wrote two sequels to that novel. I even eventually landed an agent for it, who gave me extensive notes on the book and who then sent the revised copy out to several editors. By then it was a competent enough entity, but still lacked presence and depth. I didn’t know my main character the way I thought I did so her characterization felt flimsy and weak, generic. I’d let her down.

At the time I didn’t truly know what I wanted to accomplish with the book and as a result there were too many elements that didn’t work together. I’d thrown everything in like a stew with fridge leftovers. This is the revised version, I’m talking about remember. So it was an improvement on the novel I’d started out with but not by much, not by enough. Okay, I’m being harsh because once you see the problems with your work you can’t unsee them (they kick dirt in your face and stab at your eyes!), but in effect, that whole trilogy was like a bicycle with training wheels for me.

Unsurprisingly, that first book didn’t sell, but the mistakes I made in it helped me grow as a writer. Over time, as I read more, wrote more, and received more feedback, I grew as a writer. The fourth book I wrote was called I Know It’s Over and it became my first published novel when Random House released it in 2008. Ten years later, after having worked with two editors and authored numerous other books, I believe in some ways I’m a better writer than when my first book came out. I don’t know that I could write a better version of I Know It’s Over today but I believe I’m more capable of writing different sorts of  books (in various genres and for various age groups). Probably in another ten years times I’ll look back on 2018 in wonderment at all I’ve learned since then. I hope so. I hope the learning and growing never ends.

About the Author

Long before I was an author I was a fan of books about Winnie the Pooh, Babar, Madeline, Anne Shirley and anything by Judy Blume. Throughout high school my favourite class was English. No surprise, then, that most of my time spent at York University in Toronto was as an English major—not the traditional way to graduate with a B.A. (Hons) in film studies but a fine way to get a general arts education.

After getting my film studies degree I headed for Dublin, Ireland and spent the majority of the nineties there in forgettable jobs meeting unforgettable people and enjoying the buzz. I always believed I’d get around to writing in earnest eventually, and I began writing my first novel in a flat in Dublin and finished it in a Toronto suburb. By then I’d discovered that fiction about young people felt the freshest and most exciting to me. You have most of your life to be an adult but you only grow up once.

Currently residing near Toronto with my Dub husband, I’m an aunt to twenty-one nieces and nephews, and a great-aunt to two great-nephews. I became an Irish citizen in 2001 and continue to visit Dublin as often as I can while working on novels about young people.

My first young adult book, I Know It’s Over, came out with Random House in September 2008, and was followed by One Lonely Degree, The Lighter Side of Life and Death, My Beating Teenage Heart and sci-fi thriller Yesterday. I released Yesterday’s sequel, Tomorrow, in 2013 and put out my first adult novel, Come See About Me, as an ebook in June 2012. My most recent contemporary YA books, The Sweetest Thing You Can Sing and Delicate, were published by Cormorant Books’ Dancing Cat Books imprint in 2014 and 2015.

Author Links

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Burning Bright: Excerpt and Giveaway

Burning Bright (Going Down in Flames #5)
by Chris Cannon
Publication Date: June 4, 2018
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Book Summary:

Bryn is back for her senior year at the Institute for Excellence, also known as shape-shifting dragon school. She isn’t sure which is scarier, the life-force sucking dragons stalking campus or the fact that she’s officially betrothed to Jaxon, a guy who will never love her. Not that she could ever love him, either… That’s just ridiculous.

Senior year should be fun. Her parents are alive, she’s finally fitting in, and she’s learning how to be a Medic. But what’s with Jaxon giving her strange looks? He runs hot and cold, and he doesn’t even have the excuse of being a hybrid fire-and-ice-breathing dragon like her. One minute they’re having a great time and the next, she wants to blast a fireball at his head. The marriage contract of doom looms over them–unless this match not made in heaven kindles a flame…

Link to Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40019526-burning-bright?

Purchase Links:
Amazon | Amazon Australia | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

Link to Tour Schedule:
http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/tour-schedule-burning-bright-by-chris-cannon/    

Excerpt:

He stood. “Let’s go for a walk.”

“Okay.” She set her mug on the bench and let him pull her to her feet. Should she tell her grandparents where they were going? That would kind of ruin the moment she and Jaxon might be having, so she shelved the idea.

Hand in hand, they walked down one of the slate paths back into the trees with the fairy lights. “This place is amazing.”

“This has always been my favorite part of the house. I used to spend a lot of time out here.”

“Doing what?”

They walked down a path and into a stand of trees. Several single swings and a double swing where two people could sit, like a porch swing, were suspended from the trees. There was also a staircase that spiraled around a tree and led up to a walkway suspended between the trees, high up in the branches.

“Can we go up?” Bryn asked.
“Sure.”
The spiral steps were easy to climb, but the walkway was higher up in the trees than it appeared from below. “What do you think?” Jaxon asked.
“I think it’s the perfect place to hide from the world.”

Wait a minute. “You made fun of me last year when I said I wanted a treehouse.”

“This isn’t a treehouse, it’s a far superior tree bridge.”

“Right,” Bryn mocked. “That makes sense.”

Jaxon tugged her back toward the platform of the first tree. “There’s more.” Around the back side of the tree there was a bench. “If you don’t feel like walking, you can sit.”

“As one does when one is tired from adventures on their tree bridge.” She sat and relaxed back against the trunk of the tree, very aware of Jaxon’s proximity and the heat coming off his body.

“Exactly,” he said.

She laughed. From inside the tree the fairy lights seemed even more magical. “You know this is basically a tree house without walls.”

“No. That doesn’t work for me,” he said.
Bryn rolled her eyes but didn’t comment.
“I saw that,” Jaxon said.
“You were meant to.” Joking around with him felt comfortable. “This is nice.”
“The tree?” he asked.
“No.” She pointed back and forth between them. “This. Us. No pretenses or small talk…just us.”
“Speaking of us.” He leaned in, slowly, like he was giving her a chance to move away. She met him halfway and pressed her mouth against his. Time seemed to slow down as his hand touched her cheek and then cradled the back of her head. Heat thrummed between them, burning bright as the kiss grew, which was strange yet somehow right.

 

About the Author:

Chris Cannon is the award-winning author of the Going Down In Flames series and the Boyfriend Chronicles. She lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and several furry beasts. She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures or romantic comedies. You can find her online at www.chriscannonauthor.com.

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Valentina: Guest Post and Giveaway

 

Book Summary:

Chantelle Rose is back. She has lived a fairytale. But will she ever get her Happy Ever After?

To find true happiness, she must discover who Robbie and Lionel really are. Their past holds the key to her future…

Her quest follows a trail that takes her to the depths of the Pampas lands of Argentina.

There, the beautiful Valentina awaits – and holds the key.

But who is Valentina? What is the mystery surrounding her?

And why is she so important to both Robbie and Lionel?

Will Chantelle discover the truth? And, more importantly, will she discover her destiny and the fidelity in her own heart?

 

Purchase Link:

Amazon

Write a novel in 356 days…

The first time I wrote those magical words “THE END” I couldn’t quite believe that I had been capable of writing a full length novel, but amazingly for some and especially for me I was. There is something divine about those two simple words. They’re only six letters long but they are the sealing of a mystical world which you have created. Words that have breathed out through your fingers, or should I say bled and sweated out. You step into a scene in your mind and you let it drip from your fingertips. I imagine that every writer has their own way of getting their story down on paper, but believe me, there is no glamour in the process, just hard work.

My debut novel “A little of Chantelle Rose” was written in three months. It was over a summer and at the time I wasn’t working so I was able to dedicate all my time to the novel’s development. It seemed easy and in a way it was. It was just a bit of a game, there was no pressure and the words, thankfully, just flowed. I didn’t tell anyone I was writing a novel, it was my own little secret. I didn’t even imagine that one day I wouldn’t just tell people about it, I would pretty much beg them to buy it and that I’d actually get the chance to share it with the world.

But as soon as the book was officially published one of the most frequent question I’ve been asked is “So when’s book II coming out?” And so the pressure is on, a bit like when you’re newly-wed and everyone keeps asking, so when’s the baby due? (What baby? Can’t I just practise first?!) Or when your first born is just days old, you’re asked, or rather told, it needs a brother or sister you know. Really?! I tore during child birth and you’re asking me if I want to do it again?

And funnily enough, at least in my case, I’ve been masochistic enough to go through childbirth twice and through the pushing out of a second novel too.

This time however there has been no leisurely sitting down at the computer with perhaps just a bit of Mozart in the background as soothing, inspirational composition. I usually have the house filled with kids (only two are actually mine but the neighbours kids have adopted my house) so there is always background noise when I write now and believe me, it’s a far cry from Mozart’s symphony nº 40.

Then of course I have the day job, the dreaded house work, homework (not mine, but when a toddle gets asked to make a spaceship out of toilet roll and tin foil it suddenly becomes a NASA project for all concerned, especially for me however much I try to suppress my competitive side) and the list goes on…so really where do you find the time to write? I mean come on, everyone sends voice texts nowadays because they’re too tired to key a few phrases together in written text, never mind writing a 90 thousand word novel.

But if you really want to write that novel, I’ll give the same advice I’ve given for those who want to start running or want to get fit. Little steps is all you need. Set aside just half an hour per day and write. It doesn’t matter what you write. Don’t even worry if it makes sense or not, you can always edit it, but you can’t edit a blank page. As the days pass, if you’re consistent with your half an hour, you’ll see that your writing will improve (just like your running and fitness will improve over time if you keep to your exercise regimen).

The key to achieving things is to be consistent with what you’re doing. Don’t give up. Create a routine and it becomes so much easier. But don’t pressure yourself in that you have to write thousands of words a day because you’ll burn out.

This is how I wrote my second novel. I had a basic idea and just started writing. 400 words every day from Monday to Friday for a year. I would take Saturdays and Sundays off to enjoy my family. I enjoy writing, but my family comes first. And voilá 400 words x 260 (days in the year excluding weekends) = 104,000 words. My second novel is actually just under 90,000 words long, which calculates at even less than 400 words a day, five days a week. Easy!

You may think I’d never be able to write a novel. I haven’t got anything interesting to tell. Have you tried? Seriously tried? Believe me you may well find that you surprise yourself. If anyone told me a few years ago that I would have been capable of writing humour I would have laughed in their face. Me humour?? I can’t tell a joke and make it sound funny if my life depended on it!!

But I’ve learnt that I can write it.

And now I can even prove it, my debut novel “A little of Chantelle Rose” got to nº 2 in Amazon.com paid charts under “British humour.” How about that for someone who’s crap at telling jokes?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, dream it, wish it, do it……

About the Author:

Cristina Hodgson, mother of two, born in Wimbledon, London, currently lives in southern Spain. Cristina had a long career in sport, reaching national and international level and still actively participates in Triathlon races and enjoys outdoor activities. In her spare time she also enjoys reading and writing. She won a sports scholarship to Boston College. After a period in Boston, she returned to the UK and graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in Sports Science.
A Little of Chantelle Rose is her debut novel. Amazingly, it has nothing to do with running!

You can find out more about Cristina Hodgson at http://cristinahodgson.com/ or follow her on twitter @HodgsonCristina

Giveaway:

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Signed copy of Simply Anna by Cristina Hodgson

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Tribal Affairs

Tribal Affairs
By Matt Dallmann
Genre: Ya Fantasy
Release Date: July 31st 2017

Summary

Dahlia, a centuries old genie, lies hopelessly trapped in a damaged golden locket charm attached to an ankle bracelet. Its owner, sixteen-year-old Liana, wears it for the first time during her father Jamison’s opening night illusion spectacular.

Not only does its presence cause Jamison to folly his performance, but it also starts a chain of bizarre events that lead to a showdown with Dahlia’s mortal enemy, Stefan, and an unsuspecting romance between Liana and his son.

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Excerpt

He slowly turned away, changing the stance of his feet as if preparing his body for motion. That was it? Liana felt her emotional capital building back up and could think of only one thing to spend it on: getting what she came for. She looked at the collar of Stefan’s turtleneck as he walked away. It was time to go on the offensive. Liana turned and followed him offstage.

Stefan entered the next room with the satisfaction of a hoarder returning to his nest. In fact, according to Jamison, the only reports of ever seeing him smile were at times when he was nestled comfortably among the scattered lumber, various tools, and bolts of muslin in this, his special room. Just as he was about to make another impression of his backside in a pile of sawdust on his chair, Liana bolted in like a superhero.

“Wait, Stefan!” she called.

He turned his head like an owl, and just as quick.

“I wanted to make sure everything was okay with the harness.”

“Oh, yes,” said Stefan. “I’m so sorry about what happened on opening night. It was a total fluke. I promise it won’t happen again. These brand-new harnesses are top-of-the-line.”

“Great.”

Liana began to notice the subtle tells in his body language and revealing tones of his voice. He was apologetic and submissive and would certainly help her.

“Also,” she started, “I know this may seem a little strange, but, that tattoo on the back of your neck; I think I’ve seen it somewhere else before. What does it mean?”

Stefan smiled. “That old thing? I got it back when I was in high school. I was a wild one back then.”

Liana smiled, insisting on another answer.

“It means about ten different things,” Stefan obliged.

“Really?”

“Yes, strange, isn’t it? Some ancient language, I forget the name of it. I’ve got a whole book of different translations in the back. Would you like to see it?”

“Sure. I’d love to.”

Stefan sauntered over to a large metal cabinet with Liana in tow. He seemed to glide across, around and through the mass of stuff about the room, while Liana dodged everything like navigating an obstacle course.

“My wife says I collect too much crap, so I’ve started keeping things here at the theater.”

He opened the large metal cabinet and began rummaging through piles of old dusty books. The search seemed to go on forever.

“I don’t want to be a bother,” Liana said trying to come up with a suitable excuse to leave.

“No, don’t be silly. It’s my pleasure.”

Maybe so, but Liana began to regret her actions. The wrestling match wasn’t over, and reality had started gaining ground. Without a struggle, Liana gave up her dominant position and started to back away from Stefan. Assuming her place as the submissive, she was afraid to turn away from him and didn’t notice the door behind her closing.

“You have her eyes, you know,” said Stefan.

“What?”

“Her eyes, the woman in your dreams.”

As Liana began to panic, Stefan continued rummaging through the old books.

“How do you know about—?”

“I know everything about you.”

He turned to look at her. He was different, no longer the slow-moving turtle but rather a dominant silverback gorilla. His shoulders bulged as his eyes pierced into Liana’s mind.

“What do you mean?” said Liana.

“You can see things with those eyes, can’t you?” he asked.

Liana backed away as he gained ground on her.

“Amazing things,” said Stefan. 

His eyes became black, and Liana felt herself going into a trance. Images of the beautiful woman from her dreams and the elder man flashed into her head, she standing on the cliff and he advancing on her. Still, Liana couldn’t see his face. Why couldn’t she see his face? The images continued to flash, faster and faster; the beautiful woman, the elder man, the hanging man, the laughing band of ruffians, the beautiful woman, the elder man, the beautiful woman, the elder man, the elder man, the elder man. The images stopped. Liana looked directly in front of her and saw his face. It was him.

“Xethalis,” she whispered.

Stefan smiled. Liana thrust out her arms and pushed Stefan across the room with the strength of twenty men. His back slammed against the opposite wall, causing it to collapse on top of him.

Liana’s trance broke. She looked down at her hands then across the room at Stefan, buried beneath the collapsed wall.

About the Author

Matt Dallmann has a background in acting and holds a BFA from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. His films and screenplays have been featured at film festivals across the United States including Cinequest, Big Apple Film Festival, Seattle’s True Independent Film Festival, DragonCon and Zero Independent Film Festival. His piano compositions have been published for commercial use and he is a member of ASCAP. Matt is also the Co-Founder and Vice President of the boutique medical billing firm VGA Billing Services, Inc. in New York City. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.

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