Heart of the Oak: Review and Giveaway


HEART OF THE OAK
by
J.L. NOVINSKY

Genre: Children’s / Nature / Life Cycle Publisher: Christian Faith Publishing Publication Date: November 15, 2017
Number of Pages: 36 pages

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Heart of the Oak is a sweet story of the life of an old oak tree.   He’s old and weathered; his skin is rough and knotty.  But he has memories of joy, of love, and of tragedy.  He has endured many years and felt the sorrow of so much loss.  But his greatest joy is just ahead!  
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Praise for HEART OF THE OAK from Amazon reviewers!
“Such a great book with a heartfelt story!”
“My children and I LOVE this book. We had a wonderful and insightful conversation after we read it.”

Heart of the Oak is such a sweet story. As a special ed teacher, I’m always looking for good books that can be used for a wide range of teaching. This book has so much I could use. I love it because it tells the life cycle of a tree. It’s also a book about friendship and love, nurturing, and caring. The tree loves the boy that comes to see him, and remembers the moments they shared together. The tree also vows to protect the man and the boy. 

I love it because we don’t really think about all the years trees have. They live such a long time and so much can happen to them in those years. I love how the book is about the life of a tree, of his memories, and the pain and joy he had felt. 

I love the word usage in the book. It’s definitely a book that’s for families, for children and adults. The vocabulary in this is a little advance for children, but it can definitely be a good book to teach children new words!

What a heart warming story and a great one to share with others!


J.L. (Joan) Novinsky was born just outside of Chicago, but she got to Texas as fast as she could! Joan started college at age 55, and while taking a Creative Writing class, she wrote her first story, Heart of the Oak. Joan has now written a second children’s book, Horace and Giselle, available for on-line purchase January 2019. She was married to Bob in 1992, had a son, Stephen, in 1998, then in 2001, she and her husband took on the challenge and excitement of adopting a boy from St. Petersburg, Russia. Andrei joined the family in 2002, and the family resides just north of Dallas with their various and numerous pets.

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JANUARY 3-12, 2019
(USA only)

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1/7/19
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1/9/19
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Notable Quotable
1/12/19
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Crazy Scottish Love: Blitz

Crazy Scottish Love
Jessie Donovan
(Love in Scotland, #1)
Publication date: October 15th 2018
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

Tired of the online dating scene and her nagging mother, Donella Spencer braves her eccentric extended family and heads for a month-long visit to Scotland to stay with them. As long as she keeps to herself and avoids her family as much as possible, it should be easy to relax, right?

What she doesn’t count on is running into Robbie Campbell, the guy who tried so hard to ditch her nearly twenty years ago that it took a search and rescue team to save her. Not only that, she doesn’t expect to fall for Robbie’s daughter’s big, brown eyes and agree to hold a themed costume party for Donella’s 31st birthday. One that involves her relatives dressing in nineteenth century safari garb and dusty, old animal outfits.

And none of that even begins to address her grandmother’s attempts to matchmake and marry off Donella within the month.

It’s going to be one long, trying summer in Scotland. However, sometimes the strangest situations can show what someone needs in life. Because if Donella falls in love with a man who can put up with her family, she may finally have her happy ending in sight.

Provided her relatives don’t drive her crazy first.

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EXCERPT

However, the peaceful sound of the wind and seagulls as Donella enjoyed the enchanting sight didn’t last. Something smacked her on the side of the head. She lost her balance and fell on her ass.

After a string of profanities that would no doubt earn her a scolding later on, Donella slowly sat up and touched the side of her head. Looking at her fingers, there wasn’t any blood.

A Scottish male voice she didn’t recognize shouted, “Are you all right?”

Donella looked in the direction of the sound. A tall guy with short, reddish-brown hair rushed toward her.

Before she could do more than open her mouth, a large black and white dog dashed past the man and stopped in front of her. He promptly put his nose to her privates.

He bumped and sniffed around, reminding her why she preferred cats. Sure, both sniffed butts, but at least with cats they sniffed other cats and left her lower body well enough alone.

The dog rose its head, a bright green ball in its mouth. The dog dashed back toward the man and dropped it at his feet.

She’d found her attacker. “Is that how you always welcome tourists to the island? By pelting them with hard balls and knocking them on their butts?”

The corner of the man’s ticked up. “Well, to be fair, only a tourist would be dressed like that. So you would be an easy target for anyone who was out to find them.”

She wasn’t embarrassed about her yoga pants and T-shirt. A combined thirteen-hour plane ride wasn’t meant to be a fashion show. “I’ll make sure to mention how the locals hit tourists and insult their attire on my online review.”

He shrugged a shoulder. “I doubt you’ll do so. After all, it would affect everyone on the island, and I don’t think you’d want that.”

Before she could ask how he knew she wouldn’t, a little girl of about six or seven peeked her brown-haired head out from behind the guy and stepped to the side, holding one of those ball-tossing things dog owners liked to use. She glanced up at the man. “Should I say sorry? I didn’t mean to hit her.”

Donella suddenly felt like an ass. She wasn’t the best person with kids, but from her own childhood, she knew full well how mini-disasters could happen without warning.

The man placed a hand on the little girl’s shoulder. “I’d apologize to Donnie now or you’ll have to face old Mrs. Spencer later.”

The girl’s eyes widened, but Donella focused on the man’s revelations. “How do you know who I am?”

“Putting aside how your gran’s been going on about your visit for weeks, this isn’t the first time we’ve met.” He bowed his head. “Robbie Campbell, at your service.”

A memory from twenty years ago, of her being stranded on a tiny slip of land with water on one side and a small cliff behind her, came rushing back. She pointed a finger. “You. You’re the reason the police and fire brigade had to rig a harness and rescue me.”

He put up a hand. “Don’t blame me. You were the annoying ten-year-old following me around all summer. Everyone around here with good sense knows not to go out there when the tide’s about to come in.”

Donella narrowed her eyes. “Local knowledge that relies on ‘good sense’ only works if you live here. You should’ve known that and warned me.”

Again, he shrugged one shoulder. “I was almost thirteen and assumed I was king of the world at that point. Besides, an American always on my heels was a nuisance. My mates teased nonstop and I wanted it to end. Stranding you during high tide did the trick.”

She growled. “I could’ve drowned.”

“But you didn’t. Who do you think called the authorities to rescue you?”

Donella searched her mind for a good come back. They never came when she needed one.

Before she could even sputter something halfway witty, the little girl asked, “Why are you angry at my daddy?”

Author Bio

Sign up for Jessie’s newsletter and never miss a release or special: http://jessiedonovan.com/newsletter

Jessie Donovan has sold over half a million books across multiple formats, has given away hundreds of thousands more to readers for free, and has even hit the NY Times and USA Today bestseller lists. She is best known for her dragon-shifter series, but also writes about magic users, aliens, and even has an upcoming crazy romantic comedy set in Scotland. When not reading a book, attempting to tame her yard, or traipsing around some foreign country on a shoestring, she can often be found interacting with her readers on Facebook. She lives near Seattle, where, yes, it rains a lot but it also makes everything green.

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The Scythian Trials: Guest Post

The Scythian Trials
Elizabeth Isaacs
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: October 16th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction

Descendants of the Amazons, the Scythians work alongside prominent governments but answer to no one. Warriors living on the fringe of civilization, they live by one credo: Strength through Equality. Power through Knowledge.

Nya Thalestris is the brightest Scythian of her generation. Strong, capable, ruthless, she is sure to earn a spot in the Trials, a time-honored mating ritual responsible for the evolution of her species.

Abducted by their sworn enemy, the Drahzda, Nya is forever altered and spirals out of control. The Society sends in Jax Nickius. Infamous psychologist and one of the most brutal warriors of their kind, he discovers triggers planted in Nya’s mind. As Nya solidifies her spot in the Trials, Jax develops a plan to help her heal—while pursuing her as a mate. But, Nya’s attraction to Jax is at war with her instinct to never let anyone get too close.

During the Trials, Nya’s repressed memories surface, revealing a new enemy—one from inside the consulate walls—and a traitorous alliance on the horizon that could irrevocably change the course of history.

Since before the Bronze Age, the Society has managed to safeguard humanity from itself … until now.

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Guest Post

Top ten things most authors secretly do

10. Keep a running list of metaphors and similes they love so they can use them at a later date.

9. Talk to themselves.

8. Eavesdropping on stranger’s conversation and then mentally flesh out that discussion as a scene.

7. Keep a notebook handy at all times in case inspiration hits.

6. Snap pictures of people for future hero/heroine inspiration.

5. Google ways to kill, blow up, maim or poison people.

4. Observe strangers from afar while mentally creating dialogue to match the people in the scene.

3. Use the street view feature on Google Earth to more accurately portray places they may not have yet visited.

2. Have impassioned discussions regarding such riveting subjects as the importance of the Oxford Comma or whether ellipses are evil or not.

1. Plot the demise of their past enemies in their next book.

 

About the Author

Elizabeth is an author, teacher, and publishing professional who began her career as a national presenter for Resource Profiles, where she developed teacher seminars designed to foster creative brain stimulation. Moving into formal education, she helped at-risk students improve their writing skills as well as created and implemented a creative writing/blogging program that centered on teaching the 21st-century learner. Works stemming from this initiative were published online and seen in over 40 countries.

Elizabeth receives invitations to speak nationwide at schools and book clubs. She co-founded the popular book site, Chirenjenzie, which reaches thousands of people throughout the world. The writer support and reader interest group promotes and interacts with followers on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and various other blog sites. Elizabeth has a Master’s degree from Austin Peay State University, where she studied classical opera. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.

“The Light of Asteria” received Honorable Mention at the New York Book Festival. Her newest work, “The Scythian Trials” will be released in 2017 by Vesuvian Media.

For more information, please visit www.elizabethisaacs.com

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Burden of Proof: Top Seven List

BURDEN OF PROOF
FBI Rapid Response, #1
by
DiANN MILLS
  
Genre: Inspirational /Mystery / Suspense / Romance
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Date of Publication: October 9, 2018
Number of Pages: 416

Scroll down for the giveaway!
 

 

Reeling from a negotiation gone wrong, FBI Special Agent April Ramos is caught off guard when a frazzled young woman shoves a crying baby into her arms, then disappears. Worry for the child’s safety quickly turns to fear when a man claiming to be the girl’s father abducts them at gunpoint. April puts her hostage negotiation skills to use to learn more about who she’s dealing with: Jason Snyder, a fugitive accused of murder.

 
As Jason spins a tall tale about being framed for the killing of his business partner, April must sort through his claims to find the truth. A truth that becomes all the more evident after April overhears a conversation between Jason and the local sheriff and realizes something more sinister may be happening in their small town of Sweet Briar, Texas. But aligning herself with a known fugitive to uncover the burden of proof could cost April her job . . . or worse, her life and the lives of other innocent people.
 
PRAISE FOR DiANN MILLS: 
“The tension level rises as layers of lies are peeled away in multiple plot twists.” —Library Journal

“DiAnn Mills is a master of fast-paced and intricately plotted romantic suspense.” —Colleen Coble, Bestselling author

“[A] fast-moving, intricately plotted thriller.” —Publishers Weekly
CHECK OUT THE BOOK TRAILER! 


 

I live in Houston, Texas, and I love my city. We’re known for our heat, humidity, Harleys, and horses, but I call it home.  The following are seven reasons why I love Houston.

1. Diversity. It’s the most diverse city in the country. I’m proud of our multi-cultural city.

2. H-Town: Although some may complain about heat and humidity, I thrive in it.

3. Entertainment. If I’m in the mood for a play, sports, movie, shopping, music, rodeo, historical sites, or nature activities, it’s all here!

4. Restaurants. I prefer vegetarian cuisine, and I have a huge list of favorite restaurants all over the city.

5. Coffee Shops. I’m a coffee snob, and I don’t mind claiming the title. In Houston, coffee is a connoisseur’s treat.

6. Friendships. Relationships with others is important to me, and in Houston, we have many people for those special times!

7. Bookstores. Love love bookstores, and there are plenty to choose from with unique personalities.

 

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.
 
Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne du Maurier, Inspirational Reader’s Choice, and Carol Award contests. Firewall, the first book in her Houston: FBI series, was listed by Library Journal as one of the best Christian fiction books of 2014.
 
DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. 
 
DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas. DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers.
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OCTOBER 9-18, 2018
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Death by the River Blitz

Death by the River 

Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: October 2nd 2018
Genres: Horror, Young Adult

A high school “American Psycho.”

SOME TRUTHS ARE BETTER KEPT SECRET.

SOME SECRETS ARE BETTER OFF DEAD.

Along the banks of the Bogue Falaya River, sits the abandoned St. Francis Seminary. Beneath a canopy of oaks, blocked from prying eyes, the teens of St. Benedict High gather here on Fridays. The rest of the week belongs to school and family—but weekends belong to the river.

And the river belongs to Beau Devereaux.

The only child of a powerful family, Beau can do no wrong. Handsome. Charming. Intelligent. The star quarterback of the football team. The “prince” of St. Benedict is the ultimate catch.

He is also a psychopath.

A dirty family secret buried for years, Beau’s evil grows unchecked. In the shadows of the ruined St. Francis Abbey, he commits unspeakable acts on his victims and ensures their silence with threats and intimidation. Senior year, Beau sets his sights on his girlfriend’s headstrong twin sister, Leslie, who hates him. Everything he wants but cannot have, she will be his ultimate prize.

As the victim toll mounts, it becomes crystal clear that someone has to stop Beau Devereaux. 

And that someone will pay with their life.

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EXCERPT

Beau strolled down the elegant curved mahogany staircase of his parents’ plantation home. He stepped onto the hardwood floors and caressed the newel post at the end of the steps. Shaped like the head of a horse, the bit pulled taut in its mouth, he admired the pain carved into the creature’s bulging eyes.

He headed along the hallway, tugging his book bag over his shoulder, the occasional moan of the floor echoing around him. He glanced at a massive gold painting of New Orleans he liked, bought by some dead relative a century ago. Family portraits of other deceased members of the Devereaux clan littered the white wainscoting covered walls. He passed the tall cypress door to his father’s office, not bothering to check inside. His old man was an early riser and probably on his way to the brewery.

At the end of the hall, he turned down a slender corridor to the kitchen and the entrance to the five-car garage. He enjoyed the quiet in the morning after his father went to work and before his mother crawled out of bed. It made him feel like it was all his, for a little while anyway.
In the kitchen, Beau went around the beaten copper-covered breakfast bar to the refrigerator.

His father appeared, holding a coffee mug.

Beau froze, almost afraid to move when he spotted him.

Gage Devereaux rested his hip against the black granite countertop. Tilting his head slightly, he inspected his son. In his usual attire—a long-sleeved shirt and slacks—he came across more like a casual businessman than a ruthless capitalist. Except for their height and physical prowess, Beau felt he had nothing in common with his father.

He attempted to relax by shifting his book bag on his shoulder. “Didn’t expect to find you still home.”

Gage set his mug on the counter. “I wanted to speak to you before you left for school.”

The hint of condescension in his father’s voice tightened his chest—it usually signaled a lecture.

“I got a call from Ms. Greenbriar yesterday afternoon. She said you visited her office after a run-in you had with Carol Foster’s boy.”

Beau’s fingers twitched, the way they did when his aggravation got the better of him. Great. The idiot woman had called his father. The last thing he needed was Gage Devereaux up his ass.

“Derek is dating Dawn’s sister, so I often see him at school.” He tempered the irritation in his voice, not wanting to annoy his father. “I was talking to Leslie when Derek walked up. I accidentally caught him with my elbow when I turned around. I apologized and everything is fine.”

He waited, analyzing every move his father made, searching his hard eyes for an inkling of his mindset.

“I’ve spoken to you before about this.” Gage came around the breakfast bar. “This family is in a precarious position with everyone in town. I don’t want your actions threatening our business or our good name.” He gripped Beau’s shoulder. “What have I always told you? What is our rule?”

Beau cringed as the words he’d spent a lifetime dreading screamed through his head. He faced his father, standing at attention. “Self-control in all things. Never let anyone see who you really are.”

Gage leaned closer. “No matter what anyone says, no matter what they do, you walk away. This includes your girlfriend. Do you understand?”

Beau stiffened at the low, menacing tone in his father’s voice. “Yes, sir.”

Gage lifted the left side of his mouth ever so slightly. “Go to school.”

Beau stood by the breakfast bar, not moving a muscle as his father headed to the garage. The door clicked shut and a trickle of sweat ran down his temple. His jaw muscles cramped from clenching, his heart rate slowed, and he glanced at his fists. His father’s warning spinning in his head, Beau slammed his hand down on the copper bar.

Anger like molten lead ran through him. Beau sucked in deep breaths to calm himself—something he remembered from a long-ago therapy session. Then he relaxed his hand on the bar, checking the indent he’d left in the copper. He wiped the smudge away, stepped back, and raised his head.

I am the master of control.

About the Author

Lucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight.

He is an author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.

Photography, making wine, and helping endangered species are just some of his interests. Lucas is an expert archer and enjoys jazz, blues, and classical music.

One of his favorite quotes is: “It’s better to be silent than be a fool.” ~Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)

Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.

 

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Your Echo: Blitz

Your Echo
By Katia Rose
(Sherbrooke Station, #2)
Publication date: September 12th 2018
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

Book Synopsis

How do you teach a rock star how to meditate?

The number one question on Stéphanie’s mind sounds like the start of a bad joke, and life would be a whole lot easier if she actually knew the punch line.

Her meditation coach job description said nothing about private lessons for the most infamous lead singer in Montreal, but somehow Stéphanie still finds herself sitting cross-legged on a yoga mat, right next to a pierced and tattooed music legend who’d rather be anywhere else.

Meditation classes are Ace’s final chance to convince his record label that the last bender he went on really was his last. The demons that have sent him to the bottom of countless bottles might not give a damn about ‘soothing rhythmic chanting,’ but it’s either this or game over for his career.

He’s not what she wants. She’s not what he’s looking for. Yet somewhere amidst all the incense fumes, the lines between student and teacher get blurred.

Even as their deep breathing exercises become nights filled with panting and gasps, Stéphanie can’t ignore the darkness that never quite leaves Ace’s eyes. It’s a darkness she knows far too well, and if she’s not careful, the cost of helping Ace find his way might just be losing herself.

Your Echo is part of the Sherbrooke Station Quartet, a series of steamy rock star standalones from author Katia Rose.

Purchase

Excerpt

It seems so unfair that the beliefs I’ve worked years to build, the mantras I’ve chanted to myself for hours on end, can all be shaken right down to their foundations with just a few questions from Ace.

I want to hold myself above the doubts, to brush off his words as part of a stupid game, but there’s also a part of me that craves to know what else he has to say. There’s a part of me that wants to let him swing a wrecking ball at everything I think I know and see how much of it holds.

About the Author

Katia Rose is not much of a Pina Colada person, but she does like getting caught in the rain. She prefers her romance served steamy with a side of smart, and is a sucker for quirky characters. A habit of jetting off to distant countries means she’s rarely in one place for very long, but she calls the frigid northland that is Canada home.

Author Links

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Keeper of the Bees: Excerpt

Keeper of the Bees
by Meg Kassel
Genre: YA Paranormal

Release Date: September 4th 2018
Entangled Teen

Book Summary

Beauty and the beast like you’ve never imagined!” —New York Times bestselling author Pintip Dunn


KEEPER OF THE BEES is a tale of two teens who are both beautiful and beastly, and whose pasts are entangled in surprising and heartbreaking ways.
Dresden is cursed. His chest houses a hive of bees that he can’t stop from stinging people with psychosis-inducing venom. His face is a shifting montage of all the people who have died because of those stings. And he has been this way for centuries—since he was eighteen and magic flowed through his homeland, corrupting its people.

He follows harbingers of death, so at least his curse only affects those about to die anyway. But when he arrives in a Midwest town marked for death, he encounters Essie, a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from debilitating delusions and hallucinations. His bees want to sting her on sight. But Essie doesn’t see a monster when she looks at Dresden.

Essie is fascinated and delighted by his changing features. Risking his own life, he holds back his bees and spares her. What starts out as a simple act of mercy ends up unraveling Dresden’s solitary life and Essie’s tormented one. Their impossible romance might even be powerful enough to unravel a centuries-old curse.

Purchase 

Excerpt

“Will I see you again, Dresden?”

My throat goes dry and raw and aching. “Do you want to?”

However she answers will be excruciating. There will be no recovering from this encounter. From the memory of her touch and her wide, trusting eyes. Good gods, from her embrace.

She nods.

I am doomed. “I’ll find you later. I’ll…” What? Knock on her door and ask her aunt if I can invite her to the movies? Not in this universe. “I will see you again, Essie. I’m not sure when.”

“I’ll look for you,” she says, finally releasing her hold on my T-shirt. “Be careful.” And she’s gone, disappearing into the woods, back toward the trail.

About the Author

Meg Kassel is an author of fantasy and speculative books for young adults. A graduate of Parson’s School of Design, she’s been creating stories, whether with visuals or words, since childhood. Meg is a New Jersey native who lives in a log house in the Maine woods with her husband and daughter.

As a fan of ’80s cartoons, Netflix series, and ancient mythology, she has always been fascinated and inspired by the fantastic, the creepy, and the futuristic. She is the 2016 RWA Golden Heart® winner in YA and a double 2018 RITA® finalist for her debut novel, Black Bird of the Gallows.


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Blog Tour Organized By

Sprint Writing

Hi there! Becca and I have joined together to do a writing adventure. It’s called Sprint Writing!

What is sprint writing?

It’s a timed writing exercise to write as quickly as you can for a set amount of time. You can take on a suggested prompt or dare, too!

Why take part in a word sprint? To rev up your writing momentum, and get you sprinting past your inner editor. —NaNoWriMo

For some writing tips, visit here!

Enjoy!

How’d you like it? We challenge you to join in on this adventure! Comment or tweet with your writing time and word count. We’d love to hear about your experience and suggestions on what you’d like next. Questions, concerns, fun tidbits and challenges that you want to see. We look forward to hearing from you!

The Mark of Noba Excerpt and Giveaway

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The Mark of Noba (The Sterling Wayfairer Series #1)
by G.L. Tomas
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: August 25th 2015
Rebellious Valkyrie Press

Summary from Goodreads:

Sterling Wayfairer has one goal for his senior year: make his mark. He’s been slipping into the background his whole high school career—distracted by his mother’s mental health, unsettled by the vivid dreams that haunt him at night, and overshadowed by the athletic accomplishments of his popular best friends. But this year is going to be different. He’s going to break a few rules, have some fun, and maybe even work up the nerve to ask his crush out on a date.

But things don’t go exactly as planned. Students are disappearing, Sterling starts losing time, and it all seems to center around Tetra, a girl no one else seems to notice but him. When he finally tracks her down for answers, they aren’t what he expects: He and Tetra hail from a world called Noba, and they’re being hunted by a Naga, a malevolent shapeshifter that’s marked them for destruction.

Tetra and Sterling have distinct abilities that can help them fight back, but their power depends heavily on the strength of their bond, a connection that transcends friendship, transcends romance. Years apart have left their bond weak. Jumpstarting it will require Sterling to open his heart and his mind and put his full trust in the mysterious Tetra.

If he doesn’t, neither of them will survive.

image

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Excerpt:

Grey and I weren’t on the same wavelength when it came to girls as Kip and I were. There’s no way Kip didn’t notice the new girl; he never missed a new face.
“Hey, anyone notice that girl in gym class the other day?” I leaned my elbows on the table and checked to see no one was listening. Grey and Kip faces distorted in confusion.
I popped open my can of soda, but didn’t take a sip. Everything I was about ask required my complete concentration.
“What girl?” Grey asked.
“You know?” Both of them hadn’t caught the hint. “The one from the fitness test? Pretty. Type 5. Athletic?”
Kip groaned under a muffled laugh and scooped Jell-O from his cup. “I think I would remember a girl with that description.”
I studied the cafeteria. It was a good thing lunch period was split between two periods. Less people to look through. She wasn’t hard to find. She was the only person sitting by herself. That was a form of social suicide, but it must’ve been by choice. I leaned forward, pointing.
Grey laughed. “What—the new girl?” He shoved a scoop of rice pudding in his mouth. The smell of coconut, cinnamon, and vanilla overwhelmed his spot. I should’ve brought a better item to bargain with Kip. It would’ve been mine if I had.
“Yeah, if by new, you mean since a couple weeks ago.”
Grey dropped his spoon, and met me with dark eyes. “Dude, she just started like yesterday. I think we would’ve noticed if she’d been going since the start of the year.”
Huh?
Kip studied her from a distance. He was never good at hiding when he was attracted to a girl. “She’s definitely nice.”
I hoped I didn’t have to spell it out. I was wrong. There was no way they’d only just noticed her. Surely this was an oversight.
“You don’t remember yesterday? During the fitness test? She was the only person who finished the ballistic climb.”
That got a reaction out of Kip. He interrupted me, waving hands and fury alike. “Hold on, Wayfairer. There wasn’t a person in class who finished that climb.”
“Uh, ya-huh. Only person who did.” Jocks. They never let you get away with challenging their loss.
Grey stopped our arguing, hoping to get to a point. “What is this about, Ster?”
“You guys don’t remember her from gym?” Kip and Grey shook their heads, denying any claim to the new girl or what happened in class.
Grey laughed and picked up his pudding. “No, that’s what I’ve been trying to tell you. She started yesterday. Not at the beginning of the school year. Yesterday. Get a grip, buddy.” Grey reached out to shove my shoulder.
“So you guys don’t remember her from PE? Or anything?” I asked. I wasn’t letting it go. It had started as a friendly inquisition but was turning into a full-fledged debate.
Kip shrugged. “Well, if she’s been going here all year, what’s her name? Oh, uh, and what’s her number too? I might need that come Homecoming.” Kip laughed. Neither of us found him funny.
I wanted to answer, but I didn’t know it. She didn’t speak to anyone, she never handed in assignments that revealed her name, and every person I asked had no idea who she was. It was as if she came to school every day to make sure we’d cross paths and exchange awkward stares. Something about it now seemed…creepy.
“I don’t know. But the fact that none of you acknowledge what happened weirds me out a little.”
Grey pursed his lips and looked over my shoulder. He widened his eyes as he finished off his dessert.
“You know what’s creepy?” Grey asked, as my body tensed.
“What?”
“She’s staring at you right now. Either she’s got supersonic ears or maybe you’re right. Maybe she’s creepy,” Grey joked.
Kip laughed with him as I turned around. Grey wasn’t wrong. She was staring right at me. She kept staring. I don’t know why, but I…

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About the Author:
Guinevere and Libertad go by many superhero aliases. Whether you know them by G.L. Tomas, the Twinjas, or the Rebellious Valkyries, their mission is always the same: spreading awareness of diversity in books. Oh, and trying to figure out the use for pocketless pants!

They host other allies and champions of diversity in their secret lair in Connecticut.

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