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.

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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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The Key of Alanar: Author Interview and Giveaway

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The Key of Alanar by Rory B. Mackay
(The Alanar Ascendant #1)
Publication date: August 15th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Book Summary (Goodreads):

Lasandria: an ancient, advanced civilization, consigned to oblivion by the greed and power-lust of its own people. The coming apocalypse heralds the arrival of a new evil that will ravage the world of Alanar for an entire age. Yet on the eve of Lasandria’s destruction, the ethereal overseers of the mortal realm grant a dispensation—a promise of hope for the future.

That hope lies with an orphaned teenager named David, born some ten millennia later; a boy whose isolated and uncertain existence leads him on a journey upon which hinges the fate of not just his world, but countless others.

On the run from a brutal military force, David’s quest is one born of shattered dreams and tainted by the thirst for revenge. As an inter-dimensional war that has been waged since the beginning of time threatens to consume his world, the dark force that destroyed Lasandria lurks in the shadows, ready to take possession of the one thing that will either save Alanar or destroy it: David.

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Author Interview

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

My writing journey began at a young age. I was a highly creative child, forever lost in my imagination and often not entirely in touch with the ‘real world’ (what can I say, the world of my imagination was just so much cooler ;)) I created my own comic books and stories, and every day when I walked my dog after school, I would imagine my own imaginary series of science-fiction/fantasy adventures unfolding in my head. Some of the ideas from those childhood imaginings actually made it into the series of books I’m now working on!

I knew from quite a young age that I had stories I wanted to be able to tell. In particular, I began creating what would form the basis of a fantasy/sci-fi series when I was about 16 years old. Progress was very slow. School kept me busy, then studying for my social science degree and working. As both a slow writer and a crippling perfectionist, it took me a great many years to finally complete my first novel “The Key of Alanar” (released last September). Perhaps confusingly, my first published novel, “Eladria” (published 2013), was released prior to “The Key of Alanar”, even though it was written after it (although I since went back and completely edited and virtually rewrote “The Key of Alanar”).

“Eladria” serves as a prelude to The Alanar Ascendant series, in much the same way as The Hobbit serves as prelude to The Lord of the Rings. I’m now working on the next book in the series. It’ll be wonderful to finally complete this writing project that has consumed so much time and energy over the past two decades. If I never write again after this, I guess I’ll be satisfied, as I’ll have said everything I ever set out to say. It’s all in these books, which are not only action-packed adventures, but thoughtful, reflective, philosophical books exploring some pretty major life themes. My novels are reflections of my journey through life; the hardships, the challenges, the wisdom gained and lessons learned.

What inspires me to write is the knowledge that words can transform and heal. According to Joseph Campbell, stories are one means by which we process reality, make sense of our lives and develop a sense of identity and community. Stories can awaken our sense of wonder and awe about life and the universe around us; they can expand our knowledge, challenge our assumptions and broaden our spiritual horizons. I’ve always believed in the power of words and stories, and although not a hugely prolific author compared to some, I wanted to tell some interesting, emotionally and spiritually authentic stories that might inspire and challenge people, making them consider themselves and reality in different ways.

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

My books will appeal to lovers of fantasy and science-fiction, as well as fans of visionary fiction; stories with an underlying message and themes dealing with all facets of life. But really, one can enjoy the book on whatever level they want; the themes are quite subtly intervowen and tie in with the story and characterisation.

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

‘The Key of Alanar’ was originally titled ‘The Journey: Awakening’; ‘The Journey’ being the original title of the series. I wanted something a little more dynamic and unique, however, and one day the title ‘The Key of Alanar’ popped into my head, because that is an object that is a crucial focus of the story. I think it sounds quite cool! The series later became titled ‘The Alanar Ascendant’, and that was a name I struggled to come up with, but I’m happy with it!

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

The cover was designed by Damonza, a company that design beautiful, extremely high quality book covers. I worked with a designer named Grady who I found extremely helpful and obliging and I’m delighted with the results. I had a very clear idea what I wanted, and this is pretty much exactly as I envisaged it. It captures the feel and energy of the book somehow. From the very start I felt the cover was going to feature the lead character stepping into the gateway, and would have amazing blue and purples.

Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

Without a doubt, the lead character, David. The book is an intensely personal telling of his story; the mystery surrounding his origins, the tragedies that befall him and his subsequent fall from grace and eventual, possible, redemption. He’s a complex, flawed character and I risked making him potentially even a little unlikeable at times, as his judgement is clouded and he finds himself stumbling down some dark paths. He’s a hero but he’s also extremely human character; he makes mistakes, he learns and he changes immensely throughout the course of the story. I love this character especially because I put so much of myself into him, and he’s also alive to me somehow; he exists in my head, my psyche and my heart.

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

Ha, I like all my characters in one way or another. The one I least like, however, by virtue of the fact he is a supremely terrible person, is the main antagonist, Zayron. I knew I ran the risk of Zayron becoming just a generic, moustache-twirling bad guy, so I tried to explore what makes a villain a villain. Initially Zayron is a very shadowy and mysterious character, relegated to a sinister background presence, but as he takes centre stage I get to paint him as the dangerous psychopath he is. Having studied psychology, I spent some time exploring the nature of sociopaths and psychopaths; how they think, how they function and what makes them what they are. I managed to weave this into the story and offer a little glimpse into what potentially makes people go bad.

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

I can’t tell you how long I worked on this novel. We’re talking years and years. I’ve rewritten it dozens of times, changing virtually every sentence at one time or another. I finally got to a point where I’m actually really happy with it; finally, after all these years, satisfied! Of everything I’ve ever worked on my entire life, this book is the thing I’m most proud of. I actually don’t think there’s anything I’d change.

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

When I initially came up with the idea for this book and series, back in the late 90’s, I envisaged it as a series of movies or a serialised TV series. I was a little ahead of my time: serialised TV series based on books is now a pretty big thing, but it was virtually unheard of back then. I’d love to see my books brought to live on the screen. Many people have commented on the vivid cinematic nature of my work, and how marvellously it would lend itself to the screen. Part of the reason for this is that, as I come up with the books, I see them as movies unfolding in my head.

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

I combine the classic epic fantasy quest with a sci-fi twist and a philosophical undertone that I think is maybe a little reminiscent of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. When creating the series, I was quite inspired by that, and JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis.

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

Please take a look at my website www.dreamlight-fugitive.co.uk. You can learn all about my books; read about the background, characters, see artwork, read interviews, reviews, etc and also read the first several chapters from both books — and download free short stories that serve as lead-ins to the books. I offer a wealth of material on my site, so do check it out! There’s even a free music soundtrack to my first novel that can be downloaded in mp3 format.

What can we expect from you in the future?

I’m going to complete The Alanar Ascendant series. In all, there will be four books: ‘Eladria’ and ‘The Key of Alanar’ (both now published) and the final two books in the series, tentatively titled ‘Shattered Time’ and ‘War of the Gods’. After that, I have some ideas for a couple of more fantasy series, maybe with a more Young Adult tone.

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

Marketing is one of the hardest things in the universe in the publishing world right now. The market is so saturated, it’s extremely difficult standing out in the crowd when over 4,000 books are being published every single day. So the help of my readers is essential! Word of mouth is essential to all authors; so telling other people about my books, writing reviews and sharing via social media is immensely helpful. I don’t think readers really know how much power they have in helping an author to succeed. I appreciate every single review and all of the wonderful support I have received from people.

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

Publishing is fraught with both opportunities and challenges these days. Traditional publishing and self publishing both have pros and cons. I’ve done both, and to be honest, I would recommend that authors work extensively on building their own platform (something I have not been good at, I must admit), and forming relationships with readers and tapping into the market for their book. Oh, and making sure that their book is the very best it can possibly be. I’ve learned that, as a writer, I never stop learning and developing my skills.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

To both writers and readers alike; keep dreaming, keep pushing boundaries and keep appreciating the magic in not just fiction but the everyday world around us, for one of the functions of storytelling is to awaken us to that natural, everyday magic. Sometimes the more we dream, the more we awaken.

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

David knew he was in mortal danger. The darkness was impenetrable and smothering, the air thick, musty and cold; the silence broken only by the drumming of his heartbeat and the uneven motion of his breath as it passed in and out of his body.

Although now a young man on the verge of adulthood, David felt as vulnerable and defenseless as a child as he crouched down low, praying that he would remain unseen by whatever it was that pursued him. He could feel its presence all around, an ancient, primordial evil, lurking amid the blackness; reaching out, sensing, searching—for him. There was no escaping it. It was too strong, too powerful, and it was getting closer by the second. Closer and closer…

Overcome by desperation, David realized that he couldn’t give in to it. He had to do something: he had to try to escape. He picked himself up from the ground and began to run. Squinting in the dark, he could barely see more than an arm’s reach ahead, but he relied on every other sense, not least his intuition, to guide him. He got only a fleeting sense of the environment around him as he ran: cavernous, cold and forbidding.

The moment David started to move, he had made himself visible. Behind him the enemy’s minions gave chase. Demonic shadow men, they were little more than soulless husks, like corpses animated by whatever dark force was pursuing him.

Hastening his pace, David raced as fast and as far as he could until he was forced to stop dead in his tracks. The path ahead was obscured by a gaping abyss. There was nowhere left to go.
Staring ahead, he saw a figure appear on the other side of the chasm: a girl, illuminated by a pale white light. She was around his age, perhaps seventeen or eighteen, dressed in a blue-violet tunic and trousers, with dark locks of hair falling to her shoulders. She reached out her arm and called to him from across the abyss: “David!”

He didn’t know why, but she seemed intimately familiar to him, as though he’d seen her face a thousand times before. But where? Struggling to process his memories was like trying to piece together a thousand half-forgotten dreams. Whoever she was, he knew that she was there to help him. If he could just get to her…

But almost the moment he stopped his pursuers were upon him. He felt their nails digging into his skin, drawing blood as they grabbed hold of him and reeled him back. With deformed faces contorted with malice, their was skin pale, thin and blistered, and their eyes sunken, reddened and leaking pus. He tried to fight them off, to break free of their grasp, but they were too strong and they quickly overpowered him. A pair of bony hands grabbed his throat. He struggled as they tightened their vice-like grip.

As he choked, David felt a wave of darkness crawling over his skin, penetrating his body and mind, seeping into and overwhelming him. It consumed him from the inside out, like a cancer devouring him until there was nothing left but a void of blackness.

David sat bolt upright in bed, his skin covered in sweat and his chest heaving for breath. Disorientated, it took him a moment to realize where he was and what had happened.

A dream…it was only a dream. It had felt so real, the images and sensations so intensely vivid. His pulse racing, he felt nauseous and his throat was tight and constricted, as though someone had indeed been trying to strangle him.

He crawled out of bed, feeling as though he’d been mauled by a wild animal. Wiping a band of sweat from his forehead, he pulled back his curtain and peered out the window. It was still the middle of the night; the velvet black sky punctuated only by the twinkling of distant stars.

David lit an oil lamp and carried it through the house to the washroom. He set the lamp down by the basin and poured some water from the ceramic jug. Splashing his face with the cool water, he tried to wash away the nauseating sense of terror.

He dried off his face and hands and filled a large glass with water. He was about to take a sip when something caught his eye. It was his reflection in the mirror. Somehow drawn to it, he gazed into the mirror as if seeing his own reflection for the very first time: his tousled shoulder-length dark hair framing a tanned, square-set face, illuminated by the flickering lamplight. His glistening dark eyes seemed to draw him in, as if they were a gateway to a whole other dimension; a hidden world that seemed to promise answers to questions he hadn’t yet dared ask. He snapped out of his strange reverie when he inadvertently tipped his glass and spilled the water.

By now he felt calmer and the specifics of the nightmare that had so disturbed him slipped away like grains of sand through outstretched hands. Returning to the warmth of his bed, he was soon overcome by a wave of sleepiness and any lingering thoughts pertaining to his dream were dispelled as he drifted into an altogether more restful sleep.

AUTHOR BIO:
Rory
A natural born writer, thinker and dreamer, Rory Mackay was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1979. As an ardent student of Vedanta, Zen and Taoism, one of Rory’s true passions is exploring the potential of fiction and art to elevate mood and expand consciousness.

Rory is the author of the visionary fantasy/sci-fi novels “Eladria” (2013) and “The Key of Alanar” (2015), as well as a translation and commentary of the Tao Te Ching (2014) and several short stories. He is in the process of writing a self help book and writes a regular blog at http://beyondthedream.co.uk. His website is http://www.dreamlight-fugitive.co.uk.

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Wonder Horse Book Promo

 

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Wonder Horse by Anita Daher
Publication Date: May 8, 2015
Publisher: Rebelight Publishing

Book Summary (Goodreads):

Fitting into a new school in a new city isn’t easy, but dreams come true for Sera with a gift from her parents: a gorgeous and spirited American Paint horse. Sera’s bubble bursts when a mean girl, Brittany, tells her that neither she nor her less than well-trained horse belong with the rest of the “reiners” in their riding class. As Sera sets out to prove Brittany wrong, she risks losing her passion for training and the friendship of Dev, another girl who truly understands her.

An earlier version of this story was originally published by Stabenfeldt (Stavanger, Norway) in 2011 as Wager the Wonder Horse and distributed in six languages: Norwegian, Hungarian, Czech, German, Finnish and Swedish.

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Book Excerpt:

As we walk our horses toward the arena door, I see Brittany watching us, and she doesn’t look happy. Talk about jealous! As usual, her mare flattens her ears at Wager. That mare might benefit from Mom and Dad’s lecture on actions and reactions.

“Dani,” Brittany calls, “have you seen some of the other things Wager can do?”

“What do you mean?” Dani asks.

“Yeah, what do you mean?” I echo.

“He’s a good looking horse,” she says. “Flashy.”

She looks at me, as if expecting me to say something. Like what? I’m way too surprised.

“Since they’re going to be at the winter show anyway, why don’t they enter a showmanship class?”

Dani cocks her head to the side. “I wonder,” she says. “Sera, what do you think?”

I’ve watched showmanship classes in Calgary. It wouldn’t be like our lesson. Wager would have to be groomed to look like a million bucks—not a problem for my boy—and must respond instantly to my cues to walk, trot or halt. He’d also have to stand still for very long periods of time.

“Honestly? I don’t think he’s patient enough.”

“Well let’s see,” she says. “Go ahead and walk a small circle with him.”

I feel like today’s lesson has been three-in-one! We walk, trot, stop, and start and backup on Dani’s cues. Finally she calls us in. “I think you’ll do fine if you’d like to try it,” she says. “Good idea, Brittany.”

“No problem,” Brittany says, and I see a strange glint in her eyes. “Wager’s a good boy.” She looks at him. “Aren’t you. Wager? Such a good boy!”

I’m so busy thinking about the show that I don’t notice how closely Wager is listening to Brittany. I catch on just in time to watch Wager offer a vigorous “yes” head-bob, which unfortunately catches Dani’s chin on the upswing.

“Son of a gun!” she shouts after a sharp cry of pain. She’s holding her chin, but manages to look at me and spit out, “What is that?”

“A trick,” I say, my voice small.

She shakes her head. “Bad idea, Sera. Does he always do that when someone tells him he’s a good boy?”

“Pretty much,” I say. “You have to be looking at him.”

“And what if a showmanship judge tells him the same thing?” She lets go of her jaw and gives her head a roll, as if to work out the kinks, and I get the sense she’s not really waiting for me to answer. Her chin is red where Wager whacked her. “I’m not confident that we can train that out of him in one week. Stick to reining this time around, Sera. We’ll work on showmanship another time.” She turns and—muttering the whole way—leads Spike out of the arena.

“Why did you do that, Brittany?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she says, smirking. “Clearly, Wager is a special boy, but that doesn’t mean he can be good at everything.” She sniffs. “You don’t have to show him, you know. He’s a nice riding horse. Why don’t you stick with that?”

My heart and every bit of happy I had in me drops to the arena floor. I don’t know what I did to turn Brittany against us, but it’s pretty clear she doesn’t want us in her world.

We’ll show her, Wager. We’ve got to.

I stroke Wager’s nose. Brittany’s right about one thing. He is a nice riding horse. We used to have so much fun together. When exactly did riding stop being fun?

ABOUT ANITA DAHER:

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Anita Daher has been entrenched in the publishing industry since 1995, and is (thus far) author of fourteen books for children and teens. Aside from short stints as grave-plot seller, tour guide, and children’s party clown, she’s worked in aviation, publishing and broadcasting. When not word wrangling, she enjoys inhabiting characters on stage and screen.

Author Links:
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Giveaway:  Winners will be drawn June 26, 2015

·         Two (2) winners will received a physical copy of Wonder Horse by Anita Daher (US/Canada)

·         Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Wonder Horse by Anita Daher (INT)

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A Question of Counsel Book Blitz

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A Question of Counsel by Archer Kay Leah 
Publication date: May 27th 2015
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Synopsis:

Life hasn’t been easy for Aeley since she arrested her brother, and her role as a political leader leaves her feeling isolated and lonely. Days before her brother’s trial, she meets Lira, a quiet and modest scribe who makes Aeley want more than just a professional relationship.

When she attends the trial and leaves with a marriage contract, Aeley doesn’t know what to do. She must choose one of two brothers, marrying into a family she doesn’t know. Then she discovers that Lira is part of the same family–a sister to Aeley’s suitors and the family’s disgrace. And not at all opposed to an intimate relationship.

Except random acts of violence against her people test Aeley’s ability as a leader, and a web of lies and deceit threaten not only her chance at happiness, but her life…

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Excerpt

“It could be any one of the available men and I still wouldn’t be happy about it.” The words

tumbled from Aeley’s lips before she could stop herself. “It isn’t just your brothers being

themselves, it’s the whole concept of giving myself over to a guy I don’t care for. I have no

interest in sleeping with them, or procreating. And it isn’t because I don’t know how—I know

how. I’ve slept with guys before; I just don’t care for it. I don’t get pleasure from it like everyone

thinks I should. I know Father wanted me to find someone nice, but his idea of nice isn’t the

same as mine.”

“Is it the same reason why you and Mayr aren’t together?”

“Partially,” Aeley replied. “That, and he’s my best friend. The only one who really

understands me. We never wanted to ruin it.” She tilted her head back to stare at the stars. “If

only it wasn’t your brothers. If only it was y—”

Closing her mouth, she knew she’d said too much already. It always happened whenever they

were together. Rarely did she tell anyone her most private thoughts, and when she did, she

trusted only Mayr. But even then, she preferred to keep her deepest thoughts to herself,

protecting them as if they were precious and easily shattered. Why could she not stop exposing

those secrets when she was with Lira?

“What were you saying?” Lira asked softly, her eyes searching Aeley’s.

“Nothing. Never mind. I was rambling.”

“Or telling the truth.”

When Aeley turned, Lira stepped closer. Their chests touched—a deliberate move, Aeley

realized, when Lira leaned into her. She watched the rise and fall of Lira’s chest under the simple

gold pendant around her neck.

“Imagine if you could tell me everything, without worrying about what I’d think,” Lira

murmured. Her face neared Aeley’s. “Maybe this is exactly the change you wanted. Maybe you

just need more time to put everything together. Or maybe you just need all the pieces.”

There was no time to breathe before Lira’s lips touched hers, coaxing a soft kiss from Aeley

with a gentle push and tug.

Her thoughts spun. Aeley raised her hand to the balcony to keep steady, only barely

registering the fact that her hand made it halfway before stopping in the air. Was the silence just

in her head or had the music stopped?

By the time Aeley realized what was happening, Lira’s lips left.

“Something for you to think about,” Lira whispered. Without waiting for a reply, she walked

towards the ballroom.

She paused in the doorway and looked back, the light from the room illuminating her face

and giving her skin a yellow glow. Her lips showed the hint of a smile, but her eyes said

everything.

About the Author

Archer Kay Leah was raised in Ontario, Canada, growing up in a port town at a time when it was starting to become more diverse, both visibly and vocally. Combined with the variety of interests found in Archer’s family and the never-ending need to be creative, it has been this diversity that has inspired Archer’s love of toying with characters and their relationships, exploring new experiences and crazy situations.

Archer started writing stories at age six and became “that kid” with their nose in the books and a pen in their hand, pursuing the challenges of writing novels at age thirteen and conquering the dread of poetry at fifteen. Archer most enjoys writing speculative fiction and is engaged in a very particular love affair with fantasy, especially when it is dark and emotionally charged.

When not reading and writing for work or play, Archer is a geek who has too many hobbies, keeping busy with other creative endeavors, a music addiction, and whatever else comes along, especially if it is in technological form. Archer lives in London, Ontario with a same-sex partner and their cat.

Author Links:

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

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Monument 14 Teaser

12753231

Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1)

by Emmy Laybourne (Goodreads Author)

Book Synopsis(Goodreads):

Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.

Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

Quote 1:

“Night came and fell hard.
Not like God drawing a blanket over our land
But like someone snuffing a candle.
Sudden and total.
Out—just like that.
Now we are waiting.
Waiting in the dark
To see if someone
Will switch on the light.
We can cower,
We can fear,
We can get lost together or
Get lost alone.
But the truth is:
I am the light. You are the light.
We are lit up together.
We are silhouettes of sunlight
cast against the night.
Shining now, let us
Shining, hold the light,
Shining, so that our families
Can find us.
Shining.”
Emmy Laybourne, Monument 14

Quote 2:

“We were frozen in a moment of horror, I think is the best way to describe it.
There had been a woman there. Right outside the door. And now she was dead.
And then Niko roared.
He balled his hands into fists and started striking his own head. Bam, bam, bam!
“Niko, stop!” I shouted.
He turned to the nearest shelving unit and started pummeling the boxes.
I stepped forward to try to help him. To restrain him, somehow, so he wouldn’t hurt himself.
“Let him be,” Jake said. “He’s just working stuff out.”
Niko destroyed the aisle, ripping, punching, tearing, throwing, cursing, spitting, shouting. Crying.
Slowly, he started winding down.
“All right, man,” came Jake’s drawl. “It’s gonna be okay.”
“It’s not okay,” Niko shouted. “She’s dead and if I’d just thought faster I could have saved her!”
He drove his head into a heavy, wooden crate.
“You’re pissed!” I shouted. “You’re so angry you want to burst!”
My volume and intensity surprised him (and me), and he stopped what he was doing.
“We could’ve saved her and we failed! You could have saved her and you failed!” I shouted.
It seemed like he needed me to push back at him with the same weight of his own anger and despair.
“She’s dead! They’re all dead and we can do nothing to save them!”
Niko crumpled to his knees and rested his forehead on the linoleum. Now I could stop yelling. He could hear me.
“It’s not your fault, Niko,” I said.
“But I could have helped her.”
“It’s not your fault,” I repeated.
“You didn’t cause the tsunami, man,” Jake said quietly.
“It’s not your fault.”
“It’s nobody’s fault,” Brayden said.
Niko’s body relaxed.
Jake, Brayden, and I just watched him for a while as his chest heaved and he regained his usual composure.
Niko drew his sleeve across his face.
He sat up and looked around.
“Shoot,” he said. “Look at this mess.”
Emmy Laybourne, Monument 14

Dancing with Black

Rating:

22878517

Book title: Dancing with Black

Author: Laura Bingham

Release Date: June 21st

Tour Dates: July 14th – August 14th

Genre: YA contemporary

Publisher: Trifecta Books

Tour Host: Silverbow Promotions

 

Book Synopsis (Goodreads):

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

Review:

This book deals with tough, real-life situations.  I found myself feeling sorry for Cami and her family life.  When life gets tough at home, Cami throws herself into her school work and dancing.  A wrench is thrown into the mix when she meets Adam and it’s practically love at first sight.  At first, I thought this was going to be another love at first sight book and how would this be realistic; however, I found myself falling for both Cami and Adam. She realizes something is different about Adam and soon enough, she’s let in on his secret.   When tragedy strikes her family, Cami leans on Adam for support.  Adam proves to be her rock, even when being associated with him puts her in a bad place.

Dancing with Black brought tears to my eyes and left me wanting more.  It’s a quick read and I look forward to reading more books by Laura Bingham.

Author Bio:

Nearly a native of Idaho, I was born in Iowa and moved to Idaho at age four. I graduated from Ricks College with an Associates degree and from Boise State University with a Bachelor degree in Biology as well as certification to teach all science subjects in secondary education in the state of Idaho. Alvor is my first novel and was released May, 2009 and more books are on their way. In my backyard stands a dance studio where I teach youth of all ages the lesser known, but much loved sport of clogging. I live in Boise with my husband and five young children, including my own set of boy/girl twins.

Since the release of Alvor, I have had the privilege of meeting so many great people, young and old alike. They have given me hope of breaking into the world with my book and making a career out of writing. One thing I can promise is that you haven’t seen the last of me yet. Alvor is just the beginning of my journey.


Be sure to check out Laura Bingham on her website or blog and follow her on Facebook and Twitter!