A Veil of Shadows Promo Post and Giveaway

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A Veil of Shadows (The Shadow Gate Chronicles #2)

by Michael W. Garza

Genre: YA Fantasy

Release Date: September 22nd 2017

NeverHaven Press

 

Summary:

A desperate search leads to a new world

Naomi and Gavin are on the run. Having narrowly escaped Azzmon’s clutches, they find themselves hunted by Malick, another Shade Lord. He has amassed an army of foul creatures, and the city-state of Tarravale stands on the brink of chaos. Naomi’s ability to open Shadow Gates makes her an alluring target, and the Shade Lord will stop at nothing to possess her. The children must find a way to escape before their new world is buried in an unwinnable war.

Excerpt:

Naomi was desperate to get away. She looked for any opening in the crowd but found a growing sea of figures filling in the shadows of the night. Another surge pressed up against her back, and she stumbled forward as someone pushed her from behind. Naomi fought to get back into the crowd, but something grabbed her hand. She was yanked out into the line of dancing fiends, lunging around the fire before she remembered her armor. The drunken, foul thing she’d stripped at the edge of the foothills had been one of the goblins, and it was apparent they expected her to join in on the dance.

The beat came from a row of goblins seated in a line close to the fire. The creatures slammed their fists on crude instruments in a semi-coordinated arrangement. Naomi was pulled into a loose circle, prancing around the musicians. Terror instantly set in and she froze. It took two well-placed jabs in her side to get her moving again.

It all started with a hop. Naomi focused on the creature in front of her and did her best to ignore the hooting and hollering of the surrounding spectators. She caught on to the steps as her growing panic mixed with a strange determination to get it right. It took a few moments for her to grasp the basic moves, and then she added in a few of her own to make it her thing. She tried to forget that she was boogying in the very center of an enemy camp. Her mental block had little effect on keeping out the roar of the crowd, but it allowed her to remain focused on what she was doing.

Her unfitted armor came with its own share of issues. The chest plate was too big for a teenage girl while managing to be too short at the same time. Naomi was forced to hold onto her helmet with both hands to keep it from slipping off as she danced. The pace of the drums picked up, encouraging the performers to do the same. The train of goblins moved at an alarming speed, and before long Naomi had to hop, skip, and jump to keep up. The entire ordeal culminated in a group howl that scared her half to death.

A sudden bellow of applause from the crowd mixed with shouts and whistles. One of the onlookers seized Naomi by the shoulders and shook her furiously. She thought he might strike her before he finally lifted his head back and laughed as loud as a foghorn. The man let her go, and she stumbled backwards. The goblins broke from the line, and Naomi found herself alone by the fire. Her predicament quickly shifted from bad to worse. The surrounding sea of goblins unlatched their armor, and it wasn’t long before Naomi was the only figure wearing a helmet.

The attention started with a few glances, first from the goblins and then the men and serpent-kind as they headed back to their own gatherings. Naomi walked away, keeping a straight line for the open divide between the goblin circle and an adjacent gathering of men. She heard the patter of boots following after her. They called out in the goblin’s foul language, but she didn’t dare turn around. The calls echoed from one gathering to the next, and the commotion was enough to draw several curious eyes.

The first real sign of trouble came from a hard pinch on her arm. A hand took a firm hold of her cloak and wouldn’t let go. Naomi strained to pull away but couldn’t. She saw figures moving toward her from the corners of the gathering. The goblins appeared to know something was up, and her chances of escape shrank by the moment. She finally gave in and spun around, coming face to face with a goblin’s bulbous head, its eyes glowing bright yellow in the firelight. Another powerful pull flung her around in the opposite direction, and she was sure the ruse was up.

 

 

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About the Author

Michael W. Garza often finds himself wondering where his inspiration will come from next and in what form his imagination will bring it to life. The outcomes regularly surprise him and it’s always his ambition to amaze those curious enough to follow him and take in those results. He hopes everyone will find something that frightens, surprises, or simply astonishes them.

 

 

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Nostalgic Rain: Excerpt and Giveaway

Nostalgic Rain: Galaxies Away
by A.S. Altabtabai
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: July 1st 2017

Summary from Goodreads

What seventeen-year-old Leland finds in the abandoned basement of his house is something he will never forget.

Leland lost his father when he was seven. Since then, he has successfully adapted to the awful life of being a student, the man of the house, and a father figure to his two younger siblings. All of that changes when he and his best friends stumble upon a secret in his deserted basement, and fall into another dimension with three moons, foggy woods, and an ancient castle-Oremanta.

Learning who he really is, how he came to this remote planet, and the shocking, ugly mystery of Oremanta aren’t as bad as the quest he finds himself obligated to complete-killing someone he never thought he’d meet in Oremanta to save everyone.

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Excerpt:  

Chapter One

Voices

The ceiling, barely visible in the dark room, greeted Leland. He didnt know how long hed slept, but that didnt matter much. It was summer. A thump resounded in the atmosphere, and it mixed with the squawking of birds and the chirping of grasshoppers. Leland rose from the sweat-soaked sheets of his bed and went to the window overlooking their small house garden. The sky was a mixture of red, orange, and yellow on one side, where the egg-yolk sun rose, and black on the other. In between the two, various degrees of blue adorned the horizon. Its dawn.

Be it summer, spring, winter, or autumn, all dawns in Temblewood City were cold. Leland put on his red hoodie, the one he got last year on his sixteenth birthday from Jennifer, his best friend, and stomped down the wooden abodes creaky stairs. Lelands heavy-lidded brown eyes skimmed the familiar dilapidated furniture of the living room, but he didnt dare complain. It was his grandfathers house, and he had lived here with his mother and two little siblings for ten years now since his father had died.

Today, he didnt want to drink coffee. Drinking coffee meant staying awake and alert for a long period, and he didnt want any of that. He wished he could sleep for the rest of this summer. Instead of coffee, Leland headed to Jaimes Café, a place more popular than Starbucks in Temblewood City, and bought a cup of hot chocolate. The cup was so hot he had to wrap it with two layers of napkins.

This summer was different from the last. Last year, hed seen Jennifer and Dylan almost every day. Hed gone hiking and horse riding and fishing, and hed camped on Mount Lamen, which wasnt a good ideathey had ended up lost for two days with cops searching for them. But now he was running from everyone and everything. Jennifer and Dylan were calling every day, and hed been creating excuses to be alone. But he missed them. A lot. The most awful thing in life is changing into someone worse but not realizing it.

Leland sat on a wooden bench not so far from Jaimes Café and gazed at the road, which was gradually getting more crowded with cars and people. A young man wearing a black suit and a red tie sat beside him. The man, who genuinely smelled good, scrolled down his phones screen, checking his Twitter timeline. Yeah. Thats what normal people do. They work and they socialize and they live. Leland missed that. Fear can paralyze ones mind and create thousands of fake barriers.

A raindrop fell on Lelands cup. He stared at the gray clouds in the sky, and an army of a million other drops flooded the ground. Thats why he hated Temblewood. It would rain any time of year, and Leland despised rain. He knew it was going to be a bad day. All rainy days are bad. The day his father died had been a day of heavy rain and dark memories he wished he could forget. But that was impossible because it was impossible not to have rain throughout the year. And every time it rained, a powerful resurrection of that day occurred.

Leland realized the suited man beside him had left at some point during his deep and useless thinking session. It seemed Leland was the only one on the street now. He put the hoodie cap on and walked underneath shop awnings on his way back home. Now that he thought about it, Leland hadnt learned much from his absent father.

But there was one sentence that kept ringing in his head. Leland wasnt even sure how or when or why his father had told it to him: The more you feed your fear, the more you become imprisoned by it.

***

Karla and Fred giggled and ran in the corridor. Theyve grown up really fast. I cant believe theyre starting to write and read already. Karla opened the door wide and nestled between Lelands arms. She curled and made herself comfortable in his hands.

You cant touch me now! she told Fred, sticking her tongue out.

Youre cheating! Fred replied, his palm on his waist.

Hey, you two, Leland said. Youre supposed to be in your beds now, arent you?

Were waiting for Aunt Abbey! Karla said. Mom said we can stay up late tonight.

Leland had totally forgotten that. His aunt, Abbey, was coming back to Temblewood from Todland, a city five hours away by plane. She worked as a nurse there. The last time hed seen her was a year ago when she came for New Years Eve. Shed brought them two bags of Made-In-Todland-Only candies. Leland hoped shed bring them again this time.

Lelands room was the smallest in the house. In one corner was his bed and in the other was a desk and a bookshelf with many Xbox games and a few novels. The only good thing about the room was the window that overlooked the street.

Fred toured Lelands room. He flipped the pages of a book he could barely carry and then dropped it when the doorbell rang. It was more of a noisy croak rather than a musical sound.

Abbey had arrived.

***

Lelands grandma, glued to her usual spot on the worn rocking chair shed bought right after Lelands birth, glimpsed him for a moment and then rolled her eyes back to the TV.

Where have you been all day? she complained, switching channels. Your aunt is here, for Gods sake.

On the table in the living room sat a cake with Welcome Home written on it. The living room was lit by an old, handcrafted chandelier, but it did its job quite well. Leland hugged his aunt. She hadnt changed much.

Hows everything? Leland asked.

Perfect! She replied, taking a bite of her cake. Everything is too perfect!

Great. Im glad. He took a seat beside her. Fred and Karla were on the ground playing rock, paper, scissors. His grandfather, Richard, was listening to the news, his ears touching the radios speaker.

What about you? Abbey asked.

Im fine, Leland replied, faking a smile.

No, hes not, Lelands mother said, cutting cake for Fred and Karla, pretending not to care much about the issue. Somethings wrong with him. He hardly leaves hisvroom.

Lelands face flushed. He felt stupid for not realizing his mother must have felt something was wrong with him. This meant Dylan and Jennifer, his friends, likely also noticed.

No, its just—” Leland said, attempting to fake an excuse.

Is he always alone? Abbey asked.

Almost, Maria, Lelands mother, replied.

And hes not eating a lot?

Yes.

Lelands heart raced. Theres no way Abbey would know what hed been through lately. Shed been away, and he made sure no one knew.

And he doesnt talk much? Abbey asked.

Yeah. Only a little, Maria answered.

Abbey clapped her hands and cried, Hes in love!

All eyes turned toward Leland. But he was relieved. She knew nothing after all. Leland pretended her assumptions were correct. He gazed down and said nothing in reply.

Theres nothing to be ashamed of, Leland. Weve all been through this before, Aunt Abbey said, and then her voice dropped to a whisper. And dont chicken out. Women hate that.

Leland didnt know how to reply, so, rather awkwardly and loudly enough that everyone stared at him again, he said, I like her.

Okay. Thats enough for today. Leland had paid his social dues and now he had to leave. Embarrassed, Leland said, I gotta go.

And he went back to his room.

***

Leland collapsed into his bed with Les Miserables in his hand. Hed bought it a month ago from Harrys Bookstore, a local shop at the end of the street. Leland read a book or two per year, but he wished he could dedicate more time to reading. He read some pages then put the book on the bedside table. With the lights on and the window opened, Leland dozed off without realizing it. Deep in his sleep, Leland woke up, sweating and trembling in fear. His breath quickened and his heart hammered against his chest. It had happened for the fifth time this week.

Voiceshundreds of thousands of throatswhispered in Lelands ears and mumbled words he couldnt understand. And it seemed he was the only one hearing them.

For Gods sake, what the hell is going on?

About the Author

Medical student, writer & travel passionate.

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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!

Jadeite’s Journey: Excerpt and Giveaway

Jadeite’s Journey
by Lucinda Stein
Genre: YA Scifi
Release date: January 24th 2017
Inkspell Publishing

Summary:

When romance turns deadly…

Jadeite’s perfect world comes crashing down on her. In the futuristic world of United Society, her only problem has been how to act around the cute boy on the air shuttle. But Jadeite’s world changes when she comes across a man who looks alarmingly like her father. Clones were declared illegal years ago. When she sees her father, a robotic engineer, headed to the Dark Edge of United Society, she follows him and uncovers her father’s secret life.

Jadeite shadows her father past the boundary of United Society and into a primitive world of canyons and high deserts. She learns her father is a Ridge Runner passing between the two worlds. Even more alarming, she discovers her younger brother, Malachite, is sick and requires medicine only available from over the Ridge. After her father is arrested, Jadeite takes his place in order to save her brother’s life.

But her world turns even more precarious after she breaks up with her obsessive boyfriend, Mattie. Jadeite soon learns his threats are more than words, and she finds her life is in jeopardy.

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Book Trailer:

Jadeite’s Journey Trailer from Lucinda Stein on Vimeo.

  1. About the Author
    A school librarian for over twenty years, Stein now writes fulltime. Sanctuary: Family, Friends, & Strangers was a 2015 Colorado Book Award finalist. Three Threads Woven, was a 2010 WILLA Finalist. Her story, Sulfur Springs, won First Place in the 2011 LAURA Short Fiction competition. Her stories have appeared in Pooled Ink, The South Dakota Review, Fine Lines, and Women Writing the West online.
    When not writing, she hikes desert canyons and alpine trails. She loves anything vintage, her shelter-rescued dog, Opie, and, most of all, her husband, Rob.

Excerpt:

Jadeite woke to Mattie holding a cool gel wrap to her forehead. She was propped on one of the chairs that lined the dance floor.

He offered her a drink of punch. “This will revive you. Oh, and I told the principal to tone down the heat.”

Guess Mattie’s power extended to the entire teaching staff.

“I’ll give you a break for a couple of dances, then we have to get back out there, don’t we?”

His expression made the request into a barely disguised order.

Jadeite nodded and looked away. She hated this guy, absolutely hated him.

It was after midnight when the event ended. She stifled a yawn as Mattie escorted her to the waiting shuttle.

They had driven a few minutes when Mattie lowered the partition between the front and back seats. The driver idled outside the public air-shuttle station where lights revealed a shuttle packed with passengers. The passengers, all adults, sat facing forward. None were reading, visiting, or talking via phone waves.

“Driver, take us to the bistro near the school.”

“Yes, sir.” The tinted window slid up again.

Jadeite stared at the passengers as their shuttle moved ahead. Why would people be transported at this late hour? United Society prided itself on daytime shifts for everyone. One woman looked confused, sweeping her eyes from side to side at those around her. As their private shuttle took off, Jadeite glanced back. She could have sworn a man’s face at the window was cloaked in fear.

She turned to Mattie. “Why are all those people on the transport so late at night?”

He wrapped his arm around her shoulder. “Don’t worry that pretty little head of yours. Those people are being transported to other areas in United Society.”

That’s what they’d told Electra about her parents.

About the Author:

A school librarian for over twenty years, Stein now writes fulltime. Sanctuary: Family, Friends, & Strangers was a 2015 Colorado Book Award finalist. Three Threads Woven, was a 2010 WILLA Finalist. Her story, Sulfur Springs, won First Place in the 2011 LAURA Short Fiction competition. Her stories have appeared in Pooled Ink, The South Dakota Review, Fine Lines, and Women Writing the West online.
When not writing, she hikes desert canyons and alpine trails. She loves anything vintage, her shelter-rescued dog, Opie, and, most of all, her husband, Rob.

Author Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitter

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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

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 … Read more

Poison Book Blitz and Giveaway

Poison (Wind Dancer #1) by Lan Chan Release Date: September 1st 2015 Dominion Publishing Summary from Goodreads: Since the night her mother was murdered, sixteen-year-old Rory Gray has known one truth: There are no good Seeders.  In post-apocalyptic Australia, the scientists known as Seeders have built a Citadel surrounded by food-producing regions and populated with … Read more

Silverwood Book Blitz

Silverwood by Betsy Streeter (Silverwood #1) Publication date: March 15th 2015 Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult Synopsis A story of finding where you belong, even if it involves time travel, shape shifting, and hacking. Helen Silverwood, fourteen, is sick of life on the run with her mom and her younger brother. Nothing makes sense. She doesn’t understand why she … Read more