Deep Extraction: Guest Post and Giveaway

 
DEEP EXTRACTION
An FBI Task Force Novel, Book 2
by
By DiAnn Mills
  Genre: Contemporary / Mystery / Christian
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Date of Publication: April 4, 2017
Number of Pages: 413
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A pacemaker should have saved oil and gas magnate Nathan Moore’s life. Instead, it provided his killer with a seemingly perfect means of execution.

A bombing at one of Nathan’s oil rigs days earlier indicates his death could be part of a bigger conspiracy, a web Special Agent Tori Templeton must untangle. But her first order of business is separating the personal from the professional—the victim’s wife, her best friend, is one of the FBI’s prime suspects.
Clearing Sally’s name may be the biggest challenge of her career, but Tori finds an unexpected ally in the newest member of the task force, recently reinstated Deputy US Marshal Cole Jeffers. As Tori and Cole dig deeper into Nathan’s personal and business affairs, they uncover more than they bargained for. And the closer they get to finding the real killer—and to each other—the more intent someone is on silencing them for good.
Watch the book trailer!

Praise for Deep Extraction
“Combined with intense action and stunning twists, this search for truth keeps readers on the edges of their favorite reading chairs.”  Romantic Times

“Mills many fans will devour” Library Journal

Goodreads readers praise Deep Extraction
“This was truly an amazing, suspenseful read that can be held up as an example of what good Christian suspense should be.” 

“DiAnn Mills’ writing is evocative of an excellent crime show. Sharp and to the point. Just how I imagine law enforcement work, think and talk.”

“Mills’ has captured the rush of adrenaline along with a good romance. Suspense and adventure are the real stars of this book.  Her motto is, “Expect an Adventure,” and she achieves it in this book.”
 

10 Ways to Know You’re a Strong Woman

We women may come from different parts of the world, but we have several characteristics that bond us into a sisterhood of strong women. We all have the ability to be called Strong Women. In my opinion, it’s in our DNA as the female gender.

So what are those traits?

  1. A strong woman is not a victim. She may have found herself in a vulnerable situation in the past, but she acquired the tools to repair herself. Never again will she be a victim, and she recognizes the signs.
  2. A strong woman finds strength in her faith. Jesus is her Savior. She puts Him first in her life. No matter what happens, Jesus has her back.
  3. A strong woman thinks more highly of others than herself. Life is never about us. Our growth and change into better women comes from an unselfish heart.
  4. A strong woman takes time for herself. Balance is the key to living up to our full potential. We have to nurture ourselves before we are any use to the world.
  5. A strong woman loves freely without demands. Love is an action verb. Showing love to those who are termed unlovable, an enemy, or a family or friend who has hurt us is a mark of true strength. A strong woman sets boundaries based on love.
  6. A strong woman is in control of her emotions and deals with her psychological issues. In short, if a woman recognizes help, she seeks wise counsel. Stuffing mental hurts is asking for an ulcer . . . or worse.
  7. A strong woman is health conscious. The saying is true: “We are what we eat.” The Bible says in 1st Corinthians 6:19 that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Eat right. Exercise.
  8. A strong woman has a sense of humor. Laughter is the best medicine. Get tickled. Enjoy a belly laugh.
  9. A strong woman is always learning. No matter where you are in life, learning keeps us alive, healthy, in tune with the world, and purposeful.
  10. A strong woman understands listening before speaking promotes wisdom. It’s too easy to interrupt and give our advice but stop. Perhaps the speaker merely needs to vent or we haven’t heard from God before we speak.

Strong women have the advantage over what the world tosses our way.

How do you describe a strong woman?


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 Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association; International Thriller Writers, and the Faith, Hope, and Love chapter of Romance Writers of America. She is co-director of The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson 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 on any of the social media platforms listed at www.diannmills.com.
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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
20-Apr
Review
21-Apr
Guest Post: 4 Agencies You Didn’t Know Worked With the FBI
22-Apr
Review
23-Apr
Excerpt: Chapter 1, Part 1
24-Apr
Guest Post: 4 Ways the FBI Assists Other Agencies
25-Apr
Review
26-Apr
Guest Post: 6 Ways the FBI Investigates a Potential Threat
27-Apr
Guest Post: 9 Crimes the FBI Investigates
28-Apr
Review
29-Apr
Guest Post: 10 Ways to Show Character Growth and Change
30-Apr
Promo
1-May
Review
2-May
Guest Post: 10 Ways to Show You’re a Strong Woman
3-May
Excerpt: Chapter 1, Part 2
4-May
Review
 
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Daughter of Etheron Promo Post and Giveaway

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Daughter of Etheron
by Brandon Young
Genre: YA Space Fantasy
Release Date: April 18th 2017
Starforged Entertainment

Summary from Goodreads:

Born the children of the ruling family.

Betrayed by the ones that swore to protect them.

IN A SHATTERED GALAXY . . .

Siblings, Elenah and Teveran are thrust into a secret war of space magicians that will decide the fate of the galaxy.

But a darkness swells in the galactic depths, magicians wielding magic not seen for millennia, and as the struggle for power grows more desperate, the children might find themselves fighting on opposite sides of the conflict.

The first book in the Saga of the Magicus Eye.

 

Buy a copy HERE!

Promo Post:

The Saga of the Magicus Eye

In a galaxy forged in the debris of a magical explosion…

We enter a war of military might and magic where secret armies collide and an ancient foe threatens to topple the stability of the galaxy. Enter the Saga of the Magicus Eye, a brand new space fantasy epic told in two narrative threads spanning thousands of years:

The Main Sequence is the primary story thread, a series of novels broken up into multiple story arcs beginning with Daughter of Etheron—the first in a trilogy. As the main sequence progresses, we will see reoccurring characters, locations and themes, as well as how they and the galaxy they live in change over generations of warfare and revolution.

Daughter of Etheron is the perfect place to start as it minimizes the learning curve exponentially. In writing it, I knew the story needed to fulfil a number of functions. It had to:

  • Introduce readers to a brand new galaxy
  • Establish the state of the galaxy
  • Have a satisfying ending
  • Set the stage for something exciting to come

So I came up with the simple story thread of a girl who leaves her homeworld for the first time, so as to put her in the reader’s shoes, with the simple quest of finding her brother—which can be easily accomplished in a 100,000-word novel. Meanwhile, a secondary thread follows her brother as he learns about the more mystical aspects of the galaxy under the tutelage of a powerful magician—which in turn introduces us to another important element of the saga: magic.

The use of multiple viewpoints was a conscious choice made in the early stages of idea development. I specifically chose to include a diverse set of characters (human, non-human, old and young) in order to reveal many different aspects of the galaxy and ensure this novel worked as a strong launching point for the rest of the saga.

However, it is not a necessary starting point…

The Expanded Universe serves as a companion to the main sequence, a series of standalone novellas and short stories designed to expand on characters and events mentioned and starring in the main sequence. The EU is not required reading in order to understand the main sequence, although new readers could potentially start here so as to try a smaller story before delving into the meat of the saga. The first novella was released simultaneously to Daughter of Etheron, and is entitled Rebel and the Aeonseer: a story about the birth of the rebellion and the supernatural creatures that set things into motion. Rebel will be included free with every purchase of Daughter of Etheron, but can also be purchased on its own for the low price of $1.99AUD (or about $1.50USD). I’m also excited about the first short story, A Perfect Doom, releasing later this year for free.

I had a lot of fun writing the first two instalments in the Saga of the Magicus Eye, and I hope you’ll come along for the ride and find something you like within its pages!

 

About the Author

Brandon Young is the debut author of the Saga of the Magicus Eye. He’s also a musician, gamer, and avid Star Wars fan living in Melbourne, Australia.

 

Author Links:

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GIVEAWAY + MAGICUS MONTHLY SIGN-UP

Receive a free digital copy of Daughter of Etheron and the first novella in the Magicus expanded universe, Rebel and the Aeonseer! Simply fill-in the signup form to receive monthly updates on the Saga of the Magicus Eye, and automatically go into the draw to be one of ten winners! This giveaway expires at midnight on May 12, 2017 (AEST), with winners being notified that weekend.

LINK TO SIGN-UP FORM ON MY WEBSITE:

http://www.brandon-young.com/about

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The Grave Tender: Review and Giveaway

Rating:


THE GRAVE TENDER

by
By Eliza Maxwell
  Genre: Women’s Fiction / Psychological Suspense
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Date of Publication: April 11, 2017
Number of Pages: 248
Rating: 4/5

Scroll down for Giveaway!

 

A chilling psychological suspense novel, The Grave Tender explores the dark boundaries people cross to save loved ones, and the limits of family bonds tested by the deepest of betrayals.
Endless questions from a shadow-filled East Texas childhood haunt Hadley Dixon. People said her mother, Winnie, was never quite right, but with one single, irreparable act, life as Hadley knew it was shattered. The aftershocks of that moonlit night left her reeling, but the secrets and lies had started long before.
When a widowed and pregnant Hadley returns years later, it’s not the safe harbor she expects. The mysteries surrounding a local boy’s disappearance remain, and the townspeople still whisper about Hadley’s strange and reclusive Uncle Eli—whispers about a monster in their midst.
But Hadley’s father and grandmother, the cornerstones of everything safe in her world, avoid her questions. If Hadley stays here, will she be giving her children the family they need or putting their lives in danger?

The hunt for answers takes a determined Hadley deep into the pine forests, in search of sunlight that will break through the canopy of lies long enough to reveal the truth.

 

“The Grave Tender will grasp you in its hooks from the beginning as you try to figure out the truth behind each character, because no one is truly what they seem … Addicting, easy to read, and hard to put down.”Shelbi LeMeilleur, Insite Magazine

PURCHASE LINKS

* * *

 

When I started reading this book I was anticipating it to be like the movie A Man Without a Face. And let me just saw, it was truly nothing like it. I knew this story was going to be dark, but I hadn’t expected the truly dark turn this story took. The Grave Tender is heartbreaking and deep, a gravestone of bones in its own making. The sinister shadows revealed, to me, were unexpected. It’s gritty and real and even though the book was very well done, I’m not entirely sure how I feel right in this moment as I write the review. I’m left with a mixture of turmoil for the main character, the pain she experienced, the secrets that surrounded her life were truly upsetting, but there is a glimmer of hope at the end of the story, showing that one can survive after such darkness. I can’t help but wonder after reading this, how does one go on from there? How does someone endure all those emotions that Hadley must have been feeling? I can’t even imagine living on the cornerstones of such a dark and tragic past.

I will say this, the story was very gripping. It delved in the past with ease and I found myself captured by the story telling of the tragic events that had transpired in the Dixon home. Maxwell moves through the story fluidly, jumping back and forth in the timeline, and it is very beautifully done. I was never confused by the shift in the story from person to person or from present to past. And I found myself eager and anxious to find out what had happened to this family. Their stories were tragic. Their stories were dark. They pulled at the strings of my emotions.

The characters were amazing. My favorite is Eli. I knew instantly that there was more to Eli than what there appeared to be. Eli was frowned upon by others in town because he was a recluse, kept to himself, and had scars on his face. And though others tried to blame Eli for misdeeds that happened, I knew he would be our Man Without a Face, and that his story would be heart wrenching. But each of the characters in this story have a heart beat of their own. Walker, Gran, Sam, Kate, Hadley, Jude…. so many effected by the acts that transpired in this small town. Like a tree burned at it’s root that slowly decays over time. But on this tree grows a small leaf, a small glimmer of hope, at least for most of them.

There were several times in this story where I wanted to yell at the characters and say “What is wrong with you, turn the person in!” I’m not excusing by any means what this person had done, but it shows us too how twisted people can become by horrible, horrific things. Perhaps I shouldn’t show a small ounce of compassion in that regard, but how can I not? When I know that if that person had been raised the right way, without being abused or molested, that they would have at least had a chance at a happy, decent life. Still, I wanted that person to be accountable for their actions. Regardless of what had happened to that person, they still needed to pay the consequences.

This story does deal with molestation of a child and abuse, for those of you that this might be a sensitive topic. But it’s a very well told story and the characters are very memorable. And it does give hope. Hope that in the darkest of times, justice will carry out, and through all the pain, people can find a way to live again.

Eliza Maxwell lives in Texas with her ever patient husband, two impatient kids, a budgie named Sarah, and a bird dog who lives a tortured existence.  She’s an artist and writer, an introvert and a British cop drama addict.  A former bookseller with a lifelong love of the written word, she can often be found barefoot on the front porch lost in a good cup of coffee and a great book.

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4/11
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4/12
Excerpt
4/13
Review
4/14
Book Trailer
4/15
Review
4/16
Promo
4/17
Author Interview
4/18
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4/19
Deleted Scene
4/20
Scrapbook
4/21
Review
4/22
Playlist
4/23
Promo
4/24
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Evidence of Things Not Seen: Review and Giveaway

Rating:

EVIDENCE
OF THINGS NOT SEEN
by
By Lindsey Lane
  Genre: YA /  Mystery / Suspense
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Date of Publication: December 16, 2015
Number of Pages: 240
Rating: 4/5
Scroll down for Giveaway!
  
Tommy Smythe is missing.
Fact: Tommy was good at physics and less good at basic human interactions.
Fact: Tommy recorded his thoughts and observations in a notebook.
Fact: Tommy believed in the existence of parallel universes.

Fact: Tommy was adopted.The facts are simple. The conclusions to be drawn from the facts are not simple. Did he run away to find his birth parents? Did he slip through a wormhole and enter one of the multiple universes he believed in? Did he simply wander off? 

Only one thing is certain: until a possibility is proven true, all possibilities exist.

Told through multiple perspectives, here is a story about how residents of a small town seek answers to the mystery of a teen’s disappearance. 

* * *

PRAISE FOR EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN:

“In her first novel for teens, Lane offers a gripping and genre bending mosaic.” – Publishers Weekly
“Complex and Rich” – Horn Book
“This is the kind of book you tuck in with and escape into, and it will stay with you long after you finish the last lines.  Haunting and beautiful.” – Jennifer Mathieu, author of The Truth About AliceDevoted, and Afterward
“The narrative jiggers between unexpected opposites—joy and fear, love and violence, grief and hope—all the while holding forth the constant idea that the world offers us credible evidence of what seems impossible if we only know where to look.”  J.L. Powers, author of AminaThis Thing Called The Future, and the forthcoming Broken Circle

“Ever look at a pearl and notice that its one color is, in fact, many colors? That’s the beauty of EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN, the stunning debut novel by Lindsey Lane.” – Conrad Wesselhoeft, author of Adios NirvanaDirt Bikes, Drones and Other Ways To Fly

 

Check out the book trailer!
PURCHASE LINKS

* * *


Evidence of Things Not Seen was a very compelling read. I had been eyeing this book for several weeks prior to having the privilege to read for a review with Lone Star Book Blog Tours. And the novel did not disappoint. Lindsey Lane beautifully captures this almost surreal story of the disappearance of a boy named Tommy. Each chapter follows a different character’s point of view, and each of them either come in to contact with an item or a place that is connected to Tommy, or some of them are being interviewed by I assume police and answering questions about his sudden disappearance. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It’s poetry at it’s finest.

Each of the characters that Lindsey presented were refreshing and their stories instantly pulled me in. Some stories were so intensely written with a raw, pure voice that I couldn’t help but want to know more about those characters as well. At times, I was frustrated by this, because of how amazing their stories were written, but I can appreciate the artistic value this brought to such a uniquely written book. It allowed me to put little clues and pieces together to formulate my own opinion as what happened to Tommy.

My favorite thing about this story was the notes Tommy made on his scientific search for multiple universes. Tommy had such a curious mind and I found myself fascinated with his thought process and how he came to his scientific questions and possible conclusions.

This story almost had a supernatural, scientific element to it that I simply loved. What if Tommy HAD gone to another universe? The question lingered in the back of my mind the entire story. And it gave it this almost other worldly feel to it that is difficult to explain but one that I quite enjoyed.

I will caution parents of teenagers interested in reading this book, as it does deal with some pretty rough subject matters and it may be one you want to preview first before you let your child read it.

If you enjoy stories told by multiple points of view with mystery, suspense, raw stories and an air of science to it, then be sure to check out Evidence of Things Not Seen!

 

Lindsey Lane is the author of the young adult novel Evidence of Things Not Seen (Farrar Straus Giroux) and the award-winning picture book and iTunes app Snuggle Mountain (Clarion/PicPocket Books). She is represented by Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Before she received her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2010, Lindsey was a features journalist (Austin Chronicle and Austin American Statesman) and an award-winning playwright (The Miracle of Washing Dishes). Lindsey is a featured presenter at schools and conferences and universities and also teaches writing at Austin Community College, Writers League of Texas, and the Writing Barn. She lives in Austin, Texas but loves to travel, especially to the ocean. She loves books, films, good food and her cadre of dear friends. Her idea of a perfect evening is having a dinner party at her home with friends from around the world and discussing everything under the sun while eating, drinking, and laughing. 
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4/15
Excerpt
4/16
Author Interview
4/17
Review
4/18
Scrapbook
4/19
Review
4/20
Guest Post
4/21
Review


 

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Don’t Kiss the Messenger Spotlight and Giveaway

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Don’t Kiss the Messenger (Edge Lake High School, #1)

by Katie Ray

Publication Date:  April 10, 2017

Publisher:  Entangled Teen Crush

Synopsis:

For most of her teenage life, CeCe Edmonds has been dealing with the stares and the not-so-polite whispers that follow her around Edgelake High. So she has a large scar on her face—Harry Potter had one on his forehead and people still liked him.

CeCe never cared about her looks—until Emmett Brady, transfer student and football darling, becomes her literature critique partner. The only problem? Emmett is blindsided by Bryn DeNeuville, CeCe’s gorgeous and suddenly shy volleyball teammate.

Bryn asks CeCe to help her compose messages that’ll charm Emmett. CeCe isn’t sure there’s anything in his head worth charming but agrees anyway—she’s a sucker for a good romance. Unfortunately, the more messages she sends and the more they run into each other, the more she realizes there’s plenty in his head, from food to literature. Too bad Emmett seems to be falling for the wrong girl…

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book involves one fiercely scarred girl who wants the new guy in town, the new guy who thinks he wants the new girl, and the new girl who really isn’t sure what she wants, and the misunderstanding that brings them all together. You’ll laugh, you’ll swoon, you’ll fall in love.   

 

Excerpt:

Bryn let herself in through the front door. I had been drowning my sorrows in hot chocolate and An Officer and a Gentlemen. I looked up as Bryn unzipped her coat.

“How did it go?” I asked.

“Awful.”

“You broke up?” I tried not to sound hopeful.

“Worse.” She sighed and sat down next to me on the couch. “Emmett told me he loved me. Sober. To my face. Most guys at least text that kind of stuff.”

Her words hit my heart like arrows. I slumped deeper into the couch, aching from the blow. I had been disillusioned enough to think that one day he would confess those words to me.

Tuba walked in the room and one look at me was enough to catch her up on the conversation.

“He said these weeks were torture to be away from me,” Bryn complained. “He said he had to taste the words that come out of my mouth. He actually said that! What the hell, CeCe?”

Tuba looked over at me. “Looks like we have a budding Danielle Steele on our hands,” she said. Bryn just stared between us, completely missing the reference.

“It gets worse,” Bryn said. “He told me he first fell for me because I was beautiful, but then he said none of that even mattered anymore. That my thoughts are more beautiful than anything and that’s what he loves most about me.”

I looked up at Bryn.

“He said that?” I asked.

She nodded. “That really pissed me off,” Bryn continued. “So I asked him what he would think if I was ugly and he told me he wouldn’t care.” She huffed and stuck her hands on her hips. “That is the biggest line of B.S. I have ever heard. Guys totally care about looks.”

Tuba nodded, slowly. “Yeah, but they care about other things, too.”

“Looks are most important,” Bryn shot back.

“But they’re not the only thing that’s important,” Tuba argued.

I was barely listening. Was it true? Did he really mean it? He loved her more for her mind than her looks? It didn’t take a rocket scientist to fill out the answer to the equation, then, on who he was in love with.

“So, he likes you for your mind, and it’s a problem?” Tuba asked.

“I’m proud of the way I look. I like being noticed. The way he wants me, it’s too much pressure.”

I sighed and ran my hands over my face. Bryn looked over at me.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I’m so sorry, Bryn. It started off so harmless, just some texts. Then it became something more. I couldn’t stop. It felt so good to be desired for once, it was like a drug.”

I held up my hands in defeat. Finally, I came clean.

Bryn’s mouth fell open with realization. “Oh my God, CeCe. I can’t believe I didn’t see it. This whole time, you’ve been falling for Emmett.”

“No—”

“You’re in love with him,” Bryn stated. She fell down next to me on the couch.

“That’s not—no, I’m not,” I stammered.

Bryn slapped her hand over her mouth as another idea took hold. “Oh my God. Emmett is in love with you!”

I shook my head, denying the words and throwing them back.

“No, he loves you. He wants you. He could never think about me like that. It was your face that he fell for, not mine.”

“Oh my gosh, CeCe. This is such a mess.”

“He’s still your boyfriend, Bryn,” I said. I swallowed because I knew my next words were a lie. “We can fix this.”

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon |Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Entangled Publishing

About the Author:

Katie Ray (also known by her previous author name, Katie Kacvinsky) writes teen and new adult fiction novels. Her books have been nominated for YALSA awards, and First Comes Love was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. Her screenplay, A High Note, was a semifinalist in the Austin Screenplay Competition in 2015. She currently lives in Ashland, Wisconsin with her husband, two children, and a slightly insane dog.

 

Author Links:

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Serenade Promo Post and Giveaway

Book & Author Details:
Serenade 
by Heather McKenzie
(The Nightmusic Trilogy #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 17th 2017
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Young Adult
Synopsis:

Kidnapped and held hostage in the Rockies, a teenage heiress falls for her abductor while her corrupt father and devoted bodyguard fight to get her back. The discovery of true love and dark family secrets turns deadly in this epic coming of age adventure.

Kaya Lowen dreams of living like a normal eighteen-year old, but being heiress to a billion-dollar company has put her life in constant danger. Fiercely guarded by her powerful and corrupt father, she develops close bonds with those who protect her, especially Oliver – a bodyguard who has proven his devotion to her time and again. He wins her heart – until a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning everything she believes in. Haunted by true love and reeling from a guilty conscience, Kaya’s world unravels when she’s kidnapped.

Held captive in a rugged wilderness fraught with raging storms, mystical caves and deadly predators, Kaya’s father scours the forest and her bodyguard fights to get her back. But, the discovery of a dark family secret makes Kaya wonder if staying in the arms of her blue-eyed abductor—a captivating stranger with dark secrets of his own – is a safer place to be. At least, that’s what her heart is telling her, her head is saying run…

An epic adventure centered on a smoldering love-triangle, Serenade sings a timeless tale of courage, self-discovery, and life-or-death love that will leave you breathless.

 

Excerpt:

With every shifting of the breeze, my heart sped up. Every shadow made me jump. The small campfire crackled and smoked, playing with my vision.

“It’s him, isn’t it?” Luke said quietly. “Your fiancé… you think he’s out there somewhere?”

“Yes. My father would have sent him.”

“Why?”

“Because he will stop at nothing to get me back.”

“But the sky has been quiet for a while,” Luke said softly.

I looked up. There hadn’t been the sound of helicopters this morning, even though the sky was clear now and vibrant blue above the treetops.

“Do you really love this guy?” Luke asked softly, and I heard him hold his breath.

I forced my head to nod. “Yes.”

“Then you have my word that I won’t hurt him,” he said.

I adjusted the blanket and stayed by his side while he fell asleep. On the edge of my nerves, I kept a watchful eye on the bushes and the gun ready in my hands.

 

Purchase Links:

 

INTERVIEW

Interview with Heather McKenzie, by Dwight Bueckert

 

What genre/category is SERENADE? 

YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Romance Thriller and Suspense

Release date?

April 17, 2017

Please describe what the story is about in one sentence.

When the teenage daughter of a corrupt billionaire falls in love with her kidnapper, she fights to stay alive in the Rocky Mountains while her devoted bodyguard vows to stop at nothing to get her back.

Briefly, what led up to this book?

SERENADE is my first novel. Leading up to it was a career in music.

What was the time frame for writing this book?  Tell me an interesting detail or two.

Writing SERENADE took about four years. I had a good idea of what I wanted to write, but I had no idea how to write it. I researched writing tips and advice from other authors, and wrote and re-wrote the manuscript at least twenty times– the first draft was 210,000 words! I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I was absolutely determined to get this story out as best as I could, so I kept at it, and in the end I just had to go with what felt right to me. I think that worked.

What was your biggest learning experience and/or surprise throughout the publishing process?

The most incredible experience was working with the editors. I got a massive dose of education during the process and they were kind enough to explain their reasons for the edits. I was in class every time I sat down at the computer and was in awe over the wealth of information they shared with me. My biggest surprise was the dedication from my publisher to assist me with anything I needed. I had been used to trudging it out alone in the music business for years, and their desire to help make SERENADE a success, and answering all my crazy questions and offering such great advice, was amazing. I couldn’t believe that I wasn’t doing this all on my own.

What inspired you to write SERENADE?

I was in my local bookstore one afternoon with my daughter and watched as she searched the Teen/Young Adult section in frustration. She didn’t want vampires, or witches, or dystopian worlds, she wanted a modern day adventure with characters that felt real. So, being the doting mother that I am, I started writing her a book. One month into the process, I was quitting my day job and focusing entirely on learning how to write. I fell head over heels in love with this avenue of storytelling. Being a musician gave me many life experiences to pull from, and my love of Stephanie Meyer’s work fueled the passion to forge ahead and get the story on paper. A love triangle, the romantic setting of the rocky mountains, the art of survival and a character whose strength builds with each page… it all began to come to life every time I sat down to write. I realized when I completed the first manuscript, that what I was essentially trying to get across to my daughter –through the magic of reading– was the understanding of true love; what it feels like and how you know when you’ve found it.  And, I am happy to say, that my knowledge of that is born of my own, real, experience.

 

How did you come up with the title?

I wanted to keep the books in the trilogy with music related names, as it is called The Nightmusic Trilogy. A serenade is a piece of music played at night. It is romantic and supposed to woo a prospective lover… in the book the main character rests her head against the chest of the man she is falling for and his heart beat is music to her ears. It is her own, perfectly written, SERENADE

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I have tried to touch lightly on the effects of chemicals on our bodies and bring to light the correlation between what we do to the earth, and how it ends up affecting us. I also want show readers what is true love, real and healthy and how you know when you’ve found it – which is based off my own experience.

How much of the book is realistic?

I tried to make the book feel like it could actually happen. The characters are completely fictional, but the setting is not. Caves and underground hot springs and the castle in the mountains? All real. The Death Race that takes place every August in Grande Cache? Real.

What book are you reading now?

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. It’s fantastic!!

What are your current projects?

I have just finished book one of a new series of adult fiction that I am very excited about. It is about to enter the editing process. I am also close to finishing NOCTURNE, the second book in the Nightmusic Trilogy. Next up, book three!

Where are you from?

Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA! I was born in the city, then moved to an acreage just outside it and lived an absolute fairy tale childhood in my own ‘castle’ until I left to join a rock band and play professionally. Eventually I moved back, got married there, and got to watch my children have the same amount of happiness as I did in my childhood home.  

Where do you write from?

I tiny little bedroom I claimed as an office when my kids moved out, with books galore, guitars, a piano, countless empty coffee cups, and three dogs sleeping at my feet.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Sitting for countless hours every day. I gained about fifty pounds and think I broke my butt at one point. But it was worth it.

Did you learn anything from writing your book, and what was it?

Apparently I am obsessed with smells…?!?!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

If you love it, it’s good. Take opinions with a grain of salt–trust your gutt.

What do you do when you aren’t writing?

I am still actively involved in music, writing and being loud and aggressive with my band on weekends and recording whenever I can. It is my first love, and I can’t let go! I also teach classical piano and voice to youngsters one day a week, which is an incredibly rewarding experience. When I need peace and quiet– which is often– I paint. 

AUTHOR BIO:
Heather McKenzie is a Canadian author and Serenade is her first novel. A professional singer/songwriter with five albums to date, she has been telling stories through music for years and pulls from her extraordinary experiences as a musician to fuel her passion for creating Young Adult fiction. A rocker at heart, a mom of three, an aspiring painter, and a lover of animals, she is kept grounded by her husband at their home in Edmonton.
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Hey everyone! Just wanted to share my new author site. There isn’t much on there yet, but I’ll be blogging from time to time, including tips on writing for other authors, and random posts about my day. I’ll also be sharing any news I have on the progress of my novels. Please check it out and follow!

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Black Dawn: Excerpt and Giveaway

Black Dawn
by Mallory McCartney
Genre: YA/A Fantasy
Release Date: February 14th 2017
Clean Reads Publishing

Summary from Goodreads:

The end of an Empire, The rise of a Queen

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and upon Emory’s arrival she will discover she is the long lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.

With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows.

Buy Links:

Amazon.ca | Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble | Indigo

Excerpt:

Chapter Four: Memphis

The scream tore through his mind, ringing as Memphis watched Brokk stalk out of the room, his hurt plain across his face. He glanced at the now panting Emory, her anger dissipating to confusion once more. Her movements were impatient as she perched on the edge of the bunker and cradled her head.

“Emory? My name is Memphis Carter. Do you know who I am?” He could feel Nyx’s eyes burning into his back.

With a slight nod of her head, Emory peeked up at him through her fingers. “Vaguely. That still doesn’t answer where I am, and what he was doing here.” Her voice was like crystal, smooth and commanding. The voice of a Queen.

Guilt twanged in his gut, and he chose his next words carefully. “I realize what this is going to sound like, and that’s insane. Brokk and I brought you here to this world. This is the Academy—our home. You came from Earth, but this world, our world, was your home first. Kiero. We grew up together. Your family built our government. To us, you are the rightful heir to their lineage.”

It was like walking on ice—too much pressure at once and her mind would break. Memphis had to dance around the edges. Especially to protect what he had done. He asked softly, “How much do you remember?”

Her eyes were daggers as she shakily stood up. “Why should I remember this place? This world? So you’re telling me that you just kidnapped me and transported me to another world? This isn’t freaking Star Trek! It feels like my mind is being split in two. I remember my life—going to work, my apartment…but now…now it’s like someone has drawn back the stage curtain and all these broken memories have come into play. I see myself as a little girl and instead of being raised in an orphanage, I’m with parents…? And we had abilities…like supernatural abilities. Which just proves that I have lost my mind from stress because I’m being held hostage—” She choked on panic and laughter. Emory searched his eyes for an explanation.

Show her.” Nyx’s quiet voice resonated in his mind. He stared back at Emory, narrowing his eyes. He could gently feed more memories to her. It was the only way to make her see the truth. Reaching toward Emory, he placed his palm against her temple. Her skin was cool and soft, and he could feel the adrenaline rushing through her.

About the Author

Mallory McCartney currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and their two dachshunds Link and Lola. Black Dawn is her debut novel, the first in a series. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found dog grooming, book shopping and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

Author Links:

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Sandpiper Cove: Review and Giveaway

Rating:
SANDPIPER COVE
A Hope Harbor Novel, Book 3
by
By IRENE HANNON
  Genre: Contemporary / Christian / Romance
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: April 4, 2017
Number of Pages: 352
Rating: 4/5

Scroll down for Giveaway!

 

  
Irene Hannon welcomes readers back to the enchanting seaside town of Hope Harbor, Oregon, in her novel Sandpiper Cove, releasing April 2017. Praised by Library Journal as a “master at character development,” Irene Hannon steps away from suspense writing once again to deliver another powerful, multifaceted romance that is sure to have readers coming back for more.

 

Hope Harbor police chief Lexie Graham has plenty on her plate raising her son alone and dealing with a sudden rash of petty theft and vandalism in her coastal Oregon hometown. As a result, she has zero time for extracurricular activities—including romance. Ex-con Adam Stone isn’t looking for love either—but how ironic is it that the first woman to catch his eye is a police chief?

 

 

Nevertheless, when Lexie enlists Adam’s help to keep a young man from falling into a life of crime, sparks begin to fly. And as they work together, it soon becomes apparent that God may have a different—and better—future planned for them than either could imagine.

PURCHASE LINKS
 
* * *

PRAISE FOR THE HOPE HARBOR NOVELS:

 

“Fan favorite Irene Hannon brings a whole new cast of characters to life in a charming Oregon seaside village. Emotional and heartwarming, this story invites reader to come home to Hope Harbor.”

Christian Retailing on Hope Harbor

 

“A place of emotional restoration that readers will yearn to visit.”
Publishers Weekly on Hope Harbor
 “Summer romance doesn’t get much better than this.”
Examiner.com on Sea Rose Lane
 

Sandpiper Cove follows the story of Lexie, chief of police, and Adam, an ex-con. There is so much to enjoy about this story. It’s filled with hope, first chances, and second chances. From just reading the synopsis, I knew this was a book I had to read. Lexie and Adam come from opposite sides, her being a police officer, and him being an ex-criminal. Who doesn’t love a good story about opposites attracting?

Hannon instantly gives us a taste of what Adam’s true character is like from the very first chapter: a tough guy, but with a soft heart. He is a man trying to do good, and turn his life around. He has a dog too, and they take care of one another (bonus points, I know!)

At first glance, I just loved Lexie. Here was a gal that saw people for who they were. I loved how she saw Adam as a man trying to do right, instead of focusing on the wrong he did in his past. It was refreshing to read a story like this where a female character isn’t persuaded by petty gossip.

On a side note, there is this scene… where they are at a this big event…. and there’s a dance… and it’s just AMAZING. By far my favorite scene in the book.

Okay… back to my review 🙂

I enjoyed how Hannon created a simple, yet lovable story with deep, thought provoking characters. Adam is a victim of vandalism and he helps Lexie when one of the kids responsible gets caught. Adam spends his time helping the kid do community service, and giving him the help and encouragement he wishes someone had done for him.

I’m not a huge religious person, but a good portion of this book centers on church going. I still found this book highly enjoyable and I felt like Hannon didn’t overpower the story with religion. I felt like it was a good balance and anyone that doesn’t mind a little bit of good Christian values in their books should read this. It’s a good, clean love story and has a really good message: to not judge people by their past. And to give love a chance.  It also shows that it’s never too late to make your life the way you dreamed it to be.

Be sure to check out Sandpiper Cove!


Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than fifty novels, including One Perfect Spring, Hope Harbor, and Sea Rose Lane, as well as the Private Justice and Men of Valor suspense series. Her books have been honored with three coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, two Carol Awards, two Reviewers’ Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine, a Retailers’ Choice Award, three HOLT Medallions, two Booksellers’ Best Awards, and a National Readers’ Choice Award. She is also a two-time Christy Award finalist. In 2014 she was inducted into the Romance Writers of America’s elite Hall of Fame, and in 2016 she received a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews for her entire body of work.

WEBSITE
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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
Grand Prize:  
Print copies of full Hope Harbor series, Mr. Munch Oregon Treat Basket, & Ann Clark Oregon 3.25” Tin Plated Steel Cookie Cutter.
1st Runner-Up:  
Full series + $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
2nd Runner-Up:  
Full Series + $10 Starbucks Gift Card
April 4-13, 2017

(U.S. Only)

 

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

4/4
Character Interview
4/5
Review
4/6
Scrapbook Page
4/7
Review
4/8
Excerpt
4/9
Author Interview 1
4/10
Review
4/11
Guest Post
4/12
Review
4/13
Author Interview 2

 

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