Saturday, December 3, 2016

GenreCRAVE Mega Giveaway

EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
GenreCRAVE Mega Giveaway


Welcome to the GenreCRAVE Mega Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Dystopian Reader Appreciation Giveaway! This book blitz is brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours.


Description
We’re so glad you stopped by! In this giveaway, EVERYONE who enters will win TWENTY FREE – EXCLUSIVE – ebooks by the sponsoring authors (to be delivered at the conclusion of the giveaway), and one GRAND PRIZE winner will also receive a $1000 Amazon Gift Card! The Winner will be announced 1 February at the Facebook event. The winner will also receive an email directly.
There will also be other prizes and giveaways happening at that event between now and the Grand Prize announcement! So make sure you mark yourself as attending so you don’t miss those great opportunities to win more prizes and snag more freebies!
You can view all twenty books from the sponsors here and read an excerpt from one of the featured books below.


Excerpt from Lost Wolf by Stacy Claflin
Beads of sweat broke out along my hairline. I wiped them away, tightened my ponytail, and ran faster along the dirt trail, jumping over exposed roots and ducking under low-hanging branches. Pine trees, firs, and alders turned my path into more of an obstacle course than a trail.
A twig snapped behind me.
I glanced back, but didn’t see anything. Probably just a raccoon.
My sneaker hit a root and my arms flew in front of me. I landed on my hands and knees, and slid down an incline. Rocks and branches dug into my skin until I crashed into a huckleberry bush.
I stood and dusted myself off. Blood dripped from my legs. I pulled twigs, dirt, and small rocks from the cuts.
“Nice work, Victoria,” I muttered to myself.
Sasha had said I shouldn’t have gone into the forest for my first jog. But having just moved to the beautiful Olympic Peninsula, I wasn’t about to join a club when I had the great outdoors. Birds chirped all around and a stream bubbled nearby. It was like the woods were telling me I’d made the right choice.
Another snap.
“Who’s there?” I sounded a lot braver than I felt. My heart thundered against my ribcage and I whipped my head around. My roommates had said the woods were safe, but I was also trusting people who had been strangers only a couple days earlier.
Why had I gone into the woods alone? Wasn’t that how half of all horror movies started?
I thought of Sasha running on a treadmill, flirting with cute college guys. Maybe she was the smart one.
Footsteps.
“Hello?” I called.
Nothing. The birds had even stopped singing.
“Is anyone there?”
The footsteps came closer.
My pulse drummed in my ears. I fought to breathe normally.
A small gray and black wolf stepped out from behind the tree. He made eye contact with me.
I didn’t move a muscle, holding its gaze.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Giveaway
Enter the giveaway here for a chance to win a $1000 Amazon gift card.


Friday, December 2, 2016

"Poppies for Christmas" by Stacy Renée Keywell

EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Poppies for Christmas
by Stacy Renée Keywell


Poppies for Christmas by Stacy Renée Keywell is currently on tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
A celebration of love without labels. It’s easy to be brave with you by my side!
Popular DJ Dexx finds himself positively smitten by the precociously pristine Poppy Paris. Too bad she’s already taken by an older boy, Declan Davies, a beautiful model with a thriving career, and a perfect family. By a dreamful stroke of chance, Dexx finds himself invited to spend Christmas at the Davies home by a gorgeous girl, granting him the opportunity to pursue the precious Poppy. But in his quest to win her over, he unlocks a world of imperfection and insecurity, where people are picked on for their disabilities, speech, appearance, and eccentricities. For Poppy and her friends, love trumps labels, and everyone deserves a brave friend to stand by their side. What gifts will Dexx discover this Christmas? Will he ultimately find true love, or will he discover something even greater?
You are invited to read a powerful story about living with autism, but not letting it define you, about being bullied, but carrying on with determination and grit, and about having dreams, but not giving up in the face of adversity. Come celebrate something beautiful with Poppies for Christmas.

Excerpt
Chapter One
The Science of Baking
I read somewhere once that cooking is an art. It takes imagination and flare. But baking? Baking is a science. It takes exactitude and precision. It requires patience. It requires dedication. It requires love. A whole lot of love. And well…that’s what I’ve got…love…love for a girl, a special one, one who deserves dedication. So what do I choose to prove my love? I choose baking.
Lenn
Deep inside my tote, my hand grazed against my faithful sketchbook before I removed it. The metal spirals comforted my fingers as I dragged them across the row of sharp-edged rings. Firmly gripping the book, I flipped it open to a blank page near the middle. I smoothed out the slightly texturized, eggshell white page. I bent down and buried my nose in the crease, inhaling the faint lead pencil scent. It calmed me, readying me to add another chapter to my visual saga.
Spreading my tools around me, hard and soft pencils, a ruler, several firm erasers, and a small metal sharpener, I steadied my hand and cleared my mind, inviting in only the most blissful images of my fantasy. With a soft lead pencil, I constructed an oval blank for the face. Art classes definitely assisted in perfecting the technique, but dedication and talent trumped instruction.
I used the ruler to estimate the proper dimensions. I added eyes, a nose, some crazy-hot lips, all his beautiful features. I gave him expressive brows. I sketched his glossy dark brown hair, shaggy bangs flopping over to the side, covering his ear, exposing that sarcastic, twisted grin on his lips, the same way he looked when he joked around with his friends in the corner of the library during study hall.
A trusty eraser mopped up all of the stray, miscellaneous marks. I blew away a couple gummy shreds before I shaded in his taut jawline. I wiped up the last scattered pieces left behind on the page before I started on adding myself to the portrait. Duplicating the process, I gave myself a hipper, manga-esque look, allowing for a more whimsical likeness of myself.
Poppy and Kit sat at the same long, wooden table, on the opposite side of me. Kit swiped through the pages on her tablet, desperately trying to find the right page number, since she had neglected to tap the bookmark before closing out her chapter the previous night. Nervous oohs and aahs escaped her lips. Poppy, sitting with her legs crossed, jiggled her feet beneath her chair, shaking the table, creating a rattling earthquake under my artwork.
I shot a glare in her direction. “Would you please stop? The both of you! You are driving me crazy, and ruining my picture.”
Poppy and Kit stopped suddenly. They looked at each other, wide-eyed and innocent, two does in the midst of a meadow. Unaware! Clueless! Oblivious!
“I can’t think when you moan that way,” I snapped, addressing Kit. She squirmed underneath her oversized flannel shirt and baggy jeans.
“And, you,” I turned to Poppy. “You are going to smudge my drawing with all of that wild motion going on underneath the table. Can it!”
Their jaws dropped. They both stared at me, wordless.
“Please.” I hugged my journal protectively. Softening my voice, I turned to Poppy and asked her again. “Please?”
“Sorry,” they announced in simulcast, sighing, shrugging their shoulders, lost together in the great woods of their minds.
They looked back down at their own musings. I continued to draw.
In this picture, the two of us relaxed together on a chaise lounge, him with his large, bulbous headphones, and me with my skull and crossbones ear buds. Our eyes drifted in the opposite direction, lids almost closed, in a sleepy trance. My arm draped across his chest until our fingers entwined, intimately. We zoned out to his simpatico beats.
Dare I say heaven? Total reverie? Dare I label it? Give it a title like Lost Together, or Technotransing it, or D-lightful?
I absolutely planned on scanning my image when I returned home, possibly even uploading it to his fan page, once I swallowed a dose of bravery and forced myself to take that leap of frightening faith. My mouth dried up like a petrified prune, and puckered at the thought of posting my reveries.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
"I really enjoyed this book. It is beautifully descriptive, with a meaningful love story. It intertwines the lives of four young adults and their individual issues and insecurities. Even when we think someone is so perfect and leads an enchanted life, their true feelings are revealed. They learn to over come their self doubts and become more caring people. This book is a good example to love without labels. It is a good read for young and old." ~ Cookie
"I struggled through the first part of this book and I am so glad that I didn't give up. I found the beginning it was going from one character to the next and then certain characters just disappeared from the book. Once Dexx got the Davies house everything got so much better. [...] I am very glad that I was able to stick with this book as it was great!" ~ Rebecca A

About the Author
Stacy Renée Keywell enjoys spending time misusing, mispronouncing, and misspelling languages, especially in her native tongue, English. When she is not stargazing or daydreaming she creates adventures for her family to conquer. Besides following her whimsical dreams, Stacy likes to sing to the music in her head, dance poorly, and compose non-sensical words. She is also the author of Forbidden Sky - Book One of the Dark Wing Series. Stacy resides in Michigan in a little house in the woods with her husband, and two daughters.

Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.

Links

Thursday, December 1, 2016

"Skeletons in the Attic" by Judy Penz Sheluk

EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Skeletons in the Attic
(A Marketville Mystery Book 1)
by Judy Penz Sheluk


Skeletons in the Attic by Judy Penz Sheluk is ON SALE for only $0.99 (save $4) to 15 December. This book blast and giveaway is brought to you by Goddess Fish Promotions. Please be sure to visit the other participating blogs as well.


Description
What goes on behind closed doors doesn’t always stay there ...
Calamity (Callie) Barnstable isn’t surprised to learn she’s the sole beneficiary of her late father’s estate, though she is shocked to discover she has inherited a house in the town of Marketville - a house she didn’t know existed. However, there are conditions attached to Callie’s inheritance: she must move to Marketville, live in the house, and solve her mother’s murder.
Callie’s not keen on dredging up a thirty-year-old mystery, but if she doesn’t do it, there’s a scheming psychic named Misty Rivers who is more than happy to expose the Barnstable family secrets. Determined to thwart Misty and fulfill her father’s wishes, Callie accepts the challenge. But is she ready to face the skeletons hidden in the attic?


Excerpt
Leith let out a theatrical courtroom sigh, well practiced but over the top for his audience of one. “You haven’t really been listening, have you, Calamity?”
I was forced to admit I had not, although he now had my undivided attention. Marketville was a commuter community about an hour north of Toronto, the sort of town where families with two kids, a collie, and a cat moved to looking for a bigger house, a better school, and soccer fields. It didn’t sound much like me, or my father.
“You’re saying my father owned a house in Marketville? I don’t understand. Why didn’t he live there?”
Leith shrugged. “It seems he couldn’t bear to part with it, and he couldn’t stand living in it. He’s been renting it out since 1986.”
The year my mother had left. I’d been six. I tried to remember a house in Marketville. Nothing came to mind. Even my memories of my mother were vague.
“The house has gone through some hard times, what with tenants coming and going over the years,” Leith continued. “I’ve done my best to manage the property for a modest monthly maintenance fee, but not living nearby…” He colored slightly and I wondered just how modest that fee had been. I glanced back at the photo of his vibrant young family and suspected such treasures did not come cheap. There was probably alimony for the other trophy wives as well. I decided to let it go. My father had trusted him. That had to be enough.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]



Praise for the Book
"Skeletons in the Attic is a thought-provoking, haunting tale of decades-old deception. In this first-of-a-new series, Judy Penz Sheluk reveals herself to be a masterful storyteller, weaving a page-turner that hooked me from the start and kept me intrigued until the stunning finale." ~ Annette Dashofy, USA Today bestselling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series
"Mystery readers will find Callie a compelling protagonist, the plot a fine, winding investigative piece that redefines the concept of 'dirty laundry' and whether or not it should be aired in public or secreted forever, and the story of how family connections, wealth, and truth can take on lives of their own a vivid production that translates to thoroughly engrossing reading right up to a completely unexpected, thought-provoking surprise conclusion." ~ Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review
"With Skeletons in the Attic, Judy Penz Sheluk delivers a complex plot, an extremely likeable protagonist, and a bombshell ending you never saw coming. A delightful and heartwarming mystery!" ~ Diane Vallere, bestselling author of the Costume Shop Mysteries
"Sheluk has created a memorable and powerful character that lingers long after the final page, while giving Callie Barnstable a caustic wit, tenacity and a penchant for unraveling mysteries. By the last page, she’ll need all that and more. Relentless as it moves forward, Skeletons in the Attic takes the reader on a quest for a decades-old truth." ~ Jeff Buick, author of Bloodline
"Skeletons in the Attic is a beautifully crafted page-turner, whose heroine, Callie Barnstable, gives Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone a run for her money. S is for Skeletons in the Attic!" ~ Ellen Byron, author of Plantation Shudders
"Skeletons in the Attic is a delight. Callie’s plight grabs the reader from the get-go and, as the plot twists and twists again, you follow her with heart in mouth. Is there any way for this to end well? Yes, there is, and you won't see it coming! I’m already looking forward to book 2." ~ Catriona McPherson, author of The Child Garden


About the Author
An Amazon International Bestselling Author, Judy Penz Sheluk’s debut mystery novel, The Hanged Man’s Noose, was published in July 2015. Skeletons in the Attic, the first book in her Marketville Mystery series, was published in August 2016.
Find Judy on her website/blog, where she interviews other authors and blogs about the writing life.


Giveaway
Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon or B$N gift card.

Freebies
Want a FREE bookmark or signed postcard? Find out how to get yours here.

 


Links

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

"Colors of the Sun and Moon" by Talia Aikens-Nuñez

REVIEW and GIVEAWAY
Colors of the Sun and Moon
by Talia Aikens-Nuñez


Colors of the Sun and Moon, a multilingual children's book by Talia Aikens-Nuñez, is currently on tour with I Am A Reader. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


For another book by this author, please check out my blog post on OMG... I Did It Again?!.

Description
Colors of the Sun and Moon is an English/Spanish STEM book which featuring an inquisitive young girl and her grandmother. The bright illustrations engage children and illuminate the science of the horizon with vibrant colors.
An inquisitive young girl questions her grandmother about the science behind the colors of the sun and moon. With a forward by Spencer Christian. Colors of the Sun and Moon is the second book from the new multicultural, multilingual children’s press, SundanceKid Press. The mission of SundanceKid Press is to promote cultural, ethnic/racial and linguistic diversity in children’s literature. Each page includes the English text along with the Spanish translation.

Excerpt
Forward
As a young child, I was much like the little girl in this book – intensely curious about the wonders of the natural world – asking questions such as those put forth by young Gabriela, "Why is the sky blue; why are leaves green?" My search for answers took me on a fascinating path of discovery, which eventually led me to become a national TV weather forecaster.
If the child in you – or a child you know – finds the world to be a wondrous place, your path to discovery can be found in the pages of Colors of the Sun and Moon. Colors of the Sun and Moon is the story of 8-year-old Gabriela and her wise and loving grandmother – a grandmother who has the answers to all of her precious granddaughter’s questions about the world of wonders they see around them. While Abuela’s answers are simple enough for a young child to understand, they are factual and scientifically sound.
I applaud author Talia Aikens-Nuñez for giving her readers a story that is appealing on so many levels: it is educational, entertaining, and family-focused. What a rare combination of elements! As I read Colors of the Sun and Moon, images from my own childhood flashed in my mind, and I found myself smiling in amusement and amazement. I feel certain that the young reader and the not-so-young reader in your home will enjoy this book as much as I did.
– Spencer Christian, Weather Anchor for ABC 7/KGO-TV, San Francisco




My Review


By Lynda Dickson
Gabriela is a curious girl who always asks her Abuela (Grandmother) many questions. Abuela always seems to know the answers. Today, Gabriela asks her about the changing colors of the sun and the moon. Of course Abuela has all the answers.
The story's text is presented in both English and Spanish, providing young readers with an opportunity to learn to read the story in both languages. Other educational opportunities include teaching your child the different colors, as well as the science behind the changing colors of the sun and the moon. The illustrations by Amy Caringella are full of color and texture. The sequence of images showing the sunset and moonrise is particularly lovely. While the text is interesting, it ends abruptly, leaving the reader hoping for at least one more page. At some points in the text, Spanish is mixed in with English, which may lead to confusion. For example, Gabriela's grandmother is sometimes referred to as "Grandmother" and sometimes as "Abuela". This book could be improved by providing a summary of the facts learned in the story, as well as a list of some of the words (e.g., the colors) and their Spanish translations.

About the Author
Talia Aikens-Nuñez wanted to be a meteorologist, a politician and a lawyer. She never thought she would be a writer. It was the birth of her daughter that caused her to start writing. Raising a bilingual child inspired Talia to write lyrical children’s books. Talia’s family loves nature so much that she and her husband vowed that they will always try to live close to water. They live on a river in Connecticut with their kids.



Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.

Links