Apr 29, 2013

0

Water's Blood Blog Tour: Review & GIVEAWAY




Just look at this cover! Do you see how awesome it is? That blue is so vibrant and beautiful, I just can't take my eyes off of it.


Nature’s Elementals—Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water—have lived for countless millennia. Disguised as humans, they are charged with one mission: protect the innocent from fallen angel clans, who reap human souls and force them to do their bidding.

Brooke, a Water Elemental stationed in New Orleans, broke the rules once—she mated with a human. For her indiscretion, she is forbidden to share a life with her loved ones: NOPD officer Alex and their half-breed daughter, Ella.

Now Ella is about to turn sixteen, and the local clan of fallen angels is determined to snare her soul by Halloween.

Brooke broke the rules once by allowing love to interfere with her mission. Now she and Alex must put consequences aside to break the rules again—if they wish to save their daughter’s soul.

Amazon          B&N          Kobo          The Book Depository





Elaine Calloway is originally from New Orleans and can still do a decent Cajun accent upon request. She is currently writing the Elemental Clan Series, a series of paranormal tales set in iconic cities such as New Orleans. Book One, WATER’S BLOOD, is available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Book Two, RAGING FIRE, will be released summer 2013.

For more information or to connect with Elaine online, visit her web site at www.elainecalloway.com

Blog          Twitter          Goodreads




The Excerpt

"“Hell is empty; all the devils are here.” ― William Shakespeare, The Tempest


CHAPTER ONE


Brooke gripped the bar’s wooden edge until her knuckles turned white. Nausea and trepidation washed through her human form. Not now. Please. Not when her New Orleans pub, Armand’s, was filled with Friday night locals. She couldn’t keep walking away from her cover job. And she definitely couldn’t tell her customers the truth.

Her mission was critical: protect innocent humans from the Minare, a local clan of Fallen Angels. Who knew dealing with a teenager would be the more difficult job?

The nausea grew stronger, churning in the depths of her stomach. For one hopeful moment, she wondered if the Shrimp Creole she’d eaten for lunch could be the culprit. A sense of uneasiness snaked through her veins. No such luck. All signs pointed to the distress call.

Images in her line of vision began to spin. Gold, purple, and green Fleur de Lis emblems on the bar walls blurred into a kaleidoscope haze. Oh, yes. She recognized this feeling—the ole Tilt-O-Whirl-from-Hell. She shut her eyes, wanting her equilibrium to stabilize, but the famed Mardi Gras colors danced behind her eyelids.

Breathe. She inhaled deep. Beer, tobacco smoke, and lemon polish overpowered her nostrils.

The impending doom intensified. Your daughter is in danger. You have to go.

Panic churned inside her like a tornado. She’d been afraid this would happen.

What was she supposed to do? Family and her mission were mutually exclusive in her world. She couldn’t kick her customers out. Her only option was to leave someone in charge. Someone trustworthy.

Quinn, one of her favorite regulars and a self-professed hippie, approached and plunked his shot glass down. “Refill when you get a chance. Life treating you okay?”

Perfect. Quinn and his wife had helped her rebuild the pub after Hurricane Katrina. They were good folks, the kind of humans Brooke could trust her customers with.

She tilted the amber whiskey bottle and poured. “I’ll make you a deal. Watch the place for thirty minutes, and you can have all the refills you want.”

“Works for me. What happened to John?”

Brooke grabbed her keys and jacket. She didn’t have time to get into the particulars. “Quit on me yesterday, said he’s moving back home to care for his parents. I haven’t had the chance to place a want-ad for someone new.”

“I’ll hold down the fort. Go do what you need to do.” Quinn strolled behind the bar, his body moving in tune to the Zydeco music coming from the speakers. On any other day, she liked the New Orleans locals and their leisurely way of life. Just not now. She needed to go.

She sprinted for the back exit. “Thanks. I’ll be back soon.”

“Is everything okay?” he called after her.

Not really. She didn’t turn around, only said, “I won’t be gone long, thanks,” and ducked out the back door to avoid further questions.

Brooke ran down the crooked sidewalk. Live oaks draped with Spanish moss lined the narrow street filled with shotgun houses. Fortunately, Alex only lived two blocks away. The short walk made it easy to keep watch over him and Ella.

Darkness covered the sage-colored home with black shutters, but the full moon’s beams slanted through a rear side window. Brooke crept alongside the long narrow house, which extended back for almost a city block. These old Mid-City homes had more rooms than she could keep up with. Over the years, she’d learned which ones she could easily peer through.

Peeking inside, Brooke saw Ella tiptoeing across the study, headed straight for the cabinet.

Brooke’s neck went tight. Holy hell, this was no false alarm. Ella was a mere twenty steps away from the cabinet. Or rather, from disaster. "


My Review

I wasn't really sure what to expect out of Water's Blood. There weren't that many reviews of it that I could find when I started reading it, but the premise itself was interesting. I assumed that it was either going to be a hit or a miss kind of a book and decided to suck it up and take a chance. It turns out that I was wrong. It was somewhere in the middle.

Don't get me wrong, there were a lot of things I liked about this book. I thought that Mercury and Cristos were fantastic characters, and I really enjoyed the scenes from Soren's point of view. I've always thought that it's interesting to see things from the villain's perspective.

My favorite thing about this book, however, was how easy it was to see how much Brooke and Alex loved their daughter, Ella. Elaine really nailed the relationship on all parts there.

One thing that I wasn't too fond of was the occasional lack of explanation. In certain areas, it wasn't really a problem, but sometimes it felt like there wasn't enough time devoted to explaining how things worked in their world. Especially some of the finer details regarding the back-story and extent of the Fallen Angels' abilities. Yeah, I get that they can do some really cool stuff, but I was always interested in finding out why.

Rating: 3 stars



My favorite passage was pretty near the beginning of the book:
"The ache in her chest grew stronger when she saw them embrace in a long hug. Alex, love of her life, and Ella, the daughter she could never know as her own. Their arms outstretched and formed a family bond, a human circle. One Brooke could never enter."







The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Tour

April 29

fuonlyknew - Spotlight & Review
Marked By Books - Review


April 30

Urban Fantasy Investigations - Guest Blog & Review


May 1

Unputdownable Books - Spotlight


May 2

Arianne Cruz - Interview


May 3

Eclipse Reviews - Interview


May 6

Book Liaison - Spotlight


A copy of the novel was provided for us in exchange for an honest review.



Apr 23, 2013

4

daynight Blog Tour: Review & GIVEAWAY


On Tour with Prism Book Tours...


Man, I love this tour so much. Not that I'm shamelessly promoting/fangirling over the tour that Laura and the author put together, but really, how can I not? First off, the book is fantastic (yay for Megan!), and secondly, this tour is amazing. Not only did I get to read the fabulous book, but I also got to read a fabulous short story, which is also fabulously free during this tour!

Has anybody noticed yet that I'm a little sleep deprived while writing this? Eh, what the heck, I'd choose books over sleep any day. Or should I say night? Ooooo, I just made a completely tactless and unsubtle pun. I must really need some sleep.





Meet The Second Chance Institute (SCI): Earth’s benevolent non-profit by day, Thera’s totalitarian regime by night. Their motto: Because Everyone Deserves a Second Chance™. Reality: the SCI subjects Second Chancers to strict controls and politically motivated science experiments like Cleaving—forced lifetime union between two people who have sex. Punishment for disobeying SCI edicts? Immediate Exile or death.

Meet Kira Donovan. Fiercely loyal, overly optimistic, and ensnared by the promise of a full-ride college scholarship, Kira signs the SCI Recruit contract to escape memories of a tragedy that left her boyfriend and friends dead.

Meet Blake Sundry. Bitter about being raised in Exile and his mother’s death, Blake’s been trained to infiltrate and destroy the SCI. Current barrier to success? His Recruit partner—Miss Goody Two Shoes Kira Donovan.

Meet Ethan Darcton. Born with a defective heart and resulting inferiority complex, Ethan’s forced to do his SCI elite family’s bidding. Cleave-worthy Kira Donovan catches his eye, but the presiding powers give defect-free Blake Sundry first dibs.

Full of competing agendas, romantic entanglements, humor, twists and turns, daynight is Megan Thomason’s debut young adult dystopian novel and first in the daynight series.

Amazon          B&N          The Book Depository



My Review

I'm not going to say that this book was perfect. I had my problems with it, like I do with pretty much everything I read (what can I say, I'm picky!). Namely, how easy it was for Kira to accept that she was no longer living on Earth. Did she question it? Heck yeah, which was why it wasn't that big of a deal for me, but I just felt like there should have been a little more drama behind her figuring that she just got handed over to a bunch of wackjobs. 

But like I said, that wasn't a huge deal for me, so I'm not going to focus on it.

What I am going to focus on are the things that I did like. Because no matter what may have irked me a little bit at times (hi Jax), there would always be something following not so far behind that would either make want to laugh or cry. Only one of which I did. I'll let you figure out which one it was.

I loved the multiple perspectives. Sometimes it was a little confusing how they were laid out because there were a few repeated events and some funky chronological order, but it was all worth it. There's nothing that I appreciate more in an author than being wiling to explain why her (or his) characters think and act the way they do. If you ever want me to emphasize with or even like them, you have to get me to understand them. Which definitely happened here.

So I guess now I can talk about Ethan! I really liked Ethan. Don't get me wrong, I think that Blake is a pretty cool dude too, but I really really liked Ethan. You can't possibly understand how incredible I thought he was until you read the book, but perhaps I can give you a little glimpse from his perspective:

"I didn't think it was possible to love someone so much, but she is the smartest, most beautiful, most kind, most loyal, most caring, most fun, most incredible girl in the universe. When I'm with her I just want time to stop forever and when I'm not I can't even think straight. My heart pounds, I'm antsy, and I can't get her out of my mind. She's in my every thought, every moment, so much so that I have trouble getting my work done. I constantly wonder what she's thinking and if she feels a fraction for me the way I feel about her." 

Awwww!!!!! How sweet is that?! And he's so shy around Kira that pretty much everything he does makes me laugh.

It's one thing to try to make me understand the protagonists, though, and quite another to branch off into the extremely barren territory of explaining the so called "bad guys." You literally have no idea how happy I am that Megan Thomason did this. It's pretty much the reason why I'm giving this book such a high rating.

You see, I have a bit of a hard time believing that people are inherently born "good" or "evil." Life is so circumstantial, and everybody usually has some sort of a reason for the things they do, even if it may not make sense to anybody else. I don't necessarily think that the SCI is evil, even though I may believe that some of the things they do are. They have a reason for doing what they do, and I'm so thankful to Megan for daring to explain those "whys."
  

Rating: 5 stars



Alright, time for the short story. Which, as I already mentioned, is free right now! (edit: Okay, so as far as I know for right now, it's just free on Smashwords, but that may change soon!)



Meet The Second Chance Institute (SCI): Worldwide non-profit and do-gooder organization. Their motto: Because Everyone Deserves a Second Chance at Life(TM). Reality: hidden behind every kind act is a dark agenda designed to gain control and force societal and moral extremes. Currently, the SCI’s pushing Project Liberate, a program to woo the poor and downtrodden into their Clean Slate Complexes—where “everything is provided” from jobs to food, shelter, clothing, and education. Unfortunately, as with all things that sound too good to be true, there’s a catch…

Meet Alexa Knight. Feisty, tough and currently homeless in Los Angeles, Alexa agrees to help the SCI in return for medical care for her sick mother. When she starts to suspect there’s more to the SCI than meets the eye will she believe Adam—the boy who saved her life and the SCI’s biggest champion, or Joshua—the attractive enigma who sings about conspiracy theories and pretends to be someone he’s not?

Full of action, humor, romance, twists and turns, clean slate complex is a companion story to the highly-praised dystopian novel, 'daynight'. It can be enjoyed before or after reading 'daynight'.

Smashwords          Amazon



My Thoughts

Okay, since this was a pretty short read, I'm going to be much briefer than with my daynight review and not give it an actual rating. Just my thoughts.

I read "clean slate complex" when I was about a 10th of the way through with daynight, and I feel like I was still able to understand things pretty well. Yeah, some things would have been easier to grasp if I knew everything already, but it didn't kill me. In a perfect world, if you plan on reading both (and you should because they're fantastic), I'd suggest reading the full length novel first, but if you just want to try out the series with the short story first, I wouldn't sweat it too much. Some things will be a little fuzzy, but you'll be fine.

Character-wise, I thought the book was great. Alexa reminded me a lot of Kira with the whole over-protectiveness and self sacrificing thing they've got going on, even if I felt like Alexa was initially better equipped to deal with everything. Adam and Joshua were both pretty cool too, even though I do have a favorite. Sorry Adam, being Alexa's cookie pimp (which I thought was hilarious) just wasn't enough.

Overall, I was really surprised with how much character and plot development I read in the few pages there were. It's pretty hard to go that in depth in a short story, but someway, somehow, Megan managed to do it!




And here, just for the heck of it, is what she said when I asked her to tell me a little bit about the story:
  • I came up with the idea for clean slate complex while writing daynight's sequel, arbitrate. Alexa was a planned character in arbitrate from the beginning, but I couldn't figure out a way to tell her story (how she became the face of the clean slate campaign for the SCI) without using her voice. And since I already have three voices going in the daynight series I couldn't realistically add another one. 
  • I got invited to participate in a "Best of YA dystopia" anthology (to be released this summer) and that's what finally pushed me to take the time to write clean slate complex. The entire story was in my head, so it was just a matter of putting it down on virtual paper (via my 11" MacBook Air & Scrivener).
  • Because I knew the story had to be concise I contracted a professional content/copy editor I knew and she happily signed onto the project. This added time and stress (deadlines...not something I am accustomed to!), but it was well worth it. 
  • I asked some author friends (who are excellent writers in the genre) to beta read clean slate complex and their feedback was invaluable.





Megan Thomason lives in paradise aka San Diego, CA with her husband and five children. A former software manager, Megan vastly prefers writing twisted tales to business, product, and marketing plans. When she isn't typing away on her laptop, she's reading books on her phone—over 600 in the last year—or attending to the needs of her family. Megan’s fluent in sarcasm, could potentially benefit from a 12-step program for road rage, struggles with a Hot Tamales addiction, loves world travel & fast cars and hates paperwork & being an insomniac. Daynight is Megan's first published novel, but fourth written one.

Goodreads          Blog          Facebook          Twitter









daynight Second Chances Giveaway

Choose what you enter to win wisely. Your stay on Thera may be extended indefinitely.




Highlighting a different giveaway every daynight of the Tour... International Winners will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate and US Winners may choose $25 GC in lieu of Prize Package.

US only. International winners will receive $25 Amazon gift certificate. US winners can opt to receive $25 Amazon gift certificate in lieu of any prize package.Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced on Rafflecopter and Grand Finale posts as well as emailed and the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Burgandy Ice @ Colorimetry and Prism Book Tours and sponsored by Megan Thomason. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Tour

Become an SCI Recruit
The Second Chance Institute (daynight's Dystopia)

April 22nd

My Seryniti - Review
Little Library Muse
       

April 23rd


Welcome to Thera!
Building Thera

April 24th

Snuggling on the Sofa - Review
 

April 25th

All Fantasy Words - Review
 
 
Kira * Blake * Ethan
Character Backgrounds & Posters

April 26th

My Passion for Books - Review; Ethan
Bookaroo-JuTeaser

April 27th

Bookworm Lisa - The Characters


Cleaving
daynight's Controversy of "Cleaving"

April 28th


April 29th

Books Mystify - Review
Mel's Shelves - Review


Vacation on Earth!
Escapism

April 30th


May 1st

Fuonlyknew - Teaser
Jack's Junk Drawer - Review
 

Risking Exile
Dystopian Survival 101

May 2nd


May 3rd

Backing Books - Teaser
Book Snob - Review

May 4th

Living a Goddess Life - Review; Recipe


Clean Slate Complex

May 5th

Deco My Heart - Review

May 6th

May 7th

Grand Finale Blast!!


A copy of the novel and the short story were provided for us in exchange for an honest review.


Apr 22, 2013

0

daynight Blog Tour Launch












On Tour with Prism Book Tours...

Happy Earth Day everybody! Today is the first day of the daynight blog tour, and even though I won't have my official post up until tomorrow, here's a little something from the author to tell you what we have in store:

***


It's time to leave Earth and cross over to the other side... it's not as far away as you think!!

Megan Thomason
Megan Thomason lives in paradise aka San Diego, CA with her husband and five children. A former software manager, Megan vastly prefers writing twisted tales to business, product, and marketing plans. When she isn't typing away on her laptop, she's reading books on her phone—over 600 in the last year—or attending to the needs of her family. Megan’s fluent in sarcasm, could potentially benefit from a 12-step program for road rage, struggles with a Hot Tamales addiction, loves world travel & fast cars and hates paperwork & being an insomniac. Daynight is Megan's first published novel, but fourth written one.



Welcome to the "Second Chances" daynight blog tour! Over the next few day/nights I am really excited to share with you:


  • Over $300 of daynight-related prizes as a giant THANK YOU to the thousands of daynight early adopters and those who have yet to enter the twisted world of The Second Chance Institute and Thera. Want to prepare for Exile? Or an overday date with Ethan? Have breakfast for dinner? Glam it up in Garden City? There are *12* prize packages to be won! We'll introduce a new package every day of the tour so you'll have a second, third & so forth chance to win.

  • The launch of clean slate complex (a daynight story)... For those who have read daynight you can learn more about what the SCI is up to on Earth (surely nothing good). For those who haven't read daynight this is a great way to get your feet wet...test the waters so to speak. I warn you though...the SCI's like Jaws Jr and the giant school of barracuda I encountered on my recent vacation--pretty from a distance, but up close they've got a lot of bite ;).

  • Posters, teasers and guest posts about the themes of daynight and clean slate complex... Plus, I'm fully prepared to sneak in some nuggets about what to expect in the daynight sequel, arbitrate.

Thanks again for joining us on the tour and for your support of daynight. I'm grateful for all of you and humbled by your support.

- Megan Thomason
author of daynight



Daynightdaynight
by Megan Thomason
Paperback, 324 pages
Published November 26th 2012 by Creatspace

Meet The Second Chance Institute (SCI): Earth’s benevolent non-profit by day, Thera’s totalitarian regime by night. Their motto: Because Everyone Deserves a Second Chance™. Reality: the SCI subjects Second Chancers to strict controls and politically motivated science experiments like Cleaving—forced lifetime union between two people who have sex. Punishment for disobeying SCI edicts? Immediate Exile or death.

Meet Kira Donovan. Fiercely loyal, overly optimistic, and ensnared by the promise of a full-ride college scholarship, Kira signs the SCI Recruit contract to escape memories of a tragedy that left her boyfriend and friends dead.

Meet Blake Sundry. Bitter about being raised in Exile and his mother’s death, Blake’s been trained to infiltrate and destroy the SCI. Current barrier to success? His Recruit partner—Miss Goody Two Shoes Kira Donovan.

Meet Ethan Darcton. Born with a defective heart and resulting inferiority complex, Ethan’s forced to do his SCI elite family’s bidding. Cleave-worthy Kira Donovan catches his eye, but the presiding powers give defect-free Blake Sundry first dibs.



Introducing...  the new Novella:  FREE for the Tour!
On Smashwords!


clean slate complex
by Megan Thomason

Meet The Second Chance Institute (SCI): Worldwide non-profit and do-gooder organization. Their motto: Because Everyone Deserves a Second Chance at Life(TM). Reality: hidden behind every kind act is a dark agenda designed to gain control and force societal and moral extremes. Currently, the SCI’s pushing Project Liberate, a program to woo the poor and downtrodden into their Clean Slate Complexes—where “everything is provided” from jobs to food, shelter, clothing, and education. Unfortunately, as with all things that sound too good to be true, there’s a catch…

Meet Alexa Knight. Feisty, tough and currently homeless in Los Angeles, Alexa agrees to help the SCI in return for medical care for her sick mother. When she starts to suspect there’s more to the SCI than meets the eye will she believe Adam—the boy who saved her life and the SCI’s biggest champion, or Joshua—the attractive enigma who sings about conspiracy theories and pretends to be someone he’s not?

Full of action, humor, romance, twists and turns, clean slate complex is a companion story to the highly-praised dystopian novel, daynight. It can be enjoyed before or after readingdaynight.




daynight Second Chances Giveaway

Choose what you enter to win wisely. Your stay on Thera may be extended indefinitely.




Highlighting a different giveaway every daynight of the Tour... International Winners will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate and US Winners may choose $25 GC in lieu of Prize Package.

US only. International winners will receive $25 Amazon gift certificate. US winners can opt to receive $25 Amazon gift certificate in lieu of any prize package.Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced on Rafflecopter and Grand Finale posts as well as emailed and the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Burgandy Ice @ Colorimetry and Prism Book Tours and sponsored by Megan Thomason. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Tour

Become an SCI Recruit
The Second Chance Institute (daynight's Dystopia)

April 22nd

My Seryniti - Review

April 23rd



Welcome to Thera!
Building Thera

April 24th


April 25th



Kira * Blake * Ethan
Character Backgrounds & Posters

April 26th

My Passion for Books - Review; Ethan
Bookaroo-JuTeaser

April 27th

Bookworm Lisa - The Characters


Cleaving
daynight's Controversy of "Cleaving"

April 28th


April 29th

Books Mystify - Review
Mel's Shelves - Review


Vacation on Earth!
Escapism

April 30th


May 1st

Fuonlyknew - Teaser
Risking Exile
Dystopian Survival 101

May 2nd


May 3rd

Backing Books - Teaser
Book Snob - Review

May 4th

Living a Goddess Life - Review; Recipe


Clean Slate Complex

May 5th

Deco My Heart - Review

May 6th


May 7th

Grand Finale Blast!!





Apr 18, 2013

0

Drowning in You Blitz: Interview & GIVEAWAY





Secretly crushing

Crushed by a tragedy

Charlee May’s been crushing on Dexter Hollingworth since she was fifteen. Five years later, a horrific skiing disaster at Mason’s Ski Lift Resort leaves her millionaire dad critically injured and her mom dead at the hands of Dexter operating the lifts. Charlee is suddenly the sole caretaker for her little brother while their world falls apart.

Dexter couldn’t be more different from Charlee. He’s tattooed, avoids exclusive relationships and his dad has a fair share of illegal dealings. With Dexter’s reputation, almost everyone believes he planned the Mason’s skiing disaster.

And after all these years he’s still crushing on Charlee May, the girl who’s too good for him.

When this cruel twist of fate ties Charlee’s family and Dexter’s reputation together, Charlee and Dexter wonder if their feelings are reciprocated, while Dexter discovers his dad is trying to steal the May’s millionaire fortune.

But like an addiction, one look, one touch, one taste—they’re hooked no matter the consequences.

Amazon          B&N          Smashwords          Kobo




The Interview

Where are you from?
All the way across the world for most people. I’m in Melbourne, Australia, the city with four seasons in one day.


Tell us your latest news?
News, as in plural? My paperback for my novel, DROWNING IN YOU (DiY), is much prettier than the eBook. When I received the ARCs to approve, they looked unbelievably awesome! Also, I can’t believe more than 3,500 people have added *my* book to Goodreads. That enough? (Yes, Rebecca, enough self promo!)


When and why did you begin writing?
I know it sounds cliché but I’ve been writing and making books since pre-school. Back then I would write my own versions of fairy tales such as RAPUNZEL and make a cover and pretty illustrations to go with it.

These days, I’m cautious of copyright and I write my own stuff.


Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Absolutely. Love always wins. Always.


How much of the book is realistic?
Being a perfectionist, I struggle to write extraordinary, unbelievable aspects. I used to be a State-level swimmer and I’m a Type 1 Diabetic so every scenario that occurs regarding both those aspects in my books are all true and correct. ;)


What books have most influenced your life most?
Man, my favourite question being foremost an avid reader. I was 9 when I started the HARRY POTTER series and that shaped my childhood. TWLIGHT made me love books again after my horrid teen years where I was afraid to be seen with a novel.

More recent ones that have affected the types of stories I like to write are THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY and BEAUTIFUL DISASTER.


If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Jodi Picoult! I can’t adequately explain her genius but I’ve never read a book with realer, deeper, fuller characters than hers…and the storylines! Man, she knows how to pen an unputdownable novel.


Can you share a little of your work with us?
Yay! Here’s one of my favourite snippets from DiY:

“This isn’t the type of thing I do, confronting a guy I’ve been in love with, confronting rumors of how my mom died and how my father was critically injured.

This isn’t the type of thing I do, finding out if the guy I’m in love with is a murderer.”


Do you have any advice for other writers?
Read, and read more. I’ve spent lots of time figuring out how to best improve my writing and the only way to be better than the books out there is to know your competition. Analyse the bits you love and hate from books and figure out how you can put your own twist on that technique.

You can’t learn to write well unless you pump your mind full of great fiction.


Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thanks! Sure, I do. Please visit my website/blog. I have all my social media links there to stalk, and I love sharing giveaways, freebies, and lots of book news.




Rebecca Berto is the author or the dark contemporary/literary novella, PRECISE and the upcoming new adult contemporary romance novel, DROWNING IN YOU. She is also a freelance editor.

She writes stories that are a bit sexy, and straddle the line between Literary and Tear Your Heart Out. She gets a thrill when her readers  are emotional reading her stories, and gets even more of a kick when they tell her so. She’s strangely imaginative, spends too much time on her computer, and is certifiably crazy when she works on her fiction.

Rebecca Berto lives in Melbourne, Australia with her boyfriend and their doggy.

Website          Goodreads          Facebook          Twitter







The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Apr 17, 2013

2

Touching Melody Cover Reveal



The synopsis for Touching Melody hooked me immediately! For those of you who know me or have read this blog for a little while (thanks, by the way, you guys are awesome!), you'll know how much I love music. It's always one of my favorite things to read about because it's also one of my favorite things in real life. You know, the place outside of books. Because I checked, and it really does exist.



Maddie Martin's first weekend at college is nothing like she's used to. It's wild, like the wilderness on which the University of Bellam Springs sits. Roped into going to a frat party, she literally runs into Kyle Hadley. The boy she's loved since she was nine. The boy she promised all of her firsts to. But that was before his father killed her parents.

Determined to stay away from him, she throws herself into her music. Practicing piano eases her heavy heart, calms the sadness, and pushes away images of Kyle's face.

Until it doesn't.

Her music professor asks her to play a duet for their annual Graduation Gala. Doing so means she'll be assured another full ride scholarship. It's an opportunity she can't pass up.

But Kyle is the other half of the duet. And that means hours and hours of practicing.

Days and months of seclusion - just the two of them. And it's more than just music. It's passion like Maddie never believed was possible.

The inevitable happens. She falls in love with him all over again.

But, will loving him be enough to erase all the hate in her heart for his father? Can she look at him, and not see the evil in his family tree?

And maybe it's all a set up. Maybe Kyle is only pretending to care so he can finish what his father started, and kill her too.

Touching Melody releases June 2013!




And I also love Rashelle Workman! The first book I ever read by her was Exiled, from her Immortal Essence series. I ended up reviewing the second book, Beguiled, and you can find that review here if you're interested!





RASHELLE WORKMAN lives on a mountain with her husband, three children, and three dogs. From her back porch she can see the city lights and imagine... She's the bestselling author of the Dead Roses series (Sleeping Roses is being translated into Turkish, and will be available in print wherever Turkish books are sold in 2014), the Immortal Essence series, and the Blood and Snow series.

Website         Goodreads          Facebook          Twitter






Apr 16, 2013

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Trophy Husband Cover Reveal






Sometimes you can't help falling in love, even when you try to do the opposite...Successful fashion blogger McKenna Bell has spent far too long protecting herself after the way her ex-fiancé left her at the altar for a college chick he met the night of his bachelor party. Loving again, trusting again, well, that's just not in the cards. Especially now that her ex is back in town with his new woman, demanding custody of McKenna's favorite creature in the whole world--her dog. No effing way. 

McKenna's had enough of him, and she decides to even the score by finding her own hot young thing -- a Trophy Husband. Sure, she's only twenty-seven, but doesn't that make it even more fun -- and infuriating to her ex -- to pursue a younger man? 

When she declares her intentions on her daily blog, her quest quickly skyrockets in popularity, and that's when Chris enters the picture, and he’s got all the assets. He's handsome, successful, and turns her inside out with a kiss to end all kisses, the kind that makes you feel like a shooting star. But loving again could mean losing again, and it's so much easier to focus on getting even, isn't it? Unless, you just can't help falling in love. Which means McKenna will have to come face to face with what she really wants in life -- protecting her heart from hurt, or letting go of her fears of a new beginning.

Trophy Husband releases May 21st!




Lauren Blakely is an unabashed fan of clever jokes, toast, and good guys in novels. Like the heroine in CAUGHT UP IN US, she thinks life should be filled with movie kisses and coffee drinks. Lauren lives in California with her husband and children, and spends her days writing both true stories and make-believe ones.

Website          Goodreads          Twitter





Apr 15, 2013

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Terra Blog Tour: Scavenger Hunt & GIVEAWAY




Wooooooooooooooh! I am so excited! I've been waiting for this day since I found out I'd be on the tour a few weeks ago, and I can't believe it's finally here!

In case you didn't notice, I think the idea for this tour is absolutely brilliant. Nice job Laura and Gretchen! I LOVE scavenger hunts. They're so much fun, and a much more interesting way of engaging possible readers who may not know too much about the book. So on that note....



A broken and desolate Earth. A young girl struggling to survive. A lost boy with a powerful secret.

A discovery that will change everything.

In the distant wake of a plague that has decimated the Earth's population, humanity is split in two: The rich and powerful live in skycities that float overhead, while those who remain on the ground have gathered in settlements strewn across a dying planet. Eighteen-year-old Terra Rhodon is a terrestrial--a denizen of the barren groundworld--who makes her living as a scav. Long abandoned by her father, her caregivers gone, Terra supports herself and her younger brother, Mica, by scouring the earth for discarded scraps and metals to recycle for profit. One day, while on a routine scavenging run, she discovers something that shocks her home settlement of Genesis X-16. When the value of her discovery is revealed, Terra's world is turned upside down.

Terra suddenly finds herself asking questions no one will answer. Her search for the truth leads her to Adam--a beguiling skydweller unlike any she has ever met. But Adam has secrets and a quest of his own, and with him by her side, the world Terra thought she knew begins to unravel. Soon her discoveries unearth a terrifying conspiracy that has the potential to shatter everything--a revelation that will test the bonds of loyalty, family, and love.

Amazon          B&N          Kobo





 
Hello there! My name is Gretchen Powell. I am 24 years old, half-Chinese, and the owner of two adorable miniature schnauzers. I am an occasional drinker of classy wines, and I wrote a book. 

By day, I work for a government contractor in our nation’s capital. By night, I binge on episodes of Doctor Who and sleep fitfully. Sometime in the mid-afternoon, I write another blog called Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen! about weight loss, food, fitness, and my life. 

Some of my favorite things include polka dots, Harry Potter, pretty much any TV show that airs on Thursday nights (yep, I'm talking Vampire Diaries #notashamed), and playing the ukulele.

Website         Twitter         Facebook         Goodreads










The Scavenger Hunt

In Terra's world, resources are scarce and many people make their living as "scavs," hunting for scraps to turn in on Collection Day in exchange for credits. For this tour, YOU are a scav, and there are scraps all over the blogosphere for you to find! On each participating blog, there will be one of 9 possible questions. Answer the question to receive a keyword that will get you an extra entry in the awesome giveaway!

And now, drum roll please, here's the excerpt!


The Excerpt

"Technically, the universities up top are open to anyone, citizens of the groundworld and skycities alike. At least that’s what the commercials say. Of course, the kids up there don’t have acid rain that prevents regular attendance, and their teachers actually like being assigned to them. Here in Sixteen, kids with test scores high enough and wallets deep enough to qualify for entrance are pretty much nonexistent. We don’t have access to the technology or the resources that the skydwellers have, so achieving those scores takes a particular kind of brilliance. And even when kids do make the grade, the cost is what really keeps us out.

Emery was a special case because he managed to land himself one of the exclusive Skyline Scholarships that are reserved for terrestrials who score highly on their tertiary examinations. Most years, nobody from Sixteen even bothers applying. Our chances are already low and the disappointment just isn’t worth the effort. Most years, no scholarships are awarded at all.

So why is Emery back here doing scavenging work? I think briefly, though my curiosity is soon eclipsed by one glowing thought: Mica. He’s already passed his secondary examinations, an achievement most kids don’t hit until they’re much older. Under the right circumstances, and with the right resources, he might actually have the smarts to make it up top. Our circumstances have never been right, though—not until now."











The Giveaway

One lucky scav will win a Terra prize pack! Get a signed copy of Terra, along with three exclusive (and gorgeous!) bookmarks, as well as a delicate silver watch--just like Terra's!--all packed up inside a scav bag of your very own! US only.




An additional five (FIVE!) winners will get a digital copy of Terra in the format of their choice. International.

Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced on Rafflecopter and Grand Finale posts as well as emailed and the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Burgandy Ice @ Colorimetry and Prism Book Tours and sponsored by Gretchen Powell. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Don't forget to get all of the other answers to the collection questions that you can find here! More are added as the tour goes on!





The Tour

April 1st

Colorimetry - Introduction
I Am a Reader, Not a Writer - Excerpt on Eye Color, Collection 2
fuonlyknew - Excerpt on Scavenging, Collection 3

April 2nd

Pause Time - Review

April 3rd

Jessie's Book PlaceExcerpt on Rain, Collection 4
The Reading Diaries - Review & Excerpt on Shopping, Collection 5

April 4th

Mel's Shelves - Review

April 5th

Lovin' Los Libros - Review

April 7th

Total Book Geek - Excerpt on Brown Eyes, Collection 1

April 8th

The Quiet Concert - Review

April 9th

LDS & Lovin' It - Review
 

April 10th

Colorimetry - Excerpt on Rations, Collection 6

April 11th

Gretchen's Birthday Party!!
Passion & Life - Excerpt on Jobs, Collection 7

April 12th

Living a Goddess Life - Review
 

April 14th

Living a Goddess Life - Blueberry Lemon Preserves

April 15th

Marked by Books - Excerpt on Education, Collection 8
 

April 16th

My Seryniti - Review
 

April 17th

Bookworm Lisa - Review
Mortality Bites - Excerpt on Groundworld Job, Collection 9
 

April 18th

The Broke Book BankInterview w/ Gretchen on Underground, Collection 10
 

April 19th

Grand Finale Blast!!