Mar 24, 2014


Across the Wire Blog Tour: Interview & TWO GIVEAWAYS!!!

I have been waiting for this tour for so long! I absolutely adore the premise for the novel, and Stella Telleria's interview is probably one of the best we've ever had here. I almost died when I read her answer to the pizza question. You guys are really going to enjoy this post!
Across the Wire by Stella Telleria

When Mia Mitchell, a hardcore but lonely former Marine, steps into an alley to pull some thugs off an unlucky foreigner, she walks into a fight she expects. What she doesn’t see coming is the foreigner making her a job offer any sane person would refuse. So, she takes it. She thinks she’s headed for some third-world country; instead she’s mysteriously transported to an Earth-like parallel world. That’s a mad left-hook.

Mia discovers a matriarchal dystopia where freedom doesn’t exist and fighting for it means execution. Lethal force bends all to the law; women fear for their families and un-wed men suffer slavery. Mia’s job is to train an underground syndicate of male freedom-fighters for a violent revolution. However, the guys don’t want a pair of X chromosomes showing them the way.

Eben, an escaped slave, is encouraged by Mia to become a leader among the men. But when he turns his quiet determination on her, it spells F.U.B.A.R. for cynical Mia. Their unexpected connection threatens more than her exit strategy; it threatens the power struggle festering with in the syndicate.

Haunted by nightmares and post-traumatic stress, unsure who to trust or how to get home, Mia struggles to stay alive as she realizes all is not what it seems.

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All my life I’ve dreamed of stories or have had my nose buried in one. I live in Edmonton, Canada with my husband and my weird sense of humor. Across the Wire is my first novel.

I love old war movies, dystopian fiction, and any story with action, a good plot, and characters I'd get into a fight at the pub for. Not that I'm a brawler or anything. Unless you think that out-of-print book or vintage piece at the thrift shop is going home with you instead of me. Then, my friend, the gloves are off.

Some say if you have your nose buried in a book, you're missing out on life. I say my nose is buried in a book because one life is not enough.

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The Interview

1.   How long did it take to write Across the Wire? What can you tell us about your writing process?

The first draft took about 7 months to write but I revised and rewrote a good portion of it. From beginning to publication it took about 5 years. I went back to school during that time as well which slowed the process down.

2.   What was your favorite scene to write in Across the Wire? Your least favorite?

One of my favorite scenes to write would be a tie between the two scenes in the chapter "Situational Awareness." I loved writing this chapter in particular because of the progression in the relationships between Mia and Eben, and Eben and Gavin. I love that chapter. *gushes all over her keyboard*

Now I wouldn’t say I had a least favorite scene in the book to write. I would say there was one that gave me the most work and I’m glad it did because it is one of my favorite chapters now. It would be the very first scene/chapter in the novel, the chapter called "Survivor’s Syndrome." As any writer knows, the first chapter/scene in a novel is very important. I must have rewritten the first chapter at least 8 times and revised it multiple times after that. It can be difficult to know where the story really starts and how a reader needs to be introduced to your characters.

3.   Did you do any research for Across the Wire?

I did do a lot of research for Across the Wire. Originally there were a few scenes where Mia was still on tour in Iraq. Those scenes ended up getting cut but a lot of Marine jargon, training scenarios, and battle information in the chapter "The Crucible" were all researched. And all the Earth battles in "The Crucible" were actual real battles.

PTSD was the other topic I researched a lot. I’ve known a lot of people in the military and one of my best friends is married to an ex-military man who suffers from the disorder. It was a topic close to my heart that I felt was rarely seen through a female protagonist’s eyes.

4.   Are there any fun facts about your characters that you can share with us?

Mia is a terrible dancer. She’s got two left feet unless you’re trying to aerate her kidneys, then she’s graceful like a jungle cat. Her beauty regime includes face cream, Chap Stick, and powdering her combat boots.

Eben is great at using wild plants for their healing or edible qualities. This skill was learnt while he was a slave at the mine. He is also a word nerd. He loves learning new words from scraps of other’s conversations.

Gavin is resourceful. If there is a way, he’ll find it. He figured out the Caramilk secret over a decade ago. But his arrogance is a mask for his numerous insecurities.

5.   What has been your favorite moment as a writer?

My favorite moment as a writer was when a reader told me how much they identified with my characters. That was one of the most rewarding moments of my life—to hear that someone else loved my characters as much as I did.

6.   Did you ever want to be anything other than an author? If so, what? What made you decide to be an author?

I always had made up stories running through my head. In high school I had my heart set on being an animator/digital artist. I had a few comics I’d written and illustrated and I applied for a design and digital media program at a local collage. Alas, I was rejected. It was a really hard program to get into. Life went on and I had engrossed myself in a job I was no longer passionate about when my father suddenly became ill and passed away when I was 24. I was numb. I couldn’t find happiness in anything anymore and it really made me examine my life. I had this overwhelming urge to write my thoughts and feelings down and suddenly I couldn’t stop writing. That was when I knew.

7.   What is your favorite book that you've read so far this year? Favorite book of all time? How about movie?

It’s still early on in the year, and I haven’t read many books yet. But I’d say my favorite read for the year so far would be Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver. That book is what I call “book crack.” 

My favorite book of all time? Ugh! This is an almost impossible question to answer. I’d have to give you a top five series or books in no particular order: The Dante Valentine series by Lilith Saintcrow, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell, and Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne. 

My favorite movie of all time is an easy one though—Shawshank Redemption.

8.   What's the strangest fact about your life?

Oh boy, there are a lot of strange facts about my life—I’m sure everyone can say that though. Ummmmmm…I was an extra in a music video once.

9.   Are you obsessed with any television shows?

I am totally obsessed with Game of Thrones right now! Death to Joffrey! Go Denarius! And Tyrion, if you by chance read this, you are awesome. We should totally grab a coffee and plot out ways for you to seek revenge on your entire family. Mwah hahahahahahaaaa! Ahem…where were we??

10.   Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

Round boxes are more expensive to make. So, why don’t they just make square pizza?

Oh, I know, I know. With round pizza, all pieces are considered equal. Everyone gets equal crust to toppings ratios. Square pizza would mean some people would get more crust or no crust. This inequality would cause an uprising. People everywhere would demand equal crust ratios for all. The government would be overthrown and the world would be plunged into utter chaos and absolute anarchy.

You don’t mess with people’s pizza.

This or That

Ice Cream Cone or Bowl? Bowl. I prefer more ice-cream to a cone.

Morning or Night? Depends. I like to revise in the mornings but write new material at night because that is when the creative juices are flowing. But revising at night always leaves me face palming in the morning when I reread what I thought I’d revised well the night before only to discover disaster.

Chicken or the Egg? Chicken! Chicken enchiladas, chicken lasagna, chicken tortilla soup, chicken cordon blue…Mmmmm…now I’m hungry.

Prequel or Sequel? Definitely sequel. The story began where it did for a reason, because everything before it was just backstory.

Coffee or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate. I can’t stand the taste of coffee—I love the smell though.

Star Wars or Star Trek? I do like Star Wars but I have to go with Star Trek. I think I’ve watched every episode of The Next Generation at least 3 times.

Thank you for having me.

Don't you love her answer to number ten? This is the first time I've asked that question, but now I'm apprehensive about using it again because I don't think anyone else can ever measure up! And she passed the Star Wars vs. Stark Trek test! Can she get any better?!

Oh, wait! She can! Just look at what she's giving away!

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Mar 19, 2014


Desecration Blog Tour: Excerpt & GIVEAWAY!!!

Hello again, everyone! It's mostly been Gabby up here lately, and I hope you've enjoyed seeing her back again as much as I have! That being said, I'm really glad to be back and even more excited to announce my return with Desecration: The Wizard Queen at Sixteen. I haven't read it yet, but trust me, I will! I can't wait!

Desecration: The Wizard Queen at Sixteen by Hadley Holt

In a hidden world of wizards where only men hold the power of magic, one girl arises with the power to change everything, if she isn’t killed first…

Adriana Victoriana Evangelista (Addie), daughter to the High Chancellor of the Wizard’s Council, has always been the perfect wizard girl. She never questions why men possess magical powers and women have no power at all, magical or otherwise. Male wizards blend into the modern human world, leading huge corporations while wizard women are sequestered away.

On her sixteenth birthday, Addie discovers she possesses magic. Under wizard law, she is a desecration. An ancient prophecy surrounds the emergence of a girl magic-wielder, the wizard queen, who is destined to bring about the downfall of the wizard-kin.

Addie has long had a forbidden crush on a human boy who lives in the wizard stronghold, Rory Devlin. As she delves deeper into the dangerous mysteries surrounding her own destiny, she suspects Rory might be more than just human.

Addie’s fate sends her straight into the path of a powerful and evil sorcerer, but the worst danger of all may come from right inside her own home.


Hadley Holt, author of paranormal, and fantasy YA (Young Adult) has always loved to write. She also nurtures an incurable fascination with all things supernatural and fantastical. From a young age, she imagined stories about dragons, wizards, witches, ghosts, shape-shifters, vampires, and other magical creatures. As life often does, it blessed Hadley with family - a hunky husband and amazing children, and with family came a rewarding career. Hadley spent many years in the not-so-magical world of finance and mortgage banking, but the stories were always there in the back of her mind, demanding to be set free.

Thanks to the housing market crash, Hadley finally realized her dreams. She now breathes life into her magical tales of reluctant young heroes finding their inner power to stand up against terrible creatures and even more terrible odds.

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I sat in my Familiars’ Nutrition class, waiting for the last bell. At each desk, a 3D holographic lesson illustrated the various ways to address the dietary choices of wizards’ familiars.

I was momentarily afraid I would fail my finals, because I hadn’t paid any attention in this class or my household budget class. And forget about Early Wizard Development; I couldn’t remember a word the teacher had said about handling toddler boys and their burgeoning magic.

“Who can tell me whether a weasel is a carnivore, an omnivore, or an herbivore?” Madame Rossini asked.

As usual, Lucia Amador raised her hand, wearing a serene smile while she waited for her name to be called.

Madame Rossini sighed as she glanced around the room. “Would anyone else like to answer?”

But no one else lifted their hand. Why did they need to? Lucia always answered.

Poor Lucia. She sat behind me, and I turned around to look at her. Today, in particular, it felt somehow important. I searched hard for the old Lucia in her eyes, for the girl who used to be the class clown with the biting humor, who used to glamour hot pink and neon green streaks into her hair, and who never ever backed down from confronting a bully. I couldn’t find even the tiniest remnant of the Lucia I’d known.

Earlier this year, Lucia had finally done the unthinkable: she’d fallen for a norm servant and hadn’t even tried to hide it. Her parents caught the two of them making out and shortly after that, Lucia disappeared from school for a week. When she returned, she wasn’t Lucia anymore. She was a model wizard girl, courtesy of the council’s retraining program.

Thinking of the old Lucia always made me think about my own dark secret. I had a crush on a norm, a human boy I’d known for most of my life. I knew I could never act on my feelings; no one could ever know how I felt about Rory Devlin. But I couldn’t get him out of my thoughts; when I least expected it, his face would pop into my mind. I’d envision the wide dazzling smile that reached all the way to his amethyst eyes, making me long for something I couldn’t even put a name to.

“Okay, Lucia?” Madame Rossini relented.

Her voice brought my attention back to Lucia.

“The weasel is a true carnivore,” Lucia said robotically. “It’s not an omnivore and there is some argument as to whether omnivore is even a valid classification.”

Instead of engaging Lucia in a discussion on that point, Madame Rossini simply said, “Thank you, Lucia.” And with that she gave up on further class participation and went back to her lecture while the holograms continued to project on each desk.

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Mar 17, 2014


Fatal Snag Release Day Party

Fatal Snag by Angela Smith

Hollywood fashion consultant Naomi Fisher is happy to use her obsessive-compulsive planning to assist with her cousin's wedding, but her history with the sexy and sullen Chayton Chambers, the groom’s brother, terrifies her. When the groom is kidnapped at his own wedding, Chayton and Naomi rush to find an important relic to satisfy the ransom before her cousin becomes a widow before a bride. Naomi trades garters for guns as survival, and love becomes a deadly game impossible to resist.

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During her senior year in high school, Angela Smith was dubbed most likely to write a novel, and that has been her dream ever since her mother read Brer Rabbit to her and her sister so often that they were able to recite it back to each other before actually learning to read. She’s always enjoyed stories about the adventure of love, and getting involved in the legal field developed her love of suspense. A certified paralegal, work gives her perfect fodder for her romantic suspense stories. When not caring for her small farm or spending time with her husband of two decades, she enjoys creating, reading, and dreaming of the places she’ll visit one day.

Angela Smith LOVES talking to readers. You can contact her in the following ways:

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Surprise flashed through his brain, but he narrowed his eyes before it had a chance to erupt on his face. He edged closer. In her heels, her nose usually touched his chin, but now the top of her head came under his chin. Her breath curled around his cheek, exerting an agitated pull on his hormones that left him shaky and hesitant. He camouflaged that hesitation with cockiness and confidence.

She inched her nose higher. He leaned down to look at her, his face a fingerbreadth from hers. “Maybe that’s your problem,” he grumbled. “Maybe you can’t get over the fact that I never tried to kiss you.”

He closed in on her, pinning her against the wall as he settled his hands on the wall near her head. She couldn’t move with him so near and he made a point to trap her.

He remained that way for several seconds, staring into blue eyes of defiance as they breathed in each other’s breath. His pulse hinged precariously close to plunging overboard and disrupting his steady poise, but for now he held on.

Then he kissed her. Hard. Briefly. Fervidly. Heat traversed from his toes, agitating his shaky thighs and roosting in his loins only to explode behind his eyes.

She deepened the kiss, a slight brush of her tongue against his. He held on another brief moment then dropped his hands and backed away before his point became futile. Swiping a hand across his mouth, he pinned her with a hard gaze. “Is that better?”

“I’m not here to ask your forgiveness.”

Mar 14, 2014


Review of The Second Lives of Honest Men by John R. Cameron

And.... (drumroll) I am back! This time with a review for a futuristic science-fiction novel that goes by the name of The Second Lives of Honest Men. Sounds interesting, huh? I would certainly hope so. Wanna know why? Because it was, and I freely admit, one of the best science fiction books I have ever read. Granted, I've only read about a handful or two of science fiction books in my life, but there is always a first time for everything, right? Like the first time you ever read a novel, or the first time you write your first short story. See what I mean?

Now for my review. I enjoyed the book. When I said it was one of the best science fiction books I have ever read, I was not joking. So here goes nothing!
The Second Lives of Honest Men by John R. Cameron

On the evening of April 14th, 1865, a flawless duplicate replaced the 16th President an instant prior to his assassination. Two centuries later, Honest Abe opened his eyes to a world in desperate need of guidance.

The Second Lives of Honest Men is a prescient vision of where society's dependence on technology could be taking us. It's a character driven story about love, redemption, and hope, with deep philosophical underpinnings related to how we think, feel, and reason in a world where it's ironically easy to feel disconnected.

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My family often drives me to the brink of madness; not a difficult thing to do, considering how close to the edge I already am. My daughter is a hellion. At the age of five, she’s both bright and bold, obstinate, and pushes every button I have. My wife blames my genetics: “I was never like that,” she claims. I deny it, despite knowing that I was also an uncontrollable child.

I’m a teacher, but I consider myself a modern philosopher. I’m very worried about the current state of education. I’m concerned about the future, in general. I don’t think we all necessarily need to be alarmists, though I do believe that if you look at the world around you and aren’t a little worried, you and I probably aren’t going to agree on much. (I’ll pretend not to look while you navigate elsewhere. There’s plenty of other entertainment on-line. Crushing Candy, and so forth…)

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The book starts off with a prologue, thus introducing us to Jacob Wentworth, a Humanities professor at The University. In a world full of people who are addicted to "The Interface," the futuristic version of the Internet, only more advanced and addicting, Professor Wentworth is just about the only man alive who does not find himself submerged in a world full of digital, virtual, mind-numbing fantasies. Everywhere he goes, he sees people with headphones plugged in, lost in the trance of being socially and virtually active. Think of it as being permanently connected to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or LinkedIn. This is the world he is surrounded by. No one values knowledge, history, or books anymore. Until he meets Bryce Trent, the one pupil who seems engaged in actually learning something.

From there, we are introduced to the genius that is Bryce Trent. He is the University's finest student who goes to perfect the Interface. He and the Professor become fast friends and Bryce is taught the value of true living, not the virtual, brain-washing lives he and his fellow citizens are living.

John Cameron lets his readers truly capture the plot. He describes everything with an exquisite detail that is refreshing to read. He puts into perspective what our lives could be like five decades into future. The plot isn't just something fantasy related; it's also something that could quite possibly occur. He makes his readers wonder, perceive, and formulate their own individual thoughts regarding the future. Would it be good to walk around with the Internet seen literally in our mind's eye? Would we be human or would we merely be robots controlled by social media - more so than we are today? These are questions I asked myself as I read. In all my years of reading, I'd yet to have read not just a science fiction book I enjoyed, but one that actually had me contemplating my future in a world where technology overrules books, knowledge, and the old art of verbal communication.

The book is also filled with suspense, romance, and scientific advancements. The book is a page turner that will keep you on your toes. The plot thickens as Professor Wentworth, Bryce, Julia Swan, Abraham Lincoln, and Brianna race to try and bring down The Company, the government formed to rule and brainwash the citizens of America. Repairing a time machine, the genius Professor, student, and his girlfriend plan to bring Abraham Lincoln back to the future to try and repair the broken society.

They succeed.

A page turner to the very end, I highly recommend this book. Just when you expect the book to end a certain way, the epilogue throws everything haywire. The final ending, I say final because there seems to have been two, is startling and seemingly incomprehensible. Until it's actually finished.

A highly fast-paced, suspenseful, and energetic futuristic novel, it's one that merits all the praise received. Good job, Mr. Cameron.

My Rating:

Mar 11, 2014


Diaries of the Damned Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt

Diaries of the Damned by Alex Laybourne

The dead have risen and a desperate struggle for power has begun. The military are evacuating all survivors in passenger planes. With their destination unknown, one group of survivors led by a journalist named Paul Larkin, decide to share their experiences with the hope that when combined, their stories will reveal some answers that the government had not been willing to give themselves.

Nine survivors have banded together, determined to tell their tale of survival. None of them realized that as they stood to tell their tales that they stood on the brink of discovering a conspiracy the likes of which the world has never seen.

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Born and raised in the coastal English town Lowestoft, it should come as no surprise (to those that have the misfortune of knowing this place) that I became a horror writer.

From an early age I was sent to schools which were at least 30 minutes drive away and so spent the most of my free time alone, as the friends I did have lived too far away for me to be able to hang out with them in the weekends or holidays.

I have been a writer as long as I can remember and have always had a vivid imagination. To this very day I find it all too easy to just drift away into my own mind and explore the world I create, where the conditions always seem to be just perfect for the cultivation of ideas, plots, scenes, characters and lines of dialogue everything basically, and when the time is right, I can simply pluck them from the allotment of my mind serve them up on the pages of whatever work is to be their home.

I am married and have four children and my biggest dream for them is that they grow up and spend their lives doing what makes them happy, whatever that is.

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Well this is most certainly going to be one of the best (and goriest) reviews I have ever done. Allow me to start off with saying that I was never much of a zombie fan. I was always more of a... werewolf... vampire... witch fan. But this book completely turned my opinion around.

When I first started reading this, I did not think that I would enjoy it. I really didn't. The beginning was slow at first, but soon it got interesting. I loved how the reader gets absorbed into the plot... slowly... reigned... in... It was enthralling.

Then! We get into the gory details that zombies are known for. When I first began getting into the gory details, I found myself enjoying all of the thrills, all the of gore, all the EWWWW!!!!! that the author presents us with.

One of the best things about being an author, one of the things I admire most, is the ability to change perspectives. I absolutely loved how Mr. Laybourne was able to switch from one character to another and still have the book make sense. Being able to take one person's perspective and switch it around to someone else's is not that easy to do because the remainder of the story may not make as much sense as one wants. However, this is perfect because not only does the author switch characters, he also switches back to the main protagonist, the writer telling the story, and has him collect stories of the actual apocalypse. That is admirable to me because as a writer myself, I find that changing perspectives is difficult to do.

As a whole, the book is something highly admirable. Romance, goriness, and zombies (!) are all a huge part of this book that make it worth reading. Especially if you want a scare!!! Be ready to have nightmares!

My Rating:

Paul Larkin sat in his seat and fastened his seatbelt. His body was caked with sweat and dried blood. His ears rang from the gunshots, and his ankle was swollen again; remnants of an injury he acquired jumping from the first floor window of his suburban home. At least, it used to be suburbia, before everything went to shit.

He sat back and let out a long, deep breath. Shock threatened to take hold of him, so he closed his eyes and waited. The plane filled up and the cries of those refused admittance echoed down the walkway, swiftly followed by the sound of their execution. Paul spared but the most fleeting of moments thinking about it. He found it strange how killing and death had become such a large part of his life.

“Excuse me,” a fragile sounding voice stirred Paul from the calm place he had just started to settle into. “I believe this is my seat.” An elderly woman, late seventies at best stood before him, her face was smeared with blood, while one eye had been covered by a filthy rag that had been hastily secured to her face with what looked like duct tape.

“I’m sorry…” Paul asked, confused. “Seat 17b. This is my seat.” The woman waved the ticket in Paul’s face.

Paul said nothing, but gave the woman a look which screamed, ‘the world as we knew it has ended, are you seriously going to complain that I’m in your seat’. If she could read his expression, she showed no signs of it. So with another heavy sigh, this one of frustration, Paul undid his belt and scooted one seat over.

“Thank you. I don’t mean to be rude, but after all that has happened, I feel the need to remain proper about some things,” she said as she sat down. There was an odor to her person that Paul found distinctly repelling, yet she had clearly gotten through the scanners at the gate.

“It’s fine,” he answered her, closing his eyes once more.

Mar 10, 2014


Review of The Anchor That Stopped the World by Agostino Scafidi

Hi everyone!! I'm back from being AWOL... I sincerely apologize, but here I am with a review for you all. I love you all so much I felt the need to warn you all about my latest book review... it's intense. So hold on.

The Anchor that Stopped the World by Agostino Scafidi

The story is about Martin Rizzo and the bad things that are happening to the people around him. A man with curiously superhero-like abilities who wakes up in unfamiliar surroundings and finds himself captive. The story unravels from there and involves various organized crime factions. A Crime fiction, the story takes place in Montreal.


The plot was amazing. Anyone who loves to read about murder, angst, crime, and evading the police would definitely get a kick out of this. Plot wise, there is truly nothing to be desired. The characters are alive, full of action, and surprisingly realistic. Scafidi truly captures the essence of what being a criminal is. He captures the inner ego of a person intent on revenge, on avenging a person he cared about. The way Scafidi describes the protagonist's, Martin Rizzo's, thirst for revenge is superb.

Although a tad bit wanting where diction and syntax is concerned, the story is a good one. There is a need for more description and more action in some areas, but altogether, the plot and ending of the story is enough to satisfy any blood thirsty reader.

Now, for the hard part. As a reader, I love to read.... obviously. What I despise, though, is reading something I anticipate will be good then being disappointed because of how terrible a book it was. Again, I repeat, in the summary, the books sounds good. Amazing even. But I DESPISED, absolutely LOATHED, the way this book was written. It was too immature, lacking in description, and written with the diction of a sixth grader. I know that sounds harsh, and I also despise being the bearer of bad news, but it is also true.

My Rating:

Agostino Scafidi is an author, musician and photographer who was born and raised in Montreal, QC of Sicilian descent. As soon as he learned to write he began writing stories for fun. Also at a young age he received his first guitar, a nylon stringed classical guitar. His child's curiosity would keep him interested in playing from then on and at the age of 14 he bought his first electric guitar. Agostino also began exploring the world of photography around that time and his interest never died. In August of 2013 Agostino independently published his first novel The Anchor That Stopped The World in eBook format.

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Model Position Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt

Model Position by Kitsy Clare

For Sienna, love and art are perilous games. Is she ready to take that gamble?

Sienna is a beautiful, talented artist poised on the precipice of soaring into the glamorous, yet cutthroat Manhattan art scene.

Dave Hightower is a hooked-up, handsome heir to the hippest gallery in NYC, Gallery Hightower.

Erik is the live drawing model with his sizzling green eyes fixed only on Sienna.

Three’s a crowd, so Sienna must make a choice: date Dave and ride the fast track to landing a show at Gallery Hightower and hobnobbing with the art glitterati, or follow her heart and take a chance with Erik, the stunning male model who’s stealing her heart. But Erik has some worrisome secrets, and who in their right mind would make live modeling their career?

Dare Sienna throw away her chances of hitting it big to follow her heart?

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I write young adult and middle grade novels as Catherine Stine, and romance as Kitsy Clare. More and more, I enjoy writing page-turning suspense and speculative tales. I’m also an illustrator, and I’ve done work for Penguin-Perigee, Learning Strategies and Lantern Books. I illustrated my YA futuristic thrillers, Fireseed One and Ruby’s Fire. I teach classes in crafting the novel and in writing for teens. Check out my events page for upcoming workshops.

I’ve held an array of colorful jobs, including a stint as a sail-maker, a solar-heated swimming pool cover designer, and as a designer of children’s fabrics and watchfaces. Writing is the best of these! There’s nothing as thrilling as creating a new world brimming with feisty, unpredictable characters.

I’m a fan of chocolate-anything, coffee-anything, Almost Human, Girls, Boardwalk Empire, and traveling. I’ve been to China, Russia, India, Europe and Turkey. Who knows where I’ll travel next? Any suggestions? You can be sure I’ll take notes when I’m there, and I’ll pack an extra suitcase for shiny bazaar items like these lanterns from Istanbul.

Oh, and my past? I grew up in Philly, where I raised an army of escape-artist hamsters that terrorized my mom, I wrote mystery and fantasy tales, and I always drew the book covers for them. My great, great uncle Charles wrote stories and textbooks for kids. His office was the Philadelphia Library. He had gigantic feet and he resembled Abe Lincoln.

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Detailed. That is the one word I am using to describe this book. It's very, very detailed. You know when you read something and it's so very detailed, so very accurate and vivid in it's descriptions that you feel as though YOU are the person in the story? Well, that is precisely how I felt when I read this.

I'm not going to lie to you all: I know NOTHING about art. NOTHING. I barely know the difference between oil and pastel paints. Or if pastels are even paint!!! But what I thoroughly enjoyed about this book is that through its description, the author teaches. She uses her knowledge of paints and art and canvas and TEACHES her audience about the world of paint, canvas, and show casing. It's impressive.

Another highlight about Model Position is its originality. Sure, all books have something original about them, but this book is... fresh. There is no other way I can put it.

The protagonist, Sienna, is an art school student with talent. She finds herself dating a member of New York's most famous art families: Dave Hightower. Eventually, she realizes she is not all that interested in him, but he, as the nephew of the woman who runs the most famous art museum in Chelsea, New York, offers her an opening into the art world as a thriving artist.

In most books, again, most, not all, the entirety of the book would have been dedicated to the protagonist playing the famous Hightower boy, and him finding out and ruining her whole art career. In Kitsy Clare's book, however, that's not what happens. I am not revealing too much without giving away the whole story, but there is something thoroughly refreshing in reading a book that does not follow the normal pattern of repetition. In all stories, the girl/guy messes up and then the whole plot revolves around the problem and it's solution when eventually the guy gets the girl. True, this does happen in this book, but not the way one expects. I didn't even expect it and I resigned myself into believing it would!

But like all good books, there was ONE little detail I didn't particularly like. There was no action. There was plenty of drama, plenty of hilarity, plenty of whatever makes a short story good. But NO action. Honestly, I love the story, but I feel it would have been more intense with a bit more physical action. Not in the romantic kind (there was CERTAINLY enough of that!) but in the more dramatic, fighting sense of the word. Does that make sense? I hope so.

All in all, it was a highly entreating read!! I loved it, flaws and all, and would highly recommend it.

My Rating:

“Hey, always up for new art,” I say. “I like wild art done by a loose hand.”

“Manually manipulated is the way to go,” Dave says suggestively as he waggles his eyebrows and puts his fingers into plastic gloves.

Plastic gloves for painting? Germaphobe. I’m a clean freak, and even I don’t do that. I quickly ease my judgmental cringe into a fetching grin as I search for a funny comeback. “I wonder who our next model will be. Do you think Mr. Court Jester will make a repeat appearance?”

“I’m betting on Nightgown Lady.” Dave squeezes out his last color with an oozy splot.

The teacher, a soft-spoken man in faded corduroys and wire glasses, announces that the model will be out momentarily. From across the room, I exchange anticipatory glances with my friends, Harper and Merry, and pantomime a fake drum roll. They snicker and do drum rolls back. The class turns its attention to the small stage in front of our easels. It’s been set up with risers and a red velvet curtain, as if it’s a Broadway production.

Then the model emerges, and I almost spill my cappuccino on Dave’s shoes. The sexiest male muse I’ve ever laid eyes on pads out, all oiled coordination and sleek muscles. He’s at least six-four, and every chest muscle ripples and cuts in the right place. His hair’s sandy and shaggy, and his jaw is square and resolute with a gold-dusted five-o’clock shadow.

But it’s his eyes that strike me most; they’re emerald green with a slight upward slant toward each cheekbone, as if he hiked all the way here from a northern land of sun and wind.

He arranges himself on a leopard-skin rug, wearing only a suede thong, and glances around at us artists. As I adjust my canvas and flip my hair back, his smoking green eyes settle on me. I could swear they’re looking right into me and seeing my fascination. I’m melting and hyperventilating all at once.

In the corner of my vision, I see Dave Hightower lean toward me for my reaction, but I can’t look away from the model—I don’t want to. I’m imagining myself on that leopard-skin rug, doing some private poses with him, and the fantasy has me blushing as permanent roseas the paint on my palette.