I’m Back….with a Surprise!

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Well…it’s been a couple months. Not by choice. Sometimes depression kicks my butt extra hard. I clam up, my anxiety levels go through the roof, anything I try to write down becomes jumbled or completely stagnant and I’m constantly fighting being physically ill.

Back in May, life’s stresses piled up. It seemed like it was one thing after another, and while I always try my best to cope in a variety of ways, sometimes things get the best of me. My energy levels plummeted. Even looking at the computer thinking about blogging commitments, incoming email, things as simple as scrolling through Facebook or Instagram became overwhelming to the point of being physically sick to my stomach.

It took a while to realize, maybe this isn’t anxiety. After all, my breasts were sore, and I couldn’t remember the last time I actually had a period. So I did what any reasonable person would do if they experienced those symptoms. I peed on a stick.

Les sat with me in the bathroom waiting for the few minutes to pass. Even with tears in my eyes, I could still see the two pink lines clearly. I can’t remember much after that moment.

It didn’t feel real until we heard the heartbeat last Friday. We aren’t entirely sure when I’m due, since I couldn’t recall the date of my last period but for now we are looking at either January or February. We will know better after the ultrasound at the end of August. I’m so excited to see Baby, and this time I will definitely be asking for some prints!

I feel so lucky! I truly do. Les and I get to share this together, and Emily gets to be a big sister. She is so beyond excited and is set on a little sister. We are doing our best to prepare her for a little brother too though.

Em

The morning sickness (which definitely wasn’t just in the morning) completely zapped any energy my body had, even with the prenatal vitamins. So far this last week and a half has been much easier and I’ve only gotten sick a couple of times. It feels as though it may be gone completely soon. One can only hope! When I was pregnant with Emily I was sick all day, almost every day.

Originally, the reason I started this blog was to share about my life as an anxious mom. I wanted to push myself to do things that I had always wanted to do, like attending concerts or large events, getting out there and experiencing as much as possible. My goal for this year was to attend as many events as possible and write about them.

The first part stays the same, I still intend to share about my life as an anxious mom. Only now, my focus has shifted entirely. My goal is to enjoy this pregnancy as much as possible, and have a happy, healthy baby.

I will be slowly getting back into the swing of things here on the blog as my energy levels increase, but for now I just wanted to share some happy news and reemerge from my impromptu hiatus on a positive note.

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Double by Alison Brodie

 Title: The Double

By: Alison Brodie

Publication Date: January 19, 2016

Genre: Chick Lit

Beth is mistaken for rock star Sonita La Cruz, and ends up on a billionaire-dollar yacht. As a shift-worker in Glasgow, Beth has only known hardship. Now she’s in a world of uniformed stewards, delicious French food and rows of gorgeous designer clothes. Beth keeps quiet about the mix-up, determined to wear every outfit in her wardrobe before she’s sent home. What’s wrong with a little play-acting? Beth takes to the role of rock diva like a duck takes to water.

Aleksandr, the captain, arrives and is astonished to see a beautiful raven-haired girl lying on deck issuing orders through a loud-hailer. After talking to Beth, Aleksandr realises what has happened. His smuggling buddies, knowing Aleksandr needs to speak to Sonita about a kid’s crisis, grabbed Beth by mistake. Aleksandr is desperate. To save those children, he needs money, but Sonita has disappeared.

Beth rises to the challenge. She looks like Sonita, so why not BE Sonita? Beth does a magazine interview for one million dollars, and ransoms herself for another million. Beth saves the kids … but can she save herself? Too late, Beth discovers why Sonita disappeared.

 

How could she communicate with these men? And where they hell were they going?

It was as if the man in the frilly apron had read her mind. He produced pen and paper and began to draw a crooked diagram. Within seconds she realised what she was seeing: a map of Great Britain! He was trying to tell her where they were heading. He drew some waves, then the bulging outline of Western Europe.

Please, God, she mentally pleaded. Don’t draw Africa.

Thankfully, the pen moved back up, to the north-west tip of Spain and made a cross. ‘Vigo,’ her host explained.

She nodded. ‘Vigo.’ She took a slug of coffee. God, it was delicious.

Two inches above Vigo, he drew a boat with a stick figure with long black hair. ‘eto-Vy,’ he said, pointing to her.

‘OK, that’s me,’ she agreed, pointing to herself. She watched as he drew a straight line from the stick figure to the cross. ‘And I’m going to Vigo!’ The pieces of the puzzle were finally fitting into place and – actually – this was fun.

‘Vigo! Vigo!’ The two men chorused, delighting in her cleverness. Frilly Apron drew a stick man in the sea just above the cross. ‘Aleksandr Shtcherbatsky Zhivago,’ he announced.

The stick man had a tiny body, a big head and a bigger smile, his arms thrown wide as if eager to hug her. ‘Mm,’ she murmured dubiously. By the time she met this person, she would be in no mood to be hugged. Who was he? Another actor, poised to give her clues to the next phase of the game? But what if he didn’t speak English?

‘Does he speak English?’ she asked. Since Frilly Apron was busy adding a smiley sun to his diagram, she had to shake his shoulder to get his attention. She pointed to the stick man, then made a quacking-duck motion with her hand. ‘He speaka Eengleesh?’

Frilly Apron nodded. ‘Da.’

‘Thank Christ for that!’

She studied the sketch, seeing the distance they had travelled and the distance that remained, and calculated that they would be in Vigo in two days. But she didn’t have two days! She had a job! She had a week of twelve-hour shifts! She had to be home to cook Andy’s dinner or he’d go mental. She had to walk Mrs Baxter’s dog. And, she had to pick up Mr Beattie’s pension. Christ, she had responsibilities. She had a life! She couldn’t just sail off into the sunset!

She drained her cup. ‘OK, guys,’ she began, pressing out her palms to acknowledge their understandable mistake. ‘You got the wrong girl. Me?’ She pointed to her chest. ‘Beth Skiffington – not Sonita.’

They grinned widely. ‘Sonita!’ they chirruped.

‘No, non, nix!’ What the fuck was it in Russian? ‘Nyat!

They frowned, puzzled. ‘Nyat?’

She nodded vigorously. ‘Nyat!’

‘Nyat?’

‘Nyat! Nyat!’

She couldn’t believe this was happening. Right now, she should be carrying bed-linen onto the ward, not standing on a speeding boat making the noise of a web-footed wading bird.

The two men looked confused. It was evident that they had it firmly set in their heads that she was Sonita – and why not? She was not only dressed like the rock star and looked like the rock star but she’d also been standing on the gangplank of the rock star’s boat.

There was only one way to prove she wasn’t the singer. Clearing her throat, she began to sing Emeralda. She wasn’t keen on Sonita’s songs because they were too raucous, but this one she did like.

‘This moment must last

For the rest of our lives…’

She sang on, amazed that she could remember the words, relieved that she sounded like a yowling cat.

‘And say goodbye …’ her voice trickled to a stop. The men were smiling – through their tears.

How could she make them understand?

She pointed to the sleeve of her fun-fur coat. If anyone knew about real fur, they would. ‘Look!’ she cried, plucking at the fabric. ‘Polyester crap. Top Budget. Cheap.’ She was getting desperate. ‘Me – not Sonita. Me – not American. Me – not rock star.’

By the expression on their faces, she knew she was talking herself into a cul-de-sac. All they could hear was: Sonita. American. Rock star.

Defeated, she picked up the coffee pot and topped up her cup. These men believed they had the rock singer and nothing, it seemed, could dissuade them. That meant she had no option but to go along for the ride. She looked at the map. She had two inches to go. At least she wasn’t heading for Australia.

What Others Are Saying

“Excellent … proof of her genius in writing fiction.” 

-San Francisco Book Review

 

“5* Wonderful.” 

-Lauren Sapala, Book Reviewer and Writers’ Coach

“4.5/5*  This is the first novel of Alison Brodie’s that I have read and I can say with sheer certainty that it won’t be the last because I absolutely loved it.”

 –Holly at Bookaholic Confessions  

“It’s a really good read, a page-turner with good characterization and a splendid plot.”  

-Dinah Wiener, Dinah Wiener Literary Agency

 

Amazon US – http://amzn.to/1RsAsnm

Amazon UK – http://goo.gl/58v0r5

Amazon CA – https://goo.gl/duU52G

Alison Brodie is a Scot, with French Huguenot ancestors on her mother’s side of the family.  Alison was a photographic model, modelling for a wide range of products, including Ducatti motorbikes and 7Up.  She was also the vampire in the Schweppes commercial. 

A disastrous modelling assignment in the Scottish Highlands gave Alison an idea for a story, which was to become Face to Face.  She wrote Face to Face as a hobby and then decided to send it off to see what would happen.  It was snapped up by Dinah Wiener, the first agent Alison sent it to.  Three weeks later, Alison signed a two-book deal with Hodder & Stoughton.  Subsequently, Face to Face was published in Germany and Holland.  It was widely reviewed, ie:  “Vain, but wildly funny leading lady.” -Scottish Daily Mail.  It was also chosen as Good Housekeeping’s “Pick of the Paperbacks.” 

Unfortunately, Alison then suffered from Second-Book Syndrome.  The publisher’s deadline loomed and she was terrified because she didn’t have an idea for a story!  She found the whole experience a nightmare; and this is why she cautions first-time authors to write more than one book before approaching an agent.  She managed to finish the book – Sweet Talk – but it bombed.

While writing Sweet Talk, she moved to Kansas and lived there for two years.  She loved the people, their friendliness, their free-and-easy way of life, the history and the BBQs!  Sadly, her visa ran out and she had to come back to the UK – although her dream is to one day live permanently in America.  Now, Alison lives in Biarritz, France.

Alison has taken the exhilarating steps to becoming an indie author.  Her second ebook, THE DOUBLE, is out on Amazon Kindle with some great reviews.  “Excellent.” –San Francisco Book Review.

Alison writes contemporary romance.  She aims for a strong plot line, set against the background of a world-changing event, coupled with touches of humour, sexual tension and character transformation.

She loves to hear from her readers.

Would You Rather

Question: Would you rather be trapped in a lift for 10 hours: With a notepad and pen? Or a book to read?

Answer: With a notepad and pen. Then I wouldn’t be bothered how long I was stuck for.

Question: Would you rather write a message and throw it out to sea in a bottle? Or carve the message in a tree on a desert island?

Answer: Throw it out to sea. You never know who is going to find it. A handsome man on a faraway beach perhaps?

Question: Would you rather: Read a book while walking? Or write a book on a water bed?

Answer: I feel sick just thinking about both of them! I don’t know, write a book on a water bed.

Question: Would you rather write a puzzle book? Or a cook book?

Answer: Definitely a cook book. I love cooking.

Question: Would you rather accidentally drop your new printed manuscript in a lake? Or have a gust of strong wind blow it everywhere?

Answer: Blow everywhere … while I’m screaming to passers-by: “Pick it up!!”

Question: Would you rather: Publish one insanely great-selling book and never write again? Or publish a string of average-selling books over a 20-year period?

Answer: Publish average-selling books. I’m in this, not for the fame, but for getting stories to my readers. Anyway, I have to write.

Question: Would you rather write on a roof-terrace in Istanbul? Or write on the beach in St Tropez?

Answer: Definitely not on a beach in St Tropez! I wouldn’t be able to concentrate with all those Frenchman running around in slips (tight swimming trunks).

Question: Would you rather be upside down and read a book backwards? Or write a book blindfolded?

Answer: What??!!!

Question: Would you rather live your life? Or the life of your character in The Double?

Answer: I want to be Beth (without the miserable childhood) and be taken away on a billion-dollar yacht and meet Aleksandr. Sigh ….

Social Media Links

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/alison.brodie.16?fref=ts

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1648178.Alison_Brodie

Twitter – @alisonbrodie2

Website – http://www.alisonbrodiebooks.com/

Sneak Peek at Alison’s Upcoming Novel

END OF THE LINE

Ruby began to unpack the boxes in the hall. Tornados haunted her dreams and last night while making love with Edward, she had mentally run through the list of essentials, including sandbags, hard

hats and walkie-talkies. The important thing was, she knew what to expect, knew the dangers and how to prepare for them. She was in control.

Although there was one thing she was not in control of: her car. A rented cherry-red Land Cruiser – a vehicle designed for rocky terrain or land invasion, but impossible to reverse out of the garage. Every time she turned the key in the ignition, she was blasted by striptease-type music. The Off button had to be located among the hundreds of knobs and switches on the dashboard but so far she’d had no luck in finding it. She assumed the band was called ZZ Top because she’d found an empty CD case on the floor. The music – plus the scarlet lipstick and musky perfume in the glove compartment – meant only one thing: the previous driver had been The Wild Type.

Suddenly, she stiffened like a deer hearing the crack of a twig. The telephone! She lunged into the kitchen, mouthing NO! to Edward – but it was too late. ‘She’s right here, Claire,’ he said, passing the phone to Ruby.

‘Bonjour, ma petite choux, or should I say howdie-hi?’ Claire chuckled. ‘How are you settling in to the homestead?’

Ruby would not reveal the size of the house until after her sister had received the thick wad of photographs. And she certainly wasn’t going to mention tornados. ‘Wonderfully! I have a brand new Land Cruiser that’s simply enormous.’ This was the most irritating aspect of Claire’s bragging – it was contagious. ‘It has a compass, heated front seats and-’

‘Well, of course, you’re living in a car-culture, n’est ce pas?’

‘Mais oui, unlike Europe where they drive around in Noddy cars.’

‘Au contraire,’ Claire murmured silkily. ‘Arnaud has promised me a Renault hatchback.’

‘Hatchback? But that’s too petite.’

‘I’d hate to be seen as ostentatious.’

‘I also have a fridge as big a tank.’

‘I don’t need a fridge because Veronique buys my vegetables from the market fresh, chaque matin.’

‘Well, we can eat out tous les temps because it’s so inexpensive.’

‘Eat out?’ Claire snorted. ‘Where? Betsy’s Hog Grill? Admit it: your life has ended up in the bottom drawer of a filing cabinet marked Fermé.’

Ruby took a deep breath and came back punching. ‘Au contraire,’ she said brightly. ‘I feel as if my life is only just beginning. Oh, the adventures! And the untamed beauty! Yesterday, I drove out into the prairie. It was magnifique. Thousands of bison roaming across the rippling prairie-’ She stopped, startled that Edward had snatched the telephone from her. He spoke rapidly into the receiver.

‘Sorry, Claire, I must interrupt you girls. I have to make a business call.’ He banged down the phone and swung to Ruby. ‘I can’t listen to this anymore! Ever since we’ve been in Kansas you either avoid Claire’s calls, or you speak to her like some crazed French drag act-’

‘But-’

‘Bison? Rippling prairie? What are you talking about? You haven’t been further than Hy-Vee!’ He took a deep breath and resumed more calmly. ‘Why do you keep trying to compete with her? She’s an alpha-female. You can never win.’ He flung out a hand. ‘By now she would have made friends with all the neighbours and hosted a banquet for the mayor. And she wouldn’t be scared to reverse the car out of the garage.’

The accusation hung in the air. Ruby opened her mouth to protest, but the words wouldn’t come. Her husband, her own husband, had taken Claire’s side.

He sighed. ‘Look, I’m sorry, Ruby, but you need to accept who you are.’

‘And who is that?’ she asked coolly.

‘Well, you’re just … ordinary. But that’s what I like about you,’ he added quickly.

Ordinary. Ruby blinked back a tear. That’s what Claire had been telling her for the last twenty years. And now Ruby’s husband was saying the same thing. But, this time, Ruby wouldn’t accept it!

She marched into the garage. ‘I’m too scared to reverse, huh?’ She jumped into her land cruiser and turned the key in the ignition. Immediately, ZZ Top blasted out. The music suited her mood! She reversed out into the road in a squeal of tyres, straightened up and accelerated hard. She didn’t know – and didn’t care – where she was going.

‘I’m not ordinary,’ she murmured, feeling the tears. As she rifled the door compartment for the packet of Kleenex, her hand touched glass. It was a small bottle of tequila, empty. Tossing it on the passenger seat, she found the tissues and blew her nose.

She drove on, her brain jumping and fizzing like television static. Suddenly, it cleared to reveal a long straight deserted road. Where was she? How long had she been driving? Scrubland stretched away to the horizon. The road was straight and empty. She slowed, realising she was lost. And alone.

She accelerated hard. ‘I am not ordinary!’ she yelled, feeling the hot air whip through her hair. She grabbed the scarlet lipstick out of the glove compartment and spread it over her lips, the car swerving as she tried to see her reflection in the rear-view mirror. Then she sprayed herself with the perfume. Loud and defiant, she sang along to the music: ‘You gotta whip it up and hit me like a ton of lead. If I blow my top will you let me go to your head-’

A police motorbike slid past, the policeman waving her down. ‘Oh, no!’ she wailed. Her thoughts zigzagged desperately. What had she done wrong?

The policeman herded her onto the gravel verge then parked at a distance and removed his helmet. Her stomach lurched. She’d seen enough movies of the Deep South to recognise this man as the archetypical law enforcer who stood over chain gangs. He was huge with a broken-nose and square jaw, his eyes hidden behind reflective sunglasses. He wore a khaki short-sleeved shirt and brown trousers tucked into long boots. He unclipped a walkie-talkie from his shoulder and spoke into it, his sunglasses focussed on her licence plate. Then he paused, nodded then nodded again.

He was behaving as if she were armed and dangerous. And who was he talking to? And why was he taking so long? Was he trying to scare her? Well, it was certainly working: she was trembling from head to foot.

With a final nod, he clipped his walkie-talkie on his shoulder and strolled over.

Ruby, realising the striptease music would give the wrong impression, frantically sought to turn if off, trying buttons and switches, so when the policeman drew level, the windscreen wipers were thrashing, the hazard lights were flashing, and ZZ Top was still blaring.

He reached in a hand, slipped it under the steering wheel and there was instant silence. Abruptly, he swung away and sneezed.

‘Mighty strong perfume you’ve got there, ma’am.’ He rested his hands on her window sill, his biceps straining against the sleeves of his shirt. ‘Where you headin?’

She was repulsed by those broad hairy hands that had taken possession of her car, angry that he had deliberately terrified her. ‘I’m just out for a drive.’

‘Yur English!’

Grinning, he took off his sunglasses, revealing friendly blue eyes. The transformation was startling. She felt a strange, uncomfortable fluttering in the pit of her stomach, then just as quickly it was gone. His name tape read: H. Gephart; the metal star inscribed SHERIFF. Granddad had always warned her that policemen were thugs in uniform. Now, looking at the various weapons of subjugation on this man – gun, knife, handcuffs, baton, and bullet-belt – she could well believe it.

‘You on vacation?’ the policeman enquired.

‘Yes,’ she lied. He wouldn’t make trouble if he thought she was here for a short time.

‘We don’t get many English folk in Kansas.’

‘I can imagine,’ she said dryly.

He paused as if sensing her hostility, then pointed down the road. ‘I pulled you over to warn you the blacktop ends in two miles. Don’t want to be hitting rocks at eighty.’ He studied her. ‘Don’t know how you missed the sign.’ His gaze dropped to the seat beside her. ‘You bin drinkin?’

Baffled, she turned to see what he was looking at. The tequila bottle! ‘That has nothing to do with me.’

It was as if she hadn’t spoken. ‘Drinking and driving isn’t tolerated in this State, ma’am.’

She could hardly speak for outrage. ‘For your information, I don’t drink alcohol.’ She saw his brow raised in disbelief and added crisply: ‘apart from a glass of Chablis. But I would never, ever touch anything like this!’ As she snatched up the bottle, it slipped through her fingers and flew out of the window.

He looked at the bottle on the gravel. He looked at her. ‘Littering’s a two hundred dollar fine.’ He picked up the bottle and handed it to her. There was a thoughtful, pitying look in his eyes as he studied her lips. ‘The first step to having a drink problem is owning up to it.’

Fury coursed through her body. If she’d been a man, she would have punched him. ‘Surely, officer,’ she said primly. ‘An empty bottle of tequila does not mean one has a drink problem?’

‘It does if you lose control of your vehicle.’ He jerked his chin. ‘You were swerving back there.’

‘Because I was applying lipstick.’

He raised his eyebrows. ‘At eighty miles an hour?’

She heard the amused, patronising tone and her fury exploded; but like steam escaping from a pressure cooker valve it came out in a hiss. ‘Fascist.’

He was no longer smiling and his eyes – now a glacial blue – held on to hers like pincers. ‘Did you say something, ma’am?’

She gripped the tequila bottle as if it were his neck.

He stared at her. She stared at him. And in that moment, something passed between them; it was as if each were saying: I don’t trust you, either.

He asked for her driver’s licence, studied it then said, ‘I’ve made a note of your registration number, Miss Thompson.’

She hadn’t updated her name to Mortimer-Davis and now she was glad of it.

He handed it back to her. ‘I advise you to turn your vehicle around, Miss, and head back to where you’re staying and sober up.’ He strolled to his motorbike, swung a leg over it and waited.

Knowing he was watching her, she attempted a fast and competent U-turn and almost ended up in a ditch. As she drove away she could feel his eyes boring into the back of her head.

‘Neanderthal,’ she muttered, thankful that she would never see that horrid man again.

Hank

Hank watched the English girl drive off. His whole body was rigid, his lips numb and stiff with anger. Were all English that arrogant? Why hadn’t he tested her for drunk driving? Why hadn’t he booked her for speeding?

His emotions were stirred and it wasn’t just from anger; it was a physical arousal: those golden eyes that glittered, the little upturned nose and full lips – lips that a guy could imagine breathing over his skin.

He had tried to be friendly, to put her at ease, but there’d been something hostile about her, like a predatory cat with a twitchy tail.

She’d called him a Fascist!

Why in hell hadn’t he booked her?

He hadn’t believed her bullshit about the booze. Her mouth looked like melted crayon. He’d seen plenty enough times what happened to a woman’s lipstick when she drank from the neck of a bottle. And her throwing the bottle at his feet? That was her making a statement, telling him she was above the law.

Yeah, she might talk like the duchess of England but the duchess of England didn’t go for no joyride playing ZZ Top at full volume. He could sense she was trouble: the wild uncombed hair, the overtly-sexual perfume and the empty tequila bottle. But there were two things that worried him. Her fast erratic driving down a well sign-posted dead-end; and the full two minutes it took for her to come a halt. That was why he’d radioed in to the station: to trace if the car had been reported stolen.

He recalled the way she had looked at his hands on the door, like they were dirt.

Jesus, why hadn’t he booked her?

He prided himself on his ability to judge a person’s character. This one was superficially on the straight and narrow – Miss Righteous – but just under the surface there was something bubbling – something that would erupt and splatter gunk on whoever was standing closest. Thank Christ, it wouldn’t be him.

Yeah, he knew her type. She was reckless, and she was heading for brake failure, and he wasn’t thinking about her car.

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Guest Post & Giveaway: The Paladins by Julie Reece

Guest Post

Can I first just say how much I love the name of this blog? Okay. I love it! Having said that, I want to thank you so much for having me here today. I love talking about books and writing and all things YA. : )

My lovely host asked me for some tips for working through writers’ block. I wish I could have written her back and said, Ya know, I have no idea what block is, or what it feels like, so can you please send me a new topic? I couldn’t do that though, because, unfortunately, I do know what it’s like to have a big, fat block in the way of the story I’m trying to write. So let me share a few things that have helped me in the past.

Tips for Working Through Writer’s Block

I’m going to change the word tips to tip, because ultimately, it boils down to doing one thing.

Relax. I know what you’re probably thinking. Relax? Seriously? Your numero uno piece of all-important, super-valuable advice is to just relax? I’ll show you relaxed! Come over here, writer-lady. I’ve got a sledgehammer that will help you relax.

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Book Blast & Giveaway: Novus by Crystal Marcos

Novus

Novus by Crystal Marcos

Ideal for Hunger Games and Divergent fans, Crystal Marcos delivers Novus, a riveting novel set in a dystopian future of action-adventure, suspense, and romance. Intriguing characters and a gripping storyline keep the reader turning page after page.

Being a teenager is hard enough. And what if your life’s path is pre

determined? On top of that, you aren’t even Human?

Cayden was given life as a Cresecren. He expected to live out his days with the dysfunctional Human family he was assigned to serve. One fateful night, however, landed him in Gavaron, the home of maimed, elderly, or defiant Cresecren.

Beyond its borders is the Den, an area much more dangerous than he ever imagined. Now seventeen, Cayden unwittingly becomes involved in a conspiracy and is one of a handful of survivors fleeing a deadly attack. They set off on a perilous journey in search of refuge and the truth. Along the way, Cayden begins to comprehend the difference between fully living and merely surviving, while trying to balance his emotions and a forbidden love.


Novus Award Novus Award2 Novus Award3
Awards:

~”Official Selection” Winner in the Young Adult category, 2015 New Apple Book Awards!~

~Winner Best Books in the Young Adult category, 2016 Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards!~

NOVUS (The Cresecren Chronicles, Book 1) has recently received two book awards! To celebrate the eBook will be on SALE for $1.99 until 5/15/2016

amazon get it

Praise for the Book:

“Novus by Crystal Marcos is one of those gems that make you care about the characters within the story, and while you definitely want to know what happens to them, you can’t help but also not want to get to the end of the book. It’s the kind of book whose characters you miss when you finish the book.”

~Kim Anisi for Readers’ Favorite- 5 STARS


amazonbarnes and noble
 

 

Excerpt Header

“Thanks for the help,” I said, trying to be polite.
“No problem.” As she leaned in a little closer, my toes dug into my soles. Her whisper caressed my ear. “I slipped in a couple extra bags of oats and a jug of milk.” She winked. “Don’t tell.”
I was not used to a Human being that close or that generous before. I just stood there, staring back at her.
“There you go again, staring! If I wasn’t a confident person you would give me a complex.” Linnayah bent down, lifted up a box and handed it to me. I took it and loaded the last of the boxes into our cargo vehicle.
For the remainder of our time in the Supply Depot, I tried hard not to look for Linnayah but failed miserably. I could not help it, she fascinated me. Why would she give us anything extra to eat? Why risk getting in trouble? Where does she live? What is her family like? Where does she go to school? I would like to read her school report sometime. Would she get high marks for it? Will I see her again?

add to goodreads new

 

Crystal MarcosAbout the Author

Award-winning author Crystal Marcos has been a storyteller her entire life. As the oldest of five children, she had to do a lot of entertaining. She lives on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State with her husband, daughter Kaylee, and infant son Jaxon. Crystal is the author of BELLYACHE: A Delicious Tale and HEADACHE: The Hair-Raising Sequel to BELLYACHE. Novus, her third book and first Young Adult novel, is Book One of The Cresecren Chronicles.

Website * Facebook * Twitter

Giveaway Header

Blast Giveaway – $100 Amazon Gift Card or $100 in Paypal Cash

Ends 5/19/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. 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 here as well as emailed and 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 Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Book Tour & Giveaway: The Blue Ridge Project by Neil Rochford

The Blue Ridge Project
The Project
Book One
Neil Rochford
Genre: Dark Suspense/Paranormal
Date of Publication: May 6 2016
Number of pages: 260
Word Count: 65,500
Cover Artist: ebooklaunch.com

Synopsis:

Conspiracy. Murder. Secret experiments. Mind control. A detective, a journalist and a rich deviant struggle with their pasts as their actions set them on a collision course with each other and The Project.

Detective Andrea Nox has been asked to quietly investigate a bizarre and violent murder-suicide that could have consequences for Beacon City and the people in charge. Dead ends and odd clues are hindering her efforts, and when another similar murder occurs, she has to juggle the investigation and her own troubled past with the Beacon City Police Department.

Journalist Robert Duncan is visiting home after a personal crisis when the unthinkable happens, and secrets are unearthed about his family and his place in it. His involvement in a dangerous and far-reaching conspiracy grows as he uncovers information that implicates powerful people in horrible crimes.

Frank Mortimer, disturbed son of a wealthy and influential family, is taking part in an experimental program that has promised to make him better. However, with the shadowy and powerful group known only as The Project behind the program, what he is getting better at could prove disastrous for everyone else, as a dangerous power is unlocked inside him…

Their paths will converge in a shocking story of murder, conspiracy and clandestine experiments taking place that could change the world.

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The car that had followed Frank’s van out of the city rolled down the same route Frank had taken, belching exhaust occasionally. It was a gray sedan, with a bumper sticker that said ‘If You’re Reading This, You’re Too Close!’ As with Frank’s van, the driver had chosen a car that wouldn’t draw attention or stick in a memory. It was as if the owner had used the word “nondescript” when the salesperson asked what type of car he wanted.

Said owner was Graham Turner, a self-made journalist according to him, a bottom-feeding paparazzo according to almost everybody else. His purview was the lifestyles of the rich, the famous, and the mentionables, especially their bad habits and indiscretions. The most money was to be made in the latter and Turner had made his meager living through catching people of note with their pants down, figuratively or otherwise.

His mission today was to catch a Mortimer doing something he wasn’t supposed to be doing. A picture of the son, Frank, doing something untoward could pay out massively. Turner didn’t care if it was through sale of the picture or blackmail, just as long as he got his payday.

He was sure the squeaky-clean bachelor was up to no good, driving out here in the middle of nowhere in a busted-up van when his family was rich enough to have a foundation in their name. Turner parked a good distance from the van, reached around to the back seat to grab his camera with the long-distance lens, and stepped out onto the tarmac.

He began to feel ill immediately. He broke out in a sweat and his stomach churned like a washing machine at the start of a spin cycle. He stood leaning against the front of the car for a second, a headache thumping behind his eyeballs, and a loud ringing in his ears. He wiped his soaked forehead with the sleeve of his shirt and started to make his way through the grass, searching for a decent vantage point.

Around forty paces in, close to the warehouse, his headache intensified massively. The pain shot up and down his body, and he felt a pop inside his skull. His left leg went dead and useless beneath him, and he groaned as he fell to his knees. The camera fell and smashed apart on the ground. He heard another pop, like a tiny balloon being pricked with a needle inside his ears, then he fell forward onto the remains of his equipment.

The man with ‘SECURITY’ written across his cap came sauntering over the grass toward Turner’s body. He rolled it over with one boot-clad foot and saw the burst capillaries in Turner’s eyes: They were as red as the eyes of a B-movie vampire, and just as dead.

Hell of a tune they play, the man thought as he went through Turner’s pockets for the keys to the gray sedan. As he stood up, he double-checked his earplugs, as he often did after finding someone who had come too close, and strolled over to the car to put it out of sight. The body could wait. He couldn’t even see it from the car, the grass deep enough to hide it. He saw a small flock of birds flying overhead, wheeling to make a wide detour around the building nearby.

Birds are smarter than people. He chuckled, proud of his philosophical revelation, and got into the driver’s seat of the almost unnoticeable car.

About the Author

Neil Rochford is a freelance writer who loves fiction where bad things happen. After more than five years traveling from continent to continent and a few short stories, he finally got to work on his first book, and hopes to continue writing as many as he can. Originally from Ireland, he speaks three languages and has lived in Estonia, Brazil, France and Spain. He is a staff writer for the popular Irish podcast and website Those Conspiracy Guys.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

 

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Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

Please let me start by saying how proud I am to be your daughter. There are many times that you have felt that you have failed me, when really you are my biggest hero. I have been asked time and time again, who do I admire? Who do I look up to? The answer has and always will be you.

You have lived through more than any one person should in their lifetime. From humble beginnings, simply happy to receive a colouring book and some new crayons at Christmas time, all the way through to single motherhood raising two kids and guiding one more. You have faced things no person should ever have to endure, and you came out on top.

You live your life the way you want. You appreciate the simple things. The little things that really are the big things. And you taught your children to do the same. You have never shamed us for wanting to do more and be better than we once were. You have had words of encouragement, never hesitating to help whenever and however you can.

Watching you grieve Deb has been the hardest thing to watch. I only wish I could take away the hurt. The only way I can think to honour both of you, is to never hold back with what I have to say. To say the things that most hold in until it might be too late, to be more present and to keep in touch way more often than before. Because that is what truly matters.

Your heart still shines through all the darkness that has come your way, through everything you taught me to love — both to give and receive it. Even if there were too many others that tried to show me the wrong way. You wouldn’t let them. Even when you were at your lowest points, I still felt loved. I still felt comforted. When I was having a panic attack and didn’t know it, I still felt like just being in the same room with you would make it better.  You would still give the shirt off your back to someone who has wronged you. Some would say that is weakness, I say that is strength. There is beauty in helping those who wouldn’t do the same for you. Those acts are truly selfless.

You made sure I knew to walk on my own two feet, to be independent. To work hard for what I need and really think about what I want. I learned to make mistakes and own them. You let me do that. You let me make my mistakes, letting me know I was doing wrong, but still allowing me to realize it for myself. Now I can take responsibility for things that I have been so ashamed of, but I take responsibility.

Most importantly you taught me how to fight. You always get up when someone or something knocks you down, probably the most resilient person I know. You taught me to fight for my happiness, for my health, for myself. Some days will be good, some days will be bad, but we always fight. We fight to get back up. We fight to dig ourselves out of whatever holes we find ourselves in, whether we put ourselves there or not. We fight for others who can’t or won’t fight for themselves, for the right thing. But we always fight. We fight for our lives. And because of you, we survive. We strive to be better than we were. And we succeed. When we don’t always achieve the desired results, we are grateful enough to appreciate the lessons we have learned during our experiences.

When you took us kids out of a bad situation, you did so fearfully, but knowing that it was the right thing to do. And you fought. We worked together, we fought, we actually even argued at points. I know….hard to believe. 🙂 But we always found a deeper understanding for each other throughout everything, and if not understanding, a deeper respect.

My biggest dream for us is to travel together. Somewhere hot, a sunny beach so you can lay out in your bikini and not give a S*** what other people think, perhaps the castles in Scotland and Ireland. or maybe somewhere close to the heart like Ontario to see our extended family. Your choice.

I am thankful that we have the memories we have together, and I am so excited to make new ones during these new phases of our lives. I’m thankful for everything I’ve learned from you, and that you are willing and happy to learn from me too.

I’m thankful for you on this Mother’s Day, and every other day.

Love Sarah

 

 

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Blog Tour: A Kiss and a Dream by Linda Andrews

Kiss and a dream

A Kiss and a Dream by Linda Andrews

She escapes with a dead woman’s name and finds sanctuary with a widower reeling from his wife’s betrayal. Can a love built on lies survive the truth?

Gretchen Foltz honors her late father’s request and ends up locked in the workhouse by her greedy brother. Dreaming of a home and freedom, she embarks on a dangerous winter journey. She awakes in a stranger’s home. Hiding behind a lie, she discovers a man worthy of her trust.

Kian Bryne is struggling to feed his four children. The last thing he needs is to rescue a woman stranded on the ice and running from her own demons. With his rich in-laws threatening to take custody his children, he’ll make a desperate alliance to keep his family together. When a simple kiss shatters their agreement, he’s left yearning for more.

Can they untangle the lies before someone separates them forever?

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Cover Reveal & Giveaway: The Summer of Lost Wishes by Jessa Gabrielle

Today is the cover reveal for The Summer of Lost Wishes by Jessa Gabrielle. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.

The Summer of Lost WishesThe Summer of Lost Wishes
by Jessa Gabrielle
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: June 13, 2016

Blurb:
When sixteen-year-old Piper Davenport’s mom packs up their lives and heads to the coastal Florida town of Coral Sands, Piper doesn’t care much for the view…until she catches a glimpse at Rooks Carter.

Her mom’s “look but don’t touch” policy regarding the boy next door is all but impossible to maintain, especially since he’s helping his dad restore Piper’s new home, the Calloway Cottage. A gorgeous, shirtless boy makes this boring little town a bit more exciting.

But after Piper and Rooks discover a secret in the walls of the cottage, they have a chance to unravel the biggest mystery in Coral Sands history – unless someone unravels them first.

You can find The Summer of Lost Wishes on Goodreads

About the Author:
Jessa Gabrielle is a young adult author who lives in the land of salt water, palm trees, and sandy shorelines. She believes that summer love is pure bliss and that she was a mermaid in a past life. Her debut, The Summer of Lost Wishes, will be out in June 2016.

You can find and contact Jessa here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram

Giveaway
There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of The Summer of Lost Wishes. One winner will win a box of Young Adult beach books (US Only).

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Review: Pick Me by Greg Gormley, Illustrated by Roberta Angaramo

18866460Pick Me by Greg Gormley, Illustrated by Roberta Angaramo

Author: Greg Gormley
Illustrator: Roberta Angaramo
Publication Date: August 24, 2013
Publisher: Parragon
Pages: 32

Synopsis

It is visitor’s day at the animal shelter and Dog is determined to get a very special owner. Who will pick him? A dancer, an artist, a famous entertainer? But try as he might, Dog fails to impress with his messy painting, clumsy juggling and disastrous dancing! No one will pick me now, thinks Dog. No one, that is, until a very ordinary, very special little girl comes along… A touching celebration of kindness and compassion, the values that are truly special.

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