Monday, April 30, 2012

SPRING FLING GIVEAWAY HOP

 Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Eve's Fan Garden

What's up for grabs...

#1
The mind-blowing conclusion to the chilling NUMBERS trilogy: Because everyone wants to live forever.

No matter what it takes, Sarah's desperate to escape from the numbers.

Always numbers. Sarah loves Adam, but can't bear the thought that every time he looks in her eyes, he can see her dying; can see her last day.

It's 2029. Two years since the Chaos. Sarah and Adam are struggling to survive. She knows he always envisioned them together "'til death do us part." But will a child come between them? The child she loves. The child he saved.

Little Mia was supposed to die that New Year's Day. The numbers don't lie. But somehow she changed her date. Mia's just a baby, oblivious to her special power. But ruthless people are hunting her down, determined to steal her secret.

Because everyone wants to live forever.--Goodreads

#2
KYLIE: Tijuana WHAT? I should be putting the finishing touches on my valedictorian speech. Graduation is TODAY, and is this a wedding band on my finger.

MAX: It all started with Kylie's laptop and a truck full of stolen electronics Okay, it was kind of hot, the way she broke us out like some chick in an action movie. But now we're stranded in TIjuana. WIth less than twenty-four hours before graduation. Awesome.

WILL: Saving Kylie Flores from herself is kind of a full-time occupation. Luckily, I, Will Bixby, was born for the job. And when I found out she was stuck in Mexico with dreamy Max Langston, sure, I agreed to bring thier passports across the border--but there's no reason to rush back home right away. This party is just getting started.

LILY: I just walked in on my boyfriend, Max Langston, canoodling with Kylie Flores, freak of the century. Still, I can't completely hold it against him. He NEEDS me. It's even clearer now. And I'm not giving him up without a fight.--Goodreads

#3
Oct. 11th, 1943—A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

Harrowing and beautifully written, Elizabeth Wein creates a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other. Code Name Verity is an outstanding novel that will stick with you long after the last page.--Goodreads

Friday, April 27, 2012

My POV: Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Hardcover, US, 374 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by Harper Collins
Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile - everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.--Goodreads

Rating:   

My POV
What an ending! I gasped and furiously started flipping pages because there just HAD to be more..uugghh! There is no way I can peacefully wait for the next installment of this series. I must get my hands on it ASAP!!

Under The Never Sky will keep you on your toes from beginning to end, leaving you breathless and your heart pounding like crazy. This story was definitely something new for me. The story line was refreshing the characters unforgettable. I want so much more of it. This is a world of not only self discovery but love, family and betrayal.

We meet Aria first. A girl who has lived her whole 17 years of life in a safe, disease free dome with 6000 people. She knows nothing of despair, pain, hunger or even love. Not in the beginning. Then a she is cast out for events that are not her fault which leads her to meet Perry. A savage she calls him. A primitive being who has acute abilities suited for his life in the real world. The relationship between these two is very stained and cold at first. Serving only as a means to an end. But as they spend weeks together both Aria's and Perry live through many unfortunate events leading them to have an unspoken understanding and acceptance of one another.

Brilliant, exciting and just wonderful. I can't say enough good things about this book. If you like dystopians then this is one book you can't miss out on. I promise it will leave you wanting more! 

Quote
“She'd survived the outside. She'd survived the Aether and cannibals and wolves. She knew how to love now, and how to let go. Whatever came next, she would survive it, too” 
***
 “She absorbed the terror and beauty of him and his world. Of every moment over the past days. All of it, filling her up like the first breath she'd ever taken. And never had she loved life more.” 

Other Books in the Series
Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky #2) 
Links
Veronica's Blog

Trailer
 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Blog Tour: My POV of The Summer of No Regrets by Katherine Grace Bond


Paperback, 304 pages
Expected publication: May 1st 2012 by Sourcebooks Fire
Is he or isn't he? Brigitta's best friend is convinced that Brigitta's new crush, Luke, is actually egotistical teen heartthrob Trent Yves, hiding from his fans in their tiny town. But Brigitta actually likes Luke, whereas Trent is an arrogant jerk. As the two spend the summer together raising orphaned cougar cubs, Brigitta still can't be sure of his true identity. But then again, since her grandparents' death, her father's sudden urge to give away all their possessions and become a shaman, and her own awkward transition from girlhood into a young woman, what can she be sure of?--Goodreads

Rating:

My POV
Brigitta is trying to find out where she fits in in this world among her family and friends. She constantly feels like an outsider because her family is not like others. Her family follows a “free spirited“ kind of philosophy and is very nature oriented. Living at The Center (a completely independent globally-oriented dwelling unit made from materials indigenous to the planet) in which her parents build on their land in order to share with other free thinkers/soul searchers she finds it very difficult to fit in with others her age. Not that it’s horrible at home but she has become socially awkward with others her age. Being home schooled and not having many friends her dealing mechanism has lead her to have a big imagination. 

She never though in a million years that anything that she conjured up in her imagination might come true. So when she accidentally falls in the lap of Luke Geoffrey a hottie who suspiciously looks exactly like the bad boy teen actor Trent Yves she does a double take and questions her sanity. As time goes on and her suspicions are on high alert each time they are together (as friends) she finds herself saying “No he’s not Trent” because Luke is nothing like Trent. Luke is pensive, kind and thoughtful. The more she thinks about it Trent and Luke are as opposite as night and day…mostly. As time goes on things seem to fall into place. Telling herself that maybe her imagination is playing tricks on her and that Luke really might be Trent, Brigitta finds time stamped pictures to serve as evidence against that thought. Evidence that proves that one person can’t be in two places at once. But this is not the only thing Brigitta has had on her mind.

Dealing single handedly with saving the lives of cougar cubs that she and Luke found is extremely tiring and draining.  Along with feeling stressed and dreadful after having a fall out with her best friend Natalie as well as Luke disappearing for days at a time then also wishing her father would be like he used to. If only he would comfort her, be there for her like he used to. This all leaves her feeling unbearably lonely.  But her father is not the same person he used to be before his mother died, Natalie won‘t talk to her and there is no way to get in contact with Luke.  At this point she feels the only way to find comfort and solace is to do something extreme. Which leads her to travel on her own to her grandparents place which is a plane ride away, alone.  Once there she gets more answers than what she was originally looking for. Even one’s about Luke.

The Summer of No Regrets is funny and hopeful but also provokes deeper thinking.  The last few chapters got very emotional for me but it all ended well and I’m very happy with the way things finished up.  This book will have you laughing and crying so make sure to add it to your TBR pile. This is a good summer read!
Quote
"Ahh," said Natalie. "You sure you don't want him?"
"That is so cheap," I said. "Can't you see how cheap that is?"
"Do I care how cheap that is?" said Natalie. "Look at him, Brigitta! You want a religious experience?" There's your god."
*****
"Girls aren't supposed to cry when boys send them flowers," he teased, like the old Dad would have.
"What if they're the roses of consolations?"
Dad perched on the edge o the sofa and gave me a quick hug.
"Don't worry, sweetheart, he'll be back."
"If he's Trent Yves I don't know if I want him back."

Links

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Blog Tour: Angel Evolution Guest Post & Giveaway


The Road to Publishing Angel Evolution

The road to publishing Angel Evolution (and the entire Evolution Trilogy really) was definitely a bumpy one, full of twists, turns, highs, and lows.  One of the biggest highs was seeing my finished covers for the first time, and the biggest low was receiving a number of rejections from potential agents, but I’ll get to all that soon.

My story really starts when I was a young boy and my mom used to tell me stories.  She has an amazing imagination and could make up amazing stories without even thinking about them in advance.  The craziest characters and plot twists would just come to her, and me and my brother and sister loved listening to her for hours.  I really owe my love of reading to her.  Once I could read on my own, I started devouring books, reading series like The Lord of the Rings, and Hardy Boys mysteries dozens of times.  Then my dad got me onto Agatha Christie and once more I swept through his collection like wildfire.  

For years I dreamed of writing my own stories, but always believed I needed the perfect idea. Many years later, I was still searching for my perfect idea while working a boring office job as an accountant.  It wasn’t my true passion—never will be.  The YA revolution hit and I began swallowing as many paranormal romance, epic fantasy, and dystopian books (The Hunger Games was my favorite) as I could.  But still I didn’t have my perfect idea.

I moved to Australia for work and found my wife, Adele, who helped change my whole perspective.  She encouraged me to go with any idea and start writing, so when I had three weeks off in between jobs, I started writing a book about angels.  I had a very rough outline in my head, but the story began to take a life of its own as soon as my fingers hit the keyboard.  Writing came easy to me—I never suffered from writer’s block the whole way through the series.  

Before I started my new job, I had written more than half my first novel and I was determined to finish the rest while working.  I committed myself to a strict 2 hours of writing a day—half hour on the ferry to work, an hour at lunch, and half hour on the way home.  I stuck to it and finished Angel Evolution a few weeks later.  I researched the publishing process and decided to go the traditional route, querying dozens of agents.  I got rejected at least 30 times, which was hard to take.  At times I got a bit down, but I kept on writing, which is the biggest advice I can give any aspiring authors.  My wife and family were very encouraging in this regard.  

Next, I took a break from the angel stuff and I started writing a children’s book, which I finished in three weeks.  While still querying agents for Angel Evolution, I wrote Demon Evolution in four weeks.  My writing process was becoming more refined, more structured and I could see my writing steadily improving.  I got some feedback from an agent and further improved my writing.  I took another break and wrote a standalone YA paranormal suspense novel.  But I kept coming back to the angels and finished Archangel Evolution in four weeks, about 10 months after starting Angel Evolution.  

The Evolution Trilogy was finished!  But I still didn’t have an agent, nor any leads in getting my series published the traditional way.  So I decided to self-publish.  I had a number of friends and acquaintances review my work for typos and provide feedback, which I took on board.  I also read each of my books 6 times (3 times out loud) to uncover typos and errors.  

While I was editing and revising, I hired a cover artist, Claudia McKinney at phatpuppyart, who took my wife’s artistic concept and brought them to life.  My friends at Winkipop Designs took the covers and made them professional with custom font and my own symbol for the series.  When I got my first proof from CreateSpace in the mail I was so excited.  A year’s worth of hard work had finally paid off in something tangible that I could hold and give to people!  

I used CreateSpace to publish in print via Amazon.com, and Smashwords and Kindle to publish in all major e-book formats.  The hours I spent formatting were some of the most painful, but paid off when my digital and print copies came out looking professional and error-free.  I started selling them and I got my first few reviews, which was awesome!  

A couple hundred reviews later, the reviews have been mixed which is fine and expected for a first novel.  But the reviews on the second and third books have gotten steadily better, which confirms I am improving with each book. I’ve had to grow some pretty thick skin, but I’ve come to realize that everyone has a different opinion and even bestselling books get negative feedback.  I never get angry at negative feedback anymore, even if it’s malicious.  At the end of the day, you have to focus on being positive and just keep on writing and learning and remembering that you aren’t the best writer in the universe, at least not yet haha!

On that note, there are a few key things I’ve learned throughout the process that I’d like to share with anyone who is considering writing and publishing:
  • Write every day.  Even if it’s only a couple hundred words, it keeps you in your story and makes it easier to pick it up and continue writing.  Plus, you’re less likely to forget something and change the storyline or details partway through.
  • If you can’t afford a copyeditor (which I couldn’t at the time), get a few eagle-eyed people to review for silly errors.  Read it yourself at least five times too!  No one likes a book they paid for to have a bunch of typos.
  • Use independent beta readers!  This is something I didn’t do for Angel Evolution and now wish I did.  I asked friends and family to read and provide feedback and I made some good changes from it, but it wasn’t enough.  Make friends on sites like Goodreads and ask people to read your unpublished manuscript to provide feedback, particularly around character development, the beginning, the ending, what annoyed them, etc.  I wish I would have done this so I could have avoided some of the negative reviews from my readers.

There are a million other little things I learned but these are the big ones.  I am so lucky that I will soon be able to start writing full time.  I have 6 books that I haven’t published that I’ll be releasing over the course of the next year, with many more planned, so I look forward to taking my writing career to the next level.  Thanks to all my early readers of Angel Evolution (even the critics), and I look forward to seeing what you all think of my new dystopian series, which I hope to publish in the middle of 2012.  As always, I appreciate any questions, comments, and feedback on my Facebook page, blog, Twitter, or Goodreads.  See below for links for how you can connect with me!  Finally, a special thanks to Trini, for allowing me the opportunity to do this post on her amazing site!

David Estes
Author of the Evolution Trilogy
http://davidestesbooks.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Estes/130852990343920
https://twitter.com/#!/davidestesbooks
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3167424
 
Angel Evolution Now Available @

Monday, April 16, 2012

Taste Book Trailer and Excerpt Reveal

Taste Blurb:
At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans.

When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.


  Taste Excerpt

I sat up and followed Calixta’s gaze upward. I rubbed my eyes. I didn’t know what
I was seeing at first. A statue? ­My brain refused to snap together coherent thoughts. I
didn’t realize I’d fallen so close to one of the garden benches until I stared up at the boy
that sat on one. He was strikingly beautiful. His tumble of blonde hair curled just above
his sculpted cheekbones. He wore a silk shirt and a loosened cravat, like he’d become
bored while dressing and decided to leave himself in disarray. His ivory skin and
frozen position was what had me mistaking him for something carved from marble by
Michelangelo. Then he sighed—a lonely, breathy proof of life. If I had to imagine what
Lucifer looked like before he fell from heaven, the boy on the bench would certainly
fulfill that image. My brain told me I had to look away, but I couldn’t.

“Luka,” Calixta said again, her voice unsure, almost nervous. It no longer
contained the steel and bite she had threatened me with, which made me wonder who
the boy was.

He leaned on his hands and crossed his legs, all the while keeping his eyes fixed
on the night sky. His movements spoke of elegance and control. I’d encountered many
people with breeding before, but his took on the air of arrogance and self­assuredness of
someone used to getting what he wanted when he wanted it.

I only realized I’d been holding my breath when my lungs protested. I exhaled.
My heart sputtered and restarted with a vengeance. Luka tore his gaze away from the
stars and settled it on me. I’d expected pitch­black irises, like the other Night Students,
but blue ice stared back at me.

“Human,” he whispered.

He reached out, and with a finger, followed an invisible trail down my cheek. I
stiffened. His touch, cooler than Demitri’s, caused warm sparks to blossom on my face.
He lifted his finger to his lips and licked its tip. He might as well have licked me from the
way my body shivered.

Luka’s curious gaze held mine. “Leave us,” he said, but not to me.

“But—” Calixta protested like a spoiled child.
He spoke in a language I hadn’t heard before, remaining calm yet firm. The words
had a rolling cadence I couldn’t quite follow, like rumbling thunder in the distance. They
contained a harsh sensuality. The consonants were hard and the vowels were long and
lilting.

Footsteps retreated behind me.

Luka reached out again.

It took me a minute to realize he wanted to help me up. I hesitated. He smiled.
I smiled back timidly and took his hand, completely dazzled. Even with my uniform
soaked from melted snow, I didn’t feel cold—all my attention was on him and the way
his callused hand felt on mine. Without moving much from his seated position, he
helped me stand.

“What’s your name?” he asked. He had a voice like a familiar lullaby. It filled my
heart to the brim with comfort.

I swallowed and tried to stop gawking. “Phoenix.”

“The bird that rose from the ashes.” Luka bent his head and kissed the back of my

hand. “It’s a pleasure meeting you.”

My cheeks warmed. My head reeled, not knowing what to think. I couldn’t
understand why I felt drawn to him. And the strange connection frightened me.
From behind, someone gripped my arms and yanked me away before I could sort
out the feelings Luka inspired in me. I found myself behind a towering figure yet again.
Recognizing the blue­black silk for hair tied at the nape, relief washed over me. Calixta
hadn’t come back to finish me off.

Demitri’s large hand wrapped around my wrist. Unlike the night before, no calm
existed in his demeanor. He trembled like a junky in need of a fix. The coiled power in
his tense muscles vibrated into me.

“What are you doing here?” Demitri asked.

I didn’t know he’d spoken to me until I saw his expressionless profile. I sighed.

“Phoenix.”

I flinched. The ruthless way he said my name punched all the air out of me. “You
owe me answers,” I said with as much bravado as I could muster.

“I owe you nothing.” He glared. “In fact, you owe me your life.”

“I don’t think so.”

Ignoring my indignation, he faced Luka, who’d remained seated on the bench
during my exchange with Demitri. “Why is she with you, Luka?”

“I wasn’t going to taste her, if that’s what you’re implying,” Luka said. “Although,
she is simply delicious. I wouldn’t mind if you left us alone.”

There it was again. Taste. The word that kept coming up between these Night
Students and I was connected to it in an increasingly uncomfortable way. To taste meant
to sample, but what? My flesh? They had to be joking because the alternative wasn’t
funny.

“The sins of the father …” Demitri left his sentence unfinished.

Luka’s smile shifted into a snarl. “Obey my command.” His chin lifted. “Kneel.”

Demitri’s stance went rigid. His grip tightened around my wrist.

Okay, weird just got weirder. Why would Luka want Demitri to kneel before him?
I thought back to Eli and the others bowing to Demitri when he questioned them, but
they didn’t kneel. Seriously? Were they all living on a different planet or something?

“Kneel.” Luka’s detestable smirk made his features sinister rather than angelic.

The real Lucifer: a fallen angel.

Without letting go of my wrist, Demitri knelt down on one knee and bowed his
head, his free hand flat at the center of his chest. “Your command has been obeyed,” he
said formally.

Luka nodded once.

Demitri stood up and pulled me toward the school without telling me where we
were going. Not having the time to thank Luka for saving me from Calixta, I risked a
glance back. Luka smiled at me. His smile spoke of whispers, secrets, and promises to be
shared on a later date. 



The Trailer
 
 Song Credits: "Hunger" © Noelle Pico.
Full Download available at http://sheisnoelle.bandcamp.com
 
 


Kate Evangelista
Author Bio:

When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn't going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master's courses in creative writing. In the end, she realized to be a writer, none of what she had mattered. What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of her computer, writing. Today, she has four completed Young Adult novels.

Author Website: www.kateevangelista.com
Twitter: @KateEvangelista
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kate-Evangelista/165693410143202
Find Taste on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13484226-taste
Crescent Moon Press page for Taste: http://crescentmoonpress.com/books/Taste.html

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Blog Tour: My POV of A Closer Look by Karen DellaCava


304 pages
Published by Westside Books
 Freshman year is going well for Cassie, a standout sprinter who is about to move up to varsity; school has been fine, her best friend Tara is also running track, and Tommy, that cute sax player she likes has asked her to come see his band rehearse. But in a matter of weeks, Cassie has a secret she is trying to hide from everyone. Her hair has started falling out, and she s doing everything possible to keep it from showing. When her parents tell her it happened to her once before, at age 3, she s horrified, and a trip to the dermatologist confirms what she has been afraid of: that all of her hair may fall out. She has alopecia, and there s no known effective treatment. Cassie eventually gets a wig when she can no longer disguise the truth, and she finally confides in Tommy about it. But when he starts being standoffish and avoids her, she feels betrayed. Then, at a track meet, Robin, her rival on the team, exposes her secret to the whole crowd. With her worst fears realized, will Cassie ever be able to face her classmates, her teammates, and most of all, Tommy?--Goodreads
Rating:

My POV
Inspiring to the very end! A Closer Look takes us through Cassie's very emotional journey of living with alopecia. A disease that causes mild to total hair loss.

This is Cassie's freshmen year in high school and things are look bright especially when she see's "first kiss" Tommy at the Battle of the Bands. Reuniting with a crush seem like the perfect start for the new year but her alopecia starts to progress pretty quickly and she has no clues what to do. Thank goodness for her best friends Tara! Through thick and thin this girl sticks with Cassie. But, when all is said and done and you can't deal with your own situation you will miss out on life by letting other dictate how you live. This is what Cassie learns by the end of this book. It was great to see her over come so many obstacles. Very inspiring!

I think it's hard enough going through high school without having any kind of illness that effects your appearance and this kind of disorder almost make life unbearable. Reading this story brings to my attention how brave the real survivors of the this disease have to be. It's very touching and a very good example of the saying "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger".

Quote
"Honey, I know it's hard. But we can't always control what happens to us. the only thing we can control is who we react to the situation. You're going to be all right, Cassie. I know it."
*****
You're incredibly brave, honey. I didn't realize how far this had gone."
*****
"Alopecia is an autoimmune disease..." "Hair follicles are mistakenly attacked by a person's own immune system. Four and a half million people in the country have it. At present, there is no cure."

Links
Karen DelleCava.com

Message from the Author
 I'm giving away a signed copy of the book plus a SURPRISE GIFT (but do not open it until page 153) at the end of The {Teen} Book Scene blog tour.

Visit my website www.karendellecava.com for complete details for how to enter to win!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Blog Tour: My POV of Blood Born by Jamie Manning & Giveaway!!

Hardcover, 360 pages
Expected publication: April 24th 2012 by Pendrell Publishing
 Waking up in a coffin hungry for blood is only the beginning for sixteen-year-old Ava Blue. When Chance Caldon, the hottie who dug her up, tells her that she’s half vampire, Ava’s world really turns upside down.

Half vamp? Ava can’t believe it...she doesn't even know what that means! Not until Aldric, a thousand-year-old vampire, shows up and tells her it’s true--and that he’s the one who turned her. Then Ava truly begins to believe what she is. Now, she has to deal with a sudden and powerful bloodlust, the desire to see Aldric dead, and her growing crush for Chance. Ava knows she's a monster now, she can feel it; and her life is over.

But redemption isn’t lost. Aldric is giving her a chance to regain her humanity. The price? Kill a hundred vampires, or remain a bloodsucker forever.

So Ava sets out to get her life back. But killing vampires begins a battle that could destroy everything she is working toward. In the end, Ava's decisions will forever change her life and the lives of those she loves.--Goodreads

Rating:

My POV
Ok this book left me hanging so bad. I have to see what happens next!

Blood Born has it's own unique take on Vampires. One that is more humanizing that others (that I've read) in the fact the they can go out during the day under sunlight(no sparkling;) and they live out in the open with the rest of humanity within communities (well some). Other than that we don't get too much more information about the vampires in this book. No history, no back ground, and no structure. But, what we do get is Ava and her journey to discover what she is. Because she is no ordinary vampire. She is a hybrid.

Avaline "Ava" Blue has awoken into a whole new world that she knows nothing about without any memory of who she was before which leaves her with a million question. Questions that can not and will not be answered right away as she would like. Thankfully she has someone to help her. Chance Caldon. The boy who dug her out of her grave. A human with a mysterious background and a more secretive ability. These two have great chemistry but the tension between them is pulled so tight at times it's nerve wrecking. As time goes on and they become more than just friends things take a turn for the worst. Vampires attack and take Chance hostage. Then Ava is left to make the hardest decision of her whole existence.

Full of adrenaline packed action and mystery this book left me with so many questions and such a powerful desire to find out what happens next that I was literately speechless for about an hour. I was trying to figure out if I should beg Jamie to give me a hint as to what happens next. But I took a walk and calmed down. That is when I came to the realizations that of course he will tell me nothing and SADLY I will just have to wait until next year for the next book..uuuhhgg! This was one of my most exciting reads so far this year.

Links

Trailer



eBooks NOW available @
Amazon.com
B&N.com

Make sure to check out Good Choice Reading tomorrow for the next stop on the blog tour.
Blog Tour Schedule Here! Check out all the giveaways!

What is up for grabs here on my blog......
eBook Copy of Blood Born!! 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Road To Rapture

The Road to Rapture

Like many authors, my path to mainstream publication has been somewhat rocky. I’ve had to sidestep some rather large boulders and avoid a few snares. Once, I even got trapped by quicksand.
Even though I’d always had aspirations to be a writer, I didn’t immediately pursue it as a serious career option. Why? Because let’s face it – it’s very difficult to make a living as a full time writer (especially now when I have a mortgage to pay and a wife and small child to support).

So I put thoughts of writing on the back burner and concentrated on surviving in the real world. Of course, I’ve never been terribly practical so my idea of surviving in the real world consisted of picking a career with very few practical applications and hardly any job opportunities.

After a brief stint as an officer cadet in the army, I decided that archaeology was my thing, primarily because I was really interested in all things ancient and also because I’d watched Indiana Jones far too many times. What a glamorous life, I thought. Traveling the world, having adventures, fleeing from bow wielding savages – that sort of thing. The reality was altogether different.

So I did my undergrad in ancient history and archaeology and then went on to complete my Masters in the latter. Sure, I went on digs and had a lot of fun fossicking around in the dirt but what about adventures? What about world shaking discoveries? Nope. Nada. I spent a lot of time in labs though counting shells and examining use-wear on stone tools.

To be honest, I didn’t mind the times fiddling about with stone tools. How to make a living out of it though?  I know! I’ll work at a museum. So, off to another university to study how to be a museum curator. When I finished, I got a job working at an historic house museum. Interesting but I still felt strangely unfulfilled.

It was at that point that I decided to travel. I arrived in London having no idea what I was going to do. I strolled up to the British Museum thinking I’d get some amazing and fascinating job that would make all my friends jealous. Instead, they offered me a job in administration (I can touch type) with a promise that the first junior assistant curator role would be mine. At the same time, my brother, who worked for a recruitment firm in London, urged me to apply for a job recruiting I.T staff. I was young and stupid and the job paid three times as much as the one at the museum. Guess which one I chose?

So, I worked in recruitment for four years. Didn’t like it much and to be honest, I don’t think I was really that good at it. I traveled a lot – around Europe and the UK and started to think more about writing. I wrote about my adventures and my friends said I should give the whole writing thing another go. While this thought was percolating, my brother decided to return to the southern hemisphere (via Africa) where he planned to set up his own company. Did I want in? Yes, I said, mostly because I love my brother and liked adventures.

The recruitment company was doing well but I still felt dissatisfied. I started working at Sydney University in the evenings with a view to choosing a topic for my PhD thesis. Eventually though, I realized that even if I finished my doctorate, it was still very difficult to get a decent job.

At that point, I realized that yes, I did still want to be a writer. I sold my share of the company to my brother and took a year off. I retreated to the country and rented the wooden cabin my brother had just bought. This was the life, I thought. Writing – check. Wooden cabin – check. To all appearances, I was a proper writer. Completed novel – check. Well sort of. It took me a year but I finally finished it and then started shopping it around. You know how much interest it generated from publishers and agents? Zilch. This writing gig, I decided, wasn’t easy.

Eventually, I ended up publishing it myself but I was no closer to becoming a full-time novelist. I then decided to become a teacher. I loved learning and I figured I could impart this passion on children. Besides, I could still try and live the dream in the holidays. So back to University.
Shortly thereafter, I got married to my lovely wife, Rose (who has always been my biggest fan). I taught. I wrote. I finished my second novel (a middle grade one) and got myself an agent who shopped it around to publishers for two years. Publishing deals: zero.

Around this time, I met a friends’ sister in law at a party who was an editor at Penguin. She knew I was a writer and a teacher and asked me to submit some ideas for a series she was working on. To my surprise, she accepted it and this became my first properly published book. 

This led to many more – mostly with educational tie-ins. My publishers these days include not only Penguin but Macmillan, Cengage, Oxford University Press, Iversen and Pearson. I enjoyed (and still do) writing these children’s books but they weren’t novels which I was passionate about.
My first novel was adult sci-fi and to be fair, pretty silly. My second, whilst a little more serious, possibly suffered from my lack of writing experience (although my publisher for Pear Jam books is currently considering it after I’ve finished the Rapture trilogy).

Then I started reading about the Rapture. I was fascinated. I was hooked. If only I could turn the concept into a novel (which had been done before, of course, with the Left Behind series). I needed a twist though – something different. I threw in elements I loved – demons, swords etc and suddenly I realized that I had an idea that worked (for me at least).

I wrote half of it and sent it off to a professional manuscript assessor. She loved it - realizing immediately what my target audience and market was.

I finished it and armed with her glowing report, I started sending it off to agents and publishers. I had interest from agents in NY and L.A. I sent it off to a big publisher here who loved it and forwarded to her colleague in NY (I never heard back). Even Stephanie Meyer’s agent requested it. Publishing deals: still zero. I was still getting partial and full requests when I got – to quote Al Capone – an offer I couldn’t refuse.

My manuscript assessor (Jill Marshall - an internationally best-selling author in her own right) had decided to set up her own publishing house. She’d already signed a dozen authors. She wanted to publish Rapture and not only that – wanted to make it a trilogy. How could I possibly say no? Well, I couldn’t obviously.

Around the same time, my wife and I received some bad news. We’d been trying for a baby for several years. We’d tried everything but the end result was no baby. We’d basically been told it wasn’t going to happen. So we gave up. And then… around the same time I finished Rapture, Rose told me she was pregnant. The timing was nothing short of miraculous. Jack is ten months old now (at this precise moment, he is tugging on my leg) and I didn’t believe that I could love anyone more than my wife.
So here I am over a year later. The second book (Tribulation) is done and out in October. The third book (Apocalypse) I hope to complete by the end of the year.

I still enjoy teaching. Even if I was in the position to write full-time (I’m not there yet), I would still teach. But I need to write. My goal now is to write two novels per year. They may not be any good but time will tell. I’m a much more efficient writer now. Given some space, I can finish a novel in a couple of months. Why? Because time is much more precious now. I work hard at my day job and write in the weekends and holidays, trying desperately to fit some quality family time in.

What has this journey taught me? What advice can I give to up and coming writers? Persevere. Develop a thick skin. Keep writing. And writing. And writing. You’ll get better (I like to think I have). Being a writer isn’t easy but the rewards and satisfaction of seeing your novel on the shelves in bookshops is perhaps one of the best sensations in life.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

My POV: Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward

Hardcover, 572 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by NAL
Ever since the death of his shellan, Tohrment is a heartbroken shadow of the vampire leader he once was. Brought back to the Brotherhood by a self-serving fallen angel, he fights again with ruthless vengeance- and is unprepared for a new tragedy. Seeing his beloved in dreams—trapped in a cold, desolate netherworld—he turns to the angel to save his former mate, only to despair at the path he himself must take to set her free. As war with the lessers rages, and a new clan of vampires vies for the Blind King’s throne, Tohr struggles between an unforgettable past, and a future that he doesn’t know he can live with… but can’t seem to turn away from.--Goodreads
Rating:   
Sex-o-meter: 
Drug-o-meter:

My POV
First of all what can I say about J.R. Ward that has not been said already. She is AWESOME! She is GREAT! Writing is what was born to do! And as far as The Black Dagger Brotherhood...I'm always left speechless,flushed and desperately wanting after each book. I can't get enough..fast enough!

Lover Reborn is Tohr's story.(haleluha!!) I think this was the most anticipated book of the series so far (at least for me)and it was so worth the wait. Everyone makes an appearance in this book. Well, you get to see all the brothers in some form or another in this book. I was so excited to them again! Tohr's story eased the craving for BDB a bit but now I'm all worked up and waiting for the next book. I hope Qhuinn's book is next!

There was so many emotions watching Tohr transform back into the man he once was but I think the bittersweet feeling was the strongest. To know that in order to save your beloved you have to let her go is such a torturous situation. I could feel how much he loved his shellan and how devastating it was for Tohr to think of moving on.

There is so much I want to mention but Im scared I will ruin it for some of you so I will keep this a simple a possible. I was surprised as to who Tohr ends up with. I never pictured her as a candidate for one of the brothers but by the end of the book I was please how everything turned out and I can't wait to see them in future books.

We get to see John (he's my favorite brother)and his shellan Xhex go through some intense issues which was very nerve wrecking to watch but also so good. And then we have Qhuinn and Blay. Now, let me just say that if their story doesn't come out next I'm going to be crying my eyes out and eat tons of chocolate. These two have so much to work on and work through it leaves me shaking my head. They deserve to be happy dam it! So anyway this book is almost 600 pages and I can't go into detail about the whole book but know this. This was a AWESOME addition to the BDB world and I can't wait to see what happens next!

Quote
"This isn't an apology. This is about waking up and reaching for you and wishing you were next to me. It's about ordering extra food for you, and then remembering that you're not around to feed it to. It's about the fact that even as I was packing up my dead mate's clothes, I had you in my mind , too. --Tohr

"Fine. Unless you agree to home it, we will rock the dance moves." To prove the point, the moron liked his palms behind his head and started doing something obscene with his hips. Which was backed up by a series of, "Uh-huh, uh-huh, ohhhh, yeeeeeaaahh, who's your daddy..."--Hollywood

Other Books in the Series