Monday, July 4, 2016

BOOK BLITZ, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Embers (Wings of War #1) by Karen Ann Hopkins


Embers
Karen Ann Hopkins
(Wings of War #1)
Publication date: March 15th 2015
Genres: Dystopian, Paranormal, Young Adult

There are descendants of angels walking among us. Ember is one of them. 
Embers is an epic paranormal adventure/romance about a seventeen year old girl who discovers that she’s immune to fire and any other injury when she’s in a horrific car crash that kills her parents. Following a violent episode with her aunt’s boyfriend, Ember flees Ohio to live with an old relative in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Ember’s exuberance at escaping a bad home life soon turns to trepidation when she learns that she’s a Watcher, a descendant of angels. 
While Ember is instructed about her heritage and the powers that go along with it, she strikes up friendships with two teenagers who live in a frightening walled compound in the forest. Inexplicitly drawn to one of the young men in particular, an impossible romance develops. But it’s cut short when Ember discovers that her new friends are fighting on the opposite side of a war that’s been raging between two factions of Watchers for thousands of years. When the compound’s inhabitants threaten the townspeople, Ember takes action, sealing her fate in the ancient battle of good versus evil, and the grayness in between. Ember is up to the challenge, until she realizes that she isn’t only fighting for the lives of the locals and the souls of her new friends. She may be one of the few champions willing to make a stand for all of mankind as the rapture approaches and the end of days begin. 
Embers is the first novel in the dark and gritty YA paranormal romance series, The Wings of War.
The complete series:
24903355 25086524 28174752
**Grab Embers – book 1 – for only 99 CENTS for a limited time!**
EMBERS EXCERPT:

Sawyer sobered quickly. The obvious hurt on his face made me regret my words.


“You’re right. I’m a monster. I won’t argue on that account. But your kind isn’t squeaky clean either. Just because your ancestors were arch angels doesn’t give you the right to police the world.” His eyes narrowed. “Do you know how many humans have died from wars that Watchers caused?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I lied.


I was already suspicious about Watchers. Ila scared the crap out of me sometimes with her demeanor and righteous words.

But Sawyer didn’t need to know that I questioned the Watchers myself. His opinion didn’t count.

When I turned back to him, ready to change the subject, I wasn’t prepared for the darkening of his already almost black eyes. He leaned in closer and our breaths mingled. In and out I breathed, allowing his familiar woodsy scent to fill my nose. I know Sawyer. Oh, I know him.

Don’t do it, Ember.

But I couldn’t stop.

When he kissed me, my lips parted automatically.

Deep down, I wanted him, desired him madly, and had from the first time I’d seen him in my dreams.

In that instant, I didn’t care that he was a Demon.

Author Bio:
You can visit Karen Ann Hopkins at her website: www.karenannhopkins.com. 
Karen Ann Hopkins resides in northern Kentucky with her family on a farm that boasts a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats. Karen's main job is home schooling the kids, but she finds time to give riding lessons, coach a youth equestrian drill team, and of course, write. She was inspired to create her first book, Temptation, by the Amish community she lived in. The experiential knowledge she gained through her interactions with her neighbors drove her to create the story of the star-crossed lovers, Rose and Noah. 
Karen grew up about a mile from Lake Ontario in Upstate New York. She was bitten by the horse bug at the age of five, and after diligently taking riding lessons for several years, was rewarded with her first horse at the age of eleven. The feisty horse's name was Lady, a Quarter Horse-Thoroughbred cross, who became Karen's steadfast companion. Through the years, the constant force in her life was horses. Eventually, she found her place as a riding instructor herself. Before accepting her fate in the barnyard, she worked a short stint as a paralegal, traveled abroad, and guided tourists on horseback riding tours in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. 
Karen is currently working on her Amish mystery series, Serenity's Plain Secrets, along with the YA paranormal/fantasy series, The Wings of War, and the continuation of the Temptation series. Karen is also excited to announce the Temptation series has been optioned for TV by Pilgrim Studios and is available on Audible. 
"I loved joining Rose and Noah during their journey in the Temptation series by Karen Hopkins."-Katie McGarry, acclaimed YA author 

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BOOK BLITZ WITH GIVEAWAY: True Calling Series by Siobhan Davis

True Calling series banner

This is my stop during the book blitz for the True Calling series by Siobhan Davis! This blitz will run from 28 June till 4 July. The book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The tour schedule can be viewed here

True Calling is a fully completed YA sci-fi dystopian romance series that will appeal to readers who enjoy fast-paced action adventure, sublime worldbuilding, strong character development, and tons of swoon-worthy romance. With over 500 five-star ratings on Goodreads, the True Calling series is currently FREE to download from Kindle Unlimited! If you don't read on KU you can benefit from significant discounts during the blitz - read the first 3 books for 99c!

All books in the series are listed below, and check out the cool giveaway!
- True Calling – free!
- Lovestruck - free during blitz!
- Beyond Reach – 0.99$ during blitz
- True Calling Boxset – all books plus bonus content for only $7.99

True Calling
True Calling (True Calling #1)

By Siobhan Davis
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Blurb:
Welcome to Novo: Your new home in Space

For Ariana Skyee, Planet Novo was everything it promised to be until the authorities introduced "The Calling" as their response to repopulation. Now, all seventeen-year-olds are to participate in this Bachelor-style pageant to find their perfect match, marry, and have children.

But that's not Ariana's only concern. Thanks to the government-sanctioned memory erase, Ariana has no recollection of Zane, the mystery boy who haunts her dreams. Things are further complicated when the pageant commences and her feelings for fellow Cadet Cal Remus intensify. Together, they start to realize not everything about their new home is as it seems.

Entangled in a dangerous web of deceit, Ariana sets out to identify the truth. Conflicted over warnings that Cal isn’t trustworthy and alarmed at the government's increasing interest in her, she doesn’t know where to turn. But her search for the truth comes at a high personal price. When her world implodes, discovering the past shapes her future with devastating consequences.
You can find True Calling on Goodreads

You can get your free copy of True Calling here:
- Amazon
- Amazon UK
- Barnes & Noble
- Kobo
- iBooks

All the books in this series:
True CallingLovestruckBeyond ReachLight of a Thousand StarsDestiny Rising


Lovestruck (True Calling #1.5) by Siobhan Davis
You can find Lovestruck on Goodreads. Get your free copy of Lovestruck from June 28 till July 2 on Amazon or Amazon UK.

Beyond Reach (True Calling #2) by Siobhan Davis
You can find Beyond Reach on Goodreads. You can buy Beyond Reach for only 0.99$ during the blitz on Amazon or Amazon UK.

Light of a Thousand Stars (True Calling #2.5) by Siobhan Davis
You can find Light of a Thousand Stars on Goodreads. You can buy Light of a Thousand Stars on Amazon or Amazon UK.

Destiny Rising (True Calling #3) by Siobhan Davis
You can find Destiny Rising on Goodreads. You can buy Destiny Rising on Amazon or Amazon UK.

Praise for the True Calling series:
"In a word, WOW!! Talk about a fascinating and magnetic tale!" Tome Tender

"With intergalactic battle, love that traverses countries—entire planets—and endless twists and turns, this series deserves a spot on your e-reader." A Leisure Moment

"True Calling is a dystopian sci-fi romance that is FABULOUS!" The Caffeinated Booknerd

"Fresh with original ideas, exciting characters, great storyline, and a realistic love story." Amazon reviewer.

"This series deserves to become as well-known as popular series such as The Maze Runner, The Hunger Games, Divergent, etc... it's that good." Paranormal Books.

“I cannot put my love for Siobhan Davis' True Calling series into words - it's easily one of my favorite series." RamblingB00ks

"This isn't just a book I couldn't put down, but a series I cannot put down. All I can say is wow!" Patricia Hamill. Author-Blogger. Puretextuality

"It's Hunger Games meets Twilight but only better!" Amazon reviewer.


Siobhan
About the Author:

Siobhan Davis writes young adult science fiction fantasy romance books, and she is the author of the Amazon bestselling True Calling series. The first book in her new Saven series was released in December 2015.

A self-professed teenager forever--at least when it comes to books, music, and films, Siobhan is totally addicted to teen fiction and superhero/blockbuster movies. She loves baking, shoes, bags, makeup, anti-wrinkle cream, anything pink, Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, and Robert Pattinson (definitely Team Edward).

Before pursuing a full-time writing career, Siobhan forged a successful corporate career in Human Resources over the last twenty years. She resides in the Garden County of Ireland with her husband and two sons.

You can find and contact Siobhan here:
- Blog

Sample chapters, quotes, reviews and book excerpts are all available to download from the authors website

Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of the True Calling series. These are the prizes you can win:
- Paperbacks of the three books in the Selection trilogy by Kiera Cass
- Paperbacks of the three books in the True Calling series by Siobhan Davis

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:

Sunday, July 3, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: School of the Dead by Avi


BLURB:


From Newbery Medalist Avi comes the spine-tingling story of Tony Gilbert, who must solve a mystery surrounding the ghost of his uncle Charlie.

For most of Tony Gilbert’s life, he always thought of his uncle as “Weird Uncle Charlie.” That is, until Uncle Charlie moves in with Tony and his family. He’s still odd, of course—talking about spirits and other supernatural stuff—but Uncle Charlie and Tony become fast friends. Between eating ice cream and going to the movies, Tony is having more fun with Uncle Charlie than he ever could have imagined.

So when Uncle Charlie dies suddenly, Tony is devastated. So sad, in fact, he starts seeing Uncle Charlie everywhere! Tony recently transferred to the Penda School, where Uncle Charlie went as a kid. The school is eerie enough on its own without his uncle’s ghost making it worse. On top of which, rumors have been circulating about a student who went missing shortly before Tony arrived. Could that and Uncle Charlie’s ghost be related?

Full of twists and turns that get spookier by the chapter, School of the Dead is a fast-paced mystery that Avi’s fans will devour!


REVIEW BY: Michaela, age 12 

MAY CONTAIN SPOILER:

This book is a thrilling adventure! I never thought that someone could make going to school an adventure for me. School is something that I don't want to do, but this author makes going to school sound like something you want to get out of bed at 6:30 am for! At this school, you don't know if you are going to survive the day without seeing a ghost! 

The Penda School has some not so normal children, crazy staff and is downright terrifying! This book is a mix of adventure and mystery all rolled into one. My favorite character is Tony because he'll do anything to help out his true friends. My favorite part is the school dance because I love dressing up! 

Go buy yourself a copy of this book and be prepared to have a great adventure. 

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 11. 

BOOK REVIEW: Wanderlost by Jen Malone


BLURB:

Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe. A romantic and charming YA debut perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Jenny Han.
Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.
Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story.
But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up.

REVIEW BY: Michaela, age 12 years

MAY CONTAIN SPOILER:

This book is lovely and simply amazing. This book is sweet and romantic, yet adventurous. I enjoyed this book very much! When you read it, make sure you clear your schedule because you won't want to put it down! 

The author has a way with her words that makes you enjoy the book so much. I have no idea who my favorite character is because the author makes every character have a chance in the spotlight. My favorite part is when they go to the gazebo from the Sound of Music because it is funny. 

I think if you like sweet and not full on romantic reads, this book will be perfect for you! Remember to fear your schedule though! 

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 17 as there are no inappropriate words or actions. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

GUEST POST: Kari Anders - Designing your Own Book Cover

Designing Your Own Book Cover: Elements of a Cover that Sells


As an indie author, you’ve probably read about the differences between traditional publishing, self-publishing, and hybrid publishing. Some of you may have chosen to self-publish for the advantages it brings over traditional publishing: higher royalties, creative control, faster time to market, global rights retention, and more. Or you may have chosen to self-publish after rounds of unsuccessful queries. Either way, all indie authors need to understand the Elements of a Cover that Sells before finalizing their design and clicking that sweet button on Amazon that allows you to say, I am an author.

I’ve often heard traditionally published authors complain they have little to no say in cover photography or design. Authors begin to imagine what their cover looks like as they are writing their story. They feel they know their story best and therefore have the knowledge needed to design a great cover. Unfortunately, they link those two thoughts incorrectly. Knowing a story well is usually a fault when it comes to creating a cover, which is why traditional publishing houses usually keep authors far away from cover design.

Why? This is a problem best described through the cliché: it’s hard to see the forest through the trees. When authors are asked what their book is about, they often have a hard time answering. Their book is about so many things. They try to describe the main storyline, the subplots, the theme, the lesson, the story arc, the relationships between the characters, the character’s backstory, how the family got their dog, why they moved to San Francisco, all without giving away the ending. Has a friend ever asked you what your book is about? How hard was it to simplify your work into just a sentence or two?

Most authors are sentimental about their book, and rightfully so. They want the cover to do it justice. But they forget that the cover is packaging. It is intended to sell the product. It's not intended to be the product. So, what sells a book? Does the cover need to intrigue readers? Does it need to have colors that pop against a white background? Does the text need to have high contrast? Maybe these are concerns if you are Stephen King or Nora Roberts. But if you are reading this, you are likely not already a New York Times Best Seller, and therefore, these details are secondary. You are trying to get your book read by readers looking through hundreds of thousands of titles in a similar price range in a world where a new book is published on Amazon every five minutes. The truth is, your cover needs to do one thing: give your story away.

The market landscape in books has been changing for a while now. Readers are left to choose from such a wide variety of books, and they usually spend just seconds on a cover or description to determine if they are going to buy it. This doesn't mean you need to be intriguing or stand out from the crowd. It means quite the opposite. Creating mystery around your book by using a unique cover confuses readers; they don't know what you are trying to communicate. Instead of being intrigued and ready to know more, they are ready to move on.

Catching readers’ attention starts with a good description. You want to set the scene very quickly and give as much away as you can while asking as few questions as possible. If your book asks five new questions every time it answers one, this keeps the reader turning pages! If you cover or description does that, it turns your potential readers off.

When you go to write your description, think about the Who, What, When, Where and Why. Who is the narrator? What is the biggest event that happens in the story? Is your book set in WWII? You readers need to know this. These are only some of the questions you need to ask yourself to write a good blurb. You don't need to tell the entire story to catch a reader's attention, but you need to make sure you lay out a clear introduction. You also need to make sure you give a few things away: is your book a love story, does it contain magic or is it considered sci-fi? Does your main character experience abuse, trauma or loss? Not everyone wants to read a book about murder or fairies. And that is okay; your audience is not everyone.

I was talking to a newbie author who was publishing her first book, a memoir about being raped at the hands of her ex-boyfriend. She didn’t want her description to give away that it was a book about rape, with the fear that this would turn off readers. She was convinced that if they were drawn into her book from the beginning, they would be so intrigued by her story, the content of the book would no longer matter. This is a common thread among new authors who were not traditionally readers of that genre before they began writing. Remember this if you remember nothing else: Readers are finicky. If you trick them into reading your book, they will remember and not in a positive way. It creates a breeding ground for poor reviews. Make sure they know what they are getting themselves into. Trust that there is an audience for your book. A broad description doesn't reach a wider audience; instead, it stops you from finding yours.

So how do you write a good description? I can usually tell by the first few chapters what the book’s description should say. By then, I’m developing ideas about the cover image and the mood of the cover. Let me give you an example of a bad blurb versus a good one.

Bad Description: Meet Jenna Lucas, a young twenty-something fashion designer who seems to have life figured out. One day, a letter from a lawyer reveals an inheritance that Jenna wasn't expecting. In a leap of faith, Jenna goes on an adventure of a lifetime in a last ditch effort to find out what this inheritance is really about. During the trip, she meets Pete, a quirky old man that won't leave Jenna alone. Is he as crazy as everyone makes him out to be, or is he the key to uncovering the secret about Jenna's family that's been hiding for so long?


If you read the first description and look at the cover, it's hard to paint a picture. You are given information that may or may not be relevant, and every sentence brings up a question without answering any. It's not the specifics of the cover that are the concern, but the title, cover, and description do not work together to sell potential readers anything.

Good Description: Jenna Lucas was never really close with her aunt, Lauri. The day of her mom’s funeral was the last time Lauri came to visit; effectively separating herself from anything that reminded her of her sister. But when Lauri passes away, Jenna inherits a ticket on the Royal Maritime, a ship that circles the Arctic in an exuberate display of the Northern Lights that only shows itself once every nine years. But the trip was planned for Lauri, and during the cruise everybody Jenna meets was expecting someone else. Join Jenna on the trip of a lifetime, a last chance at knowing her aunt, and discovering the real reason why she left so many years ago.



In the second description, we are given where the story takes place, what is happening during the book, the reason behind the story, and the important characters. It sets the reader up for really knowing what they are getting into, and in turn pulls them into the story. There is a little bit of mystery to the end, essentially offering up stakes for the reader (if you don't read this book, you'll never find out why Jenna's aunt left!). And you can even picture Jenna on the cruise, hearing stories from the different passengers, and piecing together information about her family. But most importantly, the cover, description and title all work together to paint this single picture.

Here is a good test: If you read the cover of a book and you can’t describe it in once sentence, you are in trouble. How would I describe the second book? A woman inherits a ticket on a cruise ship, meets some interesting people and finds out more about her family along the way. I wouldn’t even know where to begin on the first one.

If you are designing your cover yourself, have a friend read the first three chapters and then tell you what they think your book about. Use this information to write a strong, descriptive blurb that really paints a picture of the story, and use that picture to create a cover. From there, your title should pop out. These three pieces should work together to sell your potential readers a single story. If you are hiring a book cover artist, make sure you write your description first and let the artist work to create a cover that fits.

BIO:

Kari Anders is a book cover designer who works mostly with self-published authors and small publishing houses. She worked in freelance design for six years before attending graduate school, and now teaches design and runs freeebookcovers.com. All of Kari's covers are designed as CreateSpace Wraps for only $75, with the eBook version included for free. Her site specializes in Pre-Made Book Covers, but she also does interior design and custom covers.

COVER REVEAL: Shaman's Curse (Vampire's Bane #2) by Suzannah Daniels



Shaman’s Curse 
Suzannah Daniels
(Vampire’s Bane #2)
Publication date: June 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Paranormal, Young Adult

Maylin Kavanagh is on a mission.
After escaping the Warwick Vampires, she’s sworn that the only thing that can stand between her and reaching St. Louis for the next phase of The Program is death itself. 
Determined to discover her purpose, her allegiance is with the human race. But the humans aren’t the only ones who want her. 
Creed’s people claim that she’s the key to their prophecy and the cure for their curse. So why did he try to kill her? 
And if that weren’t enough to ponder, she fears the vampires will hunt her—not for her blood, but for revenge. 
As Maylin tries to find her place in a world filled with the supernatural, she realizes it’s not always easy to recognize the lies from the truth, the friends from the enemies. And maybe the hardest thing of all is being able to reconcile her head with her heart.
But it’s a fight for survival, and Maylin intends to win.
SHAMAN'S CURSE SUZANNAH DANIELS FULL JACKET FOR SHARING
Sequel to:
23499821


Author Bio:
Suzannah Daniels has had an affinity for words for as long as she can remember. She grew up in North Georgia with four brothers, so she learned at an early age to admire snakes and motorcycles. When she wasn't pestering her brothers, she could usually be found reading or writing. 
She is the author of the Whiskey Nights series (new adult contemporary romance), the Dangerous Trilogy (young adult contemporary romance), Vampire's Bane (young adult paranormal), Ghostly Encounter (young adult paranormal romance), and Viking's Embrace (historical romance). 
Currently, she lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee with her husband of twenty-nine years. Her children live nearby. The family pets include a Lab mix named Achilles, a Basset Hound named Annabelle, and a Shih Tzu named MooMoo. 
Visit her website at www.SuzannahDaniels.com. 

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