Friday, September 22, 2017

BOOK BLITZ w/INTERVIEW - YA HISTORICAL ROMANCE - Running with Wolves by Summer Lane

Running with Wolves 
by Summer Lane
Publication date: September 22nd 2017
Genres: Adventure, Historical, Romance, Young Adult
BLURB
Alaska, 1898
“They always come back,” she whispers. “Always.”

He spilled their blood. Now, she’s out for revenge.

Jenna Renee is a woman wronged. When her adoptive parents are brutally murdered by an outlaw named Conroy Parker and his gang of thugs, they take everything from her: her family, her happiness, and her money.

Determined to bring Conroy and his boys to justice, she hires a gruff but dangerous gun-slinging trapper and guide, Jeremiah Black, to help her hunt Conroy down.

But there is more to Alaska than meets the eye.

The cold touch of the arctic winter is dangerous, and the corruption of Conroy Parker and his comrades runs deep. The tundra is unforgiving, and so are the wolves. Nothing is as at seems.

If the wilderness doesn’t kill Jenna, the pack will. Revenge comes with a price, and so does love. There will be no mercy….only the hunt.

A romantic adventure from #1 bestselling author Summer Lane, set amidst the gritty and awe-inspiring setting of Alaska during the last great Gold Rush.
Buy Link: Amazon
Interview with Bestselling Author Summer Lane
(Courtesy of Writing Belle Publishing)
This is your first historical fiction. How different was the writing process, as opposed to the past 17 novels you’ve written – which have all been post-apocalyptic?
A historical novel is more strictly attached to the time period in which it takes place. The way people talk, dress, act, and even eat are different than how we do all of those things modernly. I had to do a lot of research, of course. I have been slowly working on this book for roughly 2 years, when the idea originally occurred to me. I have read so many books about Alaska…toward the end of the writing process, I was devouring whole college textbooks and double fact-checking everything I had until I was entirely sure my eyes were going to fall out of my head.

With my apocalyptic books, the research is tactically-oriented, if that makes sense. With Wolves, I had to make sure the slang and vernacular was correct and that the history was right on target. I took a few artistic liberties with the story, as all writers do, but everything is based in fact. Everything.

Where did the idea for Running with Wolves come from?
I have always loved animals. I have always loved dogs. I first was enraptured by the idea of setting a story in Alaska when I was a little girl, after watching the animated film Balto for the first time. The concept for this particular novel sprung up about 2 years ago. It took me a long time to cultivate the plot to a point where I liked it enough to go ahead and write the book. I have always wanted to write a western-style novel, and that’s what Wolves is. A western novel set in the snow, with adventure and romance.

Where does the story actually take place?
I have constructed a fictional tale within the boundaries of the boomtowns and mining camps that existed in 1898. The main character, Jenna Renee, lives outside of a town called Dyea. I used prominent and famous historical hotspots, such as the Chilkoot Pass and Dawson City, in the book, too.

Can we look forward to some romance, in addition to adventure?
Yes! One of the central themes of the novel is the romance story between Jenna Renee and the rather callous but handsome United States Marshal Jeremiah Black. I love Jeremiah’s character – he’s got a lot of surprises up his sleeve, and I think readers will love him as much as Jenna does.

What are your upcoming projects?
Well, I have a non-fiction novel coming up in the next several months: Prolific: Writing a Hit Novel. I’m also releasing the first installment of the anticipated Resurrection Series in January 2018. Resurrection will continue the adventures, fights, and romances of Commander Cassidy Hart from the hit Collapse Series.
 

Author Info
Summer Lane is the #1 bestselling author of 18 novels, including the smash-hit Collapse Series. She owns Writing Belle Publishing. Lane is also an experienced journalist and creative writing teacher. Writing Belle is her online magazine, where she has interviewed and featured hundreds of writers from around the globe.

Look for her upcoming books, Prolific: Writing a Hit Novel, and Resurrection: Shadows of Omega, the hotly anticipated continuation of Cassidy Hart’s post-apocalyptic adventures.

Summer lives in the Central Valley of California with her husband, Scott, and their German Shepherd, Kona.
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Thursday, September 21, 2017

BOOK BLITZ w/INTERVIEW -YA SCI-FI ROMANCE - Premonition (The Division, #1) by Leigh Walker

Premonition
(The Division, #1)
by Leigh Walker
Publication date: July 19th 2017
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
 
BLURB
When Riley heads off to boarding school for a summer work-study program, she knows it’ll be demanding. What she doesn’t expect? To be thrust into an intense physical training program described as special, exclusive and worst of all–top-secret. She signed up for tuition assistance, not to be held in a secret government facility for boot camp…

Welcome to The Division, the government agency that’s so classified, most United States senators have never heard of it.

The Division wants Riley bad, but she can’t figure out why. Skeptical of what she’s being told, Riley’s determined to uncover the truth. Boot camp is intense, physically and mentally draining. The upside? One of her new teammates is the cutest boy ever. Watching Finn hit the gym wearing a tank top doesn’t suck–although sometimes his brooding attitude does. But when training forces Riley to confront her tragic past, even Finn’s big biceps aren’t enough to make her want to stay…

Beware: The Division isn’t something you just walk away from. You better run.

Riley realizes her capabilities and strengths are greater than she’d ever imagined. But she also learns she wasn’t just chosen for this special program…

She was made for it.
Buy Link: Amazon
INTERVIEW WITH LEIGH WALKER
Q: Wow, you’re interviewing yourself…how pompous!
Right? It’s to tell people more about the series, lol. Although I should admit that I normally talk to myself a lot, so this isn’t much of a departure.

Q: Tell us about “The Division” – it’s a bunch of teenagers with psychic powers, right? How did you get inspired?
Everyone on the team has psychic powers, yes. I was watching “Stranger Things” on Netflix and I WAS SO PSYCHED they were testing poor Eleven for psychic powers. But I was also like, YEEHAW! Because I LOVE psychic powers, and I can’t remember the last time I saw or read something that included them. I’ve always been obsessed by the concept, and there’s so many variations of powers, so many incarnations it can take… Anyway, after watching that show and having that reaction, I thought, other people must love this stuff, too, I can’t be the only one. So I wanted to give us all more!

Q: Tell us about the main character, Riley Payne.
Riley is a ‘normal’ girl dealing with a lot. Her father and sister died in a car accident and her mother started drinking heavily after it happened. She just wants to get out of her house and go to boarding school, but she gets more than she bargained for when she abruptly gets recruited into a secret agency…

Q: The ‘secret agency’ is The Division, correct?
Yes. It’s a secret cell of teenagers who were genetically engineered with psychic gifts. They work for the American government to combat domestic terrorism.

Riley thinks they’re nuts, of course. Until she unlocks her powers, then she’s blown away by what she can do.

Q: As the series goes on, you get into genetic engineering, fated love, eco-terrorism, loyalty, isolation, human nature, climate change…some pretty heavy themes. But would you describe the series as a difficult read?
I don’t think so, but certainly some parts were hard to write – like about Riley missing her dad and her sister. I still cry when I read those parts. And in the second book, an eco-terrorist is introduced, and some terrible things happen in the book. So yeah, there’s definitely a heaviness to some of what the characters are dealing with. But they’re teenagers, and their youth is sort of a tonic against everything they’re dealing with. They still care about their friends. They still want to hang out, tell stories, joke around. They are still very interested in falling in love. I think my writing style is naturally light and breezy, so it’s sort of a counterpoint to the storyline. If that makes sense, lol.

Q: What’s your favorite part of this series?
Riley and Finn’s relationship. They have so much on their plates, and they’re so young, but they genuinely care for each other in a way that makes me ache.

Q: What do you do when you’re not writing?
I have three large, unruly boys who like to play every sport and eat as much food as possible. When I’m not at my computer, I’m busy carting them around and grocery shopping. But I also love to relax with a great book or television show – I am currently completely obsessed with Riverdale, OMG!!!

Thanks for having me! Happy reading!!!



Author Info
Leigh Walker lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. She has a degree in Journalism and a law degree. She's never been to the Naval Shipyard prison in Kittery, ME, but she's driven by it...and boy, is it creepy!

Leigh has lots of books planned for The Division Series. Sign up for her mailing list at www.leighwalkerbooks.com to be notified of the next release in the series! You can also find her on The Division's FB page: https://www.facebook.com/divisionbookseries/
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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

SPOTLIGHT w/INTERVIEW - YA FANTASY - Karina’s Silver Shoes by Denise Marques Leitao

Karina’s Silver Shoes
by Denise Marques Leitao
Date of Publication: September 18th 2017
Publisher: Sparkly Wave
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Tagline: She’s got the fate of a kingdom in her hands—or rather, in her shoes.
 
BLURB
When two princesses ask Karina to go to Whyland, a kingdom in a parallel dimension, to destroy her fascinating and potentially evil silver shoes, of course Karina accepts. Who would refuse a free trip to an alternate world?

Advised by a wise master and threatened by a beautiful stepmother, Karina goes on a journey with a princess to defeat a powerful witch. But Whyland is nothing like she expected. Karina finds herself stuck in a kingdom she doesn’t understand, with no clue on who to trust. Before saving anyone, she’d better save herself—if she figures out how.

From Brazilian / Canadian writer Denise Marques Leitao comes Karina’s Silver Shoes, a teen parody of fantasy and fairy-tale tropes with many female characters, friendships between girls and women, and some subtle romance.

If you like to read about strong girls and women, you’ve found your book.

Buy Link: Amazon
Excerpt
Nia raised her eyebrows. “Well, do you think you can just sneak into her fortress?”
“No. I mean… Wait. Fortress?”
Nia put her hands on her waist. “Where do you think she lives?”
“A… house?”
“Right, a little house in the woods, without any protection.”
In reality that was exactly what Karina had imagined. “And that’s not it?”
Nia got closer to Karina and stared at her. “It’s a fortress, better protected than any castle on Earth.”
“We’re still on Earth?”
“Don’t change the subject.”
Karina stepped back and waived her hands. “It’s not my fault. I didn’t plan anything. I was sleeping, the girls woke me up, they asked for help and I came. That’s it.”
Nia pointed her index finger towards Karina. “That’s exactly it. They are only going because you are going.”
Buy Link: Amazon
 

Author Info
Denise Marques Leitao was born and raised in Brazil. When she’s not creating worlds and characters, she’s discussing the meaning of the Universe with her son, writing unintellectual poetry, podcasting about popular culture, or teaching. She lives in Montreal, Canada, and has a Master’s in English Literature.

The Book Junkie Reads Interview with Denise Marques Leitao . . .

How would you describe your style of writing to someone that has never read your work?
I try to write what the character is thinking, and I want it to sound like a thought, not like a book. I write in third person, but from the character’s voice. For Karina’s Silver Shoes, it was a challenge, because the protagonist is young and she doesn’t read much, so I had to be careful with the vocabulary, and keep things simple.

What are some of your writing/publishing goals for this year?
2017 is going away soon. But I want to have another novel out next year.

Do you feel that writing is an ingrained process or just something that flows naturally for you?
It flows naturally, but I have to let it flow.

Do you have a character that you have been working on for a long time that still isn't quite ready, but fills you with excitement to work on the story?
Absolutely. I’m planning a sci-fi series, and I love the lead characters.

Where would you spend one full year, if you could go ANYWhere? What would you do with this time?
I have a son, so I can’t simply move around like that. But I would spend more time writing.

Can you share you next creative project(s)? If yes, can you give a few details?

Absolutely. I have a sci-fi trilogy, that leans more towards romance, and is for an older YA audience. And there’s also a sequel to Karina’s Silver Shoes. It was meant to be a standalone novel, but the characters are asking for a sequel. I’ll see what I decide depending on what the readers ask. 
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Friday, September 8, 2017

BOOK BLITZ w/EXCERPT - YA FANTASY - The Dark Mermaid (Cursed Water Series) by Christina L. Barr


The Dark Mermaid
Cursed Water Series
by Christina L. Barr
Publication date: September 5th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
 
BLURB
“True love is not a myth. It’s mystic. It’s a force in the universe that draws two people together, resulting in incredible power, for either good or complete chaos.”

On the day Luna proves that she is powerful enough to be her father’s heir, she is banished for saving the life of an enchanting human boy. Her father, the king, gives her two options: kill Ian and regain her honor by the time she comes of age, or be destroyed.

Luna finds shelter in forbidden waters and comes under the protection of her father’s greatest enemy, the Sea Witch. As her ward, Luna becomes a fearsome warrior, but struggles with the fear of turning her powerful magic dark.

With only days remaining before her seventeenth birthday, Luna finds Ian sailing the seas in search of answers. Luna is determined to escape her father’s wrath, and the Sea Witch’s plot of revenge, but dark forces won’t allow her to live a human life without making an impossible sacrifice.
Buy Link: Amazon
Want to receive a free song inspired by the book that Christina sang herself?
Fill out this form here before Sept 9th!

EXCERPT:
True Love
When I returned to the lair, the Sea Witch was much too distracted gutting her catch of shark to care much about my adventures. She had no idea that I had found Ian and kissed him. I wanted to keep it that way. For all she knew, I spent my day with Napa, and I most certainly didn’t fight my sister to the almost death. I made sure to heal my wounds before she saw me.
I hid the pendent, dagger, and lock of hair in a satchel and hoped the Sea Witch wouldn’t be able to sense the magic. I also had to hope that she wouldn’t sense any special magic in me. It was odd that I wasn’t fatigued from my battle. Instead, I felt energized. My magic was leaking out of my body. I tried to keep my movements limited and to remain completely calm.
Unfortunately, somewhere between the chewing of our dinner, the Sea Witch cocked her brow at me in suspicion. “Did Napa bring you a new gift?”
“Why do you ask?”
“I sense new magic.”
I panicked on the inside, but I would not allow that panic to the surface of my thoughts. Of course, she would have been able to sense the pendent. I reached into my satchel and handed it to her without any fuss, and I hoped she didn’t ask any questions about the other item of interest. “Napa didn’t know any better.”
“Interesting.” It only took a moment for the Sea Witch to analyze what it could do. I don’t know why I was so surprised when she disappeared. “This would be more useful on the surface world.” She tossed it back to me and became visible once more. “Quite interesting.”
“Very.” I grinned hard and continued feasting, but I had the sense that she knew I was hiding many details from her. It’s not that I didn’t trust her. I just wanted to make sure she would take the news well, so I didn’t have to worry about her killing everyone outside of our immediate sphere.
It wasn’t easy. I wanted to tell her about Ian’s infatuation with me. It was flattering after my father threw me away. I wanted to tell my mother how his smile enchanted me, and now, I was under his spell. I tried to get him out of my head, so the Sea Witch wouldn’t find out, but while I brushed my hair and stared into the broken mirror Napa gave me, I began to imagine that I was staring at myself from his point of view, and I knew I was truly as beautiful as he made me feel. The thought of never seeing him again was crushing my heart and suffocating my insides. There had to be a way to see him again beyond tricks, smokes, and mirrors.
“Luna, what’s wrong?”
I saw Ian’s face too clearly in my mind. She must have known that I was thinking about him, but that wasn’t so strange. I could still hide the truth for a little while. “Why would something be wrong?”
She floated in front of me with a furrowed and curious brow. “Because you never sing.”
I hadn’t even noticed. I was singing the same song I sang to Ian when I first said goodbye. If he had his hooks in me that deeply, was there truly any escaping him? “You’ll think I’m being a fool.”
The Sea Witch surprised me and held me by my shoulders from behind. “Out of the two of us, I’m the one that made a blood oath with your father. You could be foolish for a thousand lifetimes and not end up as foolish as I once was.”
Perhaps I was being unfair to her. If she were trying to be a real mother, she deserved a chance. As my elder, she might have sound advice to put my mind at ease. “Napa told me that humans believe in true love. I know it sounds childish, but I think I’m experiencing it. I’ve found true love.”
I was so embarrassed that I kept my eyes focused on the teeth of the comb in my hands. I was responsible for ruining Ian’s childhood, and I delayed his life afterward. I didn’t deserve to feel such a consuming joy, especially if Ian were the root cause.
“I’ve heard of true love.” The Sea Witch nicked my chin up with her finger to force her eyes into mine. “The humans teach it like a fairytale, but true love is not a myth; it’s mystic. It’s a force in the universe that draws two people together, resulting in incredible power, for either good or chaos.”
“Chaos?” I laughed. Frankly, it was difficult to believe that there was an actual explanation to how I felt. Napa referred to love as “irrational logic”. I wasn’t sure if having a legitimate reason was worse or better. “How can what I feel ever lead to destruction?”
“I’m not saying that it will, but true love is a dangerous magic.” The Sea Witch got uncomfortably close to my face. I tried to back away, but she swam around to observe me fully. Nothing about me had changed physically, but I’m sure she wasn’t seeing with her natural eye. “I can sense it on you. Your magic is stronger.”
I thought of how quickly I defeated my sister, but then, I quickly pushed that out of my mind. “How is that possible? Is it just because I have feelings for Ian?”
“No. That would be ridiculous, but it is possible that you’re drawn to each other for a reason.” She, once again, became agonizingly uncomfortable. I didn’t back away or cower from her glaring and curious eyes. I tried to be firm while I blanketed my mind with thoughts of training battles, meditation, and the past few lonely years of my life. I would not think of Ian, and I certainly wouldn’t think of the kisses we shared!
Except, I completely did.
I don’t know if my sudden memory of Ian’s kiss was vivid enough to burrow into her brain, but she certainly seemed more suspicious after I indulged in it. “You must have seen him again!” I covered my face. I would have hidden in my clam, but she was already inside of it with me. She grew impatient and pulled my hands away from my flustered face. “I did. Napa found Ian, and I went to see him. He gave me the dagger I had been searching for, and we spoke.”
“That’s not the only thing you did.”
I straightened out my body and tried to look a little taller and mature than I had been acting a moment ago. “We did share a kiss, yes.”
Instead of lecturing me, she twirled around the cavern, shrieking in delight. I hadn’t seen her genuinely happy or excited over anything, so I was a little terrified. “Did he have magic?”
“He didn’t seem to have knowledge of having magic.” “Perhaps he’s an amplifier,” she suggested with much intrigue. “What do you mean?”
“They are extremely rare, but an amplifier can increase your magic, even without being able to use it.” She swam to me and clasped onto both my hands and smiled. “If you were to mate, you could create new magic for your offspring and leave your own power intact. If that’s true, you should definitely mate him.”
“Uh…” My mouth opened in shock. The desire to feel and be more of an adult was ripped away from me. “I’m not ready for this conversation.”
“Why? Do you love him?” “It’s preposterous that I love him!” “But you do!” She chuckled. “I see it in your eyes. I feel it through your magic. He’s made you more powerful. If Fate is pulling you to love this man, don’t push back. There’s no sense in fighting what will be.”
Was it truly possible that Ian made me feel stronger? Was he the reason why I could use my magic to fight my sister so effortlessly? Even if it were true, what did it matter? I only wanted to control my magic so it wouldn’t accidentally go dark. I had no desire to be the greatest sorcerous in the world.
It was silly to think that I could take human form and live with Ian. I hardly knew him. But, for some reason, the thought of leaving to discover the world with him began to fill my chest and gut with a ticklish light that turned into a glorious rumbling. I clutched onto my chest as I felt it vibrating. My entire body was radiating heat. I tried to convince myself that I was merely embarrassed, but my hands were tingling.
“The thought of escaping with that human is causing your magic to burst from you,” the Sea Witch said. “You can’t deny what you want or may very well need.”
Buy Link: Amazon
Want to receive a free song inspired by the book that Christina sang herself?
Fill out this form here before Sept 9th!
 
Author Info
As the daughter of sci-fi enthusiasts and a pastor, Christina L. Barr has been taught to believe that anything is possible. She's been a serious composer as far back as twelve-years-old, and has had the opportunity to sing her songs around the world.

In 2007, she graduated from Holly High School number nine in her class and attended College for Creative Studies. She started a pop culture website called The Gorgeous Geeks with her two older sisters, and was even featured on Times Magazine.

Her addiction to writing emerged when she was eighteen and started her first novel. To date, she has nine novels published, fourteen completed, and her goal is to finish thirty books by her thirtieth birthday.

She is currently a Creative Director and spends her days making graphics and videos.
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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

SPOTLIGHT w/GUEST POST - YA Paranormal - The Accalia (The Accalia Series, #1) by H.L. Girton

The Accalia
The Accalia Series, #1
by H.L. Girton
Date of Publication: August 14th 2017
Cover Artist: SK Designs
Genre: YA Paranormal
Tagline: The truth hurts more than secrets and lies

BLURB
After traveling the country with her aunt, Genesis Berkley finally feels like she is home. Settling in Tillamook, Oregon, she begins a new life and everything seems to be going smoothly. That is, until she runs into a mysterious young man.

The feelings that he awakens are unsettling, and soon, her simple, peaceful world shatters. Lies and secrets are revealed, and danger lurks in every corner.

Now, Genesis must discover if she is strong enough to fulfill her destiny. Will she learn to accept the truth before it is too late.

Amazon US       Amazon UK       Amazon CA
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Excerpt:
“Genesis, are you sure you accept this punishment in place of Liam?” Jerimiah asked as steadily as he could before his voice broke off.
“I accept it,” I said coolly, keeping my eyes on Liam. “I love you,” I whispered to Liam as the whip cracked down across my back.
Tears spilled out of my eyes and across my cheek as the pain from the whip seared through my body. The nerves burned where the warm blood leaked out across my back. My knees buckled beneath me as I tried to remain strong. I would not appear weak in front of these people. They would not break me or change me.
Amazon US       Amazon UK       Amazon CA

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The Book Junkie Reads . . . Guest Blog from Author H.L. Girton
What makes truth and lies work so well in a YA PNR?

Hello! I am author H.L. Girton. I am guest blogging today and sharing the news about my debut novel and brand new release of The Accalia. I would like to discuss a topic in relation to my novel revolving around the importance of truth and lies being present within a young adult paranormal romance fiction and how it works so well with it.

When writing The Accalia I had to think about this topic a lot. Living in everyday life, everyone is faced with the question is that the truth or is it a lie? We, as humans, have to constantly be watching and answering that question everywhere we go and through every milestone and event in our lives. For The Accalia, I had to take into account that the main character, Genesis, would be dealing this this conflict on a whole different level. Teens and young adults face reality and the truth in such a way that becomes very dramatic and intense. When confronted with the possibility of loved ones lying or that they are being withheld from things that are important, it can become quite emotional. So I had to take the struggles that one would deal with when what they thought was the truth for their whole life and found out it was a complete fabricated lie and incorporate that into my novel.

As an author, it was important for me to have this struggle in my novel. This is something that many teens and young adults are faced with often. The ability to connect to such a conflict and relate to the character and her emotions really draws the reader in. With a young adult paranormal romance, it works well with it just for that reason. The age group is still a group, in my opinion, that is sorting out conflicts and emotions on the same level that is experienced by the character. Having that connection to the characters intensifies the story to relate on a more personal level. It makes you feel as if you are really there and sharing that same feeling with the character. With paranormal, it is an imaginative world that takes the idea of life and brings in what we can only imagine to be real. So having that struggle in determining if life was really what they thought it was and accepting the truth for what it really is and understanding what they thought was true was really all lies. It’s one of the hardest pills to swallow.

Still being a somewhat younger adult (I refuse to believe I am nearing thirty) I have had to face similar struggles in my life to accepting reality for what it really was when the lies were so much easier to accept and remain in denial. Have you had a similar experience or found yourself in a scenario where you were faced with confronting lies or accepting a truth you weren’t ready for?
 

Author Info
Heather Girton has been a creative writer since her childhood, writing creative stories and poems for the love of imagination and literacy. It started out as an outlet for personal struggles and a way to cope with them through fictional fantasy and turned into a passion and need to share her aspirations with the world. It wasn’t until 2013 that she decided to share her talent through fictional novels due to the encouragement from her family and friends.

Since graduating high school in 2006, Heather has spent the last eleven years being a dedicated mother and military spouse. In that time she nurtured a family of four children all while traveling the country following her husband’s career. She spent the last five years working towards her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology with a Minor in Sociology. She has done volunteer work with grief support organizations gaining experience with her field of study.

Currently Heather lives in Texas with her husband, children, support dog, and lazy cat. She is an avid reader and loves it as much as she adores writing. She spends her free time sharing her devotion for it with her children. When she isn’t reading, writing or focusing on her family, Heather has a personal admiration for photography.
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YA Fantasy - Henge (Le Fay, #1) by Realm Lovejoy


Henge
(Le Fay, #1)
by Realm Lovejoy
Publication date: November 11th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
BLURB
Inspired by one of the greatest legends of all time….

Modern-day Camelot. Where knights no longer carry swords. Magic is dangerous. And those who seek control are not to be trusted.

Sixteen-year-old Morgan le Fay is a fire user. An ordinary girl with an extraordinary skill, she has the ability to create and command fire at will. Her dream is to become the Maven – the right hand of the future King Arthur. In the chance of a lifetime, Morgan is selected to join Arthur’s Round, an elite group of young magic users from which the new Maven will be chosen.

Along with the other fire, water, and wind users in Arthur’s Round, Morgan is rigorously trained and tested. The handsome Merlin, a brilliant water user, takes a particular interest in her. Is his friendship to be trusted, or is Merlin simply trying to win the position of Maven for himself? Among the many rivals Morgan faces is the current Maven, Mordred, who seems determined to see her fail.

But Morgan has a secret – years ago, her mother was executed for using fire magic, and Morgan’s desire for justice makes her more than ready to take on the challenge before her. Can she prevail in Camelot’s tests of survival and magic? Only time – and Morgan’s powerful fire – will tell.
Buy Link: Amazon / Audible
All eBooks in this series are on sale for 99 cents this week only! 
EXCERPT:
After the audience stops clapping, the announcer looks down at his list. “Next… sixteen-year-old fire user Morgan le Fay from Tintagel!”
I swallow. I won’t have time to warm up after all. I rush toward the stage, trying to keep my head up though my legs are quivering. The crowd of people from all over the country is a sea of shadows below me. Camera flashes glimmer like stars. Below the stage, the King’s Cabinet members are seated, wearing fancy suits, gesturing with their cigars. Though they are chatting with each other, they eye me intently.
Music plays: aggressive drums and a flute that follow along with a woman’s haunting song. Putting my hands up, I focus on my fingertips turning as hot as coals. As I concentrate, I grow heavy as force accumulates throughout my body. This is my favorite feeling in the world. Hot energy spawns in my heart like the sun and travels through my arms. My veins burn. My body becomes like the earth, sizzling with flowing lava. The energy sails to my hands, down to my fingertips. Fssssttt—fire sputters to life centimeters from my fingernails. Instantly I become as light as a feather, all the weight having been channeled out of me. The crowd oohs and aahs.
I dance and whirl, trailing fire behind me. It arcs high into the air, drawing gasps from the crowd. Sweat trickles down my forehead, but I do my best to look elegant as I create brilliant, roaring ribbons of fire that hug and spin around my body. I have never performed fire in front of anybody before, and I feel like I’m revealing a big secret. Out of the corner of my eye a young man peers at me from backstage, his eyes full of wonder. I glance at him only once through a blur of gold and red sparks.
Letting the fire retreat back into my hands, I bow as the music finishes, making sure to keep my hot, and possibly still-sparking, hands away from my clothes. Setting my outfit ablaze would be an embarrassing finish. The crowd erupts in applause and cheers. I crack a smile and bow again.
As I walk backstage the young man who was staring at me beams with perfect teeth. Suddenly the temperature in my face rises, and it doesn’t help that I just got done working with fire.
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Author Info
Realm Lovejoy is an American writer and an artist. She grew up in both Washington State and the Japanese Alps of Nagano, Japan. Currently she lives in Seattle and works as an art director in the video game industry. You can find out more about her and her books at: www.realmlovejoy.com

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RECENT RELEASE - YA SCI-FI ROMANCE - H.A.L.F.: ORIGINS by Natalie Wright


H.A.L.F.: ORIGINS 
by Natalie Wright
Publication date: August 24th 2017
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
A deadly alien virus spawns an epidemic. Predators attack Europe. And a clandestine organization conspires to profit from chaos and forge a New World Order.
BLURB
In this heart-pounding finale of the award-winning H.A.L.F. series, Tex, Erika and the rest are in a race against time. They fought for their lives. Now they battle to save our species.

Tex and Erika are fugitives and running for their lives. But when Tex falls gravely ill, a Navajo healer is his only hope for survival. Tex emerges from the ordeal changed in body and mind and with vital information: how to stop the predatory M’Uktah from overtaking the human population and destroying those he has come to love.

Erika Holt seeks a respite from the constant threats to her life but she’s not about to give up. As she and Tex launch a mission to shut down the intra-galactic highway used by invaders who prey on humans, she grows closer to her troubled half-human companion. But what about her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Jack?

Jack Wilson, with his friend Anna Sturgis, is on a mission of his own. He’s determined to destroy The Makers, an illuminati-like organization behind the H.A.L.F. program. It’s time to put an end to their schemes for world domination. Complicating matters, an anti-viral that could save millions from an alien virus has been stolen. As both alien and human forces line up against them, the destiny of all mankind is hand the hands of these young warriors. And time is running out.
Buy Link: Amazon
EXCERPT:
1
ERIKA
Raindrops pelted the windshield of the rust-bucket truck Erika had borrowed from Ian’s dad. Nearly an hour had passed since she’d seen the lights of the last police car recede in her rearview mirror, but her fingers still shook as she turned on the windshield wipers. They were little help. The spittle of rain turned the dusty windshield into a muddy mess, and the sun-rotted rubber of the wipers streaked the glass.
The jacked-up truck tackled the harsh terrain of the desert like a pro. The police cars were no match for barrel cacti and creosote bushes as large as small cars. The local Ajo police that had tried to stop them likely didn’t know that they were chasing a human-alien hybrid that had escaped, again, from a secret underground lab controlled by the clandestine organization known as The Makers. The Makers had surely spun the lies necessary to convince local law enforcement that Tex was a dangerous fugitive. Ironic. The lie had become the truth. Erika and Tex were, in fact, fugitives on the run and again fighting for their lives. It was like déjà vu all over again.
Erika’s bottom was bruised from bouncing on the seat. Her wrists ached from gripping the wheel. After nearly an hour of rough riding, they hit a two-lane road going east. Erika was heading to New Mexico, where her Aunt Dana, her father’s sister, lived. Without complications, they would get to Aunt Dana’s in about eight hours. If she’ll have us.
Tex had been quiet but awake as Erika navigated the bumpy ground. Once they reached the smooth pavement, he tucked his knees to his chest, hugged his arms around his legs, and became a silent egg-shaped blob on the seat next to her. Erika had seen him withdraw into himself before, but he was even more quiet and still than usual.
Erika wished he’d have stayed awake longer. She wanted to pry answers out of him. She had questions about his time with the Conexus, when he had been linked directly to their hive-mind collective. Ever since Dr. Randall had unhooked Tex from the Conexus, he was acting distant and short-tempered. Erika wondered what had really happened to him during his time with the Conexus. And what did he mean when he spoke of struggles for humans to come and the knowledge he got from the Conexus? She hoped he would answer these questions and more when they got to Aunt Dana’s.
The dribble of rain became a hailstorm. Peanut-sized ice balls pinged the metal roof of the truck. Within minutes, the hail turned into a deluge. Erika turned the wipers to full blast, but that only smeared the windshield faster. The Tex blob remained eerily quiet and unperturbed.
Erika’s swollen right eye, a gift from one of the Makers’ guards during their escape from the school, made it difficult to see. Both eyes were heavy with fatigue. She blinked rapidly and shook her head, trying to clear the drowsiness. She switched on the radio, and raucous Tejano music blasted. She wasn’t a fan of the accordion-heavy genre. The ancient truck speakers distorted the sound, making it nothing but noise to her ears, but at least the booming music helped keep her awake.
Erika had never been much of a life planner. Her current situation of living day-to-day did not bother her as much as it might have irritated some people. She was focused on her current task, getting Tex safely to a location where he could heal. She’d help him find a place to stay hidden from the Makers and Sturgis. She wasn’t sure what came after that. Just stay awake. And alive.
Tex didn’t stir or acknowledge the radio. Is he dead? She poked at him with a finger. “Tex? You okay?”
With his head still to his knees, his voice was muffled but cool and even. “I am alive if that is what you mean.”
“You’ve been so quiet. With the escape back there at the school, the dogs, and now the rain… I was just hoping that you’re all right.”
Tex raised his head slightly and turned toward her, his large eyes peeking over his arm. “I have been through worse.”
The understatement of the century. She’d been through worse, too: the days of fever she endured after the Conexus gave her the virus, the long hours of watching Ian wracked with pain when she could do nothing but watch him inch toward death, weeks of hunger and thirst. She had been forced to take the lives of others or lose her own, and she had watched her mom breathe her last breath. They’d all been through hell and back.
Tex’s indifference was still better than silence between them. The tinny horns and the beat of the music stopped abruptly.
The radio announcer broke in, speaking in Spanish. “There has been a massive terrorist attack in Europe. The entire continent is without power. Communication systems are down. Though reports are sketchy, US authorities state that the attacks appear to be focused on London and Paris.”
Erika’s chest tightened. For a moment, she forgot to breathe. “He said that communication systems are down in Europe and there’s been a massive terrorist attack. The terrorists hit London and Paris.”
Tex unwound his arms from around his legs. “I understood what he said.” He sounded condescending, as though everyone could understand Spanish as well as English.
“Oh. I just assumed that—”
“You assume a great many things.”
Erika didn’t know what he meant, but she was more worried about what the heck was going on in Europe than her traveling companion’s surly attitude. The radio announcer spoke of the apparent sophistication and coordination of the attacks. He stated that the terrorists had clearly used an advanced technology that took out the power grid across Europe. Terrorists with advanced technology? Could the Makers be behind this?
Continuing in Spanish, the announcer said, “The US has raised the terrorist alert level to high and has closed all borders, effective immediately. There are reports of disruption to GPS and cellular service in the United States, indicating possible destruction or interference with multiple satellites.”
“Just what we don’t need. First the virus to deal with, now terrorists run amok.”
“It is not a terrorist attack,” Tex said with total conviction.
“You just heard the guy say it’s a terrorist attack. He said the report came from NORAD.”
“Then this NORAD fellow is wrong… or lying.”
During her time at Casa Sturgis, Erika had lost most of her faith in the authorities. Getting locked up in an underground city run by crazy government scientists and black-budget military would do that to you. Even if The Makers were behind AHDNA, that didn’t negate the fact that, somewhere along the line, some important people were very corrupt. Maybe even a lot of people.
Even after all she’d seen, though, she still believed most of the people working for the government weren’t crooked, self-serving traitors who would sell out the lives of millions just for their own little piece of the post-virus pie. People like Dr. Montoya worked for the government. Dr. Montoya had risked her life to help them to keep the antivirus out of the hands of the Makers so it could be synthesized to help the masses rather than the elite few chosen by William Croft and company.
“Why would the military lie about terrorists?” she asked. “And if it’s not terrorists, then who would cause a massive power failure?”
“Something far worse than extremists with a vendetta. Pull over. I will drive now.”
“Have you ever driven before?”
Tex shook his head. “Pull over,” he repeated.
“And what do you mean ‘worse’?”
“Erika, I tire of questions every time I ask something of you. There is a helicopter on its way. You did not think that the Makers would send only a few local law-enforcement vehicles after me, did you? Shall we argue further? Or shall I attempt to lose those that tail us?”
Buy Link: Amazon
 
Author Info
Natalie is the author of the award-winning science fiction series H.A.L.F., and The Akasha Chronicles, a popular young adult fantasy trilogy with over 2 Million reads on Wattpad. She lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband, teen daughter, and two cat overlords.

Natalie spends her time writing, reading, geeking out over nerd culture and cool science, and meeting readers and fans at book festivals and comic cons throughout the western United States. Natalie appears frequently on radio, podcasts and vlogs such as The Speculative Fiction Cantina, Front Row Geeks and iHeart Radio.
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