Archive for July, 2015

Book Trailer Friday

Posted: July 31, 2015 in Book Trailer
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How was your week?

Let’s see what’s on the book trailer shelf….

This book looks amazing!

 Goodreads.com Description: “After the Storm of the Century rips apart New Orleans, Adele Le Moyne and her father are among the first to return to the city following the mandatory evacuation. Adele wants nothing more than for life to return to normal, but with the silent city resembling a mold-infested war zone, a parish-wide curfew, and mysterious new faces lurking in the abandoned French Quarter, normal will have to be redefined.

Events too unnatural – even for New Orleans – lead Adele to an attic that has been sealed for three hundred years, and the chaos she unleashes threatens not only her life but everyone she knows. Mother Nature couldn’t drain the joie de vivre from the Big Easy, but someone or something is draining life from its residents.

Caught suddenly in a hurricane of eighteenth-century myths and monsters, Adele must quickly untangle a web of magic that links the climbing murder rate back to her own ancestors. But who can you trust in a city where everyone has a secret, and where keeping them can be a matter of life and death – unless, that is, you’re immortal.”

Already read the first book? Sign up for Alys Arden’s newsletter to learn about the sequel. http://www.thecasquettegirls.com/email-newsletter

Have a great weekend! Keep reading!

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Goodreads.com Description: “Aidan Montgomery hadn’t been prepared for Amelia Bradbury to walk in and then out of his life. He also hadn’t expected to find the powerful magic hidden deep within him for the last nineteen years, but he’s embracing it — finding more control and more answers every day. Now, with the help of Amelia’s best friend, Bethany, Aidan is on a quest to understand his destiny and find Amelia.

Amelia decided to stand by her duty, which meant walking away from her first chance at love. Trapped in Cresthaven at the Queen’s mercy, she spends her days with Micah — an ally she still holds at arm’s length — struggling to manage her heartbreak while keeping her mind focused on the task at hand. As she continues to unlock the secrets of the Keeper power, Queen Julia’s true motives reveal themselves, forcing Amelia to decide, yet again, how much she’s willing to sacrifice.

Will Aidan get to Amelia before it’s too late, or will the very power that sustains them keep them apart?”

About the Author

Profile Pic Low ResStormy Smith calls Iowa’s capital home now, but was raised in a tiny town in the Southeast corner of the state. She grew to love books honestly, having a mom that read voraciously and instilled that same love in her. She knew quickly stories of fantasy were her favorite, and even as an adult gravitates toward paranormal stories in any form.

Writing a book had never been an aspiration, but suddenly the story was there and couldn’t be stopped. When she isn’t working on, or thinking about, her books, Stormy’s favorite places include bar patios, live music shows, her yoga mat or anywhere she can relax with her husband or girlfriends.

My Review

I loved this installment in the Bound series by Stormy Smith!

We got to learn so much more about the characters. I loved Aidan Montgomery! He’s a great guy with so much depth. In Bound by Spells he has a major role to fill. He’s unsure and even scared of what lies ahead. As this story opens, Aidan is at war with the magical side of himself. Soon, he learns to embrace this new facet of himself. He uses it to get to the girl he loves.

Bethany is a gem. She may be only human, but she’s feisty and not scared of a challenge. We have book boyfriends. Bethany gets the title of book best friend! Everyone needs a friend like her in their lives. Someone who has your back no matter what comes up–bad break up, kidnapping by a bunch of magical shapeshifters, etc.

Thank God Amelia is stronger in this book! Unfortunately, she’s still a bit on the naive and reckless side. Amelia gets into some serious trouble in Bound by Spells. She is still learning about her powers which can be quite dark at times.

The villains, the Evil Queen and her hunter Rhi, are awesome in this story. They could have easily been cast in Once Upon A Time, one of my favorite shows. Queen Julia and Rhi are truly evil. We get a glimpse at what has caused them to embrace their dark sides.

Bound by Spells has action, intrigue and a cliffhanger. This book will give you a book hangover, but it’s so worth it. Be sure to pick up a copy.

Rating: 5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up

(5 Hands=Excellent; 4 Hands=Pretty Good; 3 Hands=Good)

spotlight

Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”

A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with characters we love and want to call friends.

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you the wonderful Christina Benjamin!

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Young adult book author Christina Benjamin grew up in the small town of La Plume, PA, where at an early age her playful imagination lent itself to love the art of storytelling.  She began to write short stories in grade school and continued practicing her craft all the way through college where she attended the University of Central Florida to complete her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Technical Writing.

After spending some time writing for blogs and websites, she was inspired to get back to her true love of telling stories, and dove head first into The Geneva Project, her first novel.

Christina now lives in Florida with her husband, dog and cats and spends her free time writing The Geneva Project series.

Without further ado, here’s Christina’s interview…

I love reading the bios of authors. Many of them did not start out as writers. Sometimes people stumble upon the craft. Have you always wanted to be a writer? Yes, somewhere buried deep down I think I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I think I was born a writer and am just now figuring that out. Whenever I talk to other authors they totally get it when I say things like, “you know when the voices in your head…” or “so this idea came to me when I was narrating myself hanging up the laundry…” I still remember the look my husband gave me when I asked him if he narrated his life in his head while he’s living it. I was like, “no? okay, I don’t do that either. Total hypothetical question.” Ha-ha. (My voices talk in the shower.)

But seriously, I guess I’ve always loved the art of story telling, I pursued Art and English in college, but didn’t really have the confidence that I could make it as a published author right out of college. I have a degree in Criminal Justice and English and my plan had been to go to law school after I graduated. But, I ended up landing an amazing job that took me in a completely different direction as a buy/merchandiser and home stager for 12 years. So I kept feeding my love of literature as an avid reader until I finally decided to secretly start writing my own YA fantasy book, The Geneva Project – Truth.

Geneva Cover HIRES

“Trapped on a flood-ravaged island full of orphans, natives and wealthy citizens of the prosperous city Lux, a young girl named Geneva finds herself enslaved at an orphanage with no future and a past she can’t remember. That all changes when she meets someone who promises her that there’s more in store for her than she ever could have imagined. Her once dull life rapidly spirals out of control as she starts to acquire new magical powers that may be the key to unlocking an ancient legend along with her true identity. But first she must master these powers, all while trying to keep them secret from her friends and the evil head mistress at the orphanage. Before she knows it, Geneva is in over her head and has inadvertently wrapped her friends into her web of magic and lies. Now all of their lives will be in jeopardy once the head mistress of the orphanage finds out Geneva’s plan to prove that the legend of Lux may not be a legend at all! Who will Geneva trust and how far will she go to save her friends and discover her true identity?”

Why did you choose to write Young Adult Fantasy? I read a bit of everything but my true love is YA fiction so I figured it would be really fun to write something that I’d love to read myself. And, I’m glad I did because I end up re-reading my own work a lot to keep the series fresh. Harry Potter, Hunger Games and Twilight are three of the series that really pushed me to start my own book. When those series ended, I felt lost! I’d dedicated years to living in the worlds with the characters those authors created. I missed them. Then I found out I was pregnant and got this idea that I should write my own YA fiction series that I could share with my children.

My family and I all read Harry Potter together when I was growing up so I thought, “what great fun it would be to create a world I can share with my family.” I wrote my first book while pregnant with my son, Dalton. My husband helped me form an indie publishing label and we self-published The Geneva Project – Truth through Createspace and Smashwords shortly after Dalton was born. About 3 months after I published, my son was diagnosed with a terminal illness. He passed away 3 months later. Losing my son was a huge wake up call. It really made me reevaluate my life and what was important to me. It boiled down to spending more time at home with my husband and following my dream of being a writer. I quit my job and sold my house so that I could spend more time doing what I love.

I now write full time and am about to publish the third book in The Geneva Project series. I’ve been doing it for a little over a year now and it’s an amazing feeling. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to wake up and do what I love every day. It’s a lot of hard work disciplining myself as my own boss, but it’s completely worth it.

I spend time speaking at schools to promote the importance of literacy and language arts. I’ve started a ONE-for-ONE campaign where I match the sales of my paperbacks so that I can donate books to schools, libraries and literacy programs in need. I take time to enjoy life, family, friends and focus on spending time doing what I love—writing and sharing the love of reading.
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What is the strangest subject or topic you’ve ever written? Wow, I’m not even sure. Probably when I used to do technical writing. I had to write instructional manuals for how to change out different parts of cell phones. Super random! And no room to be creative! But it was a paying job!

What are you currently working on? A lot! I may have bit off more than I can chew, but I’m getting ready to publish the third book in The Geneva Project series. It’s called Lies and is due out September 1st. I’ve already started working on the fourth and final book in that series. I’ve started plans for a spin-off series as well. I’m working on a children’s book, an anthology and two non-fictions too. I’m finding I like having a lot of different things to work on at once because it’s nice to switch gears every once and a while. It keeps my mind fresh.

“What if you were part of a secret so powerful it could change everything? Would you pursue it? Could you survive it? Geneva finally knows the truth about her identity. The Book of Secrets gave her a name, a family and a destiny to fulfill, but it also revealed many more secrets she must uncover. Some are dark and mysterious and beyond her wildest dreams. Now she has to decide who she can trust with her secrets and which of them she must keep to herself. Can you keep a secret? What if you life depended on it?”

What motivated the plot for The Geneva Project? I wanted to write something that I would be able to share with children. I LOVE books like Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Twilight, etc. so I knew I wanted to write something like that, with inspiring characters that young readers can relate to and look up to as role models. I wanted to have magic in the world I was creating because as a reader I like to have an amazing fantasy world to escape to. I feel like we deal with a lot of hard situations in every day life so it’s nice to have a world to visit where anything can happen. In the world of The Geneva Project, myths and legends are real, people have magical powers and fairies, monsters and mythical creatures exist. It allows me to be completely creative with no restriction and that helps keep me inspired.

What was the hardest story for you to write? Definitely the nonfiction piece I’m working on now. It’s called 52 Sunrises and it’s a year’s worth of journal entries that I wrote after my son passed away. It’s hard to look back at that painful place in my life, but it’s also inspiring to see how far I’ve come. Through my travels with The Geneva Project I’ve met so many incredible people. Authors, readers, bloggers and students and every one of them have an amazing story to share. I learn so much from their willingness to share with me and it’s helped heal me in a way I never expected. That’s what pushed me to share my story now. I hope that it can help others know that they’re not alone and that life is still worth living after dealing with loss. (Outstanding!)

What process do you use to plan your novels? So this writing career of mine has been quite the learning experience and along the way I’ve figured out a few surprising things about myself. One is that in my old life (pre-crazy writer) I was pretty much an OCD planner, organizer and list maker. As a writer of fiction, I’ve learned by trial and error that the only way I can write and feel free is to do it by the seat of my pants. So I’m a total pantster. (Yay! Me too!) I’ve tried outlines and plans but they make me feel restricted. For me, it’s hard for magic to exist within an outline. It needs room to breathe.

Who has been your favorite character and why? Geneva. Because she is stronger than she knows, loyal to her friends, courageous and she fights for what she believes in. She is a very real character. She’s not perfect, she makes mistakes, has a lot of self-doubt and has trouble believing in herself, but she’s not a wallflower. She knows she’s different, but doesn’t try to change who she is to fit it. She wants others to change and learn to accept her for who she really is. Throughout the series you get to watch her grow and mature and become someone you root for to beat the odds.

Do any of your character reflect facets of your personality? I’m sure they do. It’s hard to spend three years writing about your imaginary friends and not have your traits rub off on them. I think I take a bunch of traits from all the people that have influenced my life and add them to my characters. I almost feel like each character represents a different facet of my personality. Geneva is feisty. Remi is shy. Nova is fun. Journey is strong. Sparrow is kind. Jemma is selfish. Eja is smart. Those parts of myself definitely end up influencing those characters.

Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? Great question. Yes! Writer’s block comes with the territory. Sometimes it feels like a wall and somebody wrote every doubt you ever had on it, which makes me want to tear everything up and start over! The best way to battle that for me is to just write anyway. Even if it feels like it’s going nowhere or it’s not your best work, it always leads to somewhere and if it doesn’t, I save it. It may come in handy later or spark an idea. I feel like learning to be a great writer is like learning anything; the more you do it the better you get. Sometimes I’ll get in a rut and changing scenery helps. Sometimes I need to write at my desk in total silence, other times a comfy chair listening to music, or maybe a busy coffee house with lots of noise. I love working outdoors too. Nature and people watching always provide excellent ideas.

If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be and why? Probably mystery. I loved Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. I’m a James Patterson fan too. I don’t know if I could ever write something so sinister, but I enjoy the rollercoaster of reading it.

Which authors inspire you? Man! Another tough one. JK Rowling. Because without the Harry Potter series, I never would have gotten into reading YA. Without JK’s incredible ability to make magic and wizards matter to millions of readers there might not even be this successful, large and evolving YA category in literature. Harry Potter also made me decide to write my own series. I chose to use a girl as my main character because I felt I would have loved Harry Potter even more if the main character were a female. I also chose to write about a world where magic exists because that’s what I loved about Harry Potter. It was an escape from the ordinary world, to somewhere better, somewhere where possibilities are endless and that’s what I feel about writing. It’s the only profession where you can literally invent anything you can dream of. I truly believe words are magic and I thank JK Rowling for reminding me of that.

What novel would you read multiple times? I don’t think there’s really been many. (Besides my own, but that’s only for editing and trying to keep my own crazy story straight when building the next book.) There was this book I read as a kid called Old Bones the Wonder Horse by Mildred Mastin Pace. It’s about a racehorse. I absolutely loved [it]! I read that thing probably 50 times. I rode horses growing up and was convinced I’d be a jockey when I grew up! So yeah, that book was my anthem!

If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? Oh my God, this is so hard! Okay, there’s no way I can pick just one. I’m going to choose some of my musical idols. Chris Martin, Gary Lightbody and Dan Smith. They’re the lead singers of Coldplay, Snow Patrol and Bastille. They’re musical geniuses and poets. I feel like their lyrics speak the words of my soul. Music is such an important and influential part of my life, so I think I’d like to meet them and pick their brains. Ok and I’d also like to meet Hermione Granger so she can teach me magic and let me borrow her time turner to go back to relive some of my favorite moments in life. I think she and I would also take a trip to Idris to hang out with Jace Lightwood and the Shadowhunters.

What is your favorite quote? Oh wow. This is hard. There’s so many that I love for so many different reasons. I try to pick something different every time I’m asked this question so let’s see. How about “Truth.” It’s not really a quote but it’s an inscription on a ring that one of my best friends in the world gave me. She sent it for me when I wrote my first book as a gift and it has become my mantra. I wear it every day to remind myself to “Always seek the TRUTH.” It’s what I write on the inside cover of my books when I sign them for readers. To me it means, follow your heart. You never know where it will lead, but your heart always speaks the truth. For me, it told me to be brave, take chances, and follow my dreams of being a writer. (I like that.)

What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary? IMG_5739Real and imaginary is my dog Vince. We rescued him when he was only 1lb and he’s been an incredible source of love and support. We’ve had him since he was 6 weeks old and he’s been through 7 years of ups and downs. He is cemented in my heart for sticking by my side through it all. He is with me so much that I actually wrote him into my books. In the Geneva Project, he inspired the mythical creature, Niv, who is a marmouse that Geneva ends up befriending. Niv has become a favorite character of my readers and he has his own stuffed animal to go along with the series now. It’s really fun having readers get to meet the real life inspiration for Niv after they read the books.

What is your favorite color? Finally, an easy question! PINK

Look for Christina online at:

Website: http://www.thegenevaprojectbook.com/index.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheGenevaProjectBook

Twitter: @AuthorCBenjamin

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6588515.Christina_Benjamin

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Christina-Benjamin

Thank you so much for all these great questions. You are a great interviewer!

Thank you for being such a great writer and person. This was a blast.

Join me next week for another “Center Stage Moment” featuring Casey Anderson!

Goodreads.com Description: “When the walls of lies begin closing in, who do you trust?

There is nothing worse than failure, especially one that results in your school being attacked by a ruthless enemy. Still reeling from the aftermath of the previous night, Sam and her cousins must deal with another crisis: Alexia has run away.

To top it off, there are new players in town. The young Arcadians will be forced to work closely with the prestigious Nox Elite. But they will soon find out that nursing a bruised ego is nothing compared to fighting a faceless enemy, battling personal demons, and dealing with revelations that will forever change their lives.”

*Note from the author: Due to strong language and mature content this book is recommended to readers 17+. This is a Paranormal Romance novel

About the Author

 I always knew creative arts were my calling but not in a million years did I think I would become an author. With a background in fashion design I thought I would follow that path. But one day, out of the blue, I had an idea for a book. One page turned into ten pages, ten pages turned into a hundred, and before I knew, my first novel, The Prophecy of Arcadia, was born.

I live in Florida with my husband and baby daughter. I’m currently working on the Arcadian Wars series, the Elements series, and the Love Me, I’m Famous series.

Arcadian Wars is a YA Paranormal/SciFi Romance series. It follows the life of a group of teens who possess incredible powers and have a very important mission: save their planet and in the process, save Earth too. The first book, The Prophecy of Arcadia, and the novella, The Fall of Arcadia, are already available. The second book, The Phoenix Shadow, will be published in the summer of 2015.

Elements is a new YA Paranormal Romance series. It focuses on two sisters who hold the key to stop a full-blown war between elemental beings and humans. Look for the first book by the end of 2015.

Love Me, I’m Famous is a NA Contemporary Romance series and each book will be a standalone focused on different characters. As the name of the series suggests, at least one of the characters in each book will be somewhat famous. The first book is slated to be published later in 2015.

To learn more my projects you can visit my website, sign up for my newsletter, or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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www.facebook.com/MHSOARS
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My Review

I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Book Two in the Arcadian Wars, The Phoenix Shadow by M.H. Soars, was a delight!

This installment in the lives of a group of teens from a far away planet and their Earth charge was much better than the first one. The Prophecy of Arcadia had an interesting plot that kept me intrigued. But, The Phoenix Shadow took the story line and added more drama, more action and more plot twists. I got so caught up in the story that I didn’t want to put the book down.

I’m not a big fan of alien tales which have disfigured creatures or fantastical beings with odd characteristics. You won’t find any of that in M.H. Soars’ books. Her stories are well-crafted stories that explore ‘what if’. Scientists are constantly searching for life on other planets. And, thanks to Hollywood, our concept of aliens runs to the fantastical. Soars kept it realistic by creating human type characters who live on a planet not like Earth, but dependent upon our resources. And, just like Earth, the inhabitants of this foreign planet have major issues with race and government.

I loved the characters in The Phoenix Shadow especially Samantha and Matt with their on-again off-again relationship. Fortunately, Soars delivers more than a YA story with the stereotypical love triangle. This romance has a group of teens struggling with love while fighting to save their planet and Earth. It makes for some serious laugh out loud moments. Think of a house of superheroes (Batman, Superman, Thor) with their female counterparts (Wonder Woman, Black Widow, Elektra) all in love with each other. Funny moments!

My favorite character was Durgin. In the first book, he was mysterious and not very nice. In The Phoenix Shadow we get his story and he transforms into a likable character who has a heart and only wants to do the right thing. Joining him in the battle of human rights (or should it be Arcadian rights?) is Lucas. I loved his story and would love to read more about the boy who wasn’t supposed to exist.

I really liked the story idea. Yes, there’s a protagonist who discovers she has powers. And, yes, there is a quest. But, Soars delivered a few twists. Everyone is powerful and learning the extent of those powers. And, the quest? It’s called a bond and involves soul mates. What makes this story work is the family angle. The protagonist, Alexia, learns to embrace her family regardless of how that family came to exist. The theme runs throughout The Phoenix Shadow and makes the story a worthwhile read.

I highly recommend picking up a copy. If you haven’t read The Prophecy of Arcadia, be sure to read it first. 

Rating: 5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up

(5 Hands=Excellent; 4 Hands=Pretty Good; 3 Hands=Good)

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Ever been inspired to write because of a book or a convention? Over 50 authors, designers, formatters, and editors have been so inspired by UTOPiA Con, they have come together to create a 5 Book Anthology! Born out of the Facebook group The Debut Collective, the 5 Book Anthology will include 15 stories each, showcasing the talents of some amazing writers and artists that I’m excited to be a part of! I will have TWO stories in the anthology!

Because the development of this project is solely volunteer based, all proceeds generated from ebook and online print sales will be used for production and marketing, with any remaining funds going to a literacy charity.

There’s more info on the Debut Collective site, check it out! http://www.thedebutcollective.com

Facebook: http://bit.ly/thedebutcollective

Twitter: @DebutCollective

Want to help fund this project? You can! Just go to http://bit.ly/DCAnthoFund and pledge any amount. Your contribution will help to pay for convention table space, marketing, print publication costs like ISBN#’s and more!


RSW Update: Week 8

Posted: July 27, 2015 in #ReadySetWrite2015, Writing
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Welcome to WEEK 8 of Ready. Set. WRITE! What is RSW? It’s a summer long writing intensive through which writers write/revise/plan, cheer each other on, and hold each other accountable with weekly updates. On Mondays, I will share my goals and update you on my progress.

1. So, how did I do last week? My posted goals:

*Finish revisions to Chapter 12 of WIP (novel) DONE.

*Make changes to Chapters 13-15 of novel WIP DONE. 

*Make changes to short story rough drafts for anthology DONE.

*Work on rough draft of second book in trilogy, word count goal for week: 2,000 OVER 6,000 TOTAL.

2. THIS WEEK’S GOAL:

*Make changes on WIP as suggested by critique partner. This is a new one. I got myself a critique partner at UtopYA. She is magnificent! She’s making my words sing. 

*Finish making changes to first short story and submit.

*Continue with rough draft of second book in trilogy. Word count goal: add 2,000 words

*Work on world building for paranormal.

3. A FAVORITE LINE FROM MY STORY OR ONE WORD/PHRASE THAT SUMS UP WHAT I WROTE/REVISED: Project Board! I gave up on trying to do a structured outline for my second book in my Dystopian trilogy. The muse finally shut up after 6,000 words. She crossed her arms and said, “Fine. If you want to shackle me, do it yourself.” When I gave up she said she’d play nicely again. 

4. THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE I FACED THIS WEEK: Getting out of my head. I was feeling overwhelmed and unproductive. I started questioning this journey I’m on. Creating the Project Board helped immensely. I was able to visualize what I’m working on. The best part is I have a spot to put incoming ideas. I don’t have to worry that I’ll lose them in a notebook on a desk. 

There’s a section for everything I’m working on and a holding spot for ideas (on the lower right). The Post-it Notes have my deadlines, reminders and checklists for each project. The short stories are the only ones with real deadlines. The others have been set by me. 

5. SOMETHING I LOVE ABOUT MY WiP: My protagonist! She’s a creative soul living in a war-torn world. Where others see abandoned buildings and chaos, she sees beauty. 

That’s it for this week! I feel right on track and confident I’ll have a finished product by year’s end. Okay, maybe a couple of products.

If you’re also working on your summer writing goals, good luck this week!

Cat love full

Title: Cat Love

Author: Sunniva Dee

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Release Date: October 5, 2015

Cover Design:  Clarise TanCT Cover Creations


SYNOPSIS

A sexy thriller about the animal in all of us.

Aidan uses his superpower to stabilize minds at the Hollyreed Specialist Hospital. Ulani uses hers to chase rats on rooftops. Until she’s caught and deposited in Aidan’s care.

At the hospital, Aidan finds Ulani’s room empty—save for a cat, whose fur retracts in favor of silky skin and a vamp-gorgeous femme fatale.

Aidan’s obsession with Ulani grows—

While patients at the hospital go missing.

EXCERPT

Cat lov frontAt twenty-three, you think you’ve experienced a lot. Been there, done that for the most part. Older people might laugh at you for expressing such beliefs, but you still don’t expect to come across reality-altering experiences. 

Here I am, with the morning energy of Seven setting in around me as I carry a small, lost cat from the locked unit back to my apartment… only the bundle of fur is changing.

There’s something wrong, I think, my thought natural and instinctive. But when her coat retracts against my hand, replaced by smooth, human skin, my intuition withdraws too and checks out.

I think I roar while she expands in my arms. I’m frozen in place, my vocal cords the only part of me responding. She grows heavier, longer, wider, until she plops from my hold and onto the floor. Vamp-red hair flames around her in bright waves, and is that a snarl lifting her lip?

For an instant, I swipe the hallway with my eyes, hoping someone sees what I see. No nurses, no doctors, only Mrs. Anderson’s ancient husband is there, fists clutching his walking chair while he takes in the apparition between us.

Not a thread covers stunning porcelain skin. She swings, bereaving me of my fleeting view of a small ruby-red triangle and kiss-shaped nipples, and leaps to the breakroom yards from where I stand.

Ulani’s gone. It takes me a moment to react. I meet old Robert Anderson’s incredulous gaze, and I shake my head at him, both denying what we’ve experienced and assuring him that we’re together in this.

As I turn to follow her, he mutters, “Holy God,” behind me, and my next session with a patient will have to be with Robert. He’s been free of Dr. Holstein’s treatments because of his quiet ways, but if he starts talking about this, he’ll quickly become another notch in the good doctor’s lab desk.

I just experienced something I never thought possible. A freaking cat morphed into a woman. Hell, this is what dreams and movies are made of. At the same time, I’m conditioned to react to the needs of my patients, which is why I chase after her now.

Besides Ulani, no one’s in the breakroom. She’s got part of the curtains draped around her, forming an orange toga, and bare toes with scarlet nail polish peek out. She’s stunning, but more than my physical attraction to her, her emotions fascinate me. 

My years in this hospital are few, but the number of hours I’ve worked could double the years, and now it’s time to cloak myself in professionalism.

“Ulani,” I say. “Are you okay?” It’s a simple yet necessary question. Since I have no experience with cat women, I’m not privy to the sort of strain such a transformation can have on their bodies.

Her glare is not human, I realize. I was struck by the beauty of those irises the last time I saw her. Now, she narrows my view of saturated emeralds behind slitted eyes. She’s suspicious but not afraid—neither is she the slightest bit confused. This girl has issues, but they’re not on the mental level.

“Don’t. Say. Anything.” Ulani enunciates the words one by one, putting so much emphasis into her command that her intensity reverberates in my chest.

Efficient footsteps clack down the corridor outside. The slight shuffle of Dr. Holstein’s gait accompanies it. Laurie replies to his orders with “right, of course” and “certainly, Dr. Holstein,” but then they both come to a dead halt in the doorway.

“I found Ulani,” I say quietly.

“Remy, John!” Dr. Holstein barks down the hallway. “I need your assistance immediately.”


You need to add this book to your To Be Read list! 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25903337-cat-love


About the Author

unnamed-14I’m originally from Norway and moved to the United States in 2001. I have a Master’s degree in languages and taught Spanish at college level before settling in as an adviser at an art college in the South.

I write New Adult fiction with soul. Sometimes it’s with a paranormal twist—like in “Shattering Halos,” published by The Wild Rose Press in February 24th 2014 and in “Stargazer,” released, November 21st 2014 by the same publisher. Since then, I’ve self published New Adult Contemporary novels “Pandora Wild Child,” and “Leon’s Way,” with “Adrenaline”, and “Beneath the Cape”, the superhero anthology benefiting The Wounded Warrior Project in its entirety.

I write impulsive heroines, bad-boys, and good-boys running amok. Intense love, physical and emotional attraction —sensory overload for the reader as well as for the characters. My goal? Is to keep you on your toes until the end of each story.

You can find Sunniva Dee online:

Website: http://www.sunnivadee.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSunnivaDee

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sunnivaD

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7191170.Sunniva_Dee

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sunnivadee/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/sunnivadee/

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Book Trailer Friday!

Posted: July 24, 2015 in Book Trailer
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How was your week? It was pretty good. Was part of a groovy, groovy, groovy book tour. I got to celebrate having over 1,000 followers. Had a book birthday post for a great author. But, it’s time to take a break and see what’s on the trailer shelf.

 Book Three in The Darkness Rising trilogy.

Goodreads.com Description: “Things are getting desperate for Maya and her friends. Hunted by the powerful St. Clouds and now a rival Cabal as well, they’re quickly running out of places to hide. And with the whole world thinking they died in a helicopter crash, it’s not like they can just go to the authorities for help.

All they have is the name and number of someone who might be able to give them a few answers. Answers to why they’re so valuable, and why their supernatural powers are getting more and more out of control.

But Maya is unprepared for the truths that await her. And now, like it or not, she’ll have to face down some demons from her past if she ever hopes to move on with her life. Because Maya can’t keep running forever.”

The other books in the trilogy:

  

Have a great weekend! Keep reading!

Bound by Duty Cover

Bound by Duty synopsis

Amelia grew up in a world of half-truths. She knows she’s an Elder, but has no idea what that means. Her father reminds her daily that she must maintain control, but he refuses to explain why. Even worse, she’s betrothed to the prince of the Immortals and doesn’t even know his name.

Finally breaking free to live a few normal years at a community college, the last thing Amelia expects is to find her best friend in a cheeky southern girl, or fall for a self-assured human who sees her for who she is, not what she will become.

As she learns more about herself, Amelia realizes the line between love and duty is a thin one. As her power continues to increase exponentially and her questions are slowly answered, Amelia must make the ultimate choice. The question is, will her head win the battle, or her heart?

About the author

Profile Pic Low ResStormy Smith calls Iowa’s capital home now, but was raised in a tiny town in the Southeast corner of the state. She grew to love books honestly, having a mom that read voraciously and instilled that same love in her. She knew quickly stories of fantasy were her favorite, and even as an adult gravitates toward paranormal stories in any form.

Writing a book had never been an aspiration, but suddenly the story was there and couldn’t be stopped. When she isn’t working on, or thinking about, her books, Stormy’s favorite places include bar patios, live music shows, her yoga mat or anywhere she can relax with her husband or girlfriends.

Find Stormy Smith online:

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My Review

I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Stormy Smith’s Bound By Duty was a captivating well-written modern fairy tale! It had the prince, the evil queen, a hunter and an innocent (not!) young girl. Everything a good paranormal fairy story should contain.

I fell in love with Bound By Duty after seeing the cover. I was hooked from page one! I literally had to force myself to stop reading because I would have finished it in one day. I didn’t hesitate picking up Book Two, Bound By Spells. 

The characters were well-developed and very interesting. My favorites were Amelia, Aidan and Bethany. Each character brought something different to the party. Amelia was the strong, naive protagonist who had no idea of her heritage nor what her destiny was really about. Aidan was the sexy, good guy who reminded me of a Timex watch. The guy could take a beating and he kept on coming back for more. And, Bethany was the spunky pageant queen full of Southern charm.

I highly recommend Smith’s Bound By Duty. She delivers a different twist on the usual magic and shapeshifter tale. There’s suspense, romance and a great plot!

Rating: 5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up5 hands up

(5 Hands=Excellent; 4 Hands=Pretty Good; 3 Hands=Good)

And, to help Stormy celebrate Bound By Duty’s book birthday:

free

spotlight

Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”

A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with characters we love and want to call friends.

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you the wonderful Laura Thalassa!

Born and raised in Fresno, California, Laura Thalassa spent her childhood cooking up fantastic tales with her best friend. Lucky for her overactive imagination, she also happened to love writing. She now spends her days penning everything from paranormal romance to young adult novels.

Laura Thalassa lives in sunny Santa Barbara, California with her husband, author Dan Rix.

Without further ado, here’s Laura’s interview…

I love reading the bios of authors. Many of them did not start out as writers. Sometimes people stumble upon the craft. Have you always wanted to be a writer? Yes, but in the same way that most people want to be authors. Back in high school, I used to read three to four books a week. I would’ve died and gone to heaven if someone had told me I’d be doing this for a living. I always assumed being an author was somehow unattainable. It took watching my husband publish his first book, and then, as an editor, I watched my clients publish their [books]. They inspired me and gave me courage to try my hand at publishing as well!

Why did you choose to write Young Adult Paranormal? The Unearthly, the first novel I wrote, is Young Adult Paranormal, and that storyline had bounced around in my head throughout college. I’ve always loved reading both YA and paranormal novels. I think like most readers-turned-writers what drove me to write in my particular genre was a deep desire to read the story I constantly searched for in bookstores. More generally, I simply love both paranormal and YA books. I remember being obsessed with vampires even when I was seven. The genre choice was inevitable for me.

What is the strangest subject or topic you’ve ever written? Gah, I don’t know! I don’t think anything I’ve written is too strange, but when I stand back and reflect on it, I’ve written about superheroes, sirens, vampires, the devil, soulmates, teleporters, government conspiracies, the apocalypse…the list goes on. I think pretty much everything I write is all pretty batty!

What are you currently working on? I’m finishing the final book in The Unearthly series, but on top of that, I’m writing a paranormal romance that has to do with Amazons (the crazy chicks who fought in the Trojan War). It’s an offshoot series that takes place in the same world as my Unearthly series.

What motivated the plot for either a work in progress or current published book? Oh, I have to choose one book for this one—The Queen of All That Dies. For [this book] what initially inspired that story was an idea that popped into my head: What would happen if you ran into a clone of yourself? And, what would happen if [the clone] were trying to kill you? I started answering these questions and developed a story. The Queen of All That Dies was actually the extensive backstory that led to the story. Only now that original story has been scrapped and the sequel won’t be anywhere close to the original story.

What was the hardest story for you to write? The Decaying Empire (The Vanishing Girl Book #2) was the hardest book for me to write simply because of the deadline my publishing house set for me. It was a much shorter timeframe than what I ideally would’ve needed. And, there was so much research involved! I definitely popped open a bottle of booze once I sent that manuscript into the publisher! 

 What process do you use to plan your novels? I use a combo of outlining and writing as I go. That combo doesn’t work for everyone, but I find that it’s a good balance for me since I have the structure that comes with an outline without anything too stilted. Because sometimes scenes that look great in your outline really don’t jive with the surrounding scenes once you write them out.

Who has been your favorite character to write and why? Serenity Freeman, my main character from The Queen of All That Dies. I love her simply because she seems larger than life to me. She’s someone who’s seen her country torn apart by war, and she’s been groomed into a political position that’s very deadly. Her mind just doesn’t function anywhere close to most of my other’s character’s minds.

Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality? I think little bits of my characters reflect facets of my own personality. It’s hard to completely separate myself from my characters though I try to. I joke around a lot in real life, and my humor comes out in my writing. I’ve also always been a bit independent, and I see that a lot in my characters.

Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? All the time. My bills are always good motivators! Because writing is a full-time job for me, I don’t really have the option of setting a story aside for when inspiration strikes. I work eight hours, period. What helps me overcome it is a healthy dose of brainstorming/outlining. Usually that solves the issue. Sometimes it’s also a matter of focusing on another project for the day/week/month. Usually I experience writer’s block because some other story is begging to be written.

If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be and why? So far, I’ve written YA and NA paranormal, sci-fi and post-apocalyptic. I think probably the next genre will be something like fantasy. We’ll see!

Which authors inspire you? So many! Colleen Hoover, Kresley Cole, Katie MacAlister, Meg Cabot, Jennifer Armentrout. These authors books…it’s like word porn; they’re all so incredibly talented!

What novel would you read multiple times? Oh, so tough! Anything by Kresley Cole—love her! “The Mummy” by Anne Rice. I used to re-read more novels when I was younger (Meg Cabot and Katie MacAlister are [two] authors whose books I devoured multiple times), but being in the industry I come across amazing novels all the time. I barely have the chance to hit all those on my TBR list, so I don’t often re-read books!

If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? Daniel from the novel “My Name Is Memory”. But since most people won’t know the reference, I’d have to say if not him, then Dumbledore!

What is your favorite quote? There are far too many! Here’s one that will make an appearance in one of my upcoming novels: “I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul…” ~Pablo Neruda  Oh man, I want to read the book for those words alone!

What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary? Narwhals because they’re the unicorns of the sea.

narwhal

What is your favorite color? Blue.

This has been so much fun Laura! I enjoyed interviewing you. Thank you for being part of “A Center Stage Moment”.

Look for Laura online at: 

Website: http://laurathalassa.blogspot.com/p/books.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LauraThalassa

Twitter: @LauraThalassa

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7152490.Laura_Thalassa

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Laura-Thalassa

Join me next week for another “Center Stage Moment” featuring Chris Benjamin!