Saturday, June 30, 2012

Rip Off by Mar Preston Blog Tour Review


A Hollywood studio exec comes home to find the dead body of a stranger in his ocean-view condo in this upscale Los Angeles suburb. Santa Monica Police Department’s Detective Dave Mason pulls his warring team together to link the body to a string of high-tech burglaries which has Santa Monica on edge.

The stakes rise as the investigation leads Mason away from Santa Monica to Hollywood to the Russian community to be warned off by the FBI and Homeland Security. A bungled take down results in two murders of key informants. Fingers are pointed. Mason is outranked and the Department blamed.

On the way to a resolution that restores the Department’s and Mason’s reputation, the burglar and a Chechen housewife find true love. While Mason has brought an international whodunit to an end, he finds his relationship with his activist girlfriend teetering on the edge.

My thoughts:
I really enjoyed this whodunit murder/mystery. Towards the beginning I believed that I knew what was going on, but little did I know! I love the author's style of writing and found this book very easy to read. The characters were well developed and the story line had me hooked from page one. This was the first book that I have read by the author and I can't wait to delve deeper into the ever so fascinating life of Dave Mason. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great Mystery/Thriller book :)

Author Bio:
What if a major gambling outfit tried to build a high-rise casino in downtown, upscale Santa Monica? What if one of the city councilmembers, like the ones I knew well, was murdered before she could cast the deciding vote?

In Santa Monica development politics are blood sport. I love the city. It's built out to its glamorous edges, one of which is the Pacific Ocean. What gets built--and doesn't get built--stirs up hot disputes and marathon city council meetings.

Dave Mason, a homicide detective in the Santa Monica Police Department, came to me as a fully developed character when I saw two actual homicide detectives sitting in a black Crown Vic. They were there to monitor a crowd of old ladies, kids, and die hard activists marching to support hotel workers.

I loved the idea of playing with the dynamics between big money and big ideas that change the urban landscape. Just as fascinating are the interactions between cops and community activists.

What if the leader of the anti-casino campaign was a witness to the councilwoman's murder? The what if questions then came thick and fast. The plot quickly took shape. A possible romance? These two? Try getting them to agree on something.

I'm coming to the end of the editing process on my second Dave Mason novel, called Rip-Off, which is due in late 2011. Thanks to all of you who liked No Dice.

I was a burnt out academic researcher for decades, then grant writer, editor, and creative writing teacher. At the same time I was a political insider during Santa Monica's rent control and living wage wars. Getting a good mystery out of what goes on behind the scenes makes all those dreary council meetings worthwhile.

You can stalk Mar here:

Friday, June 29, 2012

Moa by Tricia Stewart Shiu Blog Tour Guest Post

Please enjoy this guest post by Tricia Stewart Shiu, author of the paranormal YA novel with a literary bent Moa. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $6000 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, 5 autographed copies of Moa, and 5 autographed copies of its sequel, Statue of Ku.  

The Story Behind Moa by Tricia Stewart Shiu

     I've always loved Hawaii and was thrilled when my husband booked a visit for us to see his relatives in Honolulu, Hawaii in October of 2006. We packed light and brought our daughter, who was three-years-old at the time.
     Our condo was close to parks and monuments that oozed history. We enjoyed wandering around and indulging in the local cuisine. I even tried poi and liked it!
     The morning after we arrived, I rose early to push my daughter’s stroller through the quiet, cool morning air. It felt like such a gift to experience Honolulu before the rest of the island was up.
     After a hearty island breakfast, we headed out for a morning at our favorite sandy reprieve, Kuhio Beach. The water was calm and protected by a breakwater. Our daughter enjoyed digging and splashing and my husband and I sat sit nearby without worrying about the strong current.
     Afterward, we headed back to our condominium, ate a light lunch, and took a luxurious siesta. Although I'm not usually a mid-day napper, the fresh sea air and sun lulled me into a light sleep—the kind where I felt like I was awake, but I was actually deeply asleep.
    I heard a voice say my name and a part of me awoke. I use the word “part” because I could definitely feel my body touching the soft material on the couch. And yet, another part was keenly aware of a young woman with dark hair standing over me. It felt real, but dream-like, so I decided to go with it and ask her her name.
     She pronounced a long Hawaiian string of letters, which seemed to go on for minutes. After repeating the name three or four times, she told me to call her “Moa.” Through my exhausted, sleepy haze, I remember being skeptical. If this was, indeed, a dream, I would ask as many questions as possible. So I did.
     Why was she here? Where did she come from? How could I be sure she was who she claimed to be?
     Instead of any answers, she flashed a mental picture of a woman and said that she was a long lost friend of my husband’s. She told me her name and explained that my husband’s family and she had lost touch 15 years before and had been orbiting around one another trying to reconnect.
     I awoke from that nap, slightly groggy. That was an indication that I was definitely asleep. Perhaps it was just my creativity kicking into overdrive, I reasoned, and decided to go on with my day. We walked to a park with my daughter and began playing. Suddenly, there was a squeal and my husband and I turned to see the woman from my dream charging toward us with her arms stretched out wide. As she spoke, I tried to gather my wits. Here was the same woman from my dream, someone I’d only seen a mental picture of, and she was standing on the grass right in front of me.
     She and my husband exchanged numbers and promised to keep in touch. For the next few hours, I tried to make sense of what happened. I had never had an experience like this before, but there was no denying that I saw a picture in a dream before I met someone and then they showed up in real life.
     When I went to sleep that evening, Moa visited again. She answered the other questions I’d asked earlier that afternoon and wanted me to know that I was protected and should share my experience with the world. Since this was definitely my first metaphysical encounter, I had no idea how to form the correct words to share what had happened. How on earth, I asked Moa, am I supposed to convey such undocumented, unsubstantiated, unusual information?
     She said that our world exists on many levels which all play simultaneously. Her analogy was of a DVR. Several shows can be playing at the same time but are on different tuners. That, she said, is where she existed.
     When I awoke, I began writing and continued to do so. The story evolved into “Moa,” then the sequel, “Statue of Ku.” My daughter, now seven, took the cover photo and illustrated, as well. The photo was taken a few years ago on the North Shore as we played on the beach. The artwork has been compiled over the last two years.
     Since my visit with Moa, I began an extensive and sometimes circuitous search to explain my metaphysical experience. I took classes on mediumship, Huna, energy work and through my education, I learned to create healing essential oils and elixir sprays and incorporated that information in the book. Not only did my experience with Moa inspire me and guide me through four-and-a-half of the most challenging years of my life, I also believe that writing about those events and including information I received about that inspiration and guidance, brought my own deep physical, mental, emotional and spiritual transformation and healing. Writing, editing and publishing Moa has opened doors to a new way of understanding myself, those around me and the energy we share.
     Whatever your belief or understanding of the metaphysical world, I believe that if one person is transformed through learning, then we are all transformed. I truly believe the Moa I met came through in this work and, just as I connected with her as I wrote, those who read the book will experience her as well.

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Moa and Statue of Ku eBook editions have both been dropped to just 99 cents this week.

What’s more, by purchasing either of these fantastic books at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.

The prizes include $600 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of each book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:
1. Purchase your copies of Moa and Statue of Ku for just $0.99.
2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity
3. Visit today’s featured social media event

About Moa: 
Eighteen-year-old, Hillary, anticipates adventure as she embarks for trip to Honolulu, but gets more than she bargained for when Moa, an ancient Hawaiian spirit, pays her an unexpected visit. Get it on Amazon.

About Statue of Ku:
The second book in the Moa Book Series, "The Statue of Ku" follows Hillary and Moa as they jet to Egypt on the Prince’s private plane to reclaim Moa’s family heirloom, the inimitable statue of Ku. Get it on Amazon.

About the author: 
Tricia Stewart Shiu combines her addiction to the written word with her avid interest in the healing arts and all things metaphysical in her novels Moa and Statue of Ku and looks forward to finding new ways to unite her two loves.
Visit Tricia on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Moa by Tricia Stewart Shiu Blog Tour Excerpt

Please enjoy this excerpt from Moa, a paranormal YA novel with a literary bent by Tricia Stewart Shiu. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $6000 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, 5 autographed copies of Moa, and 5 autographed copies of its sequel, Statue of Ku.  

Eighteen-year-old, Hillary Hause’s left thumb searches frantically to turn on the “I’m Okay to Fly” hypnotherapy recording. Her nerves on edge, fuchsia fingernails press into the blue pleather armrests of her airplane seat.

“No spells can help you now,” she whispers to herself under her breath—then checks to see if anyone notices. Nope, they don’t.

The plane lifts through the early morning, gray fog of California, “June Gloom” giving way to the azure sky, and Hillary covers her curly brown head and retreats beneath the questionably clean plane blanket cranking the volume to drown out the drone of the engines.

“Outer shell close to breaking.” This time she doesn’t care if anyone hears.

I hover just beyond her “outer shell”—a movement in the periphery, a faintly familiar scent, a fond memory just beyond recognition, a non-human observer. Before the week is up, Hillary will save my life, as I will hers. But, for now, more about Hillary.

The drink cart rolls past the blanket, which has, by now become a moist steamy cave.   

“Hey, freak. I hope your plane crashes.” The memory reverberates through her brain despite her attempts to distract herself with the hypnotherapy recording. She increases the volume, but the ugly conversation, which occurred just before school ended, still haunts her mind.

“I guess the only people they check on those flights are the suspicious ones,” Krystal Sykes, a bully from her home room, leans in as Hillary hastens to grab books for her next class. Krystal, also a senior, has hounded Hillary since the first day of freshman year and this is the final day during the final hour at this tiny high school of 376 students —where everyone knows everyone else’s business.

“Look, Krystal.” Hillary turns her eyes toward the sneering blonde.

“It’s the last day of school, we’ll never see each other again. Can you give it a rest?” These are the most words the two young women have exchanged in the entire four years of high school.

 A look of shock replaces Krystal’s smug snick, “Oh, so now you talk.” She leans in, so close that her spray tan becomes a patchy Impressionist painting. Her pores are blotched with cakey, two shades too dark powder, her unblended cream eyeshadow creases across the center of her lid and her tropical breeze flavored breath threatens to strangle the words right out of Hillary.

“I know all about your witchcraft practices and have made a few spells of my own. Trust me. You’ll never make it to your sister’s house in Hawaii.” Krystal’s backpack jingles and Hillary watches her spin around and skip down the hall.  

Hillary is not a witch. She has, however, carefully crafted a “shell” to protect herself from bullies like Krystal—who, as far as Hillary can tell—is not a witch either. She has watched Krystal throughout elementary, middle and high school and has not been able to discern whether or not she practices witchcraft. No matter what Krystal’s background, her intent is to harm. And there is nothing worse than a spell with an aim to hurt. Hillary has had no choice but to remain in a constant state of defensiveness.

The twenty-minute recording ends and Hillary falls into a troubled sleep—feeling every bump and hearing every creak of the plane.

With about an hour left in the flight, Hillary awakens with a “turtle headache.” Hillary’s older sister Molly taught her this term which means a headache caused by sleeping too long underneath the covers of one’s bed.

Sadly, Molly lost her husband, Steve, last year in an unfortunate surfing accident. The throbbing pain in Hillary’s left temple could be the result of remaining submerged beneath an airplane blanket and wedged between the window and armrest, or it could be from worry about how Molly and her niece, Heidi are dealing with their devastating loss. 

Disoriented, Hillary pokes her head out just in time to glimpse puffy clouds and sparkling sea below. A flood of excitement and sheer wonder flows through Hillary in the form of a tingle from her head to her toes. And then, a lovely thought: “...And for an Everlasting Roof, The Gambrels of the Sky...” She will enjoy this plane ride, thanks in part to Emily Dickinson.

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Moa and Statue of Ku eBook editions have both been dropped to just 99 cents this week.

What’s more, by purchasing either of these fantastic books at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.

The prizes include $600 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of each book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE.

Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:
1. Purchase your copies of Moa and Statue of Ku for just $0.99
2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity
3. Visit today’s featured social media event

About Moa:
Eighteen-year-old, Hillary, anticipates adventure as she embarks for trip to Honolulu, but gets more than she bargained for when Moa, an ancient Hawaiian spirit, pays her an unexpected visit. Get it on Amazon.

About Statue of Ku:
The second book in the Moa Book Series, "The Statue of Ku" follows Hillary and Moa as they jet to Egypt on the Prince’s private plane to reclaim Moa’s family heirloom, the inimitable statue of Ku. Get it on Amazon.

About the author: 
Tricia Stewart Shiu combines her addiction to the written word with her avid interest in the healing arts and all things metaphysical in her novels Moa and Statue of Ku and looks forward to finding new ways to unite her two loves.
Visit Tricia on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Farah Evers Designs Giveaway

As most of you know, I won the best blogger award from Tempting Book Tours :) Well, part of winning that was a coupon for graphic designs from Farah Evers. Since I do not need this coupon, I'm going to pass it on to you :) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Propheticus by Emma Daley Blog Tour Guest Post

Author Emma Daley has stopped by today with a guest post for the Propheticus Blog Tour!

Blurb about Propheticus:
This is a self published, sci-fi fantasy book set in an ancient universe. Four destined characters run into each other by chance and discover their pasts connect them in a prophecy to destroy some of the universes most gruesome creatures. The mystery of Aniah's past begins to unravel when she meets a stranger in the desert outside her ranch on the planet Delucia. Strange things start to happen around the ranch and Aniah experiences horrible nightmares of a dark creature the longer this stranger stays and the more she begins to question her fathers disappearance years ago. This story takes you to other worlds and although the first novel offers a little more romance and mystery with some thriller, the other novels in the series have more action and adventure in them as the characters travel the universe and visit incredible worlds. Sample from the book: There is something frightening about the way a hateful, unknown creature looks back at you. The way its beady red eyes snarl at you, and it's cheek curls with a hiss to reveal the greedy canines beneath. It is one thing to dream of this beastly creature, and it is another to have it inches from your face, its warm ungodly breath on your cheek, and its pallid gray bones reaching to devour you. My name is Aniah, and once my world was safe. But like many others throughout the universe-and here on the planet Delucia-fate would have me meet with the Mangitori de Sangue; an ancient army of blood-lusting creatures who have been frightening and devouring the inhabitants of the universe for decades. My fate brings me deep into their world. In fact, it is written somewhere-and the stories have been told long before I was ever born-of a prophecy wherein a young woman with the heart and soul of an angel will lead the universe in a victory against the Mangitori de Sangue. I am that woman. I just have to stay alive long enough to figure out how.

Guest Post:
How did I come to develop Novell?
I like to know a lot about the background of characters and where they come from. A lot of people like to know how I came to develop different characters, and I think Novell is one of the most interesting characters myself; because we know a bit about him, but there is just so much more to his story that I couldn’t cover in the book. Although it does touch some one who he is and where he came from, Novell’s life is complex. Some people like to know how that developed, so I will elaborate. Novell started out as a love interest. I knew what he was before he was written, but what I didn’t know was what made him that way and that was the fun part.

Novell is mysterious, he is so strong and wise and I love that about him. But what makes a person strong, physically agile and wise beyond his years? Experience. Novell had to have some pretty wild experiences to know what he knows and that was fun to kind of think about what might have helped him, what kind of environment and what kinds of influences. But more than that, there was a mystery to Novell’s past that attributed to his knowledge and skills more than anything. The best part is that he doesn’t even know it and who doesn’t love a man that is not arrogant right? Novell was given some very special attributes by his narrator, of course. First it was his name, Novell is pronounced “no vul”, which most people pronounce that wrong, and he was named after a dear friend of my husbands that passed away when he was just seventeen. My husband often talked about Novell, he was from London, and I just loved that name. I also wanted to sort of immortalize this person that meant so much to my husband and make him someone very special. Novell’s sort-of calm demeanor and wisdom came from my husband. A ninja and retired bodyguard, my husband carries himself so calmly, even though you know that he could take someone’s head off in a second J. Ninja’s are wise and so Novell was sort of created like a Nomadic Ancient Ninja **double smiley face**.

Image of Emma Daley
About Emma Daley:
At only the age of three, you could find Emma perched in the center of the dining table, a tape player in her lap, while the other kids gathered to listen to her recite her own creative version of her favorite tales like "Jack and The Bean Stalk" or "Peter Pan". Her imagination was fueled when she signed up for a high school Greek Mythology class. It was there in high school Mythology class that Emma found her dream. Her teacher recognized her talent, and encouraged her to pursue a career in the one thing that brought her imagination to life, writing. As a military wife and with life's fast pace and strenuous demands, it wasn't until she was 26 that she finally decided to pursue those long forgotten dreams. She started her very first novel Propheticus in November of 2008, which will be released in December of 2010 and is working on the 2nd and 3rd sequels, with several other book ideas on the shelf waiting to be dusted off and put into words.

Author Links:
Propheticus Blog
Amazon Kindle
Amazon Paperback

Black Satin by Rae Hachton Tour Guest Post

I have had the lovely opportunity to be a part of the "Black Satin" tour. For today's post, Rae has joined us and given us a little insight to one of her favorite obsessions :) So without further's Rae...

My Undying Fascination with The Victorian Era & Goth

Oh Wow, Where do I even start?!

The Furniture? The Clothing? The Language? The Customs? Chivalry? ALL of that is super awesome!

And when I mix all of these awesome things with the idea of Goth, wow, I'm in total creation heaven! And...there is so much to be said about Steampunk + Victorian Era. I'm exuberantly animated right now just thinking about it. I could just go on and on and on.

Some awesome authors write about the Victorian Era, and some combine the Victorian Era Ideals with Steampunk elements or alternate realities.

In Black Satin, I mixed my love of the Victorian Era with Steampunk and Goth Elements. The whole time I was writing it, I was on the edge of my seat unable to type fast enough. That's exactly how happy it makes me. *Smiles*

I collect Victorian Literature, it's my absolute favorite thing to read. I study the Language of it, I study the diction. Some of the best writers emerged during that Era. I LOVE the concept of Gothic Romanticism, where a writer takes dark, horrific ideas and makes them rather appealing. This concept alone, helped shape Pretty in Black.

I wanted to combine Goth, Romanticism, and my favorite things from the Victorian Era, but give the story a very modern feel and not have it attached specifically to the Victorian Era, meaning, this is not the time frame in which the main story line took place.

I wanted it to be Gothic, Romantic, and Stylistic. I also wanted to toss in a little E.A. Poe flavor in the right measurement to give it an extra-special resonance. I had a lot of things I aimed to accomplish while writing this book.

In Black Satin, I wanted to incorporate my love of Steampunk, yet, I didn't want to do an alternate reality submerged in Victorian Era. I wanted to keep it modern, but have the other world that Ellie visits to be a world that echoed steampunk aspects.

But yes, as you can radiantly tell, I LOVE Victorian Gothic things. My dream is to live in a Victorian Castle, with Victorian Furniture and parade around in Victorian clothing and for vampires and gargoyles to be real so I can finally meet one. But this is a dream, a really, really far-fetched dream that I've had ever since ninth grade...and I'm 23 now. But now I live out my longtime daydream through creative fiction to make it seem more healthy that I'm still fantasizing about this magical world.

You can stalk Rae here:
Author Website

Pretty in Black website

You can purchase Rae's books here:

And don't forget to check out the giveaway :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Musa Giveaway Winner announced!!

So I completely forgot to announce the winner for the Musa giveaway!! I swear I need a personal assistant some days LOL

So without further ado....

The winner is....

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congrats!!! I will be in contact with you shortly :)

In Leah's Wake by Terry Giuliano Long Book of the Day Promo

Protecting their children comes naturally for Zoe and Will Tyler -
until their daughter Leah decides to actively destroy her own future.

Leah grew up in a privileged upper-middle class world. Her parents spared no expense for her happiness; she had all-but secured an Ivy League scholarship and a future as a star athlete. Then she met Todd.

Leah’s parents watch helplessly as their daughter falls into a world of drugs, sex, and wild parties. While Will attempts to control his daughter’s every move to prevent her from falling deeper into this dangerous new life, Zoe prefers to give Leah slack in the hope that she may learn from her mistakes. Their divided approach drives their daughter out of their home and a wedge into their marriage.

Twelve-year-old Justine observes Leah’s rebellion from the shadows of their fragmented family. She desperately seeks her big sister’s approval and will do whatever it takes to obtain it. Meanwhile she is left to question whether her parents love her and whether God even knows she exists.

What happens when love just isn’t enough? Who will pay the consequences of Leah’s vagrant lifestyle? Can this broken family survive the destruction left in Leah’s wake?

Do you have any feelings in general that you are disturbed by? What are they? Why do they disturb you?
By Todd Corbett

Sometimes I get so pissed off, I don’t know what to do with myself, you know? I get all fired up and my stomach churns and my head feels like it’s about to explode. The wrong guy crosses me or gets in my way, I swear to God I could kill him. That scares that crap out of me, if you want to know the truth. If I had a gun, there’s no telling what I might do. I’m not saying I’d necessarily use it. I’m just saying I might.

You know how it feels to know something like that about yourself? Not good. Face it: under the right circumstances, anybody could kill. Normal people don’t think about it all the time. They know what they can expect of themselves. They don’t worry about blowing their brains out before they hit twenty-five.

Yeah, I know how it sounds – I ain’t stupid! – but I’m not a bad person. I don’t think I am, anyhow. These feelings, I don’t know where they come from. It’s like they hide inside me or something, ready to spring. My old lady thinks I’m depressed. She’s wrong. This ain’t depression—no how, no way. It’s rage, dude.

When I was in middle school, they put me on antidepressants. The pills made me feel like somebody else, a stranger inside my own body. I couldn’t even think straight. I used to do all right in school, got mostly As. My grades slipped. I was hopped up on the pills for months. By the time I got off, I was done with school. I kept going – I mean, get real, you don’t quit when you’re twelve – but I always did lousy.

All those months on the pills, plus they sent me to a shrink. The guy was a total moron. Insisted I was depressed because my old man took off. Give me a break. Yeah, it would have been good to have him around when we needed him, but it didn’t depress me. I didn’t know the guy. Try telling that to a shrink.


Things have been better since I met my girl. Leah, that’s her name. Leah Tyler. What a babe! Blonde, blue eyes. Plays soccer and she’s got a kicking bod. She makes me a lot calmer. The rage is still there—it ain’t going away—but I don’t always feel like I’m on the verge of knocking some joker off. That’s huge.

For a month or so, it felt like a miracle, you know? I could get high just looking at her. We were always laughing, joking around. Problem is, it don’t last. Now we fight like any other couple and that gets me all worked up. Even if we’re not fighting, the anxiety’s there. Her old man hates my guts. That’s part of the problem. The other part, well, it’s natural, I guess. I wish things were different. I just wish I was normal.


I ain’t going nowhere and neither is she. We love each other, me and her. We’re in this for the long run.

Who is Todd Corbett?

He is Leah’s boyfriend in the novel, In Leah’s Wake.
Todd Corbett dropped out of school in the tenth grade and spent two years on the road with a rock band, working as a roadie. He currently works as a clerk at a used record store and lives with his single mother in Cortland,Massachusetts. His girlfriend, Leah Tyler, makes his world go around.

Protecting their children comes naturally for Zoe and Will Tyler - until their daughter Leah decides to actively destroy her own future. What happens when love just isn’t enough? Who will pay the consequences of Leah’s vagrant lifestyle? Can this broken family survive the destruction left in Leah’s wake?

INTERVIEW:What is one book everyone should read?
The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. This powerful novel transports us to a harsh post-apocalyptic world, where humans have been reduced to animal instinct—for the inhabitants of this world, murder and cannibalism are a means of survival.

In this unforgiving environment, McCarthy gives us a tender, elegantly rendered father and son. In their travels, the man and his son meet horrific challenges and hardships, yet they face each challenge with dignity and grace. Near death, the man says to his son: "You have my whole heart. You always did.” Years after reading the novel, the love of this father and son—their amazing bond—awes and inspires me.

This stunning work ends unexpectedly, with a promise of rebirth and renewal.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Almond Joy. In my novel, In Leah’s Wake, there’s an ice cream stand called Sullivan Farms, run by Bob Sullivan. Bob is a real person. Sullivan Farms Ice Cream is located in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts. Bob’s homemade Almond Joy ice cream is to die for.

If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?
Jesus. Growing up Catholic, I don’t think I fully appreciated the historical Jesus. A few years ago, considering a PhD in theology, I took two grad courses. The critical analyses fascinated me—literary, historical, archeological, feminist, etc.—and I realized how relevant the readings continue to be. From a humanist perspective, Jesus was a brilliant man with a tremendous capacity for love and forgiveness. He loved, trusted and forgave even those who didn’t deserve love, trust or forgiveness, and he forgave out of strength, not weakness. I’d love the chance to learn from him.

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
If I could eat anything at all without gaining weight, I’d start each day with a stack of pancakes with butter and maple syrup. In the real world, I typically go for a low-ish fat protein. In San Francisco, Dave and I enjoyed a wonderful egg white omelet with broccoli, arugula, leeks and goat cheese. That’s now my favorite breakfast treat.

Night owl, or early bird?
I was an early bird for most of my life. Lately, because I tend to over-commit and am usually behind in my work, I’ve turned into a night owl. I also hate to miss anything.

One food you would never eat?
I don’t care for fennel and I’m allergic to shellfish and cherries. Otherwise, I’ll eat most foods. When a guest, to avoid insulting my host or hostess, I’ll try almost anything. In Beijing, Dave and I went to a local restaurant with two students. The menu was written in Chinese, so our friends ordered. When the steaming bowl arrived, I dug in – and pulled out a frog. Its head had been removed, but the body was fully intact. Lots of people eat frog, but this was green. I also ate mystery fish and chicken feet. Unless I didn’t know what it was, I think I’d draw the line at bugs.

Pet Peeves?
Selfishness and entitlement bother me. We share one world with limited resources. Circumstances sometimes require privileging certain people – for instance, in a health emergency medical personnel must be first to receive medical attention so they can care for the rest of us. In everyday life, there is no excuse for pushing and shoving. We’re all in a hurry. We all want what we want. That doesn’t give us the right to cut the line or demand special treatment. In a piece called “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” Robert Fulghum writes that he learned, among other things, to: “share everything; play fair; don’t hit people; put things back where you found them; clean up your own mess; don’t take things that aren’t yours; say you’re sorry when you hurt someone.” There is a lot of wisdom in those lessons.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
In Leah’s Wake, about a family in transition, tells a topical story that people relate to, but it’s also about the need for community and connection and, although sometimes sad, offers hope and redemption.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I’m currently at work on a psychological thriller with a historical twist. Nowhere to Run takes place in the White Mountains in northern New Hampshire.

After the brutal unsolved murder of her six-year-old daughter, award-winning writer Abby Minot had put her laptop away. A year later, emerging from a deep depression, she accepts her first assignment, a human-interest story on the wealthy and powerful Chase clan, the immediate family of Matthias Chase—a wildly popular congressman from northern New Hampshire.

Congressman Chase—a self-described "new Republican," fiscally conservative, socially just—has built his platform on unsubstantiated claims that his ancestors were abolitionists. When a subterranean chamber is discovered under a barn on the family property, the Chase estate is declared an official stop on the Underground Railroad. Soon after, Chase launches a campaign for the presidency.

After accepting the assignment, Abby and her two surviving children travel to the Chase estate in the White Mountains for a month-long stay. In her initial research, she glimpses darkness under the shiny veneer. Digging deeper, she uncovers a shocking web of lies and betrayal, dating back to the nineteenth century. Abby soon finds herself trapped-between an editor obsessed with uncovering the truth and the town and family who will stop at nothing to ensure it stays hidden.

The book is set to launch on September 15, 2012.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
When I published In Leah’s Wake, I had no clue as to what I was doing. Stupidly, too embarrassed to self-promote, I posted the book on Amazon and left it at that. I mean really left it at that– not even my parents knew I’d published the book!

I sold two copies in October, four in November, and thirty-four in December. By March, with sales lagging, I realized that if I didn’t dosomething my book would die. In early March, I began blogging and activated my Twitter account.

Once I got used to the idea that marketing didn’t have to mean shameless self-promotion, 24/7, I began to have fun and I actually enjoyed it. I’ve now sold close to 100,000 books. Getting there took a lot of hard work and dedication, and I’m proud of that accomplishment. Publishing In Leah’s Wake forced me out of my comfort zone. I had to learn to respect and value my work and share it with other people. It was hard and it took time to figure it all out. But it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I’ve also had the great good fortune of meeting many wonderful people!

What is your dream cast for your book?
Will Tyler – Matt Damon. Mr. Damon exudes fatherly love and protectiveness and he’s very intense. If his daughter were in trouble, I can picture him going into overdrive, like Will, and doing whatever it takes to pull her back.

Zoe Tyler – Sandra Bullock. I see her as loving, driven and ditzy, a less strident version of Leigh Anne Tuohy, the mom she played in The Blind Side.

Leah Tyler – For the role of Leah, I’d search for new talent. Caroline Wakefield, as played by Erika Christensen in the film Traffic, reminded me of Leah, in her all-American beauty and stunning transformation from preppy to drug-addicted prostitute. Ms. Christensen is too old for this role, but she’d be the prototype.

Justine Tyler – Abigail Breslin. Like Justine, she’s sweet and dorky and cute. She’s also precocious and strong.

Jerry Johnson – Vince Vaughn. He’s not the guy who walks into a room and gets the girl, but he’s centered and responsible, the rock for the others to lean on.

Todd Corbett (Leah’s boyfriend) – Jordan Masek. Jordan plays the role of Todd in my trailer. In real life, Jordan is actually a very sweet guy. But he knows how to channel his inner bad boy. I can’t imagine a more appropriately cast Todd.

What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Believe in yourself. To deal with rejection, boot your computer, day after day, when it seems as if no one cares and you wonder if maybe the stars are misaligned, you have to believe in yourself.

Writing is a lonely profession. Most of the time, we’re alone with our work. That loneliness can wear on you and cause you to question yourself. Cherish your friendships. A community of supportive writer friends can encourage and sustain you when your confidence flags.

Keep the faith. Don’t ever give up. You can make your dreams happen!

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?Whenever we travel at some point in the trip I think, wouldn’t it be great to live here. But there really is no place like home. Dave and I have four daughters. Right now, our children are spread across the country—in Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, and California—fulfilling their own journeys. When everyone is settled or finished with school, I hope to live near or within a reasonable drive of all our children. That’s my dream home.

What's the craziest writing idea you've had?
I once had an idea for a novel about a woman who marries a dog. The idea grew out of an article I’d read, so it wasn’t quite as bizarre as it seems. Or maybe it was. Obviously it never went anywhere.

What's the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Be grateful and appreciate others. At the end of the day, the people in our life are all we have. No one ever dies wishing she’d worked longer hours or made more money or sold more books. It’s tough, because our culture values things over people and rewards monetary success. It’s important to remember that, in fact, we’ve got it backward. People – our friends, our family, our community – are our most valuable and precious assets. It’s far easier to recognize this and appreciate others if we’re grateful for what we have and all we’ve been given.

What do you do in your free time?
Hands down, my favorite activity is spending time with my family. I also enjoy walking and hiking, and I’m a passionate traveller and foodie. Dave and I have had the good fortune of visiting many interesting places over the years. For most of my life, I dreamed of travelling to China. It’s hard to describe the wonder of the Great Wall. From the towers, you see the wall continuing into the horizon. It’s positively breathtaking. I was awed by the power of humankind. I’ve felt this way in many places, inspired by the perseverance, creativity and ingenuity of people, awed by the beauty of the mountains, the valleys, the sun setting over the water.

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
There’s a book already – called The Little Engine That Could. In Leah’s Wake is a quiet literary novel. When I first began marketing, a former agent told me she’d found the book boring and assured me that I’d never sell 1000 copies (my goal at the time). I was so distraught; had I not been in the midst of a blog tour, I might have packed up my book and gone home. The bloggers had been gracious enough to read my novel and host me on their blog, so I felt I owed it to them to soldier on. There were many days when I questioned myself, wondering why I’d published the book. Those four words, I think I can, drove me on. If you think you can—accomplish whatever your goal—you’re right. You truly can!

What's your favorite season/weather?
I’m partial to spring, though on a bright sunny day, any season feels perfect. I’ve spent much of my life in the Boston area and currently live in Vermont. There is nothing quite as stunning as a clear fall day in New England, with the warm sun and colorful leaves. But in spring, as the days get longer, I feel hopeful and alive.

Who or what inspired you to become an author?
When I was a child, my mom read to us every day. Her reading instilled and nurtured a love of reading and stories. As a young child, I entertained myself by making up stories and plays. In high school, I worked as a stringer for the town paper - my first paid writing job - and I loved every minute. They paid me ten cents a word. Soon I was offered a column, called “High School News.” I wrote about anything that occurred to me or that I considered interesting, really. People actually read the column. That was exciting – and it launched my writing career.

When my children were young, I wrote news and feature articles for a local and regional paper, edited technical articles for trade magazines, and wrote marketing and web copy. In the nineties, I turned my attention to writing fiction. Early on, I published several short stories in lit magazines.In Leah’s Wake is my first novel. Nowhere to Run will be my second full-length work of fiction.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m a closet nerd. To the world, I appear cool and relaxed, but I’m actually very shy. Before a public appearance, I’m anxious for days and it takes me forever to decide what to wear. I’m also a choc-o-holic and a shoe whore.

About In Leah’s Wake
The Tylers have the perfect life—beautiful home, established careers, two sweet and talented daughters. While their eldest daughter, Leah, an exceptional soccer player, is on track for a prestigious scholarship, their youngest, Justine—more responsible than seems possible for her 12 years—just wants her sister’s approval. With Leah nearing the end of high school and Justine a seemingly together kid, the parents are set to enjoy a peaceful life…until everything goes wrong.

Will this family survive in Leah’s Wake? What happens when love just isn’t enough?

Awards & Recognition
Coffee Time Reviewer Recommend Award
Book Bundlz Book Club, 2011 Book Pick
Book Bundlz 2011 Favorites, First Place
Amazon Kindle Top 200 Overall, January 2011
Amazon Kindle, Top 10 Literary Fiction, January 2011
Amazon Books, Top 10 Women’s Fiction, January 2011

Praise for In Leah’s Wake
"Sometimes scary, sometimes sad, and always tender." - Susan Straight, National Book Award finalist, author Take One Candle Light A Room

 “Pulled me right along as I continued to make comparisons to my own life.” Jennifer Donovan, 5 Minutes for Books, Top 50 Book Blog

“An incredibly strong debut, this book is fantastic on many fronts.” Naomi Blackburn, Founder Sisterhood of the Traveling Book

“As a therapist, I found this novel to be . . .an accurate description of what can happen when our youth are pushed too hard, parents stop communicating, and the family system breaks down.” Susan Salluce, author Out of Breath

“A very moving and, at times, heartbreaking story which will be loved by many, whether they be parents or not.” A. Rose, Amazon UK, TOP 100 REVIEWER

“I'm adding Terri Giuliano Long to my list of authors I want to be stranded with.” Susie Kline, Book Blogger, Motherhoot

About the Author: 
Terri Giuliano Long is the bestselling author of the novel In Leah’s Wake. Her life outside of books is devoted to her family. In her free time, she enjoys walking, traveling, and listening to music. True to her Italian-American heritage, she’s an enthusiastic cook. In an alternate reality, she might be an international food writer. She lives with her family on the East Coast and teaches at Boston College. In Leah’s Wake is her debut novel.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Women's Fiction / Contemporary
Rating - PG13
More details about the author
View the trailer for this book

Connect with Terri Giuliano Long on Twitter & Facebook
Check out where this author will be talking about her latest release!

Moa by Tricia Stewart Shiu Blog Tour Interview

Please enjoy this interview with Tricia Stewart Shiu, author of the paranormal YA novel with a literary bent Moa. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $6000 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, 5 autographed copies of Moa, and 5 autographed copies of its sequel, Statue of Ku.

1. The Moa Book series has a metaphysical theme. Do you have any expertise in this area?

I am an energetic intuitive and have a talent for creating powerful healing essential oil blends and gem elixirs. The unearthing of these talents occurred as I embarked on a metaphysical journey, which included studies in mediumship, pagan and Huna rituals as well as an energy healing technique called “Crystalline Consciousness Technique.” I also studied a variety of shamanic clearing methods and healing rituals.

2. You get pretty heavy into the metaphysical. Are you, in fact, a witch?

Like, Hillary, I question who I am on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. For centuries, women have been persecuted and even killed for being labeled a witch. I have studied many forms of healing rituals and magic and discovered that I have talents for using essential oils and crystals for the highest good. Others, who have witnessed the results of my practices, have called me many things: healer, shaman, and yes, witch. I choose not to accept any of these names but to embrace all of them as one growing changing name—wishealer or heshitch—to coin a phrase...or maybe not. As I discover more talents, gifts and unique parts to myself, this unusual word is sure to undergo a metamorphosis and may grow to the size of Moa's real, and quite lengthy, Hawaiian name.

3. What are your favorite books and how have they touched you as a reader?

Albert Einstein said, "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” The books/stories that touch me most echo the theme of humanity and self discovery and include a sense of adventure and wonder. Ray Bradbury's short story, Frost and Fire is a shocking, but tender story about a boy's journey into a world where people only live eight days. James Joyce's Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man inspired me to unleash my inner censor and allow my truth to shine though my writing. If I could wish anything for those who read my books, it would be the gift of self acceptance and self acknowledgement.

4. How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish? 

Good question. I went back into my notes and discovered that it took me exactly three months and ten days to write Moa from beginning to end. That seems to be my average writing speed, three months. My aunt Rebecca Gummere is my editor extraordinaire. We have developed a comfortable and productive working rhythm that balances creativity and structure and brings such joy and enrichment to the work.

5. Who designs the covers for your books? 

The brilliant and talented Sydney Shiu took the cover photos when she was six during a trip to Hawaii. Scott Torrance brought his years of experience in photographic art and design to the layouts.

6. What was the hardest part of writing your book? 

The time between stories is the most challenging for me. When I am inside a story and writing I am filled with peace and joy. When I finish and have to leave that world, I mourn the loss of this comforting place--the same is true when I finish reading a great book. Nevertheless, I believe that this sadness brings with it a great opportunity and depth of creativity and I wouldn’t change a thing about the process.

7. Any take-away message you want readers to grasp? 

Each of us has at least one divine gift to remember. The moment we wake up and retrieve the memory of who we are and what we are here to do, that's when the adventure begins.

8. When did you first consider yourself an author? 

I was in middle school and read James Joyce’s Portrait of an Artist for the first time. About an hour later, I was overcome by an urge to write, an impulse I readily indulged. Time stood still, I still can't quite remember what happened during that frenzied period of first creation. All I remember is coming to with pages upon pages filled with words in front of me. It felt incredible to express myself so freely. I've never looked back.

9. Did you start out writing novels? 

No. I started out writing short stories when I was young. Then when I began acting, I wrote one-woman shows and plays, eventually combining my efforts of performance and writing in a piece called Doing Lunch which made it’s way into a short film trilogy directed by Hal Trussel. That film won “Best Dramatic Short” at the Houston Film Festival.

10. What was your main source of inspiration for the Moa book series? 

When I was five, I was visited by a vision. I'll never forget it, I was running down the stairs and the entity, a girl with dark hair, stopped me in my tracks. The spirit said that I would go through a deeply challenging time in my life, but would resurface, later in life, with unimaginable joy and fulfillment. That vision stayed with me. In middle school, I would sit quietly at my desk adding up the years to figure out exactly when my life would turn around. And then I forgot. I got busy, my work and the stress of family life took over and I was completely overwhelmed and in desperate need of a vacation. My husband, daughter and I decided to go to Hawaii. When the plane landed in Honolulu, I remember feeling the difference in the atmosphere as I disembarked. The air made me somehow, remember that there was a part of me that knew…something…what was it? Never mind, I was in Hawaii it was time to see the sights! So, I sped off to see Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach and then headed home for an afternoon nap before an evening luau. As I drifted toward sleep, I heard my name being called. In my mind's eye, I saw a beautiful young woman with dark hair, who said her name was Moaahuulikkiaaakea’o Haanaapeekuluueehuehakipuunahe’e—Moa for short. And then I remembered.
As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Moa and Statue of Ku eBook editions have both been dropped to just 99 cents this week. 
What’s more, by purchasing either of these fantastic books at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.

The prizes include $600 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of each book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE.

Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:
1. Purchase your copies of Moa and Statue of Ku for just 99 cents
2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity
3. Visit today’s featured social media event

About Moa:
Eighteen-year-old, Hillary, anticipates adventure as she embarks for trip to Honolulu, but gets more than she bargained for when Moa, an ancient Hawaiian spirit, pays her an unexpected visit. Get it on Amazon.

About Statue of Ku:
The second book in the Moa Book Series, "The Statue of Ku" follows Hillary and Moa as they jet to Egypt on the Prince’s private plane to reclaim Moa’s family heirloom, the inimitable statue of Ku. Get it on Amazon.

About the author:
Tricia Stewart Shiu combines her addiction to the written word with her avid interest in the healing arts and all things metaphysical in her novels Moa and Statue of Ku and looks forward to finding new ways to unite her two loves.
Visit Tricia on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tempting Book Tours Contest Winner!!!

As most of you know, I am a tour host with Tempting Book Tours. Well, awhile back they held a contest for the best host...and I won!!

I was totally surprised by this win, as I didn't do anything different than I normally do when posting. So I guess I'm just awesome like that LOL. Thank you so much for this amazing honor!!

This contest was held in conjunction with TBT's graphic designer, Farah Evers Graphic Designs. Check both of them out when you get a chance. You won't regret it!!

UtopYA Con!!! Need I say more???

UtopYA Con: Where all the cool kids go to meet their favorite female authors!

It’s time to get excited and to get to Nashville for the first ever UtopYA Con, which is the convention for female, paranormal/fantasy young adult authors and readers who love them. It will be held at the Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville, TN on July 6-8, 2012. Would you like to come? You’re already excited I know, but wait until I tell you who’s coming (and this is just a few)… Myra McEntire (Hourglass and Timepiece), Angeline Kace (Descended by Blood), Amy Bartol (The Premonition Series), Tammy Blackwell (Timber Wolves), Tiffany King (Saving Angels), Abbi Glines (The Vincent Boys), Ella James (Stained), Jessica Sorenson (Fallen Star), and so many more! You can find the full list at the UtopYA Con website.

Here’s what a few of them are saying about going to UtopYA Con: 
Raine Thomas (Daughters of Saraquel)- “"The world's been waiting for a conference like UtopYA. It's unique and in a class of its own. If you enjoy YA fantasy and paranormal stories, you can't miss this event!” 

Chelsea Fine (Sophie and Carter)- “"Don't miss out on UtopYa Con 2012: Bringing your YA books to life!" 

Brina Courtney (Cryptid Tales)- “If you’re a true YA fan, you’ll be there, mixing it up with all of us.” 

But it’s not just for fans, it’s for authors too. Learn the tricks of the trade from people who are there, doing it successfully already. There are sessions and panels for both readers and writers alike. 

So how about it? You wanna go? Well obviously you do, but here’s the question… ARE YOU GOING? 

Here’s where you can find out more about tickets

Now, so maybe you’re awesome, but you can’t go, and you’re bummed obviously. Well you still want to participate right? Here’s your chance, from now until June 29th, 2012 you can vote for your favorite books to win UtopYA Con awards, hosted by CMT’s Katie Cook. Pretty sweet right? I know, I think so too. 

Anyway because we had so many blogs help us to promote this unique event we decided to do some fun giveaways provided by some of our authors at UtopYA Con and some other authors. 

Good luck and we’ll see you at UtopYA Con! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Want to visit other sites in this hop? Go to:

Road to Hell Series by Gracen Miller Blog Tour Interview

Hello all!! Madison has stopped by my blog today for Gracen's blog tour. I've asked her a few questions, so sit back, relax, and get to know Madison a little better :)

What do you want from life?

Madison: I’d love to live a normal life. Being a demon and having a son that’s half- demon half-angel, normal is a concept I’ll never understand. *shrugs* I guess we all deal with what fate hands us, huh?

What parts of loving come easy for you? Hard?

Madison: Loving comes easy, it’s just hard to let someone love me in return. *shifts in seat* Being part demon, I feel it’s best others not show me affection. I don’t want to taint that person with the evil that surrounds my life. And it’s less dangerous for them if they don’t care about me.

When you walk into a room, what do you expect people to notice about you?

Madison: My height. People always notice my height first. Being as tall as men makes a woman stand out.

What are you most afraid of?

Madison: Being unable to save my child from his father’s blasphemous plan. *pinches bridge of her nose* I’m unsure I’ll succeed. I lose sleep over that at night.

What's the most important thing in your life? What do you value most?

Madison: Amos is the most important person in my life. *voice hardens* Avoiding the evil his father has designed for him is my single most valued goal. I’ll do anything for Amos, even if it means darkening my own soul to save him.

How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change?

Madison: It could be worse. It has been worse. The changes I would make are too numerous to enumerate.

When and where were you the happiest?

Madison: I was the happiest when I married Micah and had my son, Amos. And Nix…*smiles fondly* Nix has made me happier than I’ve been in a long time, but I’ll probably be his eventual downfall.

Which living person do you most despise?

Madison: My brother-in-law, Elias. Can’t find anyone more evil than him.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

Madison: Honesty. Haven’t experienced too much of that in my life.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Madison: My demon.

Who are your heroes in real life?

Madison: Nix and his family, the Birminghams. They save people everyday from paranormal monsters without any expectations of compensation. Putting their life on the line for strangers…*shakes head* I can’t say I’d do the same, especially not with their diligence.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Madison: I would be a plain-Jane human, with no hint of succubus DNA or paranormal life. But to wish that would mean I’d have to forfeit my son, so I guess there’s nothing I would change about myself.

Did you turn out the way you expected?

Madison: *laughs* Definitely not. I have a photographic memory, so I’d planned to go as far in school as I could. It was my failsafe plan to escape my daddy’s control. I’d have some nice quiet job where I was as unnoticeable as possible. Then I met Micah and my goals shifted. I loved him so much, that all I thought about was making him happy. *clears her throat and glances away uncomfortably * I wasn’t very good at making him happy. Then he abandoned me with our son. That’s when things seemed to spiral out of control and I hit the Road to Hell at a dead-run. Yeah…*ironic chuckle* My life definitely did not turn out the way I anticipated.

Did you turn out the way your parents predicted?

Madison: *shakes head* Not the way my daddy would’ve predicted, but my mother knew. She made a deal with a King of Hell for me before I was even conceived. No decent mother does something that horrendous.

Madison's Life Lessons :
Pandora's Box:
Hell's Phoenix:

Gracen's bio:
Gettin' to Know Mamma Hellhound
Gracen Miller is a hopeless daydreamer masquerading as a "normal" person in southern society. When not writing, she's a full-time football/basketball/guitar mom for her two sons and a devoted wife to her real-life hero-husband. She's addicted to writing, paranormal romance novels and movies, Alabama football and coffee…addictions are not necessarily in order of priority. She is convinced coffee is nectar from the gods and blending coffee and writing together generates the perfect creative merger. Many of her creative worlds are spawned from coffee highs. To learn more about Gracen or to leave her a comment, visit her website at

Where to stalk Gracen:
The Road to Hell series on Facebook
Gracen on Facebook
Gracen's Website
Gracen's Blog
Para-Posse's Blog
Links to books on Goodreads:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, June 24, 2012

When the Copper Suns Fall by KaSonndra Leigh

Hello all :) KaSonndra stopped by the blog today to tell us about her newly expanded book. She has done an interview for me and given us an excerpt exclusive to the new book :)

1. How did you come up with the title?

The title changed almost a million times! No, but seriously though, it was hard. My story was different and I knew that. But my readers had also confirmed that what made it unique was also what made it so memorable. The title had to fit the story and vice versa. So it came to me one day as I stood in the Barnes & Noble that your story is actually about what happens after the copper suns fall. I said all that without spoiling too much, didn’t I? Haha.

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Absolutely. I explain a little about the message on my goodreads website, but I’m happy to mention it again. It’s a story of choices and possibilities and all of the wonderful things that can happen when you put your mind into validating something you believe in.

3. Can you share a little of your current work with us?

The story follows Chela, a young girl who lives in a rebuilt society. She has recently learned that both she and her sick brother have certain powers. In Chela’s society, a place created from an apocalyptic war between good and bad nephilim, any type of supernatural power is illegal. Anyone thought to be related to a celestial creature will either be killed or exiled. So imagine Chela’s shock after she learned her father, a leader in the governing body, has been hiding his children’s secret. But in defense of Chela’s dad, I’ll say he had a reason for keeping them both in the dark. It’ll be up to Chela to save her brother without being discovered. Enter handsome, dashing demon slayer along with a best guy friend who’d walk the wire for her and Chela is all set!

4. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Pegging the voice/style in a book that crosses genres has been tough. Seriously, I had my friends and family calling me for sanity checks. I also had a hard time being disciplined about the process. I kept wandering away, doing yard work, filing my nails, anything to keep from writing. It took me six magical years to get When Copper Suns Fall's voice right. So to all of you struggling with your first novel and learning your writing style, I'll just say stick with it. Don't give up. Writing takes time to get right, and it doesn't come wrapped up in a writing course, either.

5. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Oh I have so many favorite authors. This question is always hard. But I'd have to say Elizabeth Kostova. Her book, the Historian gave me the guts to go for the MFA myself. I also thought it was pretty cool to see a woman writing horror. That's different. I remember saying, "Wow. I can do something like that." I can be different and give the readers in my genre a fresh type of story, and have people accept me for my, eh-em...oddness. But strange in a good way, though.

6. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Yes! Read. Read. Read. Write. Write. Read. Review. Review. Read. Write. I’m not kidding. Follow the percentages in this formula and you’ll see what I mean. Writing is a subjective business. If you want to survive in it, then you must know what makes your voice unique. It took me a very long time to find that voice. But by following the formula above I eventually got it right. And you will too. :-D

7. How did you come up with the idea for Copper Suns?
When I sat down and began writing When Copper Suns Fall, the story was a standard in your face, super-high fantasy. It came complete with blue creatures, unicorns, princes, and all that. Chela’s name was Cara and Faris had a name that has been overused lately. I wasn’t trying to be fad girl or the Lady Gaga of the writing world. But rather, I was trying to write the story I always wanted to read. One that came to life when my oldest son asked me: “what if angels that looked like people lived in a dystopian society?” The seeds were planted, the lights in my muse’s apartment lit up. The challenge was on. I asked myself: “how do I stick to an urban setting with fantastical elements, but bring my love of dystopia into play?”

8. Who is your favorite or least favorite character to write?

Seth Alton, hands down, was my favorite character. I mean, the guy is sexy, cocky (in a good way, though) poetic, smart, strong, vulnerable…and did I mention sexy? Anyone who calls themselves the alpha and the omega when you ask him to describe himself is somebody to pay attention to right?

9. There were a couple scenes in your book that made me want to cry. Were there any scenes you didn't want to write?
Aww. My betas said the same thing. I probably know which scene you’re talking about because when I go back and read it I feel the same way. There were three scenes I didn’t want to write. And even though I can’t mention them without spoiling the fun, I’m sure you can figure out which ones those are. Being a writer can sometimes be hard. When you live with your character babies and you have to send one of them into angel land for real then it can really be tough. (Don’t be laughing at me now). J

10. On the other hand, were there any scenes you liked that didn't make it to the final revision?

There were tons of scenes that didn’t make it into the final revision. At that point, I knew that this was going to be a series versus a one-shot deal. Some of those scenes are going to show up in the sequel When Silver Moons Rise, so I can’t talk too much about them. But I will say you get the chance to get in the head of a hot guy in the next installment. LoL

In the point of view of any character you choose, answer these:

1. What is your dirty little secret?

My dirty little secret. Hmm. Where shall I begin. LOL. No, seriously though. I have a short story that I’m writing under a pen name. It’s for adults and you’ll find it to be not your typical goody girl story. I have a LOT of adult fans and betas who helped me get to this point. This story is my thank you to them.

2. You're walking along and a dragon appears in front of you. What do you do?

I pull out my fireblade (a nifty little thing that aims itself…hehe) and let it rip!

3. What is your heart's desire?

To purchase an Italian villa that’s as close to the Mediterranean as I can get.

When Copper Suns Fall Deleted Scene exclusive to the Expanded Edition
KaSonndra Leigh

“Keep hesitating and you’re going to get your head chopped off!” Faris yelled at me. He turned his body, blocking the rusted sword blade that almost hit me, struggling to hold our opponent off me.
The two boys were almost the same height, the same svelte, but toned muscular frame. The rusted weapon belonged to Curious George, the buck-toothed contestant I marked unclassifiable last week. He was almost sent back to the Dim Cities because of me. Of course, he’d been reassigned to the family of a Tracker, the  stealth masters and fighters in our society. If any group could face down the dark soldiers, then the Trackers held that spot without debate. According to Alexa, my newsfeed obsessed friend, he’d won many competitions back in his city. A champion in his own right, and somebody who was peeved with the guide that almost made him lose it all.
He wanted payback, and almost got it. But Faris saved me…again.
I didn’t get the chance to reply to Faris before sharp pain sliced across my arm. Blood seeped through the slit in my suit, and my eyes watered.  An outcast girl, the boy’s assigned partner, had took a pot shot at me while I wasn’t paying attention, and her aim hit the mark. Doubling over, I grasped my arm. A collective gasp rumbled through the crowd.
Costing Day number 2. This wasn’t a champion’s competency evaluation. No, we passed the cream-puff fighting stage yesterday. This time the kids fought for their families back home waiting to leave lives of disease, famine, and vicious beasts. This team had already mutilated the competition, even leaving many kids with black eyes, broken noses, and shattered ribs. Even Steve’s showoff tactics didn’t work against Curious George; someone I underestimated in a way I’d never done before.
Doubled over on the ground, a foot met my stomach, knocking the wind from me. And then a fist hit the side of my head. Besides not being able to breathe, I now saw stars everywhere.
“Get on your feet, Chela!” Faris called to me, just before he lifted the boy and slammed him to the ground. He sent three swift punches into the boy’s face. Now it was my turn. I only needed to make it through this round.
The champion always fought the last standing outcast contestant. The Judges made the decision on how long the match would last. And Steve Filipino’s dad was the one making the call today. Curious George defeated his son yesterday. Today was his chance for revenge. There were two champions this year. Faris and me. And our two opponents were determined to put us down no matter how hard it was to do so.
I stood up and dodged yet another fist headed my way. The girl I fought was called contestant number five. She was as good a fighter as Curious George. Maybe even better.
Panicking, I glanced around for Mother’s sword. By the time I spotted it lying on the ground ten feet away, I was tackled from behind. This was supposed to be a sword fight, not a primitive tackle match. But there were no rules. The people wanted to see blood, and they got their wish.
The girl sat on my back and pinned my arms behind me. Sharp pain shot through my shoulders.
“This is it, runt,” the girl hissed in my ear. “You lose an arm. I get a new place to live. Sound good?”
The wild feeling rushed over me. Oh no. I can do this. I can control it. Ground the power. Keep it inside. I closed my eyes, squeezed them shut. That didn’t slow the tingle and the burn inching through my body. It didn’t stop the dark vision surging into my mind. It was a tornado twisting in mid air, and feeling so real that it shook my entire body. 
“Can’t let them know. Make sure you hide,” I said aloud this time.
“What’s wrong with you? Are you freaking retarded? I’m about to pull your arm off,” she said. “And why are you shaking like that. Stop it!” The girl pushed down on the back of my neck, mushing my face into the grass.
I growled, gritted my teeth, and jerked in spasms. The tornado image in my mind got louder and stronger. Lifting my head, I yelled “Ground the power! Ground the power!” It didn’t work this time. Instead, the power exploded.
My body raised up about a foot off the ground. The girl screamed just before her body lifted away from mine. She was no doubt feeling the scorching heat coming from inside me.
Around us, the crowd gasped. All I thought about was Father losing face when everybody noticed what I was doing. The Judges would figure out that I was an angel-blood.
I rolled over and glanced up. The girl was spinning in the air as if she was caught up in an imaginary funnel, her arms and legs flinging around, her bones cracking under the force.
A whistle shrilled into the air. I wanted to crawl under the stage and hide forever. Two border guards ran toward me. Dark soldiers with taser rods were lining up along the sidelines. An angry crowd yelled and shook their fists.
I glanced over at Faris who flipped open a round golden object. And then everything started moving in slow motion: the people shouting, the border guards shoving toward me, the girl hanging in the air. Before I found the words to describe the scene around me, everything started to move backward as if somebody was rewinding a clock.
The border guards returned to their seats. The girl dropped back to the ground.
Time returned to normal and people stopped moving in slow motion. It was as if the last two minutes hadn’t even happened.
Faris was at my side, lifting me to my feet. We locked gazes for a brief moment.
“Wh—what the freak just happened?” I whispered.
“Just smile,” he said and lifted my arm up as if celebrating a victory.
Applause thundered around us. I grinned and bowed and felt completely lost. Curious George had sat up and was massaging his head. Faris saluted him. Contestant no. 5 was approached by the Judges. Named the outcast winner, she would now receive her one lottery card. She had one out of about 10,000 chances that her card would be pulled.
Before I could question Faris, Ms. Fuquay approached us. He slipped away into the crowd surrounding us, leaving me speechless. And that marked the end of the Champion’s Brawl in Costing Ceremony no. 55.

Thank you for hosting me on your blog today. I hope your readers enjoy my interview and the deleted scene.

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Twitter: @kasonndraleigh