Friday, October 31, 2014

Monster Madness #BlogHop #Halloween #Monsters


Happy Halloween, guys and ghouls! Welcome to the Monster Madness Blog Hop hosted by Kelly Hashway and Vicki Leigh. Since Kelly and Vicki both released monster books this year (The Monster Within and Catch Me When I Fall), they thought it would be fun to have a blog hop dedicated to the monsters we all love so much. 

The rules are simple. Answer 3 of the following questions and then tag 5 people to do the same.

1. What monster terrifies you the most?
2. Do you have a good haunted house story?
3. What's your favorite monster?
4. Is there a monster book that terrified you as a child?
5. Have any book recommendations for stories that include monsters?
6. Finally, create your own monster! What does it look like, and what scary things can it do?

Here I go!

1. What monster terrifies you the most?
I'm going to say Shamu the Killer Whale. What? I am totally freaked out by sea creatures, especially whales.

By polwalker

2. Do you have a good haunted house story?

Yes, I lived in one, at least according to my childhood self. I was sure that I was seeing a little boy ghost peeking into my room at night or standing by my bed. I was so convincing that I completely freaked my mom out and she searched the house for an intruder.

3. What's your favorite monster?

I like zombies. They're gory and scary, but not too scary. I am pretty open minded about supernatural stuff, but I have no fears of a zombie apocalypse actually happening, so I can enjoy the spooks without any real fear.





4. Is there a monster book that terrified you as a child?

The first thing that comes to mind is the Jabberwocky from the 1985 Alice and Wonderland movie. Not a book I know! Sorry. :)






I'll be tagging 5 friends on Facebook! And be sure to enter the giveaway to win books and SWAG from Kelly and Vicki.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bewitching Brews and Devilish Desserts - Featuring Spring Witch Sangria! #recipes #giveaway


I've got a special Halloween surprise to share! The Spring Witch Sangria from Destruction is featured in this witchy cocktail and dessert recipe book!

Stir up a little magic from our cauldron full of cocktails and desserts. The authors of Bewitching Book Tours conjured a collection of delicious potions inspired by their books and characters. Grab your wand (or spoon) and cast one of these spellbinding recipes today.

FIND IT ON AMAZON


I'm giving away a copy of this cookbook that has been signed and annotated by yours truly! If you'd like to win this copy, please support my Thunderclap below. I'll randomly pick one supporter in one week. If you've already supported the campaign, you're already entered.
And to refresh your memory, here is the excerpt from Destruction that inspired this cocktail...



David had last seen Samantha's parents, Penelope and Aaron Carthage, in August. He had never met any two people who could make him feel so uncomfortable so fast. He didn't go over to their house unless he absolutely had to.


He had dropped Emmy off for a sleepover and when the girls ran upstairs, Penelope ushered David inside. She had the body and tan of a beach volleyball player. Large, but very real, breasts. And, a toothpaste model's smile. None of this really tempted David. He couldn't call himself a one-woman man, but he certainly could call himself a two-woman man. He didn't sleep with anything with breasts for the hell of it. But, any woman that beautiful and that friendly had some inherent risks.


She welcomed him to her home as she would welcome Santa Claus bringing presents. Four thick candles burned on the coffee table. From what he could tell, each candle had a different scent and it the combination made his head spin. She picked up the first one.


"What do you think?" She put the candle right under his nose, practically singeing his nose hairs.


"It's uh…nice."


"Does it remind you of anything?"


"Um…vanilla?"


"No, vanilla is wrong," she said dismissively. "Breathe deeply. Relax. What does it remind you of?"


An image of the green moss that grew behind his childhood house popped into his head. But, he didn't say it out loud because it sounded crazy.


"I really don't know."


She put the candle down and held up the next one.


"Try this one. What does it smell like?"


This one made his heart race and his stomach ball up into a fist inside him. He pushed it away.


"I don't know," he said with a nervous chuckle.


"You reacted to that one. What did it smell like?"


"Fear," he said.


She nodded as if he had said something normal such as 'cinnamon' or 'pine trees.'


"Very interesting," she said. "Anything else? Any images?"


"I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean. Listen, I have got to get going…"


"No, wait. Please stay. Have a drink."


"I don't think so."


"Come on, David. Stay," said Aaron Carthage, who had appeared through the patio door. He had dirt all over his jeans and twigs in his hair. His had a deep tan on his bare chest, and a few red patches from sunburn. His brownish red hair had become streaked with blond from too much sun.


"What have you been doing outside?" David asked. "It's 110 degrees."


"The heat doesn't bother me. Good for the soul."


Then Aaron proceeded to kiss Penelope as if he hadn't seen her in a year. He tugged at the little knot on the back of her halter-top as if he planned to take it off right then and there. David backed toward the door.


Penelope giggled and pushed Aaron away. "Stop it. You're making David uncomfortable."


"No, it's fine. I just have to go."


"You have got to try Penelope's Sangria," he said. "It's amazing. She uses Texas peaches and Texas wine. It's worth a taste, I promise you."


"I made it without strawberries just for you," she said with a pout.


Well, if she still wanted him to have a drink with her husband there, at least that must mean she didn't intend anything inappropriate. Unless they were both coming on to him, an idea too distressing to consider.


"Okay," he said, cautiously.


They looked way too pleased.


"Have a seat," she said and pointed to their couch, a morbidly obese version of a regular couch. David sank into it so deeply, he knew he couldn't get up quickly he wanted to. Penelope went into the kitchen and Aaron sat in the armchair across from him. Personal space. That's better.


"Smells interesting in here, huh?" Aaron asked.


"Interesting is a good way to put it," David said.


"Smell the green candle," he suggested.


"I can smell it from here."


"What does it remind you of?"


"Shush," Penelope said. "I already asked him. He doesn't know." She put down a tray with three glasses of candy apple red wine with bits of fruit floating in it. She handed one to David and one to her husband. To her credit, the Sangria was amazing. It took only a couple sips for the drink to spread warmth into all of his extremities. He felt as if he had had a two-hour massage.


"What is in this?" he asked, putting the glass down.


"Just wine, brandy, juice, and ginger ale," Penelope said. "Do you like it?"


"Yes. It's delicious."


"Drink up," she said.


David took another sip.


"Tell me about your childhood," Penelope said.


"Uh…like what?"


"What were your parents like?"


"Normal."


"Normal," she repeated, as if she'd never heard the word.


"Yeah."


She sank back into the couch, looking defeated.


Aaron showed David a blue and green marble in palm of his hand. "Do you know what this is?" Aaron asked.


"A marble," David said.


Aaron dropped it into David's hand.


"Now what is it?" he asked.


Okay. That's enough. World's greatest Sangria or not.


"A marble," David said.


Aaron glanced at Penelope and shook his head. They looked at him as if he acted crazy.


"I really don't think he knows," Penelope said.


"Destruction," Aaron said. "Has to be."







Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fall into #Fantasy Week 10: Strings by G. Miki Hayden


Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 10: Strings by G. Miki Hayden


Robert, an ordinary boy, finds himself in a newly chaotic world. Buildings move when and where they please, and time jumps around according to no known laws of physics. For Robert, getting to his regular school in the morning is next to impossible. As for getting home...

But then, Holden—a boy he and his friend, Nila, meet in a cave—offers them a string. No, not twine, but a string of the kind that forms the universe. Teeny and tiny, and invisible to the naked eye, this string will take Robert and Mila to their homes and way, way beyond...

Accompanied by a memorable cast of characters, Robert and his friends follow the string on a journey across time, space, and dimensions to discover the answer to a mystery: Who has caused the world to fall apart?

Buy it from: Amazon  Barnes & Noble
Or add it on Goodreads


EXCERPT: 

Holden stood up, suddenly excited. “Yes, strings, Robert, strings. String theory says we live in a universe of multiple dimensions. Something is happening to the strings that form our everyday world, and now the universes are bleeding over into one another—merging. I have to figure out how to stop it, to separate the worlds again.”

“And we have to figure out how to get home,” Nila cried out. “What a mess everything is.”

The smoke from the small fire had made Robert’s eyes tear.

ABOUT G. MIKI HAYDEN


The author, G. Miki Hayden, strongly believes in alternate universes and has written about them in her adult novels Pacific Empire (which won a New York Times rave) and New Pacific.

“Nothing in time-space is fixed,” Miki says, a distant look in her eyes. 

Miki won an Edgar for an historical crime story and has a couple of writing books in print. 

At the moment, she generally lives with millions of other people in New York City in a three-dimensional, temporal world but is exploring other realms.

Find G. Miki Hayden online: http://gmikihayden.tumblr.com/


Want to get involved with the Fall Into Fantasy promotional tour?
  • Don't forget to join us at the Facebook party here
  • If you are interested in joining up as a blogger, you can always sign up here. We are happy to welcome more bloggers into the fold as the promotion continues. 
  • If you are an author or blogger and want to sign up to help with the party, please fill out this form.
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Monday, October 27, 2014

#Review of Heirs of War by @MaraValderran

Heirs of War is the first book in what promises to be an epic YA fantasy series. It's got all the good stuff--kick-ass characters, magical powers, and lots of action and drama. The story centers around 5 teenage girls who are destined to be powerful rulers of the worlds, but 4 of which are stuck in the most boring and unmagical of the worlds, ours. They all leave their various normal, and sometimes awful, lives to embark into the magical worlds where they have great power and importance.

The word that comes to mind over and over when reading this book is "EPIC." I'm glad that this is the first of a series, because the author created a rich and complex world with many characters. If I have any complaint about the book, it's that there is a LOT going on. I felt like I should have been taking notes. :)

But don't let the complexity of the story stop you from reading, because the complexity is one of the things that make the story great. The story follows the stories of five different girls, all richly created and complex. It's about discovering who you are, finding where you belong, and the strengths you never knew you had. As such, it's a perfect YA read, especially for girls. Strong female characters are in abundance, and they deal with a lot of the drama of teenage life in an authentic way, while also dealing with epic battles and magic!

If I had teenage girls, I would demand that they read this right away. But since I don't, I guess I'll just have to read them all myself. :)

---

Seventeen year-old Zelene has never believed in magic or been one to trust fate. Prophecies about princesses and long lost families were the stuff of fairy tales and had no place in her life. But then magic-wielding assassins attack claiming she is one of the five Duillaine Ainnir, the next generation of the most powerful women who rule over the worlds. Together, the five girls are prophesized to save the worlds from the war that has been raging for years.

As their enemies strike, the girls are taken back to their world and discover the ties binding them together. Rhaya has always had an uncanny knack for reading people, but can’t seem to unravel the mystery tying her to Isauria, the new friend she bonded with instantly. For years, Isauria has been dreaming of Terrena, a girl living her life on the run in a magical world ripped apart by the tragedies of war, but Isauria is completely unaware that she is psychically linked to the world she was born in.

Zelene views them all, especially the elders, with a distrustful eye, familial bonds or no. When she learns that her long-lost twin Ariana has been captured by the rebels, Zelene’s attitude changes. She doesn’t know what she can do when her own magic is still locked within her, but can she trust the elders to rescue Ariana when it seems their medieval politics are what brought about the war in the first place? With all that is at stake, the answer becomes clear to Zelene.

Screw the worlds. She’s getting her sister back.

Buy it from: Amazon  Amazon UK  Barnes & Noble  iTunes  Kobo  GooglePlay 
Or add it to Goodreads

Book 2 is also available!

Weeks have passed since Ariana and Alec escaped from Kellen's dungeon, but danger isn't far behind them. The guilt of his past weighs heavily on Alec’s shoulders, and his secrets only push Ariana further away. As they travel through unknown lands and encounter multiple threats, their biggest challenge might be trusting one another.

The world appears to be going on regardless of the risks Ariana faces. The Duillaine insist that they are doing everything they can to find Ariana, but their actions betray that claim. Despite the danger and the war closing in around them, all of Anscombe seems to be more interested in the upcoming Imbolc festival and Terrena’s betrothal than rescuing Ariana.

Well…not everyone.

Tired of waiting for the Duillaine to help her twin, Zelene starts plotting on her own and finds a surprising ally in Rhaya, even as the Cynewards prepare to make a move of their own. But Zelene’s plans go awry when she finds herself with a new ability, a mysterious new friend, and more enemies within the walls of Anscombe than she thought.

Buy it from: Amazon  Amazon UK  Barnes & Noble  iTunes  Kobo  
Or add it to Goodreads




ABOUT MARA VALDERRAN: 

Mara Valderran is an author of young adult and new adult books, but she's more than just a madwoman with a writing box. She is an avid reader and fan of all things sci-fi and fantasy. She loves roller skating and movies, though typically not together. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and demanding cat. She hopes to one day meet Daniel Jackson from SG1, or at least the actor who played him. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, playing video games, or counting down the days until DragonCon.

Find Mara Online: 
Website  Twitter  Facebook  Google+  Goodreads  Wattpad  Amazon Author

Sign up for Mara's newsletter so you don't miss news on new releases and fun contests!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fall into #Fantasy Week 9: Salvation by @JamesWymore


Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 9: Salvation by James Wymore


 A man wakes on a frozen battlefield when a scavenging couple finds him among the dead. As they nurse him back to health, he is struck with the horrible realization he can’t remember who he is or anything about his past. Taken in by the kind pair, he begins helping with their farm. She even takes him to meet her family, especially her single sister. The ideal life offered in the high mountains of Winigh is shattered when he sees a transport bringing enemy monsters to the shores below. Cut off by high snow on the pass, their fate will soon be the same as the town his company failed to protect in the last battle, if this estranged soldier cannot help them fight off the next wave of invaders. Even worse, the people of the town don’t trust this Selene soldier. He has a strange resistance to their folk magic which some say make him as dangerous as the enemies preparing to destroy them.

Buy it from: Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Kobo
Or add it to Goodreads







ABOUT JAMES WYMORE
On a lifelong search for fantastic worlds hiding just out of sight, James Wymore writes to explore. With three books and six short stories in print after just one year, he continues to push the boundaries of imagination. Journey with him at http://jameswymore.wordpress.com

Find James online: 


Want to get involved with the Fall Into Fantasy promotional tour?
  • Don't forget to join us at the Facebook party here
  • If you are interested in joining up as a blogger, you can always sign up here. We are happy to welcome more bloggers into the fold as the promotion continues. 
  • If you are an author or blogger and want to sign up to help with the party, please fill out this form.
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Saturday, October 18, 2014

#CoverReveal for Altar of Reality by @MaraValderran

Look how pretty! Mara is awesome and I can't wait to check this one out.


Today is the cover reveal for Altar of Reality, the first book from Shifted Realities--a brand new series by Mara Valderran. This YA dystopian is set to be released January 31st, 2015 by Curiosity Quills Press. Mark your calendars, and be sure to add the book to your Goodreads list! Want to stay up to date on all things Altar of RealitySign up for Mara's newsletter so you don't miss a thing!

And now...the moment Mara's we've all been waiting for...


When sixteen-year-old Madeline suffers her first grand mal seizure, she finds herself in an unfamiliar reality, surrounded by strangers wearing familiar faces. Her best friend, Brandon, tells her that the world has fallen to chaos, the aftermath of World War III ten years ago. Madeline doesn’t remember anything from this life— especially not the explosion four years ago that killed her parents and landed her in a coma, or the Lord Commander; a zealot leader of the Southern Territories now searching for her.

Madeline barely has time to process everything before waking up to the life she’s always known. As soon as she dismisses it all as a strange and vivid dream, she finds herself back there once more. Unsure if she’s truly caught in the middle of a brewing rebellion, or teetering on the brink of insanity, she finds herself flipping between the two lives. Her heart becomes torn between two versions of the same boy and the lines between her realities begin to blur as she struggles to save her lives in both worlds.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Mara Valderran is an author of young adult and new adult books, but she's more than just a madwoman with a writing box. She is an avid reader and fan of all things sci-fi and fantasy. She loves roller skating and movies, though typically not together. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and demanding cat. She hopes to one day meet Daniel Jackson from SG1, or at least the actor who played him. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, playing video games, or counting down the days until DragonCon.

Find Mara Online: 

Be sure to check out the Heirs of War, Crown of Flames blog tour going on right now! There are excerpts, interviews, a giveaway, and more. You can find the tour calendar here.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fall into #Fantasy Week 8: The Heirs of War series by @MaraValderran


Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 8: The Heirs of War series
Book One: Heirs of War
Book Two: Heirs of War, Crown of Flames


Seventeen year-old Zelene has never believed in magic or been one to trust fate. Prophecies about princesses and long lost families were the stuff of fairy tales and had no place in her life. But then magic-wielding assassins attack claiming she is one of the five Duillaine Ainnir, the next generation of the most powerful women who rule over the worlds. Together, the five girls are prophesized to save the worlds from the war that has been raging for years.

As their enemies strike, the girls are taken back to their world and discover the ties binding them together. Rhaya has always had an uncanny knack for reading people, but can’t seem to unravel the mystery tying her to Isauria, the new friend she bonded with instantly. For years, Isauria has been dreaming of Terrena, a girl living her life on the run in a magical world ripped apart by the tragedies of war, but Isauria is completely unaware that she is psychically linked to the world she was born in.

Zelene views them all, especially the elders, with a distrustful eye, familial bonds or no. When she learns that her long-lost twin Ariana has been captured by the rebels, Zelene’s attitude changes. She doesn’t know what she can do when her own magic is still locked within her, but can she trust the elders to rescue Ariana when it seems their medieval politics are what brought about the war in the first place? With all that is at stake, the answer becomes clear to Zelene.

Screw the worlds. She’s getting her sister back.

Buy it from: Amazon  Amazon UK  Barnes & Noble  iTunes  Kobo  GooglePlay 
Or add it to Goodreads


Weeks have passed since Ariana and Alec escaped from Kellen's dungeon, but danger isn't far behind them. The guilt of his past weighs heavily on Alec’s shoulders, and his secrets only push Ariana further away. As they travel through unknown lands and encounter multiple threats, their biggest challenge might be trusting one another.

The world appears to be going on regardless of the risks Ariana faces. The Duillaine insist that they are doing everything they can to find Ariana, but their actions betray that claim. Despite the danger and the war closing in around them, all of Anscombe seems to be more interested in the upcoming Imbolc festival and Terrena’s betrothal than rescuing Ariana.

Well…not everyone.

Tired of waiting for the Duillaine to help her twin, Zelene starts plotting on her own and finds a surprising ally in Rhaya, even as the Cynewards prepare to make a move of their own. But Zelene’s plans go awry when she finds herself with a new ability, a mysterious new friend, and more enemies within the walls of Anscombe than she thought.

Buy it from: Amazon  Amazon UK  Barnes & Noble  iTunes  Kobo  
Or add it to Goodreads


ABOUT MARA VALDERRAN: 
Mara Valderran is an author of young adult and new adult books, but she's more than just a madwoman with a writing box. She is an avid reader and fan of all things sci-fi and fantasy. She loves roller skating and movies, though typically not together. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and demanding cat. She hopes to one day meet Daniel Jackson from SG1, or at least the actor who played him. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, playing video games, or counting down the days until DragonCon.

Find Mara Online: 
Website  Twitter  Facebook  Google+  Goodreads  Wattpad  Amazon Author
Sign up for Mara's newsletter so you don't miss news on new releases and fun contests!

Want to get involved with the Fall Into Fantasy promotional tour?
  • Don't forget to join us at the Facebook party here
  • If you are interested in joining up as a blogger, you can always sign up here. We are happy to welcome more bloggers into the fold as the promotion continues. 
  • If you are an author or blogger and want to sign up to help with the party, please fill out this form.
a Rafflecopter giveaway