Friday, January 30, 2015

SPOTLIGHT: THE SEVENTH by S.D. Wasley


THE SEVENTH
S.D. Wasley

YA Paranormal Romance. Suspense
Released Jan. 23rd / Evernight Teen / 69.5k

~Editor's Pick~


Sixteen year old Mimi Alston has company. No less than three ghosts follow her around, and only she can see them. At her last school, she was known as the girl with imaginary friends. Now Mimi’s starting fresh in a new town, where she’s determined to make some real friends and fit in for once. She’s ready for a normal life...except Mimi never counted on her fascination with troubled goth-boy, Drew.

When she’s invited to join the elite Gifted Program, Mimi discovers she’s not the only one at the school with an unusual talent. Maybe being normal isn’t even an option anymore.

Excerpt:
My final class was English. Drew was there. He looked terrible, like something had broken him. I couldn’t help but stare and he looked back into my face with those green eyes. I thought about my face smiling and sparkling in the mirror and realised I was actually conscious of how I looked when it came to Drew. That wasn’t like me. Did he have some kind of compulsion towards me, like Gabe had said? Maybe I just had a compulsion towards him.
There was only one seat left, possibly because I had been examining myself in the mirror for too long at break. It was next to Drew. I took the seat with a mixture of delight and dread. He stared at his notebook when he saw me coming his way. Our lesson was on characterisation, and the teacher was explaining archetypes, protagonists and antagonists. I found it hard to concentrate but then suddenly it was time for partner discussions. We were supposed to decide which roles the different types of characters fulfilled in our assigned novel.
I looked at Drew. He was staring down at his file and drawing another of his black ink vortexes on a blank sheet of paper.
“So, err, are we going talk about protagonists?” I asked.
“Are you serious?” he replied without looking up.
I was relieved. “Cool. I didn’t really want to either. But it would look weird to Mr Cambridge if we didn’t talk at all.”
Drew scribbled more furiously. I waited. Eventually the pen stopped and he looked into my face. My heart just about stopped. My mouth went dry.
“What is with you?” he hissed angrily.
I shrank away. So much for a compulsion, Gabe, I thought bitterly, turning my face away as tears threatened to flood my eyes. More like revulsion. I flicked through my textbook blindly, hoping the teacher would figure I was trying to work out his characterisation problem.
But after a few more moments Drew spoke again, his voice devoid of anger and bitterness.
“Sorry, Mimi,” he said. “Just … sorry.”
Ugh, the tear spilled onto my cheek. Lame. I pretended to brush my hair back and swiped past my cheek, removing all evidence.
“What’s your problem?” I said coolly, still flicking through my book.
“You shouldn’t let yourself get sucked in by them,” he said, his voice low and so desperate that I turned back to look into his eyes again, forgetting the fear of showing my tears. “It’s bullshit … all bullshit. None of this gift crap is real. She’s encouraging our delusions.”
Now I got angry. “Screw you,” I said, my voice shaking with the effort to stay quiet. “Do you know how long I’ve believed I am insane? I just found out I’m not and you know what? I’m glad. It’s not fun to think you’re nuts. You can wallow in it all you like, but I just got released from the psycho ward and I can’t wait to get my life back.”
Drew dropped all pretence of being tough, or cool or whatever. He stared at me with his mouth open. I glared for a few moments and then looked away. It was hard to keep gazing angrily at his face without being distracted by the extraordinary beauty there. Even the thick white makeup and black painted lips couldn’t hide it.
“You don’t know anything about it,” he said in my ear after a pause. “You just wait.”
It sounded like a threat. I raised my hand and excused myself. I went straight to my dorm room after making a brief appearance in the nurse’s office to claim a migraine. She took my temperature and peered at me for a moment, but seemed to believe me and told me to go lie down.
I lay on my bed, my mind buzzing. I tried not to think about Drew because I felt bad whenever my mind went there. I had been completely honest with him––I wasn’t crazy, and I was celebrating. I could hardly wait until the next time I could sit in that roomful of gifted kids and find out more. I was okay. I had a gift. These three ghosts who silently joined me as I lay on my bed, one on my swivel chair and two sitting on my floor, were ghosts … not figments of a psychotic imagination. For me, no matter what Drew thought, that could only be good news.

Buy Links:   Evernight Teen     Amazon     Smashwords     ARe   GOODREADS

Author Bio:

S.D. Wasley was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia.
She has been composing literary works since before she could write – at five years of age she announced her first poem in the kitchen, improv-style. Today, she lives in the Swan Valley wine region with her two daughters, surrounded by dogs, cats and chickens.

The Seventh is S.D. Wasley’s debut novel.



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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cover Reveal: A ROSE IN BLOOM by Tamie Dearen



A Rose In Bloom, a serial romantic comedy by Tamie Dearen, is available to read at no charge on the blogsite for a limited time. The beautiful cover was designed by the multi-talented Victorine Lieske. The completed book will be available soon on Kindle, Nook, and iBooks!

Like all books written by Tamie Dearen, this is a Clean Indie Read!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

SPOTLIGHT: VALENTINE'S DAY IS MURDER by Carolyn Arnold

Synopsis
From bestselling author Carolyn Arnold…
Strap in for an adventure that will take you to the beautiful island of Jamaica and have you wanting a piƱa colada.

Jimmy finally takes a vacation–and a chance on love–only to be abducted. His female companion originally thinks he had cold feet about their relationship, but Sean and Sara know there’s more to it. Jimmy isn’t the type to just up and disappear, let alone leave a lady stranded.

Setting out on their private jet, Sean and Sara reach the tropical paradise of Ocho Rios, Jamaica with sightseeing as the last thing on their minds.
With a gold coin being their initial tie to Jimmy’s kidnapper, Sean and Sara even speculate about the involvement of pirates. Yet as the hours pass, and there’s no word from Jimmy’s captors, Sean and Sara will need to figure out the real motive before it’s too late.

With help from their friend, Adam, back in Albany, the pieces come together and not a moment too soon.

8th in the Amazon Bestselling McKinley Mystery Series


About This Author
CAROLYN ARNOLD is the bestselling author of the Madison Knight series, the Brandon Fisher series, and the McKinley Mysteries. Her love for writing dates back to her teen years, but her passion was reignited in 2006 when a fellow employee said “tell me a story.” Since then Carolyn has never looked back.

Her writing has since been compared to New York Times Bestsellers such as JD Robb, Mary Higgins Clark, Sue Grafton, Michael Connelly, Tess Gerritsen, and more.

Carolyn was born in 1976 in a rural town of Ontario, Canada, and she currently lives with her husband and two beagles in a city near Toronto.

For more information on the author visit https://carolynarnold.net/

Purchase Links

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Excerpt :
Chapter 1

Under the Jamaican Moonlight


For a man who had given up on love, dining under the Ocho Rios’ moon reaffirmed that all things are possible. Jimmy Voigt sat across from Meredith, a woman who, just a couple months back, had been a stranger. She carried the black evening dress she wore elegantly, its straps loose and dangling over her shoulders. In the candlelight and a beautiful setting such as this, it was hard to resist her. A portion of him didn’t even want to try.

“Thank you for taking me with you, Jimmy.” She smiled at him, wistfully, as she lifted her wine glass for a toast. “To us.”

His lips twitched but he wasn’t sure if the full expression showed—he was terrified of falling in love. He went through with the expected response though. He clinked his glass to hers and watched as softness blanketed her features.

It was the perfect end to a perfect day.

They were both up with the sun and had met by the pool. They had spent the early morning strolling along the shore. With toes in the sand, they had shared whispered jokes and silly stories while the sea air cleared out any stench of the city and melted away stress. Tropical breezes also carried wafts of plant life and flowers.

“The Dunns River Falls was quite the experience.”

“You’re telling me.” He left out the fact that his knees had barked most of the way up. He found himself caring what she thought about him, which was a first since Clara.

While he had tried to put Clara from his mind, his ex-wife had a way of entering his thoughts at random intervals and at the most inappropriate times. He had loved her with his soul, but that hadn’t been enough. Maybe it was why he held back now. He feared that if loving someone with his entire being hadn’t been enough before, why would it be now? Yet, he had to shake the self-flagellation.

“The best part though, I must say, was snorkeling. The colors of those fish. Absolutely stunning.” Meredith took a sip of her wine.

Jimmy’s eyes fell to her slim fingers. When they held hands, they intertwined perfectly with his.

He needed to put the past behind him and leave it there. Sara had told him to open his heart, but he was starting to think it was secured behind reinforced steel doors. Still, he appreciated how far he had come—and not simply in literal mileage, but also in the emotional distance he had traveled to ask Meredith to accompany him to Jamaica. Really though, what fun was an island without a companion? Still, he wasn’t going to rush things and had ensured they had separate rooms.

Taking a long draw on his wine, he appreciated its flavor. He pursed his lips.

“You look mighty deep in thought.” Meredith laughed.

“Truth be told, I was.” If he allowed his mind to swallow him whole, it would. Enough of the scrutiny and inward reflection. He was determined to enjoy this moment in time—another wise piece of advice from Sara.

He reached across the table for Meredith’s hand. As hers molded to his, he had to admit that he felt better than he had in a long time. On some level, he felt more complete. If he had listened to his initial excuses, he wouldn’t be here with her. It was with that thought he realized she no longer wore the ring. He pinched his fingers around where it used to be.

She withdrew her hand and placed it in her lap. “You just noticed? I haven’t worn it since just before Christmas, but it was time for me to move on. I have a feeling it is for you too.”

Meredith’s husband had cheated on her after twenty years of marriage. She couldn’t forgive him. It was an offense Jimmy wasn’t sure he could have pardoned either.

Again, the internal talk would have him believe his situation hadn’t been the same. That somehow he’d suffered less the way his marriage had ended. All Clara wanted was more of him, yet it was a sacrifice he wasn’t able to make. He had continued to put the job first, and in the end, that’s all he had. Still, it had resulted in the same outcome as it had for Meredith—two hearts that had once been bound were ripped apart.

“I know you’re probably right.” Jimmy tried to smile. He hoped at least a glimmer of it came through. “I’ve been happy here with you. It’s been nice having a friend.” He knew it came out all wrong by the way her face fell and her eyes pinched.

“Yes, it is.” She cleared her throat as she took the napkin from her lap and put it on the table. “If you’ll excuse me for a moment.”

As she walked away, he felt like a schmuck, with a capital S. Why couldn’t he just put his reservations aside? What did he have to lose? His pride? He was certain his heart hung back, despite periodic suspicions to the contrary. All he had to do was breathe in, and breathe out.

His hand went to his neck and he stretched it side to side. It was then he felt a pinch and everything went black.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Blog Tour: Guest Post TRACY COMSTOCK (MURDER IS OUR MASCOT: Schooled in Murder Book 1)



Today's post is from TRACY D. COMSTOCK author of MURDER IS OUR MASCOT

Gabby Spencer is the best friend of the protagonist, Emily Taylor, in my debut novel, Murder Is Our Mascot. I thought you all might enjoy learning a little more about Emily’s sidekick. Here is a journal entry from Gabby telling you all a little bit more about herself.

Gabby Spencer’s Journal:

Where do I begin? I hate talking about myself; I’d rather focus on those around me. Being a mom to my two beautiful girls is the highlight of my life. I love being at home with them. I hope we have a brother for them one of these days, but right now, I’m just enjoying the “two’s.” I don’t know why people call them the terrible twos….?? Ha! Just kidding. Our girls are either angels, or demons, depending on the day. They have hidden angel wings and hidden devil horns, as well. J Abigail has thick, curly, dark hair like me, but even though that might benefit her in hiding her devil horns, she is my loud and impulsive one. While neither of the girls inherited my dark green eyes, I would say that Phoebe comes closer to sharing my personality. She is more of the introvert. She is happy to just hang out with her sister. They are wonderful playmates, so I am blessed there. Hopefully, as they get older, Phoebe can balance Abigail’s extreme spontaneity. They remind me of myself and Emily in that regard. Emily was always the more outgoing, impulsive one in high school. We both were probably what you would consider “goody two-shoes,” but Emily never met a fight she‘d back down from, and I hate confrontations. Sometimes Emily listened to the voice of reason (mainly--me), and sometimes she didn’t. I know she was disappointed when I impulsively quit college to marry Greg, but the moment I met him, I wanted nothing more than to be his wife. Having our two beautiful girls was the icing on the cake. Thankfully, Greg agreed that he wanted to raise his kids in a small town, so we ended up back here in Ellington, rather than moving to his hometown of Chicago.

Greg is an awesome dad. He has been hands-on from the very beginning. I always tell him he is my tall, dark, and handsome hero, and he is. He is very tall, has those beautiful brown eyes my girls inherited, and is fantastic at his job as a mortgage broker. He 100% supported me in my decision to be a stay-at-home mom. The one thing--well, really the only thing--that has changed about Greg since we got married is his hair. He was going bald prematurely, just like his dad did, so he shaved his head. He refers to himself as Mr. Clean, but if so, he is the sexiest version of Mr. Clean that I’ve ever seen! J He and Emily are close, as well, so that makes hanging out especially fun. He was all for the idea of having Emily as the twins’ godmother. Now, if we could just get her to open her eyes and see that Tad is madly in love with her…but with her stubborn streak, that could take a while. (Sigh)

I also lucked out in the in-laws department. My own parents, of course, are wonderful, too. I grew up in a big, noisy Italian household with my two older sisters, one older brother, and one younger brother. My youngest brother, Antonio, still lives in Ellington, is still single, and is a dentist. My other siblings all moved to St. Louis to open up a consulting firm. And Mom and Dad ended up following them. I would have joined them if I had finished getting my degree in finance rather than getting married, but I know I made the right choice for me. However, between my three siblings, they have given my parents seven grandchildren. My mom always stayed home with us, so she likes to be close by to help out with all those grandchildren. Dad loves being a retired architect. He’s always busy designing amazing playhouses or treehouses for his grandchildren. But right after my parents, Maria and Carl Moretti, decided to move to the suburbs of St. Louis, Greg’s parents moved here from Chicago. Kathleen and Paul have truly been a godsend. They adore their grandchildren. Greg is an only child like Emily, so Abigail and Phoebe are the only grandchildren for his parents, and they spoil them rotten. They treat me just like their own daughter, too. It’s nice. Plus, I love that they are always up for babysitting so that I can keep up with my volunteer work.

Outside of my husband and my kids, my passions are volunteering and running. I love running for a good cause. My goal is to complete my first marathon in the coming year. I’m still trying to talk Emily into running with me, but running has never been her thing. She will volunteer with me at places like the Food Pantry and the Red Cross Blood Drive, but she draws the line at giving blood herself. (She is slightly needle-phobic…but I love her anyway.

I hate to sound like Pollyanna, and I do have my bad days, believe me, but mostly my life is pretty perfect. I married the man of my dreams, live in the same town as my oldest and dearest friend, and am raising two of the most adorable girls on earth. Lucky? Yeah, I’d said so…and very, very blessed.


Synopsis of MURDER IS OUR MASCOT

Murder is the new mascot at Ellington High...

A murdered coach and a missing counselor has thrown the school into a foreign curriculum of anger, fear, and suspicion. English teacher Emily Taylor is determined to prove that her missing friend is not a murderer. But if she's not, then who is? And where could her friend be?

Against the advice of fellow math teacher and former crush Tad, Emily and her best friend Gabby dig into the dead coach's past. But someone doesn't want Emily unearthing their secrets and is determined to see that she gets a failing grade in the sleuthing department.

Soon, Emily finds herself scrambling for a new lesson plan to solve the murder...before the killer sets his own deadline!



About the Author
Tracy Comstock is a small-town girl from Missouri. She lives in a home where she is outnumbered 3:1 by the males in her life: her husband and their two extremely adorable, but terrifyingly ornery sons. She has no pets as all living things, besides humans, of course, come to her house to die, including the victims in her books. All her life Tracy devoured books. Her parents' most effective punishment was grounding her from reading. Although she has a B.S. in Education and a Masters in Literature, she was nudged down the path to publication by encouraging (and sometimes threatening!) family, friends, professors, and students. When not working on Emily's adventures, Tracy is an adjunct instructor for several local colleges, where she gets to teach others about her greatest passion: writing.

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