Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Feature: Oliver's Hunger Dragon


I don't normally feature PBs on this blog, even though I write them, but this one needs to be spotlighted for a few reasons. First, Sherry Alexander dedicates her blog and her books to helping children. I'm amazed at all she does for charities. She even donates part of her proceeds from her book sales to these organizations. She's really an incredible person. Second, how adorable is this book cover?


Oliver has a Hunger Dragon who rumbles and grumbles. He wants it to go away, but Hunger says he plans to stay. Is Oliver the only one who has a dragon deep inside? 

Oliver is a story about child hunger and how it overpowers children making them too tired to play or to do well in school. But Oliver discovers hunger can be deterred through the power of friendship and the sharing spirit. A portion of all proceeds from the sale of this book will go the Clark County, WA Food Bank, Feeding America, and the Portland, OR Police Bureau's Sunshine Division to help feed the one in four kids in America who go to bed hungry every night. For a chance to win a book, check out the Goodreads Giveaway here. It ends TODAY so head over and enter now.
 
Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Curse of the Granville Fortune Release Day Scavenger Hunt!


Let the hunt begin!

Curse of the Granville Fortune officially releases into the world today! This middle grade fantasy adventure involves a race to a treasure, so there's a scavenger hunt to celebrate.

But first, check out the cover and blurb:



Find the fortune, break the curse!

The hunt is on for an ancient treasure tied to nine-year-old J.B.'s family history. He's been having visions that make him sweaty, lightheaded, and certain he’s turning into some kind of freak—or worse, going insane. But things are worse than he imagined. The visions stem from a family curse. An ancient ancestor was accused of stealing the massive Granville fortune, and now J.B.’s entire family will suffer.

To break the curse, J.B. must find and return the Granville’s stolen property. But he's not the only one searching for the treasure. As he sets out on his journey through a dark and foreboding forest, he'll battle his worst fears and fight terrifying creatures along the way. And when he meets two others who share the missing pieces of his visions and suffer from the same curse, the three soon realize they need to work together to break the curse before it's too late.

Order it on Amazon or B&N.

Now for the scavenger hunt. Below is a list of bloggers helping out with the hunt. Visit each of their pages and collect a letter that is "hidden" in their post in either a different color or a larger font size. See what I did there? Hmm, is that the first letter clue? ;) If you go through the list in order, the word will spell itself out for you. If you don't go in order, you'll have to unscramble the word. Either way is fine and totally up to you. Then enter the word on the rafflecopter form for bonus entries. You don't have to find the word to enter the giveaway, but the word will earn you the most entries.

What's up for grabs?

SWAG from ALL of my books!

Yes, that's right. There's a drawstring bag, coins, buttons, a mood ring, a heart bracelet, a flame pendant, trading cards, a key, and bookmarks! All this loot could be yours!

Here are the stops for the scavenger hunt (in order):

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday Mishmash 10/20/14


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Curse of the Granville Fortune Releases Tomorrow!  I can't believe tomorrow is the big day! My middle grade fantasy will be available 10/21.
  2. Out of the Ashes on Goodreads  You can now add Out of the Ashes, book two in the Birth of the Phoenix Series, on Goodreads.
  3. #IntotheFireChallenge  Halloween will be here before you know it, so get your review of Into the Fire up on Amazon to be entered for a chance to become a phoenix in the third book in the Birth of the Phoenix Series. You could also win signed copies of all three books in the series.
  4. Beth Fred's Writing Class  My friend Beth Fred is teaching another class through Colorado Romance Writer. It's called The Art of Blurb Writing. Sign up here.
  5. Witches Three Tour  I signed at Books-A-Million in Exton, PA last Saturday along with Jennifer Murgia and Molly Cochran. Jen and I will be signing at BAM in the Stroud Mall in Stroudsburg, PA this Saturday from 1-3pm. Come see us if you're in the area.
Here are some fun pictures from last Saturday.


That's it for me. What's on your mind today?



Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Feature: Soul Redemption by Miranda Shanklin


Last week I featured Soul Journey, and this week I have the sequel, Soul Redemption.


Just when Annisa and her friends were starting to think maybe the Counsel would leave them alone, two new students arrive at school. In any other town, new students wouldn’t be a sign that something big was about to happen to Annisa, Chase, Landon, and Penelope; but this wasn’t a normal town and they weren’t normal teenagers. They had come into their powers and defeated the most feared assassin in their world, so the appearance of new witches in their small town could only mean one thing.....the Counsel was ready to make another attempt to destroy them.

After watching the new students alienate them from everyone they know, including their parents, Annisa and her friends break through the spell and things start to calm down for them. It’s not until an old enemy returns with news that will shock them that they realize everything is not as it seems. Now they have to decide whether or not to trust an old enemy claiming to help them, or try and fight against the Counsel’s most trusted Advisors on their own.
The choice the group makes will change their lives forever.

EXCERPT FROM SOUL REDEMPTION:

It started happening slowly at first. It took a few days for me to figure out what was going on. All of a sudden a few of my friends wouldn’t even look at me anymore and they refused to talk to me, so I had no idea what happened to make them treat me like this. I'd known these people my whole life so it really didn’t make sense to me that they were withdrawing from me completely. Landon was noticing the same thing. Penelope and Chase had moved so many times growing up that they really didn’t notice. They didn’t know anyone around here well enough for it to really change for them.

Landon and I were watching as the people that we'd grown up with slowly turned their backs on us. The more that the new kids showed they had no interest in us, the more others were starting to act the same. I was getting very suspicious of the new kids and what they were doing to the rest of the school.  I had no proof and really no idea what they were doing, so I couldn’t do anything but watch as this all happened.

After about a week, Chase noticed that we weren’t stopped so much in the hall by people that wanted to talk to me. The girls on the cheerleading squad were no longer trying to give me their ideas for a new routine, and were just going through the routine without engaging either me or Penelope.  After practice he had a strange look on his face and I knew he was starting to put it all together too.

That night we met with our parents in the secure room in my basement.  This was the only place that we could go and know for sure that the Counsel was not listening in on us. We had spelled the room to not let anyone hear anything from the outside and only us that created the spell are able to enter the room.

Since Chase was noticing what was going on I felt it was safe to bring it up to the others, “I haven’t said anything because I couldn’t prove what I was suspecting, and I wasn’t sure if I was overreacting. Today, I noticed that Chase was starting to see it too.  I don’t know how they are doing it, but the new kids are alienating us from everyone at school.  Somehow the people that Landon and I have known our whole lives will not talk to us or even look at us unless it is completely necessary. They avoid us as much as they can. Even the cheerleading squad won’t really talk to me.”

Landon had been nodding the whole time I was talking letting me know that he had noticed all of this too, “The football team will still follow my instructions and play the strategies that I tell them to, but that's it. They won’t talk to me, they won’t make suggestions, and off the field they won’t really talk to me unless they have to.”

My mom and Landon’s mom exchanged a worried look and then my mom said, “There really is no way for us to know at this point; if this is just from them starting rumors that you just haven’t heard yet, if there is a spell that they cast, or if it is simply a phase the kids at school are going through.  You have to remember that not everything that happens in the world has to do with magick. Sometimes it is just jealous teenagers. It is probably just the other kids trying to make sure that you don’t try and make a move on the new kids. With the way that the situation evolved when Chase and Penelope first moved here, and nobody knowing the real story so nobody understands what happened.  I think you are just overreacting to normal teenage behavior.”

Chase was the one to voice the concerns that I was feeling, “If you really think that, then why did you both look worried before you started that little speech?”

My mom did not like the way that he said that but she answered him anyway, after she gave him a stern look to make sure he knew that she was not going to let him get away with talking to her like that again, “The worried look was because we are afraid that you are all so focused on the Counsel and what they are doing, that you are going to see something sinister in every action that anyone takes. We don’t want you to become so paranoid that you accidentally harm an Innocent.  You have to remember that most of the town is not from our world and have no idea magick even exists. High school is never easy, and nobody ever said that it was fair or that teenagers were always rational.”

I let out a frustrated sigh, “It’s different than the normal teenage drama.  We had to deal with that when Chase and Penelope first got here, and this is not the same.”

Landon’s mom gave me a sympathetic look,  “Honey, I know that you are used to being liked by everyone and that you have never had to deal with the other side of the table when it comes to popularity, but you have to understand that sometimes these things just happen with no involvement from magick.”


Seeing that we were just going to keep talking in circles about this subject, because neither side was willing to concede, Penelope changed the subject, “Okay, we're just going to have to agree to disagree on this for now.  I am more concerned with how it feels when we are around them.  I can sense them and their magick, but it’s not the same as with other witches.”

You can grab this book for only $3.99 on Kindle.

Want your YA, NA, or MB book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Writer Wednesday: Marketing the Second Book in a Series

A couple weeks back, I was asked (in the comments) how to promote the second book in a series, so that's what I'm going to talk about today. First, I don't claim to be an expert at all. I'm just sharing my experiences and hoping they'll help you. So, here we go.

Promoting a sequel or second book in a series is tricky because you want to get word out about the new book, but you also want to draw new readers into the series, which actually means promoting book one. You should definitely post about book two, though. Post the cover reveal, post teasers, post links to reviews, but always continue to promote book one. Your current fans won't need much encouragement to buy book two if they loved book one. A simple "it's release day" post will prompt them to run out and get book two. You need to keep trying to broaden your reach and find new readers for the series.

Even though the entire Touch of Death series is out, I continue to promote book one. My publicist even made this image for me:
Notice it's book one on the image. That's not to say you can't use images with both covers or all of them if it's a series. Go right ahead, but make sure it's clear which book begins the series because new readers will need to know that.

Over the summer, Stalked by Death, which is the second book in the Touch of Death series, was the Kindle Daily Deal. It became a #1 Best Seller in Greek Mythology on Amazon. What also happened was Touch of Death becoming #3 in the same category. Why? New readers bought book one when book two went on sale.

So, when you promote book two, don't forget to promote book one. You want to be loyal to your existing fans and continue to let them know about your new releases, but you also want to reach new readers and draw them in to the start of the series.

Do you have tips for promoting a second book in a series? Please share in the comments.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday Mishmash 10/13/14


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. #IntotheFireChallenge Extended!  I've decided to extend the #IntotheFireChallenge until Halloweeen. That means you have until midnight on Halloween to post a review of Into the Fire on Amazon for a chance to become a Phoenix in the third and final book. Get your review up!
  2. Monster Madness Blog Hop  Vicki Leigh and I are hosting a fun Monster blog hop on Halloween. We'll be talking about our favorite monsters, and of course there will be a giveaway. Want to join the fun? Sign up below and we'll send you all you need for your Halloween post, plus some fun questions for you to answer on your blog. 
  3. Signing The Monster Within at Books-A-Million in Exton, PA on Saturday.  As part of the Three Witches Tour, I'll be signing The Monster Within with Jennifer Murgia and Molly Cochran from 1-3pm.
  4. Vitamins and Death Cover Reveal  Check out the cover of Medeia Sharif's upcoming YA, Vitamins and Death. This book will release December 10th through Prizm Books.
     
    Deidra Battle wants nothing more than to be invisible. After her mother, a public school teacher, engages in an embarrassing teacher-student affair at Lincoln High, they relocate to a different neighborhood and school. Being her mother’s briefcase, Deidra joins her mother at her new workplace, Hodge High.

    Since her mother has reverted to her maiden name and changed her appearance, Deidra thinks no one will figure out they’re the Battles from recent news and that they’re safe. Neither of them is. Hodge brings a fresh set of bullies who discover details about the scandal that changed her life.

    Feeling trapped at home with an emotionally abusive, pill-addicted mother and at school with hostile classmates who attempt to assault and blackmail her, Deidra yearns for freedom, even if she has to act out of character and hurt others in the process. Freedom comes at a price.
  5. Meradeth Houston's An Absence of Light  I'm happy to share the cover of Meradeth's upcoming release.
Leah’s always seen the shadow creatures. She thought she was immune to their evil—until now.

She’s walked into a massacre, stolen a BMW, and is running from the law for a crime she didn’t commit. Nineteen-year-old Leah’s life just went from mildly abnormal to totally crazy at lightning speed. But no one will believe that the shadow creatures are framing her for the murder, because she’s the only one that can see them. At least that’s what she thought.

When Leah stumbled across a group who share her ability, she discovers they have something she doesn’t: a way to fight back. When the group offers to teach her how to kill the shadow creatures, Leah jumps at the chance. But something is brewing with the creatures. They’re tracking down the hunters like there’s no tomorrow. Leah suspects that maybe there won’t be, and it’s up to her to make sure tomorrow comes. Because she’ll do anything to stop the shadows, including risking her life—and the life of the one she loves—to keep the world from being lost to darkness forever.


That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Feature: Soul Journey by Miranda Shanklin


It has been many lifetimes since the cycle began.

The cycle that still haunts Annisa Lawson.


A spell cast in desperation to help, which only caused heartache.


Now, Annisa has found her way out of the varying repeats of her past; only to bring more danger to herself, and those around her. Now she must learn to survive with the help of her friends: Chase, Penelope, and Landon have all gone through each life cycle with Annisa. Sometimes helping, sometimes hindering. Now that Annisa has broken the cycle of their collective punishment, she finds that she needs her friends more than ever to keep their enemies, known, and unknown, at bay. As the group of friends learn of
their souls' journeys through their many life cycles, they must also learn to control the magick they have discovered within themselves and each other, in order to defeat the most feared assassin in their world.

EXCERPT FROM SOUL JOURNEY:

“Annisa everyone in this room, including you, is a witch.” Mom paused to let that sink in, but before I could say anything she continued; “I know that this is hard for you to believe. Most witches wake up on their sixteenth birthday and their power starts to show itself and the memories start to slowly come back. By their eighteenth birthday most witches have all of their memories from every life that they have lived. Everything that you think you know about witches is wrong. Magick is not in the blood, it is not passed down through the family; magick is in the soul. Every witch’s soul goes through a cycle. You live a life and then you transition to The Clouds to rest before you come back to earth for another life cycle. The Clouds is kind of like heaven is for mortals. It's the same concept except we don’t go to The Clouds and stay there, we get to come back. No mortal can go to The Clouds and no witch can go to heaven. Our physical body is made the same way as a mortal’s with one exception. Only one child can be born to each witch couple in any given lifetime.”

At this time I'm sure my face was showing my line of thought as I immediately looked at Chase and Penelope, but my mom held up her hand to stop me from saying anything.

“Let me finish, then you can ask all the questions that you want and we will answer them all.” I nodded to let her know that I understood and I was ready for her to continue.

“I'm sure that you've noticed a few things that I've said don't seem to be the case. But notice that I have said most witches. You, Landon, Chase and Penelope are all exceptions to the rules. There is a reason for that, but it's one that I can't reveal to you yet. It will be revealed in time, but there are a few things that need to transpire first. The events that have to take place have already been set in motion and it won’t be much longer before we are able to reveal all. Penelope is the only one of you four that knows the entire situation but the consequences of her telling you early are more than any of you are willing to pay as has been proven in prior lifetimes.”

I looked over at Penelope and saw the pain in her eyes that she was not able to divulge this important information and the toll it was taking on her. I decided at that point that I wouldn't even ask her about it and just let her decide when it was the right time to tell me. She was obviously having a hard time with her roll in all of this and I didn’t want to make it any harder on her. I managed a small smile for her to let her know that I didn't blame her for not being able to tell me. She looked very relieved that I wasn't looking at her with anger.

Mom waited for this all to sink in and then continued. “You've always felt alone and like you didn't quite fit in because you sensed that you were different. You were drawn to Landon because you sensed he was also a witch along with other reasons that will be revealed later. The four of you have had your lives intertwined since the beginning of time. This lifetime is the first time that it looks like everything will work out the way it was meant to in the beginning. I know that Penelope has been giving you advice and trying to guide you to do what needs to be done. Listen to her advice and your own instincts. There are forces that are working against you and who don’t want this to ever be resolved. Quite frankly, we're all ready for it to come to an end and for the four of you to finally find the happiness that you deserve. Please don’t ask about the forces, I cannot tell you about them, it's too dangerous to speak of out in the open. Just remember that every witch has a soul mate who is also a witch and it's up to you to find yours.”

“I'm sure that you caught the beginning where I said most witches wake up on their sixteenth birthday and their power starts to show itself. Penelope has had her power and her memory since birth. Landon and Chase received some of their power, but not even half of it on their sixteenth birthday. You will not receive any of yours until after the events that have been put in action take place. If you make the same mistakes as before you will get your memories and a portion of your power and Landon and Chase will never get their full powers, but will get their memories. If you make the right choices and the issues are finally resolved you will all receive your full power as well as your memories. There is a reason that the three of you won’t get your memories until after it's too late to use them for your choices. This situation is a punishment and until you all learn and make the right choices it will continue to play out the same in each lifetime. You have to come to the right choices all on your own to show that you have grown as witches and can handle the responsibility.”

I asked my mom, “Is that everything?”

“Everything that I'm able to tell you at this time, there is more but that will all have to wait. I'm sure you have a ton of questions. Please ask us anything you want.”  “Just give me a couple of minutes to process all of this.” She nodded to let me know that she understood and would wait as long as I needed her to. I looked around at each face sitting there. The adults were all looking at me with sympathy and understanding. Penelope was guarded and apprehensive about my reaction. Landon and Chase were giving each other glares, but as they turned to face me I saw anger and resentment in Landon’s eyes and hope and longing in Chase’s eyes.

“So you're telling me that everyone in this room has known that I'm a witch and I'm just now finding out? Every single one of you has been hiding the truth about me, and all of you?” I asked calmly. I wasn’t angry about it but I wanted to hear the reasoning behind not telling me sooner.

Sound good? You can grab it on Kindle for only $3.99.

Want your YA, NA, or MB book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.