Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat

THE

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser
Page 264:
Suddenly, one of the tyrannosaurs burst from the trees in the road ahead. The animal stood there snarling, blocking the road ahead.
“Oh Christ,” Dodgson said, slamming on the breaks. The car slid sickeningly in the muddy track, came to a stop.
The tyrannosaur lumbered toward them, bellowing.


Something has survived…In 1993, an ambitious entrepreneur named John Hammond spoke four words which ushered in a new era of motion picture excitement and set worldwide boxoffice records…”Welcome to Jurassic Park”. Now, a few years later, Hammond makes a startling confession to scientist Ian Malcolm: another island of dinosaurs exists…an island where dinosaurs have been living and breeding in the wild…the Lost World.

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Excerpts · Uncategorized

Rock Stars Aren’t for Country Girls by Kelly D. Smith (Excerpt)


Anna Helbern, a country girl through and through, never expects to find anything in common with a rock star—boy is she wrong.

Adam Cooper doesn’t get what it is about this girl, maybe it’s her passion for music, or maybe it’s that damn tattoo she has. Whatever it is, when he asks her to do a country album with him (something no one would expect from the world’s most popular rock band) she agrees, and they head to LA—together.

Anna won’t give up her dream, and if a rock star is what’s going to make it happen, she’ll take the chance. But when she gets to LA, she can’t believe the ride she’s on, and soon it becomes clear that she doesn’t want to get off any time soon.

 
 

Where to Buy:
Book Strand

“I wondered if you’d be here.”

His voice sounded like silk, but it made her heart skip a beat. She spun to face him, her mouth hanging open.

“I—what are you doing here?”

“I came to see you, obviously.”

She raised an eyebrow, trying to keep cool.

“I figured it would be a safe bet to check the same bar again. I mean, you are on the event card, aren’t you?”

Her eyes widened. Of course flyers were all over the place promoting their show tonight, but she hadn’t expected him to actually notice that. She took a deep breath and smirked.

“Funny, I thought you were on an event card tonight, too.”

He laughed. “I am. I just told my friends I might be a little late. Of course, I’ll still get there before I have to be on stage. I wouldn’t make my fans wait.”

“That’s kind of you.” Anna looked him over for a fraction of a second, then held her hand out to him. “Anna.”

“Adam.”

They shook hands as his eyes roamed over her body.

“I guess you knew that though, didn’t you?”

“Nope. I had no clue what your name was.” And she hadn’t. She wasn’t a fan of the kind of music he played, at least she was guessing she wasn’t considering she’d never heard one of his songs before. As far as you know, she thought.

Adam’s smile widened. “You didn’t?”

“Nope. I saw a poster for you yesterday, that’s the only reason I recognized you.”

He let out a soft laugh. “Well, I’ll be damned.” His smile widened as James brought Anna’s drink over.

“Thanks.” She gave him a quick smile.

“Bell.” Despite the fact he used his nickname for her, Jesse didn’t sound happy. Anna’s body tensed as she turned to him. “I’ve got some bad news.”

Her eyes widened as she saw the look on his face. “What is it?”

“Mike won’t be able to make it.”

“What?” Anna snapped.

“He’s sick. He’s been puking all day. We didn’t want to say anything until we were sure he wouldn’t be able to make it, but he just went and doped himself up on cold medication.”

Anna groaned. What were they going to do? “Great,” she muttered. They’d have to cancel it. There was no other option for them. Anna ran her fingers through her hair. I’ve got to find someone who can replace him. Maybe someone I know…. No, she’d know if there was someone. Anyways, they’d have to learn all the songs for the set list.

It just wouldn’t work.

Anna blew out a deep breath. She could feel the stress inching to every part of her body, her muscles tensing.

“Who’s Mike?”

She’d totally forgotten that Adam was there. She took a deep breath, trying not to sound too disappointed. “He’s our bassist. And if he’s sick then there is no way we can play tonight.”

“You know…” Adam grinned widely. “I do happen to play bass.”

Jesse stared at him with wide eyes. “You do? Well, could you—”

“No,” Anna cut him off. “He can’t. He’s playing with his own band tonight. Hooch in Hades, was it?”

“Oh, I’ve heard of them.” Jesse mulled it over. “Donna’s kid is a big fan of them.”

“What time are you playing?”

“Nine,” Jesse answered before Anna could.

Adam bit his lip, a movement that sent a shiver down Anna’s spine.

“And you’re on for an hour?”

“Yes.”

“I’d need a ride right to the venue, but I could probably do it.”

50 Books in a Year · Book in exchange for honest review · Book Reviews · Sunday Short and Sweet Review

Soul Taken by Katlyn Duncan

Short and Sweet

Genre: 
Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy
Publisher: Carina UK
Date of Release: June 14, 2013
Pages: 208 pages
Format: Mobi
Links: Author WebsiteFacebookTwitter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Rating:
4.50 Stars
4 Stars

Summary: 
“After-life just got a lot more complicated.

Maggie is a Soul Collector. It’s her job to transport souls from the Living Realm to the After – but during a mission to New England to find a stolen soul, she ends up stuck in a teen mean girl’s body. Trapped, Maggie’s soul is catapulted into Ally’s life – and the human world she hasn’t experienced for one hundred years.

But, as a descendant of the most powerful beings in the After, Maggie must rescue Ally before the girl’s soul dies… To survive, Maggie must uncover devastating secrets – because with one soul taken by a terrifying enemy, Maggie’s could be next!”

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

I love the name Maggie, it suited this character so well!

So, as the summary says, Maggie is a Soul Collector in the After, and is vying for her chance at becoming a Guard. Guards look after the Prognatum and Prognatum, in turn, become Guards in the After.
One Prognatum, Ally, has her soul stolen and while trying to rescue her, Maggie’s soul is pulled into Ally’s body, and Maggie, plus Ally’s Guard Cooper, scramble to get Ally back before her transformation as a Prognatum.

This was such a great story idea and it was wonderfully written. I absolutely enjoyed Maggie’s character, although at first she seemed very cold and aloof but once she was in Ally’s body, her natural warmth came out. She accepted those who Ally wasn’t so keen on accepting. With Ally, think Mean Girls. That typical popular, pretty and basically a walking jerk to everyone type. Although I think her experience as a stolen soul will change her. I can’t imagine surviving that wouldn’t have an impact.

The love connection with Jackson, although he did seem like of creepy at first. Plus Maggie bonding with Jamie, there was a lot of great action in this book with little chance to cool down.

I definitely recommend this for anyone looking for a unique young adult, paranormal novel!

Where to Buy:
Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Kobo | Barnes & Noble

About the Author: 


I’ve been writing and reading since I can remember. My fondest memories were pushing mom out of the house to get the latest Goosebumps installment. Even though I went to school and worked in the field of science, my head has always been in the clouds.

Outside of writing, I enjoy spending time with my hubs, pup, and sometimes a good rom com.

Spotlight Interview · Spotlight Interview Thursdays · Uncategorized

Yeah, Shut Up. by Gene Kendall

glow in the dark

Hi readers! I’ve another fantastic interview for you today with Gene Kendall about his novel yeah, shut up. Enjoy!

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background? 

Anything overly interesting about my background probably isn’t something I’m going to reveal to the world, but…I’ve been writing online for almost ten years now.  Last year, I finished my first novel.  I’ve always had my face in a book, and the idea of perhaps one day writing a novel was something I toyed with, just like most dedicated readers likely do.

I have stereotypical “fanboy” tendencies, and have developed obsessive interests in things that most people would only view as passive entertainment.  Which is probably a healthier attitude to have towards such things.  I also try, especially as an adult, to keep these things in perspective.

What inspired you to write?

Probably a simple arrogance that I could at least do it as well as others.  That doesn’t mean that I actually can, of course, but I think that’s the starting point of most people who try to do anything.  Also, I honestly did feel as if I had a story to tell, and that there might be some form of audience for it.

What inspired your novel?

There was a very basic inspiration early on — a conversation with someone around my age about the sea of bands plucked from obscurity and given an opportunity to possibly, maybe, but probably not, become the next Nirvana.  And how those bands have virtually disappeared from memory; some of these bands, we couldn’t remember their name, but we remembered the hooks from their singles.  Often the only singles the bands seemed to have.

I started to think about these bands, what it would be like to be 22 or something and you’re offered a record deal, rushed into a studio, shoved in front of the camera for a video, and then sent off on a bus for six months to see if you sell 100,000 copies or not.  And if not, you’re toast.

This, coupled with some ideas I had about family and friendship and the bonds formed early in life, provided the basis for the novel.

What is the genre?

I tried to do research and still don’t see the proper term.  It’s technically “commercial fiction” I believe, although I don’t know how “commercial” it is, as it focuses on the failure of a struggling band to obtain commercial success.  It’s also contemporary fiction, in a sense, even though most of the novel is set twenty years ago.  Not very contemporary.

What draws you to this genre?

I wanted to tell a story grounded in reality, that focuses on character over plot.  It’s not a thriller or a mystery, nor does it exist in a fantasy realm.  It’s set in boring everyday reality, starring characters trying to escape boring everyday reality.

How did you develop your plot and your characters?

I didn’t want the setting to exist simply as nostalgia.  I wanted the common themes of the music (and overall media narratives) of this era to be reflected in the plot, and for the actual events surrounding the music industry to impact the characters in some way.  We were told in the 1990s that latchkey kid had now grown up, creating a generation of disaffected youth with poor relationships with their parents and cynical views toward authority.  I took that as a starting place to develop one of the lead characters.  If you really were the kid in songs like “Say It Ain’t So” and “Father of Mine”, then how would you enter adulthood?  What would drive you?  After having a pretty good idea of who this person would be, I then tried to conceive of characters who would bounce off of him in interesting ways.  That’s the starting place of the characters, but ideally, I wanted to craft legitimate personalities so that they didn’t exist as obvious “point-counterpoint” figures.

While working out the plot, I thought it might be fun to have the status of this band reflect the overall status of the music industry, which unbeknownst to everyone, was on the verge of collapsing at the time.  There’s some dramatic significance to the creation of Napster in 1999…as the century was drawing to a close, the seeds of the destruction of the music business had already been planted. Also, if you were born in the late ’70s or early ’80s, that means that your childhood was dying just as the millennium was coming to an end.  I wanted to use the death of the previous century, the death of “old media” and analog  communications, as a backdrop for the death of childhood dreams and adolescent fantasies.

What inspired your protagonist?

I wanted the two leads to have personalities that stood in clear contrast, but I also wanted their friendship to remain believable.  Meeting those needs helped to define the characters.  As I mentioned, the common themes of the music of this era inspired the basic idea behind the character of David, and after establishing his personality, I had a decent idea of how the other characters around him should be played.

What inspired your antagonist?

I didn’t like the strict idea of an antagonist as a villain, conspiring against the heroes of the story.  I tend to view one of the characters as his own worst enemy, so that creates more than enough conflict.  Also, I think time itself is an antagonist.  The fervor to sign these bands only lasted a few years, and after being signed, they only had a handful of months to prove themselves.  The burdens of adulthood, clashing against your youthful passions, is another form of antagonism.

What was the hardest part to write in the book?

Simply knowing “when to say when” was difficult at times.  I didn’t want to oversell certain ideas, but wasn’t sure if I was being too subtle.  There are also some lengthy dialogue exchanges in the book, and I questioned when I should or shouldn’t be adding bits of prose to the conversations.

What was your favourite part of your book to write?

My favorite part was simply finishing it.  (And then came the proofreading, which was more of a burden than I initially thought…)

Are you a full time or a part time writer? If part time, what do you do besides write?

I work a rather non-exciting office job.  I enjoy writing, but the idea of pursuing it full-time as a career doesn’t seem to fit my sensibilities.  I enjoy having health insurance, for instance.

What are you currently reading?

I just finished reading “The Coming of the Fairies” by Arthur Conan Doyle.  It’s Doyle attempting to rationalize his belief that two girls have honestly discovered fairies.  The idea that Sherlock Holmes’ creator fell for this is just one of my favorite quirky historical facts from that era.  More on the case can be found here.

A more contemporary novel I read and enjoyed recently is St. John Karp’s Radium Baby.

Who would you say are your favourite authors?

I grew up reading Mark Twain and Jack London.  As a teenager, I was heavily into Kurt Vonnegut.  Today, I download pretty much anything that’s easily available.  I usually read Edgar Rice Burroughs, H G Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and G. K. Chesterton.

In terms of contemporary fiction, I enjoy Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter novels.  Some more than others.

How about your favourite books? What would be your top 5?

In no real order: Slaughterhouse Five, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Great Expectations, To Kill a Mockingbird, and I would have to throw in Robert Graysmith’s Zodiac novel. After I bought it, I read it twice in the course of five months or so; Graysmith’s dedication to that case and the way he presents the facts is utterly fascinating.  Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm also need to be in there somewhere, but that’s over five.

What are your future projects, if any?

I’m working on my second novel.  I think I’m probably around eighty percent finished, but who knows.

I ‘m also contributing to the Comics Should be Good! blog at comicbookresources.com.  My two current projects are Adventures(s) Time here and The Guide to the Guide to Comics here.  Adventures(s) Time examines the animated DC Universe created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm (and many other talented creators), while The Guide to the Guide to Comics is an exploration into the most successful, and controversial, comics fanzine of all time.  I’m also examining the work of television writer David Milch at the Gentlemen of Leisure site.

What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you and your books?

I can be reached at Twitter through @nbx_tweets, or through the contact page at my blog, Not Blog X.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Regarding my personal experience with Kindle Unlimited, I compiled my advice here.

As for promoting a novel as an independent writer, I’ll admit I’m pretty clueless there.  Seems as if you have to send 100,000 emails in the hopes that someone will review your book.

For specific writing advice, there’s no shortage of information online.  My personal preference leans towards Kurt Vonnegut’s.  A year or so ago, I read this quote: “Daydreaming is the enemy of creativity” — meaning that daydreaming but not sitting down and doing the work actually undermines creativity. True creativity requires making a goal to accomplish something and putting in the hours necessary to create the work.  The old advice about writing a page a day is solid, and even if you can’t do a full page, at least make a commitment to accomplish something each day.  If you’re committed to daily work, within a few weeks you’ll honestly be able to see your story shaping into something, which is a nice inspiration to keep going.

Where to Buy:
Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Noise Trade

Thank you to Gene Kendall for allowing me the chance to interview him. If you’re looking for something more reality based to read, be sure to check his book out!

 

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat

THE

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser: 
page 434
“The memory of the night Leha died rushed forward but was met by stronger memories which soon shoved that night aside. My legs gave out under the influx of memories and my body leaned heavily on Cooper. His arms wrapped around me and gently placed me in the car.
Ally accelerated as a barrage of memories rendered me unconscious.
Not again.


A Life for a Life

The battle between Shadowed and Guard has brought destruction and terror to Gate Seven and now Maggie wants revenge. As the only after-life being who can save the souls from ultimate death Maggie comes face to face with her own human body, preserved for a century, waiting for just this moment to arrive.

Yet, how far will Maggie go to exact her revenge on the Shadowed? And when she comes face to face with her past, how will she survive the onslaught of memories she thought long gone?

For when the truth comes out all is not what it seems and Maggie has finally run out of time… She must choose her destiny or watch all she has perish in the fight for her life!

 

Spotlight Interview · Spotlight Interview Thursdays

Fated Memories by Joan Carney

glow in the dark

Hi Readers,
I’ve a wonderful interview for you today on Spotlight Interview Thursday’s with Joan Carney about her novel Fated Memories.
This book is scheduled to go on a .99 promotion starting Saturday! So if this interests you, please be sure to check the novel and author out!

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I grew up in the Bronx, the number five child of six and the third daughter. My sisters and I still get together to relive the many fond childhood memories we have of our old neighborhood and friends. Like my sisters, I married young, but moved to southern California to raise my four children, picking up a degree in accounting along the way from night and online classes.

Now that my kids are grown and on their own, my cat, Thea, graciously shares her condo at the lake with me—as long as I pay the mortgage. My coffee addiction is out of control, but I think I’ve gotten a handle on the dark chocolate obsession that used to rule my life.

What inspired you to write?

As a student, I always struggled putting my thoughts on paper. Even on subjects I was very familiar with, I’d sit for hours staring at blank pages hoping for any inspiration to express myself in a coherent manner. But I loved to read.

I’m older now, not necessarily wiser, but a lot more stubborn and determined. Once the story of Kitty, Simon and Maggie formed in my mind, I knew I had to write it down regardless of whether or not anyone else read it. Luckily, Fated Memories has received a warm welcome from the readers on Amazon and Goodreads.

What was the hardest part to write in the book?

Beginnings are always difficult. I think I rewrote the first ten pages over at least twenty times before I was satisfied with it. Excited about Kitty’s character and the journey I knew she would take, I struggled with giving the reader the right amount of backstory to understand the changes she would go through and still be interested enough to turn the pages.

Tell us about your book? How did it get started?

Fated Memories is a story of time travel, romance and one woman’s journey to self-realization. When I researched my father’s family tree, I was thrilled to find ancestors who had fought in the Civil War. After reading everything I could find on the daily lives of the soldiers and their families, I wondered how a woman of our time—albeit a neurotic, emotionally scarred one—would fare if dumped there, unprepared. Coming from a society of empowered women, could she survive in a world where women have no status? With a transport method devised, two companions to keep her on track, and a few opportunities for romance, a novel was born.

How much research was involved in writing your book? How did you go about it?

It was important to get the circumstances of the era right, so I used a variety of resources. I read books and consulted old newspapers on the conditions of the camps and battle strategies as well as personal accounts from Civil War nurses and soldiers. The internet provided a wealth of material on medical practices, battle maps, uniforms and the exploits of the Bucktails unit that Simon joins. An excellent resource turned out to be the genealogy websites where people posted letters and newspaper accounts of their ancestors depicting their daily routines and special accomplishments.

Book Teaser:
“As she washed off the mascara tracks from her tears, she studied her reflection in the restroom mirror, mulling over the misery that was her life. You’re almost thirty years old, Kitty Trausch, what have you got to show for it? A man? Not since Richard dumped me last year. A career? More like a crappy job that’s become unbearable.

Kitty remembered her mom’s mantra “When the world gets rough,” she’d say, “remind yourself of the good things you have.” She thought hard for a positive slant, but only came up with her prized closet full of shoes and salvation from her acne plague. Great, at least that and two-seventy-five will get me on the subway. Oh, and one more good thing. Rooming with Sonia allowed her to walk the short distance to the hospital and not have to ride the train from Tuckahoe to Manhattan. Wow, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude.”

Are you a full time or part time writer? If part time, what do you do besides write?

There’s nothing I’d like more than to write full time. Now that I’ve started, the story ideas keep itching my brain. Unfortunately, living indoors and eating regular meals requires more steady income than my writing is producing at the moment. So, I have an agreement with my local police department—I agree to show up four days a week and man the radio at the dispatch center, and they pay me enough to cover my mortgage and expenses. It’s a win-win.

How about your favorite books? What would be your top 5?

Stephen King takes the top 2 spots:

11/22/63 – about a man who finds a way to go back in time and tries to stop the Kennedy assassination. Hulu did a very good miniseries on it – except for one sticking point that I won’t mention here because it’s a spoiler. You’ll have to contact me to ask about it.

The Talisman – this is an old one written under the Bachman pen name. It’s about a boy who tries to find a cure for his mother’s terminal illness in an alternate universe.

Ken Follet gets the next two:

Pillars of the Earth – traces the building of a cathedral in early England by a master craftsman – not something I thought I’d find interesting – but the characters were so true to life and their struggles so touching, I couldn’t put the ten pound book down.
Fall of Giants – takes place at the beginning of WWI and follows the lives of five families from different walks of life who share a common bond. Again, it’s all about the characters.
The last one is from an Indie author, Scott Spotson, I met on Goodreads who blew me away with his time travel concept.

Life II – is about a man who is given the opportunity to relive his life while maintaining his current memories. The roadblocks that crop up as he tries to improve his past are mind blowing.

Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks)?

The window in my office faces a serene lake with ducks and seagulls squawking in the distance. When I’m stuck for the perfect word or phrase, I gaze out at the light sparkling on the water and allow the alpha brain waves to flow. If that doesn’t work, I do the opposite and munch on chips, crackers, anything chocolate or high in carbs to stimulate my creativity. The calories are balanced out with long walks around the lake or, if I’ve been especially brilliant, I reward myself with a couple hours trolling the department store racks.

What is the preferred method for readers to get in touch with you and your books?

I love hearing from fans and readers and I’m always available for contact by email:  jcarney1148@gmail.com

Time is my arch enemy, so my website, Joan Carney Author is not as up to date as I’d like it to be. But there is a contact form there to reach me.

Or you can like me on Facebook at Facebook: Fated Memories for another avenue with news and updates on my current and upcoming books.

What would your advice be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?

Jot down every idea for a story that comes into your head so you don’t forget it. Your list will be invaluable when you come up dry or just need inspiration.

I wrote my first draft entirely by the seat of my pants and wound up having to slash off about a third of the manuscript. From this experience I can tell you to outline as much of the book as you can. It’s worth taking the time up front to ensure a well-developed and structured book in the end. Once the outline is complete and weak points and any areas where the pace lags are defined, the story practically writes itself.

Where to Buy: 

Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble

Many thanks to Joan for allowing me the chance to interview her. It was an enjoyable read! I hope you seek out her book, readers. Plus, you can’t beat .99 deals! – Leticia

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat

THE

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser: 
page 46:
Timothy looked at this Christmas cake shape and his eyes grew wider with a realisation of fate. ‘Marzipan Mountain!’ he cried outright and without hesitation. ‘I’m going to Marizpan Mountain.’
If we had stood beside him at that particular moment in time, we would have wondered by . Maybe it was the bang on the head that made him want to do this, or because there was nothing to go home to. Perhaps it was just that Marizpan Mountain was there, a true adventure in the waiting.” 


Timothy Other: The Boy Who Climbed Marzipan Mountain by L. Sydney Abel
Timothy Other’s birthplace has always been a mystery. 12 year-old Timothy lives at the Dreams and Hopes Orphanage where he was abandoned as an anonymous infant. Timothy’s world crumbles when the orphanage is repossessed by the bank and comes under the strict rule of the horrid Mr. Sterner and the scaly-skinned Ms. ‘Fishy’ Finn. He escapes the Dreams and Hopes Orphanage and travels to the bizarre world of Marzipan Mountain, where he befriends some amazing creatures. Timothy seeks to discover his true origins and becomes embroiled in a matter of life and death, facing the evil forces that crave the secret of ‘Golden Life’.