Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Literary Addicts Weekly Meme: Finally, Hunger Games!

It's time for the Literary Addicts Weekly Meme where each week we answer the question: What are you currently reading?

I haven't participated the past few weeks because I was still reading the last book I told you about, The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic, by Emily Croy Barker, which I loved! But at 563 pages, it took me a few weeks to get through it! So, I've finally moved on to another book, and I decided that I'd better start reading the series that everyone has read except for me: Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins!

I don't think I need to give you a description since everyone knows what the series is about. So far, I'm really liking the first book. I like how the author writes very succinctly, with no extra words. She gets right to the point, which makes for easy and quick reading, with plenty of action.


CLICK HERE to find links to other bloggers participating in the Literary Addicts Weekly Meme and find out what they're currently reading!

Disclosure: This post contains my Amazon affiliate link.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Grammar Lesson: Lie, Lay, and Laid

I do a lot of book tours on this blog, but my original intention, as the name demonstrates, was to blog more about writing, grammar, publishing, etc. If you have any questions about those subjects, feel free to ask them in the comments section below or send me an email at smhparent [at] hotmail [dot] com, and I may feature it in an upcoming post!

Today, I want to write about an error I see frequently: the incorrect use of “lie,” “lay,” and “laid.”


When you’re using present tense, “to lie” is something people do, and “to lay” is something you do to something else.

Present Tense Example:
I want to lie in bed all day.
Please lay the book on the counter.


When you’re using the past tense, “lay” is actually the past form of “lie,” which sounds really strange!

Past Tense Example:
Yesterday, I lay in bed all day.
I laid the book on the counter.

Here’s a chart:

                                                          Present Tense                              Past Tense
People                                                         lie                                             lay
Objects                                                       lay                                            laid

Do you see why English can be a confusing language to learn?

Again, if you have any grammar, writing or publishing questions, I’d love to hear them!

Friday, November 21, 2014

M9B Friday Reveal: Chapter One of "The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl" by Leigh Statham and Giveaway (3 Winners) #M9BFridayReveals

M9B-Friday-Reveal
Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!
This week, we are revealing the first chapter for

The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl by Leigh Statham

presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
The Perilous Journey
Lady Marguerite lives a life most 17th century French girls can only dream of: money, designer dresses, suitors and a secure future. However, she suspects her heart may be falling for her best friend, Claude, a common smithie in the family’s steam forge. When Claude leaves for New France in search of a better life, Marguerite decides to follow him and test her suspicions of love. But the trip proves to be more harrowing than she anticipated. Love, adventure and restitution await her, if she can survive the voyage.
add to goodreads
Title: THE PERILOUS JOURNEY OF
THE NOT-SO-INNOCUOUS GIRL
Publication date: 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Leigh Statham
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Excerpt

The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl
Leigh Statham
Chapter One
Marguerite held the brass cricket gingerly in her hands. She kept it tucked under the table while she turned it over, her fingers blindly memorizing every feature. She knew it was childish for a sixteen-year-old to have a favorite toy, but she couldn’t help it. The design fascinated her. Occasionally she would trip the mechanism and the cricket literally sprang to life, launching itself against the underside of the table with a loud knock.
“What was that?” Madame Pomphart cried.
Marguerite caught the little metal bug with one hand and tucked it into the folds of her skirts. “Nothing,” she lied.
“I heard a noise.” The sour-faced governess slapped the desk with her pointer and stepped closer. “What are you hiding?”
Marguerite didn’t flinch. “You must be hearing things again. You are getting rather old.”
Madame Pomphart swung her pointer, making sound contact with Marguerite's shoulder.
“Ah!” Marguerite grabbed her shoulder and jumped to her feet, knocking her chair over. She quite forgot about the little toy cricket which launched right at the governess’s face.
“What? Oh!” Madame Pomphart batted the air and stumbled backward, dropping her stick as the cricket ricocheted off her nose and landed at Marguerite’s feet. “How dare you bring vermin into my classroom? Your father will hear about this. Lord Vadnay will not be pleased!”
Marguerite scooped up her prize and ran for the door, grateful for the chance to escape.
“Get back here or you’ll receive double lashings!”
It was too late. Marguerite ran much faster than her teacher and was already halfway down the wide corridor. Lined with portraits of long-dead relatives and her father’s collection of modern weaponry, each display tempted her with thoughts of challenging the governess to a duel. She could easily scoop up one of the automated cat-o-nine-tails and turn back to the classroom. She rather fancied the idea, actually. But it wasn't the right time or the right way to handle her heavy-handed caretaker, and honestly, she wasn't quite brave enough to do more than talk back—not yet.
Her fear began to lift as she lightly descended the grand curving stairway to the ballroom, sprinting over the marble tiles and through the large doors to the gardens. The French summer sun blinded her. Marguerite blinked as she continued to run around the fountain filled with automated koi. A servant perched on the edge of the large pool, brass fish in hand. Its tail clicked furiously back and forth as he tried to oil it. The late-summer roses bloomed bright with color all around her. Butterflies seemed to flit merrily on every blossom, cheering her on. Human and automaton servants worked side by side grooming the large hedges … They jumped out of her way and bowed. None of them seemed surprised to see the young lady of the house running out of doors and they all knew where she was headed.
She tried to slip away to the cool shelter of the small glen beyond the lavender fields every chance she could, but since her father came up with the idea that she needed to be a “real lady,” it had become more difficult to sneak away.
At this point, she could have stopped. Pomphart wouldn’t follow her now, but it felt so good to move quickly after being at a table all morning. Her heart beat like an auto-hammer in her chest by the time she reached the work fields. More automatons and human servants stopped and bowed to the master’s daughter. Marguerite paid them no attention.
Finally reaching the small grove of trees, she flopped merrily on the soft grass and took a deep breath, then giggled to herself. She was safe, for now. The wind picked up and tousled the leaves overhead, sending bits of sunlight swimming wildly around her. The grass outside the glen rustled under the heavy thud of work boots: Claude.
“Hullo!” His voice sounded merry as he peered through the low branches that poked and tickled at the earth, surprised to see her there so early. “How’d you manage to beat me?” His wavy, light brown hair was just shaggy enough to soften his strong jaw and angular nose. His cheek was smeared with gear oil, right up to the corner of his smiling blue eyes. He was too tall for his work trousers and his chest had grown too broad for his cotton shirt. The buttons tugged a bit, but he wasn’t the type to care about his clothes. He pulled his welding goggles off of his head and wiped the sweat on his brow with the arm of his shirt.
“I ran.” She smiled wickedly.
Claude flopped down in the grass beside her. “That’s not very ladylike, and Pomphart doesn’t usually let you out till half past.”
“I had to run after this marvelous toy you made for me attacked her.” She held up the cricket like a prize gem freshly plucked from the earth.
“Marguerite!” he cried. “I asked you to keep it safe, not use it to get yourself tossed out of ladyhood!”
“It was an accident. I swear. The lessons are just so boring. I needed something to do, so I had it under the table. She’s such a brute. You should have seen how she hit me with her blasted pointer.”
“She struck you again?” his face turned dark.
“Yes, but it's nothing, just a welt on the shoulder.” The last thing she wanted was to be the damsel in distress.
“Still.” Claude's brow furrowed. “It's not right. Ladies don't strike other ladies. Please keep good care of that little bug. It took me a long time to build and I didn’t record the plans. I may need to borrow it back someday.”
“All right.” Disappointed at his lack of enthusiasm for her naughtiness, she carried on. “But you should have seen her face! If only I could have a portrait made of that. I’d hang it over my bed and have a miniature made to keep by my heart.”
A nasally voice attached to a pointy-faced, pale girl in bright pink skirts burst through the cool glen. “Whose miniature are you keeping by your heart? You haven’t even had your ball yet.”
“Hello, Vivienne.” Marguerite sighed without enthusiasm.
“Marguerite has just sealed her doom,” Claude chimed in. “She threw the cricket I made her at Pomphart’s face today, so there may not be a ball.”
“That’s rubbish! I did no such thing. It just got away from me and bounced right off her nose.” Marguerite laughed again while recalling the image, but Claude’s words made her a bit nervous.
“Oh dear,” cried Vivienne. “What are you going to do?”
Of course Vivienne would make a big deal out of it, Marguerite didn’t expect anything less from her childish neighbor.
“I’m not sure. That’s why I came straight here.” She turned pointedly to Claude. “I thought you’d want to celebrate my freedom and take the rest of the day off.”
Claude was quick to reply, “I’m afraid I can’t. Lots to be finished at the forge and I am on stall-mucking duty with the bots.”
“What do you possibly have to finish at the forge that’s so important?”
Claude raised his eyebrows at her. “A certain girl’s father has requested automatic serving dishes made of twenty-four-karat gold for her introduction to society.”
“Oh my!” Vivienne drew a dramatic breath. “How elegant. I so wish I were old enough to come.”
“Don’t worry,” Marguerite patted the girl’s knee, “I’m sure you can borrow them for your own ball.”
“Marguerite … ” Claude hissed at her.
It wasn’t a very kind thing to say, but Marguerite had never been very fond of Vivienne. She mostly endured her company because she was the only girl within a hundred miles that was close to the same age and station as Marguerite. That, and Claude had insisted she be kind to her.
“You’re right, Claude.” Marguerite smiled in repentance. “I’m sure your father will have loads of wonderful things for the guests to marvel at when your time comes, Vivienne. Still, it would be nice to have both of you there. I suppose I will be forced to talk to strangers.”
“I can’t believe you’re not excited!” Vivienne chattered. “New dresses! Handsome suitors!”
“I am excited,” Marguerite cut her off, “to have it over and done with! Dressing up might be fun, but dressing up to catch a man is not my idea of a good time.”
“Don’t be vulgar.” Vivienne blushed. “It’s not like that at all.”
Claude cut in, “I’d love to stay and discuss this matter with you girls, but I do have a few chafing dishes waiting for their motors in the shop.”
Marguerite tensed at the thought of not only being left alone with Vivienne, but also being without Claude’s protection should Pomphart come looking for her. “Do you think I could come help you at the forge today?”
“Not if you want me to get anything done.” Claude smiled merrily.
“Stop it! You know I’m a whiz with gear-work.”
“When you are actually interested in the work, yes, but I’m afraid that auto-spoons and brass tureens would bore you to death.”
Marguerite tried to make her eyes look large and beseeching, but she knew it was no use.
“No. But you can walk me there. I forgot my lunch anyway,” Claude said as he reached to help Marguerite up.
“I didn’t exactly have time to grab a snack as I fled the dungeons,” Marguerite quipped.
“Oh! I know!” Vivienne was bursting. “Let’s have lunch in town today. You’re not going back to your lessons are you? And Claude is busy with work. It will be such fun girl time!”
Marguerite sighed, but Vivienne was right. There was no way for her to return to the estate house without being trapped by Pomphart, and she had nothing to do if Claude insisted on finishing his chores. Still, she was uneasy about the idea of being on her own with Pomphart’s wrath hovering around an unknown corner waiting to pounce. The woman was ruthless when no one of importance was watching. She had a way of getting Marguerite off on her own and exacting whatever form of punishment she felt was suitable for the crime. Marguerite tried to complain to her father, but he wouldn’t listen, he thought Marguerite just didn’t want lessons anymore.
Claude knew all of this and sensed her fears in her quiet gaze.
“Come with me, both of you. I have someone I want you to meet.” Claude smiled.
Marguerite jumped up at his tug, tossed her wavy brown hair, and set her skirts aright, glad someone was helping her make up her mind. “Very well.”
“Hooray! Oh, I know just the place,” Vivienne said. “There is a new little patisserie I saw the other day I’ve been aching to try.” She skipped up the hill ahead of the other two, babbling on about buns and cakes and half sandwiches.
Claude reached for Marguerite’s arm and squeezed a bit. He used this gesture when he was about to chastise her, but she didn’t think she’d been that rude to Vivienne. The girl got on her nerves with every word, but her intentions were good and Marguerite wasn’t cruel by nature, just impatient.
“What?” she hissed.
“I have some news, but I wanted to tell you first.”
“Oh?” Relieved not to be in trouble, but also perplexed, Marguerite wished more now than ever that Vivienne would just skip into oblivion with her bouncy blonde curls and scattered thoughts.
“Yes. You know how we spoke a few weeks ago about my plans?”
“Did you find a position in Paris?” Marguerite could scarcely contain herself. Her friend was so talented, and she knew better than anyone that he was wasted working as a bondservant on her father’s estate. If he could secure an apprenticeship in Paris he could come back to La Rochelle as a master tradesman. Plus she could visit him there. Still, apprenticeships were hard to come by.
“No, I think it’s better than that.”
“What could be better than Paris?” In her mind, crowds of well-dressed ladies paraded down glittering avenues while the latest autocarts passed by in a blur of technology and innovation. Paris was the hub of all things Marguerite admired.
“I’ve signed into His Majesty’s service. As of next week, I’ll be an official member of the Royal Corp of Engineers.”
“You what?” She was stunned. It took her a moment to sort out her emotions. How could he have made this type of decision without consulting her? They had shared everything since they discovered each other as bored children on the estate a decade ago.
“I knew you’d be angry with me for not telling you beforehand, but an opportunity just presented itself and I knew it was right—I had to take it.”
“No, I’m not angry at all. Just shocked. You know how my father feels about the military.”
“But you see, that’s just it. I won’t have to worry about your father anymore, I won’t owe him anything. My first assignment is to New France.”
“Are you two coming or not? I’m starved!” Vivienne had doubled back when she realized she was talking to herself.
Marguerite wasn’t sure she could eat or talk at that moment. She wasn’t sure she could even take another step.

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author
L. Statham
Leigh Statham was raised in the wilds of rural Idaho, but found her heart in New York City. She worked as a waitress, maid, artist, math teacher, nurse, web designer, art director, thirty-foot inflatable pig and mule wrangler before she settled down in the semi-quiet role of wife, mother and writer. She resides in North Carolina with her husband, four children, five chickens and two suspected serial killer cats. If the air is cool and the sun is just coming up over the horizon, you can find her running the streets of her small town, plotting her next novel with the sort of intensity that will one day get her hit by a car.
Connect with the Author: Website |Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
The book will be sent upon the title's release.


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Cover Reveal: Grit of Berth and Stone, by Lisa Dunn




Grit of Berth and Stone, by Lisa Dunn
Surge, Anaiah Press

Blurb:

Banished for a foolish mistake, sixteen-year-old Grit of Berth and Stone scorns the loss of her home, her honor, and her only ally. Only the weak worry about such things.

But war is brewing all across Chasmaria, and as a group of rebels pull Grit into their ranks, she begins to question what strength, courage, and honor really look like. When faced with a horrible truth about herself, Grit must either fight her way back to Thresh or live with the blood of the innocent on her hands.

Release Date:
March 17, 2015

Book Links:


Author Bio:

As a child, Lisa Dunn fell asleep to her father’s fanciful bedtime tales and played with her own story ideas during the daylight hours. She now resides in a small southern town with her husband, four children, and an ever-changing assortment of pets. Local librarians habitually thank her for their job security. 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorlisadunn
Twitter: @ScouterWife
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/user/show/21086727-lisa-dunn



Thursday, November 20, 2014

"Rogue Alliance," by Michelle Bellon: Free eBook on Amazon on November 21, 2014!

RA free day

rogue_alliance_250x375

Rogue Alliance is free on Amazon - November 21, 2014 ONLY


While still a child in Redding, California, Shyla Ericson killed her father to end years of abuse. She’d left town shortly thereafter, changed her name, and started a new life, eventually becoming a highly decorated DEA agent.

But some history doesn’t stay buried.

When Shyla goes undercover to bring down drug kingpin Victor Champlain, the case takes her back to a town that hasn't forgotten her, and to a past she thought she’d left behind.

Then, she meets Brennan Miles, a genetically altered kidnap victim, who has been turned into a weaponized super-human. Victor helped Brennan escape from a hidden genetics research facility known only as The Institute, where he'd been held and experimented on for years. In return for his freedom, Brennan now works for Victor as his bodyguard.

Shyla is drawn to Brennan's strength, and to his humanity. Even after she discovers his secret — he must have human blood to survive. Shyla knows she can’t take down Champlain by going through Brennan — he’s too strong — and he’s loyal to Victor.

Buy on Kindle FREE today only




Michelle Bellon

About the author:
Michelle Bellon lives in the Pacific Northwest with her four beautiful children. She drinks ungodly amounts of coffee and has an addiction to Chapstick.

She works at a surgery center as a registered nurse and writes novels in her spare time. She writes in the genres of romance suspense, young adult, women’s fiction, and literary fiction. She has won three literary awards.

Website | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | LinkedIn


Monday, November 17, 2014

Damsel NOT Book Tour: Giveaway for a $15 Amazon Gift Card, Signed Book and Other Gifts

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Damsel Not
In the days of old, one knight fought to save the maiden he loved – a battle that ended in a bloody promise for the future.

In the days of the 21st Century, Izz doesn’t believe in prophecies. A recent widow, she struggles to find the passion that once fueled her life – a passion that is reignited the day a knight in disguise cuts into her life in a flash of swordplay and seductive grins.

Izz doesn’t want to love him. The guilt of moving on nearly crushes her, yet she finds herself unable to resist the touch, the feel, the scent of the man who leaves her breathless with just one look. But each day Izz finds herself drawn to Cade, the more danger she finds herself in, for someone believes Izz to be at the center of an ages-old prophecy – and will do anything to stop it.

When threatening messages turn even more dangerous, Izz must rediscover a part of herself she’s never known before and fight to save her knight in shining armor. With only a sword passed down throughout the generations to guide her, Izz must prove to her adversary that unlike maidens of old, she will never be a damsel in distress.

Kristina Circelli's first contemporary romance with a slight touch of fantasy, for readers 18+


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Meet the author:
kristina-2
Night owl, Dorito lover, and quiet eccentric, Kristina Circelli is the author of several fiction novels, including The Helping Hands series, The Whisper Legacy, The Never, and The Sour Orange Derby.

Her latest series, The Whisper Legacy, features Beyond the Western Sun. This book is what all fantasy adventures must strive to be: a complex, intricate examination of human emotion set within the context of worlds known only in our imagination. Melding fantasy and legend in an epic quest, this series signals the arrival of Kristina Circelli as a master storyteller and an important voice in Native American literature.

A descendant of the Cherokee nation and niece of a Cherokee elder, Circelli holds both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English from the University of North Florida, where she teaches creative writing. She also heads Red Road Editing, a full-service editing company for independent authors and commercial clients.

She currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida, with her husband, Seth, and cats, Lord Finnegin the Fierce and Mr. Malachi the Mighty.

Follow Kristina on

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Literary Addicts | GoodReads


Enter to win a prize pack from the author. Fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter. Open to US residents 18+


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Disclaimer: Susan Heim on Writing is not responsible for Rafflecopter content or prize fulfillment.

Audiobook Giveaway: The Snow Queen, by Michael Cunningham

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snowqueenaudio
A darkly luminous new novel from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Hours

Michael Cunningham’s luminous novel begins with a vision. It’s November 2004. Barrett Meeks, having lost love yet again, is walking through Central Park when he is inspired to look up at the sky; there he sees a pale, translucent light that seems to regard him in a distinctly godlike way. Barrett doesn’t believe in visions—or in God—but he can’t deny what he’s seen.

At the same time, in the not-quite-gentrified Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, Tyler, Barrett’s older brother, a struggling musician, is trying—and failing—to write a wedding song for Beth, his wife-to-be, who is seriously ill. Tyler is determined to write a song that will be not merely a sentimental ballad but an enduring expression of love.

Barrett, haunted by the light, turns unexpectedly to religion. Tyler grows increasingly convinced that only drugs can release his creative powers. Beth tries to face mortality with as much courage as she can summon.

Cunningham follows the Meeks brothers as each travels down a different path in his search for transcendence. In subtle, lucid prose, he demonstrates a profound empathy for his conflicted characters and a singular understanding of what lies at the core of the human soul.

The Snow Queen, beautiful and heartbreaking, comic and tragic, proves again that Cunningham is one of the great novelists of his generation.

Buy on Amazon

One lucky winner will receive an audiobook copy of The Snow Queen, by Michael Cunningham. Fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Must be 18+ and have a US mailing address.

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Disclaimer: Susan Heim on Writing is not responsible for Rafflecopter content or prize fulfillment.