Friday, May 30, 2014

Mackenzie's Cross Book Tour: Guest Post and Book Giveaway (2 Winners)

Please join Sarah Barthel as she tours the blogosphere from May 12- June 4 for Mackenzie's Cross and enter to win your own copy!

Mackenzie's Cross
Publication Date: May 14, 2013
Topaz Publishing
Formats: Ebook, Paperback

When Duke Kensington dies, how can a young kitchen maid stand up for what she believes and save her best friend?

Mackenzie’s life has always been one of duty. However, in a land where even the Brotherhood of the Knights are becoming power hungry mongers, how can a young kitchen maid maintain her morals when tempted with all she’s never had?

In the end, the truth is even more complicated than Mackenzie had ever imagined.

GUEST POST BY AUTHOR SARAH BARTHEL

Research can be hard, but it is nearly almost rewarding. As I worked on research for my novel, Mackenzie’s Cross, I came across all kinds of interesting facts that I wanted to include, but they simply didn’t fit the setting.

Then I came across an article about lepers living out their remaining lives in local convents, and my curiosity was piqued. See, I have psoriatic arthritis and had read a long time ago that medieval sufferers of psoriasis were often diagnosed with leprosy. Ever since I’d read that, I’d wanted to include it in a book somehow, but hadn’t thought about it until I came across that article about lepers and convents.

I was trying to develop a character to aid in part of Mackenzie’s journey -- not someone who would help her uncover the true cause of Duke Kensington’s death, but someone who would help her learn the more refined elements of royal society (how to be a lady, etc.). When I came upon this article, all the elements in my mind came together.

What if a young lady of noble birth had been diagnosed with leprosy, but in reality had psoriasis? She would have had to take the death march and conceal herself inside either a convent or a leper asylum. There she would have received medical treatment and would be presumed dead by those who loved her. However, because she had psoriasis instead of leprosy, she would possibly have had times of remission where she showed no symptoms and others when she was in pain from the skin disease. A keen eye might have suspected she didn’t have leprosy, but the stigma was so strong, it would be hard to combat the discrimination.

So that is how the character of Lady Elizabeth came to belong in Mackenzie’s world. You’ll never see it spelled out in the novel, but she suffers from a misdiagnosis. She locked herself in a convent for the youth of her life because her family feared the stigma of such a disease. I like to think that by the end of the novel, she’s found a happy medium, but it is hard to predict the future for characters … even when you’ve penned them.

If you have further questions about Lady Elizabeth or any of my characters, please find me on Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail me and ask! And do read Mackenzie’s Cross to uncover more tidbits about medieval life!

Buy the Book

Amazon CA (Kindle)
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

About the Author

Sarah Barthel
Sarah Barthel was raised on a steady diet of old Hollywood musicals and classic literature. It instilled in her a love for looking into the past to discover new passions.

Nurturing her love of language, she learned French, Latin and Japanese. This led her to study in Paris and host a Japanese exchange student. She followed her passion to American University in Washington DC, where she studied British literature and history.

Since then she has thrown herself into writing. She loves to find unique, and unexplored ideas in familiar settings. A member of the Society of Children's Writers and Illustrators, she currently lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, daughter and two crazy dogs.

You can connect with Sarah on Facebook.

Virtual Book Tour Schedule


Monday, May 12
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective

Tuesday, May 13
Excerpt at Peeking Between the Pages

Wednesday, May 14
Review at SOS Aloha

Friday, May 16
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, May 21
Guest Post at Just One More Chapter

Thursday, May 22
Excerpt at Let Them Read Books

Monday, May 26
Review at Book Nerd

Friday, May 30
Guest Post at Susan Heim on Writing

Wednesday, June 4
Review at Staircase Wit

Giveaway


To win one of two copies of Mackenzie's Cross, please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open internationally and ends at 11:59pm on June 4, 2014. You must be 18 or older to enter. Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on June 5th and notified via email. Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A SEASON OF CHANGE from Lynette Sowell ~ Kindle HDX Giveaway and Facebook Party!

In A Season of Change, book one of Lynette Sowell's new series, Seasons of Pinecraft, readers will discover a different side of the Amish community. A Season of Change follows Natalie and Amish widower Jacob Miller as they each discover the mysterious ways God works. Inspired by the image of a Plain woman sitting on a three-wheeled bicycle by the Pinecraft (an Amish community in Florida) post office, Sowell’s latest is a new take on the popular trend in fiction.

Lynette is celebrating with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a Facebook author chat party on June 12th.

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One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • A Season of Change by Lynette Sowell
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 12th. Winner will be announced at the A Season of Change Facebook author chat party on June 12th. Connect with Lynette for an evening of fun book chat, Amish-themed trivia, and prizes. Lynette will also be answering audience questions and giving an exclusive look at the next book in the Seasons of Pinecraft series!

So grab your copy of A Season of Change and join Lynette on the evening of June 12th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 12th!

Book Review: "Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio," by Serena Miller! #LFYSugarcreek


love_finds_you_sugarcreek 
About the book:
A mysterious outsider casts a long shadow on Ohio's Amish country. Policewoman Rachel Troyer has always looked after her three elderly Amish aunts, proprietors of a farmhouse inn near Sugarcreek, Ohio. The idyllic town is popular with tourists, who come to sample its famous Amish goods. But one thing is clear to Rachel -- Joe Matthews is no tourist. When the bearded stranger lands on her aunts' doorstep, begging shelter for himself and his young son, Rachel is suspicious.

Will she be able to uncover Joe's secrets despite her aunts' -- and her own -- growing affection for him?

My thoughts:
I’ve read quite a few Amish-themed novels, but Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio is one of my favorites so far. In the novel, three types of lifestyles intersect -- the glamorous life of a celebrity (Joe), the life of a small-town cop (Rachel), and the back-to-basics life of the Amish (Rachel’s aunts and townspeople). All of these lifestyles have their share of blessings and challenges, which is very realistically portrayed. I loved Rachel’s loyalty to her aunts, Joe’s patience and love for his young son, and the aunts’ compassion and work ethic. It was a wonderful ride to see them gradually learn more about each other, growing in respect and love along the way. All had their share of difficulties, but their family and community got them through the hard times.

Get the book: http://ow.ly/vBQwd

About the author:
Prior to writing novels, Serena Miller wrote for many periodicals, including Woman's World, Guideposts, Billy Graham's Decision Magazine, Reader's Digest, Focus on the Family, Christian Woman, and The Detroit Free Press Magazine. She has spent many years partnering with her husband in full-time ministry and lives on a farm in southern Ohio near a thriving Amish community.

Learn more about Serena at: http://serenabmiller.com

sugarcreekmovie-banner

Guideposts Books is excited to announce the premiere of a new film based on the book Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio (Summerside Press) by Serena Miller. The movie, produced by Mission Pictures International and filmed last fall in the actual town of Sugarcreek, will premiere on Sunday, June 1, 2014, at 7:00 PM EDT on Up TV (formerly the Gospel Music Channel). Visit the movie website for more information.

Serena and Guideposts will be celebrating with a Facebook viewing party

Join Serena and readers on Facebook while you tune in to watch Love Finds You in Sugarcreek to share your thoughts about the movie, chat with other viewers, and win fun prizes. Just use hashtag #LFYSugarcreek to join the discussion on June 1st.

Check your local listing for UpTV (http://up.viewerlink.tv) to find out when it airs in your timezone.

Excited? Help me spread the word! Just share this link and information on your social media along with the hashtag #LFYSugarcreek! Plus, we'll be tracking the hashtag and giving away Amazon & Starbucks cards to people at random who help to promote all throughout the month of May. Winners announced at the Love Finds You in Sugarcreek viewing party on June 1st.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

Spotlight on "The Luthier’s Apprentice" by Mayra Calvani

About the Book
Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840), one of the greatest violinists who ever lived and rumored to have made a pact with the devil, has somehow transferred unique powers to another…

When violinists around the world mysteriously vanish, 16-year-old Emma Braun takes notice. But when her beloved violin teacher disappears, Emma takes charge. With Sherlock Holmes fanatic, not to mention gorgeous Corey Fletcher, Emma discovers a parallel world ruled by an ex-violinist turned evil sorceress who wants to rule the music world on her own terms.

But why are only men violinists captured and not women? What is the connection between Emma's family, the sorceress, and the infamous Niccolò Paganini?

Emma must unravel the mystery in order to save her teacher from the fatal destiny that awaits him and undo the curse that torments her family -- before evil wins and she becomes the next luthier's apprentice…



About the Author
Award-winning author Mayra Calvani has penned over ten books for children and adults in genres ranging from picture books to nonfiction to paranormal fantasy novels. She’s had over 300 articles, short stories, interviews and reviews published in magazines such as The Writer, Writer’s Journal and Bloomsbury Review, among others. A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, she now resides in Brussels, Belgium.

Q&A with the Author

What was your inspiration for The Luthier’s Apprentice?
I studied/played the violin for 5 years, and my daughter has been playing it for 8 years, so violin music has been a big part of my life for a long time. There’s something darkly mysterious about the violin, and I’m in awe of soloists who have the skill to master it. The making of the violin itself is fascinating to me as well. And, of course, I also love listening to violin music whenever I can. Naturally, violin music has been very influential in my writing. I just find it immensely inspiring. Besides The Luthier’s Apprentice, I have also written several children’s picture books related to the violin. Readers can learn about them here: www.MayrasSecretBookcase.com.

How was your writing process like for The Luthier’s Apprentice?
I completed the first draft in four weeks during Nanowrimo 2007. At that time, it was an experiment. I hadn’t participated in Nanowrimo before. It was an exciting, exhilarating experience, but I knew the manuscript needed a lot of editing and polishing, so I put it aside for a long time. Then I worked on it on and off as I worked on other projects. That’s why it took so long to publish it.

I didn’t plot in advance. I didn’t know what would happen on the next page. I discovered the story and characters as I wrote. Or rather, I let the characters take charge and guide me. Looking back, this was incredibly daring. I don’t work this way now. But, as I said, it was an experiment to shut down my inner critic, and it was an exciting challenge.

Is The Luthier’s Apprentice the first book in a series?
Yes, it is the first book in a series featuring 16-year-old violin student/luthier/amateur sleuth Emma Braun.

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Airel Book Tour: Giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash


Airel
Airel

Airel: The Awakening is a young adult paranormal romance about the angel Kreios who falls so deeply in love with a woman that he chooses to fall from heaven to be with her. She gives birth to a daughter in Arabia, 1250BC. The girl is pursued ferociously, relentlessly by an enemy in the deepest darkness.

In present day, Boise, Idaho is just a girl: Airel. She's just your average high school student...who turns out to be anything but average. It's because of who she is, because of her ancestry, because of her lineage. Past and present collide as what has been twisted comes dangerously unraveled.




About the Authors

Aaron Patterson is a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author of over a dozen novels. He writes hard-boiled thrillers and young adult fantasy. He was home-schooled and grew up in the west. Aaron loved to read as a small child and would often be found behind a book, reading one to three a day on average. This love drove him to want to write, but he never thought he had the talent. He wrote Sweet Dreams, the first book in the WJA series, in 2008. Airel is his first teen series, and plans for more are in the works. He lives in Boise, Idaho, with his family.


Chris White is an award-winning author and editor, and is co-author of the Airel Saga with Aaron Patterson. Chris also writes psychological thrillers under the nom de plume Jet Deaver, and has penned some short stories as C.P. White. He blogs occasionally about writing and the journey of the Christian artist at C.P. White Media Blog and lives in Idaho with his family.

Praise for the Book

“This is not your typical fallen angel story. It is one that has left me breathlessly waiting for the next one in the series.” --Sandra Stiles, Amazon review

“A beautifully written and crafted fiction about teenage innocence, faith, loss and love. A must read for teens and adults alike." --Vincent Zandri, International Bestselling Author of The Remains, The Innocent, and Concrete Pearl

“This was such a unique twist to the common way angels are portrayed…. The struggle between good and evil is the forefront of this great story!” –-Courtney, Amazon review

Blog Tour Giveaway
Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash
Ends 6/16/14

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Release Day Blitz: Perfectly Messy by Lizzy Charles with Giveaway

Welcome to the Release Day Blitz for

Perfectly Messy (Effortless With You #2) by Lizzy Charles

presented by Swoon Romance!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Popularity isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. Justin Marshall knows this better than most. For the captain of the basketball team, small business owner, and son of Minnesota’s next governor, life can get pretty overwhelming. But Justin can handle anything as long as he has Lucy, the girl who fell for the man he’s trying to be. 
But for Justin and Lucy, finding time together proves challenging. Stolen kisses and whispered promises just aren’t enough. That is, until scandalous photos of the couple are leaked to a press intent on creating a juicy scandal during Justin’s dad’s gubernatorial campaign. And when Lucy becomes fair play for the tabloids and gossip pages, Justin does the only thing he can to protect her: he breaks her heart. 
For Lucy, junior year is everything she hoped it would be: new friends, second chances, and a boyfriend she can’t stop kissing. That is, until the boy she’s pretty sure she loves chooses the life his family wants for him, over her. 
Now it’s up to Lucy to teach him what it really means to have everything. Because for Justin, being who everyone needs him to be just might cost him the one person he can’t live without.

add to goodreads
Perfectly Messy by Lizzy Charles
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Available for Purchase:Amazon | Kobo | Chapters Indigo
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author
Lizzy Charles
When Lizzy Charles isn’t scrambling to raise her two spunky toddlers or caring for premature and sick babies as a neonatal intensive care nurse, she’s in a quiet corner writing or snuggled up with a novel and a few squares of dark chocolate. Black tea keeps her constant, and she loves guacamole. She married her high-school sweetheart, a heart-melting musician, so it’s no surprise she’s fallen in love with writing contemporary YA romance novels.
Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Effortless With You
add to goodreads
Effortless With You (Effortless With You #1)
by Lizzy Charles
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

Intercepting Love Book Blast: 99-Cent Release Day Special!

InterceptingLoveBookBlast

Intercepting love_high

Both have what she wants … but only one has what she needs.

Working with professional athletes and helping them recover from their injuries has always been Kate Townsend’s dream. But after an accident left her scarred and heartbroken years ago, she refuses to let what happened in her past happen again. Staying focused is the key, as well as not letting her feelings interfere with her job … no matter the circumstances. All of that is easier said than done when not only one, but two men crave her healing touch, igniting every single desire she’s denied herself for so long.

Cooper Davis, the NFL’s star quarterback and most eligible bachelor, packs up and leaves his home to move across the states to the East Coast after an injury results in an embarrassing trade to another team. Bitter from the pain, he deals with his problems through drugs and alcohol — almost ruining his football career — until he meets the one woman who makes him want to feel — the same woman who refuses to give up on him no matter how many times he screws up. He has to have her, and he’s not going to stop until he makes her his, especially now that someone else threatens to take her away.

Motocross champion and local bad boy Luke Collins never takes no for an answer. For the past four months, he’s used his charms to get what he wants, and now he’s so close to getting the girl of his dreams … if she’ll give in just once. One time is all he needs, and he’s never been known to fail, but he’s also never had to fight for a woman’s affections. Only one man will win his way into Kate’s heart, but which one will intercept the other and take what they want? Which one will she choose?

Buy Paperback / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / iBooks / Smashwords

On Sale for $0.99 for a Release Day Special!
Intercepting love




LPDOVERPIC1

Meet L.P. Dover:

USA Today bestselling author, L.P. Dover, is a southern belle residing in North Carolina along with her husband and two beautiful girls. Before she even began her literary journey, she worked in periodontics enjoying the wonderment of dental surgeries.

Not only does she love to write, but she loves to play tennis, go on mountain hikes and white water rafting, and has a passion for singing. Her two number-one fans expect a concert each and every night before bedtime, and those songs usually consist of Christmas carols.

Aside from being a wife and mother, L.P. Dover has written more than nine novels, including her Forever Fae series, the Second Chances series, and her standalone novel, Love, Lies, and Deception. Her favorite genre to read is romantic suspense, and she also loves writing it. However, if she had to choose a setting to live in, it would have to be with her faeries in the Land of the Fae.

L.P. Dover is represented by Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary Agency.

Where you can find L.P. Dover:

Friday, May 23, 2014

Book Review: "Thankful," by Shelley Shepard Gray

About Thankful, Book Two in the Return to Sugarcreek series:

New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray captures the beauty, devotion, and warmth of Amish life in this engaging tale of family, commitment, trust, and love set in the beloved community of Sugarcreek.

Christina Kempf has always known that God chose Aden Reese to be her husband. As children, he was there to save her when she fell through the ice, and he's been by her side ever since. After his parents died in a car accident ten years ago, the Kempfs raised Aden as one of their own, and everyone sees Aden and Christina as brother and sister. But Christina has never given up hope that Aden will one day ask her to be his wife.

Aden always planned to court Christina. But losing his mother and father changed everything -- except his love for her. Her parents generously welcomed him into their home and treated him like a son. He can't betray their kindness by admitting his feelings for the girl who is like a sister ... yet so much more.

Pressured by her parents to court, Christina begins to accept the attentions of Sugarcreek's young men, and now Aden must make a choice. Will he stand by and watch the love of his life slip away? Or will he risk losing the love and trust of the family he holds dear to tell Christina how he truly feels?

Thankful includes a P.S. section with additional insights from the author, background material, suggestions for further reading, and more.

My thoughts:
In addition to Christina’s story, readers will also enjoy the stories of Judith and Ben, an infertile Amish couple who decide to take in a foster baby, as well as Jana, a widowed restaurant owner who is ready to slow down the pace of her life and look for love again. All three women are at different stages in their lives and have some difficult choices to make. It was interesting to read about how their lives intertwine and yet each has to find her own path. I could relate to Christina’s longing for someone to love her, Judith’s yearning for a child, and Jana’s reassessment of her priorities during middle age. I am very “thankful” to have had the opportunity to read Thankful by Shelley Shepard Gray and look forward to the next book in the series!

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/wAcFF


About the author:
Shelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Times bestseller, a two-time USA Today bestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.

Connect with Shelley: website, Facebook


Enter to win the first two books in Shelley's Return to Sugarcreek series, Hopeful & Thankful. CLICK HERE to enter! 

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book for my candid review.

PREDATOR by Janice Gable Bashman: Cover Reveal and Giveaway for a $10 Amazon Gift Card and eBook

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

PREDATOR by Janice Gable Bashman

presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
JBashman_M9B_Predator_REV2_900x1350
"Predator is a fast-paced, creepy page-turner! Bashman had me at the opening sentence, and she's still got me. I want more!"
~Nancy Holder, New York Times Bestselling Author, The Rules 
The hunt is on!

Sixteen-year-old Bree Sunderland must inject herself with an untested version of her father’s gene therapy to become a werewolf in order to stop a corrupt group of mercenaries from creating a team of unstoppable lycanthrope soldiers.

When Bree went with her scientist father to Ireland, she thought it would be a vacation to study bog bodies. She never expected to fall in love with a mysterious young Irishman and certainly never expected to become the kind of monster her father said only existed in nightmares. Dr. Sunderland discovers that lycanthropy was not a supernatural curse but rather a genetic mutation. When they return home, her dad continues his research, but the military wants to turn that research into a bio weapons program, and rogue soldiers want to steal the research to turn themselves into unstoppable killing machines.

Bree’s boyfriend Liam surprises her with a visit to the United States, but there are darker surprises in store for both of them. As evil forces hunt those she loves, Bree must become an even more dangerous hunter to save them all.

Predator gives the werewolf legend a couple of new spins by introducing the Benandanti (an actual folkloric belief that certain families of Italy and Livonia were werewolves who fought against evil), as well as a modern scientific approach to mutation and the science of transgenics.
add to goodreads
Title: PREDATOR
Publication date: October 14 , 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Janice Gable Bashman
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author
Janice Gable Bashman
Janice Gable Bashman is the Bram Stoker-nominated author of Wanted Undead or Alive and Predator. She is managing editor of The Big Thrill (International Thriller Writers' ezine). Janice lives with her family in the Philadelphia area, where she is at work on her next novel. Visit her at janicegablebashman.com.
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads



Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
(Winners will receive their book on release day)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

JUST DESSERTS, by Tawdra Kandle: Cover Reveal and Pre-Order

JustDessertsCoverReveal
Just Desserts 5
When her friend Julia needed help forming a revenge plan against her ex-boyfriend, Ava was happy to lend a hand. She never expected that in the course of making Liam pay, she'd be the one to fall hard ... for the one person who was absolutely off-limits. Crushing on the guy who humiliated her best friend is definitely against the girlfriend rules.

Besides, Ava has goals. Her life is all about graduating with honors and landing the perfect job. And Liam Bailey -- sweet-talking, complicated son of a well-known local politician -- isn't part of those plans.

But Liam doesn't give up easily. And he doesn't intend to let their friends' opinions, his parents' disapproval or Ava's past get in the way of what he wants -- Ava's heart.

Pre-Order on iBooks

Buy the first book in the series - Best Served Cold at  iBooks / Barnes and Noble / Amazon

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Runaway Highlander Book Tour: Guest Post and Paperback Giveaway (US/CAN) #RunawayHighlanderBlogTour #HistRom

Please join R.L. Syme as she tours virtually for The Runaway Highlander from May 14-June 13.

The Runaway Highlander
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Series: The Highland Renegades

Anne de Cheyne has a choice. She can play the dutiful daughter and allow her mother to sell her to a greasy English sheriff, or she can take control of her own life and find her own match. After a frightening run-in with her promised husband reveals a dark secret, she makes a desperate choice. Flight.

Aedan Donne needs easy money and no-questions-asked. When Milene de Cheyne offers him enough to pay all debts, requests complete silence, and pays half up front, just for a simple recovery, he can't believe his luck … until he meets his mark. Anne’s beauty and passion ignite something Aedan can’t ignore, even as she leaves him in the dust. Suddenly, he finds himself wanting to capture the runaway Highland lady for himself.

The Highland Renegades Series

Book One: The Outcast Highlander
Book Two: The Runaway Highlander
Book Three: The Pirate Highlander -- Coming Soon!

Buy the Book

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Barnes & Noble
CreateSpace

A Guest Post by the Author


Before I became a writer, my favorite thing to do was to browse the romance novel covers in bookstores and at book sales. I loved how evocative the images were, and I loved imagining these characters as the real people on the cover.

Today, as a writer, my very favorite part of the book process is the cover request. I love sitting down with my characters and thinking… if they were going to show themselves to the world, how would they tell their love story on one page? That’s probably also the best thing about being able to release my own books with the help of fantastic professionals. Making my own covers.

With my publisher, the cover request process was all in their hands. I definitely got to speak into the process, but the final choices were all on the editors’ desk. More than once, I was unhappy with a final cover’s specific details, but I was over-ruled. In the end, I was happy enough to put my name on it. That was what counted.

But when I’m heading the indie publishing route, I get to have the last word. And the first word. I have all of the covers for my Highlander books planned out based on their main characters. I had a chance, when starting my first book, to find a cover artist whose work I adored, and I am happy to pay for the quality she provides. Every single time I work with her, she seems to reach into my head and pull out exactly what I see and put it on the page.

Of course, there are many questions to ask and many factors to consider, but if you have the right cover artist, the process can be just plain fun. If only the younger me salivating over beautiful covers in Barnes & Noble would have known that she would later take part in creating those beautiful covers, she might have paid a little closer attention in Photoshop class. For now, I have to be grateful that I have someone amazing to work with.

What do you think? Do you like book covers? What do you think would be the most fun part about picking out or helping to design a cover?

About the Author

Becca Syme
R.L. Syme works at a youth theatre, teaching kids performing arts and musical performance classes/camps when she's not writing. Otherwise, she's putting her seminary degree to good use by writing romance novels. Let not all those systematic theology classes go to waste...

For more information, please visit R.L. Syme's website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Virtual Book Tour Schedule


Wednesday, May 14
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Thursday, May 15
Review at Bibliotica

Monday, May 19
Guest Post & Giveaway at Susan Heim on Writing

Tuesday, May 20
Review at A Bookish Girl (The Outcast Highlander)

Wednesday, May 21
Review at A Bookish Girl (The Runaway Highlander)

Thursday, May 22
Interview & Giveaway at A Bookish Girl

Friday, May 23
Guest Post at Layered Pages

Monday, May 26
Review at My Not So Vacant Bookshelf

Tuesday, May 27
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time

Thursday, May 29
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection

Friday, May 30
Review at Lily Pond Reads
Review at From the TBR Pile

Monday, June 2
Review at The Mad Reviewer
Review at Bibliophilia, Please

Tuesday, June 3
Review at The Most Happy Reader

Wednesday, June 4
Interview at The Most Happy Reader

Thursday, June 5
Review at A Bibliotaph's Reviews

Friday, June 6
Review at Historical Fiction Obsession

Monday, June 9
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Wednesday, June 11
Review at Fic Central

Thursday, June 12
Review at Reviews by Molly
Interview at Books and Benches

Friday, June 13
Review & Giveaway at To Read or Not to Read

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GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive a paperback copy of The Runaway Highlander, by R.L. Syme. This giveaway is open to residents of the US/Canada only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on June 13, 2014. Enter through the Rafflecopter form below.

Goddess Born Book Blast: Giveaway for a $100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash

goddess born cover
Goddess Born

Pennsylvania, 1730

Selah Kilbrid keeps a dangerous secret: She has the power to heal.

A direct descendant of the Celtic goddess Brigid, it’s Selah’s sacred duty to help those in need. But as the last of the Goddess Born living in the New World, she learned from an early age to keep her supernatural abilities hidden. The Quaker community of Hopewell has always been welcoming, but there’s no doubt they would see her hanged if her gift was revealed.

When a prominent minister threatens to try her with witchcraft unless she becomes his wife, Selah has only one hope — that her betrothed, a distant cousin from Ireland, arrives as planned. Marrying Samuel would keep her secret safe, preserve her sacred bloodline, and protect her from being charged as a witch.

But when news of Samuel’s death reaches the Colonies, Selah is truly on her own. Terrified, she faces an impossible choice — forfeit her powers and marry the loathsome Nathan or find an imposter to pose as her husband and preserve her birthright.


2013 RWA Golden Heart© Finalist
2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist

ABNA Publisher Weekly Reviewer
Set in the colony of Pennsylvania in 1730, this riveting novel begins as 18-year-old Selah Kilbrid runs into Quaker minister Nathan Crowley, a man who “labor[ed] under the delusion that [Selah] would soon be his wife” despite the fact that she was betrothed to a man on his way to America from Ireland. Nathan tells Selah that if she refuses him, he will have her “charged as a witch” because of her ability to heal the sick. To avoid Nathan’s plan to marry her the following Sunday, she leaves for Philadelphia to wait for the arrival of her betrothed and marry him before returning home. In Philadelphia, she discovers that her betrothed has died at sea. She then purchases Henry, an indentured servant, and convinces him to pose as her husband and help protect her from Nathan. As the story continues, the reader learns of Selah’s family history and the powers she possesses; Selah is half-human, half-goddess. It's important that her secret stay safe because, if discovered, she could be killed. The characters are well developed and relatable; the reader empathizes with Selah and her plight. The fast-paced plot is exciting and keeps the reader guessing and in suspense. The end leaves room for a sequel, which after such a tremendous beginning, would be anxiously awaited. A clear winner!

Kari Edgren
Author Kari Edgren

Kari Edgren did not dream of becoming a writer. Instead, she dreamed of everything else and was often made to stay inside during kindergarten recess to practice her letters. Despite doting parents and a decent school system, Ms. Edgren managed to make it through elementary school having completed only one book cover to cover --The Box Car Children, which she read approximately forty-seven times. Things improved during high school, but it wasn't until she read Gabrielle Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude in college that she truly understood the power of a book.

Ms. Edgren aspires to be a Vulcan, a world-acclaimed opera singer, and two inches taller. She resides in the Pacific NW where she spends a great deal of time torturing her husband and children with strange food and random historical facts. Ms. Edgren hasn’t stopped dreaming, but has finally mastered her letters enough to put the stories on paper.


Goddess Born Tour

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Inquisitor Book Blast: Giveaway for a $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash

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Inquisitor, by R.J. Blain

When Allison is asked to play Cinderella-turned-fiancee at a Halloween ball, the last thing she expected was to be accused of murder on the same night. She has to find the killer and quick, or she'll be put to death for the crimes she didn't commit. To make matters worse, the victims are all werewolves.

On the short list of potential victims, Allison has to act fast, or the killer will have one more body to add to his little black book of corpses.

There's only one problem: One of the deaths has struck too close to home, and Allison's desire for self-preservation may very well transform into a quest for vengeance...


Excerpt

Caroline was either the best actress I’d ever seen, or she was really dead. I crouched next to her, torn between touching her neck to feel for a pulse and running away before the sweet scent of a fresh kill overwhelmed my restraint.

A clock chimed ten. The power of the full moon slammed into me, tugging at my heart, and tightening my chest. The need to embrace my inner beast and become one with the night quickened my breath.

Scents flooded my nose. Strong perfumes mingled with cologne, and the sweat of hot, living bodies stirred my hunger. I licked my lips, and for one brief moment, imagined the salty sweetness of fresh blood on my tongue.

There was another hunter in the room with me, and they taunted me with their kill. Their prey was either dead or left to die. It was a challenge to the scavengers, to the hunters, and a warning to the prey.

“What do you think?” Mark’s mother asked.

“I think she’s an amazing actress,” I replied, careful to keep my tone light. I rose to my feet. If I grew a tail, I could only hope my gown would hide it long enough for me to slip from the party and find a place to gain control over myself.

Or complete the change and go on a rampage.

Another minute passed in silence. I shook my head. “This would be why I’m not a police officer.”

The Wicked Witch of the West giggled. I shivered at the sound. “I see. Very well, Cinderella. Shall we mingle with the other guests and learn about this terrible, terrible deed?”

“I thought this was when Mark was supposed to come rescue me from a fate worse than death,” I muttered.

Oops. So much for keeping civil. I guess it was inevitable. Bodies brought out the worst in me. Especially when the body wasn’t one of my making. To make matters worse, I couldn’t exactly raise the alarm.

If I did, I’d reveal to those who knew the truth about werewolves and witches that I wasn’t just some human girl after a wealthy boy. Then the Inquisition would find silver old enough to kill me or reduce me to ashes to make certain they purged the world of one more rogue werewolf.

“Why can’t you be wealthy?” Mrs. Livingston lamented.

The old woman’s question caught me by surprise. Had she heard me? Did she think it an amusing quip?

Was it possible the woman actually liked me? Confused at the question, I answered honestly. “Ma’am, who says I’m not? I’m your son’s accountant. Do you really think he’d trust someone who didn’t have access to at least some money with his money?” I glared at the old woman. At least the brewing fight between us distracted me from Caroline’s body a little. “Don’t forget I know exactly how much he makes a year, where he transfers his funds, who owes him how much, and whom he owes. I know how much he’s paid in taxes, and I know how much I saved him last tax season.”

The witch’s mouth dropped open. “Just what—”

“I paid more in taxes than he did last year. I’ll let you do the math. Unless, of course, he learned how to count from you.” I pivoted on a heel and stalked my way towards the refreshment stand.

Blain
Author RJ Blain
RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

When she isn't playing pretend, she likes to think she's a cartographer and a sumi-e painter. In reality, she herds cats and a husband. She also has a tendency to play MMOs and other computer games.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Should that fail, her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until she is satisfied.



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King of the Mutants, by Samantha Verant: Cover Reveal and Giveaway for a $10 Amazon Gift Card and eBook

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

King of the Mutants by Samantha Verant

presented by Tantrum Books/Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
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Can one boy stop a nefarious plot to turn kids into super-mutants? 
Maverick Mercury enjoys his life as the sideshow attraction known as “Gator Boy” at Grumbling’s Traveling Circus and Sideshow. 
His freakish mutations are the result of some billionaire geneticist’s experiments gone awry. But life as a mutant is about to get worse, as Maverick uncovers a plot to kidnap kids, turns them into super-mutants, and sells their powers to the highest bidder. 
Now, Maverick is on a mission to find the mad scientist who may have created him and destroy his sinister plans!
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Title: King of the Mutants
Publication date: October 21, 2014
Publisher: Tantrum Books/Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Samantha Verant
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Samantha Verant
Samantha Vérant is a travel addict, a self-professed oenophile, and a determined, if occasionally unconventional, French chef. Over the years, she’s visited many different countries, lived in many places, and worked many jobs — always on the search for the one thing that truly excited her. Then, one day, she found everything she’s been looking for: a passion for the written word and true love. Writing not only enabled her to open her heart, it led her to southwestern France, where she’s now married to a sexy French rocket scientist she met over twenty years ago, a stepmom to two incredible kids, and the adoptive mother to one ridiculously expensive Bengal cat. When she’s not trekking from Provence to the Pyrénées, tasting wine in American-sized glasses, or embracing her inner Julia Child while deliberating what constitutes the perfect boeuf bourguignon, Samantha is making her best effort to relearn those dreaded conjugations.
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
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