Saturday, November 30, 2013

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

the watcher coverThe Watcher

Millennia ago, he fell from heaven for her.

Can he face her without falling again?

Fascinated with ancient civilizations, seventeen-year-old Mia Crawford dreams of becoming an archaeologist. She also dreams of wings -- soft and silent like snow -- and somebody trying to steal them.

When a horrible creature appears out of thin air and attacks her, she knows Michael Fontaine is involved, though he claims to know nothing about it. Secretive and aloof, Michael evokes feelings in Mia that she doesn’t understand. Images of another time and place haunt her. She recognizes them -- but not from any textbook.

In search of the truth, Mia discovers a past life of forbidden love, jealousy and revenge that tore an angel from Heaven and sent her to an early grave. Now that her soul has returned, does she have a chance at loving that angel again? Or will an age-old nemesis destroy them both?

Ancient history is only the beginning.

From November 28 to December 1, The Watcher is on sale for just $1.99!

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Download your copy today!!

Praise for The Watcher

"Voisin's THE WATCHER blends paranormal mystery and romance into a book that is sure to keep readers turning the pages late into the night."
-- Eileen Cook, author of THE ALMOST TRUTH

"Perfect for fans of angels and demons, Lisa Voisin has created an uplifting tale of redemption, love, and spirituality that gives hope. Never preachy, THE WATCHER is the perfect answer to critics who claim Young Adult literature is too dark."
-- Stephanie Lawton, author of WANT and SHRAPNEL

"The Watcher is stunning! A paranormal romance that you won't want to put down. Voisin will enthrall you until the very last page."
-- Stephanie Keyes, author, THE STAR CHILD series

"Grips the reader, pulls them in and leaves them cheering for good!"
-- InD'tale Magazine

The Watcher is my favorite angel fiction tale yet.”
-- Katrina @Kindred Dreamheart

“This book is phenomenal! I was hooked in right away and didn't want to stop.”
-- Michelle @Michelle’s Paranormal Vault

Book Trailer


Instead of saying more, he brushed his fingertips along my cheek, and his halo glimmered. I could hear the waves slapping the rocks behind us, the wind driving them in. That same wind whipped against my skin, but the touch of his hand on my face was all I could think about. It sent a current through both of us and filled me with longing for something I wasn’t sure I understood.

“I’m sorry.” He stepped back and shoved his hands into his pockets as the light around him faded. “You don’t know what it’s like. Being near you now, remembering those moments we had…” His hair blew into his eyes, but this time he didn’t move. I wanted to brush it back, but I didn’t know how he’d react. Would touching him be bad?

“You want to know who you were?” he asked. “You may look different, but you’re the same. I look into your eyes and see you.” He took in a deep breath, fixing his attention on the horizon. I’d seen and heard so much now that the logical part of my brain had long since given up arguing with me. I could feel what he was saying was true. All of it.

lisa v
Author Lisa Voisin

A Canadian-born author, Lisa Voisin spent her childhood daydreaming and making up stories, but it was her love of reading and writing in her teens that drew her to Young Adult fiction.

A self-proclaimed coffee lover, Lisa can usually be found writing in a local café. When she's not writing, you'll find her meditating or hiking in the mountains to counteract the side effects of drinking too much caffeine!

Though she’s lived in several cities across Canada, she currently lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her fiancé and their two cats.

Book Blast Giveaway
Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash
Ends 12/18/13

Friday, November 29, 2013

Book Review: Aloha Rose, by Lisa Carter

Susan Heim on Writing is thrilled to be a stop on the book tour for Aloha Rose, by Lisa Carter. This book is part of the Quilts of Love series published by Abingdon Press. Read on to find out more about this fantastic book and the author, my thoughts on the book, and a Facebook party where you might win a copy of Aloha Rose or even a Kindle Fire HDX!

About the book: When Laney Carrigan sets out to find her birth family, her only clue is the Hawai’ian quilt -- a red rose snowflake appliqué on a white background -- in which she was found wrapped as an infant. Centering her search on the Big Island and battling fears of rejection, Laney begins a painstaking journey toward her true heritage. Kai Barnes, however, is determined to protect the people he loves. He thinks Laney is nothing more than a gold digger and blocks every move she makes. As their conflict escalates, it puts at risk the one thing that Kai and Laney both want most -- a family.

My thoughts: I loved the characters in this book, especially Kai and Laney. Despite their attraction to each other, they both find it difficult to commit due to abandonments in their past. Laney had been given up for adoption by her birth mother, which left her feeling unloved and unwanted despite having wonderful adoptive parents. And Kai, as a child, had witnessed the murder of his mother by his father, and ended up in the foster care system before being taken in by his permanent family. Their insecurities were very realistic and believable, and I was rooting for them to find peace with their pasts and learn to accept love. The depth of these characters takes this book beyond a simple romance to an exploration of personal identity, family dynamics, and overcoming trauma. I highly recommend Aloha Rose, by Lisa Carter.

Purchase a copy:

Meet the author: Lisa Carter has taught at the university, high school, and middle school levels and currently teaches music at a preschool. She is a member of the ACFW, RWA, and several online writers’ forums and has been published in MomSense and Christian Parenting Today. Lisa and her husband, David, live in North Carolina and have two beautiful daughters.

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Find out more about the Quilts of Love series at:


I posted about this previously, but I wanted to remind you of this fun event again:

In honor of their new Quilts of Love releases, The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose, authors Vannetta Chapman and Lisa Carter are gearing up to ring in the Christmas season with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a "Christmas Bee" Facebook Party on December 10th with fellow Quilts of Love author Lynette Sowell!


One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman
  • Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 30th. Winner will be announced at the "Christmas Bee" Facebook Party on December 10th. Connect with the authors from the Quilts of Love series, Vannetta Chapman, Lisa Carter, and Lynette Sowell, for an evening of book chat, quilt trivia, Christmas traditions and gifts, PLUS get an exclusive look at January's Quilts of Love book!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes, but all opinions are 100% my own.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Thanksgiving Story from Chicken Soup for the Soul

Thanksgiving with Mary Jane

Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.
~William Shakespeare

When you’re a teenager, there are a million places you’d rather be than at a family gathering. However, when I was fifteen, Thanksgiving at home with my relatives was the best turkey day I’ve ever celebrated.

A week earlier, the postman had delivered a package from our hippie uncle in Oregon, an artisan potter. Gathered in the kitchen, my two sisters and I watched my mother open the Christmas gift from her younger brother. Inside was a hand-crafted mini broom, a leather strap nailed to its handle for hanging at the hearth. Perfect for our 1916 bungalow’s fireplace.

While we read the card wishing us a happy holiday in my aunt’s blowsy writing, my mother unwrapped another present: a large freezer bag of homegrown cannabis. Our eyes widened. A resinous, earthy green scent overwhelmed the yellow-tiled kitchen.

My mother froze, holding the illegal parcel from her off-the-grid brother and his part-Blackfoot wife. My grandparents had bought the younger couple a house just so they wouldn’t live in a tent on a Santa Cruz mountain, and they stocked my wild cousins with cotton panties so they wouldn’t run around without underwear. Compared to that branch of the family tree, our household was conventional. Mom pursed her lips.

My Bohemian New York father swooped in from the living room.

“I’m going to put it in the stuffing,” he crowed, snatching the bag from Mom.

“Oh, Charles,” my mother sighed as he sprinted up the stairs with the Christmas contraband. A capricious architect, my Lithuanian father liked to bait her about the in-laws.

My traditional Italian grandparents did not embrace my father. They were in the habit of warming to respectful young men in crisp white button-down shirts when my father showed up on their middle-class doorstep in 1959. He was an art-school Beatnik in a ripped T-shirt. Still closely shorn from his stint in the Army, where he’d met my mother on a French base, in no other way was he regulation. He snubbed social convention, burying his nose in political paperbacks during my grandparents’ cocktail parties with their keeping-up-with-the-Joneses neighbors. Their proper daughter, an elementary school teacher, could surely do better.

Our nuclear family usually observed holidays at their San José ranch house on a staid cul-de-sac filled with cookie-cutter residences. My dad would be gritting his teeth the entire time. But this year my conservative Chicago grandparents had accepted our invite. They didn’t enjoy visiting “fruits and nuts” Berkeley, our feisty university town famous for sparking the Free Speech Movement and agitating against the government’s foreign wars. My grandfather complained there were never any spots on the hilly, busy streets to park his boat-like Oldsmobile. Accustomed to La-Z-Boys and sturdy American pieces in walnut from Mervyns, my grandmother found our wicker French café chairs uncomfortable and the Joe DiMaggio giant mitt baffling. “Who wants to sit in a baseball glove?” she protested about the cult classic some Italian designer thought up. We may have lived an hour apart in the San Francisco Bay Area, but we really lived in different worlds.

Another reason my parents didn’t host often: Mom wasn’t a cook. In fact, my kitchen-averse mother was so grateful when my father offered to deal with the big bird that she christened him the turkey expert and let him do whatever he wanted. So the turkey was Dad’s rightful domain, and this year my grandparents would be eating it. They were also bringing a recently widowed neighbor, Mary Jane. I can’t say I forgot about the surprise stash, but we all dismissed the stuffing threat. Crazy talk was my father’s specialty.

On the morning of November 24, 1979, Dad got up at dawn, prepared his poultry, and went back to bed. By noon, my grandparents had arrived with the sweet-natured widow. The eight of us squeezed into our places at the round butcher-block dining table, café chairs grinding against each other. The turkey was nicely done, not dry. Polite conversation flowed due to the gentle outsider, Mary Jane, who asked a lot of questions.

Suddenly, I spied a big brown bud on the edge of my grandfather’s plate, speckled with bread and celery. I glanced at my sisters to see if they had noticed. Pushing food around their plate with secret smiles, they obviously had.

“Your stuffing is very spicy, Charles,” effused the widow. “Is that sage?”

We kids stifled giggles.

I couldn’t look at my mother. Dad was poker-faced.

“Oh, I’m tipsy! It must be the champagne,” tittered Grandma, leaning in to shoulder-nudge her neighbor like a schoolgirl.

After my finicky grandfather cleaned his plate, he went to recline on the Italian baseball mitt. Soon, he was sprawled across the giant glove like Fay Wray in King Kong’s hand, snoring. The seventy-something dandy in a mint-green Qiana shirt and white leisure shoes looked comfortable -- and finally at home in our place.

We devoured the pumpkin pie and Grandma’s anise cookies, but didn’t budge from our rosy circle. For the first time, I saw my family as individuals rather than role players. In the lanky figure of Grandpa in repose, I recognized the easy character captured in a 1928 photo of him squatting in front of a baseball dugout. Witnessing chummy Grandma, I understood her life-of-the-party image from a Wisconsin lake in the 1940s, an arm slung around her ten younger siblings. Inside my strait-laced mom, I sensed a woman appreciating her daredevil husband’s off-kilter view of the world. And I realized my rebel father wasn’t really antisocial if he brought us all together. My sisters suddenly seemed like fellow sojourners navigating teenhood, as well as my natural allies in this normal-slash-bizarre family. They weren’t so bad.

When the three seniors said goodbye, our hugs were heartfelt. My father asked Grandpa which route home he’d take, a mellow and unnecessary exchange between the two men.

“Your family is lovely,” Mary Jane exclaimed, kissing each of us. “Today was the best since my husband died!”

As the five Ashmans gathered in the kitchen to do the dishes and review the day’s events -- with uproarious laughter and genuine shock -- I found myself thinking of the untamed Oregon folk who couldn’t be with us. Their holiday gift ensured they were here in spirit. In that moment, I grasped the meaning of family.

In retrospect, I realize how unorthodox this recipe for a happy family gathering was. But I’ll never forget the spirit of 1979’s seasoning and what I learned about my relatives that day.

~Anastasia M. Ashman

This post contains my Amazon affiliate link.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from Our Family to Yours!

May you all have a joyous Thanksgiving surrounded by family and good friends. 

You can find Chicken Soup for the Soul: All in the Family on Amazon!

The Marriage Fix Book Tour

The Marriage Fix
By Sandra Edwards

Lecie de Laurent is dying to cut the apron strings and strike out on her own. With the house and the money she's inherited from Edouard Renault, she finally has her chance without financial repercussions from Papa. California is an intoxicating place for the sheltered, high society girl from France, and she's not ready to leave when her father insists she return home. Lecie's father, Maurice de Laurent, is a powerful man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants -- just ask her brothers, Julian and Andre. When Maurice threatens to have Lecie deported (thinking she'll come home), Lecie retaliates in true de Laurent fashion.

Nick Matthews desperately needs cash after his fiancée leaves him deeply in debt the day before their wedding. On the verge of losing his popular restaurant, Nick decides to seek out an investor to help pay off the debt.

The answer to both their problems just might be wrapped up in The Marriage Fix.

Buy on Amazon | B&N | iTunes

About the Author:
NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY bestselling author Sandra Edwards writes award-winning romance in a variety of subgenres such as paranormal (mostly time travel and reincarnation), contemporary, and suspense. She lives in the U.S. (west coast) with her husband, two kids, four dogs and one very temperamental feline. Sandra's books often push the envelope and step outside the boundaries of conventional romance. For more info on Sandra's books, visit her website at

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Holiday Novella Collection on Kindle for Only 99 Cents!

This holiday season, grab the gift every romance reader wants: eight BRAND NEW novellas by eight bestselling authors that will light your fire and warm your heart. But be warned, unwrap this collection with caution!

Hot, Sexy & Bad: A Holiday Collection features original novellas written by New York Times, USA Today, and bestselling authors:

  • New York Times Bestseller Melody Anne’s Holiday Treasure: An Anderson Series Novella
  • New York Times Bestseller Judy Angelo’s Rome for the Holidays
  • New York Times Bestseller Kathleen Brooks's Dancing Beneath the Mistletoe
  • New York Times Bestseller Ruth Cardello’s Recipe for Love: An Andrade Christmas Novella
  • USA Today Bestseller Lynn Raye Harris’s Hot Package: A Hostile Operations Team Novella
  • USA Today Bestseller Sandra Marton's The Gift
  • Shadonna Richards’s The Belmont Christmas Bride: The Bride Series
  • Danielle Stewart’s Half My Heart: A Clover Series Novella

Available now for Kindle for just 99 cents! Click on the links below to purchase!

Monday, November 25, 2013

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

The Crossroads Saga
Crossroads Saga

crossroads tingCrossroads (Book 1)

Can two worlds collide in dreams?
Crossroads, Between, Beyond, Eternity, Halo City (novella)

Protecting her from the fallen was his duty.
Falling in love was never part of his plan.
Loving her was forbidden.
Being with her was all that mattered, even if it meant he would be exiled for all eternity.

Claudia Emerson's life is about to change when her good friend, who coincidentally shares the same first and last name, dies in a tragic accident after the homecoming dance. Distraught at the loss of her friend, Claudia's dreams become tumultuous, and through them she mysteriously travels to another world called Crossroads. Unknown to her, Crossroads is like a second heaven, a place between heaven and earth, where the souls of humans in comas or near death experiences may wander. There, she unexpectedly meets Michael, a nephilim -- half angel, half human. It turns out that this isn't her first visit, which is an enigma, for she has no recollection of being there, and is told that no human has crossed over ... until Claudia. Now that she's been there, fallen and demons are after her, suspecting she must be special, and it is up to Michael and the other nephilim to protect her. Her dream becomes a nightmare as more secrets are revealed about who she really is and the true identities of the people she loves most. The situation becomes even more complicated when she is unable to hinder her feelings for her swoon-worthy guardian angel. Can Michael fight his growing feelings for Claudia and protect her as a guardian angel should, or will he be too blinded by human emotions and the struggles of being who he is?

Crossroads is FREE
Download a copy today!!

Praise for Crossroads

"Crossroads contains action, twists and romance that has you flipping through the pages so fast that you're at the end and ready for more before you know it." ~Gabby, Nashville Young Adult Fiction Examiner/What's Beyond Forks

"Watch out Edward Cullen! The angel Michael has officially given you a run for your money! Teens everywhere will add a new fictional boyfriend to their ever growing lists! OMWings! An amazing paranormal angel romance that stays with you long after the last page has turned. I need more!" ~Jennifer Howell with

Crossroads by Mary Ting has it all: danger, romance, suspense, incredible characters and an original plot that is sure to thrill. The action never stops as good and evil battle to the death. This well written and fascinating love story will keep readers entranced.”

Book Trailer


Though Phillip had already told me that I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between an alkin and a fallen, it was confirmed as I watched the battle. They looked just like the alkins as the two sides battled with swords. Watching, I noticed that Michael had one too, but where had it come from?

“No!” Michael shouted, suddenly standing directly in front of me. “You don’t need her. She’s just a human.”

“Get them!” Aden shouted again.

During the entire fight Michael stayed by my side, protecting me. They fought so swiftly that even with my flashlight it was hard to distinguish alkins from the fallen. I focused intently, trying to figure out who was who, but it was no use. They were too fast for human eyes. I pointed the flashlight, hoping to blind or distract them, but that also proved to be pointless. It was only useful for my vision.

In the blink of an eye they were here, there and everywhere. The clanging of swords colliding was painful to hear. As the screeching sounds continued, all I could see were sparks as the swords made contact, as if we were in the middle of a lightning storm. Fearful of any alkin getting hurt, I covered my ears, hoping that it would end soon.
Suddenly, Aden raised his hand toward the stars, and the fallen stopped. The sounds of the swords crashing against each other came to a dead halt. Aden started circling around Michael and me. As he drew closer, I could see that he looked exactly as I remembered him from my dream. The wrinkles on his forehead defined his age, and though I conceived him as evil, his voice scared me more than his appearance. Aden never lifted a finger to fight; instead, he relied on the fallen to carry out his battle strategies.

“Michael, come with me. I’ll give you anything you want.”

“There is nothing I want from you.”

“They’ve turned you against me. I should have killed you when I had the chance.” Aden’s eyes raged with anger.

“They didn’t turn me against you. I did it of my own free will.”

“Move out of my way!” Aden shouted.

“You’ll have to go through me first!”

As Aden continued to circle around us, I could sense movement from the fallen, edging closer to Michael and me. The alkin must have sensed it too as they positioned themselves right behind us and immediately began to attack the fallen.

Michael moved me to the left and then to the right, fighting while shielding me. Though the fallen were fewer in number than before, they were retaliating in full force. In the midst of all the chaos, I lost my grip on the flashlight, and it tumbled off the cliff. Instinctively I reached for it, and in that split second someone or something collided against me, and I plummeted off the cliff.

Gravity was pulling me faster than my body could resist. I’d always heard that at the moment of death, one’s life flashed before their eyes; all the moments that had brought them to that point, big or small. All I could think of was death itself and the one person who had changed my life forever -- Michael.

crossroads saga 2

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mary ting
Author Mary Ting
Bestselling/award-winning author Mary Ting resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one -- Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children's chapter book, No Bullies Allowed.

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Book Blast Giveaway
Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash
Ends 12/15/13

Friday, November 22, 2013

Blogger Sign-Ups for the Fall Frenzie Indie Author Kindle Paperwhite Giveaway

Welcome to the Fall Frenzie Indie Author Kindle Paperwhite Blogger Giveaway Sign-Ups sponsored by Reader Spoils. This is the first of two events we are promoting over the next two months, and we'd love for you to sign up and join the fun. The past two events gained over 100,000 combined entries, so you will definitely receive many new followers for your social media. We are capping the number of participants for this one, so sign up quickly!

This giveaway will begin on Saturday, November 30th at 12:01am and ends on Sunday, December 15th at 11:59pm. One winner will be randomly selected from all valid entries to receive a 6 inch Kindle Paperwhite valued at $139!

• Each blogger receives 1 free link of choice (Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram).
• Additional Links can be purchased at $2 each. These links can be Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and/or Pinterest.
• We have 3 co-host spots available for $10 each. This includes your choice of links (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or Pinterest) and you get to host one of the pages (Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook) during the event!
• The giveaway html will be sent out by Wednesday, November 27th and posts must be live by noon on Monday, December 2nd. We will send out reminder emails for those who forget to post.
• Payments can be made via Paypal to

(YOU can win prizes, too!!)
• The blogger who refers the most bloggers to sign up will win a $10 Amazon gift card! Announcements are not mandatory, but are a great way to increase sign-ups so you can win. If you'd like, feel free to cut/paste the event details here as your own announcement post with a link to the sign-up form.
• An additional $10 Amazon gift card winner will be chosen from the bloggers who post an announcement. So, post an announcement on your blog and you have another chance to win!

This is going to be such a great giveaway and we hope you will be a part of it!

**And tell them that Susan Heim on Writing sent you!**

If you have any questions or comments, please contact

Book Review: The Christmas Quilt, by Vannetta Chapman

Susan Heim on Writing is thrilled to be a stop on the book tour for The Christmas Quilt, by Vannetta Chapman. This book is part of the Quilts of Love series published by Abingdon Press. Read on to find out more about this wonderful book and the author, my thoughts on the book, and a Facebook party where you might win a copy of The Christmas Quilt or even a Kindle Fire HDX!

About the book: Annie's life is deliciously full as the Christmas season approaches. She helps her husband, Samuel, attend to the community's minor medical needs. She occasionally assists Belinda, the local midwife. And most days, she finds herself taking the buggy to her brother Adam’s home. When her friend Leah (Adam’s wife) is due to deliver her first child before Christmas, Annie becomes determined to finish a crib quilt before the boppli arrives. But God’s plans are different from Annie’s, and she may not finish the quilt in time. As each piece of the quilt comes together, Annie discovers the quilt holds far greater significance than she ever imagined.

My thoughts: I love Amish fiction, and I was especially excited to have the opportunity to review a book by Vannetta Chapman because I had already read and loved her book, A Simple Amish Christmas. (Read my review here.) This new book, The Christmas Quilt, actually features many of the same characters from A Simple Amish Christmas, but it’s also a stand-alone story, so it’s not necessary to read the “prequel” to understand The Christmas Quilt. I could really relate to Leah’s story in The Christmas Quilt because she’s due to deliver twins, something I was also about to do ten years ago! Leah is hoping for a home birth, like many Amish women have, but her complicated twin pregnancy (a common occurrence) makes a hospital delivery necessary. In The Christmas Quilt, Annie is also expecting a child (just one), and so the two women are both learning to find their way as young married women and expectant mothers. I found Leah and Adam’s fears about being good parents and being able to sustain their love for each other to be very realistic. Both women discover that love isn’t always enough; communication and faith are also necessary ingredients for strong and successful marriages. I really loved The Christmas Quilt, a must-read for fans of Amish fiction and great stories!

Purchase a copy:

Meet the author: Vannetta Chapman is the author of five books about the Amish and has published more than one hundred articles in Christian family magazines. She discovered her love for the Amish while researching her grandfather's birthplace in Albion, Pennsylvania. Vannetta lives in the Texas hill country with her husband.

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Find out more about the Quilts of Love series at:


I posted about this previously, but I wanted to remind you of this fun event again:

In honor of their new Quilts of Love releases, The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose, authors Vannetta Chapman and Lisa Carter are gearing up to ring in the Christmas season with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a "Christmas Bee" Facebook Party on December 10th with fellow Quilts of Love author Lynette Sowell!


One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman
  • Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 30th. Winner will be announced at the "Christmas Bee" Facebook Party on December 10th. Connect with the authors from the Quilts of Love series, Vannetta Chapman, Lisa Carter, and Lynette Sowell, for an evening of book chat, quilt trivia, Christmas traditions and gifts, PLUS get an exclusive look at January's Quilts of Love book!

Disclosure: Susan Heim on Writing received one or more of the products mentioned above for free for evaluation purposes. Regardless, all opinions expressed are 100% my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

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


The world is on fire. From the ashes like a phoenix rises a new America, one that will save it all. Under one condition; absolute and complete surrender.

The world complies without question. Those who don’t are destroyed. It is in this world, John is born. His very name is treason.

If the New America, now known to everyone as the State, knew what John was, they’d kill him, but instead they give him a gift.

amazon blog

Praise for Rebels

John has a lot of potential (especially for someone so young) in that he sees the flaws in this society. He wants to be like George Washington and knows a lot about the manner in which a government should be run... Highly recommended. ~Amazon Review

Scott and Judith Powell
About the Authors

Scott Powell was born in Burlington, Vermont, to a father who was a police officer and a mother who emigrated from South Korea. He received a degree in marketing from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada, and a master's degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Scott served a two-year Spanish-speaking mission for his church. He is a mixed martial artist who continues to train with his father, a second-degree black belt in Tae kwon do and a kick boxer.

Besides being married to Scott for over seventeen years, Judith Powell is a stay-at-home mom whose whole life has been full of stories. Being raised by an Irish storytelling father and a Native American mother, stories have filled her life and her head until they finally had no choice but to flow out through her fingertips.

Rebels copy

Book Blast Giveaway
Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash
Ends 12/20/13

Searching for Normal Book Tour: An Excerpt

Susan Heim on Writing is pleased to be a stop on the book tour for Searching for Normal, by Alison Neuman. Read on to learn more about this fascinating book and read an exclusive excerpt!

Searching for Normal
by Alison Neuman

Searching for Normal is a book about following in the great tradition of creative nonfiction. Detailing her personal experience from the onset of a rare and painful illness at the age of three, Alison Neuman recounts her personal journey coming to terms with an ever-shifting conception of “normality.” The disease having shaped her life in ways most could never imagine, a carefree childhood quickly morphed into a blur of ongoing hospitalizations, increasingly reduced mobility, and overwhelming fatigue and pain.

But amidst her constant battles with her health, Alison emerged as a champion. Searching for Normal will leave readers awed by Alison's perseverance and strength of character. Her story serves as a pertinent reminder that “normal” is in the eye of the beholder.


The nurse helped me into a wheelchair and I was wheeled down the long hallway once more. I felt like the world was spinning. Mom did her best to give me peace of mind and explain to me why the surgery was so important; I knew that the doctors wanted to help me but it didn't make things easier. Dr. Sweetheart, who had seen me before, greeted me in the hallway. He knelt down, held my hand, and listened to my thoughts and fears. Never once did he talk down to me or belittle me. In those few moments where he treated me the respect I so craved, meant so much; the disease had stolen my confidence and that act of respect helped to restore some of it.

In the operating theatre everything was draped in cloths. A tray with various silver surgery instruments sat to my left as I lay on the table. Everyone in the room wore the tell-tale shower caps and masks typical of surgical ward. My ankle was swollen, inflamed, and painful and at that moment I allowed myself one last glare at the entity that had caused me such grief. My eyelids grew heavier and rather than fighting to stay awake I surrendered to the peaceful darkness. When I awoke back in my room, Mom was sitting at the end of the bed reading a book. She looked up, smiled, and came over to the bed and gave me hug. I knew everything would be okay.

Barnes & Noble

Meet the author:

Alison Neuman lives in Alberta, Canada, where she works as a freelance writer. Nearing the end of her studies at Grant MacEwan College, she was inspired to complete the first draft of Ice Rose: A Young Adult Spy Novel. The YA novel integrates her love for gadgetry with the broad imaginative license afforded by the secret agent genre, and features a female protagonist in a wheelchair. It was published in 2010 by Fireside Publications.

Alison’s work has appeared in MacEwan Today, Westword, and the Edmonton Journal as well as on three tracks of the CD release, Outside the Window, and as a credit on the script for Cheryl Kaye Tardif's screenplay adaptation of Whale Song. She was also an Edmonton Stories' top-ten finalist, a winner in the "Expressions of Hunger" in the Emotional Poetry Category (2009), and a nominee for the Northlands Award for Emerging Artist (2012), Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award, and Avenue’s "Top 40 Under 40."

Alison was also honoured in 2011 for her human rights work in advocating for the rights of the disabled. One of her greatest achievements is an integrative camp she started for children from all walks of life -- both with and without disabilities. Camp Mission Access uses a secret agent theme and activities as children of all abilities complete mission activities. Since 2010, she has been a member of iDANCE Edmonton, performing regularly. A musical version of Searching for Normal will debut at the Edmonton International Fringe Festival in August 2013.

Alison is currently working towards her Master of Arts at Athabasca University and, when time permits, completing her next YA novel.

Follow Alison:

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Monday, November 18, 2013

arbitrate Blog Tour Grand Finale: Giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash!

Everything has changed...

arbitrate Tour Grand Finale!!!


It's one year later. And everything has changed.

Remember The Second Chance Institute (SCI). Earth's benevolent non-profit by day, Thera's totalitarian regime by night. They've stepped up their game on Earth and on Thera -- infiltrating political parties, preying on the downtrodden, and planning offensive maneuvers. And they're handing out more "second chances" than ever before. The SCI's abuse of their charter leads to Arbiter oversight and bitter consequences.

Remember Kira Donovan. Broken, burdened, and evading those who wish her harm, Kira enlists the Arbiters' help when forced to return to the clutches of the SCI and her angry, estranged love.

Remember Blake Sundry. Exiled, determined, and packing an agenda, Blake seeks assistance on Earth and Thera to use his newfound knowledge to bring down the SCI.

Remember Ethan Darcton. Overworked, emotional, and holding a grudge, Ethan hunts down his stolen property, but finds himself in awkward territory, stuck between the Arbiters and the SCI.

Full of action, competing agendas, romantic entanglements, humor, twists and turns, arbitrate is book #2 in the award-winning, bestselling daynight series.

Did you miss parts of the tour? Catch it all now!!!

November 1st
Colorimetry -- Kick Off

November 4th

"This book left me with one of those awesome book buzzes! There are a lot of books I finish and feel happy; this one I finished and my head is swirling, in a totally awesome way!"

"My favorite aspect of the book is how well the author layers in themes and symbolism so that whether you are a casual reader just interested in a good plot line or you are a literature fanatic who loves to dissect every aspect of a book, you will enjoy reading arbitrate. In fact, I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t like this book unless you read strictly non-fiction."

fundinmental -- Spotlight


"I nearly killed him. I can still feel the weight of the revolver in my hands, the cool feel of the metal against my skin, my finger pulsing against the trigger.

I still want to kill him.

Gads I hate him.

I catch sight of my reflection in the mirror above my dresser and barely recognize what I see. Dark circles under the eyes, unshaven face, expression that screams failure. I hate that guy, too."


November 5th

Mythical Books -- Interview

Having in view the course of events, the characters must evolve. They have real and palpable problems. How hard is to change them but keep the interest of young adults for the book?

I think that the only way to keep the interest of readers is to have the characters evolve. It was important to me that arbitrate have a very different feel and story than daynight. No one wants to read a rehashed plot. From day one, I knew that Kira would “break” post-daynight and that it would have a huge impact on everyone she cared about -- that her choices would have long-impacting consequences. In arbitrate, Kira evolves from a relatively naive and idealistic teenager to a full-fledged adult. And Kira isn’t the only one who changes. All the characters change and evolve. It is one of my favorite things about arbitrate.

My Devotional Thoughts -- Spotlight


“I’m angry at all of them. Every SCI leader. In fact Joshua gave me a list of those who are Earth-side. It makes for a great to-do list. They all deserve to pay. I’m done talking. It’s time for some action."


Reviews by Karen -- Spotlight

3 Partners in Shopping -- Spotlight

November 6th

Cuzinlogic -- Interview

What inspired you to write this book?

The series was inspired by a hike I took through the canyons of San Diego on a particularly hot day. I pondered how hot it would have to get before days and nights would have to be switched (sleep during the hot day hours and be productive during the night). From there, I thought about what kind of government would rule the ʺnight,ʺ and The Second Chance Institute was born.

For arbitrate, I did not want a rehashed plot of the first book. I knew how I wanted it to begin, end, and a pivotal scene in the middle. I loosely plotted it and then revised continually as I had better ideas.


One thousand one.
One thousand two.
One thousand three.
That’s all it takes to even out my breathing and steady my hand.
I shift the crosshairs on my target ever so slightly -- from his heart to his hand -- and pull the trigger.

"I was not to be disappointed. If anything I think arbitrate might be better than daynight. There is so much going on in this story and Ms Thomason's expertly weaves all the different threads so that they entwine just where they need to in order to keep you in the story and moving forward to a conclusion which leaves you breathless and wanting more."

Deal Sharing Aunt -- Spotlight

November 7th

"I'm so happy with where the story went romantically. SO, so happy. There were moments that just broke my heart too. Such a roller coaster of great stuff. I cannot wait to see where the next book takes me."

Bookwyrming Thoughts -- Playlist
(Click on Bookwyrming Thoughts' link to see the playlist.)

"Note that all these songs are not the ones I listened to while writing but songs that I feel represent the plot of arbitrate as best as possible. While writing arbitrate, I listened to a lot of Imagine Dragons, Fun., Bastille, Of Monsters and Men, Fall Out Boy, blink-182, My Chemical Romance, Two Door Cinema Club, and dozens of other fabulous bands."

Mel’s Shelves -- Review

"If you like out-of-the-box dystopia which deviates from the 'formula,' pushes the limits and leaves you breathless, this is the series for you! As for me, I am now anxiously awaiting generate (book 3)!"

November 8th

Brooklyn Berry Designs -- Spotlight


I’m looking for my next victim when the front door opens.

My visitor looks at me like I’m a crazy man. I’d plead insanity, but that’d be as big a lie as he told me.


Is there a singular character that really touched your heart and why?

All three main characters’ stories touched me in arbitrate (I spent a lot of time crying), but for a singular character… I will say Madison. She’s a new character that appears and her backstory is heartbreaking. She has had to endure more in two lifetimes than most people could even fathom for one. I’d like to do a novella that tells her story in more detail.

November 9th

"Fast paced, full of action and although it didn't go in the direction I expected, that made it even better. After finishing this book it's still one of the best series I've read and I can't wait to see what's next in store for them all."

Sweeping Me -- Spotlight

Bound 4 Escape -- Review

"This book is pretty intense. The plot is complex and there is a lot going on in arbitrate. On top of all that is going on in the world(s), Kira has her newborn babies and three men to deal with. Wow! She does figure out who she wants to spend her life with by the end of the book (my favorite…yay)."

Bookworm Lisa -- Review

"Megan Thomason does a wonderful job at setting up a scene and bringing the right amount of information in play. I love how she is able to work more information in later and leaving the reader engaged and waiting to see what happens next."

Gustosa Giveaway -- Spotlight


The assailant dragged me to the main room and hefted me onto the table. I was paralyzed, unable to move, but still alert. My eyes were still open, yet my vision was blurred. I saw enough to see my attacker was a middle-aged, balding male. Taller than Blake, but shorter than Jax.


November 12th

Spellbindings -- Tens List
(Read the entire list on Spellbindings' blog.)

10 things the characters must keep in mind about the SCI.
1. They hide nefarious acts behind seemingly charitable ones.
2. The leaders have chess-player mentality, always thinking ahead several moves.
3. The SCI has people they answer to, so befriend those people...

Michael SciFan -- Review

"arbitrate, the newly released sequel to daynight by Megan Thomason, is really amazing. It went in a completely different direction than I thought it would, and that was a nice surprise. I won’t say I was always happy about where it went, but in the end, I completely agree with the journey."

Indie Author How-to -- Spotlight


A tall marble glass cat comes to mind. My mother got it for me as a housewarming gift. I stalk out to the living room and seize it. It’s heavy and awkward and the perfect accessory to mayhem.

The bathroom’s my next destination. I flip on the light switch and take a deep breath. Is it so wrong to want something to be more broken than me?

As I slam the cat into the mirror, the falling pieces clang out a musical masterpiece.


November 13th

"Before it’s over, you’ll want to cry and/or cheer regarding multiple characters’ choices and the deadly or life-giving consequences -- sometimes both for the same person. I think I’d better I leave it at that -- awesome!"

What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

My favorite scene is the last. I cried buckets over it. It is bittersweet and makes me run the full gamut of emotions from sorrow to hope; it has tender moments, irony, and defiance. A major character “grows a spine,” and it is glorious to see.

Other books in the daynight series:

Daynight (Daynight, #1)Clean Slate Complex (Daynight, #1.5)
daynight (daynight, #1) and Clean Slate Complex (daynight, #1.5)
Click to see these titles on Goodreads

Megan Thomason

Bestselling, award-winning author Megan Thomason lives in paradise aka San Diego, CA with her husband and five children. A former software manager, Megan vastly prefers writing twisted tales to business, product, and marketing plans. When she isn't typing away on her laptop, she's reading books on her phone -- over 600 in the last year -- or attending to the needs of her family. Megan's fluent in sarcasm, could potentially benefit from a 12-step program for road rage, struggles with a Hot Tamales addiction, loves world travel & fast cars, and hates paperwork & being an insomniac.


"Grand Finale"

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal Cash
See Rafflecopter for restrictions.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Quilts of Love KINDLE FIRE HDX Giveaway and “Christmas Bee” Facebook Party 12/10!

In honor of their new Quilts of Love releases, The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose, authors Vannetta Chapman and Lisa Carter are gearing up to ring in the Christmas season with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway and a "Christmas Bee" Facebook Party on December 10th with fellow Quilts of Love author Lynette Sowell!


One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Christmas Quilt by Vannetta Chapman
  • Aloha Rose by Lisa Carter
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 30th. Winner will be announced at the "Christmas Bee" Facebook Party on December 10th. Connect with the authors from the Quilts of Love series, Vannetta Chapman, Lisa Carter, and Lynette Sowell, for an evening of book chat, quilt trivia, Christmas traditions and gifts, PLUS get an exclusive look at January's Quilts of Love book!

So grab your copies of The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose and join Vannetta, Lisa, and Lynette on the evening of December 10th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the books, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN at the event page. Spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway and party via FACEBOOK or TWITTER. Hope to see you on December 10th!

**And stay tuned for my upcoming reviews of The Christmas Quilt and Aloha Rose!**