Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Virtual Book Tour: Forget Me Not by Stacey Nash

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Stacey will be awarding an eCopy of Forget Me Not to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Anamae is drawn into a world which shatters everything she knew to be true. The first in the trilogy of the brilliant YA Collective series. followed by REMEMBER ME and NEVER FORGOTTEN.

Since her mother vanished nine years ago, Anamae and her father have shared a quiet life. But when Anamae discovers a brooch identical to her mother's favorite pendant, she unknowingly invites a slew of trouble into their world.

The jewels she finds are not just jewellery, they're a highly developed technology capable of cloaking the human form. Triggering the jewellery's power attracts the attention of a secret society determined to confiscate the device - and silence everyone who is aware of its existence. Anamae knows too much, and now she's Enemy Number One. She's forced to leave her father behind when she's taken in by a group determined to keep her safe. Here, Anamae searches for answers about this hidden world.

With her father kidnapped and her own life on the line, Anamae must decide if saving her dad is worth risking her new friends' lives. No matter what she does, somebody is going to get hurt.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Al gestures to the brooch still clutched in my hand. “Show her.” I hold it out for her to see.

She snatches it from my hand and cradles it close to her chest, then looks up at me with over-round eyes. “Where did you get this?”

“We got it from Al this afternoon.” I frown. “What’s going on?”

Bertie whirls around and wags her finger at Al. “What the hell are you doing, selling one of those?”

“It was lying on the dusty floor, you stupid old bird.” he says. “Of course I thought it was of no consequence.”

“You’ll have them all after us now, you crazy fool.” She hits Al with the damp tea towel she was clutching.

Al dances out of its reach, bouncing from foot to foot, but his eyes sparkle. “It’s been ten years since we’ve seen a cover-up.”

I pat the pendant under my shirt. Good, it’s safe and sound. I should tell them about it, but I’m not sure. Bertie already has the brooch … maybe. Will gives me a small smile. It wavers. I’m not sure I want to keep it, but I don’t want to bring trouble to Al, either.

I hold out my hand to Bertie. “Please, can I have it back?”

She places the brooch in my hand. I take a deep breath; time to trust Al. “When I used it, the …”


“Yeah, that. A man appeared at my door within minutes. He seemed to know it was there. I think he would have killed me to take it.”

Bertie sucks in a sharp breath.

“A scout from The Collective,” Al says.

A scout? The Collective? What the heck is he talking about? Sweat prickles the back of my neck, and I glance at Will who stares at Al with a blank expression, his skin ashen.

Bertie dashes to the small balcony window and inches a corner of the drapes back, peering into the street. “We can’t stay here, Al.”

“I know, dear, we’ll take them to Beau.” Al grabs her trembling arm with a steady hand and places his other palm-down on her shoulder.

“They’ll track her, know where she is.” Bertie drops the drape, shuffles over, grabs my arm, and pushes me toward the door. “Come on, Al.”

I glance at Will. His eyes are wide and fearful.

With a series of prods, Bertie ushers me down the stairs and out of the shop. We rush straight to their old pickup with a silent urgency that makes the hairs on the nape of my neck rise. What’s this all about? What’s happening, and where do they think they’re taking us?

We come to a stop in front of the rusty dual-cab pickup. Will digs in his heels, grabs my hand, and tugs me back. “We’re not going anywhere.”

Bertie pulls open the back door. “You have to, for your own safety. The scout is just the beginning. You’re in great danger.”

“Danger?” My voice sounds hollow to my own ears.

Al jogs round to the far side of the truck and pulls open the driver’s side door, which cuts the air with a squeal like it’s never been oiled. “There’s a safe house for situations like this. They’ll explain it better than us.”

His words rush out so jumbled I have to concentrate to understand him. I spin from Al to face Will. His mouth is set, and his head shakes. No. But Will doesn’t know Al like I do.

“Get in the truck,” Bertie yells.

Al’s gaze is on me, and although his words are urgent, his face is kind and gentle. He’s the same Crazy Al I’ve always known. “Anamae, you need to trust us. I’ve been friends with your father for years. You’ve known me since you were little. We’re trying to help. I’d never let anything happen to you. We’re like family.”

He’s right. All those trips into the store when I was only just old enough to see over the counter, Al was always so kind, so gentle. At every visit he’d give me something small out of his collection to take home and treasure. Then there were the poker nights. Kids really shouldn’t have been there, but Al, well he always made an exception for me. I’d sit on the couch and watch television. If he says we’re in danger, and he knows where we can get help, then I have to trust him.

About the Author: Writing for the young and new adult market, Stacey's books all hold a lot of adventure, a good dose of danger, a smattering of romance, and plenty of KISSING! Hailing from the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, she loves nothing more than immersing herself in the beauty and culture of the local area.

Author of the Collective Series; Forget Me Not, Remember Me, Never Forgotten. And the Oxley College Saga; Shh! and Wait!



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Monday, October 5, 2015

Heartbound by P.I. Alltraine

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. P.I. Alltraine will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Petyr has never found it necessary to consider the humans as anything more than distant, inferior beings–until now. They are the cause of the fatal disease that has plagued his realm, taking the lives of too many of his kind. As a future leader of a realm in peril, Petyr must find a way to resist and cure the affliction. He must enter the unfamiliar realm, appear to be an ordinary eighteen-year-old human, observe and learn.

However, things don’t exactly go according to plan. Instead of embarking single-mindedly on his sober mission, Petyr meets an 18-year-old girl who does things to his emotions that he can’t quite fathom or control. Petyr is falling in love, and he almost forgets the gravity his choices have on his entire world. Despite the risk it poses to his life and hers, he wants to know her, and he wants her to know him–and his world.

Enjoy an excerpt:

I defied my fate the moment I leapt out of my apartment’s third-story window. I landed on the pavement without a sound. In the same instant, my feet blended into the measured pace in which humans carried themselves.

Gazing up at the sky, I tried to find something to remind me of my home, of my duty. The future leader of a realm in peril cannot be overcome by irrational desires, I thought.

Thick smoke obscured the heavens so much even the brightest stars were dull and barely visible. A reminder I was trapped in this city, in this realm. Too far away from everything I knew, too restrained, too human.

Through the chaos in my mind, I captured the image of the girl with brown and dark-auburn tones in her hair, the shine that bounced from her loose curls, the depth in her hazel eyes, and even the awkward half-smile when she caught me looking at her. But the memory wasn’t enough. I needed to see her again.

I kept walking until I reached the riverbank in the heart of London. The water rippled with a disheveled mesh of gold and red, reflecting a large architectural structure. My gaze lingered on the clock tower adjacent to the building, gauging its height. A temptation to feel even a fraction of my true nature became a need in every fiber in my body. No longer able to rationalize, my muscles coiled, and I let go. Wind enveloped me with its familiar warmth as I sprang across the River Thames. I aimed to land on the lower portion of the tower, to indulge in the pleasure of my ascent. Though too fast for human eyes, each maneuver, each somersault, each back flip was slow enough for me to savor every moment of my liberation.

On a part of the roof concealed from the passersby below, I was closer to the heavens than I’d been since arriving in the city. Still, I didn’t belong here. Hundreds of lights sparkled below me, each representing a life I didn’t comprehend. Allowing myself to break free from my human fa├žade had made me a liability to the others. For a few moments of freedom, I let myself forget the importance of my purpose here—the lives that depended on it.

Somehow, having the girl’s image in my mind brought calmness within me. One that felt permanent. One that extinguished the sense of entrapment, despite the thick layer of smoke that was still very visible to me. I held on to the calmness as I regained the confidence to face the others.

The first three chapters of Heartbound can be read online at: http://www.amazon.com/Heartbound-P-I-Alltraine-ebook/dp/B0125TOMNO.

About the Author:
P.I. Alltraine is an award winning poet and author. She has won several international poetry competitions, and her poems have been published in separate anthologies.

She teaches English Language and Literature in London. She earned her degree in BA English from Queen Mary University of London, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and Master’s in Teaching at the UCL Institute of Education, University of London.

Before moving to London, she lived in the Philippines where she was ensconced in the rich culture encrusted with dark myths and enchanted tales. She draws inspiration from these in her writing. Although she has lived in different places and experienced different cultures, she always enjoyed the constancy of writing in her life. Her favourite authors include John Milton, Virginia Woolf and James Joyce.

Website: http://www.pialltraine.com
Blog: http://pialltraine.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/p.i.alltraine
Twitter: https://twitter.com/pialltraine
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/pialltraine
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pialltraine/
Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/pialltraine

Buy the book at Amazon.

book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5mii9Q1TZM&index=2&list=PLzGNZUy-U7wx4tUquvzG-EDU1DeiPyT8P
‘unmoving’ spoken word poem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2q4JxaN1fw

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Q&A with Kai Strand

Thanks so much for having me. 2015 has been an exciting year in my writing career. In March, I released a YA romantic suspense, Finding Thor. Heart stopping action, heart palpitating romance, jewel thieves and royalty. Edge of your seat type stuff. In May, Super Bad, the final book in my Super Villain Academy series, released. It offers super charged emotion, super powered battles, and super big decisions to make. Then to add even more excitement to the SVA series, the second edition of King of Bad (SVA, book 1) released on September 17th, with bonus material!

Welcome to Books in the Hall, Kai. Push over a pile and tell us -- why YA fiction? What draws you to it?

I write it for the same reason I read it.


What would you write in a letter to your teen self?

I would love to have known then what I know now. Your status in the high school hierarchy, your hair/makeup/outfit being perfect everyday, the popularity factor of your friends – none of that matters the day after you step out of high school! So don’t turn your back on doing what you love just because it isn’t viewed as cool. Don’t turn your back on a person you like just because they aren’t cool (especially because they aren’t cool!) Spend all that time and energy discovering what you truly love and the person you really want to be.

What book is on your nightstand currently?

This is pretty horrible to admit, but I always have a Thoreau book on my nightstand. Usually a collection of his works. I love his voice, his views on life and nature, but his tendency to be verbose and endlessly speculative is great for lulling me to sleep if I’m keyed up when I crawl into bed.

Hunger Games or Twilight? Why?

I enjoyed both. Twilight has this strange addictive quality for me so that if I re-read one book, I must plow my way through the series. However, both Bella and Katniss drive me nuts. I can’t tell you how many times I yell OUT LOUD at them. But in the end, Hunger Games is a better story. I used to have a book rating system that I posted on my blog and HG was my first Rock Concert rating (equivalent to a 5 star).

Ideal summer vacation.

Somewhere warm, but not too hot, in a secluded cabin or beach house. Where we can explore the natural setting in the mornings (wander along the beach, hike the mountain trails, climb through lava fields, anything will do.) Relax with my feet up and a book in my hands in the afternoons, while the sun heats my skin and the breeze cools it down. And because we are without television, we’d enjoy family game time in the evenings and maybe tell a ghost story or two.

Favorite pizza toppings.

Pizza is my favorite food. One reason is because you can make it seem new everyday just by changing its toppings. Though I love a gourmet pizza with garlic white sauce, chicken, spinach and mushroom, or a seafood pizza with shrimp, scallops, and green onion, my all time favorite is pretty boring: pepperoni, Italian sausage, red onion, mushrooms and lots and lots of cheese. The greasier, the better.

You’ve just won a million dollars and you’re not allowed to save any of it. What do you spend it on?

My beautiful, brave sister is in the fight of her life battling cancer. She’s just begun what will be almost a full year of treatments; chemo/radiation, surgery, more chemo, and more surgery. Her prognosis is good and she’s got lots of emotional support. But even with insurance, it’s bloody expensive. It seems insulting that she should have to endure such pain AND financial strife at the same time. So I’d gladly give it all to her if it would ease her mind and allow her to concentrate on getting better.

Who was your teenaged crush? Why?

They were always real people. Not that celebrities aren’t real people, but I always had crushes and it was always on people I knew. It’s like my crushes gave me the incentive to show up – to school, to work, to the gym, wherever. Just to see him across the room, or maybe even exchange a greeting, my crush was often my reason to go. And though I’d pine for him when we were parted and my pulse would hammer and I’d end up with a full body flush whenever he was around, I was always too shy to do anything about it, so beyond my besties, no one ever knew. But I remember every single one of them. *Le sigh*

Favorite class in high school. Why?

Creative Writing of course! At the time I didn’t even have aspirations of becoming a writer. I just loved that the teacher liked my work and often used it as an example in her classes.

Cara Cassidy always envisioned love as Thor, slamming his hammer into the earth, and the vibration resonating within her for a lifetime. She never expected love would be a thousand tiny actions from a normal boy. When international intrigue hits small-town America, more than the car chases will get your blood pumping.

It’s hard to be good, when it’s so much fun to be bad.

About the author:
When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers and a short story blog, Lightning Quick Reads, Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults. Learn more about Kai and her books on her website, www.KaiStrand.com.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Mind over Bullies by D.K. Smith

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. D.K. Smith will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Margo is pretty, popular and unsympathetic to just how intense bullying can get. As a counterfeiting plot sweeps through the city of Oak View, life for Margo will change dramatically.

With a mystery unfolding, an unlikely group of heroes emerges. Bullied teens love them, the police hate them and bullies fear them. Together they will try to get to the bottom of the counterfeiting mystery while ingeniously teaching a few bullies a lesson or two along the way… that is, if the police don’t catch them first.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Later that afternoon, Margo walked through the corridor at school with her camera in hand on her way to do an interview for the school paper. A man nearly ran into her as he backed out of the print shop pulling a large covered pallet. Margo stepped aside. The man hadn’t even noticed she was there as he faced forward and continued pulling a large pallet down the corridor. Hey, I’ve seen that somewhere before. Margo was fixated on the logo on the back of the man’s shirt. She raised her camera and took a few shots of the logo and followed behind the man at a distance.

About the Author: A native of Los Angeles, D.K. Smith began his writing career after getting news that he would soon become an uncle. Wanting to create stories and characters for his expected niece, he created the children's book series "Sock n Boots Adventures." The two characters (three year old Sock and five year old Boots) began to make names for themselves, generating downloads in countries around the world. From there, the love of storytelling blossomed into novels across multiple genres.

I've been asked many times how I came up with the concept for Mind Over Bullies. Well, I am a big fan of superhero type stories, especially movies. But of course, the bullying epidemic is real and in a horrifying way. For example, when doing research for the book I came across a story in the news about a young girl that jumped in front of a subway train after weeks of bullying. As I investigated further, I was shocked at the number of similar stories I encountered. Bullycide, the news was calling it. I thought, wow, what if these young people had been shown that the pain of bullying can be handled without hurting themselves or someone else.

So, the challenge became how to take such a terrible, real life experience like bullying, and merge it with my superhero gene. I wanted to make a story that was not only realistic so that victims of bullying could identify with it, but also one that had the superhero element that would make people stand up and cheer. Seeing people rave about a movie after it's over and even having intense feelings about a well-developed movie myself has always left me with a desire to tell stories and take people on mental journeys. I knew I would never have a career in film, so writing was the next best thing for me, and I went about writing Mind Over Bullies like a director creating a film. I wanted to create highs and lows to take the readers through a range of emotions. I crafted some portions to help readers feel for the characters and other scenes that create the moment of triumph for the underdog, the kind of scene that makes a movie audience applaud.

I wanted to have a multi-racial cast of characters with a wide variety of personalities in the hope that readers would connect with one of them. It was important to me that the main character be a strong teen female, being that teen girls make up the largest population of bullying victims per most reports. My goal was to let young women, and young men, see a teen battle bullying head-on and gain strength in the process as opposed to the more prevalent alternatives of victims hurting themselves or others.

I recognize that the characters and situations in the book may not represent every bullying situation and that realistically the book won't change the world, but I do sincerely hope that it sends a subtle message about there being life after bullying.
@A_MOB_Forms: Is media coverage of bullying counterproductive? Hear what author D.K. Smith says on the subject . Buy the book at Amazon.

Book previews:
http://tiny.cc/MOBPreview (English)
http://tiny.cc/MOB_Espanol Preview (Spanish)

Review from respected review service Kirkus Reviews: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/dk-smith/mind-over-bullies/

Links to reviews on Amazon and Goodreads:


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