Thursday, February 26, 2015

Blurb Blitz Tour and Giveaway - Wish by Grier Cooper

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

For Indigo Stevens, ballet classes at Miss Roberta’s ballet studio offer the stability and structure that are missing from her crazy home life. At almost 16, she hopes this is the year she will be accepted into the New York School of Ballet. First she must prove she’s ready, and that means ignoring Jesse Sanders – the cute boy with dimples who is definitely at the top of Miss Roberta’s List of Forbidden Things for Dancers.

But Jesse is the least of Indigo’s concerns. When she discovers her mom is an alcoholic, it simultaneously explains everything and heaps more worry on Indigo’s shoulders. As her mom’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, Indigo fights to maintain balance, protect her younger brothers from abuse, and keep her mother from going over the edge. When the violence at home escalates, Indigo realizes she can no longer dance around the issue. At the risk of losing everything, she must take matters into her own hands before it’s too late.

I hold the barre lightly with my left hand and begin moving when the music starts. It’s the same music I’ve heard in every ballet class I’ve taken for the past ten years. We always start with pliés.

My knees bend in time to the music: demi plié, demi plié, grand plié. My body moves through the positions while my mind replays the scene in the car. The image of my mother’s uvula is stuck in my brain.

“Indigo, where is your focus this morning?” Miss Roberta’s voice pulls me back into the present moment. I glance in front of me at Marlene’s feet and realize I’m in the wrong position. I shake my head to clear it. Go away, Mom. This is the one place where I get away from you – even if it’s only for an hour and a half.

Compared to the rest of my life, ballet classes are refreshingly orderly and predictable. Barre exercises always follow the same routine. Do everything that works the right leg, then turn and repeat everything with the left.

We move through the barre exercises. Every beat of the music dictates what comes next. The rhythm makes demands and the body answers with precision. Already my muscles are beginning to feel warm and stretchy.

“Monique, your leg does not end at your ankle. Point those toes! Jeanine, you’re sagging. Stand up straight!” Miss Roberta’s voice carries through the room. Today she’s all in pinks with a floral chiffon headscarf. She’s the classic tiny dancer: dark-haired with pert features. Her eyes flicker across the class, constantly appraising technique and posture. Even though she’s tiny, she commands the room. If she sees imperfections or lack of good effort, she will call you out.

About the Author

Grier Cooper (also known as the writer in a dancer's body) is a California based writer, photographer, and dancer. She received her professional training from the School of American Ballet and performed worldwide with the San Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Today she lives in a seaside hamlet with her husband, daughter and Coco Chanel (a black standard poodle). She draws on over thirty years of experience as a dancer, teacher and performer to create stories and art to inspire others.

Barnes & Noble: ean=2940046226096
Google Play: id=arTEBAAAQBAJ&hl=en
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Monday, February 16, 2015

Virtual Tour and Giveaway - Secrets: Diary of a Gutsy Teen by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

SBB_TourBanner_SecretsDiaryOfAGutsyTeen copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_SecretsDiaryOfAGutsyTeenFollowing in the footsteps of The Truth, Secrets: Diary of a Gutsy Teen begins as the thirteen-year-old protagonist makes a move with her family to a new town. She has grown up a lot over the past year—and has made a list of everything that’s important to her now that she doesn’t want to forget when she gets older. But now, as she enters her early teen years, she begins to write down the secrets she wants to keep—and the ones she has no one to tell about. From new school experiences to a new baby in the family to a new crush, this new teen finally feels empowered on making her own decisions with confidence and keeping those secrets she holds dearest for herself.

In a positive and supportive diary-entry format, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein encourages tween and early teen girls to carry the most precious parts of themselves into adulthood. A great book for mothers and daughters to read together, Secrets is aimed to improve communication, understanding, and self-esteem for young girls as they enter the rocky road of teenager-dom.

Enjoy the excerpt:

Date: December 2
Dear Diary,

I have a secret and it’s been eating me up inside, so I have to tell you. I lied to Angela. I told her I had a terrible sore throat and couldn’t come for the weekend. She said she was sorry and that she would invite me again.

I felt terrible, and then my throat really began to hurt. But I just couldn’t go to Springport for a whole weekend_even though I miss being around Angela.

Now that I have best friends here, I don’t feel the same way I used to about going back to visit. And I didn’t know how to tell Angela that. I could tell when we talked on the phone that she really wanted me to come. And she sent me a new selfie, holding a sign that reads I Miss You! She even told me that she doesn’t have a new best friend since I left. She really misses me. She also told me that Paul is in lots of her classes and he asks if she’s talked to me. How could I tell her I’m in love with Rob and don’t care about Paul anymore? How could I tell her that I have new best friends and want to stay here with them?

I did go to Sally’s instead, and we had the best time. Her mother ordered pizza for us and we drank Coke. We watched television and made popcorn and did each other’s hair with all of Sally’s older sister’s hair products we found in the bathroom. I look silly with curly hair. We kept laughing and falling on the floor and giggling, and we played this fun game that Jackie learned in camp last summer. We all lay down on the floor and we each put our head on someone else’s belly. Someone says, “Ha-ha,” and then the next person says, “Haha-ha,” until everyone is laughing. Then you can’t stop laughing because the belly you are on is bouncing all around under your head.

Sally’s mom got really angry at all the noise we were making, and we had to turn off the lights and pretend to go to sleep. I hardly slept a wink, though. I was so excited and having so much fun with my new friends. I was tired the next morning and really did have a sore throat when I went home, but I didn’t care. It was worth it to have so much fun.

MediaKit_AuthorImage_SecretsDiaryOfAGutsyTeenAbout the Author: I have been a positive psychologist in private practice for the past thirty years. In the course of working with my clients, I originated the idea of THE ENCHANTED SELF(R), a positive psychology therapy where I teach people how to recognize and utilize their strengths, talents, skills and even lost potential. I have developed a number of methods, including using our memories to rediscover what is right about ourselves and our lives, rather than what went wrong, helping people to overcome adversity, experience positive emotions and live the good life!

Since developing this concept, I've been able to use many tools to bring the Enchanted Self to everyone, particularly women and girls. I've written many books, starting with THE ENCHANTED SELF, A Positive Therapy, and then Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU! My books for girls are very popular, as they are great fictional reads and also help deal with many of the questions that trouble kids as they move into the tween and teen years. The Truth, Diary of a Gutsy Tween and Secrets, Diary of a Gutsy Teen are the first two books in this series.

I really love to teach and educate about happiness and how to benefit from positive psychology in ways that let us lead lives of meaning and happiness. You can find me all over the place on the web. In particular,,, on Facebook at Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein: Psychologist & Author, on Pinterest and on You Tube. Just look for me on You Tube via Barbara Becker Holstein.

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Monday, February 9, 2015

Virtual Tour and Giveaway - Broken Dreams by Nancy Pennick

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. A $20 Amazon/BN GC will be awarded to a randomly drawn participant. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Two friends...

Blood sisters till the end...

Until they're not.

One cold night in a boarding school dorm, two fourteen-year-old girls make a blood sister pact. Friends forever. As young schoolgirls, they're determined to find true love, learning the hits and misses along the way. As graduation nears, the girls have different outlooks for the future. Lucinda longs for adventure. Anna chooses city life and marriage. Finding their way back together, the girls head west for an experience of a lifetime until a handsome cowboy bursts into their lives, changing the course of their friendship forever.

Read an excerpt:

Anna tentatively put the other foot on the ice. “I’m doing it!” She grinned widely for a second until her body slipped out from under her.

“Anna!” Lucinda grabbed for her, but it was too late. Anna lay a few feet away from the boy who still struggled to get on his feet. “Come on.” Lucinda seized Anna by one arm and the boy by the other and marched them to a bench. “Watch and learn.” She daintily walked away on her skates and slipped slowly back onto the ice. She caught up with her sister. Arm in arm they disappeared into the crowd.

“Hello, I don’t think we formally met.” The young man stuck out his hand. “James Trent.”

“Anna. Anna Douglass.” She shook his gloved hand. He had a nice smile, auburn hair and golden brown eyes. A few freckles were sprinkled across his nose.

James smoothed his hair back and replaced the cap he probably lost during the fall. “I’m a sophomore over at Lake Forest.”

“This is my first year at Ferry.” Anna gazed down at the snowy ground, suddenly nervous.“First time on skates?” He laughed and snorted at the same time.

Anna relaxed and looked him in the eye. She saw a faint redness creep up his neck and knew he was embarrassed. “You couldn’t tell?” She giggled, hoping he noticed she forgave the snort.“Well, I’m not giving up. I hope you won’t either. What I mean is I hope I see you here again.”

About the Author:

Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, Nancy currently resides in Mentor, Ohio with her husband and son, plus a delightfully entertaining lovebird. Her writing is influenced by all the years of working with young people as a teacher and raising her own son. When not writing, Nancy loves to travel with her husband and enjoys a good cup of tea. Broken Dreams is a stand alone companion piece to her young adult Waiting for Dusk series.

Publisher- Fire and Ice
Links to me:
Twitter- @npennick
Facebook Fan page -
Wordpress blog-
Amazon Author Page-
Goodreads -
Links to other books:
Waiting for Dusk
Call of the Canyon
Stealing Time
FREE short story: Taking Chances: A Waiting for Dusk Story

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Book Review and Giveaway: The Girl of the Book by Princila Murrell

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Princila will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Twelve year old Courtney Parker is devastated to have to leave her friends and South Africa behind when her father accepts a lucrative contract and the family relocate to Saudi Arabia.

Jeddah feels like a different planet to Johannesburg. In spite of her initial reluctance to venture out of the comfort and security of their new home, she quickly forms friendships with Nizar Bukhari and Lana Alahmadi. However, not everyone is happy with the situation.

Courtney must learn to adapt to an alien, seemingly unforgiving culture and stand up to the bullies that are making her school life hell.

Nizar and Lana must both try to overcome their family prejudices in order for their friendship with Courtney to survive. Will they succeed? Will they be able to set aside their differences? Can they bridge the cultural divide?

"Girl of the Book" is a compelling, contemporary story that will get older children thinking. More than that, it is a story of friendship and forgiveness that will tug at your heart.

My Review:

This middle-grade book does not have a lot of excitement, dragons, or fantastical creatures. It does, however, share the story of a girl, much like the kids who would be reading this book, who moves with her family to a completely foreign country and culture.

Even being older than the girl in the story, I enjoyed reading about what she had to go through-- the culture shock she experienced. From living in a country where she could wear shorts and bikinis and being thrust into a land where she couldn't leave the house unless she was completely covered to attending an all-girls school she had a lot to get used to.

And, just like other kids I know, she didn't always handle it well.

The book is easy to read and I enjoyed getting to know Courtney and the two friends she made: Lana and Nizar. They, also, had to contend with pressures from their families who were not excited about their kids being friends with a Christian.

This book is good for all ages and I look forward to reading more books by this author.

4 stars!

An Excerpt:
The class was quiet when she left. I noticed the girls were glancing at me and whenever their eyes met mine, they shifted their gaze.

One of them, a wide-eyed girl, finally spoke. ‘Where are you from?’

‘Are you American?’ another girl asked before I had time to answer.

‘No, I’m from South Africa,’ I replied, trying not to sound bothered by their curious looks.

‘No way!’ one of the girls to my right exclaimed. She had a brown abaya decorated with sequins on the front, and a matching scarf hung around her neck. Her skin was fair, just like mine. Her hair was a pale brown, and it hung in beautiful curls that seemed to spring whenever she moved her head. ‘You can’t be African. You’re white...’

‘You’re also white,’ I remarked.

I was referring to her alone because her skin was lighter than those of the other girls. But she probably misunderstood me because she said, ‘We’re not white. We’re brown.’ She pulled the sleeve of her abaya up her arm and stroked her skin, as if to emphasise her point. ‘Arabs are brown. Africans are black and you’re not. So where are you from?’

‘I’m from South Africa. There are white and black people in South Africa if you didn’t know,’ I said, a little angry.

‘Fine, fine. So are you Muslim?’ the girl in the brown abaya said.


They gasped as if I had said an abomination.

‘You’re not?’ One girl spoke for the first time. She had long straight hair, and her skin was a little darker than those of the other girls. ‘You don’t pray?’

‘What do you mean by I ‘don’t pray’?’ I asked. ‘I pray every day before meals and when I go to bed.’

‘No, not that kind of prayer,’ the wide-eyed girl said. ‘We mean salat.’

‘Salat? What’s that?’ I asked.

‘Prayer, stupido.’ The girl in the brown abaya rolled her eyes.

‘Now, look...’ I was about to say when Ms Lopez walked into the classroom. I glared at the girl in the brown abaya. Whatever her name was, I hoped we weren’t going to be in the same class.

About the Author:
Princila Murrell lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia with her husband and two kids. She startedwriting when she was about 10 years old and made the leap to Indie author about two decades later because she could not wait to share her stories with the world. Besides being a nerdy dreamer, doodler, busy mum, and housewife, she is also an avid netizen and reader of children’s books. She loves to cook, shop and, most of all, play with her kids. Girl of the Book is Princila’s debut novel.

Author Links
Amazon author page:
My blog:
Twitter (@PMurell):
Goodreads (Princila Murrell):
Wattpad (PrincilaMurrell):
Facebook (Princila Murrell):
Girl of the Book on Facebook:
Buy Link

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Friday, January 30, 2015

Virtual Tour and Giveaway - Elf Hills by S.S.Dudley


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Prizes for the tour are as follows:

• One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card.
• One randomly chosen host will receive a $25 Amazon/ gift card.

Do you ever read your stories out loud?
Always. And I always catch things I didn’t see. Also, it is important to me that the books read well out-loud because I write them expecting them to be read out loud, shared between an adult and a child.

What have you got coming soon for us to look out for?
The second book of Selara Leda & Burt, titled Wish Upon a Star, in February—tentatively. This depends on my illustrator. This story is set in the California foothills.The second book of the Elf Hills series, titled Fairy Trees, I aim to release in May/June. The plot thickens
a lot in the second book.

What is your least favorite word?
Blog. Or maybe, “boring”. As in, “this is boring.” My 6-year-old is using it more and more...

What is your favorite joke?
A guy walks into a bar. Another guy walks into a bar. The third guy ducks. (Really, I don’t remember jokes.)

What do you do to relax?
Run. Go for a hike. Read. Grill something, preferably with a frothy beverage in hand.

If we were to come to your house for a meal, what would you give us to eat?
My wife would be involved, so either we would grill steaks or have salmon (I have a lot in the freezer
from a fishing trip to Alaska I took in August). Maybe get a little fancy, and have quibbe (a Lebanese meat-loaf) and cucumber sauce.
Something strange, something magical, is going on in the dusty hills behind the small town of Villaloma. Yet each time Linda Peters puts on her running shoes and sets out to find the enchanted kingdom she imagines—full of dancing elves, unicorns, and more—something stops her. And with school starting soon, she only has a few more chances to really search the hills. While Linda’s frustration and doubt grow, her cousin, Nugu, looks for answers in his books and wonders if maybe, just maybe, Linda’s stories are for real.

The day finally arrives when Linda can run far, the day she is sure she will find her magic city. But when she and Nugu feel their goal must lie just beyond the next hill, they only find more hill. Is it all a figment of an over-active imagination; a wistful fantasy?

Or is there truly something magical in those hills that only the strong of heart—and leg—can discover?

From the Prologue:

This fairy tale, as you might have guessed already, takes place on a hill. Or, rather, on many hills and a mountain or two in Northern California, near what people call the Great Valley. One hill in particular stands out, though, because that is where everything started. It was a nice hill; well rounded, not too high, not too low. It was distinctly a hill, snuggled up against a mountain like a nursing cub to its resting mother. For the most part this hill was well-dressed with dark green oak trees and tall grasses, usually yellowed and dry except for the four or five wet months of the year. Along one side, a seasonal creek slipped out and down into the plain. Here the vegetation—red-stemmed manzanita, prickly blackberry bushes, and other shrubs—was thick and difficult to move through.

From afar, the hill was not remarkable; it had many siblings stretching to the north and south as far as the eye could see. This hill was special, though. For one, a strange—some said magical—copse of trees stood near the base of the hill where the creek emerged. These trees were short, had long, dark-green leaves, and bore bright yellow fruit that, if eaten, were said to imbue a person with the strength of ten men. For another, the hill was haunted. On certain nights of the year a white light would shine from the very top of the hill. It was brighter than the brightest star; brighter even than a full moon, perhaps, and it cast long shadows across the plain. The first people that lived in the area told many stories about that hill, the light, and the spirits that lived there.

About the Author
S. S. Dudley grew up in Wyoming, USA, an avid reader and lover of the outdoors. He studied at the University of Wyoming and the University of Illinois. He started his first book (an epic fantasy hand-written in with a blue fountain pen...) when he was 13, but never finished it. At some point (as his mother recently reminded him), he decided that he needed to go do something (like get a job) for a while before he could, or should, write. He did, and spent time in Colombia, Panamá, Antarctica and the dark recesses of large science buildings on college campuses. That done, he now writes, lives and runs in Northern California with his wife and two children. He can be found at, and on twitter at @SS_dudley.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Little Red Gem by DL Richardson - Interview and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award to one commenter at every stop a prize consisting of one ebook, a bookmark and a laminated pass (the passes relate to the storyline). Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome to Books in the Hall!

Thank you so much for having me on your blog today. I hope your readers enjoy finding out a bit about me. I hope they can leave comments so I can find out a bit about them, too.

What books were your favorite as a youth and why?

The first books I fell in love with were Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitte and The Trumpet and the Swan by E B White. Tuck Everlasting was the story of a young girl who went on an adventure that resulted in her finding the elixir to eternal life, yet she turned down the chance to live forever. I think that was the start of much of my philosophical musings. What would I have done in her place? Eternity sounds grand, but to watch the world grow old while you don’t age could become a drag. A few years later I read The Outsiders by S E Hinton, and that was the book that really connected me to the characters. It was like “Wow, I’m not alone. There are people out there who aren’t rich yet who have values.” I think these books prompted in me a desire to question why we do things, and they also showed me how connecting characters with readers is important. These books were the building blocks for why I became a writer.

Hunger Games or Twilight? Why?

Hunger Games. There is something terrifying, more terrifying than vampires, about a world where kids are forced to kill kids for entertainment. It’s that pushing of the envelope humanity is so tempted to do, and the true test of humanity is whether we take that plunge into doing what’s wrong. The sad truth is that we often do. We see it in the news every day, how poorly humans treat each other and everything else whether through lack of education, money, or conscience. Animals are subjected to cruelty for entertainment! I can’t get understand it. Horse racing, dog racing, elephant riding, bear fighting, I could go on and on about this subject. None of these forms of entertainment are necessary nor are they right. The Hunger Games is like a mirror being held up to show humanity’s dark side. We’ve developed a culture where we’ll do anything for our entertainment despite the outcome. I think it’s good to step back and say to ourselves that some things are just not necessary nor are they right. We know right from wrong, yet many people make the decision to look away and say that right and wrong are for the lawyers to decide, but that’s not the case. It’s for us to decide what’s right and wrong, and if we can stand up for what’s right then we should be free to do so.

Favorite TV show from your childhood?

I grew up watching American TV shows. Mork and Mindy. Happy Days. Brady Bunch. Six Million dollar Man. The Bionic Woman. Wonder Woman. Space 1999. MASH. The Muppet Show. I loved them all. These shows were entertaining (yes, we can be entertained without being cruel). These shows were vibrant, colorful, funny, poignant. But if I had to pick a favorite from this list it would be The Bionic Woman. Jaime Somers was smart, she was beautiful, she was kind, and she was strong – with or without the bionic implants. She was also one of the nice girls. She never bitched or back-stabbed or ridiculed anyone, even while they were trying to kill her or blow up the world. If my female characters end up half as decent and strong as Jaime Somers, then I’m a happy writer.

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

Oh, please don’t tease me. I would love t win a million dollars and I’d know exactly what I’d spend this money on. I would also, not for a second, contemplate staying at work because “I’d be bored” like I’ve heard some people say. I’d never be bored. I would build a house with a library and buy millions of books to stock it. In this house would be a conservatory with a black grand piano taking center stage. Outside the conservatory through a set of French doors are gardens that I would sit in to gaze over the mountain and lake views. In the garage is a red 1963 Corvette. I guess because I’m not allowed to save any of the winnings I’d have to buy lots of tinned food, chickens and goats, plant vegetable crops, and install water tanks and a solar energy system so I don’t have to worry about having no money in the bank. I could live like a hermit, not a problem.

Playlist for your current book.

There was a special song I listened to while writing the ending to Little Red Gem. I was stuck on how to end this tale of a girl who drives herself crazy in order to find out how much her boyfriend loved her, when she only needed to know how much she loved herself. On the radio came Katy Perry’s song “Roar.” As soon as I heard the lyrics, I knew I had my ending. Little Red Gem is a love story, but it’s a love story with a difference, the main character goes on a journey of self discovery. I think all boys and girls, men and women benefit from going on such a journey. There’s a great line in the book where she says, “My life. My choice.” Sure, we all make mistakes. Some we learn from. Some we regret. But the path to happiness is acceptance of the choices we make. I hate that we’re always looking to blame everyone else. I like to do like my dog, and scratch some grass over that business and move on.

Now let's learn about your book!

Love can make you do crazy things as Ruby Parker discovers when she dies and returns from the grave to unearth how much Leo Culver loved her. With the aid of bad advice from a ghost who is trapped by a curse, a little bit of magic courtesy of her unsuspecting half-sister, and a televised music talent show coming to town to hold auditions, Ruby Parker makes more of a mess in death than she ever did in life. Can she fix everything before it’s too late? Or will she spend eternity as a ghost, haunted by the unknown depths of love? Either way, one thing Ruby learns is that while love can make you do crazy things, it can make you do amazing things too. But at what cost?

Enjoy an excerpt:

…“I’d know if I was dead.” While I watched my two best friends walk with arms around each other for emotional support, I wrestled with accepting Audrey’s version of the story. To do so meant I was dead. And dead meant I would never again speak with Leo. And there were so many words left unsaid, so much business left unfinished.

The final nail in my coffin came when a customer walked out and Audrey pushed me directly in front of the customer’s path. Instead of bumping into him, I fell through him, landing on my hands and knees. My skin tingled with pins and needles from where the body had passed through me. A loud noise filled my ears, similar to water flowing from a dam. For a split second my vision blurred. Then I watched in absolute horror as my hands and legs split into millions of tiny fragments.

Audrey might have been capable of delving into her mother’s magic bag to produce this neat trick, but I wasn’t.

I crawled into the gutter because it seemed the most suitable place for a reluctant spirit to bawl her eyes out. Audrey was kind enough to sit beside me with her hand resting on my shoulder; although we were both apparitions the contact still registered. I forgot about being angry with her and welcomed her company.

“Okay, I’ll admit this has been a rather extraordinary morning so you may be right.” I sniffed back the tears and turned to face her. “How did I die?”

“Your car slid down an embankment. You weren’t wearing a seat belt. Leo dragged you out of the car but it was too late.”

I jumped up. “Leo!”

Music first captured the creative interest of young adult author D L Richardson. From choir, to her first acoustic guitar at age ten, to singing with the school band and performing in school musicals. When she left school she helped form her own rock band where she sang lead vocals, played bass guitar, and wrote all the lyrics. At age 26 she sold her equipment and focused on writing instead. She now has three novels and one short story anthology published.

Little Red Gem is a tribute to her former life as a musician and contains some of the author’s actual experiences, though she has never entered a national singing competition to capture the attention of the boy she loves. It is also a tribute to those brave young women who charge forward in pursuit of their dreams.

She lives in Australia on the NSW South Coast with her husband and dog. When she's not writing or reading she can be found playing her piano or guitars, renovating the house, or walking her dog.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Henge by Realm Lovejoy - Review Tour and Giveaway

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

Inspired by one of the greatest legends of all time…

Modern-day Camelot. Where knights no longer carry swords. Magic is dangerous. And those who seek control are not to be trusted.

Sixteen-year-old Morgan le Fay is a fire user. An ordinary girl with an extraordinary skill, she has the ability to create and command fire at will. Her dream is to become the Maven—the right hand of the future King Arthur. In the chance of a lifetime, Morgan is selected to join Arthur’s Round, an elite group of young magic users from which the new Maven will be chosen.

Along with the other fire, water, and wind users in Arthur’s Round, Morgan is rigorously trained and tested. The handsome Merlin, a brilliant water user, takes a particular interest in her. Is his friendship to be trusted, or is Merlin simply trying to win the position of Maven for himself? Among the many rivals Morgan faces is the current Maven, Mordred, who seems determined to see her fail.

But Morgan has a secret—years ago, her mother was executed for using fire magic, and Morgan’s desire for justice makes her more than ready to take on the challenge before her. Can she prevail in Camelot’s tests of survival and magic? Only time—and Morgan’s powerful fire—will tell.

Realm Lovejoy’s modern Arthurian series features one of literature’s most complicated and powerful female figures. Henge is the first book in the LE FAY series, and—like Morgan le Fay’s magic—it is sure to dazzle and amaze.

My Review:

Henge is a well-written, unique take on a classic story. Playing with the Arthurian legend can be a risky thing, but the author has made it just different enough to make it her own.  In fact, sometimes I'd forget this was about Camelot, and then we'd be introduced to an old friend again: Tristan and Isolde, Merlin (loved how he was introduced!), and so on. 

But don't think you'll have this all figured out just because you know the legend.  It's got its own twist on things.  Morgan is a great protagonist and I really empathized with her.  She's had a rough life so far, and takes risks to put herself where she thinks she's supposed to be.  She wants to be trusting, make friends, etc., but is a relatively untrusting soul (and for good reason).  I love a strong female protagonist, and she fits the bill.

There's nothing her so objectionable or frightening that younger teens couldn't enjoy this as well. Certainly it has a few flaws--it's occasionally rushed, and sometimes I had to go back a reread things to make sure I understood what was happening--but that barely detracted from my enjoyment.

4 stars and recommended to fans of fantasy and urban fantasy of nearly all ages. 

Enjoy an excerpt:

When I go to bed that night, I sink into the goose down, ready to sleep and get my mind off things. I remember Merlin’s eyes—his irises had little gray lines that turned his eyes into a foggy color. When did I look at him closely enough to notice the threading of his irises? I drift into sleep, feeling like I am drowning in feathers that whisper like the ocean. Is Merlin lonely? Does anyone else visit him in prison? Maybe Vivian?

I wake up sporadically throughout the night, a strange energy lurking in the depths of my sleep. In my dream, I’m sinking in water—it seeps into my lungs and strangles my heart. The water is coming from smooth hands. Merlin smiles as he drowns me. I sink into an endless depth of blue, the light flowering and scattering above me. The water the same color as his eyes.

About the Author:

Realm Lovejoy is an American writer and an artist. She grew up in both Washington State and the Japanese Alps of Nagano, Japan.

Currently, she lives in Seattle and works as an artist in the video game industry.


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