Monday, November 23, 2015

Space Cadets by Laurence Moroney


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Laurence will be awarding a signed copy of Space Cadets to a randomly drawn winner (US ONLY) via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

After conflicts in Korea, Pakistan and the Middle East turned nuclear, the world stood on the eve of destruction. Realizing that we only have this one precious planet containing all of humanity, the United Nations pulled us back from the brink, and started a new, multinational effort to conquer space. Many years later, the peak of achievement for any young person is to be admitted to the Space Academy. Previously available only to a precious few, it has recently opened enrollment to anybody who can meet their strenuous entry criteria. Space Cadets is the story of the first African-American girl, Aisha Parks, to enter into the academy, where she learns that the more some things change, the more they stay the same, and despite the honorable intentions of the academy, there are some dark secrets being kept – secrets that could be the end of us all.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Chapter 10. Returning Home

So they found life.

Ironic that the North Korean was the first to do so, eh?

This isn’t a time for levity.

I know. But given that life was found so easily and so quickly on that planet, it tells us that surely we’ll find more advanced lifeforms, and soon.

The bigger question is, why was the life we found there so primitive?

Following Soo-Kyung’s discovery, the mission changed. The scientific pods were to stay, along with an attachment of Phaetons, but the Explorer was to return home and restock. Stellar Cartography was working around-the-clock to find routes to other stars, given that life being found here meant that, of course, the Galaxy must be teeming with life, and most of it must be more complex than the basic lichens they found.

Aisha was still confused about one thing. Once they had broken orbit, and were cruising back to the Explorer, she had to ask. “Why did you ask me to stop?”

Soo-Kyung signaled for them to close external comms. She clearly wanted to keep the conversation private amongst the three of them.

“Once I knew that it was life,” said Soo-Kyung. “I realized that we hadn’t sterilized ourselves. Every further step we took could potentially contaminate, and perhaps kill, these primitive lifeforms. We’re carrying bacteria, spores, and who-knows-what-else with us that would be terribly invasive to the native species.”

“So why did they let us walk on the surface?”

“I guess they just assumed that there was no life there. That it was a dead planet.”

Something about it just bugged Aisha. “They didn’t ask us to stop,” she said. “They allowed us to walk on the surface. You’d think they’d know better. It was you who was smart enough to realize that we might impact any life there.”

“Maybe they were too busy?”

“Or maybe they didn’t care,” Aisha said, realizing how ominous it sounded.

“Guys,” said David. “We just discovered life. Don’t you realize the implications? At least immediately?”


“You think they’re going to just release this broadly on Earth? Look at all the wars that have been fought over religion. Between the Caliphate and my country for one. They can’t let this information loose on Earth. We’re not yet ready.”

“But we rushed into discovery.”

“Now I know why they kept Explorer a secret, building her on the far side of the moon.”

“But we’ve been asked to do things differently,” said Soo-Kyung, for once having some emotion in her voice. “And one of the things I want to do differently is share information like this equally amongst all people. And yes, I understand the irony that it’s me saying it, but wars like those in my country happened because of a few people keeping key information from the masses. I can’t let that happen again.”

“I don’t think we can stop them,” said David.

“What’ll they do?”

“Boot us out of the Academy and send us Earth-side, of course. Anything we have to say can be easily discredited.”

Aisha sighed. David was right and she knew it. She just hoped that Soo-Kyung did too.

“So,” she said. “We toe the party line. We keep this all a big secret. We play along until the time is right, where we can take control, and do what’s right for the world.”

Soo-Kyung was exasperated. “Isn’t that what they think they’re doing? Doesn’t that just make us the same as them?”

Seamus interrupted with an external comm. “Folks, Captain has ordered you back double-time.”


“We’re going home.”

About the Author: Laurence Moroney is the author of more books than he’s prepared to admit. After several best selling programming books, his first Young Adult novel “The Fourth World” became a #1 book on Amazon Kindle, spawned two sequels “The Million Year Journey” and “The Legend of the Locust”, and is currently being shopped around studios for a potential movie. “Space Cadets” is his latest, a cutting edge science fiction novel, based on real science that starts a new series charting out humanity’s course to the stars. He’s presently working on the sequel “The Quiet World”, which he hopes to finish in 2015. For his day job, Laurence works as a Developer Advocate for Google, where he is constantly counting his blessings for being part of the best workplace in the world…


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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Cover Reveal: Dating on the Dork Side

11_19 MBB_DatingOnTheDorkSide_Banner copy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions to reveal the cover of Charity Tahmaseb's and Darcy Vance's newest book  Dating on the Dork Side. Charity and Darcy will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to one randomly drawn winner, a print copy of "Dating on the Dork Side" to another randomly drawn winner (US/Canada only) and a print copy of "The Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading" to a third randomly drawn commenter (US/Canada only) via rafflecopter during the tour.

11_19 Cover_DatingOnTheDorkSide

Stung by an epic betrayal, Camy Cavanaugh relies on the sure things: her best friend, her job as peer tutor, and her safe spot on the sidelines of life. But when she hacks into a secret, trash-talking website, it ignites a war between the sexes that won’t end until the whole school is turned upside down–and Camy’s world is turned inside out.

Now the hottest girls in school refuse to date the A-List boys. But with the Homecoming dance looming, everyone from the queen bee to the girl “most likely to” pushes Camy to hook them up with guys from the nerd herd.

And then there’s quarterback, A-lister–and former crush–Gavin Madison. He hasn’t spoken to Camy in three years … but he’s talking now, begging her to pair the guys on the football team with girls from the Honor Roll.

It’s a contest of wills and everything is on the line–even Camy’s heart. Will she retreat to the sidelines, or will she find the courage to get back in the game?

Enjoy an excerpt:

Tuesday at lunch, Mercedes cornered me at my locker. “I heard about Elle and Rhino,” she said. “Can you do that for me?”

“Do what for you?”

“Set me up with someone. I was supposed to go with Lukas, but Elle won’t let that happen. So, I was thinking ... maybe you could help me date on the dork side?”

“On the what?”

“You know, get me hooked up with one of those nice guys you know. All the boys in my classes are either jocks or jerks. And they’re all on the list.” She rolled her eyes. “So, will you?”

I wasn’t sure what to say. On one hand, Mercedes Washington was the real deal, a true Hottie of Troy. She didn’t need my help to get a boy. But on the other hand … the girl standing next to me bounced on the balls of her feet like she could barely contain her enthusiasm. And, underneath all that energy, she was really very sweet. I couldn’t tell if she didn’t see the difference between us or if she just pretended it didn’t exist. Someone like Mercedes deserved a boy who would treat her with the respect she deserved.

“Do you like Star Wars?” I asked.

About the Authors:Charity Tahmaseb has slung corn on the cob for Green Giant and jumped out of airplanes (but not at the same time). She spent twelve years as a Girl Scout and six in the Army; that she wore a green uniform for both may not be a coincidence. These days, she writes fiction (long and short) and works as a technical writer for a software company in St. Paul.

Her short speculative fiction has appeared in UFO Publishing’s Unidentified Funny Objects and Coffee anthologies, Flash Fiction Online and Cicada.

Newsletter Sign Up:

Darcy Vance is the slacker half of the author duo of Charity Tahmaseb and Darcy Vance. She didn’t start writing seriously until she was 40, and didn’t publish her first novel until she was 50. Even then, she needed a co-author to get the job done.

While Charity was busy slinging corn for Green Giant and jumping out of airplanes for the Army, Darcy was busy making out with boys and perfecting the art of the doodle. She only makes out with one boy now (her husband) but she still doodles wantonly.

Wattpad: (there is a free story there)

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Deadly Shot: Dan's Diary by Patricia Murphy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Patricia Murphy will be awarding a $20 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.

Why do you write juvenile fiction? What draws you to it?

I am the eldest of six children. I grew up in a noisy, creative, active family in Dublin Ireland and I really enjoyed being a kid! There were lots of children in our neighborhood, and we would organize big games and activities – like football matches with fifteen on each side. But I also vividly remember the pains of being a child. The frustration of not having any say in the adult world, yet the expectation that you would always do as you are told. I identify with children and even though I’m all grown up on the outside I’ve continued my fascination with how children make sense of the world. I’ve also made lots of documentaries about children in difficult circumstances, such as children with disabilities and life-limiting illnesses. These include Born to Be Different for Channel 4 in the U.K. following six children born with disabilities in the twenty-first century and Children of Helen House about the world’s first children’s hospice in Oxford UK for the BBC. So I still feel very close to childhood.

I’m particularly drawn to creating characters about 12-13 years old, on the edge of puberty. It’s a very interesting age. You still have a foot in both camps. Still enjoy imaginative play but are increasingly drawn to but bewildered by the adult world. It’s a sort of magical threshold when your impressions are fresh and insightful and experiences sharp and keen. I guess, I write fiction that might have appealed to my younger self – remembering that time when I felt I didn’t have a voice but was desperate to be heard and understood.

Pretend your protagonist is at school and opens his/her locker – what will we see inside?

For Dan, the hero of Deadly Shot set in Ireland in the 1920’s as the War of Independence rages – a whole load of balls would come tumbling out. A soccer ball, an oval shaped rugby ball, a tennis ball. There might be a battered diary and a secret message in an envelope concealed in a history book with a false compartment.

What books were your favorite as a youth and why?

I was a voracious reader as a child. All my family loved to read so for me literature is a shared experience. Sharing books continues to be a source of joy. I love reading with my daughter and giving presents of favorite books to my nieces, nephews, and godchildren.

I loved Alice in Wonderland – the anarchy and inventiveness of Lewis Carroll’s world. It’s a book I constantly re-visit, and now that I live in Oxford in the U.K where it was written, it’s a tangible, living thing. Reading it aloud with my seven-year-old daughter, I am struck by how lost and bewildered Alice felt a lot of time. She literally cries rivers of tears. It captures a lot of the bafflement and anger that children often feel at the adult world, and I think that’s something I intuited as a child.

I often read aloud to my brothers and sisters and Emil’s Clever Pig by Astrid Lindgren was a big hit in the Murphy household. Emil is probably Sweden’s naughtiest boy and every time he gets sent to the woodshed as punishment, he carves a little wooden figure. He had hundreds of them! The stories of Emil getting his head stuck in a soup tureen and his locking his father in the lavatory made us all howl with laughter.

The Search for Delicious by Nathalie Babbitt was another huge favorite. The Prime Minister is compiling a dictionary and when no one in court can agree the definition of “delicious” the King sends his 12-year-old messenger Gaylen to poll the kingdom. But he discovers a country on the brink of civil war and worse still, something is happening to the water supply. He must make a magical adventure to save the day. A wise and prescient novel about conflict, the importance of the environment and valuing the magic of nature.

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

Dear Patricia,

Don’t worry – we will make it! Lots of the stuff that bothers you now won’t be an issue in the future. You won’t always have pimples, and you will find a good hairdresser to sort out your fuzzy hair. Much better hair products will be invented soon. You won’t be alone. You will find true love; have a beautiful daughter and lots of great friends. You will have a really interesting career in television and fulfill your dream of becoming an author. I won’t go into too many details so as not to spoil the surprises. But you will travel all over the world and go deep into the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador and see Ayers Rock in Australia at sunset So keep studying. It will be worth it!

Cherish Mam and Dad. They won’t last forever, and when you get older, you’ll realize they know a whole lot more than you can credit. They are brave, noble people and they love you more than you can ever repay. Those brothers and sisters that drive you up the wall? They will be your best friends when you grow up. Trust me. So try to cut them all a bit more slack. There will be heartaches ahead beyond your control and the love of these wonderful people will be the bedrock of support you can rely on.

I know you feel imprisoned and constricted, but enjoy the things that get harder later. You have other freedoms now that you don’t appreciate – a healthy young body, and boundless energy. Go run in the park and get outside a bit more! Life is a journey, not a destination and yours will be a fascinating one, rich in experience.

Oh and there’s going to be this amazing thing invented soon, called the Internet. You will use it on a computer, communicate with everyone all over the world and access all sorts of pooled knowledge. If you come across these companies called Facebook, Google, Microsoft or Apple – invest every penny you have!

Love from Big Me

What candy do you give out at Halloween?

I love Halloween! It’s a big event in Ireland where it was adapted from the Celtic festival of Samhain marking the beginning of Winter and a time when the veils between the world and the otherworld were thin. We often go to Dublin for the festival, where there's a carnival atmosphere on the streets. If I’m in the U.K, where it’s growing in popularity, we usually have a kids party full of traditional games like bobbing for apples and snap apple. I give out lots of candy, jellies, lollipops, chocolate bars and supposedly healthy options like fruit strings. One year I ran out of candy and gave out money instead. I had a lot of callers after that!

What superpower would you love to have? Why?

I would love to be a shapeshifter like the characters in my Celtic Fantasy trilogy – The Chingles, which are just being re-issued as E-books. The characters, Cassie, Thomas and Nancy journey to a remote island off the west coast of Ireland and discover they have the magical ability to shapeshift – which means they can turn into animals. But Nancy who was born on Halloween also has the talent to communicate with any animal.

I would be happy to be able to transform into an eagle or an owl. Imagine being able to soar over the earth! Then swim through the ocean as a salmon or a dolphin.

Sum up your book for Twitter: 140 characters or less.

As guerilla war rages in 1920’s Ireland, rebel messenger Dan clashes with a sinister British spy. But can he outrun a war?

Favorite hot beverage. Why?

I don’t drink caffeine, so herbal teas are my brew. I love rooibos from South Africa, chamomile and lavender at bedtime and all kinds of decoctions in between. I spent most of this year living in Provence in the south of France while my academic husband was on sabbatical. One of the joys of the markets was discovering the range of herbal teas on offer featuring everything from rosebuds to licorice. Superbe! My cupboard is like a fairy’s pantry.

Which of your characters would you most like to meet IRL? Why?

That’s an interesting question, especially as my historical fiction for children involves real historical characters. I have met Dan, the hero of my current novel, Deadly Shot, because he is loosely based on my late maternal grandfather. He was a lovely man, a talented footballer who in his youth played soccer for Ireland. He was also a member of the rebel Boy Scouts during Ireland’s War of Independence against Britain, a bloody guerilla war 1919-1921 that resulted in the foundation of the Irish State. He used to tell stories of being a messenger as a young boy, hiding guns and working as a lookout. As an adult, he was very anti-violence, and I often used to wonder what experiences might have scarred him or influenced him. Deadly Shot is my imaginative recreation of that tumultuous period of his life. I hope he would forgive my storytelling liberties! But I would love to get into a time machine and go back to when my grandfather was twelve years old to meet him at the age he appears in my book. I think he would have been rather amazing. Self-possessed, smart with a wry sense of humour. It would be really fascinating and scary to re-visit Ireland at that time to see if I did justice to the atmosphere of fear and danger.

You’re stranded on a desert island—which character from your book do you want with you? Why?

I would love to have Molly from The Easter Rising 1916 – Molly’s Diary. She knows First Aid and is incredibly resourceful and inventive. She survived a rebellion in Dublin, so I reckon a desert island would be a piece of cake for her. She’s also funny, gossipy and good company and would make me laugh.

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

600,000 on charities that help children caught up in conflict – particularly with educational needs. Then the remainder on adapting some of my books. There has been interest and attempts by prestigious production companies in the past, but they ran out of time and money. Now that one of my brothers has grown up to be a film producer, I’d give him the investment to start the ball rolling!

Football mad, twelve- year- old Dan is a trusted messenger for Ireland’s rebel leader, Michael Collins. He promises his cousin Molly to never fire a gun, but after the dramatic events of “Bloody Sunday” in Croke Park, he is pulled deeper into the struggle. Hunted by a vengeful Intelligence Officer, Molly and Dan are forced to flee Dublin. But unknown to Dan, he holds the key to a deadly plot. And his enemy will stop at nothing to track him down. On the run, they meet Flying Columns and narrowly escape death But as Cork burns can Dan continue to outrun his enemy?

Enjoy an excerpt:

The mean-faced Tan moved forward and cocked a gun in my direction. “You with the ball! Stop, you little Fenian brat, or I’ll shoot!”

He advanced towards me, his eyes flaming down the barrel of the gun. I thought I was going to wet myself with fear.

On impulse, I skied the ball straight up to heaven. It soared higher than the rooftops. Everyone tilted their heads. From the corner of my eye I glimpsed the young rebel making a run for it towards Saint Andrew’s church on the opposite side of the road.

“POW!” a shot rang out.

I prayed it wasn’t the rebel. But the lifeless thud of my ball was almost as bad. The Tan had shot my dearest possession. But they hadn’t even seen the gunman!

About the Author:
Patricia Murphy is an award-winning children’s author and Producer/Director of documentaries. Her most recent novel is Deadly Shot – Dan’s Diary - the War of Independence 1920-22. Previous works include the critically acclaimed Easter Week 1916 – Molly’s Diary, described as “brilliantly imagined”, “beautifully written and compelling” and “ fantastic at bringing history alive for children”. She is also the author of The Chingles Celtic Fantasy trilogy. She was the winner of the Poolbeg “Write a Bestseller for Children” Competition 2004. She is also an award-winning Producer/Director of primetime documentaries for BBC and Channel 4. These include Children of Helen House on the Oxford children’s hospice for BBC. She created and filmed the launch programmes of Born to Be Different the Channel 4 flagship series following six children with disabilities through the 21st century. Other films include Behind the Crime about criminals and Raised by the State on growing up in care. She has also made Worst Jobs in History with Tony Robinson for Channel 4.

Deadly Shot Facebook:
Molly's Diary Facebook:
Publisher Website:

Buy Deadly Shot – Dan’s Diary at Amazon, Amazon UK, or Poolbeg.

Buy Molly’s Diary at Amazon UK, Amazon, or Poolbeg

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Friday, November 6, 2015

Never Forgotten by Stacey Nash

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Stacey will be awarding an eCopy of Never Forgotten to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Why do you write juvenile fiction? What draws you to it?

I’ve loved YA for longer that YA has been a recognized category. As a teen I loved reading books like Anne of Green Gables and Tomorrow When the War Began, then I moved on to Twilight and all the fabulous YA that came after it, so I guess it made sense that when I started writing YA was what called me. I love the fast pace, the high tension plots, and the stories of first love that are often found in YA. It’s an exciting stage in life to live and to write about.

Pretend your protagonist is at school and opens his/her locker – what will we see inside?

There would be a selfie of her and Will (her best friend) taped to the inside of her locker, along with a bunch of other photos. Anamae’s a budding photographer. The other photos are all artistic shots, mostly of sceneries—trees, flowers, mountains. There would also be a bunch of weird things—ornaments of flying pigs, strange hats, 50s bookcovers with odd slogans on them—because she likes to collect the weird and wonderful. It’s a game her and Will have been playing for years.

Sum up your book for Twitter: 140 characters or less.
Invisibility Teleportation Telepathy. It's all possible with secret advanced tech. Discover it & they'll destroy you. Anamae's next.

Which of your characters would you most like to meet IRL? Why?

I’d love to meet Cynnie. She doesn’t come along until book 2 in the series, but she plays a big role in that book and also in book 3, Never Forgotten. She’s a fascinating character, who as a Collective child has been raised in a world very different to our own. She’d have some interesting things to say, and she’s a fun-loving, lively, bright personality, so she’d be fun to meet.

You’re stranded on a desert island—which character from your book do you want with you? Why? Jax. He’s the most resourceful, so he’d be able to get us off there. Plus he’s pretty darn sexy as well and that sure would help fill in the time. ;)

Playlist for your current book.

Even though I can’t write and listen to music, I make playlists for when I’m not writing. Here’s a link to the one for Never Forgotten:

Who was your teenaged crush? Why?

Heath Ledger. Did you see him in Ten Things I Hate About You? That’s why. :-)

The race is on! Continuing on from FORGET ME NOT and REMEMBER ME, this is the thrilling third and final novel in Stacey Nash's unforgettable YA series.

Since the strike on Collective territory during Anamae's rescue, things have taken a turn for the worse. Unprovoked attacks on innocent people have Anamae and her friends fighting day and night to minimise the damage. With hundreds of lives lost, morale amongst the resistance fighters has plummeted. But that's the least of her worries.

Manvyke still has Anamae's mom, Annie, secreted away somewhere and after the way they parted, Anamae worries it's not at her mother's bidding. Maybe Annie's disappearance all those years ago wasn't her choice. But with Manvyke scouring the world, there's something far more pressing than the need to find Anamae's mother ...

It's a fight against time to find the other keys before Manvyke. In his hands, the three relics could unlock enough power to reek a much worse havoc than the current issues at hand. If the councillor gets his hands on those keys, civilisation will bow down.

Enjoy an excerpt:

This is my life now.

The same every day. Well, almost every day. Today, it’s Wednesday. Wednesdays and Saturdays are different.

On those days, he comes.

I look from the door to the window and back again. My whole body tense with the anticipation of him and the show I’ll have to put on. The show that I don’t care. That I’m strong. I’m unflinching, when on the inside I’m absolutely not.

The pale walls—a creamy-dirty pink—are a reflection of my constant mood: dull, monotonous. But I have no regrets. I’d do it all again.

Anything to save them.

Click, click, thwack. The round lock at the top of the door flicks open first, followed by each one below. The brass, chrome, and silver knobs rotate quickly and snap to the unlocked position: all from the other side of the door. It’s not possible to unlock them from the inside. I should know; I’ve tried a hundred times over.

I take the two generous steps from my place by the window to the red suede couch and sink into it, lying back with arms roped across my chest, my eyes closed.

The door creaks open.

My heart accelerates, and not in the way it might at seeing a loved one, but in the nervous anticipation of an enemy about to walk into my life.

Like he does twice a week.

Silence hangs in the air for several moments while I breathe slowly—pretending to sleep. I’m not playing his game today.

The smell of fresh donuts mixed with strong coffee enters with him, the delicious aroma assaulting my senses and making my mouth water. It’s a Kenyan blend, which he knows is my favorite. Trying to ignore it is no use, not with the smooth smell growing stronger and stronger until steam dampens my face. The jerk must be waving right it under my nose. Yet I keep my eyes closed, my face masked.

“Wake up, Sleeping Beauty.”

If my resolve snapping had a sound that would be crack. “More like Rapunzel,” I say, a dig at my captivity.

When I open my eyes, that ridiculous half-a-dumbass smile stretches across his face. He tips his chin toward the corrugated, disposable cup in his hand. CityBoy.

Really? He thinks we can be friends, huh? Just because he brings a coffee from a place I once loved. That was a lifetime ago and we can never go back. Not now, not ever.

“Take it.” He inches the cup closer to me. “I walked halfway across town to get this for you.” He shoves the offering further under my nose. If I opened my mouth and sucked in the air, I’d probably taste the sweetened coffee.

Giving him the satisfaction of taking the cup irks me, but it’s been so long since I drank the smooth, rich nectar that only CityBoy can perfect. Stupid hand has a mind of its own, closing around the warm cup. Now that it’s in my hands, there’s no point missing out. I’ve already let him win, so I may as well get some enjoyment out of my miserable predicament.

“It’s been a long week . . .” He relaxes into the couch, flipping a pair of bronze coins through his fingers. I stop listening. No matter how he treats me, we’re not friends. We haven’t been for years.

We never will be again.

About the Author:
Stacey Nash is a writer, mother, wife, but not always in that order. Stacey went to the University of New England to study history where she fell in love and married her college sweetheart. Now, they live in the gorgeous Hunter Valley, Australia. Stacey has a passion for writing stories set in speculative worlds, from science fiction to fantasy and anything in between. She also loves to blog is a co-founder and a contributor at Aussie Owned and Read, a blog designed for readers and writers of young adult and new adult fiction, as well as World of YA, a blog designed for lovers of young adult fiction.

Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Website

Buy the book at Amazon

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Monday, November 2, 2015

The Heart's Journey Home by Nikki Jackson - Interview and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Nikki Jackson will be awarding a $25 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.

Why do you write juvenile fiction? What draws you to it?

The teens. I just love them as characters. They’re deep and honest and free. They are so open to growth without a whole lot of kicking and screaming. They’re faithful, love deeply and forever. I’m drawn to their dreams and hopes and how they see the world. They believe stuff on a whole different level. They’re not jaded. It’s like they’re invincible. Juvenile fiction inspires me and gives me hope.

What books were your favorite as a youth and why?

The Boxcar Children. This was the first series I read. I was about eight years old and this book series took up a whole shelf at the local library. I was in little kid heaven. I spent the entire summer reading each book in the series over and over again. I fell in love with those kids and reading their adventures swept me up into their lives. I was right along with them in the boxcars going from place to place. I thought that was so magical – travelling across the U.S and never leaving my home. It was right then and there I decided I was going to be a writer.

What book is on your nightstand currently?

Okay, I’m not kidding – The Heart’s Journey Home. I was so caught up in writing and re-writing and doing the edits on the book that I didn’t think I had a chance to actually enjoy it so that’s what I’m doing now, reading and enjoying it.

Hunger Games or Twilight? Why?

Definitely Hunger Games. Paranormal/Fantasy folks don’t trip out but I was never interested in the whole vampire/werewolf saga. I love strong kick-butt teen females. I love their intensity and focus and how driven they are. That’s what I love about my main character Tori, she strong and passionate and not afraid to not fit into somebody else’s definition or mold of what a female should be. Sure it costs, but she doesn't mind paying the price.

Favorite TV show from your childhood?

Okay, don’t laugh but Dark Shadows. I would’ve married Barnabas Collins if he’d come by my house and asked me. I loved that show. I had to practically run home from school to catch it. My siblings knew not to even think about having the TV on some other channel. I followed it until the very last show.

Sum up your book for Twitter: 140 characters or less.

While Tori is determined to be independent, life has other plans for her - including coming to grips with some hard and surprising truths.

What four literary characters would you most like to have over for dinner?

Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mocking Bird, Tris from Divergent, Michael from The Godfather and Deep Throat from All the President’s Men. Atticus Finch has this carved out morality and a real sense of right. He believes in the law, justice and the basic humanity inside of people. I’d love to spend the evening talking to him. As for Tris, well she’s Tris and I just think she’s bad. I’m inviting her and Michael to dinner for similar reasons. They’re one way at the beginning of the story but they both transition because the situation they’re in demands it, they’re forced to adapt. Michael has the strongest transformation because he was so opposite the character he eventually became. As for Deep Throat – I just want to know who he is.

You’re stranded on a desert island—which character from your book do you want with you? Why?

Easy, Tori’s grandfather - Bo Eaglewolf. He’s an ex-Navy SEAL. He’ll build a spacious two story shelter (complete with furniture), harvest the eatable plants and fruits into an acre garden, create a water purification system, catch, clean and cook all the fish and meat and entertain me with all his old war stories. He will definitely keep me alive and healthy until we’re rescued.

Thanks so much for the interview. I really appreciate it. Readers, keep supporting us writers. We couldn’t do this without you.

It’s summer vacation, and all seventeen-year-old Tori Logan wants to do is hang out with her two best friends, practice her mixed martial arts and go to FBI spy camp. Summer means freedom (mostly from adults) and Tori plans to fill every spare moment of her last summer before graduating from High School with all the fun things she and her best pals can come up with.

Tori, whose mom died of breast cancer when she was young, has always relied on her own strength to get by - especially because her Archeologist father tends to leave her behind with his live-in girlfriend while he gallivants around the world on digs. Thankfully, Tori can take care of herself. She knows exactly who she is and what she wants to do with her life. Her Lakota Sioux grandfather, a former Navy SEAL, trained Tori in self-defense from a young age. Now, as a teenager, Tori excels at mixed martial arts and the use of various weapons. During the summer she will be attending an FBI sponsored Summer Camp which she hopes will lead to her dream job – becoming an FBI serial killer profiler.

With her two best friends at her side, Tori believes she can handle anything. And with summer vacation stretching before them, the trio plans to find plenty of adventure.

But while Tori is determined to be independent, life has other plans for this fierce young woman, and they include coming to grips with some hard - and surprising - truths about both her past and her future.
Enjoy an excerpt:

I could really use a belt. Fin thought as he jumped from the porch, bounding over the five steps. Running down the graveled drive at break-neck speed he cursed the fact he was wearing tennis shoes - that along with the baggy, beltless pants was hemming up his stride.

The sound of shrieks and a male voice yelling at him in a foreign language didn’t help the matter. Fin tripped over his own size 12 feet, rolled and got up running. After gathering his wits about him he heard a muffled roar zoom past him followed by a streak of green. He was unsure of what it was but he was too scared to try to figure it out – he was running now – minus the jeans and a tennis shoe.

Fin all but dove into his Camaro thankful he’d left the keys in the ignition and not in his pants pocket. He turned the key and sped down the drive, kicking dirt and gravel in his wake. In his rear-view mirror he could see the crazy man chasing him with the longest, sharpest sword he’d ever seen.

Making it to the end of the drive, Fin did a complete donut, spun the vehicle around in the right direction and then tore off down the street. Tori had grabbed his errant shoe and AJ leaned down to scoop up the jeans, then the two of them tore down the drive after Fin.

About the Author:
Ever since she was young, Nikki Jackson has loved reading and the way that books allow you to journey on wonderful adventures without ever leaving the comfort of home. She decided at a young age that she wanted to become a writer to enable others to experience the magic of books—and The Heart’s Journey Home is the result.

In addition to writing, Nikki Jackson is a contract worker for General Motors. She and her husband currently live in the Detroit metropolitan area.

Check out Nikki's blog or catch up with her on Twitter.

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Q&A with D.M. Marlowe, author of The Eye of the Ninja

VBT_TourBanner_TheEyeOfTheNinja copy

10_14 PrizePic2This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. D.M. Marlowe will be awarding handcrafted jewelry representing character/theme of her book to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Prize is available for international shipping. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Why do you write juvenile fiction? What draws you to it?

I have teenagers and I read a lot of Young Adult books with them. I enjoy the adventure, the coming of age themes, the characters who have to confront their flaws and find their way in the world. They are themes that really resonate with all ages. In my other author life I am a USA Today Bestselling author of Regency Historical Romance. Now I’m thrilled to write something my kids can read.

What books were your favorite as a youth and why?

I loved books as a kid—what writer didn’t? My list is huge-but I’ll give you the highlights.

The Prydain Chronicles
Dragon Riders of Pern
Little Women
Peter Pan

Any of Marquerite Henry’s horse books
The Little Princess
Ballet Shoes
Pride and Prejudice

What candy do you give out at Halloween?

Only the good stuff! Chocolate bars, Reese’s Peanut Butter cups. Check the ice cream answer below and you’ll sense a theme. :-)

What reality show would you love to be on? Why?

If I knew how to sew, the answer would totally be Project Runway, but since I am a glue girl and helpless with a needle, I will pick the Amazing Race. I wouldn’t be crazy about some of the scary things they have to eat, but who wouldn’t want to go ride, fly, drive, swim, and do all the fun and crazy things they do all over the world?

You’re stranded on a desert island—which character from your book do you want with you? Why?

I would love to have Mei Barrett with me. She survived on her own for four years, on the run from a creature that hunted her relentlessly. She’s crafty, smart and determined. Plus, she wouldn’t be likely to whine or be annoying. LOL.

Create an ice cream flavor. What’s it called?

There is no need to invent a new one—chocolate ice cream with peanut butter ribbons already exists! :-)

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

I would buy a big, casual, comfortable house on a lake. I’d have lots of bedrooms for guests, a giant kitchen, jet skis, a water trampoline and an outdoor kitchen. I’d have family and friends—but also a quiet, out of the way place for me to write. I’d make it the best of both worlds!

MediaKit_BookCover_EyeOfTheNinjaBlink—and you’ll miss her.

Mei Barrett has been hiding all of her life. Raised in solitude by her beloved father, she’s been trained to fight, to adapt, to defend. She couldn’t prevent his death, however, when it comes at the hands of a mysterious creature straight out of legend. She could only run—and learn how to hide in plain sight.

For four long years Mei has lived alone on the fringes of a society still recovering from the devastation of quakes and disasters along the infamous Ring of Fire. Mei’s concerns are more immediate however. She must hide her eyes and their despised mutation, and she must stay one step ahead of the strange wind demon that continues to hunt her.

Detection was inevitable. But Mei begins to make some discoveries of her own. For it seems that her old enemy is not the only mythical creature on the loose. Nor is she the only one fighting them.

And perhaps her own tragedies are not as far removed from those the world is facing, after all.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Something was off. Not in the same way as before. But I felt . . . something. Eyes watching.

I veered suddenly into the parking lot of a used bookstore.

Something moved in the line of trees at the far edge, right at the spot where I would have walked past. Something large set the high branches to rustling. I moved easily, acting as if I didn’t notice.

The bookstore door was locked. I cursed under my breath before nonchalantly turning to the rack of free books lining the front of the place. Picking a title, I leaned against the door and opened it. I eyed the parking lot from beneath my brim, then tossed the book back and chose another—a thick, oversized edition of Sherlock Holmes tales. Nothing moved out there. Not a branch or a leaf or a rustle of wind.

I wasn’t fooled.

I hefted the book and pretended to be absorbed. Slowly I moved out, head down, nose in the book, ambling west again, but this time taking the alley behind the bookstore’s neighboring houses. The lane was lined with full-grown trees, providing some cover. When I hit their sheltering darkness I tucked the book under my arm and took off at a fast, silent run.

Not for long. Something thumped to the ground, directly in my path. I skidded to a stop, backpedaling rapidly.

Panic and disbelief nearly stopped my heart. My mouth hung open.

This was not the creature of my nightmares and memories. It was something different altogether—and yet still entirely unbelievable.

On two feet, broad and heavily muscled, it stood over twice my height. Its skin was a deep, dark red, its nose large and curved over like a beak. Large, heavily muscled arms flexed as its hands opened and closed. Long, white hair flowed back to meet huge, rustling black wings.

It tilted its head in a distinctly avian gesture and peered down at me. A thin, trilling sound echoed in the alley. “So small you are, to be the cause of so much trouble.”

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_EyeOfTheNinjaD. M. Marlowe lives in North Carolina with her family and two cats. When she is not spoiling them all, she is probably writing. Failing that, she's likely lost in a book or movie, on a long walk, gardening or hanging with her friends.

In her other life, she is a USA Today Bestselling author of Historical Romance.


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Monday, October 19, 2015

Burned by Natasha Deen

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Natasha will be awarding a $15 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.

Two years ago, Josie Smith’s life went up in smoke. Literally. Everyone and everything she ever loved burned in a fire—one set by a crooked cop. To survive, Josie’s been living under the radar as a homeless kid while trying to find a way to knock the cop down a few notches and put her on the other side of the prison bars. But time’s running out. A pimp’s got his eye on Josie, and if she doesn’t get off the streets soon, she’ll be the one brought down. Her salvation and the key to the cop’s undoing seem to lie with a car thief and a rich kid. Trust and teamwork don’t come easily to Josie—in fact, they don’t come at all—but if she can’t find a way to make the team work and find justice for her family, she will get burned all over again.

Enjoy an excerpt:

It would be so easy to kill her.

So easy.

So simple to pass by her on the streets, take her breath with the same ease I’d take her wallet. I’ve been on the streets for two years and I’ve learned how to pick pockets and steal apples, which alleys are safe to sleep in and which ones to stay away from.

And I know how to use a knife.

How easy it would be bump into her. Instead of slipping my fingers into her purse, I’d slide my blade between her ribs, and I would whisper, “This is for Emily and Danny and Emma.”

And she would look at me, startled, shocked.

And I would smile and walk away, leave her bleeding on the streets and the red stain of her life dripping from the smooth edge of my knife.

But I can’t.

I won’t.

Death would be too easy for her. A cop murdered on the streets. She’d get a hero’s burial and people would cry. The department would decorate her and the Police Chief would make speeches about her “sacrifice and loyalty to the people she served.” Newscasters with their helmet hair would use their The World is Ending voices and talk about the need for better policing. People would rally for tougher laws. Cops would roust the homeless.

I live with these people.

They’ve been rousted enough.

I won’t bring pain and torment to their already tortured lives.

Besides, if she died on the street, no one would know the truth of her.

The lies of her.

I will not kill her.

She will not die.

Not by my hand.






About the Author:
Natasha Deen is the author of over a dozen books and divides her time between writing, presenting at schools, and speaking at conferences. Her previous novels include the CCBC Best Pick for Kids and Teens and 2015 Sunburst Award nominated Guardian, and the True Grime series. In her spare time she cuddles on the couch with her furry and non-furry family, and thinks the best way to beat writer’s block is with tea and cookies. Visit her at


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