Thursday, April 28, 2016

Queen of Likes


Queen of Likes
by Hillary Homzie

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GENRE: middle grade/tween

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BLURB:

Like everyone at Merton Middle School, Karma Cooper’s smartphone is almost another body part. She’s obsessed with her LIKES on Snappypic. When her parents shut down her social media account and take away her smartphone, Karma’s whole world crumbles. She has to figure out what she actually likes and how to live life fully unplugged. This book will jumpstart conversations about how social media is changing the ways tweens are growing up.

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Excerpt Two:

“So we’re come up with a new punishment,” says Dad. “Something that will get your attention.”

Dad looks at Mom and Mom looks at Dad and I can tell that they are a united front against me. “We’re going to close your Snappypic account,” states Dad.

 “What?” My stomach dips as if I’ve just dropped from highest part of a roller coaster. I want to flop against the nearest car in the parking lot. “You can’t do that. It’s my account. It’s private. You can’t.” Every day, I get smiley faces and hearts and balloons and LIKES. All of the time. Waking up and not being able to se what my followers are up to? Being totally cut off like that? My parents might as well send me to Antarctica because I’m going to be frozen out of everything. “This must be some kind of hallucination,” I say. “The parents I know would never do this to me!”

“Karma, I’m sorry,” says Mom. “But I think you are over-reacting. You knew the rules.”

“Please.” I clasp my hands together. “Please, please. Please. I’ll do anything. I’ll babysit Toby as much as you want. I’ll clean the house every single day. I’ll make dinner I’ll—”

“It’s a final decision,” says Dad.

“But I’m like… a professional. I have more followers than some companies.”

“Exactly our point, Karma,” says Mom. “You’re not a company. You’re our daughter and still a kid. And I don’t really love this obsession of yours.”

The parking lot is practically spinning. “You just don’t want me to grow up!”
 I fling up my arms. “Please,” I beg. “Don’t do this.”



   

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Hillary is the author of the tween novel, THE HOT LIST (Simon & Schuster/M!X) which Booklist says “captures the angst of young teen friendships and fragile identities.” She’s also the author of the middle grade novel, THINGS ARE GONNA GET UGLY (Simon & Schuster/M!X), a Justice Book-of-the-Month, which was just optioned by Priority Pictures, and the forthcoming  QUEEN OF LIKES (Simon & Schuster/Aladdin M!X, April 2016), which is about social media, as well as the humorous chapter book series, ALIEN CLONES FROM OUTER SPACE (Simon & Schuster/Aladdin), a Children's Book-of-the-Month Best Books for Children. Emmy-nominated Suppertime Entertainment developed the books to become an animated television series and it was sold to ABC Australia. Hillary’s young adult fiction has been published in TEEN MAGAZINE and anthologized (MUDDVILLE DIARIES, Avon Books). She has sold non-fiction and fiction projects to Klutz Press/Scholastic Books, The Learning Company and John Muir Books. With her frequent writing partner, Steven Arvanites, she has had film projects developed by Brooklyn Weaver’s Energy Entertainment. Hillary got her start performing and writing sketch comedy Off-Broadway, and was a Heideman Playwrighting Award Finalist. Hillary holds a master's degree in education from Temple University and a master’s of arts degree from Hollins University in children's literature and writing. Currently, she’s a visiting professor of children’s literature and writing at Hollins University. Visit her on the web at www.hillaryhomzie.com and follow her on

Twitter @HillaryHomzie and visit her on

Facebook at

Queen of Likes buy Links:




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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Hillary Homzie will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Changing Season



Brief Synopsis: 
This was supposed to be a simple summer for Billy: one more lazy expanse of time before college began. He'd fill the hours playing with Jimmy—his canine best buddy—going camping and doing all the things he promised Jimmy they'd do before Billy left. But that was before the accident that shook the entire town. It was before the summer job that turned into something so much more than a way to get a paycheck. And it was before Vicki. This summer was destined to be many things to Billy, things he didn't truly understand until now. But it was definitely not going to be simple. 

An enormously touching, richly textured, deeply moving novel of new adulthood, The Changing Season is an experience to savor—with special appeal to dog lover’s. 

Author Bio:   
Steven Manchester is the author of four #1 bestsellers: Twelve Months, The Rockin' Chair, Pressed Pennies and Gooseberry Island. His long-anticipated novel, The Changing Season, is currently available for pre-order. Steve is also the author of the award-winning novel, Goodnight, Brian. He has written A Christmas Wish (Kindle exclusive), Wilbur Avenue (novelette), Just in Time (novelette) and The Thursday Night Club (novella), while his work has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, CNN's American Morning and BET's Nightly News. Three of Steven's short stories were selected "101 Best" for Chicken Soup for the Soul series and he is the produced playwright of Three Shoeboxes. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or their four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing. 
Visit: www.StevenManchester.com 
http://www.facebook.com/#!/AuthorStevenManchester 

Links to All Online Retailers (for print and eBook versions)http://thestoryplant.com/our-authors/steve-manchester/the-changing-season-by-steven-manchester/ 


The Changing Season excerpt


The beach was nearly deserted. After erecting their tent and establishing a cozy campsite, Jimmy trotted to the water. As Billy looked on, the silver-faced mutt walked in slowly—like an old man easing himself into a warm bath—the reckless abandon he’d once been known for completely gone.
Jimmy swam for a bit before sitting in the shallows with the water line at his chest.
Billy waded in and took a seat beside him where they sat for a long while, looking out onto the horizon. While the tide gently lapped at their chests, Billy wrapped his arm around Jimmy’s shoulder. “This is the life,” he whispered.
A seagull landed on the sand a few feet from them. Jimmy just sat there, watching the squawking bird with mild interest. “You must be tired, Jimmy. Back in the day, you would have chased that vulture until you collapsed.”
Jimmy stood and took chase, but it was a haphazard effort.
“Half-stepper,” Billy teased the dog and stood to go for a walk and dry off.
As they strolled along the coastline, Jimmy shook the salt water from his coat. He also took breaks, long breaks, acting like he was exploring.
“I know you’re stalling,” Billy told him, “and it’s okay.” At least your spirit’s still willing, Billy thought, getting choked up.
When Jimmy slowed even more, Billy headed for the campsite. The sea grasses had lost their summer hue and were now brittle, snapping in half as Billy and Jimmy walked through the abandoned dunes.
They reached camp and sat together again where Billy discovered that the pads on Jimmy’s paws were dry and cracked. One was even bleeding, which Jimmy licked for some time. Billy pulled the big moose into his lap. “Too many miles on those old tires, huh?” he whispered, before noticing the patch of missing fur on the mutt’s hind quarter—a souvenir from a vicious fight he’d won in his glory days. A mean stray had swaggered into the backyard looking for trouble. Unwilling to let it go, Jimmy gave the growling stranger all the trouble he could handle. That one battle scar had been rubbed and patted thousands of times throughout the years, the family being forever grateful for Jimmy’s sacrificial love and fearless devotion. As they sat side-by-side, Billy rubbed it again.
Resting his head in Billy’s lap, Jimmy’s eyes squinted while he enjoyed the heavy scratching.
Billy worked his hand up the old dog’s body, stroking Jimmy’s head and kneading the scruff of his neck. “I love you, buddy,” he said. “You know that, right?”
Jimmy licked Billy’s hand.
“And I need to go away pretty soon…to college.”
Jimmy licked him again.
“The last thing in the world I want is to leave you, but I…” Billy stopped from going any further. A wave of tears was waiting to break on the shore just behind his eyes.
As though Jimmy understood, he nestled deeper into Billy’s lap and began giving Billy’s hand a thorough bath.
With his free hand, Billy rubbed Jimmy’s chest up and down—fast and hard—exactly the way the old mutt liked it. As he did, he looked up and noticed a bank of even darker clouds had gathered above. “Looks like rain,” he told Jimmy. “Hopefully, there’s no thunder.”
They napped in the tent, Jimmy appearing much less worried about his nails on the air mattress than Billy. They curled up together, the rain pitter-pattering on the light canvas above. “It’s just a shower,” Billy told him. As good a guess as any meteorologist would make, Billy thought, though it doesn’t matter either way. As they began to nod off in each other’s arms, Jimmy snored peacefully. Billy stared at his best friend’s face, studying every nook and cranny—memorizing every crease and line. But it was silly. He knew Jimmy’s face better than his own. And I’m going to miss it something awful, he thought, swallowing back the lump in his throat. While the rain picked up and began thumping on the tent’s roof, Billy closed his eyes.

When they awoke from their afternoon siesta, Jimmy stood on the wobbly air mattress and yipped in pain. Once the sound of playful banter, Billy knew it was from pain now. “You okay?” he asked, massaging the dog’s haunches and working out the knots as he’d watched Arlene do many times. “Feel better now?” he asked, stopping.
Jimmy reached up with his right paw and scratched Billy’s hand, gesturing that he continue.
After a few more minutes, Billy stopped again. “Better?” he asked.
Jimmy licked Billy’s face once before slowly stepping off the jelly-like mattress.
Billy hurried to throw two baby aspirin into a glob of peanut butter and fed it to the mutt.
When they came out of hibernation, the air was cool and fresh. The trees glistened from the rain. Billy looked up. The clouds had dispersed, leaving behind the last of the day’s light.
The sunset was a palate of coral pinks and greens, with swirls of purple brushed in. The light softened—like the ambiance of an expensive romantic dinner, before fading into the distance and becoming twilight. There was a giant pause, as if the world collectively exhaled after filing another day into the history books. Billy and Jimmy sat together on a sturdy fold-out chair, silently sharing the magic. Billy took a deep breath and sighed.
Jimmy did the same.
Billy laughed. “Copycat,” he whispered.
The beach had always been the place where Jimmy was free to romp and roam—to explore. And each year he did just that. But not this year. Jimmy nuzzled into Billy’s lap again, where he awaited the attention Billy had always showered on him.
“You’re a good boy,” Billy whispered, as he scratched the gentle canine under his chin. He shook his head. “Although you haven’t been a boy for a long time.”
In what seemed like minutes, a million flickering stars covered the dark sky. Billy and Jimmy got up to take another stroll. They walked a few feet when they happened upon a giant puddle. Moonlight was trapped in the puddle, along with Billy and Jimmy’s reflections—the two of them standing knee to shoulder. While Billy smiled, Jimmy bent at the water’s edge and began to drink, sending ripples through the portrait. “Don’t drink that, Jimmy,” Billy scolded him. “You have fresh water back in the tent.”
Jimmy paid him no mind and kept lapping loudly, slobbering all over himself and depositing an equal amount of back wash.
Billy shook his head. “Whatever, it’s your stomach.”
They made it down to the water’s edge again and stood together in the silence for a long, long while. It was as though neither of them wanted the night to end, as though both of them needed more time together. Billy closed his eyes and listened to the tide. The ebb and flow was constant but random, like surround sound lapping the shore on the left, right and center.

The night grew cold, real cold for the time of year. Billy was surprised he and Jimmy couldn’t see their breath. The drop in temperature was significant, reminding Billy once again that summer was quickly coming to an end. It was a cold slap to the face—literally. I’m moving away in just a week, he thought. One week! He looked down at Jimmy, glad that his furry friend had no concept or fear of time.
Billy built a campfire, which wasn’t easy considering that everything was still damp from the rain shower. But sitting by a campfire had always been his and Jimmy’s thing, the perfect atmosphere to spend quality time together, so he worked hard to get the fire going.
They sat together in silence for a long time, hypnotized by the swaying flames and the rhythm of the rolling tide. When it was time to turn in for the night, Jimmy licked his paw, running it across his face for the day’s final bath. They both stood and stretched, leaving behind a handful of glowing embers and heading for the tent.
Kneeling beside the air mattress, Billy said his prayers. As he crawled in beside Jimmy, he left on the battery-operated lantern for his timid, four-legged friend, knowing that two D cell batteries would be killed in the process.
While Jimmy snored, Billy watched as their silhouettes moved randomly on the ceiling of the tent. He locked onto them, hypnotized by the shadows dancing above. His eyes grew heavy and he yawned. Within seconds, the shadows grew smaller until they disappeared.

Billy watched Jimmy—as a puppy—crying because the bedspread was covering his eyes. Jimmy’s claustrophobic, he realized. “It’s play time,” he told the dog, tricking Jimmy into thinking they were going to horse around. The garden hose and bottle of dog shampoo, however, made the smart dog whimper. Billy laughed. When he looked back, Jimmy was stretched out flat on his belly, all four legs pin straight like he’d been strapped to the torturer’s rack. Billy did a double-take and Jimmy was wearing the cone of shame so he didn’t bite at his stitches after being neutered. Poor guy, Billy thought, and then yelled at the dog after he’d torn a pillow to shreds. In the next scene, an older Jimmy chomped on ice cubes, spraying them everywhere like a broken snow cone machine. And then they were fishing, both of them young again. Jimmy whined as he watched the small perch swim in circles in the bucket. He placed his paw on the lip of the pail, pulling it to him and dumping the flopping fish into the grass—in some sad attempt at freeing the prisoners. Billy laughed again and a moment later, he was watching on in horror as Sophie dressed the poor dog in some ridiculous outfit for one of her lively tea parties. Sophie played with Jimmy’s ears, his paws, his tail; the mutt just lay there, as if he understood it was the price he had to pay for free meals. Jimmy’s the ultimate pilot fish. Billy shook his head, while a water sprinkler soaked the summer grass and Jimmy exhibited another example of his terrible drinking habits. Billy could see himself falling out the tree in the backyard and grabbing his arm; the pain was mind numbing. While he healed, Jimmy never left his side. Billy then looked down to find that his cast was gone. He looked up again and Jimmy was smiling at him, his teeth covered in tartar build-up. “Have you been kissing a skunk?” he teased the dog. “You have a bad case of gingivitis, buddy…or is it halitosis?” Billy passed the groomer’s window and noticed that he’d grown tall. Jimmy was beyond ecstatic to see him; his nails had been clipped, his fur trimmed but his eyes were as wide as two chocolate pies. “What did she do to you, boy?” Billy teased the frightened dog.

Billy awoke, panting like a dog himself. He looked over at his tent mate, who was still snoring peacefully on the air mattress. “Oh Jimmy,” he muttered and wrapped his arm around the drooling heap.
Billy shook the cobwebs from his head and tried to make sense of it all. It was just a dream, he realized. Fragmented and confused in time and context, he’d dreamed about Jimmy. There were glimpses of the past and present merged together, as though Jimmy’s life had been thrown into a blender and Billy was enjoying each experience with him a second time. He pushed himself closer to Jimmy until he could feel the rise and fall of the dog’s breathing. “I love you so much, buddy,” he whispered, before falling back to sleep.

  

Monday, February 1, 2016

Happy February- A Journey Begins


Happy February!

This month marks the first day in a journey I have set out for myself. To get back to my YA novels/novellas and have something ready to send off to an agent in 18 weeks. The plot bunnies are running wild and I can't wait to get some words down on the page. Once I get my other deadlines in. Writing under the pen name, I have a pretty tight schedule this month as it is...but as with anything worth doing, you make time. 

What things are you making time for this month?

What kinds of books are you curling up with to read? Are you liking dystopian adventures or paranormal romances? Zombies or a gritty true to life read? 

Have a wonderful day...and may you find joy between the pages of a good book.

XOXO

Dana

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Italian Word for Kisses



1. I write because…
It just happens? I've been making up stories since I could talk -- especially about how I was totally nothing to do with whatever was lost or broken -- and writing them down since I figured out what pens were for. (Hint: not drawing on your siblings, apparently.)
My brain makes up stories all  the time. Writing them down became the natural way of working them out and getting further into the story. And then writing books was the natural extension of that.
2. If I were your favorite cookie, what would I be?
I'm not really much of a biscuit person...
3. Plotter or pantster?
Plotter...at least it starts that way. Then the manuscript wanders off from the plan around chapter four, comes back for a visit in chapter ten, then sods off and stays away until the final four chapters, when it returns and is totally faithful to the original plan. But I can't get started without all the chapters outlined in theory, so I'm still more plotter than pantser.
4. What is your favorite type of character to write about and why?
Northerners, especially blue-collar Yorkshire folk. They're very rough and colourful people, and I like writing them largely because I'm one of them and we get left out of romantic fiction a lot, kids and adults alike. LGBT fiction especially is very geared towards a very middle-class  southern structure, where characters mustn't be too mean to each other, and certain words are banned except to be spoken by the most obviously evil of villains...and that's a bit of an alien concept to the people I grew up with. I like to turn the tables a bit, and say, "Look, love happens in the sink estates and wet British summers too. It's not all Cornish  beaches and country villages." So I write about kids falling in love at boxing gyms (The Suicidal Peanut), people tackling everyday racism with a sense of humour (Thicker Than Bone) and kids solving homophobic bullying by quite literally fighting back (The Italian Word for Kisses). Plus you get to write phonetically with their accents, which is amazing for bringing a character to life.
5. Hamburgers or sushi?
Burgers. I hate sushi.
6. Name three things on your desk.
Right now? Paperwork, paperwork, and my flat keys. I just moved house, so I'm lucky there even is  a desk right now. It's been an expensive couple of months.
7. What books have influenced your writing style?
I'm not much of a reader anymore, but in my teens I read a lot of books with quintessentially British humour -- especially those by Ben Elton, Douglas Adams and the Grant Naylor duo. Doug Naylor and Rob Grant's science fiction in particular, and of course the great Douglas Adams, were huge influences, because they stood out so much as writers bringing something uniquely British to their genres. And it wasn't all this slightly twee, home counties or London approach that dominates the LGBT fiction market -- it was idle-but-well-meaning Scousers, it was  Arthur Dent and his towel.
As I got older, I found less and less books in that kind of irreverent vein, and I stopped bothering with reading fiction at all in the end. But when I came to writing my own books, I found I had the most fun writing those same thoroughly British characters, both main and side, so I'd definitely say those guys left an impression.
8. Tell us a little about your book.
The Italian Word for Kisses is at its core about homophobia. The main characters, Tav and Luca, have been together for a while and it's old news round their way. And then along comes a new kid at school and Luca's swimming club, Jack, who is vehemently disgusted by gay people and wants Luca especially out of the picture.
What made it such fun to write was that none of the characters are shy or retiring in the slightest. My last proper look at homophobia in YA was Vivaldi in the Dark, and the character subjected to it was very timid as a result. Tav and Luca are quite the opposite -- Tav is so prone to fighting at school that he's a step to the left of being expelled, and Luca is the third of five boys in a large half-Yorkshire, half-Italian family. Neither of them take kindly to Jack showing up, and they're both very volatile in the way they respond to it.
And honestly, getting to write kids literally fighting back, and having the confidence to tell this bully that he's a bigot for what he thinks and force him to back off, that was a lot of fun and a pretty unusual way of going at the topic.
9. What advice do you have for new and aspiring authors?
Don't be afraid of writing hard things, or stepping outside of the genre's conventions. There's writers and publishers would be horrified by this book, because it features teenagers fighting, swearing, having off-colour in-jokes, having sex -- but that's what some teenagers are really like. This situation, this little world in their corner of Yorkshire, is one that real kids are living with every day. Don't be afraid to show that, even if it makes others uncomfortable sometimes.
10. What is next on your writerly horizon?
I'm hoping to finish up a couple of transgender YA books during 2016: Girls Will Be Boys and Fatso Farrier. Both feature female-to-male transgender boys, though in very different ways. Girls Will Be Boys is really about the transgender experience, and follows a fifteen-year-old trans boy handling his first relationship with absolutely no idea what the rules are for transgender people. Fatso Farrier is actually about a cisgender bisexual lad , Max 'Fatso' Farrier, who's given up on his dreams thanks to his weight, but gets the motivation to turn his life around when he's forced into training in muay thai with a very confident, very self-assured transgender lad, Cian. I'm hoping to get them done and dusted and out there sooner rather than later, as there's a serious lack of transgender YA available, and they show two extremely different FtM people.

Top 5 favorite movies:
I really like movies where the characters seem like real people, and their lines come off more natural than scripted, so flashes of really natural comedy totally sell a movie (or a book!) for me.
1.       Hot Fuzz. Easily the best British comedy I've ever seen and will always, without fail, be my favourite movie of all time.
2.       Guardians of the Galaxy. I love the off-beat humour, and how it feels more natural and less artificial  than most action movies. I mean come on, the "I'm distracting you" dance scene was hilarious.
3.       How To Train Your Dragon. All the characters felt real. They pulled faces, they did awkward hand motions, they side-eyed each other and were sarcastic. I fell hard for the movie when Hiccup just gave up on getting Toothless to be obedient and said, "Thanks for nothing, you useless reptile." Just, yes!
4.       Wild Wild West. The entire exchange of lines between Will Smith and Kenneth Branagh whenever their characters came face-to-face had me crying with laughter. I'm a firm believer that nothing is sacred when it comes to humour, and this movie is up there with the best of them. (Plus steampunk spiders, always a win.)
5.       Kind of a cheat, but The Hobbit and LOTR trilogies. Peter Jackson's use of regional accents for both humour and severity was just perfect. Accents are massively underrated for how to portray a character, and I loved both trilogies for a) using them at all and b) using them so beautifully well.

Blurb:

It’s no secret Tav and Luca are going out. After the accident, it’s also no secret that new kid Jack Collins has a raging case of homophobia, and is not best pleased about having given the kiss of life to a gay guy. Either Luca quits swimming, or Jack is going to make him.

Tav favours the tried-and-true method of knocking Jack’s teeth down his neck, only he can’t really afford another school suspension. Luca favours just ignoring him, only ignoring a penknife being held to your throat at New Year’s Eve is downright stupid.

Thing is, Luca suspects Jack is a victim of something himself. And time is running out for Luca to get through to Jack, before Jack gets rid of him.
Pick up a copy at JMS Books or All Romance Cafe today.

Excerpt:
"Alright, Collins."

The bang of the changing room door and the amiable greeting from one of the other boys caught Luca's attention, but the sudden, sharp silence made his blood run cold. All at once, Luca was both afraid, and angry with himself for being afraid. So he squared his shoulders and turned on his heel, folding his arms over his chest and meeting Jack's scowl with a glower of his own.

"What."

"What the fuck are you doing here?" Jack snarled.

"Fuckin' swimming. What about you?"

"I told you not to come."

It was like the rest of the team didn't exist. Luca didn't dare break eye contact, and Jack -- although he tossed his bag onto a bench and unzipped his jacket, was zeroed in on Luca in a way that made the hairs on Luca's arms stand on end.

"Dunno what kinky shit you're into, Collins, but I don't follow your orders." Being both an older and a younger brother had made Luca able to bluff with ease, and despite the impotent anger, the tart tang of shame around the edges of his brain that this moron had somehow gotten one over him and seized some power in this stupid fucking game, his voice sounded -- even to him -- arrogant and bored.

"Go."

"You what?"

"I said go," Jack repeated. The other boys hovered uncertainly, but Aaron and David had both closed ranks to Luca's shoulders, and Luca took a fortified breath. Aaron looked steely. David looked a little more confused, but determinedly hostile all the same.

"Like hell I'm going," Luca said. "You got a problem with a pouf on the team, you need to fuck off and get your head out your arse. I'm here to swim. I'm not going nowhere."

"What the fuck is going on?" David asked.

"Jack, mate, leave it," one of the other boys said. "It's just Jensen, Jensen's sound --"

"He's a fucking faggot, and I won't have his kind here -- I warned you, I fucking told you, and you're still fucking here!"

"What's your problem, mate, he's taken up wi' that Chris in Jan Krawczyk's tutor group ..."

"Yeah, Jack, lay off already, who d'you reckon you are anyway, you're new--"

"I know there's a fucking faggot on this fucking team and I --"

"Don't fucking call him a faggot, twat," one of the other boys -- a lad called Ryan that Luca had never so much as spoken to outside of the club, and was in the year below them anyway -- sneered, and he shot out a hand to shove at Jack's shoulder.

"I told you to stay away!" Jack bellowed, and his hand vanished into his unzipped jacket. "I told you, I fucking told you --"

The changing room erupted; the flick-knife flashed under the sickly halogen lights, and Luca's back slammed into the wall of locker doors as Aaron and David shoved him back as one. Both doors -- one to the foyer and one to the pool -- banged loudly, and the bolshy kid, Ryan, lashed out with a fist, smashing into Jack's jaw from the side. A couple of men came rampaging over from the showers in their wet trunks, all the noise bouncing off the walls until it was dizzying. Coach arrived with a shrill shriek of the whistle, and the knife had gone somewhere but Luca couldn't tell where in the ruckus, and then Aaron's hand was on his shoulder and he was being steered off into one corner of the changing room, and --

A flush of hot, furious shame boiled up Luca's stomach and into his guts, and he twisted away from Aaron's hands and grabbed for his kit bag. He didn't need Aaron to fucking protect him. He didn't need anyone to protect him, he wasn't some pathetic little kid who needed their hand holding. He shouldn't need defending, he was a Jensen! He should be able to defend himself.

He grabbed his bag and bolted. As he fled up the stairs, a burly security guard and Coach were wrestling the knife out of Jack's hands in the corridor, both shouting at him, and Jack shouting back, face red and voice hoarse and shrill with fury.

"You fucking steer clear of me, Jensen!" he bellowed after Luca, who didn't dare look back. "F'you know what's good for you, you'll stay out of here, you fucking queer!"

Luca reached the top of the stairs, and ran.

Author bio:
Matthew J. Metzger is  an asexual, transgender author dragged up in the wet and windy British Isles. He writes both adult and young adult LGBT fiction, with a particular fondness for writing about people and places that don't usually make it into romantic fiction: the council  estates, the mentally ill, the people solving problems with their fists, and finding love on the local Arriva bus route.

When not writing, Matthew is  usually asleep or crunching numbers at his day job. He can be found on Facebook and Twitter, or contacted directly at mattmetzger@hotmail.co.uk.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Hunters Moon


The Hunter's Moon (Book 1--Secret Warrior Series)
by Beth Trissel

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GENRE: YA Fantasy  Romance

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BLURB:

Seventeen year old Morgan Daniel has been in the witness protection program most of her life. But The Panteras have caught up with her and her younger brother. Her car is totaled, she's hurt, and the street gang is closing in when wolves with glowing eyes appear out of nowhere and chase away the killers.

Then a very cute guy who handles a bow like Robin Hood emerges from the woods and takes them to safety at his fortress-like home. And that's just the first sign that Morgan and her brother have entered a hidden world filled with secrets.

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Excerpt Two:

Oh, no. Was the wolf hit? Morgan prayed not. She sensed him trying to protect them, and couldn’t imagine why, or why he seemed like ‘her wolf’.

Cries, like the shrieks of a panther, carried through the trees. A chill crawled down her spine. Were the woods filled with creatures she thought long gone from these mountains?

More wolfish snarls erupted and snapping, tearing. Good. He lived. She nudged Jimmy. “Can you see anything?”

He craned his head around the rocks. “Not through the smoke and fog.”

Eerie howls rose from the surrounding woodland on every side. A whole pack must be gathering. Morgan wasn’t certain whether to be frightened, fascinated, or hopeful of rescue. Still light-headed, not sure she even saw clearly, she watched the black wolf reappear; with him, a great white wolf whose green eyes shone like starlight. The most extraordinary yet. Together, the two loped after the brown and gray one. Judging by the high-pitched calls, there were more wolves out there. And panthers, or were they mountain lions?

Snarls, growls, and the shrieks of enraged felines ripped through the smoky shroud. The pack wasn’t after her and Jimmy. Not now, anyway.





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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Married to her high school sweetheart, Beth Trissel lives on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia surrounded by her human family and furbabies. An avid gardener, her love of herbs and heirloom plants figures into her work. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans, and the people who journeyed here from far beyond her borders are at the heart of her inspiration. She's especially drawn to colonial America and the drama of the American Revolution. In addition to YA fantasy romance, she also writes historical, time travel, and paranormal romance, plus nonfiction.

For more on Beth visit her blog, One Writer’s Way, at: https://bethtrissel.wordpress.com

Connect with Beth on Facebook: Author Beth Trissel:





Visit Beth’s Amazon Author Page where all her books reside: Amazon Author Page




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Beth will be awarding a $30 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.





a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Warrior: Initiation by Rebecca Royce







Keep your friends close...and your enemies closer. 
Rachel Clancy has had to learn the hard way that you can't always trust who you know. 

Born with a specific set of genes that lets her fight monsters, Rachel has trained her entire life to kill vampires and werewolves. Unprepared for the level of deception and betrayal she faces as she journeys Upwards to battle her enemies, it's not long before Rachel finds herself on a quest that will alter the lives of everyone she knows. 

Including Rachel's... 

Here is a recent review:
Rebecca Royce knocks it out of the park with the first book in The Warrior series. A dystopian tale of earth after Armageddon, after the Werewolves and Vampires have destroyed human civilization and sent humanity into hiding.  For fourty years humans have lived underground.

In this book we meet Rachel Clancy on the eve of her sixteenth birthday.  Turning sixteen is signifcant but not in the way we are accustomed.

Rachel was born with a specific set of genes that designates her as a warrior.  Her childhood has been one of training, preparing to fight the monsters.  On her sixteenth birthday she is sent out on her first mission, alone - scared but determined.

It's the beginning of great change for humans and monsters alike, because Rachel is more than she imagined.  She's the catalyst that will cause dark secrets to be revealed, and hidden truths to rise to the surface.

I'm typically not a fan of books written in first person, but I honestly was captured by page two and could not put the book down.  Ms. Royce has always had a wonderful ability to build worlds that come alive in a reader's mind, and characters who are so well developed their voices ring in our heads.  This, however, is Ms. Royce's flagship.  Her voice rings with vibrancy, the world she has created is so clear we feel we are there.  These characters live and breathe, we feel their emotions and walk along with them as they traverse a dangerous landscape.

I can't give enough praise to this book and cannot wait to read the rest of the series.  It gets my highest recommendation.  This is definitely a must read.  by Lou Jones

It is a Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian

Here is the Amazon Link:

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Get Pop Cultured with Barnes and Noble


 
Contact:                                                             
Lillian Reitz
CBDM
5303 FM 1960 West, Houston, Texas 77069
281/631/0681
       
Barnes & Noble @Champion Forest Announces a Month-Long Celebration of Pop Culture
in July
 
Second Annual “Get Pop-Cultured with Barnes & Noble” to Feature Unique Special Events, Author Appearances, Exclusive Content, Giveaways and More
       
Highlights Include Throwback Thursdays, Time Travel Weekend, DC Comics Days, Comic Convention Collectibles, a Harper Lee Celebration, Minions Fun, Fangirl Friday, Vinyl Day, a Dr. Seuss Spectacular and Much More

New York, New York - June 25, 2015 - Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the nation’s largest retail bookseller and the leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products, today announced the second annual Get Pop-Cultured with Barnes & Noble, a month-long celebration of pop culture with special events customers won’t want to miss. Building off the success of last year’s campaign, this year’s Get Pop-Cultured celebration at Barnes & Noble @Champion Forest will feature a series of 20 very exciting events and activities perfect for the whole family to enjoy, in addition to author signings, panel discussions, contests, exclusive content, giveaways and prizes, and more.
 
Get Pop-Cultured with Barnes & Noble was first established in 2014 to bring to life customers’ favorite books, characters, movies, artists, illustrators and pop-culture icons. This year it expands to feature an even more robust lineup of events great for customers of all ages, including weekly Throwback Thursdays celebrating a different decade each Thursday from the 1950s through the 1990s, DC Comics Days, a Harper Lee Celebration, a Minions Fun event, Star Wars Saturday, Manga Mania, Fangirl Friday, Vinyl Day, James Patterson Day, a Dr. Seuss Spectacular and many more unique events and promotions. For more information on what’s happening during Get Pop-Cultured with Barnes & Noble month at Barnes & Noble @Champion Forest, customers can visit the store or www.bn.com/getpop-cultured<http://www.bn.com/getpop-cultured>. 
 
Get Pop-Cultured with Barnes & Noble @Champion Forest Lineup:
 
·       Throwback Thursdays - July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
The cornerstone of the Get Pop-Cultured campaign, customers are invited to Barnes & Noble @Champion Forest every Thursday in July for a nostalgic journey through the most iconic moments in pop culture from the 1950s through the 1990s. Customers will experience the decades as they explore the dynamic influence that books, toys, games, music, movies, TV and fashion had on society during those time periods. The store will feature a specially crafted display wall containing fun facts, images, products and more that influenced each decade and brings them back to life. The display wall changes weekly for each new decade and is perfect for taking pictures to share on social media, using the hashtags #TBT and #GetPopCultured. Celebrate the 1950s on July 2, the 1960s on July 9, the 1970s on July 16, the 1980s on July 23, and the 1990s on July 30. Special offers, giveaways, and events and activities each Thursday will round out the fun. 
 

·       Time Travel Weekend - July 3-5
Designed to take customers on a journey through time, Time Travel Weekend will transport fans into the intriguing worlds of the following:
 
Doctor Who
On July 3 at 7pm, Barnes & Noble @Champion Forest is celebrating Doctor Who. Customers will enjoy trivia, giveaways, a special offer and more, and are invited to come dressed as their favorite character.


 
Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark
On July 4 at 10am, customers will travel back millions of years with Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark. Young paleontologists are invited to explore the age of dinosaurs with fun activities, giveaways and a special offer.
 

Outlander
On July 5 at 2pm, customers will be transported to the intriguing world of the popular Outlander series with trivia, giveaways and more.
 


·       DC Comics Days - July 8-12
Customers are invited for a special offer on all DC Comics graphic novels and a free Young Gotham comic collection and poster, while supplies last. There will be other giveaways and activities, and as always during Get Pop-Cultured, cosplay is welcome.
 
·       Comic Convention Collectibles - July 9-12
Customers can visit Barnes & Noble @Champion Forest to get the highly anticipated convention exclusives representing some of the hottest licenses, including fan favorites, while supplies last. Customers should get to Barnes & Noble @Champion Forest early on July 9 as many of these collectibles will sell out fast!
 
·       Harper Lee Celebration - July 13-14
On July 13, all Barnes & Noble stores nationwide will read Harper Lee’s classic To Kill a Mockingbird from start to finish. The Read-A-Thon will feature a variety of special guest readers, including local authors or celebrities. On July 14, Harper Lee’s highly anticipated new novel, Go Set a Watchman, goes on sale. Barnes & Noble stores nationwide will open early at 7am so customers can get their copy first, and those who visit the Barnes & Noble CafĂ© from 7am to 10am will get a free tall hot coffee with their purchase of Go Set a Watchman. Plus, the first 20 customers to buy the book in every store will receive a free exclusive To Kill a Mockingbird reusable tote.
 
·       Minions Fun  - July 17 at 7pm
Customers are invited to sign up now for the Minions Fun event and become a certified Minion and attend Villain-Con in Barnes & Noble stores, where they will search for the most despicable villain to follow. Activities and giveaways will round out the fun. Customers can contact Barnes & Noble @Champion Forest to sign up today.
 
·       Star Wars Saturday - July 18
Star Wars fans of all ages are invited to Barnes & Noble @Champion Forest for exclusive products, activities, cosplay, trivia and a chance to win a Star Wars character standee (terms & conditions apply). Customers should contact Barnes & Noble @Champion Forest for complete details.
 
·       Manga Mania - July 19
Customers can visit Barnes & Noble @Champion Forest to discover this popular style of Japanese comic books and graphic novels. Manga Mania will feature a special offer, activities, and giveaways.
 
·       Fangirl Friday - July 24 at 7 pm
Barnes & Noble is inviting fangirls to unite and celebrate fandom. Fangirls should visit their local store to get introduced to the Women of Marvel, enjoy cosplay, giveaways and much more. Additionally, while supplies last, customers can pick up the Vinyl Vixen Metallic Wonder Woman, available only at Barnes & Noble.
 
·       Vinyl Day - July 25
Fans of vinyl records can explore Barnes & Noble’s growing assortment and participate in events celebrating vinyl culture, including giveaways, special offers and exclusives.
 
·       James Patterson Day - July 26
Customers are invited to Barnes & Noble to celebrate America’s bestselling author with a special one-day-only offer on all adult, kids’, and teen books by James Patterson.
 
·       Dr. Seuss Spectacular - July 28 at 7 pm and July 31 at 7 pm
In celebration of the newly discovered Dr. Seuss book What Pet Should I Get?, kids of all ages are invited to help Barnes & Noble decide what pet to get at a special Storytime event on July 28 at 7pm. Get Pop-Cultured ends on a high note on July 31 at 7pm with a Dr. Seuss Spectacular, a celebration of Theodor Seuss Geisel, known to the world as the beloved Dr. Seuss. There’s fun to be done before Get Pop-Cultured with Barnes & Noble comes to an end!
 
More ways to Get Pop-Cultured include:
 
·       Authors, Illustrators, Celebrities and More
Throughout the Get Pop-Cultured with Barnes & Noble campaign, stores across the country will welcome customers’ favorite authors, illustrators and celebrities, including Arlene & Alan Alda, Keegan Allen, Gretchen Carlson, Chris Colfer, Chuck D, Rob "Gronk" Gronkowski, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Mary McDonough, Christopher Paolini, James Patterson, Kate Pierson, Joe Satriani, Brad Thor, Cindy Williams, Charlie Wilson and many more. Customers should contact Barnes & Noble @Champion Forest to find out which authors will be appearing there during Get Pop-Cultured.
 
·       Get Pop-Cultured Sweepstakes from NOOK®
At all Get Pop-Cultured events and throughout the month of July, customers can visit the NOOK Counter to enter for a chance to win a $1,000 Barnes & Noble Gift Card. To enter, customers can visit the NOOK Boutique® at Barnes & Noble @Champion Forest anytime between July 1 and July 31, where they should look for the specially created Get Pop-Cultured NOOK App on the NOOK devices displayed.
 
·       Get Pop-Cultured Giveaways and Exclusives
Throughout July, Barnes & Noble will have tons of giveaways at all stores, including samplers and posters from DC Comics’ Young Gotham series, as well as Marvel, Star Wars and Manga posters, and much more. All giveaway items are available in limited quantities; for more information visit Barnes & Noble @Champion Forest. In addition, Barnes & Noble will have a large offering of exclusive products and items during Get Pop-Cultured, including exclusive book editions during Throwback Thursdays, Comic Convention collectibles, select vinyl records and more. For more information, visitwww.bn.com/getpop-cultured <http://www.bn.com/getpop-cultured>.
 
·       Get Pop-Cultured on Social Media
Pop culture fans should follow Barnes & Noble on Twitter <https://twitter.com/BNBuzz>, Instagram <http://instagram.com/barnesandnoble>, Tumblr <http://thebarnesandnoble.tumblr.com/> and like Barnes & Noble on Facebook <https://www.facebook.com/barnesandnoble> for the very latest information on Get Pop-Cultured with Barnes & Noble, including announcements about upcoming events and promotions. Pop culture fans can also follow NOOK on Facebook <https://www.facebook.com/nook>, Google+ <https://plus.google.com/+nook/posts>, Twitter <https://twitter.com/nookBN> andInstagram <http://instagram.com/lifeofnook>.
 
Barnes & Noble @Champion Forest will be announcing many more events such as giveaways and exclusive content and products, throughout the Get Pop-Cultured month. For a full schedule of local events and author appearances, and for more details regarding giveaways, competitions and sweepstakes, visit www.bn.com/getpop-cultured <http://www.bn.com/getpop-cultured>.
 
About Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) is a Fortune 500 company and the leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products. The Company operates 649 Barnes & Noble bookstores in 50 states, and one of the Web’s largest e-commerce sites, BN.com (www.bn.com <http://www.bn.com>). Its NOOK digital business offers award-winning NOOK® products and an expansive collection of digital reading and entertainment content through the NOOK Store® (www.nook.com <http://www.nook.com>), while Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC operates 717 bookstores serving over five million students and faculty members at colleges and universities across the United States.
 
General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be obtained by visiting the Company's corporate website: www.barnesandnobleinc.com <http://www.barnesandnobleinc.com>.Barnes & Noble®, Barnes & Noble Booksellers® and Barnes & Noble.com® are trademarks of Barnes & Noble, Inc. or its affiliates.
 
 
For more information on Barnes & Noble, follow us on <https://twitter.com/BNBuzz>, <http://instagram.com/barnesandnoble> and <http://thebarnesandnoble.tumblr.com>, and like us on<https://www.facebook.com/barnesandnoble>.
 
About Nook Digital, LLC
NOOK reading and entertainment products make it easy to Read What You Love, Anywhere You Like with a fun, easy-to-use and immersive digital reading experience. With NOOK, customers gain access to the expansive NOOK Store® of more than 4 million digital books in the US and UK, plus periodicals, comics, apps, movies and TV shows, and the ability to enjoy content across a wide array of popular devices through Free NOOK Reading Apps. Find NOOK devices in Barnes & Noble stores and online at www.nook.com <http://www.nook.com>, as well as leading retailers including Best Buy, Walmart, Target and many others. NOOK products are available in the United Kingdom at leading retailers; NOOK content can be purchased at www.nook.co.uk <http://www.nook.co.uk>.
 
NOOK® and the NOOK logos are trademarks of Nook Digital, LLC or its affiliates.
 
For more information on NOOK follow us on: <https://www.facebook.com/nook><https://twitter.com/nookbn>,