Monday, October 29, 2012

Mirror of Shadows Virtual Tour



Mirror of Shadows
T. Lynne Tolles

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

Publisher: Troll Publishing

ISBN: 978-1478398073
ASIN: 1478398078

Number of pages:  200
Word Count: 51,376

Book Description:

Ella McKaye returns home for her grandmother's funeral to find she's inherited a ton of money and a run down mansion she never knew existed, called Grey Manor. Her greedy mother is appalled when the will stipulates specifically that Ella can't give her any of the inheritance.  She quickly throws Ella out of her home forcing her to take up immediate residence in the spooky old mansion.

Within minutes of entering her new home she has a strange interaction with a creepy old mirror in the main hallway and the ghostly inhabitants of the past get more and more agitated the longer Ella's there. Nearly fatal back to back accidents make Ella start to wonder if she's angered some ghost or if there is something more sinister at work.

Will Ella unravel the deadly mystery before she becomes a ghost herself? Or will fate take another one of the Grey ancestors to the grave.

Paperback-  Amazon    Barnes and Noble   Author site

Hardback-  Lulu   Author site 




Guest Post:


Warm sunny days met with chilly evening, and gusts of wind that release the once clinging leaves into a lilt and tumble dance to the ground tells us we have entered into the season of fall. Depending on where you live the changes in foliage can be a grand display of vivid yellows, oranges and reds that would make an artist cry with delight, or a less impressive brown with with some yellows and reds. Either way, its a beautiful time of year.

Those of us who are not sun goddesses, but more a touch of vampire, relish this season and raise a toast in good riddance to the hot temps of summer. If you hadn't guessed, I am one of those people. I can get sunburned, fully clothed, under an umbrella, and slathered in 70SPF, looking much like a boiled lobster. Along with the entrance of fall, comes my favorite holiday of the year - Halloween. For a person who is more a big kid than an adult, Halloween allows me to be myself for one day, without the "don't make eye contact" look I usually get when I wear my favorite Scooby-doo t-shirt as my cell phone rings the theme from Dudley Do-Right when my husband calls.

Yes Halloween is something I look forward to every year. Much to my husband's dismay, I start hunting for my next amazing addition to my ever growing collection of decorations before summer even begins (the cool things always sell out quickly). Now I'm not talking cheesy stuff, but items that other Halloween enthusiasts say, "Ooooh! I want one of those." Like one year I spent two months putting together a leather hand bound Book of Shadows with sections like "Spells and Charms", "Creatures of Light", "Potions and tinctures" etc. Last year's handy work were hand made black candles I made from PVC, black glue (glue gun glue) and battery operated tea lights that insert up top. I had black glue everywhere, but they came out amazing and they got lots of "oohs and awes".

I suppose I owe a debt of gratitude to the holiday, as it brings out my creativity in many different ways, and gears me up for the holidays and another possible book. Now you may not enjoy Halloween or fall as much as I do, but I hope that this blog post at least has you thinking about all the possibilities fall has to offer you. It's the beginning of the holiday season in my house and that means family, food and good times. So I say to you, embrace this season and enjoy the smells of apple cider on a cold day, the crunch, crunch, crunch of crumbling leaves under your footfall, the feel of a kitten soft scarf on your neck and chin, while you wrap your arms around your family and friends in big warm bear hug. 

Short Excerpt:
It was a perfect day for a funeral, if there is such a thing—gloomy, gray, and cold. With steady tears of rain, the heavens seemed to be mourning along with the funeral guests. Though Ella stood strong as the pastor droned on, she would never be consolable for the loss of her beloved grandmother, Rose Grey McKaye. Ella had known for a while this day was coming as her grandmother combatted bouts of cancer, a stroke, and dementia, but all of that was not enough to prepare her for the overwhelming loss she now felt.
Ella heard no voices of condolences from those who one by one took her hand in sympathy. She only heard the rain tapping on the shiny mahogany casket covered in a blanket of chrysanthemums and peonies in front of her. Occasionally she would nod her head to the speaking sympathizer but she never took her eyes off of the coffin. Instead, she watched as a drop of water hung to the tip of a fern frond, gathering more volume until it could no longer hold on and dropped down the curved lid of the casket, and then meandered down the side stopping only for a moment by one of the carrying handles. It continued down to mingle with other drops at the base of the aluminum stand. It lingered and swelled until it could no longer resist the relentless tug of gravity and it fell to the fake green grass carpet laid out to disguise the recently excavated mound of dirt from the grave into which her grandmother would soon be lowered.
The long line of umbrella-toting guests passed before her then scattered among the graveyard to their warm, dry cars to go on with their lives. How odd, Ella thought, that time doesn’t stop for a moment to acknowledge the passing of one so loved. She felt sure that she hadn’t taken a breath since she had received the call two days before, notifying her that her grandmother had died. How would she ever survive life without her grandmother?
Ella’s childhood had been hard and she’d grown up fast and insecure in herself. The only happy memories she’d had as a child were in those blessed, short-lived visits to Grandma Rose’s house where Ella knew without a doubt she was welcome, safe, and loved.
Ella’s mother had not been a bad person, but Ella had learned at an early age that she was an anchor to her mother’s freedom. Patricia had been widowed when Ella was a toddler. She had no family of her own to speak of, and found herself a single mother with no job and no real skills. First the parade of men came, none of which ever seemed to measure up to her late husband, and then came the drugs which made the unhappy, lonely woman lost and unstable. Needless to say, this brought about a rather turbulent life for Ella’s early years.
A warm hand touched Ella from behind, guiding her away from the men now lowering the casket into its new home. They cleared away the fake grass carpet, revealing the reality and finality of what was happening. Goodbye Grandma Rose, Ella said without speaking. I love you so...and the car door shut on Ella’s words and pulled away from the curb as its wipers slapped the sides of the windshield with a squeaky but constant beat.







About the Author:

T. Lynne Tolles is a lifelong avid reader of all things paranormal and now is a writer of young adult paranormal romances for readers 15 to 115. She grew up in the sunny California San Francisco bay area. She's the mother of two, wife to one and pet mom to three cats and Newfie dog.

Blood of a Werewolf is the first of five books in a series called, the Blood Series. Other titles include Somber Island and Mirror of Shadows - both unrelated to the series.









Friday, October 26, 2012

The Spellbound Series: A Character Interview with Sherry Soule and Shiloh Ravenwolf



My featured guest today is Sherry Soule, author of the bestselling young adult Spellbound series. Sherry decided to interview her main character, the charming—Shiloh Ravenwolf!
If a snarky, kickbutt, and vibrant type of heroine, who can rival the darkest of evils, aided by her quirky fashion sense, appeals to your inner bad girl, then you'll love Shiloh. She's a unique teen witch with mad skills!
If you’ve already read the novels, this interview should be amusing and insightful. If you haven’t read the series yet, hopefully the character interview will pique your interest. 



Please state your name: 
Shiloh Nahimana Ravenwolf
Astrological sign: 
Leo
Age:
16
Height:
5’6”
Weight: 
120, slim yet muscular
Hair /Eye Color:
Long hair, which is as black as a raven’s wing and bronze-colored eyes
Job: 
High School student by day / Heritage Witch and Amateur Demon Hunter by night
Vehicle:
Used Black Jeep Wrangler
Dog/Cat:
Ah, do Shades count? Okay, then I have four little supernatural-like pitbulls named, Bakaz, Kasha, Zrekam, and Azeri.
Favorite food:
BBQ Chicken Pizza! Yum
Describe yourself in three words:
Out-spoken, hopeless romantic, survivor
Wardrobe/Personal Style:
I have my own quirky style—edgy-rockstar-boho, like Aria Montgomery’s keen fashion sense on the TV show, “Pretty Little Liars”. I like to wear hoop earrings; several chunky bracelets, a cropped pink top that sits above my navel and shows off my sparkly bellyring; low-rise jeans, and to finish my unique look, I put on my favorite boots: patent leather hot pink Doc Martens. The boots are my security blanket. They remind me who I am: Shiloh Ravenwolf. Badass Witch. And if I’m gonna kick ass and take names, I need my boots.
Where do you live? Are any other people living with you?
Whispering Pines, California with my dad, Jackson Ravenwolf and my mother—ugh—Jillian Broussard. (Yeah, she kept her last name.)
What were three things you liked to do when you were younger?
My friends and I would sneak onto the haunted Ravenhurst Manor estate (long before the Donovan family moved back to town) and dare each other to stand on the porch for five minutes. I won twice. Although, my gaze caught eerie shadows swooping menacingly within the shrubs and trees. Super freaky.
Favorite Pastime: 
Love to shop (Yeah, I’m a clothes whore aka fashionista), I enjoy gossiping with my friends, and I like reading romance novels. And, ah, kissing my hot BF, Trent. *major swoon*
What makes you happy?
Being with my supercute, and may I add—very buffed boyfriend, Trent Donovan
What is your greatest fear?
I’ve suffered from Nyctophobia—it’s a phobia of the dark—practically since birth. I even sleep with a nightlight. I know! I know! Being a demon hunter who is afraid of the dark sucks. Don’t judge.
What would you change about yourself if you could?
Uh, I would not blurt things out so much. Then I wouldn’t have to keep inserting my foot in my mouth. And feet taste nasty.
What is one secret that you’ve never told anyone?
Wow, tough question. My biggest secret is the demon blood that’s tainting my humanity.
What's the worst thing you've ever done? Why?
I lied about my gift of Sight. Yup, I can see dead people. Go me! Only my Aunt Lauren and my mentor, Evans know my other dark secret.
Favorite TV show?
I don’t watch a lot of TV, but when I do, I like “Pretty Little Lairs” and “SUPERNATURAL”. Sometimes I like to watch old reruns of “Charmed”, too.
If you could be an animal, what would it be?
Oh!—I’d like to be a black panther, sleek and powerful.
Signature Move: 
Power of telekinesis. Moderate kickboxing skills. Launch fireballs. Spell casting.
Hope you enjoyed this post.
Thank you so much for hanging with Shiloh and me today. It’s been an honor to reveal a different side regarding one of my favorite characters with all of you. If you haven’t seized your copy of Beautifully Broken yet, please do so. Thrilling adventures await you!
Now go feed your mind and read a book! Preferably mine.
About the Author:
Sherry Soule is a writer blessed with a vivid imagination and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She writes supernatural tales of romance, magick, and demon slaying.

Places you can cyberstalk Sherry Soule:

Official Website: http://sherrysoule.com
Official Spellbound Series Universe: http://thespellboundseries.blogspot.com
Twitter @WriterSherry: http://twitter.com/writersherry


 Beautifully Broken (Spellbound series, #1) YA Urban Fantasy


Friday, October 19, 2012

Waning Moon Book Tour



Waning Moon
by PJ Sharon

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

In the year 2057, in a post-apocalyptic world where a global shift threatens the remainder of the population with extinction, sixteen-year-old genetically enhanced Lily Charmichael has more immediate problems. Her uncle is dying of cancer and her healing abilities are ineffective against the blood ties that bind them. In order to find a cure, Lily must leave the protection of her quiet town and journey into the trading city of Albany, all while avoiding the Industry, an agency that would like nothing better than to study and exploit her abilities.

 Seventeen-year-old Will Callahan has been searching for his father since severe storms blasted through the Midwest, killing his mother and sister. When he learns that his father may be in the city, he catches a ride with Lily, a girl who has come to his rescue more than once. As the two embark on a dangerous journey, the attraction between them grows. But the secrets Will’s keeping could put her in far more danger than traveling to the city with him, and if he was any kind of man, he would have told her to run the minute she found him.







“Wait,” I said before he got far, “I bet I could find you something to eat.” I tried to appeal to what I knew would work for any hungry male. “Would you like some of this?” I asked. My bag of premium jarred honey lay across my back, and I figured it wasn’t really a meal, but I was willing to bet he’d eat whatever he could get his hands on. Or maybe he could trade Mrs. Higgins for some soup or a place to bathe. She would likely offer him something herself once she saw him. He was clearly in need of both.

The boy eyed the honey as I pulled a glass jar out of my pack, but he put his hands up and backed away. “No, I...thanks anyway…I’ll be fine…I gotta go…” He spun away and strode across the street toward an alleyway. It wasn’t like I could invite him back to the farm. Sam would kill me if I brought home a stranger. His warnings rang clear in my head even as I caught up to the boy and grabbed his arm.

“C’mon. Let me…”

The stranger whirled around, his grey eyes cold and hard. “I don’t need some girl to rescue me!”

Stunned, I took a step back. Not only did his words come as a complete surprise, but the color of his eyes rendered me speechless. I hadn’t noticed beneath his shaggy bangs before, but his eyes were a crystalline blue-grey that reminded me of an icy lake or a stormy sky. Brilliant, backlit with sunshine, and rimmed by dark, thick lashes. I sucked in a breath, confused by somehow feeling happy while being horribly offended at the same time. My brain kicked in and my heart felt the sting.


Interview:


   1.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

I love the creative part—the blast of energy that moves through me when a story is pouring onto the page and the characters are telling the story without me. It’s very weird, exciting, and magical all at the same time.

2. If the world was perfect, and you had complete dominion, what would
you change in your life?

I would either make ten more hours in a day, or clone myself so I could be in two places at one time. That would solve a lot of issues for me, LOL.

3. Tell us about your new book and the thing about it that resonates
most with you.

WANING MOON, the first book in THE CHRONICLES OF LILY CARMICHAEL trilogy takes place in the year 2057 in a post-apocalyptic world where three quarters of the population has been wiped out by a global pandemic, and a polar shift threatens the remainder of earth’s inhabitants with extinction. But sixteen-year-old genetically altered teen, Lily Carmichael, faces bigger challenges—escape capture by a rogue government agency, save her family, and avoid falling in love.

What resonates with me most about Lily’s story is her determination in doing the right thing. She has spent her life protecting her brother, not only from capture by the Industry, but from his own destructive ability to take life with just a touch. Lily is a healer, which I totally identify with. As a Massage Therapist, I understand the joy that Lily feels when she heals someone. She and I share the desire to heal a broken world one person at a time. I admire her commitment to her family, friends, and community. I also understand the powerful pull of first love and the pain and disappointment of betrayal.


4. What are some of your favorite authors?
I love Kristan Higgins who writes fabulous, heartwarming romantic comedies. I’m also a huge fan of Diana Gabaldon who wrote the Outlander series.

5. Do you have a playlist?

I have playlists for all of my books. Oddly, I haven’t developed one yet for WANING MOON. I need to work on that.

6. What was the toughest scene you ever had to write?

Tough question. There always seems to be one in every book. In Heaven Is For Heroes, it was the opening scene where Jordie has to bury her brother Levi. I lost my brother to suicide, and Levi’s character was based on my big brother. The book was very healing for me, but that was a tough scene to write. I also had several scenes in Savage Cinderella that were hard to get just right because of the sensitive nature of her abuse. I wanted to do justice to kidnap and abuse victims, but I didn’t want the scenes to be too graphic for teen readers.

7. Chocolate milkshake or vitamin water?

You’re kidding, right? A chocolate malted milkshake any day of the week.

8. Erotica or the classics?

It depends on my mood and where I’m at in life. I’ve been through both phases, but the classics are those books that I can go back and read again and again. Erotica is like brain candy. I crave it once in a while, but I get my fill quickly and need something more substantial to really satisfy me.

9. What advice would you give a new author?

Read, read, read! Read every book you can find on the craft of writing. Join a writer’s group, find some good critique partners and write, write, write. There’s nothing like practice to hone your craft and get you one step closer to your writing goals.

10. What are you working on now?

I have a few projects in the works. I just finished the short story prequel to the trilogy, called SOUL REDEMPTION, told from Lily’s brother Zephron’s point of view. The story will be part of the October Anthology with the WG2E (Writer’s Guide to E-publishing). I’ve outlined Book Two in the trilogy, WESTERN DESERT, and I’m beginning to do my research. In between working on the trilogy and promoting the first book, I’d like to finish a contemporary YA I started last year called 21 DAYS, about a teenage girl who goes on a European cruise with her grandmother in order to kick a drug habit. I may pitch that one to traditional publishers next summer if I can get it ready in time for the RWA National convention.



Thanks for being on the blog today!



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I knew I would be a writer someday when I was a little girl sitting on my grandpa’s knee and telling him stories that he would help me put on paper. By the time I entered kindergarten I could already read and write, and I couldn’t wait to look up new words every morning in the ginormous Webster’s Dictionary that sat in the book case at the bottom of our stairs. I would get on the bus and ask my friends, “Do you know what pulchritudinous means?” Between that and challenging the boys to push-up contests at the bus stop, I mostly sat alone on those bus rides to school. But that just meant I had more time to make up stories.

I went on to many other endeavors in life, including the world of figure skating, and later, earning a black belt in martial arts. Though I was a mom at seventeen, I did manage to finish school and somehow made it through college, earning a degree as a Physical Therapy Assistant. After nineteen years, two sons, a divorce, and some fairly lean years, I found that it’s true what they say about life beginning at forty. It was about that time when I reunited with the love of my life and worked my way to owning my own business as a Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer, and Yoga Instructor—all of my favorite things. To make my bliss complete, I moved out to the Berkshires and found my muse waiting for me there amongst the lilacs and humming birds.

I now write Extraordinary Stories of an Average Teenage Life in order to share hope with others, especially teens, that no matter how tough life gets, there is always a bright spot waiting just around the corner. My published books include the award winning YA Novels, HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES, ON THIN ICE, and SAVAGE CINDERELLA, available through Amazon and B&N Booksellers.

Facebook  http://www.facebook.com/pjsharonbooks
Twitter  http://www.twitter.com/pjsharon
Amazon Author Central  https://www.amazon.com/author/pjsharon
YouTube  http://www.youtube.com/pjsharon64
Pinterest  http://pinterest.com/pjsharon/
Good reads  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5238865.P_J_Sharon
Secretsof7scribes  http://www.secretsof7scribes.com/
YABeyond  http://www.yabeyond.com/

PJ will be awarding an eBook copy of "Thin Ice" to one commenter at each stop and a $25 Amazon or BN GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Sweetest Taboo Virtual Tour



Sweetest Taboo
by Eva Marquez

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Isabel Cruz was fifteen years old when she met Tom Stevens. She was 15 when they started dating, and 16 when she lost her virginity to him. By the time she turned 18 and went to college, everything had fallen apart. This hadn’t been an ordinary love, though. Not a love between two dear friends, or even high school sweethearts. This had been the most taboo sort of love there was: a relationship between a student and her teacher. Isabel started her high school career as a normal student, but set her sights on Tom Stevens as soon as she met him, and pursued him with an intense – and sometimes reckless – fascination. When he finally approached her after swim practice and told her that he shared her feelings, it was the start of a forbidden and dangerous relationship.


I realized suddenly that I had gone from one extreme to the other in a few weeks. That was a mistake, and people were bound to notice. I couldn’t backtrack now, though – the damage was done. What was I supposed to say? “Yeah, I'm staying away from Mr. Stevens because I don’t want anyone to know I’m making out with him after practice” would never do.

“You know, he was pretty cool at first," I replied as nonchalantly as possible. “But one day I was late for practice and he made me go to the diving pool to swim laps. I’m not going to hang around with him if he’s going to be such a jerk, you know?”

That answer must have been good enough for Vicky, because she lightly tapped my shoulder and then jumped into the water to swim off. I laughed as I watched her swim away; she was doing the butterfly – badly – and bumping into other swimmers as she shimmied from side to side down the crowded lane. My smile faded, though, when I realized that she was probably voicing what everyone else had noticed as well. My sudden change of attitude had been just that – sudden and unexpected – and people were going to wonder why. I had to come up with a better story, and quick, or change my behavior again and hope that no one else said anything.

I wasn’t sure which option was best, or which would cause me more pain. Our late- afternoon rendezvous were becoming more and more intense, and my senses were becoming fragile. When I walked toward his classroom, now, I knew that there would be more physical contact, with less clothing. We hadn’t gone all the way yet, and Mr. Stevens was always very careful about my feelings – he asked me if I was okay with what we were doing every five minutes, it seemed – but we were both getting braver, and closer. I didn’t know if I could be close to him without really wanting him, but I was afraid of getting hurt.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was also starting to fall in love with him.



Q: Relationships between students and teachers is a really controversial issue in the media today. What inspired you to write about this in your debut novel?

A: I grew up as an immigrant in a lower-to-middle class Southern California suburb. So I tapped into that experience in ‘Sweetest Taboo’, which chronicles the love affair between a young Hispanic schoolgirl and her much older, married teacher. I drew from my experiences growing up to develop several plot ideas. Romantic experiences are universal. Provocative, illicit and risqué contexts do not take away from the experience of love, and that’s what this debut book sets out to communicate.

I was also intrigued by the news of one of my former teachers being convicted of [sexual] misconduct with a minor. Since I can remember, I have always been fascinated by similar stories making the news, but like many people, wondered about how these relationships originate and how they flourish under the radar. In Sweetest Taboo, I got to unravel one of these clandestine relationships, one exciting page at a time.

Q: Is there an instance where you feel that such a relationship should be taboo?

A: Even as I developed what I felt to be a very powerful and emotional love story in ‘Sweetest Taboo’, I do feel that such a relationship is and should be taboo. The fact is that young students should be free to attend classes without worrying about advances by their teachers and/or coaches. For the most part, I believe that to be the case in our society. However, in ‘Sweetest Taboo’ it was evident that Isabel was the one pursuing her coach and not the other way around. So is that relationship taboo, even though she instigated it. Well…yes. Mr. Stevens should have warded off her advances and he should have been the ‘adult’ and professional that he was hired to be. Perhaps this was a case of love at first sight and Mr. Stevens was swayed by what he sincerely felt was love for Isabel so the relationship was warranted? That is up to each reader to decide for him/herself. I did not include judgment in ‘Sweetest Taboo’, therefore each reader can develop their own judgment about this love story. Back to the question, though, I think student/teacher relationships should remain taboo and if a student/teacher pair finds love I believe it’s most prudent for the teacher to hold out and wait until the student has graduated and is of legal age to consent.


Q: What is the on thing you want readers to get from your book?

 

A: Because my books deal with controversial topics, cross and intersect genres and do not fit into neat little boxes, I ask my readers to be prepared for the journey. My novels are not for everyone, and those who are disturbed and bothered by stories that push the envelope or challenge societal norms would likely not find my literary work appealing. So in essence, this is a bit of a warning to potential readers and/or followers. I do not intend on writing for all audiences, as that is almost impossible to do. What I can and have committed myself to doing is writing about what I know, writing about my own contexts, environments and experiences and pushing those to the limits to create controversial stories that inspire people to perhaps think out of the box, which is very much what Ms. Adichie and Ms. Alvarez have done with their literary work. To my future readers and followers I also say, thank you! For every reader and follower I have, I am that much more enthused to write and develop characters that challenge our existing comfort levels and perceptions. I would also ask any future readers or followers to contact me if they have any questions about anything I have written, or about my future work. Many of my ideas for character development and plots come from discussions I have with friends, colleagues or people I’ve met casually at a lounge, bar or book store!



Q: Did you write with a playlist in mind?

A: I wish I were that clever! Actually, as I wrote the book I was inspired by songs that meant a great deal to me as I was growing up, songs that inspired me, songs that made me emotional, and songs that reminded me of past loves and heartaches. Since this story is about the love and heartbreak of a high school girl, I thought it would be most appropriate to tip off the reader with a song title in order to foreshadow the contents of the upcoming chapter. It made perfect sense to me, and because songs evoke such strong emotions, especially as we first discover music, love and freedom during our teenage years, I couldn’t help but title each chapter after a song that had some sort of impact on me, emotionally.


Q: Plotter or panster?

A: Definitely a plotter. My inspiration for ‘Sweetest Taboo’ came in spurts, but those spurts were carefully jotted down in a notebook as chapter titles and brief descriptions of what I wanted to include in each chapter. Plots, characters and timelines were all carefully plotted which made the writing process flow. Because of the comprehensive outline, I was able to develop each chapter at one sitting. However, as I wrote I also became somewhat of a panster, weaving new plots, characters and climaxes into each chapter. In essence, my writing process can be described as highly organized and plotted, with room for creative ‘interventions’ when the inspiration hits.


Q: What are some authors that have influenced your writing?


A: There are dozens of authors I admire, but two that have captivated me with their work are Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Julia Alvarez. Ms. Adichie is Nigerian-born and now living in London and I think I had an instant connection with her work because I lived/worked in Nigeria for two years and was able to really get to know the southern Nigerian culture and context because of my work in the communities. Her first book, Purple Hibiscus, resonated with me because of my experiences in Nigeria and her second book, Half of a Yellow Sun, was so expertly written and wove four amazing human and social stories that I fell absolutely in love with her prose and skill for telling complex stories. Ms. Adichie writes about what she knows well, Nigeria and Nigerian culture, history and society and because she does so, her books include incredibly sincere stories. Julia Alvarez is a Dominican-American who writes primarily adult fiction, although she has also written young YA fiction as well, which are characterized by fantasy-type series. My favorite all-time book from Ms. Alvarez is In the Time of the Butterflies, which is a uniquely narrated book written in the perspective of four sisters growing up in the Dominican Republic under the dictator ship of President Trujillo. It’s superbly narrated and the story just tells itself effortlessly, it seems. Another book I very much enjoyed was How the García Girls lost their Accent, which is a story about Dominican immigrants to New York and their journey into mainstream American life. What these two authors have in common is that they are strong, confident and experienced women writing fiction about their natal lands, writing about their contexts and weaving extraordinary stories of strength and love in times of adversity.



Q: What are you working on now?

A: Although I did not intend on ‘Sweetest Taboo’ being part of a series or trilogy, I decided that my next literary project would embark upon the story before the story, so to speak. Readers really want to know what Isabel was thinking when she became intimate with her school coach, they want to know how she could have gotten herself into such a mess, a mess that involved the authorities and potential prison time for Mr. Stevens, the man she loved most. So what I am doing is writing the prequel to ‘Sweetest Taboo’ that explores Isabel’s childhood and early adolescence as an immigrant in a Los Angeles suburb. Readers can expect complex and somewhat disturbing revelations, some violence, and definitely some tears. Then of course, there will be a sequel to ‘Sweetest Taboo’, where readers will learn about Isabel and Tom’s journey and what their relationship had in store for them. The stories I weave will always include trials and tribulations, but they will also include redemption and hope.



Book excerpt:

Coach Stevens and Vicky were waiting for me outside of the girl’s locker room. As soon as Vicky saw me, she gave me a nod and ran ahead toward the swimming pool, leaving Mr. Stevens and me to walk alone. This should not have been an awkward moment for either one of us; he was my coach and I was a swimmer on his team. Time spent alone before a meet should have consisted of some last words of wisdom or encouragement. Perhaps we would have discussed the races I was to swim, and my chances against the other team. We may also have talked about the classes he taught, and whether I would be using them to pad my transcript in the next two years.
Instead, though, we said nothing, and the thirty seconds it took us to walk to the poolside were slow and tense. I searched for words that would break the silence, but came up with nothing. This was the chance I had been waiting for – Mr. Stevens was walking next to me, with no one else around. I could have said anything I wanted. But my mind stubbornly refused to tick, and my lips remained glued together.
I noticed instead the confident momentum of his walk, and the proximity of his body to mine. He was close to me – almost close enough to graze my hand with his own. Certainly closer than he should have been. He seemed to tower over me, although he was only about 6 inches taller than I was. That height comforted me; I felt protected in his presence.
He must have felt the awkwardness of the silence, too, because he stopped walking and turned toward me. I stopped in turn and looked up at him.
“Isabel, are you nervous?” he asked quietly.
I had been so preoccupied with my thoughts and fantasies that I replied without thinking. “No, you don’t make me nervous.”
He drew back, confused, and I felt my cheeks flush crimson. I had misread the situation, and grasped for a way to save the conversation.
“Um, what I mean is, are you trying to make me nervous about my event?” I asked quickly, smiling. “If you are, it’s not working,” I forced another bright smile and ducked my head, looking up at him through my lashes.
He laughed and placed his hand on the back of my neck, pressing his fingers softly to my skin. I stopped breathing, reveling in the feel of his fingertips caressing me. He leaned forward to speak closer to my ear.
“You’ve got nothing to be nervous about, young lady. And you certainly don’t need to be nervous about me.”
I blushed again, and he released me. He had understood my statement, then, and seen through my attempt to cover the mistake. I looked up at him and smiled, then turned and walked toward the pool. As I put my cap on, though, I turned to look at him again, and caught the smile that lingered at the corner of his mouth. My heart hammered at my ribcage and my knees grew weak, but I forced myself to turn away and focus on the upcoming meet.





AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, daughter of European immigrants, Eva Márquez has spent most of her life outside of her home country. At the age of five, Eva accompanied her parents to the United States, where the family settled permanently. After graduating from university, she went on to complete graduate studies in International Relations in Spain. Eva received her Master of International Studies degree from the University of Sydney and went on to work in the global health field in Sub Saharan Africa and South East Asia. Eva currently resides in Southern Africa.

Links:
www.SweetestTabooBook.com (website AND blog)
@EvaAuthor (Twitter)
www.goodreads.com/eva_marquez (GoodReads)
http://youtu.be/flff2TcA4AQ (Official Book Trailer on YouTube)



Eva will award a Kindle touch to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a swag pack of goodies to one commenter at each stop. So make sure you leave a comment!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Violet Midnight Release Day Blitz



Violet Midnight
Violet Night, #1
ISBN: 9781937254810
Amazon Paper: http://amzn.to/TICHVl  
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/RzVLHT



Book Blurb for Violet Midnight:

Let the Hunt begin….
Blending in with her college co-eds proves difficult for vampire Hunter, Emma Martin, considering the mystical tattoo on her wrist glows whenever Vamps are near. And after three months of silence, the glow is back with a vengeance.
Jake Cunningham witnesses Emma, a violet-eyed beauty, using unimaginable powers to fight off a fanged creature. Finally, after two years of searching, he may have found out what he’s become—a Hunter, like Emma.
Thankful for an ally in the fight against the Vamps, Emma finds hope and comfort in Jake’s arms. As she learns more about her new love’s family and its dark heritage, she may be forced not only to hunt them but to sacrifice her life to save Jake’s soul.
“Rush hooked me from page one! Fast-paced, gripping, this tale of vampire hunters is full of action and suspense. A great read! Buffy had better watch out…Emma Martin is one hunter to watch!” -Cynthia Eden, National Best-selling Author

***A portion of all proceeds benefits cancer research and awareness***




My good writing friend, and fellow New Adult Author, Victoria Smith, has a few questions for my character, JAKE, from my new release, Violet Midnight. She’s read the book and wanted know a little more “behind the scenes” stuff about this mysterious guy who stole Emma’s heart.

Victoria Smith: So Jake, I think what most of us are just dying to know is what were your first impressions of Emma?
Jake Cunningham: She was an absolute stunner. I saw her across a sea of people at a Frat party. She had such a commanding presence, and I knew right away I had to get to know her. And then when I saw her kicking those Vamps’ assess…I knew she was something special.
VS: If you could visit any place in the world where would it be?
JC: That’s a tough one. Being an orphan and spending most of my young life in group homes, I got to day dream a lot so I have quite a few places I’d like to visit. One would be Grand Cayman Island. The sun, beach, and the white sands…I just want to lay there and not do anything but read and relax. Dealing with all these Vamp things here on campus all the time…it gets a little tense pretty often. I wouldn’t mind traveling through Italy and Paris someday, too.
VS: What are three words that would best describe you?
JC: Determined because I was focused on making something for myself despite being an orphan. Loyal because once I’m your friend, I’ll stand beside you through anything. Insecure because of my nomadic upbringing. I’m often worried my situation will change at a moment’s notice.
VS: Say a genie grants you one single wish, what would it be and why?
JC: That I could have a normal life with Emma. With Vamps lurking…that’s unlikely, but a Genie can trump a Vamp right?
~~~

Thanks, Victoria and Jake! I’m the author of the story and even I didn’t know Jake wanted to visit Italy or Paris some day.
I might have to write that into the story somehow, huh?
Thanks, everyone, for celebrating the release of Violet Midnight with me.


Emma Martin had never killed a human, at least not intentionally, but her best friend, Ava, might be the first. “No. I told you. I’m not going on a blind date, so drop it already.”
Considering she battled demons on a regular basis, few things in the world scared Emma. But the one thing she feared most was giving her heart away, then losing that person.
Been there, done that. Never again.
“Fine. You’re so stubborn. At least come to the party.” Ava wove her arm through Emma’s and dragged her across the campus, toward their dorm. “Your arms are freezing, Em, why are you wearing a tank top? I know we live in the desert, but we’re up north.”
“It’s not that cold out.” Then again, Emma didn’t feel the cold, or heat for that matter, but Ava didn’t know that.
No one did.
No one could ever know.
“Whatever,” Ava said. “So, come on, already. I’ve got two hours to beautify you. The football game will be over soon, and I’m in the mood to have some fun.”
“Ava, no. I said no more blind date—” Pulsing pain stabbed Emma’s wrist. She stopped and doubled over, clutching her wrist to her stomach to hide the glowing mark on her skin. Darn Vamp detector hadn’t ignited in over three months. What the hell?
“What’s wrong?” Ava grabbed Emma’s shoulder.
She hugged her midsection. Now that the initial surprise had passed, she had to keep the pulsing light hidden from Ava. Otherwise, there’d have to be another mind-wipe.
Wonder if too many mind-wipes can harm a brain?
“Nothing. Just a cramp.” Emma stood straight, scanning the area. She never got cramps, but she had to cover when her wrist morphed into a freaky orange lighthouse beam. “I’ll be fine in a second.”
Everyone thought Emma’s mark was a normal tattoo, but they didn’t know how it came to life when the bloodsuckers were near. She slipped her hand over the piercing orange flare, silently chastising herself for not wearing her thick-band watch.
Three months, no Vamps—she’d gotten lazy.
Time to snap into Hunter mode to keep Ava safe. No way was Emma about to lose her best friend to one of those fanged beasts. She’d already lost too much.
Emma scanned the empty courtyard. The dark fence of trees encircling the campus seemed calm. No bobbing red orbs—a tell-tale sign of a hungry Vamp. Until they fixed their sights on dinner, their eyes stayed black as coal.
Ava whipped out her massive, pink leather purse. “Here, I’ve got Advil.”
“Never mind. We’re almost to the room. I’ll grab some there.” Emma straightened and rubbed her wrist while scanning the area. A couple of lights lining the sidewalk to their dorm barely made a dent in the darkening sky.
Movement to her right caught Emma’s attention. Her heart stuttered. Every muscle tensed. She needed to get Ava out of here.
“Let’s go.” Emma latched onto her elbow and hurried her along the sidewalk. Emma caught a flare of orange against the leg of her denim jeans. The Vamps must be closing in.
Bushes to the left, silent academic buildings behind them and the open courtyard to their right. She glanced over her shoulder at the mazes of deserted sidewalks leading to the various campus buildings. Slate-colored clouds rolled in, chasing away the remaining light of the setting sun. That didn’t help, despite her heightened vision.
“What’s the rush? Jeez. I’m not one of your workout buddies, Em.” Ava stumbled. “If I break a heel on these Jimmy Choos, you and I are going to have words.”
“Oh, sorry. I just want to get back to the room and get ready for the party. You said Todd was going to be there, right? I bet you’re anxious to see him again. It’s what, your third date? That’s a record for you.”
“Jerk. But you’re right. I want to look nice for him. And remember, you said I can get you prettied up a little, too.”
“I did not say you could pretty me up.” Thankfully, Ava was easily distracted.
Emma continued to hurry her roomie along. Another flare of orange pulsed. Only a hundred feet to the dorms. One more cluster of bushes to pass.
A fist that could have passed as a sledgehammer slammed into Emma’s face as a gust of wind whipped by her. An explosion of metallic-tasting blood burst into her mouth. Damn Vamps were fast. Emma toppled into Ava. Her friend yelped and tumbled to the ground. Her purse shuffled to the side along with one of her shoes when she made impact.
Emma spun, working to locate the Vamp. Only darkness. Shadows from the cluster of five, three-story dormitories up ahead provided ample amounts of darkness. Not to mention the light flickering out. Or did a rock just hit that light bulb?
Shit.
“What the hell was that?” Ava pushed herself up and reached for her purse.
“Quiet. Stay there. Don’t move.”
Emma’s friend shot her a wide-eyed glare. “What—”
Emma put her hand up, silencing her, and crouched. She held up her free hand, and whispered, “Crossbow.”
In a flash of white light, the steel weapon appeared in her palm. She stroked the smooth, otherworldly, silver metal, confirming the magazine of bolts was secure and ready to fire.
She touched her throbbing cheek. Dumbass was going to pay for that. And more.
“Okay, where are you?”
Drawing in a deep breath, Emma willed her pulse to slow, then stood. The gravel crunched beneath her trainers as she stepped off the sidewalk toward the bushes. Ava sat on the ground watching Emma with wide, disbelieving eyes. Her platinum-blond hair glowed beneath the light of the lamppost beside her, giving her an angelic halo.
This’ll be a big mind-wipe for sure.
The hairs on Emma’s neck prickled. Instinct demanded she duck. Air whooshed above her, a fist narrowly missing her face. She jabbed an elbow into the creature’s soft mid-section.
She lunged forward into a summersault, then turned and crouched.
Click. Click.
Two bolts shot out and sank into the Vamp’s chest.
White, elongated teeth flashed as the wounded creature’s mouth opened. A throaty roar rent the air as he squirmed, writhing in anguish, then vanished in a poof of dust.
As ashes settled over the gravel beside a blooming bush, she spotted another creature slithering toward her best friend. Emma trained her weapon on the beast.
Before she could fire, two gigantic hands squeezed her shoulders and yanked her into the bushes. Her crossbow clattered to the rocky ground. The creature snarled. Foul breath wafting over her triggered her gag reflex.
Lifting her hand in front of her, she said, “Dagger.”
The weapon landed in Emma’s palm. She spun it to aim the blade downward and plunged it into the creature’s thigh. His grip loosened. Emma snapped her head back and cracked the Vamp’s nose, then pivoted out of his grip. Blood gushed from his leg onto the dusty earth, but it wouldn’t keep him down for long.
The Vamp quirked his head to the side and drew in a breath. He glanced past Emma but didn’t move.
Strange.
He took in another breath. “Can’t smell you. What are you?”
She flipped the knife, blade up. “The last thing you’ll be seeing tonight.”





Driven to write, Lynn Rush often sees her characters by closing her eyes watching their story unfold in her mind. Lynn Rush is a pen name that is a combination of two sources – Lynn, the first name of her mother-in-law, who passed away and Rush – since the author is a former inline speed skater and mountain biker. All of Rush’s books are dedicated to Lynn, her namesake, and a portion of the proceeds benefits cancer research and awareness.
Rush holds a degree in psychology from Southwest Minnesota State University and a master's degree from the University of Iowa. Originally from Minneapolis, Rush currently enjoys living in the Arizona sunshine by road biking nearly 100 miles per week with her husband of 16 years and jogging with her two loveable Shetland Sheep dogs.


Connect with Lynn online
Catch the Rush™: www.LynnRush.com