Tag Archive | Indigo Incite

Review of EVAN ELEMENTAL by Crystal Groszek and Pinterest Father’s Day project

evan elemental

I signed up to participate in the blog tour for Crystal Groszek’s book, EVAN EVOLVED, Book 2 in this trilogy, because the blurb sounded fascinating and I always enjoy a good YA paranormal story. I decided I’d better read the first book, EVAN ELEMENTAL, so I’d be caught up and know what’s going on 🙂 This has been a fun trilogy to read and I’m happy to present the review of Book One: EVAN ELEMENTAL. After the book review, be sure to check out my Pinterest project for the week. Since Father’s Day is just around the corner, I decided to get the kids’ help with this one. In case you’re still looking for a project to do with the kids, it was a fun one 🙂 My pictures and review are posted at the bottom 🙂

Blurb:

Orphaned at seventeen, Evan O’Fion has a choice: let her loss define her or rise above it and become more than she ever believed she was capable of. The problem? Giving in to the darkness that calls her is just too easy. Add in to the mix the ability to control the elements and travel across space and time, and Evan is pretty sure she’s going to lose it completely. Giving in would be a relief, but Evan is beginning to realize that there are people counting on her and that the mystery of her past is the key to it all.

As Evan struggles to put her party-girl ways behind her, she must learn to control her new abilities and face the fact that everything she thought she knew about herself was a lie. On top of it all, she has to face a new town, new home, new school, and a sexy dangerous guy…or two.

Dealing has never been Evan’s strong suit. How she’s going to handle it all and come out alive, she has no idea, but she’s stronger than ever and she’s not going down without a fight.

Review:

I enjoyed the story a lot. It was a quick read and kept me wanting to find out what would happen next. As with any story there are always aspects that I enjoy and things I would change. The story is told from a first person point of view from the main character, Evan. At age seventeen, Evan is orphaned at the beginning of the story and sent to live with a relative she’s never met. Her world is surrounded in mystery from the moment she enters her new life, and she is kept relatively in the dark throughout most of the story. Crystal has a knack for keeping the story progressing smoothly, and I flew through the book because I kept wanting to find out what would happen next. Soon after Evan arrives to her new town, she begins to discover that she is developing supernatural abilities and can manipulate the elements of nature.

As much as I enjoyed the story, I had mixed emotions about the main character Evan and had a hard time relating to her. When I read YA books, I always consider the teenagers I work with and whether I would recommend the same book for them. Keeping in mind that YA books are typically considered to fall in the 13-17 age group, I would definitely say that this story is for the older age range of mature YA readers due to language and Evan’s poor choices of turning to drugs. The story would have been just as entertaining if Evan didn’t use drugs because there wasn’t an explicit “good” reason following the plot development for her to turn to drugs, not that there ever is a good reason anyway. In this case, Evan just seems like a spoiled brat. I can see that teenagers who struggle with drugs and alcohol would be able to relate to the character, but the main plot of the story has nothing to do with overcoming a drug addiction, it was just a character flaw. I would have enjoyed it more if Evan could be seen as a better role model to younger readers. With that said, because I had to get in out there since this is a YA book, it was an enjoyable story.

There is definite character development throughout the story, and I enjoyed reading about Evan as she discovered her new supernatural abilities. I haven’t read a story exactly like this one before with a character who can manipulate the elements of nature. It was very interesting. The only thing I would have liked to have seen more would have been more time spent on Evan exploring her new abilities. There were a few instances in the story that focused on her new talents, but they were all fairly brief. I anticipate that in the stories to come, Evan will continue to discover what she is capable of. I think this first story is just the beginning of more to come 🙂

I also enjoyed the love story entwined within. As Evan is struggling to deal with the loss of her parents, discovering her new abilities, and the obvious secrets those around her are keeping, she is also faced with a surprising love interest, who IS a very likable character. 🙂

There were a few instances in the story when I questioned the first person perspective and choice of verb usage and a few punctuation errors here and there, but nothing that was distracting unless you were looking for it. Overall, this was a great story. *Warning* it does end with a huge cliffhanger, so it’s a good thing the second book, EVAN EVOLVED, is already out. I anxiously started reading it the day after I finished this book 🙂 Look for my review of EVAN EVOLVED on Sunday 🙂

***3 Stars

FREE on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Evan-Elemental-Crystal-Groszek-ebook/dp/B00CNF0BEU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402437829&sr=8-1&keywords=evan+elemental

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17887135-evan-elemental?from_search=true

Pinterest Project

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Father’s Day Project “Dad Rocks”

I had a hard time deciding which Father’s Day project to do this year. After perusing Pinterest, I came up with a ton of fun ideas. I pinned all of the great projects I found under “Kids Crafts” if you’re looking for other Father’s Day ideas. The link to my Pinterest page is at the bottom of this post 🙂 I decided on this salt dough project because my kids LOVE rocks and they were all able to participate in the project.

To start with I sent the kids into the backyard in search of rocks. This was the easy part because I live in Arizona, and half of my backyard is made up of rocks 🙂 The project definitely could have been on a smaller scale using smaller rocks – the rocks we used ranged between 1/2 inch – 1.5 inches. The dimensions for the final project are 12″ x 6″.

After we gathered the rocks, the kids had fun sorting out their favorites and figuring out which rocks would work best for each letter. Once we had sorted through the rocks and spelled out “Dad Rocks”, the kids helped me mix up the salt dough mixture. It was difficult to knead the dough, but we still took “turns” and the girls thought they were helping to knead it and that’s what mattered 🙂 The next step was to roll it out. We rolled it on floured wax paper so it would be easy to transfer to a cookie sheet. The rectangle is, of course, not perfect, but it’s a kids’ project and the kids helped, so that’s what matters 🙂

photo 1(1) photo 2(2)

It’s optional of course, but I decided it would look cute and be more personalized if they made an imprint of their hands first. The rocks cover up half of their handprints, but I like that it gives a personalized touch 🙂 Once they pressed their hands in, I carefully pressed in each rock. I thought each rock was secure, but once it had baked, 2 of the rocks fell out. This is an easy fix with superglue, but I would suggest double checking that the rocks are completely pressed into the dough.

Another thing to be aware of is that if you make a project of this size it’s going to take a REALLY long time to bake, so don’t plan on using the oven for a while.  Also, if you plan to hang it up, which I hadn’t planned on at first, make sure you punch the holes before you bake it. After we put it all together, I started to bake it and then started wondering what we were going to do with it once we give it to “Daddy” for Father’s Day. It’s a little too big to just place on a desk. About an hour and a half into the baking process, I realized that it would look cute hung up, so I pulled it out of the oven, and thankfully the dough was still soft enough that I could punch holes 🙂 A small smaller project, of course, would make a cute paper weight.

When all was said and done, it took approximately 12-14 hours to bake. It’s a big process, but the kids loved it, and I’m happy that it turned out cute. The kids are very excited to give it to their daddy for Father’s Day 🙂 I found several salt dough recipes online and they all seemed to vary slightly. I’m sure they all work, some call for more salt, some call for higher baking temperatures. I just picked a recipe that had a good blog and description, but there are lots more out there. If you don’t have your own salt dough recipe, this is the one I used. Here’s the full link to the blog if you want to read more on the recipe:

http://www.craftychild.com/salt-dough-recipe.html

Salt Dough for crafts

– 3 Cups flour

– 1/2 cup table salt

– 1 1/4 cut water

Directions:

Mix flour and salt in a bowl. To make colored dough, add a couple teaspoons of food coloring to the water before you add it to the flour mix. Slowly stir in the water then knead the dough on a floured surface. If the dough is too crumbly, slowly add a little water at a time until it is smooth and elastic – 5 to 10 minutes.

Bake at 170 degrees on a baking paper lined tray. It will take a while so just keep an eye on it. The bigger the project, the longer it’s going to take. The project is finished when it’s hard and you can’t make an indentation in it. Also be sure to check the bottom. At first I thought our project was finished, but the bottom was still soft. I peeled the paper off and put it on a lower rack to finish baking.

For more Father’s Day ideas check out my Pinterest Page 🙂

Indigo Instinct Excerpt #1

Indigo Instinct for Kindle

With only 3 weeks until the release of Indigo Instinct, it’s time to share an excerpt 🙂 Enjoy!!!

“What the hell was that all about?” Eddie hissed from close behind.

With her back to him, Grace continued to fill a pitcher with water at the drink station. Then she turned to him with an innocent grin. “What was what all about?”

“Did that guy give you his phone number?”

“What difference does it make? You’re here with your girlfriend. It would seem to me that you should be paying more attention to her and less attention to who I talk to. It’s really none of your business.”

For a moment, she imagined tossing the ice water over his head but didn’t think that would go over well once word got back to Aunt Mae, as it surely would, so instead, she set the pitcher on a nearby table and took a step away to resist the temptation.

“It is my business. You were the one who just informed me yesterday that trackers are after us again. Do you really think it’s safe to be flirting with strangers?”

“You’re questioning my judgment? You brought your girlfriend along. What are you going to say when the bad guys show up at your motel door? Are you going to make time for introductions? ‘Hey, Jenna, let me introduce the IIA.'” She rolled her eyes and shook her head. “For a smart guy, you’re pretty dumb. I can’t believe you brought her.”

You told me to!”

“I was desperate to get you here. I didn’t think you’d actually bring her. You couldn’t have just sent her home?”

“Grace, I’m sorry. I should have told you about her earlier. I just… I didn’t know how.”

She shook her head again. “Whatever, Eddie. You made your choice. I need to get back to work. There’s a table waiting to order.”

She swiveled around to go, but he placed a hand on her arm to stop her. “Grace, wait.”

She focused to keep her face expressionless. She would cry later. Not now. “What?”

“Don’t trust that guy. Don’t trust anyone right now.”

“Oh don’t worry. I don’t. I don’t trust anyone.” She nodded her head toward Jenna. “Especially her.”

 

Want to read more? Indigo Instinct coming May 20th!!!

Have you seen the trailer yet? If not you can check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYp3BdFjYqI

Are you behind on reading the trilogy? Book One, Indigo Incite, is only 99cents on Amazon 🙂

 

 

Indigo Instinct cover reveal!!!

Here it is. I am so excited to share my beautiful cover for Indigo Instinct, Book 2 of the Indigo Trilogy, coming May 20th! Read on to enter a giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card, check out the exciting trailer, and take advantage of the final day to download Book One: Indigo Incite for FREE!

Indigo Instinct for Kindle

Indigo Instinct, Book Two of the Indigo Trilogy, picks up where Indigo Incite left off to continue the adventure.

Blurb:

They thought they were safe

Identical twins, Tyler and Toby, escaped the clutches of a covert government agency determined to exploit their extra-sensory powers. Before they regained their freedom, they acquired proof of the agency’s existence, proof that was guaranteed to secure immunity not only for themselves but for their friends as well.

They took more than they bargained for

When the brothers learn that they have unfinished business with the agency, they find themselves reunited with Indigo Children, Liliana, Grace, Eddie, and Rebecka and once again on the run.

They must rely on their instincts

While Grace and Eddie discover that love isn’t always easy, Sarah’s life is thrown into turmoil, and her guilty conscience leads to fear and distrust of her own heart.

Intuition doesn’t lie

There are new players in the game and it isn’t easy to know who to trust

Sometimes the right path isn’t always the easiest

Is there a way to give the agency what they want and still retain their freedom? Find out in Indigo Instinct, Book Two of The Indigo Trilogy.

Trailer:

Download Indigo Incite: Book One for FREE. Today only!!!

http://tinyurl.com/kq4rdx8

Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card!!!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/61050a13/

Add to your Goodreads shelf:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19149125-indigo-instinct?from_search=true

My sincere gratitude goes out to Book Addicts One Stop PR Shop for hosting my cover reveal 🙂

MY BANNER    http://www.bookaddictsonestopprshop.com/

Giveaway and Indigo Incite Book Trailer

In case you missed it, I wanted to share the trailer for Indigo Incite. Make sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway, too, for a chance to win a $10 Amazon giftcard and four fantastic eBooks!

Ready to read Indigo Incite? Today is the final day that it will be on sale for 99CENTS! Get it now before
Book 2, Indigo Instinct, is released 🙂

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Indigo-Incite-The-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00CT9XL42/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390768475&sr=8-1&keywords=indigo+incite

Enter the GIVEAWAY here:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MDhiZGQxYzVlMzIyODA3NmRmN2NlYjBiNzFlMmM0OjE3/
 

Good luck!! 🙂

Interview with author Cyndi Tefft

Between (Between, #1)  I am thrilled to present my final interview of the year with author Cyndi Tefft. I haven’t yet read her book, BETWEEN, a YA paranormal romance, but I have just added it to my TBR list and absolutely can’t wait to start reading the series. As I’ve gotten to know Cyndi I have discovered that she and I have a lot in common so I know that I will love her writing. The plot sounds fascinating so I’m excited that it’s a series so I’ll be able to continue the story line once I finish the first book. Please enjoy her interview and then check out the blurb for the first book in her series, BETWEEN.

Cyndi Tefft

1. Cyndi, I just looked up the first book in your series, BETWEEN, and I’ve just added it to my TBR list! You had me at Scottish accent 🙂 Add in paranormal romance and I’m hooked. I can’t wait to read it! What makes BETWEEN stand out from other paranormal romances?

BETWEEN is about a modern girl who dies in an accident and the 18th century Scottish Highlander who comes to take her to heaven. The majority of the book takes place in the realm in between Earth and heaven, rather than the heroine being tied to this world, which is unique (at least I haven’t seen it in another book!). Aiden MacRae is a grim reaper of sorts, but ‘grim’ is not among the words I would use to describe him. Sexy, sweet, charming…yes! But not grim. 🙂

2. When I write, I am often surprised my things my characters do and say. What has surprised you the most about your characters?

I remember while writing the second book in this series, Hell Transporter, I had in mind that the next scene would be a love scene, but instead, my characters decided to have a rip-roaring fight! I didn’t know anything about it until I started writing and out it came. LOL

3. I would like to interview the main character, Lindsey, for a moment:
 Lindsey, falling for Aiden is anything but practical. What do you see in him that you find irresistible?

You’re telling me! Who would have thought? But still, you’ll understand once you meet him. I never stood a chance. Not only is he hotness incarnate, but his kindness towards others, and the way he cares for me… I’ve never met anyone like him. *blissful sigh*

4. I was thrilled to learn that you’re from Seattle because that’s where I grew up. When you’re not writing, what do you do for fun in Seattle?

Seattle is a great city (apart from the miserable traffic!). I’ve lived here for about six years. There are a ton of touristy activities to do here (Space Needle, Seattle Center with the Pacific Science Center and the Chihuly Glass Museum, the Experience Music Project and the Science Fiction Museum). I’m a little bit of a homebody, though, so I tend to go out with friends for food and fun, just like you’d do anywhere else.

5. I also see that you’re just as crazy about Scotland as I am, and I am extremely jealous that you’ve been there. What did you enjoy the most about your visit?

I’ve been twice, actually, and I would go again in a heartbeat if I could! The highlight of the first trip was visiting Eilean Donan Castle (the home of the hero in my books). Standing in the great hall that I’d written about, seeing it through Aiden’s eyes, was a surreal experience! On the second trip, we visited Orkney (islands to the north of the mainland), where there are ancient stone villages sunk into the earth. Totally cool!

6. If BETWEEN was turned into a movie, who do you imagine would play Lindsey and Aiden?

I actually have a Pinterest board where I collect pictures just for this fantasy! http://www.pinterest.com/cynditefft/between-series/  Chris Hemsworth is the closest I can come to Aiden. There are a few women who have the look of Lindsey, but the closest is a model Rachel LaHood. I can’t imagine what it would be like to see the book come to life on the big screen. Amazing. As my daughter would say: DO WANT.

7. What are your favorite must-have comforts when you are writing?

I listen to classical music while writing, which helps me block out the rest of the world and slip into the zone. Mostly, I just need space where no one is going to interrupt me!

8. What sort of writing projects do you have planned for the future?

I am currently writing the fourth book in the Between series, as well as dabbling here and there on some other projects, both YA and adult. Anything I write will be a love story, though!

BETWEEN by Cyndi Tefft

Blurb:

It just figures that the love of Lindsey Water’s life isn’t alive at all, but the grim reaper, complete with a dimpled smile and Scottish accent.

After transporting souls to heaven for the last 300 years, Aiden MacRae has all but given up on finding the one whose love will redeem him and allow him entry through the pearly gates.

Torn between her growing attraction to Aiden and heaven’s siren song, Lindsey must learn the hard way whether love really can transcend all boundaries.

Want to read Between and the rest of the series?

Add Between to your Goodreads list: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11152377-between

Purchase on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Between-Cyndi-Tefft/dp/1460937104/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1385438433&sr=8-1&keywords=between+cyndi+tefft

Interview with author Amber Forbes

WhenStarsDie-3-1

I’ve recently added another book to my TBR Goodreads list. It is WHEN STARS DIE by Amber Forbes. Along with the fact that the book’s description sounds fascinating, Amber’s interview reveals that the story is sure to be a good one. I am certain that her entertaining personality shines through in her writing as well 🙂 After you enjoy her interview, take a look at the links for her social media pages as well as links where you can purchase her book. She also wanted me to let you know that you can currently enter to win a copy of WHEN STARS DIE on Goodreads.

 Amber

Me:  Amber, your author bio on Amazon amused me and made me smile. Any time I read a snippet of something that you write I sense a quirky sense of humor behind the author. How does your personality play into your writing?

Amber:  My writing itself isn’t quirky at all. It’s in fact very dark. There are no snarky characters in my book, When Stars Die, and there are really no quirky characters in it, either. It’s a dark book, through and through, from Amelia, to the romance, and to everyone and everything else. While I have a sense of humor, I also have bipolar disorder and really struggle from the depression aspect of it—and depression can create a lot of dark thoughts. So my writing often stems from the darkest times in my life. The sequel to When Stars Die, however, does contain snark and a few quirky characters. That book is called The Stars Are Infinite.

Me:  What inspired you to write WHEN STARS DIE?

Amber:  Oh, goodness, there is no one point of inspiration for this. I know a lot of authors get inspired by a lot of external things, but the only external things that inspired me were my desire to fervently write about witches, and then to write about witches in a convent. Everything else just spewed from my imagination—and, no, I don’t have a muse. I don’t believe in a muse. Perhaps there were some external things that perhaps inspired the complex world found in WSD, but I can’t currently think of anything. After all, I started this book at fifteen.

Me:  It sounds like dancing is an important part of your life. Tell me a little about this.

Amber:  It sounds so cliché, but I wanted to do ballet because of the movie, Black Swan. A lot of ladies started ballet because of that movie, but the difference between me and most of them is that I’ve stuck with it because I knew it wasn’t going to be easy when I started it. A lot of people heard about how Natalie Portman started ballet for the movie, and they had this misconception that she did most of the dancing when she did not. She learned ballet in six months, and even though she danced every day and had hours of other physical exercises, it takes WAY more than six months to dance at a professional level. But I’ve been doing ballet for two years and have been en pointe for about one year and a half. I can ALMOST do just about everything en pointe. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done, but also one of the most rewarding things, and it gives me the confidence to take on just about anything.

Me:  Write a short synopsis of your future autobiography ten years from now. What do you see yourself doing?

Amber:  Amber Skye Forbes has spent her life writing stories for young adults that have ranged from paranormal to fantasy to literary contemporary. She still continues to write for young adults and has little interest for writing in other markets. She has also been doing ballet for fifteen years, and while she will probably never dance professionally, she still enjoys much of what ballet has to offer, including pointe work. Every year she has danced in her studio’s production, The Roar of Love, and has danced a myriad of roles in this production. She has also worked many jobs in publishing, most of them internships, from editing to formatting to publishing, and continues to maintain her literary magazine, The Corner Club Press. Her current jobs are writer, private tutor, and freelance editor. She is married to Jeff Ferreira, is insistent on remaining childless, and considers her cats her children.

Me:  What makes your book, WHEN STARS DIE, stand out from other books in the same genre?

Amber:  One reviewer said that if you’re expecting another Twilight re-hash, you’ll be in for a surprise in my book because Amelia is no Bella Swan (Stephenie Meyer, however, is largely successful for a reason, and for that reason alone, I do consider her a good writer even though I don’t like her books). The romance in WSD is dark and is arguably romantic, but it’s incredibly dark at the end. I also have a new take on witches that doesn’t exist in any other book. My witches are birthed from the Seven Deadly Sins that their parents commit on a continual basis. They also don’t have special magical abilities. They simply create fire, and that fire is merely to mark them as a witch. Of course, this fire is more powerful than at first glance, but most witches cannot control their fire. It is uncontrollable, and for that reason, it brands them as a witch and makes them known to anyone and everyone for whoever happens to see a witch cast fire. I also know people are tired of romance in paranormal, but I started this book at fifteen, well before the paranormal craze took off, and it has always had the romance aspect in it—and I wasn’t going to change that just because it became trendy.

Me:  What do you like best about the main character in your story, Amelia?

Amber:  I love that Amelia is determined and loyal, and while she bears a lot of darkness, she uses that darkness to push her forward in order to achieve her goals, especially at the end of the book, when she really feels like giving up.

Me:  I would like to interview “Amelia” for a minute. Amelia, why should WHEN STARS DIE be the next book that readers pick up to read?

Amber:  (Amelia:) I honestly wish they wouldn’t because I’m terrified of people getting to know me and my life. I wish Amber hadn’t written anything about me because, frankly, everything that happens to me is terrifying. I see things and hear things that no one else does. I bear the dark secrets of others. I have done horrible things and have betrayed people I didn’t mean to betray. While she describes me as loyal and determined, I feel anything but.

Me:  Describe your dream vacation.

Amber:  My dream vacation would be a tour around Europe. I lived in Italy when I was very, very young, and I do have some memories of living there, even though I was only like two or three. But I remember it being a very beautiful place, and it seems like anywhere you go in Europe is going to be much different geography wise. In America, I feel like everywhere you go just looks the same—except for like the exceptional landmarks. Otherwise, it’s Wal-Marts galore and fast foods restaurants lining every street.

Me:  What can readers look for in the future from you? Any projects in the works?

Amber:  I am working on the sequel to When Stars Die, The Stars Are Infinite. This will have a new main character. Amelia will still be in it, but she will be playing a lesser role; however, her role will be major again in the third book.
I am also working on a contemporary fantasy currently titled, When Heaven Was Blue. This is about Gene White, a boy living with treatment-resistant depression, who finds himself in the hands of a puppeteer and doll maker after being rescued from a suicide attempt.

Me:  Favorite Book? Favorite Movie? Favorite Dessert?

Amber:  The Fault in Our Stars, The Lion King, and Haagen Daz White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle.

WHEN STARS DIE blurb:

Amelia Gareth’s brother is a witch and the only way to save her family from the taint in his blood is to become a professed nun at Cathedral Reims. However, in order to become professed, she must endure trials that all nuns must face.

Surviving these trials is not easy, especially for Amelia, who is being stalked by shadowy beings only she can see. They’re searching for people they can physically touch, because only those they can touch can see them. Amelia soon learns why she is being stalked when she accidentally harms her best friend with fire during the third trial. Fire is a witch’s signature. The shadows are after witches.

Now Amelia must decide what to do: should she continue on her path to profession knowing there is no redemption, or should she give up on her dream and turn away from Cathedral Reims in order to stop the shadows who plan to destroy everything she loves?

Follow Amber at:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AmberSkyeForbes

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AmberSkyeF

Blog:  http://amberskyeforbes.wordpress.com/

Webpage:  http://amberskyeforbes.com/

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18387010-when-stars-die

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/When-Stars-Amber-Skye-Forbes/dp/0989312879/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1383515711&sr=8-1&keywords=amber+skye+forbes

Interview with Bethany Daniel

reconnected 4                                      disconnected 2

I’ve discovered a fun romance trilogy and have the opportunity to entertain you today with an interview from the author, Bethany Daniel. After the interview, look for the Rafflecopter giveaway for an opportunity to win 1 of 2 prize packs of RECONNECTED AND DISCONNECTED eBooks!

Interview with Bethany Daniel

1.  I thought that the blurb to the first book in the CONNECTED trilogy, RECONNECTED, sounded fascinating, but then I read the blurb for the second book, DISCONNECTED, and it really drew me in. I love that they are based on the same story but told from a completely different viewpoint. Where did the inspiration to write the CONNECTED trilogy come from?

I’ve always been one to follow Hollywood gossip, it fascinates me. I thought it would be fun to write something in that world that’s completely opposite of mine.

2.  I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that you are currently working on the third book in the trilogy? Does it have a title yet? Do you have an anticipated release date? Anything that you want to reveal about the story, or is it still super top-secret? LOL!

Yes I am working on book 3! It is Interconnected Hearts, and it picks up where Disconnected left off but with Krista and Scott instead of Liam and Katy (but they are around!). I’m aiming to release by December 15th. It’s going to focus on Krista and Scott being newlyweds and also Krista gets to put her degree to the test with an up and coming young actress that you met in the Bonus Scene of Disconnected.

3.  I like to imagine actors who could portray the characters from my book if it were made into a movie. What actors do you imagine look like the main characters from the CONNECTED trilogy?

I’ve always pictured Liam looking like Garret Hedlund, Katy like Melissa Benoist, Krista like Alyson Michalka and Scott like Tom Welling.

 4.  What are your all-time 3 favorite books that you could read over and over?

Sundays at Tiffany’s by James Patterson

Second Glance by Jodi Picoult

Family Tree by Barbara Delinksy

5.  When I write, my surroundings need to be “just right” so that I can tune out the world around me. What is your ideal writing environment? Are there certain foods or drinks that you like to have?

My “Writing cave” is my laptop on my kitchen table lol. It’s easiest for me to write when my kiddos are in bed for the night and I can turn on my music and just zone into the story. No real set snack but some Blue Belle Ice cream is always good to write with!

6.  When you aren’t writing, what do you like to do for fun?

I love photography! I got a DSLR camera and its so fun to just take some great pictures of my family.

7.  I love photography too! That’s been a hobby of mine for a while. I also heard that you have two children and three dogs. Do you have boys or girls? What kind of dogs do you have?

I have 2 boys who are “Irish Twins”, just under a year apart. They are the same age for a week. I have a dog who is half boxer (no clue her other half) named Bella, a chihuaha/terrier mix named Soleil and a miniature pinscher named Blaine

8.  If you weren’t an author what would be your second career choice?

Probably a teacher. I actually went to school and planned to become a Kindergarten teacher, and I was a teacher in a preschool/daycare for almost 3 years.

9.  If fans want to meet you, do you have plans to attend any author/book conventions in the near future?

I am having my first Meet N Greet in Dallas with a few other Indie authors on December 7th at the Coffee House Cafe!

10.  Can your fans look for any additional writing projects beyond the CONNECTED trilogy?

I’m currently working on a standalone called Because of Us 🙂 Not positive of when it will be released just yet.

RECONNECTED Blurb:

Katy Warren had it all. A new husband, who was a successful theater actor and their whole lives ahead of them. But then Liam got discovered and once whisked off to Hollywood, he changed. After a night of being ignored for “business”, Katy decides she can’t handle it and leaves. Taking back her maiden name, and deciding to go for a Psychology degree she leaves Liam Warren and his celebrity behind, but she never got a divorce and Liam hasn’t stopped looking for her. When their paths cross again, Liam does all he can to fight for their love even with Katy fighting against him.

DISCONNECTED Blurb:

This is the retelling of Reconnected from Liam’s POV, however it CAN be read as a standalone.

A Fast Paced Love Story!

Liam and Katy were high school sweethearts. Shortly after they graduated they ran off to Vegas to get married. Liam does theater acting and it’s there that he is discovered by Excite Entertainment and flown to L.A.

Once he’s in L.A his marriage takes the backseat to rubbing elbows with Hollywood’s biggest and brightest. One night Liam throws a big party and Katy comes into their house filled with half dressed women. When Katy says she’s going to leave, Liam doesn’t believe her until he comes home from filming and finds a note that tears him apart.

Four years later, he’s tried to move on but never let go of the love he has in his heart for his Katy. It’s in a little town they are filming in that their paths cross again and Liam has to try and convince Katy that their love is worth fighting for.

Connect with Author Bethany Daniel:

FBhttps://www.facebook.com/authorbethanydaniel

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Author_BethanyD

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7085559.Bethany_Daniel

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Review of UNITED SERVICE by Regina Morris

united service  I am excited to present a review of Book #2 in the Colony Series, UNITED SERVICE, a paranormal romance by Regina Morris. Please enjoy the review and take advantage of the opportunity to enter the rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win an eBook copy of the first book in the Colony Series, ETERNAL SERVICE. The link for the giveaway is at the bottom of the review.

4.5*

UNITED SERVICE, a paranormal romance by Regina Morris, was the first adult, vampire book that I have read, and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised on many levels. I expected to like the book, of course, but I was impressed with the originality; it  didn’t stick with the usual “vampire rules” that many books seem to follow. I love the fact that the author took the concept of vampires but put a whole new twist on it.

UNITED SERVICE is almost like two stories in one. It begins with a central focus on the main character, Sterling, a half-breed vampire who is a part of the secret service and lives in what is known as the “colony”, basically a mansion where a large group of vampires live together and are dedicated to protecting the president.

As the story begins, Sterling is thrown into a murder/kidnapping investigation. It has the feel of a CSI story in the making except that the detectives are vampires. The story takes a turn when Sterling meets Kate. There’s an immediate chemistry between the two, but for some reason she resists him. She is an intriguing character and though mysterious, she is very likeable. Sterling and Kate are both new to the idea of love which brings a whole new layer to the story.

I love that even though the book is about vampires, Regina Morris, manages to bring a realistic twist to the story and makes it seem almost believable that vampires could actually live amongst us. I enjoyed the originality of the story.

I rated the book 4 stars, however if I would really give it 4.5 stars if I could. The only reason it didn’t receive 5 stars was because I felt there was too much separation between the detective portion of the story and the actual love story. At points I felt like I was reading two stories instead of one. The plot was fantastic however and the characters were very likeable and well developed. Regina also did a fantastic job in creating the supporting characters.

UNITED SERVICE is the second book in the Colony Series. I haven’t had the opportunity to read the first book yet, ETERNAL SERVICE, but I definitely plan to. The cool thing about this series is that each book can be read independently. Even though I haven’t read ETERNAL SERVICE, I wasn’t lost because each book is a unique story. The characters between the stories are intertwined, but each book focuses on a different main character. I was excited to learn that Regina has two more books in the series that will be forthcoming. Book #3, Enduring Service, and Book #4, Reliant Service. I have added them to my Goodreads list and look forward to reading them.

UNITED SERVICE blurb:

Vampires exist among us. They can be our neighbor, best friend, our child’s teacher … They alter their aged appearance based upon the amount of blood they consume. They move to a new area, drink a lot of blood, and appear young. Slowly they limit their intake of blood and age, right in front of our unsuspecting eyes. After decades, they fake their death, move, and do it over and over again. Most live quiet lives in an effort to blend in. Some however want power and control. The Colony is an elite group of vampires sworn to protect the President of the United States from these rogue vampires. Sterling, a half-breed vampire who works with a covert team of vampires to protect the President of the United States, is the weakest link in the chain for his team, and he knows it. His unique ability to glean information from inanimate objects has Sterling spending much of his lonely life down in the evidence room at FBI headquarters. His current case involves the kidnapping of vampire children by a religious cult trying to save them. Sterling snatches the opportunity to do some field work by teaming up with a purebred vampire, Kate, who is the nanny of one of the missing children. Sterling’s world is turned upside down by Kate. She is everything Sterling could hope for in a mate, and he wonders if she’d ever consider loving a half-breed. Kate is beautiful, intelligent, charming and sophisticated – but has led a sheltered life and is considered handicapped by vampire standards. Will she be willing to trust Sterling with her dark personal secret? Could she be able to open her heart to a bad-boy who’s never known true love before? Together, can they save the children and find true love?

Follow Regina Morris:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ReginaAnnMorris

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ReginaMorris

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6888955.Regina_Morris

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Interview with author Shannon A. Thompson

Minutes Before Sunset    Over the past few months, I have gotten to know author Shannon A. Thompson and I have excitedly awaited the opportunity to present the interview that I did with her. A fun side note before you enjoy the review, I mentioned in a previous review that most of the reviews and interviews that I post are a result of getting to know authors through Facebook chats, Tweets, and emails over time. I love to have the opportunity to be able to present reviews and interviews for my friends. The last review that I posted, EDGE OF TRUTH, was by my friend and author Natasha Hanova. When I found out that my two friends Shannon A. Thompson and Natasha Hanova lived fairly close to each other, I introduced them and they are now friends with each other as well 🙂 I know that several fans of my page expressed an interest in Natasha’s book, EDGE OF TRUTH, and I hope that you will also add Shannon A. Thompson’s book, MINUTES BEFORE SUNSET, to your To Be Read list. It sounds fascinating. At the end of her interview, I will post a blurb of her book and links to access it. There will also be a GIVEAWAY link, at the bottom of this page, for a chance to win your own eBook copy of MINUTES BEFORE SUNSET!!

My interview with author SHANNON A. THOMPSON

1. Shannon, MINUTES BEFORE SUNSET, sounds awesome and the reviews are fantastic. I love paranormal YA stories. In fact I just added it to my own Goodreads, TBR list! For those out there who haven’t had the opportunity to hear about your book, sum it up in 3 sentences or less.

The Light is evil, the Dark is good, and prophecies aren’t guaranteed. Minutes Before Sunset is an exploration of identity, fate, and choice, but it’s also a paranormal romance. Minutes Before Sunset happens through the minds of two young adults as they struggle to survive their paranormal realities and find balance in their human lives

2. It sounds like you’ve been writing from a young age. Have you always wanted to be a writer? At what point did you decide that you had a story in your head that needed to get out to be shared with the world?

I have been writing as long as I can remember, and I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I even posted a picture of a short story I wrote in the first grade where we were asked on the back page what we wanted to be, and I said a “book author.” I was six, but I didn’t take the dream seriously until 2003. I was eleven when my mother suddenly died, and we shared a love for words. Because of that, I knew I wanted to spend my life chasing my dream, and I had to start immediately. My first novel, November Snow, was published four years later. Since then I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to have more publications: a poetry collection, the Timely Death trilogy, and a short story coming in an anthology this October. I will continue, but my ultimate hope is to be in the position to help others follow their dreams.

3. I love imagining my book one day being turned into a movie and like to picture the actors who would star in it. If MINUTES BEFORE SUNSET was turned into a movie, who do you imagine would play the roles of your two main characters, Eric and Jessica?

What a question. I like to imagine my books as movies as I write as well, but if the opportunity ever came up, I hope I’d have the chance to hold open-casting calls. I want the perfect Eric and Jessica, but I also want to give new actors and actresses a chance at their dream.

4. I read on Goodreads that MINUTES BEFORE SUNSET is the first novel in a series. What are your plans for upcoming books? Any new releases coming up soon?It’s the first in A Timely Death trilogy. Seconds Before Sunrise is scheduled to release this fall. Yes, THIS fall, and I’m really excited to share the next part of the story. The conclusion, Death Before a New Day, is scheduled to release in the spring of 2014. Readers can expect even more twists from the next two books.

5. Besides writing, are there any other hobbies or interests that you are passionate about?I really love older movies, especially if they have Humphrey Bogart in them. I actually named my cat, Bogart, after him, because my love for his movies is borderline obsessive. Other than watching Casablanca, Sabrina, and Key Largo on a regular basis, I love traveling, reading, photography, and attempting cooking (or making small kitchen fires in my case.)

6. I read that your cat’s name is Humphrey Bogart. So cute! I’m guessing that you enjoy Humphrey Bogart movies? Do you have a favorite movie? Humphrey Bogart or otherwise?

As said above, I absolutely love Humphrey Bogart. My favorite is Casablanca, which I first came across in 2007. I can practically recite the entire movie I’ve watched it so many times. But I also love other people from that era of entertainment. Elvis Presley is my favorite singer, and he’s currently in my car stereo right now. I probably would’ve named my cat Presley if it wasn’t for the fact that I’m waiting until I get a large, shaggy, preferably black dog to be given that name.

7. I was just checking out your blog. It’s very impressive! I’m going to include a link to your blog so that readers can follow it. Who are authors or bloggers that you like to follow?

Nathan Bransford is one of the main ones I follow, but he’s well-known, and I’d rather take this opportunity to share some bloggers from the WordPress community I really appreciate: Ky Grabowski, Read to Write Stories, Nada Faris, Tuan Ho, Dan Pantagram, Tim Flanagan, and Michael Fedison. They are all amazing, and there are so many more I wish I could share, but it’d end up being an entire document! WordPress is an amazing family I am so grateful I joined last September.

8. What are your top three favorite books that you’ve read so far this year?

I read a lot of different genres, so I want to give my favorite in them:YA Fiction: Requiem by Lauren Oliver, a brilliant end to an even more brilliant trilogy. I loved how she challenged how societies are morphed by culture by using texts we have and altering them to her world. This happens mainly in the first book, but the entire trilogy kept me on my toes. Nonfiction: My War Gone By, I Miss It So by Anthony Loyd. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s about the cruelty of war, but if you can handle the controversial scenes, this book will challenge and move you. Poetry: Unmemntioable by Eric Moure (yes, that is the spelling.) I was in love the entire way through this collection. I have already reread it five times. It’s also about war, but it’s also about finding out who you are and where you come from as well as your perception of language and how it shapes you.

9. When I write, I like to make sure I have my favorite beverage and snack on hand, and depending on who is in the house at the time, I prefer to write in a big, oversized chair in my bedroom. What about you? What are your favorite “must-haves” that set up your ideal writing-comfort-zone? 🙂

Surprisingly, I write best in chaos, meaning I love writing in public places. I need a lot of people and noise around me. I can’t really listen to one song, because I get distracted by lyrics, but I still listen to it every now and then. Currently, my number one place for writing is at Ice Fire Hookah Lounge in Shawnee Mission, Kansas.

10. There are so many fantastic YA books out on the market. How is MINUTES BEFORE SUNSET different from other YA paranormal books?

I like to challenge archetypes, so the Light and the Dark is flipped as well as seasons and other commonly used symbols in literature. The main example in Minutes Before Sunset is the Light and the Dark. The Light is evil, while the Dark is good, but I will say the line blurs. Another one readers seem to consistently like is the prophecy. It isn’t set in stone like the traditional prophecy. It changes big time, and it continues to change throughout the trilogy. I also try to focus on having a productive heroine and healthy relationship example for teens to see and relate to. Beyond that, I like stretching the stereotypes of teens. For instance, Crystal, Jessica’s best friend, is seen as a “punk,” but it really comes down to how she dresses. She still has a dream of being a journalist and she loves social events. I did this to show that how you look doesn’t define who you are, and I hope young readers can relate to the characters because of that. To add to this, (I know, more?) it’s told from two different perspectives, one male and one female, in the hopes of reaching out to both genders. In terms of the paranormal, I created the creatures—shades and lights—in the hopes of stretching outside the usual supernatural beings used in the genre.

Minutes Before Sunset blurb:

She was undoubtedly a shade, but I didn’t know her.

Eric Welborn isn’t completely human, but he isn’t the only shade in the small Midwest town of Hayworth. With one year left before his eighteenth birthday, Eric is destined to win a long-raging war for his kind. But then she happens. In the middle of the night, Eric meets a nameless shade, and she’s powerful—too powerful—and his beliefs are altered. The Dark has lied to him, and he’s determined to figure out exactly what lies were told, even if the secrets protect his survival.

He had gotten so close to me—and I couldn’t move—I couldn’t get away.

Jessica Taylor moves to Hayworth, and her only goal is to find more information on her deceased biological family. Her adoptive parents agree to help on one condition: perfect grades. And Jessica is distraught when she’s assigned as Eric’s class partner. He won’t help, let alone talk to her, but she’s determined to change him—even if it means revealing everything he’s strived to hide.

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