Buzzing Series: The Lightbound Saga by S.G. Basu #Interview #Giveaway

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About the Book

Maia Xifarian ConspiracyTitle: Maia and the Xifarian Conspiracy

Series: The Lightbound Saga #1

Author: S. G. Basu

Published: January 18th, 2014

Genre: YA Science Fiction Fantasy

Content Warning: Mild Violence

Age Recommendation: 13+

Synopsis

She wants out, but destiny has other plans . . .

Thirteen-year-old Maia sets out denying the existence of her turncoat mother and ends up finding out a truth that makes her wish her mother was just that–a treacherous double-crosser she could hate. Because sometimes, knowing a hero can be more terrifying than knowing a villain. And being part of a lofty cause can come at a terrible price.

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About the Author

SG Basu

S.G. Basu is an aspiring potentate of a galaxy or two. She plots and plans with wondrous machines, cybernetic robots, time travelers and telekinetic adventurers, some of whom escape into the pages of her books. Books have been an important part of Ms. Basu’s life. Even before she had learned to read on her own, she spent hours wandering in the stories her mother read to her. Soon enough, she was weaving a tapestry of magical tales of her own. Once upon a previous life on planet Earth, S.G. Basu trained to be an engineer, and her interest in science and her love of engineering shows up time and again in her books. She shares her home with a large collection of Legos, a patient husband, and resident inspiration and entertainer, her daughter.

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Interview

Describe your relationship with a good book.

A good book is one that endears and endures. A good book is fun to read no matter how many times it has been read. A good book ages well too. No matter how old you grow, the book appeals, revealing more and more with each read. One of my favorites is Frank Herbert’s Dune. It was magical when I first read it in grade school and it still is as wonderful.

When did you first start writing and what was the first thing that you wrote that you were proud of?

While I took to serious writing only in 2008, have enjoyed writing since I was a child. Back when I was in middle school, we were assigned classwork to write an original skit on Don Quixote. So I did. My English teacher, who was (in)famous for being hard to please, was so impressed with my piece that she recommended it for publication in the school magazine. Thinking that she saw so much potential in something I wrote on the fly, makes my heart swell even now.

Please describe your work ethic as an author.

Creating a challenging but sustainable work ethic is very important for a writer, particularly for an indie like me. Here are my top three codes:

– Have a dedicated writing time: When writing was simply a hobby, I wrote in spurts. Obviously, my productivity was definitely nowhere near what it is now. Now, I write and do other writing related work for at least 5 hours every day, five days a week. I stay extremely focused during the weekdays. By design, I take my weekends easy.
– Create daily, weekly, monthly, yearly targets: I have a list of writing related things to do each day and I finish them each day. This is over and above the 250 words minimum that I have to write every day. I have a list of goals that scale up from these daily targets to up to a year. Having clear goals works like a miracle.
– Keep your resolutions: This almost goes without saying, but is the hardest of the three. It’s easy to make resolutions, but a far difficult job keeping them. As an indie author, it is hard to keep up with the unending barrage of tasks, but I always finish what I start. Not only does that help me attain my goals, but also gives me that boost of confidence every authorpreneur like me is always seeking.

How do you balance your work as an author with the other aspects of your life?

It’s a constant battle with the clock, I multitask like I never thought was possible. I’m an indie writer who is just starting out, and just like it is for any start up, the amount of work I have to put in is enormous. Since I also enjoy raising my young family, I try to be extremely focused when I’m working. That way, my time with my family or my own “playtime” is always a solid chunk of quality time. It has taken a lot of practice, but I’m getting better at creating “the zone” around me at the snap of a finger, rather than waiting for the right time or the right place.

Why did you write this book?

It was sometime in the early 2000’s that I was let down by the ending of a favorite series. The fangirl in me was heartbroken. She thought the ending denied the series a loftier, more perfect conclusion that it clearly deserved.

After a few weeks, the fangirl calmed down and I realized something. I realized that while I had the right to be dismayed, the author had the right to end his/her story in whichever way he/she pleased. If I really wanted to have a world created in a way that I found perfect, I would have to create it myself, and not seek it in works of others.

The following day, during my lunch break, I started what you could call a “disappointed-fan’s-fiction.” I wrote four paragraphs in which my two central characters meet for the first time. By that evening I had completed a chapter, and by the end of that week I had an outline for the whole story. I had embarked on an epic journey, a science fiction book series of five parts—The Lightbound Saga.

What experiences from your past do you find yourself drawing upon repeatedly for inspiration in your work?

Every life experience finds its way out through a writer’s words. For me, the biggest influence has been the diverse cultures I’ve been fortunate to observe up close. I love to travel and the places I’ve seen and the people I’ve met help me weave the tapestries of my stories.

What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years, both as an author and in your outside life?

As an author, I hope to create a vast amount of content by then, maybe publish 30 or so books. I also hope to have increased grip on marketing myself and my work.

Outside my writing life, I want to travel to new places, visit the couple continents that I’ve never set foot on. Mostly though, I want to be an even better Mom.

Since you are a storyteller, please tell one good lie about yourself.

I used to work in a TV news crew. Then I crashed their helicopter. Now they won’t let me get anywhere near their fleet or anyone else’s. How long do you think they’ll hold on to their grudge? Two years? Five, maybe?

Be sure to check out the other books in The Lightbound Saga!

Maia Secrets of ZagranAmazon | Barnes & Noble

Maia Regency ProtocolAmazon | Barnes & Noble

Excerpt

Three Cylopedes burst into the cave, blinding her with their blazing white lights. A trio of figures alighted from the crafts.

“We finally caught up with you,” Karhann roared.

“And look . . .” There was no mistaking Loriine’s lazy, pampered voice. “The gate is still open for taking.”

The third person did not speak, but Maia knew it was Yoome. The quiet girl had helped them once, but if anyone could help Maia now, it would have to be herself.

“I hope you’re not going to try to stop us,” Karhann said. “You see, there isn’t much point in you fighting all three of us.”

Maia gripped Bellator tightly by the hilt and pulled it out. She had to keep fighting to protect the entrance until the communicators worked again so she could call for help.

“The midget dares to challenge us,” Loriine sneered.

There was a raspy sound of weapons being drawn and cautious footfalls as her opponents stepped closer.

“Are we allowed to fight three to one?” Yoome spoke, forever the voice of hope.

No one replied. Maia tried hard to recall that code of honorable combat, and then figured that it did not matter anyway. For even if she did remember, this bunch was not going to listen to her when they chose to ignore Yoome’s question. She backed up against the half-closed gate, Bellator firmly clutched in her hands. As she stepped away from the glare of the headlights, she could see them more clearly. Loriine stood to the left holding a whip sword, its tip skimming the stone floor. Karhann stood next to Loriine holding a basket-hilt broadsword. On the right stood Yoome, both hands clasping a long, tapered pole that was studded all over with small spikes.

The first blow came from Loriine, surprising Maia a little. The whip sword lashed out like a dragon’s tongue and danced dangerously close to her left arm.

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Buzzing Book: Gas Money by Troy Lewis #Giveaway

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About the Book

Gas Money

Title: Gas Money

Author: Troy Lewis

Published: July 1st, 2015

Genre: Nonfiction Narrative/Memoir

Age Recommendation: 12+

Synopsis

Gas Money is a heartwarming, honest narrative that shows how the everyday people we come in contact with can shape our lives forever.

Packed with much humor, lots of inspiration and occasional sadness, the collection of true stories captures the perspective and imagination of a six-year-old black boy growing up in 1960s Virginia and his soul-searching journey over the next five decades.

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About the Author

Troy Lewis

Troy Lewis is the author of the book Gas Money. Troy was born and raised in the tiny town of Saluda, Virginia (where the population has doubled to 769 since his departure in 1974).

Troy and his book, Gas Money, have been featured on C-SPAN Book TV, Steve Adubato’s One-on-One PBS TV program, radio, various newspapers and a review in The Huffington Post.

Since the launch of his book, Troy has had numerous public appearances and speaking engagements. He is a dynamic speaker who shares his inspirational stories with schools, libraries, fund-raisers and book clubs.

Troy currently resides in New Jersey and enjoys writing. Gas Money is his first foray into the literary world.

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Excerpt

As a 7th grader, I became a Mental Health Center client after being labeled a “sexual pervert” by my Aunt Dot. That label was given to me for what I did one day in gym class. After Mumma and Da parted ways, some in my family thought that I was well on my way down a path that was far more sinister.

While Coach Dickens was setting up the volleyball net, a girl (her name wasn’t important) came over and whispered, “If you follow me in the girls’ locker room, I’ll let you see my breasts!” I wasn’t going to miss that opportunity because I hadn’t seen any breasts! I took about two steps into the girls’ locker room before Coach Dickens snatched me by the back of my neck, “Troy Lewis, where in the hell do you think you’re going?” Uh oh. I was marched up to the principal’s office to see Mr. Meredith, and he had Mrs. Arnetta Kidd, the school secretary, call Grandma Latimore for someone to come pick me up. I guess they felt like they had to get me off the school premises as quickly as possible! To make matters worse, Mumma was at work, so Grandma Latimore took the phone call from Mrs. Kidd. Was there anything worse at 12 years old than standing in the secretary’s office listening to her explain to your grandmother that you are being sent home from school because you were caught sneaking in the girls’ locker room to look at a half naked 12-year-old girl? Grandma Latimore lived for another 23 years, but I sincerely thought she would be dead when I got home from school. Faye came down to pick me up, and she wasn’t happy as we walked toward her car. For each step, there was a smack to the back of my head! After starting the car and getting on 33, she gave me one more smack for good measure.

Aunt Dot lived across the field from Grandma and Grandpop Latimore’s house. When she saw Faye’s car pull up, she got in her tan 1970 two-door Chevy Malibu to see what was going on. It was unusual for Faye to stop by that early in the afternoon. Aunt Dot came in and asked, “Why are you home from school early? Why did Faye have to come pick you up? Are you sick?” “Sort of,” said Faye, as she explained what I had been up to while puffing on her Parliament cigarette that came in the royal blue and white pack. Aunt Dot’s contempt for me was evident when she said, “What are you? Some kind of sexual pervert?” I didn’t even know what a “pervert” was, but her face told me it wasn’t good. She went on, “There aren’t any perverts in the Latimore family, and you aren’t going to be the first.” She turned her head in Faye’s direction. “It’s obvious this boy needs some help, and isn’t that what that new Center in Saluda where you work is supposed to do? Help people? Let one of those psychiatrist people talk some sense into his big head! I don’t know what’s wrong with him! I think he’s lost his mind.”

Counseling may have been on the verge of becoming commonplace throughout the U.S., but it was cutting edge for Middlesex County in 1973. Anyone who “talked” to someone about a problem was considered “weird” or worse, “insane.” Counseling worked for me about 40 years later, but that’s another story. At the time, psychiatry was something that took place on television, not in Middlesex County. And if people happened to drive by the Middle Peninsula-Northern Neck Mental Health Center and saw your car in the tiny parking lot, you might as well have posted it in the Southside Sentinel that you had a mental health problem because it was going to be all over the county by the next day. That’s just the way it was in a small town.

Faye made an appointment for me with Dr. Jack Billups the following morning. Looking back, I was surprised Faye and Aunt Dot didn’t set up an emergency appointment for me the previous evening! Faye picked me up at 7:30, and we drove in silence for the 2 miles up to the Mental Health Center. She was still mad at me. We pulled into the driveway of the Center, and I followed Faye inside. She took a seat at her desk, and dismissed me by pointing her index finger in the direction of Dr. Billups’ office. That was my signal to get away from her! Dr. Billups greeted me at the top of the stairs and ushered me into his office. “Have a seat on the couch and tell me why you are here.” Wow, this really is like The Bob Newhart Show! I sat down on his couch. “I’m here because I am a sexual pervert.” A smile creased his face as he sought more information. Why is he smiling? This isn’t funny! I’m a pervert! “Please explain to me why you think that you’re a pervert.” “Well, I was in 6th period gym class, and a girl walked over to me and told me that if I followed her into the girls’ locker room she would let me see her breasts. I followed her in there, and Coach Dickens caught me.” “Is that it?” “Yes, sir.” He asked if I touched her. “No, sir.” “Did anything else happen?” “No, sir. There wasn’t time for anything else to happen.” “Okay, here’s my opinion. You aren’t a sexual pervert.” “Really?” “No, I don’t think you are. I think you’re going to be okay.” “I’m not a pervert?” “No, you’re just 12! Let’s go downstairs and get your Aunt Faye to take you to school.” My counseling session lasted all of 5 minutes, but Dr. Billups’ assessment wasn’t good enough for my family. They wanted continued counseling for the first pervert in the family!

Faye picked me up Monday mornings at 7:30 for the next few weeks, but we never stopped at the Center. At least she realized I wasn’t a pervert! We drove from one end of Middlesex County to the other in her grey 1972 Datsun 240SX for an hour. As we drove “up and down the county,” she puffed on her Parliament cigarettes and drank coffee, while we talked about life, family, girls and homework. She then dropped me off at school, winked and said, “Remember, this is our secret and don’t you tell anybody!” It took about 2 months to be officially “rehabilitated.” Our secret remained just that until I revealed the truth to Mumma some 40 years later. “Are you kidding me? I’m gonna kill Faye!”

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Buzzing Blitz: Nora & Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor #Giveaway

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About the Book

3d Nora and Kettle

Title: Nora & Kettle

Series: A Paper Stars Novel

Author: Lauren Nicolle Taylor

Published: February 29th (ebook), March 15th (print)

Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

Genre: YA Historical

Age Recommendation: 13+

Synopsis

“What if Peter Pan was a homeless kid just trying to survive, and Wendy flew away for a really good reason?”

Seventeen-year-old Kettle has had his share of adversity. As an orphaned Japanese American struggling to make a life in the aftermath of an event in history not often referred to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the removal of children from orphanages for having “one drop of Japanese blood in them” things are finally looking up. He has his hideout in an abandoned subway tunnel, a job, and his gang of Lost Boys.

Desperate to run away, the world outside her oppressive brownstone calls to naive, eighteen-year-old Nora the privileged daughter of a controlling and violent civil rights lawyer who is building a compensation case for the interned Japanese Americans. But she is trapped, enduring abuse to protect her younger sister Frankie and wishing on the stars every night for things to change.

For months, they’ve lived side by side, their paths crossing yet never meeting. But when Nora is nearly killed and her sister taken away, their worlds collide as Kettle, grief stricken at the loss of a friend, angrily pulls Nora from her window.

In her honeyed eyes, Kettle sees sadness and suffering. In his, Nora sees the chance to take to the window and fly away.

Set in 1953, Nora & Kettle explores the collision of two teenagers facing extraordinary hardship. Their meeting is inevitable, devastating, and ultimately healing. Their stories, “a collection of events, are each on their own harmless. But together, one after the other, they change the world.”

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About the Author

Lauren Nicolle Taylor

Lauren Nicolle Taylor lives in the lush Adelaide Hills. The daughter of a Malaysian nuclear physicist and an Australian scientist, she was expected to follow a science career path, attending Adelaide University and completing a Health Science degree with Honours in obstetrics and gynaecology.

She then worked in health research for a short time before having her first child. Due to their extensive health issues, Lauren spent her twenties as a full-time mother/carer to her three children. When her family life settled down, she turned to writing.

Author of the best selling Woodlands Series, she is also a 2014 Kindle Book Awards Semi-finalist and a USA Best Book Awards Finalist.

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About the Publisher

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Excerpt

KETTLE

Time is hard to tell when the lights flicker on and off with a mind of their own, but the frigid air makes me suspect it’s nearly dawn. One day, they’ll stop working all together as the wires erode from lack of maintenance.

I scrape my eyelids of sleep and grit, propping myself up on my elbows. The sound of snoring kids is intermittently drowned out by subway cars whooshing through tunnels. No one stirs. The rattle of wheels over tracks is a lullaby, comforting, reassuring.

Two nights home and now I have to leave again.

I sigh loudly and collect my gear. Keeper’s small voice penetrates the hazy light. “You going already?” she whispers as she wipes the back of her hand under her runny nose. I crawl over sleeping bodies and touch her forehead. She feels a little clammy, a little too warm.

“You feeling okay, Keeps?” I ask softly.

She nods her head and coughs into her palm. “Just a cold,” she says and smiles for me. Her big, green eyes blink, red rimmed. “Mubbee I got allergies?” she asks.

I sling an arm around her slim shoulders and laugh, pulling her to me. “Maybe. Just take it easy today. Make sure everyone cleans up before lunchtime, eh?” She scribbles notes in a frayed pad of paper I gave her six months ago, licking the tip of the pen every now and then.

The corners of her mouth are stained with black ink when she grins and nods. “Yes sir, Kettle.” She sniffs again, and I hand her a handkerchief from my pocket. She nuzzles into my chest, almost purring just like a cat.

“I don’t need anyone getting sick, okay?” I warn with a wink.

She coughs, trying to cover it by stooping over. Her black hair falls over her face in one solid lump. I light a candle and peer at the watch nailed to the rocks behind me. I’ve only got about half an hour.

“Keeps?” She swings around, hair hanging over her eyes and in her mouth. “Come here, let me show you something.” She shuffles closer, looking a little scared. I pull out a hairbrush from the bag I brought home last night. “This is a hairbrush.” She squints at it, waiting for it to do something. “It’s for your hair, so it’s not so, um, hard to manage…” She tips her head to the side, looking for all intents and purposes like a puppy about to have its first bath. She’s our first and only girl resident. “Come sit in front of me.” I pat the ground gently, and she slides backward. “Don’t be scared. I’m not going to hurt you,” I reassure, although I’m not one hundred percent sure that’s true. “Keeps, what did I say when you came to live here, when you became a King?”

“Dat I could stay as long as I wanted and dat you would keep me safe,” she replies warily.

I grip the brush firmly in my hand and gesture to the section of cold stone in front of my crossed legs. “Do you believe that’s true?”

She scrunches her eyes shut and says, “Yes.” Crawling over to sit in front of me, she turns her mound of thick, black hair my way.

I raise the brush to her head, place it in her hair, and make a liar of myself.

*****

The boys cover their ears to shield themselves from her caterwauling.

“Throw her back,” Krow mutters, scowling, which only makes her scream louder.

She bends her head back every time I run the brush through and screeches like I’m actually scalping her. The brush snags in the dirty clumps, and I can’t pull it through. I’ve said sorry about a hundred times but now that I’ve started, I feel like I need to finish it. She needs to look less like a street urchin and more like a child on her way to school if we’re going to remain inconspicuous.

On the hundredth and fiftieth scream, Kin finally storms over. He gets up in her face, and I think he’s going to tell her to shut up. It’s what I should have done, but I feel at a loss on how to deal with a ten-year-old girl who thinks I’m torturing her.

“Keeper, what would you like me to do? I can cut it all off or you can let us clean it up. Right now you look like a drowned rat wearing a dead cat toupee. Do you want to look like a drowned rat with a bad hairpiece?” Kin says.

She shakes her head and whimpers. Then she whispers, “I wanna look like that.” She points to the catalogue I’ve been teaching some of them to read from. A sweet girl with long brown hair in two plaits on either side of her head smiles thinly at us, her eyes round and blue, her ribbons frozen in mid-swing.

Both Kin and I stare at each other and gulp. Then Kin puffs out his chest, swears, and laughs. “If you can rescue women from burning buildings, together we can surely plait a ten-year-old girl’s hair.”

The boys snicker. “Shh!” I snap and then look to Kin. “Here you do this side and I’ll take the other.” We separate her hair into two uneven handfuls and go to work. With my mouth pressed tight, I start, with one eye on the photo we’re trying to replicate. The other eye is watching Kin try to plait hair with his giant paws. I swear he’s starting to sweat. I snort, gripping her hair so it doesn’t fall out.

Kin’s face jerks to mine. “What?”

I look down at the ground, my eyes watering. “Um, nothing…”

Kin holds his twisted clump of hair tightly, a concentrated, almost cross-eyed look on his face. “What?”

A laugh escapes my mouth, and all the boys join in. “I can’t watch you. My God. It’s like watching a bear try to peel a plastic banana!”

Kin sighs in exasperation but refuses to give up, a small smile creeping into his stern expression. “Yeah well, you’re surprisingly good at this. Anything you wanna tell us?”

Laughter fills the rocky space. It’s warm and bright, scrubbing the walls of grime and filling my heart.

When we’re finally done, I grip my plait tightly in my fingers, searching for something to tie it with. Krow steps forward and begrudgingly hands me two bread bag ties, which I wind around the ends. I push Keeps gently in the back. “There. That wasn’t so bad, was it?”

Turning around, she gives me a look of ‘you’re kidding, right?’ and scampers to the mirror. She frowns when she meets her reflection. Her whole face is now visible, smooshed cheeks and pinchy little ears. She looks cute. She tips her head down, and one large lump falls over her eyes. I remember the gift I bought that I was saving for her King birthday. Fishing around in the paper bag, I retrieve two red clips with white polka dots on them. Keeps stares at herself like she doesn’t know it’s her face. I sweep her fringe back and clip it in place. She touches it lightly, like I’ve just put a diamond tiara on her head.

She smiles sweetly, her dark lips brimming with teeth. “I think you should cut it off. I’m a King, not a queen,” she states proudly.

I stall in shock, and then my heart does that proud, pumping-strong thing. Kin slaps my back, and I stumble forward. Keeps draws in a sharp breath as I fall and begins coughing uncontrollably.

“We’re going to be late,” Kin says, extending a long arm in my direction, his eyes sliding to the coughing girl sitting delicately on a faded purple cushion. “We’ll think about the haircut.”

I smile at her. “Think about it some more, Keeps. You might miss it when it’s gone.”

Her determined eyes tell me otherwise. Her sallow, sweaty skin worries me.

We leave the boys and… girl… with instructions and head to work.

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Buzzing Blitz: Sweet Spot by Heather Hart

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About the Book

Sweet Spot

Title: Sweet Spot: Simple. Fun. Photography.

Author: Heather Hart

Published: February 12th, 2016

Genre: Non Fiction Photography

Synopsis

It’s time to let go of the camera guilt. It’s time to figure out what those buttons mean! It’s time to figure out which lens to use! It’s time to find some smiles and enjoy this life! Sweet Spot releases you from the unnecessary guilt of not knowing what to do with that wonderful dSLR camera you have. Welcome to a world where photography equals fun! We’ll go over camera basics, from lenses to f/stops, simplifying often overwhelming settings and equipment. You’ll have real life examples detailing lenses and camera settings and why they were chosen. You’ll find special tips for shooting as well as a Frequently Asked Questions section. This quick read will help anyone jump into the world of photography!

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About the Author

Heather Hart

Heather Hart, loves good food, great stories and fancy cameras. She gets paid to write about things and photograph people. She is addicted to her library card and beautiful sunsets. She lives in Chicago with her family and dreams of warm weather.

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Excerpt

Introduction

I’m in a minimalist phase. Piles of Stuff drives me batty. I purge shelves, closets and playrooms like nobody’s business. It’s less to keep track of and my soul feels lighter. My things don’t own me. I exhale: Master of My Domain. Now, lest you think this means I permit only two black t-shirts and a pair of Nike shoes, minimalism does not mean “No Fun Allowed.” I am firmly Pro-Fun. I have the shoe collection to prove it. It’s not a large collection, but I adore it. Each pair serves a purpose and does it with style. If you look in my closet, you’ll see ballet flats, wedge booties, running shoes and pair of peep-toe heels to die for (thank you Michael Kors). They each own a place in my heart. (I realize men may not be able to relate to this paragraph, but stay with me.)

My photography follows suit. I adore my camera. I have a handful of favorite lenses. Anything that sits unused, collecting dust, gets purged. Off to Craigslist or what have you. I’m not against trying new things, I’m against hanging onto things that don’t work for me. Things that don’t work and add Clutter. Clutter brings a dump truck of Confusion. It backs that truck right up to your doorstep and unloads. So, we are not inviting Clutter or Confusion to the party. They do not get the evite. We are partying without them. They can go find new friends. We are over it.

This book focuses on candid photographs of people, with less stress and more fun. This is our Sweet Spot. Not too hot, not too cold, juuuuust right. I’ll sort through the basics of photography to give you an understanding of how things work. And then I’ll review settings so you can go test the waters and not feel overwhelmed. We want simple. We want fun. We might want some strappy sandals.

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Buzzing Blast: Eli’s Coming by Darcia Helle #Giveaway

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About the Book

Elis Coming

Title: Eli’s Coming

Series: Chasing the Night, Book 1

Author: Darcia Helle

Published: May 11th, 2015

Genre: Supernatural Suspense

Content Warning: Moderate violence and adult language

Synopsis

Eli’s dark legacy holds murder as his rite of passage. They say his ability is a gift. He calls it a curse. A life of violence and heartache leaves him with nothing left to fight for.

Or so he thinks.

Amanda steals his heart, but love makes him vulnerable. He must give her up or accept who he is and fight.

Will he risk stepping into the darkness that could consume him?

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About the Author

Darcia Helle

Darcia Helle lives in a fictional world with a husband who is sometimes real. Their house is ruled by spoiled dogs and cats and the occasional dust bunny.

Suspense, random blood spatter and mismatched socks consume Darcia’s days. She writes because the characters trespassing through her mind leave her no alternative. Only then are the voices free to haunt someone else’s mind.

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Excerpt

The allure of the night is its ability to pull you into its depths, to keep you hidden in its crevices. The darkness wraps around you. Nothing reaches you there.

And you reach nothing.

Have you ever wanted to melt into the darkness? Dissolve into the shadows?

You can lose yourself in the black emptiness. But while you may lose yourself, the night always knows where you are.

Eli Hayes stood alone in the darkness. The night sky was clear, lit by the stars and a perfect quarter moon. Shadows fell across the ground, casting a thick and almost tangible black film. He was aware of the tension in his shoulders and the ache in his jaw. Closing his eyes, he breathed in slow and deep. He stayed that way, quietly meditating, until the pain melted away.

When he opened his eyes again, the shadows followed the path of the gravestones. He squatted in front of a square chunk of marble. He read the name and date slowly, committing it to memory as if he’d later be quizzed on the information. As if it wasn’t already etched in his mind, a permanent fixture there.

He reached out. The stone felt cold against his fingertips. He traced the letters. Deep grooves in cold rock. All that was left at the end of existence.

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