The Forsaken by CJ Hart

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Title:  The Forsaken
Series:  The Abandoned Series, Book 2
Author:  C. J. Hart
Published:  November 2nd, 2015
Publisher:  Clean Teen Publishing
Genre:  YAm Paranormal Romance
Content Warning: Violence and Language
Recommended Age:  13+
Synopsis:  Fear. Uncertainty. Wonder. Those three things are thrumming through me, pounding in my ears and coating my tongue with acid. All words that escape my mouth are wrong; I can’t explain how it feels to not remember—for chunks of my memory and hours of my night to have been erased. Erased? No… forgotten.

How do you forget whether you killed a person or not the night before?

Cassie Spencer’s human life is over, and the resulting consequences are flooding in. As she learns to adapt to her new life, pieces of her honorary family are unraveling. Every day is another spent worrying who Ash will take from her next. Though he’s not the only danger she should be concerned about.
A man turns up dead. Eaten.
The Hunters suspect Ash is behind it—one of his sadistic games. But who is really at fault?
And then there’s the mystery illness Cassie contracts, a disease unheard of by both her father and the elders. Can they find her a cure before her condition worsens?
Not every hero wears a cape. Some wear gray beanies.


Grab a copy of book 1, The Hunted, for FREE on Amazon!


Excerpt from The Forsaken by CJ Hart:


—Ash—
Almost five months ago, our dear leader traded his life, his alpha status, for a human. A weak, pitiful thing barely worth the energy—but good enough to eat, in my opinion. I kept asking myself, Why doesn’t he just slit her throat? Humans are annoying. Wasn’t he bored already? I couldn’t comprehend why, after endless days of playing the doting boyfriend, he hadn’t killed her yet.
But I was wrong.
Even more months ago, years ago, Sebby decided to quit munching on humans and chose to hunt animals instead. That’s when he went soft, lost his spine. He got a job at a record store. What does he think he is now—human?
At the same time, some major changes were snowballing.
The elders decided to allow Seb’s allegiance to the mortal race.
Kat sided with them.
And I decided to torture those they loved the most. Starting with Seb’s new girlfriend. An added bonus was that her father was a Hunter. Anything I did to her, directly and indirectly, he would undoubtedly feel. But when I saw her at the café that day, when Sebby was drooling all over her, I realized the best way to get to her father was to play a little game with her. And how do you make a teenage girl miserable? You kidnap her best friend.
I don’t recall her name, but I do remember her scream. She was a fighter, and she loved to squeal as I peeled her skin off strip by strip. Oh, what a treat it was to smell her fear.
I smirk at the memory, and then I grimace.
Cassie Spencer thinks she’s better than us. Better than me. That she’s good and honorable. It’s laughable, really. Now that she’s one of us, we’re equals. It’s only a matter of time before she screws up again. And I only have to be in the right place, the right time, to catch it.
And it will happen.
She’s the same as the rest of us—whether she likes to admit that or not. She’s a monster. A freak.
The only one who gets under my skin.

 

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About the Author:
Renée Shearer writes young adult fiction under the name of C.J. Hart. Renée is a full-time writer who lives in Sydney, Australia, with a crazy pooch named Abbey and a boisterous, somersaulting rescue budgie named Kaleb. Her days are spent living in her fictional worlds and consuming way too much caffeine. She has an (unhealthy?) obsession with all things cupcake- and coffee-related plus Kerouac and YA dystopia/fantasy books. Renée can often be found surrounded by books, marathoning crime shows and munching on vegan goodies, on Twitter (@Renee_Shearer), Pinterest, or dancing in a rainstorm.
Renée hopes to one day visit Rio and is currently learning Brazilian Portuguese.
 We are so happy to have C.J. Hart with us today!

1) Describe your relationship with a good book.

A good book draws me into its world for hours at a time, is warm and inviting, and makes me want to go back and reread after I finish.

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

I’ve been writing stories ever since I could write, and I’m proud of all my stories, especially the earlier stuff, as they helped cement my love of writing; helped me explore fictional worlds.

3) Please describe your work ethic as an author.

When writing or editing, I treat being an author as a real job, and am usually at my desk from 9am-3pm. Sometimes, I start at 8am if I’m raring to go. I’m not much of a procrastinator when it comes to writing, because it’s something I love, and while I don’t write every day (usually every second month), I can finish a book in about a month and a half.

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

I make sure to take breaks and have a couple days off to spend with family, friends, or reading. I’m not always good at keeping the balance.

5) Why did you write this book?

Because I had to. I had to get the characters out of my head!

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

Nothing for my YA books (they’re shifters—I don’t have personal experience with that), but for my adult books, there are stalker exes and caffeine addictions…yep, I totally have experience with that 😉

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

I haven’t really looked that far ahead as an author. Being a bestselling author would be awesome. Personally, I also would like to become a foster parent for animals that don’t currently have a home. I’m a HUGE animal lover, and even though that would be hard work, I think it could be just as fulfilling as being a bestseller.

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

I once wrote a book about a skateboarding zebra.

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Clean Teen Publishing Links:






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Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • If US, the winner will receive a mystery box from Clean Teen Publishing
  • If International, the winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card.
Ends November 22nd at Midnight (EST)

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The Innocent by Michelle K. Pickett

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Title:  The Innocent
Series:  The Milayna Series, Book 3
Author:  Michelle K. Pickett
Published:  November 3, 2015
Publisher:  Clean Teen Publishing
Genre:  YAm Paranormal Romance
Content Warning:  Violence and Language
Recommended Age:  16+
Synopsis:  A year ago, eighteen year-old Milayna fought Azazel, Hell’s angel, for her soul. She thought she’d seen the last of him, but he’s back, and he’s brought his friends with him. The Four Brothers want Milayna’s life, and they have wicked powers to use to take it.
While Milayna struggles against the Four Brothers, she also has to fight Azazel for her younger brother’s soul. Ben is at a crucial point in his life—a time when he is weakest to Azazel and his powers. Milayna has to shield her brother from Azazel until Ben reaches the age of accountability and enters a period of safety from Azazel and his soul-sucking demons.
As if having four demon brothers out to end her life and Hell’s angel out to steal her brother’s soul wasn’t enough, Milayna is still reeling from the disappearance of Chay. Can she find him in time to save their relationship? Or will the constant struggle with Hell and all its evil send her seeking comfort in the arms of Xavier?
 
Grab your copy of book 1, Milayna, for FREE on Amazon!




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About the Author:
Michelle is the bestselling author of the young adult novel “PODs.” She was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, but now lives in a sleepy suburb outside Houston with her extremely supportive husband, three school-aged children, a 125 pound “lap dog,” and a very snooty cat.
Red Bull or Monster Khaos are her coffee of choice, and she can’t write without peanut butter M&Ms and a hoodie. A hopeful romantic; she loves a swoon-worthy ending that will give her butterflies for days. She writes across genres in the young adult and new adult age groups. She loves to hear from her readers.
Michelle signed her new young adult contemporary novel— Unspeakable, with Clean Teen Publishing in 2014.
 
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Clean Teen Publishing Links:
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Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • If US, the winner will receive a mystery box from Clean Teen Publishing
  • If International, the winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card.
Ends November 9th at Midnight (EST)

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The Forsaken by C.J. Hart Book Blitz

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Title:  The Forsaken
Series:  The Abandoned Series, Book 2
Author:  C. J. Hart
Published:  November 2nd, 2015  
Publisher:  Clean Teen Publishing
Genre:  YAm Paranormal Romance
Content Warning:   Violence and Language
Recommended Age:  13+

Synopsis:  Fear. Uncertainty. Wonder. Those three things are thrumming through me, pounding in my ears and coating my tongue with acid. All words that escape my mouth are wrong; I can’t explain how it feels to not remember—for chunks of my memory and hours of my night to have been erased. Erased? No… forgotten.
How do you forget whether you killed a person or not the night before?

Cassie Spencer’s human life is over, and the resulting consequences are flooding in. As she learns to adapt to her new life, pieces of her honorary family are unraveling. Every day is another spent worrying who Ash will take from her next. Though he’s not the only danger she should be concerned about.

A man turns up dead. Eaten.

The Hunters suspect Ash is behind it—one of his sadistic games. But who is really at fault?
And then there’s the mystery illness Cassie contracts, a disease unheard of by both her father and the elders. Can they find her a cure before her condition worsens?

Not every hero wears a cape. Some wear gray beanies.


Grab a copy of book 1, The Hunted, for FREE on Amazon!


Excerpt from The Forsaken by C. J. Hart:


—Ash—
Almost five months ago, our dear leader traded his life, his alpha status, for a human. A weak, pitiful thing barely worth the energy—but good enough to eat, in my opinion. I kept asking myself, Why doesn’t he just slit her throat? Humans are annoying. Wasn’t he bored already? I couldn’t comprehend why, after endless days of playing the doting boyfriend, he hadn’t killed her yet.
But I was wrong.
Even more months ago, years ago, Sebby decided to quit munching on humans and chose to hunt animals instead. That’s when he went soft, lost his spine. He got a job at a record store. What does he think he is now—human?
At the same time, some major changes were snowballing.
The elders decided to allow Seb’s allegiance to the mortal race.
Kat sided with them.
And I decided to torture those they loved the most. Starting with Seb’s new girlfriend. An added bonus was that her father was a Hunter. Anything I did to her, directly and indirectly, he would undoubtedly feel. But when I saw her at the café that day, when Sebby was drooling all over her, I realized the best way to get to her father was to play a little game with her. And how do you make a teenage girl miserable? You kidnap her best friend.
I don’t recall her name, but I do remember her scream. She was a fighter, and she loved to squeal as I peeled her skin off strip by strip. Oh, what a treat it was to smell her fear.
I smirk at the memory, and then I grimace.
Cassie Spencer thinks she’s better than us. Better than me. That she’s good and honorable. It’s laughable, really. Now that she’s one of us, we’re equals. It’s only a matter of time before she screws up again. And I only have to be in the right place, the right time, to catch it.
And it will happen.
She’s the same as the rest of us—whether she likes to admit that or not. She’s a monster. A freak.
The only one who gets under my skin.




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About the Author:
Renée Shearer writes young adult fiction under the name of C.J. Hart. Renée is a full-time writer who lives in Sydney, Australia, with a crazy pooch named Abbey and a boisterous, somersaulting rescue budgie named Kaleb. Her days are spent living in her fictional worlds and consuming way too much caffeine. She has an (unhealthy?) obsession with all things cupcake- and coffee-related plus Kerouac and YA dystopia/fantasy books. Renée can often be found surrounded by books, marathoning crime shows and munching on vegan goodies, on Twitter (@Renee_Shearer), Pinterest, or dancing in a rainstorm.
Renée hopes to one day visit Rio and is currently learning Brazilian Portuguese.



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Clean Teen Publishing Links:
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Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • If US, the winner will receive a mystery box from Clean Teen Publishing
  • If International, the winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card.


Ends November 8th at Midnight (EST)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Witch Hunt by Kasi Blake

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Title: Witch Hunt
Series:  The Witch Game Novels, Book Two
Author:  Kasi Blake
Published:  October 6th, 2015
Publisher:  Clean Teen Publishing
Genre:  YA Paranormal Romance
Synopsis:
A magical game of hide-and-seek begins.
Find the missing player and win.
The game resets.
They all forget and start the game again.

Seventeen-year-old Starr Hughes hasn’t believed in magic since the day her mother died. As an aspiring reporter, the only thing she cares about is cold, hard facts. So when she hears the popular kids at school (the It-Squad) are about to start a secret game, she wants every detail, especially since she has a major crush on gorgeous Dylan Winchester. Hiding under the headmaster’s desk, planting bugs, and breaking into a classmate’s home are all on her to-do list. With her boy-crazy best friend Lily at her side, Starr discovers that witches are not only real, but they also need her help. Someone is using the game to steal their memories, their powers, and perhaps even their lives.
***Get Book one, Crushed FREE on Amazon!***




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About the Author:
If you ask Kasi Blake how old she was when she started writing, she will probably say twelve. That’s when she wrote her first short story. But it started long before then. Her first characters were invisible friends she played with as a child. In the third grade she wrote a one-page story about a mummy for an assignment, and the teacher read it to the class. Even though she was embarrassed, the other kids laughed in all the right places, and she realized she could affect other people through her writing. She loves to get lost in emotional stories, crying and laughing with the characters, so she thinks it’s the most amazing thing in the world to be able to do this for other people.
Kasi is a hardcore Supernatural fanatic and practically has the shows memorized line for line. If you want to see her freak out, tell her you’ve never watched an episode. Then be prepared to listen to a long list of reasons why you should. In her spare time, when she’s not reading or writing, she does nail art, engages in day-long shopping trips with friends, and takes care of her many animals.
Originally from California, she resides in the Midwest on a farm with cows, chickens, ducks, a dog, and two cats.
We are very pleased to have Kasi Blake with us today!

Describe your relationship with a good book.

I am a fast reader, and when I fall in love with a book, I can’t stand to put it down for even an hour. When the last Harry Potter novel came out, I was up at four in the morning, finishing it. Books are gateways to other worlds, other lives, and I can’t get enough of them.

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

I started when I was twelve, but it was a very long time until I wrote something I was proud of. Off the top of my head, I would say Vampires Rule was the first book I wrote that I absolutely loved.

3) Please describe your work ethic as an author.

Even when I’m not at the computer, I’m working as an author. My stories are almost always on my mind. When I do housework, I use that time to work out my outline or a scene. Sometimes I am writing from first thing in the morning until midnight. Depends on where I am in the process. Because I work from home, relatives and friends think I should be able to drop everything at a moment’s notice and do something for them. That makes it harder to get my writing done, but I manage.

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

That’s a tough one. But I’m a full-time writer, so that makes it easier. When things are going good and I’m in the zone, it’s hard to remember that I need to do other things. Housework and relationships suffer if I’m not careful. I try to remember that. When I forget, other people usually remind me.

5) Why did you write this book?

My agent was having trouble finding a publisher for Vampires Rule because of the whole Twilight explosion. Publishers didn’t want any more vampires. So, my agent told me to try something that hasn’t been done repeatedly. I came up with the Witch Game Novels. They are a cross between The Craft and Pretty Little Liars.

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

Since I write YA, that would be my high school years. I still vividly remember the emotional ups and downs, how I felt trapped in a negative home atmosphere after my parents divorced, and what it felt like to get my heart ripped out by the boy I thought I would always love.

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

In five years, I want to be married with several books under my belt. I’d like to be a popular author, not necessarily a famous one, but one with a huge readership. One of the reasons I started writing is to reach people that I don’t know, make them laugh and cry and think about stuff in a new way.

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

When I’m not writing, I’m riding in the backseat of a black Impala, hunting with Sam and Dean.

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Clean Teen Publishing Links:
 



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Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • If US, the winner will receive a mystery box from Clean Teen Publishing
  • If International, the winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card.
Ends October 25th at Midnight (EST)
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The Hunter Awakens by J.R. Roper

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Title:  The Hunter Awakens
Series:  The Morus Chronicles Book 1
Author:   J.R. Roper
Published:  July 6th, 2014
Publisher:  Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
Genre:  Middle Grade Action/FantasyAwards:

2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner
Winner Best Children’s Novel 2014: Preditors & Editors Readers Poll
Literary Classics Seal of Approval: Highly recommended for home and school libraries.
Synopsis:
When thirteen-year-old Ethan Morus is forced to stay on his grandparents’ old farm, he expects to find weathered barns, rusty tools, and a creaky house in need of fresh paint. What he doesn’t expect is to hear a legend placing his family at the center of an ancient treasure hunt. Or find burial chambers protected by poltergeists, or a secret lair guarded by an ancient beast. And least of all, Ethan doesn’t suspect that powerful sorcerers are watching his every move.
They’ve found Ethan and believe he is from a line of treasure hunters who possess a rare instinct to locate powerful artifacts. Whether he has the instinct or not, Ethan is faced with a choice–search the Morus property and find what they want or lose yet another family member.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReadBe sure to grab your copy of The Hunter Awakens for the special tour price of only 99 cents!

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Excerpt from The Hunter Awakens by J.R. Roper
Mel closed her eyes and drew in long breaths as he passed. A hint of the sorcerer was all she smelled. He was alone.
She waited for him to near the summit, and when he was close she dropped to the ground and approached from well within the forest. When she reached the top, it was clear he’d already begun his conjuring.
The sorcerer stood in the middle of the hilltop, held his staff in front of him and spoke softly in the old tongue. He lifted the staff and slammed it into the ground. The earth groaned.
He looked to the sky. “Reveal.”
Mel followed his gaze. A faint shadow swooped through the clouds and she retreated behind a thick tree. It was the thunderbird—the harbinger of conjured storms.
From his messenger bag, a red orb rose into the air and wisps of wood fastened it to the top of his staff.
Mel glanced above and readied her throwers. She’d put out the thunderbird’s eye if it attacked.
The sorcerer gripped his staff with both hands and pointed the end toward the setting sun, the direction of Roseville. He lowered it slowly and spun, drawing a wide circle where grass shriveled. The smell of scorched earth forced Mel to hold her breath. She hated the smell of anything burnt and the old rock beneath the grass smelled like the burning of ancient bones.
Within moments, clouds rolled overhead. The orb’s red light pierced the early dark. The sorcerer grasped for the sky with his left hand and spoke an incantation that the wind swept away.
The last sliver of sunlight winked out, as if a shawl had been drawn over the sky. A fog chased up the hill like a tidal wave and clouded Mel’s view. The fog moved upward and the sky rippled with a surge of power. All heavenly lights darkened and Mel aimed a thrower in the direction of the sorcerer.
If he knew she was here and came looking for her, it’d be his last act on Earth. She feared no one. She was Hellish Mel.

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About the Author:
J.R. Roper is the author of The Morus Chronicles, a fantasy series for middle grade readers. The first two books, The Hunter Awakens and The Spirit of Steel are now available along with a collection of short stories titled Mel & the Black Rider. Roper’s work has appeared in ChildGood Magazine, Families First Monthly, and in anthologies by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing, Horrified Press, and Thirteen O’Clock Press.
We are very pleased to have J.R. Roper with us today!

1) Describe your relationship with a good book.

Fast and furious. I can’t let it go but also want to keep it on my shelf forever. Does that sound creepy?

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

I started writing in September 2007. I had graduated with a BA in Social Studies and failed to land a full time teaching job so I took a job as a one-on-one paraprofessional for a student with a genetic disorder. My wife was teaching full-time, so when she would spend her evenings planning and grading, I worked on the first draft of The Hunter Awakens. I finished the draft in March 2008. It was an incredibly proud moment even though the first draft was dreadful.

3) Please describe your work ethic as an author.

As a full time teacher, coach, and father of two little boys, I struggle to write every single day. Instead I set weekly goals and binge write (or edit) when I have larger blocks of time. Some weeks I am extremely productive and others I fail miserably. I try to celebrate the good and move on from the bad quickly. I feel like immersion is the key especially when the writing is slow. I listen to podcasts related to writing while doing dishes at night (Writers on Writing is fantastic). I read articles from Writers Digest and browse twitter and facebook for quick reads that teach me something. I watch documentaries and true crime for plot and character ideas. To some degree I am always working.

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

Not always easily. Being a teacher, coach, father, husband, and friend of many, it can be difficult to keep my writing time sacred. Some nights are a complete fail and others are incredibly productive. Setting a writing timer for fifteen or thirty minutes can be gold for getting something done even when I want to go to bed.

5) Why did you write this book?

I fell in love with reading when I discovered Harry Potter and wanted to create an opportunity for other reluctant readers to fall in love with a book. That is now my goal as an author. Fast paced exciting reads for kids who don’t consider themselves readers.

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

The setting on an old family farm was the inspiration for the story. From the setting grew the characters and ultimately the plot.

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

As an author, my goal for the next five years is to finish The Morus Chronicles, and a new trilogy (YA epic fantasy), the first book of which I am currently editing. During that time I also plan to grow my brand as a go to author for reluctant readers. Outside of writing, I hope to move out into the country and continue to improve as an educator.

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

I also write under a pen name and have written a dozen erotica novellas. That is actually how we pay the bills.

 

 

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Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • $25 Amazon gift card
  • 5 Kindle copies of The Hunter Awakens
Giveaway is International.

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Cursed Rebel by H.G. Lynch–Interview!

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Cursed Rebel

Title: Cursed Rebel

Author: H.G. Lynch

Published: July 14th, 2015

Publisher: Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Age Recommendation: 15+

Never trust a pretty face. My grandma taught me that. She warned me about the Fair Folk but I never believed her…until I was kidnapped by one. And damn, he is pretty.

But Fin was sent to bring me to his King, and if I want to survive the Otherworld, I have no choice but to trust him – for now.

Oh, and did I mention my sexy best friend is hunting me? I should’ve listened to Gran.

Amazon | GoodReads

HG Lynch

H.G. Lynch is a Scottish Paranormal Romance author, avid reader, and cat-lover. She spends most of her days writing, while wrestling her cat, Sooki, off her laptop. She believes that chocolate cake can save the world, and is highly caffeine-addicted. She loves horse-riding, Star Trek, and snow.
Her books are dark fantasy romances, usually with a bad boy and a bad girl. Sometimes with zombies, sometimes vampires, sometimes other things.

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

We are so happy to have H.G. Lynch join us today!

1) Describe your relationship with a good book. A specific good book? Clockwork Prince is my favourite book, and it’s a love-hate relationship. That book ruined me. It made me fall in love and broke my heart and glued the pieces back together only to smash them apart again.

2) When did you first start writing and what was the first thing that you wrote that you were proud of? I started writing when I was fifteen, and the day I finished the manuscript for my first book was one of the proudest moment of my life.

3) Please describe your work ethic as an author. My work ethic is kind of bipolar – sometimes I’ll write 6000 words in a day, and sometimes I’ll leave a story for a week without writing a word. I have to do a lot of promotion for my books as well. Sometimes I’ll spend hours and hours on promotion without a break, and sometimes I’ll hop on Facebook and lose the will to do anything at all.

4) How do you balance your work as an author with the other aspects of your life? Not very well. I rarely see my friends, rarely go out, because as soon as I leave the house I feel like I should be writing or promoting my books instead of doing frivolous things like shopping and seeing movies. The only exception is the time I spend with my boyfriend – I always make time for him, and I never feel guilty about it.

5) Why did you write this book? I wrote Cursed Rebel because I like to try new things in writing. I’ve written vampire books, a werewolf book, a New Adult, an Erotica, even a zombie dystopian…it was about time I tried faeries.

6) What experiences from your past do you find yourself drawing upon repeatedly for inspiration in your work? Probably my lack of appeal to males. I have social anxiety, and I had an eating disorder for a long time because of stress from bullying, so in school, I wasn’t in a healthy state – as a result, I was small and nervous and felt like I would never find a guy to love me. I like to write female characters who don’t want or expect love, and then throw it at them and see how it changes them.

7) What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years, both as an author and in your outside life? Well I’d like to be a New York Times Bestselling author, and I’d like to have the money to buy my own house.

8) Since you are a storyteller, please tell one good lie about yourself. I hate cats.

Looking at the faery boy in front of me, with his exquisite features and striking eyes, I thought that Grandma had been right. I was realising she had been right about a lot of things. I wished I’d listened to her better, wished I’d believed her when she warned me about the Fair Folk.

Staring into those inhumanly bright eyes, seeing the glitter of something cruel beneath that prettiness, I whimpered. I didn’t mean to, and the second I did, I wished I hadn’t. I couldn’t show fear there, or the beautiful monsters would tear me apart like well-disguised lions.

CHBB

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Bitter Black Kiss by Michelle Clay Interview & Book Tour, JGN

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Bitter Black Kiss

Title: Bitter Black Kiss

Author: Michelle Clay

Published: July 17th, 2015

Publisher: Hot Ink Press

Genre: Paranormal Erotica

Content Warning: Explicit sexual content

Age Recommendation: 18+

 

~ Synopsis ~

 

Former event planner Nicole Riley lost not only her job, but part of her humanity when a concert in L.A., fails catastrophically and the band attacks a rival werewolf pack. Now Nicky keeps her “inner beast” subdued by taking wolfs bane and refuses to become a monster. She’s trying to rebuild her reputation and manages the Bitter Black nightclub where Brody Dunn is the dee-jay.

Brody Dunn, a former special crimes detective turned private investigator, plays on Nicole’s sympathy by claiming to have just suffered a wolf bite. He keeps his past, careers, agenda and just about everything else from Nicole – except for his attraction.

They have bigger problems than Brody’s lies. Nicole’s boss is a ruthless drug lord, determined to have Nicole for himself. The danger increases for everyone when he challenges the local Alpha. If they survive, and she can forgive Brody’s betrayal, will she accept what they’ve become?

Amazon | GoodReads

 

~ About the Author ~

 

Michelle Clay

Even as a child, Michelle wasn’t afraid of the things that went bump in the night. In fact, the thought of a world where werewolves roamed and Dracula reigned king may seem like an eldritch dream to most, but was exciting to Michelle. Instead of turning on a light for comfort, she reveled in the dark, imagining the lives of what was out there roaming the night and frightening those who didn’t truly appreciate how interesting the supernatural really were.

Nowadays, her visions continuously take shape as she brings life to the worlds she has imagined since childhood. These wild imaginings have informed and enriched her storytelling as an adult, bringing a fresh new voice to the paranormal romance and erotica genres.

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Blog

We are ecstatic to have with us today Michelle Clay!

  • 1) Describe your relationship with a good book.

When I find a good book, I want to curl up somewhere comfy and read for hours on end. I want the rest of the world to leave me alone because I become one with that story. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Kindle book or an actual spine with pages book… I’ll grip it and hold it close until I’m done or until I fall asleep. And God forbid anyone interrupt me. lol

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

Fantastic question. I started writing (not very well) when I was in high school. It wasn’t until a few years ago, when my YA novel, The Bad Wolf got published that I felt like maybe this writer thing was something I might actually be decent at. I’m glad it did though, it’s all I’ve ever wanted to be when I grow up. *wink*

  • 3) Please describe your work ethic as an author.

As an author I do my best to write a damn good story. I don’t want to let down my fans, so I put my all into everything I write. I can’t tell you the amount of self-editing I do or revisions to make each and every story shine its brightest.

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

That’s a difficult one, as I also have a full-time job. Thankfully, I don’t require a lot of sleep! lol

  • 5) Why did you write this book?

I have always loved lycanthropic (werewolf) lore and movies. The idea that they could only transform during the full moon has always bothered me. I wanted a feasible antidote to that. I thought hey, since the lycans were out of the closet, so to speak, the drug dealers would figure out a way to capitalize on it. So, here we have Bitter Black Kiss – Werewolves, strippers, drug lords… oh my!

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

For this particular work, a traumatic dog attack was pulled out of my past trauma bucket. Of course it was nowhere near as bad as in this book. Thank goodness!! Some of the other books have experiences that I’ve gone through or that others have shared with me.

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

World domination? Ha, seriously though… I’d love to see Bitter Black Kiss or my YA novel, The Bad Wolf, made into a movie! Realistically, I’d like to be able to write full time and work on a screenplay or two.

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

I’m actually a mermaid. I’m only allowed to be here on land until next spring then I have to return to the sea. It’s like a work visa, of sorts. I have to go to the ocean and wait for my ride… a majestic narwhal. Will you guys be there to see me off?

~ Excerpt ~

“So, what are you going to do?”

He frowned, lost. “During the full moon?”
Nicole nodded.
He’d considered attending the Wild Hunt, have a night of debauchery, but he figured it would be unwise. The current leader was itching for him to join. His presence would be taken as an agreement to become part of the pack.
“I suppose I could restrain myself until the next morning.” The idea posed a multitude of mouthwatering possibilities if she’d agree to detain herself with him. “You know, just in case I’m unable to control myself.”
“That’s what I do. Restrain myself.” They approached her red Mazda. “I send Molly away and lock myself in my bedroom.”
Brody envisioned her tethered to the bed. The image made him salivate. She might run away screaming if she knew he had a raging hard-on. Ideas like this just made him want her more. “You take an ungodly amount of wolfsbane then what? You just wait it out?”
“I don’t like the urges I get. I can’t live that way.”
“Maybe you just need someone to show you— to help you through it.” He grasped her hand and pulled her toward him. She didn’t resist. Her free hand lay against his chest. Her chin tilted up, and her eyes were full of curiosity. His lips were mere inches from hers. He closed his eyes and lowered his head, almost expecting her to turn away. She didn’t.
Nicole’s eyes fluttered shut, and her body melted against his. He brought a hand to her lower back. The other found its way to her ponytail and set her hair free. It fell around her shoulders and tickled his skin. One of Nicole’s hands found its way beneath his shirt. Fingertips fluttered against his stomach then across his chest. Their tongues danced together, and he deepened the kiss. The hand on her back fell lower to cup her ass.
Brody walked her backward, toward the back end of the car. He hadn’t made out in the backseat of a car in ages, but damn…
The door opened though he didn’t recall which of them did it. Nicole lay back on the seat, her eyes half open, watching his every move. One of her running shoes lay in the sand outside while the other had been kicked to the floorboard.
He sank into the seat with a low, sexy growl. Damn, this blonde bombshell… he had to have her.

~ Giveaway ~

 

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Minutes Before Sunset Book Blitz by JGBS

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Title:  Minutes Before Sunset
Series:  The Timely Death Trilogy #1
Author:   Shannon A. Thompson
Published:  July 28th, 2015  
Publisher:  Clean Teen Publishing
Genre:  YA Paranormal Romance
Content Warning:  Violence, Adult Language
Recommended Age:  13+


Synopsis:  Two destinies. One death.

“Her kiss could kill us, and my consent signed our death certificates.”

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.

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 striven to hide.




Excerpt from Minutes Before Sunset by Shannon A. Thompson:
“You look mad,” he said, quieter this time.
I wouldn’t look at him. “I am.”
“Why?”
“Because I don’t get you,” I admitted. “I have no idea why you’re acting this way, and it makes me feel like I don’t know you.”
“I didn’t realize you wanted to know me,” he said, and I turned around, momentarily meeting his eyes. They were dark, shadowed by an expression I hadn’t seen before.
“Why wouldn’t I?” I asked, feeling heat crawl over my neck. “We’ve already spent a lot of time together.”
“For a project that’s completed, Jessica,” he said, and he shook his head, driving silently through my neighborhood. I waited for him to speak, but he didn’t. Soon, we were at the end of my driveway. Eric shoved the gears into park, and I reached for the door, but he locked it.
“Why are you so interested in my life?” he asked, and my heart pounded. I didn’t say anything. His eyes met mine, filled with an intensity that made me shudder. “It’s not that great.”
“I know,” I managed. My voice was shaking.
            His face reddened. “But you ask questions.”
            “And you answer them.”
            His mouth opened, but then it snapped shut. He sighed, turned away, and grabbed the steering wheel as if he were driving again. We remained parked. “I’m Eric James Welborn,” he stated, his voice wavering into an awkwardness I’d never heard with his normally confident and cocky attitude.
            James? His middle name felt personal—like he had opened up a side of himself he’d forgotten about. But I didn’t feel intrusive. I felt comforted, like I already knew the answer before he’d spoken it. But I hadn’t.
            “Your name doesn’t tell me who you are,” I said, surprised by my fluidity.
            He barely smiled. “Maybe I like it that way.”
            “I don’t.”

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About the Author:
Shannon A. Thompson is a twenty-three-year-old author, avid reader, and habitual chatterbox. She was merely sixteen when she was first published, and a lot has happened since then. Thompson’s work has appeared in numerous poetry collections and anthologies, and her first installment of The Timely Death Trilogy became Goodreads’ Book of the Month. As a novelist, poet, and blogger, Thompson spends her free time writing and sharing ideas with her black cat named after her favorite actor, Humphrey Bogart. Between writing and befriending cats, she graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in English, and she travels whenever the road calls her.

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Clean Teen Publishing Links:



Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • A bookmark swag pack and winner’s choice of any Clean Teen Publishing eBook.
Giveaway is International.

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Milayna’s Angel Book Tour& Interview with Michelle K. Pickett, JGBS

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Milaynas Angel

Title: Milayna’s Angel

Series: The Milayna Series, Book 2

Author: Michelle K. Pickett

Published: July 7th, 2015

Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

Genre: YAm Paranormal Romance

Content Warning: Adult language and violence

Age Recommendation: 16+

 

~ Synopsis ~

 

Now that the battle with Hell’s angel, Azazel, has ended, you’d think eighteen-year-old Milayna’s life would take a turn for the better. After all, what could be worse than having the angel of Hell trying to steal your soul? Plenty. Abaddon, the demon of destruction, is angry that Azazel failed to convert Milayna before her demi-angel powers matured. Now she’s untouchable… or so she thinks. It seems even in Hell, there are loopholes.

Not only is her life in danger, but her love life is crumbling, too. Just when Milayna and fellow demi-angel Chay get comfortable on their little cloud of bliss, Xavier comes to town. He’s one angel that’s as hot as the very embers of Hell, and he has his sights set on Milayna.

Now she has the demon of destruction out to kill her, Xavier out to steal her heart, and she still has to take final exams before she can graduate high school.

Sometimes life sucks, even if you are half angel.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads

 

~ About the Author ~

 

Michelle K Pickett

Michelle is the bestselling author of the young adult novel “PODs.” She was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, but now lives in a sleepy suburb outside Houston with her extremely supportive husband, three school-aged children, a 125 pound “lap dog,” and a very snooty cat.

Red Bull or Monster Khaos are her coffee of choice, and she can’t write without peanut butter M&Ms and a hoodie. A hopeful romantic; she loves a swoon-worthy ending that will give her butterflies for days. She writes across genres in the young adult and new adult age groups. She loves to hear from her readers.

Michelle signed her new young adult contemporary novel— Unspeakable, with Clean Teen Publishing in 2014.

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Blog

Michelle is joining us today to talk about her writing and her new novel!

1) Describe your relationship with a good book.

I have a love/hate relationship with my favorite books. I love them because they are just, so awesome. But, at the same time, I hate them, for two reasons. First, they ruin me for other books. I judge all the books I read against my favorites. And second, I hate them because they sit on my books shelf (or Kindle) and call to me. I usually read my top five books once a year, or so. So not only do I judge books based against my favorites… my favorites take up my time, leaving me a small window to read other things.

Now, if you asked my kids to answer this question, they would have told you I’m nutso about books. Which, they’re probably right on some level. I do have rules: Don’t bend the corners of a page… use a bookmark, Don’t bend the spine… it breaks it… don’t just toss a book aside… put it in the bookcase so it doesn’t get dirty or have a glass of Kool-Aid dumped on it… and so it goes.

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

I’ve always written, even as a child. But I never finished anything (with the exception of the story I wrote about Fred Flintstone when I was six or seven). I really started getting serious about my writing in College. I completed my first novel in 2010. It is titled “Concilium” and is an adult urban fantasy. It was published in 2011 by MuseItUp Publishing. I’m pretty proud of that.

3) Please describe your work ethic as an author.

You know, I’ve answered this question, then erased my answer, wrote another, and then erased that one. I could tell you about what hours I keep, my time-management, how I outline, and so on. And maybe that’s what this question is meant to ask. But when I read it, I immediately thought of one thing: It doesn’t matter how I work, or where. What matters is I use my own ideas, my own words, and my own moral compass.

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

I am so incredibly blessed to have a family that not only supports my writing, but will help alleviate day to day chores to free up my time to write. I’m a stay at home mom/writer. Which translates into I’m a mom who writes whenever I can find a second. But my kids are old enough to be (mostly) self-sufficient. I just need to be around to make sure they don’t glue each other to the toilet seats or draw a mustache on someone’s face while they sleep.

So my mom/work duties are fairly balanced. But, at the end of the day, writing is always second to my family. I try not to work after four pm. My kids are getting home from school then, we have homework to do, friends will be over, dinner needs to be cooked, and all the other fun stuff that comes with a household with four kids. But sometimes work runs into family duties, and my family always steps up and helps. Like tonight, my daughter cooked dinner so I could finish up something I was working on (and she didn’t want what I was planning to cook—ha-ha).

5) Why did you write this book?

I wanted to write an angel story, and I wanted her to have some sort of physic ability. I also wanted to write a book that featured a strong heroine. Milayna isn’t perfect. In fact, when she found out what she was and what her job entailed, she had a bit of a bratty spell. But I think this made her real. I mean, she’d just had her whole world turned upside down, most adults would be cranky about that. But, if fit in the third criteria I had for this book, a character that has real feelings. She didn’t wake up with her new powers and just shrug, unconcerned. No, Milayna got a tad upset.

So, I wanted to write an angel, who had physic abilities, and a strong heroine that shows real feelings. And so, Milayna was born.

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

Honestly, I do better when I don’t write from experience. LOL! My life is so incredibly boring. There’s no way I could get enough good information to even begin to write a book. Occasionally my kids will do or say something that will spark an idea, or end up in a book, but mostly I write solely from my overly active imagination.

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

I hope I’m still writing, and it’d be awesome if people actually wanted to read what I write. I try not to think into the future when it comes to my job. It’s an industry that changes over night. So I try to do the best job I can—in the now. Anything that happens in my future as an author is golden. But, I wouldn’t mind landing on the USA Today or NYT bestsellers list.

In my life, if you were to take away the “author” variable, you’d only find family left. In five years, our son will be nineteen, our twins fifteen, and our oldest twenty-nine (OH MY GOSH!), and Larry and I will have been married thirty-two years. I can’t even wrap my mind around that. I feel old just reading it! LOL! If we are all happy, healthy, and loved… my life will be perfect.

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

I’m just as comfortable with a group of live people as I am with my group of fictional characters.

Thank you for hosting me today! I enjoyed being here!

 

 

~ Excerpt ~

 

He smiled and leaned back. Putting the car into drive, he pulled slowly out of the parking lot. “You wanna get a milkshake?”

“You have to ask?”

His lips twitched. “I guess not.”

Chay’s uncle owned a small ice cream shop in town. According to Chay, he had the best milkshakes in South Bay. According to Uncle Stewart, he had the best milkshakes in the entire state of Michigan. I agreed with them both.

“Hey, you two! The usual?” Uncle asked when we walked into the small shop, the bells jingling above us.

“Yes, please.” I hopped on a stool at the counter.

“Two chocolate milkshakes, extra whipped cream, and three cherries… because I love ya,” Uncle said with a wink.

“We love you, too, Uncle Stewart.” I smiled. He was a nice man and happened to be angel. According to him, we were all family—angels and demi-angels. I guess we were.

The chimes tinkled over the door when two women walked in. When I made eye contact with one woman, a tall, willowy redhead, an image of her face flashed behind my eyes, followed by piercing screams. The sound of screaming and the sight of her pale face disappeared as soon as we lost eye contact.

“That’s new,” I mumbled.

“What?” Chay’s voice startled me, and I flinched. I hadn’t realized I’d said anything out loud.

“Um, not sure yet.” I got up and walked behind the counter. Uncle was just walking to the front from the storage area in the back of the store. “Can I do it?”

“Wait on them? Sure, but why?” Uncle looked at the women over my shoulder. “They friends of yours?”

“No… I just… I’m not sure really. I can’t explain it.”

“Darlin’, there isn’t much in our lives that can be explained. Go on before they change their minds and go to Dairy Queen instead.”

I laughed and walked to the women waiting to order. Chay caught my eye, raising a brow in question. I shrugged. I had no idea what I was doing. I just had the urge to wait on the women. I was betting it had something to do with the mini-vision I had when they walked in. Once a vision started, it took on a life of its own. There was very little I, or any other demi-angel, could do to fight it. When we were meant to step in, we had the overpowering urge to do so. It was almost as if our actions weren’t our own any longer. We were at the mercy of our visions.

The pretty redhead looked up, and I stumbled backward. Her face, mangled and distorted, like I was seeing her through a broken circus mirror, flashed over and over again in my mind. The images of her grotesquely misshapen face bounced through my vision, keeping time with the unending screams that filled my ears.

The screech of a chair against the tile floor drew her attention, and she broke eye contact with me to look over her shoulder.

I saw Chay walk toward the back of the shop. He pushed through the swinging door and rounded the corner to stand beside me. “I’ll take care of this. Why don’t you help Uncle? I heard him call you.”

“Oh, sure, thanks.” I smiled at the ladies, searching out the redhead’s green eyes. As soon as our gazes met, the image of her face sprang to life in my brain, her head whipping side to side violently. Her mouth opened and closed, but this time, no sound came. The vision was silent, just a jumble of disjointed images.

Taking a big step backward, I turned away. I sagged with my back to the wall as soon as I rounded the corner.

“Vision?”

I jumped at the sound of Uncle’s voice. “Yes.”

“Who?”

“The redhead.” I peeked around the corner.

“What about?”

“I can’t tell yet.”

Nodding, he stood beside me. “Yeah, that’s frustrating, not being able to force the vision to give us the info we need.” He sighed and scratched the back of his head. “Can’t force it though.”

There was nothing I could do but wait for it to finish telling me what I needed to know to do my job—protect the human.

I listened as Chay took their orders. One ordered a vanilla cone.

How boring. A whole ice cream shop full of sweet treats and she picks vanilla? Wait, focus, that’s not important now. The vision. What is it telling me?

The second lady, her voice soft and melodious, ordered a sundae. It was the redheaded woman. As soon as she started speaking, the vision smashed through my consciousness.

Her face shook violently from side to side to up and down. The screaming was back. It wasn’t the redheaded woman screaming, though.

It was the woman with her that screamed. The redhead’s face, misshapen and pale, whipped around, her hair flowing wildly around her head. Then it stopped. The screaming quieted, and the movement of the grossly misshapen head stilled. For a brief second, I thought the vision was over… until I saw her lying on the gleaming tile floor of the ice cream shop. Her face was deathly pale, her hair and lips stark red against her unnaturally white skin. But it wasn’t hair. I struggled to see. It was as though I was looking down at her from the ceiling, but the floor sank farther and farther from me every second that ticked by. I was running out of time.

“Would you like cherries on your sundae?” I heard Chay ask.

Cherries! It’s not hair; it’s long, intertwining lines of cherries surrounding her!

I grabbed a hand towel and turned the corner. “I’m so sorry,” I said, leaning over the toppings station, the hand towel covering the full bin of cherries. “We’re out of cherries.”

“I thought I saw some?” the woman said.

“Oh, you must have seen these.” I picked the bin of strawberries up and angled it toward her. “We ran out of cherries yesterday.” I lowered my voice. “I was supposed to get more but it completely slipped my mind. Please don’t tell my boss. I really need this job,” I whispered.

She smiled. “You know, you’re right, it was the strawberries I saw. No cherries for me, thank you. I’ll have extra strawberries, though.” She winked at me.

The next vision was one of her sitting at a table by the front window of the shop, eating her sundae topped with extra strawberries and talking with her friend. Slowly, it dissolved from view.

Keeping the towel over the bin of cherries, I lifted it and carried it to the back of the shop. I set it down on the metal prep table that ran the length of the room, the metal bin clanging against the tabletop. One hand on either side of the bin of cherries, my arms stretched out in front of me, I bowed my head and closed my eyes, taking deep breaths to calm my racing heart.

“Laid it on a little thick there, don’t cha think? ‘Please don’t tell my boss or he might fire me,’” Uncle mimicked in a high-pitched voice.

I smiled, not opening my eyes. “I had to make sure she didn’t fuss over the disappearing cherries. And I don’t sound like that.” I laughed.

“Tsk, you did good, Milayna.” He patted my shoulder.

“What was with the cherries?” Chay murmured close to my ear, his breath moving my hair and tickling my neck.

“She would have choked on them,” I told him.

“You okay?” Chay pulled me into his arms.

“I’m good. Remind me to order strawberries from now on, though.”

I jumped at Uncle’s roar of laughter. His round belly jiggled in time with his chortles, making him look like Santa Claus. If Santa were an angel. He wasn’t.

****

That night, the hobgoblins returned. They stared at me through the kitchen window while I loaded dishes into the dishwasher. When I finished, I wiped my hands on a dishcloth and walked outside.

“What?” I snapped.

“He’s here.” Friendly’s usual bubbly behavior was subdued.

“Who’s here?”

“The one who will kill you,” Scarface said with a deformed smile.

 

~ Giveaway ~

 

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Spinner–Book Tour and Interview–JGBS

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Title:  Spinner

Author:  Michael J Bowler
Published:  August 5th, 2015
Genre:  YA Paranormal Horror
Content Warning:  Mild profanity and language of a sexual nature
Recommended Age:  14+


Synopsis:
Fifteen-year-old Alex is a “spinner.” His friends are “dummies.” Two clandestine groups of humans want his power. And an ancient evil is stalking him. If people weren’t being murdered, Alex might laugh at how his life turned into a horror movie overnight.
In a wheelchair since birth, his freakish ability has gotten him kicked out of ten foster homes since the age of four. Now saddled with a sadistic housemother who uses his spinning to heal the kids she physically abuses, Alex and his misfit group of learning disabled classmates are the only ones who can solve the mystery of his birth before more people meet a gruesome end.
They need to find out who murdered their beloved teacher, and why the hot young substitute acts like she’s flirting with them. Then there’s the mysterious medallion that seems to have unleashed something malevolent, and an ancient prophecy suggesting Alex has the power to destroy humanity.
The boys break into homes, dig up graves, elude kidnappers, fight for their lives against feral cats, and ultimately confront an evil as old as humankind. Friendships are tested, secrets uncovered, love spoken, and destiny revealed.
The kid who’s always been a loner will finally learn the value of friends, family, and loyalty.
If he survives…

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About the Author
Michael J. Bowler is an award-winning author of eight novels––A Boy and His Dragon, A Matter of Time (Silver Medalist from Reader’s Favorite), and The Knight Cycle, comprised of five books: Children of the Knight (Gold Award Winner in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards), Running Through A Dark Place, There Is No Fear, And The Children Shall Lead, Once Upon A Time In America, and Spinner.
His horror screenplay, “Healer,” was a Semi-Finalist, and his urban fantasy script, “Like A Hero,” was a Finalist in the Shriekfest Film Festival and Screenplay Competition.
He grew up in San Rafael, California, and majored in English and Theatre at Santa Clara University. He went on to earn a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University, a teaching credential in English from LMU, and another master’s in Special Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills.
He partnered with two friends as producer, writer, and/or director on several ultra-low-budget horror films, including “Fatal Images,” “Club Dead,” and “Things II,” the reviews of which are much more fun than the actual movies.
He taught high school in Hawthorne, California for twenty-five years, both in general education and to students with learning disabilities, in subjects ranging from English and Strength Training to Algebra, Biology, and Yearbook.
He has also been a volunteer Big Brother to eight different boys with the Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a thirty-year volunteer within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles.
He has been honored as Probation Volunteer of the Year, YMCA Volunteer of the Year, California Big Brother of the Year, and 2000 National Big Brother of the Year. The “National” honor allowed him and three of his Little Brothers to visit the White House and meet the president in the Oval Office.
He is currently working on a sequel to Spinner.
His goal as a YA author is for teens to experience empowerment and hope; to see themselves in his diverse characters; to read about kids who face real-life challenges; and to see how kids like them can remain decent people in an indecent world.

Today Micheal is stopping by for a chat about his writing and his new novel, Spinner
Describe your relationship with a good book.

My relationship with a good book comes from the characters. If there are characters I can relate to, who resonate with me, who experience real human emotions and face real moral dilemmas I can relate to, I am enthralled. If a book is all plot over character, I can enjoy reading it, but like a fluff movie it’s forgotten the moment I close it.

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

I always wrote stories growing up, even in grammar school. I think in the fourth or fifth grade I wrote a story called “Tarzan and the Flood” about how Tarzan lured a bunch of poachers into an area surrounded by huge rock formations and then used his famous vocal call to draw all the animals away. Then somebody (can’t recall who) detonated dynamite and sealed the entrance, trapping the poachers. After that they flooded the enclosed area to drown all the bad guys. It was almost an early horror story. LOL I got lots of praise for my imagination. As you can probably tell, I was always in love with nature.

Please describe your work ethic as an author.

I usually begin at eight every weekday morning and write pretty much full time, until maybe four in the afternoon. I take stretch breaks, eat lunch, but mainly write. I keep this pace pretty consistently until I have a finished first draft. Then I do pretty much the same while revising, rewriting, and editing.

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

When I was teaching full time, the job always came first. I had little time for writing except during summers, and even then I was super busy. That’s why it took me twenty years to get my first book out. LOL Once I took early retirement for several reasons from full-time teaching, I wrote six books in two years. I still am involved with lots of volunteer work and do some tutoring, but for now I have time to write and, more importantly, rewrite.

Why did you write this book?

I’ve always loved the horror genre, even as a child. My parents thought there was something wrong with me for loving scary movies. I didn’t understand until much later in life that my love of these films and characters fed the sense of isolation I felt from everyone around me. I was a shy kid, yes. But more than that, I was born with a hearing loss that impaired my ability to understand with clarity what people around me were saying. There were no hearing aids at the time that could help me, and no one in the family or at school had hearing loss like me. Even my grandmother could hear better than me when she was ninety years old! So I was very much in a world of my own, a true outsider that no one around me could fully understand.

Horror films are otherworldly, about people outside the “normal” spectrum, often shy loners like me who didn’t fit in. I felt immense empathy for The Creature from the Black Lagoon, uprooted from his home, brought to a strange place, and put on display for people to gawk at. Frankenstein’s monster, especially as portrayed by Boris Karloff in the first three films, was incredibly sympathetic. He was misunderstood by everyone. All he wanted was love and acceptance (like all of us.) His ugliness frightened people so they rejected him. Those films inspired me to read the original book, and through that story I felt an even greater kinship with the monster. I wasn’t physically ugly like him, no, but I was “weird” in the eyes of my peers. I would give strange answers to questions, or respond oddly to a statement, or react incongruously to something another child did simply because I couldn’t hear correctly. But because I wore no hearing aids and the disability was invisible, even I would forget it was there and think I was just stupid or dumb for how I responded or acted in a given situation. I struggled in every group activity because the noise and chattering from other kids made it much harder for me to understand them clearly. And team sports? Let’s not even go there!

So horror was, for me, an escape into a world where even weird people have a place and a purpose in life. Horror films helped me manage my own fear when I’d be confronted with something new and scary. In Spinner, I attempted to create this kind of horror tale, one that will engage all the emotions, not just fear. The teen characters are like me, outsiders with disabilities who don’t fit the “norm.” But they accept very quickly that something dangerous and otherworldly is happening to them and they use the skills they do have to solve the mystery and save lives. Spinner has lots of traditional horror “scare scenes,” but it also features action, excitement, sadness, the power of friendship and family, and the overriding need for all of us to find our place in the world. Horror helped one lonely boy find his way through life. Maybe, with Spinner, that boy can pay it forward to someone else.

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

Almost everything I’ve experienced can find its way into my books. My characters tend to be offshoots of people I’ve known, even fleetingly. My experiences as a teacher, a volunteer, an activist for children’s rights, my vacations as a child, my favorite things to do as akid growing up, my hearing loss, relationship with my parents, my… well, you get the idea. There’s nothing I’ve experienced I’d be afraid to explore in a book.

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

I hope to get my books out to a wider audience than they are now because I believe the themes, the characters, the situations and issues I explore will resonate with teens if they are made aware of my books. On the personal side, I expect to be a foster or adoptive parent within the next year or two.

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

I once got lost in the Amazonian jungle for three days before I found my way back to civilization. That was crazy!

 



Giveaway Details:
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
  • A Spinner Mouse Pad
Giveaway is US only.

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