Friday 24 January 2014

Happy Birthday Evernight Teen!

It's Evernight Teen's first birthday and we're having a blog hop to celebrate!

One year ago, ET launched with the publication of Phoenix: The Rising by Bette Maybee. Since then, they've acquired a couple dozen titles, including my book, X5. Many of my fellow authors are participating in this hop, as well as other book bloggers and reviewers, and there are prizes to be had at every turn!

The grand prize being offered by ET is a $100 iTunes gift card. Did you know you can purchase ET's books on iTunes?

In addition, ET is offering 25% off all their books at their website. And there are some amazing books to be had.

For my part, I'm offering a $10 Amazon gift card. Wanna win? Read on!

ET has a Pinterest account and boards for all their books, including mine.  Check it out here. I've selected some pictures and snippets from the book to go with them. For your chance to win, let me know which pic you liked best and why. Don't forget to leave a valid email address otherwise I can't contact you if you win. There are lots of prizes at the other stops and don't forget to use the Rafflecopter to enter for the Grand Prize.

And as a special treat, I've posted the first chapter of X5 under the Free Reads tab above (or just click here).

Happy Hopping!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Evernight Teen Feature: Prevailing Life by Amaris Chapman

Prevailing Life by Amaris Chapman is my feature today (and yes I know it's Tuesday - cut me some slack!).

Angels Mercy, 1
Maggie is a teenager with a secret. The strangest part of her life isn’t that she works in a graveyard—it’s the fact that her best friend is an Angel named Dina. They have lived thousands of years together, but as a mortal, Maggie must die, leaving Dina to find her in each new life and start again.

Someone has been setting fires, and the town is ablaze—literally. Someone or something is fueling the flames, and one of the suspects is the devilishly handsome Justin. With the memories of past lives coming back to her and Justin vying for her attention, Maggie may get more than she bargained for.
14+ for adult language and situations
 Where to buy:      Evernight Teen             Amazon

My Review

This is a unique story and I'm impressed with the creativity. It's got themes of friendship, reincarnation, soul mates, and finding oneself, all woven together. I haven't read a lot of angel stories before and I wasn't sure what to expect. The idea of an angel being friends with a mortal who she has to keep finding in all her incarnations was intriguing.

Maggie is a very likeable character who is trying to figure out who she is, and was, and how those around her fit into her present life and her past. There are a lot of suprises along the way, some of them absolutely heartbreaking, and I found myself getting very emotional. I'm pretty emotional anyway, but Amaris does a fabulous job of bringing out those feelings.

Keeping all of Maggie's past lives straight was a bit difficult for me, and I found that this was a book I had to reread in order to fully appreciate everything that was going on, but it was well worth it! Amaris is hard at work on book two in the series and I look forward to reading more!

Monday 18 November 2013

Evernight Teen Feature: Incarnation by Susan Nolan

In the world of ebooks, where everything is done by email, you can be a member of a publishing house with authors from around the world, and Evernight is no exception. I have many author friends on Facebook who I've never met personally, so it's exciting when you can say you actually know an author! And that's the case with Susan Nolan!

Susan and I were classmates in a course offered by Brian Henry, a writer, editor, and teacher. For more information click here. I was hard at work on revisions for X5 and Susan was in the process of writing Incarnation. Wish I could say I told her to submit to Evernight Teen, but she discovered how to do so all on her own and we were so excited when it was accepted! And it was so neat to finally read the book that I'd only seen in bits and pieces come together as a whole story!

Today I'm featuring her book, but I also did an interview with Susan.

Why did you decide to write a book?
I have always had stories inside me, just bursting to come out.  I actually started my first novel when I was 12 years old!  When characters and plots come alive inside my head, they arrive with an overwhelming insistence on being shared.

How did you come up with the ideas for Incarnation?
Incarnation came from my enjoyment of and fascination for YA Fantasy.  When I look around me, I see magical elements everywhere.

What was your biggest challenge with this book?
Just finding the time to sit down and write.  I found that once I joined a writers’ group, my priorities changed and I began to put writing ahead of some of the other activities that had been getting in the way.

What do you like to read?
I love mysteries…. especially ones that get psychological and deep.  I also enjoy Fantasy, and finding a place inside a magical world is addictive.  Like most avid readers, I feel completely lost if I don’t have a really good “read” on the go. I couldn’t possibly go a whole day without getting into a book. Historical fiction is another genre that can consume me.

Who are your favorite authors? Have any of them influenced your own writing?
I have lots of favourite authors.  Minette Walters, Martha Grimes, Philip Pullman, Cornelia Funk,  George R.R. Martin,  J.R.R. Tolkien, P.D. James, just  to name a few of the more prolific ones.  For me, finding an author who writes a series is huge, because I become really fascinated with the characters I enjoy and love to follow their adventures. Other authors whose works I couldn’t put down are Carlos Ruis Zafon, Diane Setterfield, Timothy Findley and Sarah Waters.  I could actually go on and on and I am sure they have all had their influence on my own writing.  That is one lesson I have learned… write what you love to read!

Fun Stuff
Coffee or Tea?
Tea…. for sure, and I love the exotic ones.  Having said that,  I never say no to a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Cats or dogs?
Dogs…. I grew up always having a dog in the house and continue to do so to this day.  You will probably always see a dog in my books.

Flats or heels?
LOL…. I can’t balance in heels.

Cruise or resort?
I have never been on a cruise but would LOVE to change that.

Half empty or half full?

Absolutely half full.  Every day is a gift and there is wonder in the universe. You just have to be able to see it (and then write about it) !

Katherine Blair has no idea she possesses supernatural abilities. Not until Richard St. James, an intriguing and mysterious classmate with powerful skills of his own, initiates her into his world. Wanting to explore her newfound shape-shifting powers, she spends time getting to know Richard, only to find herself increasingly drawn to him as time goes by.
Haunted by dreams of ancient times, she is caught in a desperate struggle against past injustice. The link to this unknown past experience sends her own life plummeting into the dark realms of revenge and murder, as she attempts to reconcile her feelings for the young man she’s come to rely on to protect her and keep their shared secret.
Will Katherine and Richard be able to break the spell that has held her captive through the years, before it consumes her? Can their budding young love survive tragedy, or will they be torn apart?
14+ for brief violence

My Review
I have to say that I'm completely biased here, not only because I saw the work in progress, but because Susan is a friend, so bear that in mind!

Incarnation has all those elements that make for a great YA book: isolation, romance, rejection, friendship, mean girls, bad boys, tragedy. Mix that up with a supernatural story-line and this book is a real winner. Readers will be able to identify with Katherine as she struggles to find her place in a strange school and while strange things happen to her. She is a strong heroine who tries to hide her vulnerability. Richard is a typical alpha male. He wants to be in charge, he's overprotective, and just a bit dangerous. But Katherine gives him a run for his money. 

One of the things I like best about Susan's writing is her beautiful descriptions. She paints a picture with words and it draws you deep into the setting, perfectly capturing the visual details and the mood. And, as usual, I wish the book had been longer! I got so into the story that I was sad when it ended because I could have spent a lot more time in that world. However, Susan tells me that she's planning a sequel and I can't wait to read it!

Monday 14 October 2013

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Teen Reading Week!

Today is Thanksgiving here in Canada, and I'm thankful for so many things!

  • a wonderful family
  • shelter, food, and a good job
  • good friends
  • people who bought my book (LOL!)
That's not the entire list of course, but I think I got the most important things. So for my Canadian friends, Happy Thanksgiving! And for all you Americans, I hope you had a great Columbus Day! 

In other news, it's Teen Read Week!

Teen Read Week™ is a national adolescent literacy initiative created by the Young Adult Library ServicesAssociation (YALSA). It began in 1998 and is held annually during the third week of October. Its purpose is to encourage teens to be regular readers and library users.

Seek the Unknown @ Your Library is Teen Read Week’s theme this year. Explore and learn about the unknown through mystery, adventure, sci-fi, and fantasy books!

Evernight Teen authors are playing a game of hide and seek this week with a fun Scavenger Hunt you can even play in your pajamas!

What’s up for grabs? Evernight is giving away an All-New Kindle Paperwhite eReader randomly chosen from all correct entries!

Plus, three lucky commenters will be randomly chosen to receive $10 Evernight gift certificates!

Ready to play? Click here!
Visit participating authors:

Monday 7 October 2013

Evernight Teen Feature: The Dating Tutor by Melissa Frost

Today I'm telling you about one of Evernight Teen's newest books, The Dating Tutor by Melissa Frost. It's the story of Ellie, an inexperienced girl who needs help when the most popular boy in school asks her on a date. She turns to her best friend, Alec, for dating "lessons" and quickly discovers that her feelings for Alec may be more than friendly.

I loved this story! It's a quick, fun read with an interesting take on the "falling for my best friend" trope. Ellie is an entertaining character who finds herself plunged into the mysterious world of relationships when Jake, the handsome, popular soon-to-be-prom-king asks her out. But the dating lessons she gets from best friend Alec leave her feeling more confused than ever.

Melissa's writing style is light, but man is the sexual tension heavy! She does a superb job with the romantic scenes without dragging the pace of the story. As with any story I enjoy, I thought it was too short, but it's perfect if you want something fast. This book would be a fantastic addition to any bookshelf.

Ellie is hardly the most sought after girl at Noble High, so she is completely surprised when the boy most likely to become prom king asks her out. Her short-lived glee quickly turns to panic as she admits to herself that she doesn’t know the first thing about dating. 
After a fair amount of wheedling, she convinces her best friend and hockey star, Alec, totutor her in the ways of love. Only once things start, she finds she knows even less than first suspected. Dating is full of more codes and unspoken rules than she ever imagined. 
Even more difficult is the effort not to cross lines with Alec. Every lesson brings her closer and closer to the boy next door whom she’s never had a romantic thought about before in her life. Each caress and playful scenario has Ellie wishing more for her best friend’s affection than the boy he’s teaching her to woo.
14+ due to sexuality and adult situations

Buy Links:        Evernight Teen            Amazon

Monday 30 September 2013

Evernight Teen Feature: Shrapnel by Stephanie Lawton

Shrapnel by Stephanie Lawton is my feature today. This is a cool concept for a book - a reality show about teenagers who have psychic abilities and are thrown together in a haunted house for the weekend. Stephanie writes with a fresh, funny voice that had me laughing. Her characters are complex and interesting, and the story is original.

While the story seems to be mostly about Dylan, the book is written in the first person alternating between Dylan, Jake, and Ashley. For me personally, I found that a bit difficult to follow, though Stephanie did a great job of giving each character their own unique voice, and the story was so good that it didn't really slow me down much. This is definitely a book that you'll enjoy!

It’s been six years since Dylanie and her family visited a Civil War site and the place came alive with cannon fire. Problem was, no one could hear it but her. 
Now she’s sixteen, her dad’s moved out, her mom’s come out of the closet and Dylan’s got a spot on Paranormal Teen, a reality TV show filming at historic Oakleigh Mansion. She’ll spend a weekend with two other psychic teens—Jake and Ashley—learning how to control her abilities. 
None of them realized how much their emotional baggage would put them at the mercy of Oakleigh’s resident spirits, or that they’d find themselves pawns in the 150-year-old battle for the South’s legendary Confederate gold. Each must conquer their personal ghosts to face down Jackson, a seductive spirit who will do anything to protect the gold’s current location and avenge a heinous attack that destroyed his family.
14+ for brief violence and sexuality

Buy Links:  Evernight Teen        Amazon

Monday 23 September 2013

Evernight Teen Feature: Unraveled by S.X. Bradley

I can't say enough about Unraveled by S.X. Bradley! The book opens with our main character Autumn, finding her sister murdered in their home. Absolutely heart breaking. I think I started bawling before I finished reading the first page, and didn't really stop throughout much of the book. But that's not a bad thing! it's a mark of a great writer that she can move her readers to tears. Bradley writes emotion extremely well and the the book is as much about Autumn's journey of emotional healing as it is about her desperate search for her sister's killer.

This book is a fabulous mystery that will keep you guessing to the end, and Autumn's abilities as a sleuth are admirable. Throw in a touch of romance, and the whole thing is a winner. This is one you won't want to miss!

Sixteen year old math whiz, Autumn, spends her days reading about serial killers and dreaming of becoming an FBI Profiler. She never dreams her first case will be so personal. Her world is shattered when she comes home from school and discovers her murdered sister’s body on the living room floor. When the initial evidence points to a burglary gone wrong, Autumn challenges the police’s theory because of the personal nature of the crime. Thinking that finding the killer will bring her family back together, she conducts her own investigation using her affinity for math and forensics, but her plan backfires and her obsession with the case further splinters her family.

When her investigation reveals the killer is someone she knows, Autumn offers herself up as bait and sets a dangerous trap to unmask his true nature and to obtain a confession for her sister’s murder.
14+ for brief violence

Buy links:  Evernight Teen     Amazon