Friday, November 29, 2013

Guest Post: Entrusted Blog Tour

Today I have Connie Michaels, author of Entrusted, stopping by to talk about what influenced her in writing the story!







I reside in Washington State, which has more Native American Nations than any other state, although our tribal land is pretty small when looking at square miles. I grew up in the setting of Entrusted and the Shoalwater reservation was just as it is depicted in the book. It is a square mile. Very tiny. Grayland is south of Forks, where the Twilight series took place. However if you start at the tip of Washington state there are numerous tribes as you move south down the coast. 



The majority of the cities in our state are named for Native Americans. Seattle was a chief in the area, Wenatchee is the name of a nation, Yakima, Colville all tribes...you get my point. All through school I was taught about the influence of our costal nations. 


Then, after suffering a life threatening illness, my parents offered to take my family on a trip to the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley, Utah. Monument Valley is the Navajo Nation. I was having some issues with anger, due to the fact my illness was caused by maintenance issues at work and caused life long issues with my health...so I needed a break. I fell in love with the Navajo people. Their culture is so deep and spiritual. The people are quiet and thoughtful. It was an environment that centered me and brought my peace back. 



Traveling through the area you are bombarded with the legends, culture, and history. At the Grand Canyon we watched the Hopi perform traditional dances. So much of Entrusted is based on these experiences. It is the only book I have written that stems from a lot of personal experience and although much of it has been edited out and smoothed over the entire writing experience was very therapeutic and I know it is still a part of the underlying story. 



Meshing the coastal culture with the Navajo traditions was fun. I did take a few liberties but tried to keep it as close to the traditions as I could. I chose Raven as my antagonist because when I was young I was attacked by a Raven. Not just a flyby, but the bird stalked me and continued to attack me until my Dad finally was able to corner it and kill it. I feel the Raven is my talisman and I wear a Raven charm along with a vile of sand filled with the orange sand from Monument Valley, as a way to keep myself centered. 



My family continues to vacation in the Grayland area as well as we return to The Navajo Nation when we can. I love the culture, I love the people, and I hope that someday the Native youth will see what a gift they are to the world and embrace it.





Entrusted by Connie Ann Michael



Blurb:
Thrust into a world of Native American legends about Skinwalkers and Ancient Ones, Emma Hunter finds herself in the middle of a battle for a heart holding great powers – A heart hidden within her.

Seventeen-year-old Emma wants what every teenage girl wants: a life that revolves around school, her friends, and a boyfriend who only has eyes for her. Little does she know that in order to get one, she must sacrifice the other two. After a series of events put into motion by Luke, the boy she thought loved her, Emma is kicked out of her group home and her school. Her best friend mysteriously vanishes and now she’s forced to move to a secluded coastal town, where she hopes to escape Luke’s obsessive control.  Instead, she finds her dreams invaded not only by Luke, but Solomon, a mysterious Native American warrior sent to protect her. 

But when Solomon shows up in her reality to explain he’s her protector, she soon learns that he’s so much more. As Emma struggles to understand what’s happening to her, she must also deal with her undeniable attraction to Solomon. Their connection is stronger than anything Emma has ever experienced before and now she must decide: can she trust him with her heart? And just how far will she go to protect it?


You can add Entrusted to your to-read list on Goodreads:

Information about the book:
Title: Entrusted
Author: Connie Ann Michael
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Release Date: 18 November, 2013

About the Author:

Connie Ann Michael was raised a city girl, but was converted to a country girl after college and now resides in a speck of a town in Central Washington State.  She is married to her former boss as she worked at the local Pizza place and has two college age boys that provide endless material for her books.  She loves the outdoors and can be found mountain biking, kayaking, or camping with her family.  Being a busy family, she can be found working on her newest novel while on long road trips.

You can find and contact Connie Ann Michael here:

There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Entrusted.
- 10$ amazon gift card
- 2 e-copies Entrusted
- 2 swag packs, which contain Entrusted stickers and bookmarks and an Entrusted charm necklace
- 2 swag packs, which contain Entrusted stickers and bookmarks and an Entrusted Ghost Bead Bracelet






Thursday, November 28, 2013

Book review: Moonless by Crystal Collier



Hey guys, I guess I should totally start out by introducing myself. I'm Heather, Sharon The Awesome's assistant. As well as keeping her on top of All The Things in the lead up to Sleeper's release, I also do any reviews she needs me to. With that said, here is my first. Moonless, by Crystal Collier.

MOONLESS is Jane Eyre meets Supernatural.

In the English society of 1768 where women are bred to marry, unattractive Alexia, just sixteen, believes she will end up alone. But on the county doorstep of a neighbor’s estate, she meets a man straight out of her nightmares, one whose blue eyes threaten to consume her whole world—especially later when she discovers him standing over her murdered host in the middle of the night. 

Among the many things to change for her that evening are: her physical appearance—from ghastly to breathtaking, an epidemic of night terrors predicting the future, and the blue-eyed man’s unexpected infusion into her life. Not only do his appearances precede tragedies, but they are echoed by the arrival of ravenous, black-robed wraiths on moonless nights.

Unable to decide whether he is one of these monsters or protecting her from them, she uncovers what her father has been concealing: truths about her own identity, about the blue-eyed man, and about love. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with the man of her dreams and risk becoming one of the Soulless.

- Blurb from Goodreads

Let me first start off by saying I’m not the intended audience for this book. I don’t read a lot of books set in ‘ye olde times’ but with that said, I really enjoyed it.

Moonless finds Alexis going through a pretty unstable time in her life. She’s just become old enough to be married off, keeps having some pretty disturbing dreams about the future, and is being practically stalked by a blue-eyed hottie.

Great start to a book.

What I really liked about Moonless was it kept you wanting more. There was so much suspicion and unanswered questions right from the start that as soon as a question was half-answered, another one would pop up to say howdy.

Collier weaved interest and intrigue right from the beginning and it wasn’t until the very end that she gave you all the pieces. I love books that keep you guessing and this was one of them.

On top of the mystery, there were two really great characters that stood out. The first was Alexis’ sister-aunt Sarah. She was flirty, and vivacious, and fun in a time when woman really weren’t supposed to be. I could totally picture her going without stockings for a day, or waving her bloomers out the bedroom window, just so people knew she was home. We could totally be friends.

Then there was Bellezza. I think I fell in love with her as soon as she was introduced. She is cray-cray to the maximus and if Crystal wrote a book about her I’d be the first to buy it, no matter when it was set. If you love a character who would burn down your house and paint her face with your blood – here she is. She’d even do it with a smile.

Now, despite all that, I did find Moonless hard to get into. I couldn’t figure it out at first and it took me a few chapters in to work out what had me so confused. There’d be certain scenes were Alexis would mention one person and then use the pronoun for another. This seemed really odd to me until I worked out why. During the first half of the book, Alexis doesn’t know Kiren’s name so she just refers to him as ‘He’. And once I worked that out, everything became so much clearer.

Lastly, if you’re worried about a lack of swoon (which I totally was) because of the setting you don’t even need to worry. Kiren brought swoon to the table and made it his bitch.

If you love books with mystery, swoon, a character that grows into herself, and some pretty awesome creatures, Moonless is definitely for you. (Just remember what I said about those first few chapters).

Luuuuuurve, Heather. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cover Reveal: The Other Me





The Other Me
by Suzanne van Rooyen

Title: The Other Me
Author: Suzanne van Rooyen
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Release Date: 19 Dec, 2013
Length: 216 pages
Genre: YA, LGBT, contemporary
Blurb:

Fifteen-year-old Treasa Prescott thinks she’s an alien. She doesn’t fit in with the preppy South African private school crowd and feels claustrophobic in her own skin. Treasa is worried she might spend life as a social pariah when she meets Gabriel du Preez. Gabriel plays the piano better than Beethoven, has a black belt in karate, and would look good wearing a garbage bag. Treasa thinks he’s perfect. It might even be love, as long as Gabriel doesn’t find out she’s a freak.

As Treasa spends time with Gabriel, she realizes she might not

love him as much as she wants to be him, and that the reason she feels uncomfortable in her skin might have less to do with extra-terrestrial origins and more to do with being born in the wrong body.

But Gabriel is not the perfect boy Treasa imagines. He harbors dark secrets and self-destructive tendencies. Still, Treasa might be able to accept Gabriel’s baggage if he can accept who she longs to be.













Giveaway: International Rafflecopter for $15 Amazon giftcard


About the Author:

Suzanne is an author and peanut-butter addict from South Africa. She currently lives in Finland and finds the cold, dark forests nothing if not inspiring. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When not writing you can find her teaching dance and music to middle-schoolers or playing in the snow with her shiba inu. She is rep'd by Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Agency.
Author Links:






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Friday, November 15, 2013

Guest Post: Using Twitter to Connect with Readers

Today social media enthusiast, Courtney Gordon, has taken over Down Under Wonderings to talk about how writers can use Twitter to connect with readers.

As a reader, I can attest to the fact that that a book by itself is not enough. What I mean, of course, is that after falling in love with a particular piece of literature, what I crave more than anything is more. Now, more does not necessarily entail a sequel to whatever work I had just read enjoyed, though in many cases that would be a wonderful scenario; rather, more consists of communication with the author. As a child, I wished for nothing more than to be able to write letters to my favorite authors. In one case, I distinctly remember looking up a particular writer’s email address, which I attempted to use to contact her. I did not receive a response.

Today, with social media networks linking people together in a way that makes it both easy and almost a necessity to connect with others, the time has come for authors to take their work to the next level and actually begin opening up to their readers. This does not mean using sites like Twitter to pressure people into buying and reading your book. It also does not mean responding to every single tweet. Rather, it means opening up forums for various conversations, conversations that your readers can join in and that you can respond to candidly. It means not just using Twitter to share your own news, but to also follow your readers, read up on some of them, and comment on their things. In essence, connecting with readers through a platform such as Twitter is a way to show that you care, while also offering them the “behind the scenes” info they crave.

Here are some ways to best make use of Twitter to connect with your fans:

Tweet multiple times each day

The more you share, the more you care, or so readers will think. It is in your best interest to tweet as often as you can. These tweets can include scripted or preplanned topics, such as questions pertaining to an issue or character in one of your books or a information about an upcoming event, but they should also be made up of genuine and spontaneous comments, such as a comment about a new recipe you just tried or a recent vacation you just got back from and the things you enjoyed most about it. Also take the chance to discuss literary subjects, offering recommendations of good books you just read or upcoming book festivals you intend to attend. Let readers see that you, too, are human, while offering them the sort of content that appeals to them, content that shows both the man behind the curtain.

Be considerate

If you ever present a question to which people take different sides or express an idea that some may disagree with, you have to be prepared for angry and hurtful replies. While much of these opinions may be the product of actual concern on the part of their writer, one has to also be aware of the recent surge in the number of trolls who stalk the web, virtual trouble makers looking to cause dissension for nothing more than some a couple of laughs. Yet whether you come in contact with a troll or a reader with a different opinion, you must always remain calm and considerate. Be open-minded and explain that your opinions are yours alone. In this way, you will show your readers that you are caring, accepting, and unprejudiced.

Be outgoing

Don’t wait for readers to comment on your tweets. Comment on theirs as well, particularly if they write about something that you find interesting. Share your followers’ tweets as well, if you think them worth sharing. In this way you will make friends and forge a much deeper connection with your readers. While you are trying to connect with them, it’s okay to get personal. Personal enough that you’re comfortable with the information you are sharing. For example, you might want to share a picture from your child’s birthday party or of your dog. You might not want to Tweet about someone in your family going to a private rehab facility. Use your judgment but know that it doesn’t always have to be about books!

Be yourself

Readers don’t want to follow your Twitter account just to see you use it as a marketing campaign for your work. That doesn’t mean you can’t post anything about your work. Particularly if it has to do with something behind the scenes, such as a character history that is not revealed in your book or a something of the sort, your readers will be interested in seeing that sort of information. But ultimately, they want to see you. They want to know what your like, to meet you, to introduce themselves and strike up a conversation with the man responsible for the book they loved so much. By being yourself, by answering truthfully and actively making friendships, you will be able to connect with your readers in a way that was not possible a decade ago. It would be unfortunate to let such an advantage slip by unused.


 Courtney Gordner is a passionate 

blogger who loves all things social 

media, internet and SEO! Read more

from her on her blog, 





Thursday, November 7, 2013

Breakable Blog Tour: Promo post



If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?


When seventeen-year-old Stacy looks in the mirror she can see and talk to her future self. “Older Me” has been Stacy's secret support through the ongoing battle with their neurotic mother, relentless bullying at school, and dealing with her hopeless love for her best friend, Mark.

Then Stacy discovers Older Me is a liar.

Still reeling from that betrayal, Stacy is targeted again by her most persistent tormentor. Only this time, he's used her own artwork to humiliate her - and threaten her last chance with Mark.

She’s reached breaking point.

Literally.


"Original. Authentic. Heart-breaking. BREAKABLE has officially become one of my favorites!" -New York Times Bestselling Author of Losing It, Cora Carmack.

Read the opening chapters on Goodreads here.

Aimee L. Salter spent much of her young (and not-so-young) life in New Zealand. After picking up a Kiwi husband and son, she’s recently returned to her home in Oregon.

Aimee writes novels for teens and the occasional adult who, like herself, is still in touch with their inner-high schooler.

Aimee is the author behind Seeking the Write Life, a resource blog for writers at www.aimeelsalter.com. You can also find her on Twitter (www.twitter.com/@AimeeLSalter) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/AimeeLSalter).

You can purchase Breakable on Amazon.com (paperback and for Kindle), and at barnesandnoble.com (for Nook).  Or add it to your Goodreads To-Read list at.

Aimee is giving away a paperback copy of Breakable on this stop. Please add a comment below about what breaks your heart, along with your email address, to be in the draw to enter



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