Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Black Friday Extravaganza


Sometimes that imaginary line in the sand is the only thing stopping you from loving.

Parker is homeless. He's hot, tired, hungry, and thirsty. He has never expected miracles in his short life. They don't happen to him. When he's picked up on the side of the road by a well-meaning grandfather, he's driven to Jasper. Another small town on another long stretch of highway. One that would be nothing but a place to get a meal with the twenty he reluctantly accepts from the compassionate driver.

Ian can well remember the sight of his niece that long ago morning Caleb brought her shivering, terrified, and homeless to his door. Unable to leave the young man, he offers the first kindnesses Parker will have known in more than three years.

Through Ian, Caleb, and their family, Parker regains his dignity, and his ambition to reach goals taken from him. It's a slow process for him because trust doesn't happen overnight. But by the time he's found a family, love, and dreams, he also realizes he may have found home.



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Monday, November 25, 2013

In the Spotlight: Ava O'Shay

Please welcome Ava O'Shay today on my blog. :)

Jessica Hunter lost her heart and her husband at the same time. He died, and she discovered his infidelities, leaving her a shattered mess.
Five years later, Jessica still isn’t interested in a relationship. That is, until she meets sexy, lead actor Penn Jackson on the set of a popular tween movie—and her life gets turned upside down. Swept away by Penn’s carefree attitude, she lets him into her heart—and her bed—even though Penn warns her that being with him will change her life.
Penn’s warning doesn’t mean much to her. But when his publicist begins a campaign to get rid of her, and a trip to the emergency room turns into a tabloid explosion, she doesn’t just lose her anonymity, but also her job. Now, Jessica will have to choose between the man she loves and the life she’s always known.

Penn’s free hand came up and brushed my jaw. I reached for the towel, trying to control the rush of heat he was causing. When I brushed against his hand, electricity charged through me.
I saw it coming. I hadn’t been with a man in five years, but this might as well been a neon sign. The kiss was definitely not a surprise and I could have stopped it. But I didn’t. I wanted it so bad I had to restrain myself from throwing myself at him. His eyes darkened, his head tilted, his hand slipped around my jaw, and then my neck, pulling my mouth to his. A power pulsed and tingled from my lips before his lips hovered over mine.
“Stop me now if you don’t want this,” he whispered.
My hands moved to lightly rest on his chest and our mouths came together. His touch was feather-light at first, testing to see if I would push away. He leaned back and looked into my eyes, searching for an answer to his unspoken question, “Was this okay?”
A smile of embarrassment tugged at my mouth. I tried to drop my head, but his hand held me where I was, his thumb caressing circles on my cheek. He brought his mouth to mine again, asking for more. He slid his other arm around my back and pulled my hips against him. His lips opened slightly, his tongue explored. I could taste the rich beer he’d been drinking. The moan I suppressed earlier escaped my throat.
I pushed back and turned away from him, straightening my shirt nervously. I fanned myself with my hand, babbling. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me.” I refused to look at him and I headed for the door. “I’m sorry. This is a mistake. I don’t do this.”


The Sound of Shooting Stars Blog Tour

Welcome to The Sound of Shooting Stars Blog Tour. Today I'm very delighted to have Heather Allen on my blog.

Hi, Heather. Congratulations for the release of your book. Can you tell us a little about it?
The Sound of Shooting Stars tells the story of Jamie Grey, a seventeen year old foster kid who has given up on having a home of his own. He ends up in Palm Beach among the wealthy living with another seventeen year old, Beckett Chase, and her parents. Beckett has her own issues, self-confidence insecurities, vanity, selfish tendencies and the usual teen drama. Events out of their control throw them together but they fight against the pull toward each other which just causes more twists and turns in their situation. I don’t want to spoil anything but for some reason I think before their story started they might have been written in the stars!

That sounds awesome. How difficult was it to complete this book? What were the challenges you faced during the development of the story?
This one actually was the easiest to write among the five I’ve released. It only took my two months to write but I think the process was different than the others. Usually I am able to send it out to my betas during the process but this time I halted the chapters going out because I had to work out the twists just right. They didn’t get to read it until it was finished! I think the development of Jamie and Beckett were smoothest in the process. I knew I wanted the thick tension when they were around each other. The secondary characters, Dani, Trina, and Brett were a little more difficult. I always like to see the best in people so to write a character that is really bad, is hard for me. I had the same difficulty in the Just Breathe Trilogy. I always want my villains to be redeemed in the end! LOL!

You called this book a mature young adult. Your previous books were also YA. What attracted you to this genre?
The number one reason I write YA is because I just love this genre. I love to read it and write it. My other reason though is because I’ve been a teacher for 16 years. I think it’s important for my students, if they pick up my books, I want them to be more appropriate. Although this one is geared a little older than the others, it is still cleaner than other genres out there. I do however write under a pen name in other genres, just to be on the safe side.

What's your plan for the next book? Or if you have already, what will it be about?
Currently I am working on a Casey book (my secret identity). After that though, my next Heather Allen project will be a 4 book paranormal series. It’s still in the planning stages but the title and synopsis for the first will soon be released!

Thank you so much for visiting our blog, Heather. Good luck with your book.

Thank you so much for hosting me! I hope you love Jamie and Beckett’s story as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Heather will also share with us what she loves about the heroes and heroines in her books. Please check it out.

Ahhh, the heroes…Well what is a hero? Superman, Spiderman, or for many of us Stan Lee who invented many of the heroes we idolize. For me though I think every story has a hero. Many are meek and quiet but just as powerful as those that are in your face. Ever and James, brother and sister mer-people in the Just Breathe Trilogy are pretty straight forward heroes. They are thrust into a new world with the fate of it’s people in their hands. Typical save the world, dilemma! But Ever doesn’t start out that way, many describe her as whiny and wish-washy in her decision making process. I’d be pretty whiplashy too if I had her choices to make. She comes out of it a hero in her own right. She’s able to save the love of her life and her new identity. Aren’t we all striving for that in our own self- actualization? James, her brother is a pretty big brat but what sixteen year old isn’t? Okay, don’t answer that. James matures into a hero though. He learns that he plays a bigger role in the world and does a good job saving the day.
 But for Stars, Jamie is the hero. No unbelievable abilities like Ever and James, just the ability to see the good in people which I think in the end is a huge super power! After everything he’s been through in his life, he isn’t bitter or angry. I think fate had a big part in the saving of Jamie. I’m a strong believer in the saying, “things happen for a reason”. Jamie’s life would have been very different if not for circumstances, hence most events in our lives, good or bad. But Jamie as a hero, yes, he is definitely my kind of hero. His even mannered personality helps him see past the extra stuff that Beckett drags with her. He has the ability to save Beckett from herself and isn’t that the best hero there is? 

Title: The Sound of Shooting Stars
Author:  Heather Allen
Genre:  Contemporary YA
Publication Date:  11 November 2013
Event organized by:  Into the Night Reviews

Jamie Grey grew up tossed around between foster homes. At an early age he shut the world out, deciding he wouldn’t care. Whatever life had to throw at him, he would look the other way. Now his senior year is about to start and he’s been forced into yet another new home. This will be the last time, he assures himself. When an unexpected curveball comes his way in the form of a certain stubborn seventeen year old girl, Jamie soon finds out that life doesn’t always work out the way you plan it.

Beckett Chase has been entitled her entire life. Living in the plush landscape of Palm Beach, Florida, she’s never wanted for anything. She’s always taken what and who she wants with no remorse. When she sets her sights on Jamie Grey and she’s met with rejection, her descent from the top begins.

With a twist of events causing Jamie and Beckett’s worlds to collide, will they be able to put aside their differences or will fate intervene offering an entirely different option?

Link to Spotify Playlist:  The Sound of Shooting Stars           

Author bio and social networking links:

Heather Allen is the author of The Just Breathe Trilogy, and newly released- The Sound of Shooting Stars. Heather finally realized her dream of becoming an author only recently with her mermaid trilogy. She savors every moment on this new journey and the wonderful friends she has met along the way. She has many more books planned. More ideas pop up than she has time to write about.

Heather currently resides in the scorching hot state of Florida with her husband and three children. She holds degrees in education from The University of Central Florida and Nova Southeastern University. She is a hopeless romantic who loves to read just about anything, coffee and Jelly Belly jellybeans. When she isn’t teaching, writing or reading, Heather can be found at the beach or out on the water boating.



Purchase Links:


The Sound of Shooting Stars will be on sale for 99c for the duration of the blog tour - if you could please promote that in your post. 

Heather is offering an amazing Giveaway in conjunction with the blog tour!  Prizes include ebooks & paperbacks by Tiffany King, Carol Kunz, Rachel Wade, Misty Provencher, Heather Dencker, Heather Allen and Heather Gunter as well as tickets to Indie Girl Con in February 2014 and a gift card. 

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One-star Review

Well, to be honest, this is not the first one-star review I got. I got one, I guess, for my previous story. I have to admit that I still need to improve my writing and I don't blame any of my betas and editors for the end result because no matter what, those stories are mine. I also hate it if readers feel disappointed with what they buy because of course, I want to give my best. I just thought that we provided excerpts for readers to sample before they bought my stories. From those excerpts, hopefully, they could see what my writing was like. It wasn't as if we asked readers to blindly buy something. There is of course a possibility that the excerpts are much more interesting than the stories as a whole, but the writing style is more or less the same.

It broke my heart to get those one-star reviews. Right now I'm listening to Pan's Labyrinth Lullaby and I think I'll be here in my corner.

By the way, the recent story to get one star is A Single Black Rose. You can check it out on the following.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

In the Spotlight: Cathy Hird

Good morning, everyone! Today we have Cathy Hird on this blog talking about her newest novel, Moon of the Goddess.

Please, Cathy.

If you could have anyone rescue you, who would it be?

For the captive princess Thalassai in Moon of the Goddess her first choice of rescuer is her brother Melanion, but she also imagines that Herakles might come and save her. The first night of her captivity, she sees the stars of his constellation standing just above the hilltop. That hero had saved the people of Lerna from the deadly Hydra, and the people of Nemea from the lion. Herakles would be able to save her from the prince of Ephyra who had captured her. She imagines climbing to a place where she could reach up and touch his stars, calling him to her side.

But she is a sheltered, pampered princess. She has never climbed a pathless hillside. And she knows that even from the highest mountain, the stars are out of reach. Besides, the stories say that Herakles was once driven mad by Hera, that he killed his loved ones in that strange state. Perhaps he is not completely trustworthy.

Her brother is. Thalassai is certain that her brother Melanion is already on his way to save her. She imagines him rowing by the light of the moon, hurrying to save her. She is absolutely certain he will come. Be quick, she thinks. Come and save me, Melanion. I am so afraid.

She is right that Melanion is on his way. But she is wrong about how he is travelling. He races north and west on his stallion, with his long time companion and a servant of the goddess hoping to get to the kidnappers’ city before anything happens to Thalassai.

Who would I want to rescue me?

Myself. I would rather be in control of my own destiny. So in the story, Thalassai has to gain enough strength to contribute to her own salvation. But if I had to have help, how about Alice Munro, Charlotte Bronte and  Jane Austin. Those writers know a good ending.

Thalassai, pampered princess of ancient Tiryns, wakes from a dream and discovers she has been kidnapped. Her fear grows to terror when she realizes her kidnappers intend to use her as a pawn to gain Poseidon’s aid for their valley. The mother goddess, who in the past sustained the valley, calls a bloodred harvest moon into the spring sky. She will challenge Poseidon for the allegiance of her people and assist the princess.
Thalassai’s brother Melanion rides north to rescue her, and finds allies among the servants of the goddess. Slowed by bandits, Melanion is forced to take a tunnel under the mountains even though earthquakes have rendered it hazardous. He skirts the edge of Hades’ kingdom as he races to reach his sister in time. Caught between the mother goddess and the rising power of Olympus, will Thalassai break under the strain or find the strength she needs to stand up to her captors?
Set in the days of Helen of Troy and the great heroes of Greece, this story takes the reader on a fast paced journey across the sun-drenched landscape of Homer and deep into darkness.

In this excerpt of the story, we join the rescuers late in their journey…

Melanion turned and slid his feet sideways. With the wall of the tunnel just a handspan from his face, he felt confined. It seemed as if the darkness resisted his forward movement. There was not a breath of movement in the heavy air.

A moment later, there was no rock in front of him. He leaned back on the rough wall as Panacea stepped from the cleft to stand beside him. The darkness extended in all directions, and he smelled a hint of sulfur. His lamp felt tiny in his hands. He could not judge the size of the cavern.

 “There is the first white stone.” Panacea pointed to the ground just at the edge of their lamplight.

“White stone,” came a quiet echo from across the cavern.

“The echo took a long time to come back,” said Melanion. “This chamber is huge.”

“Time…huge,” repeated an echo of his voice.

“We had best start across then, and get to the other side,” said Panacea softly.

“Start,” the echo said.

Only start, thought Melanion. Why did the echo only pick up some words? “Let’s cross,” he said.

“Cross?” asked the echo.

“Just don’t say anything,” whispered Panacea, her lips too close to his ear for the echo to pick up her voice.

Melanion nodded. The shadow of his head danced against the rock wall. Panacea leaned away from the side of the cavern, and Melanion stepped forward beside her. Darkness closed in behind them. They reached the first white rock;  the next sat just at the edge of the light. Melanion counted the rocks as they passed them, a way of measuring the distance in the empty darkness.

“Here,” came the echo of a whisper.

“Who is there?” Panacea asked.

“There, there, there,” said the echo. “Here,” it whispered.

“Who else would be here,” said Melanion, trying to ignore the echo of his words. Panacea shook her head and said nothing. They moved on past another white stone, and another. The rock beneath their feet seemed to shiver slightly, then felt solid again. He glanced at Panacea, but she was looking straight ahead. Maybe he had imagined the tremor. The ground sloped a little downward; they were nearing the other side. As they stepped past another white stone, Melanion stopped. He could not see the next marker.

Melanion touched Panacea’s elbow lightly, avoiding speech and the echo. They took a small step forward, and another. Melanion looked back and could just see the stone they had passed. Nothing marked the path forward.

“What now?” he asked.

“What, what, what?” asked the echo.