Friday, November 30, 2012

Announcing the 2nd JLA Read-a-thon!

Save the Date!

December 28th, 29th & 30th

Read-a-thon hosted by StuckInBooks & Deity Island! 

The Covenant Series


The Lux Series



Gamble Brothers Series

And MORE coming!!!

She's a favorite author for so many. In celebration of the release of 
OPAL, we are hosting the 2nd JLA read-a-thon!
Gonna have prizes!
Gonna have challenges!
Gonna have some twitter fun!
Save the date!
Participate all three days - or just one day!
Sign-ups coming soon!

Cover Reveal ~ The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller

Available May 7, 2013

Add to Goodreads

On the outside, seventeen-year-old Madelyne Summers looks like your typical blond cheerleader—perky, popular, and dating the star quarterback. But inside, Maddie spends more time agonizing over what will happen in the next issue of her favorite comic book than planning pep rallies with her squad. That she’s a nerd hiding in a popular girl's body isn’t just unknown, it's anti-known. And she needs to keep it that way.
Summer is the only time Maddie lets her real self out to play, but when she slips up and the adorkable guy behind the local comic shop’s counter uncovers her secret, she’s busted. Before she can shake a pom-pom, Maddie’s whisked into Logan’s world of comic conventions, live-action role-playing, and first-person-shooter video games. And she loves it. But the more she denies who she really is, the deeper her lies become…and the more she risks losing Logan forever.

About the Author:

 Born and raised in northern Louisiana, Leah Rae Miller still lives there on a windy hill with her husband and kids. She loves comic books, lava lamps, fuzzy socks, and Cherry Coke. She spends most of her days reading things she likes and writing things she hopes other people will like.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Crown Phoenix Series Virtual Book Tour

Crown Phoenix: Night Watchman Express
(The Crown Phoenix #1)

An underground factory a terrifying laboratory, and the eerie whistle of the Night Watchman Express…

Miriam has only her guardians' son for company, and she and Simon dislike each other from the start. But they must find a way to trust each other, or they will end up on the sinister Night Watchman Express.

Full of danger, suspense, betrayal, and a hint of romance, this steampunk adventure is for readers of all ages.


“Look!” Simon pointed to the cliff face. “What are those things?”
‘Those things’ were a series of flat, silver circles set into the rock in the shape of a larger circle, perfectly spaced apart. There were twelve of them, and they were level with the cliff. Neil ran his hand over one and could not distinguish where they ended and the rock began.
“Never seen anything like it,” he concluded at last. “Look – the stone itself is completely smooth and flat. It’s as if someone planed down the cliff itself and set those metal discs into the rock.”
“But who?” Simon jabbed at the circles with one finger. Contrary to his expectations, no secret door slid open to expose a secret passageway lined with overflowing treasure chests and grinning skeletons.
“That won’t do anything.” Neil pushed Simon away. “They’re not buttons, or levers, or anything like that.”
“How do you know?” Simon demanded.
“They aren’t meant to move at all – see? A button would have some kind of rim or space to move in.”
“Well, what are they for, since you’re so clever?”
“No idea.” Neil probed the circles again and shook his head.
Simon was bored with the puzzle. “Come on, professor, let’s go and find someplace to eat our grub. Afterwards we’ll go back up and explore the house.”
“Wait a bit.” Neil pointed at a flat stone in front of the mysterious circle. “That bit of rock is a different color from the others near the cliff – see? It looks as if it was moved there, on purpose.”
“Really?” Simon forgot his hunger. Without hesitation, he jumped onto the rock. Its position put him right in front of the circle; its diameter was taller than his head by about a foot. Simon spread his arms out to the sides and stared stiffly ahead, waiting for something to happen.
Neil began to laugh. “You look just like that Da Vinci drawing,” he said.
“Oh, you mean that one of the bloke with the lines in the geometrical figures.” Simon resumed his position, crossed his eyes, and stuck out his tongue. “How about now?”
“Come on, let me have a go.” Neil leaped onto the rock and shouldered Simon aside. After a few good-natured shoves, Simon stepped off and watched Neil stand in one stance after another.
“Feel any machinery or magic or anything?” he demanded.
“Nothing.” Neil jumped back onto the sand beside Simon. “I’d really like to know who came up with the design for inlaying those discs,” he mused.
Simon had already turned away, and he pulled out the large napkin tied around their food. “I’m famished. Let’s sit over here and–”
There was a loud scream from the direction of the house. “What was that?” Simon forgot the stolen breakfast. “Come on, let’s go and see!”
Neil was already running towards the steps. Together, they raced back to the house, away from the waves and silent stones.

Crown Phoenix: The Devil's Kitchen
(The Crown Phoenix #2)

In The Night Watchman Express, Miriam and Simon were kidnapped and thrown on the strange train... Now in Book Two of The Crown Phoenix series, they arrive at the terrifying destination known as Devil's Kitchen.

There they will face human experiments in a laboratory known as The Infirmary.

There Miriam will be forced to work in an underground factory.

There Simon is held in a luxurious prison by jailers who are as beautiful as they are deadly...

And their courage will be tested to the breaking point.

Crown Phoenix: Lamplighter's Special
(The Crown Phoenix #3)

Lizzie and her beautiful sister Ninna are forced to work in a huge Manor and on a steamship to support their family.

They are caught up in several mysteries:

The squire’s oldest son cannot leave the attic
An old typewriter seems to move time and space
A passenger hides in a secret room
A beautiful visitor is plotting against them

And Lizzie discovers that she has a strange, new ability.

She and her sister must discover the secrets of The Lamplighter’s Special before their enemy catches up with them.

Guest post by Alison DeLuca


The Third Eye

While I was writing the Crown Phoenix series, I had a definite voyage in mind. The book would start with a mysterious train in the distance and end with my main characters, Simon and Miriam, riding to an unknown destination on The Night Watchman Express.

In fact, writing the books was like being on a train. The current scene on my screen was very clear and present, and as I hurtled away to another chapter, that location became clear. What was unclear and yet to be captured on paper grew more focused as the books progressed.

Even though my journey was mapped out for me, however, I received some jolts of inspiration along the way that I just couldn’t shake. For example, one night I sat up in bed, my heart pounding. I had a sudden vision of a beautiful woman locked up in  a cage that hung from a long chain. She swung back and forth, and the only way to access her was a tunnel through the mountains.

I heard the creak of the chain, the dripping of the water in the tunnel, and the low voices of two children who discovered her. That scene, of course, became a pivotal part of the second half of Night Watchman.

Another image came to me as I was stopped at a red light, on the way to my daughter’s school. I saw a boy and a girl on the deck of a steamship. Between them was an old, battered typewriter that hummed as if it had mysterious, mechanical innards. Their hands were on the machine, clutching it tightly to make certain that it wouldn’t smash as they sailed through a strange storm at sea.

Again, the image became real, as though it bloomed. I heard the wind whistling around them and the hissing of sparks that flew from the machine they held so tightly. The boy, Toby, tried to say something to the girl, Lizzie,  but his voice was snatched away by the uproar of the storm.

As soon as I pictured the image, I couldn’t wait to go home and write it. (Of course, I had to go and chaperone a Brownies meeting at the time, so inspiration just had to wait.) I entered that fog, familiar to many writers, that comes from existing in two places at once – I handed out paper cups of juice and helped the leader set up games for the girls, but all the while I was lost at sea on my steamship, The Lamplighter, as it was nearly torn apart by a wild, electrical storm.

That scene eventually became one of my favorite parts of The Lamplighter’s Special, the third book in the Crown Phoenix series. To this day I read over it, while editing or formatting, and wonder, “Where did that  inspiration come from?” I still have no idea.

When my inspiration takes a day off and my muse has a head cold, I developed an exercise for helping ideas flow. Once I have a concept  for a chapter (Barbara imprisons Simon in a tiny attic room) I make up lists of words that come to mind with the concept. The attic prison led to : Stockholm effect, hunger, exhaustion, dirt, loud music, soiled mattress. That list let me begin to see Simon, my spoiled, rich boy, now held in a tiny garret by jailers who tortured him psychologically. He lay on an old bed, stained with age, clutching his head in agony as someone played loud music outside his room. I’m afraid that as disturbing as it sounds, that scene was a lot of fun to write!

Another list led to the creation of the home where Riki, my girl from the island of Lampala, lived. I wanted her family to be very well-off, and the house had to be beautiful. At the same time, I really wanted to evoke an island setting. My list included images such as: parrots, lily pond, fountain, curved roof, large shutters, wide porch, flowered vines, carved squids. At that point, I could suddenly see the house in front of me. I can see it now – if you go in the front door and up the stairs, Neil’s guest room is to the right. It has huge wooden shutters, embellished with carved squids and mermaids, to close off the heat of the day, and there is a tiny fountain in one corner.

I love that third eye – the one that somehow conjures up scenes that never existed before. My images are sometimes bright, sometimes dark and deadly – but they are my own.

About the author

Alison DeLuca grew up on an organic farm in Chester County, Pennsylvania.  Her parents were British, so in the summers she went to stay with her grandparents near Dublin.

There was no stereo or TV there, so Alison, her sister, and her cousins spent the summer inventing stories and plays for each other.  “This gave me the ability to entertain myself with my own imagination in any situation,” she says. “We used to be taken to tea with great-aunts, and we were expected to sit on an uncomfortable couch and not move or say a word.  It was possible to endure it because I was watching my own little stories play out in my mind.”

After graduating from West Chester University, Alison became a teacher of English and Spanish, teaching students from kindergarten up to college level. She loved teaching, and it was with reluctance that she left the classroom to be a fulltime mom when her daughter was born.

While she was teaching and raising her daughter, Alison took every free minute she had to write.  The Night Watchman Express and The Crown Phoenix Series were the result.

She is currently working on the final book in the series, as well as several other projects.

You can find Alison here:

Swoon Thursday ~ 11/29/12

The fabulous girls over at YA Bound created this super HOT meme.  Here's how it works.

From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering.

Shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #YABound, post it here in the comments, or grab the adorable button above and share it on your blog! I want to know & so do the chicks at YABound!

Add to Goodreads
So December 10th can't get here soon enough! I really want EVERYONE to read RELEASE by M.R. Merrick.  As much as I enjoyed the first two books in this series, the third one just blew my mind.  So I can't resist sharing a little bit with all of ya for my swoon today!

My fingers trailed up her stomach, over her chest, and slowly traced the sides of her neck.  I cradled her face in my palm and closed the distance between us.  Our lips touched and magic ruptured between us, her body collapsing onto mine.

Her lips were soft, parting gently as I pushed my tongue over hers.  My hands slid down her body, wishing I could pull her closer.  I ran my fingers through her hair and unclipped the clasp that held it all together.

Rayna's hands gripped my chest, and raven hair fell over my face.  Soft tendrils of red slid down my neck as she pushed against me and we kissed. (Kindle location 2500 or 7728)

What ya think???  Have a swoon for me this week? Leave me a comment.



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cover reveal ~ Shadow of Time by Jen Minkman


Title: Shadow of Time
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Author: Jen Minkman
Cover Designer: Jen Minkman
Cover reveal organized by: AToMR Tours
Expected release date:  January 1, 2013

Book Description:
All Hannah needs is a nice and quiet vacation after her first year of teaching French at a high school. She joins her brother Ben for the summer in their mom’s log cabin in Arizona. There, she meets Josh again, Ben’s childhood friend from the Navajo reservation. The little boy from the rez has grown up fast, and Hannah can’t help but feeling more for him than just friendship.
But fate apparently has something else in store for her. And it’s not peace and quiet. Night after night, Hannah is plagued by strange nightmares about the past of Navajo Nation and terrifying shadows chasing her. They seem to come closer – and why is Josh always present in her dreams?
Sometimes, the past has a way of catching up with you.

Jen Minkman (1978) was born in Holland, in the town of Alphen aan den Rijn. When she was 19, she moved between The Hague, Salzburg (Austria), Brussels (Belgium) and Cambridge (UK) to complete her studies in intercultural communication. She is currently a teacher of English, career counsellor and teenage coach at a secondary school in Voorburg, Holland. She tries to read at least 100 books a year (and write a few, too!). She is a published author in her own country, and translates her own books from Dutch into English for self-publication.
In her spare time, she plays the piano, the guitar and the violin. For every novel she writes, she creates a soundtrack.

Kiss Me by Jillian Dodd ~ Book Birthday, Excerpt & GIVEAWAY

Available TODAY!

From Goodreads:

I've always written scripts for my perfect life.
But no way could I have ever scripted this.
My life is so far from perfect, it’s not even funny.
All because of a stalker.

I’m at a boarding school where I have to lie about who I am.
I can’t see my family.
I’m tutoring a Hottie God that tortures me with his smile.
The most popular girl already hates me.
But there’s this boy.
This hot, sweet, sexy boy.
So I’m going to stop trying to script my life and just live it.
Because who knows how long I have left.

From Goodreads:

Gossip girl meets Hollywood in this new series by That Boy author, Jillian Dodd.

Keatyn has everything she ever dreamed of. Her life is following the script she wrote for the perfect high school experience. She’s popular, goes to the best parties, dates the hottest guy, and sits at the most coveted lunch table.  

She’s just not sure she wants it anymore.

Because really, things aren’t all that perfect.
Her best friend is threatening to tell everyone her perfect relationship is a scam. 
Her perfect boyfriend gets drunk at every party they go to. 
It’s exhausting always trying to look and act perfect.
And deep down, she isn’t sure if she has any true friends. 

To add to the drama, her movie star mom’s long-time fan has turned stalker.
An older man is flirting with her and telling her they should make a movie together. 
And she’s crushing on an adorable surfer. Dating a guy like him would mean committing social suicide.

So she writes a new script. One where all the pieces of her life will come together in perfect harmony. 
But little does she know, there’s someone who will do anything to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Until December 1st, Stalk Me is only $.99 for Kindle or Nook copies.  

Excerpt from Stalk Me

(Warning:  You'll need ice water and a fan to get through this!)

He tells everyone we’re tired and drags me into the house.
Then I think his hormones kick into overdrive.
He kisses me, like, fast, hard, long, intensely deep kisses. He pushes me up against the counter in the kitchen, holding my hips tightly in his hands. He kisses hard down my neck and then strips off my shirt and tosses it on the floor.
Then he walks me backward through the house while still kissing me, quickly working his way back to the bedroom. He pushes me against a wall in the hallway, where he pulls his own shirt off, then unties my bikini top, his warm, naked chest pressing against me as he shoves his tongue deeply into my mouth. I suck on it recklessly.
We finally get to the bedroom, where he quickly shuts and locks the door, then pushes me up against it. He’s kissing me and, like, ravishing me. I feel like I’m living a hot romance novel. And this is the kind of thing I have always pictured.
Always dreamed of.
A boy who wants me so bad he can barely stand it.
A boy who pushes me hard against the door and kisses me like he means it. A boy who takes my wrists and holds them above my head, pinning me to the door as he sucks his way down my chest. A boy who kisses me so deeply it makes my head spin. A boy whose one free hand feels like ten because it is everywhere on my body.
Instead he whispers, “Just because sex is good with someone, doesn't mean you’re destined to be with them. Imagine what it will be like with the guy you’re really supposed to be with. Your true love.”

When he speaks, his lips graze my neck a few times.
“You’re touching my neck. With your lips,” I say raggedly. I can barely breathe when he’s this close to me.
“I’m talking. Not kissing. It doesn’t count.”
And I don't know where this comes from—not from rational thought, obviously—but I make a little breathless moan and say, “Talk some more.”
I feel his mouth form a smile on my neck.
“Remember what I told you? In French. Your lips are my bliss?”
Then he speaks it in French. His lips grazing my neck with each syllable.
I forget who I am.
I forget where I am.
I have but one solitary thought.
Those lips must be on me. 

Hey I warned ya!!

About the Author

Jillian Dodd grew up on a farm in Nebraska, where she developed a love for Midwestern boys and Nebraska football. She has drank from a keg in a cornfield, attended the University of Nebraska, got to pass her candle, and did have a boy ask her to marry him in a bar. She met her own prince in college, and they have two amazing children, a Maltese named Sugar Bear, and two Labrador puppies named Camber Lacy and Cali Lucy.
She is the author of the That Boy Trilogy and The Keatyn Chronicles Series.

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Thanks to the author, I have an eBook copy (Nook or Kindle) of Stalk Me to give to one of you lovlies!  Just fill out the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway