Promo and Review: All I Want for Christmas is You by Lisa Mondello

Today I am welcoming Lisa Mondello.  She is promoting her new book, All I Want For Christmas is You.  This is the perfect read to start off your holiday season.  Be sure to check out my review after reading an excerpt.

All I Want for Christmas is You
Fate with a Helping Hand Book One

Lisa Mondello

Genre: Contemporary Romance

ASIN:  B005KDG236

Number of pages: 192

Word Count: 40,000

Book Description:

Sometimes fate needs a little hand…

Santa Claus is going to have a rough season… Lauren Alexander is raising her daughter alone. Abandoned by her family for her decision to keep her daughter Kristen, she has done a pretty good job for the last six years. Or she thought she had. That’s why she is crushed when little Kristen gives up her wish for a toy or goodie and instead asks Santa for a present for her mother. She wants Santa to bring a Daddy. Delivering Daddies isn’t Santa’s bag.

But this Santa has a plan…

Kyle Preston knows what it is like to be abandoned too. Luckily he found the support of loving adoptive parents and has turned himself into one of the most successful Real Estate developers in town.

Building a house is easy. Building someone’s trust is a whole other story. But with a little helping hand, a little Christmas magic can make all the difference in the world.

Excerpt:

“You don’t have to be afraid. This will explain it all. I promise you.” He smiled warmly and Lauren wanted to trust him if only to believe in simple kindness.

With shaking hands, she took the piece of paper, warm from being in the pocket close to Kyle’s body. She held it up straight so that she could see Kyle while reading the words on the paper.

“Dear Santa…” she read out loud, then read the next part silently. “Oh, no,” she groaned.

“I know. That’s just how I felt.”

Lauren shot him a skeptical glance. “How did you get this?”

“Kristen gave it to me.”

“That’s impossible. Mrs. Hopkins just helped her with it this afternoon and-”
“And she gave it to me in the Mall,” Kyle finished for her.

She looked at him quizzically, still trying to comprehend the course of events leading up to his seizure of her daughter’s precious note.

“It’s not that hard to figure out, Lauren,” Kyle said warmly.

His dark eyes gleamed with the light from the lamppost. He wore no hat to protect his head from the falling snow. Now his hair was filled with powdered flakes, matting it down.

His grin was bright and wide as he informed her, “I’m Santa Claus.”

Review:

I love a good holiday story.  Every Christmas season I look for some good holiday themed books that really bring out the meaning of the season.  This book definitely lives up to my strict criteria.  Lisa Mondello has done a wonderful job bringing in the feelings and emotions of the season along with just that of daily living.  As most people will agree emotions during this time of the year tend to be more sensitive.  That’s why when I find a good Christmas romance I latch on.  The romance between Lauren and Kyle drew me in and had me sighing with every page turn.  It’s not just their romance though that makes this such a must read for the season.  It is definitely the element of family and the importance of trying to mend fences during this time of year that really solidifies this as a fantastic holiday novel.  I would definitely suggest anyone who loves Christmas, romance and family to pick this up and read it.  You won’t regret it.

I’d like to thank Lisa Mondello for stopping by today and Bewitching Book Tours for letting me host this spot.  If you’d like more information about Lisa Mondello you can check out her links below.  If you want some additional information about  All I Want for Christmas is You you can stop by Barnes and Noble, Amazon or any other book retailer.

About the Author:

Lisa Mondello (a.k.a. LA Mondello) has held many jobs in her life but being a published authors is the last job she’ll ever have. She’s not retiring! She blames the creation of the personal computer for her leap into writing novels. Otherwise, she’d still be penning stories with paper and pen.  Her first book, All I Want for Christmas is You, was the winner of the Golden Quill contest for Best First Book and to date has had over 400,000 downloads worldwide.

She is currently the author of 14 novels under the name Lisa Mondello and LA Mondello. You can find more information about Lisa Mondello at http://www.lisamondello.blogspot.com

www.LisaMondello.blogspot.com

@LisaMondello

http://www.facebook.com/lisa.mondello.1

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Muscles and Mistletoe Blog Hop

Welcome to the Muscles and Mistletoe Blog Hop.  Be sure to comment below to enter my giveaway and stop over at the other blog stops for other awesome giveaways and holiday stories.

Today is traditionally the beginning of the holiday season.  It begins with the mad rush of shopping today and continues throughout til the new year.  With caroling, concerts, visits with Santa, church services, family traditions and many more events that go hand in hand with the holidays.  I personally have one tradition that I have to follow every year.  Yearly at this time of year I purchase a book with a holiday theme.  There is just something about love stories and the holidays that bring out the romantic in me.

There is a book I like to go back to over the holiday season.  The book is called the Christmas Train by David Baldacci.  It is a heartwarming story about a journalist who is traveling across the country by train.   Within the story you meet many interesting characters along with his long-lost love.  The re-kindling of their love is sweet and heartfelt.  If you want to fall in love over the holidays and experience it in a unique atmosphere you will definitely want to check out the Christmas Train.

Giveaway:  1 signed Gena Showalter book, Swag packs from Kerrelyn Sparks, Lara Adrian and Karen Chance.  I will be picking 3 winners.

To Enter just leave a comment below with your favorite holiday story.

Be sure to click on the links below to visit the other bloggers in the blog hop.

Review and Giveaway: My Highland Love by Tarah Scott

Today I am spotlighting My Highland Love by Tarah Scott.  It is a fantastic historical romance set in the romantic highlands of Scotland.  Be sure to check out my review right after the book blurb.  Also, don’t forget to enter for a chance to win a copy of the ebook, My Highland Love.

Book Blurb:

Title: My Highland Love

Series: Highland Lords, #1

Author: Tarah Scott

Genre: Historical Romance/Fantasy,

Publisher: Silver Publisher

Ebook

Pages: 262

Book Description:

Elise Kingston is a wanted woman. But that won’t stop her from returning home to America and exposing the man responsible for her daughter’s death. Not even clan chief Marcus MacGregor, who moves her heart, body, and soul will stand in her way.

Until she must choose between his life and her revenge.

Review:

I love a good historical romance like any other good romantic.  This one definitely lives up to any romantics dream.  You have a bit of intrigue, really hot highland laird, loss and then of course romance and love.  Tarah has written a fantastic story.  Marcus MacGregor and Elise Kingston are the perfect couple to fall in love.  Marcus is undoubtedly smitten from the time he encounters Elise.  But, Elise has secrets that she is trying to hide to protect the new-found home she has come to love.  Elise’s independence and forthright attitude is a modern woman in a time and place when those traits are frowned upon.  This tale of Highland love between a rough Highland laird and an American rebel is not only an adventure to read but will also allow the reader to experience the emotion on this roller coaster ride of a historical romance.

I’d like to thank FMB blog tours for allowing me to host today.  I would also like to thank Tarah Scott for letting me read and review her book.  For more information about Tarah Scott be sure to click on her links below.  If you’d like more information about My Highland Love you can stop by Barnes and Noble, Amazon or any other book retailer.

About the Author:

An award winning author, Tarah Scott writes historical romance and romantic and paranormal suspense. She is published with Total E-Bound, Loose Id, The Wild Rose Press, and Etopia Press.

Born in New Mexico, Tarah grew up in the Southwest. Ten years ago, she relocated to Westchester County, New York, where she and her daughter reside in a lakeside community. Don’t be fooled by what sounds like a quiet life. The city that never sleeps is only an hour away, and this Texas girl and her New York bred daughter wouldn’t have it any other way.

Website | Facebook | We Follow | Blog | Email tscott@tarahscott.com |

Giveaway: Tour wide chance at one of two ebooks of My Highland Love.   http://fmbblogtours.blogspot.com/2012/10/tour-schedule-my-highland-love-by-tarah.html

Promo: Cupid’s Christmas by Bette Lee Crosby

Today I am hosting a promo today for Cupid’s Christmas by Bette Lee Crosby.  This is cute Christmas story that will let you bring in the season just as you’d like…with a heart full of love.

Book Blurb:

Romance, Women’s Fiction
Title:  Cupid’s Christmas
Author: Bette Lee Crosby
Date to be published – early October 2012
In a fun Christmas Romance, Cupid is charged with making certain an older couple gets the love they’ve been waiting for and a young woman who’s far too attracted to handsome men with sexy eyes finds her perfect match. And, he has to make it happen by Christmas.
In a spot somewhere between Heaven and Earth, Cupid tries to maneuver around the complications that threaten to wreck this romance as he struggles to overcome the forces of lust, jealousy and the events brought on by his nemeses—Life Management. He matched John and Eleanor some thirty years ago, but Life Management stepped in and fouled things up. Now they’re both single and back together again. But before Cupid can give them the happiness they deserve, he’s got to come up with some magic, a few miracles and a dog for John’s daughter.
If you’re a Debbie Macomber fan, you’re gonna love Cupid’s Christmas!
Excerpt:
Cupid

The problem with humans is they’re in love with love. Even worse, they’re determined to find it themselves. They stumble in and out of relationships that simply were never meant to be and then wonder why it didn’t work. Females are infinitely more complicated than males. Lindsay Gray for example, she’s dead-set on doing this her way and four times she’s ended up with the wrong male. She’s the kind of female who makes my job a nightmare.

Contrary to popular belief, love isn’t a result of me shooting an arrow into some human’s heart—that whole bit is a lot of hooey. I get my orders from Upstairs. The Boss gives me a rundown of matches then it’s my job to make sure the male and female get together. When things go wrong I’ve got to come up with a Plan B. Unfortunately Lindsay Gray has already used up B through E, I’m now working on Plan F and she’s dangerously close to being reclassified as Love-Challenged.

Her problem is she can’t tell love from lust. She sees a pair of heavy-lidded dark eyes, or a rippling muscle and thinks she’s in love. This started when she was only ten years old and caught sight of the boy who lived two doors down. The lad was twelve and wanted nothing to do with her, but that didn’t stop Lindsay from developing a preadolescent case of lovesickness. She followed that poor boy around like a faithful puppy until she saw him kissing Sara McLachlan. Once that happened she swore she’d never love again and she didn’t, until she was eleven.

Lindsay’s mistaken love more times than I can count, and every time it ended in a disaster. She can’t understand why this keeps happening to her, but the answer is obvious—humans with do-it-yourself determination are not equipped to identify true love. They inevitably mistake passion for love. Elizabeth Taylor is a perfect example. She refused to let me handle things, so eight times she got married and seven times she got divorced. One poor chap was killed in a plane crash before she had a chance to divorce him—that was not my doing, that unfortunate  event came from Life Management. Not one of those gents was included in Elizabeth’s plan which goes to prove what I’ve been saying.

But I’m digressing, so let me get back to the subject at hand.

One of the advantages of this job is my ability to see the future and I can tell you Lindsay’s got a lot of problems ahead of her. Problems far worse than her bad boyfriend choices. Most of those problems are coming from the guy over in Life Management. Me, I’m a lovable fellow. But Life Management—well suffice it to say he handles things like car crashes, bankruptcies and heart attacks.

Right now my primary assignment isn’t Lindsay—it’s her father and Eleanor Barrow. But if I don’t step in and take control of Lindsay’s life, she’ll ruin theirs. Eleanor and John deserve better, they’ve been waiting a long time.

This isn’t the first time for Eleanor and John Gray, they were a perfect match back in high school. If Eleanor had gone to Penn State instead of Kentucky, she and John would have had four daughters and a lifetime of happiness. I set up that first match, but once she left the North East, she was out of my region. Raymond, the fellow she married was from Seattle—North West region—and they met at the University of Kentucky—Central region. You probably know where this is going, right? She was out of my region, Raymond was out of his and my counterpart in Kentucky was busy fending off the nineteen girls who thought they were in love with the same basketball player, so Eleanor and Raymond got married and became what we call an MM. (Migratory Mistake)

Despite the fact that I’d let her down, Eleanor made the best of it. If you were standing on the outside looking in, you’d actually think she was happy. Of course I knew the truth because I go to the inside of a person’s heart—I have to, it’s my job. Eleanor was a good wife and a good mother—a bit overindulgent with Ray Junior maybe, but still a good mother. Papa Raymond was another story. It was bad enough that he had an eye for the ladies, but he also had a great fondness for beer and the business sense of a turnip. An insurance salesman who sold life insurance to everybody but himself, how crazy is that?

When Life Management stepped in and did their dirty work, Raymond got an illness nobody wants and it was two years before they finally gave the okay for him to die. Eleanor took care of him that whole time and once he was gone, she worked two jobs so Ray Junior could go on to college.

Eleanor’s a woman with a big heart, lots of grit and steadfast determination, which is fortunate because when it comes to dealing with Lindsay Gray, she’s gonna need all of it. If Eleanor’s got a flaw it’s that she’s blind to the faults of those she loves, which is why Ray Junior is such a problem.

Author Bio

Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby brings the wit and wisdom of her Southern Mama to works of fiction—the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away.

Born in Detroit and raised in a plethora of states scattered across the South and Northeast, Crosby originally studied art and began her career as a packaging designer. When asked to write a few lines of copy for the back of a pantyhose package, she discovered a love for words that was irrepressible. After years of writing for business, she turned to works of fiction and never looked back. “Storytelling is in my blood,” Crosby laughingly admits, “My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write.”

Crosby’s work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. Since that, she has gone on to win several more awards, including another NLAPW award, three Royal Palm Literary Awards, the FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal and most recently the 2011 Reviewer’s Choice Award and Reader’s View Southeast Fiction Literary Award.

Her published works to date are: Cracks in the Sidewalk (2009), Spare Change (2011), The Twelfth Child (2012), and Life in the Land of IS (2012).  Life in the Land of IS is a memoir written for Lani Deauville, a woman the Guinness Book of Records lists as the world’s longest living quadriplegic.

Crosby newest novel Cupid’s Christmas is scheduled for release in early October and following that, What Matters Most will be released in early 2013.

CONTACT

Twitter – @betteleecrosby

Review: Chasing the Trickster (Cernunnos Series #1) by April Grey

I am reviewing April Grey’s Chasing the Trickster.  This was an excellent fantasy book that will push your mind into new and exciting places.

Title: Chasing the Trickster

Series: The Cernunnos Series #1

Author: April Grey

Genre: Dark, Fantasy, Paranormal

Publisher: Eternal Press

Ebook/Paperback

Pages: 236

Book Description:

One Man, Two Women, Two Gods…who will survive the Trickster’s snare?

Ghostly images materialize in Nina Weaver’s photos. Goons try to kidnap her. When her photographs are stolen and her best friend is shot, she realizes that she has no one to turn to but her ex-lover, Pascal “”Goofy”” Guzman. Together they go on a desperate road trip in search of answers. The truth is darker and more terrifying than Nina could ever have imagined. After their love re-ignites, they fall into the Trickster God’s trap.

Excerpt:

She stared at the photo on the gallery wall and silently swore. All semester ghostly images had marred her work. And now not only a strange inclusion ruined her photo, but the pin light needed to be repositioned as well. She found a ladder in the hallway supply closet. Balancing precariously on the top step, she noticed that the imperfection had changed into the image of a vehicle, and it was on fire. She could see the superheated air wavering up off of the flames. The crackling and sudden heat of a blaze forced her to lift a hand to guard her face. It was going to explode. She was quite sure of it. And then she was falling backwards, falling down…

Review:

I really enjoyed this book.  I thought it was a good start to the series.  The characters are very well-formed and the story has some really wonderful twists and turns.  The love triangle between Joe, Pascal and Nina was just a really good addition to this book.  Being that Joe is basically residing inside Pascal makes it interesting when one takes over the other.  I also love the Pascal/Linda aspect of the story.  I think that added a depth to Pascal that you don’t initially have.  This was a real page turner that won’t allow you to put it down until you are finished and panting for the next one.  I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys Paranormal and fantasy.  April Grey is an excellent writer that keeps you guessing and moves the story along at good pace.  You won’t regret picking up this book!

I’d like to thank FMB blog tours for giving me this opportunity to review this awesome book.  Also, if you would like more information about April Grey be sure to click on the links below.  For more information about Chasing the Trickster you can go to Barnes and Noble, Amazon or any other book retailer.

***This book was FREE in exchange for an open and honest review.

About the Author:

April Grey’s urban fantasy novel, Chasing The Trickster, is published by Eternal Press. Her short stories have been published in such print anthologies as Demonmind’s Halloween 2010, The Best of Everyday Fiction 2, Northern Haunts, Ephemera and Terrible Beauty, Fearful Symmetry. Many of these stories can be found in her collection, The Fairy Cake Bake Shoppe available through Amazon and Smashwords.

She and her family live in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC in a building next to a bedeviled garden. Gremlins, sprites or pixies, something mischievous, lurks therein. Someday she’ll find out.

Blog |Facebook | Twitter | Smashwords | Website |

Writing Class – Jan 28 – Feb 10

Writing for e-zines 13 SPOTS LEFT
April Grey. The best piece of advice I ever had as a budding novelist was to also write short pieces. The benefits of publishing short stories and/or non-fiction articles with e-zines (and other publications) are huge. You can make a name for yourself as a writer, create a platform, improve your craft and get paid by selling to e-zines. This course will teach the beginning writer how to research markets, evaluate their own work, write a cover letter/follow up query and track their stories. Students will sub… {more info}
Duration: 13 days. $20/$30 (Craft, Plotting, Characterization, Industry, Genre, Intermediate)
http://www.savvyauthors.com/vb/workshoplist.php

Here is a link for additional tour stops for this book:  http://fmbblogtours.blogspot.com/2012/08/tour-schedule-chasing-trickster.html

Review: Word and Breath by Susannah Noel

Today I am reviewing the book, Word and Breath by Susannah Noel.  This is book 1 in her Wordless series.  Her next book, Word and Deed is due out in December.

Book Blurb:

Riana has learned how to stay out of trouble. She spends her days studying written texts in the government’s Office of Readers, and she spends her nights taking care of her sick sister. She always—always—follows the rules. Despite her low profile, she has mysteriously become a target. Someone has kidnapped her sister. Someone else is trying to kill her. And someone has sent a Soul-Breather to beguile her out of her secrets.

Her help comes from the mythic leader of an underground rebel movement. A man who used to be her friend. A man who has silently loved her for years. He disappeared from her life without a word, and now he expects her to trust him again.

Then there’s the Soul-Breather, a man who can taste her spirit with only a touch. He makes her feel things she’s never experienced before, but she doesn’t know if the feelings are real. Hired to deceive and betray her, he offers to help her instead.

Without both men, she can’t rescue her sister. And she can’t discover the world-changing knowledge—buried in her memory—that has made her a target in the first place. ***Book Blurb courtesy of Goodreads.***

Review:

This was an excellent first book in this series.  The story was very unique.  In a genre that is inundated with traditional paranormal/fantasy characters, Susannah Noel creates a new world and a new set of paranormal entities.  The idea of the Soul-Breather was inventive and very well written.  I loved that they could manipulate emotions and were basically human lie detectors.  I think it is something of both a blessing and a curse.  But, the Soul-Breathers aren’t all there is to this book. The characters of Connor and Riana are well put together and you can really relate to their stories.  The romance between Mikal and Riana is very good but you just know it going to get better, but I couldn’t help myself but to root for Connor.  I kinda hope he gets his happy ending.  I kinda seems unfair.  Overall, this book was well written, well thought out and well executed.  Its got a little bit of suspense, a little bit of mystery, a little bit of paranormal and a little bit of romance.  I would recommend this book and believe me in the end you will be counting the days till December when the next one comes out.

For more information about Susannah Noel you can check out her website.  If you’d like to get more information about Word and Breath you can go to Barnes and Noble, Amazon and any other book retailer.

Interview and Review: The Christmas Diary by Elyse Douglas

I am welcoming Elyse Douglas today.  They wrote the awesome holiday tale The Christmas Diary. Be sure to check out my review after my interview with Elyse Douglas.

Little Blurb about Elyse Douglas:

(We are a husband and wife writing team.  To keep it simple, we’ll use the pronoun I)

1. Who or what inspired you to become a writer?

I heard a story teller in Kentucky when I was young.  He was entrancing, the way he blended character, atmosphere and plot.  The impact was dramatic.  People laughed, cried and shouted.  I witnessed the power of a good story expertly told.  I wanted to do that.  So I embarked on becoming a writer.  And then I embarked again… and again… and, somehow I think writers are always embarking, journeying and then embarking again.  But that story teller from Kentucky inspired me to buy the first ticket for what has become a long series of ticket buying, and embarking on journeys.

2. How long did it take you to write The Christmas Diary?

Six months on the first draft.  It lay around for months more, then was rewritten, reedited and proofed and then revised.  All total, about a year.

3. While writing how many times do you go back and rewrite a plot?

Every book begins with the title.  The title is a small poem and the plot grows out of that.  Once underway, the book unravels with hope-filled happy surprises.  If by page 50 the book lacks life, it’s abandoned.  If it flows, I rarely rewrite the plot.

4. You run into a bookstore, where do you go first?

To the hardback new fiction releases.

5. How many books in a month do you tend to read?

Eight to ten books.

6. In all the books you’ve read. Who is your most favorite character and why?

Ebenezer Scrooge.  He’s loathsome, rich, greedy, mean, frightening, odious and then… loveable, generous, delightful, joyful and loving.  It is very difficult to write a character any more entertaining, complex and textured than Scrooge.  But then, Dickens was skilled and supreme.

7. State 5 random facts about yourself.

A fair jazz pianist

Speech-language pathologist

Believe in reincarnation

Grew up in a family of astrologers

Love watching kids catch the spark for learning and exploration of life.

8. Your favorite Genre?  Romantic mystery.

9. What are you currently reading?  Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter

10. What is the best book you’ve read?  Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.

11. Any new projects coming up? Currently working on three. Two mysteries and one romantic mystery.

Book Blurb:
Contemporary Romance
Title: The Christmas Diary
Author: Elyse Douglas
Date Published: 9/12/12
A young woman, traveling to meet her wealthy fiancé for a Christmas wedding, loses her way in a snowstorm and is stranded at a bed and breakfast. In her room, she finds an old diary written by a man who had once owned the house. Moved by what she reads, she sets off on a journey to learn what happened to him.
Review:
I really fell in love with this book.  This time of the year I really enjoy reading holiday books.  Especially those that have a great story and a meaningful focus.  Alice’s story that begins with a snowstorm will force her to face her life as it is by reading the diary of Jack and the love and loss he heartfeltly writes about.  Her drive to meet Jack and find out what happened in the end.  Alice begins to question her life’s choice and tries to imagine if she continues down the path she is currently on will she be happy in the end or if she decides to change her life entirely will that be her best choice.  This beautiful story had me laughing and crying and feeling the depths of the pain the characters were feeling.  Everything I look for in a good holiday/christmas book was found right here.  I recommend this book for anyone who wants to feel the characters emotions and completely fall in love with a story.
I’d like to thank Elyse Douglas for stopping by today and Reading Addiction Book Tours.  For more information about Elyse Douglas you can click on their links below.  For more information about The Christmas Diary you can go to Barnes and Noble, Amazon and any other book retailer.
Author Bio

Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the husband and wife writing team of Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse’s mother was a painter and her father a textile consultant. Elyse began writing poems and short stories at an early age, and graduated from Columbia University with a Master’s Degree in English Literature. Douglas grew up in a family of musicians, astrologers and avid readers. His grandfather was a gifted humorist and storyteller from Kentucky.

Elyse Douglas’ four novels include: The Astrologer’s Daughter, Wanting Rita, The Christmas Diary and Christmas Ever After. They live in New York City.

Guest Post and Review: Mything You by Greta Buckle

Today, I am spotlighting Greta Buckle and her book, Mything You.  Greta is taking over today so be sure to check out Mything You and my review following Greta’s take over.

Being Creative in History

Mything You is set on earth, and ancient times. It’s not science fiction or fantasy, alternate world. We have human history and the Greek Myths were clues to human thinking, and not real. I remember that.

And like Maven, I’m a social studies teacher. Usually I lecture on AP US Government and AP Macroeconomics at a great high school. AP means Advanced Placement and the students take a test in May, where if they pass, they get college credit. AP is my day job. Writing is my dream job. Anyhow last year there was an extra random Honors World History class that I was forced to teach. Panic button hit the first week of school for me. The last time I took a world history course, I’d been in high school myself. My college majors were government and then law school. No where did teaching world history fit into the equation. I had no choice. I found a teacher with power points to help me understand and guide and focused on the subject at hand.

Yet I also had all my AP high school seniors which I’m used too. This year I am all AP high school seniors. Every April at our school is called ‘hell month.’ Why is it hell? Cramming for tests, and not just AP tests. The students spend hundreds of hours testing at the end of the year. School is so not like what I went through in the 1990s. It’s test centric. This meant in April, I had to find a way to focus on my testing seniors, without losing my one random freshman class into nothing. April for the freshman became, let’s write the first chapter of our history based novels. We focused on writing and comprehension, which are what they are tested on anyhow. We read our chapters, critiqued, and had fun at the same time. A few of my former students are future writers or could be if they tried.

I wrote the first chapter for them. I had a friend critique or should I say butcher my chapter to show creative feedback to my class. (I had to cut a few words from the word files to not scandalize a class.) The myth had been meant to educate on constructive criticism and to show even I make mistakes. I wrote it by my complex’s pool on a Sunday morning. (In Miami, hot is normal.)

I hadn’t wanted to stop writing. Once I added in Ari, and wasn’t sharing aloud in a classroom, things could heat up the way I wanted them too. Theseus still had to be young, and on his epic adventure. Ari had to be modern and fresh.  I wanted to write this story.

And I didn’t want to take the setting of pre-human history out. We don’t know every detail of ancient life out. We don’t know our own human history in detail till much later in time. I love the idea of human history having mythological creatures running around. (And no I don’t believe it anymore than I believe the hot Greek guy on Ancient Aliens with the hair, but I watch anyhow.)

Stories after stories are set in either the future, medieval or Regency England. At least those that I enjoy reading are. Yet no stories took place in the time frame of myths and men take my fancy. Don’t get me wrong, I love and admire Mr. Darcy. I love stories about Dragons or epic quests. I love video games where I get to choose how to proceed (RPG), comic books, and stories of love. To me love stories told in Ancient Athens should not be left to the literary, unhappy endings types. Ari and Theseus deserved better. And they will play a role in the sequel I’m working on now. Hope you enjoyed Mything You.

Book Blurb:

New Adult

Title: Mything You
Author: Greta Buckle
Date Published: 10/24/12
He wasn’t looking for love. He only wanted to prove he was worthy of being a king’s son.

Adventurer Theseus had dreamed of meeting his father, King Aegeus. As Theseus journeys to Athens, he meets his match in strength along the way. But is it the will of a beautiful young princess that puts this strong young man finally at his mercy? Or will he be able to conquer the princess’s heart?

She had settled for a life of unhappiness and believed a man who would love her for herself was only in her dreams.

Princess Ari has followed her father’s dictates all her life. On her way to meet her bridegroom, she is attacked. Saved by a handsome adventurer, Theseus, she tempts fate and follows him on his journey to Athens. Being with Theseus opens up a whole new world of opportunity for her. But will she allow her heart or loyal duty choose her life for her?

Review:

Mything You was a great romance book based on Ancient Greek mythology.  It takes in myths such as the Minotaur of Crete and King Midas and his Midas touch.  We see even more famous/infamous historical figures such as Agamemnon, Theseus, Hercules, Hippolyta, The Oracle of Delphi and King Aegeus.  I loved the incorporation of these ancient myths and ancient history.  I liked the story and the characters.  Theseus and Ari are two incredible characters that you fall in love with while they are falling in love.  I also, enjoyed the accurate depiction of ancient traditions and how the views of women, poor people and rich people and men differ from today’s more progressive views.  I think Greta Buckle did a terrific job of incorporating history and romance.  She thrusts us right into Ancient Greece and makes you not want to leave until you meet a hero of your own.  I recommend this for anyone interested in a good romance with a little myth thrown in.

I’d like to thank Greta Buckle for stopping by today and Reading Addiction Book Tours for letting me host this tour stop.  If you’d like to learn more about Greta you can check out her links below.  For more information about Mything You you can go to Barnes and Noble, Amazon or any other book retailer.

Author Bio: 

Greta Buckle grew up in Irish Catholic Boston before moving to the Miami sun. She’s worked in engineering, then became a lawyer. After realizing she hates clients, she became a high school teacher. Teaching is fun, but writing is a passion. She wrote one hundred and one fan fiction stories online before deciding to transition into writing her own stories. Never ask her to republish her fan stories from age eleven- horribly written stories of princesses. Greta dreams of writing professionally, where her barista can make her coffee and a walk on the beach, can motivate her tales. Theseus story came to her when she was a freshman in high school as her English teacher, the nun, told her how life was hard and tragedy teaches lessons. Greta’s love of writing has kept her centered and focused. How is she crazy? The voices in her head are characters in novels and she’s not insane.

Contact Links

 
 
Twitter: @gretabuckle

Guest Post and Review: Once Upon a Twisted Time

Today Miranda Stork has jumped on board.  She is one of the four authors who wrote outstanding novellas in Once Upon a Twisted Time.  Please be sure to welcome Miranda and be sure to check out my review after Miranda’s take over.

Would Your Book Make A Good Movie?

Come on, admit it. You’re just like me, and you’ve often wondered who would play the perfect part of your main character. If it was made into a movie, that is.

When I’m writing, it’s exactly how plots work their way onto my pages. In my head, all of the characters are acting, as though in a movie. And yes, there are often quite a few retakes in there. And whoever makes the sandwiches for the buffet table needs firing, because they’re always stale. But we’re going off track here, back to the movie. Thinking of it in this way always means that the characters voices are heard in my head, helping me to write down their dialogue in a vivid way.

But more than this, imagining it in such a way allows me to write it almost with the structure of a film. For example, when you are writing a film script, you use the following structure;

Stage One; The Setup.

The first 10% of all screenplays have to draw your reader in. It’s no different in a novel. The first part of your book needs to draw people in, and hook them. You introduce the main characters, and must establish an identity with them. (For example, they are the likeable, funny student. Or the creepy yet smart FBI agent. Or the snarky, drunk unicorn. Whatever works.)Your setup should drag the reader from their normal world, and plunge them headfirst into yours.

Stage Two; The Opportunity.

Your character must next be presented with something that will make them have a new desire or goal. Perhaps they get offered the plans to the bank heist of the century, perhaps they are told how they can go back in time, or earn that raise. But something must shift in their universe to make them want something new, to set them down the path you want them to follow.

Stage Three; The New Situation.

This has to be the character’s reaction to the previous opportunity. They must get used to the current situation, and devise a plan or idea for it. For example, taking the bank heist idea, the character could work out a plan for it. Perhaps they look for associates to help them with it. Maybe they don’t want to do it at all. It make include a change of environment (which will definitely happen in a screenplay), and your character must go elsewhere to continue the story. But, as the situation continues, and your character gets closer to their goal…

Stage Four; The Change of Plans.

This is the point at which the opportunity presented in stage two becomes a defined need for the character. For example, imagine your character’s original motivation was to travel to travel to another country, to help someone else get rid of the mafia. But then the mafia kill the character’s father. So now the opportunity is defined into something more personal for the character. This is also usually the point your reader (or audience) begin to really root for them to win through and reach their desire.

Stage Five; Progress.

This is the next large chunk of your story. Your hero or heroine works towards their goal, and the story moves on in this way. You can include conflict in this part, of course, but it must seem as though they are edging closer, and all is so far going well.

Stage Six; The Point of No Return.

This is usually the exact halfway point of your book (or screenplay, I’m confusing myself). Your character has fully committed to their goal, and have usually preformed a task, or done something which ensures they cannot go back from this point on. It is almost the point where they are taking the biggest risk of all in the whole book.

Stage Seven; Complications.

This is where the ‘spanner in the works’ comes in. The plot point that means your character’s journey is interrupted, and is usually either a set-back, or a threat in some way. They usually have much to lose now, and are thoroughly entwined in the plot. The stakes also become much higher, whether they win or lose. And success is getting closer, it seems, until…

Stage Eight; The Major Setback.

This is the point which should have readers at the edge of their seats, and something occurs which means that your character seems to have had the ultimate setback. For example, in a story where the boxer has been fighting in the ring, they get one hell of a right-hook from the opponent, and it looks as though they are going down. All hope will seem lost at this point, and they will have to make one final, all-or-nothing push.

Stage Nine; The Final Push.

Your character must now throw everything they have into the basket, count all their chickens, bolt the doors, and however many other references they can fit into one sentence. Your hero or heroine by this point will be broken down, beaten at all odds, and grasping for that last straw. They have to summon all their information learned throughout the plot, all of their courage, and head face-on to the….

Stage Ten; The Climax.

Lots of things have to happen here at once, the character has to face the biggest challenge of all, and determine what their fate will be. At the same time, their motivation, the desire of the whole book, must be resolved. However, the climax is not necessarily the end…

Stage Eleven; The Aftermath.

Depending on the type of book (or screenplay) you are writing, will depend on whether or not you will use this stage. If, for example, you have written a book where the character’s climax happens quite near to the end of the book (check out my novel ‘Conner’ for an example 😉 ) then your objective is to leave your reader stunned or on a high. This is usually used if you want a sequel to your current book, no matter what genre. However, if you are writing a romantic novel or a thriller (if there will be no sequel), then usually there is an aftermath. For example, the hero has declared his love for the heroine. But then there may be a short chapter afterwards, describing how they get married, showing them content in their new life. The aim is not to put a full stop there, but to show how your character is now living in their new life now they have completed their goal.

If you follow these steps, your book will read almost like a film, and also as a well-balanced storyline. And you never know, one day you may be getting a call…. 😉

Book Blurb:

Once Upon A Twisted Time

An Anthology of Dark Adult Fairytales
By: Tara Stogner Wood, Trish Marie Dawson, Lindsay Avalon, and Miranda Stork

Genre: Fairytales/Paranormal

Publisher: Moon Rose Publishing

Date of Publication: 31st October 2012

Number of pages: 250

Word Count: 76,000

Cover Artist: Miranda Stork

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/6IAdJ6ihdmw

www.moonrosepublishing.com

Book Description:

Think you know your fairytales? Think again. These aren’t your normal happily-ever-after. Within these pages, a murderous Little Mermaid gets her revenge, the Cinderella doesn’t really want to wear the slipper, Snow White is up to her eyes in industrial experiments, and the Beauty is in fact the Beast.

This collection of four novellas will surprise you, make you gasp in horror, sigh with relief, and sit on the edge of your seat. And most of all…they will make you rethink everything you think you know about dark fairytales…

Song of the Abyss-Lindsay Avalon

Princess Nerissa had envisioned a perfect wedding to a handsome prince. Instead, she fell into a nightmare. When her new husband tries to murder her just hours after pledging his life to her, she must flee towards the sea. Caught in transition from woman to selkie, she is trapped by the dark waters she hoped would be her salvation. Now her destiny becomes that of luring young men to their death…until one comes along that reignites the spark of love inside her. However to ensure her future, she must first face her past. Revenge must be taken…for both her life, and the life of the young man she now loves.

Miss Cavendish and the Spark of Salvation-Tara Stogner Wood

In a city toiling under the iron fist of the Spiegel Syndicate and its monopoly on coal, Miss Georgina “George” Cavendish is on the brink of a breakthrough that could change the world forever. There’s just one thing standing in her way, her aunt – Xenobia Cavendish. Threatened by her efforts, the Syndicate procures the services of a notorious assassin with a past tied to her own, known as The Huntsman, to dispatch the brilliant scientist. But once he gets a glimpse of the headstrong beauty, will he be able to do the job, or will Georgina sway him to The Cause? And will George find the breakthrough she needs in time, or is New London Town doomed to forever lie under the dark shadow of her aunt’s factories?

Hawke and the Beast-Trish Marie Dawson

Some curses last forever, and some can be broken with the whisper of three little words. Isabella Rose Woodward fell in love with a witch’s son over a century ago. Her punishment for breaking the young man’s heart was a beastly one. Every month she turns into a different creature, aging on the full moon when her curse allows for a brief return to her human form. Her only salvation is to find a man that will love her as she is…be it adorned in feathers, fur or scales. Has she found this love with the handsome Jasper Hawke? Or will a mysteriously determined Hunter find her first, and snuff out the life she so desperately seeks? A life of normalcy, where she loves and is loved in return… just as she is.

Reborn City-Miranda Stork

Nyx has one mission in life; bring down the brainwashing of New Omsk’s citizens, and release them from their mundane lives of toil. The year is 2355, and the world is a new place. A Governor is in charge of every city in the world, and humanity is attempting to rebuild itself after recovering from a war that nearly killed it. But this Governor has set his eyes on the intrepid little hacker, Nyx, and he will stop at nothing to get her. But perhaps he needs her more than he ever dreamed he would…as do his citizens.

Review:

I love a good fairy tale.  Since I was little I loved fairy tales and as I got older I loved the different takes that many other authors have gone with traditional tales.  So, when I was offered a chance to read and review these tales I was very excited.  These four diverse yet similar stories take the base of the fairy tale and like the title says twists it on it ear.  I loved the use of the selky legends incorporated with the story of the Little Mermaid.  I loved that Snow White was a scientist.  I loved that Beauty was the beast.  I loved that Cinderella was a hacker and a revolutionary.  These twists let you forget your reading a fairy tale but the love part brings up back to why we read fairy tales in the first place.  Although these are not your usual fairy tales I wouldn’t necessarily read them to your children as bed time stories.  There is violence and graphic sex scenes.  I’m sure the graphic violence is reminiscent to the original tales, but the additional sex scenes adds a level that as an adult reading these stories I would love to be any one of these “princesses”.  I would recommend this read to anyone who has read Gregory Maguire’s twists on the fairy tales and anyone who like a good paranormal romance.

I’d like to thank Miranda Stork for stopping by today and Bewitching Book tours for allowing me to host this stop in the tour.  For more information about Once Upon a Twisted Time you can go to Barnes and Noble, Amazon or any other book retailer.

About the Authors:

Tara Stogner Wood-

Tara Wood divides her time between creating domestic bliss and creating hot paranormal romance with the occasional side of kink. When not playing June Cleaver for her hubby and daughter, she can be found at the local Starbucks slamming back Frappuccinos and plotting out her next idea. Or she’s watching the BBC. Tara resides with her wonderful and tolerant family in the suburbs of Houston, Texas. She is currently at work on several projects, one of them being the next book in her In Blood series.

Trish Marie Dawson-

I was born and mostly raised in San Diego, California where I live now with my  family and pets. I’ve been writing short stories and poetry since high school after an obsession with Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’. After over fifteen years of crazy dreams and an overactive imagination, I began my first book ‘I Hope You Find Me’ in December of 2011. When I’m not writing, I am homeschooling my amazing daughter and mildly autistic son, reading whatever I can get my hands on, or enjoying the Southern California sun. As a strict Vegetarian, I hold a special place in my heart for animal rights and dash into the backyard weekly to rescue lizards and mice from our mini-lab/aussie shepherd/cocker spaniel mixed dog, Zoey…who is always getting into some sort of trouble.

Miranda Stork-

I was born in Guisborough, North Yorkshire in 1987 and have lived in various places around Britain, including Newcastle and Glasgow.

My writing is inspired by various writers, including the vivid characters of Charles Dickens, the imagination of Stephen King, and the gothic imagery of Anne Rice.

My love of horror began at an early age, when I was only three or four. I could read proficiently at the age of three, and devoured fairy-stories, but I always had a bent towards the darker stories, such as the Brother’s Grimm’s tales…Red Riding Hood was always a firm favourite, although I always felt sorry for the wolf, despite him having tried to eat everyone!

Lindsay Avalon-

I am a wife, a mother to an adorable mini schnauzer, a programmer, and now an author. I love reading romance because no matter what may be happening in my life, I can always count on my books to end happily ever after. My sister drilled into me an appreciation for fantasy and mythology, something I try to bring to my books. After hearing me complain a few too many times that I had “nothing” to read despite the hundreds of paperbacks scattered around the house, my husband began suggesting I write my own stories. When I finally took his advice I discovered that although I enjoy my day job as a software engineer, my true calling is to be an author.

Interview and Review: The Tragedy of Knowledge by Rachael Wade

Today I am featuring Rachael Wade whose final book in her Resistance Trilogy, The Tragedy of Knowledge.  I have read all of her Resistance Trilogy and her book Preservation.  She is a great indie author and I would wholeheartedly recommend anything she writes.  Be sure to enter her awesome giveaway after my review.

Thank you for stopping by today.  I really enjoyed The Tragedy of Knowledge and was sad that this was the last book in the series.

Thanks for having me, Jackie! I’m so glad you enjoyed the end of the series. 🙂

Since this is your last book in the trilogy was it hard coming up with an ending and saying goodbye?

Oddly, no. I knew how I wanted the series to end very early on, before I wrote book 2, so when it came time to write it, I felt ready. The characters were ready. Yet there is always a bittersweet feeling leaving that world behind and saying goodbye to the characters. I really love them like real people, so it was tough. There’s always the chance I might resurrect them in the future though…

I love Gav and Cam.  What made you decide to keep this to just a trilogy and not a series?  I think you could have definitely made these books into a series. 

When I originally came up with the concept for the trilogy, I felt like the main battle, the main plot, could be covered in three books. By the third book, I felt it was enough. However, when I finished the epilogue for the 3rd book, I realized I had an idea to continue the story, so in answer to your question: I think it could continue on as a series as well. 😉 I can’t say much about it yet, though.

Is there a chance we might see a spin-off with any of the other characters?

Yes. There’s a good chance many of the characters will return in a new series that follows the Resistance Trilogy. That won’t happen for quite a while, though. I’ve been super busy with my other series projects, but I’m looking forward to seeing where it all goes. 🙂

Since it’s just us…do you have a favorite and/or least favorite character of yours?

Oh, that’s tough. I love them all, even the villains—especially the villains. Right now, I’d say my favorite character is Jackson, the lead in my upcoming romance, Love and Relativity. He was just so much fun to write. I really adore him. My least favorite would be Gérard. Everything about him boils my blood. He’s so selfish and arrogant.

How did you come up with the world of Amaranth and the ability to become and unbecome a frozen soul? 

The concept for the realm entry through the bayou portal and all that came to me while I was visiting the places in the book. I had the opportunity to visit Southern Louisiana before I wrote the series. Then I started to wonder who would go there and why? Why would these ex-vampires be held captive in this realm? Once I played around with those questions, the rest of the concept for vampires-turned-human again sort of evolved from there, and it eventually became the whole focus of the plot.

Who do you envision playing your characters if there was an ever a movie made of your series? 

Oh, that’s tough, too. I’ve picked a few actors and models that I think have certain qualities that would work for the characters. You can see my photo picks here.  In particular, I think Emma Stone would be absolutely perfect for Audrey.

Can you give us a hint on what you’re working on next?

Right now I’m working on Reservation, a sequel to my contemporary romance, Preservation, which is told from Ryan’s POV. I’m also working on The Keepers Trilogy, a new sci-fi romance series.

Do you have any authors you read that have inspired your writing? 

Oh, tons. Cormac McCarthy and Sylvia Plath are two big influences. And contemporary writers like Veronica Roth, E.L. James, and Jennifer Armentrout.

Ok…now I am gonna ask you just a couple of fun/silly questions.  Do you have any guilty pleasures?

Celebrity tabloid magazines. It’s awful. I hate buying them because they’re all crap and they only contribute to the media storm that invades these celebrities’ lives, which I really hate. I don’t think just because you’re famous that people should feel entitled to “own” you and expose your private life to the whole world. That makes no sense to me. And yet if I see one of my favorite actors on the cover of one, I have to buy it. *hangs head in shame*

Can you share with me three things that not many people know about you?

Hhhmm, well before I decided to write for a living, I worked as a public speaker for Sea World in the education and conservation department. I was originally planning on working with animals. Sometimes I’m afraid of heights, and I still listen to 90s pop.

Do you have any must-read books that no matter how many times you read them they never get old?

Yes! I can read Jennifer Armentrout’s Lux books over and over, as well as the Fifty Shades Trilogy. They always make me laugh, swoon, and keep me on the edge of my seat.

What is your ultimate dream as a writer?

I guess to see something I’ve written on TV or in a film someday. I don’t care whether it’s a small indie film or a made-for-TV series. It doesn’t have to be huge or anything, although that would be nice, too haha. I just love visual storytelling and I’m a huge movie buff, so seeing something I’ve written translated on screen like that would be a dream come true.

Finally, if you could meet a fictional character from either your books or another author’s books who would it be and why?

That’s a great question! I’d love to meet Tobias (Four) from Veronica Roth’s Divergent series. I have a major book boyfriend crush on him. If I could meet anyone from my books, I’d like to meet Camille. She’s pretty special to me.

Thank you for stopping by today.  I’m definitely going to miss the world of Amaranth but am looking forward to what you have coming up next.  I’m especially looking forward to the sequel to Preservation. 

Book Blurb:

The Battle Comes Home.

After arranging a hopeful but risky alliance during their visit to the Amaranthian realm, Camille, Gavin, and the resistance don’t have much time to recover from their failed mission. Forced to create a new strategy to achieve their goal, they embark on a different mission—one that possibly holds the missing key to their quest for victory, and their deadliest one yet.

As they attempt round two to restore peace and freedom for their kind, they must rely on help from the living, the bayous, and beyond to decipher allies from enemies, good magic from bad, and whether the source claiming to lead the way to their destiny can be trusted. Racing against the clock to solve the mystery of their fate, they find the battle has come right to their doorstep, and this time, everyone must pay a price.

Review:

The Tragedy of Knowledge is the third book in Rachael Wade’s Resistance trilogy.  This book picks up right where The Gates left off.  Cam is now a frozen soul.  They have lost some friends in the resistance and they must keep going to find a way to free the frozen souls and Amaranthians.  Cam, Gavin, Audrey, Gabe, Josh and others must find the way to defeat Gerard.  Against what seems to be insurmountable odds and new betrayals will the resistance win out?

I loved this book just like the other two.  The characters continue to evolve and develop.  The love between Cam and Gavin continues to put the pages to flame.  Rachael Wade does an incredible job taking us from Louisiana and back to Amaranth.  The different take on vampires or frozen souls is unique and really makes this trilogy an intriguing read.  It is unique and truly entertaining.  Between the characters, the scenery and the emotions that not just The Tragedy of Knowledge and the rest of the trilogy.  The Tragedy of Knowledge will have you crying, laughing and being really pissed.  I would recommend this series and any of Rachael Wade’s other books.

I’d like to thank Rachael Wade for stopping by today.  If you’d like to know more about the Resistance trilogy and The Tragedy of Knowledge you can check them out at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and any other book retailer.

Author Bio:

Rachael Wade is the Amazon #1 bestselling author of the paranormal romance series, The Resistance Trilogy, and the contemporary romance, Preservation. When she’s not writing, she’s busy learning French, watching too many movies, and learning how to conserve wildlife and help fight animal cruelty. Also visit her at Lights ON Outreach, her environmental and humanitarian advocacy blog.

Giveaway: 

Just leave a comment about what fictional character you’d like to meet in real life.  You will be entered to winUp for grabs: 1 e-book copy set of  ALL 3 books in the trilogy, including Amaranth (Book 1), The Gates (Book 2), and The Tragedy of Knowledge (Book 3) in the e-format of the winner’s choice (MOBI, EPUB, or PDF)

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Favorite Book Series

Eternal Guardians by Elisabeth Naughton Dark-Hunter by Sherrilyn Kenyon Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward Lords of the Underworld by Gena Showalter Lords of Deliverance by Larissa Ione discovery of witches love at stake
The Fallen Angels by J.R. Ward Fairy Tales by Eloisa James Night Huntress by Jeaniene Frost Fever by Karen Marie Moning Guild Hunter by Nalini Singh Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews
Mercedes Thompson by Patricia Briggs Midnight Breed by Lara Adrian The Hollows by Kim Harrison Witch by Carolyn MacCullough westfield wolves
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