Friday, August 7, 2015

The Age of Amy by Bruce Edwards - Excerpt

This novel has an interesting premise.
Read the blurb and the excerpt, then tell me in the comments: Would you want a Jimmie? Scroll down for my response.

The Age of Amy
Behind the Fun Zone

Bruce Edwards

YA Fiction
July 1, 2015

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell's | Books-A-Million

Are you a Jimmiehead, or are you still using one of those old-fashioned smartphones?

Jimmies are tiny microchips, that when painlessly implanted into your brain, magically transform your eyes and ears into the ultimate hands-free device. No more fumbling with fragile phones, loose earbuds, or clumsy controllers. Watch movies without looking at a screen. Take photos through your eyes. Text with your brain waves.

Everyone wants a Jimmie—except 16-year-old Amy, who detests technology in any form. But when thousands of teenage Jimmieheads mysteriously vanish, only she can save them. Immune to Jimmie's influence, Amy embarks on a quest to find the missing teens, ultimately revealing an ominous connection to a spooky, old amusement park that's been dark for 50 years!


Chapter 2

Handheld mobile devices would soon be obsolete. Anyone with a Jimmie knew that. Why fumble with an awkward contraption in your hand when you can carry a micro-version of the same thing in your head? Text without using a keypad. Listen to music without headphones. No more watching video on a wallet-sized display. Images appear right before your eyes, as if floating in space. Jimmie Vision also allows you to snap photos, or record HD video of anything your eyes see. Files are wirelessly uploaded to a massive cloud storage server, with one billion lotza-bytes of free space.

Getting a Jimmie is easy. Drop over to your local Jimmie Store and sign up for a two-year subscription. A gracious salesclerk then hands you a little blue box. Inside, on a small velvet pillow, rests a sugar-coated pill containing a teeny circuit board the size of a grain of rice. Take the pill with water, and it begins an amazing journey through your circulatory system. Thanks to micro-robotics, it finds its way to your brain and implants itself in the temporal lobe, where hearing, memory, and visual perception are controlled. After an hour or so, you’re part of a worldwide network of cutting-edge technology. And the best part: Jimmies are free, so long as you don’t mind viewing pop-up ads from time to time!

Unfortunately, like all “connected” devices, Jimmies were not immune to the dark side of mobile communications. Having your personal data flung to the far reaches of cyberspace was an ongoing problem. GPS satellites tracked your every move. Before the Jimmie, you could toss your cell phone in a drawer and go about your day without fear of being watched. Now, cyber-prowlers followed you day and night, and there was no way to escape their scrutiny. For sure, reading Jimmie Books without having to look at a screen is pretty awesome, but when I take home a printed library book, no one’s looking over my shoulder while I’m reading it.

Regardless, this was a product with coolness written all over it. In no time at all, it exploded into a global phenomenon.

About the Author

Award-winning author Bruce Edwards is a former Hollywood film animator, and brings the whimsy of a character artist to his stories. A music major in college, he is also an accomplished musician and composer. His other creative endeavors include a stint as a puppeteer and performing magic at Disneyland. Bruce's thought-provoking books for young adults are never short on fun, fantasy, and imagination.


Behind the Fun Zone

The idea of a Jimmie terrifies me on so many levels. I can just see the masses lining up to get one attached to their brains. So easy, even a baby could do it. I'm not afraid of technology, and sometimes I even like my iPhone. But this... it's just too much. It reminds me of Batman Forever, the one with Jim Carrey as the Riddler. His state of the art invention that could take thing out of peoples' minds in addition to putting things in was creepy. I think I'll keep my brain a tech-free zone.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Author & Reader Convention in NOLA

Last week I attended the Author & Reader Convention in NOLA!
At the BTS Red Carpet Awards ceremony, I won two awards: Rising Star 2014 & Best Cover for Tortured Souls (of course that one goes straight to my amazing cover artist Amanda Matthews)

I had a fantastic time at the convention. It was my first major event, and I was very nervous. I can't believe how many authors and readers I met. I'd always heard that the writing community could be wonderful and supportive. It was great to experience that first hand.

This was also my first trip to NOLA, and I definitely need to go back again soon. Maybe when it isn't so hot. The first night we went on a walking ghost tour in the French Quarter. About 2/3 of the way through it started pouring rain. Understand, I lived near Seattle for two years and now I live in San Antonio-- I'm used to heavy rain. This was like walking under a waterfall! Several of us stopped mid-tour and headed for dinner. We had some great Cajun food-- can't get enough of that :)

The next night I went on a carriage ride with a group led by V.A. Dold-- if you haven't read any of her books, be sure to check them out-- That ride was the highlight of the trip. I loved clopping down the French Quarter streets and hearing the intriguing history of the city. I didn't take any pictures. I was too engrossed in the tales to even consider pulling out my phone.

The book signing was fantastic. So many friendly people stopped by. Honestly I was a tad overwhelmed by the hospitality and friendliness I ran into. Here's a picture of my table:

Like I said, this was my first event, so I wandered around checking out the other tables, getting ideas for the next one.

So what's coming up?
RT Roundup in Houston October 9-11 is my next event.

This is my Rising Star 2014 award. Kind of hard to see, I know. The trophy is about 8 inches tall and weighs 10 pounds or so. I am so honored to win this award. I've been in a rather dark place lately when it comes to writing and the whole business. This award has renewed my enthusiasm and crushed through my writer's block like nothing else could.

Writing can be a very solitary profession, but it doesn't have to be. There are amazing people out there: readers, bloggers, authors-- all ready to talk and provide comfort and support. I am very shy, so shy that I avoided any conventions until this one. Now I'm so glad that I went. I know there are other introverts and shy people out there who have avoided events like I did. My advice: jump in with both feet. It's really worth it-- I promise. If you're at a convention I'm attending, seek me out. We can conquer our shyness together.

I will have news coming soon!
If you want to stay in touch, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. The signup box is on the sidebar.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Meet the Characters: Ennara and the Fallen Druid by Angela Myron

Ready to meet more characters? Today Angela Myron, author of Ennara and the Fallen Druid, joins us to share more about her pre-teen novel's chracters.
Ennara and the Fallen Druid won a silver medal at the 2013 Moonbeam Chlidren's Book Awards for best pre-teen ebook!

Meet the characters of Ennara:

She's more than a little annoyed that she's been singled out as "special". Being special, thus far, has meant that she isn't allowed to visit interesting places, like the city, that she has to cover the stupid tattoo on her hand, and study texts when she'd rather be outside. When she's asked to help a wizard find a sword, she's pretty sure she can't help. And the whole bringing the dead back to life thing just creeps her out.

He's the hero who hasn't grown into it quite yet. A boy with an incorruptable heart and a wisdom beyond his years. Thankfully, he follows Ennara when she mysteriously leaves town, and helps her get out of a heap of trouble. Also, he's kind of funny.

What would an adventure be without a giant cat? Smoos would be the most beloved pet on the pirate ship Cissonius, if she wasn't so moody and did anything more than catch fish for herself. When she gets a chance to leave the gold grubbers, she jumps to it, lands squarely in Ennara's adventure, and becomes one of the story's favorite heroes.


A lost prince of a long-forgotten kingdom, Gevin adds the intelligence, resources, and strength of a teen to the group. He's a bit mysterious, and might have a thing for Ennara...

I bet you can guess my favorite character! Isn't Smoos adorable?

Ennara and the Fallen Druid

Angela Myron

Middle Grade/Young YA Fantasy
A witty and charming book written for young readers, ages 11-14.
October 31, 2014.

Won a silver medal for best pre-teen ebook at the 2013 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards

Eleven year-old Ennara Gaern has a serious grudge against the dragon on her right hand.

Born with a mask that foretold magical powers, she was immediately inked with the fiendish, fire-breathing tattoo that forces her to study boring texts, cover her hand continuously, and worst of all, keeps her from visiting the beautiful capital city, Dordonne. But her quiet life changes when one night she is attacked by a shadowy demon.

Tork, an old friend and wizard, is enlisted to help. But when he arrives, he informs Ennara's parents that she is her world's only hope of finding the legendary Sword of Gisilfrid, which is needed to destroy the curse that is creating the demons. Ennara doesn't want to leave on the dangerous quest, but when she learns the curse threatens her world, she reluctantly agrees.

Ennara and the wizard begin a perilous journey to the Sunken City, pitting them against dangerous oceans and pirates intent on claiming Ennara's magic as their own. With only her friends at her side, including the intelligent, aquatic cat Smoos, Ennara must defeat monsters guarding the sword and servants of the Fallen Druid. When her world is covered in darkness, will she know how to dispel the curse?


“What a charmer of a book! The author does a wonderful job portraying this world and the dangers that lurk. She does an equally good job in making all the characters live--not just the main characters, but the secondary characters as well are fully developed. There are some laugh out loud moments when Ennara first starts working her magic. I'm very glad this is the first book of the series. I'm looking forward to Ennara's next adventure!” —Librarian Judith at Straight from the Library

“Great story. Ms. Myron has a fantastic way with words that just easily picks you up and drops you in the middle of this magical place. Fun for that awkward age of 8-12 where finding good, clean books is hard. If you're looking for a take-me-away story, you've found one here. ” —Autumn at The Bearded Scribe

Angela Myron

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Dream Casters: Light by Adrienne Woods - Excerpt

Dream Casters: Light

Adrienne Woods

YA Paranormal
Fire Quill Publishing
May 28, 2015

Mr. Sandman, send me a dream, ta da da da.....Seventeen year old Chasity Blake knows the Sandman is just a silly children's story parents tell their children to get them to sleep. At least she thought it was, until the day a mysterious, light golden sand appeared in her hands during a high school prank that went horribly wrong. A sand that has the power to send anyone it touches into a deep, sound sleep.

Fearing she had lost her mind, Chasity soon discovers the shocking truth of her heritage- she is a Dream Caster. Chasity was never supposed to be raised on the Domain, or what humans call Earth and she is forced to return to her true birth place, Revera – the world of Dreams.

However, in Revera there is no balance between good, the Light Casters, and darkness, the Shadow Casters, and Chasity is caught square in the middle. She soon learns that there is no place for anyone containing both the light and the darkness within them, and the shocking truth that if anyone in Revera ever discovered her shadow self, Chasity would be thrown into the Oblivion – the world of Nightmares.

Dreams are always more than they seem, and this time Chasity is going to discover just how different they can be.


Dogs could always see them, where humans couldn’t. He had always assumed the dust worked differently for animals. He used to toy with them, he’d told Zac once it was a good work out, before hitting them with a dose of dust that would kick them out for at least half a day. Against these hounds, however, his golden dust didn’t just put them to sleep, it put them to sleep forever.
“Take my bag,” Graig spoke softly reaching out his hand.
“I’m not leaving you, I can fight.”
“These are your family. It’s enough that you have to know that they will die, I’m not going to let you kill them.”
“I don’t give a shit, Graig. You are my family now, you and bean, nobody else.”
Graig smiled. Ever since they’d found out that she was pregnant, she’d called the fetus, bean. Spinning her in his arms, he gave her a hard kiss and handed her a celestian, an oval shaped gel pendant that would take her and the child to their save haven, in case he didn’t make it, and a small green bag filled with his dust. “Just in case,” he spoke, swallowing the lump in his throat.
“There is no in case, you make it, you hear?”
She planted a hard passionate kiss on his lips. The kind that filled him with confidence, he had no doubts not even in that second that would have given away their hiding place.
“Vinicola, are you sure you want to do this?” One of the Shadow Casters mounted on the back of a hound growled. His voice made Graig’s skin crawl. Everything about them screamed the word evil. How that power ran through this beautiful creature standing fiercely next to him, was beyond his knowledge.
Graig surveyed the Caster before him. His hair was wild, hung to his shoulders, and was pure white, just like his love. He must be her family, but how close he didn’t know. Yet, the man didn’t look anything like her. He was big, brought shoulders, and dirty.
Vinicola laughed, the one that Graig hated. It didn’t sound anything like her, but it was the only language she knew to speak, a sound that told them if they killed her, they would feel her father’s wrath. This was purely a retrieval mission for her, but a wipe out for him. “Sibian, you can tell him I’m done with Oblivion, and nothing you do will ever drag me back to that wretched hell hole you love so much.”
“Your mind seems a bit clouded, dear,” the Shadow Caster said. “Let me refresh it.” He lifted up his hands and let his dust flow freely, and four more Shadow Hounds appeared out of his dark sand.
Graig whipped his bow from his shoulder and started to shoot invisible arrows that would take shape through his golden dust.
The hounds that were hit fell into useless heaps of black sand. Vinicola ripped of her whip that had been securely around her waist, and did the same. The other hounds exploded into the sky, but they weren’t destroyed, they would reemerged a couple of minutes later, whole once again.
It was useless for her to fight, she only gave him a couple of minutes as she was still one of them, even though she’d made the choice to leave in her heart.
Graig made sure he used all of the minutes she gave him and when it was time for the full on fight, they both took on two at a time.
He conjured his sword for full on battle and started slashing away.
“Graig!” Vinicola’s voice yelled in panic. When he found her she was captured, with a huge Shadow Caster’s arm around her neck.
In those few seconds he felt defeated, their plan was ruined and he knew he wouldn’t get a second chance with her.
As he stood there, an ax hit him straight in the back, the dark sand ripping his veins inside his body apart. It hurt like hell, and he could feel his golden sand starting to seep out of him. Vinicola’s shrill scream pierced the night air around them.
He wasn’t going to survive this, but he’d made the choice for the love of his life and their unborn child.
He took a celestian out of his pocket, stood up with a mother of an ax inside of him and mustered all the strength he had. He had only moments to act before the others would come, or worse take her away.
He threw the celestian hard on the ground near her feet and yelled the word “San Francisco” as loud as he could. In an instant, a bright light blinded all the Shadow Casters and he watched her close her eyes tightly.
She knew what to do and he watched as she, and the Shadow Caster who had his arm around her neck, disappeared.
The Shadow Caster would die. His DNA wasn’t attached to the celestian, and he wouldn’t make the trip. He had won. Just then another object sliced through his neck and he fell on the floor, the last images he saw was a body without a head before everything went black.

About the Author

Adrienne Woods was born and raised in South Africa, where she still lives with her husband and two beautiful little girls. She always knew she was going to be a writer, but it only started to really happen about four years ago. In her free time―if she gets any because moms don’t really have free time―she loves to spend it with friends, whether it’s a girl’s night out, or just watching a movie. She’s a very chilled person. Her writing career started with Firebolt, book one in the Dragonian series. There will be four books in total, including a further two to three books, which will be stories that take place within the Dragonian series. Her other series, Dream Casters, will be released mid-2015. She also writes in different genres, and her woman’s fiction, The Pregnancy Diaries, will be published under a pseudonym. And then, she has a paranormal series by the name of the Aswang series, which will consist of about ten novels. And if that wasn’t enough, there is another series, Guardians of Monsters, which will be released in 2016.

Author Links

Cover Reveal! Ruined by Allana Kephart & Melissa Simmons

The Dolan Prophecies Series #1.5 (Novella)
By- Allana Kephart & Melissa Simmons
Expected Publication Date- August 27th, 2015
Genre- New Adult Dystopian/ Dark Faery Tales

Patrick and Maeve Dolan left the safety of their New York human settlement on a sultry summer night and never returned. Ambushed by the Winter Court guards during their search for information on how to free humanity from faery rule, they are now ensnared in the Winter King Landric’s web, and he has some questions of his own.
The Winter King is curious about the way the Dolans run their city. In a surprising turn of events, he’s determined to learn all about their 16-year-old son, Eirnin. Landric separates the couple, threatens and tortures to the best of his ability, but the Dolans won’t give up the information he’s after.
Murphy, one of King Landric’s guards has been a ward of the Winter Court for as long as he can remember. Trained from childhood to be as quiet and obedient as possible, he’s always been the perfect servant. At least, until Princess Lumi strolled into his life and made him question everything he believes in.
When the princess vanishes without a trace in the middle of the night, Landric is determined Patrick’s people had something to do with it. Without the only connection to kindness and humanity they had, Murphy and Patrick both find themselves falling into very different kinds of insanity.
Will Murphy follow his heart just this once, choose his own side and find Lumi? Will Patrick’s hope dwindle before he can escape and save his family? Or will their unyielding resistance be the death of them all?


About the Authors-
Allana Kephart has been making things up and bending people to her will from a very young age.  She loves animals and reading and spends a large amount of time thinking up ways to torment her characters. She loves coffee and the color purple. She is the co-author of The Dolan Prophecies Series, Gumshoes & Grifters Series & Fractured Fairytale Standalone series with Melissa Simmons and has published two short stories on her own in the Best Thing I Never Had & Happily (N)ever After anthologies.

Melissa Simmons loves music, reading, her cat and her husband-not necessarily in that order, of course. She is obsessed with all things Disney, Supernatural (tv show) and comic book tv shows/ movies and doesn’t care who knows it. Her favorite superhero is Batman and she will defend his awesomeness to her last breath. When she isn’t writing and plotting, she loves to bake and spends her days helping other authors promote their work. She is the co-author of The Dolan Prophecies Series, Gumshoes & Grifters Series & Fractured Fairytale Standalone series with Allana Kephart and has published a short story on her own in the Best Thing I Never Had anthology. She resides in upstate NY with her husband and their adorable cat.
The Dolan Prophecies Series Blog-

Monday, August 3, 2015

Science Geek Appreciation Week with Kelly Oram

Welcome to Day 1 of Science Geek Appreciation Week with author Kelly Oram--a fun-filled week of teasers, interviews, games, giveaways, and lots and lost of science! We're going to kick off the week by introducing you to the stars of the Spanish Fork High Science Squad--Club President Avery Shaw and her newest recruit, Grayson Kennedy--in their debut novel The Avery Shaw Experiment.

I loved The Avery Shaw Experiment-- it's listed in my favorites on Goodreads.
Here's a link to the review: Click Me

Title: The Avery Shaw Experiment

Author: Kelly Oram

Publisher: Bluefields
Available: AmazoniBooksB&NKobo

Summary: When Avery Shaw’s heart is shattered by her life-long best friend, she chooses to deal with it the only way she knows how—scientifically. 
The state science fair is coming up and Avery decides to use her broken heart as the topic of her experiment. She’s going to find the cure. By forcing herself to experience the seven stages of grief through a series of social tests, she believes she will be able to get over Aiden Kennedy and make herself ready to love again. But she can’t do this experiment alone, and her partner (ex partner!) is the one who broke her heart. 
Avery finds the solution to her troubles in the form of Aiden’s older brother Grayson. The gorgeous womanizer is about to be kicked off the school basketball team for failing physics. He’s in need of a good tutor and some serious extra credit. But when Avery recruits the lovable Grayson to be her “objective outside observer,” she gets a whole lot more than she bargained for, because Grayson has a theory of his own: Avery doesn’t need to grieve. She needs to live. And if there’s one thing Grayson Kennedy is good at, it’s living life to the fullest.
I was so out of it that I’d slipped into the bathroom while Grayson was in the shower, and I didn’t even notice until he poked his head out from behind the curtain with a surprised look on his face. “Aves, babe, I’m a little busy here.” He cocked an eyebrow and gave me a crooked smile. “Unless you’re planning to join me...?”

Just then there was a loud knock on the door, and my mother’s worried voice called out to me. I looked up at Grayson and in a moment of sheer panic didn’t think twice before jumping behind the curtain with him.

“Whoa! Avery! I was only teasing!”

I could hear Grayson, but I couldn’t really respond. I leaned my back against the cold tile wall and closed my eyes, letting the hot water rain down on me. There was another knock, louder this time, and then the door opened. “Avery? That you in here, sweetie?”

I frantically shook my head, praying that Grayson would do the right thing.

"Sorry, Kaitlin. It’s just me.”

“Oh. Sorry, Grayson. I thought maybe you were Avery.”

“Yeah, I get that a lot,” he teased.

My mom laughed and then sighed heavily. “If you see her after you’re done, tell her I’m looking for her.”

“Will do.”

The door clicked shut and things got quiet. I stood there for so long that my head started to hurt and I got really dizzy. My knees buckled. Grayson quickly caught me under the arms. “Avery, breathe,” he commanded.

I took a breath. As oxygen flooded my lungs, I realized it was probably the first breath I’d taken in minutes. Literally.

“Aves,” a low steady voice said. I felt hands on either side of my face. I opened my eyes, and Grayson’s beautiful piercing blue ones were staring down at me from just inches away, taking up my entire field of vision. “You good now?” he asked.

I may have been breathing, but I would never be “good” again. I flung my arms around him and began to release gut-wrenching sobs into his chest.


I always looked at her as sort of a pesky little sister, but that all changed the day my brother dumped her. Why, you ask? Let me put it this way: When a girl lets you be the one to hold her as her entire world falls apart, even though you’re ass naked, it changes the way you see her. The soaking-wet, see-through t-shirt didn’t hurt, either. ...

“You look really nice,” I blurted, unable to hide my surprise.

The compliment startled her. She blushed and looked at her feet as she mumbled, “I need to blow my hair dry.”

I grinned. “Don’t want to have to explain to anyone how it got wet, eh?”

She turned even brighter red but then glared at me. “I just don’t want my hair to freeze.”

I laughed as I threw my hands up in surrender and then laughed even harder when she stalked past me into the bathroom. I leaned against the door and watched, curiously, as she dried her hair. There was something oddly fascinating about watching Little Avery Shaw primp. She’d never seemed like such a real girl to me before. She wasn’t so little anymore, either. She caught me staring at her in the mirror, so I quickly said, “I thought dorks were supposed to have bad hair and horrible, frumpy fashion senses.”

“Just because I enjoy learning doesn’t mean I’m a dork,” she said, insulted.

“Two words for you Aves: science club.” 
This week only, The Avery Shaw Experiment is on sale for just $0.99! Make sure to snag a copy while it's cheap! 
Amazon * iBooks * B&N * Kobo

For more bonus material, teasers, games, and chances to win things like signed books and swag stop by the Facebook event, happening now through Friday.
Click Here to Party!

Coming October 24, 2015

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Kelly wrote her first novel at age fifteen--a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, four children, and her cat, Mr. Darcy.  Connect with Kelly