Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Spells & Sorcery Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway


Spells & Sorcery (Lexie Carrigan Chronicles #1)
Author: S. Usher Evans
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: October 4, 2016


You have magic.

One sentence, three words, four syllables. Enough to change my life forever. And I’m not talking about the whole spells and sorcery thing.

Lexie Carrigan thought the weirdest thing about her was she preferred watching documentaries and reading the newspaper to reality TV and Twitter. But on the eve of her fifteenth birthday, her aunt and sisters drop a bomb–she’s magical.

Now the girl who never made waves is blowing up her nightstand and trying to keep from wreaking havoc on her school. When a kind stranger shows up with all the answers, Lexie hopes he’ll be able to help her control her newfound powers. But Gavon may not be as kind as he seems, and soon Lexie finds out that being magical is the least weird thing about her.

Spells and Sorcery is the first YA fantasy from S. Usher Evans, author of the Razia series, the Madion War Trilogy and Empath.

"You really can't be okay with me putting all of my classmates in danger?" I asked, for probably the fifth time since we'd left the house. "I set my bedroom on fire, Jeanie."

"Last night, you were taken off guard. Now, you're all right. Look," she reached across the car and took my hand, "no magic here."

I retracted my hand and stared at my fingertips. "Yeah, but what if—"

"Lexie, you're one of the most brilliant kids I know," Jeanie said, and I was too shocked at the rare praise to respond. "Magic is simply another part of you, and it always has been. Just like you can use that brain of yours to remember all those useless facts and quotes, you can use your mind to control your magic. If you want to control it, you will."

"Thanks," I said, although I didn't quite understand what she was saying. If I had no idea what I was supposed to control, or how to control it, I wasn't sure how effective my will was going to be.

Jeanie pulled up in front of the school and turned to me. "Before you go, I have two ground rules with your magic. The first is you are not allowed to use your magic on anyone. Not your sister, not students, anyone."

I nodded.

"Second, which should go without saying, is that you aren't allowed to do magic at school. And until you get a handle on it, you are not allowed to use it unsupervised."

Again, I nodded, although I wanted to argue that I hadn't actually willfully done any magic since I'd received it.

"Are you picking me up later?"

"Unfortunately, you'll have to ride with Marie this afternoon. I've got a few meetings I can't get out of. But later tonight, we'll go out to dinner for your birthday, all right?"

"Okay," I said, cracking open the door. My stomach was a mess of nerves, but I took some solace in Jeanie's lack of concern. If she thought I wasn't a disaster waiting to happen, then maybe I wasn't.

S. Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in Pensacola, Florida, she left the sleepy town behind for the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C.. There, she somehow landed jobs with BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Television before finally settling into a “real job” as an IT consultant. After a quarter life crisis at age 27, she decided consulting was for the birds and rekindled a childhood passion for writing novels. She sold everything she owned and moved back to Pensacola, where she currently resides with her two dogs, Zoe and Mr. Biscuit.

Evans is the author of the Razia series, Madion War Trilogy, and Empath, published by Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing.


Silencing the Seam Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway


Silencing The Seam (Seam Stalkers #2)
Author: Kathleen Groger
Genre: YA Horror/Paranormal
Publication Date: October 18, 2016


Sixteen-year-old Sam Drake thought she’d left the horrors of spring break and Defiance Castle behind her. But back home, the spirits swirling around her are more demanding, more aggressive.

Fear of being institutionalized by her skeptical mother drives Sam to follow her dad to New Orleans. There she hopes to take back control of her life. But the French Quarter and the cities of the dead have other plans. Hour by hour they drain her, making it next to impossible to fight off a ghost who is determined to use her for its own revenge.

Ensnared in an ancient power struggle where Voodoo rituals, betrayal, and murder rule, Sam must determine who to trust. One step in the wrong direction will lock her inside the Seam to walk among the dead for eternity.

Sam is in St. Louis No. 2 cemetery in New Orleans:

When I reached a tomb entirely surrounded by iron, the girl stopped talking and a pressure pushed against my chest. The gray stone mausoleum’s marble name tablet lay on the ground. The rusted metal fence stood about seven feet tall, surrounded the entire tomb, and covered the top. Why was it enclosed? Pieces of rust flaked off the top of the fence, which had an abstract leaf-and-flower design all the way around. Fleur-de-lis after fleur-de-lis ran the length of the fence below the flowers. And capping the filigreed iron door, a two-foot arrow towered over a half-moon scroll.

I fought the desire to reach out and touch the fence, and shoved my hands into the pockets of my denim shorts. My skin broke out in goose bumps.

A young girl with shoulder-length blonde hair dressed in a simple white dress glided between the fenced tomb and the white-marbled neighboring one with the name Deyroux carved at the top.

Her green eyes caught mine. There was something about her that made me trust her. She reached out, and the iciness of her hand pulled me into a fog-like mist. Drums beat an almost tribal rhythm. Flashes of an old plantation house alternated with images of people dressed entirely in white and dancing.

Can you feel it? Can you see it? The girl’s voice sounded muffled, as if she spoke through cotton.

The scent of incense clung to the air and coated my throat. I waved, trying to clear it away. What was happening?

The drums beat louder and the visions stopped on one. The area was dark, but enough light penetrated the canopy of huge cypress trees, with their hanging branches, to see fog swirling around a group of women. They stomped their bare feet into wet muddy swampland. Pockets of water wound around the edge of the ground. Only one woman didn’t wear a headwrap. Her silver hair hung in full waves to her shoulders. She wore a black, glittery masquerade mask with black-and-red-striped ribbons and moved to the front of dancers. The others lined up behind her and they marched into the black water. The inky liquid reached just below their knees and the women lifted up their white dresses to keep them from getting wet.

The group came out of the water and formed a circle on dry land around a large tree stump that reached about six feet into the air and had been broken off in a jagged manner, like it had been the victim of a lightning strike. Two women grabbed the silver-haired woman and tied her to the trunk. The mask hid her expression, but her body screamed she hadn’t expected to become a captive.

A young woman, with pale skin that reflected the moonlight, dressed the same as the others, came out from behind the group. She also wore a glittering, black mask with black-and-red-striped ribbons.

The drumbeat pounded and increased in tempo from everywhere, but no one visibly banged on a drum.

The women all reached up and chanted in a foreign language.

The young woman tore the mask from the bound woman and placed a gag in her mouth. The younger one held up the mask and flicked her wrist. A flame appeared like she concealed a lighter. She lit the woman’s mask and watched it burn.

The other women chanted.

The masked young woman pulled a knife from her dress. She held it in the air and an ethereal pinkish light bounced off the steel blade. She circled the silver-haired woman whose eyes had gone wide.

The fog grew denser and swirled around the women’s bare feet. The drums sounded faster. The women chanted louder.

The masked woman stood behind the tree trunk. She leaned forward and to the left. As the drums, chanting, and stomping reached a crescendo, she dragged the knife across the silver-haired woman’s throat.

Sequel to:

Kathleen wrote her first story in elementary school about a pegasus named Sir Lancelot. It had no plot or conflict, but it sparked a dream. After serving a fifteen-year sentence in retail management, the bulk in big box bookstores, she turned her love of reading into a full-time career writing dark and haunting characters and stories. She writes paranormal, fantasy, suspense, horror YA books. She is a contributing member of READerlicious, writers who love readers. Check out her blogs here.

She lives by the mantra that a day is not complete without tea. Lots of tea. Kathleen lives in Ohio with her husband, two boys, and two attention-demanding dogs. When not writing or editing or revising, you can find her reading, cooking, spending time with her family, or photographing abandoned buildings.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Curse of the Boggin Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

Enter the Library, where no one knows how the stories end . . . and finding out will be terrifying.

There’s a place beyond this world, beyond the land of the living, where ghosts go to write their unfinished stories—stories that ended too soon. It’s a place for unexplained phenomena: mysteries that have never been solved, spirits that have never been laid to rest. And there’s only one way in or out.

It’s called the Library, and you can get there with a special key. But beware! Don’t start a story you can’t finish. Because in thislibrary, the stories you can’t finish just might finish you.

Marcus O’Mara is a 13 year old guy at a crossroads. He constantly finds himself in trouble at school, with his friends, and with his adoptive parents. Marcus doesn’t believe things can get any worse for him…until they get worse.

Much worse.

He begins seeing strange and impossible visions; gets thrown into paranormal danger and is haunted by a mysterious ghost with a singular goal: to give him a key.

It’s a key that opens the door to a mysterious library. When that door opens, the incredible adventure for Marcus and his friends begins as they learn the truth about Marcus’ past and uncover the strange world of unfinished stories that are found on the shelves of the Library.

Curse of the Boggin is a freaky and fun children's novel that's a perfect read for the Halloween season. It's the first book in a new series that follows our main character, Marcus, as his normal teen problems turn much worse - and weird. He sees strange visions that he can't explain, is put in crazy dangerous situations, and meets a ghost who won't give up until she gives him a key. The key opens the door to a library full of secrets and impossibilities - it also holds the truth about Marcus' past along with a collection of unfinished stories. Marcus is a great main character for the book. He's a realistic teenage boy with normal everyday problems - school, friends, getting in trouble, and issues with his adoptive parents. He's easy to identify with early on in the book, which makes things almost conceivable when they turn paranormal. I loved getting to know Marcus and watching him learn more about his past and himself throughout the story. He really comes into his own during the book, and I'm excited to see where the next book will take him and his friends. The plot was a fantastic mix of fantasy, paranormal, adventure, and action that keeps the reader on their toes for the entire ride. I found myself sucked into Marcus' wild adventure early in the book and couldn't stop reading until I had finished the entire thing. The writing is well done with great attention to detail and vivid imagery that brings the world and the story to life in front of your eyes. I'm not normally a big reader of middle grade fiction, but I'm glad I gave this one a chance. I'm already looking forward to the next installment and what craziness awaits inside it's pages. Definitely recommended for fans of children's fiction, middle grade fiction, fantasy, adventure, action, and paranormal fiction!
D.J. MacHale is a writer, director, executive producer and creator of several popular television series and movies. As an author, his ten-volume book series: Pendragon: Journal of an Adventure Through Time and Space became a New York Times #1 bestseller. 
He was raised in Greenwich, CT where he had several jobs including collecting eggs at a poultry farm; engraving trophies and washing dishes in a steakhouse…in between playing football and running track. D.J. graduated from New York University where he received a BFA in film production. His film-making career began in New York where he worked as a freelance writer/director making corporate videos and television commercials.
D.J. broke into the entertainment business by writing several ABC Afterschool Specials. As co-creator of the popular Nickelodeon series: Are You Afraid of the Dark?, he produced all 91 episodes. D.J. also wrote and directed the movie Tower of Terror for ABC’s Wonderful World of Disney. The Showtime series Chris Cross was co-created, written and produced by D.J. It received the CableAce award for Best Youth Series.
D.J. created and produced the Discovery Kids/NBC television series Flight 29 Down. He wrote every episode and directed several. His work on Flight 29 Down earned him the Writers Guild of America award for Outstanding Children’s Script and a Directors Guild of America award nomination.
Other notable television writing credits include the ABC Afterschool Special titled Seasonal Differences; the pilot for the long-running PBS/CBS series Ghostwriter; and the HBO series Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective for which he received a CableAce nomination for writing.
In print, D.J. also authored the supernatural Morpheus Road trilogy; a whimsical picture book The Monster Princess; and The SYLO Chronicles, a thrilling sci-fi trilogy. He also wrote Voyagers: Project Alpha, the first of a six book science fiction adventure.
D.J.’s newest book series is The Library, a spooky middle-grade anthology about a mysterious library filled with unfinished supernatural tales, and the daring young people who must complete them.
D.J. lives in Southern California with his wife Evangeline and daughter Keaton. They are avid backpackers, scuba divers and skiers. Rounding out the household is a spoiled golden retriever named Casey and an equally spoiled tuxedo cat named Jinx.

 10-15 Minutes Skype Session (personal or school class). 
Two Signed Copies of The Library Book 1: Curse of the Boggin + Signed Bookmarks by D.J. MacHale
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter 


Big Shoes Blog Tour: Spotlight + Giveaway


Jersey Shore broker Austin Carr wants out of the stock and bond business but un-hooking from his mobbed-up partner won’t be painless. Angelina “Mama Bones” Bonacelli is best known for professional consultations that deteriorate into criminal violence, breakfast appointments raided by the FBI and one particular Power Point presentation to a Jersey state racing commission that ended in automatic weapons fire.

Good thing she likes Austin.

She just won’t let Austin out of the business. Plus Johnny “The Turk” Korsay is on a rampage and had his crooked cops arrest Luis, the bartender Austin’s best friend. Why? Because Austin saw The Turk kill Heriberto. And now he’s gunning for the stock broker.

It’s another brush with violent death and a sexy redhead for Austin Carr when Mama Bones and her rival Jersey associate of a fading New York crime family battle for the future of imported sex slaves, boardwalk tourist business and surprising horse racing secrets, past and present.

“Big Shoes is a five-star romp.”
--Rick Bylina, best-selling author of One Promise Too Many

Former L.A. Times reporter Jack Getze is Fiction Editor for Anthony nominated Spinetingler Magazine, one of the Internet's oldest websites for noir, crime and horror short stories. His award-winning Austin Carr mystery series is published by Down & Out Books. The latest, BIG SHOES, won Deadly Ink's David Award for Best Mystery of 2015. His short fiction has appeared in A Twist of Noir, Beat to a Pulp, The Big Adios and several anthologies.


 ONE winner will receive a $50.00 Gift Card (Any form they want; Winner's Choice)
THREE winners will receive a $25.00 Gift Card (Any form they want; Winner's Choice)
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter


Release Day Celebration + Giveaway: My Junior Year of Loathing by Jennifer DiGiovanni

  Hello Readers! Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for the
My Junior Year of Loathing by Jennifer DiGiovanni
presented by Swoon Romance!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Happy Book Birthday, Jennifer!
  My Junior Year of Loathing 
Author: Jennifer DiGiovanni 
Publication Date: October 25, 2016 
Publisher: Swoon Romance


Junior year is supposed to be tough. Exams, term papers, homework, college tours, and participation in extra-curricular activities can all add up to non-stop stress. But Melinda Banner has goals to achieve and dreams to make real. This year, she’ll be unstoppable. But even over achievers need a break.

While walking in the woods to take a break from the stress of it all, Melinda meets a boy named Connor. After a few more run-ins, the two settle into an uneasy friendship, if you can even call it that.

But Connor's closed and mysterious. Whenever Melinda asks too many questions, he suddenly has to go or is no longer interested in talking. When they’re together, she’s torn between wanting him to open up and running away as fast as she can. Still she can't seem to shake her budding interest in him.

Connor has his own way of looking at the world, and his views often conflict with Melinda’s practical nature. Can you like someone and loathe them at the same time? Is he even worth the emotional tug on her heartstrings or distraction from all things Junior year?

And, as if she needs another project right now, Melinda starts to obsess over the abandoned estate she passes on the way to school each day. Between Connor and the old estate, Melinda's beginning to think she's taking on too much.

But Melinda's smart. She finds a way to indulge her interest in the estate and fulfill her obligations. She will uncover the truth behind the aging edifice for an epic article in the school newspaper.

But when her investigation reveals a connection between Connor and a tragedy long-since forgotten, Melinda has a choice: put off her junior year achievements to save a local landmark and a boy who constantly pushes her away or put them both out of her mind for good and focus on making the grade.
add to goodreads
 Jennifer DiGiovanniJennifer DiGiovanni is the author of the School Dayz Series. When she’s not writing or reading, she likes to try new sports and activities from archery to ballroom dancing, with varying degrees of success.

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Release Day Celebration + Giveaway: In the Beginning: Dark Retellings of Biblical Tales Anthology

  Hello Readers! Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for the
In the Beginning: Dark Retellings of Biblical Tales Anthology
presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Happy Book Birthday!
In the Beginning: Dark Retellings of Biblical Tales
Publication Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books

In the Beginning (Oct. 25, 2016) –Eight authors come together to build a powerful collection of dark young adult short stories inspired by the mysteries, faith, and darkness found within the Bible. Old Testament and New Testament, iconic and obscure figures alike are illuminated, explored, and re-envisioned throughout this charity anthology from Month9Books.

IN THE BEGINNING, ed. Laureen Cantwell and Georgia McBride 

Daniel and the Dragon by Stephen Clements 
A troubled orphan named Habakkuk dutifully follows his master, the prophet Daniel, into temples of blood-thirsty demon-gods, battles with unspeakable horrors, and bears witnesses to mind-breaking evil until his master's zealous defiance of the king's law seals their fate. 

Babylon by Nicole Crucial 
Far above the earth, in Second Eden, where moments and eternities all blur together, young Babylon befriends Sefer, the Book of Life. As Babylon awaits the moment she'll fulfill her destiny, she and Sefer try to understand the world in which they live. 

Last Will and Testament by Mike Hays 
A homeless young boy, Baz, bears the weight of humanity on his shoulders and upon his body. When dark forces test a new-found friendship, Baz’s willingness to bear the ugliness of their world will be shaken. 

The Demon Was Me by Sharon Hughson 
Based on the story of the demon-possessed boy healed by Jesus, this tale provides a glimpse into a post-apocalyptic world where a teenage boy seeks to journey to a better land and yearns to discover the kind of man he's meant to be, only to be hijacked by an evil spirit intent upon chipping away at the hope, faith, and resilience of its host. 

The Deluge by Marti Johnson 
A non-believer shares the story of Noah’s ark-building and the deadly downpour that follows. Fear, faithlessness, and the fallibility of mankind collide in a community where second chances aren’t unlimited and a better-late-than-never attitude just might be your doom. 

Condemned by Elle O'Neill
Just sixteen-years-old, Barabbas finds himself pulled out of Routlege Academy and into a reality show competition—against Jesus himself—where the reward for the winner is life. 

First Wife by Lora Palmer 
In a first-person retelling of the saga of Jacob, Rachel and Leah, themes of family, deception, guilt, and heartache emerge amidst the first days of Leah’s marriage to Jacob—a marriage mired in trickery a mere week before Jacob was to marry Leah's sister Rachel. 

Emmaculate by Christina Raus 
Based on the story of Mary's Immaculate Conception, we enter the troubled mind of Emma, who finds herself torn between her religious upbringing and the purity ring that binds her to her boyfriend and the pregnancy that results from her relationship with another boy.

From THE DELUGE, by Marti Johnson: 

The stench of mildew and mold is heavy in our nostrils, and my lungs feel as though they are on fire. My breathing is audible in the lulls between the thunderclaps. My mother huddles, shivering, propped between two rocks. She is coughing painfully, and I can hear her teeth chattering. It is hard to breathe because the air itself is full of water. A deeper shadow has fallen across the side of the mountain on which we are sheltering. I pull aside the brambles, and gasp in amazement when I realize what it is. “Look!” I call to the others, and point at the sight. The ark has risen with the water, and now bobs up and down. It sits high in the water. We hear nothing from it but the creaking of the wood timbers and the sound of the branches and rocks on the hillside scraping against its hull.  
stephen-clements-photo-credit-cody-burkettStephen Clements earned a Masters in Political Science from the University of Memphis, served a stint in the US Army with a heaping long tour in Iraq, and would never recommend Baghdad as a vacation spot. When he got out, he cornered and married a mean, beautiful woman, and they have three corgis and one murderous cat. He has three books, with a recent short story in MEMPHIS NOIR. He loves history, theology, travel, and making wine.

Nicole Crucial is a creative writing student at UNC Wilmington. Her hobbies outside of reading and writing include social media, Netflix, yoga (sometimes), costuming, organizing things, and spoiling her cat. She loves writing about fantastic worlds because she is certain that she would not survive in them. You can visit her website at:


Mike Hays is from Kansas, a tried and true flatlander by birth. He relishes the fact his adult self can now make stuff up and not be sent to the principal’s office for it. His life is built around stories—whether as a dad, a molecular microbiologist, a high school sports coach, or as an author— stories are key. He writes mainly from a boy point of view and hopes to spread ideas and stupid-funny inspiration through his books, blogs, and social media. His upper middle-grade historical fiction, THE YOUNGER DAYS, is about a family’s survival in the fallout from the violent Border War over “Bloody” Kansas. Connect with him on Twitter (@coachhays64).


sharon-hughsonNurtured through a troubled teenhood by Aslan in Narnia, Sharon Hughson has long appreciated the power of the written word. She has published romance and women’s fiction, but her dream is to write young adult fantasy, a genre she credits for keeping her alive during her parents’ turbulent divorce and the chaotic readjustments that followed. Sharon fuels her imagination with recollections from years of motherhood and a lifetime of experience working with young people, at church and in public school. She resides in Oregon with her husband, sons and three cats, where she spends her non-writing hours substitute teaching, reading, playing piano, enjoying the outdoors and scrapbooking her family’s memories.

Marti Johnson was born on an American Naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She has lived in Massachusetts, Maine, Colorado, Nevada and California. Marti hiked and climbed mountains as a girl and young teen, and spent many years on horseback in the scenic eastern Sierras in California. She is the author (under her given name, Margaret Johnson) of DARK HORSE SPIRIT: BEYOND REDEMPTION published in 2014, and is currently working on a sequel.

elle-oneill-photo-credit-satish-regeElle O’Neill loves reading and writing—from her first all-nighter as a seven-year old with autographed copies of David Adler’s Cam Jansen books to her high school and college English and creative writing classes. She believes that you can fall into the world of a book and find yourself. While she sometimes has a hard time separating fiction from reality (or is it that she prefers not to?), she likes to think that’s a whimsical asset. She enjoys reading just about anything, but treasures underdogs and bluestockings—their trials and successes feel close to home.


lora-palmerLora Palmer writes science fiction and fantasy for young adults. Her debut novel, THE MIRRORMASTERS, is forthcoming from Clean Reads. Bucks County, Pennsylvania is her home, where she resides with her wonderful husband and their mischievous cat. She has earned a graduate degree in Psychology and works at a local residential facility serving autistic children and teens. In her spare time, she also sings in a praise band, Chalice Sounds.


Christina Raus earned her BA in Creative Writing from Western New England University in 2015. She received the Max Y. Litman English Prize for literary analysis and written communication upon her graduation. She has written articles for Lioness Magazine, a digital publication for female entrepreneurs. Originally from Massachusetts, she currently resides in New York, where she is attending Sarah Lawrence College and working on a novel. She is expected to graduate from Sarah Lawrence’s MFA in Creative Writing Program in 2017. “Emmaculate” is her first fiction publication.

LAUREEN P. CANTWELL, Editor: Laureen grew up in eastern Long Island and eventually found her way to Memphis —“the rock ’n’ roll side of Tennessee,” where she worked as a librarian at the University of Memphis and grew to love the darkness of the city—and Elvis. While there, she proposed and co-edited an anthology of short fiction, Memphis Noir, part of Akashic Books’ renowned Noir series published in November 2015. That adventure led to a conversation with Georgia McBride at a library conference, and to the thrilling experience of working with In the Beginning and putting together a charity anthology full of complex stories suitable for a young adult audience. She currently lives in Western Colorado and works as a librarian for Colorado Mesa University.
GEORGIA McBRIDE, Editor: Georgia lives in North Carolina with her kids and husband. She has three dogs, one bird, and a fish. She loves to read, watch movies, listen to music, and go see films. She is a publisher, producer, writer, and editor. She has never met a piece of bacon she did not eat, or a cup of coffee she did not drink.
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