Thursday, November 20, 2014

Burnt Edges by Dana Leipold: Giveaway

Title: Burnt Edges

Author: Dana Leipold

Published: October 21st, 2014

Word Count: 56,000

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Content Warning: contains sexual abuse and domestic violence

Age Recommendation: 18+

Abuse or an uncertain future. This is Laurel Lee Page’s choice when she is faced with an unplanned pregnancy at 18. Born into a broken family, all she has ever known is guilt and shame. No matter what she does or who she meets, Laurel appears to be living a condemned life but she is determined to find independence and freedom in spite of her family’s legacy of hatred and self-contempt. Can Laurel see that she is in a powerful position, poised to break the cycle of abuse? Set in Southern California during the tumultuous 1960s era, Burnt Edges is based on true events and proves that strength can be found even in the most horrific situations.

ExcerptLaurel decided that Rusty was Mother’s favorite child. The afternoon in the garage had been proof. But because he often took the brunt of Father’s anger, she felt a bizarre kinship with him. She also loved the stories he would tell when they had nothing to do. He would make up tall tales like the one about spacemen who came to Earth to taste hamburgers because they had none on Mars. He described them as little green men with antennae.
“Whenever they come to visit, people find their hats miss-ing, because the Martians steal them to conceal their antennae,” Rusty said.
“That’s just silly,” Laurel said.
Gerry sat in the dirt, playing with rocks and half-listening. Laurel thought he’d rather be playing football or punching some kid, so he sometimes got bored of the stories.
“No, it’s true, really.”
“What did they do to hide their green skin?” Laurel asked.
“They also steal women’s pancake makeup and put it all over their faces. Helps them blend in.”
“Ew, they wear girl’s makeup?” Gerry said, sticking out his tongue.
Laurel giggled, imagining Martians wearing makeup and hats just to get a taste of a hamburger.
“Why don’t they just steal the recipe and learn how to make hamburgers on Mars?” Laurel thought she’d caught Rusty off guard with this question.
“They tried that once, and it was a disaster,” he said, pick-ing up rocks and throwing them against the fence in their backyard. “Yeah, it almost wiped out the whole Martian race.”
“What’d they do, get all sick and throw up?” Gerry laughed at his answer.
Rusty threw a rock at Gerry but missed him. “No, moron.”
He kept throwing rocks without saying anything. Laurel thought he was trying to come up with a good story. She wait-ed another moment.
“Well, what happened?” she asked.
“I’ll tell ya! Don’t rush me!”
He stopped throwing rocks and sat Indian style, his elbows resting on his legs, hands clasped together so he was leaning forward a bit.
“The explorer Martians who had just come back from Earth brought the hamburger recipe to the King of Mars. They told him about the most delicious food they’d ever tasted and that they had brought the secret to it. The king was excited and told his royal cook to make up a batch, but they don’t have meat on Mars.”
Rusty paused, and Gerry rolled his eyes, waved his hand, and climbed the rope up to the tree house. Rusty watched him, but Laurel was listening, waiting for Rusty to tell the rest of the story.
“Go on,” she said.
“Nah, no one cares about the dumb old story,” he said.
“I do! Tell me!”
“All right, but it’s horrible!”
“I don’t care. Tell me!”
“Okay, don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Rusty paused and then he began again. “So the cooks tried to figure out what to do. They didn’t want to tell the king that there was no meat. Once a cook had told the king he was all out of Martian mush-rooms and the king executed him. They thought and thought about what to do, and then they called in the royal jester.”
“The jester? What does he know about cooking?” Laurel asked.
Laurel looked confused.
“So the jester came in, and the cooks smashed him on the head and put him in a boiling pot. Once the Jester was done cooking, they ground him up into bits and fed him to the king.”
Gerry must have heard about the cannibalism. He peeked his head through the hole in the tree house. “That’s disgust-ing,” he said, loud enough for Rusty and Laurel to hear.
“The king loved it and ordered the cooks to make more. So they did. This time they called in the royal guard, bopped him on the head, boiled him up, and fed him to the king. The king couldn’t get enough of those hamburgers, so he made a royal decree stating that the official food of Mars was hamburgers.”
Gerry had the tree house door open and was sitting on the floor with his legs hanging out. Laurel shook her head.
“The cooks went through the whole Martian Royal Army, the royal court, and most of the Martian population before the king caught on. He ended up executing the cooks, but now the King of Mars comes to visit Earth himself, because he loves hamburgers.”
“That’s the dumbest story I ever heard,” Gerry said.
“If it’s so dumb why did you listen to it?” Rusty answered back.
“Hamburgers aren’t that good,” Laurel said. “Not as good as pizza.”

About the Author

Dana Leipold is a freelance writer, author, and member of the Association of Independent Authors and Creativity Coaching Association. She has self-published two books: a collection of limericks in Dr. Seuss-style for adults entitled, Stupid Poetry: The Ultimate Collection of Sublime and Ridiculous Poems, and a non-fiction book entitled, The Power of Writing Well: Write Well. Change the World, to help writers get their message heard, create stories that connect, and leverage the power of writing well. In addition, she coaches other writers on story structure, messaging, and writing skills so they can achieve their dreams to become published authors. Leipold lives with her husband and two children in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Aftermath by Sandy Goldsworthy

Title: Aftermath

Series: The AfterWorld Saga

Author: Sandy Goldsworthy

To Be Published: December 2nd, 2014

Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

Page Count: 361

Genre: Paranormal Romance Action Adventure

Content Warning: Adult language, violence, and sexual content

Age Recommendation: 14+


After losing her father, Emma Bennett moves to her aunt’s small town of Westport to finish out her senior year of high school. Emma wants to forget the pain and loss of the past few weeks, finding relief in the company of Ben Parker—a local boy who she has an instant attraction and uncanny connection with. When Ben seems a little too preoccupied with other responsibilities and has no time for her, Emma turns to the town’s hottest flirt—Lucas Crandon—for affection. Unfortunately, she realizes a little too late that, sometimes, bad boys really can be bad for you.

Life as an undercover agent for the Afterworld’s Bureau of Investigation isn’t an easy job. When Ben Parker finds his soul mate, Emma, in a small town, he finds himself forced to choose between doing his job or rekindling a relationship with the love of his existence. After Ben is notified that a notorious immortal is loose somewhere near Westport, he realizes that his love life will just have to wait. There is a criminal to apprehend before he can have his girl.

When lives are at stake and immortals are on the loose, can two soul mates find their happy ever after?

About the Author

Sandy Goldsworthy was born and raised in a small Wisconsin town. Her passion for writing began when her high school English teacher inspired her to be more descriptive in her work. Today, Sandy is writing the second book of Emma and Ben’s story. When she’s not writing, Sandy enjoys spending time with her husband, Mike, and two children, Brittany and Kyle, or playing with her English Mastiff, Miles.


The Missing Year by Belinda Frisch: Review + Giveaway

Title: The Missing Year

Author: Belinda Frisch

Published: November 17th, 2014

Word Count: 72,000

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Thirty-four-year-old Blake Wheeler was everything Lila had ever wanted. A rising-star surgeon with his whole life ahead of him, Blake gave Lila ten perfect years of marriage before plunging her into the hardest year of their lives.

When a late night shooting leaves Blake in a coma, Lila is faced with a difficult decision: continue life support or let him go.

One year later, Lila remains unwilling to speak, in a private mental health facility where she refuses to move on.

Dr. Ross Reeves knows firsthand about loss, having spent the better part of five years burying himself in his work. Tasked with the challenge of breaking Lila’s silence, Ross investigates Lila’s past and her husband’s death, finding more to Blake’s murder than meets the eye. A series of mysterious coincidences has Ross wondering if Lila is acting out of grief … or guilt.


“Physician heal thyself”

Four stars for this story of love, loss, and picking up the pieces.

Dr. Ross Reeves left New York to live with the love of his life, Sarah. Now, five years after having lost her to cancer, he’s a shell of a man trapped in the past. His home is a living museum to his late wife, his relationship with his girlfriend Mattie suffers, and his only solace is work. But even the distraction of work fails him when his ‘do whatever it does to get the job done’ tactics affects the welfare of a patient and gets him in hot water. Things look glum, until he receives a call from a colleague in New York seeking his help with Lila Wheeler, a psychiatric patient who hasn’t spoken a word in a year. Going back to the place where he and Sarah met and risking drudging up painful memories of a life together cut short is not high on Ross’s list of priorities, until he learns that Lila has lost her husband under tragic circumstances. The similarities between Lila and himself are too intriguing to pass up, and Ross agrees to help out. During the course of Ross’s treatment of Lila, he’ll discover clues leading to the true nature of the tragedy Lila lived through, and find that while he’s the doctor, she is as likely to aid him in the healing process as he is her.

My readings tastes are eclectic, so when I saw that Belinda Frisch was working on a contemporary romance/women’s fiction novel I was intrigued. I’ve read good amounts in both categories, and while they’re not my mainstay genres, I’ve enjoyed them. A good story is a good story, and The Missing Year is a good story. Is it contemporary romance? To a point, yes. Is it women’s fiction? In its way. It is more than that? Yes. The novel is a blend of those elements with the medical theme that the author is known for thrown in for good measure.

As with Frisch’s other novels, The Missing Year is told in her fast, pages-turning style that never sacrifices detail and characterization. The players are well drawn (my favorite being Ross’s colorful friend from his early days with Sarah, Camille, who steals every scene she’s in), the dialogue pops, and the plot has plenty of twists and turns. Meticulously researched, the medical jargon is always clearly explained but never dumbed down, and it doesn’t take away from the heart of the book: the characters and the decisions they make. Oftentimes, novels that deal with anything medical can get a little too clinical, resulting in a dry read. That’s not the case with The Missing Year. Despite the author’s clear, concise, no-fat style, this book breaths through its characters and mergers several genres into one enjoyable book.

Those reading this author for the first time will find a lot to like about the book. For fans of Frisch’s previous work, The Missing Year is like putting on a favorite pair of jeans and discovering some money tucked away in the pocket. It’s comfortable and familiar, but is pleasantly unexpected.

Grief wasn’t a linear process.
Five years had passed in the blink of an eye and every time Ross thought he was ready to deal with life after Sarah’s death, something pulled him back.
He cared about Mattie, but he was still very much in love with his wife.
Ross collapsed on the bed and rolled onto his side, remembering Sarah’s nearly bald head on the pillow, her body so thin he could make out the lump of her colostomy before the curve of her once sexy legs. She’d died weighing seventy pounds, a skeleton compared with the hundred and ten she once determinedly maintained.
“At least now I can have dessert,” she had joked, the pounds falling visibly away.
Ross had made sure she had her fill of favorite sweets every night until she could no longer eat them.
He reached for their wedding photo on the nightstand and smoothed his thumb over the image of Sarah’s smiling face. Sarah beamed, standing with her arms around Camille, her stunning best friend and maid of honor. Delicate white flowers sharply contrasted Sarah’s dark hair, tied up in an elegant twist. Ross stood next to his best man, Jeff, who pursed his lips in Sarah’s direction, blowing her a kiss.
“You sure you want to settle down with this one?” Jeff had said. “You could run away with me right now, and only everyone would know.”
“Sorry, Jeff,” she had said. “I found the love of my life.”
Sarah had been head-turningly beautiful, always the prettiest girl in the room. In Ross’s eyes, even when the cancer took her.
Jeff’s advances had been in jest, though Ross suspected he did in fact have a longstanding crush on Sarah.
He didn’t blame him.
Sarah was almost too easy to fall in love with.
Ross held Sarah’s pillow to his face and inhaled, her scent long ago faded. With each passing day, he lost another memory. Fine details, but something he once knew well. He couldn’t recall the pattern of the freckles on her nose, or the feeling of her soft hair first thing in the morning. He couldn’t remember her exact voice, or the way it sounded when she sang in the car. He’d forgotten too much and held on to what he could, making their home a museum to their life that he shamefully hid.
Medical equipment filled their bedroom and bathroom: a walker, a shower seat, and the commode Sarah used before being fitted with a catheter. The “his” and “hers” closet remained undisturbed, Sarah’s clothes hanging on the left, a memory associated with most every outfit. Her jean leggings and sweaters reminded him of cuddling in front of the fireplace on a snowy winter night. Her sundresses brought back walks on the beach, and her wedding dress, sealed in a clear plastic bag, reminded him of the most perfect day of his life.
He took his wedding band from its place in Sarah’s jewelry box and put it on, as he did most nights. The ring settled into the fading indent on his finger.
For someone who specialized in helping others overcome grief, he had no idea how to deal with his own.
He closed his eyes and was startled by the sound of his ringtone.
The number registered as “Private.”
“Ross? Guy Oliver calling.”
Even if the man hadn’t identified himself, Ross would have recognized the familiar voice. Ross cracked a slight smile, remembering the strict but brilliant mentor with whom he’d spent four years of residency. “It’s good to hear from you. How are things in New York?”
Guy cleared his throat. “Good. Well, okay.”
“Is something wrong?” Ross said. At Guy’s mid-sixties age health issues were likely.
“Not necessarily. It’s just that … I hate to even ask you this.”
“Doc, you’re scaring me. What’s wrong?”
“I have a patient I need a hand with.”
“You mean like a case review? Why didn’t you just say that? Is it something I can do online?”
“I wish it was that easy. I know it’s an imposition, but I would need you to come to the center.”
“For how long?” Ross could manage a couple of days, but with the Arlene Pope situation he couldn’t afford more than that.
“A month. Six weeks, maybe?”
“Oh,” Ross said. That kind of commitment was out of the question.
“You know I wouldn’t ask if I thought there was anyone else.”
“Guy, I’m flattered, but I’m in the middle of a big case. I really don’t think I—”
“Ross, I really need you on this. We’d pay your flights, rental car, and a per diem on top of matching your current salary.”
“It isn’t that.” Ross hadn’t been back to New York since Sarah’s funeral. Their hometown, less than ten miles from Lakeside, held too many painful memories.
“If you’re worried about work, I’ll talk to Dan for you.”
Dan, Ross’s boss, was both a friend and former colleague of Guy’s. Guy had initially recommended Ross for his current job.
“It’s not Dan, either. Even if he’d give me the time, I have this case—”
“How much longer?”
“How much longer for what?” Ross said.
“Until the patient discharges.”
“I honestly don’t know.” His report would certainly get the ball rolling on Arlene’s transfer to jail, but Ross had no idea if that meant hours, days, or weeks. Arlene’s lawyer was most likely going to push for a second opinion. Ross expected to have to defend his position.
“What if I give you two weeks to wrap things up in Chicago? That would give you a month here.”
“Guy, I really can’t.”
“A woman’s life depends on this. My patient, Lila, is suicidal and non-verbal. Her family is threatening to remove her from care. If anyone can get her to talk, you can.”
“And why is that?”
“Because it was her losing her husband that landed her here.”

About the Author:

*Runner-up Halloween Book Festival 2012 and optioned for film, Cure
*Honorable Mention New York Book Festival 2014, Better Left Buried
*Amazon Top 100 Medical Thriller, Fatal Reaction

After fifteen years of working in healthcare, Belinda Frisch’s stories can’t help being medicine influenced. A writer of dark tales in the horror, mystery, and thriller genres, Belinda tells the stories she’d like to read. Her fiction has appeared in Shroud Magazine, Dabblestone Horror, and Tales of the Zombie War. She is the author of Cure, Afterbirth, Fatal Reaction, Better Left Buried, and The Missing Year. She resides in upstate New York with her husband and a small menagerie of beloved animals.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Wins and Losses

It's been an interesting couple weeks. I've survived my first blog tour, I've started hosting for other tours for the first time, and I purchased advertising for promotion, which is another first for me. That's a lot of firsts. How has everything panned out? Read on, faithful follower, and ye shall find out.

**By the way ...I believe in transparency here, so I'm not going to sugar coat or boast about anything. The numbers that I'll be mentioning are what they are. Take that for what it's worth**

Let's start out with Ghosts of Demons Past. For a couple days around Halloween I lowered the price on my debut paranormal/urban fantasy novel to $0.00. Yep, I made it free for all. I pimped the hell out of it on facebook and twitter, and I booked several free ads for it. The result? It moved a little over 4,000 copies. Not an astounding number by any stretch of the imagination, but not a number to be ignored, either. This middling performance got my name and the book out there to a wider audience, and helped me rank in the amazon free store, hitting #16 in the Paranormal & Urban category. Nice! This promotion is still paying dividends because I got a few sales out of it, a bunch of borrows (which are kinda like sales, but not really), and seven reviews thus far. The reviews are probably most important. Much like the mythical Sasquatch, Jersey Devil, and Jackalope, I've heard tell of this magical "fifty reviews is what it takes to get Amazon to promote you" number. Ghosts of Demons Past is now knocking on the door at forty-nine, forty-one of which are 5 star reviews. There have been a couple ratings on goodreads, too, but we'll stick with amazon for all of this stuff. I suspect I'll hit that all-important fifty review mark soon. Then we'll be able to see if that rumor is all it's cracked up to be.

On to the Funeral with a View blog tour. It ran for two weeks, and sixteen-or-so blogs signed up. There were interviews. There were tens lists (something I'd never heard of before but am now an expert on). There were guests posts, reviews, a giveaway ... all manner of shenanigans. Interest was pretty good. Lots of people left replies to my guests blogs, a slew of people tweeted and facebooked (is that a word? IT IS NOW!) about it, and around 3,700 entries were logged on the rafflecopter giveaway. The biggest "win" is the amount of reviews the blog tour generated. This is a very piddly number in the grand scheme of things, but Funeral with a View now has twelve reviews on Amazon: eleven 5 star, one 4 star. That's not too shabby, right? There were a couple blogs that reviewed it highly, but have yet to transfer said reviews to Amazon. That's okay. This is all volunteer, after all, and that they took part in the tour is greatly appreciated. That all sounds great, doesn't it? Tweets, reviews, interest, etc. It's early days yet, but I'm not sure how much the tour is paying off.

During the two weeks in which the tour ran, not a single sale was to be had. And I get that. People enter a contest to win an e-copy of a book to do just that: to see if they'll win. Why buy a book if there's a chance to win it. This is where the paid ads come in. Along with the tour, I bought a couple ads to get the book into people's hands, or at least bring it to their attention. The result of that? Two sales. That's what you call a tax write-off. Hey, it happens. Am I disappointed? Yep. Did I expect it? Sorta. No matter how good I think (and by the reviews, other people think) Funeral with a View is, I wasn't so deluded as to feel it would be a runaway hit. BUT! The people who have read it have really enjoyed it. We'll say that's a monetary loss, but a moral "win."

So what's the point of this rambling and word vomit? I'm looking at the bright side. The bright side is that I have now dubbed myself "The Best Reviewed, Worst Selling Author on Amazon."


That right there cracks me up every time I look at it, and is more evidence of my twisted sense of humor as it pertains to me. But there is a reason behind it. Let us take a look at some math! Don't worry, I have an engineering degree.

SO! I currently have six titles with my name on them; three that I've self published, three small-press anthologies to which I've contributed short stories. All totaled, those books/anthologies have a combined 136 reviews. That's hot a huge pool from which to sample, but political polls have been based on much more insignificant numbers. Still, we'll make it more interesting and keep it limited to my three self-published titles. Taking out those others leaves us with 127 amazon reviews. For argument's sake, let's say that four and five star reviews are "positive." You could make an argument for 3 star being positive, too, and you wouldn't be wrong, but I'll be even more stringent on myself and keep it limited to the four and five star ratings. Ghosts of Demons Past, Words with Fiends, and Funeral with a View have, to date, received 123 ratings of four stars or higher. *doing the math ... % over 100 equals is over of ... multiply ... divide ... etc* What's the answer? Rounding rules being what they are, that leaves us with a 97% overall positive rating based on almost 130 reviews. Doing more math, 70% of my reviews have been five stars. What does this all mean? Out of my three independently published works, I have an average rating of 4.73 stars. That does not suck. Actually, it's pretty fucking good. It's not only pretty fucking good, but it's a win.

As it stands now, my books are selling at the pace of the continental drift. That's okay. It's not a race, it's a marathon. I know I'm not the only one in this position. There are plenty of authors out there, most of whom are more talented than I am, that are struggling as well. But someone's paying attention, and those who have gotten their hands on them have rated my stories very highly. My barometer for success right now is based on one sale at a time, one review at a time, one win at a time. It's been a scratching and clawing fight to get either of those going, but it hasn't been all bad. Judging from my reviews, I may be on to something. This whole "Best Reviewed, Worst Selling" thing started off as a joke with a good author friend of mine. We got a good laugh out of it. We still get a good laugh out of it. But what the hell? I'm rolling with it. Anything worth doing is worth doing right. If nothing else, I have a cool slogan for this niche I've carved for myself.

Coming soon (and I hope to be a little better with the blogging, promise) I'll be starting up a "Books That Don't Suck" feature here at Overly Verbose. Straight from my amazon review archives of over 400 reviewed titles, I'll be pulling some more obscure novels out to share with everyone. It'll be a mix of indie and traditional authors, but none of them will suck ... thus the title. I'd like to say this is going to be a weekly feature, but I learned never to let my ass write a check my mouth can't cash. Or is that the other way around?

Until next time! So long. Take care. See 'ya round the interwebs.
Matt "ABRWSA" Schiariti


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Wanted: Giveaway

Title: The Wanted

Series: The Woodlands Series, Book 4

Author: Lauren Nicolle Taylor

Published: October 31st, 2014

Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

Page Count: 363

Genre: YA Mature Dystopian Romance

Content Warning: Graphic Violence

Recommended Age: 16+

What would you be willing to sacrifice to get what you Wanted?

It’s the question facing both Rosa and Joseph as they are pushed and pulled in unimaginable directions.

It’s the question Superior Grant answered with a resounding, “Anything and everything.”

The only thing they want is to be back in each other’s arms. But what will it cost them to get there?

Separated after a failed mission, they are caught in dual hells. Joseph, sinking as he struggles to face what he did to escape and who he had to leave behind. Rosa, straddling the divide between fighting the evil, calculating Superior Grant and trying her best to stay alive.

When what they Wanted seems unreachable, can they find the strength–the will–to keep trying? To keep fighting? And find their way back to each other and to Orry?

About the Author

Lauren Nicolle Taylor is a 33-year-old mother living in the tiny, lush town of Bridgewater on the other side of the world in Australia. She married her high school sweetheart and has three very boisterous and individual children. She earned a Bachelors degree in Health Sciences with Honours in Obstetrics and Gynecology and majored in Psychology while minoring in Contemporary Australian Writing.

After a disastrous attempt to build her dream house that left her family homeless, She found herself inexplicably drawn to the computer. She started writing, not really knowing where it may lead but ended up, eight weeks later, with the rough draft of The Woodlands.

In 2013, Lauren Nicolle Taylor accepted a publishing contract with Clean Teen Publishing. Her first published novel, The Woodlands, was released in August 2013 and quickly became a best seller. The second book in The Woodlands Series titled: The Wall, was published in October 2013 and followed suit, maintaining it’s position on the best seller charts for three months in a row.

I searched for movement, but I could see none. My eyes squinted and strained, staring at the side of the concrete wall. Smooth, dull, and perfectly curved.
A puff of dust pushed out from the wall like a hard cough. A few moments later, a small, popping sound followed.
Then sirens wailed thinly as if mildly displeased. The only indication of how serious the situation was seemed to be the way all the lights swung around to focus on the explosion site.
The screen opened in the sky minutes later like daylight had cut through the night accidentally. The clouds were the perfect backdrop for the show. I waited, barely breathing, as the video began.
I didn’t notice Elise until she sat down with a thump next to me. “Great view,” she said breathlessly, pulling her sleeves over her hands.
I wondered why she’d followed me up here, but I tried to hide my annoyance.
“Yes, it is,” I replied absently. We were silent as the video played through.
She started talking just as Rosa appeared in the lines of pregnant girls. “How are you feeling? Should I check…?”
“Sh…” I said, putting my hand up to her face.
She crossed her arms over her chest and pouted like a child. “That was really rude,” she muttered.
I groaned, pulling my hair back with my hands and froze, my hands fixed over my head. There she was. I stared into the clouds, trying to will them closer.
“Rosa,” I whispered before I could stop myself. She blinked back at me, sad, disappointed. How could you leave me? she seemed to say.
“I’m sorry,” I told the clouds and the image of her from two years ago. That Rosa loved a different Joseph. I tried not to think about the Rosa of now and what was happening to her at this exact moment, because my mind conjured horrible things.
Elise played with her fingers. “It’s ok… you’re obviously stressed about something.”
“What? No.” I wasn’t talking to her.
God, she sounded like a doctor when she talked.
“Wow, look at that girl with heterochromia. Amazing eyes. She’s beautiful.” Elise said, pointing in the sky.
You don’t even know.
I should have told her, that’s Rosa, but I didn’t. I was hoarding her memory. I didn’t want to share it with anyone.
The image faded.
She was gone.
This was torture.



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Katerina's Hope by Sabrina Rawson

Title: Katerina’s Hope
Series: A Four Realms Novel #2
Author: Sabrina Rawson
Published: September 23rd, 2014
Word Count: 100,000
Genre: NA Urban Fantasy
Content Warning: Non-graphic sexual content and minor violence
Age Recommendation: 16+
Lady Katerina Kastekanos believes Striker Wells is the other half of her heart. Assisting the High Council in talks of peace she struggles with deep rooted fears of abandonment, but can she be true to the man she has fallen in love with before her darkest secret can destroy any hope for a future with him? Before anyone can embark on the quest for the Firing Sword Katerina is kidnapped.

Striker Wells is son to Queen Briksanna and knowing Katerina is her best friend he does not feel ashamed of his love or his commitment to pledge his life to her. Before their lives can begin Katerina is kidnapped. Devastated, Striker searches for his lost love sworn not to stop until she is found. The woman he finds is not the same woman when she was taken. Will Striker be able to overcome his personal demons of abandonment to accept the man Katerina will need him to be for them to have a lifetime of happily ever after?


Closing her eyes briefly she willed her body and mind to shut down the rampant desires his closeness evoked within her.
“You can try, Lady Katerina, but I doubt you will win.”
“Pardon me?” Shocked that he had spoken she almost stumbled in her steps.
He repeated, “You can try, but I doubt you will win.”
“I do not understand what you mean by that, Sir Striker. Pray you enlighten me.”
Sighing he stopped walking and turned towards her keeping her body close to him. “You are what I think about when I get up in the morning and what I see when I close my eyes at night. I can’t keep my thoughts far from thinking of you. What you are doing and what you are thinking is all I want to know. It takes everything within me to keep myself in check when all I want to do is spend every waking moment in solitude with you. I know there is a lot going on right now and it isn’t the best time to start something intimate with you, but I can’t help how I feel. You and me, well, we’re made for one another and I plan on doing everything possible to make sure nothing comes between how I feel about you.”
He pulled her arm indicating he wanted to walk forward and frankly she did not think she had strong enough legs to walk forward without his support after the words he had just spoken. What did he mean by making sure nothing came between them? Heart pounding in excitement she thought for a second maybe he felt deeply connected with her like she felt towards him despite having only known him for such a short time.
She battled in her heart and mind that not only was this man Briksanna’s foster son, but she had only recently met him. Was it possible his desire for her was not as fleeting as she tried to tell herself a thousand times a day in hopes to take her mind of constant thought of him?
Despite her efforts she could not shake her desire to connect with him mind, body and soul and that was what truly terrified her. She had never felt that way towards any person before and she did not feel she had a person to share her anxieties with right now. There was too much going on within her kingdom that decades of being sole ruler pressed upon her to put her feelings to the back of her mind, but her heart wanted him with a yearning she did not know if she could subdue it.
“Then don’t.”
Pulling her thoughts into the present moment, “Excuse me?”
“Don’t fight how you feel about me, just go with the flow.”
She looked up at him and saw him smiling at her. She could not help it she felt herself smile in return knowing he had heard her thoughts. She almost laughed out loud at his audacity to speak frankly towards her about things that should have remained as private thoughts.
“You overstep your bounds, Sir Striker. I am merely thinking that I should keep my kingdom first in my thoughts before I allow my heart free reign over something I have never partaken. It would be remiss of me to allow such juvenile behavior rule my actions when there is so much at stake. Your family is important to me. The success of this quest is important to me. Briksanna is important to me and so is establishing her ruling monarchy within all of Skaldanna. Why would I, knowing the dangers of distraction in such perilous times, allow my desires free reign over my actions? I cannot indulge in childhood fantasies…”
She could not finish her tirade because all thought had vanished when he abruptly leaned over and sealed his lips on her mouth. Explosions went off in her head. She felt he heart pick up its beat while the softness of his lips demanded entrance to her mouth. He was forceful in his assault, yet the gentleness in the way he held her melted all thought from her mind. She sighed.
Her arm was tangled in his arm from their walk, but for some reason she had been able to grab onto his shirt for purchase. He angled his head to deepen the kiss and that was when she relented the last bit of resistance she had left in her. His remaining arm snaked around her waist pulling in her flush body even closer.

About the Author

Although Sabrina Rawson had been physically writing for two years the ideas that conceived her first novel had been percolating in her mind for many years. In many ways she found life experiences had influenced her story although written in fantasy format.

Nelson Mandela’s words inspired her:

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

No truer words could have been said. After her first cancer battle four years ago, she was in the mindset to survive, get back to my swing of things. Problem was she couldn’t. She wasn’t the same person anymore. She relapsed by the end of the first year. She survived that experience exhausted and has had multiple tumors pop up ever since. To say her health presented a mental and physical challenge was putting it mildly. She wanted to be more, do more, and was determined to reinvent herself along the way.

What she left behind after that first surgery, was her passion for life. Cancer didn’t take that away, she put buried it along with her drive and ambition. Her creative muse happily skipped right along with the rest of her dreams leaving her disconnected. She had to rediscover herself and it was a slow personal process. Four years post her first surgery and even if she had to do it all over again tomorrow, so what! She refused to settle for a life less than what she could create for herself.

Sabrina has published works with Survivor’s Review Online Magazine and Titan InKorp Online eMag. She published the two novels within a New Adult Urban Fantasy Romance called A Novel of Four Realms, titled Briksanna’s Sacrifice (Book One) and Katerina’s Hope (Book Two). Book three is due to publish early spring 2015.

Sabrina lives in Sonoma County heart of the wine country of California enjoying life in the rural land happily married to a wonderful supportive husband. You can always find her reading a book or cooking a meal for her multitude of children.

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Friday, November 7, 2014

White Chalk: Giveaway

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White Chalk
TitleWhite Chalk
Author: Pavarti K Tyler
Published: July 2013
Word Count: 65,000
Genre: Literary Fiction, Coming of Age
Content Warning: Adult themes and sexual content
Age Recommendation: 15+
Chelle isn’t a typical 13-year-old girl—she doesn’t laugh with friends, play sports, or hang out at the mall after school. Instead, she navigates a world well beyond her years.
Life in Dawson, ND spins on as she grasps at people, pleading for someone to save her—to return her to the simple childhood of unicorns on her bedroom wall and stories on her father’s knee.
When Troy Christiansen walks into her life, Chelle is desperate to believe his arrival will be her salvation. So much so, she forgets to save herself. After experiencing a tragedy at school, her world begins to crack, causing a deeper scar in her already fragile psyche.
Follow Chelle’s twisted tale of modern adolescence, as she travels down the rabbit hole into a reality none of us wants to admit actually exists.

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About the Author

Pavarti K Tyler

Award-winning author of multi-cultural and transgressive literature, Pavarti K. Tyler is an artist, wife, mother and number cruncher. She graduated Smith College in 1999 with a degree in Theatre. After graduation, she moved to New York, where she worked as a Dramaturge, Assistant Director and Production Manager on productions both on and off Broadway. Later, Pavarti went to work in the finance industry for several international law firms.
She now lives with her husband, two daughters, and two terrible dogs. She keeps busy working with fabulous authors as the Director of Marketing at Novel Publicity, and by penning her next novel.

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'Twas the Night by Robin Reed: Giveaway

Title: ‘Twas the Night

Author: Robin Reed

Published: November 8th, 2012

Word Count: 35,000

Genre: Horror Comedy

Content Warning: Comedy Horror Violence

Age Recommendation: 13+

Rollo is the overworked, stressed-out Head Elf at the North Pole. As he prepares for Christmas Eve, he has to deal with toys that look like they’re having sex, terrorist reindeer, and worst of all, the sudden death of Santa Claus. Rollo has to save Christmas after he finds out that Santa is not just dead — he is undead.

‘Twas the Night is a novella of approximately 35,000 words. It is a satire and contains adult language and themes.

It wasn’t a fit night out for man nor elf. But then it never was at the North Pole, where it gets so cold that Frosty would freeze his snowballs off. The view from Rollo’s office window was darkness. Driving snow rattled against the pane, and the wind howled like a six year old who got nothing but socks for Christmas.
When he first got to the North Pole he thought the view was spectacular. In the sunny season the fantastic ice formations and the reflections of sunlight through them were something to see. But it never changed, and after a few hundred years anything can become boring. He shook his head and sighed. He was a long way from the woodlands of his youth, where he had nothing on his mind but frolicking and scaring the occasional woodcutter.
Rollo shouldn’t have been staring out the window and thinking about times long gone. It was the busy season, and there was a lot of work to do. He took a sip of coffee and turned to the large computer monitor on his desk.
There was a Facebook message from Jay, asking if they were still on for poker on Thursday. Rollo couldn’t think about that, or anything, until after the delivery. He decided to answer later. He opened reports from his staff. There was a problem in inventory. A whole container of talking Barbies were missing. They had to be in the complex somewhere, but nobody could find them.

About the Author

Robin Reed is the author of a strange collection of books. She writes science fiction, horror, humor, and humorous science fiction and horror. She was born in Chicago but found her way to Los Angeles, swearing to never again experience a midwestern winter.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The New Pioneer Series by Deborah Nam-Krane: Giveaway

Title: The Smartest Girl in the Room

Series: The New Pioneer Series, Book One

Author: Deborah Nam-Krane

Published: March 29th, 2013

Page Count: 291

Genre: NA Contemporary Romance

Nineteen year old Emily wants her college diploma fast, and she’s going to get it. But when the perfect night with perfect Mitch leads her to a broken heart, Emily is blind to her vulnerability. When the person she cares about the most is hurt as a result, Emily’s ambition gives way to more than a little ruthlessness. She’s going to use her smarts to take care of herself and protect the people she loves, and everyone else had better stay out of her way. But shouldn’t the smartest girl everyone knows realize that the ones she’d cross the line for would do the same for her?

Title: The Family You Choose

Series: The New Pioneer Series, Book Two

Published: September 28th, 2013

Page Count: 290

Miranda Harel has been in love with her guardian Alex Sheldon since she was five years old, and Michael Abbot has despised them both for just as long. When Miranda finds out why she wants both men out of her life for good and questions everything she believed about where and who she came from. Finding out the truth will break her heart. Without family or true love, will her friends be enough to bring her back?

Title: An Engagement: A New Pioneers Short Story

Series: The New Pioneer Series Short Stor

Published: March 7th, 2014

Page Count: 20

Annabelle Hendrickson always knew Alex Sheldon couldn’t be trusted, but even she couldn’t have guessed how far he was willing to go to get what he wanted.

No one was as decent as her brother Jim, but Stephen Abbot had a kind soul behind his mischief. She could accept his reprobate father- he’d be dead soon anyway- but she would never accept his longtime friendship with Alex, her father Gerald’s ambitious employee. Annabelle knew it was just a matter of time before he stepped on someone she cared about.

What a pity she didn’t realize who that person would be- and who was going to give him the opportunity.

Title: The China Doll

Series: The New Pioneer Series, Book Four

Published: March 27th, 2014

Page Count: 202

Hypocrisy, half truths and lies…

Sick of being treated like she’s going to break, Jessie Bartolome is back to her old ways and calling everyone on their hypocrisy. Sheesh! One little breakdown and even easygoing Martin Shepard thinks she’s too fragile to handle their age difference. Good thing her older and equally yummy teaching assistant Robert Lester thinks otherwise…right?

After spending so long cleaning up after everyone else, Jessie’s cousin Richard has never had the time to start a life of his own. However had he managed to find his girlfriend Zainab? So what is Richard going to do now that everyone else has grown up? Marry Zainab and start a family? Things have never been that easy for a Hendrickson…just ask his cousin Michael.

Richard’s mother, Lucy, is one of the most powerful women in Boston… so when is she going to put a stop to the blackmail ruthless Alex Sheldon has holding over her for years? And if Richard knows more than he’s letting on, why hasn’t he gone after Alex himself? The question is, how much does he- or anyone else- really know?

Welcome to the Bartolome/Hendrickson family.

Title: Let’s Move On

Series: The New Pioneer Series, Book Five

Published: September 29th, 2014

Page Count: 186

Zainab has spent years keeping Emily from going over the edge, giving Miranda a shoulder to cry on and nursing Jessie back to health. They’ll be the first to agree that she deserves whatever makes her happy, especially after the drama Richard put her through. But did she have to choose the guy who threw everyone’s lives into the shredder?

Richard knows he screwed up and he’d do anything to get Zainab back, but first he needs to make sure his company—and his loyal employees—don’t go under. (Who knew kicking your primary investor to the curb would have consequences?) Good thing his family has such deep pockets; too bad he doesn’t want to take a cent from them. Why should Zainab take him back if he can’t get out of his own way?

Maybe Zainab can eat her cake and have it too—that is, until she’s given an ultimatum. The choice isn’t Lover A or B; it’s protecting her friends or letting them fend for themselves. With that hanging over her head, what’s it going to take to make sure she and everyone else can finally move on?

About the Author

Deborah Nam-Krane is a Boston-based writer. She began working on the New Pioneers almost thirty years ago and is excited to see her creations finally ready to strike out into the world on their own.