Archives for September 2013

Spotlight: The Hidden Chamber in the Great Sphinx by Linda A. Cadose (excerpt, guest post)

great sphinxThe Hidden Chamber in the Great Sphinx
written by Linda A. Cadose
published by Authorhouse

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, Book Depository, Goodreads

About the book: The Hidden Chamber in the Great Sphinx, by Linda A. Cadose, is a YA mystery adventure novel set in Giza, Egypt.

The book follows archaeologist Dr. Cliff Post and his friend Dr. Abdul Saad who discover a hidden chamber in the Great Sphinx. Inside of the right paw they find ancient scrolls and 13 crystal skulls that form a supercomputer.  This great discovery soon takes a dangerous turn when Drs. Saad and Post are followed, spied on and eventually kidnapped. On this extraordinary adventure, readers learn information about not only the Great Sphinx but also about Egypt, its mysteries, and the study of archaeology.

The Hidden Chamber in the Great Sphinx is the first book in a series featuring the tales of American archeologist, Dr. Cliff Post. Follow him in later books as he visits underwater pyramids and goes to Jerusalem.efcexcerpt

The rest of the school year crept by for Cliff. He hadn’t realized how much he was looking forward to his upcoming sabbatical until he got back from Cairo and went back to work. Talking about Egypt and being in Egypt were a far cry from one another, and the short time he’d spent there made him want to be back immediately.

He was in one of his afternoon classes giving a lecture, and he kept glancing at the clock.

“The Giza plateau is a mile square and was leveled by human hands. The plateau is 130 feet above the Nile Valley. It is only half a degree off from being perfectly level. Any questions so far?” Cliff asked his students as he paused in his lecture to make sure he wasn’t losing them. A student raised his arm, and Cliff pointed to him.

“Professor, I understand why the Egyptians made the pyramids, but what was the purpose of the Great Sphinx?”

“That’s a good question, Peter. The Great Sphinx guards the pyramids of Giza,” Cliff told the student and pointed to another student who had her arm in the air.

“Dr. Post, what exactly is a sphinx? I’ve always thought it was, like, a cat,” the young lady wanted to know. Some of her classmates giggled.

“Settle down, guys. That’s a good question, too. Does anyone know the answer to Stephanie’s question?” Cliff looked pointedly at some of the students who’d giggled when Stephanie asked her question. “You, there. Thomas. You seemed to be very amused by Stephanie’s question. Should we take it that you know the answer?”

“Well, isn’t it, like, I mean, doesn’t it have the body of a lion and the head of a man? I think it’s something like that,” Thomas said and the smile was gone from his face now that he found himself in the hot seat.

“Correct,” Cliff told Thomas. “The word sphinx comes from an Egyptian phrase which means ‘living image’ or statue. It is a sculpture carved out of a sandstone knoll. The Great Sphinx is 240 feet long, just a little under 14 feet wide and stands 66 feet high. It wears a Pharaoh’s headdress, which is denoted by the cobra on the forehead.

“The Sphinx’s nose was shot off with a cannon by Napoleon’s troops and is now housed in the British Museum. At one time, the Great Sphinx was painted dark red. The eyes were painted black, and the headdress was painted white. The Sphinx is situated so that it faces the rising sun on June 21st, the summer solstice.

“The face of the Great Sphinx was analyzed and compared to the face on the Louvre sphinx of pharaoh Amenenhet II. The similarities were said to be profound. Both faces are full and broad and slope downward over the cheekbones. Subsequently, the face on the Great Sphinx is believed to be the likeness of Amenenhet II. Are there any questions?”

Cliff looked around the room and realized that many of the students weren’t paying attention to his lecture. Some were doodling and a few in the back of the room had their heads down on their desks. He was grateful that at least Stephanie, Thomas and Peter seemed to be interested in what he was talking about, and he smiled at each of them in turn. Cliff continued his lecture.

“There is a theory that the Great Sphinx was a statue of the Egyptian God Anubis in the Old Kingdom. Anubis was the god of the dead and mummification. He was placed on the Giza plateau to guard the Giza necropolis. The proponents of this theory believe that the body of the Great Sphinx is the body of a dog and not the body of a lion.

“There is evidence that the Sphinx was recarved in the Middle Kingdom by the pharaoh Amenenhet II in his own image. The head of the Sphinx is disproportionate to the body of the Sphinx. It is believed that the head of the Great Sphinx was much larger than it is now. Behind the Great Sphinx lies the Great Pyramid. Yes, Stephanie,” Cliff said when he saw the young lady’s arm in the air.

“Which pyramid is the biggest, Dr. Post?” Stephanie asked.

“The largest of the pyramids on the Giza plateau is the Great Pyramid of Pharaoh Kheops (Khufu). It is almost 486 feet tall. The pyramid’s base occupies 13 acres and is said to represent the Equator. The apex of the pyramid deviates a half a degree from True North and is said to represent the Northern Hemisphere. The Great Pyramid was built with two and a half million blocks of limestone, some of which weighed 15 tons. That is more stone than can be found in all the churches, chapels and cathedrals built in England since 33 A.D.

“It is postulated that four mud ramps were erected to build the pyramid, and it took 2,500 men to construct it. The king’s sarcophagus is one inch wider than the Ascending Corridor which leads to the King’s Chamber toward the center of the pyramid. The King’s Chamber, which is 19’1″ high, 34’4″ long and 17’2″ wide, was to be the interment location of the pharaoh. It, however, is empty except for a large sarcophagus of rose granite. Archeologists believe that since the sarcophagus is wider than the chamber it must have been built in. Who can tell me how many sides there are to the Great Pyramid?”

“Four,” Peter answered quickly.

“Ah, one would think that, wouldn’t they, Peter? However, the Great Pyramid’s core is concave which makes the Great Pyramid an eight-sided figure. This concavity divides each of the four faces of the pyramid in half. This feature can only be seen from the air, and the first person to record seeing it was a British Air Force pilot by the name of P. Groves, who flew over the Great Pyramid in 1940. Yes, Thomas?” Cliff paused to acknowledge Thomas who had raised his arm into the air.

“Dr. Post, I read something odd in the book, and it didn’t make much sense to me. It said something about a Queen’s Chamber that was built, too, but am I mistaken that it wasn’t actually for burying the queen of the Pharaoh?” Thomas’ brow was furrowed as he asked the question.

“You’re correct, Thomas. It wasn’t for the burial of the queen. The name is somewhat misleading. The Queen’s Chamber in the Great Pyramid was built as an alternative resting place for the pharaoh in the event that the King’s Chamber was not completed at the time of the pharaoh’s death. If the King’s Chamber was completed on time, then the Queen’s Chamber would be used to house a statue of the pharaoh’s ka. Does anyone know what that is? Yes, Jacob?” Cliff pointed to another student who had finally decided to start paying attention.

“The ka was the pharaoh’s essence,” Jacob said confidently.

“That is correct, Jacob. After death, the pharaoh’s khat (corpse) was mummified. The ka or spiritual double can be thought of as the personality or life force of the pharaoh. The ba was another part of the total person. The khaibut was the pharaoh’s shadow, and it was associated with the ba. The ren was a person’s name. You should be writing these terms down, class. It’s possible you may see them on the final exam.” Cliff paused as there was pronounced movement among the students as they took out paper and began to write. Cliff chuckled inwardly. He knew the mention of the final exam would make his lecture more interesting to his students.

Before continuing, Cliff took a few moments to repeat the information he’d just shared with his class, so the stragglers could write down all the terms. Once he was satisfied that they’d all had a chance to catch up, Cliff continued his lecture.

“The story goes that after his death, the ka of the pharaoh was put on a scale and weighed against an ostrich feather by the god Maat. If the pharaoh’s heart was lighter than the ostrich feather, it meant that the pharaoh could enter the afterlife. Even in death, the ka would continue to need sustenance, so the family left behind by the deceased pharaoh would continue to nourish it with food and water. Are there any questions about the Great Pyramid of Pharaoh Kheops?” Cliff paused but no one raised their arms to ask questions.

“Before we run out of time today, let me quickly talk about the other pyramids. Again, you need to be writing down the terms I mention, because you’ll probably see them on the final examination. Now then… The Second Pyramid was built for the Pharaoh Khephren (Khafre) and is 446 feet tall. It is made of massive limestone blocks faced inside and out with slabs of red granite. It is easily identifiable by its layers of casing stones. The Second Pyramid measures 78 million cubic feet.

“The Third Pyramid of Giza was built for the Pharaoh Mykerinus (Menkaure). At 215 feet tall, it is much smaller than the other two pyramids. The first 15 meters of this pyramid are pink granite, and the rest is limestone. Menkaure’s sarcophagus was made of basalt and was lost at sea while being transported to the British museum.

“The Pharaoh Menkaure was a much more beneficent ruler than his two predecessors, Kheops and Khafre. Menkaure was known as a good king with a mild mannered disposition. Kheops and Khafre were resented by their subjects, because they enslaved their citizens and required them to labor at massive building projects.

The three pyramids form a Pytharean triangle and are aligned with the three stars in Orion’s belt. Moreover, the three pyramids and the Great Sphinx are actually parts of a whole which are connected by interlocking golden angles. These golden angles measure 26 degrees, 33 minutes and 54 seconds. The golden angle is found in all four corners of the Great Pyramid, all four corners of Khephren pyramid and in two corners of the Mykerinus pyramid,” Cliff said as he paused and looked at the clock. He was out of time.

“That’s all we have time for today, class. Make sure you finish reading chapters 23 and 24 in the book, and I’ll pick up where I left off in the next class.”

When all the students had left the room, Cliff released a long sigh. He stuffed his notes in his briefcase and walked out of the building. Out of a class of 45 students, only four had bothered to participate in today’s class.

Yes, he was looking forward to his sabbatical, and the end of school year couldn’t come quick enough.

 

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WHY I CHOSE TO SELF PUBLISH

I chose to self publish my book, The Hidden Chamber in the Great Sphinx because the overwhelming majority of publishers do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. In addition, agents will not accept new clients without a referral, and I am a new writer so I do not have the contacts.

I am convinced that as more and more authors choose to self-publish, self-publishing will become less and less of a stigma. In time, I believe that the stigma of self-publishing will dissipate entirely.

Publishing my books gave me the opportunity to place my book in public. I hoped that the children I write for would decide whether or not they liked my books.

I feel that children’s books are greatly underrated by our society. Children’s books do wonderful things for children. Children’s books enhance vocabulary, improve socialization skills and understanding of other cultures. Those are the primary reasons that I enjoy writing children’s books, both Middle Grade and Young Adult.

If you are having trouble getting your book published, I recommend self-publishing. Self-publishing gives you a chance to get your name out there and begin accumulating reviews. Good reviews tell you what you are doing correctly. Bad reviews are an instructor of what is wrong. As an author, it is very important to learn from your reviews.

linda cadoseAbout the author: Linda Cadose is a retired respiratory therapist who is now a children’s book author. She likes to travel, enjoys reading, and loves history. She has been to Egypt and has visited all of the historical sites she discusses in her book. Linda currently resides in Carver, MA.

Find Ms. Cadose here: web, Twitter, Goodreads

 

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Book Blast: Eternal Starling by Angela Corbett (spotlight, giveaway)

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eternal starling coverEternal Starling
written by Angela Corbett
published by Pendrell Publishing

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

About the book: This is a book blast, you will post the promotional info we provide you with, including the giveaway. No reviews required.

A love so strong, even eternity can’t separate them. Evie Starling has lived a relatively uneventful life hanging out with friends, gossiping about boys, and driving her 1966 Mustang.

All of that changes when she moves to Gunnison, Colorado, to start college and meets two mysterious men. For centuries, Alex Night and Emil Stone have yearned for Evie but they each have their own reasons for wanting to be with her. When both men claim to be her soul mate and tell her about an unbelievable past, Evie learns that she s not the person she thought she was. Soon, Evie finds herself in the middle of an age-old battle between the Amaranthine Society the soul protectors, and the Daevos Resistance the soul destroyers. With a past she doesn t understand, and a future rife with danger, Evie has to decide who she can trust. But Alex and Emil aren t the only ones who want Evie, and her soul is about to become the rope in an eternal tug-of-war.

 

Angela CorbettAbout the author: As a child, Angela Corbett’s most prized possession was a set of read-along books. She used to follow along with the narrator on the stereo and dream of when she would be able to read by herself. Her childhood reading habit led her to consider her future career. However, after consulting with her parents, she realized she had already exceeded hobbit height and since fairies and dragonslayers were tricky jobs to get, she decided she wanted to create worlds of her own. She started writing poetry in elementary school and worked as a journalist in high school and college, but could never leave her love for writing fiction behind.

She is a graduate of Westminster College where she double majored in communication and sociology. She has worked as a journalist, freelance writer, and director of communications and marketing. She loves classic cars, traveling, and escaping in a good book. She lives in Utah with her incredibly supportive husband and their five-pound Pomeranian, Pippin, whose following of fangirls could rival Justin Bieber’s.

Eternal Starling is her debut novel and the first book in the Emblem of Eternity trilogy.

Find Ms. Corbett here: webFacebook, Twitter, Goodreads

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Release Event: The Jamieson Collection by Angie Stanton (spotlight, excerpt, giveaway)

The-Jamieson-Collection-Release-Graphic

ROCKRock and a Hard Place (The Jamieson Collection #1)
written by Angie Stanton
published by Harper Collins

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

About the book: One day while watching the Interstate exit for her dad’s long awaited return, Libby’s life is rocked when Peter Jamieson steps off his tour bus and into her life. After a couple chance meetings with Peter, Libby breaks away from her perfect behavior and her life changes course.

Peter longs for normalcy away from the screaming fans who know nothing about the real him. He is amazed to discover Libby has never heard of him or his band. Soon their friendship turns to love. While Peter battles his family’s growing interference so he can spend time with Libby, she struggles with her eccentric aunt who turns more bizarre each day.

Their lives are torn apart when Peter’s family intrudes and Libby disappears. Peter’s desperate search for her comes up empty. Can they find their way back to each other while the world plots against them?

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“I have something for you.” He had moved heaven and earth to pull this together.

“You do?” Her eyes glittered in surprise.

“Yup. Close your eyes and hold out your hands.” He couldn’t wait to see what she thought. Libby obeyed. Her dark eyelashes lay against her rosy cheeks. His heart beat in anticipation. He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a white plastic bag, then glanced up. Her closed eyes changed to little slits.

“Hey, stop peeking!”

Libby squeezed her eyes closed and laughed. She held out her hands and waited. Peter pulled the slim item out of the bag and placed it in her hands.

“Okay, look.”

She peered at the shiny device and then back at him in disbelief. “You gave me a cell phone?” She stared at the gift. “You gave me a cell phone!” This time she yelled it.

Her excitement touched him. “It seemed like a good idea. You didn’t have a phone number to give me, and I really missed you. It’s gonna get harder to see you. I thought this way we could stay in touch and actually talk whenever we want.”

She closed her hand around the precious phone and turned pensive.

“Is something wrong?” He wondered what could have upset her.

“I don’t know if I should accept this.” She gazed up at him with large doe eyes. He couldn’t believe this. She needed to take the phone.

“We barely know each other, and, well…” Mischief lit her face, and he wondered what she was up to. “We’ve never even kissed.”

Peter paused and took a good look at her. He’d been wondering how to sneak a kiss; she just made it simple.

He tossed the umbrella aside and pulled her close. He let his fingers tangle in her wet hair and lowered his mouth to hers. He kissed her long and slow, taking his sweet time. Cold rain trickled down his neck as he savored each moment. Startled at first, Libby now matched his kiss. He enjoyed each touch of her tender lips.

He slowly pulled away.

“Now can you take the phone?” His forehead rested against hers.

“Yeah, I think so,” she answered in a breathy voice.

“I’d better be sure.” Empowered by their perfect chemistry, he leaned in for more. Her body melted against him. He wrapped his other arm around her and pulled her close.

“Wow,” she whispered, her eyes dark and smoky.

“Haven’t you ever been kissed before?” His eyes searched hers.

“Not like that.”

 

SNAPSnapshot (The Jamieson Collection #2)
written by Angie Stanton
published by Harper Collins

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

About the book: Marti Hunter hates rockers and anything remotely related to the rock-and-roll lifestyle. She thought she’d left that all behind, along with her drug-addicted mother and absent-minded rock legend father. Now she lives with her grandmother, and Marti’s life is finally normal. Just the way she likes it.

For Adam Jamieson, normal is not possible. He is the genius guitar player of the band Jamieson. He’s ecstatic to finally get a two-week break from his micromanaged life and a chance to hang with regular teens. Adam’s shaving off his trademark curls and going undercover.

But when Marti, the reluctant rock princess, and Adam, the undercover guitar wizard, meet, sparks fly in more ways than one. They spend their time alternating between making out and driving each other crazy. But their summer adventures of skinny dipping, storm watching, and stolen kisses are brought to a halt when tragedy strikes.

Suddenly, they’re on opposite sides of the country, just when they need each other the most. Can Marti survive life with her dad and his vicious girlfriend? Will Adam get so fed up with his over-managed life and controlling parents that he quits the band?

Snapshot. A moment in time that changes two people forever.

efcexcerptAdam called his brother. Peter picked up on the third ring. “What’s up? What’s lured you away from making candles in the sand? Don’t tell me. Since the girls don’t know who you are, they’ll have nothing to do with you?”

“Not exactly. See, there’s this girl, and…”

“Hey Libby, Adam’s got a girl!” Peter yelled, ignoring Adam.

“Way to go Adam!” Libby called back. “Don’t break her heart.”

Adam shook his head. Calling Peter was probably a mistake.

“So what’s the problem?” Peter asked. “You finally get a girl alone and you don’t know what to do with her?”

Adam rolled his eyes. “No, she has this huge issue with musicians. Let’s just say she hates us all. How do I get her to stop hating me?”

“You know what they say,” Peter said. “There’s a fine line between love and hate.”

angie stantonAbout the author: Angie Stanton never planned on writing books, she wanted to be a Rockette. However, growing up in a rural setting with her brothers’ 4-H pigs as pets, dance didn’t work out. Instead she became an avid daydreamer. After years of perfecting stories in her head, she began to write them down and the rest is history.

She loves dipping french fries in chocolate shakes, all natural disaster movies and Broadway Musicals. When not writing, Angie is concocting ways to make more dreams come true, whether it be tickets to a Broadway show or convincing her family they should rent an RV and travel the country. She’s still working on that one.

Angie is a proud double finalist of the 2011 National Readers Choice Awards for Love ’em or Leave ’em, as well as a finalist for the Golden Quill Awards.

Find Ms. Stanton here: blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

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Review: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling)

the cuckoo's callingThe Cuckoo’s Calling
written by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling)
published by Mulholland Books

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooksBook Depository, Goodreads

Today, I would like to welcome my friend Belinda to the blog! She is a member of the book group that I belong to and she wanted to try her hand at writing book reviews. Hopefully, she will become a regular contributor here at EFC.

Why did I pick this book: It’s the second book J.K. Rowling has published since the phenomenally popular Harry Potter series.  And I’m a huge fan of mysteries/crime solving stories.

Did I enjoy this book:
Overall, I did enjoy this book.

The Cuckoo’s Calling is written in the third person and begins with the unlikely meeting of Robin, a secretary working for a temp service and a burned-out, overweight, recently dumped by his girlfriend, nearly bankrupt private detective, Strike.

Strike gets an extraordinary and unexpected opportunity to investigate the much hyped, sensational story of a lovely supermodel that has tragically fallen to her death from a balcony in her upscale, secure London apartment building.  Police rule it a suicide. But her bereaved brother is confident they are mistaken.

The book has all the necessary elements of a murder mystery: beautiful, famous, wealthy victim as well as an unlikely protagonist solving the crime against all odds, sexual tension between co-workers, and power hungry millionaires who stop at nothing to derail the investigation to protect their own interests.

J.K. Rowling is undoubtedly one of the most brilliant literary artists of our time. She unfolds the story layer by complicated layer with meticulous detail, realistic character portraits, plot twists, and unexpected villains.

All the elements are present, but(for me) fell a bit flat. The investigation seems to drag on, the sexual tension fails to sizzle, and the villains are more annoying than menacing.

But she is J.K. Rowling and I’m . . . well – not. So all things considered . . .

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Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book.  The level of artistic writing and the story are compelling enough to recommend it not only to murder mystery fans but book lovers in general.

Will I read it again: I will not.

~ Belinda ~


About the book – from Goodreads:
A brilliant debut mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel’s suicide.

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, thelegendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you’ve never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this.

 

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Release Event: Only For You by Marquita Valentine (spotlight, excerpt, giveaway)

only ofr you coverOnly For You (Boys of the South #2)
written by Marquita Valentine
published by Marquita Valentine

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, Book Depository, Goodreads

About the book: Loose ends left loose for too long tend to strangle.

Cole and Violet knew it wouldn’t be easy. They knew their relationship would take work. But when the press finds out about Violet Lynn’s newest boyfriend, they start digging.  And when his past comes to light, exposing all of his family’s secrets, their relationship begins to fray.

Country Music’s Golden Boy, Jaxon Hunter, has it all, except the girl that got away. What she saw, she really didn’t. What she thought happened, he allowed her to believe for reasons so insane that no one would ever have believed him if he had confessed. But now that everything’s out in the open, he’s going to do his damndest to convince her that he’s the only one for her.

Now Violet must choose between Jaxon— her first love and the guy she thought had cheated on her—and Cole—the guy who helped her heal and love again.

Or will one of them make the decision for her?

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He shoves his hands in the pocket of his jeans, the material of the t-shirt he’s wearing stretching over his biceps. “Could you take Bliss’ glasses from her and give them to me?”

My mouth drops open and not just from the absurdity of his request. I actually thought he was going to hit on me. “You want me to steal from her?”

“Stealing means never giving back. I want you to borrow them and give them to me.”

“Why on earth would you need her glasses?” I narrow my eyes at him. “Are you trying to play a joke on her, because if you are, so help me, Jackson Morgan, I will—”

A blush steals up his neck and I gape at him again. “No. I wanted to get the lenses fixed without her knowing it was me. We have off tomorrow, and I thought if you could get them, then I could get her a new pair.”

I blink at him. This is the Jaxon I used to know—sweet, kind, and thoughtful. But I don’t trust him. “Why don’t you take her there yourself or give her money to pay for them?”

Jaxon gives me this come-on look. “I thought you wanted me to stay away from her?”

“I do, but—”

“No buts, get her damn glasses, Violet, and let me take care of the rest,” he growls, his blush deepening.

Could it be that the Jaxon Hunter, my no-good, lying, cheating of an ex, is actually doing a good deed that in no way will be a benefit to him?

“Okay, I’ll get them tonight.”

He smiles, smug and wicked as ever. “Knew I still had it.”

I roll my eyes, unable to stop from smiling back at him. “Whatever.”

“Oh, and Violet?” He places one hand on the door, his gaze turning hungry. “You and I still have some unfinished business that needs to be settled.”

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marquita valentineAbout the author: New York Times Bestselling Author, Marquita Valentine, writes sexy heroes that make you swoon and sassy heroines that make you laugh. She’s the author of the bestselling contemporary romance series, Holland Springs, and the new adult romance series, Boys of the South.

Marquita met her husband aka Hot Builder at Sonic when they were in high school. She suggests this location to all of her single friends in search of a good man—and if that doesn’t work, they can console themselves with cheesy tatertots. She lives in North Carolina in a very, very small town with Hot Builder and their two children.

Find Ms. Valentine here: web, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

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Spotlight: The Family You Choose by Deborah Nam-Krane (guest post)

FamilyFinalThe Family You Choose (The New Pioneers #2)
written by Deborah Nam-Krane
published by Deborah Nam-Krane

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, Goodreads

About the book: 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?

 

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Finding Balance in Your Series

When I finally sat down to write my first book in 2007, I already knew that it was going to be the first in a four-part series and, more importantly, what most of the major beats were in the other installments. Editing the first part was, in theory, easy: put in just enough about certain characters to perk up the readers’ ears, but not so much that the reader would wonder who the book was about in the first place.

Emphasis on theory. To be honest, I chafed a little bit about this when my beta readers and editor told me to pull back. The second installment is a lot more complicated than the first, and I needed to set the table for it carefully. However, I became convinced that there was a benefit to making the characters in question mysterious and “shadowy,” and I think I did a good job of it.

While the reaction to my first book wasn’t bad, the reaction to the sequel has been much better, even as a first draft. However, one thing my editor and readers came back at me with was not to spend too much time recapping the story from the first book. Another writer also working on a seriesmy good friend Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mbaadvised a “Cast of Characters” page as an introduction. I loved that idea as it reminded me of some of the Poirot mysteries (by Agatha Christie) that I’ve read that listed out the major characters. I don’t give anyone more than two sentences, but that’s just enough to capture people’s relationships and sum up what they did in the first book if they appeared there.

There is still, however, the issue of recaps in certain scenes. When I had to do that, I made the decision to give the reader more information than they’d had in the first installment. In The Smartest Girl in the Room, Emily has a brief but violent confrontation with Michael, a pivotal character in The Family You Choose. Rather than have a bit of dialogue that sounds something like “Yeah, remember that time he and I got into a fight?”, Emily instead gives the other characters she’s talking to information on what was said during the confrontation-something I didn’t go into the first book because I didn’t write that scene from Emily’s point of view.

Because this little world has been haunting me for so long, I had already sent the third installment to my editor when I was weeks from publishing the second. There is another character in the second book that is going to be crucial in the third book (and by the time you finish the second you’ll know who it is). But while that character may have set things in motion, the third book isn’t about him. However, I felt like the back story was juicy enough that it deserved its own treatment, so I wrote a short story to give my readers a little bit extra. And while it will be for sale, it is extra; it will give insight into the characters, but you’ll still be able to follow the main story without it.

When you write a series, your job is to tell each installment in such a way that it helps tell the overarching story of the series. And while you want to whet everyone’s appetite for what comes next, you want to do it in such a way that the readers genuinely want more of your compelling characters, not because you’ve manipulated the plot such that they have to get the next book if they really want to find out how it ends. That might work- it does for a lot of authors- but then you have to make sure the final payoff is HUGE, and with each release, the stakes get higher.

If you can pull that off, all the more power to you. As for me, I’m going to focus on my characters. Who knows? By doing that, they just might give me some new ideasand installments!I hadn’t already thought of.

 

deb nam-krane

About the author: Deborah Nam-Krane has been writing in one way or another since she was eight years old (and telling stories well before that). Her series, The New Pioneer debuted in March with The Smartest Girl in the Room. The sequel The Family You Choose will be published at the end of September.

Please join Deborah’s mail list to find out first about new releases and connect with her on any of the following sites:

 

Find Ms. Nam-Krane here: web, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Google+

 

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Cover Reveal: Seven Day Fiance by Rachel Harris (spotlight)

 I am so excited to share the cover for Rachel Harris’s new book, Seven Day Fiance, set to be released on October 14, 2013. I can’t wait to read this one!

 

seven day fiance

Seven Day Fiancé (Love and Games #2)
written by Rachel Harris
published by Entangled Bliss

Release Date: October 14, 2013

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Angelle Prejean is in a pickle. Her family is expecting her to come home with a fiancé—a fiancé who doesn’t exist. Well, he exists, but he definitely has no idea Angelle told her mama they were engaged. Tattooed, muscled, and hotter than sin, Cane can reduce Angelle to a hot mess with one look—and leave her heart a mess if she falls for him. But when she ends up winning Cane at a charity bachelor auction, she knows just how to solve her fiancé problem.

Cane Robicheaux is no one’s prince. He doesn’t do relationships and he doesn’t fall in love. When sweet, sultry-voiced Angelle propositions him, he hopes their little game can finally get her out of his head. He doesn’t expect her to break through all his barriers. But even as Angelle burrows deeper into his heart, he knows once their seven days are up, so is their ruse.

Rachel Harris Seven Day Fiancé Teaser 1

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Angelle stopped beside a folding table boasting boxes of fresh, crispy cracklins and selected a thick piece. Cane watched, mesmerized, as she puckered those gorgeous lips and blew on the sliver. With a flirtatious glint in her eyes, she held it up to his mouth, and he opened.

Holy crap.

He’d had cracklins before. Fried pork fat was a standard gas station treat, usually shrink-wrapped and stale as shit. But this, fresh from the pot and piping hot, was unbelievable. Cane widened his eyes, and it was possible he even moaned. It was thatgood. And as he swallowed, Angel rewarded him with a rich, throaty laugh.

“Ca c’est bon?” she asked, grinning when he grabbed another handful.

He touched her nose and popped a piece in his mouth. “Good would be an understatement.”

Grinning, she took a fried morsel for herself and sent the balding, overweight gentleman tending the table a wink. “Now that’s what we like to hear.” Then she closed her eyes as she savored the treat.

The sounds of Angel moaning, and watching her face soften in the throes of a foodgasm, had to be the sexiest damn thing Cane had ever seen. His pants tightened, embarrassingly so considering he knew the audience was still watching, but what pushed him over the edge was when her eyes opened. The pleasure in them was his undoing.

Feeling the weight of the crowd’s disapproving stares and not giving a damn, figuring now was as good a time as any to give the people the show they clearly wanted, he grasped her hip and tugged her forward, pausing only to inhale her gasp of surprise before brushing her mouth with his.

It was like setting off a damn forest fire.

Angelle, his shocking little hellcat, pounced. Forgetting all about their audience, or maybe not giving a damn either, she wound her arms around his neck, lifted onto her toes, and kissed him back with everything she had. Cane had intended to steal a quick taste, take the edge off his craving for her, and prove their point with the town’s people. But hell if he was gonna be the one to back down now. Tightening his grasp on her slim hips, he brushed his thumbs across the smooth, exposed skin near her waistband. He deepened the kiss, thrilling over her telltale shiver. Whimpering, she yanked on the hair at his nape and sucked his bottom lip into her mouth. Hot damn.

Okay, now he had to start backing down. With all her male relatives watching, not to mention the knives and axes still lying around from the butchering earlier, if Cane valued his life, he needed to wrangle control of the situation. He’d heard patience was a virtue. That was a line of bull—he’d always sucked at waiting for anything he wanted. But for Angel, he was willing to try.

Loosening his grip on her belt loops, Cane slowed the intensity of the kiss. He smoothed the hem of her shirt down, grazed her lips one last time, and, placing his forehead against hers, inhaled through his nose. Sunflowers mixed with cayenne may be his new favorite scent. Angelle released a heavy breath, a flush blooming on her cheeks. She darted a glance at the crowd, then looking into his eyes, grinned lazily. “My goodness. If anyone doubted we were a couple before, I guess that showed them.”

Rachel HarrisAbout the author: I grew up in New Orleans, where I watched soap operas with my grandmother and stayed up late sneak reading my mama’s favorite romance novels. Now a Cajun cowgirl living in Houston, I still stay up way too late reading my favorite romances, only now, I can do so openly. I firmly believe life’s problems can be solved with a hot, powdered-sugar-coated beignet or a thick slice of king cake, and that screaming at strangers for cheap, plastic beads is acceptable behavior in certain situations.

When not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, I homeschool my two beautiful girls and watch reality television with my amazing husband.

I write YA, NA, and Adult Fun & Flirty Escapes. Taste The Heat is my adult romance debut, and I’m also the author of My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century and A Tale of Two Centuries, as well as a ton of other books to come. I love hearing from readers and dishing books!

Find Ms. Harris here: WebsiteTwitter, Facebook, Goodreads

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Book Blast: The Emerald Ring by Dorine White (spotlight, giveaway)

 

The Emerald Ring
written by Dorine White
published by Cedar Fort, Inc.

find it here: (affliliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iB00ks, Book DepositoryGoodreads

About the book: Sara Bogus’s life turns upside down when she discovers an emerald ring that once belonged to Cleopatra. The fun of discovering the ring’s unique abilities turns to fear when she finds out a dangerous cult bent on restoring Rome to power is after the ring. Forced to choose between keeping the ring and saving her friends, Sara learns the price of bravery in this electrifying read!

The Emerald Ring is a middle grade fantasy novel.

 

Praise for The Emerald Ring.

“Filled with fun, magic, mystery, and history, The Emerald Ring and spunky sleuth Sara will have you racing on a pulse-pounding trail that reaches all the way to Ancient Egypt.”- Kevin Emerson, author of The Oliver Nocturne series, and The Fellowship for Alien Detection.

The Emerald Ring is a whirlwind adventure that transports the reader into the mysterious world of Ancient Egypt. A great choice for those who love mythology and magic. ” – Suzanne Selfors, author of The Sweetest Spell, Smells Like Dog series, and many more.

The Emerald Ring is an exciting and mysterious fantasy featuring fast-paced action, a scary villain, and a spunky young heroine.” – Suzanne Williams co-author of The Goddess Girls Series.

The Emerald Ring is a not-so-run-of-the-mill middle grade fantasy novel laced with mystery and intrigue. It has just enough surprises to keep kids turning the page to see what happens next. The author has a real knack with “kid lingo” and has used diverse cultures to her advantage. Definitely a book I can recommend with confidence.”- Laurisa White Reyes author of The Rock of Ivanore & The Last Enchanter

 

About the author: I graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in Humanitites. I am a member of the SCBWI and the PNWA. I write middle grade and YA fantasy. My first book, The Emerald Ring, will be published in 2013 by Cedar Fort Books.

Find Ms. White here: Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

 

 

giveaway

(Ends October 15, 2013)

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
 
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Book Blitz: Kinetic by S.K. Anthony (spotlight, excerpt, giveaway)

KineticBlitzBanner

KineticKinetic (The Luminaries #1)
written by S.K. Anthony
published by S.K. Anthony

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords, Book Depository, Goodreads

About the book: Being strong is one thing. Being an unlimited source of power is quite another.

Genetically altered by the Organization, Annie Fox takes down criminals CIA-style with her luminary strength. With nothing to mend but her broken heart, she is relentlessly pursued by her boss Derek Lake. Just when Annie is about to give him a chance, her ex-husband unexpectedly comes out of hiding.

A wanted man, Nick Logan is a cold-hearted murderer who is considered enemy number one, and orders are clear: kill on contact. He is more powerful than ever and threatens the lives of those she holds most dear. His plan? Get his hands on Annie and use her Kinetic energy to destroy them all. When Annie finds herself with an opportunity to end him, she pauses, horrified by the scars covering the face she once loved. A split second that will cost her everything…efcexcerpt

“Hardheaded woman! Stay here—let me at least make sure you chose the right train.”

I watched him go and come back in less than three minutes. “All of the passengers are packed into the last two cars, and it looks like it’s five guys. Two of them are with the conductors…the other three are guarding the passengers. It doesn’t seem like they plan on stopping anytime soon.”

“Okay, well…I’m going to give them a little hand,” I said.

“Annie, we really shouldn’t be here.”

“Oh, come on. Don’t you miss us working together?” I asked, placing my hands on his chest and staring into his eyes.

He raised an eyebrow. “Are you trying to manipulate me?”

“I wouldn’t say trying, I’m just doing the right thing.” The train hit a curve, and I lost my balance, making me fall into his arms. He felt so good. I held on tighter and kept eye contact.

“What you do to me,” he said, shaking his head. “You win, let’s do it.”

I beamed, “Okay.”

I ran all the way to the front of the train, channeling Beth’s speed. Jumping about twenty feet forward, I stood facing the train. A second later, I braced myself for the impact as the screeching sound sliced my ears. The hot metal indented its way around my hands, pushing me backwards for a while. A minute of this and I felt myself almost being crushed. I had been training with other Luminary powers lately, and right now, tapping into Beth’s speed was just draining me. Crap! I found it hard to focus, I was pretty sure I was going to be flattened by this train soon.

SKAbout the author: S. K. Anthony is a writer, a reader and a make-stuff-up-er who lives in New York with her husband and toddler twins. She is a wine connoisseur, which just really means she knows she loves it, and a caffeine addict. When she isn’t busy with her family she finds herself being transported into the world of imagination. Well, either that or running away from spiders…she is convinced they are out to get her!

Find Ms. Anthony here: webFacebook, Twitter, Goodreads

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Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!

 

Spotlight: The Sojourn by Rupansh Gupta (giveaway)

soj_titleThe Sojourn
written by Rupansh Gupta
published by Shashi Publications

find it here: (affiliate links)   Amazon, Goodreads

About the book: The true knowledge can be obtained by knowing oneself. But to know oneself, light has to be shone on the way to knowledge. The Sojourn is a book which helps to discover oneself. In the midst of any problem, it helps to bring out the solution from within. After reading and understanding this book, the reader will never remain the same. He will see the world in its true grandeur. The secrets embedded in all creations of God, have been telling the truths from time immemorial.

In a poetic style, the words bring out the beauty in all the creations. When included in the education system, it will build the foundations of children. Thus, ‘The Sojourn’ helps to live an enlightened life.

 

sojournAbout the author: Rupansh is a Chartered Accountant, Master of Business Administration,Chartered Financial Analyst by qualification. He also achieved an award for securing highest marks in Chartered Accountancy exams in India. He has been thinking about the truths and secrets of the universe since his childhood. This, coupled with his passion for writing, led to the book, ‘The Sojourn’. Keeping the language of the book simple for readers, he put depth in content unlike normal poetry.

The book has won various awards and is being liked by many around the world. He took his writing further by writing the novel, ‘Pulchritude – An Eternal Love Story’. The author feels that good writing alone helps the world to become better and enlightened.

Find Mr. Gupta here: webFacebook, Twitter, Goodreads, LinkedIn

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Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!