Alabama Sons by E.A. Whitehead Release Party & Giveaway


Title: Alabama Sons
Author: E.A. Whitehead
Release Date: January 20, 2014

Penny Wilmot leads a simple life. Together with her widowed father and best friend Boone they run a small U-Pick farm. She never asked for much, and certainly wasn’t looking for him…

Jackson Hawkes lives his life at one steady speed: fast. On a mission to find his father, he takes a road trip and ends up finding himself with a new band, a new job and a new dream.

The two meet by accident and begin a romantic adventure in the summer heat of Alabama. But what happens when the pair find out that they have the one thing in common that took their whole worlds away from them?

Death. It takes things away, but can it bring the two together?

Join Penny and her sons of Alabama in a turbulent journey of love and loss…

Buy On Amazon


SHE MADE SMALL talk look good. She laughed at my stupid jokes, and quirked an eyebrow when I made comments about her being the prettiest girl in the restaurant tonight.

“Boy, you sure lay it on thick.” She shook her head and laughed toward the open window.

Maybe I was, I didn’t want her to feel cheap. I wanted to tell her I was just nervous, but truthfully I had a feeling she had a thing for Boone. I wanted to look more like a man and less like a pussy driving a beat up Jeep Wrangler as we followed Boone’s lifted 80’s restored Chevy C-10 pickup. Every time he revved forward the vibrations of his truck reverberated through the Jeep making my manhood grow a size smaller.

“Naw, just want a pretty girl to feel appreciated.” Ok, Jackson, don’t listen to yourself or anything; keep laying it on thick like an asshat.

I reached over her lap and dropped down the glove box; fishing around for the pack of gum I knew I had thrown in there. “Can I get this for you, please? You’re going to kill us.” She put her hands over mine and pushed me away. Her hands felt small and warm, but her grip was fierce. It instantly made me imagine her hands elsewhere.

“Thanks.” I couldn’t look at her as she handed me the piece of gum, putting one in her mouth also. I was sure if I caught her glance the wrong way in my direction I’d end up springing to attention right here in the car. “So where do you go to school?” I decided to change the topic to something so far from sexual it would take a miracle to relate it back.

“I don’t right now. I took a year off. I was going to the community college for Human Sexuality, though.” She looked at me and I could feel my mouth dropping lower as she spoke. “I want to be a Sex Ed teacher eventually.”

How in the fuck is this my life?

“That’s an odd…” I paused with question not wanting to offend her, “vocation choice?”

She nodded. “Yeah, but, someone has to do it. I just want to teach them to be safe, they’re going to do it anyway, might as well let them know it’s ok if you’re being cautious and not just doing it because you’re being pressured. Kids don’t relate to movies and putting a condom on a banana anymore. They need to be taught through 20th century know-how.”

I choked on the excess saliva from the gum chewing.

“Yeah, well I understand where you’re coming from, but you think you really wanna teach all those kids The Way of the Warriors?” I hope she got my sperm joke.

“Someone has to teach them, Jackson. I’m not saying I’ll be the Mother Theresa of sexual indemnity. But, I hope to at least help them understand it’s ok to love someone and still stay safe.” I couldn’t take my eyes off her, she kept surprising me, and I hadn’t expected this from her.

“JACKSON!” she yelled and my eyes whipped forward as we almost crashed into the back of the gigantic pick-up truck.

I slammed on the brakes. Boone had slowed down to find parking on Duncan’s packed suburban street. “FUCK!” I reached across and slammed my right forearm into her chest protectively. “Sorry!” I pulled in behind Boone in the line of parked cars. “I’m sorry, you distracted me.” Better be honest from the starting gate, Jackson. I stared at her, still breathing a little heavier from the adrenaline.

She looked back at me, calm as a cucumber. “It’s just sex, Jackson,” she climbed down from the Jeep, turning back, looking at me with soft eyes and a hard smirk “don’t be distracted by it.”

Oh, but I was.



About E.A. Whitehead:

E.A. Whitehead is the author of Alabama Sons, book one of The Sons Trilogy. She spends an unhealthy amount of time ‘pinning’ things and getting lost in a fantasy world where everything is DIY and she owns a 12-room house to decorate. She obsesses over hockey (go Bruins!), all things Harry Potter, and her cats Little Bear and Baby Girl. She also believes that Wanderlust will cure your soul, live your dreams passionately!


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{Guest Post & Giveaway} Guardians Inc.: The Cypher by Julian Rosado-Machain Blog Tour


Guardians Inc.: The Cypher by Julian Rosado-Machain
Genre: YA Fantasy – Release Date: July 2012
A chance reading of a newspaper ad will send 16 year old Thomas Byrne into the world within our world.

Following the ad he will find Guardians Incorporated. A seven thousand year old organization charged with protecting the balance between Magic and technology.

Through their guidance technology has kept Magic at bay since the Renaissance, but the balance is shifting and soon all those creatures we’ve driven into myth and legend will come back with a vengeance.

To protect the present, Guardians Incorporated needs to know the future.

 Purchase from Amazon | B&N
~ Guest Post ~

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Guardians Inc.

The Guardians Inc. storyline is not a trilogy, but a series of books. Five to be precise, but they might turn into six depending on how long Book Five turns out to be.

Before writing Book 1: The Cypher, I had already developed all story and character arcs for the whole series, and what I wanted to explore on each book. This process took about two years.

     The Ending of the Series is already written and it is quite final.

    Each book seeds the next books, so things, enemies and storylines will appear and reappear all over in the complete series.

     There are allusions and “Tips o’ the hat” to many books, writers and movies I admire seeded throughout the Books. From The Jungle Book to The Last Starfighte and  Mythbusters. Most of them are done quite openly, even referenced by name, but some are very cryptic. Me having fun with the story.

    Guardians Inc. relies heavily on historic figures and events. I research thoroughly before referencing a place or an event.

   The same applies to technology, I do try to do as much research as I can before writing about technology. (although, like Thomas, theoretical physics are beyond my full understanding!)

    One of the evil characters in Cypher: THE MAN IN THE TRENCHCOAT, got its own interactive book app for the ipad as an illustrated children’s book and it’s doing quite well!     

    ALL storylines will get closure. I promise.

    As time progresses in the story and Thomas gets older, dangers, moral dilemmas, and romantic situations will get rougher, tougher and more… romantic!


About The Author:

Julian has enjoyed pizza in three continents, holds a degree in graphic design, built armored vehicles and computers, handcrafted alebrijes and swears has seen at least one ghost.

He is the Co-owner of Hacienda de Vega Restaurant in San Diego, California and enjoys the sun with his wife, three children and cat.

Guardians Inc.: The Cypher is the first book in a series. 

~ Giveaway ~

{Guest Post, Excerpt, & Giveaway} The Burning of Isobel Key by Jen McConnel Blog Tour


The Burning of Isobel Key by Jen McConnel
Genre: New Adult Contemporary – Release Date: Oct. 1, 2012
When Lou travels to Scotland, she’s a mess. She’s twenty-six, unemployed, and unsure of herself. It doesn’t help that she’s traveling with Tammy, her best friend, who is everything Lou is not.
At first, the trip pushes Lou towards the brink of depression, but then she meets Brian, a handsome local tour guide. When Brian tells the tourists about the countless witches burned in Scotland, Lou starts to listen. And when she discovers information about Isobel Key, one of the victims of the seventeenth century, Lou finds renewed purpose.
Lou has begun exploring the Neo Pagan faith, a dramatic shift from her wealthy Catholic upbringing. Despite her fears of being too “hocus pocusy”, Lou turns to her new faith as she struggles to unravel the mystery surrounding the death of Isobel Key. But faith or not, Lou must face her demons if she has any hope of righting the wrongs of the past.
 Purchase from Amazon
~ Excerpt ~
“I quit!” Lou’s words echoed around the checkout line, and customers craned their necks to see what was happening.  Red in the face, Lou looked down at her register in embarrassment.  Her manager patted her shoulder.
“Let’s go back in the office to talk about this.”  He turned, expecting her to follow. 
   “No!” Louder than she’d intended, Lou stood her ground.  “You heard me.  I’ve had enough of this store.” As she spoke, she tossed her nametag on the counter.  An errant brown curl flipped over her eye, and she pushed it away.  Under the shocked gaze of her manager and the curious stares of a snake-like line of holiday shoppers, Lou fled.
   Once she was outside in the bitter December wind, she headed for the nearest T stop, acting out of habit more than conscious thought.  She’d walked this easy route between the bookstore and the T for the past four years, and her body took over while her mind churned. 
  She had a college degree, for Pete’s sake!  Cum laude from Duke University had landed her a job selling books and stationary to the snobby suburbanites outside of Boston.  Sighing, she paid her fare and took her seat on the train bound for the city center.
    Suddenly, the weight of what she had done hit her, and she buried her face in her hands.  What was she thinking, quitting her job like that?  Lou replayed the afternoon in her mind.  Nothing had happened today that hadn’t happened a thousand other times.  Maybe it was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back: four years of answering bizarre questions and customers who were always right had finally taken its toll on her psyche.
     But now what would she do?  Lou wasn’t a person who acted on impulse: she was cautious and considered her options.  And now she was unemployed the week before Christmas.  Lou slumped in her seat.  Unless she figured something out, and fast, she might have to move back in with her family.  It wasn’t that Lou had anything against her family, not really: her parents had adopted her shortly after her birth, and they’d never made her feel like anything but their cherished only child.  But Lou was almost 27, and it had never been part of her plan to live at home after college.  Part of her plan: that was funny, she thought. It sounded like she’d ever had a plan.
     Sure, she always knew that she’d attend college after high school.  With parents who had both made careers in the medical field, Lou had never doubted that she’d follow their lead and soak up as much education as she could.  Money wasn’t an issue, so when she turned 18 and Duke University accepted her, she thought it would be ideal.  She moved to North Carolina and spent four years studying the liberal arts, unable to decide on a tangible career path.  Nothing seemed to fit, and even though she earned her degree, she didn’t really know what she was going to do after college.  It was lucky that her best friend needed a roommate in Boston, Lou mused, or she might have ended up back with her parents four years ago.
     Shaking her head, Lou glanced up as the train rolled to a stop.  Standing unsteadily, she tried to ignore the raging pity party in her mind. As the doors whooshed open, the cold winter air assaulted her again.  For the first time she realized that she’d left her coat behind in the employee lounge.  Hesitating for a moment, Lou considered taking the train back and getting her things. 
     “There’s no going back,” she whispered.  Even the excuse of her coat might be enough to put her back in her manager’s office, begging for her job back.  Shivering, Lou hurried up the stairs and out of the tunnel.  The old black light posts were swathed in candy cane stripes, and every window she passed displayed some holiday decorations.  What a time to be unemployed, Lou thought sourly as she buzzed the doorman at her apartment.
     Unlocking the door on the seventeenth floor, Lou called out nervously, “Hello?  Tammy?”  Her roommate didn’t answer, and Lou felt relieved.  She wasn’t ready to face anyone yet, not until she’d figured out her next step.  Checking the kitschy clock on the wall of the hallway, Lou realized it was only a quarter after four.  Tammy wouldn’t be home ‘til seven or later.  Relaxing, Lou stacked her boots neatly in the hall closet and headed to the kitchen.
      The sleek, modern kitchen was a mess: remnants from Tammy’s last party were still strewn across the stainless countertops.  Sighing, Lou plugged in the electric kettle and searched for a mug.  While she waited for the kettle to whistle, she started to tidy up.  She loaded the dishwasher carelessly and overfilled the soap container, but when she was done the room looked much more presentable.  Satisfied, Lou added a packet of hot chocolate to the mug.  After a moment’s hesitation, she stirred a hearty dollop of vanilla vodka into the chipped Disney World souvenir. 
     Leaning against the counter, Lou studied the apartment.  The kitchen was open to the rest of the space, and from her vantage point, Lou could see the living room and the stairs that led to her lofted bedroom.  She sighed, wondering how much longer she’d get to enjoy this apartment with her best friend.  Her parents had helped her out with bills from time to time, but Lou felt certain that all assistance of this kind would stop if they found out she was no longer employed.
    “What’s the matter with me?” She wondered out loud, tears in her eyes.  Taking her mug, she crossed to the living room and flopped down on the fluffy red sofa.  She began flipping aimlessly through the stack of magazines on the coffee table.
     Suddenly, her cell phone buzzed in her pocket.  Glancing at the cracked screen, Lou saw that it was Tammy calling.  Sighing, she flipped the phone open.
     Tammy’s voice was crackly but excited.  “Lou?  Guess what? You’ll never guess what happened!”
     Lou sighed, annoyed.  “What?”
     “They gave me an account!”  Tammy squealed in delight.  “Did you hear?”
     “Tammy, that’s amazing!”
     “And the best part is, guess where the account is based?  Guess!”
     Not wanting to play games, Lou asked, “Would you just tell me?”
     “Scotland!  Isn’t that awesome?”
     Stunned speechless, Lou just stared at the phone.
     “Lou! Louisa!  Are you still there?”
      She shook herself.  “Yes, I’m here.  Tammy, that’s great!”    
     “I know! They want me to go over there next week to check things out and meet everybody.”
     “But isn’t next week Christmas?  What about your family?”
     Tammy laughed.  “They won’t care.  But Lou, wouldn’t it be perfect to spend Christmas in Scotland?”
     Lou agreed that it would be.  She ignored the small bubble of jealousy starting to form in her heart.
     “Tammy, I’m really excited for you.”
     “For us, you mean.”
     “What are you talking about?”
     Tammy’s voice broke into a garbled stream of words.
     “Tammy!” Lou shouted. “I can’t hear you.”
     “In the T…we’ll talk… home…”
    The cell phone made a crunching sound and the call dropped.  Lou looked at her phone and leaned back into the couch cushions.  Wasn’t it just like fate to give Tammy something so wonderful, she mused, when she was so miserable?  Sniffing, Lou drained her cup of spiked cocoa and headed upstairs to lie down.
~ Guest Post ~
Top 10 Favorite Books & Why
I never know how to answer this question, but I’m going to try.  I’ve always been an avid reader, so instead of my top 10 favorites of all time, I think I’ll share with you my top ten favorites that I’ve read in 2012.  My goal for the year was to read a hundred books before 2013 (or the Mayan apocalypse, whichever comes first), and I’m ALMOST there.
Hmm.  So it might be harder than I thought to pick just ten.  But I’ll do my best!
Make Lemonade, by Virginia Euwer Wolff
This novel-in-verse is haunting, gripping, and beautiful.  It’s a fast read, but it’s also the kind of story that you want to linger in for awhile.  LaVaughn, Jolly, Jilly, and Jeremy will steal your heart.  Be prepared for an emotional roller coaster!
A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty, by Joshilyn Jackson
If you haven’t read Jackson before, you need to remedy that immediately.  Told from the points of view of three generations of Slocumb women, this is a story about skeletons in the closet (or the back yard) that will suck you in from the first line.
The Minister’s Daughter, by Julie Hearn
What do piskies, Puritans, and witches have to do with each other?  Read this lyrical tale that blends history and myth for the answer.  I was truly charmed by this book: the characters are vivid, the setting is rich, and the story takes a few unexpected turns along the way.  
The Book of Blood and Shadows, by Robin Wasserman
History, mystery, and a sinister secret society: this book is bursting with adventure.  Woven around an alchemical mystery that spans centuries and pulls the story to Prague, I loved every minute of this book. 
The Near Witch, by Victoria Schwab
This is mystery told in true fairy tale fashion.  Dark and haunting, I devoured this book in one sitting.  What an amazing read!
Moon Magic, by Dion Fortune
Known for her esoteric teachings, Fortune’s last novel (completed posthumously) is bewitching.  Lilith is a priestess, and Malcolm is a pragmatic man.  Of course their relationship changes both of them forever.
Cinder, by Marissa Meyer
It’s a sci-fi retelling of Cinderella, with a cyborg standing in for the beautiful scullery maid: so cool!  I love reimagined fairy tales, and this is one of the most unique I’ve ever found.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor
Karou has blue hair.  She’s been raised by demons.  An angel is after her.  Seriously, if you haven’t read this one yet, grab it now.  SO good!
Summoning the Fates, by Z. Budapest
Budapest breaks down a woman’s life into three astrological phases: the Saturn returns.  Myth and fairy tale weave together with astrological wisdom to craft a book that every woman must read at least once in her life.
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, by Lish McBride
Dark comedy meets action and mythic adventure in this awesome tale.  Sam’s more than just a college dropout: he’s a necromancer, and his powers plunge him into a world of danger (and zombie garden gnomes).
Well, y’all, those are my favorite books of 2012.  What are your picks this year?
About The Author:
Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. Since then, her words have appeared in a variety of magazines and journals, including Sagewoman, PanGaia, and The Storyteller (where she won the people’s choice 3rd place award for her poem, “Luna”).


She is also an active reviewer for Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA), and proud member of SCBWI, NCWN, and SCWW.

A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. When she isn’t crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches writing composition at a community college. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.


Website | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads | Facebook




 ~ Giveaway ~


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{Review & Giveaway} Derailed by Alyssa Rose Ivy Blog Tour


Derailed by Alyssa Rose Ivy
Genre: New Adult Contemporary – Release Date: 9/23/12
When you’re lost, sometimes the only place you can go is home.

Broken over the death of her fiancé, Molly leaves law school to return to her childhood home in North Carolina. Expecting to lay low until she can figure out what else to do with her life, she finds herself in the arms of her high school sweetheart, the boy who represents everything from the past she tried to leave behind.

Looking for an escape, she instead finds a way back to the girl she almost forgot existed and a future she never dreamed possible.


~ Book Trailer ~


My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed reading Derailed. I thought it was a wonderful love story. It was sweet and romantic, but it was also a bit of a tear jerker too, so be prepared!

I felt so bad for Molly. She experienced so many terrible things and she was just so lost, but a good thing though is that she had a lot of good friends to lean on when she moved back home. I adored Molly’s best friend, Kelly. She was awesome, I liked how she was always looking out for her. I also really liked Ben. I thought he was a great match for Molly, sparks were flying when these two were together! I didn’t like how possessive he was of Molly though, it has always annoyed me when a guy acts like that, but other than that I thought Ben was a great guy.

Overall, I thought this was a great story! It was the second book I have read by this author and it will definitely not be the last. Alyssa Rose Ivy is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors!

My Rating:
5/5 Stars

About The Author:

Alyssa Rose Ivy is a Young Adult and New Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.


~ Giveaway ~

(1) Print set of Derailed and Veer *Open Int.*
(5) Ebook copies of Derailed *Open Int.*

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WinterHaven Sleigh Tour Book Review: Snowed Over by Angie Stanton

 Today I’m so excited to join the WinterHaven Sleigh Tour hosted by WinterHaven Books. This week, we are posting our choice of a Winter Book Review. To see who else is on the sleigh, go to WinterHaven Sleigh Tour for a list of participating blogs.
Snowed Over by Angie Stanton
Genre: New Adult Contemporary – Release Date: 10/12/12
 To college student, Katie Brandt, ‘Home for the Holidays’ sounds like hell. When her parents separated, their holiday traditions shattered like a dropped ornament. What could be worse than celebrating Christmas with her suddenly single mom and mom’s new boyfriend?

Alex Walker, an engaged 20-year-old, dreads going home for his own reasons. He has a daunting task ahead of him and wishes he could skip the holidays altogether. So when a friend of a friend needs a ride north, Alex finds that having beautiful Katie seated by his side proves to be just the distraction he needs.

A simple ride home for Christmas turns into a nightmare when light snow rages into a full-scale blizzard. Katie and Alex find themselves stranded, and a vacant cabin becomes a haven from the storm.
Under different circumstances, time alone with Alex would be the ultimate Christmas gift, but Katie knows Alex is engaged and she must hide her growing attraction.

However, Alex harbors a secret that just might change this holiday from the worst Christmas ever, to the best.

My Thoughts:
This novella really got me in the mood for Christmas time. It’s one of those stories you want to read while snuggled up on the couch on a cold winter day.

Alex and Katie were both great characters. I thought Alex was really sweet and I loved how protective he was of Katie. He was constantly looking out for her. I thought Katie was cool and that she was easy to relate to. I’ll admit though I was a little jealous of her character. I would have loved to have traded places with her. Who wouldn’t want to be stuck in a cabin with a hot guy during a blizzard? I know I wouldn’t mind it! 🙂

I thought this was such a good story! There was a little bit of drama and the romance aspect was really sweet. I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun, cute read!

My Rating:
4/5 Stars
~ Giveaway ~
 As part of the festivities, WinterHaven Books is hosting an international give-away that will include a copy of Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares (Signed by Levithan and Cohn) and a copy of Let it Snow to four lucky winners. Good luck and happy holidays!

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{Review & Giveaway} The Dirt by Lori Culwell Blog Tour

The Dirt by Lori Culwell
Genre: YA Contemporary/Chick Lit – Release Date: Nov. 2011
Lucy Whitley cannot wait to get out of Palm Desert. It’s not a place for a frizzy-haired science nerd, particularly when her fashion-obsessed older sister Sloane is the head of a clique of pretty girls who rule the school—and practically the whole town.Fortunately, life is about to change forever. Lucy’s dad is getting re-married, and then she can transfer to a boarding school in Connecticut, escaping all the mean girls and the endless whispers about the Whitley family scandal. Everything is going to be perfect—as long as the wedding goes smoothly.


My Thoughts:

I love contemporary young adult novels, so I figured I would enjoy reading The Dirt and I was right. The Dirt was girly, it was fun, and it was just an all around good read. I’ll admit though at first I wasn’t sold on the story, but the more I read the more I liked it.

One thing I really liked about this story were that the characters were easy to relate to. My favorite character was Lucy, I thought she had a great personality and I liked that this story was told from her point of view. I could not stand Sloane’s character though, she was so snobby! I don’t like pretty girls who think they are better than everyone else.

Overall, I thought this was a very entertaining read. If you like girly books that are filled with drama and secrets, you should definitely check this one out!

My Rating:

4/5 Stars


Places to find Lori:


~ Giveaway ~

5 Paperback copies of The Dirt (US Only)
12 Ecopies of The Dirt (Open International)

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{Guest Post & Giveaway} Volcanoes (Grace Murphy #3) by Nicole Hamlett Blog Tour


Volcanoes (Grace Murphy #3) by Nichole Hamlett
Genre: Urban Fantasy – Release Date: Aug. 6, 2012
“I needed something big. I’d found a dormant volcano
in my earlier exploration. Yeah – that would be big and
in typical Grace Murphy fashion, I didn’t think this one
through, I just blew it.”
Be careful what you ask of Fate – sometimes she gives it to you.
When we last saw our heroine, she’d watched her faithful pet rip off her new best friend’s head to save her son’s life and Atlantis was rising from the depths. Now, Grace Murphy is back in the third installment of the Huntress series, but this time she’s facing an all-out war. It’s critical that Nyx (and Atlantis) stay buried, but her psychotic brats will do most anything to get her back.
You didn’t think that was all, did you? Of course there’s more! 
With Hypnos invading her dreams, Dylan caught up in the throes of his “change” and juggling her relationships with two hunky Gods, Drew and Heph, to say Grace’s hands are full would be an understatement.
Grace wished her life would just go back to the way it was before, and that she wouldn’t have her powers or responsibilities anymore. Unfortunately, it looks like Fate answered this time. The results aren’t pretty.
Check out Books #1 & #2 in the Grace Murphy Series!

~ Guest Post ~

Write What You Know

After publishing my first book, I had an old friend tell me that they felt like they knew me better.  I gasped, gurgled and felt like I was going to pass out.


I was not / am not Grace Murphy!  At least that’s what I told myself and everyone else.  She’s a whiney brat with little to no self-control and a stubborn streak a mile wide.  But she’s also a loving mother and a determined fighter for what is right. She’s flawed and… oh so very human.

I think that what makes Grace so relatable is that she’s real. Well, as real as she can be with superhuman powers in a fictional setting. 

When I began writing her, I would ask myself – “Nicole, what would you do here?” Sometimes I would write that into the book and sometimes I would do the exact opposite.   There is a scene in Huntress where Grace is writing and she’s absentmindedly twisted pencils into her hair while she sits and thinks about a scene.  I cannot tell you how many pencils have ended up stuck to my head like porcupine needles just waiting for me to find them.

There are also conversations that my son and I have had almost verbatim. He and I had a conversation about girls.  It ended up in a book. It was too good not to write. I can tell you though, that as soon as he’s old enough to actually read my books I am going to catch so much Hell.

Once I’d gotten past this inconceivable horror (People may actually see into me? Good God no!) I began to realize that these personal touches have put an extra level of patina onto the story. She’s weathered and sometimes spunky. 

Write what you know – even if it’s a map of your city or creating your characters based on aspects of friends, they bring more realism into your work. They make your characters and plots a little more relatable. 

As a flawed human being, I want to see my heroes struggle a little so that I can feel as though one day I too may be able to overcome any obstacle.

With that said, it’s not easy to expose yourself.  I still huddle under my desk and rock back and forth before I push the button. The thought of even revealing the tiniest bit of my weaknesses to thousands of readers induces a level of panic in me that I can’t begin to explain. 

But on the other hand, those readers will see your strengths as well.  You’re a creative being who happens to have entire worlds floating about in your brain.  Once you inject pieces of yourself into those characters and places, you get to bring those worlds to life!

How amazing!


About The Author:

Nicole Hamlett is a single mother from Colorado Springs, living in Los Angeles, California. When she’s not writing books she enjoys reading, cooking and video games and can often be caught enjoying indie alternative music.

Author Website


~ Giveaway ~

Enter to win one ecopy of Volcanoes!

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{Excerpt & Giveaway} Feels Like The First Time by Shawn Inmon Blog Tour

Feels Like The First Time by Shawn Inmon
Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Memoir – Release Date: 9/5/12
September, 1975: Shawn meets Dawn, his one true love, when she moves into the vacant house next door. Many people spend their life searching in vain for happiness, but he was lucky; finding it at the age of fifteen.

February 1979: Forbidden to see each other and feeling he is harming her by being in her life, he walks away from the love of his life, apparently forever.

December, 2006: After decades of sadness and mourning the girl that got away, he has a chance meeting with her that might change his life forever… again. Can the sweet bond of first love not only survive, but flourish?

Feels Like the First Time lets you share in the magic of young love in small town America in the 1970s. No matter how much the world changes, some things – timeless music, high school dances, making out in the backseat of a Chevy Vega, and of course true love – will always remain the same.


~ Excerpt ~

Dawn got out of the Vega and walked toward her house. I threw open my door and met her at the front of the car. I reached out and touched her wrist gently, to stop her there. I had waited forever for this moment, but now I couldn’t wait an extra fifteen seconds to walk her to her front door. She turned to me and we faced each other, standing in the exact spot where we had passed so many after-school hours together.
This time, though, the atmosphere was electric. I drew a long breath in the frosty air. I let go of her hand, reached up and touched her cheek softly. Her wide, brown eyes were warmed with flecks of gold. She stared at me, expectant and serious. I brushed the hair away from the side of her face and smiled at her, but I couldn’t speak.
I moved my hands to her shoulders and pulled her the last little distance toward me and kissed her, softly and slowly. There were explosions in my head, and my heart raced. I felt for a fleeting moment like I was one with another person. It was one of the most perfect moments of my life and I instantly wanted more of that feeling.
We each withdrew a half-step with our eyes locked and fingers intertwined. Dawn cocked her head and gave me her drives-me-crazy half smile. Her bangs were a curtain over her forehead. I sensed satisfaction and a sweet happiness in her smile.
She turned away and walked across the frozen grass to her front door. I watched her until she disappeared around the corner of her house. Neither of us said a word. I stood anchored to the ground, unable to move. I watched her darkened house until the light came on in her bedroom window. Like a zombie, I turned and shuffled into my house, collapsing face first into bed.
I will almost certainly never know what Dawn was thinking or feeling as she went to bed that night. I know I laid there and let that feeling wash over me again and again, replaying the night, the thrill of being next to her in the darkened theater, our kiss, and that indescribable vibration I felt when I was close to her.


About The Author:

Shawn Inmon is originally from Mossyrock Washington, where his first book Feels Like the First Time is set. He has been a real estate broker in Enumclaw Washington for the last twenty years. Prior to that, he worked as a short-order cook, travelling T-shirt salesman, radio DJ, Cutco Cutlery sales rep, department store buyer, video store manager, crab fisherman, Kirby vacuum cleaner salesman, business consultant and public speaker. He is married to his high school sweetheart Dawn and has five daughters, five grandchildren and two chocolate labs named Hershey and Sadie.

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{Book Spotlight & Giveaway} The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski

The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance – Release Date: Nov. 15, 2012
Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett had always been one to think out-of-the-box, who knew she wanted something more in life than following the same repetitive patterns and growing old with the same repetitive life story. And she thought that her life was going in the right direction until everything fell apart.

Determined not to dwell on the negative and push forward, Camryn is set to move in with her best friend and plans to start a new job. But after an unexpected night at the hottest club in downtown North Carolina, she makes the ultimate decision to leave the only life she’s ever known, far behind.

With a purse, a cell phone and a small bag with a few necessities, Camryn, with absolutely no direction or purpose boards a Greyhound bus alone and sets out to find herself. What she finds is a guy named Andrew Parrish, someone not so very different from her and who harbors his own dark secrets. But Camryn swore never to let down her walls again. And she vowed never to fall in love.

But with Andrew, Camryn finds herself doing a lot of things she never thought she’d do. He shows her what it’s really like to live out-of-the-box and to give in to her deepest, darkest desires. On their sporadic road-trip he becomes the center of her exciting and daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But will Andrew’s dark secret push them inseparably together, or tear them completely apart?

Due to sexual content and language, this book is recommended for 17+ – Adult Contemporary Women’s – New Adult Fiction

~ Excerpt ~
I pull my hand from his and grasp the fabric above my boobs and pull the top up a little so that it feels better in place.
“I love you in that,” he says, “but you have to admit, it’s a distraction for douchebags.”
“Well, I don’t want to walk all the way back to the hotel just to change my top.”

“No, you don’t have to do that,” he says, reaching for my hand again. “But if you want to go to another club, you’re gonna have to do something for me, alright?”


“Just pretend you’re my girlfriend,” he says and a little smile spreads across my lips. “At least that way no one will fuck with you, or they’re less likely to try, anyway.”

He pauses and looks at me and says, “Unless you want guys to hit on you?”

It takes no time at all for my head to start shaking. “No. I do not want any guys to hit on me. Innocent flirting, fine—it does wonders for my confidence—but not douchebags.”

“Good, then it’s settled. You’re my sexy girlfriend for the night, which means I get to take you back to the room later and make you squeal a little.” There’s that boyish grin of his again that I love so much.

I’m tingling between the legs now. I swallow hard and play it off by playfully narrowing my eyes at him.

I’m just glad to see his dimples again, as opposed to that wrathful—although incredibly sexy, still—expression that consumed his features moments ago.

“As much as I like it—well, ‘like’ is really putting it lightly—I’m not going to let you do that anymore.”

He looks hurt and a little shocked. “Why not?”

“Because, Andrew, I…well, I just won’t let you—now come here.” I cup my hands around the sides of his neck and pull him toward me.

And then I kiss him softly, letting my lips linger on his afterwards.

“What are you doing?” he says, staring down into my eyes.

I smile sweetly up at him. “I’m getting into character.”

A grin tugs the corners of his lips. He turns me around and locks his arm around my waist as we head toward Bourbon Street.


About The Author:

 Author of THE DARKWOODS TRILOGY and DIRTY EDEN, mother, werewolf & zombie fanatic, book addict and a happy hermit obsessed with the Universe. Oh, and AMC’s “The Walking Dead”.
Addictions: Starbucks every morning, trolling Barnes & Noble’s shelves once a week, detesting winter, shopping flea markets and preparing for the collapse of society as we know it. Do I own a tin foil hat? Maybe. 🙂

I was born in Arkansas and have lived here most of my life, except the couple of times when I lived in Pennsylvania. I started my first novel at the age of thirteen and have been writing something ever since. Generally, I love characters in life and on paper. I pay attention to people, especially those whose personalities make them different from the rest of us: the drug addict roaming the Laundromat that talks to himself, the young, inattentive mother in the park with the meanest kid on the playground – (the entire cast of ‘Swamp People’) – characters fascinate me and I hope that it shows in my literary work.

Some authors that inspire me are Neil Gaiman, Anne Rice, Cormac McCarthy, Max Brooks, J.K. Rowling, Richard Matheson, William R. Forstchen, Carrie Ryan, David Moody, Phillipa Gregory and Lisa Smedman. I’m always on the lookout for the next great book to pull me into its world and piss me off when I read the last page and know that it’s over.

I’m a sucker for anything Christopher Lee, Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton and Cate Blanchett. But my biggest fan-girl superstars are Alex Filippenko, Michio Kaku, Brian Cox, Michelle Thaller and Neil Degrasse Tyson!

Also, almost more than anything I love nature and this beautiful planet that I live on. I just wish everyone else did too….

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{Excerpt & Giveaway} The Betrayal by Sheila Hendrix



The Betrayal (The Dark Circle #1) by Sheila Hendrix
Genre: YA Paranormal – Release Date: October 2010
One brother races against time to save the other before it’s too late. When Matt has a dream, it sends two brothers on a hunt for a cave. Matt doesn’t know why they have to go there; he just knows they have to go. When they arrive, Matt finds out that the vision turns out to be a trap. A Darkness like no other wants to control Matt and kill Zack. When a demon asks Zack a question, “How far will you go to save your brother,” Zack replies, “As far as I have to.” Now something like they’ve never faced before is on a deadly mission to destroy everything the brothers hold dear and if they are not careful, neither of them will be able to escape.
~ Excerpt ~
 He roamed through the cave, listening to the sounds around him.  Water dripped into an underground pool further down, the drops spaced several seconds apart and the splash echoing off the rocks.  Sand and pebbles crunched under his feet, and wind whistled across the cave opening, all of it familiar. He’d walked that cave a million times for a million reasons. His domain — where he drew his strength — also became his weakness at times, for the cave was alive.
His name, Alanya, meant The Destroyer. He wandered the ages, seeking to slaughter people who held special gifts.  He fed on them for their strength and power, each special power offering a distinctive flavor.  Their cries resonated in the cave’s memory; their blood splattered on its walls and drenched its floors.  If he closed his eyes and concentrated, he could still smell the coppery tang.
Strolling to the mouth of the cave, he looked at but didn’t see the forest.  His mind seethed in his hatred for the brothers Zachariah and Matthew McCannon.

About The Author:

Sheila Hendrix is a native of Alabama and resides there with her husband of seventeen years. Her only children are her six dogs. She works as a nurse for a nursing home and also does reviews for a magazine, although she hasn’t done that in awhile because she’s been busy writing her own Young Adult series. Sheila has always wanted to write but never thought she’d be able to. It’s been a dream of hers since she was a little girl. She practically raised her little brother because her parents both had to work. She had to grow up fast and that was where she got the idea of writing about two brothers whose parents abandoned them when they were little. The Dark Circle book series is her paranormal series she’s working on right now. She got the idea for The Betrayal after having a nightmare that stayed with her for days. The Betrayal is the first book in the series and is now available where ever books are sold. The second book in the series is Head Games and then Darkness Falls. She doesn’t know how many books will be in the series but there will be several. Her hobbies are reading, writing, gardening, traveling, hiking, camping and swimming. She is currently in school to earn her Associate Degree in Paralegal studies but her dream is to write.

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~ Giveaway ~

 Enter to win a $15 Amazon Giftcard!