Wednesday 25 April 2018

Your Mid-Week Update for 04/25/18

Remember that new guy at the office who called everyone “little lady” and I was debating between killing him and getting him fired? Turns out, he’s as shitty at his job as he is at life.

Did I tell you this already? Sometimes I have news and I forget to tell you but then I remember a few weeks later but can’t remember if I told you when it initially came up.

Fuck it. Okay, our fake Texan has misplaced so many reports, his handwriting is practically illegible, and he’s yet to come back on time after lunch. No one knows where he goes. But he was still on trial so they just fired him.

I’m still concerned about letting someone like that exist in the world but I’m slowly realizing that if I killed everyone I didn’t agree with, I’d be out of a job. But I can certainly try.

This guy cut me off yesterday; and he wasn’t even nice about it. It’s like he knew that I’d have to swerve to avoid him and then he gave me the finger when I honked my horn. He had to die. I followed him into his neighborhood until he pulled into a strip mall. I watched him pick up a pizza then I snuck into the backseat of his car and waited.

I gotta tell you, the old hands-on, break into your house kind of serial killing is a younger woman’s game. I still can’t completely straighten my spine. His car was tiny and it smelt like gym shoes and tomato sauce but we made it about fifteen minutes before he noticed me and before he could pull over, I stabbed him through the whole in his headrest and rolled out before he crashed into a light post. Like a fucking ninja.

I’m just shitting you guys. I lured him around the back, stabbed him in the neck and stole his pizza.

But you had no choice but to believe me.

I could tell you just about anything and you’d have to believe me because there’s no proof of anything.

I will say I rarely lie to you. Only when it’s important. To my internal narrative. Sometimes I forget the fake names I use which makes it confusing for everyone. But it’s for the greater good.


As always, dear readers,

Stay Safe

Thursday 19 April 2018

Ruthless Magic Cover Reveal

Today Megan Crewe and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover and an exclusive content for RUTHLESS MAGIC, her new YA Fantasy which releases May 30, 2018! Check out the awesome cover and enter the giveaway!

On to the reveal! 

Author: Megan Crewe
Pub. Date: May 30, 2018
Publisher: Megan Crewe
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: ?
Find it: Goodreads, Pre-Order  

In the contest to keep their magic, the only options may be die... or kill.

Each year, the North American Confederation of Mages assesses every sixteen-year-old novice. Some will be chosen. The rest must undergo a procedure to destroy their magical ability unless they prove themselves in the mysterious and brutal Mages' Exam.

Disadvantaged by her parents' low standing, Rocío Lopez has dedicated herself to expanding her considerable talent to earn a place in the Confederation. Their rejection leaves her reeling—and determined to fight to keep her magic.

Long ashamed of his mediocre abilities, Finn Lockwood knows the Confederation accepted him only because of his prominent family. Declaring for the Exam instead means a chance to confirm his true worth.

Thrown into the testing with little preparation, Rocío and Finn find themselves becoming unlikely allies—and possibly more. But the Exam holds secrets more horrifying than either could have imagined. What are the examiners really testing them for? And as the trials become increasingly vicious, how much are they willing to sacrifice to win?

The start of a new series by USA Today bestselling author Megan Crewe, Ruthless Magic combines the magic of Harry Potter with the ferocity of The Hunger Games alongside a poignant romance. Fans of Cassandra Clare and Holly Black, look no further for your next urban fantasy fix!

 Grab the prequel MAGIC UNMASKED for FREE!

Exclusive Excerpt!

Hail pelted us, and the wind lashed at us from all sides. I could hardly breathe. The only solid thing was Finn. I curled my fingers into the damp fabric of his shirt and sang into the stiller space between us. “Como veían que resistía.”

Magic hummed from the vicious air into me. An image swam up of the grate I’d come across in the courtyard, between the buildings. A grate that led to something below.

I knelt down, pulling Finn with me, and pressed my free hand to the spongy ground. The wind tried to steal my next lyrics from my lips, but the magic raced through me all the same—through me and down, down, into an open space I sensed below us like a gasp of fresh air.

I did gasp then, and forced out a verse. I’d never magically transported another person with me before, but I had to. I had to.

The magic rushed up around us with the thrust of my words. I clung to Finn, singing the energy around him as tightly as I could. Then I propelled us downward with a lurch.

We surged through rough blackness that rasped over my skin and landed with a feet-jarring thump. I exhaled in a rush, dizzy in the sudden quiet. My eardrums ached from the pounding of the storm we’d escaped and the effort of the conjuring.

We crouched in total darkness. The surface beneath me felt like concrete. Cold dank air hovered around us with a faintly salty flavor that reminded me of the ocean.

My fingers were tangled in Finn’s shirt. His arm was still around me. In the dark, I was abruptly aware of the rise and fall of his rasping breath, the warmth of his chest, and the answering warmth it sent through me.

He was alive—we were alive—and in that moment, it felt like a miracle.

About Megan: 
Photo credit: Chris Blanchenot
Like many authors, Megan Crewe finds writing about herself much more difficult than making things up. A few definite facts: she lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and son (and does on occasion say “eh”), she’s always planning some new trip around the world, and she’s spent the last six years studying kung fu, so you should probably be nice to her. She has been making up stories about magic and spirits and other what ifs since before she knew how to write words on paper. These days the stories are just a lot longer.

Megan’s first novel, Give Up the Ghost, was shortlisted for the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. The Way We Fall was nominated for the White Pine Award and made the International Literacy Association Young Adults’ Choices List, and Earth & Sky was an OLA Best Bet for 2015. She is also the author of the rest of the Fallen World series (The Lives We Lost, The Worlds We Make, and Those Who Lived), the rest of the Earth & Sky trilogy (The Clouded Sky and A Sky Unbroken), and the standalone contemporary fantasy A Mortal Song.
Giveaway Details:
One lucky winner will receive a $10 Amazon gift card and a pack of Ruthless Magic swag featuring the cover and character art.

Ruthless Magic cover reveal giveaway

Wednesday 18 April 2018

Your Mid-Week Update for 04/18/18

Detective Watts: the human embodiment of drying white paint, has been around; not an overbearing amount but enough that I actually start to notice him on the street. Like a familiar face in the crowd. Not like…I can pick his face out of crowd.

Guys, I’m not a writer. I’m a killer. You’d think after all these years I’d be able to string a cohesive narrative together but I just couldn’t care less. I mean, I care enough to tell you about my day and I definitely use you as a sounding board for all the shit I go through; but ultimately it isn’t about the writing is it?

You all know that just reading my blog could get you arrested someday. But something keeps bringing you back. It’s not my writing skills. So why do read?

Are you looking for tips? I’ve got plenty of those – I’m happy to share my knowledge. Here’s a freebie: the internet will tell you that you can poison someone with the cyanide found in apple seeds. While a large amount of seeds is deadly, it’s not worth it. Do yourself a favor, sell the apples and by some bleach.

Anyways what was I talking about?

Oh yes. Detective Watts: my personal sleeping pill. He stopped by the house to chat with James about my kill kits. Apparently, they’re all the buzz at work. Some people think that a former serial killer is coming out of retirement. Gary doesn’t think they never stopped. I don’t think he knew I was there. Or he wouldn’t have talked about me so blatantly. He still thinks I’m hiding something and I’m related to that murder a few weeks ago.

I had hoped he was here for James – to be a friend – but it’s clear: he has to go. I told James last night and he hasn’t come around yet. He convinced that he can get the Detective off my scent and for him, I’ll wait. I’ll let him try. But if he can’t – if Gary keeps coming for me – he’ll have to understand. What I do, I do for all of us. That’s by no means a rationalization. I love what I do. But when people come after me or my family, it becomes a necessity.

Surely everyone can understand that. You do what you have to even if they don’t realize it’s the right thing.

As always, dear readers,

Stay Safe

Wednesday 11 April 2018

Your Mid-Week Update for 04/11/18

You know when you stop thinking about something and then suddenly it pops back into your life and it’s all consuming? This was not that. This was something I had literally buried in the nineties and it’s suddenly resurfaced.

See, I went through this phase for about a year in the mid-1990s where I made “kill-kits” and buried them in the woods outside of town. Then, I would stalk people down hiking trails and lure them to areas where I had all my materials set up. It was a convenient way to make a kill without lugging around my camping gear. Ultimately, it wasn’t worth the risk of carrying around a trunk full of ropes, knives, and tarps once a month.

All my leftover kits were buried in the forest, completely forgotten because why would it matter?

Turns out, it matters because one of my kits was just found by a hiker and now there is a county-wide investigation looking for a potential serial killer.

'Cause fuck me, right?

So far there’s nothing tying me to the kit and there’s genuinely no reason to worry. I just hate things that go wrong when they are within my control. I should have cleaned up after myself. I’m suffering through the consequences as it is: no new kills this week. I just have to live off my really big one last week.

Thursday night, I got into a very minor fender bender – didn’t even scratch the paint (still, got it sent in for a tune up) – but the jerk insisted we pull off onto this abandoned road so he could yell at me. I let him get about three words out before I took out my pepper spray, blinding him. Then I jumped on his back and snapped his neck like a freaking action star. Side note: it is incredibly difficult to snap someone’s neck. It’s not the way it looks in the movies. James taught it to me on one of our first dates. It’s not about twisting the neck, right? It’s about severing the spinal cord with an upward, twisting momentum.

I was incredibly proud; I’ve only been able to do it a couple of times in my life and this was certainly the quickest. It’s nice to know that I can still learn and grow as a killer, even after all these years.

It’s a reminder to everyone: you can always be improving.

That’s how I’m choosing to see this situation. And you should, too. I don’t need any of your judgement, I have my own, thank you.

As always, dear readers,

Stay Safe

Monday 9 April 2018

Release Day for Tracing Shadows by Alex Lidell

I am so excited that TRACING SHADOWS by Alex Lidell is available now and that I get to share the news!
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Alex Lidell, be sure to check out all the details below.
This blitz also includes a giveaway for a 3 eBook sets of Alex’s TIDES series & TRACING SHADOWS, International, courtesy of Alex and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
 About the Book:

Title: TRACING SHADOWS (Scout #1)
Author: Alex Lidell
Pub. Date: April 8, 2018
Publisher: Alex Lidell
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 312
Find it: AmazonGoodreads

To protect the throne, seventeen-year-old spy Kali must play a male guardsman trainee by day and royal lady by night. 

Orphaned and trained on a spymaster’s remote estate, Kali is a scout who works alone in the shadows. But when a terror group threatens the Dansil throne, the king forces Kali to accept a mission at the palace or forfeit her sister’s life. 

Suddenly thrust into the light, Kali must infiltrate high society as the royal Lady Lianna while penetrating the servant ranks as Kal, a male guardsman trainee. It doesn’t help that Trace, the harsh and enigmatic captain of the king’s guard, is soon assigned as both Lady Lianna’s palace escort and Kal’s commanding officer. 

As Kali edges closer to the truth behind the violent group’s identity, she uncovers dangerous secrets that could bring her mission to a brutal end. A scout’s job is to observe and report, never to engage . . . but if it means saving her sister and kingdom, Kali may have no choice. 

TRACING SHADOWS, by Amazon bestselling author Alex Lidell, is the first novel in the Scout series. Perfect for fans of Tamora Pierce, Leigh Bardugo, and Sarah J. Maas. 

“Don’t you look handsome?” Leaf adjusts the collar of my new royal guard uniform and runs her fingers over the trim marking me a trainee. Standing in the middle of Lady Lianna’s plush suite a few hours after my meeting with the king, I look like a dressed-up doll. At the far corner of the room, the lit fireplace crackles companionably. It’s warmer in Delta than it was at the estate, and the small flame heats the two-room suite easily, while the baskets of tulips that the servants brought in fill the air with a delicate perfume. “Kal is all grown up and off to training at the keep.”
I step back and scowl. “You think this is funny?”
“You living and training with a herd of boys? Not at all.” Leaf’s round hazel eyes strain with the effort of holding back laughter. After the strict distance the scouts kept at the estate, the close living quarters of the keep will take a bit of getting used to. Leaf pulls on her lip thoughtfully. “Do you think they walk about the barracks naked? More to the point, can you be trusted to live amongst real humans without going feral and biting someone?”
I check the straps on my throwing knives and pull my jacket sleeve over them. “Not worried about it. Just focus on keeping up Lady Lianna’s facade while I’m gone. She’s a sickly, frail girl who must rest in her rooms, but for the occasional foray into society.”
“And she studies botany,” Leaf adds.
My head snaps to her. “She what?”
“Studies botany,” Leaf says nonchalantly as she stuffs some fruit into Kal’s sack. “That’s why I am having a few things I can repurpose for my research brought to the room. I’ll instruct you on what Lianna finds.”
“Would this be the end-the-Drought research, the soil-fertility research, the Kali-magic-connection research, or the general furthering of study in the arena of living stones?” I ask innocently.
Leaf frowns. “All of the above. But they’re not nearly as distinct as you make it sound.”
“Fine. Just make sure there are no wasps taking up residence in Lianna’s plants.” I wave my hand and holster my sword at my waist. I prefer distance weapons, but guards all carry swords. Leaf’s mouth twitches. “Stars, Leaf, what is so amusing?”
“You. Going to a training hall like a little untried boy. I’m imagining their faces when you knock the lot of them on their rears.”

About Alex:

Alex Lidell is the Amazon Breakout Novel Awards finalist author of THE CADET OF TILDOR (Penguin, 2013). She is an avid horseback rider, a (bad) hockey player, and an ice-cream addict. Born in Russia, Alex learned English in elementary school, where a thoughtful librarian placed a copy of Tamora Pierce’s ALANNA in Alex’s hands. In addition to becoming the first English book Alex read for fun, ALANNA started Alex’s life long love for YA fantasy books. Alex is represented by Leigh Feldman of Leigh Feldman Literary. She lives in Washington, DC.

Join Alex's newsletter for news, bonus content and sneak peeks: 

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive an eBook set of Alex’s TIDES SERIES & an eBook of TRACING SHADOWS, INTERNATIONAL.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday 4 April 2018

Your Mid-Week Update for 04/04/18

Detective Watts: The man of a single expression, came over again last night. I don’t like it. It’s too convenient. I tried to let it go but I don’t trust the friendship that has suddenly developed between him and my husband.

James says I’m being paranoid and that he’ll keep an eye out but he’s “pretty sure he knows Gary well enough to trust him.” I don’t know if I trust him.

Maybe I’m just a selfish monster.

But over the years, I’ve learned to trust my instincts. If something’s not right, I run. And right now I want to get the hell out of here. James calls me a Jackrabbit.

For other reasons but I know when there’s danger and I know when to move. I’m worried. And I don’t get worried. I get strategic. Sometimes I flail and panic when I get strategic, true. When it comes to liars and dangerous situations, I know what I’m talking about.

It’s also quite frustrating when people don’t listen to me or believe me. Especially on a subject I have years of experience in.

Speaking of which: there’s a new guy at work and I already want to kill him. I have never heard such passively sexist bullshit from one person before. Everyone woman – regardless of age – is “little lady” like we’re down at his ranch. He holds the door for everyone which is…nice. But he always lingers a little too long on the women. Now, I am a poor feminist at best, but it comes back to what I was talking about: instinct. If something doesn’t feel right, get out.

Or in this case: get him out.

I’m debating between killing him and getting him fired. Both would be satisfying, just in different ways.

I am trying to use some self-control when it comes to the people in my immediate circle. No more killing coworkers unless they really deserve it.

We’ll have to wait and see if our resident “rancher” deserves it.

As always, dear readers,

Stay Safe

Monday 2 April 2018

Engaging Your Reader-Base: Guest Post by Chuck Vance

I wish there was a magic formula on how to engage your reader-base, but I suppose if that were the case then every single book would be a best seller. It’s pretty hard to know what books will resonate and what books will just fall by the wayside. My new book SNEAKING OUT is published by an independent small publisher, (Dunemere Books) and not one of the major conglomerate publishers, which makes it extra hard to gain traction. But we like to think of ourselves as the little engine that could and keep on trying.

I think you have to write an honest book, first and foremost. My story is about a murder at a boarding school and I try and keep it as legit as possible. When I was young and the Charlie Brown/Peanuts shows were on (usually just as holiday specials) it always bothered me that the adults didn’t have real voices and they spoke in this weird gibberish. It actually scared me. Where were the authority figures? So with SNEAKING OUT, I made sure there are adults around reminding the kids that although this terrible thing happened, they weren’t being left alone at the school at the mercy of a killer on the loose.  I want it based in reality, but that doesn’t mean that Luke Chase, my protagonist who is sixteen, isn’t the one who’s going to help solve the crime. It is fiction after all. And nowadays, teenagers seem to be the ones changing the world.
In terms of trying to get the word out, we enlisted ‘Junior Ambassadors’ to be early readers and use their social media forum of choice to let people know about the book. Through friends and our websites and Dunemere’s social media platforms we invited anyone under the age of eighteen to join our Ambassador program. On pub date, we randomly selected two of them as winners of Amazon gift cards ($250 each; not shabby!) Our ambassadors did a great job and many got their friends and even their school libraries to order the book.

Blog tours are the best, also. It has been great connecting with so many avid readers around the country (and abroad) and I am so impressed by the questions that I am asked. I would not have any idea what to ask even my favorite writer there have been very creative and original queries as I move from blog to blog. It has even helped me come up with ideas for the next book. I appreciate all of the interest and support and am grateful that I had the chance to connect with so many people. Thanks so much and I hope you like the book.
Author: Chuck Vance
Pub. Date: March 6, 2018
Publisher: Dunemere Books
Pages: 404
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: AmazonB&NTBDGoodreads

Could you sleep next to a murderer?

Luke Chase—yes, that Luke Chase, a modern hero ripped from the headlines—didn’t mean to get caught up in Mrs. Heckler’s murder. He just wanted to hook up with the hot new British girl at St. Benedict’s, and if that meant sneaking out to the woods after hours, then so be it. But little did he know someone would end up dead right next to their rendezvous spot, and his best friend and roommate Oscar Weymouth would go down for it. With suspects aplenty and a past that’s anything but innocent, Luke Chase reluctantly calls on his famous survival skills to find the true killer.

For fans of “A Study in Charlotte” and boarding school lit, “Sneaking Out” (book one in the “Chased” series) immerses readers in the privileged prep school world, with a mystery that exposes the dark side of life on a residential high school campus. 

About Chuck:
Chuck Vance is a pseudonym for a bestselling writer of both
adult mysteries and novels for young adults. Vance attended
boarding school in Connecticut and graduated from Columbia
University. Vance has lived in New York, Moscow, London,
Paris and Los Angeles and is frequently on the move.

Website | Goodreads

Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive a finished copy of SNEAKING OUT & a $30 Amazon GC, US Only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:
Week One:
3/26/2018- BookHounds YAInterview
3/26/2018- Bookish In BedReview

3/27/2018- Christen KrummGuest Post
3/27/2018- Between the PagesReview

3/28/2018- The Desert BibliophileReview
3/28/2018- Twirling Book PrincessExcerpt

3/29/2018- CrandomInterview
3/29/2018- Blushing BibliophileReview

3/30/2018- Novel NoviceGuest Post
3/30/2018- two points of interestReview

Week Two:
4/2/2018- Writer of WrongsGuest Post
4/2/2018- Life of A Simple Reader- Review

4/3/2018- books are loveReview
4/3/2018- Charlotte BrandReview

4/4/2018- Kati's Bookaholic Rambling ReviewsSpotlight
4/4/2018- Hauntedbybooks13Review

4/5/2018- Sweet Southern HomeExcerpt

4/6/2018- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post

4/6/2018- Wonder StruckReview